Vicki Hoefle, professional parent educator and creator of the Parenting On Track™ Program shares her experiences in the year since her book, Duct Tape Parenting, was published. Here, she shares insights on sales, marketing, and public speaking, and offers great advice to prospective writers!
Just about a year ago, I received an ordinary looking envelope in the mail with a most extraordinary gift enclosed. It was the first copy of my book, Duct Tape Parenting, signed by my Publisher, Erika Heilman of Bibliomotion.
When Erika first approached me about writing the book, I agreed to the adventure with a mix of excitement, optimism and caution. This would either be a joy ride or a nose dive. In either case, I was up for the challenge.
Here are just a few of the things I have learned from this remarkable journey.
What I learned since publication of the book a year ago:
- I learned that a book is a product that requires serious marketing and a commitment to saying yes to every interview, book signing, free speaking request and anything else that gives both the book and my career as a presenter exposure. Without constant exposure, book sales suffer and momentum slows to a stand still.
- In my case, I learned that a book can open up new markets in areas outside of Vermont, which lead to new speaking and teaching opportunities. The book acted like a calling card and because people resonated with the message in the book, they were willing to contact me and explore ways of our working together. I have a west coast tour scheduled for the fall of 2013 as a result of the national exposure.
- I learned that worst-case scenarios rarely come true. I worried about two things when I signed on the dotted line. The first worry was that I wouldn’t be able to come up with 40,000 cohesive words and was thrilled when I crossed that threshold and went on to write a total of 60,000 words. The second worry was that no one would read the book and if they did, they would whisper “it’s awful”. You can’t imagine the relief when the feedback started coming in and it was positive. Phew.
- I learned that the book could be used as a launching pad for new products and services. We are developing an Online Video Series, which will not only support the content of the book; it will also offer our customers my 20 years worth of experience around parenting and child rearing. I will address all the challenges facing parents today in a convenient, easy-to-use delivery system.
- I learned that there are tips worth sharing with those considering writing a book and they include:
- Write from your heart. There are so many books on the market, that if you are not completely passionate about what you are writing, you will not have the edge you need to be successful.
- The task does not end once the book is published. The publication of your book actually marks the beginning of another journey – marketing.
- As soon as the manuscript is sent to the publisher – work on marketing yourself, your ideas and your book. Leverage your customers and the people you know who support your point of view in order to build a strong marketing platform. Once the book is published, keep going. When you get tired, keep going.
- It does not matter how great your product/book is, if people don’t know about you and your unique message, they can’t buy your book.
- Book sales are not your only source of revenue. Be prepared to go on the road and promote your book and ramp up your speaking career.
- And finally, I learned that writing a book could be one of the highlights of your professional career, so enjoy every minute of the journey