On August 1, 2014, I started the process of writing and launching an e-book, The Unstuck Process.
I thought you might be interested in everything it took to bring this idea into reality. It took 2 1/2 months of working on it between all my other work with clients and groups. It took many steps, but it’s nothing you couldn’t do yourself.
The idea for the e-book came to me after taking a course myself that inspired me to take the process I’d been using for years with clients and turn it into a step-by-step book.
Everyone talks about getting unstuck, but very few see it as a step-by-step process that you can apply to any area in your business and life to get unstuck and into action.
There are 12 very focused questions in the book and they revolve around the three major areas of stuckness:
a) Productivity and Accomplishment – Many of us get stuck when it comes to setting a goal and following though successfully to the end. Delay, procrastination, lack of focus and incompletion are all stuckness that results in projects not getting done.
b) Creativity and Self-Expression – This is when you get stuck because you are afraid of making a fool of yourself. This comes up a lot in writing, developing a website, making a video or any other creative act. Perfectionism is a big issue here as well.
c) Attraction and Magnetism – This is when we hold back from putting ourselves out there, being afraid of rejection and playing it small. This shows up in our attempts to communicate about our businesses or persuade anyone to do business with us.
Once these ideas were clear I created a mind-map with all the elements of the plan: writing, designing and launching. Then I broke these down into several project lists with step-by-step actions.
After all of this conceptualizing was done, it was time to start the actual writing.
I did my first burst of writing on a Sunday and completed about half of the book. Then in writing sessions of a few hours each over a month, I completed the manuscript. Because I wanted this book to be an ultra-simple guide, it ended up as only 72 pages.
I ran the first draft by my wife for basic copy editing and then went over it half a dozen times, adding here, subtracting there until I was satisfied.
But then I also hired an editor to take a look at it and suggest improvements. Her ideas uncovered some obvious problems with parts of the book and I made changes based on her insightful recommendations.
Before I designed the book’s interior, I hired a book cover designer with the intention of creating a real impact. He developed several ideas, but we ended up with his first design that was based on my original idea of a sunrise behind the title.
I first formatted the book in Word and turned it into a pdf. Again this took several rounds of improving and tweaking. I had originally decided to do only an e-book, but inspired by a client who published his book on Create Space, decided to go the whole enchilada: e-book, Kindle book, and paperback book.
Create space, a division of Amazon, will take your finished book as a pdf and turn it into a paperback book. I laid it out in InDesign. This is not a step I’d recommend to most people, as it’s quite technical. Someone on UpWork could do it for you very affordably.
And then I sent the Word version to someone who formatted it for Kindle. This was fast and painless, but again, for both paperback and Kindle versions, it took what felt like endless rounds of fine-tuning and correction.
Everything was done by October 15 and I was ready for the launch.
If writing a book wasn’t enough, I decided to also create a complete website to support the book. This is where people opted-in, plus it included the blog, information on courses, etc.
I used a Squarespace web template and hired a company to help me with all the technical issues. I did all the design and text formatting based on images from the same photographer who did the cover for the book.
The website was mostly completed in 2 weeks with endless tinkering and fine-tuning, as usual.
The launch plan was pretty simple. As you may know, I sent a few emails to everyone on my e-list and invited them to get a copy of the e-book for free. A boatload of people opted-in with their name and email address in just a few days.
I didn’t plan on making any money from the book itself, but to build a list of interested people. I knew some would be interested in programs I offered on the Unstuck Process early next year. But mostly I just wanted to share these ideas and process freely to as many people as possible. (Tell your friends!)
One of my biggest successes for the launch was making connections on a Facebook Group I frequent. As a result, some of these people posted testimonials about the e-book and hundreds more opted-in to get their free copy.
And my most unexpected result was inviting people from that group to interview me for their podcasts. I did 6 interviews (so far) and these got me even more opt-ins.
So far, about 2,900 people have opted in for the free book. And now I’m sending those people (perhaps you’re one) a twice-monthly eZine and blog post on various aspects of getting unstuck.
I’ll do promotion for the course after Thanksgiving.
I hope you’ve found this useful. It should give you a taste of what a successful launch looks like, how many steps it takes and what work is involved.
My total investment on outside services was $1,585:
Editing e-book: $250
Cover design: $260
Kindle formatting: $75
Website development: $1,000
Is this right for you? Well, that depends on your goals. You certainly don’t need to do things at this level, but If you go “the whole hog” as I did, it creates a certain momentum that is very powerful.
When I created my first e-book, The Marketing Plan Workbook, way back in 1998, it resulted in a few hundred thousand opt-ins over several years. And that built my business from almost nothing to success beyond my wildest dreams.
Good luck in creating and launching your own e-book! Here’s the Unstuck Process e-book if you don’t have it yet.
Oh, by the way, I didn’t get stuck once during this whole project. Yes, this stuff works!
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