Someone recently asked me how I go about publishing my work. That question inspired me to think about the ways I published my ebooks, books, audiobook, online courses, self-paced online coaching programs, and even this blog post.
Here's what I'm noticing: people are on the fence about publishing their work. The woman who was curious about my publishing process said that she wants to write a book because right now, it's in her head but, not on paper. I also hear that isn't enough time to write. And, sometimes people think that others simply will not want to read what they write. In the book, Illusions, the author said, "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they are there." Truth is, there is an audience for every topic imaginable. The work becomes finding the right audience which is very different from the work of publishing. This blog post is intended to inspire you to take the next step or steps toward publishing your work.
Here are 7 helpful tips that hopefully will serve you well and cause you to see the value in publishing something of your own.
Start with an idea or concept. What do I care about that others also care about and will want to read about? I might even engage people in conversation about the topic to hear other viewpoints.
Use leverage wherever possible. When I was invited by two authors who were both working on collaborative book projects to join their group of authors, it was a great way to partner up and leverage the full cost of publishing my own work. Are there others who are also interested in writing about your topic? Are there organizations that could support your publishing efforts? Could you write for a company or small business to test the waters?
Know why you want to write. Who is your audience? Who do you want to serve by writing?
When I wrote 40 Keys to Excellence Based Living: Ways to Happily Live with Intention, I wanted to offer a different way for people to access my Excellence Based Living series. Before publishing this journal book, I had published a set of cards of the same title. The book offers space to journal and is faith-based whereas the cards are geared to a broader audience. When I contributed to Micro Shift: Small Mindset Changes for Big Results, I wanted to convert my conference presentation at the 2020 Reset Conference into a chapter so others would have a place to read about how I implemented my signature coaching program: Release. Allow. Attract. Act. into my life.
Understand the nuts and bolts of publishing or be willing to enlist the services of a guide or coach. My husband has written several books over the past few years so I had a chance to ask him many questions about publishing a book. He also has plenty of resources I check out as I embark on my journey. Should I get an ISBN? Should I self-publish or work with a publishing company, which is different from a company that only does the printing?
Develop a writing discipline. Writing a little at a time but consistently, is highly encouraged. This can also include designing an environment for writing in your home, another space, or outdoors. I have maintained a writing discipline for over 22 years including journaling, note taking, and mind mapping. This creates a huge comfort level for me around my writing and allows me to branch into the other types of writing I do in my growth mindset and personal foundations practice.
Ask others to review your work. It's not always easy to accept constructive feedback about the work you have put your heart and soul in. That's why it is important to choose wisely whom you invite to provide feedback. It's also nice to have an editor on the writing project because their sole purpose is to make sure what you want to say is being said as accurately as possible. I had the pleasure of editing the Pain to Profit book, my second editing project with the same lead author. It was a great experience to read each story and capture the essence of what each author wanted to say. Perhaps you can start with a request to review a letter or important email before you move on to your more creative writing samples. One of my biggest challenges is brevity - being more economical with my words. I invite people in to review my work to specifically let me know who else can I say it with fewer words. Also, apps like Grammarly are helpful. A colleague recently mentioned that Word has a readability feature you can also use.
Attend a free class on how to publish your own work. Engaging with and hearing from others about how to publish a work is often the missing piece of the puzzle. In a live workshop, we can become more motivated and inspired to do something toward publishing. We can ask specific questions about our specific publishing journey. We can hear about what works and which pitfalls to avoid. I will be offering a free workshop (see flyer) on how to publish your own work. It is a two-part class where the first class is all about the ins and outs of publishing. Plus, I will share a bit about how I published my latest audiobook on Audible! That process was exciting and fun! The second part is all about digging into each participant's part of the publishing journey to see how I can best coach them and offer relevant resources to jump-start their efforts. I'm looking forward to supporting local people who want to write and/or publish their work!