The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 119 · 9 months ago

119. The 6 P's of Writing, Publishing, and Selling Your Book (Part 2 of 2) w/ Ethan Beute


It opened doors that I didn’t know existed. I met new people, found new opportunities, and received other unexpected benefits from organizing my thoughts.

This result of writing, publishing, and selling a book makes the entire 6-step process worthwhile.

I’m Ethan Beute, Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, host of The Customer Experience Podcast, and co-host of the CX Series on the B2B Growth Show. I am here today to share Part 2 of the 6 Ps of Writing, Publishing, and Selling Your Book.

A very quick overview:

- The 6 Ps: purpose, proposal, process, publishing, people, and promotion

- Publishing decisions should be guided by purpose

- It takes a village of people to publish a book

- Promotion is ultimately your responsibility

Check out these resources to help you navigate the 6 Ps:

- This is a blog post of reflection on writing my book

- Check out this slide deck of the 6 Ps

- Building Relationships Through Video (my talk about writing)

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

No one sells your book except you, no matter what type of publishingprocess or option you choose. You ultimately have to sell this book. The single most important thing you cando today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers,learn how sales marketing and customer success experts create internalalignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in apersonal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here'syour host, eeten Baute, Hey! If one of your goals or resolutions is to write,publish and sell a book, you are in the right place. This is part to of a twopart series, the six piecs of Writing Publishing and selling your book. Myname is Ethan Baute Coauthor of Rehumanize, your business, my friendteammate and coauthor, Steve Passinelli, and I worked with Wyley to bring thatbook to market about a year and a half ago it has exceeded our ownexpectations, selling something like twenty fivehusand copies, an countinghitting a couple best seller lists and, most importantly, equiping more peoplewith the philosophy and practice that we know can improve their employeeexperience and their customer experience. The subtitle of Rehumaniz,Your Business, is how personal videos accelerate sales and improve customerexperience. It's the what why, who, when and how of building relationshipsthrough video of making people feel seen, heard, appreciated and understoodthe process of communicating more clearly building more human connectionand ultimately increasing conversion, all those microyeses and macro yesisthat we need every single day from the people that were reaching out to inorder to be successful in our roles. If you want to hear part one of this twopart series in which we cover the purpose of the project, the proposalthat you should write to support the project and various things to thinkabout regarding the process of getting the book written you'll find those inpart one. That's episode, one fourteen of the customer experience podcast andwe also put up posts to support these episodes at Bombamcom podcast, so we'lllink up related resources in the post for this episode, as well as episode,one fourteen and just as a habit of using simple casual conversationalvideos to replace some of your plane, typed out text that faceless digitalcommunication can improve your employee experience and your customer experience.So too can the process of Writing Publishing and selling a book.Something I didn't share in the first part was a specific aspect of thepurpose that drove Stephen me early on in the process of writing. rehumanized.I was talking with my longtime friend and team member and a guest on thecustomer experienced podcast, our chief customer officer, Jonathan Bolton, andhe asked me hey how long do you think it's going to take to get this written?and honestly, I don't remember how many hours I gesstimated, but he said ifthat is the investment of time required. It would be worth you pursuing this,even if we only did it for our own employees to share thephilosophy and practice the stories that support it, some of the valuableframeworks around it if it was only to help recruit and on board and retrainour existing employees. This would be worth it, of course, a fantastic employeeexperience. An a high level of employee engagement are necessary precursors toan outstanding customer experience as well. Now we didn't limit the purpose andscope of our project to our employees alone, although it's been very, veryuseful in that way. It's also been helpful in broadening the community inattracting New People to this movement...

...and helping our customers be moresuccessful, helping our competitors, customers be more successful, helpingour competitors be more successful by writing the first and only book on thistopic, and not a week, goes by even a year and a half later that steveeryfails to hear from someone whois reaching out to us because of the book.I picked your book up at LAX or at the Nashville airport or in Denver or afriend of mine, gave it to me, or I saw this on a CO worker's desk.There are so many employee and customer benefits to organizing your thoughtsand making this commitment in a Book Format Your Abm Strategies and tactics,your digital ads, your email nurturing. It only reaches a certain number ofpeople, there's something very interesting about this physical,tangible product or even the digital ebook version or the audiobook version.It can carry your message so much farther than you ever imagined so with that set up we'll go to thethree pes in this episode again. The first three were purpose proposal andprocess here we're talking about publishing people and Promotion Publishing. This is a big one. Thereare so many ways to bring your book to market these days. One of the obviousoptions is traditional publishing, something we did with Wiley veryprolific, nonfiction businessbook publisher. I and my teammates have readseveral of the titles they've brought to market. I won't list out all of thetraditional publishers, but you know them. Penguin, mcgrahill, random housethere's been a lot of consalidation in the industry, so I'm sure a lot of themare all kind of rolled up together and it's a great option and I'll explainwhy and why we went that way in just a moment, but another category is thehybrid publisher. In my view, the leader in this pack is Greenleaf BookGroup has a quick related bonus. Their CEO Tanya Hall wrote an excellent bookon this topic. Ideas, influence and income write a book, build your brandand lead your industry. I read Tanya's book while I was deep in this processand it was so helpful in so many different ways, and I don't remember itin great great detail, but I'm sure it has something to say about all six ofthe peas that I'm covering in this two part series. So this hybrid category isa bit more white glove than the third one I'll mention here, which isselfpublishing. A couple options you might look at here are scribe and idea.Press Friends of mine have used both of those services and speak well of themand a fourth an often overlooked category is unpublished. For example, Iwrote a twenty five to thirty thousand word piece about how to successfullyadopt video as part of your workflow as an individual or as a team, and weopted to go unpublished with it. ITD A it wasn't feature length, although Icould have pushed it out to that. Our design team Anaha in particular, did abeautiful job, designing a cover laying it out coming up with a visual themefor it. We created it in the EPUB format that, when you open it up, itautomatically opens in something like Apple Books, will also print some hardcopies and send those to prospects, as well as to customers. It'll be veryhelpful in educating people, but we're not going to go to the extra effort ofgetting it listed for sale or for download and Amazon. We're, certainlynot going to put it in a hard cover and try to get it positioned in retailoutlets. So again, going back to the first P purpose, depending on thepurpose of your project, you may not even choose to publish it in any kindof a formal way. Now, a quick consideration here between traditional,hybrid self and unpublished is the upfront cost with unpublished. I wouldgive that a single dollar sign. You can... it pretty inexpensively. I wouldgive two dollar signs to self publishing plan to spend at least tenthousand dollars getting that going and because you own your intellectualproperty in both the hybrid publishing and self publishing models, also planon the cost of printing and warehousing the books. I can't get into all of thedetails there, but you will pay to print your own books in theself andhybrid models. Hybrid publishing is the most expensive upfront because it comeswith a number of other benefits and services. I gave that three dollarsigns an a little graphic. I designed and traditional publishing has noupfront costs. That was one of the reasons we went with Wiley. We alsofelt like a traditional publisher would give us omcredibility as many customers,as we have as large as our community is in relative terms, and certainlyrelative to the total addressable market. For the message in the bookwere nobody, as many people know Stephen Me, thousands or tens ofthousands or hundreds of thousands of times more people don't, and there wasno upfront investment again. That's why, when I was explaining in the first partof this, you want to demonstrate, with your marketing plan, in the second pproposal, that you can mitigate their risk and make it an easy. Yes, ifyou're going with a traditional publisher, because they are bearing thecosts and the risks of the project. Now, on the back end, how are you going torecoup your cost again with purpose? I said it was largely a fool's errand tothink that you're going to do this in order to make money, but you cangenerate revenue on the back side to recoup the costs of your time. Perhapsupfront investments with a hybrid or self publisher and your marketing spendto support the project unpublished. You obviously won't generate any backendrevenue with self publishing. Of course, we said two dollar signs up front, butwe'll say three dollar signs on the back, because you own the work you getone hundred percent royalties from most pure self publishing options will gotwo dollar signs on the back end for hybrid publishing, because you'resharing in the royalties with the hybrid publisher, so three up front twoor three on the back and a higher level of service, even white glove servicealong the way, with the hybrid option and with traditional publishing. I givethat a single dollar sign. You want to pay very close attention to thepromised royalty rate. Our effective royalty rate was much lower than whatwe anticipated, and it was because we didn't fully understand, for example,that the royalty rate was on the sale price, not on the retail price and Amazon. Had Ourbook listed at thirty four percent off, sometimes forty five percent off attimes fifty two percent off in trying to decide the best way to bringRehumaneyes to market. I build a business model around it and I used thestated royalty rates that we would get at different levels of sales and againmishad detail about actual purchase price versus retail price. In addition,I missed the fact that bulk purchasing is often subject to a lower royaltyrate as well, and we sold thousands of copies in bulk two hundred five hundreda thousand copies at a time, and so in reality my model didn't hold totally myfault, and I share it here, so you make sure not to make the same mistake. Afinal note before moving on to the next P and moving off of publishing is thatthe advance is just in no interest loan against your royalties. The advance isnot a gift, it's just a present payment coming out of your future royalty, asmall detail, but for us, the upfront payment or the advance was not reallyrelevant in terms of negotiating the contract. It may or may not be of valueto you and to restate all of this...

...should be guided by purpose. What isyour purpose behind the project that will help you determine the best way tobring your book to market with the Fourth P, there publishing the fifthpis people and I'll rip through this one organize your people who isinvolved in this project. How often should they be updated on it? What istheir preferred method of contact organize this information in advance?Some people to consider are people wholl, be helping you with editing andor your advance readers. When do you want them involved? How often shouldthey be looking at the draft material, another category ous people featuredmentioned or cited in the book? They can be helpful in so many differentways, even if it's just for tagging and mentioning when you go to social media,with the opportunity to preorder or order the book, we had a list of dozensof people who were featured or mentioned in the book and fifteen oreighteen books and authors who were cited in the book. Organize these asyou go, don't wait until the end launch partners. This is especially common forSolo, preneurs and entrepreneurs. Its the best practice really is to getformal commitments from ten or twenty or fifty people who believe in you orwho believe in the message and keep them informed all along the way. Theycan provide guidance and support in a variety of ways, including promotingthe book again when it's ready for prelaunch or for formal ordering. Aneasy category to bring to mind is personal and professional network whois in your personal network and who is in your professional network that wouldbe excited to support you and the project. In some way you can go theformal route as well. Your publisher, a PR agent or agency, a literary agent oragency, a podcast placement, agent or agency, who can you hire or involve orbring in to help you be more successful, getting your message and your book intothe right hands to the right people in the final category, I'll call community.These are people who you may not know and who may not know you, but theybelieve the same things they need or want to hear this message or they'realready communicating similar messages. They have a similar point of view aboutthe world, a similar passion for how things can or should be think aboutwhere these people are and whether you're reaching out and participatingin that community directly or you're, using your launch partners or yourpersonal professional network or an AG enor agency in order to help get yourmessage, an awareness about your book into this community. This is where youwill get the most traction again. You can already advertise and send emailsand do targeted campaigns to people that are already on your map or yourradar. It's getting this message through this channel to moreindifferent people that can really make the project a success. So here's thesixth infinal category number one purpose: number two proposal numberthree process: The process of writing the book and bringing it to marketnumber. Four publishing just cover number five people number six ispromotion and to restate no one sells your book except you, no matter what type of publishingprocess or option you choose. You ultimately have to sell this book. Youneed to promote it. You need to market it. You need to sell it. So a fewpractical tips here, locking your budget early. It may be a thousanddollars it. Maybe a hundred thousand dollars. It may be more, but it'sprobably in between one and one hundred thousand dollars figure out your budgetearly and lock it in and build your marketing plan early. If you can get itbasically shaped up early on in the...

...proposal stage. You'll be ahead of thegame because there is a gap between the completion of the manuscript and thepresale window, and it's in that gap that you really want to step on. Thegas pedal in terms of working into your marketing plan, starting to executesome of the elements. Again, you can carry momentum into that gap bycommunicating actively with the right people on the right, cadence, weekly orMonthlier, quarterly, leading up to that presale window. You will have a launch date, a formalrelease date, but typically your book will be available for preorder weeks orsometimes even months before that you want to start preselling copies asap,especially if you have aspirations of hitting something like a USA Today orWall Street Journal or even New York Times best celler list quick side. Notethere, even though we sold nearly ten thousand copies in the presale and thefirst week of release, we did not hit any of those lists and I suspect, inhaving talked with a number of people. It was because we did too many sales inbulk selling two hundred three hundred five hundred, even a thousand copies ata time selling. Ninety eight hundred or ten thousand two hundred books. Thatway is not nearly as interesting to whoever is curating those lists, asselling say, ten thousand copies to ninety five hundred different people. Another tip and promotion know that,like everything it is paid to play placements and retail outlets like anairport or even a barns and noble pay to play it shouldn't come as any surprise allof that retail space, whether it's a grocery store or a bookstore, is allpaid to play. Now we did do some of that pay to play,and I will say it has been very effective. We paid to get rehumanizedplaced in bookstores and again stepe, and I continue to hear from people whosaw it. The title spoke to them: They read it, they enjoyed it. They boughtmultiple copies for their team members and some of those people even came tous as customers. Again, that was not the fundamental purpose behind us.Writing Publishing and selling the book, but it is a very nice byproduct of it,so just because it is paid o play doesn't mean that there's not a directand indirect return on that investment. Another big tip here- and this is goingto be a reason you want to go to Bombomcom SA podcast and check out theblog post for episode, one fourteen or episode one. Nineteen. I will include alink to the exact structure of our preorder packages, but the tip here isto design preorder incentives or packages preorder one copy and get x,perorder three copies and get xplus perorder five copies get Xplus, plusten, twenty five, fifty one hundreddand fifty five hundred and a thousand. Ithink those were our brakes there and we actually did sell one of the onethousand copy packages. It was something like a fifteen thousanddollar commitment things you might offer Ar digital bonuses. We did acustom tshirt run specific to the prelaunch and included that in some ofthe packages and we bought some copies of our own book and so Stepe and Isigned them and they were part of the preorder bonuses. So by three copiesget one signed copy free at one hundred or more copies. Westarted doing some custom training specific to the topics covered in thebook at the One Thousand Copy Level Steve and I agree to fly and stay onour own dime to wherever you wanted to bring people together into a room. Wedidn't care what room we didn't care, how many people it could be a fivethousand person auditorium. It could be five people in a conference room allpre covid, of course, and we'd give you...

...eight hours of training a four hourmorning, a lunch break in a four hour afternoon, and we would premeet withyou in advance to learn about your audience so that we would customize itto you. It was such an awesome experience for us. It continues toserve us well today, and we got great feedback on that experience from ourhost and from the guests he brought into the room is something like two orthree dozen people. The specific advantage of structuring a preorderincentive promotion is that you can collect email addresses, you know,who's actually buying the book and how many they're buying this allows you tofollow up later. To do things like ask for online reviews which, by the way,are very difficult to get even well meaning people who love the book haveto be so intentional and conscious to carve out a couple minutes of their dayto go. Do that activity if you can reach them by email, and you know whothey are? Congratulations, you're a step closer to getting that done.Another pro tip screenshot and save everything as you're doing specificmarketing activities related to the presale or the sale. Your book willbounce up and down in rankings and Amazon, for example, they update themevery ten minutes or so so you're going to hit number one, perhaps or the topten, perhaps in a variety of different categories, pay attention to it,screenshot that when you hit a specific ranking, is it a bit of a vanity play?Of course it is, but some people who are on the fence are moved by theactivity of others, the activity that generated your arrival in the top threeand say business sales. We humanize hit number one new release in about a dozencategories and I failed to screenshop. Most of them, because I was completelyignorant going into this process- it only occurred to me later on. We didhit number one best seller in business sales, business communication andcustomer relations. We also hit some best souer list with a couple otherretailers, a special shout out here to Porchliht Book Company in Milwaukee andto Aranschleiker in particular, a great partner on our launch of rehumanize,the fulfilment and execution of all of those incentive packages that you cansee by checking out episode, Onde D, Fourteen or episode one nineteen atBombomcom podcast we put those together and he and his team helped executethose. So, as I collected names and email addresses at the different buyinglevels, we rounded those up share them with him and fulfilment went throughporchlight because we ran so many of our bulk purchases through them as well.We had people buying through them. We were the number one best seller in theopening month of release with porch light again a little bit of a vanityplay, but it also adds some credibility and provide some social proof forpeople who may be on the fence about buying your book last hip here and it'ssomething that we did not do as well as I would have liked- and I only havemyself to blame here- is sustaining the effort. Something I would do. The nexttime around is to find bite sized pieces of the book that you can use tosustain an education based marketing of the book in social in email and another places, something that we did do well Steve and I hired a podcastbooking agency to put us on two podcasts a month. Again, we've beendoing that for a year and a half now so I don't know how many podcast that is,but the podcast format is an excellent format for having conversations aboutthe expertise that you have and that you expressed in the book and, ofcourse, hosts are always looking for great guests that speak to the topicsthat are interesting to their audience and agency can help you find thosehosts find those shows pitch you and place you. A natural outcome of that isthat you'll start getting invites onto shows that you don't have to get bookedon through a booking agency. It begets...

...itself. It also helps you sustain theeffort not just through reaching that podcast audience, but giving yousomething that you can share on social or an email. Your appearances in theseconversations on these shows so that's publishing people andpromotion. Three of the six pies of writing. Publishing and selling yourbook here on the CX series on BTB growth and on the customer experiencepodcast, closing thought here. I mentioned in the first part of this twopart series that I'd reached out to people. I knew who had written inpublished books to learn what their writing process was and how they choseto bring their book to market. So I want to leave you here with somethingthat two of them stated very explicitly. Basically, in these words and somethingthat a couple other people mentioned, in other words and the concept is this:It opened doors that I didn't know existed. I met New People, I found newopportunities. I received unexpected outrach ind invitations, organizing your thoughts getting themwritten, getting them published and getting them to market is such arewarding activity. For so many reasons, I hope you found this series valuableagain. You can learn more by visiting Bombomcom podcast check out episode,one fourteen and one nineteen there parts one and two of the sixth piece ofWriting Publishing and selling your book. I hope HEU found it helpful again.This is a huge huge topic. I was only able to cover a little bit here. I hopeyou find extra resources there at Bombomcom podcast helpful. I wish yousuccess in your journey to your first book or your tenth as an avid readermyself. I so appreciate everyone who perseveres through the challenges itinvolves, and I hope you found something helpful in this two partseries best to you, take care and thank you for listening to the CX series onBTB growth and the customer experience podcast. My name is Ethan Bute. You canreach me at Ethan at Bombamcom, or by reaching out on Linkdin ethen bute lastname spelled beute have a great day clear communication, Human Connection,higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to themessages your sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance,so pick up the official book, Rehumanize Your Business, how personalvideos, accelerate sales and improve customer experience learn more in ordertoday at Bombamcom book, that's bomb, Vombcom Bock, thanks for listening tothe customer experience. podcast remember the single most importantthing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for yourcustomers, continue. Learning the latest strategies and tactics bysubscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombomcompodcast.

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