The Janine Bolon Show with Chrysta Bairre - 99 Authors Project, Season 3, Episode 8

The 99 Authors Project – Season 3 – Episode 8 with Chrysta Bairre

Chrysta Bairre

Chrysta Bairre is a career coach and speaker helping women create balance, advocate for themselves, and find happiness in work and life. She is the founder and CEO of She Goes High, an introvert-focused women’s leadership organization based in northern Colorado. 

Transcript of the Show

Bryan Hyde
Welcome to the Janine Bolon show, where we share tips from around the globe. As we guide practical people with their finances using money tips, increase their incomes through side businesses, and maintain their sanity by staying in their creative zone.

Janine Bolon
Hello and welcome to the show, you may or may not know that the Janine Bolon show is the syndicated program of four different podcast shows that were combined in October of 2021. My team and I merged all four podcasts into one program for you, and up until that point, we have been running four separate podcasts that were called Three Minute Money Tips, The Thriving Solopreneur, The Writers Hour Creative Conversations, and The Practical Mystic Show. Today, we are highlighting one of 99 authors that I’m interviewing over the course of this year. Basically, we want to receive their guidance and their perspective on how you can get your message, your story, or your memoir out into the world. Now, many of you have been told that you should write a book about your life experience. Well, these 99 authors did exactly that. And they were prompted to not only write their stories, but each one is going to encourage you about what got them going writing, and then each one will share what it was like selling their books, what didn’t work, what did work and how they became known as the published authors that they are today. Chrysta Bairre is just such an author. She wrote this amazing book Beautiful Badass, How to Believe in Yourself Against the Odds. Not only did she write this book, but she also happens to be your career coach and a speaker. And she helps women create balance, advocate for themselves, and to find happiness, not only in their life, but also in their work. She is the founder and CEO of She Goes High, an introvert focused, women’s leadership organization based in northern Colorado. Welcome to the show, Chrysta.

Chrysta Bairre
Janine, thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to share more with authors who are interested in putting their book out into the world, or who are just putting their book out into the world because it’s a pretty huge undertaking.

Janine Bolon
Most of us, when we call ourselves authors, you know, we are like, okay, we sit we write, we usually come up with ideas, we listen to voices in our heads. There’s a lot of that. But the other thing is, is we don’t know that we need to become an authorpreneur. And that’s one of the things I love about the programs I offer is I help people go from being an author to an authorpreneur. Whereas in your case, you’re actually moving people along a different path. But before we get too much into your stuff, because we want to save that juicy bits for the last there. I’d love to also know more about why did you choose to write under your name? There are many authors that will use a pen name. So what name did you choose?

Chrysta Bairre
Well, in my business, I’ve been an entrepreneur for many years, and so much of what I do is I’m putting myself out there, and I’m the face of my business. And so I really wanted to write my book under my own name, because I am all about authenticity, and vulnerability and really showing up as we are in taking up our space in the world, as scary as that can be. And that felt like I could only do that under my own name.

Janine Bolon
Right. Everybody has a reason for why they pick, but I wanted to start really at the basics, like, what name do you use, and there are some others who struggled with this and really can’t move forward with their book until they figure that out. So, you kind of told us why you decided to write under your own name because of the business that you had around it. Did you have a marketing background before you started publishing your book?

Chrysta Bairre
I wouldn’t say I had a marketing background. I mean, I’d had a business for years, I’ve done marketing for my business for years. So, I had some marketing know how from that experience, but of course, selling a book was very different than selling a service, you know, product versus a service, there’s different strategies, different things that you do in that situation.

Janine Bolon
So, yeah, that’s one of the things I love chatting with people about is like, so tell me about your marketing background. And people are like, oh, honey, you could just see them start to roll their eyes, not even a thing. So what surprised you most about the book marketing process and publishing your book, rather than just, you know, working with your business?

Chrysta Bairre
You know, I think the biggest surprise for me was, you know, first of all, not that I really wanted to outsource it, because I’m really a hands on kind of person in my life and in my business and always have been. So, I like to learn how to do things myself, even if I do eventually outsource it. But, how much of the process like even if you are traditionally published, authors do their own marketing. I think that there’s this sort of conception that if you’re traditionally published that your publisher does marketing for you, and that’s not really the case I found unless you’re already a very well known high level author. And so it really comes down to the author marketing themselves, and even though there are people you can hire to help you with some marketing, I really think you’ve got to know it. You’ve got to be able to do it yourself to be effective.

Janine Bolon
And that is a huge thing, there was a massive sea change. And I don’t think a lot of people understood that in the publishing industry as a whole, around 2000-2002 era, that timeframe is when vanity publishing started making its mark what we now call self publishing. And what is amazing is that really changed the game. And we’re still catching up from that massive sea change. So tell us if you don’t mind, Chrysta, what would you change if you started marketing your book today?

Chrysta Bairre
You know, the biggest change that I would make if I started marketing my book today, so, my book came out in February of 2020, towards the end of February 2020. So right before a pandemic, obviously, I couldn’t have known that was happening, or that was going to happen. But, even if I could go back to February of 2020, with the information of what was going to happen… I didn’t stop marketing my book when the pandemic hit. But I did slow down and was in a bit of a place of just sort of confusion and disruption, and like, I don’t know how to move forward, I don’t know what to do. And if I had to go back and do it again, I would say like, even if you’re feeling confusion, and whether or not it’s a pandemic, right, like, even if you’re feeling confusion, or disruption in your life, just keep moving forward marketing your book, don’t lose momentum, and you know, keeping consistent. And so, I would do a little bit more of that, I think, in a structured way. But when everything came in and changed, when COVID hit, it was like, I really just stopped and got stuck for quite a while. And whether it’s a pandemic or something else, I mean, there’s a lot of things that can come in and disrupt our lives, right, unexpected things that happen in our lives. And, you know, if we just stop moving forward, I don’t know that that’s always of service to us.

Janine Bolon
Right. That’s a good point. So, talk to us a little bit about what worked best for you, like, what did you do that helped you sell the most books?

Chrysta Bairre
You know, speaking is the thing that helps me sell the most books, I was already an established speaker. And really consistently, every time I speak, I sell books, although I’m going to add a caveat to that. I sell books, when I mention my book, in my talk, and not mention it in the case of like I wrote a book, buy it, not in that way. But when I’m sharing stories from my book in my talk, right, and so I’ll share a little snippet of something that I wrote about my book, and I’ll say, you know, this is a story I shared in my book. And then I tell the story. And so, people know that I wrote a book. And so that has been my biggest source of sales by far is speaking engagements. And then, you know, mentioning that I wrote a book as part of what I’m sharing with the audience, that that is something that was included in my book, and so not selling from stage, in a really overt way. You know, one thing I wrote about my book that I’m really excited to share with you today is right, that kind of thing.

Janine Bolon
Right. Basically, it’s just part of the storytelling that we authors are already good at. It’s not selling, like you said in the overt way, it’s just being us. It’s just being excited to share, you know, with our communities. So, this is one of my favorite questions to ask, what process, or system, or thing did you try that was an epic failure in selling your books? Because we all have those stories of where we thought this was the next best thing, and wow, did it flop. So, share with us what your flop was.

Chrysta Bairre
Epic failure, I love this question. And it’s so fun to share. So, I pre-sold some of my books towards the end of the process. And that in, and of itself wasn’t a failure. But it involved me shipping out my own books. Now, as I mentioned before, as a business owner and entrepreneur, I have always traditionally sold services, and so this was a product. Now, I’ve mailed packages to people in the past. It’s not that I don’t understand how to mail packages. But I didn’t have a good system in place around pre-selling my book and having to put like 50 copies of my books out in the mail. And it was an epic failure in so many ways, because there were tons of people that I didn’t have a correct address for, and then their books got lost. And then they’re like, well, where is my book, and I had shipped all my books media mail, because that’s the cheapest way to do it. And the post office did give me tracking numbers, but it just gave me a big receipt with all the tracking numbers. I didn’t know which tracking number belonged with which person or which address, and so it was just a really clunky experience. And there were books that never arrived at their destination, and then I just had to send them out an extra copy and all kinds of stuff. And that was really like, oftentimes now people say they want to buy my book direct from me like, they go to my website, like, can I buy it from your website? I’m like, oh, that is such a headache. I don’t want to have to deal with shipping books, I clearly don’t have the right processes in place, like, please buy it from someone else. And that makes my life so much easier. I don’t want those headaches again.

Janine Bolon
Right. Everybody has their own thought process regarding that. And so I recommend to people do what is in your comfort zone. And for you, that’s evidently nope, not going to be doing that again, right? So, tell us, you know, since you are a internationally known speaker, and with your book and all, what story do you tell about yourself, that gets the most laughs from your target audience. I mean, I’d love hearing these.

Chrysta Bairre
So this is great, because one of my talks that I gave a lot is about imposter syndrome. And I’ve had imposter syndrome come up over, and over, and over again. Every time I level up in any way. Professionally, you know, imposter syndrome comes in, and you talked about the voices in our heads, which I call the itty bitty shady committee, and so I talk a lot about how that comes into play with imposter syndrome. But imposter syndrome came up for me in the process of writing my book, also, like over, and over, and over again. So, I often tell that story of the different ways that it showed up throughout this process. But one way that gets a lot of laughs is the day before my book launch party, I gave a copy of my book to a very close friend. And he said, oh, I can’t wait to read it, and I literally had a moment of panic. And I looked at him and I said, wait, you’re gonna read it. And he said, shouldn’t I read it? I was like, no, no, I guess I’m just still coming to terms with the fact that like, this is a published book, and I hadn’t really given too much thought about people actually reading it.

Janine Bolon
And I think some people don’t understand as authors, we’re so used to sitting by ourselves, writing these stories out, writing and thinking about that, it’s not that we’re not thinking of the reader, it’s just there’s so many moving parts to creating a book. It’s like, then it hits. Oh, my gosh, I have readers now. Ahhh, you know, you’re screaming for the hills. That’s lovely. I love that.

Chrysta Bairre
It’s the twin. It’s like, I’m excited to have people read it, and also, I’m afraid.

Janine Bolon
That’s right. It’s terrifying at the same time, because there’s no going back, it’s in print and you have handed it to that person. And yeah, I agree with you, there are moments of panic where I’m like, you know, whatever it is, there it is, me in black and white, literally. So, tell us, what was the biggest change that you’ve seen in yourself since you started marketing your book? I mean, you went from being a business owner, to I’m an author now, and I’m marketing a book. I know you’ve seen some changes. Do you mind sharing?

Chrysta Bairre
Yeah, and you know, the biggest change for me, it also relates to that imposter syndrome, it was so hard for me to claim the title of author throughout the process of writing the book and publishing the book. And that is a huge change, I have become very comfortable with claiming that power and that influence and saying I am an author. And that’s not about number of books sold, or sales, or followers. It’s not about any of that. So, that really claiming that I am an author, I did the work, this is my craft, this is my art. And I’ve put it out there and shared it with the world and people have paid for it.

Janine Bolon
Right. That’s the biggest thing. And then people paid me, that’s the thing that you’re like, wow, I never saw that one coming. I mean, when I was 18, this was not something that was on my bandwidth. I don’t know about you. So, I had asked you beforehand to come up with five tips that you could give authors that are coming along behind you, what are some tips you can give them for selling their books?

Chrysta Bairre
First of all, I would say be consistent. You know, being an author and book sales, it’s a long game. It’s it’s not a short game. So you know, your original launch is just part of the process. You want to be consistent. And I try to do one book marketing activity per week minimum. So it’s just like, even if it’s just one small social media post, be consistent. Keep putting it out there over, and over, and over again.

Janine Bolon
And that may sound very repetitive, but then there’s always people that you can hire to start doing that. All you have to do is create the content, right? There are ways to get around that. So, consistency is number one, what’s number two?

Chrysta Bairre
Number two is know what your goal is for your book. And I feel like different authors have different goals. You know, are you really looking to make money from your book? I mean, good luck with that if you are but that can certainly be a goal. But you know, my goal for example, is I really want to get my book out to as many people in my target audience as possible, so for me, that looks like, I want to get it into libraries, I want to get it into bookstores, I want to get it into programs around people that it might help. And that, knowing that was my goal really informed a lot of the decisions that I made along the way around the process, not just marketing, but like even writing the book and publishing the book, and then also marketing the book. It’s like, where am I going to focus? What’s my goal? Like, what do I want to have happen with this book? So, that’s number two. Number three, carry copies of your book with you all the time. So, I have a little bag in my car, and I’ve got copies of my book, because it’s surprising how often someone will randomly find out about my book, or they’ll have known about it for a while, and they’ll just say, you know, I’d like to buy a copy. And if I have, I won’t mail them out, I don’t want to do that, right. But if I happen to have copies with me, I will sell them to people. So, just having them in my car is great, because then I can just go, oh, I have one in my car. Let me go get it, you know, kind of thing. Number four, for me, events has been huge for me, and I don’t just mean speaking events, although that’s part of it. I think that we, a lot of us really love the idea of online marketing, because it feels like it’s simple and easy. But I don’t sell personally, I don’t sell a ton of books from online marketing, I continue to do online marketing, just to keep my book in my readers awareness or my potential readers awareness. But most of my sales come from events. So that for me looks like speaking engagements, but it also looks like I’m part of Northern Colorado writers, and we did a book bizarre. And, you know, I sold a great number of books there. You know, what other kinds of events, are you at? Are you going to conferences where you can have a vendor table? Something like that. Events have been where I sell a lot of books way more than I do just from any kind of online marketing.

Janine Bolon
I agree. And as things loosened up a bit, I think we’ll see more, and more of those face to face sorts of events happening. But that took a big chunk out of a lot of authors, you know, when we had the wonderful COVID to work with. So, that’s wonderful. And then we had a fifth one, I think.

Chrysta Bairre
Yes, a fifth one, and I highly recommend this is, hire professional editors and designers for your book. And that includes when I say designers, I mean for your interior as well as your book cover. If you are self published, and your book has been out there for a while, you can still hire a professional designer to redesign your cover and redesign your interior. It really makes such a difference. I think in the quality. I’ve had really great luck getting my book carried in bookstores, for example, because they look at that. That’s one of the things that they look at in order to carry your book in a library or in a bookstore. Is does it look professional? Is the editing up to a professional standard? Is the book design up to professional standard?

Janine Bolon
Thank you so much for those five tips. And basically what you have just listened to is a short course and marketing from Chrysta Bairre, and I appreciate you sharing your wisdom and your knowledge with us. This question is one that it always brings up certain stories, but what is the one thing you most misunderstood about becoming an author when you really took on the title? You know, the label, I’m an author, what was the one thing you most misunderstood?

Chrysta Bairre
You know, I think for me, and this goes back to the imposter syndrome. How do we define what it means to be an author? When I was in the process of writing my book, I started a writing group at my co-working space that I was part of at the time. And there were published authors in that co-working space and people who are professional writers, and not a single one of us felt actually comfortable claiming the title author, we had a great conversation about this. And there was a lot of discussion, I was like, well, what’s it based on, if not, you’ve published a book? Is it based on sales? Is it based on being a best seller, or notoriety or what? And it was none of those things for any of us. It’s really kind of an internal process. But what I decided for myself, even though I still struggled with imposter syndrome throughout writing and publishing my book, what I decided for myself is, I am an author, if I’m dedicating myself to my art and the craft of writing, which I did, and I continue to do and rededicate myself and learn more about the art and craft of writing. That’s what makes me an author. It’s not about sales. It’s not about the numbers. It’s about the work.

Janine Bolon
That’s well said, very well said. And then the best question, what is the primary thing that was your biggest reward being an author?

Chrysta Bairre
My biggest reward it happened recently, actually, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen for a while, of course, because of the pandemic. And I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a while, and she said, you know, I just reread your book. And I really had a moment of being taken aback. I was like, you reread my book? She said, yeah, you know, it was just so, there were so many great takeaways and aha’s for me in it, and I realized that I wanted to revisit the material. And it was like I got all these new insights the second time. And I was just so honored that she shared that with me, and that she would think that my book was worthy of not just one read but a reread. And that was a huge reward.

Janine Bolon
It is to not only have the book read, but like you said, go back and reread it. As authors, we know how much time we put into the work but to have somebody actually take the time to reread it the highest compliment we can get well done, Chrysta well done. And so that’s it. Krista has answered our 13 questions and we have a lot more information that Krista can share with you. If you go to her latest work, you can find it on her website, live and work. I’m sorry, I said that wrong. Let me try again, www.liveandlovework.com. That’s where you can find Chrysta and her latest project. Do you mind telling us a little bit about what you’re doing for the year 2022?

Chrysta Bairre
I have so many projects, and I’m not sure which to start on next. But there’s definitely another book in progress. There’s some children’s books I want to write as well as creating a workbook to go along with my current book that’s out Beautiful Badass, How to Believe in Yourself Against the Odds. So, right at this moment, I’m not even sure which of those I’m going to dive into next because I am so excited about all of them.

Janine Bolon
Right. It is. It’s almost like having to pick between your children. It’s like they’re all so much fun. Well, thank you so much for your time today for being our spotlighted author, Chrysta.

Chrysta Bairre
Thank you so much Janine, I appreciate it.

Janine Bolon
And this is Janine Bolon signing off with you today and all of us here at the eight gates that produces the Janine Bolon show. We wish you a wonderful week, and we encourage you to get your message, your story, or your knowledge out into the world and make it a better place just like these authors are doing for the newer authors coming along behind them. We’ll see you again next week. And until then, keep sharing what you know with others, keep shining that light that is you, and don’t forget to go out today and do something for yourself that’s just plain fun. See you next week.

Bryan Hyde
Thank you for listening to the Janine Bolon show. Be sure to subscribe to our show notes by going to www.theJanineBolonshow.com, where you’ll find additional resources as well as the opportunity to sign up to receive our program in your email each week. Be sure to visit our sponsor at www.the8gates.com.

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