In this episode, Michele Pariza Wacek, shared the unexpected journey of writing a non-fiction book series after hearing a concept from friend and colleague that she could expand on. She also explained how she had to think differently marketing a series than with her other books and how she was able to get Amazon to offer one of her books for free permanently. She also shared how she is able to write fiction and non-fiction at the same time and how she juggles it with running her own firm, which has done over 50 million dollars in sales for her clients.
3 Key Points
#1: Getting feedback on your book is critical to making it the best book it can be.
#2: It’s important to give books away for free, especially for fiction
#3: Decide writing your book is non-negotiable and it will fall into place.
[00:51] Introduction of Michele Pariza Wacek
[2:30] Why did you write a series?
[2:58] It’s better to get something out than get it perfect
[3:14] From a free book giveaway, Love-Based Marketing philosophy came to her
[3:38] She wrote the first book
[3:48] Ideas going from person to person is how the copy piece was birthed and gave it to others to steward
[4:34] She released her book with a long information-marketing title and the cover wasn’t very good.
[4:55] She knew the concept was revolutionary.
[5:16] She gave the book away and promoted it for free on Amazon, and with podcast interviews, and spoke on stage.
[5:55] By teaching about it and getting the questions from the audience, she got a deeper understanding of it and flush out the philosophy..
[6:28] She realized she needed a version 2 of the book. There were flaws in it, which she became aware of from a 1-star review.
[7:00] That’s why people are afraid to put their book out!
[7:08] If you can get beyond the pain of bad reviews, some of them had good points in the bad reviews.
[7:38] She decided she needed a “how-to” book from the feedback. But the first book was for people who already knew how to write, but wanted the philosophy.
[8:15] She fixed the first book and then wrote the second book; it’s very specific- a how-to.
[8:44] She realized it was bigger than just copy, it could work for marketing too.
[8:54] One of the tenants of the system is mindset, so she realized she needed a book on mindset.
[9:10] She didn’t set out to do a series, it just kind of happened that way.
[9:24] Put a book out there even if it doesn’t have a great title and cover, without the feedback and experience, she wouldn’t have gained the experience and insight to write the next two books.
[10:14] Nobody is perfect so if you can get beyond the criticism, take it and incorporate it in another draft or in another book.
[10:30] She reached out to one bad reviewer.
[10:50] Michele thanked her for the review. It sounded like the reviewer wanted more of a “how-to,” so Michele offered to send her the other book for free. Then, she changed her marketing to make sure that they get the right book in the series.
[11:36] Ellen shared an example of a client getting the wrong book and how to fix it. (Give them what they expect. People will love it when they know what they are getting.)
[12:54] If you get some disgruntled people because you don’t have the description quite fitting it, go back and fix it. It can be the best book in the world, but if the expectation is wrong, your readers won’t be happy.
[13:09] She’s been testing different promotions and she started with a KDP free promotion. She started with a 5-day free offer.
[13:33] She took her non-fiction out of KDP because she wanted a perma-free book.
Amazon doesn’t allow you to do it unless and until you make it free on other sites.
[14:07] Then, she only had the free non-fiction ones in the other sites, which didn’t make sense, so she put the ones that were for sale on those sites as well.
[14:37] She gets more sales from Amazon than all the others combined.
[14:49] She starting to get a following of anti-Amazon people, but it’s been over a year and you’ll make most of your income from Amazon. So KDP is not a bad option.
[15:57] She also sells a lot more physical books for business books.
[15: 39] Five-day free launches work best for fiction writers because some fiction writers have HUGE communities.
[16:08] You need a physical book to have your picture taken with it. You can’t do that with a physical book.
[16:28] Ellen loves free launches, but she finds that with fiction books there is a lot of competition, so she does 5-day launches while her non-fiction launches tend to be
two days. You have to make the fiction ones longer because you have to compete with fiction writers who sometimes have HUGE li sts.
[16:45] She got in on Book Bub for .99, and she hit #1 in one category, but she was still only at #24 in fiction.
[17:25] You can’t do fiction like non-fiction. Fiction was much more painful. She had to redo the first book and connect them all together; it was far more complicated, and she got lost in it more than once.
[17:45] She’s going to put all 3 books in KDP and every quarter do a book for free in KDP and hopefully they will like it enough to buy the other two books.
[18:04] How do you find time to write fiction and non-fiction?
[18:35] It wasn’t til the last few years that she was able to emotionally do it. It was painful to switch back and forth between fiction and non-fiction and everything else she’s doing.
[19:03] Personal Development work changed it for her.
[19:15] She finally got to the point where she could do it.
[19:21] If you want to write fiction, then you may want to do personal development work.
[19:57] She splits her day up. Work on one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
[20:24] She made fiction, non-negotiable because there was no deadline, so it kept getting put off.
[20:59] Non-fiction means copy pieces, blog posts, anything other than fiction for her. Every day she makes time for fiction and on the opposite side she’s doing the non-fiction even if she isn’t writing a non-fiction book at a time.
[21:38] The secret to selling 50-million-dollars worth of products and services.
[21:55] She learned how to sell more with love and then partnered with clients to do that.
[22:11] She has clients where she writes the copy and every one’s happy, and she has a team of writers which helps as well, so she has back up.
[22:31] She also helps with the strategy piece and going back and forth that way.
[23:27] The secret to the selling is working with people to make sure they are very clear on who the ideal clients are, and that you have really honed your message, so it’s something that they want. That’s how you sell with love because you’re giving people what they want.
[24:17] It’s hard to get traction when you don’t have clarity. The more clarity you have the easier it is for us to help you. (It’s the same with book writing.)
[25:26] Any tips we didn’t cover yet?:
Make a decision. If you’re a writer who has not been writing, and you’re frustrated that you aren’t writing, get clear on a few things. 1. How much do you want it? You have to come to terms with what you really want at this time. Be honest, maybe this is not the time. Understand that you are letting it go. If you have decided, if you’ve wasted enough time and you’re sick of listening to yourself talk about it, make a decision to do it no matter what. Once you’ve made a 100% full-body decision, everything else will fall into place. Your schedule will open up, and you’ll find the time to write. Every writer is busy. You have to find a way to make it work for you.
[27:34] How one writer got it done. Sat at a MacDonalds and wrote before and after work and missed rush-hour traffic.
[28:10] You are going to have to make sacrifices, decide if you are willing to make them. If not, don’t beat yourself up. But, if you realize that your soul won’t leave you alone, then make the sacrifices.
[29:19] It’s about putting yourself first. When you keep putting it off, you aren’t honoring yourself.
[30:44] Ellen used to think she needed a big block of time to write, but once she made the decision, and when she was motivated, she found the time to write more books!
[30:36] Once you make the decision, the rest falls into place.
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