BookBuzzr is pleased to interview Mindy Gibbins-Klein, better known as Founder of The Book Midwife. She has helped hundreds of experts get their message out into the market by writing and publishing the best possible books, ebooks, articles and other products. A trained coach and marketing consultant with over 18 years of experience, Mindy believes that every book deserves to be written and published, but only if it is the best book it can be.
What exactly does a Book Midwife do?
We’re book coaches who are very supportive, just like a midwife helping someone give birth to a beautiful baby. We help people from the ideas stage (conception) all the way through to publishing (giving birth). We offer private coaching and consultancy, group coaching and self-paced learning. Book Midwife is actually a registered trademark, so technically we are not allowed to say ‘a book midwife’. We think the service is great, and so do our many published clients. See the success stories at www.bookmidwife.com
How do you help a potential book author?
We have been told that the biggest challenges are in getting started and keeping up the momentum until the draft is finished. That’s where The Book Midwife coaches can help. We hold your hand, help you figure out what kind of book you want, and what content you want to include. Then we help you create the best structure so you end up with the best book. For clients on programs, we offer accountability and support all the way through the process to completion. All of our programs are 90 days in length – so authors go through all the stages in that time.
What are some of the biggest mistakes that newbie authors make?
A lot of people get started on book ideas without looking into it or planning it thoroughly enough. Then there is the self-doubt which creeps in, and new authors do not have evidence of success yet, so they can get derailed very easily.
You are based in the UK. Do you have to meet with your clients in person?
I personally have offices in the UK and the U.S. I also have licensed associates in both countries and we will be expanding into further countries this year. It is helpful to do the first session in person, but it’s not essential. I have worked with lots of clients in lots of countries and there are many clients I’ve never even met. If you want to work with a certain coach, you should be able to contact them via telephone, email, Skype and video.
Do you help only with non-fiction books or do you also do fiction books?
Some of the associates help clients with fiction, but I only work on non-fiction because of my business background. We help clients with business, self-help, health and academic books mostly.
Can you tell us about a few client success stories?
Oh, where should I start? We have helped over 300 people so far. A few do leap to mind though:
1. Lindsey Agness worked on her book with The Book Midwife in 2006. Lindsey is an NLP trainer and she wrote Change Your Life with NLP. She got a deal with Prentice Hall Life and so far they have sold over 20,000 copies. It still sells well and I see it in the top NLP books on Amazon all the time. On the back of that success, Lindsey negotiated deals for two further books, with two different publishers.
2. Simon Zutshi wrote Property Magic: How to Buy Property Using Other People’s Time, Experience and Money, using our methodology, in just 7 weeks. It is in its 3rd revised edition and has sold nearly 10,000 copies. Not bad for a ‘niche’ book!
3. Steve Glowinkowski launched It’s Behaviour, Stupid! in March 2009. By April, he had a discussion with someone who read the book and was convinced they needed Steve’s team to do some consulting for them. I can’t disclose the commercial fee, but it is in 7 figures…
Is it only first time authors that come to you or do you also have more experienced authors coming to you?
We do get experienced authors coming to us. Usually their first book was hard work and took too long to write, and they don’t want to go through that again! Being on a program means you get an accountability partner, plus extra advice, guidance and feedback all the way along, not just at the end.
Do you have some advice for someone looking to write their first book?
Decide what you want that book to achieve for you. Are you writing it primarily for your own personal satisfaction or do you have a financial goal? And how do you want to see that return? In direct terms, as in number of books sold, royalties, profits, etc. – or are you going to include the secondary income from business won as a result of your book? What kind of book does it need to be to achieve those goals? Clarity is king here. And honesty.
You are hosting an event on the 30th of September with Dan Poynter – the “godfather of self-publishing.” Can you tell us more about this event? Who should attend it and why?
Dan and I run a couple of events in the UK each year, for aspiring authors. We go through all the important steps from book concept to publishing and promotion. We have been known to give people so much information their notepads nearly caught on fire! We just like helping people understand the world of writing and publishing, so they can make informed choices. Dan and I have a wealth of experience, in all types of writing and publishing. If any readers are going to be in the Marlow, UK area on Sept. 30th, please join us. Full details are at www.bookmidwife.com/seminar
You also run a publishing house called Ecademy Press. Can you tell us more about this venture?
We are a cooperative publisher, which means we partner with the author at every stage. We take care of all the details, just like a traditional publisher, but we provide the flexibility and improved profits and royalties of self-publishing. Most of our clients pay a small fee to publish with us, and we have had a great deal of success getting clients’ books into bookstores and getting media coverage for the books. We invest in a few books each year as well. Please do check us out at www.ecademy-press.com