Another Book Journeys Radio episode with Angela brought in rich insights to writing and publishing a book, as Black Hawk pilot and motivational speaker Elizabeth McCormick graced last week’s show. Elizabeth’s book, The P.I.L.O.T. Method: 5 Elemental Truths to Leading Yourself in Life, is a personal development book about leading oneself in life, and she used PILOT as an acronym for the five main points of the method, which are: Potential, Implementation, Leadership, Optimize Your Life, and Tenacity. Elizabeth considers this as her first “me book” although she has previously co-authored three other books. She also has little business success books, or tip books, as she calls them, which are written specifically for industries where she has delivered motivational speeches. She has seven more books lined up, for which she plans to use a pyramid type of strategy, a concept that was shared to her by a literary agent. The idea is that the first book serves as the broadest base of the pyramid, which means it has the broadest audience and the most appeal, and this is her PILOT book. Her second book which she’s working on is Leading in Business, which has a narrower audience but still relates to the first book. And the third book is Women in Business, which again relates to the first and second books. So the concept is fine-tuning and refining it book by book in a pyramid method, and for her, the pinnacle book, or the one on top of the pyramid will be her memoir.
Elizabeth considers her books and her speaking engagements as a business, and so she looked into how she can run a business that generates profits. She looked into profit margins of traditionally published books and considered self-publishing as well. She decided not to go with a traditional publisher because she didn’t want the process to take more than a year, and she also didn’t want to self-publish because she wanted a name of a known publishing company behind her. So she decided to take the author finance route where she paid the publisher to take her book and distribute it. This way she had control of the processes, bringing her own resources to the table by hiring her own people for the cover design, book formatting and editing, although the publisher offered a package for the same services. She had a quick turnaround from the time she finished writing to the day she had the book in her hand, which was only about two months.
Asked for advice that she can give to future authors, Elizabeth candidly answered, “Don’t do what I did.” She said one of her regrets is that she didn’t keep a journal to chronicle her experiences and so, she lost so many details and memories of things that she went through. This made it hard for her to bring all those memories back to life. But for Elizabeth, when the time comes to get it done, her simple advice is that “you gotta do what you have to do to get it done.”
Watch out for Angela’s interview with another exciting author.