Self-Publishing Case Study Part 1

In this article, I’ll be lifting the lid into exactly how I went about creating and delivering the first part of my latest publishing project and, over the following three episodes you will see in real time how I go about delivering the final product.

Fiction Vs Non-Fiction

The project I’m working on is a non-fiction business book. The strategies and tactics I used to create the content is different from what you would use for a fiction book however much of the post writing activity is the same.

Strategy is Key

In Saturday Secrets Episodes 3, 4 and 5, I spent a lot of time diving into the foundations of an Author Platform. These three episodes were all about defining the strategic intent of your platform. They equally apply to every publishing project that will benefit from your Author Platform. The simple fact is, a publishing project’s success is closely aligned to how well it’s strategic elements fit with the strategic elements of your Author Platform.

To recap the three Strategic elements you need to define are:

  1. Goals
  2. Target Market
  3. Persona

When it comes to a publishing project, all three elements apply however, I normally look at them in a different sequence. Defining the publishing projects goals after you’ve defined the Target Market and Persona enables you to audit any content that you may already have so that you can evaluate if it can be multipurposed into the new project, potentially saving you a lot of time.

For this case study the strategic elements were define as:

Target Market

This was easy. The target market had to exactly fit with a subset of the overall target market for Intertype, my self-publishing business. It’s defined as:

  • Australian authors who want to follow the self-publishing pathway to get their message out to a global market while creating an income stream by leveraging their writing efforts.

Persona

Again this was simple…look in the mirror. Only kidding, the persona for this project represents a subset of the audience for Intertype’s self-publishing business.

Meet Karen (no, not the Karen of Facebook fame)

BACKGROUND:

  • Owner of a boutique coaching business looking to move to selling signature systems rather than time based billing

DEMOGRAPHICS:

  • 45 year old woman, 2 kids, dual income household

IDENTIFIERS:

  • Stylish, family focused go getter

GOALS:

  • Work less than 30hours a week to spend more time with family

CHALLENGES:

  • Knowing how to leverage knowledge to attract high paying clients

HOW WE HELP:

  • “Done with you” approach to packaging, publishing and promoting knowledge

REAL QUOTES:

  • “I want to get moving but the whole publishing thing is complex and confusing”

COMMON OBJECTIONS:

  • I don’t have a lot of spare cash to invest in the project

MARKETING MESSAGING:

  • A pragmatic approach to be seen as a professionally published author

ELEVATOR PITCH:

  • Helping Aussie authors take on the World without costing the Earth

Goals

My overarching strategic goal is to create an entry point product to help Australian authors to create an income stream by designing and building an author platform.

More specifically my desired outcomes and the status of each of these outcomes are:

  1. Create core content within 24hours. I’m like you, I don’t have a lot of time to devote to the project as I also have a family and a business to run. Having completed several of my own publishing projects before I had a clear idea on how I was going to create the content in an efficient way. To show the exact methods to achieve this will be the subject of a future publishing project.
    1. 12 chapters completed at an average of 2 hours per chapter. That’s right 24 hours in total. This demonstrates how efficient the “perform your content” tactic is.
  2. Deliver value to my target market being Aussie authors who want to take on the World through self-publishing.
    1. The content was created with the target market and persona clearly defined prior to commencement. This helped me to maintain clearly focused messages throughout the content creation process.
  3. Multipurpose the content to enable it to be available on multiple platforms. The general public are now wanting greater choice in how they consume content so I’ve used a multimedia approach for this project.
    1. Video training series: Completed. Refer to episodes 2 to 13 of Saturday Secrets.
    2. Create a Series of Articles: Completed. Transcripts of the video trainings were made into articles
    3. Create a Series of Blog posts: Completed. The articles were converted into a series of blog posts and uploaded to the Intertype blog
    4. Social Media Posts: Completed. These point back to the blog posts in order to drive traffic to the Intertype website
    5. Podcast episodes: In progress. Sound track from the video training will be used to create podcast episodes
    6. Printed Book: In Progress. Coming episodes of Saturday Secrets will show how we go about this.
    7. eBook: In Progress. It will be a natural outcome of the printed book process.
    8. Audio book: In progress. It will follow after the printed book is published.
  4. Improve the Google organic search results for intertype.com.au.
    1. The published articles, blog posts and social media posts have improved Intertype’s organic search volumes by over 20% since the start of the project and I predict that this will increase to a 50% improvement over the next few months.

What’s Next?

Over the coming three episodes of Saturday Secrets I’ll be applying Intertype’s unique approach to self-publishing to show how we go about completing the book content, having it published in printed as well as ebook form and having it available for sale on the World stage.

I’ll also multipurpose this episode and future episodes into a mini training series, articles etc.

In the next episode I’ll be using the “Preparation” framework to finalise the manuscript along with the cover in preparation for publishing in printed and electronic formats.

Key Takeaways from part 1 of this case study are:

  1. Start with strategy, it’s key to ensuring success
  2. Carefully planning your content will deliver greater value to your audience
  3. Perform your content to save an enormous amount of time
  4. Multipurposed content delivers even greater value with minimum effort on the authors behalf.

I know, self-publishing can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be. In coming episodes, I’ll be exploring the simple, no BS and fast approach to completing a successful publishing project.

Finally, I want to leave you with one piece of advice:

Your Author Platform is a vital component needed to become a successfully self-published author. Ensuring your strategic intent of your platform and all of your publishing projects are aligned is fundamental and highly important to ensure each project maximises it’s potential for success.