How to Build a Career Out Of Your Book

Keynoter croppedWhy are you writing your book? Is it because you want to chronicle a story for your friends and family or do you hope to build a career from your insights and knowledge?

I have often heard writers say, “I want to publish my book, but I will have to sell 100 copies just to break even.”

What a dangerous way to think, not only with starting a new business, but just the narrow thinking that could be limiting more than just your book dreams.

Publishing a book is not to sell books.  It should be seen as a way to collaborate, share and create future opportunities; potentially opening doors that would never have been opened without becoming a credited author, AKA “thought leader.”

Stephen King says Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.

It is from that enrichment of your reading community that a business can bloom and grow if you approach providing a solution or voice to an existing gap in the market.

One of our successful authors is JJ DiGeronimo who had a vision of building a community around an idea that she had about women in the business world. She worked full-time in a highly regarded position of leadership in a worldwide technology company but she had a vision of reaching professional women who were challenged by what society says their life SHOULD look like.

“They” were saying that to be successful, women must have a college degree, a full-time position, be married, and have children and a home. However, many of the women she spoke with told her that as they reached middle age and could check off many of the items on the list of what makes for a successful life; they just were lost in their own journey.

JJ interviewed many professional women. She combined her own professional journey along with the insight from these interviews and wrote her first book entitled The Working Woman’s GPS: When the Plan to Have it All Has Led You Astray, while employed full-time with two children under the age of five years old.

Her book was a door opener for speaking and training engagements where she shared her findings and lessons learned. In addition to these invitations, JJ leveraged social media and her new blog, Purposeful Woman, to build a community where she could be interactive with her audience of professional women. She turned sections of her book into webinars, keynote addresses, and training workshops that she promoted to national associations and Fortune 500 companies.

With so much interest in her content, JJ was able to leave her full-time position after 24 months to focus on the business she had successfully built from one book. She is now a sought after speaker and author who travels around the country bringing her message to conferences and conventions.

She did not set her sights on selling 100 copies of her book; she had a vision to make a difference in the lives of professional women around the country.

Just think where she might be if she had only limited her vision on selling a number of books.

Are You A Thought-Leader or a Someone Who Wrote a Book?

As you begin to consider how you will distribute your book you need to consider what your goals are. Do you just want to print and sell a few copies of your book to say that you are a writer or do you want to build a career? 

90% is the author and 10% is the book—Lisa Umina

If you desire a career, start by imagining what that career would look like. Think about an author that you pattern yourself after; Janet Evanovich, author of women’s comedy fiction, Tom Peters, author of business motivational books, Shel Silverstein, poet of children’s books.

How do you want to be known?

There is a great book by Robin Fisher Roffer entitled Make a Name for Yourself: 8 Steps Every Woman Should Know to Make a Name For Herself. Although the title would indicate it is a book for women only, it really speaks to all professionals. The idea of the book is to gain a clear understanding of how you want to be known and then what you need to do to make that happen.

Being a successful writer isn’t about the book. It is about who you are and the message you have to share.

If you are interested in learning more, I invite you to contact me so that we might create a strategy for self-publishing, not just your book, but you as an author! Call at 877-705-9647 or send me an email.