Today's guest makes it easy to write the book your business needs. Through her signature process, she channels the perfect book to give your clients great value, attract potential clients, and build your brand as a leader in the market. A book is the new business card; and she wants to make sure your business has one. She's a Ghostwriter for business owners, coaches, speakers, and entrepreneurs – Alegra Loewenstein
Transcript: Alegra Loewenstein
[00:00:01.530] - Meg BrunsonWelcome to FamilyPreneur, the podcast for busy parents building profitable businesses. If we haven't met yet, I'm Meg Brunson and we are about to simplify business and marketing strategies because balance was never about spending equal time between your business and your family. Nope - you want to spend previously unimagined amounts of time making memories with your kids, and the only way that's going to happen is if we get your marketing under control. I want to take a minute to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter, that love is love, and that inclusivity is essential for success. So I welcome all colors, genders and cultures to join us for today's episode.
[00:00:50.810] - Meg BrunsonToday's guest makes it easy to write the book that your business needs. Through her signature process, she channels the perfect book to give your clients great value, attract potential clients and build your brand as a leader in the market. A book is the new business card, and she wants to make sure that your business has one. She's a ghostwriter for business owners, coaches, speakers and entrepreneurs. I'm excited to introduce you to Alegra Loewenstein. Alegra, thank you so much for being here today.
[00:01:20.560] - Alegra LoewensteinThanks so much for having me on. I'm excited to be here and I love talking about books.
[00:01:25.070] - Meg BrunsonMe too. I'm excited that you're here. I wrote a children's book in the past, but I am excited to learn a little bit more about publishing what I call a big girl book. Not necessarily, like a not-for-children, but just a grown up book.
[00:01:44.950] - Alegra LoewensteinI gotcha, I gotcha. Well, the children's book sounds exciting, too, it's not- I have a coloring book for kids, but I don't have any written books. So, yeah, you'll have to we'll have to get on the phone another time. You can tell me about that process. But yeah, I'm a big believer that a book is never going out of style. And no matter how many other mediums that there are, a book still has a really powerful impact.
[00:02:13.480] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd it is a really a cue and a sign of your expertise as a business owner to have a book with your name on it and and sharing your wisdom, because everyone every person is unique, every business is unique. And a book can be a way to really share an inside scoop into that. And it's really intimate, right. Because when you have someone reading your book, you're really, it's just you and them- and a podcast and all that can be too.
[00:02:41.290] - Alegra LoewensteinBut sometimes you're doing that, I don't know, has a different vibe. The book is like here you are all cozied up and it's just just the two of.
[00:02:48.700] - Meg BrunsonAnd it's physical, like something you can hold.
[00:02:52.330] - Alegra LoewensteinI'm all about the paper books. I know again, every business kind of runs it differently. And a lot of people do focus on the ebook and there is a lot of potential in that and a lot of people going in that direction as they're reading. But I'm a big, as you can see here, I'm a big believer in the physical books as I have my stack here of all of my all of my books that I've written, my growing stack.
[00:03:18.160] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd those aren't even my clients, but those are just my books.
[00:03:21.280] - Meg BrunsonWell, tell me a little bit about- I love how you mentioned that the book is the new business card. Tell me, what does what role does a book play in the marketing of your business and why is that something that we should consider?
[00:03:36.880] - Alegra LoewensteinSo for my business, obviously as a writer, the fact that I write my own books as well as my client books, it's sort of the number one. It's almost like my own testimonial for myself. Right. I mean, I can give a potential client a choice and be like here all these books. I can't always disclose my client books. Sometimes they're under confidentiality, but some of them are disclosed and those are in the stack, too.
[00:04:00.820] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd I say, hey, what I usually do is I actually try to give them a book that kind of fits with what they're trying to do. And, you know, I might give them a physical book. I might send them an e-book. It doesn't really matter. Most of my clients don't actually read my books because they're busy. Most people hire a ghostwriter because they're busy. So I, I specifically use my books as really my own marketing plan.
[00:04:24.670] - Alegra LoewensteinWell, to be honest, I kind of have two tracks in my business. Right. So I do have an email list for selling my books. And that can, for some people be that's like their whole business plan. They sell books. But I just realized for me that's really more of a slow burn thing. So my emails are for selling my books. I talk about health, wellness, spirituality, you know, just kind of a broad swath that covers the topics that I personally like to write about.
[00:04:53.140] - Alegra LoewensteinBut that's not where my business owners and clients for ghostwriting are held. They don't sign up for my email list. They rarely read my books. Right. That's more of a sort of one on one development. But I can say, oh, hey, tell me about what your business is, tell me about what you're looking for your book to do. Hey, why don't you check out this book that I wrote? It kind of is a little aligned in this way.
[00:05:14.560] - Alegra LoewensteinYou know, tell them why I'm thinking it. And, you know, that's obviously for me a really powerful tool. But it translates to anybody's business, right? If you write a book that's about what you do and then you can say, oh, hey, you know, here, here's my book, check it out. It can be both an income stream again, depending on your on your business model. If you're reaching a wide audience, a book is an amazing business- income stream for your business.
[00:05:41.530] - Alegra LoewensteinOr even if you're focused on like a lot of coaching- coaches, they don't have a ton of clients. I mean, maybe group programs, whatever. It depends on where you are in your business. But if you're only taking on, you know, five to 15 clients at a time, it's not a huge number - imagine the power of meeting somebody, being able to give them a book and say, you know, hey, let me- oh, you know, you would really like this.
[00:06:04.510] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd it's it is the ultimate business card. So whether they read it and love it and then call you or whether they start it and realize they need more help, they still call you. And also, again, in the coaching world, because I do have a lot of clients there. A journal. Right? I mean, you can give such amazing impact in the format of a journal that really is moving the needle for a client. And then I also know I have client coaches who I write for, who, they give it to like their VIP clients. Right. That's just part of their onboarding. They're like, oh, here's your little welcome package. Now there's a book or a journal in there that's all about what we're going to be doing together for the next three months or six months or a year or whatever it is, so it's kind of just a glimpse of how I use it in marketing. Well, let me just sort of back up, because there's sort of multiple phases.
[00:06:54.940] - Alegra LoewensteinSo this will be a good take away. But basically marketing hands down is guaranteed. You are the expert if you have a book, that's how people see you. I've known scientists who are like, you know, I've published in all of these high esteemed science journals and for- but then they have something like a nutritional supplement product for a general audience. General audience doesn't care. Like, what journal? I don't even know what you're talking about.
[00:07:21.040] - Alegra LoewensteinYou write a book and suddenly like, oh, you wrote a book. It changes people's perception of you. And that's why it's such a powerful marketing tool. And then it can be optin, too. And then also, again, depending on the business model, it can be a product. It can be a recurring product. So with my other, my personal content business in the back of every single one of my books, I have a list of all my other books, right.
[00:07:49.600] - Alegra LoewensteinSo it's also a consumable product. People are coming back for more. If you want to write- people who write fiction, that that's sort of the most amazing thing, because you literally write a series and then people get hooked and then they have to finish the next book. Mine isn't quite that, it's more bounce around, but there is related- these things. So I hope that kind of answers that. There's there's quite a few different ways that I use my books because I'm sort of wearing these two hats.
[00:08:16.860] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd then I also see it with other people. And it's a thing I like to talk about with people and help my clients- tweaking, how are you going to fit this in to your business model? How. They usually have an idea. They know it's a lot of times it is in the marketing realm. That's why they're doing it. But I can kind of help them come up even with other ideas of ways that they might be plugging that in, especially for younger entrepreneurs.
[00:08:41.370] - Alegra LoewensteinRight. Like people who are in the established business owners, they know. They come, they're like, this is- we don't even talk about it. Like, this is my book that I need. This is what it needs to be about. Boom, I write it. But for people newer in I love to talk about that stuff, too. It's like an added value that I can bring to clients.
[00:08:57.480] - Meg BrunsonAnd I love that you talk about how it could be. A traditional book, chapters, lots of words, et cetera, and it could also be more of a journal or a workbook. So, I mean, there's just looking at that. There's different ways that I feel like most business owners could take this thing. And then I like that you mentioned it could be like an onboarding gift. So for anybody who's working with clients, either in a one on one or a group setting, you could write a book that that prepares somebody to work with you or gets them prepared to take that step with you.
[00:09:33.170] - Meg BrunsonAnd then you gift them the book, like I love just that piece of how to fit it in. And I haven't even thought about like I love that you mentioned that you have- you've written books just about things that you're interested in, like they're not directly tied to your business as a ghostwriter. There are just things that are of interest to you, so that's always an option to just kind of as a fun potential income earner.
[00:10:08.690] - Alegra LoewensteinWell, and at the end of the day, why do you- why does your business need a book and why do you probably want a book? Because you have a story. We all have a story. I mean, I really believe everybody has at least one book in them and most people have way more than one. And so that's personally valuable. And I don't get as many clients coming to me to just write their personal story. I have. And in a minute, we can get into sort of even like what a ghostwriter does, because that's my public service announcement is even explaining that because there's a lot of confusion.
[00:10:44.060] - Alegra LoewensteinBut, you know, a lot of the people who are really in it for sort of the personal reasons, they often write it themselves. And a lot of times they actually contact me as a ghostwriter because they don't know what a ghostwriter does. And their book is actually finished. And I say, you don't need me, you need an editor or you need someone to guide you through the publishing process. And I give them a referral. Right.
[00:11:06.380] - Alegra LoewensteinBecause a ghostwriter is really specific. I know what I can offer. I know who- who you know, if you need me. If you don't if you're a match. If you're not, it's not I don't take it personally. I'm not trying to convince everybody to hire a ghostwriter because it's usually pretty clear when the time is right and what conditions need to be met for that to make sense. But yeah, like I said, at the end of the day, people have story, people have wisdom, people have expertise.
[00:11:29.390] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd they're- I love the beauty of a book of taking that and either putting it into and I love that you put a workbook because, yes, a guided journal is kind of my words for it. But sometimes that's not the brand appeal. Right. So people are going to call it a workbook, but it's that. It's a way to take a make a book and make it interactive to your goal, and then I also love that you brought in how you could kind of prep people to be your ideal client so that I love for people who are writing- like using a book as a as an Opt-In. So like a freebie ebook or even sometimes you will do the freebie paperbacks, which I like. If you're going to give your book away, you literally want to give a book that tells your ideal client all the things that you want your ideal client to do right before they call you.
[00:12:23.090] - Meg BrunsonRight.
[00:12:23.720] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd they may be still haven't done it right. They may be still going to have to be hand-held through that process. But like, I have a friend who's a CPA and I'm like, please hire me to write your book because this is what you need to do and you can break it down quarterly and you literally tell the people that you want to hire you at tax time. This is what you need to do in this quarter, in this quarter, in this quarter and this quarter.
[00:12:45.260] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd then call me in January and I will do your taxes for you for the year that you did all those things. And we will have the best relationship ever. I haven't convinced her yet.
[00:12:57.890] - Meg BrunsonWell, before. But before we go, I want to talk about how to actually plan for and write a book. But I also and maybe I'm going to ask you a question that you can help guide the rest of the questioning. Right. So I also want to know how a ghostwriter fits in. Do you think it would make sense to talk about ghostwriting now or would it make sense to talk about it after we talk about that planning process?
[00:13:21.780] - Alegra LoewensteinYeah, let me just I can do the ghostwriter quick and then we can jump into the process. So a ghost writer literally writes your book for you, but they write your book, right. So I always talk about because it gets I think if you're not familiar with the way that it works, when I write my books, I write my ideas, I write my passions, I write my quirks and whatever. When I write your book, I write your ideas, your passion.
[00:13:49.470] - Alegra LoewensteinI do a lot of honing in, whether it's through a recorded interview consuming other content. A lot of online clients are actually great because they have other content I can listen to and hone your voice even. Right. That's the skill that a writer brings to it. I'm not even writing it in my voice. I'm writing it in your voice. So if you know that you are going to hire a ghostwriter. Just contact them before you even start.
[00:14:15.740] - Alegra LoewensteinIt is literally the best, most efficient way you won't waste any of your time. It's a more efficient, faster process for the ghostwriter so that the book will actually be done sooner. By the way, you might think, oh, I have a half written book - shouldn't that even- no a half-written a book, is not efficient. Right? You wasted that time pretty much because the ghostwriter is not really going to use it because I mean, they will use parts of it.
[00:14:39.260] - Alegra LoewensteinIt's just way less efficient. So a ghostwriter writes it and then there's a few a few other things that you need to know, which is. Actually, can I just jump into sort of the process and I will go through all this sort of together, OK? OK, so I'm just going to start with basically there's three phases to writing a book. They're very simple. You will never forget them. There's prewriting, there is writing and there is post writing.
[00:15:08.490] - Alegra LoewensteinOK, those are the three phases and it's really simple. And if you are going to hire a ghostwriter, you need to do all of the prewriting yourself because the prewriting is so- it doesn't take any extra time. It's the most important part of writing a book, but it doesn't take any time because it's when you fill up your brain and we fill up our brains all day long, we fill up our brains with, like, whatever dumb reruns that we're watching or like the silly novels that we're reading or whatever it is, or our skill and our expertise and our professional development and our wisdom.
[00:15:47.370] - Alegra LoewensteinWe're all that's why I say people all have at least one book, if not a dozen books on them or, you know, maybe two or three at least, because our brains are full. You know, we have so much cool stuff to share with the world. So the prewriting is just. You know, maybe thinking about, hey, this is what I really want to share with the world. This is especially in a business sense, this is my brand, this is my service.
[00:16:12.200] - Alegra LoewensteinThis is my skill that's coming up with this is what I want to put into a book. And that's it. Like you can brainstorm on that. And maybe besides a few brainstorming sessions, you really don't need to do anything else because it's already in there. So then the time comes when you decide, not you think to yourself, I want to write a book or I need a book for my business somewhere in that realm. That's when the actual process of writing begins.
[00:16:38.060] - Alegra LoewensteinDo you do you need to hire ghostwriter or do you need to write it yourself? Is sort of a question of, do you have the skill as a writer and as a long form writer? OK, blog writers take note. You can write blogs all day long it's a very different process of writing a book. And you might have that skill and you might not know. I'm not here to judge or say, but you have to be a skilled writer and you have to be able to write specifically books, or you have to have the time to learn that skill or the time to write a bunch of bad versions so that you can get them out of your system and then you can go write the good one, because it usually takes a few tries if you've never done it before.
[00:17:16.100] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd people can be very skilled writers and still not have that the skill to put it into a book format. Lawyers, they're amazing writers, but they write legalese, right? So blog- bloggers, they write short form. So there's all these different ways you can be a skilled writer and you have to be very brutally honest with yourself. Does this translate into a skill of writing a book? You take the reader through an arc, whether it's fiction and it's an emotional arc or it's nonfiction, it's kind of an intellectual arc.
[00:17:45.260] - Alegra LoewensteinYou're moving through it. So that's that's the writing. And then so do you have the time? Do you have the skill? Do you have the budget? Right. It's just it's a big project and it's, you know, not like a few pennies to hire someone to take on a whole. It's a big band width, it takes a lot of bandwidth to write a book. So there's a really kind of the three simple questions. Do you have the time?
[00:18:08.240] - Alegra LoewensteinDo you have the skill or the time to learn the skill? And do you do you have the budget? And so typically people early in their business, they might have the time and then that makes sense, like write it yourself or some people just really this is their promise to themselves. They want to be the one on the keyboard. But I don't I always urge people don't get caught up in that idea. It's not fake if you hire someone to write it.
[00:18:33.350] - Alegra LoewensteinI really consider myself for my clients. I'm more like a translator, you know, because you have the ideas, you've written whatever you've written blogs, you've done a podcast. So you've taught seminars or you've run a course like the ideas and the genius are all yours. And I'm translating that into a specific format, which is the book, because the book has a certain perceived value and I'm not trying to change it or like put my information into it.
[00:19:00.710] - Alegra LoewensteinIt's yours. So then the writing. So if you are going to write it yourself and it's totally legit, you need to start with outlining, you know, of some sort. Mapping can be an alternative, but some way to get the ideas going. The actual process, of course, of writing, which is is time consuming. You don't forget, like you did really have to have your fingers on a keyboard for a lot of hours to write a book and then.
[00:19:28.070] - Alegra LoewensteinYeah, then you and then there's taking yours- and it's and it can be an organic process or it can be a really linear process. Each writer is a little different, but some kind of map or outline and then the time and the skill to put it down on paper. That's the writing process. And like I said, it is outsourceable. You know, whether you call me a translator, a scribe, a ghostwriter doesn't really matter. But it's taking the other person's brilliance and value to their clients in the business sense and putting it into a specific format.
[00:20:00.950] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd then, you know, people get hung up on the writing. But let me tell you, the post writing is a whole phase of its own. And so that is editing. Don't do this without an editor, please. Like, I don't care what kind of amazing writer that you are. I always hire an editor always because you need someone else. You have to revise based on what- you know, there's multiple phases of editing. There's sort of the big picture and then polishing and then buffing, whatever you want to call it.
[00:20:30.050] - Alegra LoewensteinProofreading is kind of the final phase of editing. Then you have to, if you're self publishing, which most of my clients do and most business owners are doing that these days, you have to format it. You have to have a cover designed to, you know, format it to specific to your publication platform, whether it's Amazon, KDP, Barnes Noble, Ingram Spark, whatever it is. If you're doing it yourself, please plan to outsource if you're going to do the writing yourself, fine. You can't outsource it.
[00:20:58.320] - Alegra LoewensteinYou're going to have to outsource some part of it. You can't do it all yourself. It will be obvious. If it's the formatting, the graphic design, whatever it is. So just know, you do need to put some budget in there for some of those tasks. So, yeah. So just to kind of reiterate, the prewriting is like, all of your brilliance in your brain is happening, filling it up, the writing is fingers on a keyboard and the post writing is a variety of somewhat technical skills that everyone should plan to at least outsource some of them.
[00:21:31.440] - Alegra LoewensteinThat's the summary.
[00:21:34.230] - Meg BrunsonSo, one of the things that I was listening is I feel like. I mean, it's an invest- this is an investment in your business, right, because. People do look at you differently when you when you say you have a book, a published physical book. You've got that that level of esteem. And I think at first, my thought is that maybe that's misplaced, right? At first bear with me, but maybe that's misplaced because anybody can write a book.
[00:22:02.930] - Meg BrunsonBut then hearing you talk about it, like anybody could write a book maybe, but like going through all the steps, I feel like it it warrants a little- it warrants the esteem that you get as a published author, because it's not like you just wrote 10 blog posts and called it an e-book. Like this is- like there's multiple steps. It does require some motivation, some consistency, some sweat and tears to get through it. And then you- you're earning that that clout.
[00:22:45.600] - Meg BrunsonI feel like hearing you go through the steps of this, I hope it makes sense. I hope it's translating well from my brain out of my mouth, but I feel like it- you can feel the investment that goes into it and how that warrants the esteem that authors do get.
[00:23:08.060] - Alegra LoewensteinYeah, I hear you, I mean, there's a lot of people with books out there these days, and that's fine. But I mean, there's a lot of people podcast, too, right? It doesn't mean that everyone's going to write a podcast. You know, a podcast is work. Yeah, it's real work. All of this stuff is real work. But yeah, I mean, I guess it's just sort of like the book is the classiest, you know, it's classic, right?
[00:23:28.250] - Alegra LoewensteinI mean, it's just it's classic. And even if you outsource all of the writing and all the post writing, which, by the way, that is what I do for my clients. It's still really worth having. Because it's a format that everybody is familiar with, it's a format that you can do at your own pace, you know, you can read it in a weekend, you can read it in a year. I mean, there's just so I mean, I guess I'm totally biased because I love books, but there is really something to be to be said to me for just the way that you can put a certain amount of wisdom and skill and value, really, because we're in the business and this is really something that is valuable.
[00:24:14.560] - Alegra LoewensteinIt brings, and this is one of the reasons why I love books. OK, you can literally go online, even to the library. You can do it for free, but you can go online, you can spend 15 to 30 dollars and you can literally buy the world experts advice on any subject that you want. That's amazing. Yeah, that's amazing. So why wouldn't you want to give that to your clients? Because not all your clients are going to hire you for one on one services or high end services.
[00:24:45.460] - Alegra LoewensteinSo it also just as an act of kind of. Impacting the world, think of how many more people that you can give your gift to with a book, right? That was one of the reasons why I started writing my own books, because I was like, I just feel like I have so much. To share and this is a way that people can get it, I mean, a lot of my journals are priced at like, OK, I honestly can't remember as soon as I changed, but I think they're ten ninety nine.
[00:25:11.330] - Alegra LoewensteinSo I'm like a little like eleven dollars and I know. So I worked as a health coach for many years, so I trained as a writer, I study biology, then I studied writing, then I actually worked in science education and those two come together quite well in there. And then I worked as a health coach and it was in the health coaching world where I was like, you know, not everyone can hire a health coach and I want to help more people.
[00:25:33.620] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd that is where plus business mind, I'm like, oh, this could also be a really good marketing tool. That's where I started making these books and just started with health coaching. And then I had so much traction just from the writing that that's when I left health coaching. But I keep just doing it because it's a passion. So I still write the books on sort of health, wellness, spirituality, all that stuff, but kind of left that as a service behind and switched to this skill of writing that I've always had.
[00:26:01.100] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd that was then my new service of that make sense. But yeah, I mean, I'm like ten. I can basically do so. A lot of my journals are based on like a twenty twenty one day- this is a twenty one day program that I had and I was like, I can put that into a book format. And they get it for eleven dollars versus paying however much to sort of have me hold their hand through it. So I mean I totally believe in the power of all the books that I've read.
[00:26:26.390] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd I'm like these are filled with amazing things that you can get this totally amazing value for ten dollars.
[00:26:32.390] - Meg BrunsonSo I know we talked a little bit about self publishing. I'd love if you could just. Shine some light, especially if people aren't aware you've got this idea, you've typed it out. How does that turn into that physical thing that you hold in your hand? Like how do you actually get it printed and turned into a book. And what does that process look like?
[00:26:52.220] - Alegra LoewensteinYeah, good question. So that's all part of the post writing. So there's sort of the post writing, which is the back and forth cleaning up the manuscript. Right. So there's the the post writing of the manuscript, but then even once the manuscript is done. So this is where they're for my books or my clients. I do work with a team. Right. I don't try to do all this by myself. So I have someone who formats the books for me.
[00:27:16.170] - Alegra LoewensteinRight. So depending where you're going to sell, so you have to choose a platform. I mostly use Amazon, which is, their publishing platform is called KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing. I actually pretty much exclusively use that because they've just made it so easy, you use your Amazon account, you just log into a different page. So it's very- the hurdle of the mental hurdle of that is very low. But I am familiar to some extent with some of the other platforms, and I understand some of the pros and cons and they're roughly the same, except.
[00:27:51.300] - Alegra LoewensteinSome of the things I'm about to tell you are generally a little more tedious with other platforms, so you format. I pay someone to do that on my team, you upload it to Amazon. They, check it, so it's like I'm sure most of this is AI it's done on the computer, but but they also have a team. So if things get flagged where the computer can't be, they measure the margins so that nothing is cut off when it's printed.
[00:28:20.440] - Alegra LoewensteinThey measure that, you know, the inside of the folio where the pages come together again. You don't want that. The ink disappearing into the crack. All different things like that. They look at the, you know, resolution of any images that you have on. They measure a bunch of that. Then they have a team. So if there's anything that the computer is not sure about, there's a team that looks at it and then. Typically, if it's formatted correctly, it just gets approved within 24 hours or something, and then you can literally put your book, you fill out a form where it's like price.
[00:28:52.350] - Alegra LoewensteinI want this distributed US-only, world wide, whatever. You have to put in some tax information it's pretty, pretty straightforward. And they you hit publish and the world and it's there. Now selling it, the whole thing. You've got to promote it and all that stuff. But oh, and you have to have the cover designs again formatted appropriately. And that again it's just an upload. So of course I have a graphic designer. This is not my skill set. Like I can talk about ideas all day long.
[00:29:19.920] - Alegra LoewensteinAnd I love my graphic designer because she I put in words and then she understands and puts in a pretty picture. I'll be like, oh, I want this, I want that. And she makes it real. So not everyone knows what I'm talking about when I talk. But she does. She gets me. We have a wonderful relationship. So she designs the front and back of the cover. eBooks are formatted a little differently.
[00:29:46.500] - Alegra LoewensteinSo of course I just have my same team. They do both e-book and and paperback. But again, it's literally all just upload and format so that the different the different platforms will have different criteria. So if you want to be across platforms, sometimes you'll have to format multiple times and you can learn all these skills. You know, this isn't an impossible skill to learn it again, always asking yourself, is this how I should spend all my time?
[00:30:13.830] - Alegra LoewensteinShould I spend my time to learn this skill that I'm going to use like five hours every, you know, one time in my life, if I'm only going to write one book or for me, even five hours every three months if I'm finishing a book in a three month period? No. I shouldn't spend the next six months perfecting a skill that I'm literally going to use five hours once every three months. It doesn't make sense. I'll pay somebody to do that when it comes. Yeah.
[00:30:36.840] - Meg BrunsonI say all the time. We have two currencies. We have time and we have money. So it's figuring out what you want to spend and as a busy parent, it's typically not time, because we want to reserve our time for our families. So it's coming up. And I'll tell you, I mean, I know we're going too deep into my children's book, but I did everything myself and I did that knowing it was going to take a while.
[00:31:03.020] - Meg BrunsonAnd it took me probably about a year and a half before I got it done. And it's just because that's how I chose to do it, because I knew it wasn't going to be. A big income thing, it was more of a personal goal.
[00:31:14.990] - Alegra LoewensteinIt's a passion project that makes sense.
[00:31:17.060] - Meg BrunsonBut I published on two different platforms because I got my hardcover book from one place and my paperback book from the other. And it was a nightmare to do alone. So I definitely- I mean- and I had people to call on for help, but I definitely think having a trusted ghostwriter, a team that you can leverage and the way that makes sense for you is invaluable.
[00:31:48.300] - Alegra LoewensteinYeah, exactly. Yeah. So I always tell people if you do hire a ghostwriter because the prewriting isn't adding any time in your life, it's what you're already doing. If you hire a ghostwriter it's going to be a tenth of the time or less than what it would take you to write it yourself and usually probably less. But I mean, it will be a maximum 10 percent of the time that it would otherwise take. And I mean, a lot of times I can, pandemic's aside.
[00:32:18.830] - Alegra LoewensteinThat slowed me down a little bit. I can usually finish a book in like three to four months for a client. Right. And I mean three to four months versus a year and a half. Right.
[00:32:31.520] - Meg BrunsonAnd I just wanted to shed my own little perspective on that.
[00:32:35.510] - Alegra LoewensteinWell, I love it. Yeah. And and so there are limitations even to Amazon. So again, these are like little details that you can get into. And I always talk to people, so anyone who thinks like maybe this is for me or maybe not. I'll hop on the phone, for like 20, 30 minutes we can talk about it. And again, it doesn't hurt my feelings that this isn't right for you. I'm happy to share my knowledge.
[00:32:56.210] - Alegra LoewensteinYou can't do- you can't do hardbacks on Amazon. Right. So if you have your heart set on a hardback, Amazon is not the place. It's really difficult to get to publish on Amazon and get into a bookstore. So if you have your heart seeing your book in a bookstore, it's not impossible. But it's bookstores don't want to deal with Amazon. I mean, it's a little bit of bitterness. And it's also just structurally the way that Amazon distributes books, the way that versus the way that bookstores typically have books distributed, it's set up totally differently.
[00:33:24.920] - Alegra LoewensteinSo if your heart set on a bookstore, don't publish on Amazon. Right. Like these are things, because I have been in and out of the writing industry for like since 2005. So I just know, I know many authors published many different ways, self publish many platforms, publish through a variety of sizes of publishing houses, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Like these are just details that we don't necessarily need to get into right now because they're not necessarily relevant.
[00:33:48.470] - Alegra LoewensteinBut it is like it's helpful to have someone to hold your hand through that process. And also, like I said, I publish for my for my writing clients. I will write for them and publish for them. But when people come to me and they only need help publishing, I have colleagues that I referred to because it's not where my passion is. My passion is in the writing. So I don't want to fill my plate with managing the publication process.
[00:34:15.140] - Alegra LoewensteinI do that again and add on service so that I can be a one stop shop for my writing clients. But then sometimes I refer out. Same with editing, right? I like editing, but it's not my passion. My passion's the writing. So I hire an editor like even I hire an editor for my books and my client books, always an editor. So if someone comes to me, I have referrals I can give to me, like, oh, your books are actually written.
[00:34:38.690] - Alegra LoewensteinIt's not a ghostwriter that you need. You need an editor.
[00:34:41.720] - Meg BrunsonAnd that's it's own valuable lesson. Just as a business owner, knowing what your talent is, knowing what your zone is. And we talked about this a little bit before we started recording, you can be good at a million things. You know, you can be good at a million things, but you have that thing that you're passionate about and hopefully that's what you're doing for your business. And so even though you're good at those other things, just do what brings you the most joy.
[00:35:07.250] - Meg BrunsonAnd I like that you said you'll still do those other things for your clients who who feel your joy bucket because you're providing them those extra services to to make their experience. But you're not going to waste your time and I'm doing an air quotes with editing because that's not where your heart is.
[00:35:27.600] - Alegra LoewensteinYeah. Yeah, and then you get because then you get burned out and it's like not even entirely true, but I have sort of a legacy client who I've worked for for many years. I still edit for her because that's what I've always done for her. But I'm not bringing on new- because I know if I bring on all of that, then my schedule's full and I can't actually do the writing, which I'm good at, and which I love to do so.
[00:35:52.200] - Alegra LoewensteinYou know, it's all about the balance.
[00:35:55.470] - Meg BrunsonShare with our viewers, with our listeners, where can people connect with you? Learn more about you. Find out if you are the perfect fit for maybe their ghostwriting needs or whatever the case may be.
[00:36:06.480] - Alegra LoewensteinYes, I'm a I'm a very simple woman. You can go to my website, it is AlegraLoewenstein.com. There's a lot of vowels in my name, so I have to slow down when I say it and you can contact me on there. You can actually email me directly. And if you want to set up a time, if you're thinking to yourself, gosh, you know, maybe a ghostwriter is right for me and my business, you can just request to- email me.
[00:36:39.240] - Alegra LoewensteinJust just goes to my email inbox and you can just request to get in touch. And, you know, we can we can set up a time to chat. And you can, of course, see about my business. I talk about little more of my story. You can find my books there, too, if you know that you don't need a ghostwriter. But you're like her book sounds so interesting. You can go on my website, buy all my books, too.
[00:37:01.890] - Alegra LoewensteinIt's a one stop shop.
[00:37:04.430] - Meg BrunsonI'll drop that link in the show notes too. Just in case anybody was trying to write down all those letters. I know it's tough with a longer name, but I'll put that link in the shownotes so that people can easily get over there to find you. I want to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to join us today and to talk all about self publishing. I know there are a lot of moving pieces, and I feel like you gave us a really great overview of what that process looks like for writing a book, how a ghostwriter and/or other team members may fit into the process and all those moving pieces, because you do need to think about all of them.
[00:37:37.920] - Alegra LoewensteinYou don't just want to write any book. You want to write a good book so that when people get it and read it, they're not like: eh. You know, you want to leave them with a with a punch, so thank you so much.
[00:37:54.130] - Alegra LoewensteinIt was my pleasure, thanks for having me.
[00:37:58.840] - Meg BrunsonThat's it for this episode of FamilyPreneur. You'll find all the links mentioned and the show notes at MegBrunson.com/podcast. Until next time, I'll see you over in the FamilyPreneur Community. Bye for now.
In This Episode You'll Learn
- The marketing purpose of telling your personal business story in a book
- How to plan for and write the book your business needs (starting with just an idea)
- An overview of how to self publish a book
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Meet Alegra Loewenstein
Alegra Loewenstein is a Ghostwriter for business owners, coaches, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She makes it easy to write the book your business needs. Through her signature process, she channels the perfect book to give your clients great value, attract potential clients, and build your brand as a leader in the market. A book is the new business card; isn't it time your business has one?