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How long did the publishing process take?
Everyone described their own personal publishing journey with Wiley, which essentially boiled down to submitting the book proposal, approval of the book proposal, writing, editing, final submission and publication of the book. Working with Wiley meant the writers were given a writing schedule they agreed to, and Young made the point of saying, even though people have this perception publishers of today are slow, Wiley worked to a tight framework, and the process in fact happened very quickly.
Publishing with Impact Valerie Khoo Heather Smith Trevor Young NSAA three
Did you work with a literary agent?
None of the writers on the panel ended up working with a literary agent for the books we were talking about. Young said he felt literary agents were perhaps for more fictional works. Khoo said she was in discussions with a literary agent initially, and these discussions went on simultaneously while talking with Wiley. In the end, the literary agent said Khoo had reached a point with the publisher on her own and she could not contribute anything further to the process. The literary agent kindly agreed to review the contract. Khoo went on to say she thought a literary agent can be useful for negotiating international royalties, and if negotiating is not your strong skill them you could benefit from working with a literary agent.
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What benefits did you gain from publishing a book?
All the writers agreed having a book published through a reputable publishing house was the pinnacle element of marketing your expertise. There are many experts in the field. Young observed these days someone uploads a 6 page pdf to their website, calls it a book, and calls themselves an author. Working with a publishing house like Wiley gives you the solid credibility of being the authority in that field.
Additional benefits of writing included targeted consulting work, business opportunities, and key note speaking engagements like speaking at NSAA national conference!!
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What were the advantages of working through an established publisher?
All three books have been published in soft cover, as e-books, sell through the various distributors like iTunes and Kindle, and online library services. Power Stories and MicroDomination have been converted into audiobooks. Power Stories has been translated into numerous languages.
The audience asked if you worked with your own editor, so it’s appropriate to drop in here, Wiley assign an editor to work on the book, and time is slotted into the book writing schedule for the editing process.
All of these processes were organised by Wiley without the author’s involvement. It’s like a conveyor belt, the writer comes along with the idea, writes the story, and Wiley have in place resources and procedures to refine the book and distribute it. Smith said writing in a series gave her global distribution capacity she could not have achieved on her own.
The audience had specific questions about royalties and were surprised they were so high!
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What would you do differently next time you want to get a book publish?
Young mentioned he should have dedicated more time in his own schedule to the editing process.
Somehow this discussion, moved on to the book cover.
Young said his cover was designed in the US, and the subtitle was a very important part of the book.
Khoo explained subtitle was also important for her, and she tested various sub titles and book covers with trusted friends. She then tested the title using google AdWords to see what attracted a high click through rate.
Working with the For Dummies series, there is a formula for the book cover. Smith suggested the cyan tones, to mirror the corporate colours of Xero.
How would you suggest someone approaches a publisher?
Prior to writing their books Khoo and Young had no relationship with Wiley.
Prior to writing her first book, Smith too was a in a similar situation. All six books were written with Wiley.
After initial discussions with Wiley, to proceed the panelists were required to submit a proposal, which went through an approval process that typically involved both a concept approval and a financial approval.
Step back from this point part of the equation, leading up to this moment in time, we had all been prolific writers, content creators, and engaged within our community. The proposal process which is akin to writing a business plan for a book included a section where outlining social media presence, the number of followers, and connections and Klout score etc.
All three had proven their ability to write, and had an engaged community. So in terms of approaching a publisher, the recommendation was write, write, write.
The panel were asked where potential authors should write. It was suggested to write on your blog, write for your industry association publications or any other associations you are a member off. If you’re specialty topic is business FlyingSolo is a good place to start. Smith shared having her first 350 word article published on FlyingSolo was just as exciting as having a 100 000 word book globally published.
The panel were asked where potential authors should write about. Khoo felt you should write about something that you’re passionate about, something that really fires you up. She went on to say be careful not to be tagged with labels you don’t want to be associated with.
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Talking about the publishing process Valerie Khoo Heather Smith Trevor Young NSAA
Is there anything else you’d like to share about publishing?
Young felt that the days of gone are the days of a big book launch. The book marketing process is an ongoing one and starts the moment you sign the deal or begin writing your book.
After finishing the book project Smith said she personally was exhausted; really exhausted to a point that she did not understand how exhausted she was. Khoo shared she too was exhausted after the process.
Contact details for panelists:
National Speakers Association of Australia
An association that supports experts who speak in Australia, helping people develop their speaking competencies and their speaking businesses. For more information: http://www.nationalspeakers.com.au/