In this episode, Serena Carcasole shares the power of collaborative books, how they work, and the benefits for authors who participate as well as for anyone who thinks they might like to create them. If you ever wanted to write a book but haven’t, or if you want to reach a bigger audience than you can reach on your own, this podcast episode is a “MUST”!
Amazing Women’s Network
Books by Serena Carcasole:
Amazing Women of Influence (coming in July 2020)
The Hope Series: You Can Have It All (coming in August or September 2020)
Ellen Violette’s collaborative book:
3 Key Points
One collaboration book doesn’t do much for you as the publisher, but several can be very powerful in building your email list.
The power of collaboration books is that everybody in the book markets them (hopefully) so you get more exposure than if you were doing it alone.
A collaboration book is a great way to get people in front of a bigger audience, to solidify their expert status, and give them more credentials because not everybody has the time or the money to publish a book themselves (but ultimately everyone should have their own book too).
[00:51]: Ellen Hi Everybody, and welcome to Episode 48 today. My guest is Serena carcass. Saul Serena is a bestselling author, lead generation expert and podcast host, founder of the Amazing Women Entrepreneur’s Network are rapidly growing and in demand network, wife and mother. Serena is deeply passionate about empowering women to thrive personally and professionally. She’s known for her humorous high-energy style and unique ability to empower women to live the life of their dreams while achieving financial independence. Motivational, inspirational, and always approachable, Serena loves to tell it like it is and loves to connect with audiences online authentically, which is why we get along so well. So, welcome to the call.
[01:37] Serena: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to have our chat today, and thank you for inviting me.
[01:43] Ellen: My pleasure. So, I know that you do these collaboration books, and I have done a collaboration book, but you’ve done way more of them than I have. I just did one, and that was enough at least for a while. And so, I wanted to have you on and learn more about how you do it and how it works for you. But before we get into that, why don’t you tell people a little more about your story?
[02:11] Serena: Absolutely. Well, thank you once again for having me and I have been online for over thirteen years now and drink a lot of crazy things. Just being online, all over the place, doing a lot of online marketing started off as a freelance virtual assistant ended up approaching like going right into like an agency style where I was doing websites, and graphics, and branding and all that good stuff, social media. A and a couple of years ago, and I just love helping women, and I always want to help women, but unfortunately everybody could afford me. So, there was always a limitation of how many I could help, and I wanted to help everybody. I hated like people, you know, you get along with someone on a call and you’re having a great time, and then they hear your prices and it’s like I can’t afford you.
[02:55]: So I hated that. I want it to be able to help everyone. But, when you have a team to pay, you can’t just give everybody dirt cheap. Right? And of course, I had to have my time cover to be able to take care of my family. So, what I decided was I needed to get in front of more women that could afford my services. At that time, that was back in 2017, I decide, “Let me do a line of summits where it’s more focused on women entrepreneurs and try to get in front of more influencers,” and stuff like that. So, I was going to do the summit called Amazing Women of Influence. But one of my clients at the time told me like, “That doesn’t sound good, that’s never going to fly. You’re not going to get attention. It’s not going to do good.”
[3:39] Well, I just felt like something in my gut that there was something that was good about it. And I thought it sounded very inspirational, and I thought that people would love it. So I went with my gut. I asked a few people and they’re like, “No, that sounds great. Go for it” So, I went for it. Oh my gosh. Thank God, I did, because it went amazing. I got like a hundred, 100 testimonials from a summit, people actually submitted a hundred testimonials to me. It was amazing. They couldn’t wait for the next one. So, I guess I was like, “Oh, okay,”
Ellen: Well, what did you have? What did you have in the summit? What made it so amazing?
[04:17] Serena: So basically, I focused on reaching out to more influencers and people that are already successful six, seven-figure businesses. And I didn’t think that they were going to go ahead with it cause you know, there’s so many of them, a lot of these influencers don’t really care for the summits. Right? So, but I was getting amazing feedback saying,
Serena: “Great job branding the summit.” We great job putting this thing together. This is even before it started, this is just invitation, you know, the invitation phase, like, “This sounds amazing. I’m in. I get all kinds of invitations every day, but this one caught my eye, so I’m in.”
Ellen: That’s awesome, by the way.
Serena: Yeah. To hear something like that, I was like, “Wow, is this really happening? This is so cool.” So, I went with it and I was like, I had, gosh, I had, I think, thirty-some-odd speakers on that, that one summit.
[05:12]: And yeah, so everybody was like loving it and they’re like, “Oh, I can’t wait for the next one.” I was like, “Well, I guess I’m having a next one.” So I did three in nine months. I was crazy, but I did three and nine months. But all throughout this out of nowhere, and I’m telling you, when the universe wants you to do something, they want you to do something, and it makes it happen. All of a sudden I started coaching. I started a coaching business throughout that process. I didn’t even decide to go through, like, I still have an agency, on the small scale on the side. Right? But I decided to start pursuing more of a membership style like, let’s start up a network. It just totally turned my life around unintentionally. I actually, at the same time. that I launching that first summit, Kendall Summerhawk, and I know, you know who she is, I ended up like, I’ve known her for quite some time, like online and I loved everything she used to say and do on whatever on social media, but I ended up finding out that, like she has a coaching program. And I had been looking for a good, business-coaching-type training for quite some time.
So, she had this coaching program certification to be a certified money-marketing and soul coach. I was so happy. It just came in my lap out of nowhere, I jumped the gun, I took it. I already had two clients before I even started my training. It was just incredible, like everything was just following suit, like it was all meant to be, and it’s like, all of a sudden I built this network and we were at, after the third summit, we’re about 1200 women in our group.
[06:48]: So let’s just say, this is a year later, this August, 2018, sorry. August. yeah, 2018, we’re going to approach two years now since that date and all of a sudden, like we had 1200 women, and I’m like, “This is doing really well. I’ve got to turn this into something. I got to create a network website.” I got to do all this fancy stuff and I’m going to do it. Well, so for the past, almost two years now, I haven’t slept. I’ve created this amazing, amazing network. We are now 36,000 plus women, no 37,000, sorry, women, reaching 38,000. We’ll probably get four to 5,000. We’re at about four to five growing by about 4,000 to 5,000 a month on Facebook group.
Ellen: I see your Facebook group And it’s amazing how fast it’s been growing.
Serena: Yeah, no paid ads. It’s just happening like things are meant to be.
[07:41]: But along that all along the way, it’s like, “Well, this is my time to be able to help women that I’ve always wanted to help before that I couldn’t, this is my way to support women and get as much exposure for women and help them. And I have so much knowledge inside of me. Why not share it with everybody?”, this is my way to do it. So, I started co-authoring books. I decided that “Let’s do a co-authored book. Lots of people are doing coauthored books.” I was being approached. I said, “Well, instead of spending the money to be in somebody, else’s, why not do my own as part of the network?” Well, before I knew it we started with one and like within, without even like publishing the first one, we already said, “You know what? Let’s do this as a series.”
[08:23]: “Let’s make this a series of books, multiple coauthored books.” And again, like everything just kind of like just grew. And all of a sudden, I have like a dozen books in the works and we’ve already published the first two. We’re going to publish another three like in the fall, between the fall and winter. We have a bunch ready for next year to publish. So, it’s like we have all these books. I said, “This is a great way to get people in front of a bigger audience, my bigger audience, any audience to be, have expert status, to kind of solidify that expert status and give them more credentials because not everybody has the time or the money to publish a book themselves.
Serena: Anybody could throw a book on Amazon. Right? But that doesn’t mean it’s a good one. It doesn’t mean…
Ellen: Well, right, right, which is why I work with people to make sure it’s a good one.
Seren: Exactly, exactly.
Ellen: But, you know, I started my first foray into book writing was a collaboration book that I participated in. And in those days, we didn’t have publishing on demand. You had to buy all these books, and I still have them.
[09:34] Serena: (Laughing) Well, thank God for Amazon that allows you to do print on demand.
Ellen: Yeah, absolutely.
Serena: So, you don’t want to have to buy all the books. But, it’s just a great experience for people that, again, and it’s not only just for people that have never written a book, it’s for people that have written a book, it’s for people that haven’t written a book, it’s a great way to be a part of a big impact. You know, we’re on this mission, we’re wanting to help women globally to thrive in the book series; it’s called The Hope Book Series. It’s all about giving people hope. And so, we have some really inspirational books. And so, you can either a, be part of a great impact because I believe that giving back in the world and supporting other people and sharing your story to give into inspire and empower women is a great way to market yourself, but also a great way to give back. Because I believe giving back is such a big part of my mindset, of manifestation, of everything in business; just doing the right thing.
[10:28]: And so, you can not only be part of a great collaborative book, but also you can get more exposure for your own book, get more exposure for it. And again, if you’re not an author, you get more exposure, in a sense, where you get to call yourself an author.
Serena: And more opportunity comes from it. Just like, no, obviously having your own book is definitely the best and always good to have. I recommend everyone, I’m in the midst of publishing multiple books on myself also. I have actually a few books I’ve already written that are just sitting on my hard drive…
Ellen: Oh no.
Serena: …that need to get out there.
Ellen: On no, girl we need to talk.
Serena: We need to talk, I know. I have one that’s already written and just needs to get edited. I have another one that I use as my lead magnet and has been doing so well, that just needs this my signature system, which needs to need to be turned.
[11:15] Serena: : So, we all have these books inside of us.
Serena: But the time to do it or the money to do it, or some people just don’t think that they have enough of a story to share, which we all do. But some people don’t think they have enough of a story to share, to write their own book
Ellen: Or, they think they don’t know enough. I had a woman come to me who had an MBA and she said, “Do I know enough to write a book?” I said, “Are you, serious?” She had so many more credentials than 90% of the people that write a book.
Serena: Yes, exactly. Books are amazing. They help you with your credibility. It proves that you’re an expert. It proves that you’re serious about what you’re doing and you’re not doing this just to try to make money.
[11:58]: It just proves so many things, but it also gives you so many more opportunities, whether it’s more PR opportunity, like speaking opportunities, podcasts, you know, all that good stuff.
Ellen: Yeah. Speaking is a big one.
Ellen: A lot of my clients who come to me now. I went through exactly the same thing you did with realizing that you needed to get with people who could use your services, but could also afford to pay you.
Ellen: I started that too. And you said 2017. For me, it was about around the same time. So we’ve had kind of similar journeys that way. But I wanted to ask you more about how you put together a collaboration book.
Serena: Yeah. So, because we have so many different books, you know, people that are constantly approaching me on a daily basis, they all have their own specialty.
[12:53]: So because we have separate books that are focused like for example, we have a mindset-manifestation book. We have a book about sharing stories like (inaudible) conquer, which is a book about all the different people that have come overcome something they’ve conquered something, transformed something, whether it’s chronic pain, whether it’s a severe, serious illness, whether it’s PTSD, whether it’s narcissism, whatever the case is, poverty, anything that you’ve conquered. So that story, everybody has been through something, right?
Ellen: Right, right.
Serena: We’ve all had something we’ve been through. So anyway, and anyone that comes in, obviously it’s a paid opportunity, and not paid, sorry, I’m making it sound like they’re paid, but it’s not, it’s an opportunity, but there is a fee involved. So, people that usually want to pay to be in a book are pretty serious about what they’re doing and they’re not doing, you know, they’re pretty serious entrepreneurs.
[13:43]: So, we of course always evaluate to make sure that person’s the right fit. And it’s not doing anything that’s illegal or anything like that. But yeah, you just, basically, it’s a very, very easy process. We give complete coaching and editing throughout the whole process; we even offer ghostwriting if that’s somebody who doesn’t feel comfortable in writing or maybe English is not their first language. So, we do offer that also as part of the packages. And yeah, it’s very simple. It’s storyline, tips, which leads into a gift that you’re offering the reader. And everybody’s got a chapter in the book.
And anywhere from ten to twenty-one authors is the most we’ve ever, well, twenty-two was the most we’ve ever done. The first book was twenty-two authors. So, anywhere between ten, and depending on the topic, some may not have as many people, some are more niched so we won’t have as many people, but we’d like to try to get to at least ten authors per book.
Ellen: Yeah, the one I did (How to Crush it in Business Without Crushing Your Spirit, How Entrepreneurs Can Overcome Depression and Find Success), we had seventeen, so I’m right in your pocket.
Serena: Yeah. Yeah. So, the first book we did was twenty-two. And I think the second book we did a seventeen, and I think the next one, which is You Can Have It All will probably be between seventeen and twenty-one. I think we’re at seventeen or eighteen right now. So yeah. And like I said, we’ve got like a dozen books. We’ve got Awakening, which is a spiritual book. We have a whole bunch of different series, a mompreneur book. So this weekend we can help women in all different areas. I even have a direct sales book or a network marketing or whatever you want to call it, social selling.
[15:16]: I guess there are so many ways people say network marketing, right? MLM.
Ellen: Right. Right.
Serena: We know we’ll be doing a book on that, success stories on that, because it’s a fantastic method of business model, business type, and why not share success stories? So, it’s all about inspiring. So, the one thing about coauthored books is doing one book doesn’t really get you anywhere. But when it’s a series of books, right? When it’s a series of books, that you’re a part of whether you do one or you do more than one, which you can do more than one, but whether you’re doing just one or not, when it’s a series of books, there’s more impact because each book that launches, launches the entire series.
Serena: And there’s all these authors and everybody’s promoting and it’s like, “Hey, why not?” Right. There’s just a lot more exposure when it’s a series of books.
[16:01] Ellen: Oh, that was the point I was hoping to make. So I’m glad you made it, which is yeah. The real reward of doing a collaboration book is that you have all those people to market the book.
Ellen: And that’s really the key. And if you’re able to get people who you know are going to market the book, that’s good. You don’t want deadbeats, if you can help it,
[16:23] Serena: Unfortunately, there’s no way of yeah…
Ellen: Yeah, I know.
Serena: …for us to know. Right?
Ellen: Yeah. But you can kind of see. Yeah, you can kind of see what people do in social media, you know, kind of, are they visible? Do you see them all over or have you never heard of them ever?
Ellen: You can follow them and kind of see what they’re doing. I’m always surprised when people reach out to me, and this happens now literally every day where somebody reaches out to me and they want to connect on social media and they haven’t like put up a post in months. I don’t get that.
[16:56]: Yeah. I don’t either. And then the best part is when you hear from these people, “Oh, social media doesn’t work. Oh, I don’t know why I’m getting any clients.” I think I could tell you a few reasons why, like stop putting your time and efforts into things that don’t work and start putting time and effort into things that do.
[17:14] Serena: Yeah, absolutely.
Ellen: So when you said you’ll help people write it, if, if they can’t do it, so you have people actually write it?
[17:24] Serena: Right. We have ghostwriters also. We have a ghostwriter on our team, offers ghostwriting services also. So, anybody that is not comfortable with it, it’s just an upgrade. It’s a small upgrade for them to get ghostwriting. Like I love creating content, but I don’t have time for it. And you know me, I have high energy, right? So, I’m very like fast, so can you imagine my writing? I don’t like looking at grammar. So, I get ghostwriting too.
[17:50]: Like I try to get it those times where I need my ghostwriting also just because I don’t have the time to sit there and write, and then actually, I’m better at fixing other people’s content than doing my own content. So yeah, there’s other ways of doing like you don’t have to do ghostwriting cause we’re so in depth with the coaching and the editing; it’s a great feedback, like your handheld throughout the whole process. So, you could even as easily as just, voice record yourself, use something like otter.ai and have it transcribed. And then, it helps you to write,
Ellen: About otter.ai. I like rev.com better. And I’ll tell you why. I actually recently had one of my podcast transcribed by both of them cause I wanted to compare. I wanted to see what I liked better. And what I found was that, and maybe I just missed it, I don’t know, but I get it timestamped on rev.com, and I didn’t see that on Otter.
Serena: Otter is computer generated and rev isn’t.
Ellen: So, rev has that too.
Serena: Oh, really? I didn’t know that.
[19:01] Ellen: Yeah, they do.
Serena: But so it otter. Otter has timestamping.
Ellen: They do? Okay. Well…
Serena: Yeah, I’m pretty sure.
Ellen: Well maybe the one that I got, maybe they don’t give it to you when it’s free. I don’t know.
Serena: I have a free option too. I’m pretty sure; I could be wrong. Like you probably have to go in and change the names and stuff like that, but it does. I’m pretty sure it does that, but Rev is awesome. Rev, if anybody wants to have human transcripts, they’re really good.
([19:25]) Ellen: Yeah, they’re really good.
Serena: I highly recommend them; they’re probably the best out there that everybody knows about, but I didn’t even know they had a computer-generated one. That’s pretty cool if they do.
Ellen: Yeah, they do. I use it every week for this podcast.
Serena: Wow. That’s awesome. Yeah. I’m definitely going to check that out.
Ellen: Yeah, absolutely.
Serena: That’s great.
Ellen: Also I wanted to say, when I did a collaboration book, I did not want people to write it. I wanted them to talk it, and it’s interesting, we got to the same place, but we did it different ways, rather than coaching, well, I guess you could say what I did with coaching them, but basically I interviewed them, so that I could keep them on track.
Serena: Right, right.
Ellen: You know? But what I found even doing that, there were a couple of people who still didn’t follow directions and sent me something written, number one, and I found that way more work to fix.
And then, the other thing was that there were a couple of people that just rambled, no matter how hard you try to reign them in.
Serena & Ellen (Laughing)
Serena: So true.
Ellen: And then, the other downside I found of doing a collaboration book was that it’s like herding cats. It was like getting people to meet deadlines and do what they were supposed to do, once they were in, I just found really difficult. I found it way faster to just write a book of my own. So, there is.
Serena: Right. Right. That’s true.
[20:48] Ellen: Yeah.
Serena: That is a good idea.
Ellen: There is the upside and the downside of each of these, for sure, yeah. So, anything else that you think we should tell people about this before
we wrap that up?
[21:04]: Serena: Yeah. I highly recommend it to anybody that is wanting to get more exposure. It’s a great part of your visibility process. It again, helps you uplevel your credentials. It looks great on your bio, looks great on your website, to see that you’re part of a book, that you’re an author. Again, I encourage even those that have written a book that this is a great way to get even more exposure also. And again, it’s about making an impact, making an impact, giving back to the world, always rewards you tenfold in my opinion. And there’s always a way for that to happen. But I strongly recommended it along with doing a lot a bunch of other stuff when it comes to getting the visibility piece going, but being part of a book is a very rewarding experience. Absolutely. And I recommend it to everyone.
Ellen: Yeah. What I love about books really is the lead generation, and the list building it’s so much more than just, “Now I can say, I’m an author.” If you learn how to use it properly, it can be a great tool in your business.
Serena: Absolutely. Absolutely and in so many ways. And then, there’s always that opportunity to sell the book yourself too, right?
Serena: You have that opportunity to offer it on your website. There’s just so many, and it depends which collaborative book you joined. They might have some limitations of what you can and cannot do. So of course, we’ll have to see what’s part of the agreement, but being a part of a book, I believe that everybody should be a part of at least one book, collaborative book.
[22:38]: And if you’re an online entrepreneur and especially if you’re a service-based business, a hundred percent, you should be a part of a book.
Ellen: I do have one question, which is, so if you do a collaborative book and it’s on Amazon, only you can put it on Amazon, right? They can’t.
Serena: Correct. That’s right, they cannot put on Amazon. What you can do is either a) sell it on your own website and sell it personally like with not on Amazon. Or, you can refer people, you can join it. You can join as an affiliate with Amazon, and refer people to the book, and make some commission in that sense.
Serena: Cause people want to send them because people want to buy, everybody buys from Amazon, everyone loves Amazon, almost everyone anyways. And a lot of people just buy Kindle books. So, you want to be able to offer that opportunity or else, there’s a possibility that they won’t buy because maybe they only buy Kindles. Maybe they want to buy a hard copy and have Amazon prime, which is free.
Serena: So you want to go where all the books are,
Ellen: Amazon prime is not free. Getting the books is free.
Serena: Sorry, sorry, Amazon Prime, you have to pay yearly, but you don’t have to pay shipping on the book after prime member.
Ellen: Right, right, right. Yeah, and write that down. If you’re not an affiliate of Amazon, you can be an affiliate of Amazon, and you can promote any book that you want, and you can do book reviews and you can make money that way as a side gig.
Ellen: So if you love books that’s definitely another stream of income that they can get.
Serena: Well, the great thing is that not only are they getting money for the book, then if that person buys anything else and shops on Amazon, I don’t know how, what their dates are like if it’s 60 days or you could get a commission from any of their sells, any purchases. So, it’s a great, yeah, it’s a win-win.
Ellen: Okay. Well, thank you so much for coming on.
Serena: Thank you.
[24:37]: Ellen: Yeah, this has been great. And I hope people really think about the different ways that they can become authors and ways that they can make money either being an author or supporting authors. So…
Serena: Thank you so much for having me. It was such a pleasure. I truly enjoy it. And I hope that we can maybe get some of these people on your podcast to join us on a coauthored book or at least join the Amazing Women Entrepreneurs Network free group where we’ve got some really cool women on there.
Ellen: Oh yeah. And if you decide to join, be sure to let Serena know that you came from the Books, Business, Abundance podcast.
Serena: Absolutely. Absolutely. I’ll take care of everybody. Thank you so much.
Ellen: You’re welcome. So, that’s it for today to get the transcript, go to www. booksbusinessabundance.com/podcast. You’re also welcome to join our Facebook group and the link is also on the podcast page. We’d love to have you, that’s where you get first notice of new podcasts and sometimes we have book giveaways and networking in there. So, we’d love to have you. Till next time. Bye- bye.
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