Whatever your expertise as a therapist, whichever techniques you use, you have knowledge, and a passion for making a difference, that the world needs! And if you’re seen as an expert, clients are much more likely to seek you out – win/win!
Authors are seen as authorities – yes, it’s more than a pun ! Partly because readers can get lots of value, get to know your style and take in a lot of information in one place (way more than an ad) and partly because there has been an assumption that if you’re in print, you must know your stuff.
The publishing game used to be a painful series of submissions and rejections for all but the lucky few. Now we have some wonderful technology to make getting information out to your ideal audience simple, and pretty quick too.
Blogging (this article is a blog) is available to most people with a website – all Healerzone members have a blog option on the .com site for example – and it is pretty simple to write a short article regularly and get it out straight away. If you notice an error after it’s published, guess what, you can edit it – I’ve added this sentence after fixing a couple of grammatical errors. (Want help doing it right? Check out our HZ blog whizzes, Kate Codrington and Lottie Moore). Online is great, I love it. And you might be able to get your blog into a magazine (I was asked today by one if they could use some of mine).
Getting a physical book out there takes it to another level.
Sometimes collecting a series of topic-matched blogs you’ve written makes an excellent book. Super simple. Other times it’s a long-term project, carefully crafted, agonised over, edited and laid out by experts. The process of writing is a whole other story, I blog about that too, but not today.
For most people, the first question is “What’s the difference between self-publishing and being taken on by a publishing house (Hay House, Random House etc)?”
In self-publishing you have complete ontrol over your content, editing, the appearance of the work, spelling and grammar, layout, images, physical printing, distribution, marketing and any costs involved. You also get to keep all the profits, if any. That also means you are responsible – the buck stops with you. If you like control, and have high level skills/access to people who can do the technical bits, this is a great option.
With a publisher, you write the content, they control pretty much everything else, and not all of them will negotiate, even on things that may be very important to you, such as the cover image. They pay for everything, and give you a royalty payment for each book sold. But you probably need to have an agent to get through the door (paying them 10 – 15% for the privilege) and there are still no guarantees. And it’s not that easy to get an agent.
There are several options for self-publishing. I’ve done a couple over the years. Read through and see what appeals.
Have you heard of vanity publishing? You take your finished work to a publisher, and pay them up front to edit, layout and print a number of books. Hopefully you’d sell them and make a profit, but you could be left out of pocket. Balboa Press offers this.
There are some in between versions, that coach you through the writing and development process and help you create a better book as a result, and the first time you might find the hand-holding very helpful. Mindy Gibbins-Klein (known as the Book Midwife) offers this service. Not cheap, but worth considering.
Have you heard of Print-on-Demand? Self-publishing now provides a much more cost effective way if you’re confident and/or on a budget. No printing costs up front, as books are literally printed one at a time, once they are bought! There are several sites that will produce and list your book, such as www.lulu.com and www.blurb.com (both have their merits, especially for black and white printing).
More excitingly, you can do it through AMAZON and get listed straight onto their sites! I’ve currently got 3 books on there – links below.
Step 1 – the big bit, your content. Write what you know – your expertise, your story, and what your audience wants and needs to hear. Get people to read it, who will give you honest feedback. You need to know (even if you don’t enjoy hearing it) if something doesn’t make sense to your potential audience. There’s a link to a blog about this at the bottom of the article. For now, please keep reading!
Step 2 – editing and layout – even if you’re good at this, please get someone competent to look it over. Decide what size and shape your book should be, and check with www.createspace.com (part of Amazon) what the options are BEFORE you starting laying out your book! You’ll need to set up a free account there. If you’re using images, make sure they are the right quality (300dpi for preference).
Professionals are worth paying for this step, especially if you struggle with spelling etc and/or aren’t confident with publishing software. Consider paying for cover design – it makes a difference to people considering your book! Personally, I find the Serif software user friendly, but it was still a steep learning curve.
Step 3 – upload your best version to Create Space, decide your price and profit margin. Get a test copy. If you don’t like it – joy of joys! – you can change it and try again until you’re happy. Beats paying for 1000 copies of a book with errors in it, believe me!
Step 4 – marketing. That’s another blog, or several! If you do make a lot of sales, a publishing house is more likely to be keen to take you on. Mind you, if you’re succesful, would you want to? (Maybe, if it’s Hay House or similar!)
Want help? I’m running classes and 1-1 training to support authors wanting to use CreateSpace to get onto Amazon, including feedback on content and style, and can refer you to editors and layout specialists if you don’t know any yourself. It’s always less frustrating to do something new when you have some guidance! Please contact me to discuss your projects!
Here’s another relevant article: https://www.healerzone.com/magazine/read/getting-your-book-from-your-mind-to-the-world–first-steps_212.html (there seems to be a problem with the link here, but if you copy and paste you’ll get to the right place!)
Love, light and laughter,
Founder of Healerzone
+44 (0)1462 624 160
And yes, I’ve done it! Here are links to my books on Amazon: