Episode 269: Show Notes
Welcome back to another episode of the Strategy Hour Podcast with your favorite business sisters! We have a great episode in store for you today in which we will be talking to our friend Parijat Deshpande about her experiences self publishing an Amazon bestseller. Parijat is a high risk pregnancy expert and decided to turn her work and wisdom into a book called Pregnancy Brain, which has quickly become a hit and is selling fast since it was published! We chat about what led to the writing and publishing of Pregnancy Brain and what that process was like, from start to finish.
Parijat is a great example of someone taking their business and turning it into something else, namely a distributable and profitable outlet. This is one way that a one-on-one business can be scaled to create more revenue and reach. During our discussion Parijat takes us through the lessons she learned over the last year and a half as she was able to very quickly move from deciding on creating the book to selling it. She really is an inspiration and we at TCC hope she can inspire you to reach your dreams and get your book out of your head and out into the world! We chat about editors, design choices, the writing process and the ups and downs of becoming and author. All things we know you are dying to hear about so without further ado, let’s jump right in!
Parijat’s Experiences Writing and Self Publishing Her Book
Writing and publishing her first book was a whirlwind experience for Parijat and it has already hit the bestseller list on Amazon! One of the first things everyone needs to ask themselves in this process is to seriously consider how badly you want to write a book, because Parijat reminds us, it is hard! It is no joke and is a personal journey that will take you through a lot. Parijat says that there will be plenty of sacrifices that will need to be made and you really have to ask yourself if you are ready for that. For our lovely guest, the idea of writing a book had always been in her head since a young age and it was just a matter of time before she got around to doing it. When she started her private practice last year she was able to start thinking about the idea more seriously and realizing that she wanted to be able to help a wider audience in the way she was helping her small client base was the thing that made the difference. She saw the impact her practice was making but as we always say, one-on-one work does not have much scalability and so the book seemed like the right option. Similarly to Emylee and Abagail, Parijat has a dream to be on Ellen one day and the book is a step towards realizing that dream, go Parijat!
The Actual Process of Planning the Chapters
For Parijat another important step in the early process is getting to know how you, personally, think best. What are the conditions and methods that help you get your best ideas out. She started with listing areas and outlining sections that she wanted to cover and all of these ways of getting ideas out of her head and onto the page helped a lot to make progress. Once these headings were all out and written down she was able to start fleshing these out and filling in the gaps to help them make sense. From this point the actual writing was a lot easier because she had already laid out the course that the writing would take and it was just a matter of detailing each point she wanted to cover. Parijat actually ended up writing the whole thing on Google Docs and decided to keep each chapter separate until she was happy with each one individually. Once she was content with the way they fit together she sent this first draft to her editor for the first time. We hear from her that this process, from the decision to write it, to the first draft took only 5 months. Way to go Parijat! Not all of us can expect such a quick turn around but it sure is inspiring!
The Editing Process and Making Changes
When Pairjat got her manuscript back from the editor there was lots and lots and lots of red pen! We shouldn’t let this scare us though and Parijat admits that she agreed with all the proposed changes. The editing process is so necessary and should not be a source of panic. It is however important to be working with an editor who understands what you are going for, that way there will be much less disconnection and much more agreement upon the way forward. The editor needs to really be on the same page as you when it comes to the purpose of the book and its audience. Parijat was lucky enough to get in touch with her editor through a friend’s referral so the process was quite simple but she stresses the importance of getting connected with the right person. At this point the book became her only major motivator, it was what kept her going and on track, feeling purposeful. Parijat had to start saying no to new clients and the process of working on the book became almost like breathing. You will have days when you feel like quitting but if you keep your eyes on the prize you can make it through the tough times and get your book into readers’ hands! Sounds worth it to us!
Subsequent Edits and the Formatting Process
There were three edits in total and by the end of these drafts Parijat was beginning to feel like she could not read it anymore. We get you girl! She was starting to feel sick of her voice and tired of the words that she had written from sheer repetition. Often for the author the freshness of the book wears off before it even gets published but that is just the way it is. The editing process took about two months and from there the team moved on to the formatting and more technical side of the publishing run. Most of the process went smoothly but there was a scramble at the end when one of the designers pulled out at the last minute, but Parijat and her book made it through alive! A good piece of advice from her is to play around with the tools and formats that you might be using so that when it comes time to execute you know what to expect. Parijat decided to go with three different platforms to distribute her book to reach as many people as possible but what is really important here is knowing your potential audience and the places to reach them most effectively. Another useful tip for Parijat is to get the cover design finalized as early as possible for promotional use.
The Marketing and PR Process for Parijat’s Book
Parijat made a point to send out free copies to all the people who had helped her with the book in any way. She also feels that she could have been better served by organizing presales from the beginning as this is a great way to generate some revenue and drums up excitement. A lot of these areas depend on your market and the field of knowledge, certain things make sense on certain subject matter. Parijat managed to hit a spot that was until then not well catered to, hence the fast success of Pregnancy Brain. In the business book genre for instance, there is a lot more competition and over-saturation. Getting onto the Amazon best seller list for a new business book is just that much harder, so think about how you can fit a book into a less cluttered field if possible. And again, try get people as excited as possible, get your friends and family to drum up as much hype as they can. Get the bees buzzing! The leading title of the book should be aimed at trying to grab the attention while the subtitle can expand on the subject matter and feed into online searches and SEO. A great way to figure the intricacies of this out is to try and gauge what people are googling and then you can market to the data that you collect! This is a great way to get your book in the hands of readers!
Parijat’s Experiences Writing and Self Publishing Her Book. [0:05:31.6]
The Actual Process of Planning the Chapters. [0:12:58.7]
The Editing Process and Making Changes. [0:18:52.4]
Subsequent Edits and the Formatting Process. [0:27:42.2]
The Marketing and PR Process for Parijat’s Book. [0:37:04.4]
Giving the Book a Clever Title. [0:42:10.1]
Make sure you want to actually write a book!
Surround yourself with support.
Your book needs to be out there.