Another Book Journeys episode of Angela Lauria had as its guest Andrea Owen, author of the book, 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life. Andrea is a life coach and she wrote this self-help book for women which has 52 short bite-sized, digestible, nuggets of wisdom to live their best life. The topics cover everything from body image to perfectionism, giving up control, and the whole gamut of basically life lessons that Andrea herself also learned over the last seven years of her very own self-help journey.
This is the second of Andrea’s two-part interview. For the first episode, she had talked about getting a publisher that can really help with the distribution, and also finding an agent, writing a proposal, and having mentors who could help her along the way. She was able to get someone to help write her proposal and got a deal with a publisher who took her book to places, something that may not have been easily done if she had self-published.
In this second interview, Andrea talked about the importance of having a platform as an author. She said it used to be that authors would get a book deal and then come out with a platform after that. But with the birth of self-publishing, this has changed and publishers are now looking for authors to have an established platform to guarantee that there is already an audience that is interested in purchasing the book. While it is not impossible for one to get a book deal without a platform, Andrea says that it is a lot easier to do so if you have already established one. She shared several ways to build a platform and for her the first thing is to have a website that speaks directly of your message, creating blog posts on a consistent basis that give people a lot of value book content. She also talked about building an email list which is also very important since these are people that signed up because they want to hear from you. A third one is through social media which for her is really a way of building relationships and not about selling stuff. Andrea has been able to integrate all three platforms together, providing an opt-in at the end of her blog posts for people to sign in and give their email addresses for certain freebies like an e-course, and for social media, by turning her followers into subscribers. Andrea believes though, that the trajectory of her growth for her “likes and followers” has been because of the name of her business which she thinks is a novelty and quite clever.
Andrea encourages writers to be authentic and consistent and clear about their message, not writing so that people will like them, or get caught up with who’s going to read it, but write like they’re writing a letter to a friend and not with the end that many people will be reading it. She also thinks that accountability is key for one to get motivated in finishing a book project. For her part, she became accountable to her bloggers when she announced that she was going to write a book. For others it may be enlisting a friend or hiring a coach who in her words, “will light a fire under your butt and get you to write.”
Watch out for Angela’s interview with another exciting author.