There’s a lot that goes into publishing a book, and this includes marketing yourself as the author. In this rare episode, host Juliet Clark interviews Becky Norwood and Natalie McQueen, the CEO of Spotlight on Your Business and Director of Marketing for Spotlight Publishing, respectively. They share their insights about what it takes to be authors in this era and explain the importance of incorporating storytelling into your book. Becky and Natalie also talk about the need to brand yourself while publishing your book and offer tips on how you can do so and offer some of the top marketing tools authors can implement to drive sales and reviews.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
How To Publish And Market Your Book Effectively with Becky Norwood and Natalie McQueen
We have some guests from the publishing world that you are going to be excited to hear from. Before we get started with them, I want to remind you to go over to the Promote Profit Publish quiz and find out how well your platform is set up for a successful launch whether you’re speaking, whether you have a book or a product, program or service that you want to get out there to the world. You can find that at www.PromoteProfitPublishQuiz.com.
We have two guests. This is a rare show. I’ve never had this many before. Our first guest is Becky Norwood, the CEO of Spotlight On Your Business, Spotlight Publishing. She is a number one international bestselling author, speaker and book-publishing expert. Her main area of focus has been teaching and working with entrepreneurs and small business owners to establish their knowledge and expertise and find ways to stand out in this busy, noisy world we have out there in powerful ways. Spotlight Publishing was developed in conjunction with her main business as she studied what is working and not working to grow business. Becky now expertly glides her clients to become authors and understanding the big picture behind authoring books by implementing tools, tips and resources that make publishing worth the time and effort. Her team has successfully brought over 200 authors to number one bestseller due to a unique system and powerful affiliate connections. Welcome, Becky.
Natalie is the Director of Marketing and Sales for the same company. She has a background in finance, sales, marketing and is trained with mindset development leaders over the past several years. Natalie supports authors to envision and create a path through a bigger brand and business model. She’s guiding them to recognize how they can showcase their expertise and knowledge by publishing a book, becoming a bestselling author and using that book as their calling card to grow impactful influence. She is responsible for planning, development and coaching authors to implement the right combination of marketing strategies and tools that will keep their books selling long after it’s published. She also has a passion to work with nonprofits to help them touch the world with their message. Spotlight Publishing shows nonprofits a way they can implement book publishing to create a consistent revenue stream. Welcome, ladies. It’s nice to have you here.
Thank you for having us.
Let’s talk about why is it hard for authors, once they launch that book, to keep that ongoing revenue going?
The biggest problem is that there are tremendous amount of books being published now that we’re in the self-publishing realm. Everything is easy at a person’s disposal to even do it themselves, although I don’t recommend it. There are many books being published every day. If you don’t do the marketing, what happen is it’s lost in the cobwebs of cyberspace because it does. If you’re not going to market it, nobody’s going to see it because there are too many books being published now.Storytelling is the key to the real success of any book. Without it, you don't grab the hearts of the reader and form connections. Click To Tweet
There are and the marketing brings up a good point that is so hard to get people to understand. I’m sure you face this too, is that marketing can’t begin when your book is finished. It has to start a good year to eighteen months out building that audience. Do you want to speak to that a little bit?
People come to us and say, “I did this program and they told me to publish a book in a weekend, so I did it,” and they have no sales. You’re exactly right with the marketing. The key marketing starts the minute you put pen to paper. You should have a marketing plan and know what marketing tools feels good for you to implement. It should be incorporated in the book. Every chapter you should know the goals of that chapter, how you’re going to touch people, how you’re going to relate to your readers. There are many things that should be implemented and talked about even before you start writing. If you have already started writing, let’s review what you’ve written and made that plan combined with your writing.
The reason that I got together with these guys is that we have the quiz to qualify, which helps people with their business and their books. You have so many other tools that we don’t work with. I wanted to bring that up because we are at the front end as well. What these guys are talking about is not just me being out there saying, “You need to have that presence.” We are all authors on here and we know that presence has to be there. You have to have that twelve to eighteen-month plan before you even go into it. What do you think the importance of incorporating storytelling into your book and marketing does for you?
Storytelling, I believe, is the key to the real success of any book. Anybody can put facts and figures and expound upon all the ways and wherefores of whatever they’re promoting or whatever their passion is. Without the storytelling, you don’t grab the hearts of the reader and you don’t form the connections. Until storytelling is woven into every bit of not just your book, but into your marketing, has to be well thought out because you can bring to life your own life experience. You can bring to life experiences that you’ve had working perhaps with a client, something that’s happening in the world now. You can bring all of that and weave story into where your passion is and what you’re teaching or what you’re speaking about. Once you do that, I feel like the art of storytelling is getting lost with the advent of cell phones and all these modern conveniences that we use that keep us glued to our screens.
You’ve seen entire families around the table and that’s all they’re doing. They’re not talking to each other. Cultures have grown either united or apart. Because of storytelling, they’re united because it teaches the younger generations going forward. Without storytelling, even the complete cultures of people are falling away from each other. We feel that storytelling is part of the parcel of the strength of any society. When you place it in your book, in your marketing, it’s the core of where there’s the strength to help them to relate to what you’re saying. I pick up a book, if it’s all facts and figures, I’m not reading.
It’s boring. I think you’re right about losing the art of storytelling. One of our clients, Dan Clark, he’s in the Speaker Hall of Fame. If you listened to one of his talks, that’s all it is, the ability to take you up and down with that emotional journey. It’s not just one story, it’s a series of stories that he’s put together. Your book and your marketing have to be like that. I see a lot of this out in the world where the story is not really a story. It’s braggadocios. It’s a bragging story. It’s a self-promoting story, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
You want to market yourself and share some of your accomplishments. I think what Becky is talking about incorporating stories, most authors, especially new authors, are fearful and hesitant to get that story out. When you’re putting it out to the world, there could be judgment. Often what we say to them is, “If you don’t share your story, your wisdom and your legacy with the people that you care about, it’s going to be lost.” There’s a saying that says the graveyard is one of the richest places with all the stories that were never written. All the songs that were never sung. Your legacy will go with you if you don’t share it. My grandmother turned 100 years old and she had eight children, seven are still living.
We got each one of them to write a chapter. We interviewed my grandma and put those words at the beginning of the book. It’s like her legacy. The children each wrote a chapter and then the grandchildren. When we put that together and then we incorporated and this book is a legacy book, it’s not one that we’re driving to sell. When we put it all together and then you saw how it touched, like my two daughters are in their twenties. For them to read the stories of my grandma, her biggest wedding gift was $5. With that, she bought pots and pans, linens, bedding and silverware. To see them experience and get to know those facts that they would have never known. It’s not a conversation that you bring up every day with your grandmother. The things that can be lost and the lessons that can be shared and passed on traditions, it’s sad that it is a lost art.
It and truly is, especially because the generation we were raised in, it was everything. We knew these silly things about our grandparents and our parents. I remember cleaning out my mother’s house when she passed away and there is this huge family tree there. I think people do them on ancestry, but not like the grandmothers used to do inside their Bible with stories about everyone. I think that’s changed a lot.
I read a book and I had listened to this gentleman speak. He kept talking about his book and he was speaking a lot from the stage and he teaches mindset and different things. When I read his book, I got through the first chapter and I was so disgusted with it because it felt like it was a brag fest, “You got to do this. You got to buy my course. You got to buy this. You got to buy that.” I was surprised at that. That’s what we’re talking about. You don’t take a book and use it. If you put it together carefully, you can talk about some of the things that you teach, even links for them to go and check it out or any of that number of things, but the whole book is not an advertisement for something.
I’ve seen a lot of books like that too. I’m getting ready to release my next book and my whole about me chapter is pretty much all my failures. It’s how I got to where I am and here’s how I failed. I think every entrepreneur does because you don’t get to be a good entrepreneur unless you fail a lot. What could authorship do for your career and your business?
There are many different ways that you can edit by yourself. When we talk to our authors upfront, we try to gauge what do you want this book to do for you? What are the goals of this book? Do you want to be getting on stages and edifying yourself as that go-to expert? Do you want them to truly understand how you work with your clients? Maybe give some free resources and value to those people so they are open to seeing you as different than all the other real estate agents or investors. There’s such a big marketplace, so the little things that you can do to make yourself stand out.Without marketing, your book will be lost in the cobwebs of cyberspace. Click To Tweet
Often you can tie in a mobile custom app. You can do lessons, teaching and you can teach as a group, but then you can do custom videos that go one-on-one. If you’re group teaching, but you want to drive a message to one person, there’s journaling. There are courses that you can offer, whether it’s paid or free. There are many things that you can tie together in your book to show the value that you’re going to give if you’re working together.
When you stop and look at the big picture, and this is where we’ve had a lot of success with our authors. Starting from that first time they meet with us and they want to publish a book is let’s stop and figure out what the big why is behind this. Truly, in my way of looking at it, publishing a book is not for the faint of heart. What I mean by that is that there’s a lot that goes into it, a lot of planning. There’s the branding. If you are using social media, you’re blogging, you have a website so that each one goes with the other so that people notice you like Coca-Cola or Pampers or any major brand. We know who they are and what they are because of the brand without even being said anything else.
We have to, as authors, it’s imperative that we brand ourselves too. There are a lot of little pieces that once we start with the why. Who is that one person they’re talking about? It isn’t just, “I’m going to talk to middle-aged women that are becoming empty nesters and they like to do crafts.” That’s way too broad. Come up with one person and what does that person like to eat? What do they like to do for recreation? What do they want? What work do they do? The reason we do that is when you can hone in that, narrow in on that one person, it’s like when you decide to buy a car. Maybe you get introduced to this wonderful Prius that you hadn’t noticed it ever before, but something about it struck your attention when it was shown and you decide to buy it when you were out car shopping. You drive off the lot and suddenly you see twenty Prius that are on the road and you never saw them before. That’s what the idea is, if you can figure out that one, then the mini ones will come to it because you know exactly who you’re talking to.
How to stay connected with that person? It’s not a one and done. It’s that ongoing relationship with you that you build with those people.
It’s a lot of giving at the same time.
It definitely is and this is so good that you guys do this because one of the failures I see out in the coaching world a lot is someone goes to an event to grow their business. All of a sudden it’s, “Your products and services aren’t selling because you need a book.” Chances are if you’re not doing what these guys are telling you that you need to do and building those relationships and connecting, chances are that book is going to be another failed product. You have to be talking to people and finding out why they aren’t purchasing those other things and what they do want in a book from you. That’s why what you do is so key to everything.
That’s why we’re not a big fan of the book over the weekend, unless you’re already branded and you’re someone that has all your ducks in a row, then that may work for you. If you’re someone that has that vision, that idea and you want to be speaking on stages all over the world, you can’t read a book on the weekend and it just happens. There’s a lot of behind the scenes.
There is and there are a lot of seminars where you can go for the weekend and your book is published on Kindle. Everybody in the room buys it and you’re number one bestseller for about five minutes and nobody ever looks at your book again.
I attended those, I have even been one that purchased them because when publishing first started to become a thing several numbers of years ago, that’s what they were doing. I innocently thought that’s what you do and that’s how I got started and I was like, “That’s a big joke.” I had my first few clients that I helped publish and we got them to number one bestseller, everybody’s happy and then all of a sudden they’re not happy because their books were not selling. There’s one of the lessons in business that you learn. In our publishing business, this is what we learned. You don’t do that because your clients all of a sudden are not happy with you and they’re not happy with the results. I know there are many groups out there that teach you can do it in a weekend, you can do it in a month, you can do it in three months, you can do it in six months. I beg to differ because maybe you can get it written and do a good job of it with all the editing, all the other stuff that goes with it. What about the marketing infrastructure around it to make it successful?
Here’s another thing people don’t know. When you game the system like that, Amazon is onto you now. They monitor how much of the book you read. If you ordered it on Kindle, how fast you read it. Did you finish it? If you think you’re going to go in and buy it quick and boost sales, they’re onto you. They have a lot of tricks and you can game the Amazon system easily. I saw a guy a couple of years ago. He was an international bestseller and when I opened up the program as a publisher that we have to see how many copies he’d sold, he sold three copies.
I’ve seen that happen too with the guru that I learned. I love the guy as far as his wisdom in what he came up with. He’s one of the first ones I ever heard about self-publishing, but it’s funny because there was nothing behind it. He’s a guru that has probably a million followers already. You can pull some of that stuff off pretty cool and people will mind because you are that person. Most of us don’t have that. We’re not that kind of person. That means that we have to do the back end work and we have to plan and strategize. We need to learn ourselves as to, “Do we like social media? Are we going to use social media? Do we love speaking from the platform and maybe even selling from the platform? Do we like to do retreats? Do we like doing articles and blogs? Do we prefer to create courses? Is it a combination of it all?” Find out where your niche is. Is it in–person joining the Chamber of Commerce and in-person meeting with people? What is it that you like and build around that structure?
There may be key pieces that you don’t want to do yourself but are necessary. We’ve had some authors that say, “I don’t want to be on social media.” You’re losing a big audience, so hire someone that can brand your voice and help you be that consistent message on social media, but then you need to engage with these people. That’s where we sit down and we look for your strengths, what you’re willing to do, what you don’t want to do, then put the key marketing in. I think one of the successes of Spotlight Publishing is we don’t try to do it all. We have an amazing marketing team. We have everything from if you want your own TV show. We can brand you in a custom mobile app. We have people that will post for you your message on social media. We have blitz and blog tours. If you’re not on social media yet, we have full social media make-overs. There are many tools that we can help you meet your goals and we give you the experts.Aligning yourself with people that are already leaders in your target market is necessary. Click To Tweet
There are also audiobooks. There’s a lot of variety because you can also tap into a completely different type of person, same interests and everything. Some people will never pick up a book, but they’ll listen to a book. There are a lot of pieces. We do have a cool VIP day that we do with our authors. Not all of them take us up on it, but the ones that do, we spend the whole one full day or two half days where we dive deeply into what their big picture is, their why and who they’re targeting.
For those of you out there thinking right now, “They’re a smaller company. Why wouldn’t I go use an Ex Libris or an AuthorHouse?” I’m going to explain a little bit why the smaller companies in this arena are terrific. My experience with AuthorHouse was they tried to sell me a list. “For $2,000, we’ll promote your book release to our list of over a million people.” To the untrained eye, that looks great. “My book is going to be in front of a million people.” What you paid for was them showing their audience, their list subscribers that “We published another book” and you paid for it. Nobody is going to buy your book. When you go with the smaller companies, you are getting services that will help you get out into the world. I think a lot of the big companies, they are extensions of the traditional publishing world and they have no interest at all in seeing you be successful as a self-publisher.
It’s sad when you watch what happens with that because we have authors come to us. They have spent ungodly amounts of money. They never get a royalty. We don’t keep royalties. We don’t believe in that. We do not do that. We have three that have lost the rights to their book because the company went out of business and they can’t access to it anywhere. They’re heartbroken. They’ve spent so much money and have nothing to show for. They say they’re going to promote it out and they’re like, “It’s going to maybe even be a wonderful documentary,” and all these things. Be careful with that.
I have such a story around that documentary. I had a client that came to me several years ago. Her family was British royalty or war legacy, something like that. Her first book, I won’t say which company it was with, but one of the larger companies, she had never received a royalty. While I was sitting there working with her on our next steps, they called her and they said, “A Hollywood producer saw your book. He loved it. For $20,000, we can make it into a movie script.” She was so excited and I was like, “Hold on. How many people outside your family bought that book?” She said, “Twelve.” I was like, “What do you think the odds are that one of those twelve was a Hollywood producer?” I was disturbed because this was a little old lady. She was in her 80s. To me, that’s elder abuse.
I have a dear friend, she’s about 86 now. When she first published, I think her book was 70 is the New 40 or something like that. It’s a really good book and she’s a brilliant woman. She has no access to her book. When she first made the contract, she had a garage full of books. She has sold every one of them. She had no access to them. Where are those books? She’s distraught because that was what she thought she was going to continue. She speaks everywhere. She’s amazing. She’s in her late-‘80s and she’s still active, but she no longer has her book available.
How can you set yourselves apart or entrepreneurs in general with impactful influencers now? Because it’s a big, noisy world out there.
It’s a hugely noisy world. There’s a lot of ways, but it’s first understanding your target market. It’s aligning yourself with people that are already leaders in your target market. If nothing else, make sure you learn from them because they’ve paved the way for us. There’s nothing new under the sun I always say. There’s somebody else that’s out there doing that and many are leaders. Learn from them. What that does is as you learn from them and you start sharing what you are learning and you maybe even made quotes from them, people immediately in their minds will associate with you. They must know what they’re talking about too. Typically, if you’re learning from them, you begin to understand thoroughly what you’re doing. That’s part of the impact. The book is a good impact, but then they’re so much deeper. Make sure that you’re providing something that is needed, that is wanted, that is searched for. Find out what that is and hone into it. Don’t try to be everything. Niche down and hone down onto that one area where you can shine. Absolutely, this is one of the biggest things we’ve had to learn with Spotlight Publishing. Don’t try and be all things to all people. It doesn’t work, besides driving yourself nuts.
It’s expensive. When you don’t niche, you can’t market to everyone. It’s expensive and it’s not targeted. It is a lesson to learn. What are the top marketing tools that an author can implement for driving sales and reviews?
We have a tool that you hook up your book in MOBI, PDF, all different forms and you can give your book out. It’s an automation where it reminds people, “Can you go in and do a review of my book?” We have systems that when you put those in place, it’s so easy to share because some people aren’t great on the computer. We’ve had authors say, “I’ve sent it to them and I don’t know how to attach it,” or different things for their book. When we build in systems like this into their publishing package and it’s set up for them, it’s easy for them to share any copy out. Whether you want it dropped into Dropbox, whether you want it right to a Kindle or in your email and automation for saying, “Thank you so much. Will you do a review for me?” It directs them exactly where they do a review. We have also talked about social media make-overs right along with that. We have good success with our blitz and blog tours and that’s blasting you out to a whole bunch of bloggers all on one day. You’re all over the place. Your message is getting out. What a great way for you to tap into those bloggers and then say, “Look where I was featured. Check out what they featured me in this bloggers arena.”
We want to talk about our summit. We have put together 33 market industry leaders in marketing. This could be marketing your business or marketing your book. These people are amazing with the tools and marketing strategies that they’re going to share. Each of them is giving away a free gift. It’s free to listen to the summit and you’ll get all their free gifts. If you upgrade to VIP, what we’re doing is they are giving an extra special, whether it’s a gift or an offer that is not out there anywhere. It’s only for the VIP people. On top of that, you’ll get the recordings of all the speakers for the entire event. Becky and I are doing a drawing for a $10,000 publishing package for one of our lucky VIP winners. There is so much value and the upgrade to VIP is $97. We are grateful. Our speakers are generous. When we were looking, we’re like, “This is incredible value that they’re giving for free.” We’re so excited for people to hear it.
Becky, what’s the URL?
Thank you so much for sharing all of your wisdom. I appreciate it. I hope you have a great summit.
- Spotlight On Your Business, Spotlight Publishing
- Ex Libris
- 70 is the New 40 ShapeShiftUniversity.com/Authorpreneurs-Book-Marketing-Summit
About Becky Norwood & Natalie McQueen
Becky Norwood is CEO of Spotlight on Your Business | Spotlight Publishing™, #1 International Bestselling author, speaker and book publishing expert. Her main area of focus has been teaching and working with entrepreneurs and small business owners to establish their knowledge and expertise, and find ways to stand out in our busy, noisy world in powerful ways.
Spotlight Publishing was developed in conjunction with her main business as she studied what is working…and not working to grow a business. Becky now expertly guides her clients to become authors and understanding the big picture behind authoring books by implementing tools, tips, and resources that make publishing worth the time and effort. Her team has successfully brought over 200 authors to #1 Bestseller due to a unique system and powerful affiliate connections.
Natalie McQueen is the Director of Marketing and Sales at Spotlight Publishing. Natalie has a background in finance, sales, marketing, and has trained with mindset development leaders over the past 15 years.
Natalie supports authors to envision and create a path of a bigger brand and business model, guiding them to recognize how they can showcase their expertise and knowledge by publishing a book, becoming a bestselling author and using that book as their calling card to grow their impactful influence.
Natalie is responsible for planning, development and coaching authors to implement the right combination of marketing strategies, and tools that will keep their bookselling long after it has published. She has a passion to work with Non-Profits to help them to touch the world with their message. Spotlight Publishing shows Non-Profits a way they can implement Book Publishing to create a consistent Revenue Stream. Spotlight Publishing believes in giving back and has special discounts and pricing for Non-Profits.
Spotlight Publishing is a powerful team that has brought over 200 authors to #1 Bestseller due to a unique system and powerful affiliate connections.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!