They say only 80% of people have thought about writing a book, but only 1% do it. One of the reasons why is because they don’t know how. In this episode, Juliet Clark brings in an expert in the field of helping entrepreneurs, business leaders, and professional athletes create, publish, and market their books. She talks with Jenn Foster, the owner of Elite Online Publishing and the CEO of Biz Social Boom. Here, Jenn shares with us some important insights about publishing a book and how, with the right online marketing skills, you can get the visibility, traffic, leads, customers, and raving fans you need for your brand or business. She then gives out a couple of tips that could help you get started on your journey, from the actual writing of your book to marketing it across different platforms.
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How To Create, Publish, And Market Your Book The Right Way With Jenn Foster
Before we get started, I want to invite you to go over to our YouTube page, Superbrand Publishing. Look at some of those videos and some of the great guests we have on over there. Go over, subscribe and leave us a review. Our guest is Jenn Foster. She’s delightful in person. She is the Owner of Elite Online Publishing and the CEO of Biz Social Boom, companies dedicated to helping business owners of all sizes thrive in this highly technical world of product and service promotion. From local brick and mortar stores to online entities to large international corporations, Jenn owned and operated a successful local chain of retail stores where she honed her online marketing skills.
Her years of experience and expertise have now helped hundreds of businesses become front-page news on all of the major search engines. She’s dedicated to helping businesses use powerful new online and mobile marketing platforms to get visibility, traffic, leads, customers and raving fans. As the owner and CEO of Elite Online Publishing, she’s passionate about helping busy entrepreneurs, business leaders and professional athletes create, publish, market their books and highlight their knowledge and expertise in helping others. With her marketing and digital background, she uses the best strategies for our clients’ books to boost their sales and marketing platforms and make them number one bestsellers. Welcome, Jenn.
Thank you for having me on.
You probably all are wondering like, “Why are you having somebody who’s a competitor on your show?” She’s not a competitor. They do things a little bit differently than we do. There’s enough room out there for everyone. You told me the best story about how Elite came into being. Can you share that with us?
My business partner and I met at a marketing conference in San Diego. This was probably the third or fourth conference we had been to together. There’s a family of people that kept coming and coming and we all became good friends. This was the third or fourth time. We knew each other. We’d seen each other, but you only see each other for a couple of days. She was on a hot seat. She had these private villas down in Dominican that she was renting out and giving up for charity auction consignments. That same year she was up on stage, I got divorced and I had a month of no kid. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for a month without a kid.
I knew I had to go to that private villa. I told her that we needed to do something where we could make money while I go and hang out at the villa. We did a book writing retreat. Before we left the conference, we had our landing page up. We had our logo made. We had everything ready and a call to action. We even practiced for the video inside the bathroom. We did the video on the breaks. It was a three-day conference, but when we left, we had our landing page up. We called it the Hot Chicks Write Hot Books on the Beach event. We had a great time at that event, and all of our authors became the number one bestseller.
Are there any tidbits you want to share with us as to what happened with your stay in the Dominican Republic?
It was awesome. We did some fun as well as work. Not only did the authors’ record, but we also did video recordings of them talking their book, which we then transcribed and then turned into books. While we were there, we did book launches and we did pre-books. You can do a presale of your book. We did the presale of their book and they hit number one bestseller before they left theIf you don't know who you're speaking to, it’s hard to get anyone to buy your book. Click To Tweet
What is that called there? It’s not called the seven waterfalls. I remember that.
It was in Puerto Plata and I can’t remember the name of the waterfalls. There’s a lot, but we just did half.
I remember there was a whole day or half a day trip that went out there. You got into this and you’ve written how many books now?
I have fourteen bestsellers. Melanie had two books and I had three books when we first started on our own. We decided to collaborate and we did Story Starters. We have seven Story Starters. They’re how to write your story depending on what you’re writing. Some of those are more journaling type books. We started publishing books together. She has thirteen in total now and I have fourteen in total. We’ve helped others. We have over 100 authors that we have helped self-publish their books as well.
You are a little high-end. Walk us through some of your services and why people? You’re out in that expert space, Elite Online Publishing, but why do the real thought leaders need the things that you guys sell?
They say 80% of people have thought about writing a book or they want to write a book, but only 1% do it. The reason that being is they don’t know how for one or they don’t know what to write about or they know what to write, but they don’t know how to publish it or they publish their book, but now they don’t know how to make money with it. They don’t know how to leverage it. That’s what differentiates us from a traditional publisher or even another publishing company is we do a lot of marketing. Not only the bestseller campaigns on all the lists, but we also make sure that the author knows how to use their book. We put them on podcasts. We put them on media tours. We put them on different things that are going to help them leverage their book. We teach them how to use their book when they’re speaking. We teach them how to give away their book on their website or all the different ways.
One of the books I wrote is The Top 20 Ways to Make Money with Your Book. It’s called Books To Bucks. That was the third book I wrote before I met Melanie. We do a bonus in there. It’s 21 ways and there are a lot more than 21 ways to write a book. The subtitle of that book also says, “Even if you haven’t written it yet.” The Top 20 Ways to Make Money with Your Book (even if you haven’t written it yet), which is what happened to those girls on our retreat. They hadn’t even written their book yet. We did a pre-launch of their book, a presale, which is the same as the pre-releases of DVDs. You can preorder any movie even though you won’t get it digitally, download it until the day of the release. It’s the same thing. Disney does it. Everyone does it. You can pre-order things. When it’s released, you get it. That’s what we did with those.
You do a lot of campaigns that you mark it before and after. Explain the pre-marketing because that’s where people get caught. They think, “I’m going to write this book. I’m going to worry about the audience later. I’m going to worry about the marketing later,” and it’s crickets because they didn’t cultivate that audience in advance.
When you’re selling anything, whether you’re selling a book or selling a product or promoting anything, if you don’t know who your audience is, then you’re not going to be able to sell very much of it. If you know who your audience is and even when you’re writing the book, you are writing to that audience. I heard of a gentleman who wrote a book for two individual people. His target market were two people. He wrote this book for those two people that they owned corporations. He knew that one of them was going to hire him. He wrote the book specifically for them. He mailed them a copy of his book. He put a note on the book that said, “Read page 45, I know that this will help you in your business.”
The person who got the book turned to Page 45 and he got hired. That was the main job that he was looking to get hired for. That target audience is the number one thing in any book. If you don’t know who you’re speaking to you, it’s hard to get anyone to buy your book. You can’t just say, “My book is for everyone. I want everyone to read it.” If everyone reads it, I’m sure it would be beneficial to them but you need to know who your target market is before you start writing or when you make up that call to action in your book.
I’ve had people come to me with programs and books about happiness. That’s the one that comes to my mind off the top of my head. When I ask him, “Who’s the happiness program for? It’s for everybody. Everybody needs to be happy.” The problem is not everybody wants to be happy. There are people out there that their unhappiness is serving them in some way. You can’t make assumptions like that when you’re doing things like this.
When you have that target audience, it’s easier to write your book but it’s also easier to sell your book and easier to market your book. That pre-marketing works well because you can start getting those followers. You can start giving your tribe and the people who are going to be buying that book on your book launch date. You can start getting following, getting supporters and those people who are going to read your book. There’s a lot of marketing campaigns you can do before, whether it’s e-mail marketing or social media marketing campaigns to get that buzz and get that excitement around the book. One of the things that we do, which a lot of authors don’t do which tells people, “I’m writing a book. The launch date is this day. We’re going to be releasing the book on this day.” A lot of authors don’t announce it because they’re nervous or worried or whatever.
Announcing that date and then sharing little tidbits of that journey as you’re going along helps. It’s like, “I’m writing a book,” and you can get some response from that. “I’m picking my title. Here are the four titles that I came up with. Let’s do a Facebook poll. What title do you like best?” You’ll get comment after comment after comment. They’ll probably help you write your title. That audience is who’s going to read your book. It’s, “Here’s my book cover. I’ve got these three options, which one do you like best?” All of that engagement on social media or sending emails to your list is going to help you. Maybe you already chose your book cover and that’s final, but maybe you’re going to get some comments or some suggestions that are going to make your book cover better.
The engagement is important. I’m going to tell you a secret, and I know Jenn will probably concur with this. When I see you posting after your book has published saying, “Buy my book,” I know that nobody’s buying your book. I also know that you did not do this the right way. Would you agree with that?
There are many more ways to say, “Go buy my book,” without saying, “Go buy my book.” We tell our authors and I know not all of them do it because a lot of them don’t want to do it. It is getting out of your comfort zone, being authentic and doing those Facebook Lives. Read a chapter or even a paragraph of your book on Facebook Live and then talk about it. You’re probably going to get more sales from doing that than having a post that says, “Go buy my book.”
Let’s talk about something because I’m having a guest, Jen Coken, who deals with imposter syndrome, and you mentioned a couple of things about outside your comfort zone. The reason I’m having her on is a lot of authors get ready to publish and then we get scared like, “How well is it going to be received? Everybody’s going to see I’m a fake.” There are many things that go through their head. I don’t know about you, but I can see when they’re doing it because they start to do weird things. They procrastinate. They disappear. How about you? What are some of the funniest things you’ve seen people do during that time?Your book is for solving a problem for people—to help them, to guide them, and to teach them. Click To Tweet
With Facebook Live, it is nerve-wracking because you’re going on Facebook Live. You’re worried about what people are going to say. If you get on stage all the time and you’re speaking on stage, how is that any different? You prepare what you’re going to say, you turn on Facebook Live and you say it. You just be authentic and real. You have that conversation. What if your girlfriend came over and she wanted to know what was in your book and she wanted you to read a chapter of your book? Would you open your book and read a chapter? Yeah, you would. That’s how you approach it. It is nerve-wracking to say, “People are going to call me out or people are going to say I’m fake.” The truth is that if you are an expert and you wrote your book with your expertise and your knowledge, then that isn’t true. It’s something you’re telling yourself.
The other thing about that is that most of those people who are critical have never written a book before in their life. They don’t know what it is. Full transparency here, my best friend did not read my books. I was like, “What do you think?” She’s like, “I’m not buying it,” which I was immediately insulted. She’s like, “I don’t want to have to tell you if it sucks and you know I will.”
That’s the truth. When I was saying it’s like telling your girlfriend, but the truth is I know my girlfriend did buy my book, but did she read it? I guarantee you she did not read it. I guarantee that if she came over, she probably wouldn’t want me to read a chapter out of it, but that’s probably because she’s not interested in that. She’s not my target audience. You’ve got to think about that. That’s another thing to think about when you are doing your Facebook Lives or doing that when you’re trying to get engagement is who do you want to read your book? Who is that target audience? What do you want to say to them? What do they want to hear? How can you help them?
That’s what your book is for is to solve a problem for them. Help them, guide them and teach them. If it’s a nonfiction self-help type of book, then that’s what you’re doing. There are all sorts of books. It could just be sharing your story. It could be a memoir type book. It could be a fiction book. If it’s a fiction book, you already know what your audience wants. They’re telling you what they want you to write next or you’re having conversations about some of the characters. There are lots of different things you can do with fiction. With nonfiction, it goes back to that who is your target audience?
The message there was don’t take it personally. I didn’t take it personally. Everything is not for everybody. Half of my friends wouldn’t be remotely interested in what I do. I wouldn’t be interested in what they do. We’re friends for other reasons. Don’t get all up in that. The other thing is remembering that you’re not going to make a bundle off your book. They are tools. It might even be a loss-leader for you.
Think about how many authors there are in the world and think of the average book. If you think of all the authors in the world and the average book, they say that the average book sells 200 copies in the lifetime of the book. That doesn’t mean that in the first year, that means the lifetime of the book. The reason is mostly because of marketing. Mostly because the book wasn’t written for a specific audience. If you have the audience before you write the book, you already have your sales. One of our authors, The Free Mama, she helps women to quit their jobs, come home, freelance and be a stay-at-home mom while they’re making a living as a freelance with whatever they’re good at. There are many different things you can do. When she wrote her book, she already had a following. She already had a digital training course. She already had followers. She had over 2,000 followers that were her biggest fans.
Plus, she did have her digital training course ready to go. Her book was telling her story, telling people how they too can do what she did, quit her job, come home, be freelance and work from home. She had a great call to action, which was, “If you want to do this too, get my six-week course and you can do it too.” She wrote her book for her audience already. She had her sales ready on the day of the launch. We knew how many sales she was going to get because she knew how many supporters she already had, which was perfect because she sold a lot more than 200 copies. She was above average. That realistic expectation, you do have to put that into play. That’s something that, Lauren Golden with The Free Mama, she already knew it wasn’t about how much money she was going to make on each sale of the book.
The price of the book doesn’t matter. The printing of the book doesn’t matter. How much is it going to cost to print? We get that question all the time. That doesn’t matter. What’s going to matter is, what is your call to action and how are you going to make money with your book? It isn’t the book sales. It’s if you gave away your book and it solves someone’s problem and they can sign up for your bigger service and your bigger product, whether it’s a digital training course or coaching or hiring you to speak on stage. Whatever it is that you’re doing and the purpose behind your book, that’s how you make money with a book.
We have people who write a book for a foundation, so maybe they want money to be donated to their foundation. It’s not always about selling some other product. It depends on the book. There’s a message for each book. We had an author who wrote her memoir. She was a TV host personality in Texas and she wrote her memoir. The purpose of that book wasn’t to make money on some other side thing. It was, “Let’s tell that story for those people who want to remember back to those days.” She did do a lot of media appearances afterward. It was about book signing parties, media appearances. She was a TV personality.
One of our clients is, we haven’t even published. He’s officially put it on Amazon yet. He told me that he’s on his second thousand. Just like you were talking about, you can get your free book and they give away a t-shirt and something else. They sell them into the weekend workshop. That’s their goal and from there, up into significantly other bigger products. They don’t care. They’ve already gone through their first printing because they’re mailing them. They did have to print them. There are all sorts of different ways that you can use these to bring bigger business. That’s how as an expert, you should use them because that’s the core of your business. It’s going to make you a penny, not a dollar a book royalty on that.
The truth is if you have a book and you’re an author and you’re not using it as a tool, if you don’t have a copy in your car or a copy when you go to networking events and hand it out, then you’re not leveraging your book. If you hand out business cards, people will throw away that business card. They might use CamCard and take a picture of it and save your information or they might call you and have you on your podcast or whatever, but they’re most likely going to throw that business card away eventually. If you give them a book, they’re going to put it on their table. They’re going to put it on their shelf. They’re going to put it somewhere. They’re not going to throw away that book and maybe they’ll read it. Even if they don’t, they’re going to keep it. They’re not going to throw it away.
I don’t know about that. I’ve got a lot of books over here that people have handed me that I haven’t read.
They’re on your shelf and you’re not going to throw away. The great thing about having a book or to give the book away, that’s one of the challenges we give to our authors is to try and give a book away a day, which you can mail it out. That’s one of the ways to make money with your book. Like that other guy did, mail it to that specific person. We had a realtor who wrote a book and instead of sending just one copy, she sent a copy for each person in the office. Imagine a box of books shows up in an office and every single person gets a copy of the book on their desk. Do you think they’re going to be talking about you? Probably. You just gave away 30, 60 or however many copies of your book to the whole floor.
Melanie couldn’t make it, but where can we find you and Melanie at?
You can find us at EliteOnlinePublishing.com. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I went to a conference in Vegas and learned a lot more about TikTok, but I haven’t posted anything there yet. That’s where all the young ones are. We’re not on TikTok yet, but I know that there are some big dogs who are. It’s fun to watch them.
Thank you very much, Jenn.If you have a book that you're not using as a tool, then you're not leveraging it well. Click To Tweet
If you want to post a book with us or if you want to get in touch or even market the book that you haven’t leveraged enough, then reach out to us and we can help you with that.
- Superbrand Publishing
- Elite Online Publishing
- Biz Social Boom
- Hot Chicks Write Hot Books on the Beach
- Books To Bucks
- Jen Coken
- The Free Mama
- Facebook – Elite Online Publishing
- Instagram – Elite Online Publishing
- Twitter – Elite Online Publishing
About Jenn Foster
Jenn is the owner of Elite Online Publishing and CEO of Biz Social Boom, companies dedicated to helping business owners of all sizes thrive in today’s highly technical world of product and service promotion. From local brick and mortar stores to online entities to large international corporations. Jenn owned and operated a successful local chain of retail stores, where she honed her online marketing skills. Jenn’s years of experience and expertise has now helped hundreds of businesses become front page news on all the major search engines. She is dedicated to helping businesses use powerful new online and mobile marketing platforms to get visibility, traffic, leads, customers and raving fans. Jenn is a thirteen-time national bestseller and a two-time international bestseller. As owner and CEO of Elite Online Publishing. She is passionate about helping busy entrepreneurs, business leaders, and professional athletes Create, Publish, and Market their book, to build their business and brand. She encourages new authors to share their stories, knowledge and expertise to help others. With her marketing and digital background, Jenn uses the best strategies for her client’s books to boost their sales and marketing platforms and make them #1 bestsellers.
A graduate of Utah State University, Jenn is an award winning web designer, author and sought after speaker. She has been a featured panelist and speaker at events with experts like Kim Flynn, Pam Hendrickson, Mike Koenigs, Ed Rush and more. Jenn has been named one of America’s Premier Experts® and is highlighted in the Dan Kennedy Book, Stand Apart. Jenn Foster was recently named one of “Utah’s Thought Leaders” in the book Innovate Utah by Global Village. Jenn is the co-host of Elite Expert Insider Podcast on iTunes and stitcher radio.
Coming from a family of successful entrepreneurs, her Grandfather started the Maverik Country Stores oil and gas station chain which is still thriving today. Jenn grew up around successful businesses and understands from the ground up what it takes to create, run and promote winning companies. Combining her education, knowledge and life-long experience, today Jenn teaches people and businesses globally how they can get found in today’s virtual world, how they can engage prospects on their terms and how to continue to connect and follow up with prospects to convert them to customers.
Jenn is a single Mom who loves spending time with her three children, traveling and experiencing the great outdoors.
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