In this episode
Ed Gandia is co-author of The Wealthy Freelancer and Business Coach and Strategist for freelance Writers and creative Professionals. He and his co-authors leveraged their existing businesses to write, publish and market their book at a time when the economy was taking a nosedive and the global corporate environment was experiencing a massive shift.
Listen to the podcast to learn how Ed and his co-authors developed their business book idea and the impact it made on his business.
Season 1 Episode 7: How Freelance Business Writer Ed Gandia Co-Wrote His Way Up Amazon’s Best-Sellers List
How did you come up with such a spot on title?
My co-authors and I were friendly competitors and we thought, “What if we put a blog together and we share the responsibility of creating content and promoting our own websites?”
As we were coming up with a title for the blog, The Wealthy Freelancer came about. I think it was Steve (Slaunwhite) who suggested it, because of the book The Wealthy Barber.
Did the title work for your readers?
Interestingly, it polarized our audience. Our definition of wealth was a very holistic definition: you’re a wealthy freelancer when you have the projects, the clients, the income, and the lifestyle that you want. It’s a balanced approach. You have to have all of them. It can’t be unbalanced all the time.
But the way many people in our audience read it was wealth = financial wealth, cars, rock-and-roll, and vacation homes.
So that’s how you ended up with that shiny red convertible in the cover?
We were dead set against it, but the publisher wouldn’t budge. So, instead of having a concept that communicates balance and a different definition of wealth, we were basically screaming financial wealth, material wealth.
What would you do differently today?
We would’ve done a survey just to get objective feedback from our target audience.
How can an author approach the right people and solicit some good advice?
Your audience and your mailing list are invaluable assets. Ask their input on your title and subtitles. Then, ask if they’d be willing to provide you with more feedback once you finalize it.
Potential partnerships can fall apart for different reasons. How did you, and Steve and Pete actually get the book done?
- We came up with a plan.We came up with an outline fairly quickly and we just decided that we’re going to split up the chapters and indicate who the author from the chapter was. We each have our own strengths so we each picked material that comes natural to us or enjoy writing about.
- We agreed early on that we wanted to be a how-to book. We wanted to be very practical, the same way we approached the blog and the training classes and programs that we put together, so we were used to that.
- We stuck to our deadlines. As soon as the manuscript was done, we moved very quickly into planning mode. We had some of those ideas in our book proposal, but we started expanding on these ideas and planning for it.
Which business resources did you leverage to write the book?
Before the blog, I already had an email newsletter and plus an e-book; Pete (Savage) had a newsletter; Steve had been authoring a newsletter with how-to advice for years.
We each had content we could draw from, fodder we could take and build on and what made the process easier.
Once you had a publishing contract how did you prepare for the book’s launch?
Thankfully, Steve had already traditionally published about three books. He understood the fact that the publisher is not going to market the book for you. He made it clear from the very beginning so we knew that going in that we were going to have to take that on.
Which marketing tactics worked?
- We leveraged our collective audiences: our blog and individual mailing lists. Leveraging our audience, in our platform, was a no brainer and that worked as planned.
- We leveraged our relationships. We asked them early on to see if they’d be willing to help promote the book to their very large audiences and the word spread very quickly.
- We ran a special campaign during launch week. We gave away three free training courses whenever someone bought the book.
What else did you do to promote and sustain sales?
We held a content/sweepstakes and people responded by buying multiple copies for friends.
We held an online event in 2010 – International Freelancers Day. It was a free, all-day event with prerecorded sessions that were broadcast live, every hour. The book was the main sponsor so we played a commercial before and in between sessions, and we ran another contest. And again, we sold more books and our Amazon ranking went up.
What has the book done for you?
- The book gave us a new platform from which to create a new business.
I discovered I enjoyed teaching and coaching freelancers more. I enjoy teaching other freelance professionals how to earn more in less time doing work they love for better paying clients. Without the book, that wouldn’t have been possible.
- It was a source of credibility and authority. We knew going in that this was not going to be a money maker, but it was a huge traffic driver. This was going to be a way to create, develop, and grow a platform for a bigger business.
If you had to do it again what would you do differently?
- More brainstorming on the title.
- Make sure our message and its application to our audience are congruent.
- Niche to make marketing and getting traction and results easier.
Name one business book that you have read and would recommend.
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.
Recommend a book that you think that everybody should read.
Anything by Malcolm Gladwell.
Here’s where you can learn more about Ed: