What is your motivation behind ‘What The Bleep Is Coaching?’?
Whenever I was asked “what do you do Mags?” and I answered I’m an executive coach, nine times out of ten it was followed by, “so exactly what is coaching” or words to that effect. It was after many times having to answer this question that I realised most people really didn’t know what coaching was or how it could help them. So I set out to create a book that could get to those who were interested in finding out more about what coaching was but more importantly how it could benefit them.
I wanted to give a unique perspective on coaching, rather than it all be from the coaches point of view and that’s when I stumbled on the idea of collecting the experiences of people who had been coached and sharing their own journeys. In this way whether you want to become a coach or you are looking to maybe use a coach in your life or business, the book would help you know the benefits and how to find the right coach for you.
Like most Authors, life requires you to wear many hats during the day, how have you made time in your business schedule to write?
I have worked from home for most of my working life… even as I worked my way up the ladder… and over the years I have worked out the best way for me to change my many hats. Firstly I treat it all as a business, this is not always the case for some writers, I’ve found. I have the coaching side of the business, the speaking side and the writing side, all of which need preparation time. On top of that there is the day to day running of the actual business; business plans, marketing plans, targets, accountant, designers, editors, web people, networking etc. Looking at it this may scare some people off but remember you can build a team of really good people around you that make running the business so much easier. You just need to work out the best way for you to do that.
What guided you towards making the decision to Self-Publish?
I looked around at the options and took a course on Self-Publishing. When I realised that having a publisher for me, could mean the need to give up on the majority of the control of what and how the book could look and feel, as well as still having to market the book myself while giving up most of the profit; I opted to self-publish as my best option. I was also watching some very big named authors starting to self-publish and with the internet really starting to play a bigger and bigger role; at the time, in my circumstances, it was definitely the best option for me.
What would be your top 3 tips for Authors looking to Self-Publish?
- Learn as much as you can about self-publishing, Barefoot Basics is doing a great job in informing. Read Dan Poynter’s Self Publishing Manual this book became my bible www.ParaPublishing.com
- Interview at least five Editors, proof readers and designers. When you find the right ones for your project they are worth every cent. The wrong ones will only cost you money.
- Regardless of whether your work if fiction or non-fiction; work out your target market before you write the book, write the book for that market then market to that market. Make sure you plan how you are going to market the book and where. I could go on and on about this one but I’ll stop there.
What role has building your on and offline author platform, through your site, business, media and social media, played in developing your profile as an Author and as a business owner?
It is all about marketing yourself and your book. Get over yourself and get out there; you’ve go something important to say, whether it is fiction or non-fiction. I moved to a new country where no-one knew who I was and published a book in that new country, so I’m still developing my profile both in business, as a speaker and as an author…to be honest I don’t believe that changes regardless of how well known you are. If JK Rowling had just completed her final Harry Potter without the fanfare there would have been less books sold…many would have been, but less without the fanfare. So to an author who is not known, you need to let potential readers know the book is available, why they should buy it…the benefits to the reader and where to buy. Oh and make sure it is easy for the reader to buy.
I have used the speaking part of my business to let people know it’s there and where to buy it. Partnered with associations to help sell my book, made it easy for readers by using websites, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I opted for a soft cover printed book as I sell these when speaking and I’m now looking at ebook formats as my next strategy.
Do you have any other advice for those madly typing away or dreaming about doing so?
Drop any fears, anxieties or worries over getting that book into print…it’s only procrastination. If someone had said to me when I was at school that I would write a book, I would never have believed them. The reason was I had a very limiting belief that I was useless at English… I even proved this to myself in failing my English exams but past all my other exams and I do believe they were written in English too… you just got to laugh! But the truth is I really believed that I was crap at English, so writing a book would never have happened. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not the best at English now but I had the passion to get the message out there to as many people as I could and I took the time to searched for some great people to help me with this project. I have given them a special mention in my book as without them the book would not have been this good. It’s all about teamwork and less about you/me!