So I was having a conversation earlier this week with a friend who is a first time author, and we got to talking about all the, you know, exciting parts and challenging parts of being a first time author. And so I thought I would record just a, uh, quick recap of some of the highlights of this conversation that I had, because if you’re listening to this and you are a first time author that you know, you’re just on the precipice of getting your first, first book out into the world, or even if you’re an aspiring author or a maybe one day, that might be something I wanna do, type of one day author. I think this is really applicable to you. And even if you’re a second or third time author, I think there’s some nuggets in here that would be really helpful to you. And, um, so here are some of the highlights from this conversation, uh, that I had.
So, first thing that I think would be really helpful if you’re considering, uh, writing a book or you just finished and you are in this kind of like first author category, is you’ve gotta consider three things. Um, as you’re launching your first book. One, it’s, you have to have a quality product. Um, and that’s a given, right? So, uh, don’t produce crap content , like, like that doesn’t help anyone. Like, that doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help anyone else. You’ve gotta have a great product, right? And that’s your book, that’s the content and that’s what needs, you know, the most time in the beginning, right? But there’s phases to what needs the most time. And we always tell people the book is the last thing you should do, not the first thing. I have so many friends who I admire so much where, you know, it’s like everyone has always asked them like, man, like, when are you gonna write a book?
Or You need to write a book? And they’re going, it’s just not time yet. And it’s been a 5, 10, 15 year journey for some people because they know that the book is the last thing you do, not the first thing you do. Once you have proven content that can really make a change, that can really help someone and that can really make an impact. So you gotta have a great product that’s a given, right? Um, but the second thing is you have to have a good plan. Um, so many of us think that you write a great book, it’ll just sell itself. No, it won’t , no it won’t. I’m so sorry. It’s like that whole concept of build it and they will come. No, you gotta build it and then tell ’em about it and then tell ’em again. And then again, and again and again. You have to have a great plan of how are you gonna get this book that has the power to help someone in the hands of the person that you intended for it to help. So you’ve gotta have a great product, but then you have to have a great plan. And in our world, at Brand Builders Group, that’s what we call the book proposal. Like the book proposal isn’t just to help get your book sold to a publisher or to sign with an agent. A book proposal is both a plan for the book, but
Speaker 2 (02:58):
Also a plan for marketing and promoting the book to get it in the hands of the people who need it. So you need a great product, you gotta have a good plan, but then also you gotta have a platform. You have to have a place where you can actually talk about this product, which is your book, right? And it doesn’t mean you have to have hundreds of thousands or millions or even tens of thousands followers online. It just means you’ve gotta have a platform of loyal and en unengaged audience. And that could be in the hundreds, seriously. Um, it just, you gotta have a platform of people that you have identified that you can help, and that this content is meant to help them. And you have a plan of how you’re going to get it in front of those people. And that could be through audio, that could be on podcasts, it could be on videos and YouTube and Instagram on social media, but there’s a whole world offline, right?
Speaker 2 (03:51):
Does not have to be just online. So it’s, are you gonna do a book tour? Are you gonna go to local bookstores? Are you gonna do speaking events? Are you gonna do a launch party? Are you gonna go speak at your churches, kids, schools, whoever will have you, chambers of commerce, business journals, whoever. Um, but it’s like, do you have a platform to get it out there? So a great product, a great plan, but then also you’ve gotta have a platform, right? And I think that’s a really important thing to talk about, um, because so many people just talk about the content or they talk about hitting some list. And both of those are just pieces of a really important puzzle, which is, I bet that if you have a desire to write a book or you have written a book, it’s because you, you believe that it can actually help someone, right?
Speaker 2 (04:40):
And, and that is deservative of these three things that require your attention, a really good product, your content, a really good plan, um, and then a platform of people who need to hear about it, right? So, um, those are just kind of like high level three things that I think are really important. But in addition to that, I’m just kind of looking at my notes here, here are some of the other things that I think is really important, um, to just to remember as you are writing your first book, and this is really a conversation for that first time or aspiring first time author. Um, and the first thing is you just have to do it, right? There’s so many people who go me one day, well, it’s like, no, just one day. You just gotta do it. So you just have to start writing.
Speaker 2 (05:24):
And it doesn’t have to be perfect because it’s not going to be, it’s not going to be awesome, right? So just focus on saying it ugly first. Just get it on paper. Uh, you know, we have this saying, um, my husband Roy and I always say there is no, uh, good writing, only good editing. There are no good writers, only good editors. And so don’t worry about if it’s good or if it sucks, just get it on paper because then you can go back and edit it and rewrite and rewrite and re-edit again and again and again to make it good. But you have to have something to start with.
Speaker 3 (05:57):
So you just have to start riding and expect the first round to be bad . Just expect that it’s not gonna be awesome because it’s not gonna be the final round. All right? Now, the first time you do anything, don’t expect it to be, you know, out of the park. Unbelievable. Blow your mind. Just get it done, done is better than anything else. Then you can make it better and make it better and make it better again. Which comes to this concept of there are no good writers, only good editors. Make sure that you have a small team of people who actually will give you honest but helpful feedback. And I thought this was really good and this conversation I had is, um, have a small set of feedback. Don’t send this out and say, here, I’m gonna send out to a hundred people and just see who reads it.
Speaker 3 (06:44):
No, don’t even send it out to 10 and goes, I hope somebody likes it or somebody will give me some constructive, you know, criticism. Find three or four people who you value their feedback, who have been where you want to be. So who have done this process or who fit your core target audience, your avatar. And actually give it to a very few group of people who you’ll entrust that will actually lead it, actually spend time on it because they want to help you. They want to see this succeed, they wanna see you succeed, but they will also give you the hard but necessary input and feedback to make it better, while also encouraging you along the way. Um, and that’s a diligent process, and it should be a select and small group of people. And this is what my friend Bob said. He said, don’t waste your editors, right?
Speaker 3 (07:35):
Don’t waste ’em. Um, you don’t need feedback from dozens or, you know, even, you know, half a dozen people. You need a good set of feedback from three or four people who can actually provide you with real insights that will make a real difference. So don’t waste your editors, don’t waste those big asks. Find a small group of people who will actually go through this and give you the real feedback that you need to make your writing to make your content better. And then last but not least, and you know, we could say this on every single thing in business or in life, is don’t forget to get a coach or a mentor. Find someone to emulate, right? There are so many people who have been through this process. You do not have to go it alone. You do not have to figure it out alone, , and fact, why would you want to do it alone?
Speaker 3 (08:21):
That actually makes no sense to me. So find someone, a mentor, a coach, um, maybe it’s a, you know, a volunteer friend. Maybe it’s someone you pay, but find someone who has been through this process who can guide you through the ups and downs, the peaks and valleys, um, the parts that you know about, the parts that you don’t because there’s a lot of both. Um, and just find someone that you can emulate and who can help mentor you through this process. If it’s free, great if it’s paid, great too. But invest the time, money, resources, and attention that it requires. If this is something that you really wanna do,
Speaker 4 (08:54):
And if you’re not willing to do those things, then it’s probably just not time, and that’s okay too. So anyways, I just thought this was a really great conversation and there were some really big important things. And as we start the new year, I thought these would be awesome takeaways and highlights for anyone who is going, man, a book is on my goal list for this year. I really wanna get that book out. These are things that you should consider as you get through the process of getting that first book out into the world. So good luck, God speed. We’ll see you later.