Are you an author or thinking about writing your very first book?

If so, there’s a good chance that you aspire to become a best-selling author! You want to get your book in the hands of tons of people around the world. That’s the dream when you’re a writer, isn’t it?

Well, we wanted to get some tips on how to do just that, so we invited a best-selling author to guest host our Twitter chat, #ContentWritingChat, and share her expertise!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Becoming a Best-Selling Author in a Digital Age with Kristin Smedley

Our guest host for this month’s chat was Kristin Smedley. Kristin is a CEO, a TEDx speaker, and a best-selling author. The Kindle edition of her book, Thriving Blind, debuted as a #1 New Release and a #2 Best Seller on Amazon. And the paperback version debuted as a #1 New Release as well!

Q1: Q1: Why should people consider becoming an author in 2020? And how do you know if writing a book is a great path for you to take?

If you’ve been on the fence about writing a book this year, let us convince you! Our chat participants shared the benefits of becoming an author and it’s sure to leave you feeling motivated to write!

Kristin feels a book is a great way position yourself as a leader in your industry. It’s also a fantastic way to serve your audience and provide value to them. She also went on to share that books can provide content for your social media platforms, your blog, and more since they can be repurposed into quotes, chapter summaries, and other options.

And of course, writing a book can definitely add some cash to your bank account, which is always a plus. Kristin mentioned that it might not be a huge revenue stream, but every little bit counts!

The resident author here at Express Writers, our CEO Julia McCoy, said that writing a book is the best kind of content you can create if you want to create a long-lasting presence. You can see her with all three of her book babies in the photos above!

A book can lead to many amazing opportunities, as Michelle mentioned in her tweet. If you’re looking to get into public speaking, starting with writing a book could be a huge help to get your career as a speaker off the ground.

Carla feels that everyone has a story to tell. So, the question is, are you ready to tell yours? She suggests examining the market and seeing if there’s anything new you could add through creating a book of your own.

Q2: Once you’ve decided to write a book, should you consider self-publishing? What are the pros of doing it on your own?

When publishing a book, you can really go one of two ways. And when it comes to self-publishing, it’s certainly increased in popularity over the years. It’s made it even easier for people around the world to become authors. But before you go all in, there are some things you should keep in mind:

Kristin self-published her first book, Thriving Blind. Doing so allowed her to see first-hand the difficulties in getting braille books for blind readers. She even plans to self-publish her next two books because she feels the process is fairly easy and she’s confident in her marketing skills. Being able to market your own book is crucial if you want to become a best-selling author through self-publishing.

Self-publishing is certainly for those who want all the freedom!

Maria feels self-publishing is beneficial because it gives the author more control and freedom when it comes to making decisions about the book. If you’re feeling good about taking everything into your own hands, self-publishing could be a great option for you.

Julia agrees that you’ll have full control over everything when it comes to your book if you go the self-publishing route. That means any changes, artwork, etc. all fall on you. Plus, getting to keep a larger percentage of your royalties is definitely a bonus.

Q3: Do you have any tips for the writing process to ensure you’re staying motivated and inspired?

Let’s be real. The writing process isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it’s downright challenging! So, if you need some help staying on track with your writing goals, keep this advice in mind:

Kristin suggests holding yourself accountable by telling other people that you’re writing a book. Share it with your online community, as well as friends and family. It gets them interested in what you’re working on and they just might check in on your progress from time to time!

She also put a “Best-Selling Author” logo on her vision board, which she sees every day. This served as a reminder of what she’s working toward and surely adds some extra motivation when you’re not feeling called to sit down and write.

Some other suggestions from Kristin to keep those creative juices flowing… Do you when it comes to your writing schedule, such as how much and how frequently you write. Also, become an active member of online groups that will benefit from your book. Observe their conversations and get to know them.

Julia finds it beneficial to have scheduled writing times that coordinate with when you’re most productive. If you’re an early bird that gets things done first thing, make this your writing time.

She also suggests avoiding writing when you’re burnt out (taking time for rest is important), stay hydrated and nourished, and make sure you sign offline to give yourself a break from the internet on occasion.

Remember who you’re doing this for. Think about your book being in the hands of your ideal readers and how game-changing this book will be in their lives. That’s sure to inspire you!

Also, don’t forget to keep a journal nearby because you never know when inspiration will strike!

Q4: What tools are going to be beneficial in the writing and publication process?

As you dive into writing and publishing, there are some things you’ll want to have in your toolbox to help the process go smoothly. Here are some recommendations:

Kristin relies on the Notes app, as well as Post-it Notes and a whiteboard. She also shared a very important reminder that it’s smart to have an external hard drive to keep everything backed up and safe.

Evernote is also another handy tool for brainstorming, storing ideas, and even writing if you want!

Julia’s go-to tools include notepads and journals, her Apple computer, Scrivener app, Google Docs, and an amazing team for additional support.

You really can’t go wrong with Google Docs! It’s all about using what works for you.

Q5: How can you be sure your book is actually going to appeal to your audience and provide value?

As you’re writing your book and well on your way to becoming a best-selling author, you may be wondering if this book is actually going to be interesting to your audience. Well, if you find yourself asking this question, here’s what you need to know:

Q6: Once your book is finished, how can you spread the word and gain more readers?

Now that it’s time to drive sales so you can become that best-selling author you’ve been dreaming about, there are some tips you need to know about spreading the word!

Kristin’s first tip is to start spreading the word early… Before you’ve even finished the book!

She also suggests building an email list so you have somewhere to promote the book and update them on your writing progress. Kristin also had some other great ideas like reaching out to bloggers in your niche and pitching yourself for podcast interviews.

Michelle knows the promotion stage is where some PR really comes in handy. She says to put together a press kit, a media list, and start pitching. Another option is to participate in book giveaways, plan a launch party (it can even be virtual), and have readings/signings at local bookstores.

Julia knows it’s all about the email list. She wrote a five-day launch campaign via email when her book launched where she shared her story and asked for reviews.

Besides email, make sure you’re spreading the word via social media. In order to become a best-selling author, you need to tell the world about your book!

Q7: For Kristin Smedley: What are some unique things you did in self-publishing your book, Thriving Blind?

Kristin really got creative when it came to self-publishing her book. Here are some of the things she did:

Kristin took some extra steps to get books published in electronic Braille. She won a Twitter contest where money was donated to create the Braille version of her book. And she even enlisted the help of her 6th grade English teacher to edit the book, while getting a former classmate to do the cover.

Want to join in for the next #ContentWritingChat? It happens on Twitter on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated!

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