the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 441: Is this the Golden Age of Publishing | Allison Trowbridge Episode Recap

Listen to the episode below

Welcome to the recap of our conversation with the author and CEO of Copper Books, Allison Trowbridge about why an author is also an entrepreneur.

In this episode, we discuss why this is the golden age of publishing, why it is easier than ever before for anyone to write a book, and more!

We even delve into why being an author automatically makes you an entrepreneur before being reminded that writing a book is a calling.

In the previous episode, Allison likened the three ways to publish a book to business moves, and today, we recap those.

Finally, we talk about the importance of falling in love with the process, not just the highs.

Thank you for listening!

Key takeaways from this episode

  • Why this is the easiest time for any person to write a book.
  • What the golden age of publishing means for authors.
  • Why a book is a product and being an author makes you an entrepreneur.
  • The idea that writing a book is a calling, not a career move.
  • Three different ways you can publish a book today and how they are similar to business.
  • The importance of falling in love with the process.

Tweetable Moments

“You have to remember that if you are an author, you are simultaneously an entrepreneur.” — @aj_vaden [0:04:38]

“A book is a product and that means that it has to come with the same intention of what a business would [have] to sell a product or a service.” — @aj_vaden [0:04:44]

“Writing a book is not a career move, it’s a calling!” — @aj_vaden [0:05:55]

“If you really want people to read your book, then you’ve got to have a sales, marketing, and distribution plan of how people are going to hear about it and what’s going to cause them to want to read it.” — @aj_vaden [0:10:09]

About Allison Trowbridge

Allison Trowbridge is the Founder & CEO of Copper Books, a hybrid publishing house and tech platform that serves authors, aspiring authors, and readers. She also hosts “Pub Date,” a podcast that interviews authors during their book launches. Allison published her own book, “Twenty-Two” with HarperCollins while completing her MBA at the University of Oxford. She became passionate about publishing after witnessing a handful of books ignite the global anti-slavery movement, where she worked for nearly a decade in both nonprofits and as a partner at an impact investment fund. 

Links Mentioned

Allison Trowbridge on LinkedIn

Allison Trowbridge on Twitter

Allison Trowbridge on Instagram

Allison Trowbridge on Facebook

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

AJV (00:02): All right, so I have a question for you. Are we in the golden age of publishing, like right now? Is this the golden age of publishing? And this is a question that came up in a recent conversation that I had with Ali Trowbridge of, if you think about it, we as authors or aspiring authors are in one of the most opportunistic times in history when it comes to getting your message out into the world. As few as 20 years ago, there was an absolute gate, right? There were gatekeepers that prevented authors from just publishing books and getting them out into the world. But with the emergence of self-publishing and hybrid publish publishing, almost anyone who really, really wants to can write and publish a book. And I said, almost. But if you can’t write your book, there are more mediums, more formats, more opportunities to get your message out into the world than ever before. AJV (01:05): You can be blogging. You can post blog like messages on medium. You can do LinkedIn. You can have, you know, micro posts happening on a social media. You could have your own YouTube channel. There’s free ways to do it, but then there’s ways that you can pay to get it out there with the self-publishing and hybrid publishing. That’s not to say traditional publishing is not an option. It is. But if you really think about it, this is the golden age of publishing. There are more opportunities, more ways to get your message into the hands of your audience than ever before you have more access to your readers or potential readers. We’ll just call ’em your audience than ever before. You can actually build relationships with the people who read your books. 20 years ago, that wasn’t a thing. You didn’t know who was reading your book, you didn’t know what they had to say about it per se. AJV (01:58): But now, on a, on a daily basis between podcast reviews and comments to blog comments to comments on social media, to Amazon reviews and Yelp reviews, it’s like you actually know what’s resonating. You know what people are thinking, and you can create a real relationship with your reader. That is amazing. And just the idea that there is not this, you know, ivory tower of publishing anymore that’s being broken down with the emergence of self-publishing and hybrid publishing. And so, as we think about this idea for the author and the aspiring author that we live in this opportunity ti this opportune time, this golden age of publishing, what does that mean for authors? And so here’s a couple of things that I wanted to share that I thought were really awesome takeaways from my conversation with my ally. Number one, you have to remember that if you’re an author, you are simultaneously an, AJV (02:59): A book is a product. And that means that it has to come with the same intention of what a business would do to sell a product and a service. As an author, you are creating a product, IEA business, which means that to do it well, right? There’s research and development, right? That’s your writing time. There’s the publishing time, right? That’s the production. But then you need a marketing plan. You need a sales plan, probably someone who is going to sell it and someone who is going to market it. There needs to be an operations component of like, how are we gonna get this distributed and fulfilled? How are we a finance person? Like, how are we gonna pay for all of this? How are we gonna collect money? How are we gonna pay money? Like, those are all entrepreneurial things that are required when you start a business, IE right? AJV (03:53): And publish a book. So as an author, you are simultaneously starting a small business with a product. That’s your book. That’s the first thing. Second thing is that, and knowing that, knowing that it’s not just you on your laptop and coffee shops writing words on pages, it’s so much more than that. You have to remember that writing a book is not a career move. It’s a calling. And it is not about the end result of having, you know, a giant business card or something that’s going to make you tons of money. It’s like, no, you have to go, I have to share this message. AJV (04:34): I have to get this out into the world. It is compelled from within me. It is a calling, it is a passion. This is not just something I’m doing to make money or to get a promotion or to raise my speaker fees. It’s like, no, I’m, I’m doing this because I have to. And that’s gonna make the rest of us a little bit more tolerable because there’s a lot of work. And writing the book is step one of a mini step process. Writing is just one small part of actually getting a book out into the world. And so you’ve got to love the process. You have to fall in love with all the parts of it. And mostly you can only love it if you know that it’s going to make a difference. It has the potential to make a difference. It can change a life, which means it could change the world. Those are things that you have to remember as you step into this. And if you’re not there yet, it’s just not time. And that’s okay. There is a time and a cadence for all things. But when you think about writing this book and launching this book, you need to think about also is do I have the time, energy, and resources to also build a business? Because a book is a business, right? Third thing, I think this is really important, and Allie talks a lot about this in AJV (05:56): Our, our podcast interview that’s called the ent the author entrepreneur podcast episode on the influential personal brand podcast. But how you get that book out into the world makes a difference. And she shares the three different ways you can publish a book today, self-publishing the hybrid publishing model, or a traditional publisher. And I love the way that she likened these to business. And she said, think about it like this. Self-Publishing is like bootstrapping. This is your self-funded startup. You’re bootstrapping and you’re scrappy. And it’s the entrepreneurial startup that’s self-funded. That’s how you need to think about self-publishing. Hybrid publishing is like going after an equity partner, right? You retain the ip, you have more creative rights, you make more money but you’re also paying for it, right? So like, somebody else is coming in to help with this, but you’re paying for it. AJV (06:50): So you’re putting together an equity partnership with this hybrid publisher, right? I love that example. And then a traditional publisher, publisher is like going after venture capital, which means you have to prove to them that you are a worthy investment because they’re taking a risk. They’re going one outta 10 of these, maybe one out of a hundred of these are actually going to make us any money. So you need to prove that not only is the content awesome, that’s a given. That’s the, you know, you know, that’s just required for entry, right? But they gotta know that you have the platform, the reach, the marketing, the sales, the operations, and the finance team behind it to pull this off. ’cause They’re looking at you going, is this a good investment? Which is why a book proposal is such a necessity. And I believe that a book proposal is helpful if it’s a self hybrid or a traditional publisher, because it, it’s the discipline of putting together your business plan for your book. AJV (07:52): And if you really want people to read your book, then you gotta have a sales marketing and distribution plan of how are people gonna hear about it and what’s gonna cause them to want to read it, right? What’s gonna make it a spread? Why would people recommend it? And that’s all marketing, positioning and sales. So I book proposals important in all three of those levels. But just thinking about self as the entrepreneurial, bootstrap, startup hybrid is you’re looking for an equity partner, and then a traditional publisher is a, a venture capital, right? I, I’ve loved those examples, and I think one of the things that came out of all of this conversation is that you just have to fall in love with the process of writing and the business part, right? This is something that you’re gonna have to learn. You figure it out, it’s trial and error. AJV (08:40): And that’s why it takes time. So give yourself some grace and patience in this. And as a part of loving the process, it’s a great reminder that those mountaintop moments are far and few between, right? Getting that book in your hand and that feeling when you’re like, it’s here, that’s somewhat fleeting a little bit, right? And if you’re gonna do all of this work and all of this preparation just for that moment to hold that book and go, it’s here that, that feeling’s gonna be pretty short, right? Because the next thing you’re gonna have to do is like the next step of the plan, and you gotta fall in love with the process. Not just those mountaintop moments of, oh, I wrote a book, or, oh, I hit this amount of revenue, or, oh, I did this thing, or, oh, I got this award. It’s like those are short, finite moments. And if you’re living for those moments, you’re missing the best parts of your life and the process and the journey. So you have to fall in love with the whole thing. If you wanna check out the entire conversation about this concept of the golden age of publishing and being an author, entrepreneur, head over to the influential Personal Brand podcast and check out my full interview with Allison Trowbridge. We’ll see you next time.

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