On this episode of the Professional Content Creation Podcast I welcome back my first ever repeat guest, Nina Amir. I previously interviewed Nina on the topic of How to Blog a Book. That podcast had such a huge impact on my thinking and Nina and her approach to blogging a book is one that I’ve recommended to many, many people because it’s so powerful.
Nina has taken what we discussed on the earlier podcast and taken it to a whole new level. She teaches authors not just how to write a book and get it published, but how to create a whole business plan that includes not only a plan for the book itself, but how to monetize what you know to the fullest. I’m inspired every time I chat with Nina, and this interview was no exception!
Here are some tidbits from my conversation with Nina on the topic of how to write your way to a successful business.
An Author’s Attitude
It’s important for authors to have the right attitude, because they have a tough row to hoe. 80% of Americans say they want to write a book, but only 2% manage to do it. While self publishing is easier than ever, traditional publishing is becoming much harder, because publishers are becoming even more choosy about the authors they sign on.
Regardless of whether an author choose to self publish or go the traditional publishing route, attitude is the number one thing that determines whether or not they’ll be successful.
Authors need to have the willingness to do everything that’s necessary — whatever it takes. They can’t just write. They have to promote, engage in social networking, public speaking, and so on. They have to be willing to do all these things in order to succeed.
They also have to be willing to get feedback on their work and make changes as needed, and can’t shy away from learning new things such as technology, even if they don’t like doing so.
The primary reason why some authors fail and others succeed is that those who fail lack the willingness to do whatever it takes to be successful.
Writers get a lot of rejection and criticism, and there are many obstacles to overcome. They have to learn to be optimistic in spite of these setbacks. There are studies that show that optimists are more likely to succeed because of their attitude.
Optimists see challenges as a way to improve [Tweet This] and they don’t take things like rejection personally, or as something inherently wrong with them, but instead as something they can change and fix, and make improvements. In contrasts, pessimists tend to take things personally and get stuck, with a feeling that they can’t do anything about it.
Authors need to be objective about the feedback on their work and how to improve, and not see their work like their little baby that’s perfect, but instead use the feedback to make improvements.
They also need to have the objectivity to see their book from a different perspective — that of a publishing professional such as an editor or acquisitions editor. This is true whether they want to self publish or traditionally publish. Even with self-publishing, they have to be able to see the profitability (or lack thereof) in the same way that a publisher would.
I asked Nina how to develop objectivity regarding your own work, and she suggested that you work on a business plan for your book, which is often referred to as a book proposal. This process helps aspiring authors to look at their book idea objectively, as they have to prove the validity of the project.
Having a business mindset is something you have to train yourself to have. She didn’t have that originally, and it was something she had to learn. You have to look at every book as a little business of it’s own. If you self publish, you are an entrepreneur who is starting a publishing company. So whatever you can do to learn about your book as a business is important. Well written and creative is important, but it all needs to be looked at from a business perspective, because good writing and creativity in and of themselves aren’t enough.
Nina’s book, The Author Training Manual goes through every section of creating the plan.
Aspiring and published authors have a lot of setbacks along the way. With all of the things authors have to learn, and the criticism and other setbacks they experience, they must have the tenacity to keep going, no matter what.
Authors who put these four qualities together, are highly likely to succeed.
But what if you’re not a “WOOTer?”
I asked Nina what aspiring authors should do if these traits don’t come naturally to them. For instance, let’s say they are naturally pessimistic rather than optimistic. Then what?
The best bit of advice that Nina shared in this regard is to change your thoughts about the things you don’t like doing, and look at them from the perspective of being your friend, rather than your foe, since they get you where you want to go. For example, rather than seeing something like Twitter as the enemy, see it as a great tool that is helping you accomplish your goals. When your attitude changes, everything changes, and you view all of the things you need to do differently.
Nina herself spent eight years trying to build her author platform of built-in readers with an interest in her work. She did this through writing, social networking, etc. She had been trying to get traditionally published, and it was taking a REALLY long time. It would have been easy for her to just give up, but there was a moment when she dug in her heels and she said to herself, “I REFUSE to fail.”
She determined that failure wasn’t an option. At that moment, her attitude changed, and she begin to wrap her arms around all of the things she didn’t like and resented because she had to do them, even though she didn’t like them. There was a subtle shift in her attitude when she realized that these things she hated were getting her where she wanted to go.
At that point, she began to enjoy those things more, because she realized they were the key to successful authorship.
Learn More from Nina
The difference between How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual are that How to Blog a Book teaches you how to write, publish, and promote your book, one blog post at a time. The Author Training Manual is all about how to create a marketable book idea by creating a business plan for your book and training yourself to be a successful author.
While How to Blog a Book has a chapter on creating a book proposal (which is a business plan for your book), The Author Training Manual is completely focused on that. The books can be read in either order, but Nina recommends going through The Author Training Manual first, and then using the methodology in How to Blog a Book to do the actual writing and platform building.
If you’d like to find out more, please visit Nina’s websites: