Ep 66 Earn Income as a Self-Published Author

blog Aug 30, 2023

In episode 66, we're going to learn more about how to earn income by being a self-published author. 

Let's dig into today's episode. Well, this is it my friend. It is the final installment of our topic in this series about how to earn income with digital products and services. If you wanna binge listen to all of the episodes and hear all of the great ideas, start with episode 62. Now I have a question for you:

Have you ever wanted to write a book and be a published author? I know I have, and it's on my to-do list. Well, today's episode is inspired by many members in remote work school. That's my coaching program, who want to write a book. It comes up a lot. I've had guest experts come in and talk about it inside of the school.

I've even had an expert named Sharee Collier on this show to talk about writing a book and being a self-published author. I'll drop that link in the show notes. But since I've never done it myself and because it comes up so much from the people that I serve, I decided to bring on somebody else as well who has done this.

Her name is Pia Edburg. She is a five time bestselling, published author, editor, and book coach. She's the founder of Dream Book Academy. Pia has worked with numerous clients and mentored them. She's also an advocate for self-publishing, which we're gonna talk a lot about today. And her books have been featured in L Magazine, buzzfeed, mindbody, green Women's World, and even in an Old Navy ad.

Now, Pia has a background in online business and marketing and in intuitive and spiritual modalities. And she has more than 15 years' experience in human resources and career development in the film industry. She'll talk a little bit about that too. She believes that anyone can pursue their dream of being a published author and that traditional models don't have to hold you back.

So, let's get into the interview. Hey Pia, welcome to the Remote Work Retirement Show. It's great to have you here. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. Yay. Now you are one of the very few guests I've had on the show who I don't know, I've had one other person, and you know, that's always a little risky, but, mm-hmm.

I feel like when I took a look at what you do and who you help and how you position yourself, I don't know, I thought I feel like I'm gonna like her. So, I reached out and here we are today. So today what we're gonna do is talk all about the wide world of writing and self-publishing books. I know that this is a topic that a lot of people in my community ask me about and I've never done it.

So, I'm really excited to hear about it from you. So why don't you kick it off by telling us who you are and what you do. Yeah. Hi everybody. My name is Pia Edberg, and I am a five-time bestselling author. I'm an editor and I'm also a book coach, so I help purpose-driven people write and self-publish their books.

That is so well, you said that so well. I was like, I'm actually surprised you, surprised yourself. Good for you. Very, very impressive and very approachable. I'm so excited to dig, dig into this a little bit more. So, tell us about, you know, how did you get into writing books? And self-publishing and being, you said a five-time bestselling author.

Yeah. Tell, tell us your journey a little bit. Yeah. Well, you know, it all dates back to being a kid, and as all kids were very creative. We, we kind of just do whatever we wanna do that lights us up. And when I was 5, 6, 7 years old, I was always writing these little books and whether it was about Halloween or spiders or space.

And then life happens and you, you do the corporate thing. You follow the path that everyone's following. And I did that, and I had a career 10, 12 years in human resources for film. So, Animation and VFX, it was really fun. But after a while, your kind of, I know I got a little bit bored and kind of hit that wall, like, what, what is my life purpose here?

What am I doing here? And I did a lot of soul searching and I, I remembered when I was a kid, I used to really love writing books and I thought, Hmm. I'll give that a go. And I took a course, and I had a, I didn't even know what I was gonna write about, but I just had a shower thought one day and I went with it and the first book I wrote was called The Cozy Life, which is about the Danish concept of HOA, um, coziness.

Wow. And it completely blew up. It was making multiple six figures in sales. It was the first book written in its genre. So that's why I'm so passionate that if you have an idea, just go trust your gut and go with it. Okay. So, you said a couple of things that I, I know I'm an honor, I wanna revisit. So first of all, a shower thought.

I've never heard anyone call it that, but I love that. That's just a thought in the shower, right? Yeah. I think when we're doing those mundane things, the best ideas come and I just, it came to me. I love that. Okay, second thing, what is this book about again? The Danish. Concept of hygge (hooga). Yeah, so Denmark, you know, it's consistently rated the happiest country in the world, and part of it is because of this cultural phenomenon called HOA.

And it's a type of coziness, but it's not just, you know, you know your physical environment. It's an emotional coziness. So, um, when you invite people over, it's all about being really relaxed and yourself, and being open and emotional connection and, you know, tea and a good conversation. So it's just that thing you can't quite put your finger on, but, oh wow.

I need to read this book. So let me, where do I find it? Can you tell us? Amazon, you can find them on Amazon, yeah. Okay. All right. I'll link to it in the show notes because I feel like I need to read that book. Yes. Uh, can I ask, are you Danish? I'm half Danish. Half Danish. Okay. Yeah. So you've got some credibility.

I do. I am born there. I'm still a citizen, so, yeah. Oh, wow. Fa this is so interesting. See, I knew I was gonna like you. I just, I don't know. So let's get into, uh, you talked about that book. I know you've written, you said many other books. Mm-hmm. What are some types of other books you've written? I wrote another book called Color Outside the Lines, which is about really embracing your weird and wonderful self and living a more authentic life, and that I wrote a book called Charlie the Cat, which is, it's a children's book, but it's Dr. Suess style, so adults like it too, and it's got, again, that lesson about how to create your dream life so that you're happy. Hmm. I had a poetry one, but that was, that was a little bit more of a cathartic release 'cause I had written stuff my whole life. And I also wrote a CG artist career guide, which is basically everything I learned in my HR career in CG art.

Um, so that one is, um, a lot of the top schools around the world are giving those to their students 'cause it's got like how to get a job, how to ask for rates in that industry. Mm-hmm. How to get in there and stuff. Yeah. Oh my goodness. Such a wide variety of things you've written about. I think let's pause there and talk about that, because I think that's such a great takeaway.

I feel like people think they either need to write nonfiction or fiction or how to guides, and really, I, I feel like you've written kind of a bit of everything. Yeah. Yeah, it's so true, and I get this question a lot from clients that they feel like they have all these ideas, but if you really look at it at a higher level, there is this, there's an essence that it all comes from, and it's all kind of similar but different.

Mm-hmm. Like I, I love to help people live their most authentic creative life. So with those different genres, they're under that umbrella. Oh, you and I think alike. I love this because I work with a population of people. I call them either semi-retired or working retired. And what happens is a lot of these folks feel like they've been in a box their whole life.

Maybe they've done one career, or they've sort of got good at a set of skills and now they wanna do something else. They don't know what it is. They're trying to figure it out. And I think one of the biggest barriers is they don't wanna be put back in a box. Yes. And that's why they don't move forward, I think, on a lot of ideas, right?

Mm-hmm. And I love how what you're offering is a vision of let's just be your creative self in all those forms. Uh, I love, I love that you're saying this because I feel like it can give people a lot of hope and inspiration that it's possible to write a book about a cat and how to guide about cg. You know, like, that's cool.

So let's talk a little bit more about the process. Like what can you high level, you know, what does it take to go from never publishing anything to getting where mm-hmm. You know, get getting to publish. Yeah. So to break it down, I think first, obviously you want to have the book idea and if you're really, a lot of people struggle with that one and often a great question to ask.

If you were gonna give a TED talk about any particular topic, what would that be? And that's often a good starting place. But then you want to start brainstorming all of those ideas onto. Piece of paper, post-it notes, whatever your style is, you'll start to see commonalities and themes and those will be broken down into your chapters.

Um, now obviously there are different formulas to make, you know of how a book is structured, but that's another level. After that, you're obviously writing it and then you're doing some self-editing. Then you are going to hire a professional editor, or you might get some beta readers to give feedback before you get it professionally edited just to, um, see if anything's missing. Then after editing, then we go into, you know, official self-publishing. There's, you need to get a cover design. You need to get it formatted. That's the interior pages. Um, you need to get a book blurb written. That's gonna be the description on the back, but it is essentially your sales copy.

So you wanna make sure it's really well written. And uploading the files, marketing, launching, building that launch team, ongoing marketing. It is, you know, if you're gonna be doing the writing thing, you have to also treat it like a business in a sense. 'cause you're gonna be, it's gonna go beyond just the creative aspect of it.

Mm-hmm. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Okay. So as you're explaining it, what comes up for me, tell me if I'm right or wrong. It's not it, it's not like so easy, but it is possible. It's completely possible for everybody. Yeah, absolutely. Okay. 'cause, uh, like I am one of these people where if it's more than five steps I'm out.

Uh, which is why I've never written a book. Mm-hmm. And, um, it's not like what you described sounds. As though I couldn't do it. Mm-hmm. I just feel like there's some stuff I just wouldn't know how to do. Uh, yeah. Right. So you just have to learn it. Yeah. I'm guessing. Yeah. There's a lot of details that go into these steps and a lot of, you know, you really wanna make sure your quality bar is up there 'cause that's gonna affect your sales and all of that.

And there's a lot of do's and don'ts and secret tips and tricks and mm-hmm. Yeah. Mm-hmm. But those things aside, if you are the type of person who's always had. The desire to write a book or you have written a book because I, you know, I, there are people in my community who have written books but have never really sold them.

Mm-hmm. Um, or sold them at the level that you're describing. So if you have the desire or you, you've gotten started or whatever, it's really a matter of like one foot in front of the other. I feel like. Yeah, definitely. And I think. Just keeping focused on the current present moment because everything will eventually get to the end goal and not to get overwhelmed by any steps that you need to take.

Mm-hmm. It's completely possible and. Oh, you're making me wanna write a book. I keep saying that, but I feel like I think you should. It's finally gonna hit like, it's like, okay, I have to stop putting this off. Okay. So you sell these books. Uh, I'm guessing on Amazon, because you mentioned Amazon earlier. Is that the only place.

Do you sell them? I, yeah, for the most part, the most common and popular places that people are gonna search for when they think, Hey, I have to buy a book. It's typically Amazon. Um, but Amazon does have its distribution system, so it goes out to different places, libraries, bars, and nobles and things like that.

Some people sell it themselves, um, through their own websites and things, but it is a lot more work when it comes to packaging and shipping and all of that. And with Amazon, it's print on demand, so you don't have to worry about all the customer service side of it. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. That makes sense.

Sell your books. Or whatever it is you're gonna sell where people like to buy them. That's so, yeah, it's so simple, but sometimes we forget, we make it really hard, right? Oh, I have to be in a thousand places and, you know, have a website and a brand and it, it's like, well, really what you need is a marketplace to sell.

Yeah. To sell your books. So, yeah. Okay. Now let's talk about, um, income. You mentioned very impressive, by the way, I didn't know this. You mentioned that your first book sold. Multiple six figures? Is that what you said? Mm-hmm. What? Okay. Yeah. So let's what, what's possible here? 'cause that, that blows my mind.

I know. It's, I honestly, it's gonna, it's a combination of so many things. It's a combination of how much are you putting yourself out there, what marketing strategies are you doing? What are the current trending niches? What are people searching for? And I think just hitting that right soft spot. Mm-hmm.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And so, um, But you did it on your first book that, that's the thing I'm really surprised about. I'm not surprised about six figures because I've definitely heard people bringing in really great income with books. Mm-hmm. But I haven't heard about it on their first book. So is there a tip for us?

Yeah. What do you got for us? How do we do that? I do have some more spiritual woowoo tips, but this is exactly what I did and it did work. Okay. Well one is like is trusting that shower thought that came through because if anyone's ever read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, she did Eat, Pray, Love. Yeah, I did.

I read that. Love it. So the ideas come to us, and if we don't act on them, it'll go to someone else, and then they will be the one benefiting from it. So I really believe in trusting the ideas that come through and acting on them if they feel really aligned to you. And the second thing is I also at the same time was reading, um, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

He had this one section in his book where you write on a piece of paper, I, so and so will, you know, you, you write what you wanna do and how much income you wanna make by a certain date and how you're going to, what you're going to give in return to others or the universe. And then h put it in his wallet.

And I did that and I said, the first year, I want a hundred thousand dollars by December 31st, 2016 at the time. And when I did my taxes, I added everything up. And it was, I had hit that goal for that year. That's amazing. That is amazing. So a couple things I've read Big Magic. I love that book. I know exactly what you're talking about.

Ideas come to you if you don't. I like, they're almost like entities of some kind. Yeah. They come into you. Mm-hmm. If you don't do something with them, they'll just go find a new home. So I love that. Yeah. The Napoleon Hill thing, that's so interesting. You know, think and Grow Rich as a, as a book is sometimes controversial, depending on what circle you're in. But I love the very specific example you're talking about, which is mm-hmm. Writing it down and then taking the extra step of saying, but what are you willing to give back? Yes, exactly. That's cool. 'cause that's all about reciprocity. Mm-hmm. And giving to your community or, or whoever, right?

Mm-hmm. So I feel like that makes that. Much more powerful than just how much money do I wanna make? Yeah, exactly. It should have some kind of meaning and connection for you. And then also, I mean, on a more practical level, the biggest thing that helped was collaborations such as this, um, with people who had communities talking to their people.

I did podcast interviews, I did a lot of blog interviews, magazine interviews, who had the reach, and obviously that helps spread. The word. Yeah, and that's the other thing I was gonna mention. Thank you for reminding me. The other thing I think that worked for you is it's not just the WOOWOO side that you mentioned.

Then it made you decide, well, what are the actual steps I'm going to take to make it happen? Yes. So you fused the mindset stuff with the actual work. You do need to take the action, and I think the woo side is what helps you get clear on what is aligned to you, but then you must take the action. Yeah. That is related.

Yeah. Right. And it helps if you take the right action. Yeah. So I just wanna talk about, I do believe you have a course that teaches people this. It's called, tell Me If I'm Right. Dream Book Academy. Is that right? Yes, that's right. Okay. Yeah. And I looked at it, I looked at it online 'cause I was like, oh, oh, she sells a course.

I'm, I'm a, I'm, I hoard courses. Like I buy courses like crazy and you know, I'm better at taking some of them than others. I looked at your course and I thought, okay, that's one I would actually do because it doesn't look so intimidating and the price is right. Mm-hmm. So tell me more about what are some of the things you, you cover in the course?

So this course is the course that I wish that I had when I was starting out because there were a lot of tears in my beginning journey. You know, when you don't know what you're doing, you really wish you had that place to go to. So the course covers literally everything you need. To support you from idea to self-publishing, to marketing and selling your book.

So no matter what stage you're in, whether you're starting from zero or you're in the middle of everything and you just need help publishing, it has everything in there. I've got resources, templates. I do workshops from time to time, Q & A calls from time to time. And there's also a community aspect, uh, Facebook group where you can ask questions, get support.

Ports, literally anything you wanna know. And it's an inspiring bubble to be in. I, I don't know. It's the place that I wanted, wished I had when I was starting out. Oh, I love that. I love it when you have a story that comes full circle where you're able to go through a process, learn, be successful, sometimes fail.

Cause I talk about failure on the show, and then create the thing you wished you had had. For yourself. Mm-hmm. Uh, that's cool. I mean, that is a way of giving back. And again, I think your price point is amazing. Uh, if anyone wants to check it out, I'll put it in the, the show notes. I'll put a link in the show notes beyond that as we start to wind down this short yet very inspiring and practical episode.

Um, is there anything I didn't ask you that you wanna share? Yeah, I think the one piece of advice that I always love to give is really get clear on the person you want to become or who you imagine yourself even just 10, 20 years from now, and really work backwards and let that piece of information inspire the types of books you wanna write or even the work you wanna do. I think that will give you so much fuel and energy and inspiration to keep you moving forward and on a level that is, um, purposeful and nice. Yeah, that's nice. I'm gonna shorten the timeline simply for my audience. So I'm gonna say imagine three to five years or maybe even one year.

Mm-hmm. Because you know, a lot of my folks are in this massive life transition and they might be thinking, well shoot. I only have three to five years or maybe 10 years or whatever. Um, anyway, this has been fabulous. I love connecting with you and getting to know you. Where can people find you? Yes, I think the best place to find me is on Instagram at pia.dberg.

Okay. And I think you'll have it in the show notes. Yeah, I'll put all the links in the show notes. Thanks so much for joining me, Pia. We'll see you next time. Thank you so much. Have a good one. If you enjoyed this episode as much as I did and you're fired up to write your own book and earn a great income too, then check out Pia's Dream Book Academy where she shows you step-by-step how to make this dream a reality.

Click here to check out Pia's Dream Book Academy. (affiliate link)

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