Judy, thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed for Lebrary.com. Today, we have Judy Cullins, author of “Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast!”–available in print, Kindle and eBook formats. Judy is a noted book shepherd and hosts a Website bookcoaching.com that is filled with free how to articles, blog posts, and free reports along with her stellar 13 books and teleseminar MP3 audios, and short-term coaching opportunities.
Q: Judy, can you tell us how your journey has taken you to online book coaching?
A: From 1980 to 2000, I coached book writers in San Diego seminars and took committed writers as coaching clients. In 2000, I got online and have updated and optimized my site Bookcoaching.com 6 times over the past years.
I left traditional publishing and marketing because it took so long and didn’t pay off as well as writing e or print books and selling them online. 75+ authors have published with me. They learned how to write a quality, saleable eBook that many emerging authors don’t pay attention to. Too short or too general books don’t sell well. As a long time book coach, I just want all the work that goes into a book to get rewarded. And that’s why I wrote my book, Write your eBook …Fast. Authors need to do pre-marketing inside the book and they need to know how to write an engaging chapter so their readers will finish each chapter and recommend it to many. They can become your 24/7 sales team.
If you don’t write your book with some professional help either from a book or coaching, you may be deeply disappointed in your sales. If an author doesn’t invest a bit in each book, all the marketing in the world won’t work if the book is not excellent.
Q: How do you see the future of dog eat dog traditional publishing verses online sources for reading material like Lebrary.com?
A: I see the future of eBooks looking good, especially for the business or non-fiction writer with a great target audience, who is ready to buy it. When people Google “writing an eBook” or book marketing, they are my best audience who wants what I offer. They come for free information, but stay and revisit many times and many buy my eBooks. People online want how to books on all kinds of skills. These help market one’s business.
That’s why I recommend you make a business out of your books. And learn what you need. And enjoy the journey!
If just reading material, and you mean novels to entertain, I think low cost eBooks available at your site are a good idea. If an author sells 500 copies at $4 a copy, that’s $2000, so if an author wants to make bigger money, he or she needs at least 3-4 books to perhaps package later for bigger profits.
One happy note: For 2010 the prediction for eBook sales is over 2 and 1/2 billion, that is now true. So I encourage all who see this interview to start writing and developing your author’s promotion platform while you write. Planning ahead makes a sure success.
Q: There is a lot of criticism and some it justified that self publishing is a haven of poorly written and produced works. Others have looked at SP as a sort of “farm team” approach where the cream of the crop will rise to the surface. How do you see self publishing and how does it relate to your work?
A. Slapped together books won’t sell. I only write and coach my clients to self-publish quality books that answer their reader’s concerns, or what they want to know. They aren’t poorly written, because they did the pre-work to make their books successful.
Q: What is that standard piece of advice that you give to nearly every one of your clients?
A. Think of your reader as you write your book. What does he/she want to know? Stop telling and lecturing. Engage them!
Tighten your writing to be compelling so you don’t lose your readers.
And start with a short non-fiction book that will sell well before you write that fiction! With good online promotion, the one can finance the other.
Do the pre-marketing steps before you finish your book. Ideally, they should be known before you write a chapter.
And for promotion I know most authors don’t want to do it themselves, but who better to promote? You know your book’s benefits, audience, and just need to realize other book-selling sites or publishers will not do specific marketing that really brings in the sales. It’s a lifelong project. And once you get going, you can delegate some of it. I do.
Q: Dan Poynter on speaking of newly published books stated, “Welcome to your new full time job, marketing…” Are marketing plans and their follow through perhaps the most common reason for an SP writer’s work to fail to sell? If so, how do they combat this phenomenon?
A. Lack of investment in promotion and marketing is always the reason any book doesn’t sell well. That true, you in this audience need to be willing to learn from mentors about book marketing. Invest in several books, invest in how to write a book teleseminar, and check out free information at book groups on LinkedIn (very interactive) and blogs like mine, and even invest in a book coach who can point out what’s good and will work and what’s not and won’t work for you, so you can cut expensive mistakes and your writing and self-publishing time in half. And up your profits at least triple.
It’s important to take time and keep educating yourself.
Q: Do you see online marketing continuing to grow in importance and of what kind of grassroots marketing can a newly published writer make the most productive use?
A. You can all sell a lot more books if you get active on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. They work in tandem to get your tweets seen by a targeted market. That’s why knowing your audience before you write or publish is so important.
I love article marketing and now blog writing because it brings my targeted audience to my website ready to get more free content. Then they see me as credible, then trust me, then get a little coaching or if self-starters, read my book on writing an eBook.
Most authors don’t have a marketing budget, (too bad) so they must bite the bullet and learn some social media and article marketing. My favorite marketing venues are LinkedIn and Blogging. They work together well. I just wrote a new 38 page eBook–LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build your Book and Business Sales aimed at newbies, because I was one too. And wow, what a difference! In this book, I show you how to spend less than 3 hours a day, two days a week on promotion and do only the kind that works best for you.
Q: What do see as the “death knell” of a writer’s path that once they set upon it, might as well discard the project and start over?
A. It’s one thing to have passion for your book’s topic. It’s another to go beyond that and learn the book game. If writers don’t get the business part to learn the pre-marketing points before they write chapters, and write the best chapter their audience really wants, they really aren’t serious or committed enough to make the money they expect. Create a best-selling eBook on the front end, so the back end will bring you life-long wealth.
While this is the hardest concept for an emerging author to get his/her head around, I understand. That’s why I wrote my books and offer inexpensive teleseminars and coaching.
Q: Can you relate one of your favorite successes?
A. I love the successes most of my 75 published clients have had with their books. I helped them get their eBooks into PDFs and printable downloads to sell at their book-selling site. Their stories and tips have educated and heartened me so much. I learn so much from them.
For a financial success, before I wrote “Write your eBook…” I wrote 10 health books. I sold in just one day 300 copies of “Ten Ways to Super Memory” at $1200 to the people who enrolled in my local seminar in San Diego, and also enrolled 5 of these readers into individual life coaching that amounted to $4000.
As with all of you, each book I write has its own success, and “Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast” is still my top seller on Amazon and my site to provide me 2-3 adventurous vacations each year.
Q: How can we get in touch with you and take a class with you?
A. Since each person here is in a different place with different needs, I’ve given specific help by a specific live link anyone can just click.
You can come to my site and get a free ebook on eBook on Book Writing and Marketing Tips when you subscribe to my free fresh weekly messages, articles and blog. It’s at http://www.bookcoaching.com/help-writing-a-book.php
If you are inclined you can send me an email with your burning question, and I’ll answer it at–no charge: http://www.bookcoaching.com/ask-judy-cullins.php
I can also recommend you check Kathleen Gage’s blog post that says act now, stop waiting to inspired! At http://www.themarketingmindset.com/2010/11/book.html
If you want my 99 page $15.95 book on eBook writing, it’s at
I’d love to hear your comments and questions!
What I want for all of you is to create enough wealth from your eBooks to do all you want to in life.