Balancing Books & Business by Lisa Sabin-Wilson


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You’ve worked really hard at growing your business over the years, and you are beginning to gain some recognition for all of your hard work. You are being asked to speak at conferences, you are being sought out for interviews and panel participation - and then the day comes: a publisher approaches you to write a book in your area of expertise. It is an honor to be recognized for all your hard work and part of the reward is the fulfillment of a dream: to publish a book in your chosen industry, where you will be seen as a subject matter authority in your area of expertise, whether it’s tech or tamales. Authoring a book (or several books) is very time consuming, and balancing the task of authoring a book, staying within a publishers time line requirements while still maintaining and running your day to day business is requires skills of organization, prioritization, delegation and patience! Lisa Sabin-Wilson is the owner of a busy and successful web design and development company: E.Webscapes. While maintaining the day to day operations of her business, she is a regular public speaker at national conferences and she is the author of several books in her area of expertise, WordPress and web design. Since 2006, Lisa has written a total of 7 books for Wiley Publishing and, in this session, she shares her experiences in balancing books and business without completely losing her mind, business, family or friends.

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  • Balancing Books & Business by Lisa Sabin-Wilson

    1. 1. Balancing Books & Business Lisa Sabin-Wilson
    2. 2. SOMETHING ABOUT Me <ul><li>I am Lisa Sabin-Wilson. Since 2007, I have written 6 books for Wiley Publishing, with #7 in progress. </li></ul><ul><li>That’s 7 BOOKS IN 4 YEARS . </li></ul><ul><li>I mention this not to self-promote , but to introduce you to the alternate title for my presentation today… </li></ul>
    3. 3. I Lost My Mind So You Don’t Have To Lisa Sabin-Wilson
    4. 4. Landing MY Book Deal … <ul><li>I never considered a career as a writer </li></ul><ul><li>I wasn’t looking for a book deal when it happened </li></ul><ul><li>I was approached to write my first book </li></ul><ul><li>I was “discovered” at a conference just like this one </li></ul><ul><li>Speaking on a topic the publisher was interested in </li></ul>
    5. 5. Landing YOUR Book Deal … <ul><li>Not everyone will have a book deal land in their lap – it happens, but don’t count on it. </li></ul><ul><li>From TECH to TAMALES - Be sure you are (mostly) an expert...or at least be willing to become one – FAST </li></ul><ul><li>Spend LOTS of time writing a thorough proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Your proposal is how an editor will sell your book to their boss </li></ul><ul><li>Your proposal tells the story of what the book is about, and WHY it will sell…and sell well . </li></ul><ul><li>Attend the next session : “ What Publishers REALLY Think of Your Book Proposal ” at 10:15 in Room 1A07 </li></ul>
    6. 6. Landing a Book Deal Is… <ul><li>Exciting </li></ul><ul><li>An honor </li></ul><ul><li>Reason to celebrate </li></ul><ul><li>Scary </li></ul><ul><li>Intimidating </li></ul><ul><li>A dream come true </li></ul>Awesome!
    7. 7. Landing a Book Deal Is… <ul><li>OMG!!!!! </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT </li></ul><ul><li>HAVE I </li></ul><ul><li>GOTTEN </li></ul><ul><li>MYSELF </li></ul><ul><li>INTO???!!!!??? </li></ul>
    8. 8. My First Book Project… <ul><li>I thought … </li></ul>This is gonna be EASY!
    9. 9. My First Book Project… <ul><li>I thought … </li></ul>Just take all my knowledge and write it down. Right?
    10. 10. My First Book Project… <ul><li>I soon realized … </li></ul>I was WRONG!
    11. 11. Hindsight is 20/20… <ul><li>Also known as … </li></ul><ul><li>If I would have known then </li></ul><ul><li>… . What I know now. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Before Accepting the Deal … <ul><li>Evaluate your business – can it survive you being “gone” 10-15 hours per week? </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss it with your family – can they survive the amount of time it takes for you to write this book? … in addition to a growing obsession with the book? </li></ul>
    13. 13. Before Accepting the Deal … <ul><li>If you do not plan, organize, delegate and set aside time in your business and personal schedule for writing a book – you have SEVERAL loooong nights ahead of you. </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in lots of coffee – </li></ul><ul><li>you will need it. </li></ul>
    14. 14. It sounds good … <ul><li>The excitement wears off the minute you put that first deadline on the calendar… </li></ul><ul><li>… . and the excitement doesn’t come back until you can say you’re actually DONE . </li></ul>
    15. 15. When is it done ?? <ul><li>On average it takes me: </li></ul><ul><li>2 weeks to polish and perfect my TOC. </li></ul><ul><li>4 months to write the chapters </li></ul><ul><li>1-2 months to get through Author Review. </li></ul><ul><li>It takes, roughly, 6 months to write a book. </li></ul>
    16. 16. What does that translate into? <ul><li>Chapters = 10-12 pages </li></ul><ul><li>Chapters = 5-15 images </li></ul><ul><li>1 chapter takes me 5-8 hours of CONCENTRATED TIME . </li></ul><ul><li>My goal: 2-3 chapters / week. </li></ul>
    17. 17. What does that translate into? <ul><li>Realistically … </li></ul><ul><li>15-20 hours per week </li></ul>
    18. 18. How long does it take… <ul><li>100% of my deadline split 4 ways: </li></ul><ul><li>25% = 1 month = 4 months to write the required book chapters. </li></ul><ul><li>But …………. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Author Review …. <ul><li>Your editors will have queries for you to answer, phrasing to re-word, points to clarify and technical information to correct. </li></ul><ul><li>This process takes another 4-6 weeks. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Author Review …. <ul><li>At the end of 4 months - Copy editors, Tech editors, Project editor…..have all looked at, changed, edited and tweaked your work. </li></ul>Please don’t tell my editor I did this 
    21. 21. But Seriously . <ul><li>Your editors are really NOT out to get you – although it may feel like it from time to time. </li></ul><ul><li>Work WITH them and be </li></ul><ul><li>SURE you are communicating </li></ul><ul><li>with them, regularly! </li></ul>
    22. 22. When is it ACTUALLY done…. <ul><li>When your editor simply says: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Thanks – that’s all I need from you.” </li></ul>
    23. 23. But you’re not really done…. <ul><li>Public Speaking </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Book signings </li></ul><ul><li>Webinars </li></ul><ul><li>Guest Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing and Promotion </li></ul>
    24. 24. Speaking of Marketing …. <ul><li>You are your own best promoter of your book. Do not depend on your publisher to do the marketing for you – it’s not going to happen . </li></ul>
    25. 25. Best Seller? …. <ul><li>Be sure to plan for: </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent reprints </li></ul><ul><li>Future editions </li></ul>
    26. 26. Get Organized and stay that way. <ul><li>Books don’t start selling until they are DONE . </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t lose track of your business! </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate you new schedule with everyone who matters </li></ul>
    27. 27. Balancing Books & Business Rule #1: YOUR BOOK DEADLINES ARE NOT YOUR CLIENT’S PROBLEM . Definitely let them know what you have going on – but if you’ve promised them XYZ in 20 days, make sure you deliver it, unless you’ve made other arrangements.
    28. 28. Balancing Books & Business Rule #2: DON’T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU . Most likely, it is your business practice, skills or experience that got you noticed and got you this far to begin with – in a world of book deadlines, don’t forget to continue to nurture and care for your business.
    29. 29. Balancing Books & Business Rule #3: DELEGATE AND THEN …. DELEGATE . From dishes and laundry to email and invoicing, recruit some help to do some of the more mundane tasks that anyone can help you do, reserving your time for those tasks that ONLY you can do.
    30. 30. Get Organized and stay that way. <ul><li>Use online calendars like Google Calendar to plot your writing schedule – then SHARE your calendar with friends, family and colleagues to collaborate and sync your schedules. </li></ul><ul><li>Google Calendar’s helpful features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pop up reminders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share your calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recurring events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMS & Email notification </li></ul></ul>Available in your Google Account Sign up at
    31. 31. Get Organized and stay that way. <ul><li>I share my calendar with : </li></ul><ul><li>My husband and family </li></ul><ul><li>My staff </li></ul><ul><li>My colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>My clients?? Not usually – but I do stay in touch. </li></ul>
    32. 32. Get Organized and stay that way. Create basic documents from scratch You can easily do all the formatting basics. Upload files from your computer then edit them. Google Docs accepts DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT, XLS and more. Share your documents with others. This makes for an easy review process – particularly if you have someone copy editing your work. It’s free! Google Docs:
    33. 33. Get Organized and stay that way. Zoho Writer An alternative to Google Docs for those who’d rather not Google. It’s free! Zoho Writer:
    34. 34. Get Organized and stay that way. This may seem obvious … Disconnect! Email, Twitter, Facebook, Chat, Browser windows SHUT IT OFF!
    35. 35. Get Organized and stay that way. DropBox Store files, documents, images, etc in an online storage service like DropBox so you always have access to your vital book files from any computer in the world. Sign up is free and gives you 50GB of storage just for signing up. Dropbox:
    36. 36. Balancing Books & Business <ul><li>Take Aways: </li></ul><ul><li>Do your best to manage your time </li></ul><ul><li>Do not miss your deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Do not ignore your clients/business </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t skimp on communication </li></ul><ul><li>It doesn’t last forever – it will eventually be over </li></ul><ul><li>It will be SO worth it! </li></ul><ul><li>Have fun and GOOD LUCK ! </li></ul>
    37. 37. Balancing Books & Business Thank you for coming …. You can find my slides online at: You can find me on Twitter at: @LisaSabinWilson