Another Self-Publishing Success Summit webinar that I attended was the one called “Before book vs. “After Book” (B.B. vs. A.B.): Doubling Your Income by Writing Your First Book,” with Brian Tracy. Though this interview seemed to focus on publishing regular books (not eBooks) and I wasn’t able to get all the way through it because it was almost time for the summit recap, I’ll share what I learned from it.
Brian is the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company that focuses on training and developing individuals and organizations. He was also the COO of a development company. He decided to write his first book because a literary agent approached him and told him he could turn his audio programs into books, so he took his most popular audio program and turned it into a book. The publishing company did a very poor job, but the book sold 35,000 copies. It was published in paperback and then it skyrocketed.
One thing he said is that when you’re publishing a book you have a 90 day window – 90 days before the book is published you send out copies to reviewers, and they’ll be interested for 90 days after the book is published. Because of that he decided to write a book every 90 days. Because he was publishing so many books, publishers started coming to him asking him if he could publish books on different subjects. One piece of advice he gave was to keep coming up with ideas for new books, keep reading – you become what you think about most of the time. This is true, but I also find that I get ideas for new books from my experiences – one book I want to write hopefully this year is I want to write one about my experiences with the different Beachbody exercise programs I’ve done – I actually want to sign up as a Beachbody coach and make some money that way, and I think having a book about that will help give me some credibility and hopefully more sales.
Another piece of advice he gave was to keep doing research on a subject until you reach “critical mass” – where you think you’ve learned as much as you can on it. When he comes across a subject that he thinks will help people, he’ll write as much as he can on it.
As far as how he markets his books, he starts by writing a query letter and getting a commitment from a publisher. He also does videos to market his books, sends announcements to his list, and has videos in some of his eBooks where you click on the link and the video pops up.
Brian’s books have also been published in many countries, including Iran – for a while his books weren’t sold in Iran though, because the Ayatollah Khomeini came to the conclusion that all creativity comes from Allah, so writers shouldn’t get royalties. In other countries don’t keep good books, so writers won’t get a lot of royalties from those countries, but the real money comes from being able to sell other services at much higher rates.
Another piece of advice he shared is that the key to selling a book is passing it on – tell people to read a certain book – I think a lot of us do that already – if we read a certain book and we like it, and we think others would like it, we’ll tell others to read it.
Another piece of advice he gave that I thought was critical is that you have to know a lot about your subject, or the reader will know that you don’t know much about your subject and will lose interest – that’s one reason why most of my books are about working from home – it’s something I know a lot about because I’ve been doing it for 12 years now.
This is right about where I stopped, but if you’re interested in finding out more about Brian Tracy and the books he’s written, you can check out his Amazon page. If you watched this webinar, I would love to hear your thoughts on it – feel free to post them in the comments section.