by Cory Hott January 15, 2024
Writing a Book to Help Clients
With the odds of getting a book deal slim, Dr. Mindy Pelz never imagined her goal of writing a book would score her a lucrative 6-figure book deal. She was eager to write a book and get it into the hands of her clients. In 2015, she already had a thriving chiropractic practice where she helped clients focus on their overall health by holistic means—listening to your body, feeding it what it needs, but also listening to science. Her clients had practically begged her to write a book, so why not?
With no knowledge of how writing or publishing a book works, she set to work and by the end of the year, she self-published The Reset Factor, a guide to teach her clients how to repair their guts in forty-five days.
“The Reset Factor,” Mindy explains, “was written out of passion, but I didn’t have any training on how to write a book.”
Although the book didn’t fly off the shelves—like most self-published books—it served its purpose as a passion project and a point of reference for her clients.
Mindy’s Endeavor into Indie Publishing
A few years went by, her business continued to scale, and her interest as part of that, she turned to social media to aid her business expansion. On which, she focused on topics she was passionate about, such as menopause, which clearly struck her following’s interest.
“Here’s what’s interesting,” Mindy said. “A mentor of mine said, ‘You really need to write a book on menopause. You’re already talking about it on your socials. You should really write a book about it.’”
Taking her mentor’s advice to heart, she considered what a second book would look like, but she knew if she were to attempt it, she would have to do things differently than the first time. Maybe, just maybe, she thought, there’s another path than self-publishing. This time, it had to make sense for her business. It had to be an authority piece.
When Mindy found Difference Press and its founder, Dr. Angela Lauria, she knew it would be a match made in heaven since Angela’s M.O. is using a book to build authority and drive business growth.
“I came to Difference Press to give me training on how to put the chapters together, how to formulate the information,” Mindy explained. She wanted to learn how to create an authoritative book in the menopause arena that would drive business back to her own programs and services.
And her second book, The Menopause Reset, first published by Difference Press in 2020, did just that. It expanded her audience and drove new clients to her offerings.
Social media played a big role in Mindy’s success. Mindy was able to use the same tools that Angela taught her during the planning stage of The Menopause Reset to amplify her social media presence. Ultimately, it was this focus that would lead her to the infamous book deal.
“One of the things that Angela gave me in that initial training was this understanding that you have to pick a handful of topics that become your talking points when you go out on interviews,” Mindy explained. This critical lesson shaped how Mindy discussed her work and herself as an authority figure.
“You have to have a very specific message. You don’t be everything to everybody. Once I just went in the fasting lane for women, everything got easier. The menopause lane was good, but then the more I hunkered down on fasting for women [Mindy’s current niche], because I saw a lane nobody was talking about, then it just exploded.”
Securing a Literary Agent
Between her dialed-in social media presence and the sales of The Menopause Reset, Mindy had built up a substantial following—“a pretty big wave,” as she puts it—enough to convince her to see what else the book industry might hold in store for her. The dream of writing a book for a traditional publisher was always there, always lurking in her heart. Not to satisfy her ego, but rather to help spread her message to even more people. The time, she said, was starting to feel right.
Mindy returned to Angela and her team to write her third book, once again crafting it in a way that would drive sales back to Mindy’s programs and offerings. After finishing the manuscript and going through Difference Press’s multi-tiered editing process, she was confident that she had something a traditional publisher would want.
She began asking around, talking to contacts, in hopes of securing a literary agent. Her friend Drew Manning connected her directly with his agent, providing the crucial introduction she needed. “I think the key, if I had to give advice to anybody, is you might go to another author and ask for that introduction,” Mindy advised, proud to say she now has a literary agent.
Armed with her book proposal, social media stats, and sales figures from The Menopause Reset, Mindy and her agent were able to get interest from major publishers.
“There was a little bit of dreaminess to it,” she said of the agent querying process. Like, Hmm, I wonder what I could get [in terms of an advance].”
The Lucrative Book Deal
The strategy Mindy and Angela developed for this new book paid off tremendously. Mindy received two book deal offers for her book—one from Hachette for an $85,000 advance, and the second from Hay House for a $250,000 advance. Mindy, of course, went with the second.
Mindy’s third book, Fast Like a Girl, blew up the charts, pre-selling 12,000 copies and receiving a foreword from award-winning country artist LeAnn Rimes. And during its release week, the book sold more than 21,000 copies. It hovered on the edge of the New York Times bestseller list for weeks. To date, it has sold around 120,000 copies in just eight months.
Hay House has been thrilled with the response. “Reid [Tracy, president and CEO of Hay House] is reading all the reviews,” said Mindy. “He’s reading all the reviews and he reports back, ‘Hey, people are saying they found you on YouTube.” They continue to place large reprint orders to meet demand.
Mindy firmly believes using Difference Press as a steppingstone was integral to her achieving traditional publishing success. “I do think [publishing with an indie or hybrid publisher first] gives you a wider reach.
How Traditional Publishing Paid Off
Now Mindy is looking ahead to more big projects, including a new book deal with Hay House around microdosing and menopause. She’ll continue reaching out to help women through her books, programs, and social media.
The indie publishing model, she said highlights how authors can get a better chance at securing a traditional deal. By receiving professional guidance on refining one’s message and expertise, authors can leverage their books to demonstrate market viability and build authority.
The Menopause Reset gave Mindy a structure to write a book, formulating an overall strategy, and helping her to grow her online following, not to mention something concrete to show agents and publishers.
For any author trying to get a traditional publishing deal, Mindy recommends focusing on three main areas:
- Honing your specific niche and message
- Learning how to write an effective book proposal
- Growing your social media following
The holistic approach Difference Press guided Mindy through—from honing in on her message to leveraging her book to grow her business and brand—gave her the momentum she needed to land a life-changing deal, ensuring that she makes a difference in the lives of women everywhere.
“I know we talk about money and deals and celebrities and all this cool, fun shit,” Mindy said, “but at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s really about—just helping those people in need?”
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