Hear! Hear! There is an exciting new magazine launch in the writing space! This 2022, Juliet Clark, along with today’s esteemed guests, will be launching Breakthrough Author Magazine. It is for authors, writers, and people who are thinking about writing a book who don’t understand the publishing end, the promotional end, and sometimes, even the writing end of what makes a good book. Joining Juliet in this special episode are Shannon Procise, our press release person, Melanie Herschorn, our content person, Kristy Boyd Johnson, one of our writing coaches and our main editor, and lastly, Jared Rosen, one of our writing coaches and an innovator of digital media publishing. They’ll be talking all things about publishing a book, from writing, editing, to promoting. Learn all about the exciting content coming your way by tuning in to this episode!
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Breakthrough Author Magazine Launch With Shannon Procise, Jared Rosen, Melanie Herschorn, And Kristy Boyd Johnson
Welcome to the first episode of 2022. We’re going to do something a little bit different because we have a brand-new magazine we are launching in 2022. It is free. It is for authors, writers, people who are thinking about writing a book who don’t understand the publishing end, the promotional end and sometimes even the writing end of what makes a good book. I’m excited to have the major contributors to our book coming into our new magazine. Before we get started, I want to tell you, go over and grab your free copy. Subscribe at BreakthroughAuthorMagazine.com.
I’m excited to have Shannon Procise, who is our press release person. She handles the press releases with the dashboard and we’ll talk a little bit about that, Melanie Herschorn, who is our content person. We’re going to talk a little bit about content contributors. We’re going to talk a little bit about why content is important. Not only after the book but leading up to the book because you need it to gather that audience in place. Also, with us is going to be Kristy Boyd Johnson. She is one of our writing coaches and our main editor that we send people to at Super Brand Publishing.
We’re excited about having her because one of the reasons that we almost insist these days that you have a writing coach is because there are five big mistakes you make with every single book when it’s the first-time every new author makes them. I have a child now. One of my children is writing a book and he cranked out 225,000 pages of a fantasy novel.
Jared and Kris are going back through carefully and rewriting and taking out all those mistakes. You’re probably wondering like, “Juliet, you run a publishing company. Why do you have a child that made those mistakes?” Sometimes you would have to let those children make those mistakes on their own so that they can learn. They don’t listen to mom and dad.
Lastly, our last guest is Jared Rosen. He is one of our writing coaches that we use as well over at DreamSculpt. He is an innovator of digital media publishing, which is super helpful between what he does and I do and allowing people to understand what the publishing industry is all about. Here’s the interview. I hope you guys enjoy it.
You read the introductions for these fabulous people and contributors for Breakthrough Author Magazine. We’re going to dish a little bit about what our roles are at the magazine and why all this is an integrated strategy that works together. Let’s start out with book development, Jared and Kris. Both of you do book development and editing. Why is it so important to work with a writing coach and get this done the right way?
I’ll speak as an editor first. The process of editing is all about making sure that your word choice is right, your sentences are correct, you’re not missing words or missing ideas or not developing an idea enough, making sure it flows from one to the next and it makes sense to the reader because so much of the time, what’s in our head, has to translate. The way it reads isn’t necessarily the way it sounds if you’re talking to someone. That is essential. If you have a stream of consciousness going in your manuscript, it’s not going to translate well as a book. Jared, I’m going to let you talk about the development of that raw idea into a book form.
The first thing that’s extraordinarily important is a good concept and a distinct concept. It’s very easy, especially with nonfiction books, to be influenced and to emulate things that already exist out there, including a lot of the jargon. It looks like everything else. Having an important title that is emotionally engaging, that people can feel something that feels fresh and distinctive. When they open it up, the structure of the book is extraordinarily important. For some people, they don’t absorb too well when they’re reading because people drift off. It’s extraordinarily important to put subheads in to chunk the read, especially considering a lot of the younger folks and some older folks.
I don’t have that attention span to sit and turn pages like we would do in a novel but in a nonfiction book, there’s much knowledge and didactic knowledge. It’s important to use subheads whenever there’s a transition. The other thing I would say is it’s important, no matter how. If your book is quantum physics or technology or whatever it may be, use storytelling that it’s engaging and that brings the reader into the picture. It’s easier to take your intellectual concepts and weave them in. Also, remember to have a little self-inquiry, bring the reader into it, ask them some quick questions while they’re reading it because they’ll be thinking as they’re reading.
The book is also that nurture spot for your promotion, as is the content. That’s where Melanie comes into this is. You don’t just decide to write a book one day. You need to have content before that relates back to your business, during and after. Melanie, you’re our content guru. Can you talk a little bit about that and why that’s so necessary?
The whole point of writing a book might be because you want to be a published author but it’s probably more than that. You want to be speaking on stages, fill programs and sell books. Even more than that, you want to be a thought leader in your space. In order to be a thought leader online, you have to put out content because otherwise, people aren’t going to know anything about you.
You can put a picture of yourself in your book like, “Look at me. Here’s my book,” but nobody’s going to care. They have to know the substance. In order to do that, you can take that book that you’ve written and we can leverage that book for your marketing because you’re smart and you know all the stuff and you put it in the book. Now, let’s take it and repurpose it for your content.
That is important. For years, I’ve told people, “I can always tell when somebody hasn’t done the work,” the marketing, the content work because they do this, “Read my book,” to the point where you almost want to delete them from whatever social media platform there are because they’ve become a past. “Why should I read your book? What have you put out before content-wise that makes me know, like and trust you?” That’s what that book is. That $20 book is the gateway to your thought leadership. Even more than that, Shannon, you and I do press releases together. One of the hardest things we have inside the press release for the thought leadership is getting people to have their own quote.
We’re positioning them as an expert in the press release. That key point and having the media pick you up is having that quote from the author. Yes, that is a challenging piece.
Inside the press release, that’s where we find out where all the imposter syndrome is at because it’s that opportunity. I know you’re laughing, Melanie but that’s where we find out. They’ve put this book together. They put a tremendous amount of work into it but then when they have to talk about themselves and their expertise, a lot of them get shy. That’s why that press release is important because it’s that time for you to be able to shine on all this. Jared, going back to the book development. When these people have a great idea, how often is it related to a business that they already have where they want to generate more business?
What’s happened in business books in general and self-development and nonfiction books, a book and a speaking engagement and a program, coaching promo, all that seems to be interconnected from many authors. Everything’s digital. It’s like you can slice and dice and create all these digital products. It’s important that the book stands alone with this literary merit as a literary work. You hear the term loss leader. You need a loss leader book, something that you give out. Sometimes it looks more like a brochure or booklet.
To develop the book, to stand alone but have that interconnectivity. If you develop the course, distinguish between the course and the book. In many cases, it will be like, “Whatever that book is.” Like one of the books we published that you work with the slinky effect. People want to know what that effect is. It’s important that if you’re creating a training program, that the training program would be by the author of the slinky effect and such. Not to mirror the same content, take a book and turn it into like a workbook but rather develop a training program, online course, whatever it may be. Everything is going to be interconnected in your platform anyway. Everything will link and connect to everything. That’s is my job.
That is true. Even though the January 2022 issue, that’s what we’re talking about. The February 2022 issue is about multiplatform. The multiplatform has become important in the publishing world and how are you going to put that out and how are people going to consume your product? That’s where those courses come in as well. When you have the audiobook, the softcover, that Kindle copy, when you have them all launching at different times, then it’s a big deal for you to integrate your course and your content, all of that together. Shannon, you wanted to talk about what?
I’ve worked with a lot of publishers, the Super Brand Publishing, and what you’ve done, and this is great. You can see it right here. You’re a general contractor or the primary physician, a doctor, and you bring together all of the pieces to make it successful. My journey with you, I’ve hired you to do a best-selling campaign, which I’m excited about. It’s been vital for the success with all of the knowledge that you have in the connection to bring in the experts to make sure that all the pieces are connected because if you’re building a house and the plumber doesn’t talk to them, where they’re hooking up the water, it can be a mess. You are rock solid in building a community around people, so they have that support.
I do feel like back in my early days of writing, that’s what was missing for me. I had to build my own community from scratch. That brings me to where my part is in the magazine. A lot of times, people get caught up in the contract. They have no idea what they’re getting and signing. They have no idea until they don’t make any money on the book. What happened? There are a lot of factors that go into that. Do you own your own intellectual product property? Are you able to create those courses or did you give a traditional publisher all your intellectual property rights?
There are other things in there. The cost of the book, we’ve seen paper go up three times in 2021. Distribution fees went up. How are you going to make a profit? Most of the time, it’s not going to be from that book. It’s going to be from the content. It’s going to be what you put together on that. Melanie, when should people start on this strategy? Why is this important from start to finish to have this planned out?
Once you start planning out what your book is going to be about is the right time to start because, ultimately, you want to build upon it. You want to create a book that’s like your calling card, if that’s what your goal is. It’s like, “I’m an XYZ and I wrote the book on it,” for example, if you want to create not just excitement around your book but around your brand as a whole. I don’t see those two as very different. When I work with clients, we’re talking about your brand as a whole and how your book fits into it beautifully. It’s not two separate things. It’s like you’re a mom and a business owner. You’re still the same person.
That’s how I approach it. All that to say, the minute you know what your messaging is, start putting it out there. You don’t necessarily have to say, “I wrote a book. I’m exciting.” Not like that, but what is your message? What’s your mission? Why do you do what you do? Why are you writing a book? That content is great to start with.
I want to dig deeper into that because you can’t have the book as content. Are you putting out a podcast or a blog? What do you have that is regularly consumable by your audience, so they get to know you? I hate the know, like and trust thing. Everybody says it, but what is that thing that makes you the trusted advisor? Let’s face it. There are hundreds of media magic people, book development people, editors, content people and publishers. What is it about you that you communicate through your content that makes people want to use you?
That’s why we have to start with your mission because your mission is going to be based upon what you want to bring to this world through your unique lens of experience and all the things that make you, you. You want to start there. Whether you have a podcast, which is great but maybe you are good about being on LinkedIn. Maybe you send emails. Wherever it is but you have to start somewhere.
What I see a lot is that people start throwing that proverbial spaghetti at the wall. They’re like, “I posted on Instagram and I shut down my phone and I put it away.” That’s great but that’s not going to do much for you. What did you say? Did it resonate with anybody? There’s that whole engagement piece of having a conversation with people to make them interested in what it is that you offer.
I always see people out there with their hit and run strategy. “I posted.” “You have to talk to these people. You have to engage.” I want to move a little bit. We’ve developed the book and we’re moving over. We’ve got our content out there. Kris, I want my grandmother, who used to be an English teacher, to edit my book. How do you feel about that?
That’s a scary thought. You can always tell when someone has not used a professional editor in their book. I do a lot of fiction. Jared does more nonfiction in development. I also developed fiction. Dialogue, when people are talking to each other, your 12th grade English teacher or your grandmother, who was an English teacher, is going to write, “With whom are you speaking?”
Unless you’re talking about an era where people spoke that way, it’s not going to sound right. A good editor will know how to work all the elements, especially if you’re dealing with fiction and there is a dialogue in it together so that it’s working. The plot, the structure and the dialogue are working. The characters are coming to life on the page.
In the case of nonfiction, there’s a flow to it that you’re not rambling on and getting off on a tangent over here, whether or not it’s grammatically correct. You’re forgetting to put in this piece here that doesn’t answer the question of why. It has to all come together. That good editor pulls it together so that when someone starts reading the book, they get engaged and interested, and it flows from one thing to the next. They keep reading and they will go, “This is stupid.” Toss it away and go on to the next book because there are millions of them out there.
I know Kris is working with my son on it now, who wrote 225,000 words fiction novel without knowing anything about show versus tell. That’s important with fiction and nonfiction because if you want people to visualize what they’re supposed to visualize, you have to be able to show them, not tell them, how this all works together in a way that they can see it in their minds. There’s a lot of mistakes first-time authors make.
Stephen King’s editor edited my first book and he did it in red ink. I printed it out and sent it to him. I made so many mistakes. The talking heads, that’s what Kris was talking about. Integrating that talk without doing it, that narrative, that show versus tell. There’s a lot to it, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction. We’ve got the book published and we’ve been planning this strategy. How are we going to market it? That’s where Shannon and I come in with this. Shannon, the press release. Tell us why this press release is important for most of these people.
The press release is such an incredible way to get out to the world globally. We guarantee that it’s going to get picked up. There’s that extra piece and you have Juliet and myself help craft this incredible story that not only positions the book as something that’s a must-buy but also the author as somebody that’s credible and somebody we need to listen to and get involved with what they’re doing.
The other ripple effect is this allows individuals to put all those logos. It builds that instant credibility for any author when they can start putting those logos in their bio or on their website or various pieces. We have with the books that Juliet publishes, then getting picked up by over 450 locations, sometimes up close to 600 consistently. She’s got some good stuff. She makes them stand out.
Here’s the big thing about them. If you ask most authors and authors who are reading this, I’m going to challenge you now. Write down why your book is relevant now because that’s the biggest thing when Shannon and I do these interviews with them to write the narrative. Most of them can’t tell you why it’s relevant. If it’s going to be newsworthy, we have to relate it back to something that’s going on. A lot of them lately, like in 2021, COVID. It’s been easy because we had many things related and we have a lot of psychologists who write books. You have to choose that piece inside your book that’s going to be relevant. Not only now but three months from now when your book is released.
We did an interview with Ryann Dowdy. Her book is about the 100K sales method. For her, this is relevant because there are many new female entrepreneurs in the market who don’t know how to sell. They’ve worked for another company. When you’re becoming a first-time entrepreneur, you have many pieces you’re bringing in that you’ve never done before and selling is one place people have problems but how do we relate that? We relate that through generation resignation because many people are leaving jobs and working for themselves now.
You have to figure out what that piece is, what is that nugget in the news that’s relevant. The day before Carrie Castle’s press release went out, an amazing thing happened in the epoch times. There was an article about hormones and how they related to nutrition. It was a very timely, relevant thing that happened with that.
Marketing and bestseller campaigns, you have to have them. You can’t go around blathering, begging people to read your book. It looks desperate. Figure out how you’re going to attract people instead of repelling people on this angle and get people in there. I want to go around quick. What was your favorite part of this magazine? These guys all contributed and didn’t say you’re on things. It’s not fair to say your own thing, but they’ve all seen this magazine. Kris, start.
I did an interview with Chase Cunningham and his book is fiction. It is relevant to the world now because it’s all about cyber terrorism. The terrifying thing is he told me that all this technology exists. It’s a terrifying cyber-thriller book that he wrote. I’m cheating a little because I had fun interviewing him because he’s brilliant. He’s an amazing person.
I’m going to tell you guys a little bit more. It’s relevant not because of cyber-terrorism but because he is the father of girls. He feels like STEM is important for girls, especially in the cyber-terrorism world, because of their intuition. He feels like that intuition is the key to tracking down terrorists. When we were doing his bestseller campaign, he sent me a Lockheed Martin video about murder bots.
You go watch it. Look it up, Murder Bots, Lockheed Martin. It is the scariest thing you’ve ever seen. All it talks about over is this stuff is real and the world has to be an ethical place or we’re going to end up with them. It was scary to watch. If you get a chance, go watch it. Jared, how about you? What was your favorite thing about this magazine?
I was working with Rob Napoleon. His book’s coming out The Social Soul. It was good to see him in the magazine because it is extremely culturally and socially relevant what’s going on now when he’s talking about how your personal and professional profiles are merged. A lot of people are moving into portfolio careers to do a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Almost everyone’s using social media in some way unless you’re working at a job-job, but even people working in corporations are very much concerned about their social media status. At times, it could be troubling. It’s an important book to understand authenticity.
That is the key in everything that we’re doing here because people, the BS detectives, are out all the time on social media. It’s an important conversation about how we show up in the most authentic way. The one other thing I’m going to add is that I do believe that it’s extraordinarily important to have these three qualities, to have that emotionally engaging authentic content but as well, the socially relevant and culturally relevant messaging is important. I believe, Shannon, what you’re doing is important because to get into a press release and engage with somebody authentically is challenging at times. You do such a wonderful job with that. I wanted to mention how important I believe these press releases with the video embedded are great results.
We always put inside these press releases a book trailer. Jared’s company has been doing a lot of those book trailers. We get a much higher click rate when there is a video in there. It’s important and something we do that’s a little bit different. Melanie, what was your favorite part?
It’s to see many accomplished women writing amazing articles and Jared, who was also an accomplished person but he is not a woman. I love to see women on the forefront of this thought leadership and it’s special.
I love being in the company of powerful, creative, successful women. I feel very blessed to be on this show and in the magazine with all of you.
Shannon, how about you?
Much like everything that you do, Juliet, I love that it’s holistic. You get to hear interviews from the author to experts sharing tools that can help somebody on the journey. The layout and the look are beautiful. I love all the hyperlinks so people can go deeper and learn more and get to connect with the author. Beyond what’s here on paper, you can dive deep on various things that individuals are doing. I love your publisher’s corner. That’s great.
Thank you. Melanie and I have been perfecting this magazine. We had an original idea. It didn’t pan out but we got a lot of experience with this, like layout, setting up writing the articles. She was a big help in this, even though we made no money at the venture that we tried. We put out money, but we didn’t.
My favorite part and I know this is going to be weird, is the back cover because the back cover is an opportunity for the readers to engage in something that’ll help. You’re going to see that Shannon is having a media magic workshop. You’re going to start seeing workshops from all of us that you can hop on and consume and get a little bit more information in a non-threatening way because none of us are super salesy people.
We’re out there to provide value and help in the world. I was excited about that. If you get a chance, look on that back cover and see if it’s something that interests you, if it’s an area where you need help. All the articles you can connect with the people here. I loved writing the publisher’s corner. I hate to say it, but it was different for me because I had to have a topic, but I also love getting quotes. Elizabeth Gilbert was perfect for the first time. There is nothing better than that idea Elizabeth Gilbert has. I want you guys to pay attention close to this. It’s about if an idea comes to you and you don’t act on it. It’s moving to the next person.
That’s why you always have to be in action and act on those brilliant ideas you get when you have them. There’s nothing like having Jared write the book that I always wanted to write and becoming a New York Times bestseller. It would suck and there’s nothing else to do. Thank you. I appreciate you getting on and talking about the magazine. For all of you out there, you can go to BreakthroughAuthorMagazine.com and opt-in. The subscription is free for the first year. Give us lots of feedback.
We’d love to hear what you have to say about the magazine. Even write one of us and tell us, “Shannon, I’d like to hear more about this. Melanie, can you tell me a little bit more about the content? I need to do that.” We’re always looking for ideas as well. Take a look at those authors we’re highlighting. All of those people had extraordinary ideas. They acted on it. They have courses and stuff going on that is there a thought leadership piece in the world. When you see them, you can be inspired by what they’re doing and pick it up and do it yourself.