Episode 25 – Marc Miller discusses his three books, and their origins
In this episode, Marc discusses his new book, Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life, now available on Amazon; and the paths he took to write it and the two books that preceded it. Marc starts by describing his departing the corporate world and starting a blog, how the blog led to a white paper, a website, and then a book, and how wrote two more books, earning additional credibility at each step. Marc explains the art of self-publishing, and what you can expect in writing your book.
[1:42] Marc left his last corporate job in January, 2011, and in June he started a blog, called the My Career for My Life blog, with two, three, and then four posts a week. It took Marc months to find his voice and learn his readers’ interests. He listened to learn.
[2:16] In late 2011, Marc hired Susan Lahey, who interviewed him, and wrote the white paper, Don’t Retire, Even If You Can, a Baby Boomer Manifesto. The CareerPivot.com website launched in February 2012, along with the white paper. Using the white paper and the blog, Susan wrote the book, looking to author Gudjon Bergmann for title ideas.
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[3:04] Having a title, Marc next needed a cover. He started with graphic artists, but he didn’t get their technical questions. He was introduced to MamiSerwaa Amoakohene, who took Marc through a branding process, and helped him choose graphics suited to his audience.
[4:07] Susan drew from the white paper, and the blog posts which were most popular. Writing a blog will tell you, by feedback, the topics people want to read. Marc hired a college student to edit, which led to a minor skirmish between creatives; then they crowdsourced reviews. The common criticism was all the stories were from Marc’s life.
[5:23] Marc used CreateSpace to publish the paperback, and KDP to publish the Kindle version. They released them about the first of January. They found three typos in the paperback, and fixed them to release the Kindle version. The only marketing was a book signing at BookPeople. There was a glitch in swapped covers, but Amazon fixed it!
[6:52] Marc did a giveaway of the Kindle version, to get a mailing list for his next book. Marc has a relationship at NextAvenue, that led to an article picked up by Forbes, for invaluable credibility. Marc planned the next edition for 2015, but it didn’t work out.
[8:14] In 2014 Marc had a VO client record audio; Marc edited the audio, and put it on ACX.com — now Audible.com. His main expense was time. There have been 100 audios sold, and 2,500 books, in four years. What was gained was credibility, not much income. The credibility led to guest blogging in 2014 on Personal Branding Blog.
[10:35] The blog forced Marc to write more on personal branding. Of the blogs, they put the five most popular into a white paper, and it was incredibly well-received, by AARP. They added more posts, and turned it into an ebook. Marc lost a lot of time and momentum creating it, from co-authors walking away from it.
[12:29] In early 2016 Marc started making the pivot to focus on the 2nd half of life. He wrote the blog post, “Careers in the 2nd Half of Life.” It was very popular. That made him think of a second edition focused on the 2nd half of life, and asked MamiSerwaa for cover suggestions. They retained the walking element, with changes, to differentiate.
[13:30] Marc started working with Susan in 2016, giving her 8-10 of the most popular blog posts to roll them into 4-5 chapters. Then Marc dictated client stories to Susan that she could fit into the old version to add depth. The book was completed toward the end of 2016, and Marc reached out to well-known authors to review it for quotes.
[15:00] Marc asked Susan to pick a professional editor she wanted to edit the book. It worked out much better for all. With the new draft, Marc sent a Review PDF to 100 people, to for quotes. He expects to get 50 to 70 reviews. He has five reviews so far. He also set up pre-ordering on Amazon Advantage. That led to 30 preorders.
[17:31] As with the first book, Marc used CreateSpace and KDP to create and publish the books. Amazon customer support was amazing every time Marc needed help.
[18:30] Marc launched the Kindle version on April 18, at $.99, to encourage reviewers to buy the book, and be a verified Amazon purchaser. On the second day, 50 copies have been sold so far, and it’s rolling out smoothly. If you want reviews, Marc says, you need to ask people to review it on Amazon. They generally won’t think of that on their own.
[19:20] Marc’s blog allowed him to find material that people wanted to read, and most of the book came from his most-read blog posts. Marc credits Susan on the cover, and both Susan and MamiSerwaa on the Amazon listing. It costs nothing to give credit, and it creates loyalty. A book is a credibility-builder, second to none.
Mentioned in This Episode:
Contact Marc, and ask questions at: Careerpivot.com/contact-me
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