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On Writing and Getting Published with Kerrie Flanagan | Ep. 182 | Business Podcast

On Writing and Getting Published with Kerrie Flanagan | Ep. 182 | Business Podcast

On Writing and Getting Published with Kerrie Flanagan | Ep. 182 | Business Podcast

On Writing and Getting Published with Kerrie Flanagan | Ep. 182 | Business Podcast
On Writing and Getting Published with Kerrie Flanagan | Ep. 182 | Business Podcast

Summary

Kerrie Flanagan is an author, writing consultant, writing instructor for Stanford Continuing Studies and freelance writer with over 20 years’ experience in the publishing industry.

She is the author of, The Writer’s Digest Guide to Magazine Article Writing along with 17 other books in various genres.

Kerrie makes her living through freelance writing, teaching, her books, and consulting with writers.

Listen for tips on how to become a better writer, how to get published, and insights into a writers mind so you approach them to get PR for your business.

Links from the episode:

Hello Friends,

Brandon:

Welcome to the Edge. Today we’re joined by Carrie flanagan who is an author and professional writer who has been in the publishing industry for over 20 years. She has a book called Writer’s digest guide to magazine. Article writing. We talk about how Carrie got into the business, which is really interesting and all about writing as a business owner.

Brandon:

One of the most important skills that you have is your writing ability.

Brandon:

Carrie shares some tips on how you can become a better writer and the approach that she uses to get her articles published.

Brandon:

You can take her approach and use it for yourself so that you can get your business and your message published in magazines to get more pr Here we go, carry flying again.

Brandon:

Author and professional writer.

Brandon:

Welcome to the Edge podcast. Your weekly playbook about the inner game of building a successful business, making you a happier, healthier and richer business owner and here’s your host, Brandon White. Hey Carrie. Hi Brandon, how are you doing? Great, thank you. How about you?

Brandon:

Never better?

Brandon:

Mhm awesome.

Brandon:

I was having microphone issues but now I’m not having microphone issues having, I was panicking.

Brandon:

I was I wasn’t panicking, I was just, I kept hearing myself and oh, can’t talk when that happens. No, that’s no fun at all.

Brandon:

Well, um thanks for joining us. I’ve been excited about this conversation because as a long time I say lifetime.

Brandon:

Really?

Brandon:

I was reading your biography and you have several decades of writing experience and it made me reflect on Where I really started.

Brandon:

My mom was a writer.

Brandon:

But yeah, she did seven books actually believe or not. How much money as you, I think you have, like, how many books do you have? 20 18, 18 hours close.

Brandon:

Um yeah, she did seven books.

Brandon:

And um she used to be a writer for the paper.

Brandon:

So I think it was think it was in my blood.

Brandon:

Can you believe this?

Brandon:

That I actually found out who my real grandfather was recently because my mom was adopted and we never knew.

Brandon:

And I took a genetic test and found out it turns out that he was a writing major at Columbia.

Brandon:

Oh wow.

Brandon:

So I guess, you know, something to say for genetics, can’t can’t do that.

Brandon:

But um thanks for joining us and talking about writing.

Brandon:

Well you’re welcome.

Brandon:

I’m happy to be here.

Brandon:

I always love talking about writing.

Brandon:

So how did you get started in this profession?

Brandon:

Uh Well, it’s 20 years ago, more than 20 now.

Brandon:

Um I was never one of those people who grew up wanting to be a writer.

Brandon:

I always wanted to be a teacher and that’s the direction I went.

Brandon:

So I I got my degree in my teaching certificate and was out teaching and I was part of my job teaching second graders was teaching it how to use a comma in a list and I was trying to think of a fun way to do that because nobody wants to learn how to do that, especially eight year olds, they don’t care.

Brandon:

And I went home and I was like, oh I wonder if I could do a story.

Brandon:

So I wrote a story and which showed what would happen if you don’t use commas because then things aren’t as clear.

Brandon:

So I wrote Cornelius comma saves the day, brought it back to the class, read it to them, they loved it, but more importantly it taught them how to use commas correctly in a list.

Brandon:

Um and that could make very excited about writing.

Brandon:

And I thought for sure I could get this published because I thought every publisher would love this.

Brandon:

And so I started researching what it would take to get that published and started submitting to different editors and publishers and ended up not going anywhere.

Brandon:

They all said no thank you.

Brandon:

Um but I am not someone to give up.

Brandon:

So it took that and like all right, I still believe this would be a good book for people For teachers.

Brandon:

So, I looked into a self publishing and that was back in the late 1990s when self publishing looked very different than it does today.

Brandon:

Um And eventually ended up self publishing, Cornelius common saves the day I found an illustrator, we had to get a printer do all of that.

Brandon:

And the only way we could sell it, there was no amazon there.

Brandon:

I’m trying to think of email probably just at the beginning stages.

Brandon:

So we were selling it at teachers conferences and around colorado.

Brandon:

Eventually we We did what we could, they’re probably sold 1200 copies and those are all hand sales.

Brandon:

But what it did is it it’s one of those, I feel like the things that were meant to do doors open and things just happen.

Brandon:

So I found out about a local writers group, critique group, so I joined that group and this was right around the time I was publishing Cornelius, but there was a woman in the group who was writing for magazines and I love that she would come to the group, share an article she was working on and then, you know, a couple months later she’d get to see that in print.

Brandon:

I loved that fast turnaround for that because at that time, um I was married, I was still married but my my kids were young, the three young kids at home, so trying to manage all of trying to fit in writing with that.

Brandon:

I love the idea of magazines because it can just be sure, projects so dove into it, was finding success with the magazine writing and just kept going with that.

Brandon:

Eventually I resigned from teaching, not because I was making millions off of my magazine articles, but I was spreading myself too thin and something had to go.

Brandon:

So I resigned from teaching to be more available to the family.

Brandon:

My husband had a good job so he could support support us because my income wouldn’t have done that.

Brandon:

And I just kept building from there.

Brandon:

Um I, so I learned the right to write for magazines.

Brandon:

Um not only through the group, but I also started going to classes, reading books, going to conferences and getting published and it really got me excited about this whole writing thing.

Brandon:

And then and then it just kept growing from there.

Brandon:

So in where I live, I’m in Fort Collins, which is 50 miles north of Denver.

Brandon:

So anytime I wanted to connect with other writers besides my writer’s group had to go to Denver or boulder and um I didn’t like the drive.

Brandon:

So I decided to start my own group here in northern colorado and it was a for profit writing organization And I banned that for 10 years when I Handed it over to another writer, I think we had about 200 members.

Brandon:

We did an annual conference retreats.

Brandon:

So it was a real uh it would have become well known and it’s still going today, which is fantastic because I started it and then it’s wonderful to see that vision continuing.

Brandon:

And just through all of that, I’ve been teaching about writing, working with writers, I’m now working with a co author.

Brandon:

Um and we are doing genre fiction.

Brandon:

So we’re writing romance sci fi and fantasy weave together, we’ve published 10 books in the last five years.

Brandon:

Uh yeah, and then I’m teaching and I’m also ghost writing a book for somebody else as well.

Brandon:

So there you go.

Brandon:

That was the very long version of how I got to where I am today.

Brandon:

That that was great.

Brandon:

Um, when you said you ran a for profit organization?

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

Um, you made that designation.

Brandon:

Normally I’ve been a member of the Outdoor Writers Association I think for 22 years it’s a non profit.

Brandon:

Most of these things are non profit.

Brandon:

What does it mean to be for profit?

Brandon:

How does that, I mean, other than you could make money right off of membership?

Brandon:

And um, I guess the conferences, Yeah, the conference and it was just what you said.

Brandon:

So many arts organizations are nonprofit.

Brandon:

And I feel like it gives people that impression that it’s non profit because they don’t make, you can’t make any money off of it.

Brandon:

So we got to rely on grants and donations to make it successful.

Brandon:

And I wanted to see if we could, if I could make it profitable and maybe shift some of that perception that just because it’s in the arts doesn’t mean that we’re all starving artists.

Brandon:

And so that was the point.

Brandon:

And it worked out obviously, and it’s still working right.

Brandon:

It did, yeah.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

My group is still going, why do you leave that after starting it?

Brandon:

And running it for 10 years?

Brandon:

It became, it just became a little too much and I wasn’t able to do.

Brandon:

My writing.

Brandon:

My energy was focused so much on other people writing.

Brandon:

Um I started missing just being able to focus on me for a little bit and work on my career.

Brandon:

And you were you were doing books but then you shifted to magazine articles and then it sounds like you’ve shifted back to books writing.

Brandon:

Well, what does it take?

Brandon:

Well, let’s talk about today when um I remember back when you were talking about because I had started a media business and how to convince a bunch of writers to write about fishing.

Brandon:

Um And that’s another favorite topic of mine, fishing.

Brandon:

Uh Yes, sorry.

Brandon:

Got sidetracked there.

Brandon:

Yes.

Brandon:

Not not at all.

Brandon:

So I don’t even know if you know this carry.

Brandon:

But I I started and ran the largest social networking and e commerce site for sport fishermen on the internet.

Brandon:

Really I did.

Brandon:

I I basically turned um back then and you’ll remember this.

Brandon:

I mean we could get I say we because I landed every once in a while, but not all the time.

Brandon:

Um you get $800 for a good picture of in fishing and I’m sure that was the case for other publications at the time.

Brandon:

Um so you know, $800 2 decades ago.

Brandon:

It’s not a ton of money, but it’s a lot of money for a picture and you could actually get a decent amount of money.

Brandon:

You know, I don’t know, $1,100, maybe more for the bigger time writers that were writing at least in the fishing publication.

Brandon:

This is not even a you know a vanity fair or something like that.

Brandon:

I’m sure they were getting a lot more at the time.

Brandon:

Um But I couldn’t afford any of those writers.

Brandon:

So I turned people who were doing fishing reports in the writers.

Brandon:

And um I you know I didn’t really plan this.

Brandon:

But I went to Washington College which has the highest literary award of any college or university in the nation called Sophie Kerr award.

Brandon:

And I ah funded my tuition by getting one of many.

Brandon:

But I got the N.

Brandon:

C.

Brandon:

Double A.

Brandon:

Scholarship for writing.

Brandon:

So I sports writing.

Brandon:

So I wrote for the sport paper and I enjoyed all that.

Brandon:

Um But I just did it out of necessity because I couldn’t afford going back to this.

Brandon:

I couldn’t afford to hire these writers because on the internet obviously in the internet was really young.

Brandon:

I came up with this crazy idea of putting the magazine online which we called a vertical uh we called it a what do we call it?

Brandon:

A vertical and vertical network or something.

Brandon:

It was something weird.

Brandon:

But the you know in today’s getting back to where I’m going with this in today’s world.

Brandon:

Writing is so important for everybody whether you’re a business owner or whether you’re working for someone else whether you are a writer.

Brandon:

The amount of content it has to be, you know, you have to output on a regular basis is really hard.

Brandon:

So what does it take two write for magazines today and either get them to, it’s, I feel like Carrie, it’s almost as if you have to write for them for free because they offer you exposure.

Brandon:

You’re shaking your head.

Brandon:

No, I am a big proponent on not writing for free.

Brandon:

So how does that work?

Brandon:

Even when you’re first starting the first article I have, it’s, it’s going to sound more impressive than it really is.

Brandon:

The first piece I had published was Better Homes and Gardens, but it is a craft piece.

Brandon:

Um, and I got it published because I did my research and I knew that you had this whole section in the back where they were doing family crafts.

Brandon:

So I submitted that.

Brandon:

It wasn’t, you didn’t pay a ton, but it was great because it showed me that if I do my research and my homework and I’m proposing my ideas to the right publications, there’s no reason I shouldn’t get paid for what I’m doing.

Brandon:

Um, and I still believe that’s true today.

Brandon:

And I always encourage people in my classes and, uh, to seek out publications that pay now at the beginning that maybe $50 100 dollars.

Brandon:

Can you live off of that?

Brandon:

No, but there’s no reason to go for free for just what you said for exposure.

Brandon:

You know, we can get, we can do a blog if I need somebody to see my writing, I can put a blog out, but if they’re getting paid with advertising money, then they can have they have money to pay writers.

Brandon:

So, so I’ll get off my soapbox.

Brandon:

No, I think it’s important.

Brandon:

Um, you know, the funny part is I’m listening to you and some of the people that I convinced to write, who weren’t writers, I mean, they weren’t even remotely writers, they were they were message board writers, which is, you know, a very different thing than being a writer.

Brandon:

I said, you write that stuff, I’ll edit it and I’ll turn it into something.

Brandon:

And then eventually as I’m listening to you, they came back to me and they would say, well now you gotta pay me.

Brandon:

And my argument was um, if I give you the opportunity and I edit your work, maybe you should pay me.

Brandon:

Because the stuff that I was getting wasn’t quite publishable bowl, and I’m halfway joking, but um, I, you know, as a member of these outdoor writers associations, I was a member of the Mason Dixon Writers House Outdoor Association as well.

Brandon:

And, you know, I think you really, there was always a big push to say, you can’t give it away for free.

Brandon:

I mean if you give it away for free, then there’s this idea that you’re writing isn’t as valued.

Brandon:

So you think even today that these publications online still have money to pay people absolutely online imprint.

Brandon:

There’s still Over 7000 magazines and print in the US and that’s not digital.

Brandon:

That’s print in the US alone.

Brandon:

And that doesn’t count the english speaking other countries.

Brandon:

So I’ve written for writing magazine in the UK, you can pitch to Australia.

Brandon:

There are a lot of magazines and you know if you just target the ones that pay you will and yeah it works out.

Brandon:

So do you arrange that you could share that someone could expect?

Brandon:

I I know you’re smiling because it’s a it’s not a trick question.

Brandon:

It’s a hard question I think but you know is it paid per word?

Brandon:

Is it paid per just project?

Brandon:

How does that work?

Brandon:

It does vary.

Brandon:

So that yes that’s why I’m smiling necessary.

Brandon:

So like regional parenting magazines every state.

Brandon:

Gosh has A bunch of regional parenting magazines like in Colorado.

Brandon:

There’s probably 20 because you think of the different areas in the state And they will pay maybe $50, per article.

Brandon:

Um maybe 500 to 700 words.

Brandon:

But it’s typically per article and there’s some publications that will pay per word um Costco Costco magazine.

Brandon:

I don’t know if you’re familiar with that one and they pay a dollar a word.

Brandon:

So dollar a word dollar a word.

Brandon:

So I did a little piece for them.

Brandon:

It was 300 words on some local nonprofit $300 for 300 words.

Brandon:

So it just depends and that’s why you have to do your homework and research the guidelines and whatever your goal is.

Brandon:

So if your goal is to eventually uh make money or even a good side business off the magazine writing, then you have to pitch to magazines that are paying a decent amount Decent, whatever that is, whatever your goal is.

Brandon:

You know, if you’re trying to make a $500 a month, $1000 a month or more.

Brandon:

So let’s talk about how to pitch these magazines.

Brandon:

What’s the, I mean, your first magazine article was a national magazine at the top.

Brandon:

I mean at the very top.

Brandon:

So you did something and you talked about doing the research.

Brandon:

Absolutely.

Brandon:

How’s that work?

Brandon:

And I, yeah, this is what I advise everyone who’s looking into writing for magazines.

Brandon:

Once you have your ideas, then you start researching the publications and there’s lots of places online that have, they have, they share the submission guidelines.

Brandon:

The writers, the writers market is a great resource for finding publications that are looking for writers and then what you have to do.

Brandon:

And especially if you’re new, you need to take the time to study the magazine because you’re an outdoor writer.

Brandon:

You were in that world.

Brandon:

Our outside magazine is different than backpacker magazine or conde Nast traveler.

Brandon:

Those are very different magazines, they have different audiences.

Brandon:

So it doesn’t do you any good to just start shooting out queries everywhere without researching.

Brandon:

So it takes a little more time in the front.

Brandon:

So you research the magazine, you look at who their audiences um and a really easy way to figure out the audience is too for print magazine is to look at the advertisements, look at the ads and who are they targeting?

Brandon:

What are the age of the people in the ads?

Brandon:

Are they targeting exotic locations?

Brandon:

If so it’s probably somebody their readers have higher income.

Brandon:

Are they targeting budget travel?

Brandon:

So just taking five minutes to look through the ads, you’ll have a good idea who read some magazine and then read a couple articles which is so easy.

Brandon:

Now I used to have to go to library and just sit there and read magazines.

Brandon:

Well now I can go online, I can go to Outside magazine and read a couple of feature articles and get a good idea of the tone of the magazine.

Brandon:

So if if I’m looking to pitch to a new magazine, I will take 30 minutes to an hour and just read and learn all I can about the magazine, then I’ll have a higher chance of getting in because I know the magazine and I know the readership.

Brandon:

So then you and then you need to look at how long these articles are so that you know what the craft is it?

Brandon:

300 or is it 2000 words I guess essentially.

Brandon:

And then you write the article, do you have someone who edits all of your work?

Brandon:

Um we’re gonna back up one step.

Brandon:

Um I pitched the article first before I write it, I don’t write the article.

Brandon:

Oh, you pitch to the to the, do you go to the assistant editor?

Brandon:

Do you go to the top editor?

Brandon:

How do you do that?

Brandon:

Usually there guidelines will say who descended to if I’m if it doesn’t and it just this editor at Outside magazine or whatever.

Brandon:

I research a little more to get a name and it’s usually the managing editor who you would pitch to.

Brandon:

So then you write your query letter and the query letter is just a little bit about your topic.

Brandon:

You know, you get their attention a little about the topic and then why you’re the perfect person to write it and okay, well, so, so huge.

Brandon:

How to write for magazines is huge.

Brandon:

I read a whole book on it so there, right?

Brandon:

So how I don’t feel like carry that, I would go in that way.

Brandon:

It feels like that.

Brandon:

I mean, you’re you’re along with 500 other people.

Brandon:

How do you circumvent that?

Brandon:

Well, like if you if I go through the, you know, the publication has guidelines, right, and says, submit your idea to x.

Brandon:

Well, you know, they’re getting every tom dick and harry out there submitting an ideal, most likely.

Brandon:

Maybe not, but I feel like you’re in the pile at that point and you’re going to have to write something, you know, when you said and describe why you’re the person to do it.

Brandon:

I mean you really have to come up with something wild other than hey, I wrote for Home and Garden Vanity fair and six other.

Brandon:

Exactly.

Brandon:

You can’t just right, right.

Brandon:

So you want to hook them at the beginning with something intriguing and something that fits with the type of articles that they publish because an editor has a lot that they’re doing, they’re not just reading queries all day.

Brandon:

They’re, they’re working with their current authors, they’re assigning new articles.

Brandon:

So you have about 10 seconds.

Brandon:

You need to open with something catchy that’s going to get their attention.

Brandon:

And I also make sure I do something in the subject line of the email.

Brandon:

So it’ll say query and then whatever my working title is so that that stands out as well.

Brandon:

And I, I addressed the query specifically to an editor regardless of if the email is like editor at something, I will find a name.

Brandon:

I will um, yeah, I will open with some sort of hook, just give enough to show them.

Brandon:

I know what I’m talking about.

Brandon:

So I just do enough research on a topic to show the editor.

Brandon:

I know what I’m talking about.

Brandon:

Um, A little bit about what I’m proposing, I’m proposing a 1500 word feature that will inspire your readers to go out and do this, or it will entertain your readers or it will inform them.

Brandon:

So I spell out exactly what it isn’t going to deliver and then why am I the perfect person to write it?

Brandon:

So even if you don’t have writing credentials, there are experiences or things in your life that you can pull from.

Brandon:

Probably if not, then you just just do very minimal on that.

Brandon:

Don’t try, don’t go and say, well, I’ve never written before and I hope you’ll take a chance on me.

Brandon:

No, you just say what it is.

Brandon:

So if you’re pitching a fishing article and you’ve never published before, But you’re an avid fisher person, an angler, then that’s what you would say.

Brandon:

I’ve been fishing for the past 20 years and I’m familiar with this, this and this, and that’s why I believe I’d be a good bird was going to write this article.

Brandon:

So you just really play up your strengths because if they’ve gotten down to that far.

Brandon:

Honestly, if you haven’t hooked them yet, they’re not going to get to your bio anyway.

Brandon:

So, so if they get there, they’re already interested.

Brandon:

So the take a chance on me play is not a good idea.

Brandon:

No, no.

Brandon:

One of my first features, it was a regional magazine here in colorado and Colorado wineries And I just put, I’ve been a resident of Colorado for 30 years and I’m an avid wine drinker and happy to go visit any winery is that I covered the story.

Brandon:

So it was really simple.

Brandon:

It wasn’t anything extravagant and it worked.

Brandon:

What’s the, what could someone expect as a hit ratio for, uh, you know, submissions to actually landing an article early on.

Brandon:

It’s definitely lower as with anything like one in 100.

Brandon:

Mm I went, it just depends on how well you target and what level you’re going for.

Brandon:

I mean, are you going, yeah, you’re trying to get in all the, the ones you see on the newsstands.

Brandon:

Um, it’s such a hard number.

Brandon:

I was looking back, I would say early on for me it was one in Maybe 15 or 20.

Brandon:

Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that.

Brandon:

I just want to give the listeners an idea, you know, arranged so that, you know, because here’s what’s gonna happen, Here’s what happens people do three, they get rejected and they quit.

Brandon:

Right.

Brandon:

Right.

Brandon:

And and if it’s one in 20, then At least, you know, you’ve got to take 20 swings before you even have a chance.

Brandon:

Really.

Brandon:

Right, right.

Brandon:

And I do go over in my book, I have ways to make a plan on, you know, once you get some ideas and the title of your book is the writer’s digest guide to magazine article writing.

Brandon:

There we go listeners.

Brandon:

Uh, so I go over different plans.

Brandon:

So you can do an approach where you target a magazine.

Brandon:

Um, and you really learn that magazine inside and out and you just keep hitting them with query.

Brandon:

So send a query.

Brandon:

If they say no thank you, then you send another and then if they say no, thank you, hit him again until they tell, you know, I’ve never had anybody tell me stop sending queries.

Brandon:

There was one family fun magazine took me years to break into and I just kept, I just kept submitting and eventually they said yes and that was great because then there was a couple of years where I didn’t have to do quite such a formal query anymore because I knew the editor.

Brandon:

How long does it take to build those square up initial letters.

Brandon:

I mean, some of it may be is a form that you can reuse, but some of it really has to be custom tailored I would imagine to get any sort of chance of landing that I had it.

Brandon:

It’s a, and it’s a formula that I have.

Brandon:

Um, but it kind of is, and the more you do it obviously the easier it gets.

Brandon:

So I have, you know, the opening hook, then a little bit about the topic, then what I’m proposing, uh, you know, the specifics of the article and then why I’m the perfect person.

Brandon:

So I just do that and the more you do it, the easier it gets and for some people, it’s really hard to imagine putting it together without writing the article.

Brandon:

But if at all possible except for personal essays.

Brandon:

If at all possible, this is a good way to do it in a good use of time because I’ve pitched things That maybe I’m pitching a feature and then the editor comes back and says, I love this idea, but I only have room for 500 words, not 1200.

Brandon:

So if I had already had it written now, I’m going to have to write it again and it’s my way of outlining.

Brandon:

Honestly, I will put it together and put the query together and I know than what I need to write.

Brandon:

I was going to say that that letter really well, as I’m listening to, it sounds like you’re reading an ad, which effectively you are for yourself.

Brandon:

And um, it would be good for anybody out there.

Brandon:

It’s your elevator pitch, right?

Brandon:

It’s who you are and why they should pick you and then um, persistence it sounds like is what it takes.

Brandon:

Absolutely, definitely want to be persistent.

Brandon:

Do you have to supply your own pictures now for articles?

Brandon:

I yeah.

Brandon:

Mm hmm.

Brandon:

I guess for travel possibly some, but like I write for a lot of writing magazines.

Brandon:

So there’s no photos involved.

Brandon:

Once again, you just got to look at the guidelines and they’ll say if they want photos with it, photos definitely are easier now with digital, you don’t have to send slides and you know, uh, yeah.

Brandon:

So I don’t, I’m not up.

Brandon:

I don’t send a lot.

Brandon:

I can’t even think of the last time I sent a photo.

Brandon:

It was early on in my career that I was doing that and a lot of times it wasn’t me taking the photo, it was me reaching out to visitors Bureau and saying, hey, I have this article, can you supply me some photos that I can send to the editor?

Brandon:

So you don’t have, you know, if a writer just wants to do the articles, they don’t have to worry about the photos.

Brandon:

Well, I think that’s good because doing the photos a whole another ball wax.

Brandon:

I mean a decent camera these days can take uh, you know, high resolution picture, but you still got to take the photo, You’ve got to alter the photo and Photoshop or whatever use it and do a bunch of work.

Brandon:

Um, I’d like to talk about writing a book because a lot of business people have started, I don’t know, I’m saying started it sure feels like there’s a lot more people writing books out there that they are using as promotional pieces versus and I was thinking about this before I got on with you.

Brandon:

I’m interested to know how you feel about this.

Brandon:

So I don’t want to say that they’re not real books Because writing a book at 70, what’s the average 75,000 words.

Brandon:

Um or thereabouts that, you know, is there’s a lot of work.

Brandon:

I mean, an incredible amount of work editing it, redoing it, making sure close your idea.

Brandon:

But it feels like those books are different than a book that gets a publishing deal, if those publishing deals even happen anymore, it sounds like they do to me from some people I talked to, but not like the old days, because self publishing is a reality, and sometimes, I think, and maybe you could comment on this, the publishing houses actually want you to self publish, sell enough books that it’s almost like um in the venture capital world, they want you to get funding and show traction, and then they’ll fund you, and in the book, they want you to have an email list, or the bigger publishers, they want to have an email list of, You know, 50, several 100,000 people and have sold books.

Brandon:

This is what it feels like to me.

Brandon:

Um what do you think about this whole, it feels like a whole new world of publishing?

Brandon:

Um Well, self publishing is, yes, definitely changed the playing field.

Brandon:

Um And that’s shifting and that’s, you know, my first one was published in 1998, looked way different than it does now.

Brandon:

Uh In terms of non fiction business books, publishers typically do want a platform, not necessarily, they don’t necessarily want authors and writers to go publish it first um to get the traction and then they’ll pick it up, because that’s getting fewer and fewer, you know, that they’re not doing that with as many authors as they did early on.

Brandon:

Um Does it happen?

Brandon:

Sure, but not very often what they’re looking for with business books is that platform?

Brandon:

Do you have the people, do you have the newsletter list?

Brandon:

Do you have the social media following?

Brandon:

Are you out speaking around the country?

Brandon:

Great then you have an easier time getting the attention of a publisher if you have this great business book idea, but you’re not out there speaking, you’re not out there um educating people on the topic.

Brandon:

A publisher may have two books on the same topic.

Brandon:

They’re going to pick the person who has that audience already built in and that’s what they’re looking for.

Brandon:

It’s a business as you know, so they want to make money.

Brandon:

But the flip side is if you are out speaking, you have a huge newsletter list then is why, you know why goes traditional publishing way?

Brandon:

And there are so many tools now for self publishing and you already have the audience, you’re going to make more money doing it that way selling in the back of the room, if you’re speaking at events or corporate events or whatever and you’ve got 100 500 people and you have your book available.

Brandon:

You can make, You know, $10 for every sale as opposed to the 10-12% you’re going to get from the publisher, Is that the rate you’re going to get 10-12.

Brandon:

That seems high even for some publishers and it’ll depend sometimes it’s off of the net, sometimes it’s off the list price.

Brandon:

Just depends on the contract.

Brandon:

Now the publisher if you know if you’re wanting it in bookstores around the country uh that’s where traditional publishers definitely do better.

Brandon:

That’s their wheelhouse is bookstores do people still buy books and bookstores carrying?

Brandon:

That’s the other side of this.

Brandon:

Yes they do.

Brandon:

But if you think you know The latest statistic I saw was at least 50% of people are buying books online whether that’s an e book or a print not.

Brandon:

You know it can be any of those.

Brandon:

So if it’s important you to have it in a bookstore then you do need to go traditional because it’s really hard to get in as a self published author.

Brandon:

But If you just want to sell it online you got the other 50%.

Brandon:

That’s a lot of people.

Brandon:

I if 50% of the people buying online those are I’d take those sales.

Brandon:

Yes.

Brandon:

Who’s going to who’s going to bookstores these days?

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

That’s a good question.

Brandon:

I really, you know a lot of the the independent bookstores are now coming back they’re doing better and what’s your the mom and pop type type bookstore who who may do they do they specialize in self published books author.

Brandon:

No, no they just they yeah they’re just they can pivot a little quicker than you know the Barnes and Noble I can’t I don’t even think if there’s any other big bookstores anymore except Barnes and Noble and why why what would it take a big bookstore?

Brandon:

I mean you’ve been self publishing for forever.

Brandon:

What does it take a big bookstore too to take a self published book is because the publishers have a lock on the bookstores like what what are they what are they getting by buying a book that a traditional publisher and I’m not beating up on publishers.

Brandon:

I mean the fact of the matter is the market changed and people can self publish.

Brandon:

So the publisher is going to have to what I’m trying to figure out is what the publishers offer.

Brandon:

That would be so enticing.

Brandon:

And so far it seems like it’s an even if you can build a platform you know you can build a platform.

Brandon:

Um And I don’t know what the value of being in those bookstores is anymore where I was going with it.

Brandon:

Carrie is like what’s the demographic that’s going into bookstores because I don’t think millennial maybe they are you know I don’t know my assistance and um director of operations here at at the edge is a millennial and actually have a lot of people who one way or the other I know or worked with us who are millennials and I don’t hear him going to bookstores.

Brandon:

I mean I don’t even know if I hear my mom who is definitely not a millennial but yeah, I don’t think she goes to bookstores anymore so I’m not sure who’s going to bookstores but people are people still do go there in traditional publishers definitely have that distribution because what they do is they send out their sales people.

Brandon:

So Barnes and noble is constantly meeting with sales people and even the small bookstores the same thing, the sales people will go there as well.

Brandon:

So they’re pushing their catalog of books and that’s how they can get the shelf space in the big book stores.

Brandon:

The publishers and those end caps are paid that’s paid for, that’s not the public, that’s not the bookstore deciding what goes on the end cap, that’s space.

Brandon:

They’re they’re selling all that real estate to publishing houses effectively.

Brandon:

Who then that populate it with their books that are in their catalog, yep.

Brandon:

You know what I think, I don’t know, tell me you know what I think actually before the pandemic, I actually was traveling a lot and believe that the most valuable in person bookstore for buying and promotion are the bookstores and airports.

Brandon:

Oh yes, right.

Brandon:

And those are traditional publishers.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

Have they’re the ones that are pretty much populating those books and there’s like the big bookstores like Strand and Powell books, those are great to just go hang out and so I don’t want it to come across that.

Brandon:

I don’t uh I think they’re both viable options, whether it’s traditional or self, you just have to decide personally what you’re, what you are trying to achieve.

Brandon:

Um And if you’re a business person and you do have that platform to me, it just makes sense to do it yourself.

Brandon:

So let’s talk about what that means, because I think my well my mom had regular publisher, but I do remember a lot of boxes of books in our garage.

Brandon:

Um um So let’s talk about self publishing, what do you have to make a run of 1000 books?

Brandon:

Can you publish 200 books?

Brandon:

Is it smart to do on demand?

Brandon:

On amazon?

Brandon:

That doesn’t feel like a real book to me, but I think that might bait me, you know, I mean, it could it could date me, you know, you know, print on demand.

Brandon:

I mean I do print on demand t shirts and they feel like a good t shirt, so maybe I should get my head around that.

Brandon:

Yeah, Yeah, I think you definitely need to get your head around the print on demand.

Brandon:

Uh It’s it’s changed the way self publishers can do business Cornelius comma I had to buy Had I don’t know how many we ended up buying two or 3000 to get a good deal on those.

Brandon:

So I still have books of that book that was published in 1998.

Brandon:

We have moved them around, that’s what I’m talking about here.

Brandon:

So let’s talk about the pluses and negatives.

Brandon:

But print on demand change that.

Brandon:

So all the books I have now, I don’t have to have any inventory if I don’t want And if I’m doing an event and I need 20 copies these, I can get 20 copies printed for about $3.5 sell them for 15.

Brandon:

And I’m not great at math, but that’s a good profit.

Brandon:

You’d only be good at Math for that one.

Brandon:

Um the quality is the quality is fine.

Brandon:

I don’t uh yeah, I’m not sure anybody would know the difference honestly.

Brandon:

And could you offer a suggestion of where like a good is that the amazon deal or something?

Brandon:

Print on demand, You can do it through amazon ingram spark is another print on demand book baby smash words.

Brandon:

So there’s different companies that will do that for you.

Brandon:

Amazon is The most common one.

Brandon:

The KDP Kindle Direct Publishing.

Brandon:

So when I have my file ready, I go into my account, I upload my pdf, I upload the cover put in the S.

Brandon:

E.

Brandon:

O.

Brandon:

That I want the metadata, the keywords and put the price in and hit published.

Brandon:

That’s a very simplified version because I’m also a huge proponent of making sure that the quality of what I put out there and anybody I work with.

Brandon:

It’s high quality.

Brandon:

Um as a self publisher.

Brandon:

It doesn’t mean I do everything myself.

Brandon:

It just means I’m in charge of everything when I work with a traditional publisher, I write it.

Brandon:

Then the publisher has editors, the publishers, cover designers, distributors, they do all of that.

Brandon:

But as a self publisher, I have to take care of that.

Brandon:

So I always hire out cover design.

Brandon:

I’m not a graphic artist editing, definitely higher out copy editing formatting.

Brandon:

I do myself because there’s some great programs out there now that make it really easy.

Brandon:

You do that An illustrator?

Brandon:

No, no, I do it in vellum.

Brandon:

It’s program called vellum and it’s really easy.

Brandon:

Yeah, formatting used to be really challenging and there’s lots of programs even KDP will, there’s other places where you can put your Microsoft word document in and it will format it and you may just have to tweak a little bit.

Brandon:

So so on that kindle publishing you can get your book published on demand with a hardcover or soft cover soft cover.

Brandon:

They have hardcover in beta now.

Brandon:

So I just saw it this week that it’s come it’s Now available to anyone with a KDP account for about 350.

Brandon:

No, I haven’t, I don’t know, hardcover.

Brandon:

The hardcover will be more but soft cover.

Brandon:

So I’ve covered.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

And then an average sized book, 3 50 depending on how fast you need it shipped three hours, 50 cents, 75,000 words.

Brandon:

Uh Calling around there not full color inside this black and white and black and white inside, but color cover.

Brandon:

Absolutely.

Brandon:

That’s really, that’s incredibly good.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

Is it hard to get the Kindle account?

Brandon:

Oh no, anybody can and it’s going to upload your stuff, which is good and bad.

Brandon:

Well because anybody can do it.

Brandon:

So there’s a lot of not so good books out there.

Brandon:

Well, that’s what I was getting at earlier.

Brandon:

I was trying to be nice, but let’s just say there’s a lot of books carry that suck and and um I want to get off on a tangent on that.

Brandon:

Um I want to bring it back.

Brandon:

Let’s talk about covers because it is said that covers, sell books and I’ve been studying this for a really long time and I have been trying not trying, I’ve been writing a book through blog posts for years and and eventually we’ll put it all together here And get to talk to really smart people like you to try to figure this all out before I go and make 5000 mistakes and try to only make 1000 What is this whole thing about covers and cover, sell books and how is there some magic to this?

Brandon:

I mean, I don’t, you know, it’s sort of like people who money managers who tell you that they can outperform the market and none of them can outperform the market.

Brandon:

In fact, just as an aside, I heard that there is a mouse and I, the, the lady said it was verified.

Brandon:

I need to verify this but I I don’t I don’t doubt there’s a mouse that’s trading cryptocurrencies right now And outperforming the s.

Brandon:

p.

Brandon:

500.

Brandon:

Okay I haven’t heard that one but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Brandon:

But there have been other studies in the past that did stuff like this.

Brandon:

So so let’s talk about covers.

Brandon:

Can you talk a little bit about what this whole thing is about and how to even figure out if it covers good bad or or a winning cover?

Brandon:

Right?

Brandon:

This goes back to studying the market at all.

Brandon:

It’s always studying and knowing what’s out there currently because trends in covers change too.

Brandon:

So if you look back at business books 20 years ago it’s going to look very different than it does now.

Brandon:

Business books now.

Brandon:

Very simple covers.

Brandon:

Um hardly any graphics on the ones I think Malcolm Gladwell’s book any of his, it’s pretty much just his name and the title.

Brandon:

Um So the best way to go about doing it is study what’s out there.

Brandon:

What are the best selling books right now and look at those covers and what are the commonalities between all those covers and and then hire somebody who knows what they’re doing, hire a graphic designer who can give you what it is you want.

Brandon:

So um yeah that regardless of genre whether it’s a business book or a romance or fantasy you got to get out there and see what’s working and then it will shift all of a sudden you obviously you think it’s going you’re like, all right, this is how it’s going, this is what everything looks like.

Brandon:

And then there’s this shift.

Brandon:

And then um then the good thing was self publishing is if I want to redo my cover, I just re upload a new cover.

Brandon:

So it allows you to test um and maybe there’s one element of your cover julie.

Brandon:

Alright, I should change the font color and let me see what happens there.

Brandon:

It doesn’t cost anything when you’re going through KDP.

Brandon:

So why not?

Brandon:

I think I think that’s good advice.

Brandon:

I thought that you know, this I I doubted uh I thought it was just something that they made up to make it sound like there’s magic.

Brandon:

And maybe because maybe maybe they have access to so many people to test and they’ve seen so many books that they know red test better than blue, Right?

Brandon:

Um but now we can do that ourselves.

Brandon:

What about getting I guess you call them endorsements or write ups on the book.

Brandon:

How do you go about because that that seems to be really important for nonfiction.

Brandon:

Yes.

Brandon:

For businesses.

Brandon:

Um That’s just leg work on your part.

Brandon:

You have to reach out to those people and pitch them and convince them to read your book and give you a little blurb for the front cover or, you know, inside a lot of times with business books, there’s a whole page of different people saying wonderful things about the book, but do you think those are paid?

Brandon:

Uh huh usually um but I don’t know, I’m not just talking like this whole thing, you know, you can do this cameo, right?

Brandon:

You can get an X.

Brandon:

You can get one of these celebrities to do your recording or something.

Brandon:

I’m just asking.

Brandon:

I don’t know, I’m not sure.

Brandon:

So in fiction you do not need that.

Brandon:

No, I no, no, not as much because in fiction you’re selling the story in nonfiction, you’re selling yourself as an expert.

Brandon:

So you want that back up from other people in the industry that says yes.

Brandon:

Brandon is an amazing writer, who knows all about podcasting and whatever it is.

Brandon:

So you want others in the industry to basically verify us expert.

Brandon:

I got Well that’s interesting.

Brandon:

So what else about self publishing?

Brandon:

And she got to write it?

Brandon:

You gotta get an editor.

Brandon:

I mean, I just skimmed over writing it, right, Do you have any tips about writing a book?

Brandon:

Because I I skipped over that.

Brandon:

And I sort of caught myself because right, I mean the average book is about 75,000 words.

Brandon:

Right, for a novel?

Brandon:

A lot of business books are there not?

Brandon:

They can be smaller.

Brandon:

Yeah, 50, 60.

Brandon:

I mean, you know write the book and write it the way it needs to be written.

Brandon:

What size font is normal these days, is there like an optimal font to write in?

Brandon:

Just uh just that very basic, I don’t wanna do anything fancy and please nothing script the or Yeah, just basic basic font.

Brandon:

I’m gonna replay, I’m going to replay what you just said.

Brandon:

You know, I told my wife who went to Washington college and is a litter is an english major um that I was like stop writing your stuff in script.

Brandon:

She writes her signature.

Brandon:

Just drives me crazy because it’s so hard to read.

Brandon:

Right, well that’s different handwriting but in a book even italics is a little harder to read.

Brandon:

No, she uses the script font carry.

Brandon:

Oh gosh Yeah, see I’m going to replay that, I’m gonna tell him this episode.

Brandon:

Don’t listen to me, you know, don’t listen to me, listen to carry.

Brandon:

But anyway, so is it size 12 or size 11 or size 10?

Brandon:

That’s what I’m gonna say around 12.

Brandon:

Like my program, my Valentine default.

Brandon:

Oh it does, probably 12.

Brandon:

And so so should you lock yourself in a cabin and write the book or like what’s the best way to write a book?

Brandon:

Does like anything set up?

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

Set up time to write um whether that’s you know, saturday morning for three hours, every saturday if that’s all you have time for then stick to that.

Brandon:

But um honor whatever.

Brandon:

Writing time you set up whether that’s 30 minutes a day, two hours a day, three hours a week on one day, whatever.

Brandon:

Um every page you write is one step closer.

Brandon:

So if you have the time to devote a couple hours a day, you’ll get it done faster, but don’t make yourself crazy and set up some schedule that you burn yourself out and you never finished the book, it’s much better to just do a half hour a day and just crank through it that way.

Brandon:

Then try to yeah, try to do too much.

Brandon:

How long do you?

Brandon:

Uh there’s a cal Newport’s I think is his name on deep work and I’m actually listening to, I don’t know if you’ve read um Stephen King’s on writing book.

Brandon:

Um Yes, I’m teaching a class using that book right now.

Brandon:

How are you?

Brandon:

I’m listening to it on tape and it’s interesting and listen to some are the ones that aren’t coming to mind right now, but basically about at least for me, um you know, there is a flow to writing it.

Brandon:

Have you?

Brandon:

I mean you’re you’ve been doing this for over two decades full time here.

Brandon:

Do you think that you need to write for over 30 minutes?

Brandon:

I feel like 30 minutes is like you’re just starting to get in the flow.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

And being in that flow state is the best thing.

Brandon:

Um but when I first started writing magazine articles, you know, I was teaching full time, had three young kids at home and whatever time I had, I knew I had to make the best of that time.

Brandon:

Um So there’s not a choice, I just have to do it.

Brandon:

So and I also find now that I have all day that I can waste a lot of time.

Brandon:

Um I do much better under a deadline.

Brandon:

I do much better when I have a smaller chunk of time because I’m not wasting time and if you are under a deadline you don’t have they luxury of saying, you know, I have writer’s block and like well the editor doesn’t care.

Brandon:

She has a magazine that needs to come out, I need to write the article.

Brandon:

So I’m ghostwriting a book now.

Brandon:

It’s a business book.

Brandon:

Same thing I’m supposed to turn in a chapter a week.

Brandon:

So uh yeah, I I just have to do it.

Brandon:

I can’t wait to just wait for that muse to hit me.

Brandon:

It’s not an option.

Brandon:

Well let’s talk about that.

Brandon:

So some people out there might not want to write it, I mean they may want to write a book, but they don’t actually want to write it, so they might want to get a ghost writer.

Brandon:

Sure.

Brandon:

Now I investigated that I did and I thought it was um some of the quotes I got were just too expensive for the math.

Brandon:

I mean it’s a it’s a spreadsheet here.

Brandon:

It’s not, this isn’t hard it do I do, I think that we could make the money back as self publishing.

Brandon:

Um The other thing that I’m interested to know how you and you’re doing a business book, how you work with people.

Brandon:

Because one of the things I worried about was was that I would be having discussions with the ghost writer because all the stories are in my head when I write copy for ads and online ads and online advertising that we do or an email sequence for some promotion, all those stories.

Brandon:

And I’ve tried to hire it out and I’m not saying that some you know you gotta go you gotta try a lot of people but a lot of the the I don’t want to you know I’m not claiming that they were really good.

Brandon:

I mean they convert well so I guess they’re good.

Brandon:

But a lot of that came from my story right?

Brandon:

And I would be writing and I’d be like, oh yeah chris told me that when we were fishing that day and here was that story when we drove back from the car and how do you how do you set up as your ghost writing that process with the author to get that out of them?

Brandon:

Because at least for me and maybe it’s not true you could write on the subject and just research the subject.

Brandon:

But a lot of the stuff that I would imagine for any business book, it’s got a sort of have that personal touch otherwise you can just, you know, go buy a bunch of case studies or go to business school and by the textbook, which are really boring.

Brandon:

I tried that a lot of interviews up front, I have 100 pages of transcripts from interviews with him.

Brandon:

Um and it’s just coming up with questions and you know, figuring out the focus of the book and then digging deeper.

Brandon:

So there’s those initial interviews.

Brandon:

But then as I’m writing, I have other questions that come up.

Brandon:

So it’s not that he just has to do those interviews one time and then it’s off to the races for me.

Brandon:

I still need to, it’s his story and I’m writing it in first person as him and um so I have to be able to come across like if somebody read the book that they wouldn’t know it was somebody else who did it, they would think it’s him and and that’s the hardest part is getting that voice.

Brandon:

And I got it.

Brandon:

So I’m on the fourth chapter now and got the voice because yeah, he even, he said he’s like, he sounds just like me, like that’s what I want.

Brandon:

I mean I’ve had other people read it who know my style and like it doesn’t sound a bit like you, so that’s good and then it’s just taking what it is he wants to convey in the book and then putting it out there.

Brandon:

So um how long does that take?

Brandon:

Well, I mean we’re gonna have to simplify some things today because we’re, I mean I think we we can talk all night but would probably take you Dave and applied it all this.

Brandon:

They can just take your class somewhere that you teach and you have an all day class I think don’t you on I don’t know, I thought we had, I read that you had a one day class on on writing.

Brandon:

I have lots of classes.

Brandon:

All right, well you you can take a class with you if they if they want but how long is it in general to do a book in the dose writing?

Brandon:

Try to think when we started it could take six months to a year just depending on just depending on the person and how quickly, like how quickly you can get those initial interviews done then how fast I can write and get my question jones answered throughout the first book goes the first book I ever go throat was another business book that took a year.

Brandon:

This one is going to be closer to six months if I’m looking at when we started, well probably some of it has to do with access to whoever’s exactly doing it and has to be willing to spend the time with you because when you get stucked your, I don’t mean you’re stuck but you’re in a position you need that feedback or not move forward.

Brandon:

Right, right.

Brandon:

And then even after I write it, then he reads it and if there’s things that he needs adjusted or tweaked, then that’s fine.

Brandon:

Um, then I’ll do that and you’ll do the editing as well.

Brandon:

No, I just do the writing.

Brandon:

So I’m working for a company.

Brandon:

Oh, the first one I did, it was all through me, but I still hired out the copy editing.

Brandon:

I don’t do that.

Brandon:

I’m not very, yeah, I don’t see those things after I write something.

Brandon:

So you, you know that I’m going to ask this question to give a range of how much someone could expect to, to ghost.

Brandon:

Right?

Brandon:

If they were to go that route, it’s that cheap because it takes a lot of time.

Brandon:

No, it’s a tremendous amount of time.

Brandon:

But, but what’s not cheap On the low end, uh, you’re looking at about 25,000.

Brandon:

This is for a good, let’s for our listeners.

Brandon:

This is actually not just a writer, but a experienced writer who has written books and done this before.

Brandon:

I mean, that’s what we’re ultimately looking for, right?

Brandon:

Um, But that’s still on.

Brandon:

Yeah, the low end and it can go up to 100,000 or more.

Brandon:

So it is a big range and it is an investment, but you got to look at at the time that’s involved.

Brandon:

Well, yeah, no, I mean it’s a pretty simple math equation, you either write the book yourself exactly, I mean, or you don’t and someone else writes it for you.

Brandon:

Um I do know a guy who who he puts out, I think Kerry puts out like $4 a year on sales and marketing and he has dyslexia.

Brandon:

I told him that wasn’t a very good excuse because I’ve had dyslexia in my whole life and managed to make it work.

Brandon:

But um all joking aside, he narrates them on voice to text.

Brandon:

Yeah and I think that could work but it feels like a lot of work because you gotta go you really still have to go back and put that whole thing together.

Brandon:

I mean it’s thoughts and then the narrator, the voice to text at least for me doesn’t unless I’m sitting at this mike in this studio it doesn’t always get all the words right, right and then recommend that or what your thoughts.

Brandon:

So there’s people that do that.

Brandon:

And then another approach kind of in in the middle is you write the book and then hire a developmental editor.

Brandon:

So you’re getting a basic mean, so you’re getting the basic content out and a developmental editor and I’ve done that with many people is that I’m looking at the big picture and I would when I do it thorough developmental edit I go through and make sure each chapter flows and point out, hey this part can be fixed.

Brandon:

You know you can say this differently or uh huh.

Brandon:

So it’s just picking apart the whole manuscript and saying what needs to happen to make it even better.

Brandon:

So it allows you to get that content out and then hand it over to somebody else who and then refine it and help make it even better.

Brandon:

How much does something like that cost?

Brandon:

That’s another one of those little um that varies.

Brandon:

It can be per project per page.

Brandon:

Um that’s one off the top of my head.

Brandon:

It just depends on how thorough there’s a client I’ve been working with their two years.

Brandon:

We did his memoir and we did it that way.

Brandon:

So he wrote it, then he like, he do chapter by chapter, then he’d send me a chapter and then I tell him what needs to be fixed.

Brandon:

He fix it.

Brandon:

Then I’d read it again.

Brandon:

So with him it was an hourly, right?

Brandon:

Just because we weren’t sure.

Brandon:

Otherwise you’re looking at a couple 1000 for a thorough developmental edit.

Brandon:

But you know, 1000.

Brandon:

A couple, you know, once again depends on the experience there.

Brandon:

Right.

Brandon:

I know this is hard, but if if I don’t ask these questions, it’s fine.

Brandon:

It’s not 10,000.

Brandon:

There we go.

Brandon:

It’s not No, it’s not 25,000.

Brandon:

So you’re probably looking at 1 to 3000 on average and that will get you basically edits and suggestions.

Brandon:

Yes.

Brandon:

Not copy edits.

Brandon:

Not your grammar punctuation spelling.

Brandon:

No, no, but the flow and hey, here’s the transition, here’s where you need to bring this back, basically making it one piece vs right?

Brandon:

12 chapters, Right?

Brandon:

Well, 12 chapters that feel like they’re all part of a book.

Brandon:

Right?

Brandon:

And then you still as the writer, when should they get those developmental edits?

Brandon:

Then you have to implement those.

Brandon:

So you still go back and fix that unless you’re, you don’t write the developmental editor doesn’t like go into the manuscript and and do cross out and replace.

Brandon:

Yeah, anybody would, Right.

Brandon:

So sometimes I do crossed out and replaced, but if there’s a big chunk that needs to be written, I’m not going to write it because I’m not the ghost writer for this one.

Brandon:

Right?

Brandon:

But you’ll say, hey, here’s what you need to put here and here’s what it needs to happen.

Brandon:

Exactly, yeah, that makes sense.

Brandon:

Um, so we’ve covered a lot.

Brandon:

But um, I was just thinking a friend of mine, barrett, he wrote uh the updated guide to fly fishing in Argentina and he wrote the whole thing.

Brandon:

He had a partner headed co author but He locked himself in a cabin for like three weeks and mm hmm, just crank this book is incredible book.

Brandon:

I mean, you imagine writing fishing in Argentina.

Brandon:

I mean, now look, it was a pretty good gig because he decided that he was going to live down there for three years to write the book.

Brandon:

But um, it seemed like a good gig and a great tax deduction to write the book, but he did lock himself in the cabin and do it.

Brandon:

And I’ve always thought that way, but I’ve heard other people who say, look, I write for an hour every morning, Get up at five or get up at whatever time and you know, that’s a quiet time and I pump it out.

Brandon:

Um Did we miss anything?

Brandon:

I know we covered a lot, covered a lot.

Brandon:

So for people out there, Carrie who would be thinking and I’m grateful for you going through all this because my intent and our conversation is twofold.

Brandon:

One is for actually people who want to become writers and writers are really their own business owner.

Brandon:

How are you going to set that up?

Brandon:

How are you going to pitch?

Brandon:

Um You know, and there’s really no different than you’re in.

Brandon:

I mean you’re a writer but you’re really in sales because you gotta sell yourself and you gotta pitch the ideas and then writing your own book.

Brandon:

And a lot of business people, I don’t know why, I don’t know whether this was a marketing thing.

Brandon:

I just feel like Everybody’s got a book and they’re just cranking it out.

Brandon:

I mean, do you feel that way over the last like it wasn’t every every person didn’t write a book back in 1998, right?

Brandon:

No, but it’s easier now, not the writing, I’m not saying the writing is easy, but to get it at print on demand to have it available it’s much easier.

Brandon:

I do want to finish one topic that we didn’t um finished and sort of bring back because I think I got us off track I’m sure was that you have all these books from your first book that are still laying around but you don’t need to do that anymore because your print on demand.

Brandon:

But is there an advantage to printing the mass run?

Brandon:

Is the mass run still the economics of it that it could be a little bit cheaper or is the print on demand?

Brandon:

So good now that you might as well just go that route.

Brandon:

I haven’t looked at costs of a big print run so I really can’t answer that one.

Brandon:

I think you answered it meaning you didn’t look because it doesn’t matter because you’re just going to print on the print on demand.

Brandon:

Exactly.

Brandon:

Yeah.

Brandon:

And order what I need And what’s great with Katy P.

Brandon:

If if I’m doing an event somewhere speaking at a writers conference I can have a ship there directly so you just ordering them yourself effectively have them shipped there and then sell them, yep at the event.

Brandon:

Sure.

Brandon:

That seems like an incredible deal.

Brandon:

Yes.

Brandon:

Where would you recommend people?

Brandon:

I want I want to touch on this where they might find someone to do.

Brandon:

Is there a group of I know there’s writers groups and associations.

Brandon:

Is there a group of graphic artists that do covers that you can reach into instead of just going to someone on Fiverr right, well yeah, you can go to fiber um Fares 99 designs but that’s another one of those hit or miss the oh alliance of independent Publishers has great resources.

Brandon:

Um So I’m a member of that organization.

Brandon:

Alliance of Independent Publisher gestures ali ally alliance of it.

Brandon:

Yes.

Brandon:

Um so they have great resources online for members and for non members and I can get you that link in an email.

Brandon:

So if you put this up online then we can link directly to that the great resources and they’re always looking out for self publishers and making sure that people are not getting taken advantage of because there’s lots of companies out there unfortunately that um come across as you know that there’s these publishers and they want to help you get your book out there.

Brandon:

Um there’s some that are legitimate but there’s a lot more that are just wanting your money, maybe they’ll they’ll promise you the world and they’re like, oh we’re going to do this Mark being campaign and um you have to pay.

Brandon:

So, You know, I had one woman I knew who paid $14,000 to have her book published through them, she wrote it, they helped with the cover, but then they didn’t do anything and they required her to buy um Was it 2000 copies?

Brandon:

Maybe 200?

Brandon:

I don’t know, they required her to buy some.

Brandon:

So not only did she pay the 14 grand then they required her to buy so many books and so they put it on the website and they put it on amazon, well I can put a book on amazon, anybody can put a book in amazon.

Brandon:

So just be careful with those kind of places.

Brandon:

So the alliance of independent publishers has a list of places that are reputable, they will rank them and say don’t go to this one or this one is good.

Brandon:

So people need to be careful of that.

Brandon:

Um I appreciate you saying that because I actually on paper I had no intent of saying yes, but I did, I got a text that said, we understand that there’s a book in you, we’d like to talk to you and I answered it and I just to see what this was all about, right to your point so that I could speak to it And be candid with you.

Brandon:

They wanted like $35,000, they wanted to up sell me on something else.

Brandon:

Um The writer, no offense to anybody listening, but they weren’t in the United States, I don’t know if their first language was english and it was just not going to turn out well I mean I’m sure they would write quote unquote a book, but you know, it wasn’t going to be the right, so I think the right book, I think that people should just be careful out there and do their do their homework.

Brandon:

Now, it sounds like you’ve got an incredible little writing business, You write your own books, you’ve got a co author, you’re writing books, you teach classes, you do ghost writing, you do developmental editing, I mean, you have a full scale writing company I do and yeah, right now it’s quite vibrant, a little more vibrant than I would like.

Brandon:

So um yeah, I gotta cut back a little bit on some things.

Brandon:

Um but I will be, yeah, so the ghost writing uh and then I have a class through stanford continuing studies, starting in january on magazine writing.

Brandon:

So if anybody is looking for for a little bit more uh like feedback and that direct instruction.

Brandon:

So that’s an eight week class.

Brandon:

So stanford continuing studies.

Brandon:

Yeah, I recommend any other listeners.

Brandon:

I I’ve actually taken a bunch of the continuing studies um classes and I guess this one’s gonna be virtual back before this covid thing.

Brandon:

Um I took some regular classes, but the continuing ones I took at stanford were great.

Brandon:

I mean, just incredible experience.

Brandon:

So magazine writing, that one is on at the stanford continuing studies on magazine writing that starts in january and you can just go listeners can just go online and google that and you’ll find that.

Brandon:

Yes, absolutely, because I don’t think I have it on my website.

Brandon:

Yes, because they don’t think registration for that is open quite yet should be soon.

Brandon:

Um Yeah and then at this point I’m not taking on any new developmental editing clients until I finish this ghost writing book but I’m always open.

Brandon:

People can reach out to me if they want to one hour consultation where we just talk through some things then I can give them resources and help get them going in the right direction.

Brandon:

I’m happy to do that.

Brandon:

I can definitely fit that in.

Brandon:

Well that’s perfect.

Brandon:

Um Thanks for joining us before we go.

Brandon:

Can you give our listeners three high percentage tips for writing either writing just writing in general or writing magazine articles or writing a book?

Brandon:

Right, well I was thinking about this and because I’m a writer I also like alliteration so I’m gonna give you three words that I’ll start with the letter P.

Brandon:

And we’ve talked about all of these patients is the first one that you as with any business, any entrepreneurial venture, it doesn’t happen overnight so you need to be patient put the time in research um and make sure you’re doing your best work and you know if something doesn’t work pivot, try something else but keep going so patients and then keep going would be persistence, don’t give up um if something doesn’t work it’s okay you can just keep going even when you self publish a book, if you put it out and something’s not working.

Brandon:

Well maybe it’s the cover so redo it maybe it’s the book description.

Brandon:

So just being persistent and keep going until you find what is working and then passion.

Brandon:

If you don’t have passion for it, it’s not, you’re not going to want to do it, it’s going to be exhausting.

Brandon:

So find something you’re passionate about keep going well, those are great carry.

Brandon:

Where can listeners, where’s the best place to find you and your books?

Brandon:

Um, at my website, carrie flanagan dot com is the best place.

Brandon:

And then my social media links are on their uh a link to my newsletter.

Brandon:

I have a monthly newsletter where I give yeah, writing tips and talk about any classes, conferences coming up markets.

Brandon:

I usually have information on some magazine markets or contests and they can sign up there on my website as well.

Brandon:

Cool, we’ll put all that stuff in the show notes, carry.

Brandon:

Thanks a lot for joining us.

Brandon:

Thank you so much for having me.

Brandon:

It’s been great.

Brandon:

Thanks for being generous with your time and joining us for this episode of the Edge.

Brandon:

Before you go a quick question, Are you the type of person who wants to get 100% out of your time.

Brandon:

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Brandon:

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