March. It’s my birthday month. Time to eat wonderful sushi and other gourmet faire. My friend, Leva and I arrived at Pacific Coast Grill at 12:30PM. The sun out, our hostess sent us outside for a table with a great view of the ocean. We wanted our “regular” table outside on this cool day. They had those wonderful tall heaters on because El Nino was coming. A waiter said our table was reserved (I knew it wasn’t) and showed us a table for two behind and in the wind. I mentioned I needed warmth and we “always” sat here at the better, bigger table. And no one was there to claim it.
We waited with smiles and encouragement and low and behold, she gave us the table we wanted alongside another couple celebrating the wife’s birthday.
All was harmonious and ethical now. We were happy customers.
Listen to the JenningsWire Interview with Book Coach Judy Cullins
In the audio, Judy covers:
- Why is the first rule to let go of traditional publishing?
- What advantage does a short ebook give you as an author?
- How should you structure chapters?
- Why is “good enough” the goal?
- Other tips for finishing your book fast?
New Rule. Ask for what you want.
If you don’t ask you program yourself to not get it.
Before I wrote my first book, I came to entrepreneurship as my second job – teaching writing, English, and life skills in college for a few years. In one university class at SDSU, they paid me $60 an hour. A business writing class, the students had to write a term paper. It turned out that when I kept track of my time, the pay was only $2 an hour. The low pay and bureaucracy led me to leave. This changed my life.
I gave my heart and growing skills to my book coaching career.
After a life-changing divorce In the 80’s two more things changed my life. One, attending a “Science of Mind Church.” I learned the Law of Attraction and Law of Abundance and the Law of Gratitudes. I applied them to my life and to several personal growth books I was writing. At the same time, I realized how a long print book that publishers pushed just took too long. Maybe I was just lazy?
I knew my audience. Passion over 60 (having fun when you’re through your youth) and Joy Riders (women alone and ready to grow after a dissatisfying relationship, job, money).
Then the marketing? I knew there was an easier way!
New Rule. Write a targeted short ebook first (30 – 90 pages).
I let go of my two longer books and wrote my signature book, around 95 pages with 30 pages more of free special reports. Still popular today, “Write Your eBook Fast!” is the foundation for my book coaching business over 25 years.
Write an ebook first to get the kinks out before you waste too much time and money on the print version. Ask yourself, ” Why the print book?” If you are a full time speaker, then that makes sense, because you’ll have thousands in your audiences who may buy in person. In one talk to 80 professional coaches, I sold eight ebooks from the podium along with coaching sessions to the tune of over $900 in one hour.
New Rule. Provide short and easy to read quality information.
Each chapter needs a particular structure to make it easy and fun to read.
Drawn to the self-help kind of book, since I’d already published 10 holistic health and personal growth books, I figured out how to write chapters fast that would hook the readers to finish fully. Therefore, they would recommend the book to others. I call them my 24/7 sales team.
New Rule. Write books that solve problems faced by your ideal audience.
Problems that keep her stuck, make her worry, and stop her from having happy days every day. Your book must solve challenges your readers face pertinent to your arena (goodbye traditional publishers!).
For many, it seems a waste of time. Myself, no! A beginner low on confidence, to get needed support I joined “Giving and Receiving Power for Women” (GROW). Here, we didn’t compete; we women simply helped all we could to move ahead in new careers. Here, we left the past and focused on the now and future. I attended every Tuesday morning (still dark outside) and not only learned more about business, but that these 30-40 women wanted the skills I taught. “Beyond Speed Reading” helped me grow my seminar business and allowed me to read faster, so I could write books faster.
New Rule. To get author support, follow me, Judy Cullins.
In the beginning, I joined several writer/publisher networks. One member challenged me, “You’re an unknown – nobody knows your name. Who’s going to want your book?” A little wind left my sails, and I realized she was partly right. If I wrote the book from lots of experience giving “How to Write a Book” seminars all over San Diego and Conferences anywhere, it could sell well. And later, it did.
New Rule. Keep learning from experts and apply their ideas to your needs.
Getting to Know You
(I mean the top people in your field of expertise)
As program director for a San Diego writing/publishing group, I positioned myself as their speakers’ complement and got to talk with them enough that I later did a program with Dan Poynter – “Marketing your Book for Introverts.” Can you guess which of us was the introvert? And which was the extravert?
Along Came the Internet – Love and Hate at First Site
Even before the time I got on the Internet, my short book idea was ahead of its time and many people just followed old traditional rules because they didn’t know me yet.
Like Bill Maher, I developed “New Rules.” First, to encourage new authors to pay attention to the business side of the book to make the money they wanted. I added pre-marketing skills to the book including knowing your Ideal Client and using benefits in all promotional copy to attract buyers.
New Rule. Don’t wait to publish your book.
Why spend so much time waiting? For publishers to do their thing that takes over a year. I was tired of waiting for publisher approval. Why not self-publish? Why not self-publish ebooks? Think of the high wire creatives. We have to let go of the swing on one side in order to catch the one that we want on the other side to land in book heaven.
New Rule. Let go of the old that doesn’t serve you.
One obstacle to success is you need to learn new skills. For myself, I learned the ropes and put up my first two websites with a great webmaster, who is still a good friend. I hired another great webmaster in 2000 who has been with me all these years. We are happy souls who love helping the creative, but not yet famous, as book writing, self-publishing, and online marketing coaches.
I teach the writing part of the book and the marketing such as the sales letter. We both teach how to self publish today.
Warren Samu teaches how to get your book noticed online with Search Engine Optimization, and has created for me multiple websites – each a big improvement over the last. He’s creative too and we both know online marketing as we know our favorite ice cream. Mine is Butter Pecan. And Warren’s is Bananas for PB & Chocolate.
What do you need to let go of to thrive in your book adventure?
What skills do you think you need to know so your book will reach all of your ideal audience?
New Skills Checklist
Here are some skills for your best book you may have or not.
You need to know how to…
- Create an outstanding title.
- Write a Five-Step short book introduction.
- Follow a fast chapter-writing blueprint.
- Use shortcuts to finish your eBook fast.
- Write a short ebook to use for marketing you and other products and services.
- Write for your ideal audience, so your book shines.
- Write chapter titles that hook your readers by the collar.
- Write your new rules Table of Contents (no, it’s not your outline).
- Develop High Level Activities (HLAs) to post as goals first,
“Daily” To-Do’s” second.
As for me? I plan to give more teleseminars, webinars, and write useful blogs on these skills that will help you decide how to move forward with your book project.
What’s in your wallet? I mean your writing and marketing plans?
For my peace of mind and fun, share which skills above you need to explore in the comments below. And for every comment, I’ll have a big smile on my mug.
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