As of this moment, I am the self-published author of three best selling books in the micro niche industry of the Notary Public, and I am working on the fourth with my esteemed colleague, Laura Biewer (The Notary & Motivation G.O.A.T.).
Once I published my first book, Sign & Thrive: How to Make Six Figures as a Mobile Notary and Loan Signing Agent, my life, and business, changed forever. It has sold over 30,000 copies (and rising). Here’s what that first book did for me:
First, I checked something pretty major off my bucket list. I had dreamed of writing and publishing a book since I was six years old. Actually doing it was a priceless contribution to my own esteem and confidence level.
Second, having a book that I wrote and published gave me something to talk about, leave behind after meetings, and kick down doors that otherwise would have remained sealed. When done correctly, a book can add credibility to your professionalism faster than any other medium I’ve found.
Third, royalties. Even though the first two reasons are enough to justify writing a book, the money ain’t bad either, especially when you follow a system. I opted to stay strictly with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and a strategic partner (the NNA), and royalties continue to climb well into the six figures since original publication in 2019. With peripheral course sales, we’re into seven figures.
Writing and publishing a book makes a difference. If you own a business, and want that business to grow, you should probably write a book.
If you're ready, here’s five pieces of advice for will-be self-published authors.
Author Tip #1: Be prepared for the journey
Less than 1% of humans publish books. Most of that 1% miss their goal with the book, mainly because they don’t publish with a plan or have clarity on their ideal reader. Even with a plan and clarity, writing and publishing a book won’t be the end all be all. In fact, writing and publishing are kind of just the beginning. Your journey will look something like this:
Truman Capote said it best, “A boy has to hustle his book.” And it’s true. If you don't, no one else will (this is even true with traditional publishing).
Author Tip #2: Overcome the “Demons”
Your story matters and someone needs to hear it. Also, don’t underestimate your expertise. The best advice I got about this was from Brendan Burchard- “an expert is just one chapter ahead.” You don’t have to have a doctorate or fifty years of experience in a career before you have something to say about it.
The real challenge you will face are the inner critics in your head.
I recommend building resilience for these “demons” from the get-go. Have some daily affirmations that keep you focused on why this book matters and the ideal reader you have in mind to help. Name that reader too! “Not today, demon. Sharon needs me to finish this book.”
When writing my first book, I recited the Man in the Arena speech by Theodore Rooselvelt- “It’s not the critic who counts…” out loud in the shower every morning! (My inner critic: “Who would read a book about Notary stuff???”)
Bonus: You can even name your inner critic. This helps separate truth from negative programming and actually helps me have some fun with mine. I named my inner critic Art, after Art Smith in the National Lampoon series. Art is Clark Griswold’s father-in-law that is just never satisfied. “Those little lights aren’t twinkling…”
Author Tip #3: Don’t Hold Back
Your readers are tired of fluff pieces that tease them into buying something. Don’t self-publish a brochure for your course or product. Give your audience the goods! Show them what you’re all about and let them get to know you, maybe like you, and trust you. There are other ways to optimize your book for traffic and sales. Don’t dance around content. Make your book so important that your reader carries it around with them and recommends it to friends and colleagues.
Author Tip #4: Nothing Else Matters Until You Write It
I’d have yet another stream of revenue if I got paid for all the conversations I’ve had with up and coming authors that are designing their book covers, testing font styles for their name, practicing their autograph, or evaluating paper thickness BEFORE they’ve even written their book.
Nothing else matters until you finish the first draft. Everything else is distraction and resistance. When you find yourself jumping ahead, tinkering with logos, domain names, and cover design, gently thank your inner critic for trying to help, “Thanks Art, I appreciate the help, and when I am ready for the cover, I’ll come to you. For now…WE WRITE!”
I was not prepared for the level of resistance and distraction I encountered. That’s why it took me three years to finish Sign & Thrive. At one point I even noticed dust bunnies on my baseboards as I was sitting down to write. I got up and cleaned every baseboard and ceiling fan in the house. Anyone who knows me at all, knows that was weird. That was resistance.
If you really want to prepare and arm yourself for the creative battle, read Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art.
Author Tip #5: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Distraction and resistance can show up in other ways too, like” I don’t need a training course or coach- I’ll YouTube it.”
Look, I love YouTube education as much as the next guy, but if you spend hours watching videos every day, sorting the good info from the crap, guess what you’re not doing:
On top of that, most of us are high-producing professionals with a business to run. We don’t have time to be full time authors (yet).
Get dialed-in to a course, coaching program, or community that can be your beacon of light in a very murky industry.
I chose the Self-Publishing School after a referral by Hal Elrod, and I’ve used the school to publish all three of my books.
Here are four things I learned at Self-Publishing School that helped launch best sellers every time:
I am such a believer in Self-Publishing School that I held a recent webinar on How to Write and Publish a Book in 90 Days with one of their coaches and best selling author, Matt Emmorey.
Even my Mom signed up for the school and she’s progressing on her first book too.
Writing and publishing a book has been among my greatest joys in life. It happens to be what I love to do, so that certainly helps. But even without that level of joy it brings, writing a non-fiction book, packed with value to help others in my niche, was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my business.
I know it will be for you as well.
Bill Soroka is the founder of Notary Business Builder, an elite community of professional Notary entrepreneurs that are committed to building a successful business in any economy by leveraging authentic sharing technology and cultivating deeper relationships.
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