OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
I love to talk to amazing, enthusiastic people who have made a successful transition from corporate jobs to creative entrepreneurship. Today, I discuss the journey and thoughts on publishing with the brilliant Farnoosh Brock.
In the intro, I talk about a shift to a global focus with an eye on future disruption, my box-set for ARKANE books 1-3, my lessons from the fantastic Write, Publish, Repeat, and my next non-fiction book on Public Speaking for Introverts, coming soon. Plus, if you want to make the transition from corporate, I'm doing a Goodreads giveaway for my own book, Career Change that you can join here.
The podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors.
Farnoosh Brock is an author, professional speaker, coach and creative entrepreneur at ProlificLiving.com
- Farnoosh left a corporate job to be a full-time entrepreneur as a personal development blogger, author and coach as well as creating programs to help with career transition. A year ago, she hired her husband out of his corporate job to join her business. She also specializes in physical health, with the Healthy Juicer's Bible, as well as programs for stretching and juicing.
- Both Farnoosh and I left our 6 figure corporate jobs in 2011, and she talks about how unhappy she was after over 11 years of the job – in engineering, software support and other technical work as well as project management. She had to make that change, but she did start the blog part time, so it wasn't too a risky move. [My transition was very similar] Farnoosh talks about having to learn a lot about entrepreneurship and business at the beginning, and now she teaches others through her SmartExitBlueprint.
- Publishing comparisons. Farnoosh started with self-publishing and thinks it's brilliant and empowering. She wrote a book on juicing which did so well that it attracted attention from a traditional publisher, who made her an offer.
“By waiting for a literary agent to ‘choose' you, you're holding your book hostage.”
- Farnoosh does the writing, and her husband does all the publishing tasks. Her self-published book on juicing really took off, and showed her the possibilities of reaching an audience that way. A publisher approached her and asked to buy the rights for that book, but Farnoosh proposed writing a new one, which became The Healthy Juicer's Bible.
- Skeptical about the publishing industry, Farnoosh hired a lawyer to go through the contract and negotiated. We talk about the change in power differential that there is now, especially if you have a platform and will walk away if your terms aren't met. That confidence and knowing what you want will help you negotiate. The more she talked to them, the more she became sure it would work. She also interviewed authors who had worked with that publisher, so she did a lot of due diligence [which most authors skip in their enthusiasm for any deal]. Her experience, as a result, has been very positive.
“The book is a collaboration.”
- The publisher doesn't owe the author anything, and Farnoosh is more than willing to do a lot of marketing by herself. That impressed the publisher so much that they asked for two more books, so it is now an ongoing partnership. Publishers have a lot of authors who work with them in an unprofessional manner, who miss deadlines, who don't deliver, and if you can be a professional, you will stand out.
- Blogging is fantastic for improving your own writing, as well as building a platform. It can help you find your voice, as well as finding an audience.
Some of Farnoosh's marketing activities for her book include:
- Doing a trailer/commercial for the book impressed the publisher a lot. You can watch it here.
- Farnoosh recommends reading Goodreads for Authors by Michelle Campbell-Scott and also did a Goodreads giveaway. [Check out this interview with Goodreads Author liaison, Patrick Brown, for lots more on Goodreads].
- She also targeted specific bloggers, podcasters and authors who were willing to do something to promote the book – guest posting, Google Hangouts, podcasts etc – and used print books for giveaways. But you don't have to just focus on the launch, you can keep marketing as an ongoing task.
- The importance of having a positive attitude about money, but also your health, when talking about prolific living.
- How to stop seeking approval and validation of others. The separation of you from your work.
- Top tips for the writer's body – Farnoosh talks about the power of stretching and 10 mins of moving. We also talk about what we're excited about as creative entrepreneurs.
You can find Farnoosh and all her books, products and services at ProlificLiving.com
You can also find her on twitter @prolificliving