Repurpose Your Career 3rd Edition
The first book was published and a lot of lessons were learned. If you have not read the first post in this series I suggest you do that now.
The plan was to update the book every 2-3 years but that did not happen. I now thought I was a published author and I should try something new. E-books were all the rage and paperback books were old school.
I thought, “let’s publish an ebook.” Boy was this a mistake!
My next endeavor was to harvest material on personal branding from the posts I wrote for the Personal Branding blog back in 2013/14. I thought I could quickly turn this into an ebook.
Multiple problems ensued, including that Susan Lahey, my coauthor on Repurpose Your Career, was not available. I agreed to use my blog editor at the time to assist me but she walked away after 3 months. I was introduced to a 2nd ghostwriter/editor and she decided to walk away from the project. Neither of them did much work on the project.
Rather than taking 6 months to produce – it took almost 2 years. By the time it was available the ebook fad had started to fade.
2nd Edition Book Cover and Tag Line
As I wrote in the previous post, I am not artistically inclined but I can follow patterns. I studied a number of authors book cover designs that had written multiple editions. What I detected was a visual element was always carried from cover to cover. What I decided to do was to use one of the images from the first edition to the 2nd edition.
I wanted to maintain the concept of walking to sunrise or new morning as a visual concept.
The audience had changed as generation X was now turning 50 and they were facing the same issues that baby boomers had been facing since the dot com recession. Susan and I decided to change the tag line to A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life.
We once again wanted to keep the book so you could read it on an airplane flight. The goal was to increase the word count of about 25-40% by adding stories that were not mine and to address the changing economy.
Writing the 2nd Edition
Much had changed in the previous 4 years since the previous edition had been written. The economy had improved but most of us were still facing headwinds. I personally had 4 years of experience coaching baby boomers and gen Xers through difficult career transitions.
I sat down with Susan Lahey and told her story after story which she dutifully chronicled and jointly we determined where to insert them into the existing chapters. We added several new chapters on Make Stuff Up (MSU) disorder and Career Mistake and how to recover. We had a chapter on Weak Ties completed, and in editing, the entire chapter was removed by accident. It was only 3-4 months after the book was released I realized the chapter was gone.
Yes, stuff like this does happen!
Repurpose Your Career Podcast
I launched the Repurpose Your Career podcast at the end of October of 2016. The goal was to support the launch of the 2nd edition of the book and give me a testing ground for recording the audio version of the book. My plan was to record chapters of the book and release them on the podcast. This would be a good proofing mechanism, allow me to practice being a voice actor. In my last corporate gig, I recorded well over 20 hours of online training curriculum. I knew how to do this but I needed time to practice and perfect the process of recording and editing the final product.
As it turns out the podcast has taken on a life of its own. After the podcast was mentioned in the AARP magazine as a featured podcast in the article Podcasts: A New Golden Age of Audio in May of 2018 downloads quadrupled to over 10,000 downloads a month. The podcast has been mentioned on just about every podcast career list there is.
Even with all of the planning it still took an addition 6 months to get the audio version of the book released.
Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life was made available on Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle version April 18th of 2017. The audio version would not be published until December 15th of 2017.
Book Sales and Amazon Ads
During 2017 I started experimenting with Amazon ads. I have primarily used Amazon’s auto-targeting feature to select where to place the ads and in general, I have been happy with it. I am now taking Mark Dawson’s Ads for Authors online course to improve my Amazon ads and to start running Facebook ads. Yes, I have crossed to the dark side and started to deal with Facebook.
Book sales for the 2nd edition after 2.5 years is approaching 2,000 copies sold. I make almost double the profit per copy with the 2nd edition than the 1st. The 1st edition was largely a break-even proposition while the 2nd edition is profitable.
The key to making a successful self-publishing business is perseverance. I just finished listening to a podcast episode from Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast called The Surprising Truth about How One (Self-Published) Author Sold Millions of Books where Pat interviews Hal Elrod author of the Miracle Morning series of books. Hal has an inspiring story that is worth a listen.
3rd Edition and Beyond
In the next installment, I will cover what is happening with the 3rd edition from a book launch perspective. I will also discuss getting the audiobook recorded and available.
I have learned so much over the past 7 years and even though this has not made a lot of money, the books have been profitable. Even more, writing a series of books is a credibility builder.
More on that in part III.Marc Miller