For the March edition of our #BBchat Twitter chat, we asked a few of our authors and literary friends from around the world, including Shannon McLay (former BookBaby author of Train Your Way To Financial Fitness) and BookBaby president Steven Spatz, for their thoughts on the concept of hybrid authors, the term used to describe writers who are involved in both traditional and self-publishing somewhere in their literary career, and how to navigate that transition successfully. We prefaced this month’s chat with some initial pointers to get the conversation started, as well as a brief biography of Shannon, which you can check out here.
Interestingly, a few authors who joined us for the chat were themselves, hybrid authors, already. While a few said that they would miss some of the guidance and marketing power of a traditional publisher, they would happily self-publish again because of the freedom and creative control it provides, including higher profits. A number of interesting marketing ideas and promotion tips were also shared; we hope you find them to be useful!
To view the entire chat transcript, please visit this link. Below is a reformatted version of our discussion.
What inspired you to write “Train Your Way to Financial Fitness”?
I wanted a write a financial planning book that spoke to people of all money shapes and sizes. There are too many planning books out there for people who are in the wealth management time of their financial lives and not enough resources for younger people in the wealth management time of their financial lives.”
What kinds of feedback did you receive on your manuscript and did it influence you?
I mostly just got feedback from friends and family. They are a tough crowd so I felt good about publishing my manuscript more broadly. However, I was tougher on myself than my friends and family were on me. It took me weeks of reviewing before I even let my hubby read my manuscript!
After publishing with BookBaby, what marketing and promotion tools did you use?
I used my blog, Financially Blonde, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and my network of friends and family to promote my book. Facebook was probably my most successful route, but that’s because it’s mostly friends who want to help you. It is hard to get noticed and the biggest key is having patience and not being afraid to ask for help.
What turned you on to Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and how was your experience with it?
One of my blogger friends suggested HARO for promos. It’s hit or miss for me, but I am happy it linked me to my publisher. With that said, I will probably go back to self-publishing for my next book(s). With self-publishing, I feel like I have more control of my platform and can easily get editors and help to do what the traditional publisher did. Plus, I can make more money by self-publishing.
What was the deciding factor in choosing the traditional route with Greenleaf Book Group?
I planned to grow my business and wanted more national attention for my book. And, I love my publisher! They are very down to earth and very easy to deal with. I definitely felt like they “got me” and I love my final result.
Has their expertise in the business category impacted your reach and results? Do you recommend a genre-specific publisher?
The published route has definitely helped my reach and results. It helped grow my platform and presence which I can use for my business.
How has having a published book affected your business and blog?
Both have grown. It has helped with the process of raising money for my business and being able to say I’m a published author really helps my credibility.
How else can authors prove themselves to a publisher other than self-publishing, in your opinion?
Prove you have a following or ability to sell books. Blogging and podcasting are great ways to show this outside of self-publishing.
What can we expect from you next? Do you have another book in the works?
I have two other books I want to write: one is based on blogs and another is about women in finance. I am an active blogger and just started my podcast “Martinis and Your Money” in October. Both are growing rapidly!
Do you have any final words to share?
Thank you!! You have to create your own success. You can’t expect others to do it for you. 🙂