I’ve finally wrapped up a book that I’ve been working on since February. The publisher will be formatting it for both Kindle and hardcover over the next few weeks.
It’s a book on how the game of golf is used in business to build relationships.
I completed this book in fairly short time all while writing very little of the content. In fact my sole writing contribution was around 2,000 words.
I wrote an intro, and I also have a chapter in the book.
So how did I do this?
I used “collaborative publishing” and what’s great about this method is that anyone can produce a non-fiction book in a short time using it.
What’s important is to have a plan, and a workflow system.
Here’s mine in a nutshell:
1.) Use Help a Reporter
One of my favorite sites is http://www.helpareporter.com. I use this all of the time to get podcast guests for our show. I don’t have to go looking for people. They come to me after I post a query. One thing I might note with HARO – your site needs to have an Alexa ranking of 1,000,000 or below before they will accept your query.
If your site doesn’t qualify for HARO, then just spend a little extra time Google searching experts, or use Amazon to find to find authors. These people are always looking for additional ways to promote their own books.
I posted a query on Help a Reporter and described the project and the kind of experts I was looking for – executives, business owners and sales professionals who use the game of golf to build relationships and grow business.
I received a huge response from people who wanted to contribute. I asked each of them for an audio interview plus a 1000 word article. The 1000 word article serves as their chapter and the audio interview is an added bonus that they can access at the end of the chapter.
So why would they want to contribute to a book that doesn’t have their name on the front cover?
I reached out with their interest in mind.
I agreed to provide a short bio of their business and a link to their website at the end of their chapter.
2.) Hire an Editor
Next I had my editor Heather go through each article they submitted and clean them up. Heather has worked with me for years, and she gives me a great rate, but you should be able to find someone on Elance or Odesk for $3-5 a page.
3.) Use WeScribeIt for Transcribing
There were a couple of contributors who were really good, but couldn’t get article to me on time, so I sent the audio interview of them to wescribeit.com and had them transcribe the recording. I’ve used WeScribeIt.com for years and find that their service and quality always exceeds anything I would get on Fiverr.
I then had my editor Heather edit the transcription so that it looked like an article instead of a transcribed audio.
4.) Layout Design
Next you’ll need to hire a layout person for arranging the images and text on the page. I had one layout designer quote me $7 a page. That’s a little steep.
Like editing, you can find a good layout person on Elance for a reasonable price. The publishing company I agreed to work with, did it for about $2 a page.
5.) Use 99Designs
I love 99Designs! I would highly recommend it for getting your book cover designed. For $299, I was able to chose from almost 40 design concepts from competing designers. You can even have a contest where you send people to vote on a particular design.
Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the cover design! This is one job I would NOT hire out on Fiverr.
6.) Use a Print on Demand Publisher
Once you have assembled everything, then you just need to send it to the publisher. For a collaborative book like this, I recommend going with a print on demand publisher. The most popular is CreateSpace.com. Most of the time, I will recommend them, but for this project we are printing hardback books and CreateSpace only offers softcover.
So I went with a publisher called NextCentury Publishing – http://nextcenturypublishing.com.
7.) Strategic Partnering
Strategic partnering is key when it comes to helping you distribute your books when they are ready to go. Because each of my collaborative authors has submitted a chapter, they are anxious to send out copies to their clients once the book is ready. So they are in fact helping to promote the book at no charge.
I also I agreed to let a friend who contributed a chapter to the book be a co-author if he agreed to split the total publishing costs.
I don’t care so much about the publishing costs, as much as his connections and list of companies and sales professionals he works with. He’ll be promoting this book out to his list. And believe me, if they’re golfers, and they do business, they will buy this book.
When you connect with the people who are in your book, you are multiplying not only your writing efforts, but also your sales efforts as well.
8.) Create Bonus Audio Interviews
As I mentioned earlier, I interviewed almost all of our guest contributors via Skype using my recommended podcasting setup. The audio interviews serve as a bonus for anyone purchasing the book. I learned this strategy from my friend Andy Traub. For his book Early to Rise, he included the audio version of the book for free and promoted it on the cover with a graphic that reads “audio version included free”.
This is a great way to add value to your book. So I used the audio interviews to serve as my bonus. I purchased a great music intro from Pond 5 and hired a voiceover guy from Fiverr to provide a great sounding voice introduction.
9.) Create Website for Your Book
You’ll definitely want a website where people can find your book. This comes in handy when doing interviews with podcasters or local radio shows. You can tell them where to find the book. You may want to use your existing website.
If you can get it, I suggest buying a domain that closely matches the title of your book. Even if you already have a website, you can forward that domain to your existing website.
10.) Create a Backend Offer in Your Book
This is a key component of any book that people often neglect. You need an offer in your book that gets them to go to your website and sign up.
It needs to be something of value though. And it needs to be something that provides specific information, like a special report you are giving away. It could be an audio, a video or 7 day e-course.
Collaborative publishing is a simple way to leverage your time and effort for getting a book done, and it can be done for almost any non-fiction market. The key in all of this is to have a plan mapped out for the workflow from start to finish.
I’ll be podcasting about this strategy from A-Z over the next couple of weeks with my friend David Dutton, someone who’s used this strategy a number of times for books he’s published.