by Sarita Venkat
Big Fish Media is chronicling author Susan Price in a series of posts as she navigates the world of self-publishing. We follow the choices she faces, the decisions she makes, and the challenges she encounters in all areas, including research, production, and marketing. We’ll also offer tips, resources, and insights about self-publishing.
Even before Susan self-publishes her book she has something many—if not most—self-published authors lack: a solid foundation. In our conversations I learn what sets Susan apart from other writers.
- Having passion: If you are writing a book to make money, stop right now. The only way you’ll succeed is if you are deeply passionate about your topic. Working with parents to help them instill philanthropic values such as giving and serving in their children (toddlers to teenagers) is Susan’s passion.
- Being clear and focused: Susan has a purpose for writing her book: she wants to update her 2001 book The Giving Family: Raising Our Children To Help Others. For the new book, she will incorporate fresh ideas and insights that reflect giving in the digital age. Susan is also writing this new book to secure more speaking engagements. (“I am an extrovert and giving speeches is a great way to interact with people.”)
- Understanding self-publishing: Susan has already traveled the traditional publishing path with her previous six books. But she wanted to try something different this time. Similar to other authors, she wants to retain more control of the publishing process and prefers not to find an agent or publisher this time. But, Susan is aware that it won’t be easy. If you are self-publishing be clear about what parts of the process you will do and those that you will outsource.
- Being a subject matter expert: Susan has been immersed in family philanthropy for years. In addition to penning The Giving Family, she’s written numerous articles and given many speeches on the topic. She is a subject matter expert who is already known in her field. When she is ready to market her book, Susan will have a good starting point. But like other authors, she will have to research additional audiences to reach.
- Building a legacy: On a personal note Susan is writing this book with her daughter. (“A boomer mother and her millennial daughter.”) Many of the principles and ideas in the book are from her own experience as a parent teaching her child about being compassionate.
Key Takeaway: What are your motivations for writing your book? Do you have a solid foundation to build from?
Sarita Venkat focuses on communications and online media for Big Fish Media.
Photo by Paul Bence.