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What's It REALLY like to Write (and Release) a Book with Tina Tower - Ep #88

Is one of your goals to write a book?  Listen closely: 

Writing a book is going to be hard no matter what, so you've got to be committed to doing it. 

Not only do you have to WRITE, you also have to figure out publishing and marketing.

If I’m being super honest, not knowing what I don’t know is what’s kept my dream of writing a book as just that-- a dream, not a goal.

So when I got a ping from business strategy coach and mentor, Tina Tower, asking if I’d be interested in chatting about the real and raw experience of book writing with my audience, I jumped at the chance to ask her ALL THE QUESTIONS. 

Tina (who’s company coincidently built my very first Kajabi website) released her first book in 2019 and has a second one coming out this mid-year. In this episode, you’ll get an inside look at Tina’s book writing journey as she shares the unglamorous process you can expect as well as tips to help you with your book writing goals.

The insights and strategies you'll learn in this interview will prepare and fire you up to write your own book and not to let those pesky voices of doubt hold you back doing the thing you want to do.

  In this episode we’ll dive into…

  • the publishing process and what's it really looked like to write and release a book
  • tangible tips to get started
  • how to choose your publishing path (and understanding your options between self publish, hybrid or a traditional publisher)
  • pushing through the inevitable self-doubt
  • Tina's personal advice to people who wanted to jumpstart and so much more!

 

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LISTEN to the AUDIO of this episode:
 
 

About My Guest, Tina Tower

As a 7-figure-earning business strategy coach and mentor, author of the book "One Life: How to Have the Life of Your Dreams" and host of the 'Her Empire Builder' podcast, Tina is dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs all across the world scale their businesses, step into their light and build a life they love.

Connect with Tina Tower on Instagram | Facebook


 Books mentioned in the episode:

One Life: How to Have The Life of your Dreams, Tina Tower

Million Dollar Micro Business: How to Turn Your Expertise Into a Digital Online Course, Tina Tower

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

 


>>> Are you an online entrepreneur wanting to speak on live or virtual stages?

Join me on my FREE training: How to Build Authority as a Speaker WITHOUT Second Guessing What You Say

 

Full Episode Transcript

Heather Sager 1:43

Well, hey friends, welcome back to another episode of The Heather Sager show. I am joined today with a friend from the other side of the world, Tina tower. Welcome to the show, my friend!

Tina Tower  1:53  

Thanks, Heather. I'm so excited to be here.

Heather Sager 1:55

I'm excited for your accent for the next 45 minutes. That's my favorite part about our conversations beyond the really good insight you are about to share around business. But let me give a little bit of context and do you a solid by giving you the official introduction, so you don't have to brag about yourself, I will do it for you.

Tina Tower  2:12

I always feel like when people are doing the intro and sitting there and I kind of get a little, that sounds so cool.

Heather Sager 2:22

The question, who are you and what you doing, and people go in these rabbit holes forever. We have some good stuff to talk about today, specifically around the book writing process. I have so many questions for you and I want to get to that, so let's talk about this a little bit. 

How Tina and I Met

You and I met, interestingly enough, about a year and a half, maybe almost two years ago where I was looking for a Kajabi designer because I made the decision to move from WordPress to Kajabi of all random specific things ao I found you. You and I had a zoom call I think on a Saturday afternoon, randomly, right? And I'm like, I love her. How can I work with her? You and your team design my website which is what you do now but I think it's hilarious that we started together so long ago. In that timeframe, my business has exploded in a beautiful way and you have been doing so many incredible things. 

You have a seven-figure business as a business strategy and mentor. You also an author of one book, "One Life: How to Have The Life of your Dreams," which we're going to talk about today, and you have another book coming out in July, right? 

Tina Tower  3:28  

Yes, yes. 

Heather Sager  3:29  

Okay. I've written a book. Well, it's a little bit more detailed than that but on my dream list for three years that I haven't even thought about what it would be about, so I'm excited just to selfishly ask all the questions today. But you have all these things going on, you have your own podcast which is out of this world, you have all that information on your blog. The thing that I love most about watching you grow in business is you are deeply passionate about helping women business owners, and I love that you have this personal mission to help 25 female entrepreneurs hit the million-dollar revenue mark in the next couple of years.

Tina Tower  4:02  

100 women by 2025. 

Heather Sager  4:02  

You have to update your one sheet because your one-sheet says 25 and your big old goals are growing faster than your PDF.

Tina Tower  4:15  

Yes, 100.

 

Tina as an entrepreneur: Her mission and what motivates her to go on

Heather Sager  4:17

I love that. Okay, tell me what motivated that specific mission for you. This idea of I want to help 100 women hit that million-dollar revenue milestone within the next few years.

Tina Tower  4:27

So much. One of the main things is women that hit a million dollars on Kajabi make up a very, very small minority, like less than 10%. And so that's not good because women are starting businesses at a faster rate than men, but not going big, not scaling because there's so many other mental blocks and roadblocks and we carry the mental, and we know that it's better for the economy when women have wealth, so I just want to help people do it.

Heather Sager  4:55

Yeah, I love that specific little insight. It just like the little nugget there, but you know the numbers for Kajabi, they talk about how many Kajabi heroes they have at different levels. You know, I was really surprised to see when I hit the 100K Kajabi hero mark last year. I remember going, oh, there's a little private Facebook group if you're at that level or higher, and you don't have a, what's the phrase around? It's less populated, farther along in your success journey. The Kajabi user group is so many people, the general one, but when you like, pop through that line of the 100k, there are not many people in that group and I was really, really surprised by that, so I love that you're specifically trying to get more women represented in that space.

Tina Tower  5:42

Yeah, definitely. 

Heather Sager  5:45

Okay, so many things I want to talk to you about today. I'm really curious around this, given that your book and a lot of things you do around creating the life you want. I'm a little curious around your life right now. What are you most excited about that you're working on right now that's really lighting you up?

Tina Tower  6:01

In business? Like in business, in life, in all the things. Look, I'm genuinely enthusiastic about life, anyway, so I get very over-excited about many things. At the moment, my second book, Million Dollar Micro Business is like the cover gets released today. It's through the final editing stage. And so it's at the exciting part of it, where we're setting up all of the marketing and doing all of that, so I'm really pumped about that, and then I'm going into launch for my mastermind, Her Empire Builder, which is the fulfillment of the mission that we have, so I've got 52 women in there now. We're hoping by the end of launch to have around that 75, 80 women, and then once we reach 100. It'll just be working on them to get it out there, so it's very exciting. 

 

In transforming people’s life…

It's very exciting just to see, you know, that we've got people, obviously, with that many people. People are launching all the time, and one lady that just closed her launch that, you know, only six months ago. She wasn't even sure how she was going to go. And I'd say, you know, you can get this many people and I believed in her more than she believed in her. And she's just closed it and then she took her family away to a hotel room with their two kids, and they've got photos of them popping champagne. And she's just, you know, I knew she could but she now knows she can and just seeing this transformation in people all the time and realizing what they're capable of and then seeing the confidence grow and setting their sights further with knowing that it's not going to kind of destroy their life to which I think is the fear a lot of women have.

Heather Sager  7:35

Yeah, I agree with that. I think that piece around the fear, the success, I talked to a lot of entrepreneurs, and they're like, no, I don't really fear that. But when you start having conversations around what it takes to run a business, we create pictures in our head based around what we see online. And let's be honest, what we see online is a lot of men hustling, bragging about their work trips, bragging about hustling, using that word, bragging about working all the hours, working harder. 

The lifestyle entrepreneur is it's kind of laughable because if you see pictures of people in Bali, doing nothing and that doesn't really resonate I think with most of us. There's these two extremes and we have to try to figure out where it is in the middle. I love that you're creating not only a picture of that for women, but what you're doing right now which is sharing those real stories because the more that we share that the more other people see themselves in that and see there's a different way to build a business.

Tina Tower  8:29

Yeah, completely. I love it.

 

How Tina made the transition and make some larger shifts in her business 

Heather Sager 8:31

Okay, so I'm curious knowing that when you and I first worked together, you were specifically running it like a Kajabi agency creating things and you also had a program where you were teaching people how to create courses on Kajabi. I think maybe because I was more on the building side I didn't see as much of that. But tell me how you've made this transition of going, let me help people with this tool to now literally build an empire. That's one of the words using your branding. How has that shift happened for you? What were some of the things that contributed to you making these larger shifts? 

Tina Tower  09:02

Yeah, so really, it all happens very, very quickly. I only started on Kajabi three years ago since I started in online courses three years ago and that was because we had sold my previous business which was a larger business and then we ran away from life, so we went around the world for a year. We traveled to 28 different countries which now in COVID times, oh my gosh, I'm so thankful that we were able to do that. But yeah, so we did that and then because I was coaching people along the way, and I was getting a lot of requests for different things and I couldn't scale as much so I put it all into an online course. That was really how it started. 

And then a lot of my clients were saying, hey, because it was all for service based businesses, so they were going, I want to add an online course element for my service based business. Can you show me how to do that? So I started an eight week course called Idea to Launch which is now phased out. I started that. That would walk people through the creation of their first course. And then of course, when people will go through that, they like, that's all well and good. Hey, can you build the Kajabi side for me? I actually love tinkering. It's my favorite thing, sitting there making it. And so I just started building and it's something that comes quite naturally to me and so that kind of took off. 

When COVID hit, we had, what do we have in the span of a week, we had 17 people buy a website package because they needed to get online or they were going to lose everything, and so that kind of smashed us. And we were going, okay, we've got to do this so fast and then I hired other people to do it and that was kind of the thing and going, okay, this is now getting out of hand. We're becoming known to being an agency rather than what I wanted to do which was help people grow online courses. We started kind of phasing that out a little bit. And then all the graduates of my course, wanted further things so then I started a mastermind in, when did we launch? we were supposed to launch in the US in March 2020. 

 

Saying "no" to everything else and just saying YES to the ONE thing that matters

I was there, I was in Palm Springs and I got an email from the Australian consulate saying on the 12th of March, get on a plane and come home and so I did. And then obviously, all those plans got scrapped and I ended up pushing it back and launching online in June which was great. And you know, so it's being this whole thing and now I love it so much. It's kind of, you know, you try lots of different things in business and life and then you find your thing, and you're just like, oh my god, I was born for this. Everything I've ever done is a training for this. And so now I've literally just going along and kind of killed off everything else that's distracting me from that one thing. That's how we got here.

Heather Sager 11:46

Was it hard to say no? Because here's I'm thinking if you have people in line, 17 people in line like cash in hand, build me a website. How did you navigate that walking away from people throwing money at you to this idea of starting a mastermind that you quite frankly didn't know if it would stick? How is that for you? Because I think a lot of times is on for entrepreneurs, we love the idea of like we see this purpose, we see this idea but we're totally scared because safety is over here in what we've been doing or what people want us to do but it might not be aligned, so how did you navigate that?

Tina Tower 12:20

100%. That is such a good question because I know a lot of people go through it. And it is I mean, I would have people call me and say, look, I really want you to join. And I said, look, I've got no capacity. And they're like, what will it take? I'll pay you 5000, I'll pay you 7000. And then I get off the phone and be like, oh my god, I can't say no to this man. I should say yes and I should do that but I all say no. I've been in business for 17 years so it's been a long time. They know that when you spread yourself too thin, nothing goes as well. When you double down on the one thing and you're super clear, and you've got massive clarity, like you know what this is who I am, this is what I stand for, this is what I do, that part is going to grow. And it's a catch-22 because you kind of have to do that before it's going to grow and get that traction but it's so hard to kill off. We were doing about 120 to $150,000 months combined with the services and with the courses, and then we stopped that and went down to $60,000 months, which I know is still a lot of money.

Heather Sager 13:23

Still a lot of money, thinking about that, oh that's still a lot of money. But also, if you've grown your business by six-figure months, and then taking a step back, that's got to be like, ugh

Tina Tower 13:36

It took me four months to get back to six-figure months again. So I mean not long in hindsight, but in that time when I was there and doing that, and I'm going, oh my gosh, is this gonna work? Is this gonna work? What's gonna happen here and I've got staff to pay and you know, all of the different things. So yeah, it was you've got to back yourself, you know, you got to back yourself. And if the worst was gonna happen, and I ended up not doing well, then there's plenty of people to just call and get the job back.

Heather Sager 14:03

Then do it again. You know in my mind as you're talking about the dollar amounts and throwing money, 5000, 7000. I read I think it was in November, December. I read Matthew McConaughey's book, Greenlights. Have you read that one yet? Oh my gosh, the audio version for anyone listening if you're gonna buy that book, which you should get the audio version, Greenlights. His voice telling the stories is incredible. 

He talks about this big shift he made in his career where a few years ago he decided I'm not going to be the pretty boy and rom-coms anymore which was a huge departure from what everybody knows McConaughey has, but if you think back in his early career, he was really known for dramatic work and he didn't go to acting school and these other things. It's very fascinating story, by the way. He talks about how a few years ago, a movie producer came at him and it's like, what is it going to take to get you on this rom-com film and they're like 5 million, 7 million, 20 million. Well, they kept coming back and he's like, at that point I actually saw about it, and then the next one, I really thought about it but he made the decision that he was no longer doing rom-coms. 

It reminds me of that where when we hear somebody talk about that volume of money, it's easy to not identify with it. I think we have our own version of that. I think a lot of us in business are holding on to something that we're doing as a crutch and it's holding us back doing the thing we want to do. 

Tina Tower  15:20

Yeah, especially like so many course creators have gone into that because they've got expertise that they've packaged for people and they're offering it in one on one services and that sort of thing, so to say no to some of that in order to build what's over here is really hard, especially if you feel like you're cutting yourself off. But yeah, it's unfortunately 100% necessary. 

Heather Sager  15:43  

Okay, so thinking about this journey, at what point did you realize that you wanted to become an author?

 

Tina as an author: Helping people step into their light and build the life they love

Tina Tower  15:49  

Oh, sure. You know, you say you've had the dream for the three years to be an author. I've wanted to be an author since I was like a teenager. It was always my thing. So I did English as a major in high school and in university and just always wanted to, I just love books. I am obsessed with books. I find it incredible that we can get someone's best IP that they've built up in their life for like 20 bucks. It's just amazing. When I was building my business, I was reading a business book every week. I've just learned so much from books, and I love it. And so I always wanted to contribute to that and always thought that I haven't quite learned enough yet to contribute anything of value. With always my thing, I'm like, it's not quite yet. It's not quite yet. When I actually decided to do it. I went on to my files, and you're probably doing the same way. You have ideas and you park them somewhere in notes. And I had written like the first couple of paragraphs of like, 25 different books. Before I went, this is shit, no.

Heather Sager  16:59  

I know. That will be an after hour conversation we'll have around like what's on your random list that you don't share with people? I'll show you mine, if you show me yours.

Tina Tower  17:09  

I had so many different things. I had tutoring centers before for children. I had written a children's book before, but I don't really cost that, as you know, like a book, book. So while I wrote this one I just come back from around the world trip and I was getting a lot of questions from people going, my life is just so out of the ordinary in terms of you know, I did everything quite young. I started business at 20. I got married at 21. I had kids at 24 and then started franchising at 27 and grew to a national company and then sold it all by the time I was 33 and then threw everything away and went traveling to be a hippie and so people were quite intrigued by that. Through my whole life, I've had people tell me that you can't do that. That's not going to work out because of XY and Z. So I wanted to be able to put something out there that gave people the proof that it doesn't matter where you come from or it doesn't matter what you do, you can actually, it's not all personal development hyped up bullshit, you can actually define whatever life you want to lead and if you're committed to it, you can just do it unapologetically and so I wanted to write about that so that was the first book which was so completely different to my second book.

Heather Sager 18:43

Yeah. Okay, so I'm excited to hear about that book in a second. I'm curious, you had the idea and so for you when people started asking you questions, you're like, oh, there's something here, let me talk about it. So okay, we're gonna get super, nitty gritty. What I think about is beautiful with this is we're just having a conversation chatting about something you're passionate about, like this isn't meant to my knowledge, something that you're like, and I have a program around how to sell you a book.

Tina Tower 18:58

No, not at all, never will.

Heather Sager 19:01

Yeah, so really curious. We were joking before we hit record here. One of the things that I hate when it comes to networking is the expression let me pick your brain. And I said, I'm actually going to ask you questions like I was picking your brain because selfishly speaking I am really fascinated by this. 

 

Tangible tips on how to get started with the idea of publishing your book

Okay, give me some tangibles here. You have the idea. You're like, okay, I'm going to do it. Let's pretend you were not a published children's book author, that you had no prior knowledge around how any kind of book publishing works. I literally know nothing. I hear the term self-published versus get a book agent. I have no idea. What did you do first? And somebody who's listening right now, where do they even start with this idea? Because it is a little overwhelming 'cause it's a world that unless you know publishing, you literally don't know what to do and you feel like you have to buy a course.

 

Learn from someone who has already written a successful book. Ask them how they got started. 

Tina Tower 19:15

Oh, yeah, it is crazy. So what did I do first? I mean, one of the first big decisions is self publishing versus publishing and I ended up doing hybrid publishing so I'll talk about that too but how I got into that was I literally did exactly as you are doing now. Said, I want to write this book and then I wrote down everyone that I knew or everyone that I knew someone who knew someone who had written a successful book, and did say, can I just ask you a few questions about your book and how you got started? 

 

Decide whether to go self-publishing or publishing (or even hybrid)

I was trying to work out whether to go self-publishing or publishing and so that was a lot of the questions around it. I literally just asked everybody and everyone was so gracious and gave me all the answers that I needed and then I decided on hybrid publishing. First, I got a publishing deal with a publisher, which was great, and then went through the contract and all of the rules and everything and was just like, oh, my gosh, I can't do it. I just, I don't want to do it. I am a control freak and I also didn't want to wait. So a lot of the time the publishers, their runway is like nine to 12 months. And I was interviewed,

Heather Sager  20:57  

Yeah, sometimes even like two years. I see books like that are out, out,out out. I know quite a few authors that have their things two, almost three years out.

Tina Tower  21:04  

Yes, yes. Yeah. So nothing in my life can I wait up that long for. I'll do it now like even going as fast as it did, it still took like six months anyway. So I decided to not go with a publisher out. I also didn't want to, so many people said you will never make money from books. And I'm very commercially minded and was like, I'm not spending all my time on doing something that I'm going to make $0 on.

Heather Sager  21:33  

Oh, I love that expression. I am commercially minded. Cheers to that. I'm teaching more women that it's okay to think that way.

 

How hiring a book coordinator helped Tina saved so much time and money

Tina Tower  21:42  

Yeah. But after I'll touch on the difference between that and why I decided because the second book, I'm going the publisher route so this is a reason for that but so I decided to do that. And then what I mean by I went hybrid was I got a book coordinator. I got someone who knew what they were doing. I paid her about, I think 5, $6,000. And she organized like the cover designer, the copy editor, the structural editor, the distribution, how to set up Audible, all of that sort of stuff because literally, like you said, there's so many things and I just didn't know rather than doing all of that I paid someone to be able to give me all of that direction and coach me through the whole thing which I loved. She was worth every cent and then some. She's absolutely fantastic. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been set up like the editor was amazing but I wouldn't found the right editor to do it also. So yeah, that's why I went kind of that that stage at the beginning.

Heather Sager  22:40

So the book coordinator, they help you with the timeline, the editor, the launch, like they're kind of like your soup to nuts coach person, like your chaperone. 

Tina Tower  22:53

Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly going, like, you know, here's the timeline, here's all the things that you've got to be aware of. She gave me an Excel spreadsheet. Here's what you need to do by what date, this is what you're going to need to provide to this person, and this is what they're going to get back to you because I didn't know in terms of going like I could get a copy editor quotes, I don't know what's normal, what's not. Even the printing, like she had like five different things of going, here's the people I've worked with. This is where they've got their books printed out. This is the positive of this factory, this factory, this factory. This is how you should do it, the distributor. She just saved me so much time and money.

Heather Sager  23:26  

I love this. I'm actually writing this down. This is gonna be big for me.

Tina Tower  23:30  

So that's what they call hybrid publishing, where you kind of, you've got a distributor and a person kind of guiding you, but it's not like self, self.

Heather Sager  23:38  

Yeah, but I think there's value in this going back to a lot of the conversation you're having just in general in your business of teaching women to think more commercially minded, thinking about and creating wealth in their life. We have to think about this idea of time. We could have control over everything. You and I were joking about how we like to tinker around on the back end of our Kajabi sites and we like to do the design ourselves. That is somewhere where we're good at it and we design and right in the process. But something like this, finding different quotes, putting things on your schedule, figuring out the pieces that quite frankly, we don't have any knowledge on, and we're probably not gonna use it again until the next time we write a book. It isn't a process where it's worth putting all your time and energy in. So you ask the question, is it better to use your own time, which is a currency, or invests it in someone else who quite frankly will do it far better than you. I love this tip. 

I've seen big book launches happening where people create the Facebook group and they do this big promotion around it. Does the coordinator help with that too? Is that part of like the promotion?

Tina Tower  24:38  

She wasn't so much on the marketing side of things. I hired a PR agency to do mine, well to help me with mine. It's the first time in my life I'd used a PR agency and I was a little underwhelmed with the process because marketing is my strong suit. I built my previous business through PR and through personal branding and I think I was expecting like this magic wand to just all of a sudden be on everything which was probably unrealistic expectations for my part, but a lot of the things that they got, I was like, dude, I could have just done that myself.

 

Be specific with your goals and expectations if you are to hire PR agency or a contractor to help you with the launch.

So I feel like the book coordinator was worth every cent the payoff and I've got someone again for my second release but I've been really specific in terms of going, I want to be in this publication, this publication, this publication on these times. Can you do that? It was kind of working around that rather than going, hey, like, just put me everywhere.Here's a bucket load of cash, let's go.

Heather Sager  25:37

Good delineation though between when there are different areas of our business using the book as the example where we are more passionate about, where we have experience on and we have like a specific taste so whether that's you have a specific design eye or you really want your copy written a certain way or your schedule a certain way. 

I think a lot of times when we hire contractors and it's on something that we really want control over but we want somebody to read our minds and do it the way we would. I think we set ourselves up for kind of a terrible situation for them and us, so really smart on the second round learning from that and saying, okay, now how I made more specific around what my expectations are, to let them do what they can do best, but within the lane that you want.

Tina Tower  26:21 

Yes, that's it. Yeah.

 

Self publish vs  Hybrid vs Publisher - how to decide what's best for you? 

Heather Sager 26:22

Okay, I love that. So okay, you mentioned before, why don't you briefly give us a quick little tutorial here. You mentioned the differences between the self publish, the hybrid, and then going with the publisher? Can you just give, for somebody who's totally new to this who's thinking about writing a book, just like the one minute what are these things and how they might be making a decision around what's best for them?

 

Self Publishing

Tina Tower 26:42

Yeah, so main reason it's better to go self publishing over publishing is you get control over everything so the cover, like my second book cover, it took me a while to fall in love with it. There was a bit where I was going, mmm, mmm, I don't love it but you kind of don't have the final say on there whereas I felt like I could do whatever I wanted right in line with my branding. You putting a lot over to them and trusting their expertise which you have to do and they are the experts, you know, but you have to abdicate control of that a little bit. Self publishing, you also get, it's like a reversal of cash. So when you sell the book with self publishing, it costs you about $2 - $2.50 to get it printed, and then you're paying the distributor, another two $2 - $3 per book. It's going out, all the rest of that is yours. You're getting quite a big chunk of it. And then bookstores, most of the deals with bookstores is you're getting around 40% of the retail price back to you so it's quite good. 

 

Publishing

With publishing though, completely the reverse, when you sell a book, you get your $2. So instead of it only costing you $2, you only get $2 which is why they say if you got a publisher, you're never going to make money on a book but what you do get is massive distribution. With my first book, I went hard on trying to get a lot of distribution and I got a few of the major book chains in Australia, but not all of them and it wasn't pushed, so I couldn't get on like, you know, in the bookstores, and they've got the big shelves like this week new and it's like, prominent. Yeah, I could not get any of that. They wouldn't put me in their catalogues, all of those different things. I couldn't get into the airports. I couldn't get into a store in the US whereas now with the second book because of the publishers, it'll be in Barnes and Noble released in America, it'll be in all the major bookstores in Australia. It'll be everywhere because they've got all of those contacts and connections. So this time, I'm going for mass distribution, rather than dollars.

 

Let go of the need for conversion

Heather Sager 28:48

Yeah, well, and it's one of those things is when you're at the point now within your business, you have your much clearer mission around how you're serving with the different ways to serve. It is now getting more eyes on your business and having a wider impact. They say, you know, one of my mentors, Brendon Burchard. He talks about this all the time around how there is a different level of intention when you are an author around being able to spread your message to as many as possible without expectation that these people are going to make you a ton of money. It's a different mindset. You're serving wide versus when you're hiring programs it's a very acute focus, right? You're serving a specific niche of people at a very specific result, transformation at a premium price. You can serve broader if you go more of that route of writing a book but you have to let go of this need for conversion and be so tied to everything making you so much money. You have to have that wider.

 

Writing a book is hard and laborious process

 

 

Tina Tower 29:40

That's exactly right. And that was really interesting conversations I had with people because the second book is called Million Dollar Macro Business and it's how to turn your expertise into a digital online course and in it I did success stories of about five other people that have got seven figure a year online course businesses. I was looking around and I'm going like why they haven't written a book about it. They're so good and they know so much. They all kind of laughed at me and went, Tina, why would I write a book. I can make a course with it and make millions and millions of dollars just doing a few social media posts. Why would I bother all of that? Because writing a book is laborious. It is hard work. Yeah, they have no interest in writing the book which I found great because like I said, in the beginning, I love books. And like you just said, it's wide. You go wide with it. I mean, I've got high hopes for it. I want it to be like the next 4-Hour Workweek. And for it to be like this global phenomenon in helping people go, I have something of value to share with the world and this is how I can package it and put it out there and then from those people, there'll be some of them that that want to go big, and then that's when they can find me.

Heather Sager 30:47

Yeah, okay. You said hard and laborious process so that was one of the things we talked about when you and I were chatting about different topics for today's episode. What caught my eye was in your, let's talk about what it really feels like to write and promote a book. Talk to me a little bit about that piece because I do think the same thing in the realm of speakers, right? Everybody wants to like say, I'm a speaker, I think at the same way everyone wants to say I'm an author, whatever that means to different people like different things. But what does it really truly feel like to go through the process of writing and promoting a book?

Tina tower 31:22

It's so hard. It's so hard. Now, it's all the fun part. Up until the second that I send the manuscript to the final editor, it's like the worst form of personal torture I've ever experienced in anything that I've done. Once I send it off, I wish it well in the world and I disconnect from it and then it's just the fun part of the marketing and all of the things that I love. But up until that point and the weird thing is I never feel like that when I put a course out or when I do a podcast episode or a webinar or anything like that there's something about and I think it's, I care about books so much and books are, I think my expectation for what it should do is just so high, like if I just sold a couple of thousand copies, I would just go into the corner and rock back and forth and cry. It's just I didn't go through all of that for that. I want it to be really exceptional and really good. 

And so I write the whole time with that in my head of going like this has to be like Brendon Burchard level good which is like an impossible standard because he's a unicorn. That's what's in my head all the time so it's really hard to go through the process and write it and then not look at it and silence the voice in your head that writes a sentence and goes, that is shit. This is so bad. You are such a loser. People are going to read that and just think, oh my God, who does she think she is? This is awful. You should just stick this thing on the fire right now. Just step away, go back to what you're good at and forget about it. So I know that sounds so horrible, but it is actually what happens. 

Heather Sager 33:02

That's the voice in our heads, right? It sounds so mean she's a real bea but it is a thing. I mean, if you think about people writing a newsletter or writing other forms of content, that's how we talk to ourselves which is so ridiculous. So I would imagine a book is like the longest email newsletter you've ever written in your life. There's something about books too that are really intimate and vulnerable. I think about some of the most profound thought leaders and mentors that I've ever had, I don't know them nor have I ever watched one of their videos. I've read their words and wisdom in a book. There is this, especially if you're a book lover, there is a heightened expectation because you know how transformational. I mean, goodness, if anybody's watching this interview on YouTube, just looking behind you at your book wall, looking about me behind, we both our offices are filled with books. I think it's kind of like this badge of right of passage, especially I would imagine your first book. This is how I feel about me. It has to be good because it's me joining the club of all of the people I've admired and have shaped my professional and personal thinking.

Tina Tower 33:10

Yes, that's right. It's heavy.

 

How to push through and overcome self-doubt

Heather Sager 34:17

Okay, so how did you push through that? Because clearly you did because you launched your book. How did you push through that? What helped you silence that really nagging very rude voice?

Tina Tower 34:27

Yes, so nothing really. I tortured myself the entire way through. 

Heather Sager 34:31

I love the honesty, I love the honesty on this. I mean, I hate that you experienced that but I love that you're sharing that fully.

Tina Tower 34:38

It gets to the point where it's ridiculous because it's not like I haven't dealt with self doubt before and I'm really conscious of the words that I say to myself and what I do and I can usually change my mindset and change my state really, really fast. I practiced in doing that and it was really quite hilarious. You know, sometimes you observe yourself and you're like, oh, dude, this is ridiculous, like, what are you even doing? I would be on the verge of tears going, I can't do it but at the same time going, you're amazing. You can do it. No, I can't, like it's just, it's next level. 

 

Map out exactly what you had to write by when and fully commit to finish it

How I got through that was with a good old fashioned, like stage at kind of what do you call it like I broke it into chunks, really. I had to work out exactly what I had to write by when and I just made myself not get up until I'd written that part. If it was 1000 words, or 2000 words, or that one chapter, I just had to sit there and do it until it was out so that was one thing. 

 

Take yourself away to write to go deep and immerse yourself into the book.

The other thing was I take myself away to write. I find that I can't write well, a lot of people, and this depends on the situation too. I know a lot of women who are parents who like they'll steal an hour or two in the morning and do that, that could never work for me because it's such a different mind space to be in to really go deep into a book and like immerse in it, that I found when I would try and write in little batches that it just wasn't as good. I'd read it back and it was very disjointed and it just wasn't as good. So with my first book, I took the great personal sacrifice and took myself to Fiji for 10 days.

Heather Sager  36:19  

Big surprise, oh my gosh, I feel so sorry for you.

Tina Tower  36:24  

And that was actually really good because I set the different milestones and I was like, once I get to hear, I'm going to go have a massage. Once I get to here, I'm going to go get a cocktail. Once I get to here, I'm going to have a swim and so everything is kind of broken,

Heather Sager  36:37  

This is my kind of plan. Yes, I subscribe. I would like your checklist.

Tina Tower  36:40  

Yeah, and it is like once I did that, I could just smash the whole thing out and I went into this whole like book, right, I left the world and went into that world and so that was much easier to do than to do it. It's kind of part of everyday life and I know that's not practical for a lot of people but I'm really glad I could do that because it made a much higher quality product to be able to, I mean, take a lesson out of Barack Obama went to, what did he go to like Indonesia or something for four months to write. He is like, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of the greats.

Heather Sager 37:16

Even if it's just a change of pace, right? So I find that I can't write  and be creative at this desk, I am working at this desk and cranking out Kajabi website, whatever I'm doing. This desk for me is not my writing space. I have to go to a different spot of my house to write. It's like the same thing. But for a project like this, it is going to be uncomfortable. I would imagine the distractions, whether it's the phone, the pantry, whatever it is. Those are mine. You have to figure out how do you disrupt your own normal, I don't want to do hard work things because it is going to be awkward and uncomfortable to push through so that's a very good tip.

 

Protect your energy while you’re writing

Tina Tower 37:50

Yeah, even going like a few of the segments that I did which was just taking my laptop down to the beach, but a lot of it is like you have to switch everything off and just kind of be super selfish in going the rest of the world does not matter right now because if you get to write into a bit and someone interrupts you, you go back to it and you've totally lost that flow and it takes ages to get back on to it so you've got to really protect your energy while you're writing because it takes a lot. It's a weird thing. Yeah.

Heather Sager 38:20

I think it's one of these. I hear that a lot from authors. I hear that a lot whether like Brendon Burchard, talks about he has a writing house in Hood River, Oregon. He, which side note, I know that specifically because that's like 40 minutes from my house. I don't know where his house is. I just know that Hood River is there so I'm not a creepy stalker.

Tina Tower 38:35

Maybe you should ask for inspiration to may I borrow your house?

Heather 38:38

May I borrow the said writing house. I'll write that, that's going on my vision board next to become an author. I mean, that would be a heck of a story. I'll report back on that one. I'll report back on that one. But I think this idea of we know we need to get into creative space. I think it's like next level when it comes to books so I think preparing for that, let's fast forward through all the pain parts for a moment and I want you to remember the moment you first saw your book in print. 

Tina Tower 39:06

My God, I could cry just thinking about it. It's one of those things and you see it on the screen. I hate beforehand but when you open that box and there it is in your hands, it's like equal parts, like absolute exhilaration and you feel so proud of yourself and also dread of going okay, is it all okay? Did I make a mistake? Yeah, it's very exciting. It's very exciting. 

Heather Sager  39:31  

I would totally cry. I would like, I would ugly cry inside of my room.

Tina Tower  39:34  

Oh yeah, but you totally deserve too. I mean, it's something that's there. You've written it to try and transform people's lives and impact them positively and it's going out and it's going to sit on someone's shelf for like decades like it's a big deal.

Heather Sager  39:34  

Yeah, that is a big deal. What did you do, how did you celebrate when you sold your first book?

Tina Tower  39:54  

Ah, how do I celebrate, I don't even remember

Heather Sager  39:57  

I mean, you booked a massage for finishing a paragraph so I would hope that you celebrated after you've sold a book. If not, might I recommend that happened today.

Tina Tower  40:07  

I went into total marketing mode when the book came out. So when the book came out, I did a 12 city book tour so I booked my own book tour and this is something with self publishing too like l I booked my own book tour around the country and did all of that. And that was just fabulous, because I got to see everybody and got to read excerpts from the book and got to do a whole heap of speaking and all of that sort of thing so it made it kind of have this life which was really, really beautiful. And I'm hoping that by the time the next one comes out, I'll be able to do that again and we won't be travel restricted.

Heather Sager  40:42  

Yeah. Oh, I got that piece. I really miss, I was saying this earlier today. I miss, this is gonna sound so weird to say, but I miss seeing people's eyeballs. Seeing people's eyeballs and seeing their reaction. There's such a brightness. even right now, I know this is gonna sound weird to say but for those watching the video, they can see I'm staring at the camera lens right now and I'm doing that because we're creating a video interview between the two of us. I can't see Tina's eyeballs

Tina Tower  41:08  

I’m just looking at you the whole time.

Heather Sager  41:11  

I kind of did a whole hoopla on Instagram a couple weeks ago where I told people look at the cameras and now I'm super conscious that I have to make sure I'm doing that. Otherwise, some troll on the internet is gonna be like, fight you sad, don't look at your face. This is a narrative in my brain right now. Anyways, I miss being able to make eye contact with the people. You're looking at them, they're looking at you. You miss that and I think especially that joyful moment when someone is excited about your work. Oh, I hope you get to do that and get in person to chat.

Tina Tower  41:39  

That's one of my like, lining up at speaking engagements and being one of those because you know, you're a speaker. You've been to many speaking things and seeing the authors then go outside and they've got the cues and you're signing the books and like it's so, it sounds so ego-tripping but I loved it. I loved having

Heather Sager  41:42  

It's your groupie moment, I mean we all want our groupie moment.

Tina Tower  42:00  

Even just like I was so surprised and going because it's kind of like I was focusing, this is an interesting part actually because I focused so much on the actual writing of the book and a lot of the fear came from, you know, judgment and that sort of thing that was coming out but I never actually thought of it beyond that point. So when people would come and they quote different things back from the book to me and say what parts they've loved and I was like, what, like you actually read it? Oh my gosh.

Heather Sager  42:29  

Are you having moments of going, did I say that? That sounds good.

Tina Tower  42:32  

So many times, so many times I thought, even when I was reading the audible version and I'd get to a point and I'd read a paragraph and be like, girl, that sounds really good.

 

Tina shares her advice to people who wanted to write a book

Heather Sager  42:43  

And dust it off the shoulder. Yeah, I love those moments. I look forward to that in the book form. What would you say to someone who's thinking about this, right? They've had like me, maybe just, what would you say to me Tina? Someonewho has been writing down like, I want to be a best selling author. I want to write a book still trying to figure out what that message would be? What advice would you have for someone who has it on their bucket list?

Tina Tower  43:07  

Yeah, do it is the thing and try and go, like one of the questions that I always have is what if it was easy? So looking at the people that have done it because it's going to be hard no matter what because it's so long. It's such a big project. You know, a lot of the projects that we create are not these massive things like writing 80,000 words for a book is a lot of words. You've got to be committed to doing it. But if you go, okay, if I'm going to do something hard like that, what's the easiest way I can do it? How can I make it work around my life and my family and enable me to do it and then carve out that time and just be committed to getting it out there because it is so worth it. It's not only worth it to put your expertise down on paper and you've got that, but also will solidify in you a lot what you know and like to reverberate all of the knowledge that you have, and it's something that's there. You've added to your legacy. That's going to be there forever, and also from a business sense gives you massive credibility. So when people look at it, like you said before on your one sheet. You know people love to say that their speakers having author on there, it does give a new level of respect. People like oh, you're an author, too and I did notice that respect is different for self publishing and publishing which is interesting. A lot of people thought I went self publishing because I couldn't get a publishing deal so that's interesting of how people have treated it now that I've got another one coming in. It's with a publisher and people are like, oh, it's a serious one.

Heather Sager  44:31  

Oh, you fancy.

Tina Tower  44:33  

Yeah, so that's interesting. You've got to do it. 

Heather Sager  44:38  

Okay, I'm fired up about this totally gonna write my book, still got to figure out what I'm going to write about. I can't make up my mind. I have that list of journals and all those things we talked about, but I'm super excited. 

I am so appreciative of how generous you are sharing with us. I think learning from someone especially someone who isn't even trying to like this is not what you do. This is not what you sell. You just have a good heart and you truly have a mission to help other women share their message which is very aligned to what I do. I love that you were so generous in sharing this insight and wisdom today. Tina, for those who are, I think this is a book that everyone should read slash when you said audible listened to because you narrate it, right?

Tina Tower  45:15  

I do. Yeah. This is in more of a meditation voice

Heather Sager  45:19  

Oh, okay. Okay. Well, I think that would be very soothing. Where can people because I know you are in another country, most of my audience is the US, however, shoutout I have New Zealand, Canada, Germany in the house listening to the show. Where can people find this book and then also keep an eye out for that book in July.

Tina Tower  45:40  

Yeah. So Amazon is, of course, the easiest place to get everything.

Heather Sager  45:46  

They rule all. I'm sorry to support Amazon for those of you who love the independent bookstore, but sometimes it's just not in the cards. I'd rather you support Tina and buy the book. Okay.

Tina Tower  45:55  

Hopefully in July, the new book will come out in all the independent bookstores in the US and will start movement and everyone has to ask their independent bookstore, do you stock Million Dollar Micro Business?

Heather Sager  46:08  

We will do that. Okay. And then in the meantime, you are a joy to follow online. You have so many great resources, especially for women, business owners in this online space. Where's the best place for people to connect with you?

Tina Tower  46:20  

Yeah, so if I've done my job right, I'm really easy to find. Tinatower.com is the easiest place. There's a heap of free resources on there. and let me know on Instagram, @tina_tower, what book you're gonna write?

Heather Sager  46:32  

Yes, that's such a good question. Be sure if you guys love today's episode, be sure to give it a lot of love. Tag us both on Instagram. We'd love to see what you do with this. Also, I'm actually really curious. The question I'm going to have for those who stick with us to the end. You talked about like the real feeling behind the scenes. For those listening who are thinking about writing the book, I want to know, are you committed to like the real like hard part or like what hard parts of your business have you gone through? I just want to hear some stories around that because I don't think people are talking about it.

Tina Tower  47:04  

Yeah, I love it. And I can't wait to read your book.

Heather Sager  47:07  

Me too, I can't wait to read my book. I got to write it first. All right, you are a gem. Thank you so much, Tina. Everyone, thank you so much for sticking around for another episode. We will see you next week for another round of The Heather Sager show. Bye friends.

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