Have you ever thought about writing a book and maybe even getting it published?
In this episode, Jamie Sears is handing you the blueprint for the publishing process. To celebrate the release of her book, How to Love Teaching Again, Jamie is sharing what it’s really like to go through the publishing process.
She’s opening up about the writing process, working with editors, choosing a cover design, and negotiating when she had to fight for things she wanted to keep in the book.
I’m excited about the book, and I’m excited to have Jamie on the podcast. If you’re curious about the book publishing process, this is for you.
Jamie Sears is a fun-loving mom, wife, entrepreneur, and forever teacher at heart. She is also the author of How to Love Teaching Again. After several years in the classroom, her passion to make teaching fun and effective for students and teachers alike inspired her to start Not So Wimpy Teacher. Now she has the honor of serving hundreds of thousands of teachers around the world by providing easy-to-use, hands-on resources and engaging professional development that help students to love learning and teachers to love teaching.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How to collect stories for a book
- What happens after you decide to write a book
- Why you might want to hire a book coach to help you
- What the book pitching process is like
- How long it takes to get a book published
- The process of writing a proposal for your book
- What happens after you turn your book in
- How much of a say you get in the process when you’re working with a publisher
- Who does the marketing for your book
- Why preorders are so valuable to authors
Links & Resources:
- The Art of Online Business website
- DM me on Instagram
- Visit my YouTube channel
- The Art of Online Business clips on YouTube
- Full episodes of The Art of Online Business Podcast on YouTube
- The Art of Online Business Podcast website
- Check out my Accelerator coaching program
Jamie Sears's Links:
- Follow Jamie on Facebook
- Read Jamie’s Blog
- Follow Jamie on Instagram
- Read How to Love Teaching Again
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
Please support the podcast by giving an honest Rating/Review for the show on iTunes!
Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:
The Secret to Writing Case Studies That Actually Sell | w/Brittany Herzberg
Why a Funnel Isn't Enough: Unlocking What ACTUALLY Sells Out Your Coaching Program | w/Neill Williams
Writing my book was something I really wanted to do, and I actually really enjoyed the process of writing it, and I now know that it is really authentically me. It's my words. It's exactly how I want to say it. It's my story and I feel really good about that. I think I is amazing. There's so many cool tools that we can use as entrepreneurs and I will use as an entrepreneur, but I'm proud of myself for writing every last word of this book.
All right. What's up, my friends?
Welcome to today's episode of The Art of Online Business podcast. Rick here. And one of my favorite things as a coach is to watch the progress of a big project, and especially when it goes from idea to, you know, to reality. And that's exactly what happens with my guest today, Jamie Sears. She's been a long time member of my accelerator coaching program. She's the founder of Not so Wimpy teacher.com. And Jamie's been on the podcast here a couple of times before. And as of yesterday, April 4th, 2023, she had her first major publisher book drop. It's called How to Love Teaching Again, Work Smarter, Beat Burnout and Watch Your Students Thrive. Now asking me to come on here because I personally do not know much about the, you know, the the publishing process from idea all the way through to, you know, it being on Amazon, you know, working with a major publisher or going into a Barnes and Noble, for example, and seeing it on the shelf or walking through an airport and you get the bookstores there and seeing your book right there, that's pretty cool, right?
And yes, of course you can do that when you self-publish. But the, you know, working with a publisher and that sort of process I don't know much about. And so I asked Jamie to come on here and share with all of you. And I ask her a ton of questions, obviously, because I'm super curious what it was like, what her process was like to write a book, get, you know, get her pick basically of working with a publisher that she wanted to work with. And then, you know, obviously write the book because you're going to hear she worked with a writing coach and to all the way through to becoming, you know, a published author of a book that I think is super well or is super needed.
Right. You know, I have a thing for teachers. My younger sister's been a teacher for 25 years. I'm dating myself right now. And, you know, I know the first I know firsthand the burnout that teachers go through and how hard they work and and how difficult the job is. I also work with a ton of teacher entrepreneurs in accelerator and have for several years. And so that's even you know, I'm even more excited about what Jamie has written here in this book. So without further ado, let's go hang out with Jamie Sears and learn all about the book publishing process and what she went through from start all the way through to becoming published and available for everybody to purchase. By the way, go pick up if you know a teacher. I mean, we all know teachers, right? Buy this book for if you are a teacher, get it for yourself. If you are not a teacher and you know a teacher who can benefit from this, this is a great gift to give to them. How to love teaching again, work smarter, beat burnout and watch your students thrive. I'll link it up in the show notes for today's episode to head over to Amazon to grab your copy. And without further ado, let's go hang out with Jamie. So what number interview is this for you this week? What? How many podcasts have you been interviewed on this week?
This is my ninth so far this week.
And it's Thursday. And you have two more tomorrow.
What has been your most favorite question that you've been asked?
I've gotten asked a lot of crazy questions. You know, my book is about teaching. And I literally had someone say, tell me your feelings about guilt. I was like, What are we talking about? I'm so confused. And another person asked me like, Hey, you made it really obvious you have a team. What's your favorite interview question? And I'm like, It just got me really bad because I'm like, I didn't know we were talking about hiring people. Can we talk there? Yeah, my brain wasn't there. And so then I was like, I got to think about that for a minute because you've like gone in a totally different direction. So I really like the questions about the stories in my book. Those were the most fun to talk about.
Where did you come up with the stories?
Do you have? Do you have a process for collecting stories?
I do have a process for collecting stories. So the stories are almost all about my kids, or they're about even me as a kid. They're very rarely about teaching, although in the book, the publisher did make me tell more teaching stories and less personal ones. She just didn't get that. My audience actually likes the personal stories. So we had to we had some fighting like, okay, I'll put a teaching story in if you let me keep this story. And so we had to like go back and forth a little bit. But as far as keeping track of stories, because I work with a team who helps to write for me and I want them to write my stories. I Voxer them stories whenever I think of them and they usually come up like you're you're out with friends for lunch and you're like, oh my gosh, my kid did that too. And then it just reminds me and I'm like, Oh, wait, I got to tell Lisa this real quick. Let me Voxer her this. So I Voxer her the stories, it's faster than writing them. Plus she gets my voice better. When you write, you start to change things to make it grammatically correct and that sort of thing. When Voxer it she just gets exactly how I would tell the story. And then she takes those boxers and she keeps them in an air table and she likes to categorize them by the type of story they are as it relates to emails and blog posts that we write. So it might be a time something didn't go right or a time that that I worked really too hard time that I was wrong, stuff like that. She'll categorize them in Airtable so that when she needs them later, she can come back and find the story that she needs and then she'll pretty much write it how I said it instead of her writing style to write it exactly how I said it. So now you make.
Yeah. Because you boxed her.
Yeah, because I just use my voice. And it doesn't take long at all. I mean, honestly, while I'm telling my friend the story, I could turn on Voxer and tell it to her. I don't mean she has to listen to all these boxers of all my crazy stories, and she's still she still likes me. The only thing is kind of funny is I tell her I go all this time telling her a funny story and I expect her to like, box her back and be like, That's a good story. You never boxers back. So it's just me boxing her over and over again. And I always wonder, like, what does she think of me? Because she never says anything about these stories.
She put that in like some of her goals for the quarter. You have to respond to 75% of my messages that I'm sending. Sending you or no.
Because like, send a story about my kid swearing. And I'm like, I'm being really honest here. Like, I can't believe my four year old said a swear word. And I expect her to boxer back and be like, It's okay. It happens like you're not a bad mom, nothing. And you're like, Oh, she's judging me.
So So you're using those stories in your emails that you send out in your blog post and you.
Already had a library basically to choose from for.
Yep. Had a big library of stories. And so a lot of times when I was writing a chapter in the book, like I wrote a chapter about how chaotic the classroom was. So I just thought about a time when something was really chaotic in my life. Something that happened was really chaotic, and I was like, Oh, that time I threw a birthday party for my girls. It was really chaotic. And so I used that story to open with I think it makes the the book more relatable. People nod their head like, Yeah, that kind of thing has happened to me too. It also makes it more fun. Teachers are so tired of reading textbook after textbook. They want something that's an easier read, and I think it makes what I teach afterwards more memorable because you remember the story and you're like, Why did she tell us that story? And I'm hoping that connects the strategy that I was teaching in the chapter of the book.
Now, was it? Ah, the story of the fact that you're putting.
Stories in there.
Is that something that the publisher is like? We need stories in every chapter, or was that a decision made by you or what?
Well, in the book writing process, first you start with a proposal, and that's really what they buy for nonfiction. They buy a proposal. Your book isn't written yet, and I put stories right in the proposal. And so when they bought my book, they said they really liked my stories. And I was like, That's good because that's who I am. That's how I talk to my audience. What's funny is when I did go to write the book, they kept trying to cut them out. And I said, But that's what my audience is used to. And they said, Yeah, but people who aren't in your usual audience are going to be reading this too, so they might not get why you do that. And I had to fight and say, I don't care. I don't want them to be surprised to read this book and think I'm one way, and then they may join my email list and all of a sudden they get these crazy stories. I'm like, This is who I am, so I'm going to be me authentically me in the book too. And I had to fight with them. We had a compromise. Sometimes I was like, they were like, We don't want this story. And I'm like, I'm not tied to that story. All right, I'll let it go. But there was one story in the book. We went to battle over it three different times. We had to battle to keep it. And when I went to go read the audio book, the director was listening to the book for the first time, and she cracked up when I told the story. And I'm like, They tried to take that out. She was like, No, it's the best story in the whole book. So yeah, we had to battle a little bit for some of the stories, and I'm glad we did.
I want to I want to get to what it's like.
Working with a publisher, but like, what was the.
Are you able to share the reason why they didn't.
Story there or to take that story out?
Yeah, they they thought that it didn't connect enough to teaching and so they wanted to take it out. They wanted all the stories to be teaching related. And I mean, I get that. Yeah. That's not how I write to my audience all the rest of the time. So I thought it made sense to share some of these personal stories. I think when you read a book and you learn more about the author, you connect with them, and then once you connect with them, you trust them a little bit more. So I let my audience in on a story about peeing my pants in the fifth grade. And like, I was super honest in the book. In fact, when I read the audio book, there were times where I wanted to ask everyone in the studio to maybe step out because this felt a little private. But then I realized how nuts that was because I was like reading it so that everyone else could hear it. So I feel like when you read the book, you know that I did not hold back. I told it all.
Love it, I love it. So at what point did.
You so this.
The book comes out when when this episode comes out.
The book will have come out yesterday, April 4th.
Oh, I'm excited for that.
Day before let's repeat it again, because I've already talked about it, but what's the name of the book and where can people get it?
The book is called How to Love Teaching Again, Work Smarter, Beat Burnout and Watch Your Students Thrive. It's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Target.com, Walmart.com and wherever you buy your books. It's going to be there.
So for any teachers I know, we have teachers who listen to the show. By the way. Thank you. Go get Jamie's book. Go on. If you already. If you haven't already gotten it, go get the book. Give it to my sister's a teacher. She's been a middle school Spanish teacher in New Hampshire for, like, 25 years. I've already pre ordered a book for her, so give it as a gift to your teachers.
When did you decide that?
You know what? I'm going to.
Write a book.
I decided right before the whole pandemic, and it was right before I met you for the first time, Rick, because I had made a decision maybe the week prior to my first accelerator retreat. I was like, I'm going to write a book. And I even decided on the name of the book. And when I got to that retreat, there was someone else at the retreat who was just finishing up her book. And so I sat there and and I just asked her a ton of questions. I didn't understand any of her answers, but I recorded them anyway. Like, I'll Google this, I'll figure out what that means. And I remember telling you that I was thinking about writing a book and you said, There is no doubt in my mind you will get a publisher for your book. And I you know, that meant a lot to me because in those early days, when you decide to do such a big project, your brain tells you a lot of terrible stories. And so you were just like, There's no doubt in my mind you would get a publisher. And I, I believed you.
And here you are and you got.
A big publisher. I did. So once you made that first.
Not at first. This I did not get the big publisher at first.
So let's let's talk about that that process. So you make the decision like, okay, I'm going to write a book.
Then. Then what?
Well, then I kind of like dilly dally because I didn't believe in myself enough. But I decided, okay, we're going to make this happen. And what I thought to do was to contact a publisher who just just published the books about education. They're very small publisher, very niche, and I thought, that'll be perfect for my book. I didn't want to go too big because I didn't believe in myself enough. So I sent them an email like they had like a spot on their website. Like if you're an author, send us your like book ideas or whatever. And I did that, and I got a response like two days later that said, No thank you. Oh, really? Yeah. And I was really bummed out because I thought, this is a really small publisher. It's exactly my niche. I have a I have a large audience in this niche, even larger than some of the authors that they have. So I thought, this must not be a good book idea. I mean, maybe I was wrong to do this. Like that's the first story my brain told me was like, This isn't this isn't going to happen. Was it.
The same Was it the same topic or the same, same.
Same book? Everything's okay.
Okay. Yeah. Now, I hadn't written, like a formal proposal. I didn't know. I didn't know what to do. So the next step, I was talking to somebody else who had just gotten a book deal and I asked her like, What did you do? And she said, I had a book coach and I got an agent. I did all this stuff. And I'm like, I don't even know what all this stuff is, right? And so I went ahead and I hired a coach. And I think that over the last several years, investing in coaches has really helped me. And I. I leaned into that whole idea of learning from somebody who knows this industry so much better than I do. I had a meeting with her. I shared with her my idea and she was instantly like, Oh, this is a no brainer. Oh, really? Yes, we can definitely get you a deal. Like she didn't she didn't seem fazed in the least that this publisher had told me. No. Even one. No. And I wanted to quit. And I'm so glad I didn't. So I worked with her for several months and we wrote a proposal. It took several months to write this proposal. So instead of just clicking and sending an email in five minutes time, I spent months writing a proposal and she helped me to flesh out my idea and create a table of contents and all these things.
So then you take this proposal and she pitches it to all of her agent friends and. Okay, yeah. So she pitches it to all these agent friends and you just wait for one who might want you, and then you get to interview them and pick your agent. Well, I only had one who wanted me. Others turned me down saying that they didn't think teachers would read a book. I was like, Wow, that's crazy because teachers love books. Yeah, they told me. They said teachers only like podcasts, not books. My mind was blown because I've not seen that to be the case. And so but this agent believed in me. She used to be a teacher. And when she heard about the book, she instantly was like, This is so needed. And then she instantly loved it. So she takes the proposal and she pitches it to the publisher. So this is a long process. Yeah, a really long process. It was about six months from the time I started writing a proposal with the coach until I was offered my deal from Penguin Random House. That was like six months for that. And then it was another It's been two years since I got my publishing deal. That's how long this has this whole thing has taken. And that's apparently pretty normal.
That's a long time. I have so many questions there.
How did you choose the book, Coach?
Reference referral. Hi. I got uncomfortable. I don't know why I have trouble asking other people. Like, how did you do that? What'd you do? But there was somebody in that I had met and in another entrepreneur Facebook group. I hardly knew her when I said met, like, you know, I commented on her post, she commented on mine. And I'm like, okay, we can be best friends. Yeah. I flat out asked her like, Tell me what you did and I will tell you, her book just came out last week and it has been a really big success. So I really feel like, you know, just I had to get uncomfortable and ask someone. I'm like, what are you doing to to get where you are? Because she had already had an agent. And so I was like, I want to know what you're doing. And she taught me the process and she put me in contact with Coach. Crazy thing is, we now both have the same agent. Oh, really? Interesting. Small world. Small world.
So got the book coach through referral book coach, you work on this.
How long did you work on the proposal? Like six months.
The proposal and just getting an agent and then the agent pitching to the publisher took six months of time. And it was during the pandemic too, and it was just a lot of waiting and wondering because that's what it was. It was a hurry up. This is due at this time. And then a lot of just sitting back and waiting for them to like get around to it or whatever it was. And so it was a lot of hurry up and then wait.
So I actually have no idea what goes into.
Yeah, I didn't know either. So when I went to that accelerator retreat, the person who wrote a book in Accelerator, she told me, You need to write a proposal. And I don't know what that means. So really what it is, is you take your outline, you have to have an outline of the book, basically your table of contents, and then you expand upon it. So they want to see the whole first chapter usually, or one chapter, whichever chapter makes the most sense. For me, it was the first chapter, and then they want to see maybe one page summary of what each of the other chapters will be about so that they can get an idea of how you write from your first chapter and also the type of information you're going to include in the future chapters. So yeah, it took a while, just I thought I was ready to write this book and the coach helped me to flesh it out. She sat with me on a Zoom call and she just asked me to tell her everything about what I wanted to write, and she just was taking notes. She wasn't a teacher, but she was just like taking notes. And then when I finished, she did a couple of cuts and pastes and she goes, So what do you think of this outline? And there it was. There was my outline. And we kept fairly close to that outline throughout the whole process. So interesting. Yeah.
Now I have to ask, with all of the, you know, AI and all that.
Stuff in the past few months. Are you kicking yourself at.
All that you weren't able to use some tools just to kind of help in the.
Or no? No, not really, because I feel like my book writing my book was something I really wanted to do, and I actually really enjoyed the process of writing it. And I now know that it is really authentically me. It's my words. It's exactly how I want to say it. It's my story and I feel really good about that. I think I is amazing. There's so many cool tools that we can use as entrepreneurs and I will use as an entrepreneur, but I'm proud of myself for writing every last word of this book.
That's it's that's pretty. Uncommon. It's not very common these days for people to I don't mean I necessarily I'm talking like.
To have somebody else write the book for them.
And you know, my coach said she would do that. She goes a lot of people have me just go straight their book. Is that what you want to do? And I said no, I want to write my own book. She goes, That's cool. You can go ahead and get started. Usually people write 1 or 2 chapters and then they change their mind. So I'll, you know, I'll wait. I didn't change my mind. And I worked with her through the whole process. I hired her to help me write the book, too, but we would just meet each week and if I was struggling with a chapter, I would start talking to her and I would tell her all the things I was thinking and she would help me to organize those thoughts. And so that was really helpful. But I did all of the writing and I think it just goes back when I was I was like in third grade, I decided I wanted to be an author. I used to sit out on the playground with a thesaurus and a notebook, and I used to write stories. And so this has been a bucket list dream for me. I feel like if really you just want to get the information out to the world, then it would make more sense to have somebody help you through the writing process. But for me, I wanted to get the thing out into the world and I wanted to be the author. I wanted to do it. So yeah.
So once you get once you began the.
Writing process of the actual.
Book, like you've got your publisher at that.
How do you go about? You know, start writing because.
That can seem like a very daunting task to somebody like, Holy cow, I got to write a book now. How did you break it down and give yourself milestones and all that stuff?
Yeah, well, my coach and Neil Neil helped me with this too. We decided that I had nine chapters and we decided I was going to spend two weeks on each chapter. They figured out what the average number of words is per chapter, and so they divided that out. I wrote two times a week every Tuesday and Thursday. It was on my calendar to do writing. I didn't take any meetings or anything else on those days, and so they would take the number of words the chapter should be and divide it into four and say, This is about how much you need to write. And each writing session. And it was broken down for me so that most of the time it was actually very easy. I'm not going to say all the time because there were chapters where I felt frustrated, like I didn't think I was going to get enough words, which is funny.
You start off with, There's no way I'm going to have enough words, and then the process is, okay, we have got to remove some of these words. It's way too long. So yeah, yeah, it's amazing. But I think one just taking it and breaking it down to smaller piece because if you're just like, Oh my gosh, I have to write a whole book. Yeah, I think I would have kept putting it off like, okay, I'm going to start next week, I'm going to start next week. But because it was broken down into this tiny little pieces, it was really helpful. It was also really helpful to talk to a coach along the way when I did feel like I was getting stuck. I'm glad that I did that too. It was just nice to have somebody listen to you like this is kind of what I'm trying to say, but I'm having trouble, like figuring out the words and just having a conversation. After the conversation, I always felt like, Oh my God, I know exactly what I need to write. I got to go. We got to get off this call because I got to write. And we actually I wrote the book in about three months.
I remember I mean, I remember the.
Conversations that we'd have. And you're like, all right, I have. You were very disciplined about when.
Things, you know, when.
You're with your.
Deadlines and and, you know, I.
I was so psyched to see that you had the. You created the flexibility in your own.
Because you created the team that was running by.
To give you the opportunity to be like, No, this is all.
I'm doing on these days.
Yeah, absolutely. And I my my coach, she said that, you know, she creates these deadlines, but they're just, you know, they're soft deadlines. But in my head I decided they're hard deadlines. And I finished my book on time. I turned it in more than a year ago. I turned it on February 1st of 2022. And she said, You're my only client who's ever turned their book in on time like it was due on February 1st. And you turned it in on February 1st. And I'm like, it was the deadline. I'm a teacher. I was teaching papers.
Yeah, Yeah. So you turn it in and then what?
Like, what is the process at that point?
Then begins the slowest year ever. It feels like nothing's happening for the longest time. And you wonder why you worked so hard to get the book done on time when no one seems to be doing anything with it. Yeah, that's what it felt like to me. But then all of a sudden you'd hear from the editor and they're like, All right, we need you to do this round of edits. So the first round, the first several rounds are content edits where they're like, Well, we like the story. We don't like the story. Could you add more here?
The editor had a really great suggestion to me, like, what's missing from your book is some of the content I see on your blog and I'm thinking about it and I'm like, Somehow I got so focused on the book that I forgot some really valuable content, and she recognized that. So we added another chapter After the content editing is done, then it goes more into editing for grammar, spelling, mechanics. That's all kind of boring, but they send it all to you for approval, so you get documents. That's like a million changes that they're asking your permission to make. It's tedious. It's not nearly as creative and fun as the actual writing of the book, but every every edit that we approved and sent back in, you feel like, okay, now we're done. And then they send you back another round of edits. Our editor has changed twice since this has been a two and a half year thing. Our editor has changed twice. What's funny is we're now back to the original editor, so.
Oh, really? I didn't know that.
Yeah, Yeah. If you wait it out, our original editor.
Is back full circle.
We've had two agents because our agent left two, two and a half years. I guess in the publishing world, they don't stay in their jobs really Long time. Interesting. Yeah, there's been a lot of turnover, so that's been fun. But every round of edits and it was neat to have a coach telling me like, This is what this means, because they, they use like a terminology. I don't know. Yeah. And they kind of think you're going to know it. And so you can ask your agent to, to help you. Like, what do they mean by this? Like what is this all about? But I will tell you, during this year of editing, my coach did most of the edits for me. Oh, that's cool. She approved everything that was just simple and then came to me with anything extra. So that made it so much easier to get through something that to me felt tedious. Yeah.
Now how and so. So then they're like, okay, we're there, we're done. I remember you posted one.
Time in the group about the cover of, of the book. Did did you, I would assume does the publisher. I have no idea. Does the publisher design the cover or.
Yeah, and that's that was really hard for me. I'm gonna tell you the cover like was super challenging because they sent me like five of them. They're like, Which one do you like? And I looked at them and this is where I emailed my agent and I said, To be real honest, I think they're all incredibly ugly. Yeah. And none of them match my brand. None of them look modern. The fonts are hard to read. This is not what I would produce. And he very nicely sent an email like Jamie's concerned a little bit about some of these cover designs and has some ideas.
You know, he just made it really nice. We went back and forth multiple times and at one point I made a cover design and I got on Zoom with them and shared my screen and I'm like, I'm thinking something like this. And they kind of looked at it and they're like, Well, you know, there's a lot of reasons we can't do that. And I was like, Oh, but this is what I have in my mind. I will tell you that the next round looked remarkably similar to the one I showed them, and that's where we got our cover image. But I think I was pickier than most people because my business is really, really centers around a lot of graphics. We create resources. Digital resources are our bread and butter, so we make a lot of covers. And I was like, My covers are a lot cuter than your cover. And so we fought it for a long time. But I will say the cover in front of me, I love it. It matches my brand. We settled on a couple places, but decided they said, Well, we know more about books, so lean into what we know. And so we came to a compromise. Some people think that when you work with a traditional publisher, you don't get any say about your your book, your cover. Right. They will say, that's not true.
You haven't had that experience.
I will say that they'll come to you and say, I don't think you should have this in your book or I don't think this is the cover for your book. But you do get a say. You get to come. I can say, well, I actually want this in my book and here's why. And ultimately, I was always the final yes or no on all decisions. Sometimes we had to fight a little bit, but I think it was worth it because I did listen to a lot of what they said. A lot of what they said did make sense just because I had to fight really hard for a couple of stories or really hard for the cover. There was so many times they were really right. And so I'm glad that they were there pushing me because then I got to really think, Is this a good story for my book? Is this what I want my cover to look like? And I think it made the product even better than if I'd just done it on my own without anyone pushing me on some of the decisions.
Let's talk about the marketing of the book. So here so here.
With a massive audience, someone who knows how to market, who has.
Grown a very successful online.
Business. And. Who does the marketing in this case? You know, like. Meaning? Meaning like. Are they coming up with the plan? Are you coming up with the plan?
I still don't know. And, you know, at first I started to get really nervous because it didn't feel like they were doing anything to get me ready for marketing this book. And I was getting so nervous that finally I made the decision. I'm like, I know how to launch things. You and I talked at one point and you're like, You know how to launch things. Just launch it like you do anything else.
It was my first physical product, but it still felt like I could do a lot of the same strategies. And so we made the decision that we're going to launch this book as if we don't have a publicist, as if we don't have a marketing team. And if they come through for us and they market and they get us some publicity, then that'll just be the cherry on top. And I think that was the best decision I made because before I felt like I was waiting for them to do something and I felt out of control. But then I was like, You know what? I know how to launch. So we decided to do things like, we're having webinars for our book and we're using our Facebook ads for our book and we have bonuses and and we're just doing the things we do when we sell courses.
Basically, we let the. We let the audience vote on the cover image. We've done that so many times. We know it gets them excited. We're using our email list and we just are sending emails the same way we would any other product. And so we do have a marketing team and we do have a publicity team and they've actually done a lot of great things for us from pitching and getting lots of podcasts. They're working on television, appearances, conferences and things. But you know what? They're they're dumbfounded when they're like, Man, every time you send out an email, we sell a ton of books. And they also are like, You're so ahead of things. Like usually our authors are like very last minute, like, Hey, how should we sell this book? And I'm like, I was trying to make a plan like six, eight months out, and that's what was like getting them. They're like, Oh, we don't usually make plans this far out. And so I think that I was a little more than they were used to, but they're pleased. I was going to say.
I bet they're.
Really happy with.
That because I think it was, what, last summer.
Of 2022? Like we started.
Having a conversation.
Of like, you're like, I haven't heard any like, you're you're.
A planner. Yeah. Like your team likes to plan and like, plan several months in advance. And I remember there was a feeling of unease or like, wait, wait, like I don't have a plan in place right now. And I was like, let's just do like.
Just like you said, like, let's just do this.
And if you know the marketing and the publicity.
Team comes through with stuff, it's just.
Like added bonus.
And that's exactly what we've done. And it feels good because at first my brain kept telling me, You've never done this, you don't know what you're doing. And it was like, Wait a minute, I've never sold a book, but I've sold a lot of things. I know how to sell things to my audience. It's a different thing. But I can use so many of the same strategies. And so that's exactly what we've done. And then they've come through with a lot of extras and we've just been able to fit those into our plan, and they're just psyched. They're like, What are you doing next? I mean, they schedule meetings with us to figure out like, Hey, what are you guys up to? And they're trying to keep track of a calendar of all of my events and stuff because we we've gotten a lot of conferences and trade shows, all these different things that we're doing, and they're really excited. And the thing is, as we get more books preordered, it tells the publisher, as well as booksellers that this book is going to be popular, which opens up more doors for us. One of our goals had been to get the book into Target stores, and we still don't know if we'll be able to do that. They don't generally take launch week books.
They have very few books in their stores. They wait to see which are going to be the best sellers and they carry those. And we may or may not get into Target stores, but we are on Target.com. But I mean, we set out like, okay, what could we do to get books into Target stores? And you know what? W
e Googled, we asked people we were open to every and all ideas. We have, like notes upon notes. And I think that just getting creative, like sitting down and saying, how can we sell more books? We sat down with our whole team one day and said, Question, How can we sell more books? And there's ten of us total. And we went around and like, there was some crazy, amazing ideas that afterwards we were actually overwhelmed. Like, okay, this is too many ideas, too many ideas. We're going to have to save some of these for the next book. But it was it was really good to just take it into our control. And they're they're working harder for us now because they're actually seeing that the books are getting sold. So now they're able to use what we already started as leverage to get us even more publicity and more opportunities. And they're they're paying for ads for us, too.
Oh, they are.
Yeah. They have an ad budget. They asked us how we'd like them to spend it. Oh.
Yeah. Isn't that nice?
That was a fun email.
So did I just hear, like, a tease of a possible second book?
My agent started talking about a second book, like, immediately after I turned it. In my first draft and I told him that I was like, Man, it's like asking someone in labor if they're going to have another kid. I was like, It's way too soon to start talking about this, but something on my future radar is possibly creating a children's book with my daughter, who's an incredible artist. So that's on a possible radar. And that would be a much it feels like it would be a much easier project, right? I mean, it's not 240 pages long. Yeah.
If you if you were to do if you were telling somebody who is.
Interested in, you know.
Dream of writing a book.
Would you say? Would you advise self publishing.
Or going with a publisher?
You know, going with the publisher was the best for me. Yeah. And self publishing might be best for you. I have a good friend who's self published and it was definitely what was best for him and for his audience. So what I would suggest is get on a call with somebody who knows a lot about both and share your ideas the size of your audience and pick their brain.
Because if you don't know a lot about book publishing and you're trying to make this decision, you're kind of making it in the dark. So when I got on a Discovery call with Coach and explained what my audience and what I wanted to do, she instantly was like, No, don't self publish. That's not going to meet the goals that you have. And so it made it much more sense for me to go traditional publishing route. It does mean it takes longer. Yeah, that's probably the biggest downside was that it took longer, but I think the product's so much better.
Are you going to send the book to or have you already sent it to that first? I always joke that said no.
I always joke that I'm going to, but he probably like whoever runs the publishing company. He probably doesn't even know who I am. Like when they said no, they probably have not given another thought to it. So yeah, you know, maybe one day I'll get to meet them and I'll say, Remember that time you turned down my book idea? But it was so good for me. I'm glad he turned me down because I was playing small. Like, why did I start with the smallest instead of thinking a lot bigger? Like, why not start with the biggest? And if that doesn't work out, you can start working your way down the ladder to maybe something a little more niche. And honestly, niche might be exactly what your book needs. I, the publisher I loved the most when we interviewed publishers, it's called a book auction. Like your book is up for auction and all of the publishers have meetings with you and kind of like you're interviewing with them, but they're actually kind of interviewing with you, too, because at the end of the auction, if they want your book, then they're competing with everyone else. And so the person I liked the most, he and I talked about education for the whole hour. My agent was like, hey, like, what's going on? You guys going to talk about the book? It was very clear that my book would be so safe with him and that he would take the best care of it. But it also was clear that that wouldn't have been it wouldn't have gotten my book into as many hands of teachers because he had less resources at his disposal. I did not pick the deal. That was the most money, though.
I remember you saying I had to think about.
That for a second. I remember you saying that.
Yeah, because you.
More aligned with.
Exactly what you're talking about.
And you know, what she did is something that any of your audience could do, too. And she didn't have the highest offer. It was definitely high, but she didn't have the highest offer. She wrote me a personal note, and I'm sure it's a template she probably uses for all her authors, but she did a nice job of customizing it to me and she told me how much my book meant to her and how she would make it a priority to get my book out to the world. And she lists several things that she wanted to do for me. She was very open, like, This is what I want to do for you. The other publisher may have done all those same things for me, but they didn't tell me they were going to. And so when I read that letter, I instantly knew right away I said, This is the one I want because I felt a connection.
Yeah, they reached out and they made a connection with me and I knew that I would rather get paid less and work with somebody who is passionate about my book and just her taking that extra time, that little extra touch is why I picked her.
Amazing. So good. So what now? Last time?
Well, after. After we get through launch this summer, lots of conferences and we're still going to be selling our book. But we'll also get to go back to business. Writing and selling a book is fun. It's not insanely profitable. Don't write a book to be a millionaire because it ain't going to happen. So we'll go back to focusing on not some Wimpy Teacher and all the digital resources we create for teachers. I have been a little bit absent from that. My team is still plugging away, but I've been a little bit absent from that as I've been working on this book and I'm happy that I was able to do that, to take that time. Yeah, I'll be traveling all summer though. So I have like a big travel schedule and one of my conferences is on a cruise ship. Oh, that's rough. It's tough stuff. I have to speak on a cruise ship. So? So I'm getting paid. Getting paid to talk on a cruise ship.
So you're a professional.
Since he caught a cruiser. Professional professional cruise ship traveler this summer.
Well, one cruise, but yeah, yeah. And you know, it was fun because when they they pitched me and you don't want to know how I got this conference. It's all the tiniest stuff. And I swear you tell us these things. But I was on Instagram one day and I don't even I'm kind of old, so I don't really use Instagram that much. I mean, that's how old I am. I really don't use TikTok. But I was on Instagram one day scrolling and I saw this conference about being on a cruise ship and I simply commented, Sounds fun. About an hour later I got a DM saying, Hey, can we get on a call? And I was like, Why not? And we get on the call. And I instantly realized that she really wants me, like she's pitching me. I think I should be interviewing to get this spot, but she's like really wanting me. She's telling me all the things are going to do to help me sell my book. And I'm sitting there and I don't know where this came from. Out of nowhere, I did not think about this, but I go, Yeah, well, I do have two young children. I'm gonna have to bring them with me along with a caregiver. And she goes, We'll get you a suite. And I'm like.
All right, sold. I love it.
I love it. How to Love Teaching Again, Work smarter, beat burnout and watch your students Thrive.
Congratulations. I'm looking at it literally right now on Amazon. The book is out now.
This this episode comes out.
On April 5th.
It is out as of yesterday. So go pick up a book. If you're a teacher, go pick up a book if you are Well, if you're even if you're a teacher, buy it for a colleague of yours. If you're not a teacher, buy it for a teacher. That needs to hear this message.
Because knowing the number of teachers that I do and being the brother of a teacher for a very long time, they need this. So thanks for sharing this journey with me and with everybody listening.
All right. Hope you got a ton out of that conversation with Jamie about the book writing process and what what she went through when it was like, if you've ever thought of writing a book and would love to, you know, someday get it published, this is she kind of just gave you the blueprint there. And definitely, again, check out her book either for.
Yourself, if you're a teacher or if.
You know a teacher, your kid's teacher, if you've got kids in school. How to love teaching again, work smarter, beat burnout and watch your students thrive. By Jamie Sears. I'm literally looking at it right now on Amazon and it's really fun to watch this entire project come to fruition and finally be for sale everywhere.
So go pick up a copy. Thank you again as always.
For listening to the podcast here. If you've not yet subscribed to the podcast, make sure that you hit that subscribe button so you don't miss any episodes.
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Thank you, my friend, in advance and for listening to today's episode. Until next time, be well. I'll chat with you soon.