Edie Reather Book Journeys Author Interview Transcript – July 26, 2012

Book Journeys Author Interview – July 26, 2012

 

Dr. Angela Lauria with Change Strategist and professional speaker Edie Raether, author of   Why Cats Don’t Bark: Unleash Your Power Zone and Stop Bullying Now!

 

“Don’t just create the time, create the space and make a commitment.” – Edie Raether

 

Angela:

Well hello everybody and welcome to Book Journeys Radio! Today, we are supposed to be talking to Edie Raether, and—she has not shown up. So I am gonna get started without her, and we’ll talk a little bit if she shows up late, to her, and otherwise, we are gonna talk about getting your first book written and published.

 

My name is Angela Lauria, and I am from Journey Grrl Publishing. We’re a small boutique publishing agency, and we work mostly with life coaches and other solo entrepreneurs that really want to write and publish a book– I call them a soulful book, but a book is actually going to have a positive—a positive change to the world. The authors we work with are often—well, not always, but often, writing self-help books, and how-to books.

 

That is also the case with Edie Raether. Edie is the author of several books; she is a change strategist, she’s a motivational keynote speaker. Her book, “Why Cats Don’t Bark” is—I think—I think Edie’s here. Edie, are you here? Let’s see if we can get her.

 

Edie:

She knows I’m here!

 

Angela:

There she is! I see her! Hi Edie, how are you?

 

Edie:

I’m just great, you’re not gonna believe it, I’m having my hair cut as we’re speaking, so this is called true multitasking. [Chuckles.]

 

Angela:

Wow, that is multitasking! So Edie, your first book is “Why Cats Don’t Bark”, is that right?

 

Edie:

That’s correct. Yup.

 

Angela:

And then, you’ve written “Unleash Your Power Zone” and “Intuitive Intelligence: The Other IQ”?

 

Edie:

Yeah, that’s the subtitle. It’s all part of the first book.

 

Angela:

Oh that’s the first book. “Why Cats Don’t Bark: Unleash Your Power Zone- Intuitive Intelligence: The Other IQ”. And then you have another book as well, right?

 

Edie:

Well then, the second one was Sex with the Soul, and it’s seven secrets of sensual—God, I wrote it so many years ago, I forgot what it is! But something to spiritual ecstasy, and then I wrote “Winning: How Winners Think, What Champions Do”, which is very appropriate, with the Olympics coming up, and then I wrote a more business-oriented book, “Forget Selling: Twelve Principles of Influence and Persuasion in Sales, Leadership and Life”. 

 

I got so taken on my house, I wrote a book, “What Most Builders Won’t Tell You”, so other people don’t have to go through the pain I did, and then I wrote, I Believe I can Fly, it’s a children’s character—an empowering, children’s character building program. It’s a complete system of thinking, and the book is just part of it. Then the last one is “Stop Bullying Now: Creating Caring Cultures—Giving Children Hope.” That has been extremely—that was a wise book, because it’s such a hot topic. As a professional speaker, it has really opened doors to a bunch of new markets that I had not been into before, such as probation and parole, and juvenile justice and so forth.

 

Angela:

So that last book, just in case people missed the name of it, is “Stop Bullying Now: Creating Caring Cultures—Giving Children Hope”, and if you wanna check out that website, that’s stopbullyingwithedie—E-D-I-E–.com. That is the most recent book, but wow, what a journey, how long has your career been?

 

Edie:

You know what, I know exactly, because I was—I live in North Carolina, and I was at the ocean writing at 9/11. I remember sitting at a resort, and I was sleeping in my boat in the parking lot, ’cause I forgot to bring the plug, and I didn’t wanna pay the resort fees, so I was sitting by the ocean in this Villa Capriani resort, everyday writing my book and then going to my little boat with the cutty cabin. I will tell you one thing, that if these are aspiring authors, it’s really just do it, and getting started.

 

I have to tell you, I wanted to write for twenty-seven years, back in the mid-Seventies. I’ve been a professional speaker for forty-two years, and you know, among speakers, the word is that you really want credibility, you do need to write a book, and there’s no question, it does add credibility. But the interesting thing is, for twenty-seven years, I wanted to do this, and you know what, it was so hard to create the time. I mean, we all have—you know, I’m leaving for Cape Cod on Saturday to speak there, and then Idaho—we’re busy, we’re very busy. Creating that time and space was real crucial.

 

You know what I did, then I said, Ok, I’m gonna go on a cruise. I won’t have any distractions, because I know I’m a little bit ADD, aren’t we all. So I went on the cruise, but that didn’t work. I gotta start that—and then, I promised myself, by June 15th, if I didn’t have more done on the book, or you know, pretty far on the way, I would go to the beach, where there would be no distractions, nothing. No TV. I would allow myself to make phone calls at eleven at night, and just spend only twenty minutes a day for urgent things—and that worked. I got enough done in five days, where I knew I could do the rest.

 

I could write under an oak tree, I could—I started the book in a coffee shop, I can write in my home, I can write—waterskiing! I can write a book while waterskiing. But the bottomline—there’s something I want to share with everybody. It’s hard to create the time, but you know what else, and nobody talks about this—you have to create the space. It was going to the beach. I lived in a nineteen-foot boat. What else do you do, but plug in your computer and write. And I’m gonna tell you Angela, that is what worked. It broke the ice, and once you break the ice, you create new neural pathways in the brain. It became a habit to write that now, I mean, I could sit here getting my haircut and start another book and have it done in a couple of weeks.

 

Angela:

Okay, so let me pause you, and let’s go back, because this is really the heart of Book Journeys Radio. 

 

Our listeners have a book in their heart. They want to write a book, they talk about it, people tell them, oh my God, you have to write a book, you have such amazing stories, you’ve had this terrible experience, this wonderful experience—whatever it is, if this is a book, and for some reason, the book is not coming out of their head, and into their hands.

 

And that’s what we help people do: get their book out of their head and into their hands. I want you to go through your best advice for somebody who like you, for twenty-seven years, had that book in their heart, whatever that book was. A lot of times, they have three or four or five ideas, and they just can’t pick the first one, ’cause obviously, you haven’t stuck to one precise theme or something like that. How do they get their book out of their head?

 

Edie:

Yeah, my themes are all over, from how to build a house without getting ripped off to sex with the soul, so you’re right. Number one is don’t just create the time, create the space and make a commitment. You just have to make that commitment like I did. It’s almost like quitting smoking; you set a deadline, a date line, and if you’ve done nothing else, you go some place where there’s absolutely no distractions. You’re not running kids to soccer games. You are just focused on that.

 

Once you get in the habit of it, it’s like flossing your teeth, you don’t even have to think twice. You’re on autopilot—but you must do that initially.

 

The other thing is, there’s two people that help me. One was Sam Horn and one is Diana ____. Diana _____ has probably written about fifty books at this point. You know, a couple of years ago, she was up to 38, and she was putting them out like rabbits making babies. I like a couple of the things she had said, and one of them was just write. Just write. Just freeze your left brain. Put your left brain on the back burner, and just let it flow, so there’s no critical thinking. You just go into your right brain, your creative brain, and you just have fun with it.

 

The other thing I’m gonna say is, don’t listen to somebody else’s formula. There are some people who told me for years, get up at four in the morning, and write for three hours every day (Angela: Yeah!) Well, you know what? I go to bed at two-thirty, three in the morning—No, I’m not gonna get up at four in the morning, and if anything, my right time probably be eleven till two in the morning.

 

I think it’s actually a mistake to listen to other people’s- you know, whatever works for them. You gotta find out what works for you. The other thing that I was kinda distract [sic] about, is some people will say, do a little bit at a time. Just do a chapter, or just do a couple thoughts a day. That might work for some people. That didn’t work for me. What worked for me was—I’m a lead person. It takes me a couple days to get totally immersed and so, what works for me is going to the beach for five days, and doing nothing but writing about fifteen hours a day. I just get into the flow, in the zone, and it works. I can put out a book in no time.

 

You want to know too that the editing is the hard part. For every hour you put into writing, expect to put in at least two hours into editing, maybe three, and it’s horrible. I would like other people to do it, I hired people, I spent thousands of dollars, and I just don’t like what they do. So if anybody finds a good editor at a reasonable price, let me know.

 

I think those are some secrets: find out your own biorhythms, what time of the day, and again, if when people say, just write a little bit every day. That works for some, but I’m into immersion. You may not be.

 

Now, I will say this: you could write articles, you could use your blog. Start putting them together for articles, put your articles together, and build. It’s kinda like putting Tinker Toys together. So there’s so many different pathways, but all I can say is, to thine own self be true. Know Thyself.

 

Angela:

You know what, can you repeat that last thing?

 

Edie:

Yeah. Know thyself.

 

Angela:

Know thyself. Excellent. Know thyself.

 

Yeah, I will say dropping the story about you here, I have to write five pages a day, and just seeing what feels right to you. I am somebody who, when I write, I am like you. I clear a weekend, and I write all weekend—showering is not involved, cooking is not involved, I am in the zone. But I also have clients that I work with; I have one client who tells me, I don’t have time to write, and I said, just fifteen minutes, and she says I have fifteen minutes.  We came up with a schedule for her, where she writes fifteen minutes a day, which is basically nothing, and it’s taken her two years, but she’s on, uh, 45,000 words in. She does three days a week, fifteen minutes. She can get in it and out of it, and she writes about 250 words at a time, and it works for her.

 

I couldn’t write that way! But it does– I really like the idea of just know thyself—know yourself as a writer, and give yourself permission to be a fifteen-minute, three-day a week writer, or a sixteen-hours at the beach writer, and connect with what that is. I think that’s really powerful.

 

Edie:

Now I wanna say one other thing that I think is really crucial. In writing my book on bullying, I do a lot with neuroscience. I have a psychotherapy/family/counsel background. Writers need to know this, and Bill Clinton did this. He wrote his book on a yellow pad, and then they had it transcribed. I will have to say, there has been research, and there’s more research out that I’ve recently looked up, because kids in school are not learning cursive, they’re not learning penmanship, they’re not learning how to write.

 

That is an issue because a part of our brain, a very creative part of our brain is going dead. It is important to know, but for some of you, you really do need to write– not type, but write. I will say now, I feel like I can go on the computer, and I will be just as creative on the computer, but I’m wondering if I really am, and if I need to go back to that. But there has been research that the physical act of writing it out taps into a part of the brain that you may otherwise be losing out on.

 

I think that’s important; play around with it. I just found, intuitively—I just couldn’t move on the typewriter when I sat down and started writing. And then again, I broke my habit, and then I could start doing it on the PC, so be aware of that as well.

 

Angela:

Interesting. Let’s talk about—how would you describe what you think, held you back for twenty-seven years from writing your book, and what did you wish that you knew then? What did you wish somebody said to you fifteen years into your dry spell?

 

Edie:

If somebody had said something fifteen years earlier, so it wouldn’t have been 27 years. You know what? It’s doing what I just kinda discovered, and that was not only creating the time, but the right space, and making the commitment. You have to turn off the entire world—now I do, but like you said, some people don’t have to; they can turn it off for an hour or two. That would have helped me; I discovered that on my own, but that was the secret to it. 

 

What Diana ______ said, I really liked too, is just “write, write, write, write, write.” Jean Houston is my primary mentor, and she was somebody that did that as well.  She’d just have you scribble on, you know, easels and flip charts and—that’s how you stimulate your creative juices.

 

I think it’s still important not to try to do any editing as you go along. Just—

 

Angela:

–Get that first draft done. OK. So now, we’ve gotten through that hurdle of writing the book. What do you wish you knew about the rest of it? About publishing, or marketing—what do you wish that you knew before you wrote your book? What do you wish somebody told you about the others, once you got through the writing and the editing?

 

Edie:

That’s a good question. I will say, the first time I did have an editor, and I _____ that to some personal friends, he had written a lot of books. He took away about half of my book, and I thought there was stuff in it that is not in there. Me personally, I like more control over my book. I would never again have an editor butcher it that much. But it’s a best-seller in China, it’s sold over two million copies, so it’s been successful, so maybe I’m wrong on that. (Angela talks over Edie, voice is unintelligible.) 

 

That’s an important point. If you’re going to use an editor, make sure that you breathe with them and you’re very much in sync. I will say the two of us were in sync on a lot of stuff, but he took out what I considered some of the heart of it. I just noticed that in these last few months that I was looking for stuff, and it’s not even there. I’ve been giving talks on the book and realizing that stuff is not in the book.

 

Now the other thing I would say – I have incredible printers. I have—the book “Winning!” is almost 200 pages, and I take 75 cents…65 cents…75 cents a copy for a 200-page book. Very well done. I am absolutely—the best resource on printers.

 

Angela:

Let me just jump in there. So you self-publish?

 

Edie:

Yeah, I do self-publish. Now, if I could give–

 

Angela:

And then—I just wanna make sure I understand. So you do self-publishing, and you actually get books printed, so you go to a printer, and you might order—what? 200 books or a thousand books or something and you take them to speaking events with you?

 

Edie:

Try ten thousand.

 

Angela:

Ten thousand? Oh wow! (Edie: Yeah.) So you write the book, you work with the designer, it’s all laid out. You go to a printer, the printer prints 10,000 copies, they ship ’em to you in boxes, and then, when you’re going to a speaking event, you’ll bring a box of books and sell them at the back of the room. Is that how it works?

 

Edie:

No, If you’re not—you have to know that I’ve been speaking for 42 years. I’m a certified speaking professional, and that’s the highest earned mark of excellence given by the National Speaker’s Association. I’ve spoken on five continents. If you think your book is gonna get you out there speaking, do not order ten thousand. Do not do it.

You gotta be out there knowing you’ve got lots of gigs. The speaking industry has been hit hard. It is down.

 

Angela:

Okay. How do you feel about that decision? Was that the right— If you have a good speaking platform, you have regular speaking gigs, would you recommend this approach to people? Or do you think there’s another way to do it now?

 

Edie:

I think, you know, generally—I went to the Maui Writer’s conference, which I would highly recommend, but you gotta know that publishers actually take as much as 93 cents on the dollar. So if I sell my books, and I do for $19.95, and then I usually—you know, “buy three, get one free.” But if I’m offering the book at 1995, and I paid the bulk of it with shipping…I’m making—Do you know what the margin of profit is on that?

 

Angela:

That’s a lot better than 93 cents on the dollar, I’ll tell you that! [chuckles] Seven cents on the dollar, I should say.

 

Edie:

I spoke for the Las Vegas school system on bullying, and I did a half day, and they ordered 350 copies of the book, and I gave them, I think 60% off. I still made a few thousand; I made more on the book than I did from the speaking. So the speaking was just a good way to move into it, and–

 

Angela:

How many books would you sell at a typical speaking event, or is there a way to estimate that? And what percentage of the room might buy a book by then?

 

Edie:

You know, I just spoken all night to about 125 people, and I would say, I probably sold about a thousand dollars worth. Now I do have the children’s – You’ve got to realize, I’ve got lots of books. I’ve got about 20 CD programs on hypnosis for weight control, smoking—you know, a whole bunch of stuff. That all makes a difference too. I was born to pitch, you know? [R2] One of my books is on influence and persuasion. I do do sales training [sic] so I do know how to sell, but I do remember at one count, I sold four thousand dollars’ worth, and I gave them twenty per cent off; I gave 20% to the association, and they sold them at a discount, so yeah, there’s a lot of potential.

 

You could go with a big publishing house. The problem is—I was just at Book Expo America in New York—the problem there is, it takes about 18 months from book to market.  I finished my book in—I doubled the bullying book in size. Three weeks later, I had a book ready to sell for Las Vegas. Three weeks, it took—otherwise, you’re talking about eighteen months. Now, in a topic like bullying, which is so hot, you really—I didn’t wanna take the risk of sitting around for two years, and unfortunately, it’s still hot. Unfortunately, I think it’ll continue to be hot. It’s fortunate for me in book sales and as a speaker; it’s unfortunate that that’s what’s going on in the world. But it took me three weeks, what would take 18 months to two years.

 

The other thing is– I mean, you have to get a publicist, you have your agent, you have to give them a percent…I guess I really like the control of it.

 

A good friend of mine who has a best-seller, couple, The Little Red Book of Selling and The Sales Bible, Jeffrey Gitomer, yeah, he lives right here in Charlotte. I believe that he—I’m nervous about maybe getting things wrong—he bought back the rights to one of his books that he sold, and I think he had to pay, like, a million dollars.  If you’re gonna go that route, make danged sure that you have a good lawyer in place. Use the Internet. There are just so many other opportunities to sell today, that book companies are hurting.

 

I’ll tell you another thing. I have a friend that wrote a book called Why Are People So Cranky? And It’s on road rage. [recording skips.] I love Leslie, and she got a very handsome advance—well into the six figures. I love Leslie, but to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t buy a whole book on that topic. I would read an article, but I wouldn’t buy a book. But she—I don’t know how well the book did, but I know she did well, and she deserved it. She was somebody that was a welfare mom, and went from that to an unbelievable advance.

 

The days of the big advances are pretty much gone. So the days of the huge advances are pretty much gone unless you’re Colin Powell, or Hillary Clinton, or something like that. I’m hearing of advances like eight, ten thousand—Are you kidding me?

 

Angela:

I heard 1500 dollars. I heard people think 1500? I’m like, Oh my God. You might as well self-publish for 1500 dollars.

 

Edie:

I mean one order from one school district, and I more than doubled that. Come on!

 

Angela:

I think that’s a really powerful lesson in our last minutes is that there’s so many new authors or aspiring authors that I work with, who are working so hard on their proposal in order to get an agent, in hopes that their agent will then be able to get them a publishing contract with an advance, and they get an advance offer of 1500 or a thousand dollars, or, if they’re lucky, 15,000 dollars.

 

They’re sort of pressured into taking it, and feeling excited about it, and even if– I would think at this point, with your history, getting an agent and getting a contract wouldn’t be too hard. The fact that you’re consciously choosing another route should be, at least, an opportunity for people that are looking for an agent to stop and really reconsider– what are the pros and cons and is it really the right fit for you right now. Because as we know, the publisher is not going to do your marketing,

 

Edie:

-Another thing. Get somebody good on the Internet! I mean, we didn’t have the Internet doing what it could do 25 years ago. It was an avenue for sales all over the world that we didn’t use to have. Just find somebody good on the Internet. And if you go deep in the niche, like bullying, even if you haven’t been a speaker for years. But if you have a new—well. I’m in a hair salon now, she’s got a new twist on something. She can go deep in the market, and do some good marketing on the Internet.

 

If you can create yourself as an authority and an expert in the narrow niche where you go deep, you don’t have much competition. And there’s the Kindle. All my books are in Kindle. 75% of the books now are in Kindle. So, would I order 10000 again? No. Because the sales are going to Kindle.

 

I wish I hadn’t ordered that many, the place was just too good. But everything is going digital now, so you don’t even have to do that.

 

Print on Demand is good to know about. Once you make about a thousand copies, Print on Demand or the Full Press is probably gonna come out about even. If somebody wants some good Print on Demand, people, I can send you those resources as well. A lot of times I’ll just do a few copies of the book until I go to the second gear or something like that.

 

Angela:

That is great. Edie Raether—I just wanna get this in before we run out of time. Edie Raether, thank you so much for being here. The website is raether.com, RAETHER.com So thank you so much Edie, and–

 

Edie:

I gotta tell you one more thing. The other thing is, once your book is printed, submit that! Submit that! They got a beautiful copy of your book instead of just a proposal.

 

Angela:

So many great ideas, this has been a very exciting half hour. I loved having you and I think we’re gonna have you back, Edie, you got a lot to teach our listeners.

 

Edie:

Okay. Sounds good. Thanks to all of you. Bye now!

 

Angela:

Buh-bye!

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