The third and final post in my series on learning from others who published books, I’m featuring Debbie Horovitch.
Me: What is/are your book about?
Debbie: I’m working on my first “full” book, a business guide to my successful methods for planning, promoting & producing quality Google+ Hangouts on Air shows that attract audience & build influence. If I’m not able to get traditional publisher interest for my book right away, I’ll self publish until I do.
Me: How did you come to working on your book?
Debbie: I’ve always wanted to write a book but never really knew about what. When I expressed my desire to my family about 5 years ago I was discouraged from even trying, so it was a dream that sat on the back burner for a few years. But I kept on working on developing expertise & networking with book authors in my niche of social media and business growth, and in September 2012 decided to try a new medium for communicating & connecting Social Sparkle & Shine with our communities > Google+ Hangouts on Air. I decided to focus my Hangouts conversation on book authors & publishers professional areas of concern with writing, publishing and promoting your book.
Within a few months we started having “celebrity” book authors join the Hangout to share their insights, advice and experiences with aspiring and first-time authors. We were joined by Guy Kawasaki (Google evangelist), who asked to be on the show to discuss his new co-authored book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How To Publish a Book, and Chris Guillebeau (The $100 Startup), and Dorie Clark (Reinventing You Forbes.com/HBR), and Mike Michalowicz (The Pumpkin Plan), and Sam Fiorella (Influence Marketing). I even earned a “one that got away” interview badge with Gary Vaynerchuk (The Thank You Economy) when during our #1aDayQandA interview I tragically only recorded my side of the conversation!
I’ve learned so much about the FAQs that people have about Hangouts, that keeps them from fully getting value from the platform, that I realized there is absolutely value in brining a book to market that reviews everything I’ve learned and shares some of the stories where I’ve learned the most – so that everyone can have me as a personal guide (through the book) in planning a successful Hangout on Air.
Me: People in general feel authors should publish digitally and forget about print. What are your thoughts?
Debbie: Two thoughts >
In 200 years, do you want people to remember you? If your printed books are still in libraries and collections, you’ll likely continue to impact and help people long after your death. Digital ereaders and eBooks will continue to evolve quite dramatically, and publishing to a digital platform means your books are privately distributed to buyers – (virtually) no sharing, no loaning and no serendipitous plane rides where you discover you’re both reading the same book!
Then there’s the shocking truth that it costs nothing other than your time to make your book available in print, and you’ll still earn a royalty when someone buys your book (or bulk orders it) in print format through a print-on-demand publisher, paired with Amazon sales availability & worldwide distribution. Some people will always prefer printed books, and since very few people overall own ereaders or know you can read Kindle books on any mobile/wifi device with the app, I like to make a printed book available with every book I publish. There’s also the pricing strategy of making the printed book available at $15-$30, while the eBook is whatever dramatically lower price you’ve chosen for the day, ranging from FREE to $8.99 – whenever visitors to the book page see the two options $27.99 print or $4.99 eBook > you’ll sell a LOT more eBooks and earn more money, than if you ONLY had the eBook version, available for $0.99
Me: What have you learned from writing your own book that you wish you knew before you started?
Debbie: That I was wrong to believe “publishing a book” meant a lot of work to write your book, a lot of rejection to “pitch” you book and then a disappointing publishing advance and more disappointing ongoing marketing efforts by the publisher. Now I know how simple it is to write, publish and market a book if you want it to be.
I’m learning this from networking with book authors and publishers and book marketers to learn new options for publishing and techniques for marketing & sales, and I’m even discovering ways to outsource quality writing & editing for authors, so it doesn’t have to be time consuming to write your books! I know lots of people who publish 1-10 books/month and earn $125-$1000+ monthly royalties per book. Its passive income month after month, responsive to my efforts (marketing & promoting the book reignites sales), and it teaches me about my audience and their needs for my business, because I get feedback from volume sales, reviews, stars and more, and use all that information to know what offers to make in my business.
Publishing to Amazon even adds to Google SEO and can positively impact Google Adwords campaigns with lower bids required for competitive placements. Can you imagine all the businesses and brands who month after month use Google Adwords campaigns to drive people to a landing page on their website, where they offer a “free eBook download” in exchange for their email address? In addition to giving away their “free” content (which most people see as extremely low value or worthless), these businesses and professionals can also publish a “better version” of the same eBook to Amazon and POD, that will capture some of the same Google searches for those keywords (and Amazon searches), and earn money for having people buy the content, while still capturing their name & email! It’s a way to earn money for marketing your business!
Now I believe everyone should be published!
Me: What software/hardware have you used?
Debbie: Nothing special – I use Google products and apps as my business default, so I love my Samsung Chromebook that I bought for $279 and is so light and small and fast and gives me access to all my docs on Google docs, my Google drive, my Chrome browser & custom settings, my Gmail, Google+, YouTube and ANY other website. I can also do Google+ Hangouts on Air while on the go and even edit videos on YouTube. There are a few book marketing & research tools I use for clients that aren’t online (Ebook Niche Explorer), and MS Word for the Kindle, CreateSpace, nook & iBooks templates, so they’re on my desktop or notebook computer.
Me: Did social media play any role in the making and promotion of your book?
Debbie: I’m a social media professional who has been working with media and advertising directly since 1993 and fascinated by media, advertising and publishing content since I was a child (I always wanted to watch MORE TV!). Social media is huge. It’s a necessity. While I blog, I don’t do a lot, while I have social media, my communities are not overgrown with “weeds” of fake followers and robot followers purchased at a penny a piece > every single client, media, publicity, and intern I’ve had has come to me through friendly interaction on their preferred social channel. I’m on every social channel and let my clients come to me on the platform where they are most comfortable.