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The Right Strategies For Approaching Authorship Challenges With Edie Raether
I have with us our special guest, Edie Raether. She is a renowned keynote speaker, best-selling author, parenting coach, and occupational therapist. She’s a leading authority on the neuroscience of achievement and brain-based performance, including emotional and intuitive intelligence. Edie is an effervescent dynamo with an unwavering passion to educate and enlighten others so they can step into their greatest potential. She has empowered over 3,500 professional associations, Fortune 500 companies, educational organizations, community and youth groups across five continents.
Her training programs include integrating Action Intelligence for high-impact results. She’s turned around some of New York City’s most at-risk kids. She’s hosted talk shows on radio and TV with ABC affiliates and continues to thrive as a social change agent. What Edie and I talked about was her extraordinary journey being the author of multiple books on multiple subjects. She is open and transparent with us in sharing about some of the different kinds of challenges that she’s faced and how she’s dealt with them. This is a valuable episode for anyone who’s entering the foray of approaching authorship, and also potentially for even the more seasoned author who maybe has not necessarily yet experienced some of the variety of things that Edie has. I encourage you to read and see if you can glean some insights that would apply to you in your own journey.
Edie, welcome to the show. It’s a delight to have you.
It’s a bigger delight for me to be here.
I’m looking forward to this conversation. When we chatted before as we were talking about doing this interview, one of the things that I discovered in our initial conversation was that you’d written so many books. You have had many adventures in the process of this long career as a speaker and author. Tell us a little bit about your first book and how that came about for you. What was that thing that flipped that switch in your mind that said, “Now’s the time for me to write my first book?”
I had wanted to write for over 25 years before I started writing. Once I started writing, I honestly got addicted. I couldn’t stop. I wrote seven books in less than seven years. It was almost an obsession. It was more of an addiction, and I loved it. It was a healthy addiction. Every morning, I looked in the mirror. I was getting so fed up with myself for not doing what I felt my calling in life was. This is something for everybody to learn. I’m a professional speaker in the National Speakers Association, CSP, all of that stuff. For years, and we were always told that speakers should have a book because it adds to their credibility. I would agree with that.
One of the things was that I would go to all the programs at NSA because it wasn’t always speaking. It was a lot of authorship. They would say, “Get up at 4:00 in the morning and every day, write for three hours or do this or that.” You have got to find your own way and what works for you because I’m a momentum person. To say, “It’s 3:00 today. I’m going to write from 3:00 to 4:00,” that’s not how my creative juices work. I am somebody who when I started writing, I’d wrote around the clock. I’d forgot to get dressed. I’d forget to take a shower. I became absorbed. Don’t listen to people who say, “This is the magic formula.” That’s what worked for them. There’s nothing I can emphasize more than know who you are, what will work for you, and what finally worked because I’m right brain, which most ADD people are. What I did is I took my little 19-foot boat and went to the ocean where I would have no distractions. At 11:00 at night, I would check my voicemail. That was it. I forgot the plug. I never even put the boat in the water. It was in a parking lot. I stayed at Villa Capriani, this gorgeous hotel, condos.
In the parking lot?
I would go to the beach, and there was a place where they had weddings. There were outlets out on the patio. Even it was raining, I could still keep writing. I started telling too many people. On the fifth day, they came to me and kicked me out because I would go there with my boat. It broke the writer’s block. People talk about time management. I’m also about space management, environment management. Going to that space gave me the freedom to focus and to move forward. Now I could write right here. I could do it, but to break it. I’m advising to people, “Find your own way.” That is what worked for me because for me, it may take a couple of days to get into the zone and into the flow, and then like a vessel, it all comes to me, which brings me to another point.
I know that Bill Clinton did the same thing. He wrote his books on a yellow canary pad and not on a computer. I did find that at first, I had to write. I do hypnosis and brain training as a psychotherapist. It is true that when you write, you activate a different part of your brain, and it tends to be where the creative juices are hanging out. Now I can get on the computer and do it as well. It’s almost like we retrain our brains. Know what works for you, the time, place, method, approach, all of that has to be very individual.
What you’re saying is true. People say, “Write two hours every morning or write an hour every morning.” What you’re talking about is accurate. I’m similar to you, and that I will be working on a piece of writing. When I was writing my book, I’d be thinking about the next chapter for six days. I’d sit down and write that chapter in one. There was so much going on in that percolating where I store up energy and then shoot it out. That’s my way. Your way was to sit down. I’m curious. How long did it take you to write your first book once you sat down to start writing?
I don’t take really long because I couldn’t stop. I forget to eat. It’s like, “I have these clothes on for three weeks.” I know when it was because when 9/11 occurred, I was sitting out on the patio of Villa Capriani and somebody said, “The Twin Towers were hit.” I remember running in. It was in 2001. Within the year, there’s excitement. They always say you have more pictures of the firstborn child than the other seven combined. There was some truth to that. I was excited when the first book came. I was flying out for a speaking engagement and I sold 42 books before I got on the plane. I got lost in the airport. I stopped traffic in the middle of the road to get directions. I sold everybody a book. There’s something to be said about that excitement and enthusiasm. It was like a book signing at the airport.
I noticed with my other books, they would come and I’d get 10,000 at a time, and I didn’t even open up. I sold many more in the first. That’s another thing for people to know. I remember being told that 1/3 of book sales is the title, 1/3 is the cover, and 1/3 is the actual content. I believe that. My first book is Why Cats Don’t Bark. That’s a killer title. I know it is. Most people think, “I’m going to write this book.” It’s like, “I’m going to have a baby. Let’s look for a name.” “We’re going to write a book, and let’s get a good title.” I was at a workshop. It was one of those things you paid for, so you’re going to stick it out, but I was bored to tears. I was sitting there putting together the book to keep myself from getting bored. What came to mind was Why Cats Don’t Bark. The funny thing is I came up with the title and I thought, “That is good.” I then decided, “What would fit the title?”One-third of book sales is the title. One-third is the cover. One-third is the actual content. Click To Tweet
That’s the way to do it. I want to add something to what you said. In those three parts about the title, the content, and the cover, which I believe are all true, what I didn’t hear was the author hustle. You clearly understand that if you sell 43 copies in the airport before your flight.
I trust people so much. I lost everything. I did very well as a therapist and a speaker. I lost millions and went to zero. It was interesting that the motivation then. The motivation then went to I’m doing it because every time I sell a book, it’s going to help pay the electric bill. Complacency set in that if you’re not that committed, you don’t have the drive. I was listening to Steve Harrison’s program on marketing. He gave the example of Rich Dad Poor Dad by Kiyosaki. It’s still the number one seller for financial books. He made an interesting point. It wasn’t to write a book, it was to write a best seller. It was all about the money. The mistake a lot of authors make is, “They have a message,” and I’m that way too. They want to share it with the world. That artistic part of us can become a stumbling block because if you’re going to write it, unless you’re just going to give it away for Christmas presents, you have to have the commitment to the marketing plan before you even pick up the pen.
I have an agent friend who I thought put it so well. She says, “Yes, but if no one reads your book, did you write a book?”
Do you know how Jack Canfield said it? That was in this program too. He said, “To write a book and then not market it is like having a baby and leaving it on somebody’s doorstep.” That says it all.
It’s having a baby, not feeding it, and wondering why it’s not thriving.
Writing the book is fun. Editing is absolute hell, and marketing it is a lot of work. You need to have that last step or it’s a Christmas gift. I want to say one thing about editing. Everybody’s got to find their own way, but I do know grammar fairly well. My son knows it better. I remember him fighting with the editor, and it always felt like my son was right. I’ve never found a good editor. If you have, let me know who it is because I want to write one more.
I’ve got a team of great editors.
I have your fingers in the pot because I was telling you that I was going to write my book. I was speaking for Unity Church. It’s the first book. I focused on your soul’s code and calling in life intuition. It was something I was talking about at Unity. I thought, “I’ll go to my book and I have my outline there.” I couldn’t find the soul’s code part. The editor who edited my book took out what’s in my heart and mind was the core of the book. That book is only 128 pages. They’re pretty much all sold out 10,000 and I will add to it. I’m not against editors, but you got to realize that some will write their book, not yours. Maybe that’s okay with you. Maybe you don’t have an idea how to write a book, but I do.
An editor who takes something that important out of the book without consulting the author, that’s not okay. Editing needs to be a collaborative process where the primary goal is helping the author to express themselves in a way that the reader can receive it. That doesn’t mean that you don’t get to share your biggest ideas, especially with the book that short. You had plenty of room.
Fortunately, that one has sold the best. That’s another thing we should talk about. I don’t remember how many foreign rights I sold, but I know it’s over a dozen, which is great for self-publishers. It’s a bestseller in China.
I want to hear it as if you never said a word. Get ready, readers, this is a story. It’s a cautionary tale.
Crime doesn’t pay, it’ll surface. While I’m doing my children’s book, which is part of a complete system and did a TEDx Talk to market it, that’s something we can talk about with marketing too. I’m talking to Sam in China because when you do a children’s book, nobody here even bids on the printing. They can’t compete. I said to Sam, “I remember, Why Cats Don’t Bark is in Chinese. You should get it.” This is ten years after it came out. He said, “You wrote that book? It’s all over like Chicken Soup for the Soul would be here.” I said, “Yes, but it was ten years ago. They said it bombed.”
I was told it bombed, and they gave me the money upfront and some royalties. I said, “No. They said it bombed, and they never did a second run.” He said, “No, I see it. It’s all over.” He shows me the new cover, which means there’s more than the first run. It says right on the front cover, “Bestseller 220,000 or one million, whatever copies sold.” I still remember her name, Nancy Tan. She denies it. I said, “Here’s the cover. You told the people in China that this sold many copies and it’s a bestseller.” She said, “We did that for marketing.” I said, “You’re telling me you lied to all the Chinese people, many are over there, but you’re telling me I should trust you that you’re not lying to me?” Authors who have had rights sold in China almost know. They don’t believe in paying for intellectual property. It looks good on your resume, but you have to stay on it. It’s an interesting story, but it’s part of the process.
I haven’t talked with agents about this, but I’m wondering if it’s a little easier dealing with that kind of foreign rights issue when you have a literary agent representing you, or if everybody gets screwed. I don’t know.
I did have an agent and I like him. He’s the reason I got into so many countries and Macmillan in India. He did a good job, but he didn’t support me in this because there was a future business with her, and I was a done deal. I’m a little disappointed that he didn’t. I have a son who’s a lawyer. He speaks Chinese. He’s been to China three times. What better positioning could I have? It’s a different culture and it’s all bribe. I would have to pay $50,000 in bribes to get nothing maybe. You move on.
How do you decide what to write a book on because when I look at your catalog, it looks to me to be passion projects?
Why Cats Don’t Bark, intuition, soul’s code, and calling. I have a very spiritual flare. I look at my first brochures in speaking way back in the ’60s and ’70s. I noticed I was talking about intuition then. I’ve trademarked the term, Intuitive Intelligence the other IQ. That was in my blood all along. That one made sense. The second one is Sex For The Soul. As a psychotherapist, I saw so many people hurt by the betrayal of an affair. Sex For The Soul is sexuality as a path to spirituality. If you’re into casual sex, you may not agree with me, but at least if you agree to it, it’s okay. If you betray someone, the hurt and the pain I saw as a psychotherapist is beyond us.
If you want another lady or man, why didn’t you get a divorce and move on? I would have dedicated it to Princess Diana. It was at the printers right when she came out on 60 Minutes with her story of the pain and three were crowded in the marriage. I only had to pay $29. I wish I had done it. It was Princess Diana’s story. That was the passion there. Winning! How Winners Think – What Champions Do, as a motivational speaker, I wanted the answer to what makes the kid on the other side of the tracks become president. I interviewed all of these people. The passion was because I wanted the answer to that. There’s a lesson there too for marketing.As long as we're in alignment and in sync, then everything's great. Click To Tweet
If you’re writing a book and you engage other people, I interviewed Nido Qubein at High Point. He took it from an unknown school to sometimes called the Ivy League School of the Southeast. Some of them were speaker friends. Some were like Jack Canfield and Rosa Parks. I was going to fly to Michigan. Her health went down. I felt selfish pushing her, but I do have her story in there. Also, Oprah. The whole thing about your soul’s code and calling in life is between the ages of 3 and 9. People have a flash of what they’re meant to do in life, what their soul’s code and calling is. This is what she left out. Oprah looked at the TV when she was five years old and said, “I can do that.”
Every person, like Carol Burnett, everybody had a flash of greatness. You listen to rock bands. You can listen to anybody. They have a flash of their greatness between 3 and 9. I was looking for that in Winning. It’s a testimonial book for Why Cats Don’t Bark. Here’s what your readers need to know. If I got people like Jack Canfield in the book, they help market it. I engage them so that they have a personal motivation to put it on their website. You always want to take shortcuts. We only have so much time and energy. We have to do it that way.
I’m going to skip a couple of books and tell you how it led to my biggest passion, which is I Believe I Can Fly. It’s not just a book for children. It’s a complete system of thinking. It’s neural psychology in action. It wires kids for health, happiness, and success at the right age. As a therapist, I’m rewiring people all the time, reprogramming their minds, getting rid of the old mental software. I thought, “What if we wire kids right?” This is how you might find a pattern as an author. I write these two books where they all have a flash of greatness. I’m thinking, “What about the millions of kids that live, die, and never sing their song because they didn’t know what the music was?” I created a kid’s program in the TEDx Talk. It’s Brain Fitness For Kids: Cloning The DNA of Einstein. I created that as a marketing tool because what that program does is plant seeds of greatness. It gives kids that flash of greatness that Oprah and every person that climbed a higher mountain has had. It plants it in every child who has that program. Is that cool or what?
I’m fascinated by this idea of this flash of greatness. Do you think everyone has it and a lot of people forget they had it?
I go back to that in my therapy sessions a lot. I do therapy out in Zoom calls as well. Some people don’t have the flash, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the code. That doesn’t mean that it’s not there. It’s like a light bulb that hasn’t been turned on. That’s what I try to do in the program. With a good therapist, my questions. Children who are asked more often, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” They are more successful, just by the question because what it’s doing is turning on that light bulb. I thought if kids are in an environment, parents might be on drugs. The magic is in the audio. One four-year-old child played one five-minute track one time.
The mother said there was a dramatic change in his confidence because he was a real shy kid. It’s a matter of illuminating it. Everybody has it. Some are broad. I think I have a more global one. I try to reach people, whether it’s speaking or the book. Other people, it might be making the best poppy seed lemon cake. That’s okay. You read obituaries and I smile, but it’s not smug, “She made the best lemon pie from Wisconsin, and everything is a poppy seed, and knit the best sweater.” For me, that’s not who I am. As long as we’re in alignment and in sync, then it’s great. That is our greatness.
I feel like you have walked that talk with your choices as an author if we go back to this idea of these passion projects. It’s interesting because the more I talk with you, I can see the through-line, but if you just looked at the list on its own, it might not be so obvious. Do you think that your evolution of going from one book to the next, how your choices about which books you’ve decided right mirror your own evolution in your own life?
There was a different purpose in each one. Some were more personal and growth-oriented. Forget Selling, I do sales training and I was like, “I should have a business book.” That’s what you have to decide. Do you want your book to be a brochure? Do you want it to be a handout that you include in some of the training that you’re doing? Do you want it to be a gift to your kids? You have to decide. Do you want to make money? Do you want to be like Kiyosaki and have a bestseller, and make a lot of money from the book? Do you want it to lead to speaking engagements? How does it reflect?
Some of it was just emoting like, What Most Builders Won’t Tell You. I was fed up with the builders and how they cheat people. I’ve got these interviews and I’m like, “I’m going to write this book, so other people don’t get screwed over like I did.” Some were a little bit off. Bullying, as a therapist, I see people that have been bullied. As a speaker, I knew it was a hot topic, so I wanted to make a difference. It’s a handbook and you could read that. It’s about the bully, the person who is bullied, the bystander. There’s role-playing how you can do that as a teacher, and what you should do as a parent.
That’s the other thing. How are you going to stage your book? Do you want it to be a resource, which Forget Selling and Bullying can be? Do you want it to promote self-growth, awareness and enlightenment? You have to start with the end goal in mind. It’s whatever is an issue for me at the time. My next book, and I love the title. I got to do one more, but I got so much stuff to get rid of, but it’s Trust No One, Love Everyone. It’s a double entendre. It’s another one like Why Cats Don’t Bark. The title’s been with me for years.
I’m going to try to get my life organized enough where I can go to the beach one more time and get that written. It’s the ups and downs of my life. I have allowed people to take advantage of me because my Achilles is I trust. I have a natural instinct to help people and to trust to a fault. I could be bitter, but I don’t think I sound bitter. You got to learn that lesson. Maybe I have to be more discerning, but the “love everyone” is to have a happy heart still so you can be creative, and you don’t tie up energy in those negative forces.
Fortunately, I’ve been gifted with good health and more energy than the average twenty-year-old. I had a bad accident a few years ago and I shouldn’t even be here, but I am. I thought, “God isn’t done with me yet.” That’s when it’s like, “I got to focus on getting the kids’ program out there.” We have to look at shortcuts. At this point in my life, I realized I’m not 32. If I’m going to make all this happen and have an impact, I have to look at shortcuts. I don’t care what age you’re at. Looking at shortcuts is a matter of being more efficient. I hired a marketing person, and she’s a work partner. I like that because she’s got skin in the game.
She’s going to move here in my guest bedroom. We’re going to rock. What I’m saying is if you don’t get around to doing things on that to-do list, delegate it. Partner with Robin. Do something. I told her, “I will be fair.” We haven’t even discussed what percent she’s going to get. I think we’re both fair. I’m not worried about it. My goal is to get it out there. I can’t take the stupid money with me anyhow. Not that I don’t want it. I still got to pay my bills, but look at what’s not your core genius and you’re not getting it done. She’s extremely organized. I am internally, but if you saw the rest of this room, I can’t even walk through it.
The other shortcut is if you have people in your book that are going to be motivated to market it, and then there are joint ventures. Who has something like you where you can complement them? Let me give you an example. I’m versed on many years of working with hypnosis and subconscious mind. Neuroscience is now in. That’s science proving what I’ve been doing for many years. A speaker friend of mine, Lenora Billings. I don’t know if she’s African-American but she’s black. She’s got a diversity market. With unconscious biases, she’s got that.
I wrote to her and I said, “I can add to your program because I have many years of experience with the unconscious mind.” I’m telling your readers, think about other people where you’re not going to compete, but you will embellish and complement together. Cross promote. Your website has their book. You bundle it and you’ll sell more. Get the job done. What I haven’t done yet is the audiobook. There are just so many hours in the day. I think they can be a good idea because some people are not commuting, but when they were commuting and sitting in traffic, then people were doing audiobooks more than reading.Trust no one, yet love everyone. Click To Tweet
The audiobook is the fastest-growing segment in the industry.
I love David Riklan, and that’s how I met the gal from South Africa. He has SelfGrowth.com. He said, “Start with getting endorsements, but you’re not going to get Tony Robbins. You don’t get this.” I’m like, “What a limiting belief? Tony Robbins took me over the hot coals personally many years ago.” I had a talk show on ABC. I interviewed him. He loved me. He invited me to do a tour with him in China. I don’t think that. I called LeBron James. He’s got a school. Did LeBron call me back? No. Did someone on his team call me back? Yes. If you’ve heard of Dolly Parton, I called her. The COO or somebody called me back said, “We’re so focused on her on the library.” I don’t look at it as no. It’s just not yet. I don’t think like, “No, you’re not going to get.” Go for it. My mother’s best advice was, “Ask. They can always say no.”
I was talking about this with my other interview before you. We were talking about how few people ask. If you don’t ask, you won’t get it. You can guarantee that.
The other good thing once you have your book written is now, I have Kristen Miller. I can send her a copy of Winning and she can make 1,000,001 blogs from it. You can hire someone on Fiverr, Upwork, or whatever for $0.75 an hour, but pay more than that.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it. There’s this meme. It’s the word karma and it’s written on a card that has a blue and gold stripe. The subtitle is, “It’s everywhere you’re going to be.”
Once you’ve got your book, if you don’t have time, somebody could take a chapter, make an article, and make a blog.
You could probably make 4 or 5 blogs out of a chapter.
The other thing I’m going to do is I’m going to start doing videos for my kid’s program. I’m going to do parenting tips like, “If your kid is having a temper tantrum, try this.” Parents are so hungry for, “What do I do now?” This is the book I’ve been planning to do these videos for about ten years, but I’m doing it. Everybody’s got to put it down like a dentist appointment. Put it down, “Tomorrow at 10:00,” and then you do it. I’m going to do some with kids, “Did someone call you a bad name? How does that make you feel? You do this.” Remember Mr. Rogers? I’m going to be Mrs. Rogers. I even pitched at Shark Tank.
The problem was they loved it. I was getting filtered. I wasn’t on TV like this before. He loved it, but I didn’t have the sales. Kristen is going to get the sales up, and you will see me on Shark Tank. One more shortcut, and not everybody’s going to do this because not everybody is as crazy as I am, but I can’t emphasize, look for shortcuts. I’m so blessed and tired because I was up until 1:00 in the morning. I had The Bachelor on. I don’t sit and eat popcorn, but I have it on. It said, “Apply for the Senior Bachelorette.” I have a gut feeling I’m going to get in. Do you love this?
I love it.
It’s instant PR. Don’t let them see this. I want a man. I’m there for the right intention, but there can be spinoffs.
It’s a leveraged strategy. You’re going to get the man and the publicity and the Shark Tank. You’ll go from The Bachelorette to the Shark Tank.
We have to recognize an opportunity. I don’t want to get too spiritual here, but God or the universe or whatever you’re comfortable with, I truly believe that we stumble on things all the time and we walk right over it, or we trip on it. It’s cosmic phishing. It’s God’s telephone telling you to pick up the call and answer it. Is this not true? Kristen coming into my life is unbelievable. I wasn’t even going to call that day. She just liked my energy and we clicked. As soon as COVID will let her out of South Africa and in here, it’s going to happen. To be on The Bachelor, the Senior Bachelorette, this could never happen. I got five cats. I’ve got three vacation rentals in my house. I can’t be away for more than a couple of days. Kristen, I trust. She will have a lovely place here on the Lake. She doesn’t have to pay me a dime of money. She better feed my cats. She can run it all while I go out and drink wine and meet men. The point I am making is life is a feast, and most poor fools are starving. Recognize an opportunity and move on it.
The other thing I see with you is there’s no grass growing under your toes.
That’s what my first book was about, but he took it out. Buy the revised copy, and it’ll all be there. We’re having such a blast, but I’ve done a lot of podcasts and I can’t say I’ve ever gotten the return I liked. It might be my fault. This might be true with a lot of authors. I’m a teacher at heart. I’m excited about getting the message. Recognize the opportunity and that you have to look at the end goal. If it’s to convert, if it’s to get people to buy your book or whatever it might be, then have a map in your mind of how you’re going to get there. Otherwise, you might entertain a lot of people, you might educate them, but you may not be able to pay for your electric bill. You’ll have skinny kids.
Book sales can be a nice supplement. To fully receive the affluence, the abundance that’s possible in becoming an author, you want to look at that bigger vision of what do you want people to do with you once they have your book. What’s the next step? What’s the course? You’ve developed these programs. What’s the program? What you need to do is get books in people’s hands so that they know you exist. There’s so much on what you can do with the book versus just the book sales.
I’ll say a little bit about PR. You have to be wise about it. I spent a ton of money on PR when the first book came out, and it is the one that has sold the most. I did a lot of PR that wasn’t relevant. I was in Cosmopolitan, USA Today. It looked good but it didn’t sell one single book because I was getting PR and getting interviewed. It was a full-time job, but it didn’t pay for one book. Have I been on all the good stuff? Does it look good? Yes. Does it feed my cats? No.
PR doesn’t necessarily convert to book sales. It’s important that the people understand that. What it does do is it does ramp up visibility. It helps more people know about you. As a side effect, that can lead to book sales.
Things have changed. That was many years ago that I wrote the first one. Social media creating the buzz is so different now. That’s what Kristen is doing for me. She’s creating the buzz on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and know your audience. If I’m appealing to mommies, then we’re going to do more on Facebook. If I’m going to do corporate training, then it’s on LinkedIn. Know where you want to create that buzz on social media. Two other things because I have this at the top of the list, but we had so much fun. The difference between softcover and hardcover. I’ve got all my hardcovers left. I don’t think people were buying the softcover more because it was cheaper, but they can throw it in their purse. In my age group, it wasn’t a book unless it was hardcover.
That is not how people think nowadays. My other mistake was I ordered 10,000 of each one. I was speaking a lot back then. When I wrote my books, I lost my momentum speaking. You might want to watch the balance. It was a mistake. Now there aren’t even live audiences. Now I’ve got to start doing webinars. I did 10,000 of each, and you got to know, some are going to sell better. Back to the room, sales were great. I could sell 4,000 after a speaking engagement, but I’m not speaking. Now my garage is full. In hindsight, what I would recommend is don’t order 10,000. Don’t do it. Do the thing with Amazon where they print on demand, all of that, all the options.
Don’t do it unless you are 100% committed to every single one. That means selling books on lots of days when you don’t feel like selling books.
Even Wayne Dyer, do you know how he did it? He would go to bookstores and say, “Do you have The Sky’s The Limit?” They would say no, and they won’t buy Wayne Dyer. Ten minutes later, his wife would go in and say, “I’m a salesperson. We have these books,” and one is Wayne Dyer’s. Sometimes you got to be a little sneaky. It’s not unethical. It’s creative. It’s called creative marketing. The other thing you might think about is I spoke for NAIFA, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. The guy brings me in, and then he bought 1,000 copies. He has one for all of his team members.
You got to realize it’s a lot easier to sell 1,000 copies to one client. I want Winning to go to Amway. Sometimes it’s hard to get in. What Most Builders Won’t Tell You, I was sure that Lowe’s and Home Depot thought it was a homerun, and they should have it. I try to get through the big boxes. I think Lowe’s only works with Better Homes and Garden. They have their own publishing. If you think you’re going to do a volume with something like the big boxes, Lowe’s or Home Depot, know ahead of time what the process is. Fortunately, I didn’t do 10,000 of those. That would be another thing to do.
You’ve learned some of these hard knocks’ lessons that many self-publishers go through. I want to take a moment to thank you for being so transparent, vulnerable, and sharing these. The information that you’ve provided, if people are reading to what’s underneath everything you’re saying, it’s that there are a lot of things that you have to take into account. When you traditionally publish, there are also other things you have to take into account to protect yourself, but you have given us twenty-year in the making PhD.We stumble on opportunities all the time that we simply walk right over and even trip from. Click To Tweet
Learn from my mistakes because some of them were expensive.
Some of the things that can happen as a self-publisher to watch out for, to plan ahead for, and to think through ahead of time. You can end up suffering if you wing it or if you hope it works out. If you think, “If I do this, then this outcome will happen automatically,” that’s not true. It can be very difficult and discouraging. This is rampant in the self-publishing realm, there are people around you telling you that it’s going to work out. They’re telling you that you’re going to get these things if you spend this money. Unfortunately, this often isn’t true. You’ve given a tremendous gift to our readers, especially the ones who are working in the self-publishing space. I thank you.
I did a bunch of anthologies before. It was an easy way to say I’m writing. I don’t know if that was wise. I paid six times more for the book because there was a middle person. Once you publish your own, they could care less if you’re Zig Ziglar or Tony Robbins. They want you. Those are hard for me to sell. I tell you one story. In one of the anthologies where we had quotes, somebody wanted a speaking gig with TJ Maxx. She left the book there, but they liked my quotes more. I got my highest speaking gig with TJ Maxx because somebody else left the anthology there. You never know. The last point I want to make is the one good thing about my book is they’re all evergreen.
Intuition, there’s nothing old about that. Sex For The Soul, sex isn’t going anywhere soon. Selling, bullying, there’s very little I would change or add, but there is almost a children’s book. The other thing I would say is you may want to think like M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled. It was found that he had a bestseller for 10, 11 years. It’s evergreen. That’s the other thing. You don’t want to be like Schwarzkopf, The Desert Storm. A big seller for a month. Half of the people reading probably don’t even remember The Desert Storm. I would encourage people to think evergreen. Robin, this has been delightful. You have to come down to the lake and visit me. We’ll have an author’s retreat. I got three units and we can host about a dozen people. You all come down.
Edie, thank you again for your generosity and sharing.
Take care. We’ll be in touch.
- Edie Raether
- Why Cats Don’t Bark
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Chicken Soup for the Soul
- Sex For The Soul
- Winning! How Winners Think – What Champions Do
- I Believe I Can Fly
- Forget Selling
- The Sky’s The Limit
- What Most Builders Won’t Tell You
- The Road Less Traveled
About Edie Raether
Edie Raether is an effervescent dynamo with an unwavering passion to educate and enlighten others so they can step into their greatest potential. Edie has empowered over 3,500 professional associations, Fortune 500 companies, educational organizations, and community and youth groups across 5 continents.
Today, Edie successfully integrates over 50 years’ experience in human potential development and behavioral psychology into a revolutionary new character-building program for kids called ‘I Believe I Can Fly!’A renowned keynote speaker, bestselling author, parenting coach and occupational therapist, Edie is a leading authority on the neuroscience of achievement and brain-based performance, including emotional and intuitive intelligence.
Her training programs integrate Action Intelligence for high-impact results, and she’s turned around some of NYC’s most at-risk kids. She’s hosted talk shows on radio and TV with ABC affiliates and continues to thrive as a social change agent.