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Feb. 29, 2020

149: How to Become a Published Author [Lee Constantine from Publishizer Interview]

149: How to Become a Published Author [Lee Constantine from Publishizer Interview]

Did you know that my new book on influencer marketing, The Age of Influence, began as a test market on a crowdsourcing platform for authors called Publishizer? It's true! You can even see my original proposal page here: https://publishizer.com/the-business-of-influence/. Today's podcast is looking at the personal side of influence for those that want to yield more influence by becoming a published author. If it wasn't for Lee, my new book wouldn't have been written, so I hope today's episode inspires YOU! 

For those interested in my pre-order campaign for The Age of Influence, make sure you buy a copy of the book from this link and then send a copy of your receipt to neal@nealschaffer before 11:59 P.M. Pacific on March 16. You can find out more about the book and pre-order campaign here: https://nealschaffer.com/influencer-marketing-age-of-influence/

The Age of Influence page on Amazon is here: https://nealschaffer.com/ageofinfluence

Key Highlights

[01:08] Introduction Of Podcast Guest, Lee Constantine

[05:57] What Is Publishizer?

[07:19] Reasons Why A Professional Should Write A Book

[11:42] How Authors Yield Influence Through Books

[14:42] Example of How Books Can Make You Yield Influence

[18:31] The Biggest Things To Remember When Writing A Book

[27:00] Marketing Your Book

[29:40] Importance Of Platform

[31:19] The 2 Most Important Pieces Outside Social

[36:56] How To Navigate Publication Process

[38:13] How Publishizer Fit Into Publication Process

[40:13] Reasons Why Typical Traditional Agent Reject Books

[41:40] The Average Amount Of Books Sold By Self-Published Authors

[42:54] Different Types Of Publishing Options

[48:15] Final Thoughts

[49:46] Why You Should Have A Website

[54:38] Connect With Lee

Notable Quotes

  • A book really helps you spread your message. I mean, as a professional that wants to become an experts, or you're becoming an experts, experts typically have unique methodologies and formulas are really unique insights that allow them and others to achieve success. So putting this in book form, is really credible medium to spread that message further.
  • I really do think it's an amazing Vehicle, obviously, at the end of the day, you'll have an achievement, which is a published book, which is going to stay with your professional brand forever.
  • I think the biggest thing is, it's choosing something that you want to be an expert on. Because if the book is successful, that is what you're gonna be known for.
  • All this stuff is important because it's indicators or indicators, when referring to a book, it's indicators that you can talk to consumers and your followers in a way that gets them to engage with you and possibly sell your book later on.
  • For every aspiring author, you need to really go out there and engage and build that community become an influencer in your industry.
  • But social media isn't always the strongest platform to tell you. But it's just an indicator that you can develop relationships to sell that book to in another format, like maybe an email or through a personal message. 
  • Don't discount any type of publishing deal. Anytime you can get someone to support your book, partner with you get this thing out there in a way that you necessarily can't do on your own. It's really big added value in there.
  • Writing a book is muscle memory, building that part from that community's muscle memory requires a daily commitment, you need to put together a playbook. 
Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

This is the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help sales and marketing professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners, build, leverage and monetize their influence in digital and social media. Hey, everybody, welcome to episode number 149 of the maximize your social influence podcast. My name is Neal Schaffer. And if you are listening to this podcast for the first time, this podcast is really for marketers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, we're looking at marketing, digital marketing, and as the name suggests, social media marketing. But we also look at a lot about the concept of influence whether it is influencer marketing for businesses, or it is you yourself wanting to become more influential in digital and social media. So I try to put a unique perspective on things that maybe you can't hear on other podcasts. So I hope if this interests you, and obviously for all of my current listeners, hopefully you've already pressed that subscribe button wherever you are, but I do hope that you do if you haven't. So today's episode is going to be with Lee Constantine of publish iser, those that know me know that I'm coming out with a new book, march 17, called the age of influence. And if it wasn't for Lee, simply put that book would never have been written. Now, I often get asked, Neil, should I write a book? How do I write a book? How do I get published a lot of those questions I will answer in this interview with Lee. For those of you that don't know publish iser is sort of like a Kickstarter for authors. And it is the platform that I used to really test market right in the the Pat Flynn will it fly. And I hadn't, even in all honesty, read his book when I did it. But I was basically doing the same thing. I was test marketing the idea, would someone want to read a book about influence and influence marketing, if I wrote it, and boom, that led to selling already several 100 copies in advance, and then eventually signing with HarperCollins leadership HarperCollins being one of if not the largest publisher of business books here in the United States. So there you have it. So if that interests you, even if it doesn't interest you, I think the notion of influence and becoming an author, this is something that should interest you. Because I think depending on your industry, obviously it's different. But there's still a lot of great books to be written a lot of great books to be read, and really becoming a published author. While it may not be the same level as it was 1020 years ago, because of the advent of self publishing, it really does give you social proof give you authority, but more than that, it gives you something to talk about. It gives you something to give your fans give potential clients, it is an amazing device, an amazing vehicle. And I urge every one of you to really consider it. And hopefully after listening to the podcast, you will have a better idea as to how the publishing industry really works today, in 2020, before we get to the interview, I do want to remind you that this podcast, or this episode, at least, is being sponsored by the age of influence my new book coming out on March 17. Obviously, it's geared towards this audience, marketers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, you want to understand you want to leverage and you really want to get the most you can out of collaborating with influencers. And even if you're an influencer, and you want to become more influential, I urge you to read the book as well, because you're going to learn a lot about how the industry works, how to better position yourself. And I do have some content in there, of how and why you should yield more influence in digital and social media and you brands and businesses should as well. So if you listen to previous episodes, you would know but if you didn't, you listen to episode 144, how to do influencer marketing the right way in the age of influence. That's where I announced this presale campaign. The book is available for pre order on Amazon. And if you do that and send me your receipt, and I'll put the link that gives you more information in the show notes, you're going to get access to two exclusive webinars only for those that pre purchase my book one is going to be on how to scale your digital branding. I gave a preview to that on episode 148. And the other is going to be all about blogging and SEO. And this is another important type of influence that someone can yield in digital media and being a blogger for Wow, almost 12 years now, and having 6070 guest bloggers on Neal schaffer.com. And when it was called maximize social business.com. Before that, I have a lot of insight and experience as to what I believe works and doesn't work in blogging and a lot of mindset that I think a lot of bloggers don't have and I want to make sure that you yield the most maximum influence you can in your blogging. So I hope you'll join me for both of those. Once again, check out the show notes for the link as how you can participate by pre ordering the book and sending me the receipt. And that's it. Let's now move on to the interview. with Lea Constantine of publicize her today, this podcast is going to be all about from marketer to influencer to author how to climb your way up the influencer pyramid by becoming a published author. I'm really excited for this episode, I get to introduce a I won't say a business partner, but he almost feels like it with how much he's helped me. And my upcoming book, which we're going to talk about later in this episode as well. The one and only the Constantine from publishers are the welcome to the podcast. Welcome to the show.

Lee Constantine:

Yeah, Neil, thanks for having me. Really glad that you could have me on super excited for it.

Neal Schaffer:

So the How would you describe a publisher? I know you reached out to me for the first time, probably October of 2017. We've known each other more than a year and a half now. But how do you describe publish iser, to those that don't know anything about it?

Lee Constantine:

Publish as a we've evolved quite a bit over the past few years. But publishers are I think the best way to describe us is a literary agency that specializes in pre order campaigns, we like to say crowdfunding literary agency. But yeah, we're specialize in getting authors book deals, a lot of commercial nonfiction. Fiction wise, it really spans across the board, but we're really pretty strong in topics like yours in your business influence. Yeah, commercial nonfiction,

Neal Schaffer:

just to get back to the point. So as literary agency, I think there's a lot of people that are listening, that let's take a step back, right? i And it's funny, because I describe, publicize their different ways you can imagine not being the CEO and founder or head of growth founder. Let's take a step back. And then we'll get into sort of how publicize your work. I know a lot of people are very curious, but take a step back into book writing. And we both agree that every professional you know, we always say, hey, everybody has a good book in them to Write Right, based on their own experiences. And I think we're getting to the point now, with personal branding, the democratization of influence, that really every professional should write a book. And I think we both agree about that. But you know, what's your take on that day? Why? Why do you think everybody listening here, should go out and maybe sign up to publicize or with a book idea and sort of test the waters? I mean,

Lee Constantine:

that's, that's a really good question. I mean, there are many reasons why, you know, a professional should write a book, right. And I'll give the audience a big one. I mean, number one, a book really helps you spread your message. I mean, as a professional that wants to become an experts, or you're becoming an experts, experts typically have unique methodologies and formulas are really unique insights that allow them and others to achieve success. So putting this in book form, is really credible medium to spread that message further, right. That's, that's probably the first and most important. The second one, I typically say is credibility. A book does help establish you as a thought leader, or an influencer, or however you want to describe that, especially a really good book. So a really good book that people love reading, they want to share with others, it does a lot of things to establish your brand as a thought leader, and it makes people want more of what you have to say. So you could say any of them, this is the beginnings of influence, or this is influence. But this stuff becomes more difficult to obtain without that credibility. Third thing is, it's really a step towards building your career or your personal brand, I would say as an author, and a lot of most influencers are also authors. So a book is not a means to an end, it's a stepping stone to some bigger things. Maybe you have many book ideas. And this is your first book, you're selling yourself, you're getting readership, or you're becoming a speaker, and you want to increase your speaking career, or whatever it is, a book really allows you to do that.

Neal Schaffer:

The those are all great answers, I guess from my perspective and experience, you know, I think of a book as a business card. So if you have aspirations, if you want to, if there are places you want to go with, with your career with your life, I think that book is going to be the best way to help you get there. And I think what a lot of people forget about is when you write a book, it's really the process that generates a lot of great things for people. So, you know, do you have the passion to write a book about a subject that you think you're an expert on or something that you want to become an expert on? And I think just going through that process, you're going to realize gaps in your understanding, potentially, in the process, you might have the ability to do some research that you might not have thought of doing before, you're going to cover insight, you may want to reach out to experts, and it gives you a reason to reach out to experts and actually engage with them. And at the end of the day, as you start telling people that you are writing a book, it leads to further engagement from your community and maybe from people at work. So I really do think it's an amazing Vehicle, obviously, at the end of the day, you'll have an achievement, which is a published book, which is going to stay with your professional brand forever. So, you know, I know that a lot of people listening to this, if you are a solopreneur, it's a no brainer, because it is that business card, if you own your own business, small business owner, what have you, it's a no brainer, because it's a business card. But even if you don't, there are enough reasons to have it to really differentiate yourself in the market. And make yourself an entity that people want to work with want to hire want to do business with, that will last throughout your entire career. I can't speak highly enough about it. You know, I started writing books. My first book I wrote back in 2009, when self publishing was very, very early on. And I wrote it because I was in transition. And I had already started blogging, so why not put it in a book format, get it out there in the world. And it's so easy to do now. Right. And that's, that's where publish has really helped me in that this obviously, is 10 years later. But if you're a first time author, or first time book writer, just the exposure, you get to all sorts of different people that can help you along that journey was pretty incredible. So So yeah, you know, at this point, really, if you're listening to this podcast, you're probably already thinking about writing a book and my job. And I would assume the as well as really to get you to that stage where put it in an idea, put it in a plan, and at least get it up there and publicize it and test market. And that's exactly what I did, and what sort of jumping ahead to what we wanted to talk about later on. So let's take a step back. Now, the so you know, we talked about why everybody should consider writing a book, a lot of people listening this podcast want to become more influential in what they do. And I think all of us would rather carry more influence than less influence. So how, as an author, as you start writing a book, even if it's not published, how do you think? And why do you think authors begin to yield that influence? This is actually

Lee Constantine:

a pretty nice segue into what you were mentioning earlier about, there's a lot of ways first of all, but like you said, Neil, like when we started writing this proposal, it really makes you hone your message. And what really is this idea, right? Because you could be writing pieces of content into blogging, you can be on podcast, you can be doing a lot of things that don't necessarily bring you traction or awareness or thought leadership or even help build influence. Right. So one is we start reading this book proposal, like you mentioned before, yeah, it really forces you to bring the book from an idea into something that's really tangible income that okay, makes all the sense. Who is the book for what other books are out there are like this, are they complimentary? are they competing? How do you position this? Where is this gonna fall? How are readers going to take this in? Like, really? Why do you as an author make this unique, so that applying to a book is super important. And then the writing process is another step that you take. And that really falls in line with how you start yielding this influence as an author, right? Because, you know, Neil, as you like, once we have something that people want more from once people want to hear what you have to say that we start to build an influence, so you know, exactly the value that you can bring to the table. Once you have that as an idea. There are so many ways that you can basically start building influence, but there are like very few surefire ways, right. I mean, you can be great at like, as an author, you regret a book tours, and you can command an audience and sell tons of books. But that's really difficult. And a lot of people don't do that well. But what does work well, in the book phase, is at least in my experience, is one it's really great book. So if it's well edited, it's very marketable, it's usually backed by a publisher that can help to get it out there. When you have these things in place, you basically have to be able to promote that message. Sell the book in actively building your brand, your email, list your influence around the idea. And then you use other mediums like you speaking, get on podcasts, do blogging, a lot of these things contribute to one influence as an author, but influence as you as a brand with book being one of your products. So there's a lot that goes into, and you have to choose what works for you.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, and I think what a lot of people forget is sort of human psychology, that, Oh, you've written a book. It just it completely, you know, correct me if I'm wrong, that you've probably felt the same. But even today, even in the day of, you know, millennials and Gen Z, even my kids, you know, talk about my books, right? Like, you know, their friends, like oh, your dad's a published author, he's famous, you know, these, these fourth graders, so it really is evergreen that you have something published, therefore, you're perceived as an expert. And it's funny with social media and when I work with businesses, and my advice to my clients is if you were to have a targeted approach, right, if you're at it's funny on my blog today, in fact, I should read this to you and I think I will and this is just an example let me read this to you because this speaks to a lot of what what a book is about and why your your influence and this was a comment and you can actually see it on my blog post the definitive guide to Instagram affiliate marketing. So a friend of mine has an Instagram account where she posts pictures related to architecture. The pics she posts are all selected from different websites. sites, ie none of the pictures are hers. This is an example of curated content, right? And I have seen people write books purely of interviews with other people. I don't know if that's right for everybody. But it has been done rightly where you ask submissions from experts. So it's the same concept or on Twitter of just sharing other people's content, right. She usually mentioned the website where the picture came from, though she often doesn't know the name of the photographer, as the pictures are carefully selected, right? This is the value of content creation. But this is also the value you as an author bring, when you have your own unique perspective to whatever angle you're covering about a different subject. She already has almost 300,000 followers, and she intends to monetize the profile by using some of the techniques you guys teach. Now, the question was about copyrights. What are the precautions you should take? And my response was simply, please, you know, hire a lawyer to answer this question for you. But But that is an example, right, of someone who had a very targeted approach of sharing content or publishing content about a very, very specific subject matter a niche, as we like to call it. And from that, they were able to yield influence, build a community get more views, because they were seen perceived as an expert on the subject. If you were to, I'm gonna throw this out there. If you were to write a book on something, you would be perceived as the expert on that. Now, this is my own story. Lee, you'll remember we started talking, and it's like, Hey, do you have any book ideas? I'm like, Well, I got a few book ideas, or I'd always book ideas, because I have this. For those that know me, I have this unfinished Twitter book, which I still have. So you know, I have this Twitter book, I want to write a new LinkedIn book, which is going to be more about the social selling side of LinkedIn, sort of revision of another book that I wrote back in the day. And then I have the topic of influencer marketing. And it's also the topic of employee advocacy. And I still think there's a great book to be written about. And Lee, we agreed, let's go for influencer marketing, I thought that would be the most relevant as well. So you know, I wasn't an expert, per se. There are people that have been blogging about influencer marketing for several years, there are books that have been written about influencers. Sure, I had been hired as an influencer, my agency work with influencers, but it wasn't, you know, I hadn't really written much content about it, other than the work I did from clients, as well as how I taught it to executives at universities that I teach at. So. But I threw the idea out there. And this is what publisher was great for, obviously, I hope that everybody who looks at publish would actually want to go through the process and completed write a book. But you know, my book, the business of influence, which would be called the age of influence, when published was really about a test market of an idea would people be interested if I wrote this book, but as I threw it out there, and as I promoted it, people started to see me as an expert in the space, right? This is human nature, the same reason why that architecture, you know, profile on Instagram has 300,000 viewers or other people I've been able to create, and my clients have been able to create communities from just publishing content about a specific niche or subject, it is the same concept. So now, I'm speaking about influencer marketing, I'm being asked pretty famous publications in the space for my advice and influence marketing. Obviously, as you write the book, and do more research for your knowledge gaps, you do become an expert. I mean, you focus on one subject, that's, that's really what expertise is all about. So the you know, maybe that's just my experience, but I'm assuming that that's relatable, especially for nonfiction for a lot of other authors out there. Are there any authors you work with me that have similar stories or any other, you know, perspectives that that you can discuss here?

Lee Constantine:

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think you hit on a lot of stuff right there. But I think the biggest thing is, it's choosing something that you want to be an expert on. Because if the book is successful, that is what you're gonna be known for. And then the big one is consistency, you choose something that if someone is like, people are talking about influence, and in social media, stuff like this, but you know, if you're consistent with it, and you build a community, that's when you start developing expertise, and people want more of that content. So it makes it difficult, you know, to write your book on Twitter or LinkedIn, but difficult to write on something else. So you got to kind of go with the wave of influence sometimes. And that's half of what being a thought leader is, is asking yourself what topic or area of expertise that you want to be known for, that you think you can provide value to, and then start sharing content information to people who are looking for that expertise, getting clients and partners and endorsers in that same space, you build a community, you build a following email, list, platform, whatever you want to call it, and then you create a book around that. And it has to be for your readers. It has to be for your community. You have to make the book about them. You do not make the book about you, for instance, you know, this is not a book about Neal Schaffer. It's a book about how people can build influence, right? It does not how you build influence in leadership, usually, you know, unless you have a million followers and you're you're famous on TV, people don't want to hear about you, per se, they want to hear from you and what you can do for them. So that is the best way to, I guess develop a book content and you know, yeah, like you said, a lot of the authors that I work with kind of had this this good idea. They add a line to what they want to become an expert. And then they use everything that they've already been working on. For instance, you know, we work with a lot of commercial nonfiction, of course, beakers, coaches, people who run retreats, people who are doing client Consulting Services who have an expertise or people that are founders in a really niche area, or they're a nutritionist, or they're in health, but they have a unique methodology. So being able to bring these into validation, you mentioned validation, as well. So, you know, you can offer coaching packages or workshops, to sell your book or to get people interested in your book, or vice versa. I know I've worked with somebody that was a chef, and they offered cooking classes or products like aprons or partnered products, in order for people to buy their book, join their community push up more information. I've worked with podcasters, who after special guest spots, I've worked with screenwriters who offered writing lessons, tons of unique things that people can do to build your brand, utilize it to sell your books. And then the last point that you may know was was pretty important in it's really about validation, a lot of times authors spend three to six months on writing their book, and they say, this is such a great idea, I have a full manuscript, and then they go try to sell it, or then they go try to pitch it to an agent or a publisher, and it gets rejected, that doesn't really work very well, you typically get rejected, or for some reason people it's not connecting. So sell your book, utilize these things, validate this message, before, you know you take time creating a huge piece of content. It's really lean method for getting a book out there. And it's really again, the basis for publishers that does this pre order campaign. Yeah. And you know, you got we went through all this stuff,

Neal Schaffer:

but and you know, two points I wanted to make based on what you were saying, you know, number one is that, at the end of the day, I talked about LinkedIn profiles are not about your past, but about the future you want to create. It's an inbound marketing tool, right? So in a similar way, your book becomes an inbound marketing tool, where is it that you want to go? So if there is something you want to sell? Your book should be obviously related to that. So you know, a great case in point, on my previous podcast episode, I had a gentleman named Adrian Solomonic and hope I'm pronouncing his name right. Adrian, I don't know if you're listening. But Adrian had, you know, he was he was basically a, you know, a startup investor, he had, you know, he had successfully launched a few companies. And what he ended up doing was, he did a lot regarding PR, he was able to get a lot of free PR. And so he decided, You know what, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna write a book, and I'm going to create a program that's going to help small business owners and entrepreneurs get free PR like I did. It's a perfect example. So he wrote the book called free PR. And, you know, if you go to free PR book.com, you'll see that he actually has a program, he offers consulting, so it's all related around the book. And this is why I think if you want to write a fiction book, go for it. I don't know how it's gonna help you yield influence for your professional career, though, right? It might help differentiate you, and might be an interesting, you know, icebreaking conversation topic at a party. But it's really that nonfiction. It's really thinking, Okay, if I had a book out on this subject, what would it do for my career? What would I do? What would it do for my business? You know, my thing with influencer marketing is I always create content. I'm a little bit unique, but I create content based on customer demand. And I realized that influencer marketing was the single biggest area that I was getting the most questions on yet the least number of good answers or answers, I would think were good really existed in the market. And it's similar with why wrote maximize your social six years ago, it was all about social media strategy, social media ROI. That was the number one question I got, it just wasn't clear, until I wrote that book. And then it became clear. So I'm hoping with influencer marketing, the age of influence, it becomes the same way. But you got to think of the book as the vehicle. Where do you want it to take you? And at the end of the day, what are you got to offer out when people buy the book and they want a piece of you? They want, they want to hear more from you. They want to get more advice from you? How are you going to deliver on that, and that's something I think that's critical to think of beforehand. But you know, the other part is, it is the vehicle. So even if you do a test market, and you were saying, you you write a manuscript and you get rejected, at the least if you test markets, and if you promote it and if you don't get whatever book sales you were looking for, you will have created some great content, you will have probably made new connections, you would have no deepen connections with your community. So there's no there's no bad to it. And in fact, in doing so, you're going to learn a lot about the subject and a lot about yourself and it's like every entrepreneur will tell you you you fall down nine times and 10 years successful. You know, Gary Vaynerchuk saying I fucking hate losing it. I know I love losing sorry. I love to fucking lose, right? It's the same thing with every fail you get that much closer to success and I think every entrepreneur will, will tell you that but but any other any other advice on on top of that the

Lee Constantine:

its contents, right? I mean, you're you're always testing things out. Even if you have no intention of writing a book you're pushing content out and you're basically testing you're validating that this content is going to be is going to resonate, it's going to receive it. Well, I mean, I remember I had it, it was more common, I guess, maybe 10 years ago, it's not as common anymore. But blogging was huge, right. And not only that, people started getting a lot of traffic. And millions of followers and people write books, based on the traffic of their followers and publishers walk book deals and stuff like that. Dave kirpan tons of traffic and likes on his LinkedIn article, he just put them together into a book, and it sold like crazy Mark Manson, you know, a million subscribers, turn it into a book he was, I think he was top of the charts for like, really long. So that is a common way to test it out, and then turn it into a book later. Usually, these days, I think it's done the other way around, you want to write a book on it, you're, you're testing some things out, but you don't get massive subscribers. And that's just one medium. So like, if you're doing speaking, for instance, I mean, you can get speaking gigs, that's great. You're getting in front of a lot of people. And if you're lucky, maybe half the people like we have to say, and then follow you. And if you're lucky, if you start getting doing podcasting, and blogging, you're lucky 10% of them, like you, and then you can sell them their book and all this stuff. So you basically start gaining percentages of people that liked what you have to say. And it's a more than that. And I think that's just the starting of how you not only build the book, but how you start building your personal brand, your leadership, your influence, all these things always working together at all times.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. And you know, we didn't really cover that concept of influencer, or influence in more detail. But if you want to yield more influence, if you think, why are people listening to this person, they should be listening to me, you obviously need content, you have to have something to say, and you need to get out there. And you really do need to build that community. I mean, Dave Kirpan is able to do that, because he has this huge community, right? And Gary Vaynerchuk, as well, he could write a book every year. And he he sold copies of each book, I'm sure so. And what's interesting is that the paradigm shift with publishers, marketing your book to publishers, be more distributors and facilitators. And at the end of the day, it's really up to you as a as a new author to market your own book. And I think this is probably the universal at this point, right? So we're even if you're working with a publisher, you're still sort of have to have that mentality, that you're a self published author, you need to market the heck out of your book, you know, you need to be your best advocate in anything in life. So and that's going to start with having that community. So you do definitely, if you really want to be successful with this, you could create a community from the book, it'll take a little bit longer. But ideally, I think Lee and you probably have the same opinion of this, when publishers are looking to work with authors. So to explain the publishing process, you put together a book plan, you then upload it, and you accept pre orders for your book. And you can be you know, my book was 25% done when I started my my publish iser campaign. And in full transparency, right, you put the information up, you throw it out there, and you see what sort of interest your community might have been buying that book, right? So but when publishers start reaching out to you, they're going to be looking at how much traffic is your blog, get how many followers you have on Twitter, how many followers do you have on, you know, LinkedIn, on Facebook, and Instagram, how many times you speak publicly throughout the year, because speaking is a great way to push books in quantity. Even if the organizer doesn't want to buy your books, just having your books there and being able to sell 510 25 copies, whatever it is, right? So that's why if you really want to be successful at this, you want to become an influencer either way, you really do need to build that platform, you need to find your niche, which is going to be based on your experience, ideally in your passion. And you need to start creating content and that content. And you know, I don't know if Dave kirpan actually went to an analyze his LinkedIn posts, which ones did better or worse, but you know, as you have content, you begin to get data, right? What is my community interested in? What is what is a hot topic just based on number of comments, or shares or, or your Google Analytics, how much traffic you got. And then from there, you you slowly begin to build this community as you begin to become a more active publisher of content. And it's just a matter of, you know, writing the book is just an extension of that. And I think it's an important step that a lot of people miss lee, I mean, I've talked to other authors and publish iser, you know, community, people that are there top of their game professionally. And they're like, I'm gonna write a book, and they just never build a platform. And I think that that platform, and it's obviously the word of Michael Hyatt, great book, but I think that every author, every professional, I think, really needs that to support them, whether it's just, you know, two or 300, LinkedIn connections that can help you find your next job, or friends on Instagram, they're gonna like your posts, we all need to have that support. Here, you know, today and in social media,

Lee Constantine:

the the P word, the platform where I met that gets tossed around with books a lot, just because that's one of the things that publishers love to have in order to sell a book and that's what sells books. But platform is is super important to have, even if you don't write a book because this is basically what your how you build your business or how you're building your team. Unity are how you're building your brand. So the things that publishers look for with the platform are Yeah, your your, your Instagram followers, or your Twitter followers or followers or baking or your email list or your page views, like you said, or your blog followers, all this stuff is important because it's indicators or indicators, when referring to a book, it's indicators that you can talk to consumers and your followers in a way that gets them to engage with you and possibly sell your book later on. Knowing that you need to do the marketing for your book is one thing, but knowing how is like a completely different story, it takes strategy, it takes commitment to build a platform to market your book. And that is always Yeah, like you said, it's the responsibility of the author authors should know that they need to sell the books, they're committed to their own success, no one's going to sell your book for you. And then when I say these indicators, like 20,000 followers on Twitter, yes, it looks very nice. But social media isn't always the strongest platform to tell you. But it's just an indicator that you can develop relationships to sell that book to in another format, like maybe an email or through a personal message. Like, that's how you get stuff done. That's how you build the platform for real. That's how you sell books, these other things, these platforms, again, just indicators of the strength of your relationships.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, and that's really a great point as an author, if you're as an influencer, and I really see being an author as as, you know, a type of influencer. But it's funny, I'm, I'm about to record a podcast episode about Pinterest. And you know, all these people on Instagram that use a lot of influence. But at the end of the day, what businesses want when working with influencers, like what publishers want when working with authors, is they want sales, they want conversions. They don't want likes and comments. They want to see people to actually buy stuff. And Instagram as an E commerce platform is still a little bit limiting. But you have other platforms like Pinterest, that probably you know, if you're an Instagram influencer, talking about certain subjects, those subjects probably do really, really well on Pinterest, and people buy by clicking from Pinterest to a site. So why aren't more influencers on Pinterest but let's take a step back even further. Why don't allow these influencers have their own website? So this to me, I when writing my book, I just feel there's a lot of fake influence out there. You know, buying a fake followers buying a fake engagement. And when I see an influencer doesn't even have their own website, it really, you know, makes me question their credibility that they just pop up on Instagram, buy fake followers and fake engagement. So it looks like an influencer, right? So I think the websites, there's a lot of different issues. But it's really the email list. That is also that other critical component, you know, social comes and goes, the social networks control the algorithms, you may be getting a lot of likes on Instagram today, there's no guarantee that happens tomorrow. But really the website where you bring people back into your brand and your home, and then obviously your email list where you can stay in better touch with people, these are the things the other two pieces outside of social and probably the two most important pieces that are going to help you sell your book and you know, believe it or not help you yield influence. Because, you know, at the end of yielding the influence if you want to work with businesses as an influencer, if you want to sell more books, you need to be able to contact people. And you can't send direct messages to all 100,000 of your Instagram followers or all your 30,000 LinkedIn connections when you can one at a time. And that's really where that email list and the website and staying in better touch with people. And if you're not on social, you're not searching the web, you're reading email, even today, even younger generations. So that's always been my advice. And yeah, you're rightly it's not just about social social does not necessarily convert that well. But either way, you really need to have a community no matter where they are, in what medium, but I would recommend I mean, if you're writing a book in your content, you could be logging teasers of that content from your website. And obviously sharing it over email to those that may want an update on it. Because if you send out something on LinkedIn, or on Facebook, or you know, whatever platform, only X percent of your community are ever going to see that post anyway, right? So a lot of things to consider. I don't want to like overwhelm our listeners of all the stuff they have to do. But if you know, if you really want to go about it the right way, that would definitely be the recommendation there. And I think that obviously publishers really look at websites and they really want to know, hey, what sort of email list you have, it's, it's probably something that's going to come up in negotiations,

Lee Constantine:

I assume, at some point at some point. All right.

Neal Schaffer:

So you know, we've covered a lot of ground let's get to finding a publisher for your book. So and let me take one step back because this is advice I get asked about this a lot leads so part of my interviewing you is also me having a place to provide my advice on the subject. But you know, if you want to write a book most books are for and correct me if I'm wrong, they 40 to 60,000 words. So let's just take 60,000 words, this is 5000 words 12 chapters, so if you can divide, you know, what are the 12 main things you want to tell someone in the book or about your experience, whatever it is, you know, 12 bullet points underneath those bullet points based on those things you want to talk about what are the three important things to consider When when talking about those points, so you have 12 bullet points, you have three sub bullet points for each chapter. And you're looking at creating like, you know, four to 5000 words or even like 3500 to 5000 words per chapter. And that's how you divide and conquer. And if you have blog posts that fill in some of the sub points, great, if not, you create new content, you block out a day, a week, a few hours a week, a Sunday, a week, whatever it is, and you do it. And this has been always been my process, it's, it depends on different for different people. For me, it's been two to three months. If I, if I'm in the zone, and I'm really focused, I'll be able to write that book. But it's not impossible. It's something that I think everybody can and should do so. So you have the book idea, you upload it to publicize, you're talking about it with your community, you're starting to gauge interest you're seeing if people would spend 1520 $25, to actually preorder a book that has yet to be finally written. And then once you're on Publish iser, you start to get a lot of emails from a lot of different people, some are publishers, many are publishers that you may have never heard of. There's also you know, hybrid publishers, there's Self Publishers as vanity publishers, there's people that say, Hey, I can help you with your editing, I can help you with ghostwriting. I can help you with, you know, all the graphical layout, I can help you design good book covers, I can help you PR about your book. So now, in 2019, I don't want to age this podcast, because this is really evergreen content, but you have a whole ecosystem of service providers, you know, when I started self publishing back in 2009, that just did not exist. But now, after a decade that it's easier than ever. But now, how do you go about? I mean, the real question is, how do you sort of navigate that and decide on the best way to find a publisher for your book, and we can talk about, you know, furthermore, what sort of publishers should you work with, and Lee, I know, that's your expertise. But you know, the, from my perspective, and I think you'd agree, if you're looking to get a publisher for your book, you're either going to Self Publish, and if you want to self publish, go to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, boom, you're self published, it's, it's, it's not hard to do, right? Or you're going to go the ancient route of sort of, you know, working with an agent, and writing a proposal, and, you know, pitching it, or you are going to independently reach out to publishers that may or may not know, you and, you know, try to find acquisition editors, and that's really hard to go or, you know, in the middle of this big space, that's where I see publicize All right, as why, you know, this is the inbound marketing way to publish your book, in essence, because there's so many publishers, now that publish, it has gotten so big, so many publishers are monitoring and watching, publicize there and seeing how many pre sales people get seen the interest, whether you decide to self publish, or work with a major publisher, like with, like HarperCollins, like I'm doing, it gives you the most flexibility to decide what you want to do with your book. And it gives you that exposure to publishers. So you don't necessarily have to work with an agent, although there might be instances where you want to, but you don't have to. And you may not have to go out and seek the advice of of acquisition editors, because all these acquisition governors are actually coming out and talking to you. So Lee, would you agree that sort of the landscape today of what's possible, and that great niche that publicize or fits?

Lee Constantine:

Yeah, that was pretty great. Thanks. No, I would say just adding on top of that is typical route to a publisher, if you're not going to go self publishing, you're going to go to traditional, right? And the typical way to do that, yeah, if you want to seek an agent, or you just start querying these publishers directly, which requires a really great book idea, it requires a book proposal, because that's what they used to say yes, or no, I don't want to work with you. What is super, I don't want to say depressing, but it's what 96% of every book proposal ever in there a million every single year that we're getting rejected by by agents, by publishers for numerous reasons, which I can get into. But a lot of times you need these indicators, you need these indicators to say, okay, beyond the idea of a proposal, can you as an author, sell your book once I decided that this is a good path. So it takes a lot of prep work, you have to know what you have to do. And as part of what publish iser does as well, so agents is one. The second one is you just build such a great influence. And you have publishers discovering, discovering you and asked you to publish without an agent. Better yet, you get two publishers to discover you. And you can choose the best one right? Difficult but rare, but it this is happening quite often, or often enough. So yes, publishers are how we fit into all of that is we're working with a lot of publishers traditional and non traditional, but no matter what is you're going to start marketing your book. No, you're gonna start selling your book when you're published no matter what. Whether you self publish, whether you go with a traditional or non traditional publisher, publish shizer basically helps you form a good book idea. We have to write a great proposal that we think and sell to our partners at a traditional level, because you can always go with non traditional manner when and then you're going to basically start selling your book ahead of time. So you can start reaching out to people to sell copies of your book to basically validate that You can sell and then this actually makes a very strong sell for publish iser, to get you a deal. So in that fashion, we're acting as your agent. But we're not rejecting book ideas, we're helping you basically prove that you can bring traction to this book idea. Because typical traditional agents reject books for many reasons. One is, they simply don't like the book idea subjectively, they don't like the book idea. And they're going to reject a really great book idea, that author is going to get discouraged and go and self publish. Second, they don't have the network behind them to publish your specific book, even though again, it could over here, get a really great publishing deal and get traction, but that agent just is gonna reject the URL, right? Again, you get discouraged and go into publish. So we kind of take a different trajectory sides, rejecting authors and saying, let's help you prove that this book is worthy. And then no matter what if we don't get you a big deal, there's all these other types of really fast growing independent publishers who can help get your book out there further. So that's really you know, how we decide to gal you publish as your as a platform and help a lot of authors from first time authors, fiction authors to established commercial commercial business authors. It's a wide range of authors and publishers always looking at the platform.

Neal Schaffer:

Yet, really, I know that, you know, we began this conversation, I think that the platform, we started with you describing publish iser, as an agency, I really consider publicize it to be the Kickstarter for authors, right? And there really is no other platform like it. So and, you know, I also want to remind people that want to write a book, The maybe you know, an updated figure, what is the average number of books that a self published author sells? And I want to see if your number is the same as mine. Yeah, I'm

Lee Constantine:

curious on this, it's always changing. But the this is such a common question, right? And for me, like, and I just use Amazon, the average amount of books sold by the average self published author, I have 250. No, I don't know what you have. I have 250.

Neal Schaffer:

So I have 50 books is the number. Yeah, in other words, right. Most authors do not sell that much. But so that's the other thing is you get it up and publish iser, you only sell 50 copies. You've already you're already calibrated, right? Yeah, yeah. Cuz there's so many people get, hey, I'll get it up on Amazon, it'll sell tons. Well, it doesn't work that way, right, you need to do the work, and you need to have that community behind you. So, you know, that's like I said, for every aspiring author, you need to really go out there and engage and build that community become an influencer in your industry, that's going to be a dedicated chapter. In my upcoming book, The Age of influence, they also plan to start a mastermind. For those of you that preorder through to publish as your campaign, there was this mastermind for the business of influence on how to yield more influence. And I think that's, that's going to be critical, you know, now moving forward. But, you know, getting back to, obviously, using publish iser and the other avenues that you can use to be able to decide, you know, what type of Publisher to work with? Or how to find publishers? Let's take a step back again, and Lee, can you sort of help me navigate or help our listeners, now they get the landscape of the different types of publishers that exist. And I know that, you know, on Publish iser, almost every type of this publisher exists and reach out to authors. But can you sort of talk about all the different publishing options that that, you know, things like hybrid publishing, and what have you, if you're not

Lee Constantine:

going to self publish, you choose to go towards a more traditional path and get a publisher, there's really two options that you have. One is a traditional publisher, and the other is a non traditional. So traditional is like the Big Five, like penguin HarperCollins, you know, all the big groups out there that have a lot of distribution. Also, in traditional is fast growing independent, they're not a part of these big five groups that you typically are know about, really great value to authors, they do high level editing, they do a big pet advances. And they get you into distribution into research into retail bookstores, that's what you want. As an author, that's kind of an ideal scenario. The non traditional is hybrid publishers, there's usually a small upfront costs are there is a purchase requirement, but there was still publish your book, get your book up there further, they're gonna help you sell more than 50 copies. So it is a better option, and you have the support that you wouldn't have on your own. And then you have some service publishers, people who are just doing pay me a service fee, and I'll publish your book. So there's a lot of varying degrees of publishers and what they bring to the table. But it depends on a couple of main factors in terms of which ones you can work with. Its quality of idea, indicators that you have an author platform is always something they ask for. But it's not always a deal breaker, right? It's HarperCollins is going to offer a publishing deal for anyone that has 10k followers. In the book the book is super important, but sometimes the book idea Trumps followers if you have 200 people on an email contacts, but your book it is amazing and your potential to grow yourself. Yeah, there's a book deal in play for you. So this is why publish iser is able to get so many different types of publishing deals instead of an agent, only going to fields that can get a high paid advance. So yeah, don't discount any type of publishing deal. Anytime you can get someone to support your book, partner with you get this thing out there in a way that you necessarily can't do on your own. It's really big added value in there. tons of details that I simply there's too many details and publishing to go over. But at a broad high level, I think this is yeah, it's good to know. Yeah,

Neal Schaffer:

I think it's gonna come down to do you want to Self Publish? Or do you want to work with a publisher? Now I've done both my first two books self published my last one with Wiley and this next one with HarperCollins. So two of those, you know, big five or big seven, however you want to count and big publishers I work with producing Yeah, yeah. And I think that's for me, I like the idea of partnering. I like the idea of having alliances, and I see a publisher, as a partner. I don't see a publisher as someone that's going to do everyone any anything and everything for me, but, you know, it leaves the questions out of the process. Is this editor, the right person we working with? Should I hire a separate proofreader should the colors of my design is really going to sell because obviously, book design, his book, cover design is very important as well. It just, you know, I'd rather work with a team of experts, and share the profits with them, so that I can focus on the content and the promotion. But that's me, everyone's going to be different. But that's why even if I wasn't able to work with a traditional publisher, and it was a non traditional, independent type of publisher that is not as well known, maybe not have as good of a distribution, at the least what those publishers should help you work with is editing, obviously, you know, copy editing, and hopefully some development, editing, proofreading book cover design, the graphic layout, the distribution, and there's obviously going to be some promotion, that's going to depend on the publisher. But I mean, that's a lot of work, right. And that requires money. So even if you want to do it yourself, you're still going to be project managing someone. And you're always going to be wondering Is that is that the right quality, where we, you know, when you work with a publisher, all those people that provide the services are vetted. So that's why I prefer the publisher route. And some of you, I've told the story, this conversation I have with Mark Schaefer, another of the social media shapers, we're not related, by the way, but we call each other cousin and social media. And he's a prolific author who went from McGraw Hill. And now he's self published. And he is a big fan and proponent of self publishing, so, but he already has his editor and everybody all lined up. And I don't know how long it took them to get that to be lined up. But you know, that definitely is an option. But the beautiful thing about publish shizer is, regardless of the option, the vehicle to get the word out about your book, to get exposure and to be getting to easily accept pre orders without having to do any web coding, right. It's all right there. And that's really the main message, I want to tell people. And you know, I'm going to be referring a lot of people to this podcast, because of all the questions I get asked. So I just want to make sure I do a brain dump of all this information. And all this advice. Rightly so, you know, we covered a lot, any any sort of final thoughts you have on the subject that I think we really did cover a lot. But me I know, at the beginning, we were talking about doing like, you know, in a webinar format. And it's funny, because on my blog, one of my contributors just published a blog post, why live streams and the new webinars? So is there anything that you wanted me to provide a publicize or authors that you can refer them to this podcast? Where they can sort of tap into my experience, and I can help them? Let's take that angle to end our podcast? Yeah, for

Lee Constantine:

sure. A really great takeaway. I think the biggest question authors has like a run at marketing. I mean, once authors are sold on on a traditional publisher, like they understand the benefits of distribution and credibility, it's really okay, no matter what I've to sell my book, and you sold your book, you've gotten deals, I guess, what's a really great takeaway for publishers or authors seeing a successful author, sell your book, do the things that we mentioned in, in the talk gaining from influencing? Yeah, lending that to I guess, what would you what would you say to them?

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, I mean, I think we covered it all. But it really begins with you need to have a digital presence, you need to have a digital footprint, need to have a website, I volunteer at my, my elementary school son's PTA, I'm actually on the PTA board. And my role was, let me help you develop a new website because your website sucks. And there's a few other things we want to do. We wanted to we wanted to have our own store, where we can customize a lot easier than the software that the the National PTA gave us. So, you know, I'm not a website developer by any means. But I was able to go on to Wix Wi x.com. and develop a really, really good looking website for them really, really easily. It does not and it's what you know, domain name is what $10 A year and monthly on Wix is like $10 a month. So you're looking at $130 investment. You can hire someone to do it for you if you have a few $100 Or maybe one or $2,000. But it's something you can easily do yourself. But you need to have a digital footprint and you need to start sharing content about your book, or about what you want to write about. And you do that for a few reasons. Number one, this is the ultimate test market. Do I have content to write about? Will other people think this content is interesting, but the other thing is, if you want to build a community, you got to start somewhere and obviously you have your own friends and You'll share it with your own personal friends on Facebook or LinkedIn connections, you'll start to get feedback. But how do people find other people to follow in social media is based on content, they do content searches, they search hashtags on Instagram, they do content searches on LinkedIn, on Twitter, on Pinterest, whatever it is. So you need to seed social media with content. And ideally, you know, whether it's your content or its curated content, we already talked about that Instagram photographer, well, not a photographer, but a curator. So there's, there's a role the curated content plays, you need to build a channel platform, whatever you want to call it, you really need to get out there. And even if it's starting once a week, or once a month, you need to start that process, because that's going to be book sales do not happen magically, people buy from people they like know and trust. So this is the single most important thing you can do is establish that digital presence, web, social, if you can create a very, very simple ebook. And you know, here's a great resource for you. So obviously, we have published iser, which you should all be checking out, I mentioned Wix, but the other one that I have become a big fan of is fiber. So with fiber, and you know, it used to be something that people joked about the idea that you do a gig for $5. So hey, I just want to record a shout out that someone said Neal Schaffer is the greatest author in the world. So I can pay someone around the world $5 To record that audio, and I can use it as a snippet into podcast, now sort of how fiber started. But now you have a lot of great service providers from around the world, you know, people you know, from the US, but you have people around the world that basically for any marketing task, you can think of, there is someone there that can help you. And I say that, because if you wanted to just create an e book, I have worked with someone to create an e book on fiber, right. So I, I gave some basic credit a Word document, this is an image I want to use for the cover, here's a Word document, here's some illustrations, I want to put in there, create a good looking ebook, that that'll be in a PDF, that is something that can be done does not have to cost a lot of money. But once you have, it's called a lead magnet in marketing terms, once you have something that is a value to people that people would want to download. I mean, it gives you something to promote on social media, but it also gives you the ability to begin to acquire email addresses, they don't just come you know, from nowhere. So that's really the minimum. I know, it sounds like a lot of work. And hopefully, if you're interested, you know, reach out to me, I'm going to be putting together a program where I'm going to help people do this. It's not necessarily geared towards authors, but towards a small businesses and marketers. But I do think that's really what what is necessary. That's the biggest piece of advice, that's going to be the best market for you. Because everybody's in social media now. And we use it for a lot of different reasons. But there are a lot of people who use social media for inspiration for finding information for learning for so many different things, both personally and professionally. And that's where if you are an author, you you should be playing that role in filling that that gap that vacuum and providing yourself but you need to be there right? You know, what was it Wayne Gretzky, Miss 100% of the shots you don't take. And one of my all time favorite quotes, and you know, another one Woody Allen 80% of success is showing up. Right? So either you're showing up in social or you're not. And if you're not showing up, other people are being listened to, and other people's books are being bought. Yeah, it's muscle memory, right. All of this is muscle. Writing a book is muscle memory, building that part from that community's muscle memory requires a daily commitment, you need to put together a playbook. And you spend five minutes a day, 15 minutes a day, I really want you to focus on your content, developing our book and, and blog content. But it's you know, if that's the investment you want to make, it's a life time investment, and you're going to meet the most wonderful people in the world that are going to help you in ways you never thought.

Lee Constantine:

Yeah, you're valuable. Thanks. Thanks so much. Hey, you're,

Neal Schaffer:

you're very welcome. Yeah, and I mean, the you know, all of our answers tend to be very long, because it's, it's not a simple, right. It's not as simple cookie cutter approach here, obviously. So Lee, I want to thank you once again. You've been listening to Lee Constantine and Neal Schaffer publicize your.com Definitely check that out. Leave any last minute thoughts, or did we cover everything that we promised our readers and ourselves? We would,

Lee Constantine:

I think we've covered a lot we covered a lot of good stuff. So Neil, thanks so much for having me on. Super nice catching up with you. It's always it's always super nice. So thanks so much,

Neal Schaffer:

Haley. Thank you. It's been awesome. But I do hope that you know, you go back and listen from the beginning. If you ever thought about writing a book or becoming an influencer or are just curious, this one hour podcast will answer all those questions. So Lee, thank you so much big fan of publish shizer can't wait to get my book published and you know, get that case study of successful authors that have worked. I'm a fan and have supported a few of the publicized authors as well so even if you don't want to write a book yet go out to publishers comm check out some of the books that are accepting pre orders you may find a great book or two and reach out to the authors and start a conversation so they can offer you advice as well right like we we didn't even cover that entire community aspect of publicize somebody want to say about their books for pre

Lee Constantine:

order all the time of that publish as a brand new book ideas, amazing new authors and You find books like Neil's and tons of other influencers and tools and awesome things. So yeah, nice nice plug me. Oh, thanks. Thanks for that.

Neal Schaffer:

Hey, for this, it's not about plugging. It's all about sharing the love and I'm a sincere honest true fan so, Lee thanks again. You know we've never met in person feels like I've known you like you're your brother. But hopefully at some point our paths will cross. And everybody I thank you for tuning in for listening this podcast. Please feel free to any follow up please feel free to reach out to either me or the other shizer and hope this this podcast provided you a lot of value. Thank you for listening all the way to the end of this podcast. I hope that you got something out of it. I know that it was a long interview but to me the time flew by really really fast. And you know, as I end this podcast that also just want to you know, remind you that reviews of this podcast on Apple on Spotify, Google wherever you listen really mean a lot to me and can help expose this podcast to others. So I really hope I know it's sort of a hassle but I really hope if you found value in this or in previous podcast that you'll go out of your way. Spend a minute and submit a review. I do want to thank those that have reviewed this podcast in the past. Tom works great podcast awesome podcast for anyone interested in digital content marketing enjoyed Neil's unique and interesting perspective. Thank you so much, Tom, if you are to review this podcast, please make sure that you send me a screenshot tag me on social media what have you so that I can give you a shout out back? Alright. And finally, when you listen to this, you might be on your way to Social Media Marketing World you might already be up social media marketing, or it might already be done and maybe I'll see you at pod fest. But wherever we have a chance to meet, please do come up to me. Let me know that you are listening to this podcast and who knows might be able to give you a special gift for doing so. So hope to meet you IRL in real life. And until the next time. Make it a great social Day. Bye Bye ready