Shelley Hitz is the bestselling author of more than 40 books including Self-Publishing Books 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to publishing Your Book in Multiple Formats. Shelley is the founder of Author Audience Academy and TrainingAuthors.com where she teaches authors how to write, self-publish and market their books.
Shelley never really wanted to be an author. She published her first book in 2008 as a resource for her speaking business. In 2011 she quit her job as a physical therapist to go on the road with her husband, who was a professional speaker, and join him in the family business. They rented out their home, got an RV and started traveling the country to live their dream. As it turned out, they decided to do this the year the speaking gigs dried up.
Unemployed, unable to go home because they’d rented out their house, Shelley had to find something to do with her time that would help them make the income they needed. That’s when she got an email in January 2012 about a Kindle publishing course, and the rest as they say, is history.
Over the next year Shelley published 23 books on Amazon!
This interview is jampacked with information. Here are some of the takeaways:
- It’s important to develop a system, a checklist of things that you do that’s repeatable.
- How to use Kindle book series to achieve success.
- How to break bigger books into smaller books and make a series out of them
- Everyone is different. What works for one author may not work for you.
- It’s important to write every day.
- The idea of a “writer’s date,” where you schedule a block of time to work on your project.
- Speaking the book and getting it transcribed may lead to faster results. (You can also use dictation software.)
- Track everything: environment, time of day, mood, how you are writing your book (speaking it, writing it longhand, typing it.)
- After a week or so you should start to see patterns. You can use this information to help you be more productive.
- Anything you measure is going to get better.
- Why tracking for a short period of time may be better than tracking indefinitely.
- How tracking what you do gives you insights into your own process
- Avoid the pitfall of becoming addicted to learning.
- The 80/20 rule: 20% of your efforts will produce 80% of your results. What you have to do is find out your most productive 20%.
- Track your marketing activities to figure out what is working best.
- Use your strengths to accomplish your goals. There are several different ways to market. Find a marketing method that plays to your strengths.
- The importance of an email list.
- How to nurture your email list.
- Marketing is about the relationship you have with your customer.
- You want your customers to know, like and trust you.
- Think of marketing as inviting someone into your home for a cup of coffee to get to know you.
- The power of permission marketing.
- The permafree marketing strategy.
- The importance of charting your own path to success, instead of trying to copy what someone else is doing.
- When you figure out those things you like to do and spend more time doing them success is less of a struggle.
- Marketing is simply a question of education. If your audience knows enough about your books and what you do, and your product solves a problem for them, they will buy your books.
- Let your personality into your marketing.
- Evergreen marketing: you do the work once and it keeps working for you forever.
- The importance of autoresponders.
- How to write an Evergreen email series for your autoresponder.
- How to use your blog posts in email marketing.
- Evergreen tweets and posts.
- The value of leveraging online marketing tools.
- The importance of investing in your business.
- The power of scheduling your Facebook posts and tweets.
- Create an Evergreen tweets file.
- The power of webinars for nonfiction authors.
Take Action Tips
1. For 1 day write down what you’re doing every 15 minutes. What did you learn about how you use your time?
2. Listen to the podcast and try to find one Evergreen marketing strategy you can use today or in the near future. How will you implement it?
Links and Resources Mentioned in the Interview
Self Publishing books 101 — Shelley’s beginner’s guide to self-publishing
Author Audience Academy — Shelley’s course on publishing your nonfiction book in the next 30 days and using ant to build a profitable business.
trainingauthors.com — another website where Shelley teaches self-publishing strategies
A Life of Gratitude — Shelley’s book on gratitude
Shelley’s Seven Day Writing Challenge — Shelley’s free challenge where she give you resources and ways of tracking your writing to help you understand your own patterns so you can adjust and be successful.
Shelley’s Podcast — Author Audience: Helping You Reach More People with Your Message
Strengths Finder 2.0 — the book that helps you find your strengths
HootSuite — a way to schedule tweets
Post Planner — another way to schedule social media content
Marketing Your Book on Amazon: 7 Things You Can Easily Do For FREE to Get More Exposure and Sales — Shelley’s free webinar where she shows you seven strategies to promote your books on Amazon for free.
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Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.