The Janine Bolon Show with Sophia Falke - 99 Authors Project, Season 5, Episode 10

The 99 Authors Project – Season 5 – Episode 10 with Sophia Falke21 min read

Sophia Falke

Sophia Falke, founder of Embrace Your Book, is a best-selling author, former newspaper columnist, and book coach and editor. As a book editor, her tagline became “I’ll take your mess and make it a masterpiece” after working on several books that needed major editing and reorganizing. However, Sophia prefers to start working with you, the author, during the visualizing and initial organizing and writing stages to assure that your books are well thought out at the beginning, making the writing process easier and more enjoyable, and to help you begin publicizing and monetizing your book well before it goes to print.

Visit Sophia’s website: www.embracinggreatness.com or email: [email protected]

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
Hi, this is Janine Bolon and welcome to today’s show where we’re going to bring you quality content on saving your time, saving your money and how about staying sane? I mean or is that already a lost cause for some of us I know especially for me. Hopefully we’re all in recovery on our sanity at some point with this. This is The Janine Bolon Show and it is a syndicated program of four podcast shows that were combined in October of 2021. We used to run Three Minute Money Tips, The Thriving Solopreneur, The Writers Hour Creative Conversations and The Practical Mystic Show. All were programs that have been running since 2017. We’ve produced over 300 episodes and interviewed over 200 guests and today we will be spotlighting one of our authors that is contributing to our twelfth book, The 99 Authors Project. Today we have with us Sophia Falke and she is the bestselling author of the book Embracing Greatness: A Guide for Living the Life You Love. She is a former newspaper columnist and a book coach and editor as a book editor her tagline has become “I’ll take your mess and make it into a masterpiece.” After working on several books that included major editing and needed serious reorganizing. Sophia prefers to start working with you, the author, during the visualization and initial organization stages. She wants to assure you that your books are well thought out at the beginning before the writing process ever begins. It makes it easier, it’s more enjoyable, she will help you with your publicizing and monetizing of your book as well, when it goes into print. So what can I say Sophia is one of those editors that you very rarely talk or see anymore, which is she is helping you through the entire book coaching process. Thank you for being with us today, Sophia.

Sophia Falke
Thank you. It’s my joy. Definitely.

Janine Bolon
Yeah, it’s wonderful. It’s taken us a while to get here. But now that we are here, talk to us about the story behind the story. I always love hearing from authors like why on earth, as an editor, it’s as if you don’t have enough that you’re doing as an editor and a book coach and all that. Why would you sit and write your own book? What was the inspiration for that?

Sophia Falke
Well, part of my background also is I have worked with people as their life coaches, transformational coach, and I have a colleague that kept nagging me, literally, you know, when are you writing your book? And I said, well, why should I write my book, there’s nothing new. You know, when you read modern literature, really, there’s nothing new in, you know, the transformational self-help area, we just say it differently. And finally, she said they have to hear it in your voice. So I said I’ll write a book. So that’s how Embracing Greatness: A Guide for Living the Life you Love evolved. And what I love about it, is that the feedback I get from some of my readers, I was outside a restaurant several years ago, and a woman came up to me and she started yelling at me and I thought, oh, my goodness, what’s happening here? And she goes, will you stop screaming in my ear? And I said, what are you talking about? She said, well, whenever I start to go off course, I hear you yelling, STOP. Because in my book, I have stopped in all caps in some areas, when I suggested exercise, and I know the readers not going to do it, because they’re just going to keep reading and think they’ll go back to it. And we all know that you don’t go back to it necessarily. So I say stop. And it was so much fun because I really, I was wondering if she was going to hit me or something. And then it was, you know, your voice is always in my head. And you know, will you stop it? It’s that kind of feedback is it validates having sat down and written the book in the first place.

Janine Bolon
And that’s one of the things I like to share with authors is that if you are inspired in any way to write a book, even though there are hundreds, maybe 1,000s of books already written on a topic, there is going to be readers that are totally drawn to you and you specifically and that’s why you’re writing that book. So I’m so glad that your coach or your colleague, I should say, I’m so glad that your colleague reached back around to you and said, Look, Sophia, this needs to happen. I think that’s brilliant. So did you have a marketing background before you started writing your book?

Sophia Falke
I have a healthcare marketing background. I worked at a major hospital in Tucson, Arizona, and that’s where I was the director of marketing. So I was familiar with a lot of the principles. So yes, I had a bit of a background, you know, but it was a corporate background. I was looking to promote the entire hospital and its services. So that was my marketing background.

Janine Bolon
Okay, so what worked best for you? And how did you sell the most books? It’s, it really is just a single question that I’m interested in is what worked well, how did you sell the most books for yourself?

Sophia Falke
I ended up selling the most books, but you know, selling them one on one, you know. I will go to gatherings and people would want to have a copy of my book, especially when I presented and what I didn’t do you want to hear my, what I didn’t do is really do the whole promoted on Amazon, and all of those steps for becoming, you know, the number one, of that day in that niche, and that little country somewhere out in the Pacific. You know, because there are ways to become a bestselling author, and I was more interested in getting the information out to the people that I was interacting with.

Janine Bolon
Right. And you and I both have that story of how it I had a police officer one day kind of looking at me a little scans, because somebody handed me cash. And I was digging around for in a box in the back of my van and handing somebody a book and then you could see the cop kind of go oh, you know? It was, it’s funny, because you and I had those similar experiences where we’re selling, literally, selling out of the back of our car. The books always, always take your books with you, you never know when you might sell them.

Sophia Falke
Yes, yeah. And in the earlier authors, you know, before the internet before all of the social media, that’s what they did. They would go around with the books in the backseat, you know, the trunk of their car, and self-publish with and at the time, self-publishing was kind of frowned upon, you know, why can’t you get a publisher?

Janine Bolon
It was vanity, they called it vanity publishing. Remember, it wasn’t self-publishing. It was vanity. You’re so vain. You’re self-publishing, I remember that. Yeah.

Sophia Falke
Yeah. But you know, I heard the stories. And I wish I could remember the names of the authors and their books. But they, that’s how they got to be best sellers. And they weren’t then picked up by traditional publishers.

Janine Bolon
And that’s still a process that works today is that you need to be self-published and show that you have a following and a group of people that are following you. And then then a publisher may consider you know, having you. So that’s what worked for you was going to these one-to-one meetings, having one to one meetings, selling the back of your van or whatever. So what process did you try at selling books, that was an epic failure?

Sophia Falke
I think social media. I’m still, in some ways, figuring out that. So you know, see, I’ve got the book, etc. I didn’t follow through. And the strength of getting the word out is the follow through. Pure and simple. And so that’s, I would say was my biggest mistake. So my next book, which is Creating the Life you Love, Five Keys to a Life of Purpose, Passion and Possibility, I’m putting it together much differently. I’ve got marketing within the book itself, you know, this, here, go here for more information on, you know, this subject, et cetera. And also, just the, the whole design of it is going to be more geared toward being you know, attractive, getting the attention, and my promotion of it is going to start before I finished writing it. With Embracing Greatness, I started promoting it after I had written it. And I’ve discovered the key is, you know, even when you’ve got the thought, if you’ve got the title of the book, start promoting it.

Janine Bolon
That’s correct. Because I don’t know about you, I throw up any kind of a book on social media, it doesn’t matter. I’ll go on Canva. I’ll throw some ideas together. As long as I have the title of the book, and I know that that’s what’s going to stick. Then I’ll put it together even though I don’t have the graphic designer’s galley copy back, and I and I started promoting it. And people are like, oh, I was so shocked when I got the book. Is this the same book? And I’m like, yes, it’s just a different cover. So tell us a story about yourself that gets the most laughs from your target audience.

Sophia Falke
I don’t know if it gets laughs. Well, my target audience as far as the book, which is I want to help people truly transform their lives, is actually to talk about my failures, which at the time were not amusing. Also, especially in this book, Embracing Greatness. In 1989, I took my 75-year-old mother on a 10,000 round trip camping trip from Tucson, Arizona, up to the Arctic Circle in Alaska. And I didn’t think much of it because I just, you know, I quit my job, and I took to the road, had a truck with a camper that fit in the bed of the truck. So my bed was over the cab. My mother’s bed was the kitchenette, which collapsed into a nice, comfortable bed. And we had our own bathroom, which is a good thing to have in Alaska. So to me, that was just something that I did. And I didn’t realize what a powerful story that was, until I came to the Las Vegas area. And that same colleague that nagged me into writing this book. She’s I just share snippets from, you know, the Alaska story. And she says, you’ve got to tell that story. And that actually became the introduction and something I referred back to, in my book. It was interesting, the first copy that I sent to three colleagues since then, including the one who nagged me, and I said, you know, tell me what you think. And two of them said, you know, you keep referring to the Alaska experience, and you didn’t write about it. So I went back, and I added that chapter at the beginning, I think it was a prologue or something. That is the story that captures people because it was talking about a dream, and I was talking about the experience of having, you know, my 75-year-old mother with me on this adventure, and how she died two years later. And how people at the funeral service, the old ladies in the congregation, they were all coming up to me, and they touch my sleeve and say, you must be the Alaska daughter.

Sophia Falke
So what I thought was just nothing, you know, of course, we’re going to go, you know, 10,000 mile round trip camping trip up to the Arctic Circle. And I took it for granted. And I discovered later how powerful it was for so many people. And for two years, my mother had been talking about that trip. So it was such a great gift for me to have her friends in the congregation come up, so that I knew how special it was. But also the lesson in it because of the overcomings that I went through and how it supports other people in achieving their dreams.

Janine Bolon
And I think that’s something that we forget, as authors. I haven’t talked to an author yet that didn’t have to add a chapter. Like we get so focused on what we’re trying to communicate and it’s so intensive. It’s all encompassing, when you’re writing this book, and mine was I had to add a chapter at the back because they’re like, Janine, you didn’t really wrap all this up. You need to wrap all this up. And I went, oh, I guess I didn’t. You know, you’re so relieved, right? So frequently in my books it’s add that last chapter oh, right. You know need to do a wrap up of this and, and then I love it that yours was, you know, you need to put this at the beginning of the book. I love that. So what is the biggest change that you’ve seen in yourself since you started marketing your book?

Sophia Falke
Getting out there. People think that I’m an extrovert because I’m a public speaker also. And the thing is, I’m very much an introvert, very shy. And if I want to accomplish a goal, I find that I have to become at least as a situational expert. You know, when COVID hit, I had no problem being in isolation. That’s my you know, my comfy place. So that was the biggest challenge is because going out there and representing myself because I can represent you till the cows come home. I will defend you, all of that support you and not as good doing it for myself. So that’s always stepping out of my comfort zone and being more assertive.

Janine Bolon
Wonderful. So I love this question because I learned so much and that is what are the top five tips that you would give authors when it comes to selling their books?

Sophia Falke
One is to start spreading the word when you have the book title.

Janine Bolon
You and I both learned that the hard way.

Sophia Falke
Yeah, and put it on your social media, you know, make it make it your Facebook illustration, you know the cover of your book. And that will keep people it. Give them front of mind awareness, just spread the word everywhere, even to what I love is people having a book cover, you know, paper printed up and putting it over an existing book. So they will go to events, and they’ll say, I’ve got this upcoming book, and it looks like the book is already done. Also, I had number two, and I just forgot it, it’s going to come back the marketing your book, that was a question, right?

Janine Bolon
Yeah. What are the five tips that you would give to authors when selling their books?

Sophia Falke
Okay. The second one is to offer it for pre-sale, I think we implied that. But I have a colleague, who, five years ago, she started preselling a book about her husband. So he’s a professional boxer. And he’s got a following, even though he’s retired now. And she’s going to write this book someday, but she’s already she’s been preselling it for five years, and getting a subscription of people to sign up, you know, so that she will send out snippets about his life. So there’s that approach also. Right away, say, okay, let’s buy it ahead of time, and set up a membership site and start getting, you know, the loyalty of people and the word will spread organically. And also, as you get the word out, you know, post every now and then, in your social media, this is where I am. And ask people for help. Also, one of the things that I’m going to do is I’ve got some book cover designs for my second book, I’m going to post them and ask for feedback. You know, and maybe they’ll hate all of them. And that’s, that’s good input. So that’s mainly it.

Janine Bolon
Number four.

Sophia Falke
Oh, number four, I thought it was already there.

Janine Bolon
Sorry, I didn’t catch him.

Sophia Falke
Yeah, that’s all right. Number four, as far as getting the word out about your book, is to look at how you can advertise it, you know, it might be in Amazon. And there is that whole algorithm or whatever they use there for getting the attention. So you do become number one bestseller in your category. So it’s selecting the category carefully, it is making sure that promotion is timed, and to a broad enough audience, that you gain that recognition as a bestselling author. And so that’s number four, right? Then number five would be to start to actually send some press releases. And get the word out and jazz it up as much as you can. I have one gentleman; I edit his book and it was about Howard Hughes as wonderful the way he uncovered a scandal and extensive research. So I jazzed up the press release, to get the attention of people because there really, I mean, we’re working on making it into a movie. So there was a lot there, and I wanted to get people’s attention for that particular book.

Janine Bolon
Wonderful. So what was the one thing you most misunderstood about becoming an author?

Sophia Falke
When I went to write this book, I did contract with someone to coach me through it and what was most difficult was working within that structure. You know, that was the hardest thing for me because, you know, to when their editors started looking at it and if I had corrections, yeah, you know, the forming the format of that, etcetera. It’s a setback. Okay, this page, this line, this word in there, it’s got to be changed. And that was agony for me. I did not learn about the formatting and that is so easy. I wouldn’t bother trying to learn that. My job is to write the book and help get the word out about it. Somebody else is very happy, formatting it for me. So that part, I didn’t realize how easy that was going to be. And I actually spent a lot more money than I needed to. I was not. Some people will pay 25, 30 $40,000 for, to a publishing company. And sometimes they get nothing for it, which is very upsetting. So mine was a lot less. And if I had known what I know, today, I could have produced the book for probably a third or a quarter of what it costs me.

Janine Bolon
That is why we’re writing this book is because we know there’s a lot of ways that we can save our fellow authors money. So I wanted to say thank you so much for taking a few moments with us today. And I have one final question for you. And that is, what is the primary thing that was the biggest reward for you being an author?

Sophia Falke
You know, it’s almost like writing a PhD. Because I think that’s the hardest part of getting your PhD, you know? What is it? Some people put after the name PhD, all but dissertation. Pulling it all together, organizing it in a way that will be meaningful for the reader, because ultimately is for the reader. If you’re writing a book, because you have this ego trip, you need to take well, that’s fine. But ultimately, it’s about the reader. So that was, you know, that it wasn’t even the being a bestselling author or any of that. It was look what I did mom, you know, kind of thing.

Janine Bolon
It is it’s very exciting.

Sophia Falke
Yeah, by the way, one thing I forgot to mention, and I put together for people who are writing their books, want to write a book, or even have published 13 Publishing Tips You Should Know to Keep from Tearing Your Hair Out. And I think you’re going to be posting a link for this. And that’s available free for people. And I’ve had people who have written several books say, oh, my goodness, I wish I had read that ahead of time. So it’s a short little pamphlet, just some ideas for you, and how to avoid some of the pitfalls.

Janine Bolon
Okay, I’m going to ask you to hold that up to the screen one more time. And go ahead and just hold this still for a minute. There you go. Thank you. Okay, yeah. Any other last words you care to share with us today, Sophia?

Sophia Falke
If you want to write a book, just write it. Because I hear so many people they say, I don’t know how to organize it. I don’t know how to, you know, my grammar is awful. I don’t know how to express myself. The thing is, you’ve got the intellectual property. And that’s something that no one else has. There’s always someone who can fix the grammar that can help you with the organization, walk you through the whole process. So this is actually a community effort, writing a book. So if you’ve got one in your heart, then there’s a message that other people need to hear. So just write it.

Janine Bolon
Thank you so much for your time today, Sophia, I really appreciate it.

Sophia Falke
Thank you. I’ve had fun.

Janine Bolon
And that’s it. Sophia has answered our questions. And we got more information in store for you with her latest work and you can find out about her latest projects from her website, which is Embrace Your Book Now. And you also can reach Sophia at [email protected] I highly encourage you to go there. Do you have a new website for this project of yours?

Sophia Falke
Well actually EmbraceYourBook.com. And then embraceyourbooknow at Gmail. So my next project is I’m offering workshops for aspiring writers.

Janine Bolon
And so if you do have that book in your heart, I highly recommend that you pop on to her website and give Sophia a call today. So thank you for your time today being our spotlighted author.

Sophia Falke
Thank you.

Janine Bolon
And if you are an author or you know of an author that you would like us to spotlight, please visit our website AuthorPodcasting.com where you will find the 99 Author Project listed. We talk to authors from all walks of life as we build out book number 12 which is the Advice from Authors to Authors that’s due out in 2023. And this is Janine Bolon signing off with you today. And all of us here at the 8 Gates that produces The Janine Bolon Show. We wish you a wonderful week. 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 that we’re interviewing this year. We will 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 get to go out and do something for yourself today that’s just plain fun. We’ll 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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