In this episode of Book Journeys Radio, Dr. Angela Lauria is joined by writer, speaker, and personal development coach Edie Raether. In a career spanning over forty years, Raether has successfully self-published several books on different topics, ranging from personal development, business strategy, relationships, to bullying and character building for children, and even hypnosis. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as thousands of professional associations and small business owners.
During the interview, Raether gave a peek at her personal working and writing style. She stressed the importance of creating not only the time to write, but the space in which to write as well. Raether revealed that she developed her productivity system by isolating herself from all distraction when she writes her books; she had spent time writing one of her books on a boat, spending only minutes a day attending to urgent needs and allowing herself a single phone call every night. This focus on committing words to paper has become a habit and has let Raether work anywhere rapidly. She commented on the act of emulating other people’s working styles, saying that it’s more important to find out what works for you personally, and just write. She noted that this particular approach may not work for everybody, but it certainly has, for her case.
When it comes to building material for a book, Raether compares it to building Tinker Toys—that is, put material together piecemeal until you get to the finished product. She prefers the physical act of writing on a sheet of paper instead of typing them out on a device like a computer, because she believes that physically writing the words out taps into a very creative part of the brain that can help in putting the right words together.
On the other hand, when the topic of editing her work came up, Raether said that the writer and the editor needs to be in total sync with each other, considering that editing is often the hardest part of producing a book. She noted that in her experience, it’s not unheard of to put in two hours worth of editing for every hour spent writing the book. Raether likewise shared her experiences when she worked with an editor that took out passages and sections from her book that she needed when she was giving talks on the subject.
Towards the end of the interview, Raether talked about the business side of writing and publishing a book. In her opinion, self-publishing is a great avenue for writers who are just starting out, or who want to exercise a certain amount of creative control over their book. Working with a seasoned editor and printer, a self-published author can churn out a book in as little as three weeks, with the bonus of retaining almost all of the profits from it. In comparison, a publishing house can charge as high as 93 cents per dollar, and that still excludes the payments for agents and publicists that manage and promote the book.
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