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Beyond the Dream: the Realities of Writing and Self-Publishing a Book

As we celebrate the first anniversary of my book's release, I'm thrilled to take you behind the scenes of the self-publishing journey that brought my manuscript to market. If you’ve been thinking about writing a book but not sure what to expect, read on!


When I started the process of writing Profit First for Therapists, I was driven by a dual passion: to empower therapists with financial knowledge they could implement on their own and to challenge myself in a whole new arena—publishing. The journey was as rewarding as it was enlightening, and today, I'm sharing the nitty-gritty details that many don't see when they pick up a finished book.


The Investment: Time and Money

Self-publishing is often romanticized as the straightforward route to getting your words out there. However, it requires a substantial investment, both financially and in terms of time.



The project took approximately two years from first word to publishing, but keep in mind that I wasn’t writing full-time. As I shared in the book, I started writing as my mother was nearing the end of her battle with ALS so I slowed down at times and took breaks when needed. I typically wrote from 6am to 7:30am every weekday as well as a few hours on the weekends if I could manage. In order to spend this much time writing, I had to say no to many projects, ideas and potential collaborations. While I can’t put a number on it there is a substantial opportunity cost in all the hours spent writing. 


For my project, the total cost came to about $16-17,000 in direct costs. This covered expenses like:


  • A developmental editor who ensured the book flowed well and made sense.

  • A proofreader who corrected spelling mistakes, added periods, commas, etc. 

  • A typesetter who created the design of the printed book as well as the e-reader versions

  • An audiobook coach, who helped me prepare for reading the book aloud. I did roughly one hour of preparation for each hour of reading

  • The audiobook producer, who transformed the raw audio files into the audiobook you can hear today. 

  • Studio time for recording the audiobook

  • A book marketing consultant who gave us a plan my team implemented


I decided to work with a book writing coach, AJ Harper, author of Write a Must-Read, and while that investment was 100% worthwhile I’m not including it in this total.


The Results

Despite these costs, the satisfaction of producing something truly mine from start to finish was unparalleled.



And let's talk about the results—over 8,000 copies sold in the first year alone, well surpassing my initial goal of 5,000. This achievement wasn't just a personal milestone; it was a testament to the fact that the book is truly helping practice owners. Otherwise I can’t imagine they would be recommending it to their friends and colleagues. I must admit, I still get a rush from seeing someone I’ve never met or worked with recommend my book online. 


Aligning with Business Goals

One critical lesson I learned through this process is the importance of aligning book projects with your broader business objectives. Profit First for Therapists wasn't just a book; it was a strategic tool designed to complement my business at GreenOak Accounting. This integration helped maximize the book’s impact far beyond direct sales, contributing to my professional credibility and business growth.


The Realities of Marketing and Sales

After I finished writing, my team and I had set aside six months to work on book promotion prior to the release day. And oh did we need it! We spent this time getting the word out on social media, hosting webinars with trusted industry partners, recording dozens of podcast episodes, writing email copy and planning a fun-filled launch event. 


Encouraging Aspiring Authors

To those of you harboring a book idea and considering self-publishing, my advice is this: Go for it, but go in with your eyes wide open. Understand the financial and time commitments it will demand. Prepare for an intense but rewarding journey. Most importantly, align your book with your broader goals to ensure it does more than just sell—it should also open doors and build bridges in your professional life.


In reflecting on the past year since my book’s release, the journey of self-publishing has been an exciting adventure. It has reinforced my conviction that generously sharing knowledge can yield abundant opportunities.


If you're ready to take the plunge, remember: the road isn't easy, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Here's to turning your dream into reality, one page at a time!


Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and here’s to many more stories and lessons ahead!


Want an even more detailed look behind the scenes? Check out this episode of the Therapy For Your Money podcast!


If you don’t already have a copy of Profit First for Therapists, you can get one here


 

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This article is designed to provide information only and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Because of the complexity of the law and the variables in your own personal tax situation, you can’t rely on our advice specifically related to your unique circumstances. In order to get the best tax savings and legal advice available to you, you should consult with your own accountant, attorney or advisor regarding your particular facts and circumstances. GreenOak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with counselors and therapists in private practice. We provide monthly accounting & bookkeeping services, 1-time services and online courses. For more information on our specialized services for therapists please visit www.greenoakaccounting.com



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