People write books on all sorts of different topics for all sorts of different reasons. Writing a book for your business is one of those reasons and is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs and professionals. Michelle Vandepas, a serial entrepreneur herself, is an expert on publishing for your profession. She shares some of her trade tips on the process, as well as the importance of business book writing, in this Expert Insight Interview of Sales Pop.

What You’ll Learn

Writing a book is a great way for experts to share their expansive wealth of knowledge in their field. More so, it brings benefits by generating leads, defining a brand, and advertising new products. The process, although scary at first, is entirely manageable. For instance, you’ll need to have a defined strategy and resources to help you with editing and cover designs. These steps are doable on your own but require extensive prior research. Book coaches and mentors are especially helpful in simplifying this process. They help you work through some of the big steps of the publishing journal and keep you on track. Book coaching is a core part of the GracePoint Publishing process, which you can learn more about through a preliminary call with one of our publishing consultants!

Who You’ll Hear

To hear more about how writing a book can help your business, make sure to check out this episode with Michelle Vandepas and host, John Golden, by clicking here. John Golden is an Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist, he has conducted over 350 video interviews of thought leaders for Sales POP! online sales magazine and has a podcast channel on iTunes with over 287 audio interviews. 

Don’t forget to follow both GracePoint Publishing and John Golden and Sales POP! on their social media linked below!

 

writing a book for your business

 

Full Transcript

John 

All right. Hello, and welcome to another expert insight interview. My name is John golden from sales pop online sales magazine and Pipeliner CRM joining you from rather hot San Diego. We’re having a bit of a heatwave right now. And yes, you think it’s hot all the time in San Diego? Well, it is. But it’s a nice hot, we’re actually in a heatwave. So this is a little bit of a hotter heart. And I’m joined by Michelle Vandepas who’s up in Colorado Springs, how are things up there?

Michelle 

How are ya? Hot here, too, it’s like we’ve been in the high 90s. I am so ready, they get back to regular temperatures. Excellent.

 John 

And we’re gonna have a really interesting conversation today, because Michelle is one of the nation’s leading experts for entrepreneurs, personal development experts and quantum leaders who want to share what they’ve learned with the world by becoming an author. So we’re going to talk about how writing a book and what it can do for your business. So So, Michelle, a lot of people think you know that they have a book in them. But very few people ever get it out. Or maybe especially in business, people get very busy. Maybe you don’t see the immediate business benefit of producing a book, what would you say?

 Michelle 

Okay, so there’s two questions there. So the first thing I’m going to talk about is why writing a book can be beneficial for your business. It’s a little bit like having a TED talk or having a podcast, right? It gives you instant credibility. So just being able to say, oh, yeah, I published a book on the subject, gives you immediately an elevated exposure to an audience that you might not normally. So the question I get all the time as well, you know, I have to invest my time and maybe with an editor and all this to get the book published, is it going to be financially worth it? And it is, like marketing. So this is your language here, John. So if you’re out there marketing, and you’re spreading seeds, and you’re letting people know who you are, eventually that comes back in into business. Right? So is there a direct correlation, you wrote this book and got this client? Sometimes? It is, sometimes it’s just the elevated exposure that people heard about you 237 12 times and then they’re like, Okay, this is the first time I gotta hire. Yeah. And it’s, and it’s like validation to you know, that this person knows something. I think they’ll The problem is a lot of people go into thinking, it’s about the volume of books that are going to sell. And they don’t realize number one, even the best business books, they don’t sell that many, you know, probably a year, I can’t remember what the statistic is or what the number is. But what do you say to people when they say, oh, maybe when they launched their book, maybe they’re disappointed, because it’s not selling immediately. But selling it isn’t really the point. Is it? Right? No, no, it’s I mean, yes, it’s the point and to what degree. And so hopefully, I’ve never taken an author to the stage where they’re disappointed about book sales. We haven’t had this discussion before we ever published, right. But here’s the thing. I had a client last year who wrote a book about, she’s a publicity agent. And she wrote a book about how you get publicity, why you should get publicity, why, you know, what not to do what to do all of those kinds of things. And that was basically her long form sales letter, it was pretty clear. It was the sales letter, right? You could go buy it on Amazon, you buy it, and it’s like, okay, it’s all leading to the close down here. But here’s the thing, I gave them away to our prospective clients, and her minimum price points. 10k. She didn’t even have to sell one book to make her money back. Right. Yeah. And I think that will happen. Right. And I think that’s the point is sometimes like the you have to be, you have to be more realistic about the metrics, or be aware of what the metrics that you’re using to measure success for the book, right. But here’s the other thing, you could sell 1000 2000 5000 copies of a book, right? And that will get you a little bit of income, but it also sets you up to be able to sell courses. So when we do business books, we make sure there’s a clear call to action at the end of the business book, go here and get the additional free content, everybody that’s listening to you know how how this works online, right? So the opt in piece, we do the same thing on the book. So halfway through the book, if you want to go deeper, go to my website here and watch this video. Right. And then of course, in order to get to the videos behind it often. We do out, we don’t make it usually obvious sales letter. Usually we don’t. Usually it’s a really good book, but we make sure that there’s a funnel, so that it also acts as a lead generation for our clients. So then you start thinking, okay, 2000 books, 2000 more people on my list, you know, you can do the metrics, what the click through rates gonna be and all that and how much extra business but also, again, you’re elevated in the marketplace as being an expert, that, you know, it’s like having a TED talk or having a podcast, I’ve heard it’s the three transacted every business person needs.

John 

So how do you how do you help somebody who comes to you and says, Okay, Michelle, I want to write a business book, I have this kind of idea. But I mean, what is the what is the process? Because I think a lot of people would sort of consider it, but they think it looks like a daunting prospect of getting new ideas to reflect phonebook. Yeah, so the first thing I do is myself or one of the other head, coaches in the in our publishing company will just have a strategy session. So if I were going to ask you, John, if you are going to write a book, let’s just say you’re going to write a book about marketing. Tell me right now, what’s the number one thing you would want your readers to know?

 

Michelle 

So I’m going to put it out there. Yeah, I’m just gonna say if you could ask you about marketing right now, I would say I would say that, the number one thing people should know about is target audience, because I still think today, a lot of companies don’t know who their ideal buyer is. And I love that. So then we’d go through a whole strategy session and say, let’s pretend this is going to be the focus of your book, I’d ask you a question. Do you believe in the niche marketing thing? Do you like the avatar process? Do you look at things like demographics, age, education? Or are you looking at something different, like, all the buyers have dogs, or write something totally obscure, but turns out that that’s actually your demographic, right? And so you could do marketing in a different way. And we would dig in, and then come up with, you probably already have this, your process of how business would discover who their target audience really is. Look at your past sale, look at where your clients spend the money. Now, look at your biggest money spenders, but also look at those hidden ones that maybe don’t spend as much, but our longevity clients, right. And then we would come up with an outline. And then in my company, get assigned a business writing coach, and take you through the process of filling out that outline and getting a book done. Yeah, and I think that’s an interesting part there. Because, obviously, you know, some people would say, Okay, that sounds like a good process. But then like, I don’t know how to write but then you just said, Okay, what you would have a writing coach, work with people. And here’s the thing is, most a lot of people I would say, are pretty good storytellers, especially people who’ve, you know, been in business for a while and all of that. So really just take somebody to help draw that out of them and get it onto paper. And I think it’s less daunting than people think it is. Yeah, you don’t have to be a great writer to be an author. So there’s two kinds of writers out there in the world. There are writers who write like they know they’re gonna write, they write 20, or 50, or hundreds of books throughout their lifetime. Every morning, they sit down and write Stephen King’s a great example. Right? There’s, there’s business people that do that to Stephen Covey, and Jack Canfield and all kinds of people, right? Sit down every day and write, then there’s the rest of us who write 1234 books in our lifetime, business books, those people I’m saying, You don’t have to work on your writing craft.You really don’t. You just have to get your thoughts on paper. And the good editors can help you really polish them. Pull out the stories, make them readable, make them interesting. If you want to be a writer, then yes, you want to work on your writing craft, if you just want to be an author and get your message out. That’s really great editor support.

John 

Yeah. And I think that’s the that’s the part I think that people sometimes confused. They think of when I write a book, I’m gonna actually be there like up at night typing, typing, typing, right? And all of that when the reality is, as you say, it’s more about getting your ideas within a framework and somebody helping you draw them out and put them in the right order.

Michelle 

Yeah, totally. And everything is better with editing.

John 

Yeah, and you can never have too much editing right

Michelle 

We can, but that’s a whole nother podcast.

John 

And then okay, so So how do you keep the momentum with somebody? Because I think that’s another part is, you know, people like we’re getting to a project like this. And then after a while, there’s always that Dizzy enthusiasm, initial enthusiasm, then there’s always the enthusiasm dip as they realize, well, it does take a little bit of work and commitment.

Michelle 

Oh, yeah, it does. And it is. It triggers everybody’s internal issues, visibility. Do I really know what I’m saying here? What if people don’t like it? Should I say it this way or that way? Right. I mean, stuff we didn’t even know we had triggers about or get triggered about doesn’t matter. We’ll help you. We’ll help you through it all. But what we do to help keep the excitement going is we do things like we work on book covers really early on. So we start seeing the energy of oh my gosh, this is what my book cover could look like. We do things like maybe test titles, so we get some feedback from the audience about what title is going to work well.So we do some things like that social media, maybe try to get them a podcast interview, write a blog posts, and the press release and those kinds of things just to keep the excitement going.

John 

And it’s interesting, that thing you said about, you know, the doubt that creeps in, you know, this imposter syndrome, right, which is, when people suddenly think, Oh, my goodness, I’m gonna put a book out there, I’m going to set myself up an expert, and then people are going to realize that I don’t really know what I’m talking about, or I’m not as expert as I am. And that’s an that’s a very natural thing. And I think it’s the thing that holds a lot of people back because I don’t think sometimes people realize how much they actually have achieved and what they have to offer.

Michelle 

Totally. And that’s what someone like me is for help pull it out of you and actually so that you can say, I do know what I’m talking about in this area, maybe not in everything in this area. I’m an expert. And, you know, the other place people get really triggered, which I think it’s funny as headshots, you know, the headshot on the back of the book, you know, and I just want to say, you know, get over yourself, it really doesn’t matter that much. We’re gonna get a good professional headshot, you’re gonna look great. And let’s move on.

John 

Exactly and, you know, let’s stay in, here’s a little secret. Nobody expects you to look exactly like your headshot.

Michelle  

No, I don’t like my headshot. Especially I haven’t had my hair cut months.

John 

I haven’t No, I haven’t updated mine in a while. And my wife keeps saying she goes, you know, that’s probably the greatest photograph Have you ever taken.And it’s a little old right now. And I’m like, Yeah, I should update it. And I think but it is

Michelle 

Here’s the thing, we all have moods and hair and aging and different with lighting. And you know, so let’s move on.

John 

Because here’s the thing of headshots. Here’s another funny thing is you have a lot of people now who are you know, they’ve replaced the the angst about headshot is and they’ve replaced it with angst about getting on, you know, webcams and being on video. So I presume that’s another thing that you got to help people with, say, Okay, you’re going to be on camera, you’re going to, you know, be on Zoom, you’re going to be on webcasts, you know, you’re probably going to be in promo videos. So you got to also gotta get over looking at yourself.

Michelle 

You got to get over it. And you know, here’s the thing, nobody really cares. They just want your message, you have something about so this back to marketing, right? This is back to sales, copy and marketing and your books exactly the same. If you have a message that your audience needs to hear, then that’s what they care about. Right? Yeah, they don’t care about the headshot and everything else.

John 

Exactly, exactly. Okay, so once you’ve got somebody through the process, we’ll actually do talk a little bit about how long the process can be. I mean, I know this could be how long is a piece of string question, but yeah, how long is how long? How long generally is a process or just give people some idea of ending on the title.

Michelle 

So if someone comes to us with just an idea, then we say the writing process, if you’re starting from zero is somewhere between three months and a year. And that’s really between you and your book coach, how much you have to flush it out what’s really in there. If you have a lot of stuff online, blog posts, things that we can transcribe or reuse, repurpose, and start working on a structure for a book, it’ll go quicker. If you’re committed. If you’re gonna go on vacation for two weeks and write that will work. But after we have a first manuscript, then it goes into editing, and then probably another edit, we send out initial art copies advanced copies or reviews and we send it to a proofreader. That whole process after the first manuscript is usually about three more months. So after, so it’s got to go to editing. And then it’s got to go to layout and design, we have to go through extra proof again, by that time, we should have everything like back cover book covers all of those things. So it’s the after it’s it’s the writing that takes the time, and then it’s about three months to publish.

John 

Yeah. And I think that’s a that’s a great, great outline for people to understand, you know, ballpark what the process kind of looks like, from a time time point of view. Because let’s face it, I mean, you know, books, not something you can really rush out either, is it? I mean, you can’t I mean, I’m sure you could, if you really wanted it, but I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s something that needs real thought and process behind it, in order to have a really good end product.

Michelle 

Right. And once we get a good manuscript, and that goes through professional editing, the rest were pretty quick at we’re pretty good at layout and design and finalizing everything, get it publishing.

John 

I guess you’d probably say, I mean, given the period that we’re in, people have probably had more reflection time, shall we say, than they normally would, you know, because maybe they’re at home or whatever. So this is probably a great time, if you’re ever thinking about a book to maybe put your ideas down on paper and talk to somebody like you.

Michelle 

Especially as we’re moving back into maybe some cooler weather, people are outside a little bit less, it’s a perfect time to start thinking about, what is it that you want to say in the world? If you ever wanted to write a book, this is a great time to write a book people are actually reading that’s a question I get all the time. So do you want to read it? Yeah, people are actually reading, you’d be amazed.

John 

So it’s, I think, I think, yeah, people I think have rediscovered reading, particularly now. And especially if you think about all the stuff that they’re bombarded with online and in the media and everything, I think people are craving, sort of stepping away a little bit and just having some time to, to, to consume information in a more, you know, shall we say, less hectic or provocative fashion? Yeah, and we do audiobooks too. So and the exactly, because it was gonna say, I mean, because I mean, that’s another part too, is, you know, for people who don’t like to read them, you know, audiobooks are a great solution. And especially in business, because sometimes it’s like, sitting in your car, listening, sitting on a plane, or whatever it is, it’s a great time to integrate. Audiobooks are a great solution for that.

Michelle 

Totally perfect.

John 

So okay, in closing, Michelle, what is it? What is a couple of pieces of advice you’d give to somebody who’s watching this and thinking, okay, you know, maybe I have a book on me, what’s what’s the couple of pointers you would give us?

Michelle 

The first thing is just to do a little bit of soul searching? Do you want to write a book? Is it on your bucket list? Is it something you’ve always thought about? If the answers to those things are yes, then you’ve got to just step aside from your fear, and start the process, right, just start moving forward one step at a time. And we all do lots of stuff is scary in our lives. So you know, it’s just not letting the fear stop you from moving forward. Then the second thing I would say is write your back cover of your book first. So if you’re thinking about an idea, pick up some books that are similar idea of what yours might be and read the back covers and then go write your back cover just really fast, whatever comes to mind. And that solidifies your idea. It might be something like, when you’re done reading this book, you’re gonna know exactly the three things that you need to identify to know exactly who your target market is, and how to go after more of those people to build your business to high to never known before. Right? Something like that. Yeah, yeah. No, I love that idea. And I love that idea about writing the back cover first, because I think that’ll, not only will that give you, you know, a good insight into the ideas you have, but it’s a great motivation, isn’t it? It’s almost individualization sense to say, okay, one day this will be on the back cover of a book.

John 

Absolutely. It solidifies it, it sort of puts the energy on the planet and says, Here’s my book. Yeah, well, this has been fantastic. Michelle, and all Michelle’s information will be in her contributor bio, which is will be below this video. But before we go, please do tell people a little bit more about yourself and your company.

Michelle 

So I am the CEO and co founder of Gracepointpublishing.com. We have five different presses, we’re talking today about our business press. But if you have any kind of book, and you call me on my website, talk to me send me an email, hit me up on social media. Send me a telepathic message and maybe we’ll hook up on a plane someday. Yeah, that’s the right word. My daughter was not the right word.

John 

Yeah, well, you know, Michelle, as I always say to my 15 year old son, I say, Well, I’m too old to know everything. So. Yeah.

Michelle 

Yeah, so yeah, you’re a 15 year old, my 16 year old.

John 

Because you see, they’re lucky. They’re young. They know everything. How Italy? Yeah, we’re too old. We don’t we’re too old to know everything. Yeah. All right. Well, listen, this has been great. Thanks very much. Michelle. My name is John Golden Sales Pop online sales magazine, Pipeliner CRM CR for another expert interview real soon. Thank you.

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