1st Sept is an exciting day. It was the day in 2020 that I published my book The Money Guide to Transform Your Life. To celebrate my book being 1 year old I want to share the big things I learnt about writing a book. And Ill include my learning on selling that book.
The lockdown of 2020 was the motivation I needed to write the book that I was always meant to write. I poured everything I knew about personal finance into my book, lacing in life stories of childhood, my upbringing, my career and adult life. Its part memoir, part life money guide.
The writing process was hugely cathartic and I am hugely proud of the book and how it showcases my knowledge and life experiences. I’ve had an interesting life, bouncing from early life trauma to educational and career success.
Here are my six learnings from writing a book
It’s a Huge Life Achievement
I was and still am hugely proud of my achievement of writing a book. Its a big deal to sit and write something that is 50,000 words long. I hammered it out over the space of around 8 weeks. I had whole writing days where I wouldn’t stop until a whole chapter was written.
The glorious thing about writing a book on your subject of expertise and your life, is that everything is in your head and it often just flows with out too much creative effort. There are certain chapters of the book that I adore. Chapter one is a dream to read and it was the same to write. My money and life story, it still makes me cry to read it. The thing is your upbringing, your parents views, your early life memories have so much to do with your money mindset as an adult. Our money beliefs really are formed at the age of 7!
Writing a Book is Hard & Very Time consuming
The process of writing a book is so far from done once the first draft is written. I actually wrote my book in two parts and submitted part one for review by my writing coach before starting on part two. This was such a great idea as my coach has much feedback on writing structure, style and format. I then had to rewrite much of part one, but then could crack on with part two using the new things learnt.
Then comes the delightful (read that as awful) stage of editing. My editing was made much easier by my writing coach who held my hand throughout the process, and actually did a fair bit for me, but it was still awful. Then comes proof reading and first readers feedback. You can easily end up with double figures of versions after each round of feedback.
Next comes the promotion of the book which probably takes the longest, all those social media posts, presales, competitions, interviews, newspaper articles podcasts. The promotional list was endless. But actually the most fun bit.
Learn from The Best to Make it an Incredible book
I worked with a writing coach from day 1 of my writing process. A writing coach is your champion, metaphorically sitting on your shoulder encouraging you along the writing process, from planning to writing to editing. My writing coaching was Rebecca Megson-Smith – Ridley Writes and she was very amazing. Also my best friend since the age of 11, which cam in very handy for the memoir part of my book.
Without doubt this book wouldn’t be as good without her input and coaching.
I employed a professional proof reader with the most incredible attention to detail. £200 well spent, and she found so many errors. My use of punctuation is not great, and there are certain words that I constantly spell incorrectly.
I also asked my website designer to design my book cover so it all matched my brand colours and they also created a section on my website with a woo commerce shop so I could process my own book orders rather than relying on just distribution channels like Amazon to sell my book.
All of these things added on costs to the production of the book, but really made it professional and will have increased sales as a result.
Promotion is key
You can spend all the time and the money on producing a book but you have to invest an incredible amount of time of the promotion. I felt like I didn’t talk about anything else for months on end! Here are some of the more successful promotion methods.
Set up a pre-order process and build the anticipation before publication day. I had hundred of orders through my website before the book was even out. This meant a fun job for my kids and I stuffing books into envelopes and printing our address labels!
Many money experts featured me on their websites, podcasts, YouTube videos and Facebook groups. To those friends I am hugely grateful, this was one of my favourites an interview with good friend Pete Matthew. This meant I was reaching a new audience already interested in money saving content and information, and I was getting a recommendation from the person whom they choose to follow. I tried all sorts of things, competitions, interviews, Instagram features.
Make full use of the latest algorithm favourites of social media channels, live video was the best when I was in promotion stage. I did these every other day. Lots of read throughs and exclusive content went out to my readers and followers.
Do at least one piece of promotion every day for the year following the book publication, was a great tip from Martin Bamford, who’s podcast I appeared on. I certainly did this for 6 months, maybe not the whole year!
You won’t make much money from a book
Sadly this is true and has to be shared. I worked hard to get my profit margin as high as possible per book sale and kept my production one off costs as low as possible. Doing all of this meant so far I have made a profit of around £5k. When I take into the account the amount of work I did on promotion and writing of the book, £5k isn’t a great amount to earn.
Of course it is now passive income and continues to bring in cash every month, but it has hugely slowed down.
I should bring in here publish or self-publish. My choice was to self publish, where the profits per book were probably ten times per book what I would have got from a publisher. I would have had to sell ten times the volume to make the same amount of money. I’m not sure this was feasible. I still think that self-publishing was the best route for my book, particularly with the size of audience I have.
The Authority of Writing a Book is Huge
However, despite the lack of money making, I now have the huge authority and status of being an author and having written a book. I can always refer to this book in newspaper articles, offer it as a solution when people ask for help with money saving. I can take copies of it to public speaking events and sell them there. And it is becomes a rather brilliant business card that I can hand out to prospective clients.
I am so proud of my achievements I writing this book, my piece of history is now set in the archives of the billions of books published! Get you copy direct from me here and I’ll sign it for you xx