Advantage Author Chris Hurn on How to Publish Your First Book

Chris Hurn

On Oct. 1st, I released my first book, The Entrepreneur’s Secret to Creating Wealth. It was a long four years in the making, but don’t worry, I’m not going to try to summarize it here. Instead, I want to share some insights about writing and marketing a book in the year 2012.

The modern publishing industry is a bit broken. If you’re considering writing a book for the first time, expect to do most of the heavy lifting to market it.

How I Wrote My Book
I was to be the first author of the Inc. 500 Press, an imprint of Greenleaf Publishing in conjunction with Inc. magazine. After steering one of my companies onto the Inc. 500|5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies three years in a row, Inc. executives and I felt entrepreneurs needed a better (and more comprehensive) vehicle to tell their stories. Plus, I’ve known for some time that a book could be a “nuclear business card” for my business — becoming a published author is a way to gain instant credibility with potential customers.

However, writing 1,500-word blog posts and articles for industry publications wasn’t quite the same as writing a 65,000-word book. As a serial small business owner, I learned firsthand that when you’re growing multiple businesses, it’s easy to place that next chapter on the back-burner.

Quick to realize my lack of free time and procrastination perfectionism problems, I attempted the ghostwriter “short-cut.” Twice I found myself thoroughly disappointed with results of two separate drafts; my voice wasn’t being properly represented. Like “actual” ghosts, a decent manuscript for me was simply non-existent.

Eventually, I had my light-bulb moment to buyout my agreement with Greenleaf so I could try something different. Better to actually finish the book, I thought to myself, than allow my unfinished manuscript to languish and continue the self-flogging. Greenleaf Founder/CEO Clint Greenleaf was a gentleman (who has since become a friend) and agreed to let me out, provided I pay for the licensing fee. I quickly did, and then went down another path with another friend, Adam Witty of Advantage Publishing, to “talk-my-book.”

I found that literally talking through the contents of my book with Witty’s team in recorded audio sessions, instead of sitting down and articulating my thoughts into cohesive chapters, to be much easier for me. Long-story short, I finished my manuscript, edited it multiple times, and then jumped feet-first into the antiquated book publishing and marketing arena.

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