Have you ever had a business coach suggest what to do and resisted it so hard?
That was me when I went on a business retreat in 2015 and was told I needed to niche.
As an editor in the health and wellness space, I thought I was niched enough, but when it came to my hotseat, there was consensus that I needed to niche into editing books rather than editing websites, articles, email content and all the things.
I resisted hard. And then, to my surprise, in front of 10 professional women, 10 extraordinary entrepreneurs, I got upset and cried.
Talking me off the ledge, my coach asked me why it felt too much and I told her how I felt like I wasn’t qualified to only do books because I’d never worked in publishing.
Despite having worked successfully with some self-published bestsellers, I thought the only way to be credible in that space was to have worked in a traditional publishing house.
Looking at it this way, it was almost as though I was putting traditional publishing on one side of a balance or scales, and self-publishing on the other, and traditional publishing was weighing in much heavier.
But I was envisioning it wrong.
What if, my coach suggested, it wasn’t a case of self versus traditional, but self-publishing as a stepping stone to my clients taking their book to a traditional publisher?
After all, publishing houses required the author to have a platform and a self-published bok was a nifty way of growing one.
Plus, they’d need practice in publishing before they went bigger.
And better still, so many people saw drawbacks to traditional publishing – limited royalties, I’m lookin’ at you – and saw self-publishing as a way of keeping the creative control and making better money.
I lit up.
This was the reframe I needed to take my business bigger. I’m thankful to say it worked too, but that’s another story for another day.
One of the decisions so many people tie themselves in knots over is this…
How will I publish?
I don’t deny that’s a big one, especially when the book starts getting real.
And while you don’t need to make an absolute decision right away, it does inform some parts of the book content from a technical standpoint. Knowing if this is going to be print or digital or audio, even all of the above, will feed into certain decisions about the writing, no matter how minor.
Do you need two versions: one with embedded links for a digital version; one with spelled out links for print?
Do you need to reword certain parts, like when you refer to a reader reading a print book, you’ll need to change it to a listener listening for an audio book?
Do you intend to point people back to your website to give them a bonus?
Does the reader need to see a diagram for something to make sense or write their answers to an exercise?
Do you want the reader to be able to share it freely?
Do you want to make money from it and guide the reader into a ‘next steps’ programme or further book or do you want the reader to get everything they need to know in the one place?
All these aspects will be affected by the publishing decision and what control you retain over what you write and the path the reader takes.
Setting some goals for the book will help you figure out the best publishing path for you.
And it’s something to get straight now.
Especially if you’re telling their own story, something dear to your heart, and want sovereignty over the way you tell it.
Totally confused by all the options and whether to publish by yourself or go traditional?
I help authors on that path. And you can take the first step on the next 5-Day Challenge: Is Your Book Idea The One?