How can you embrace book marketing as a creative part of your author business? How can you effectively market your backlist over time? How can you tap into ambition and drive your author business onward and upward? Honoree Corder talks about all this and more.
In the intro, Draft2Digital add a new library marketplace [D2D]; Running a publishing house is not as much fun as it used to be [Mike Shatzkin]; Microsoft launches the new Bing with ChatGPT-style co-pilot, and soon to be rolled out in other products like MS Word, Teams, etc [The Verge]; My future of publishing talk, 22 Feb [register here]; Thanks for joining the Pilgrimage Kickstarter, and pre-order on other stores; Superstars writing conference.
Today’s show is sponsored by Draft2Digital, where you can get free ebook formatting, free distribution to multiple stores, and a host of other benefits. Get your free Author Marketing Guide at draft2digital.com/penn
Honoree Corder is the author of over 50 books, with more than 4.5 million sold worldwide. She’s also a strategic book coach, professional speaker, and host of the Empire Builders Mastermind. Her latest book is, You Must Market Your Book: Increase Your Impact, Sell More Books, and Make More Money.
You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below.
- The book marketing mindset and why it is important
- Scheduling creative time vs. business time
- How to find the book marketing options that work for your personality
- Email marketing and how it has stayed consistent over the years
- Marketing your backlist books effectively
- How personal development can help your author business
You can find Honoree at HonoreeCorder.com
Transcript of Interview with Honoree Corder
Joanna: Honoree Corder is the author of over 50 books, with more than 4.5 million sold worldwide. She’s also a strategic book coach, professional speaker, and host of the Empire Builders Mastermind. Her latest book is, You Must Market Your Book: Increase Your Impact, Sell More Books, and Make More Money. So welcome back to the show, Honoree.
Honoree: Hi, I’m so happy to be here.
Joanna: I’m so excited to talk to you again. Now, you were last on the show in 2015, which is kind of crazy.
Tell us a bit about you and how you got into writing and publishing.
Honoree: I was a business coach, and an executive coach and corporate trainer, motivational speaker. And of course, everyone would always say, “You must write a book. Where’s your book? I want to buy your book.”
And I met Mark Victor Hansen, who everyone would probably know is the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. And he said, “Hi, I’m Mark,” and I introduced myself and he’s like, “What do you do?” And I said, “Oh, I’m a coach and a speaker,” and he could not have been less impressed.
He was like, “Yeah, okay, everybody’s a coach and a speaker. You must write a book.” And I thought, okay, and I just started asking him questions because he seemed friendly. And I didn’t realize in that moment, I was probably asking him the same 52 questions everyone asks him, that we get asked all the time. But he was very kind and gracious and answered my questions.
I immediately went home from that conference and sat in a chair for three days and wrote the first horrible, ugly draft of my very first book. And that’s really how I got started, I made every mistake that we caution against in our books for writers. But I got the fever, I was like, oh, this is great, I love this.
I loved having a book, I loved being able to make a difference and connect with people in ways that I hadn’t been able to do without a book. And then I started learning the lessons of how to professionally publish a book, and to publish a book well, and market a book well, and sell books and market with my book. And that was really the beginning of my journey, and that was over 18 years ago, now.
Joanna: There are a few things I want to come back on there. First of all, he said, okay, you need a book, right? You need a book to be a speaker. Now, are we living in different times in that everyone does now have a book? And if that’s true, if more speakers now have books, or it’s much, much easier to publish now, obviously, than it was back then—
If everyone can have a book, or does have one, how do we stand out?
Obviously, we’re going to talk about how to market your book, but is that true anymore for speakers and coaches, I guess?
Honoree: I do think it’s true for speakers, and coaches ,and entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to differentiate themselves in whatever their discipline or work is, definitely. I think the next question you are probably going to ask is: then how do we differentiate our book from other people?
Joanna: Especially for nonfiction, like you mentioned being a business coach, let’s say, how to communicate better with people or something, a lot of people do keynotes around communication. How does someone in that kind of niche differentiate themselves?
Honoree: Well, I’m going to just take a little segue and say it has to be professionally published. You’ve got to do an excellent job. Whether you indie publish it, you have it hybrid published, or you try to go the traditional route, you have to make sure that your book game is tight, that your book checks all the boxes of a professionally published book.
In addition to that, the contents of one’s book, in my opinion, must be a window into how they work and their methodology and their processes.
The book is meant to start a relationship between the reader and the author.
And so the message of the book, I think, must be what it is that you do differently as a business coach, as an executive coach, as a speaker, as an entrepreneur.
What is your special secret? What is your secret sauce? And putting that in the book, and include anything that would give someone a clue as to how you work, why you work, where you work, who you work with, whether you have a sense of humor or not. All of the ways that people can develop a relationship with you, in your words.
So that when they get to the end of the book, the next question they have is, who is this Joanna person and where is she so I can give her more of my money? How can I connect with her in a more meaningful, deeper way?
Joanna: Yes, as you say, if you want people to do business with you, your book has to reflect who you are with the business.
But the other question I have for you as a professional speaker before we get into the new book, is it feels like the highest-paid professional speakers are traditionally published. Now, that just may be a coincidence, but it feels like perhaps the speaker circuit does reward that kind of thing more.
And what do you think, do speaking venues and conferences and things, do they care really how a book is published? Do you think that’s true that people do get paid more when they’re traditionally published?
What are your thoughts on getting paid as a speaker with an indie book?
Honoree: Well, I have a decent-sized keynote, and I am indie published. I don’t think that they care, as long as your book is well done. You send them a book that is clearly hastily self-published, they’re probably going to overlook you.
I think there is probably a decent amount of other consideration. Have you built and sold a company? Or have you held a position at a company that we would know? Were you an executive at Apple, or Amazon, or Microsoft or another company that’s easily recognizable?
Also, I think some of those folks become speakers and then get an agent and go the traditional route. I have spoken to some of them, and many of them are not pleased with the results of the book royalties. They like the fact that their speaking fee is high, however, they would have liked to have had a line of sight to the quality of the book, the production schedule, the contents of the book, and their ability to do what I talk about when publishing, which is the optimization piece and the monetization piece.
And just very quickly, optimization is beginning the author-reader relationship, the front matter. And then monetization is the back matter, the opportunity for the author-reader relationship to deepen, to say, well, how else can I hire you?
And so when you are traditionally published, generally speaking, the front matter and the back matter is geared toward creating the publisher-reader relationship, not the author-reader relationship. And the back matter doesn’t allow the author to say, here is what else I do, i.e., I’m a keynote speaker, here’s how you hire me. I know some very well-compensated, self-published authors who make 25,000, 35,000, 50,000 per keynote, and they are 100% indie.
Joanna: I think the point is that you can choose your route, and it doesn’t matter, you can make it work in whatever way you want. So let’s get into your latest book, which is, You Must Market a Book.
Now, hopefully, anyone listening to this show already knows that you have to do that. But you talk about the importance of the book marketing mindset, which I feel is sometimes missed out as people jump straight into strategies and tactics.
What is the book marketing mindset? And why is it so important?
Honoree: I believe that the marketing mindset is understanding that for a book to be successful, and that is in whatever way the author defines success in order to hit their vision, is they have to understand that they are going to have to share about their book.
They’re going to have to market their book, they’re going to have to talk about it, they’re going to have to share about it, they’re going to have to email about it, they’re going to have to talk one on one, they’re going to have to talk one to many, in order for the book to hit critical mass.
And without the expectation that, yes, I’m going to have to market my book, and this is sometimes the difference between the indie-published author and the traditionally published author. In that some authors think, well, the publisher is going to handle all of that for me, my work is done, woo, thank goodness that’s over. And then they don’t realize that the day their book is published is really the day that the work begins.
Joanna: Like you say that it’s mostly traditionally published authors, but I still think a lot of indies think, “Oh, well, marketing is just publishing the book on Amazon because that does marketing, right?”
We have to disconnect publishing — as in making the book available — with marketing.
Honoree: Right. We have to disconnect the day that the book is published. I believe that marketing begins when you start to craft your book, when you put together the elements of the book, the cover, the contents of the book, the book bonuses.
How are you connecting with the reader? How are you getting them extra value for reading your book in exchange for their email address so that you can create that conversation?
I think marketing is baked into the publishing piece, but it is not the end. The book launch day does not then complete, the publish now button on Amazon does not now complete the marketing portion of our program. That is when you really have to come down shift into fourth gear and punch it.
You have to have a clear marketing action plan, and you have to plan on doing something every day or almost every day to get the word out about your book.
The folks in my Mastermind get a kick out of my saying, which is, “A book is not an avocado. It doesn’t go bad.”
You don’t have a finite amount of time to sell your book, especially if it has evergreen material in it. If it’s going to be good today, it can sell better 10 years from today, as long as you continually market it.
Joanna: And I feel like part of this mindset shift is, you know, when I’m writing my book, I’m the person on this side of the equation.
But when I’m marketing my book, I have to think about the people on the other side and what they will get out of it.
And I feel like a lot of nonfiction writers do this better than fiction, for sure.
For example, I get pitches for this podcast all the time which just say, “I’ve just published this book. Can I come on your show?” And I imagine that newspaper reporters get this type of thing, too, which is, “I’ve just published a book. Put me in your newspaper,” that kind of marketing. But that doesn’t show any understanding of the person on the other side. So, what would you say to that?
Honoree: I would say that when I sent you an email and said, “I’ve written the book, You Must Market Your Book. I know you have a lot of authors who listen to your podcast who would probably be interested in my perspective on how to effectively market and sell their books. And if that’s interesting, I would love to talk more about that.”
I did exactly what I think you’re getting at, which is I am thinking about the person who’s listening to our conversation. Not about me or my book, or about even you or your podcast, it’s who’s the end user? Who’s the end listener? And how will it benefit them?
Because by taking care of that one thing, by making sure that the listener will benefit, then it takes care of everything else. It takes care of you and your podcast, it takes care of me and my book. Does that make sense?
Joanna: Yes, and I think that’s really important. And we have to think about the reader.
I mean, it sounds obvious when we say it out loud, but you have to think about the reader. It is hard to switch your head from the creator to the marketer. How do you do this? Because you’re a creator, as well. You write, you create lots of things, and you also do the marketing side and the business side.
Do you schedule your time differently for Honoree, the writer, and Honoree, the businesswoman?
Honoree: Oh, sure. Yes, I have my creative time when I have on my stretchy pants, and I have my work marketing time when I am treating my business like a business. Even though I am in a room in my home, it’s creative headquarters at oh-dark-thirty, and its business headquarters from morning until late afternoon.
What I do in terms of thinking about the end reader is I ask four questions when I am crafting a book.
The first question I ask, and this is what I’m asking authors too, is what’s in it for you? Let’s get that out of the way. What do you really want?
Don’t be humble or self-serving, like I want to change the world. It’s like no, you want a bigger bank account, you want new shoes, you want to you know, you want to go to a book conference, right, whatever. And so just state that. Get really clear on what the outcome is for you.
And then I asked three more questions.
What do I want the reader to do? So for You Must Market Your Book, I want readers to market their books effectively.
The next question is, what do I want them to not do? I want them to not market their books ineffectively or fail to market their books.
And then ultimately, I want the end reader to feel empowered to market their books in ways that fit their personality, the role of the book, and their time availability and their budget.
So I wrote it from all of those perspectives. And then I do a review of the content of each of my books, including this one, from each of those perspectives.
Joanna: That’s a really good tip, actually. I like that. And I mean, again, that’s harder for fiction authors, but for fiction authors, it might be, I want the reader to go on an action-adventure thriller, and to have a really good emotional experience in a romance.
It can be the emotional promise of a fiction book and the transformation of nonfiction, for example.
Honoree: Yep, that’s right.
Joanna: I really like that.
Now, it’s interesting, you did mention that you want people who read this particular book to find the marketing that fits their personality.
And there are so many marketing options, there are paid, there’s free, there’s content marketing, there’s in person, there’s online, there’s so many variations on themes. But an overarching question is—
How do you know what marketing might work for your personality and your book? And how do you not get overwhelmed?
Honoree: Well, so I broke it down into the four things I mentioned just a second ago. And I did that on purpose because I wanted people to start to listen with their ears open, right? Like, oh, this could be different, this could be helpful to me.
I’m an introvert, and I don’t like walking into a room of people that I don’t know. I can do it, I used to teach people how to do it, so I know how to do it. That doesn’t mean that I love it, or that I want to do it on purpose.
So I recognize that book marketing can include doing all sorts of things that are contrary to my personality, which means I will, like being on a diet, not eat carbs and exercise for exactly four hours. I’m miserable, it’s the longest four hours of my life and I can’t wait to have a sandwich.
So I think when people look at book marketing, the first thing that they’re doing is looking at what other people are doing, and they just think, well, I have to do that. In fact, I hear people say, “Well, Colleen Hoover.” I’m sure you know who Colleen Hoover is.
Joanna: Everyone does now.
Honoree: But the first thing they did was go, okay, she became famous because she used BookTok, so now I have to do BookTok.
And I’ve had several people say, “Honoree, you have to do TikTok. You have to do BookTok.” And I say, “I don’t.” It seems like a wonderful idea, I would love to spend hours mastering a dance and producing a video. Oh, wait, no, I wouldn’t. That would be awful. I would have a good time because I can laugh at myself. I can’t dance, it would be terrible. It’d be the worst video, I don’t want to learn video editing. I mean, it has hashtag disaster written all over it.
Joanna: By the way, I don’t do TikTok either. But we should say that people are doing other things other than dancing with TikTok, but it’s an example of, don’t do what you don’t want to do.
Honoree: Yes. And that’s what I was about to say, is that when you give yourself permission to say, here are the things that I really like to do, I love being a guest on a podcast, I love having a meaningful conversation with a host, that adds value to someone who gets to listen to it later. That’s really fun for me. It’s not hard. I like it, I could do it all the time.
I have done books with authors who don’t have a following, who don’t want to do podcasts, so we look for strategies and tactics that work great for them and their personality.
And also then the role of the book in their business.
When you have a nonfiction book, the book has a role in your business.
And it’s important to understand what the role of the book is, so that you can get connected to the activities that will connect the book to the readers. And that can be broken down into all sorts of different things.
One of them is geography. If you’re selling services in one zip code, then you don’t really care about Amazon, right? You don’t care about an Amazon launch or being available in all countries, whether you’re wide or local. You’re going to print copies of the book, and you’re going to give it out to market your business. So geography is one of the factors.
So you start to stack, okay, my personality is I’m an extrovert, I love people, and I’m not limited in my geography, then I’m probably going to publish wide. I’m probably going to publish in all the different ways, audio, hardcover, paperback, eBook. And I’m going to publish it everywhere it can possibly be published. And then I’m going to do everything I can possibly do.
When you’re looking at paid versus free, I always look at not how much money I have to spend, but I always start with, how much money do I have to spend and how much money do I have to earn in order to have that money to spend? Because you and I both know, if you make $10, 50% of it’s gone. So I don’t make $10, I make $5. And so if I spend $5, then I have no dollars. If I spend $5, then I want a return on that investment.
So some people will look at it and go, it’s only 100 bucks, it’s only 10,000 bucks, whatever it is. And they don’t think about, well, if you spent $10,000, you really probably had to earn $16,000, $17,000, $20,000. They’re not thinking about the after tax, after expenses, aspect of it.
I think about it from the perspective of, what’s the heavy lift that it does? Does it get me in front of people that I can benefit? And does it bring readers to the book that allows the book to fulfill its job?
Joanna: I like that. I like that you mentioned geography, actually, because you made me think there because I have always focused on global sales. Like I don’t even approach bookshops, even here locally in the UK. It’s just not something I’ve ever thought about because all the marketing I do is global.
And part of choosing podcasting, for example, was this is global. In 228 countries, people have downloaded this show, including Antarctica.
And it’s kind of crazy that we can reach all these countries around the world with some marketing, or we could do a local fair and reach a couple hundred people in our local area, but that’s still valid, too. And that suits different people, different business plans, I guess different business ideas, in general.
Honoree: Yes, yes. And if you were not working globally, if you were working locally and you had a book that when you gave it to someone or sold someone that it was a five figure or six figure income for your business, you wouldn’t worry about geography, you would just want the book to get into the right hands. And what’s the fastest path to making that happen?
Joanna: So I also wanted to ask you, because you and I’ve been doing this a long time now, and you mentioned like 18 years there. I think it was 2006 that I started writing. So I mean, it’s a similar kind of timeline for us both. Now, what has changed?
What does not work anymore that you hear people saying, “Oh, you must do this,” and actually, it’s not true? What still works and what remains evergreen?
Honoree: Well, I think what’s changed for the better is that we have more publishing options.
So I think when you and I started in the 2000s, there weren’t a lot of options. I think Amazon did the Kindle. And then I saw Smashwords a few years later, I think.
Joanna: Other way round, originally, but similar time. The point being, like there was no digital publishing that early, there was no print on demand, there was no digital audio.
Honoree: Oh, no, no, I had my first 15,000 books printed and shipped to me. It was not print on demand, I had to buy 5000 books at a time in order to get a favorable price. So it really is so favorable now. So we have more publishing options, we have more acceptance of independent publishing, and we have more opportunities based on that.
I think what doesn’t work is haste, being solely promotional, and not adding value to people. I think that doesn’t work, and it’s never worked. I don’t know that there is a strategy that I can across the board say it doesn’t work, Joanna, because there’s going to be somebody that’s going to raise their hand and go, “Well, that kind of worked for me,” or several someone’s.
So I don’t ever want to say, “Well, that never works.” But I do know that if you are a transactional person versus a relational person, you’re going to have to work harder. You’re going to have to have more times at bat to get the same results as someone who’s just a relationship person, and who cares about their readers and is trying to add value.
Joanna: And on that—
I think one of the things that has stayed the same is email marketing.
Like that was a thing originally, and it still is, right?
Honoree: Yes. And it is the only thing you own. I saw a content creator today, I got an email, and they said, “I’m no longer doing this. I’m going all in on this one platform.” And I was like, you don’t own that platform. What are you doing?
Like, unless you own the platform, going all in on something and giving up the one thing that you do own, or the things that you do own, your website, any platform that you pay for, like Slack or Circle or something like that where you have to pay, so they can’t close the doors or decide to close their doors to you at any given time, and of course, email.
I think email is the thing that has stayed standard, even as other similar tactics have been tried. You think of email as being, not only on your desktop, but also on your phone—well texting is on your phone. but I don’t like to get a lot of marketing texts, whereas I don’t mind marketing emails.
Joanna: Yes, I know what you mean. And if you can stay in someone’s inbox for years, and I know there’s some listeners to this show who have been on my email list since like 2008, which is kind of crazy.
Like, if you can stay in someone’s inbox that long, you’ve got a relationship. So when you talked about relationships, you didn’t necessarily mean—it doesn’t have to be one to one—
You can have a relationship with people through this podcast, for example.
When I meet people, they’re like, “Ohhh!” and they know all about me. You know, and email, you can do the same thing with email, right? And social media, to be honest.
Honoree: Correct, yes, the relationship is different, obviously, different levels, right.
You could say that you have the intimate relationships, the inner circle relationships, and then the everybody-else relationships where you’re connected. Your people who read your books, who open your emails, who listen to your podcasts, who follow you on social media, who stay there a long time, they do care. I have people who reach out to me and ask me certain questions about my life because they’re just paying attention. And I think that’s lovely, as long as it’s not a little weird.
Joanna: Yeah, a little stalky. But again, that comes down to how much you do share. Like, I mean, people can find a picture of my husband online, but we have different names. And it’s like, I do selfies because he doesn’t want to be in my photos on Instagram or whatever. So he has his private life, and I mean, you put your lines in, don’t you, and then you share within that.
Honoree: That’s correct. Yes, there is definitely the intimate circle. Those are the hide-the-body, folks. It’s like if I had to hide a body, those are the people I’m calling. There’s a different level of information than what I’m posting.
Honoree: I have found, and I discovered this when I wrote my second book, I was open kimono in that book, as in very personally shared very personal information. Like not super personal, but I was just divorced, it was The Successful Single Mom.
So I wrote about that because I honestly thought, Joanna, no one’s ever going to read this, no one cares. It was cathartic for me. You understand, right? When you write, it’s as much for yourself as it is for anyone who would read it. It’s transformational. And then it was actually a fairly successful book and became a series.
So I thought, gosh, if I had known anybody was ever going to read it, I would have never written so authentically and so openly.
But then, that was what connected people to me, is when you share a bit of yourself, they like it. If they’re following you, if they discover you, and they like you, when people are reading your book, they’re looking for clues about who the author is too. And I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a time when authors were untouchable, unreachable.
Joanna: Yes, strange creatures that we could never be them.
Honoree: Yes, it’s the Loch Ness Monster, right? Like it doesn’t exist, and you could never talk to them, and then lo and behold, actually, you can. You can subscribe to their email list, and you can watch their Instagram stories, and read all of their books, and learn about them, read articles about them.
I mean, Colleen Hoover, call me, we would be great friends. Like I read a New York Times article on her, I’m fascinated by her, and I’ve listened to some podcast interviews. And I love the fact that she is just unapologetically who she is, and she unapologetically writes what she wants to write. And I think that’s so wonderful. It’s such a great example for the rest of us.
Joanna: We should say, Colleen Hoover, though she became super famous on TikTok, she was an indie. I mean, she’s hybrid now, she does all kinds of publishing, but I remember when she was an original indie. And, you know, it can take years, too. She’s not brand new. She’s been going for years.
So on that, you talk about staying true to your book and that like the avocado, the avocado goes off, but your book doesn’t go off.
How can we market backlist books more effectively?
As our career goes on, how can we still market those books?
Honoree: Well, they don’t go bad. And so it’s just the more books I write, the more I have to remember my backlist.
One of the things that I do just to remember about a book, is I have it in my calendar. So when it’s the book’s birthday, it’ll come up, and it’ll say, “You published this book on November 11th, of 2014.” And so I’ll go and post about it.
I have a pretty interesting production calendar that reminds me to do a quarterly promotion, like do a free book promotion, or do whatever. There are so many different options.
So each of my different books, in book categories, so I’ve single mom books and business books and books for writers, and so I have to stay on top of those, and I do that with my very unimpressive spreadsheet. Anyone who would run a spreadsheet would be unimpressed with my Excel skills because it’s in Word. But I’m a writer, I’m not a math person, I’m not an Excel person, but I keep track of the dates.
So I have all the dates and I have reminders in my phone on my calendar that remind me, okay, the anniversary of this book is coming up, or it’s been three months you need to market it.
And so it’s going off constantly with all the books I have. And I have to pick and choose which venues I’m choosing to promote the books on.
I think the most important, and most interesting, and most effective way to market a book is to release another book.
Even as You Must Market Your Book is getting ready to be in the world officially, You Must Write a Book is picking up sales because people are seeing that this new book is coming and that there’s a book before it, and so they’re checking it out and by buying it.
Joanna: Thank you for that idea because this is a total problem that starts to happen, the more books you have. Because when you start writing, you think, I’ll never forget about that book.
And then, like 20 books later, 40 books later, I just interviewed someone who’s got 200 books, there is no way you’re going to remember what the hell happened. Especially as decades go by too.
I haven’t done this, and you’re completely right. You just have a book birthday for each of the books, and then a reminder, maybe two weeks before, which is: this is coming up, what can you do about it? So that’s a great idea. I can’t believe I haven’t actually done that.
Honoree: I’m so glad to give you an idea. That’s fantastic. I also create, which I sent to you, I create a one sheet for every book, that is my name and how to say it, and my social media, and my website and my bio.
And then I write ten questions that the host could ask me about the book if they don’t have time to read it, so it seems like they’ve read the book, for the podcast host.
Then I also do a cheat sheet and I answer the questions in writing after the book has come out and I’ve moved on, because I don’t want to forget the answers to the book because I think nothing is more embarrassing than someone saying, “Well, what are the four cornerstones of a professionally published book?” or, “What does that stand for?” And I’m like, “I don’t know, you tell me. You read it more recently than I have.”
I have all these cheat sheets that I’ve saved for my books.
So that if someone wants to interview me about a book that I wrote two years ago, or 10 years ago, I can pull out the one sheet and read the questions and the cheat sheet and read the answers. I don’t have to read the whole book, but I can answer the questions intelligently. And of course, because I did write it, it will refresh my memory.
Joanna: I love that too. And this is great. This behind the scenes info for people. I have the same thing where people will be like, oh, I want to interview you. And like my book, How to Market a Book, it’s a few years old now, or my book on speaking, for example, and I’m like, please, can you send questions beforehand?
And then what I’ll do is I’ll obviously I will prepare, and I’ll answer these questions, but then also I prefer audio only because I can have my vellum document up and I can navigate the chapter.
I think that you’re so organized, you’re brilliantly organized. I love that idea, certainly doing the questions for the podcast host. I have discovered over the years that I’m quite unusual, maybe it’s because this is a book show, but I read everything, or at least I skim through everything.
And I try to ask questions that, actually, the host might not have even answered before because I want to challenge people and get different answers. So I think there’s a combination of both. As you say, many podcast hosts will not read the book, and certainly most media pitches, they’re not going to read your book.
Honoree: They don’t have time. It is such an honor when someone says, “I have read your book,” because I always get more money, I cannot get any more time. When I spend a minute, it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
And I recognize that if I want to be on someone’s podcast, I’m going to take up 30 minutes of their time, at least, maybe an hour, plus production, plus preparation time. And if I can make that easier for them, and in so doing, easier for myself, then everybody wins.
Joanna: Very good tips there. People listening, if you’re going to pitch podcasts, these are very good tips.
And I mean, even if you have a fiction book, you can still do these questions and things like that around themes, and what did you really mean and character development.
And in fact, some people do this now in the back of their fiction books. They’ll do you have sort of reading group list, things to discuss with your book group, for example. So yes, that’s really good. I mean, it’s too easy to think, oh, of course, they’re going to read my book because my books amazing.
Honoree: Right, your book is amazing, but it takes an hour to two hours to six hours to read. And who are they going to bill that time to? I mean, honestly, like, how are they going to get that time back? They can’t get the time back. So then, that time then is worth something to them, how are they going to get that back?
And I just think it’s worth considering because some hosts do read the book, some hosts read the book and then ask you to be on their show, and that’s fine. Still being prepared, still having a one sheet with a bio and a photo, making it very easy for someone to book themselves on your calendar or vice versa, that’s just podcast preparation 101, in my opinion.
But I’ve also done a lot of interviews and I figured out, I think, what makes it great for the host, makes their job easy.
Joanna: So I really love your business mind and we’ve always connected over that. We’ve met in person and we’ve hung out at events, and I think your ambition is fantastic.
You’re very open and honest about your business ambition. You’ve got your mastermind. You’ve got a course on building a million dollar book business. I feel like many authors have ambition, like we want to make loads of money, and we want to get a book deal, or whatever, but a lot of people hide it and they feel almost ashamed of their ambition.
How can we tap into that ambition in a really good way that helps us, but also not be disappointed when we don’t get that TV deal?
Honoree: Oh, I love that question. Thank you for asking that question. And thank you for your kind words, I very much appreciate them, especially coming from you who I admire very much.
I think that there is some work that could be done. I don’t like to “should” on people. I either say you must do something, or I say you could do something, but I don’t should on them. I think there could be some work done on their personal development.
My belief is that your professional development and your success will never exceed your level of personal development. And I’m not the person that said that. I want to say it Zig Ziglar or Jim Rohn.
I have spent a lot of time working on myself and expanding my self-belief, my self-confidence, and my belief in what’s possible.
I think we rarely reach our potential I think we’re capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. But I don’t take myself too seriously. When I was talking about making a dance video for TikTok, I thought, boy, it would be hilarious. I would probably laugh until I hurt. I’d probably fall down and actually hurt myself. But I don’t take myself too seriously.
I don’t let my success or lessons, right, because I think I win some and I learn some. I don’t take myself or my success too seriously, and I don’t let it define me, and I haven’t let it change me and who I am.
So I think my ambition is constant because I don’t really think I’ve gotten anywhere. I can look back and go, oh, yeah, I’ve written some books, and I’ve done some things. And that’s been cool, but I’m always facing forward, right, I’m always driving forward. And so I enjoy it.
I’m having a book launch party because my friends are making me. They’re like, you’re going to have a book launch party. I’m like, okay, sure, we’ll have cupcakes, we’ll have tea, it’ll be fine.
I think the more you work on yourself, the more your success will come automatically.
Because you’re putting in the work, and you’re just staying in it and you’re loving the process. And I think that’s another piece of it, is I absolutely 100% love what I do. And I wake up every morning, like, oh my gosh, I’m still doing this, I’m not a bricklayer.
Joanna: I know the feeling.
Honoree: I don’t work hard for a living. I feel like I’m getting away with something, and at some point, someone’s going to knock on my door and go, okay, now it’s time to go to the office. Now you’re going to have to go back to work. But so far, they haven’t, maybe because I’ve moved. They’re like, we don’t have her current address.
I think it’s it comes down to a combination of working on yourself, your personal development, not taking yourself too seriously, finding the thing that you love to do.
Like you and I are talking a little bit about the fact that I’m writing fiction, and I don’t have any designs on like, “I’m going to be the number one writer. I’m going to sell this many books,” or whatever. I’ve never really done that. I just find that I’m having one heck of a time. I’m having so much fun writing fiction. It’s such a blast. And so even if no one ever reads it, or someone reads it, and they’re like, this is terrible. I had a good time, I wrote a story I liked, it’s great.
Joanna: I love that. And I’m really interested to see what you do with that eventually because I feel like one of the issues—I know a lot of nonfiction authors who try to write fiction, and who do write fiction, but then are disappointed because it’s like starting again.
I mean, like you’re an incredibly successful nonfiction author, speaker, etc. And you’re at the top of the ladder.
And when you start with fiction, it’s like you’re at the bottom of another ladder.
Honoree: So at the bottom.
Joanna: And that can be quite humbling I guess.
Honoree: Yes. For sure. Well, but it’s like, I don’t know, I mean, at some point I just kind of throw up my hands and go, okay, well, what’s the worst that could happen?
And I’m in it, I’m in that I keep hearing, you can’t edit a blank page. So I just keep writing and then going back and reading and I’m like, oh, the eye color is wrong. I need a legend or whatever, right, where you make a list of the characters. Because like in one chapter, I give them one name, and then the next chapter, I give them a different name. I don’t know what’s wrong, maybe it’s because I’m not writing it all on the same day. I sleep and I eat and I forget.
I’m just having a good time, and I think maybe I’ve been somewhat successful because I don’t take it so seriously. I’m not holding on so tight to it.
I think my advice to someone, whether they’re writing or they’re growing a business or they’re just living life, is to take the criticism and the encouragement or the attaboys with the same energy. It’s like, “you did great,” and, “you did terrible,” are the same. Because if you’re not in my intimate list, right, if you’re not going to help me hide a body, then I don’t know that you can give me your opinion with the same weight.
Joanna: No, that’s good. I know a lot of people struggle with opinions from other people. I did want to ask you one more question before we finish, which is about longevity. Because like you’ve said, you’ve been doing this for what, 18 years, and I mean, there are people who come and go, and you and I have seen those people over the years, and there are people who keep putting books out.
And like, I love that you’re writing fiction for fun, and not taking it seriously because someone with your business, that seems like a fun thing for no reason. And it might not grow to a business, and hey, it doesn’t matter. So is that one of your tips for longevity, which is you have to keep changing it up or you’re going to be bored, and you’ll go do something else.
So my number one thing is: I have to own it, it cannot own me.
I own my empire, my empire does not own me.
And so I have done a lot of things that I no longer do anymore because I lost interest in them. I used to do a lot of executive and business coaching with executives, and business owners and entrepreneurs.
And there was a time when I thought, oh, gosh, I’m just going to do this forever. And then one day I woke up and I was like, you know what, I don’t want to do that. I want to do something interesting to me, now, that’s new. Because I like the new thing, I like learning the new thing and mastering the new thing and moving on.
I also like multiple income streams so that I’m never tied to something. If something goes away, I’ve got other things. And so I’ve kept it interesting for me. So you’re right, as I’ve gotten bored with something, I let go of it. If I can’t set it and forget it, I just forget it.
Joanna: That’s great. I love that. And I mean, that’s the thing, we’re talking now because I still find this show interesting enough.
I can still talk to you talk to people that I find interesting enough. Like I have thought about giving up this show a number of times, and it’s because I was getting bored. But once I kind of just shifted to, I’m going to interview people I’m interested in, books that I’m interested in, topics I’m interested in, and ask the questions that I think are interesting, then it was like oh, it’s sustainable. It’s sustainable for the long term. And that moment it gets boring then yeah, this show will disappear. But at the moment, I still love it.
Honoree: Yes, yes. It has to be something that you are waking up for. I wake up before my alarm. My alarm goes off with a four in it everyday, and I wake up before my alarm. And I’m so excited. I’m like, oh my gosh, it’s another day. I get to do these cool things that I have on my list today.
Where can people find you and your books and your courses and everything you do online?
Honoree: I think my website is probably the best place for people to go, just HonoreeCorder.com. I’m on the socials. I’m not hard to find, I have a unique name.
Joanna: You do, and all the links will be in the show notes. So thanks for your time, Honoree. That was great.
Honoree: Oh, so great to talk to you, Joanna. Let’s not let another eight years go by.
The post Book Marketing Mindset, Ideas, And Ambition With Honoree Corder first appeared on The Creative Penn.
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Author: Joanna Penn