Punk Rock HR Episode 133:
In case you haven’t heard, I have a new book coming out called Betting On You: How to Put Yourself First and Finally Take Control of Your Career. The journey of writing a book has been both straightforward and surprising. Throughout each step of the process, something happened to my health or my family, making it a journey for sure.
The easiest part of it all is writing the book; the business of publishing, on the other hand, is extremely complex. Beyond the many surface-level considerations, there’s the whole secondary market of getting your books into the hands of people.
So that is what we’re talking about on the podcast today. I brought on my dear friend and Hall of Fame keynote speaker and author, Scott Stratten. Scott is the founder of The UnMarketing Movement and a true marketing genius. He has been where I am now, at the beginning of a book launch. So, this episode will be a good old-fashioned mentoring conversation. Tune in and I know you’ll learn something, too.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- What the favor economy is and why it’s breaking my heart right now.
- Some of the sketchy ways books are sold today.
- What nominations really mean.
- Why it’s so critical to figure out your end goal when writing a book.
- All the work that actually goes into making a book.
- One thing about the book publishing process that has surprised Scott.
WHAT IS THE FAVOR ECONOMY?
The favor economy is when someone asks for a favor from someone in exchange for them doing a favor for them. We see it a lot when it comes to testimonials for books. However, we shouldn’t be friends or make connections with people just to get something from them. If we have a passion, we should do it just for the sake of it and not expect anything in return.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SKETCHY WAYS BOOKS ARE SOLD TODAY?
There are different ways that this sketch comes into publishing. A lot of it has to do with vanity metrics, such as publishing your own book with yourself on the cover. When it comes to behind the scenes sketchy things in publishing, though, there are author claims and bios. People will take a lower fee for a big client just to add their logo to their profile. Other times, authors will claim to have been nominated for an award that they weren’t nominated for. Additionally, the book industry has no agreed-upon unit for sales, so there is no way to tell which books are true bestsellers.
WHY IS SO CRITICAL TO FIGURE OUT YOUR END GOAL WHEN WRITING A BOOK?
You have to understand what the goal is of your book. As with anything you do in business, when writing a book you must ask what is the end goal and end result that you want. Everyone will give a different answer. You really want to figure out the end result and the end goal, while also realizing that they are different things.
WHAT IS ONE THING ABOUT THE BOOK PUBLISHING PROCESS THAT HAS SURPRISED SCOTT?
He was surprised by how hard it actually is to sell one book. It is so difficult to convince people to buy it. You write with the hope that the masses will eventually like it and yet it is so hard to get it into their hands. However, he also said that even though the problems never end with books and reviews and the shakiness of the whole industry, the joy also never ends if people buy your book, read it, and love it.
Resources from this episode:
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
UnMarketing: Everything Has Changed and Nothing is Different
The Jackass Whisperer: How to deal with the worst people at work, at home and online―even when the Jackass is you