Episode 190: 4 Lurking Horrors That Will Kill Your Book

Episode 190: 4 Lurking Horrors That Will Kill Your Book

Joe and I are surrounded by spooks and ghouls in this Hallowe’en edition of the 1000 Authors Show. Listen in, if you dare, to the four lurking horrors that will kill your book… unless you slay them first. There’s also silly voices and a cautionary tale about why many high-street shops are failing. It’s like they want a disaster…

Key Points

  • [2:35] Vicky shares a retail fail story. Some people can’t be helped!
  • [7:55] What spooky things are lurking in the dark that will destroy your nicely-crafted book?
  • [13:15] Don’t skimp on the book finishings! It will make your book look and feel cheap if you do.
  • [18:00] What should you invest in?
  • [20:15] Get beta readers to read through your book!
  • [23:15] You need a website for your book!
  • [25:00] The biggest demon of all is the one that lives inside your head.
  • [30:15] Pre-order Vicky’s latest book!

Mentioned in This Episode:

​​WebsiteVicky on MediumPreorder Vicky’s new book!Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, and OvercastProject DingleMr B’s EmporiumWant to know more? I’ve written a book, you know. You can get your mitts on it here.If you’ve read my book and you’re ready to take the next step: brilliant. You could join my Small Business Superheroes Inner Circle here.

Want to read the transcript? See below…​

Episode Transcript

Business For Superheroes Podcast Transcription: Episode One Hundred And Ninety: 4 Lurking Horrors That Will Kill Your Book

Download the PDF here…

*This is a podcast about one woman’s mission to help entrepreneurs and business owners write better business books. Each week, we tackle your writing excuses because they’re our excuses too, and help you beat the blank page of doom so that you can write the book that will grow your life and your business. Now here’s your host, Vicky Fraser…*  

Vicky:  Hello, and welcome to the 1000 Authors Show! I’m Vicky Fraser and this is my husband, Joe.

Joe: Hello.

Vicky:Today we are drinking spooky drinks and necking pain killers., and if you’re watching the video podcast, you get to see that we are kind of festively dressed up for Halloween with–

Joe:  Kind of.

Vicky: Giant spiders on our heads. Mine’s a really fancy spider. I think it’s a Gisela Graham, fascinator.

Joe: That’s quite posh.

Vicky: It is quite posh, yeah.

Joe:  It does kinda look like polystyrene balls dipped in glitter with pipe cleaners.

Vicky: How very dare you. It’s a spider.

Joe:  Just sayin’.

Vicky: So, yeah. How– What are we drinking? What we drinkin’ this week?

Joe:  This is pumpkin gin with a little dash of blood and ground up spiders.

Vicky: I’m vegetarian, I’m not happy about this. What actually is in it?

Joe:  Gin and spiders.

Vicky: Awesome. Ooh, it tastes nice.

Joe:  Yeah.

Vicky: Spiders, kids.

Joe:  Spiders.

Vicky: It isn’t spiders. I am vegetarian. Right so, this week we are , looking at four lurking horrors that will kill your book.

Joe:  Right. Smooth. Nice.

Vicky: Thanks. I thought it was pretty good.

Joe: Yeah, good, good. Well done.

Vicky: So yeah, four lurking horrors that will– That will kill your book. How dare you.

Joe:  Smooth editing.

Vicky: Look, dammit Jim, I’m not a film editor!

Joe:  No, no you’re not.

Vicky: So, yeah, we’re talking about, kind of, before we actually dive into that, I wanna talk about a couple of willful retail horror stories that I’ve encountered in the last few weeks. So our friend, Jodie, hi Jodes!

Joe:  Hi Jodes.

Vicky: Runs a beautiful little shop in Ludlow, and it’s a clothes shop and a fashion shop and it’s–

Joe:  Nice things shop.

Vicky: Nice things shop. And I get a lot of my clothes from there, and Jodie helps me to not look like this. She does all sorts of things with her shop, and the most recent thing she’s done is a colour workshop.

Joe:  Okay, a colour workshop.

Vicky: Yeah. You’re supposed to ask what’s a colour workshop.

Joe:  How does that work?

Vicky:  Okay.

Joe:  What’s one of them?

Vicky: So she randomly met this woman who works with colour, so she helps people figure out what colours look good on them. Joe’s being Emperor Palpatine, by the way. Does this quite a lot. Not just on Halloween. So this woman helps people figure out what colours look good on them, and what colours they can wear, and what colours look good on different parts of their body.

Joe:  Really hot in here.

Vicky: Okay. And so Jodes did this workshop. She got this lady to come and do a workshop at the shop, and loads of people were already interested, and it went really, really well, and they’re going to be doing some more of them. It’s a really good idea, ’cause I never know what colours are gonna suit me. ‘Cause I really like yellow, but I think that yellow makes me look like a duck person.

Joe:  Makes you look pale.

Vicky: Thanks. So yeah, but she was telling me that there’s loads of other shops in Ludlow, and she suggested to a few of them, told them what she was doing. And said, “Oh, you know, I’ve got this great person “and she helps customers sort out colours. “She’ll come and do a workshop for you,” and they were just like, “No, not interested.” And Jodes was like, “Why?” They’re like, “Ah, you know, too much trouble, “people won’t be interested, blah blah blah, “and it’s not going to make us any money.” And that’s just the dumbest thing that I have ever heard because I know for a fact that every single person who came on Jodie’s colour workshop walked out of her shop with a couple of items in colours that they now knew suited them. I just think that some people you can’t help. You know? It’s almost like willful business failure.

Joe:  Choosing beggars.

Vicky: Huh?

Joe:  Choosing beggars.

Vicky: Choosing beggars?

Joe: Mm-hmm. People who choose to be poor.

Vicky: Oh.

Joe:  People who are offered the marvelous things–

Vicky: Yes.

Joe:  And choose not to accept.

Vicky: Yes, it’s just crazy talk. And then I wanna contrast that to the experience that I had in a bookshop. But, ah, it was one of the best days of my life, I think. Not the best day of my life, ’cause that’s when

Joe:  I was gonna say, we–

Vicky: I married you. But, one of the best days I’ve had, certainly in recent times. It was a birthday present from my cousin Charlene.

Joe:  Hi, Charlene.

Vicky: Hi! Who is currently trekking up Everest.

Joe:  Cool!

Vicky: Like, for real. She bought me a reading spa at a shop called Mr. B’s in Bath. So I shot down to Bath for the day. I got up at five in the morning, I shot down to Bath. And it was just so cool! So this is a bookshop, it’s a bookshop, right? Sells books. It doesn’t particularly have a niche, it’s not a travel bookshop, it’s not like, a fancy bookshop. It’s a bookshop. And one of the things that they do there is they have reading spas. You can buy one of these, and I don’t know how much you buy it for, obviously, it was a gift, but included in it you get like, a £55 book voucher, as well, to spend. When you book it, they email you and ask you what your tastes are, what do you like to read, that kind of thing. And so you tell them. When you get there, they bring up this pile of books for you that they’ve already picked out based on your answers, and you go to through them, and then you have a cup of tea, and you–

Joe:  Like, they put you in a nice room upstairs, didn’t they?

Vicky: Nice reading room, yeah with a fireplace and all the rest of it. They’ve got shelves of their favorite books and that kind of thing. Then they talk to you for like, 45 minutes about what you enjoy and the books you’re enjoying, why you like them, you know really, and they’re very knowledgeable, the people who work in this bookshop are incredibly knowledgeable. And the guy who, Henry, hi Henry!

Joe:  Hi, Henry.

Vicky: The guy who did my reading spa, they obviously matched me up with him based on the answers I gave because he was really knowledgeable about fantasy science fiction, biography, that kind of thing. So, ’cause I like that kind of thing. And it was just fabulous! We had this great conversation, and by the end of it I had a pile of books almost as tall as I was. I sent you a picture, didn’t I?

Joe:  Yes.

Vicky: So I spent my voucher that was part of the reading spa, obviously, I got a bunch of those books and then an extra 40 quid on top of it. It’s just an amazing business model! It’s not just because it’s a good business model, because obviously, I’m gonna go and buy more books than probably the voucher suggests ’cause suddenly I can justify spending 40 quid on top of the voucher, but also because it’s just a delightful thing to do for customers. It’s such a good idea. It introduced me to a load of books and authors that I would never have picked up.

Joe:  So, it’s a proper premium service, isn’t it?

Vicky:Proper premium service. So there are multiple ways that you can apply that in your business, no matter what your business is.

Joe: So, in time for Christmas, if you’re struggling, but somebody who reads quite a lot, then Mr. B’s Reading Spa down in Bath.

Vicky: Yeah, it’s called Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.

Joe:  Excellent. And that’s a cracking gift.

Vicky: That is a cracking gift.

Joe:  And we’re not getting any kickbacks. It’s just a good thing.

Vicky: Not getting any kick backs. It’s just great. But it’s made me want to, I was actually researching how to open a bookshop earlier. Anyway, back to Halloween!

Joe: [Evil Laugh]

Vicky: Oh, that’s a good evil laugh! So, yeah, we’re talking tonight about the four lurking horrors. The four lurking horrors that will kill your book. By the way, anyone who’s watching the podcast, my facial expression then is, because I keep getting a notification on my computer and I don’t know what the fuck it is, and Joe’s supposed to fix it for me.

Joe:  I will fix it for you.

Vicky: You will.

Joe:  But, it’s on a Mac, therefore I’ll have to, I don’t know, get a bit arty about it.

Vicky: Today, it being Halloween, or there abouts–

Joe: Four lurking horrors that will kill your book.

Vicky: We are talking about the spooks, ghouls, and monsters lurking in the shadows, waiting to destroy your book, your confidence, and maybe your reputation.

Joe:  You’re going to have to stop that.

Vicky: Ah, I’m enjoying myself. So, lurking horror number one that most would-be author’s blunder into, ghost readers.

Joe:  Ghost readers?

Vicky: Ah, yeah. Imaginary readers. Writing for imaginary readers, or just for yourself.

Joe: Okay.

Vicky: It’s very common. Also very common in any kind of marketing writing, really, this spider leg is doin’ my swede in, . But yeah, the most arduous part of writing a book, or any other marketing copy, is actually also the most crucial part. It’s the part that most people don’t bother with, and that is figuring out exactly who you’re writing for and why. There are two reasons why most people don’t bother with this. Actually, I think three reasons. First of all, it really, genuinely is difficult. It’s not an easy thing to do, is to do the customer avatar fingers.

Joe:  It is actually tricky.

Vicky: It is actually tricky.

Joe:  It’s not much fun either.

Vicky: Oh, no, it is fun!

Joe:  You think it’s fun?

Vicky: Oh, yeah! ‘Cause it’s digging into people’s heads, the psychology, and the reasons behind why they do things.

Joe:  Ah, to some people it might feel like gettin’ in the way of actually writing a book. You know, they’re thinkin’, “I’m gonna sit down, I’m gonna plan me book and write it.”

Vicky: Yeah.

Joe:  And what you’re saying is don’t do that, figure out who the reader is.

Vicky: Yeah, and I totally get that. ‘Cause if we make an analogy for decorating, it’s like washing the walls with sugar soap before you paint. It’s really bloody dull, but you’ll get so much better finish if you do it. And that’s kind of the point. You will find writing your book easier, as well, if you do this ground work to start with. This is part of the reason why books don’t get finished, because they kind of tail off and you’re not quite sure who you’re writing it for, why you’re writing it, and what the point of it is. Doing this ground work right at the beginning, all of those problems will go away.

Joe:  Fixes your problems.

Vicky:  Fixes your problems. So, yeah, three reasons why it happens. One is hard work. It’s hard work. It’s difficult to do, but if you preorder my book from moxibooks.co.uk/preorderthebook I actually walk you through how to do it. And my beta readers were like, “Oh my god, “this has changed everything for me.” The way I walk them through it. Second reason, I think, that it happens is that the writer gets really overexcited and just cracks on the writing without really giving any thought to the audience.

Joe:  Yeah, none of that procrastination nonsense. It’s just get in and write.

Vicky: Yeah. I understand that as well. You know, there’s kind of, I’m not pointing fingers. I’m not poking at people because I have been guilty of doing a similar thing in the past. But it’s a problem because you know, it’s too late by the time you’re halfway through your book.

Joe:  Yes, it’s because there’s only two people in the planet who want to read it, and you’re one of them and the other one’s your husband who’s just being nice.

Vicky: Exactly, yeah. That was mean. Third reason is that the writer is arrogant enough to think that just because they’re interested in what they have to say, everybody else will be as well.

Joe:  All right. Crikey.

Vicky: Yeah, there are people out there like that. I’ve met some of them. So yeah, I mean, if you want to write a book just for you, just so that you can have a book on your shelf, go wild. I have no problem with that. But, if you are writing a book because you want, genuinely, to help other people and you want it to help build your business, you’re gonna need to figure out who you’re writing for. So the remedy for extinguishing, ghost-busting ghost readers, is to figure out exactly who your ideal reader is and do it before you ever put pen on paper. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, effort and money.

Joe:  Okay.

Vicky: So if you might be thinking that you are your ideal reader, because that’s how I started, which is great, it’s a good start, but if you’re your only ideal reader, then you’re gonna be in big trouble.

Joe:  Well, you’re gonna spend a lot of time and effort on something that nobody reads.

Vicky: Except for your mum.

Joe: Your mum.

Vicky: Yeah. And that’s not gonna help. So you gotta do the work, do the research. If you think that you’re your ideal reader, there probably are more people like you, but you’ve gotta go out and talk to them. You’ve gotta find out what people want and need, you’ve gotta find out what motivates them, and you’ve gotta decide if your big idea for your book fulfills that for them. And if it doesn’t, tweak it, change it, talk to them, or don’t write the book at all.

Joe:  Pick a different book to write.

Vicky: Pick a different book to write. So when I first started thinking about How the Hell Do You Write a Book, that was actually based on the research that I did for the course that I put together, and I did a lot of research with people before I made that course and sold it. I made sure that I found out exactly what people wanted to know, what they needed to know from the course. A lot of that went into the book that I’ve written.

Joe:  Cool!

Vicky: Yeah. So what is the big, lurking horror number two, Joe?

Joe:  Big, lurking horror number two would be dastardly details. Just because your book is self-published, it doesn’t need to look like it was put together by children. It used to be super difficult, and that’s not, you know, dissing any children out there who want to write a business book, you know, you’re more than welcome, but it used to be really difficult to make a book look professional. It used to be a thing that only traditional publishers could do. They had all the software, they had all the skills, they had all the tech, and it was only them that could do it. Self-published books or, you know–

Vicky: They look self-published.

Joe:  They look self-published. They’re on cheap paper, the margins were wrong, the typeface was wrong. You get it and you go, “Hmm, this feels “like a really cheap, crappy book.”

Vicky: And sometimes you will read a book, and I still do this sometimes, sometimes you’ll read a book and you’re like, “This book feels off “and I’m not sure why.” I can probably tell you like, 10 reasons why it might be off, but you might not notice it as just a normal reader. As an expert I could probably looking at it and go, “I can tell you exactly why that’s not right “and why it feels amateurish to you.” That’s why paying attention to the details is so important.

Joe:  There are some subtle cues and subtle things that let people know this is a proper book, and you need to work out what they are, otherwise you’re publishing an amateurish book.

Vicky: Yeah. I can just give you an example of that right now. One of the things that you might not know, or that might not occur to you, is that in every book, you know, that’s been traditionally published and all the good self-published ones, there are blank pages in the books. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but a lot of books tend to start with chapters on right-hand pages, which means that sometimes you’ll have a blank left-hand page. Which is fine. A blank page should be blank. A telltale sign of an amateurish book is that it’s got a page number on it or a running header at the top. Or something like that. It’s not something that you would even notice flicking through it and reading it, except subconsciously, where you would go, “This book doesn’t feel quite right. “It doesn’t feel quite like–“

Joe:  “Something is strange about this.”

Vicky: Yeah, it’s not quite like a professional book, and it’s little, tiny details like that that you might not think of, that you don’t know because you don’t know enough about the publishing industry. Which is why it’s really important to pay attention to the details.

Joe: I guess if you were going to be, like the most-read author of the next decade, maybe you could forge your own styles and change the whole opinion of every reader on the planet, and get people to kinda go, “Well, actually “I prefer it this way!” When you make your quirky decisions. But it’ll probably not.

Vicky:  That is dangerous to do as well, though, and the reason, kind of going a little bit off tandem, we should do a whole podcast on this at some point because this is a really interesting topic, but there are reasons why there are conventions in publishing. It’s not just snobbery, it’s because books have been done that way for so long that that’s what we expect to see.

Joe: It is kind of culturally steeped into us.

Vicky: Yeah, so I read a book not so long ago called Normal People by Sally Rooney and it was part of the book club, ’cause I’m part of a real life book club with real people.

Joe: With people.

Vicky: I would never have picked up that book normally. I’ve read some fantastic books through that club. This one was not one of them, did not enjoy it for a variety of reasons. But one of the reasons was I found it difficult to read because she doesn’t use speech marks. That again, is like, pay attention to stuff like that because I know what she was trying to do, she’s probably read Trainspotting. Irvine Welsh is a fucking master at that stuff, and he was never ambiguous. The problem with the book that I read was that the speech was ambiguous. You didn’t always know who was talking. I often found myself flipping back ’cause I’m like, “I can’t remember who’s talking here,” and I had to go back and work out based on the paragraphs. So it’s like, don’t make your reader do that! It’s like, she hadn’t established her character’s voices well enough for me to be able to tell who was speaking. That was a really big problem. So if you’re going to break conventions, make sure that you’re good enough to do it in such a way that, we’re talking about fiction here, but the same applies to nonfiction.

Joe: I mean, step one is knowing the convention.

Vicky: You’ve gotta know the rules before you break them.

Joe: You’ve gotta know the rules before you break them. Otherwise you just puttin’ together a bad book.

Vicky: Yeah. So dastardly details will trip you up, and if your book looks amateurish, people will assume you’re an amateur. Sad, but true. It can do a lot of damage to your reputation, you know? If people are looking at your book and it’s a little bit shit in terms of production values–

Joe: Well yeah, if you’re handing this beautiful thing that you are proud of, to people, here is my work and my life and my thoughts, and the first thing they do is they go . “They’ve got all the odd numbers on the left,” or whatever it is that’s wrong.

Vicky: Oh, yeah that’s a good one! Odd page numbers should be on the right!

Joe: Yeah, and they’re just gonna go .

Vicky: I’ve seen books that don’t do that, and it’s just like, hm! And you know, page numbering that starts right from the very first page, no, no, no, no. It needs to start from the first page which comes after the table of contents. All this stuff, by the way, you can pick up in my book.

Joe: Lots of details we need to know.

Vicky: You do. So the remedy for sorting out your dastardly details that will trip you up is invest in professional help if you need it. Definitely don’t try and do it on the cheap. At the very least, find out everything that you need to do. You know, read enough professional books–

Joe: Read a book that tells you how to do it.

Vicky: Read a book that tells you how to do it. Or you can just read books, read books that are traditionally published and look at the conventions, look at how they do it.

Joe: There’s a lot of subtle stuff to pick up there, though. I don’t think, I mean, before I started–

Vicky: Oh, you’re very sweet, you’re trying to sell my book.

Joe: A little bit, but I think there is some good stuff in there that needs, you know, I’ve never seen it stated elsewhere.

Vicky: No. We’ll do a whole podcast on this. You’re right, because people don’t talk about it very much. So yeah, and there’s a few things that you wanna really keep in mind. Invest in a professional cover designer, like Julia, who does my book, Julie Brown at Brown Owl Design

Joe: Hi, Julia!

Vicky: Hi! Because it really does make a difference. If you try and design your own book cover it probably will look like you did. Unless you’re a designer, that’s not a good thing.

Joe: Yeah, if you open Word and get some Word Art–

Vicky: Clip art.

Joe: Clip art and stuff, it’s like, no.

Vicky: There are actually, I know that, oh god, I can’t remember his name, that’s terrible. I’ll try to remember, put it in the notes. But there is a guy who has put, I think it’s Creativindie, and he’s put together a cover design package for very simple covers that you can produce a professional looking cover yourself if you want to. That kinda thing, if you want to do it, go for it, but make sure that you are doing something like that and not just, like you said, going into Word Art, kind of slapping stuff together. I would really recommend getting a professional to do it, and you can go high end like I do with Julia or there are some really good people on places like Fiverr that–

Joe: There are also some pretty cheap people on places like Fiverr.


Vicky: Yeah, just make sure you have a look and see what they’ve done before. Make sure you get an editor, or at the very least, a proofreader. If you’re gonna edit your own work, that’s fine. I edit my own work. But I do that for a living. If you’re not comfortable doing it get someone to help you. Invest in a professional or, at the very least, get your book proofread because nothing screams amateur like typos.

Joe: It’s really hard to proofread your own work because you know what you meant to say.

Vicky: Yep, and that’s what your brain will see.

Joe: And your brain’ll fill it in, and sort it out, and put the comma in, and make it make sense in your head. Because it did when you wrote it.

Vicky: Even a professional proofreader probably won’t catch every single thing. I’ve had several pairs of eyes on my new book now, and I guarantee you, there’ll still be stuff that slips through. I’m not talking about one or two things. People will forgive that. Even in traditionally published books I’ve found typos and things. But if it’s riddled with typos, if every other page has something on it that’s wrong that should have been picked up by a proofreader, that’s gonna stick out like a siren. Beta readers. Get people to beta read your book because I cannot tell you how useful it was to get beta readers to read mine. It was fantastic. My book has changed substantially from what it started out to what it is now, and it’s so much better. So beta readers are great. And you know, you can give them perks and things, you don’t pay beta readers, they do it because they want to help you. It’s a fantastic thing. Interior book designing, either get a professional to do it, for all the reasons that we’ve just talked about or get advice, find out exactly how to do it. Proof copy, get a proof copy. Do not just send it to print and print 500 copies without getting a proof of copy. ‘Cause you never know what it’s gonna look like until it is in your hands, and even then, things slip through the nets and I can tell you from painful and expensive experience that it does. So check it and check it again. Download the final print checklist from my website. Preorder my book and you get a bunch of free stuff, including the final print checklist which you can download. It is as comprehensive as I can make it. I’m gonna be adding to it as I go along because there’s always new stuff to add, but I never send anything to print without checking it and signing it myself as if I was a client. If I’m working for clients, I get them. I don’t send their book to print until they’ve signed it and sent it back to me. Okay, lurking horror number three.

Joe: Deadly delusions of grandeur.

Vicky: Yes, I think that Field of Dreams and Wayne’s World have a lot to answer for.

Joe: Wayne’s World was referencing Field of Dreams.

Vicky: I know it was, but I haven’t seen Field of Dreams and I have seen Wayne’s World.

Joe: Have you not?

Vicky:  No!

Joe:  It’s terrible.

Vicky: Is it Kevin Costner?

Joe: Yes. He builds a baseball pitch in his wheat field or something, his corn field.

Vicky: And says, “If you build it, they will come.”

Joe:Yeah, pretty much.

Vicky: Which they won’t! Unless you tell them! Yeah, just ’cause you’ve written a book, even if it’s a brilliant book, doesn’t meant anyone’s actually gonna buy it! You gotta put the work in. I feel like we don’t need to spend too much time on this ’cause we’ve said it a lot.

Joe: Buy your book?

Vicky: Buy my book. You’ve gotta create a following, you’ve gotta give people a reason to buy your book, and you gotta put the work in it. Once you’ve written it, yes, it’s hard work to write a book, and it’s an amazing achievement, and if you’re doing it yay.

Joe:Well done.

Vicky: But don’t stop there because it’ll be a tragedy to just let your book die a little death because you–

Joe: ‘Cause you’ll have a box full of books in the cupboard under the stairs. And that will be that.

Vicky: Do not underestimate how much space 500 books takes up! A lot of space. You can build quite a big fort. So yeah, get comfortable marketing, basically. The remedy to the deadly delusions of grandeur that will kill you and the kind of build it, they will come attitude, get comfortable marketing. Build yourself an email list. It’s absolutely nonnegotiable, build yourself an email list. It is the cheapest and easiest way to contact lots of people. If you offer them something that they’re interested in, and then get them to opt into an email list, and give you permission to email them as often as you want, that’s worth thousands!

Joe: That’s worth a whole income.

Vicky: That’s worth six figures a year and up! I know because, hello! I’m doin’ it. So yeah, build an email list, nonnegotiable. Create a website. If you haven’t got a website and you’re running a business, then I’m astonished. But you need a website for your book as well. You don’t need to maintain multiple websites. So if you go to howthehelldoyouwriteabook.com, you get redirected to moxiebooks.co.uk/orderthebook.

Joe: So you buy multiple domains, but they all kind of aim at the same-ish place.

Vicky: Yeah, businessforsuperheroes.com goes to my Business for Superheroes book, so I don’t maintain a load of websites ’cause ain’t nobody got time for that. But you do need a website. You need to build buzz, which means you need to talk about your book to everybody. Friends, family, colleagues, potential clients, clients, get people to talk about it. Write articles, do guest interviews on podcasts, and radio shows, and blogs. Talk to as many people as possible and find influencers who can help you sell your books as well. I have a list of people that I’m gonna send a copy of my book to, along with cool stuff, and say, “I’ve written this book. “I think people in your audience might find it useful. “Would you please promote it for me?”

Joe:  Cool.

Vicky: It’s as simple as that. I’ve already had a bunch of people say yes. I’m gonna do that, people I already know. Yeah, find influencers who can help you sell books. They might be in your industry, they might be kinda parallel to your industry. For example, for me, people like accountants would be really good, designers, web designers, web people.


Vicky: Anybody who works with small business owners, basically. Find people who could help. Get comfortable marketing. ‘Cause you have to. If you wanna sell your books and get your books to grow your business, you’re gonna have to get comfortable marketing. Right! Lurking horror number four.

Joe: The biggest demon of all lives inside your own head.

Vicky: Yes, it’s true. It’s your inner dickhead. If you don’t believe that you can write a good book and make it work for your business, you will never do so. It might kind of sound like “woo, woo”, but it isn’t. Believing won’t necessarily make it so, but if you believe that you can’t, then you definitely won’t be able to do it.

Joe: Okay.

Vicky: Does that make sense?

Joe: I think so.

Vicky: Yeah, ’cause if you’re like, your brain sabotages you, doesn’t it? Because if you’re telling yourself, “I can’t do this”–

Joe: Then you can’t.

Vicky: Then you can’t. You’re gonna live up to it. Was it Henry Ford who said, “Whether you believe “you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

Joe: “Whether you believe you can “or whether you believe you can’t, you’re right.”

Vicky: Yeah. You know, I would modify that. I believe I can fly? I’m not gonna be able to do it without an airplane or, you know, a wingsuit. So you gotta kinda modify it, but if I believe I can’t, I’m definitely never gonna be able to do something.

Joe: Sure.

Vicky: I see it all the time when I’m teaching pole and trapeze, actually, that somebody will go into learning a new move and they will say to me, “I’m never gonna be able to do this,” and I’m like, “Then you’re not.” You know, “If that’s how you’re going into it, you’re not. “But how about we start with something you can do “and build up to it?”

Joe: We try, and we practice, and we get stronger, and we get better, and we get grippier, and we can do it.

Vicky: Yeah, exactly. So you’ve got to sort out your inner dickhead ’cause if you don’t it’s gonna destroy you, and that goes for all areas of your business and not just writing a book. The problem isn’t that you can’t do something, it’s usually that you won’t, and there’s a big difference.

Joe:It’s true.

Vicky: So what’s the remedy for the one that is inside your head?

Joe: Self belief, taking it in small steps. Tiny beetle steps.

Vicky: Tiny beetle steps. On brand, Joe.

Joe: On brand, sorry. Tiny beetle steps. You gotta find the evidence that allows you to reject your inner dickhead. When your inner dickhead is saying, “You can’t do that!” You know, you can say, “Well, actually I can “because look at this thing I’ve just done. “Look at that thing I did. “I can do that.”

Vicky: I think there’s a red mite on my desk.

Joe: Nice. What’s the takeaway?

Vicky: I was just gonna add to the, ’cause quite often, I don’t know about your inner dickhead, do you have an inner dickhead?

Joe: No, I have goldfish.

Vicky:I don’t think that’s true. Do you never have a voice in your head that says, “You’re not good enough to do that.”

Joe: No.

Vicky: Really? Jesus! You are such a dick. I bet there are loads of people listening to this podcast who are like, “I have an inner dickhead, “and he’s a real dick.” That’s kind of the point. My inner dickhead will quite often say to me, “You’re shit. “Nobody’s gonna want to read this. “Why are you even bothering? “People think you’re stupid, people are laughing at you.” And yeah, I know, right? Because the idea of saying that out loud to somebody else is horrifying! I would never say that to somebody else, and nor would you, dear listener. So what you have to do is go and find evidence that shows that your inner dickhead is not only wrong, but he’s also a mean liar. Because I can go and point at the whole shelf full of evidence behind me of people that, you know, think I am good enough, and that I have helped them. It’s easy to go and find that evidence, but you have to kind of, you know, beat your inner dickhead into submission first, and then go and do it. So the takeaway this week is that it’s perfectly possible to destroy demons and things.

Joe: Big, pointy stick. Straight through the heart.

Vicky:Big, pointy stick straight through the heart. I think the takeaway is writing a book is not a magic bullet.

Joe: A silver bullet.

Vicky: It’s not a silver bullet, yes. It’s not a silver bullet, it will not magically fix an ailing business, and it will not magically bring new customers and clients to your door. You gotta do the work, and to do the work you have to treat yourself as your own best client.

Joe: Treat yourself as your own best client?

Vicky: Yeah! Would you do your best work for your clients? Of course you would. Then why wouldn’t you do your best work for yourself?

Joe: Cool.

Vicky:Which is why, you know, I was saying before, do the ground work. Check out who your ideal customer is. Pay attention to the details because your readers are worth it and you’re worth it. Don’t assume that if you build it they’re gonna come. You need to put the work in to market it. Believe that you can do it. ‘Cause you can! You can do it.

Joe: Don’t just sit down and start bashin’ out words.


Joe: Do the work.

Vicky: Do the work. So that’s all for this week’s Halloween episode.

Joe: Excellent.

Vicky: We’ve been protected by the black cat with the horrified face.

Joe: Spooky cats and many spiders.

Vicky: And many spiders. And the red mites which is disappointing. If you keep chickens, you’ll know what I’m on about. So next week, what’s going on next week? What is the hardest part of writing a book? That’s what we’re gonna–

Joe: Oh, okay.

Vicky: I dunno, is it the hardest, I’m askin’ a question, is this the hardest part of writing a book?

Joe: Is what?

Vicky: Well, tune in next week and find out.

Joe: Okay.

Vicky:In the meantime, what’s going on in the world of Moxie Books? Well, my book is at the printer and I’m waiting for a new proof copy to arrive.

Joe: Nice.

Vicky:  So I get to check it over. And it’s gonna be available on Amazon, Kindle, iBooks, etc. very soon, and you can preorder the book right now at moxiebooks.co.uk/preorderthebook. And it’ll be with you in early November. Because I can’t see there being so many things to change that I need to spend another three weeks doing it. Although you never know. If you’ve listened to every episode, please email me with your postal address and I will send you a special silly gift, and if you like this podcast, please go and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast from! And please rate us and review us.

Joe: Five stars.

Vicky:  Five stars. We’ll be back same time next week.

Joe: See ya!

* Thanks for listening! You can find links and show notes on the website at www.moxiebooks.co.uk/podcast, where you can also sign up for the best daily emails in the multiverse and find loads of free resources to help you write your book. We’ll be back the same time next week with more tales from the book writing trenches, and the latest on what our tiny sheeps have been up to. *

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If you want to learn more about how to write, self-publish, and market a book for your business, snaffle yourself a copy of How The Hell Do You Write A Book? Then check out the blog and podcast for more articles and guides. If you want a little (or a lot) more help, find out how you can work with me.

About Vicky…

Vicky Fraser is the founder of Moxie Books and author of How The Hell Do You Write A Book and Business For Superheroes. She helps business owners write life-changing books, connect with readers and new customers, and grow their businesses. When she’s not doing that, she’s hanging from a trapeze by her feet.