Today marks the one-year anniversary of my book launch for Wealth Beyond Money: Unlocking The 6 Dimensions of Success for Richness in Every Area of Your Life.
Other entrepreneur friends have approached me for guidance with writing their own book, so I figured I'd share my take on some of the questions I'm most frequently asked.
1. Should I hire a ghostwriter?
I did not use a ghostwriter. I didn't even have ChatGPT to help me (it didn't exist at the time...at least not to the public).
For this book, I typed every word, because I wanted to feel every part of it.
Wealth Beyond Money is my manifesto of the way I see the world, and a guidebook to create an amazing life on all fronts, despite the setbacks that will inevitably come.
For the next project, I may consider hiring a ghostwriter help me. It saves time. I hear they usually cost between $20K-$50K USD.
If you have the cash but not the time or desire to write, hire a ghostwriter. There are several services that will interview you via phone calls to get the content out of your mouth, then they will take that content and write your book from it. This can be a very efficient approach, and you are still authentically the author.
2. Should I self-publish, or pitch my book to a literary agent?
When people ask me this, my first response is "Why do you want to write a book? What are your goals?"
Be honest with yourself. What is your real WHY for wanting to be an author?
If you're a business owner, you probably want to have a book for one or more of the following reasons:
- To establish credibility and authority in your field
- To share your unique perspective and experiences
- To attract new clients or customers
- To generate additional revenue streams
- To build brand awareness and recognition
- To create opportunities for speaking engagements and media appearances, or
- To leave a legacy and contribute to your industry
All of the above apply to me, but I mainly just wanted it to exist in the world...even if I never earned a dollar from it.
I felt a strange sense of urgency, and I wanted to get the book out as quickly as possible.
I've never expected to make a ton of money directly from book sales. It is very rare to do so. According to some sources, 90% of self-published books sell less than 100 copies in their lifetime.
My book had been sitting as an outline in my Google Drive for years, and it was always one of those "someday" projects.
Then I overheard a business mentor say that people don't take you seriously unless you have published a book. This really resonated with me, as I had been ignored for a few speaking opportunities for which I felt I was qualified. That statement was enough to trigger me into action.
I didn't want to wait or be beholden to a traditional publisher, so I went the self-publishing route. Speed to market was my main concern.
However, I knew I needed help and accountability, so I hired a publishing company (RHG) to help with book coaching, editing, cover design and getting media coverage for the launch.
Rebecca and her team were phenomenal! One thing I'm glad they had me do was to get early reviewers to provide feedback and testimonials (the quotes you see on the cover and in the front of the book). The review process gave me lots of insights and made it feel like a team mission instead of a solo mission.
3. Does having a book make it easier to get speaking gigs?
It can massively boost your credibility and position you as the expert.
Event coordinators may want to buy a few dozen copies of your book in bulk to give to audience members. And you can sign books after your keynote.
4. How has the book helped you? Was it worth it?
During launch week, Wealth Beyond Money reached Amazon bestseller status in 50 different categories across 7 different countries, including #1 ranking in three of those categories, making it a #1 International Best Seller.
It's been a wild 12 months with interviews, travel, speaking engagements, workshops, and publishing content...in addition to my normal everyday life being a dad and business owner.
I'm extremely thankful to my support group, and to Mr. Warren Rustand, who wrote the foreword.
There have also been several unexpected benefits.
- The process of writing helped clarify my thoughts and frameworks. This makes my coaching, speech writing, and course development ten times easier.
- I also have the foundation for my next six books, as I do deeper exploration and have more case studies to expand upon some of the chapters in Wealth Beyond Money.
- Some people treat me like I'm a celebrity. It feels a bit weird. I'm the same guy. Just a normal dude.
- The book tour actually helped my main business grow, even though it is not directly about that business. Zeus' Closet had our best year ever last year (so far).
5. (This is the question people should ask but usually don't.) How much should I promote my book?
Marketing is just as important as writing the book (maybe more important).
Writing a book consumes a lot of energy. Initial draft, editing, rewriting, editing, rewriting, formatting, cover design, etc. Then after all of that, you need to promote the heck out of it.
I'd say you should spend ten times the time and energy it took to write the book, promoting the book.
I don't promote my book nearly enough. Not as much as I should. It can be another full-time job.
During launch, I talked for 2 days straight--on podcasts, Instagram lives, radio shows, etc. I'm naturally an introvert, so it was fun, but drained my energy.
People aren't just going to magically know that you have a book listed on Amazon. Even if they did, that doesn't mean they are going to stop what they are doing to go buy it.
I could have also played the game and paid to get on WSJ or NYT best seller lists, but that wasn't my priority. (People don't get on those lists by accident.)
But being on these lists does create more awareness, and will ultimately get your book into the hands of more people so I think it is a good thing...as long as you have a good book ;)
I think that about covers it. If you have any other questions I can help answer feel free to reach out!