This was the first book I ever published, about four years ago.
I handled the entire process completely by myself.
Writing. Editing. Cover design. Layout. Printing. Distribution. The LOT!
And it turned out pretty well considering I was as first-timer who had no clue what I was doing!
There were a few things I got wrong, however.
The original book was intended to support horse-loving mums return to the saddle, after having a kid (or several).
It was also intended to serve as a lead magnet for a membership business I was attempting to launch.
Trouble was, I really had no plan or clue as to how to market it effectively.
Plus, I ended up falling completely out of love with the business it was supposed to support. Doh!
While yes, I sold a few copies – and it continues to sell here and there.
And I’m happy that it might have helped a handful of people.
I no longer have the associated business (I sold the brand).
It never really helped my brand because there was no plan.
It serves absolutely zero useful purpose to me or my businesses these days.
But in reality, it HAS proven A LOT!
1) It got me started in writing books – and it spurred me on with the confidence to write more.
2) It was the first step to writing and publishing several far more successful books. Two of which made me a best-selling author.
3) It was the first step to creating our very own publishing company (hooray!).
4) It was highly therapeutic to write at the time – a time where we were battling small kids and a struggling retail business and a whole heap of general life chaos.
5) It serves as a valuable landmark for where I’ve come from and how far I’ve come in just four short years.
6) It gave me a much-needed sense of self-achievement back then.
7) It encouraged me to follow my own advice and get back into horses after having kids (definitely a good thing for my mental health!).
8) It impressed a few relatives.
9) AND it may well have helped a few other struggling mums out there, who also loved horses.
I also learnt some very valuable lessons…
1) Make sure, if you’re writing for business, that your business is one you want to continue with long term. It’s not crucial, as you can always write another book, but it helps when you’re going to all the effort.
2) While it’s possible to do these things yourself – you get better and faster results by hiring professionals. In business – this really does matter! You also reduce the tears, tantrums, frustration, the mental energy and spending all your valuable time (time you could spend making more money for example).
3) Make sure you have a clear strategy and plan for your book upfront (before writing!) – to make sure it will achieve the results you want.
4) Make sure you have a plan around how you’re going to market it and use it in your business.
5) Understand that it’s not a magic fix for your business or that people won’t magically buy. Promoting your book takes consistent effort over an extended period of time.
In reality – writing ANY book is never wasted.
Even when it’s a topic that you either outgrow, move on from or subsequently expand your knowledge on.
After all, you can always write another!
But never underestimate the importance of starting somewhere. Of giving the whole book writing gig a red-hot go.
Whether it’s a novel, a children’s book, a non-fiction book or a business book.
All great writers and authors have to start somewhere.
And we’re here to help you, when needed.
Sarah

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