Hey everyone,

as per your wish I am sharing an episode on writing a book for your business. I just published my first book Rituals – simple & radical practices for enchantment in times of crisis and wanted to share exactly how I wrote the book, what I hired out, what software and publishing platform I use, what I do to market the book and what I will do differently next time.

If you’d like to check the book out you can see it here: httpss://www.yarrowmagdalena.com/book

I also mentioned that the Embodied Business Community is currently open for enrolment, you can learn more and join us here: httpss://pinkwellstudio.com/diy-business-school/

As always thank you so much for listening – do let me know if you have questions or requests for more solo episodes.

Love,

Yarrow

Listen to the Embodied Business Podcast

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⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow.

My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a livelihood with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I offer practical guidance on tech, strategy, ethical marketing, creativity and money and interview other small business owners who do things their own way.

You can learn more about my work, listen to other episodes or join my community at PinkWellStudio.com

You can also sign up for my newsletter - I offer free monthly Spark Sessions and share resources, ideas & new episodes about once per month over on Substack

Transcript

Hi, everyone, my name is Yarrow and you’re listening to the embodied business podcast. In this episode, I want to talk about writing a book for your business, which is something I’ve just done, and have a lot of feelings and thoughts about that I would love to share with you. I also want to make a few announcements. The first one is that the embodied business community is opening for enrollment, have 15 spots it open three times a year, and it’s a year long group coaching experience that a 10 module course. So the 10 module course covers lots and lots of different things from really finding out who you’re trying to serve, to coming up with sustainable and beautiful offerings, thinking about pricing, social media, ethical marketing, the tech support you need, building a newsletter list, all those kinds of things. And then we have monthly group coaching calls for yourself seemed like workshops. And at the end of September and studying a life round that kind of guides all of us together through the course at the same time, just to kind of give everyone a bit of extra accountability and support. Lots of people will take the course several times as as kind of part of the experience in the community. Because of course, things change, we come up with new products, we want to create new marketing plans, we want to use it certain questions. And it’s really beautiful to be part of a community for that. I think building a small business can be a lonely experience and times. And so I’ve really wanted to build a community of like minded people who want to do things differently, who have feminist anti capitalist values, and also want to set up a small business or run a small business, really happy with the people that have come together in the last two years and just always leave our calls feeling really nourished and refreshed, and just in the comfort of solidarity. So I would love for a few more people to join us. And the price of $300 for the year, which includes a one on one session with me, you can also pay in three instalments of $100. And then the link to that in the show notes. And if you have any questions, please let me know I’m definitely here. And the other announcement is just that I’m really open to more requests for this podcast, the last episode that I did, and the one that I’m doing now, both kind of responses to specific requests that people made. And I really enjoy that so much. So does anything that you would like to learn more about, please let me know, I would love to hear. And I want to talk a little bit about writing a book as part of your business. So maybe you have heard that I’ve just published my book of rituals, simple and radical practices when Chairman in times of crisis. And I belongs to my other business, which is called Daedra. voles and also has a podcast. And yeah, just want to begin by saying how I did it. That’s a question I’ve heard a lot. So I wrote this book between May and July this year. So really, in the middle of lockdown, basically. And I made a promise to myself to write 1000 words every morning before I did anything else. And that sounds like a lot. And it was some days sometimes some days were really good. Just I was tired and overwhelmed, and sad and exhausted. And I didn’t really have anything to say. But I have to say that most of the time, I felt really grateful to have this container to have something to kind of fall into because I was having a little bit less client work, I was having a little bit more spaciousness. And my days, there wasn’t such a massive shift for me because I was working from home anyway. But the kind of work that I did at that time, it had shifted a little bit. And some of the projects that I plan to work on had been cancelled, because they were meant to be for local businesses that had to shut down and then didn’t want to make that investment anymore, which makes total sense. And so yeah, that was actually a really good container for me. And I love this expression, loving the loving discipline become devotion, because discipline obviously isn’t necessarily like a super sexy, exciting word. Sometimes, maybe it’s necessary, but I feel like our ideas of what discipline could look like as so much shaped by capitalism and productivity culture, so just doesn’t really feel super fun to me. Whereas devotion I feel, to me feels a lot more like me giving a part of myself and really doing it because I just absolutely want to and because it feels like the right thing to do. And, and then I don’t have to
be in discipline necessarily anymore. I don’t know if that makes sense. Maybe it doesn’t, that’s okay. But that’s what it felt like for me. So I really enjoyed writing 1000 words every day. And I did that for about six weeks. And then I started editing it. And I did four rounds of editing myself, I was really surprised by the fact that I didn’t spread a lot of things that stood out to me and later edits the first few times, because I was, like I said, pretty tired, pretty overwhelmed, exhausted, and didn’t have the headspace that I wish that they had for those first few edits. So when I really started doing it in smaller chunks and reading it out loud, I went a lot deeper, I think in editing and fleshing out the different chapters. I had a structure that I pretty much stuck to right from the beginning, I wrote the book in three parts. The first one is a general overview of ritual practice and how I feel about different aspects of it. I really hope that it’s not prescriptive in any way. It’s just my thoughts and a space to think about your own thoughts. And then the middle part is a much larger section, which is full of different small and embodied and doable ritual practices. And then the last part, the third one is about building a sustainable and long term practice to lean into. And so those are mainly thoughts about how do we code habits of humanly good without falling into any kind of shame or rootedness around path? So that’s been interesting to write as well. And, yeah, the theme of all I think I’ve received is I think that I had already been working on for many years, I taught the amount embodied medic programme for two years, I’ve been running the podcasting Daedra worlds and had so many beautiful conversations with different people about virtual practice and politicised healing, what these things mean to them. And so a lot of that, I guess, has gone into the book. And I think for me, it was really good to pick a subject that I feel I was already so familiar with I was it was really close to my heart. And I felt like I was just letting something out basically, that had already been working with for a long time. I had also joined a programme by my friend Sophie Dale has also been in the programme under podcast sorry, she runs a programme called divide a studio. And it was a small group of people that were fighting on all kinds of different projects together over a period of six weeks, we had several group coaching calls and our works at group level really tearing each other on. And that was so helpful for me that really made a big difference in how he’s motivated. And I think I probably wouldn’t have experienced the shift from discipline to devotion that I just talked about, had I not had the support of that group. So that was really great. I want to talk a little bit more now about the technical things of how I made this work, just in case that’s interesting to you. So I just wrote it out and word didn’t have any kind of writing specific software. And that was totally okay for me. I initially hired someone to do my cover design, but I was really unhappy with the kind of drafts that that person came up with. And I ended up doing it myself. I’m really happy with the cover design now. Generally, I think, I think that was a really lucky and I don’t think that will work. For many people. I’ve certainly never designed a code before. I don’t think that I would be very good at it. And I think usually it really felt to me like I was almost a bit too close to the book to do it well. And then and then I found this graphic, which was hard to describe, but it’s basically plants that wrap around the cover. And that kind of fell into place that really made sense. But I think had that not happened I would probably have hired someone else and tried different things to find something that feels that feels really good.
I also hired someone to format the book because I had never done that before. And I knew I wanted it to be a verbal and different format. So it’s a nightmare six inches paper, a trade book US trade. That’s the dimension and studies yet paperwork, and it’s also available for kindle and different kinds of E readers. And I have never done that formatting before. So there’s stuff to consider like, you want to have the chapter overview clickable on an ebook, for example. And so I just had no idea and so much as in my mind already, so I hired that out. And that was tricky process as well. And the first person I hired to kind of really misunderstood. The chapter overview took a lot longer. And then two weeks after many edits, I finally gave up because we weren’t getting anywhere and hired someone else and that person got it done in a week. And that was really great and everything is wonderful now I did a lot of thinking about which print on demand platform to use. And obviously did self published his book and I will touch on why that in a moment, but I went with Ingram sparks in the end. And that’s mainly because I wanted a really wide distribution network so that small local bookshops could order the book, but also get a good retailer, discount and return them. So I learned, and I really just at the beginning of like learning about these things, but I learned that for a small independent bookshop, it would be important to have 55% as a wholesale discount and to be able to return those books. And I think that Ingram sparks is one of the only if a small number of platforms that allows people to return the books, and you don’t have an option to either pay for postage and receive them back or have them be destroyed, which I thought would be super sad. So I’m getting them. But yeah, it takes a while, I will say that I did expect that you will upload the book and it will be available within a week. But it took more than three weeks, there’s been processing and back and forth. And I received a proof copy. And then the margins weren’t quite right. So I had to update that and then wait again. So I next time would definitely budget more time for that. But generally, I’m really happy with Ingram sparks. They have a lot of free courses, and there are a lot of support to help you set it all up. So that’s great. And then I have my books on Amazon as well. I initially only wanted to have it on there as an E book. But yeah, what can I say I’m not happy with that, I would really love it if everyone just ordered the book through an indie bookshop. And there’s different online platforms where you can order online now and then support your local book shops at the same time. In Germany, I forgot what it is. But yeah, in the UK, we have something called heif. And in the US, there’s something called indiebound. And so I think in that sense, there’s almost really no reason to order Amazon because he’s a indiebound, or hive is really just as convenient. You know, it ships ships really quickly, it’s really affordable. And you support your local bookshop. So that’s fantastic. But obviously, Amazon still has a really big market share. And I’m aware that by just having it on there, a lot of people would discover the book and maybe maybe my work as well. So it’s imperfect, it’s something that I’m definitely still thinking about and navigating. Yeah, and then I want to speak to briefly on why I chose to self published as time. So I, well, I really actually, into DIY culture, I think there’s something really beautiful and empowering about doing something and doing it yourself and being really fully in charge and control of the whole process and learning about it as you go you’re in if it’s not perfect. I am sure that there’s also lots of beauty and having a supportive publisher. And I’m definitely open to that in the future as well. But I feel like this book, especially to me also had a real sense of immediacy, I really wanted to write about these times in these times and offer that to the world pretty much right away. And so working with a publisher would have probably taken at least a year to have the book out in people’s hands. And that was just not something that felt right for me at this time. So I didn’t try to get an agent, I didn’t apply anywhere. And that’s okay. I might do that in the future. And yeah, we’ll see I let you know. I hate the next thing I want to talk a little bit about is what I do to promote the book. So obviously, I’m sending a newsletter, just send it out, send another one in a few weeks, I’m going to continue talking about it. And posting on social media, I’m gonna run a giveaway,
and sending a lot of copies out to other people that I really appreciate. I’m doing a podcast tour. I’m expanding with Pinterest a bit at the moment because I I don’t see it as a social media platform. But it can be a great visual search engine that maybe brings more people to my podcasts. And in that way also promotes my book I have added into my email signature. So there’s a big graphic now that says My book is out. There’s a feature on my website, of course, and then it also goes out to all my patreon so all patrons have received a digital copy. And I’ve asked people in my community to share and leave reviews. So that’s what I have on my plan so far. I might also do some more conventional PR, I’ve reached out to some journalists. I haven’t gotten very far with that yet. But to be honest and giving myself a lot of grace at the moment. I feel like there’s just so much going on. And I just want to pause here also and celebrate that I did it Big thing and not rush too much. I think what’s something that I really like about a book is that there’s more of a sense of timelessness. And it’s just not as urgent as a programme, for example, that starts and ends at a certain time. So I will get to that in time. Something that I think is probably also good to think about is, if you if you are going to write a book for your business, what is a good outcome for you. And for me, it’s been really clear that this was not necessarily a financial gain to my business, when I think about how much I spent on it. So far, in terms of the support, I received the programme that I was part of the proof copies or audit, the copies that I’m going to send out to people, when I’m not expecting to make that money back very soon. And I’m pretty okay with that. Obviously, if I do that, that would be amazing. But I’m just not counting on it, I see it as an expression of myself as something that I really wanted to do and wanted to say and share with the world, but also as a way for people to get to know my work and kind of like a less risky way compared to say booking a one on one session with me or becoming a Patreon, which is actually also not very expensive. But anyway, I think it’s just another format to communicate with people. And I hope that readers will consider becoming a Patreon and taking part in my programmes. And that in that way it is promoting my work. But it’s not really a money making machine for me if that makes sense. I want to close by talking a little bit about what has worked for me and what hasn’t. So what has worked really well with the structure I gave myself beginning to ride with a clear outline of the book was really important. And then also making that commitment to writing 1000 words every morning. That was something I really enjoyed. I’m also glad that I invested in the community support with Sophie Dale’s programme, because that just made it so much easier made me feel less alone programme. And then finally, I really enjoyed it, I started small, I didn’t have a big red pad that I aimed for this book has 150 pages, and it feels good, feels good in my hands, feels like it’s just a read decide. It’s not massive. It’s it’s also not a book that claims to be a big general overview of which was really just one person at one point in time thinking about rituals and things that work for me. So I’m not claiming to be an expert or a guru or whatever, just to someone who’s really into the staff and wants to vote about it. And that feels good just giving myself that permission to be myself and to not blow it up bigger than it needs to be. What I would do differently is that reading the book and holding it in my hands now,
we see now that I haven’t had a much longer break after my last edit. So I’ve read it many times in the editing process. But not as I’ve been uploading it and grading and formatting. There’s other other things that stand out to me that maybe I would have changed. So for example, the smart in consistencies and the introduction, or maybe inconsistency is is the wrong word. But it just when I read it out loud as I did for my other podcast the other day, it felt a bit disjointed. And I wondered if really, there is a clear arch in the introduction, and amend everything that I said, but I feel like maybe this could could have been shuffled around a little bit better. And yeah, so the small things now that I look back and feel like if I had given myself a little bit more time, or if I had worked with to develop developmental editor, maybe it could have been a bit more refined, and I set with that, obviously is uncomfortable and you know, to have something so personal out into the world and be aware that it has flaws. But I’m trying to really remind myself that that is part of the creative process, that there’s no way that I could have written the perfect book this year, like literally no way. And then I’m just glad I did it anyway. And also maybe the fact that it is imperfect and flawed in some ways, is encouraging other people to do something that maybe they feel a bit unsure about. The other thing is that I think in the process of uploading and formatting the book a time set of a bit frustrated because I had imagined it to work so much more quickly. And so in the future I’ll just be aware of that and manage my own expectations a little bit better. And then finally, I spotted a few typos which is such a cliche, and I don’t even though I mentioned that but someone pointed it out to me and it really was a bummer. And I think Ella did back in at the very end when I did my last round of ad And, you know, that’s just what happens. That’s human and it’s okay. But I wish I had spotted them that would have been cool. Today, I really hope that this has given you an overview of my process, I will definitely let you know and take back like later in the year to see how it’s been going and what the promotional was like what I would do differently with that. And, you know, if you feel excited, I really just want to give you a massive digital permission slip. If you feel a little overwhelmed with the prospect of writing a whole book, maybe write a Xen, it seems so fun. And yeah, they can just saw such be such a beautiful addition to your business as well. And if you make one and you want to show me I would love to see that please email me. Cool. I think that’s all I have to say for today. If you want to join the embody business community, check out the links. If you have questions, let me know. And again, thank you so much for listening.

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