How to Write & Publish a Bestselling Book

{The Blog}

[Ep 043] So You Want to Create an Audiobook

In episode 43 of the Authors, Creators and Visionaries podcast, Drew Linsalata and I talk about audiobook creation.

People often ask, "What about an audiobook? Should I create one? HOW do I create one?" But we've learned that there are a few more important questions to ask first.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What's more important than actually creating the audiobook?
  • Should you narrate your own book or hire that out?
  • What are indicators that you are not the best narrator for your audiobook?
  • Common mistakes in the area of mic selection and other equipment used
  • How audiobooks are far different from podcasts or YouTube content
  • The actual profit margin on audiobooks (it's not what you've likely been told)
  • How to use audio content most beneficially (even without creating a full-length audiobook)
  • The newest trend in audiobook creation -- supplemental (bonus) content


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[Ep 042] Interview with Eileen Robertson Hamra

"No one can deny you your truth"

-Eileen Robertson Hamra

Eileen Robertson Hamra is the author of the newly released Time to Fly: Life and Love After Loss, which immediately captivated me. Her honest vulnerability about the journey through a tragedy the likes of which I am blessed to not be able to imagine kept me riveted. Even though I've not experienced this degree of loss, I was able to incorporate her lessons of strength into my journey, and for that, I know I will be a better person. This is the magic of stories.

In Episode 42 of the Authors, Creators and Visionaries podcast, we discussed not only her story but also her journey writing and publishing her remarkable book. 

Key Takeaways

 Her why, and how it morphed over the course of writing the book 

The realization that took the pressure off of "imposter syndrome" and needing to write the "perfect" book

How to write without pressuring yourself to be a spokesperson or grief...

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Sample Author Email Template from The Vault

A great way to connect with your readers is to communicate with them about a product or service they will genuinely be thrilled to learn about (that relates to your book topic!).

For example, if you've written about managing anxiety, is there a meditation app you recommend? 

If you've written a book about changing your lifestyle and nutrition habits, is there a meal prep service or mean planning product you recommend?

If you've written fiction, what hobbies does your main character engage in? Is there an online course related to learning that skill?

As promised in the last post, here is an actual email template from the email vault you get access to when you grab Email Templates for Book Marketing (Made Easy)

Email for Non-Fiction/Memoir Authors

Email Subject Line: A Resource You Will Love Knowing About!

Hi there, [FIRST NAME],

I so hope that [YOUR BOOK TITLE] has been helpful to you and has provided insights and tools that you can use to enhance your own...

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Book Marketing Email Templates

In the last post, I told you about my realization that a lawn mower is, in fact, worth the investment when you have a large yard full of grass.

Let me give you another example of doing things the hard way--one that's likely a bit more relatable: getting a duvet cover onto a duvet without ending up like this:

You're with me, right? The struggle is real.

I mean, it was, until someone told me to search "duvet burrito" on YouTube. 

I didn't feel like I had the time to watch a video on exactly how to get the duvet in its cozy covering without losing my mind plus another 42 minutes week after week. 

But at some point, we each have to say, "Enough is enough" and accept that if someone can put a wrinkle in time for us that costs us a fraction of the time we've been investing (with less-than-stellar results).

Moving past the duvet debacle (which I'm all too happy to do), communicating with my list of readers and knowing how to help partners who are more than willing to...

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Necessary Book Marketing Tools

Confession: I used to cut the grass in our yard by hand.

When I was six years old, I decided one day that I wanted to cut the grass. Obviously, my parents wouldn't let me operate the lawn mower, but "Who needs a lawn mower?" I thought. "I have scissors!"

Out I went, and the same way a hair stylist pulls a client's hair between her fingers and then cuts straight across, I started cutting the grass.

Please keep in mind that our yard was not small. But still, I thought I was going to cut the entire thing...with a pair of scissors.

*This was the front yard. I suppose I gave zero thought to how I'd replicate the perfect diagonal lawn-mower pattern.

It wasn't more than an hour later when I looked up from the 15-inch by 15-inch square I'd completed, feeling fairly pleased with myself, and noticed just how incredibly far I had to go.

Worse, if I backed up seven feet, I couldn't even tell how much work I'd done over the past hour!

And this is how I learned that lawn mowers are...

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[Ep 041] Coming Back Down the Mountain After a Book Launch

When you launch (or re-launch) your book, you'll feel like you're on top of the tallest mountain, and the view will be absolutely exhilarating. ButI then, you'll have to walk back down. Learning to see the opportunities in the descent is critical to wanting to do it again and again!

In today's Sonnet-Size Tips podcast episode (less than 10 minutes), I talk about:

  • 3:04: What we think launch day is about (versus what it's really about)

  • 5:01: What most people do when coming down the mountain (and what you need to do instead)

  • 6:06: How to look at launch day as an ongoing opportunity

  • 6:56: What primary aspect of a solid launch strategy works best...every single time. 

  • 7:35: The one question every reader has (that you, as an author, must have an answer to!)

If you’re wondering about the exact step-by-step method that creates this kind of momentum for your book—even if it’s been out for quite some time already—the From Manuscript to Market...

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30 Creative Writing Prompts for Memoir or Non-Fiction

We all get stuck (or, dare I say it, "writer's block") from time to time. I see this happen in two primary ways with clients. 

The first is, they'll message me and say, "Elizabeth, I'm supposed to write 2000 words today, and I felt like I did but then when I checked my word count, I was only at 1246. Do I force the rest? What do I do?"

The second message they'll send sounds a bit like, "Elizabeth, I'm sitting here and I'm thinking and I'm sitting here and I'm thinking and...I've got nothing,"

In both cases, I promise, you have something to say. You are overthinking, and worried too much about the quality of what comes out of your mouth (or fingers). At this stage, it's about getting the stories down. The feelings. The perspectives. 

I have NO doubt that you have no problem sharing with me your perspective on just about anything---and usually in far more than 2000 words! 

All you need is for someone to ask you a question in a way that compels you to have to...

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9 Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing

The previous article in this series talked in greater detail about the pros and cons of vanity book publishing---what it is as well as the pros and cons of the approach.

In this article, we'll dive into the final of three main forms of book publishing: self-publishing.

I'm obviously a wee bit biased, given that I've been a self-published author since 2003, but I also consider myself to be an open minded person, and I appreciate that there are pros and cons to nearly anything. Self-publishing is no exception.

Pros of Self-Publishing

Full Control over Publishing Timeline

There's no doubt that having control over the publishing timeline is one of the greatest benefits of self-publishing.

I didn't think it was a secret--but perhaps it is--that with traditional publishing, the amount of time between finding an agent to represent your book and holding a published copy of your book in your hands ranges from 18 to 36 months (and is usually on the longer...

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8 Pros and Cons of Vanity Book Publishing

The previous article in this series talked in greater detail about traditional book publishing---what it is as well as the pros and cons of the approach.

In this article, we'll dive into the second of three main forms of book publishing: vanity publishing. 

If we were going to go deep into the weeds, it's true that vanity publishing can be broken out into a variety of approaches. But for the purposes of this article, we'll keep things simple and state that, at the highest level, vanity publishing is a publishing arrangement whereby the author pays a publishing house to publish their book.

It's also important to note that said publishing house is usually not terribly discerning in terms of which books they are willing to publish. (In other words, if you are willing to pay them, they are willing to publish your book.)

As with all three publishing approaches discussed throughout this series, there are pros and cons to vanity publishing.

Pros of Vanity...

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8 Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing

So often, I hear authors ask, "How do I get a big publisher interested in my book?" Or they say, "I want to be published traditionally because they'll do all my marketing for me!"

By "big publisher," they are referring to big publishing groups such as Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, or Chronicle Books.  

I love this question because it allows me to dispel some myths when it comes to traditional publishing.

(And it doesn't take long before the author says, shocked, "Really? I had no idea!")

To be clear, I have nothing against traditional publishing. If the right opportunity came across my own desk, I'd absolutely consider it. But it's critical to know how it all really works in order to make the best decision for you and your book. 

If you haven't read the first article in this series, which gives a high-level explanation of the 3 most popular types of publishing (traditional, vanity, and self-publishing), you...

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