Client attraction. Business growth. Pretty profits.

#DPCON12: Blog To Book

G’day Everyone!

Today I’m blogging live from the Digital Parents Conference 2012. I’m super grateful to be here and know I will learn so many valuable ideas, tips and strategies which I’m going to share with you.

Warning: This is my first ever attempt at live blogging and using a tablet (iPad) to boot. Hopefully I won’t make too many horrendous mistakes but please hang in there until I get the chance to correct them.

So this session is Blog To Book!

Speakers for this session are:
Kylie Ofiu, KylieOfiu.com
Valerie Khoo, Sydney Writer’s Centre (moderator)
Karen Andrews, Miscellaneous Mum
Pip Lincolne, Meet Me At Mikes

VK: Entries for the Best Australian Blog Competition are now open so please get your entries in now. Total prize value is almost $16,000.

Getting a book published is not easy but having an already established following can really help.

Kylie, after you were approached what were the steps?

KO: There was a lot of back and forth of about the structure of the book. There was also discussion about the size of my following. The book is 365 Ways To Make Money.

VK: How much did you have to prove your audience to the publisher?

KO: I had a small readership at the time so I needed to show what I had in place to grow it i.e. guest posts. It took a month between contract and publishing.

PL: For me it took about eight months. The how-to style of the book meant everything needed to be tested three or four times. I didn’t have to prove my audience at all.

VK: The thing with Pip was she already had a physical presence and proven audience so that made a big difference.

KA: To self-publish my book it took thirteen drafts. I worked to a strict timetable even though I didn’t have a distributor.

VK: So even though you can self-publish if you want your book in bookshops you need a distributor.

KA: My distributor is Dennis Jones and Associates. I had to cover costs and I’ve almost broken even. I was more aiming to build my profile so the monetary issue wasn’t as important.

VK: What were you expectations versus what really happen with the publisher?

KO: I understood the publisher would do the marketing but After the book was released I realised I needed to do most of it. They were really good but if I realised what was involved then as I do now I would have had a different plan.

VK: How did you get it written in a month?

KO: A lot of the content was already written so that made it easier than writing a novel but basically I tried to work on it about two hours a day. If my husband had a day off I aimed for five hours while he looked after our children.

PL: I work really closely with my publisher but I am also a bit of a “go-to” person with the media as well.

VK: What has been a challenging aspect?

KA: With my second book there was collaboration with a lot of other people.

VK: How important is traditional media compared to digital media?

KO: Both are very important. Online guest posting was really important initially but magazines, tv appearances helped too.

Q&A with audience:

Q: What numbers are publishers looking for?

KO: I had about 200 friends on Google Connect. I didn’t have any social media until just before the launch. Numbers are not as important as long as you have a good base.

VK: Publishers will ask what you Klout score is.

Q: What is the best way to drive people to the book?

PL: Make sure you are out there in real life. Be interesting.
KA: You really have an initial 12 week window so you have to be ready for that.

Q: Do you need to have the whole book written before you approach the publisher?

KA: For how-to books or books like Kylie’s you don’t need the whole thing. Usually three chapters are enough but if you are a first time novelist you might need the whole thing. If you’ve been pubished before you can just go to them with the idea.

Q: Why book versus ebook?

VK: Now you should be doing both at the same time. People have their own preferences when it comes to reading.

Q: How to you overcome the challenges with borderline personality?

KO: I actually deleted my blog at one stage. Usually my sisters might step in and I talk it through with my family.
KA: As a single person operation I try to keep the bigger picture in mind.
PL: Sometimes it’s hard to know which opportunities to take up. It can be confronting when putting yourself out there.

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