In this post, we review Dr. Angela Lauria’s Book Journeys interview with author Danny Kofke, author of How to Survive (and Perhaps Thrive) on a Teacher’s Salary.
Danny Kofke is a schoolteacher who, for several years (his wife Tracy, who is likewise a schoolteacher, stayed at home to raise their two daughters for several years) was able to raise a family, as well as have some money in savings and in an emergency fund, on his salary alone. The idea for the book was triggered by a study done by the National Education Association, which said that fifty percent of teachers quit their profession in the first five years due to low pay, and learning that statistic was what prompted Danny to write and publish his first book.
As it was, the timing for How to Survive, as well as his second book, A Simple Book of Financial Wisdom, came out at the right time, for these came out at a time when the world economy was in a recession. The first book, which came out in October 2007, was aimed at teachers in particular, as Danny wanted to show his fellow teachers a way they could live on their salary, while the second book, which came out in September 2011, was aimed at a the general public.
Danny wrote How to Survive over the course of a single month, and Financial Wisdom over a Christmas holiday, waking up early in the morning to write out these out. He went with Tate Publishing for his first book, for which he needed to pay $4,000 up front, and for his second book he went with independent publisher Wyatt-MacKenzie, with whom he didn’t need to pay any money up front to get it published.
Danny was originally of the “build it and they will come” school of authorship, but he quickly learned he needed to be the one to market his books himself. He started out by searching on Google for finance-related radio shows, and after getting the appropriate contact information began sending out e-mails to these. He started off small, and it took some two years before he finally got a big interview on Fox and Friends, on national TV, and he attributes part of this interest in him to an interview he did with a local NBC station, which allowed him to use the link of his interview with them, a link which he attached to his e-mails when he solicited appearances.
When it comes to getting the attention of producers for shows, Danny recommends using e-mails in which tie-ups are made with current events as well as statistics related to the subject matter. The publicity has also made his viewpoint sought after in topics other than his books, such as schoolteaching, and this has also helped raise the visibility of his books.
1. In 2013, the average household income in the U.S. was around $52,000 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States
2. In 2014, the salary of teachers ranged from $41,000 to $48,600 – http://www.payscale.com/research/US/All_K-12_Teachers/Salary