The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 114 · 1 year ago

114. The 6 P's of Writing, Publishing, and Selling Your Book (Part 1 of 2) w/ Ethan Beute


If one of your goals for 2021 includes writing, publishing, and selling a book, you might be looking for a roadmap right about now.

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 1 of the 6 P's of Writing, Publishing, and Selling Your Book.

A very quick overview:

- The 6 P's: purpose, proposal, process, publishing, people, and promotion

- Purpose is knowing why you are writing

- You absolutely need to write a book proposal

- Your new mantra for the writing process

Check out these resources to help you navigate the 6 P's:

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

- Check out this slide deck of the 6 P's

- 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.

If you're not first and foremost clear on the reason you are writing the book, you'll struggle to make decisions effectively. There are no wrong answers around your purpose, but you must have clarity of purpose and you must have conviction behind that purpose. The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. This episode of the Customer Experience Podcast and the CX series on BB growth is releasing on the last day of two thousand and twenty, one of the longer and more interesting years in my life, and perhaps in yours as well, and this time is a time of reflection and gratitude and perhaps more so, one of looking ahead, of goal setting, of resolving to do something better or more often or differently, or even to do something you've never done before. If, for you that includes writing, publishing and selling a book, you will definitely enjoy this two part series. The SIXP's of Writing Publishing and selling your book. My name is Ethan Butte. I'm chief evangelist at bombomb. I'm the host of the customer experience podcast, as well as the CX series on BB growth, and the CO author of the Book Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. It's a book I co authored with my longtime friends Steve Passanelli. He's also a team member of mine. He is the chief marketing officer at bombomb. The book was published by Wiley about a year and a half ago.

I'd say it succeeded our expectation in terms of the number of copies sold, closing in on Twenty Five Tho that is a hard number to track down. By the way, it doesn't include audiobooks. Some of the ways that you look at it don't include international sales, but it's in that zone. So I'll be sharing with you in this two part series some important lessons we learned as we wrote, published and sold rehumanize Your Business. By the way, if the title and subtitle are interesting, you can learn more about it right now at Bombombcom book that's Bombombcom Booker. You can search rehumanize your business at Amazon or wherever you prefer to buy books. So I put this sixpeas framework together as part of an expert corner in the marketing community, peak community. Now we talk about community a lot on the customer experience podcast and the C x series on BB growth. A few episodes that come to mind are episode seventy four of the customer experience podcast with Steph called well of Narrative Science, episode ninety three with Joe Huber of sprout social, as well as episode eighty four, ten rules for building a category and a community with Sangrum vagre. Now, Sangram is chief of angelist determinus. He created the flip my funnel community, he created the peak community and I'm a member of his peak community. It's a marketing community and there are all kinds of member driven presentations, conversations, q a sessions. And that's why and where I created and delivered this framework. The six pas of the process our purpose, proposal, process, publishing, people and promotion. Again, purpose. Why are you doing this at all? Proposal, why you need to create a proposal? Three is process. How are you actually going to get the book written? Because there are a number of ways to do that. will be covering those first...

...three P's in this episode and then in a subsequent episode you'll learn about the fourth P, publishing. There are a number of ways to bring books to market. The fifth is people. Who Do you need to get involved and keep involved from the start of the process through the completion of the book, through the release and in a sustaining effort behind the book. And finally, of course, promotion. You have to sell your book no matter what. No one is going to do it for you. So I'll share some tips and insights that we learned in launching and supporting rehumanize. So the first P is purpose. This effort requires a lot of energy, it requires perseverance. There are a number of decisions to make all along the way and as we go through the SPS will be talking about how to make some of those decisions. But if you're not first and foremost clear on the reason you are writing the book, you'll struggle to make decisions effectively. There are no wrong answers around your purpose, but you must have clarity of purpose and you must have conviction behind that purpose. One of the most common ones is something I'll call the business card. I want something to send ahead or leave behind with potential customers, perhaps to help with customer on boarding, to establish expertise and thought leadership, to share your point of view. And this book is typically going to be for a smaller, more targeted audience than a broader purpose. I know a number of people who've gone to market with a book functioning as a business card. A misguided purpose is to make money. Unless you're someone like Michelle Obama, you are not going to make a lot of money by writing and publishing a book now. You made downstream, but the process of selling a book is not going to make you rich now. Of course, there are exceptions here too. You may tap into something really powerful and timely. It may get some momentum, it may be one of those books that continues... sell just as well six or seven or eight years from now is it did upon release. But those are the exceptions. You're typically not going to undertake this process in order to generate a lot of direct revenue. So our purpose was to live and work in a better world. I am confident from my own experience and from the stories of customers and of my team members and from all the people in our community who are replacing some of their plane typed out text with casual, conversational videos. Know that this is a more effective way to communicate, connect and convert. It's clearer communication, it builds human connection. We actually feel like we know people before we ever meet them when we meet them through video and, of course, it can help us convert get all those micro yeses and macro yeses that we need in order to be successful and effective in our role, no matter our seat in the organization. Our primary audience was salespeople and sales managers and sales leaders. secondarily customer success and customer service professionals, but more broadly, anyone working in a professional capacity could benefit from the philosophy and practice that we laid out in rehumanize. So our purpose was to get this into as many hands as possible to help people be more personal, more effective and more authentic in the way they're reaching out to people every single day. That guided a lot of our decisions. Again, there is no wrong purpose, but you need to be clear about it, you need to state it, perhaps bounce it off other people, and one of the places you'll express this purpose is in the second p proposal. I encourage everyone to write a formal proposal for your project, whether or not you're going to try to take it to publishers or agents or other people.

Traditional publishers and even a lot of self publishing options require a proposal. So it's something you'll probably want to do anyway. But if you need a little extra encouragement, I'll refer you to Dan Pink's conversation with Tim Ferris on Tim Ferris's podcast shortly after Dan released when the science of perfect timing. Dan Pink is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling author of multiple books. He has a book deal. He probably is making decent money from his books, unlike most of the rest of us. But even though he has a book deal, he doesn't need to pitch the project to anyone. He always creates the proposal in order to be perfectly clear what he's doing, how he's going to do it, why he's going to do it. So this is helpful and necessary work. Hey, here's a fun bonus for you. If you visit Bombombcom podcast to check out the blog post associated with this episode, episode one hundred and fourteen, you can access the story of why and how we reached out to Dan Pink to get him to endorse rehumanize your business. He had very kind things to say about the message of the book. You can see those words and get the story by visiting bombombcom slash podcast. Steve and I put together a proposal for Rehumanize, which is fun to look back on now. We titled The book at the Time relationships through video. Learn to master the new old way to communicate, connect and convert. It was a twenty something page Google Doc. We had it designed by our design team. It turned out to be a forty three page lay out. There Yours, maybe shorter, might also be longer, but if you include the elements I'm about to list, it should land somewhere near where ours did. The first element is an overview. What is this book? What is it trying to accomplish? What does it say? Second, of course, is who it's for. Who is the target audience? How large is that audience? What would motivate them to pick up and read the book? What are they going to get out of it? Now this can change...

...over time, but you want to have a pretty clear sense of where it's going to go, what it's going to cover an in what order. How is the book going to be structured? The next element we included was comparable titles. What other books is this like in terms of theme or structure or audience? What is it similar to? And if you're going to be pitching a specific publisher, of course it always helps to have comparable titles that they have published. That's what we did in our proposal for Whiley. Again, you'll learn more about publishing options in part two of this two part series, the six P's of writing, publishing and selling your book. So that's overview, target, audience, table of contents, comparable titles. And then the next part is author and or company background. We opted early on to make this a bombomb project, even though the book is not about bombomb at all. The company is just a background character in the story, but we included one pagers on me, on Steve, and on our company, our community, the movement, the philosophy that guides us, who we are, what we're about, what drives us, of course, our personal and professional backgrounds. Why are we the people to write this book and how will our experience come into play? Next is the marketing plan. As with the table of contents, it's not written in stone. As I already said, their title and subtitle aren't even written in stone, but you do want to illustrate that you can sell the book and you want to explain how this is work that's going to serve you very, very well later on down the line. Again, the SIXTHP is promotion, where we'll go deeper into this topic. How are you going to market and promote the book? If you're going with a traditional publisher, they want to see that your clarity and your muscle and your thoughtfulness around the marketing plan are going to mitigate their risk. You want them to know with confidence that they are going to get a return on their investment... you. And then finally is the writing sample. By the time we put the proposal together we probably had tenzero or twelve thousand words written, so we included our introduction and the entire first chapter as part of the proposal. This illustrates the tone in the style, as well as a number of other elements that are helpful in someone judging whether or not they want to participate in the project. If you want to see all of those elements and even get access to the slide deck I put together to share this information, visit Bombombcom podcast. That's bomb bombcom slash podcast. This is episode one hundred and fourteen there. So if you're visiting a month or more after this episode releases, you may need to scroll to it. I'll provide links to a variety of supporting elements there, because you're probably listening while you're walking or running or hiking or biking or gardening or cooking or cleaning or something else, and so if you want a double back on some of the details that I'm sharing here, I'll have that rounded up at bombombcom slash podcast. So the third and final P of the first part of a two part series here on the customer experience podcast and the CX series on bdb growth is process. How are you going to get this done? There are so many ways you could do it. One of the things that I did as soon as I realized that I wasn't quite sure how I was going to get a full book written and I had no idea how to bring it to market. I was truly ignorant on the way into this process was I reread books written by people I knew and then I reached out to them to ask them if they would spend time with me in conversation about how they got their book written and how they got their book to market. I talked with people who self published and who had been formally published. I talked with a gentleman who hold himself up in a room for twelve days and wrote his book in less than two weeks, start to finish.

I also talked with someone who took six years to get the book written. You, of course, will probably land somewhere in between there, just as Steve and I did with rehumanize. Start to finish, it was probably five months or so, but this is also part of the process. Be Clear what the book is going to be built from. Is it personal experience? Is it interviews? Is it primary or secondary research? Is it case studies? Is it some combination of these, is at all of these elements? Is it other elements I didn't even list? One of the reasons we were able to move quickly is that he and I do teaching all the time about this philosophy and practice that we call relationships through video. I had written about five hundred fifty blog posts for the bom bomb blog. I had written a number of what we're essentially downloadable PDFS. We've both created stage presentations, webinars, conceptual frameworks and all kinds of other things, and so our challenge in the key in our process was what do we want to include, what do we need to exclude for the sake of brevity and focus, and what order are we going to structure it in so that it's a nice experience for the reader, the complete what? Why, who, when and how of this movement. So for us it was more of a round up, digest collection of learnings and teachings. For you it may be the same or it may be all new, something that you're documenting or researching and ultimately sharing for the very first time. Be Clear about that. Here's a pro tip. Get a coauthor or a committed colleague. It was so helpful to have someone else on the journey. It can be long, it can be daunting, it can be scary, it can be frustrating and there is no reason to do it alone if you don't have to. As we got into it, I had been working with Steve Professionally, side by side for several years and we were friends for a couple of years before that. We know each other...

...well, we have a great working relationship and that translated directly into this process, the give and take between us. As I was writing the words, he was coming behind adding comments, suggestions. Check out this article. You may want to include this research here. Hey, do you remember this particular story? Hey, it's been too long since we've had a very specific and practical takeaway. So he was serving as readers advocate while I was down in the weeds, and so this give and take, these regular conversations, the back and forth, even in the Google doct that we were working in, so helpful. So, whether you have a formal coauthor or just again, a committed colleague, someone with you along the way, not someone where you've spent six months or twelve months writing this thing, where you turn it all over and say, Hey, here's a year's worth of work. Would you give it a look, but someone to be with you step by step, along the way. So helpful and I promise it will make a better experience. So that's a pro tip. Here's a mantra that we carried. You cannot edit what is not written, and by that we mean get the words down, even if they're imperfect, even if they're ugly, even if they don't all make sense, even if they're incomplete. You cannot edit what is not written. The writing process is just as much, if not more so, about editing as it is about the writing. Steve had nothing to react to and advise and clean up and fix up and make more useful for readers if I didn't get something down on the page. So understanding the give and take between writing and editing is also an important process consideration. Are you going to write for a week and then take a couple days to edit? Are you going to write one day and edit the next? Are you going to write for a month and then do editing later? So many different ways to do it. It's partly a process of trial and error and again, reach out to people you know who've written books to get some guidance. So those...

...are the first three of six PAS, purpose, proposal and process. Be on the lookout for episode on Nineteen of the customer experience podcast or episode eighty nine of the CX series on BTB growth. For the next three P's, publishing, people and promotion. Again, my name is Ethan Butte, coauthor of Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience, get more links and resources related to this topic by visiting Bombombcom podcast, check out the book itself at Bombombcom Book or by searching it in your favorite bookseller, and check out more episodes of the customer experience podcast by searching the customer experience podcast in your preferred player. And when you're there, be sure to add an extra click and extra click to leave a rating. If you want to write a review. That would be amazing to but at least give that one click. It's helpful in bringing other people into this ongoing conversation about how to create and deliver better experiences for your customers. Thanks so much for listening to the CX series on bb growth and the customer experience podcast. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies...

...and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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