Kathleen Shannon 0:04
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Caitlin Brehm 0:49
Emily and Kathleen, I think you've recently published a book was that right?
Kathleen Shannon 0:57
Being boss, take control of your work and live life on your own terms available wherever. Yep.
Caitlin Brehm 1:07
So at the time of this recording, you're recently coming back from traveling all over the country to hug our listeners in person and celebrate the launch of the book. But a lot of people were asking you questions about how you actually got a book deal and how they can get a book deal as someone who maybe doesn't have the platform that being boss had before the book deal.
Kathleen Shannon 1:32
Right. So we talk extensively about how we created the book. And you know what went into that in our podcast episode, like one of the full length ones, you can find it you know how to find things, people. But what I want to talk about today is how you can get a book deal too. I think that writing a book is one of those things that can give you so much clarity and focus around what it is that you want to be known for. So the first thing that you need to do if you want to get a book deal is to create content. And with creating content comes really developing out your point of view first. So our book came out of three years of talking about the foundational pillars of being boss, including your mindset, the habits and routines, the boundaries, the work, the life, the systems, the money, the community, everything that goes into being boss, we've been talking about it for so long, that we really knew exactly what the book that was in US was. So that I would say that's the first thing. And even as we're thinking about book number two, it is really something that's shaping the content that we're creating. Now, we are exploring different topics and ideas on the podcast, on our Instagram, in all the places where we create content, we're exploring the different topics that we want to go into next. So it's not just for someone writing their first book, but even for us going into writing a second book, what is it that we want to write next?
Emily Thompson 3:02
Alright, so once you create all of that content, and you know what you want to say in a book, because I think especially with the first book more so than books, 234, or whatever, you have to know what it's going to be like, or you have to know it's going to be about you have to know what it's going to say you can't go to an agent or a publisher and be like, I want to write a book. And here are the 18 things I'd like to write a book about, like you have to go in there with the one thing so once you've been creating that content, you know what it is that you want to write about what your point of view is, where your expertise fits into it, all of those things, you have to make a very basic decision. And that is good add go what
Kathleen Shannon 3:39
I've got. That was Emily's mom, go white. Um, I do want to add one thing, which is like, let's say you're going to a potential agent, or really, you're just hammering out your one thing I would say think about what your table of contents would be. So this is like a very specific thing. So think about your different chapters, and maybe three things in each chapter that you're really going to be hitting on. Now, whenever you do go to an agent, they might say, hey, this chapter here, chapter one, I think that's actually your entire book. So you're still have this opportunity to brainstorm it doesn't have to be like one perfect thing. There is still opportunity to mold that into something that is marketable, and will make a good book.
Emily Thompson 4:29
Yes, for sure. Now on to that very important decision you have to make. So once you know all of those things, you have to decide whether you want to do traditional publishing or self publishing, because making that decision relatively early will set you down the path that you actually want to go down because both of those paths are very, very different. So make the decision traditional or self publishing. We made that decision by talking to everyone we know who's written a book, whether it was self published or traditional to find out What was the hardest parts? Or were the best parts? and really getting very clear amongst the two of us? What was very important to us? Was it, you know, having creative control? Was it being able to write freely or with a deadline? Was it getting an advance or not. And for us, one of the things that it really came down to was one of the things that we wanted this book to do was expand our brand, if we had self published, we would have just sold it to the people who are already familiar with our brand. But by traditionally publishing, we would be able to get it into the hands of people who had never heard of us.
Kathleen Shannon 5:35
Yeah. And I think that if you don't have an agent knocking on your door, and if you're knocking on agent stores, and they are saying no. So here's the other thing, you have to have an agent to traditional publish. As far as I know,
Emily Thompson 5:47
you don't have to in order to find if, unless you have a publisher coming to you, or really easy. And with a publisher, you have to have an agent to get you in touch with those publishers. But even if you have the opportunity to work directly with a publisher, I know a couple of people who have who have been in these situations, I still think it's very important to have a book agent and to not just work directly with the publisher, because the book agent will sort of fight for you or be there for you, whenever you are navigating this traditional path. Whereas I feel like a publisher, if without the safety net of a book agent around you, I would be afraid that you know, big brother publishing houses may take advantage of you in ways that may not happen if you have a book agent watching your back.
Kathleen Shannon 6:34
I think either way, you should put together a proposal. So whether you are self publishing or going the traditional route, put together a proposal that will really outline who you are, what your existing platform is, and what your book is about what the table of contents are comparables. So what is your book, like? I think one of my favorite things that we did in our proposal is write down this is what our book is. And it was a really simple list of five things. This is what our book is not an A list of five things. And that was something that I don't think our publisher had ever really seen in a proposal before. But they were really impressed by it, because it really did put our book and our positioning into context. And then you'll want to put together a sample chapter in your proposal so that you can get your voice and tone down. If your traditional publishing. This obviously serves the purpose of pitching your book. If you're self publishing, put together your proposal and share it with your business besties. Share it with your mastermind group, share it with your community or a few trusted friends, and get their thoughts on it as well. I think that just having the discipline of going through this process is really going to help you make it happen either way,
Emily Thompson 7:49
for sure. And I want to throw in here too. For us writing the proposal was the hardest part, like just finally getting it out there and putting into words. And that really, before we were even able to dive into what the writing process would look like having to put something together as like writing heavy as a proposal is very difficult. And one of the things that we found surprising, once we were through with a proposal and writing the book is that the hardest part of the proposal was that sample chapter, because traditional proposals include a sample chapter of your book, that was a really hard part because oh my god, we're writing our book already before we even have to write our book. But what we ended up finding was that we ended up not using that chapter in our book at all, we took pieces of it, and they do appear in the actual book. But if I had known that in the beginning, it probably would have taken a lot of weight off of writing that sample chapter, if I had really realized that it wasn't set in stone and definitely going to be a part of the book.
Kathleen Shannon 8:47
Alright, so wrapping this up in a bow, I wanted to share that whenever someone we were in San Francisco on our book tour, and one of the q&a that we got was okay, but I don't have an agent knocking at my door. Like I don't feel like I have the same kinds of opportunities for writing a book. What should I do? And I want a TV show, like it's something that I want. And so I started thinking about, well, what am I doing in that situation, I don't have any like la connections or Netflix connections, or I wouldn't even know how to get started. But what I can do is create the content. So for me, it's even showing up on Instagram stories as if I have a TV show. I started filming some stuff, I'm plotting out my YouTube channel. You know what like this is I'm just gonna self publish it like I'm just gonna make it work myself and see and like almost even just to cultivate the feeling of creating the content. Because it's one thing to say I want to write a book or I want a TV show. But do you actually like writing? Do you actually like recording yourself and being on TV, you know, whatever that looks like for you. I think it really is about doing the thing with the you know, with What resources you have, you don't need to wait for permission, you can start now,
Emily Thompson 10:04
you don't need a book deal to write a book. Basically, if you want to write a book, just start writing it. And if it's meant to be a book deal will come your way.
Caitlin Brehm 10:15
And also, as with anything, put what you want out there, talk about it, someone you know, might have a connection that can hook you up. So don't be afraid to be vulnerable and say, I want this really big thing, because it's probably not as crazy as you think.
Kathleen Shannon 10:31
I love that you say that Caitlyn. One of the first books that I worked on was because I was posting recipes to my blog, and people are saying, Oh, you should write a cookbook. That is the last thing in the world. And especially after working on a cookbook, and now writing a book, like doing a cookbook traditionally published a cookbook. That's no joke, like mad respect to anyone who's doing that. Um, but I said, I'm not going to write a cookbook, but I would love to design one and just putting it out there in that way. The very next day. One of my readers connected me to Melissa jawan of well fed. And I designed her cookbook all because I said hey, I want to I want to design a cookbook she had said on her blog, I want to write a cookbook, I need a designer. So whenever you say things out loud, people will help make the connections for you. Your word is your wand.
Emily Thompson 11:29
Throw that in a green.
Kathleen Shannon 11:35
This minisode was brought to you by twenty20. Check them out at twenty20.com/beingboss. That's t w e n t y 20 as in the number.com slash being boss.
Emily Thompson 11:50
Did you like this minisode Be sure to check us out on our website at beingboss.club. There you can find more from being boss including our full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work be boss