Today, in the jexbo Self-Published Author series, we hear from Andrew McCombe, the author of “Activate Your Life,” http://www.activateyourlife.com.au. After starting his business to fund his beach volleyball career and represent his country at the 2000 Olympics, Andrew now owns and manages three health clubs in Sydney, Australia. Now, he pursues his passion of empowering individuals, teams, businesses and organizations to experience EASE in their Health, Wealth, Relationships, Career and/or Business in a simple, balanced and fulfilling manner.
Here’s what Andrew has to say about self-publishing:
Tell us about your book.
“Activate Your Weight Loss” will empower you to:
Get a clearer understanding of why you are the way you are and why you have created your current body and life.
Address and remove the dis-EASE that causes mental, emotional and physical stress in all areas of your body and life.
Get clarity on what your ideal body and a life of EASE would be like for you.
Understand why some people can never follow through to having their ideal body or life of EASE.
Create your ideal body and life of EASE with ten EASY steps which form the basis of the Activate Your Weight Loss Program.
Activate Your Weight Loss is a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual overhaul – a book that will transform every aspect of your life.
The tools, ideas and solutions you will learn are just as useful and important whether your goal is to fit into a size 8 dress, improve your fitness, overcome cravings and addictions, climb Mount Everest, find a new or improve your current relationship or start your own business.
You have been given a gift. It is called life. And with this gift you have been given all of the talents, all of the knowledge and all of the power to create whatever it is you want to create on this Earth. Regardless of what shape or form this gift comes in for you, you owe it to yourself to go out there and become the best person you can possibly be, doing whatever it is that you want to do and use your gift to see what an amazing life you can create for yourself.
Why did you decide to self-publish?
One reason was return on investment. Another was so I would not lose my creative license.
What I mean by that is I can get my books typeset, printed, edited, etc. (at my expense) and then make all of the profits through my website and other sales platforms. As a published author I only receive 10%, and the publisher can change the content if they wish, which was non negotiable in my case as I don’t feel that a publisher can represent my message as well as I can.
Another big issue was if the first six weeks of marketing is ineffective, they can pull the book forever. Whereas, if one angle of marketing does not work for me, I can then create another one and another one and another one…forever, if I choose to.
A drawback I guess is that I have to do everything in creating and marketing my book. But the intangible benefit from this is that it has now allowed me to write another book and create an entirely new business around teaching others how to Start, Grow and Automate their business, based on their passions, talents and expertise, so they can live a life of EASE. And I guess that is the main reason I love self publishing. It allows me to create unlimited income streams from my message which ultimately allows me to get my message out to support so many more people in the world.
What has been your biggest reward in self-publishing your book?
Getting more clarity on who I am as a person. Publishing a book /message is a great way to get laser-like clarity on how you as an author like to operate. For me, it made me realize my flow is not to be an author but a messenger/creator (in many different forms, from speaking, writing, interviewing, coaching, teaching, etc.)
What has been the most challenging part of self-publishing your book?
The ongoing marketing of the books to the media (eg. trying to keep coming up with different angles) and also pre-purchasing the books for the distributor and bookshops and them only receiving a third of the income (but after expenses this is even less – eg. break even). And then not getting paid this income until 12 months after they first go into the shops.
Seems like an old school way of doing business to me, compared to doing it through my websites, etc. and then making 100% of the profit (I say this because today I have to make the decision again to go through this process for my new book called “Activate Your Weight Loss.” Should I spend $2000-$4000 to get 400 books for the Australian bookshops that I know I will only break even on my investment, but not for 12 months – with the only real benefit being the increased awareness of my message to the people that buy my book? Or, is it better to spend $2000-$4000 on Google AdWords to people who are directly searching for my book and its topic – rather than being one of 500 of the same books on a shelf in an actual location in the world, and then having to do PR to get people to that bookshop – Hmmmm…I guess what I am really saying is the Internet is so much easier and the return on investment is so much higher for a lot less effort).
What advice do you have for other self-published authors?
Make sure you have a Website that supports your book, and then from that, make sure you create different forms of products/services to leverage off your book. (Eg. coaching, workshops, newsletters, membership programs, article marketing, audios, videos, etc.) Unless you become world famous for your first book (somehow), you are going to need other income streams to support your message development until enough people see you as their trusted advisor on your chosen topic/field of expertise. And once this happens, things will become easier. (Eg. people will come to you rather than you trying to get them to come to you.)
Is there anything else you would like to add?
From a personal growth and expansion point of view, I would recommend that you self-publish any day over using a publisher. (However I say this having never used a publisher) It will certainly reveal parts of you that you did not even know existed, but I guarantee you it will be worth it.
Thanks for your insights Andrew! We look forward to seeing your success grow!