Write Your Book



a number-one best-selling author, success and book coach, and speaker on a mission to help leaders use the power of writing to uncover their unique stories so they can scale their impact.

I'm Stacy Ennis,

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Episode 118 | The business of being an author, with author and publisher Alexa Bigwarfe

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I'm a number-one best-selling author, success and book coach, and speaker on a mission to help leaders use the power of writing to uncover their unique stories so they can scale their impact.

Hi, I'm Stacy

Writing a book and being successful as an author is hard work. This week on the podcast, I unpack the hardness and amazingness of the author journey, from writing to marketing and beyond, with Alexa Bigwarfe, a USA Today best-selling author, publisher, and founder and CEO of Write, Publish, Sell. In this episode, we discuss:

  • Alexa’s moving, personal journey into publishing
  • What authors should know about the big-picture process of writing, editing, publishing, launching, and marketing a book
  • The difference between integrating your book into your business growth strategy and making a living as an author
  • Advanced author marketing strategies

Alexa owns three hybrid publishing houses: Kat Biggie Press; Chrysalis Press; and Purple Butterfly Press, a children’s book publishing company. Her courses and training focus on author professional development, platform growth, and fun, creative ways to market books. Alexa also has a publishing conference coming up: Women’s Publishing Summit. Sign up with my link here—this affiliate link helps support my ability to produce the pod.

No matter your stage of authorhood—idea to ongoing marketing—I know you’ll find value in this episode. Enjoy!

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Transcripts for Episode 118

These transcripts were generated by robots, not writers.

Alexa: You have to, from the very beginning, think about this like a business. And with a business, you wouldn’t just open a coffee shop saying, okay, I’m open the doors tomorrow I’m going to sell some coffee. No, you have so much that you need to think about before that, but then you have to build the store. So think about what’s going to happen in the future. Have that plan, be aware, be knowledgeable of the thing so that as you’re going through the process, you know, okay, if I want to finish this book and launch it in a year, I have to have some kind of audience there. So what are the things I can do little bit by little bit, so that it’s not so stressful when the book is done.

But if doing those things stops you from actually writing, then throw all that advice out the window and just focus on writing, because you can’t market a book that’s never been written.

Stacy: Welcome. I cannot wait for today’s episode because we get to talk about publishing. I’ve had a number of people on recently talking about their writing processes, their books, and certainly in the past I’ve had people on talking about publishing.

But this week we get to talk about the world of publishing, the business of being an author, the difference between using a book to grow your business and publishing a book and becoming somebody who lives off of book sales, all of those different aspects of authorhood and beyond so I’m really excited to introduce you to this week’s guest, Alexa Bigwarf. She is a USA Today bestselling author, publisher, and founder and CEO of Bright Publish, sell. Alexa owns three hybrid publishing houses, Cat Biggie Press, Chrysalis Press, and Purple Butterfly Press. I see a theme there. A children’s book publishing company. She enjoys working with authors in all capacities. Her courses and training focus on author professional development, platform growth, and fun, creative ways to market books. Welcome, Alexa. I’m really excited to talk with you today.

Alexa: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited, too.

Stacy: All of us in this industry have some backstory of how we got into publishing as a whole. And I certainly have my story of my nerdy early days reading books and immersing myself in writing. I want to hear your story. How did you end up working as owning publishing houses, organizing a publishing conference, and doing the work that you do in the publishing world?

Alexa: Oh, my goodness. Well, it’s a long story, and not all of it is very happy, but I will do my best to shorten it. But like you, I was totally. I mean, I was that little girl that saved up all of my allowance. And every time the weekly book reader came out, I was saving up my money to buy all the books I read. It’s all I wanted for Christmas. I was a big time reader, loved reading and writing. But that’s not the path my life took me. I actually went into the military. I was an intelligence officer and then encountered terrorism, worked for Homeland Security, and decided after our second child, well, before we decided to have a third child, decided to be a stay at home mom because that seemed easier. Little did I know I was laughing inwardly, too. Exactly.

So shortly after I left my full time job, I got pregnant with our third child. And then we got news that we had a bonus baby bacon in there, too. And then things got bad. We found out that they had a syndrome that affects identical twins called twin to twins transfusion syndrome. I was hospitalized multiple times. They were born very early. And then two days after they were born, one of our daughters passed away. And at that point in time, I started, well, doing a lot of things. Once I got back to the place where I could do anything, I started blogging because I had a lot of anger and grief and feelings, and we had a baby in the NICU and with special needs and all of these types of things, and I started blogging.

And after a while, I saw what the impact of my words had on people, and I wanted to do something more so I made connections with other people in the grief community, and we wrote and published a book called Sunshine after the Storm, a survival guide for the grieving mother. Now, when I went through the whole process of learning how to self publish with a lot of help from a lot of people that I’d worked on anthologies with and done, this was back in the day when the mom bloggers was like, massive and were all doing anthologies. So I participated in a bunch of different projects, learned the ropes with some help, and realized I super enjoyed the great enigma of figuring out publishing. And this was back in 2013, so there were not as many easy steps as there are now.

It’s come so far, but I loved it. And so I partnered up with another blogger and we started doing a series called Lose the Cape. And the first one was lose the cape realities for busy modern moms and strategies to survive. That’s a mouthful. And after I published the second book, people started reaching out to me and saying, I want to write a book. How do you do this? What’s happening? So I just started helping people through the things that I knew how to do. I’d learned how to format a book, obviously knew how to load to KDP, do all these things, and it just kind of naturally as helped, started helping other people, more people came. I started getting into entrepreneur groups, and a lot of entrepreneurs wanted to write books to grow their businesses, and it just kind of grew.

And when I published Sunshine after the storm, I created Cat Biggie Press. And the imprint is very personal to me because my daughter’s name was Catherine Bigwarf. So that’s where the cat biggie comes from. And eventually started publishing other books under that had people start sending me children’s books. So I started purple butterfly press. Chrysalis Press is a whole nother story that we’re not going to get into, but I love to train. When I was in the military, I was often the training officer. I was responsible for creating the training opportunities. I love to teach, I love to train. So it felt very natural for me to start doing courses and workshops and then come into the world of 2015. The virtual summits were just really exploding all over the place.

So I started a place where we could bring in together all the people, where we could learn from so many different experts, not just from me, because I didn’t know everything, I still don’t know everything going on. Eleven years in this industry and I still feel like I’m learning new stuff every single day. But that’s really where the conferences came in, and I found that I love being a connector. I love bringing people together. I love sharing other resources. I love putting people in the right space and place with the people who can help them. So that’s the abbreviated version of how went from stay at home mom to women in publishing summit and write, publish, sell, and all the things.

Stacy: Well, thank you for sharing that story. And I think it’s beautiful that you’ve been able to grow something so impactful out of such a painful experience that you’re able to take that and create something big and beautiful in the world.

Alexa: Thank you.

Stacy: I just want to say that it was interesting hearing you talk about the mom bloggers, because it took me back early on in my career. Let’s see, it was probably about 2014, 2013 ish, somewhere in that realm. I went to a mom blog conference, and it was so interesting, and I often think about that experience because it was just such a unique world of all of these mom bloggers that are coming together. And a client had actually sent me to this because were working on a project and were kind of studying this universe, and how do we kind of tap into the influence and power of the mom bloggers? Really interesting. But that was a world that was a whole.

Alexa: Oh, my gosh, yes, it was. It’s so funny because were having a book marketing session the other day, and were talking about influencers and finding influencers, and I was like, an influencer doesn’t have to be somebody with 70,000 followers and all these big things. I was like, when I started as a mom blogger, I had a very small community, but it was engaged, and I was like, people used to send me free vacuums and free baby carriers and free strollers and all these things for me to share with my community because of the power of influence, when you are using something and sharing the word, and I was like, so think about that when you’re looking at who you should invite to help you talk about your book, it’s everybody.

It’s everybody who has somebody who they might say, I just read this book and it’s amazing. You should read it, too. Or I went through this workbook, or I did this, or I did that. So you can be a very powerful mini influencer with a huge voice. So we jumped straight into marketing there. We can back right back up to the publishing stuff.

Stacy: We’ll loop back around to marketing. Although I do want to piggyback off that point, because I think a lot of times when people are getting into marketing their work, and they’re trying to find the voices to amplify their book. They think they have to have the biggest name. But actually what I have found is that the big names will, if they will, join you in celebrating your book. It’s a very little tiny nod. Whereas people with smaller, more engaged audiences, they tend to be the ones that really get in and celebrate and really put effort and energy into it. And to your point, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the engagement, the heart, the connection that people have with the audience that’s following.

Alexa: Yes, that’s so true. And often the bigger voices won’t even reply. I mean, I think it’s always good to try and get a big name person behind you if you can. But it’s amazing how many people with these massive audiences produce way smaller results than somebody with 500 really engaged followers. It’s really interesting.

Stacy: Yeah, it’s so true. And I want touch on a couple of points, and I promise to all of our listeners, we will come back to marketing because it is super important and it’s also really fun to talk about. What I would like to talk about first is the journey of all of the things when you’re a new author. Because where I’ve chosen to focus, my work is on writing, and I specifically focus on that because that piece of the process is a huge piece, just that one portion of the first draft. That’s what I help people with, idea to draft. And then you have the editing process, which is its own little piece, big piece. Then you have the production of your book, and then you have the actual launch of the book.

And that has to, if you have a business, also align with your overall marketing strategy. And then you have the ongoing marketing of the book and the utilization of that book in your overall platform. There is so much to it. And I really encourage people get informed on those later pieces, but be where you are so that you’re not getting overwhelmed. How do you approach this with authors, new authors that you meet that are just coming into this journey? What message do you have for them? They’re going to listen to us talk about some of these more advanced marketing strategies and even some initial ones, and maybe if they’re in the beginning phase, they’re thinking, oh, that’s a lot. I wasn’t even thinking about that yet. So how do you approach that with them?

Alexa: Yeah, it’s interesting because to your point, the writing piece is critical. If you don’t have a book written, you can’t do any of these other things. So for a lot of people, it’s really taking a look at your capacity levels, what you have time for. And it’s challenging for me because I’m a book marketing expert. So I want everybody to start their marketing from the second they have the idea of the book. That’s when I start. We go in and we start analyzing the audience and how to grow the platform to have the right people and getting that cover and getting the blurb done and all those things really early on. But I also, in these last couple of years, have started the journey of being a fiction writer. Most of my books have been nonfiction, and this is my first.

I published my first fiction book a year ago in December, and got a little bit of a taste of what it’s like to really struggle with writing and getting that whole book done and developing the characters and doing all the pieces. And there have been times where we get so focused on the after pieces that we forget to really focus on what has to be done, which is creating that initial work. So what I want to tell people is, you have to, from the very beginning, think about this like a business. And with a business, you wouldn’t just open a coffee shop saying, okay, I’m going to open the doors tomorrow. I’m going to sell some coffee. No, you have so much that you need to think about before that, but then you have to build the store.

So think about what’s going to happen in the future. Have that plan, be aware, be knowledgeable of the things so that as you’re going through the process, you know, okay, if I want to finish this book and launch it in a year, I have to have some kind of audience there. So what are the things I can do little bit by little bit, so that it’s not so stressful when the book is done. But if doing those things stops you from actually writing, then throw all that advice out the window and just focus on writing, because you can’t market a book that’s never been written.

Stacy: Yes, I know. I so resonate with that. I think when I’m coaching people that are in the writing process, I try to be really protective of that first draft space because I always say nothing else can happen until that first draft is done. The rest of it’s pointless if you don’t get that first draft done right. But there are a lot of little things that you can be building alongside that. Don’t take your creative writing energy, that energy that you bring to the writing process. I love the analogy of the coffee shop. I’ve never heard anybody describe it that way. I think that’s such a smart way to think about it because I’m sure you get this a lot. I get so many emails every week from people who are working on books that are really important to them. They’re important stories, important messages.

But the undertone of the email is this is the best book that anybody is ever going to read and it’s definitely going to sell endless copies. And that might be true, but I think people don’t realize how much work and effort it takes to build a brand and sell your book. And on the other side of it. And here’s a good transition into my next question or talking point. There are different ways that you can be an author out in the world. One is I’m using this book to further my work in the world, my mission, my business, my brand, my social good effort. And then there is the effort of I want to be a full time author and so I’m going to put in the effort of building my author brand.

Talk to me about those two pathways and what do people need to understand about the difference.

Alexa: So I’ve been doing this since 2012 and I feel like I’m still trying to build that brand and build the audience and build the things to get to the point where I can eventually be a full time writer. Now, granted, I’ve been doing a lot of other things. I’ve been raising three small children. We had a pandemic. All of these things that take away from your time, but the reality is that dream of just, unless you have an additional source of income that can float all your bills and can do all the things for you, it takes time and consistent effort to get to full time author status. I just came back from a conference called 20 books to 50k. It’s now going to be called author nation.

But listening to the successful author panels and they have multiple of them, the message that I really got from them was you have to have a backlist, you have to have multiple books depending on the genre. I want to make that very clear. There are some people that they have a book that’s their staple. Maybe you’re a dietitian, a nutritionist, a health coach, or something of that nature where that one book is your staple for everything else, but you’re making your money not necessarily from book sales, you’re making it from speaking or from other products that you’re selling or from your coaching or from that. So within this little umbrella that we’re talking about, there are silos of how you’re making your money as an author, as an expert.

So it can be that you have a book that is the staple of your business growth, or at least a key revenue stream of it, and then you have people who are wanting to be full time authors, which is what the question you asked me. And from that, it takes lots of books. There was nobody on these successful panel interviews that had less than, I would say, maybe twelve. I want to say 15 books. Some of the fiction authors are different, and I think your audience is mostly nonfiction, so I won’t go into that. But there are some genres and fiction that three books can get you to. Wow. But that’s generally not what happens in the nonfiction.

In the nonfiction, it’s multiple books or a business that’s built to grow with that book or with that knowledge base that helps you expand through your other revenue streams. So when I’m working with nonfiction authors, we take a look at what their goals are and what they’re really trying to achieve. Do they really want to make a living as an author? Do they really want books to be their primary source of revenue, or do they want to make a living as an expert? And those are two different categories, and you’ll take a different approach to each one of those. So let’s go. If you want to be the author, then keep writing those books.

But you have to know that a big part of what you’re doing is it’s going to take a long time before the royalties from those books, unless you have a huge audience already or you just get lucky with somebody big taking on your book and doing something. A lot of times you’re going to be using that book to do workshops for other companies, organizations, or businesses, and maybe your book is a piece of that, to do speaking engagements, to do training, to do consulting, and all of those. So, for me, I don’t see a whole lot of nonfiction authors who are, quote unquote, full time authors, like, making their entire living around their book, even from those, or books, even those who are making. I’ll give honoree quarter. Who’s part of.

She is well known because of her work in the miracle morning community and all of her books, but she’s a writing and publishing coach, and she’s got over 60 books, and she’s making a good income from her books. But it’s all of her other revenue streams, her coaching, her membership programs, her publishing programs, all that kind of stuff. Her speaking engagements, those are what are really allowing her to live a full time income as an author, it’s not just the books. I don’t know if you would say that’s your experience as well. And I do want to say that it is possible to get to that point, but your books must then become your main focus.

So if you are looking to become just a writer, just a full time author, making money from your books, then you have to be publishing a book a year, two books a year, really getting out there and marketing those books, doing all the things that will bring the revenue to those books and the attention to those books. But for me, I find it much easier working with experts and finding other ways that they can pull in money from the things that their book highlights.

Stacy: It’s such a great. I always describe it as fertile soil from which to grow other revenue opportunities, and I like the way you framed that. What I often find, and I’m sure you do too, is that people use the wrong math to determine the ROI of writing a nonfiction book. So they’ll go into it and say, okay, if I make this many dollars per copy and I need to sell x number of books to make back my time, energy money investment into this book. But to your point, where the return comes is in business opportunities, speaking engagements, new revenue streams, memberships, coaching programs, all those things that you can grow out of it as an expert. So I really love all of the things that you just said and really align with that.

I’m curious to talk a little bit about marketing specifically, because this is always such a big area of growth. And for a lot of people who are writing, I will say specifically the people that are listening to this podcast, they tend to be nonfiction authors, although, of course, welcome fiction authors as well. I certainly read more fiction than I do nonfiction, but they’re also in a really interesting growth phase as transitioning from oftentimes, the way that I think about it, is a place of success into a place of influence. So they’re building, some of them come in with existing platforms, but many of them are experts in their field.

They might be physicians or attorneys or sea level executives, or maybe they have a really impactful story, and within their community, their leaders, within their community or their families, whatever, now they are trying to take that and get other people to care right, and to listen and to read and to impact them. And so they’re often doing very foundational brand building of just getting that personal brand up and into the world. So that’s one piece. I feel like we’ve talked about that quite a bit on this podcast. What I haven’t dug into with anybody yet. I think in detail is once that’s built, what are the things that are working in the marketing world for authors? What are you seeing as trends for people once they have that established foundation of their platform and they have their content going, things are working ish.

What’s working for them? What are those next level strategies?

Alexa: So it’s a lot about, I mean, it’s just basic, right? It’s numbers, period. That’s what works is numbers. If you have a certain number of people in your community and on your email list, that works. And I’ve seen this in my own business, but also with a lot of authors that we work with, as their email list grows, so do their book sales, so do their courses, so do their workshops. So really, for me, spending a lot of time creating the lead magnet, the opt in the way to get people into your community and growing. That is fundamental for anybody who’s planning on scaling as an author or a business owner, but also utilizing not only your own social media, but other people’s social media.

So when it comes to social media, we know everybody talks about, you got to use social media in your marketing. But where I think a lot of people fail to differentiate is the how to get there the fastest, because we see a lot of people so stressed out about, I don’t have time to go create TikTok videos. I don’t want to be posting on Instagram every day. I don’t want to be doing this or that.

So if you’re really looking for the growth on those ways, it’s about collaboration and connections and finding other people who have like audiences that are similar audiences to your audience, that are willing to bring you in front of them, I know for me, if we go back to the beginning of mine where I was first starting out, when I decided, okay, I’ve written some books, now I’m helping people publish. I need to get in front of the people who want to publish books. I actually was in some entrepreneurship groups and one of my coaches did a joint webinar with me and she know I’ve self published a book. I know it was a big part of my journey forward. Here’s Alexis. She’s going to talk to you about it.

And I was able to launch my first coaching program because of the impact of having someone else who’s trusted by her audience bring me in front of them and have me teach to that audience. So when you’re looking at opportunities for growing in marketing avenues like TikTok or Instagram or the Summits or the podcast, all of these things. A lot of times it’s much less important. We’ll do the 80 20 rule. Like spend 80% of your time connecting with other people that have similar audiences and bringing value to their audiences, whether it’s you personally or connecting with them. To have them talk about your product and your books and your expertise, and then 20% on creating your own content out there, you do need to be visible. You have to have something going out.

So when people hear you, when you hear this podcast and you decide you want to learn more about Alexa, big wharf, you can go out and you can find some things or write, publish, sell, whatever it is. But that’s really where we see people having the most. Where I see people having the most growth and that I can speak to from my own experience as well, is collaborations. And that borrowing, leveraging. I talk about leveraging other people’s audiences is really a massive way to gain growth and to move forward. And also with marketing, people get scared of the word marketing.

And within our community, I try to tell people, I say, don’t say you’re working on your marketing, say you’re working on your relationship building, and say you’re working on connections and bringing people into your community and being in front of other people’s communities.

Stacy: All of those are such great pieces of advice. It’s funny because it brought me back to early in my career, I used to say I don’t do any marketing like it was some badge of honor. And now I look back, I’m like, I 100% was doing marketing. I was networking, I was writing blog posts, I was speaking, I was doing all this stuff. It’s funny because I was just, that idea of marketing myself was just icky. And now I’m like, well, actually that’s just attention is our precious commodity and you have to be in front of people, you have to be there so they think of you, they remember to recommend you. It’s very important. All the things that you said. And the other thing I wanted to add to that, a couple of things. One, you mentioned podcast interviews.

Statistically, podcast listeners are readers, people listening to this or watching on YouTube. You probably are a reader. Simply, I mean, obviously we talk about books a lot, but generally these are audiences that read. So that is such a great place to put energy and focus into. Another thing that I think is really interesting, I’m curious to hear from you on what you found on this, but what I’ve found in my own marketing is that the marketing pieces that I spent the most time, energy and money on are the ones that don’t seem to work and the ones where I pull out my phone and record something quickly and post it. Those are the things that do work.

And in particular, I had one video series that I did a month ago that now is at 120k views and I’m still getting followers from this one video series. And I think what I found in that, what I learned from that is one that authenticity and just being you and showing up, it doesn’t have to be polished, it doesn’t have to be perfect. And also remembering that people want to be entertained, they want to feel like they connect with you. And actually, I wish that I had understood that sooner because it’s so much more accessible for when we think about marketing rather than, oh, I have to be all polished and it has to be this perfect video quality and everything. Actually, that’s the stuff that people tend to scroll past rather than feel like they connect with.

Have you found that as well in marketing trends and things that you’re learning about and practicing?

Alexa: It’s interesting because TikTok has taken over so much of the world when it comes to a lot of marketing and doing different things. And I think that people have almost been trained to push out through videos on all things. They’ve been trained to push out the polished and are more interested in connecting with people and in seeing real stuff. So, yes, authenticity is a huge factor in how much people want to learn from you and engage with you and do all of these things. They see that. It’s also intimidating to people. Like, if you see someone who’s super polished, I am not a polished person. I will never be a polished person. I stumble over my words sometimes, I say stupid things, I put my foot in my mouth.

I do all of these types of things, but that is what people get when they come into my community, when they work with me. So it would be silly to have this really polished marketing that’s like they think they’re getting this and then it’s like a bait and switch. But in general, I think people are really looking for real connection and real relationships and want to feel like they can trust the person that they’re working with or learning from or buying from or whatever it is. So, yeah, the more you that people see, especially in this nature, where with most nonfiction books, it’s mostly we’re writing about stuff that is us centered. Right? Where you’re writing books about your yoga practice or your grief practice, or your website design or your writing, coaching, or whatever it is, but everything comes back to you.

So it’s important that people know you and know who you are and what they’re getting. And we find that people in these types of situations follow the person first, and then eventually after time will be like, you know what? I want to learn from this person. I want to buy their book. I want to take their course. I want to go to their retreat, whatever it is.

Stacy: Yeah, that was something I had to learn because as a former high school language arts teacher, I came to everything teaching first, and I kind of forgot about the piece that I’m actually looking for, which is authenticity, connection. I mean, we throw that word around, but I think in this world that we’re in, we really need that. It’s really important to feel that connection. So for the authors that are publishing a book as an expert, and it’s an integration into all of the broader work they’re doing in the world. Again, it could be in any number of topics, industries. What advice do you have for them integrating that book into their overall business growth strategy?

Alexa: So there’s a number of ways that you can do it. In the beginning, it’s kind of interesting because all of my, as I mentioned in the beginning of my story, my first book was on grief and loss, and then the second four books were on parenting. But I was building an audience and building a business around helping authors. And I thought to myself, well, this is kind of silly. I have nothing to sell to the audience that I’m building in terms of books or anything that creates me as the expert. So I think this isn’t a direct answer to your question, but make sure the book that you’re writing is right for your audience.

So I have another one who wanted to build a, she wanted to teach photographers, but she wound up, her first book was her memoir about breast cancer, and she wanted to write that book because it was so personal and she needed to write that book. That had to be her first book, but it did nothing for building her expertise as the photographer person or build that business or could be used as a lead magnet. So I would be really careful when you’re choosing what topics to write about. Of course, you can write about your passion projects and your fiction books if you want to write fiction or your children’s picture books or all of those, but make sure you’ve carved in the space.

So at the time, I was working with a lot of female entrepreneurs, and one of the common themes that I saw with getting them to move forward with their books was fear. There were so many fears that were coming along. I’m not the expert. Nobody’s going to want to buy my book. I don’t know how to get started. I don’t have the time. So my first book out for writers to speak to that audience was ditch the fear and just write it. And it’s a journal info book on the things that you needmotivation thingy. Case studies from a bunch of female entrepreneurs who moved past their fears to get their books out there. So that’s one really important thing, is making sure that whatever you’re writing about is the right thing to move your business forward.

So if you have a book that matches with what your business growth is, then it’s a natural integration, and you can use it in a lot of different ways. So I wrote Ditch the fear and just write it. And to this day, I don’t sell hardly any copies of it. I give it away as a lead magnet to future potential clients. So I’ve given away 10,000 copies of this book. And you might think, well, that’s completely counter to making a living as an author. But, no, it’s not, because those are 10,000 people on my email list that I can talk to about writing, publishing, and selling. And they’re joining my workshops, they’re joining my summit. They’re doing other things.

So, yeah, I might not have gotten the $19 from the book sale, but over the course of the lifetime of those people being in my business and doing consulting calls and programs and all that kind of stuff, I assure you I have made more than $19 from the majority of the people. Some just download a free book and you never hear from them or see them again. That happens. That’s why it’s called a funnel, right? Because you have the big open space at the top, and it funnels down to small people that are actually doing the thing you want them to do, but also create ways to earn revenue based on the things that are in that book. So do you have small challenges? Do you have workbooks that might go along with it? Do you have courses?

Do you have other products that go along? So when people are getting that book, there’s a next step for them in there. Your book should have a call to action at the end. If you want more help on this, if you want more information on this, if you want to join me in my consulting program, if you want to, whatever, you’ve got that in there. And then the other thing is using it as a calling card. The print copy of your book as well. You can go to events and literally hand out copies of your book. When you interact with people, you can use it as a bonus if you’re speaking at an event.

Of course, you can sell books at the back of the room, but it’s really just important for you to think about all the different ways that book can become a piece of where you’re going with your business and what you’re trying to accomplish. One of the speakers on my summit a few years ago talked about how she uses her own nonfiction book as a book club, so she would go live every week on her Facebook page. Back in the day when were doing that, I don’t know too many people that are going live on Facebook very much anymore, but maybe in your groups, wherever you’re doing it, each week, she would go through a chapter of her book, and she would say, okay, we’re covering this today. And she would give examples and she’d do a little bit of teaching.

She wouldn’t tell them everything, but she’d be like, and on page 72, I go into extreme detail on how you have the right lighting for your video and what camera you need. So make sure you’ve grabbed a copy of my book, and I’ll drop the link below. So there’s other ways that you can incorporate your teaching, your knowledge, and still bring people into your audience and also sell your book or sell the other things coming from it. So it really does come back to, we’ll go back to the coffee store analogy. As you’re looking forward to, what other things are you going to offer in your coffee shop? Right? It’s probably not just going to be a cup of coffee.

You’re going to sell some donuts or some bagels, or maybe you bring in some local artists who have notepads or pens or little paintings or whatever. What other things are you bringing in so that if you don’t have a lot of coffee drinkers in a particular month, you’ve got other different pieces of the pie that are also bringing people in and making sales?

Stacy: Such great, all of this is such gold and great advice. And one other piece I’ll add to that when you’re actually writing that book, integrating case studies, client stories, all of that helps show you as the person they can work with. So that’s an important piece. I just wanted to know. Alexa, thank you for this conversation. I really enjoyed this, and it was nice getting to talk a little bit beyond just the basics of author platform building, which is very important. But also there’s these other pieces that we need to be thinking about. So thank you for your time and energy today. Tell our listeners and viewers what you’re most excited about right now. I know you have a summit coming up, so you can tell us a little bit about that and where people can learn more about you.

Alexa: Yeah, the women in publishing summit is what I’m always excited about. We build such a great community over there. We bring in such wonderful experts and people to come into our community and help. We work on building relationships. We work on collaborations. We work on doing the training and the knowledge to do all the things that we just talked about. In this, we have a really strong contingent of nonfiction training and business growth and marketing strategies through the conference. So tickets are on sale. It runs virtually March 6 through 9th. We’re running early bird. You can grab those stacy. But also, if you’re not into coming to a conference, check out the events page on our website, because we run monthly webinars, sometimes more than one, where we’re bringing in guest experts and companies and tools and resources.

And you don’t have to pay anything for those monthly webinars. But it’s been a real honor to be at the helm of what has grown into a massive community of not only authors, but experts in the publishing industry. And I hope we’ll see you there.

Stacy: Yeah, we’ll be sure to post a link to that in our show notes. And I have come and done one of your monthly webinars, and it was such great fun. I had a really wonderful time. You have a great community. Thank you so much for being here with me today. Alexa.

Alexa: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Stacy: You can always access show notes, including any links mentioned in this episode at And you can connect with me on Instagram @stacyennis or on Facebook @stacyenniscreative. Thank you so much for joining me this week. Here is to building lives that are beyond better.

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