In this week's episode of Chill & Prosper, I’m talking about something that so many people have a desire to do, have a massive resistance to doing, and also is something that will really create some amazing value in your business.
What am I talking about? I'm talking about writing a book!
I have three published books but the truth is that I have been dabbling in writing my whole life, and I face the same resistance and imposter syndrome as anyone else.
I really struggled to call myself a writer. I really do.
I also can’t deny that writing books has really changed my life and business.
Let me break it down how I got my book contracts with Hay House and why you should write a book this year.
I am so excited about today's episode because it involves something that so many people have a desire to do, have a massive resistance to doing, and also is something that will really create some amazing value in your life. What am I talking about? I'm talking about writing a book, writing a book. Now, when I say that I have three books and I'm a published author, the truth is that I have been dabbling in writing books pretty much my whole life, but I face the same resistance and imposter syndrome as anyone else. I really struggled to call myself a writer. I really do. I still think it's pretend. I still think it's made up, but writing a book has really changed my life and business. So I want to encourage you today to just get started writing your book, get started writing your next book or to get over your impostor syndrome.
All right. So there's many, many reasons why writing a book in particular for your business is a really, really smart idea. It gives you credibility. It gives you platform. It gives you a chance to talk about your business. It is still a really great way to showcase your business. And guess what? Here's another unexpected bonus. It gives you something to tell your relatives that you do. So instead of your family thinking you're doing some weird internet thing, they can say that you're a writer to their bingo buddies. How cool is that?
So writing a book has definitely changed my life. Not just any book, but writing my book, and writing your book and the book that is in your heart, the book that is inside, you will be the one to change your life. Now, let me just give you a really quick rundown of my books, because you'll see that just sometimes you just have to do it, even though it might not be the perfect book.
So my writing adventure started, my mum bought me a typewriter for my ninth birthday, and it was such a cool present. It was a little electric typewriter, a little Olivetti, and it was such a cool present. And that's when I started writing little stories and things like that. But my first real book came when I moved to London in my early twenties. And I started doing internet dating and internet dating was kind of a new thing at the time. And people were still a bit embarrassed to say that they met their partner through internet dating, but it was starting to become a thing. And so, as I was doing it, I was like, "Oh my God, people are so bad at this. They are so bad at this. Men are so bad at this." And they were making really silly mistakes like their profile picture was clearly a picture with them and their old girlfriend and then it just cropped it, so there was still like a lady's hand on them and things like that.
So I was like, "Oh, these men need to know how to do internet dating properly." So I wrote a book called Internet Dating Tips For Men. And back then it was really hard just to publish an ebook. So I went through an ebook publisher because it was really hard to take money for writing a book. And I made about a thousand dollars out of writing this book and I was stoked, but it still felt like, "Oh, it still felt like, I'm not a real writer. I'm not a proper writer. That's an ebook. It doesn't count."
My next book was when I was getting married. I lost weight for my wedding using a raw food diet. So I wrote a book called Raw Brides. And I have to really over enunciate that because when I would say Raw Brides, Raw Brides. People would go, "Rob Rides, Rob Rides?" And I'd go, "No, Raw Brides!" In my Aussie accent, Raw Brides. So I wrote this book about losing weight for your wedding using raw food. And then I also wrote a book called Creating A Green And Ethical Wedding. And then I was like, "Oh, maybe I could write one for the men too." And I wrote one called Raw Grooms, Raw Grooms.
So they were my next books, right? And then in a couple of years later, I wrote Lucky Bitch. And that was really the thing that changed everything. I asked the universe for a best-selling book title. It came to me in the shower and I self published it. I sold it as an ebook for $10 and then Get Rich, Lucky Bitch came the year after. And then Chillpreneur came many years later, only a couple years ago. So, and after the break too, I'm going to tell you exactly how much money I got for Chillpreneur, how it all came about, blah, blah, blah.
But so you can see, even before I've published, I have written a ton of books, but I still have that imposter syndrome. So what can you learn from those early books for me is I learnt something and I wanted to share it. I learned something I wanted to share it. I learned something I wanted to share it. And that's where you can start with your books. It doesn't have to be brand new information. It's your story. It's what you have learnt. And somebody might need to hear it. And even though Internet Dating Tips For Men, wasn't my forever book. Even though Raw Brides wasn't my forever book. Even though Planning A Green And Ethical Wedding was not my forever book. They taught me so much about just doing something and creating something and getting it out to people and the people who bought it, I'm sure they liked it, but it wasn't my forever book.
However, you can't wait for your forever book forever. You can't wait for it to be perfect. So how do you just get over yourself and write and publish your own book? So let's talk about it. Number one, just set an intention that you're going to be a published author, and you're going to choose yourself because there are pros and cons with waiting for somebody to choose you in the publishing world versus just getting it done yourself.
Sometimes you're happy to wait and you're happy to do the pitching and you're happy to try and get that published, traditionally published kind of badge, but you know what? You can choose yourself and just get it done. So if this is something that you want to do, set that intention, see yourself with your book out there and having people read it. And you can do print on demand by the way with Amazon, for example, and they will make a paperback. It doesn't have to just be ebooks.
But if this is your thing, set that intention, see yourself signing books, see sales coming in. You can get somebody to Photoshop a mock cover for your dream board. And as I said, I asked the universe for a million dollar book title. And really soon after that, I came up with that title, Lucky Bitch. So just set that intention and let that desire go out to the universe and see what happens. The second thing is some people say to me, "Oh, I'm not a good writer. So I can't write a book." And the truth is I don't really feel like I'm that good a writer either, but sometimes you just have to get it done and there's no need to spend years doing it. So remember at school, when you had an assignment due and you would just, you would just do it, you would pull an all-nighter and you would just get that 2000 word essay done. You would just get it done.
So there's lots of ways that you can write your book fast. You can transcribe being interviewed. You can talk into a microphone and get it transcribed. You can ask other people to contribute. You can go back and mine blog articles. Just get it done. It doesn't have to be perfect. And you know what the cool thing is about self publishing is you can change it anytime. My books have been through so many different versions.
Okay, number three is just decide how you're going to publish it and get it done. Right? So self publishing is a great option. You can go through Amazon, you can do your own Kindle version. You can do a paperback version through that. You can just get it done. The very quickest, easiest way is just to PDF it. Again, it doesn't have to be perfect. You can just do it.
The next thing is plan how you're going to make money out of your book. Yes, you can make money just out of its own thing. And after the break, I'll tell you how much money I make out of my books. But it can be a business card for other services. So it could be a business card to sell your coaching services. A business card to sell your website delivery company. My books are an advertisement for My Money Bootcamp. And when you plan that ahead of time, then you can seed that within your book. So when you read my books, I talk about My Money Bootcamp all the time. Because I'm like, "Hey, this book is great, but come and join me in Money Bootcamp." So if you plan that ahead of time, you can make sure you've got links back to where you want people to go. You can put testimonials in there and you can just make it a really great calling card for your book.
Now, the next tip, I guess, is it's never going to be perfect. Have you ever seen like a huge best-selling book and it's got typos in it. I have all the time. I find them in my books all the time and you know what? You can change those things later. It's never going to be perfect, but writing a book is just one of those things you make a decision to do and you just get it done.
All right. So we're going to take a quick break and then I'm going to let you know exactly how I got a traditional publishing deal, how much I make for my books, how much I got for my advance and all the other juicy things. All right. See you in a sec.
Hi, I'm Tara Wilkin again. I'm from the US and I live in Minnesota. I am a wellbeing coach and author. I joined Money Bootcamp in 2020, and I'm so glad I did. I had so many blocks around even charging for my services. And surprisingly, I had a lot of family beliefs and money block issues that were also preventing me from charging for my services. One interesting quick story that I'll share is I've decided to manifest an extra thousand dollars on a particular month and that money ended up coming in as an inheritance. And it brought up a lot of issues for me. And so it was great to be able to pop into the Money Bootcamp Community, and really get support and receive some resources to help me get through that time. I really am appreciative of Denise and the Money Boot Camp Community. Money Bootcamp really has changed how I think about my finances for my business, but more importantly for my life, you get lifetime access to the Money Bootcamp, and I highly recommend you take the investment and sign up for Money Bootcamp, as soon as you can, it's worth the investment.
Alrighty, welcome back. So I actually don't know if I'm allowed to talk about this, but I'm going to anyway, because it's really fun to demystify some of those things that feel like they're out of reach. So, Hay House, if you're listening, sorry if I'm breaking contract by talking about these things, honestly and openly, but it's good for everybody to know what's going on with publishing. Okay. So as I said, I self publish all my early books and I made the covers myself. And they were helping people. People love them, et cetera. But I had a goal that I wanted to be traditionally published at least once just to see how it felt, because I have to say my ego, I wanted to see my books at the airport because I was traveling all the time. And I would see all these books on the shelves. And I thought, "Wouldn't it be amazing to see my book in an airport?" I didn't actually care about anywhere else. I just wanted to tick that off.
So here's what happened. Actually, Hay House contacted me quite a few years ago and one of their commissioning editors and said, "I'd love to pitch you to my bosses. Can you put together a proposal? Can you put together your numbers and all that kind of stuff?" So I did all of that and it came back and the lady said, "Look, my bosses are just not that keen on the word Bitch in your book titles." And I went, "No problem. Let's keep this door open. I would love to talk to you in the future." Because I knew that if my numbers, as in, if my platform numbers, if my business was big enough, there would be no way that they would say no to me.
So I set the intention that I would go away and I would build my social media numbers. I would build my platform. I would build my newsletter list and I would go back to Hay House. Hay House was always the goal for me because I love that they do events, our target market really overlaps, and they really have a real, like a family feel compared to some of the big publishers. So I knew I wanted to keep that door open. Here's the tip, guys. Here's the tip. That commissioning editor, she was on my newsletter list. She was just watching me for awhile. So you never know who was out there watching you. You never know who's out there going, "I'm just going to like put a pin in her or in them, and see what they do." So each time you think, "Oh, I'm not going to send out my newsletter this week because nobody's listening, nobody's watching." You just never know who is there.
So that's why I've always been consistent with my social media content. I've always been consistent with my newsletter lists and sending out those newsletters because you just never know who's watching. So I went away and I just built my list like crazy. And when I went back to Hay House, I had a pitch for a brand new book that didn't have the word bitch in it. So this is my book, Chillpreneur, which I deliberately made, yeah, didn't have bitch in it. The other thing that I did is that I packaged up all of my books. I said, "Hey, look, I've got this idea for a brand new book. My audience is really hungry for it, but I am also going to bundle in for you my other two books, Lucky Bitch, and Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. You can have them essentially for free as in, you don't have to pay me in advance for them." Obviously I would get royalties straightaway. "And we can redo them and refresh them." Which I'd already actually done. I'd paid for that myself. "And you can have all three and we can publish them pretty much straight away." And they're like, "Yeah, great idea."
So that's a really good tip as well is if you do want to go that down that traditional route, see what else you can bundle in to make it even more attractive to them. And my advance for Chillpreneur was $30,000, US dollars. And as I said, I gave them the other two books for free. Now I might not have had to do that. They might've paid for those as well, but I wasn't that bothered because I knew that I would get those royalties straight away.
Now here's something that you might not know about advances. One, yes, of course there are advances against the royalties that you make from the book. So you're essentially getting that money upfront, but you might not know that they're paid in three different lots. I did not know this. So you get the first third when you sign the contract and that still took quite a while. Publishing is such a slow business. It took quite a while from like, "Yes, cool. Here's the pitch for the three books", to actually signing. It was like at least a good six months. So I got that $10,000 then. Then you get the next third when you deliver the book. And so for me, that was another nine months after signing that contract. As I said, publishing goes really, really slow. So I got that second $10,000 then. And then you get the third, third when the book is actually published. And that was another nine months after I handed in the manuscript because there's lots of back and forth. There's conversations about book cover. And it goes in their publicity, in their marketing schedule.
So all in all, getting that $30,000 was probably a good two year process. And then you might be curious about how much I make from my book. So I get a check twice a year and it's anything from 10 to $20,000. Now before when I was self published, I probably made about $30,000 a year. So I probably make about the same. It's just, my books have wider distribution than before. So that's the juicy details around writing my book. Nobody talks about this stuff, and you might've heard from other people that my advance is kind of ... the numbers are so random.
I have heard people who have got no Instagram followers and they had a six-figure advance. I have heard from people who actually had a massive platform and they got a teeny tiny advance. There really is no rhyme or reason to the publishing industry is what I found. But let's talk about the mindset around this. As I said, I really super, super have imposter syndrome about writing. I still think I'm not a proper writer. I still think that I fluked my way into being a published author. I still feel like I'm a cheater when it comes to like writing a book. Honestly, I think it's one of those things you have to just choose yourself. You have to decide that you have something to say, that you're going to say it. And no matter how it comes out, whether it's self publishing, starting off as just an ebook, starting out as a Kindle book, whatever it is that you're just going to make it happen. And you've got a bigger vision for it.
Okay. A couple of little bonus tips. You might be wondering how to write the book. So I've written all my books in very different ways, and you've just got to pick a way that works for you and your personality. For my first book, Lucky Bitch. I actually pre-sold it. So I said to everyone, "Hey guys, my book's going to come out on the 7th of September," which is my birthday, because I thought it'd be fun to launch on my birthday. Ha! No, don't do that. "And pre-order here." And it wasn't finished. So I had to finish. It just had to finish it like an assignment. So that might work for you. You just set a deadline, you put the link out, you pre-sell it. And you make it happen just like you did at school. Now, please don't pick a symbolic date, like your birthday to launch your book. It absolutely ruined my birthday because I didn't finish that book until like 6:00 PM on my birthday. And it sucked. So pick a date for sure, just don't pick a date like your birthday.
That really works. If you're just someone who procrastinates till the last minute, but you have a really big sense of responsibility. So I make a public commitment and just make it happen and then just sit and write it. Just, yeah, that's not a super fun way to do it but it works. For Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, what I did was actually took transcripts of my Money Boot Camp course and got a boatload of testimonials. And I handed it over to someone to just make it into, I don't know, a structure. And then they sent it back to me. So it wasn't a blank page. And then I fleshed it out and made it into a book.
So Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, very much follows along my course. And you might say, "Oh, you can't give away too much." I don't give away too much. So for example, in my course, if there's 10 examples, I'll put two examples in my book. And it follows the structure really well, but if people want the support and they want access to me, they come in and join my course. So that was a really great way to write the book because I didn't have to start from just a blank page, which can be really hard for some people. But for Chillpreneur, I actually went a different route and I hired a book coach who was someone who was a bit of a Jack of all trades. She could do a bit of ghost writing. She could do some editing and she was a really good coach.
So accountability really worked well for me. I already had an accountability deadline because I had to hand it into Hay House, but I had to send chapters to my book coach every single week. And we spent a ton of time at the start writing down everything that could possibly go in the book. And then, what was in scope, what was out of scope. So I had to send her a chapter by Friday. She looked at it over the weekend. She sent it back to me on Monday with questions like, "Hey, you started this story and you didn't finish it. Where did that story go?" And just little things like that that, you know, kind of kept me to account. I had to send her little edits by Tuesday and then I had to send her a brand new chapter by Friday. And that process was just so great to keep me accountable. My next book, it still hasn't been written because I haven't figured out my accountability structure yet. So I'm probably out of those three options, probably going to go back to working with a book coach just to get it done.
All right. So hopefully that has given you some ideas about how to write your own book. It's maybe burnt some of your excuses about writing a book and has just maybe made you realize it's just not that big a deal just to get your book done. And as always, I would love to hear from you. My social media is at Denise DT across everything, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Be accountable. Tell me that you're writing a book and when it's going to be out by or send me the link to your book and I will retweet it for sure. Tweet me your book for sure. I would love to hear from you about anything that this has brought up for you because writing a book is one of those things that is going to make you feel really vulnerable and scared, but it doesn't have to be like that. It can be a joyful, easy, lovely process. And I believe in you, I think you can do it. All right. I'll be right back for my final thoughts after this break.
Hi, I'm Caroline and I'm a coach based in South Australia. Get Rich, Lucky Bitch was one of the first business books I read when I started consulting in 2014. The biggest ah-ha for my business with the impact of negative mindset has on our income. That includes the negative impact my partner had on our own personal wealth. I credit the book with us getting 50% more than the market value when we sold our home a few years later. I definitely recommend it to anyone who feels like they never have enough money as there are top tips in the book to shift that mindset and get rich.
Hey, beautiful. My name is Kali. I run Kali Hind Just Coaching. I'm a mindset coach for women who are new to business, helping them step into unshakable, clarity and alignment so that they can have massive, massive impact. I've just finished reading, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. And honestly, I cannot believe that I didn't read it sooner. It came to me by way of a coach and then a client of mine as well. Since decluttering my money beliefs and my money memories, I just cannot believe how much more freely money is flowing to me. It's totally changed the way that I look at money. I'm seeing opportunities and I'm seeing all of the abundance that is truly, truly available to me. So thank you so, so much. And this was just an absolutely incredible, incredible read.
Hey, beautiful. Welcome back. Thank you for joining me today. And here's my final thought for today. This was a really helpful affirmation for me, back in my London days when I was just starting out, trying my side hustle and always stressed about money. So I just started saying things like, "Checks are in the post. Checks in the post. Checks in the post." And I started saying it out loud to Mark all the time, too. And just going, "Checks in the post. Checks in the post." Because what I realized was that I was always anticipating bad stuff happening. So every time I opened my inbox, for example, I'd have this little feeling of dread of like, "Oh my God, this is going to be hate mail in there. Someone's going to not be happy that I'm going to have refund requests, all these things." And then the same thing was happening with my physical mail. Every time I went to the mailbox, I'd be thinking, "Oh God, there's a bill. There's a credit card statement. There'll be a speeding fine." And I was just always anticipating getting into trouble.
And so I started just to say like, "Checks in the post. Checks in the post." And you know the funny thing that happened? I started getting checks in the post. And it would be, I don't know, like a refund check or a sales check or a royalty check from Amazon. And of course we don't always get checks as much in the post because, hey, most of the time we're on paperless stuff now, but you could do the same thing every time you open up your inbox. Every time you go to your DMs and your social media accounts, you could just say like, "There's money in here, there's money in my inbox. There's gold here."
And just catch yourself, anticipating the bad and try and switch it to anticipating good things happening, anticipating money coming your way. I think is going to be really fun to hear what happens though. So just try it, if you still get paper stuff, just try it anyway. Because you never know what could be in your post. Could be just money in your post, whatever it is. But at me at Denise DT, tell me what affirmation you're using and tell me, I know there's going to be some cool manifesting stories from this, so please try it. And I can't wait to hear about it. Okay. So go forth, chill and prosper. Receive that money. Anticipate good thing happening. Peace out from me. And I will see you on the next episode. Bye.
Chill & Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.
Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.
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