Self-publishing has offered authors the opportunity to be more than an author or book writer. Authors today have the opportunity of turning written word into various form of multimedia format for profitability to become successful entrepreneurs, building a successful business around their knowledge and expertise.
I’m super excited to welcome Stephanie J. Hale to AuthorsCrib.com Expert Author Interview Corner to share her author millionaire message with other authors.
Mayowa: Good to have you here Stephanie.Tell us about you and how you begin your journey into the writing and publishing world.
Stephanie: My mother studied for an English Literature degree while I was growing up and later became a newspaper editor. That stimulated my interest in books and publishing from a very young age. It was just always my passion.
Mayowa: Writing is fun but most authors really suck at getting their books into the hands of readers to make money, what really is the major thing most authors get wrong with the marketing aspect of being an author?
Stephanie: When someone tells me they haven’t sold many books, I always ask them if they have a Marketing Plan. Nine times out of ten, they say ‘no’. They just put a book on Amazon and expect people to somehow find it without using any kind of strategy. This could be a strategy for turning their book into a bestseller, for example. It could be a campaign to get publicity in newspapers and on radio.
Or it could be a social media marketing strategy online. There are many different kinds of promotion and marketing, and some are better suited to certain types of books. Many authors are understandably reticent or shy of blowing their own trumpet. But there are subtle ways of promoting your book too.
Mayowa: You run the Author Millionaire Book Camp, tell us how you came about the idea of having a boot camp for authors to make millions.
Stephanie: I attended one of the most prestigious Creative Writing MAs in the world 20 years ago now, and then went on to become Assistant Director of Creative Writing at Oxford University.
What I noticed over the years is that many talented writers were falling by the wayside because they weren’t making money from their books. I was once one of those writers! I hit some hard times financially after I became a single parent. Those tough times turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I took a leap of faith and sought out mentors who taught me how to make six figures and then seven figures from my writing. That was a real light-bulb moment for me as I realized, these were skills that could be taught to other writers too.
Download my five modules guide – The 80/20 Guide To Book Marketing that talked more in details about the basic building block of the 80/20 “no wasting of time or energy” way to book marketing.
Mayowa: Most authors today make peanuts from their books today when many do have a fantastic and interesting book. Probably writing to man seems more of an art than an entrepreneur thing. How best do you think authors can change their “not really about the money” mind-set and attitude to start making the big bucks with their books?
Stephanie: Just suppose I wanted to be a dancer. But I said, “It’s not really about money” and I never got any training or learned what I needed to do to turn it into a full-time paid career.
Well, I could carry on dancing for my own enjoyment and pleasure, but I would probably not earn any substantial sums of money from it. Writing is no different. If you want to write for pleasure, then write for pleasure and this is absolutely fine. If you’d like to make it a full-time career, then you really need to learn everything you can about publishing and book marketing.
Mayowa: Let go back to what you are doing with the Author Millionaire Bootcamp, what are the programs and services you have to offer authors to help them make money with their books and how best authors can take advantage of what you are doing.
Stephanie: I offer mentoring for authors at all stages in their careers. This may be with writing a marketable book; helping them pitch to a mainstream literary agent or to successfully self-publish, helping them to promote and market their book, or devising a high-profile media campaign. My new book ‘Celebrity Authors’ Secrets: The World’s Greatest Authors Reveal How They Sell Millions of Books’ also gives a lot of valuable information about book marketing and promotion strategies from authors who’ve collectively sold 800 million copies.
Mayowa: To authors out there who are struggling with the word marketing and probably building an author platform so that they can be seen by their book audience, what will be your best guideline as to what and what that is needed to be done?
Stephanie: Understand your readers. See your book from their perspective. What are their problems and interests? What are their aspirations? What are they most interested in? Why would they buy your book in the first place? You have to stop thinking from your own perspective. You have to think like them.
Mayowa: Writing life is really in cycles, from writing to publishing and marketing. What best plans will you advice authors out there to have for all phases of been called an author?
Stephanie: As above. Think what you can give your readers that will enrich their lives. Put 110% into everything you do. And remember that persistence and tenacity are often more important than talent alone.
Mayowa: Share with us how you grow your author platform from scratch and your first experience at writing book(s) and making real money from it.
Stephanie: My first experience of writing a book that made money was surprisingly easy. The trick was that I did my marketing plan before I wrote the book. That book was ‘Millionaire Women, Millionaire You’. Within 8 months of writing it, I was holding an event that I thought was for 200 people. Instead, 3000 people registered to attend and 1000 showed up. This confirmed for me that it is possible to make a lot of money from books very quickly so long as you are following a strategy. That isn’t to say that you should ever write for financial reasons only – you must love what you do and write with passion, always thinking how best you can serve your readers.
Mayowa: In your own opinion with your past experience at helping author make money with their books, what are the best and smartest book marketing channels authors can tap in today to sell more and be seen?
Stephanie: The best book marketing channel varies from book to book. For some books, a high-profile media campaign will be best. For others, a social media campaign on LinkedIn or Facebook is best. A sci-fi book would be marketed very differently from a self-help book, for example. So there is no ‘one size fits all’ formula. But the Internet generally offers the best way to leverage your time and reach the most people.
Mayowa: Your greatest moment as an author entrepreneur and that “I’ve made it moment” you’ve had in the past.
Stephanie: Every day I wake up grateful for what I have achieved and for the wonderful people in my life. There has never been a single defining ‘I’ve made it’ moment.
Mayowa: Imagine you woke up tomorrow and all you have left is your laptop, your experience and knowledge and some few bucks in your wallet, what will you do in the next few months?
Stephanie: I would create a product or service, then market it online via social media or forums. Quick and low-cost.
Mayowa: Your best advice and parting words for all authors out there?
Stephanie: Remember that every successful author was once unknown. My book ‘Celebrity Authors’ Secrets’ reveals how some of the world’s greatest authors overcame rejection and self-doubt. They just had the courage to keep going when everyone else gave up.
Mayowa: Tell us where we can find you, your business and probably your books online.
Stephanie: I have a free report How to Write a Six-Figure Report and Why Most Writers Get This Wrong I also have a free newsletter giving book publishing and marketing tips at http://www.oxfordwriters.com. My books are available for pre-order on Amazon.
Many thanks for the privilege of speaking to your readers.
And that’s it with Stephanie.
Authors should know that life as an author goes beyond writing and selling book – why not aspire to one day be like the Stephanie, Joanna Penn and Jeff Goins of this world. These are some of the guys who have successfully transform from just being an author to leverage their knowledge, skills and talents as an author to build a writing business empire around what they love doing each day which is writing.
And Now Your Turn
I have two challenges for you today.
One, join me at the comment box below and tell us what skill, knowledge and passion of yours as an author are you ready to turn into a business and how you plan to achieve that?
Two, to do think of one book marketing tweak you can do today that will help you sell more books, leave a comment about it in the comment box below and start doing just that thing as from now.
Don’t forget to sign up for my Free 5 Modules Guide – The 80/20 Guide To Book Marketing. This is a 5 part guide that shows you the no wasting of time and energy way to marketing and promoting your books online.