What It Really Takes to Get Published: An Interview with Michael Hyatt
I recently had a conversation with my friend, Michael Hyatt, about what it takes to get published. (Yes, I know. That sounds crazy to me, too, but for some reason he keeps taking my calls.)
In the interview, I asked Michael to ditch the industry jargon and speak plainly about how you can publish a book. And he did just that. Below is the interview and some of the highlights (all the quotes are from Michael).
Listen to the interview
If you don’t know Michael Hyatt, you should. He is the go-to expert on publishing and platform-building. He even wrote a book on the subject.
Mike is also the chairman of a large publishing house, a New York Times best-selling author, and one of the most popular bloggers in the world. He’s a pretty nice guy and a super helpful person to follow (I’m often getting ideas from his blog).
But before we get into all that, let’s answer an important question…
Why should you get published?
There’s nothing in our culture that credentials you quite like a published book.
In the age of self-publishing and DIY everything, choosing to go with a traditional publisher is no longer the norm. In fact, some people wonder if it’s even worth it, which is a valid concern.
So why bother with a traditionally published book?
It gives you authority and helps you be perceived as an expert on a given subject. There’s no better way to do that than to become an author. Not even an advanced degree can do what publishing a book can do.
So if that’s your goal, or if that idea interests you in some way, how do you get started? Here are three actions you need to take:
1. Change your mindset
It’s more important to have the right mindset than it is to have the talent.
Before you publish anything, you need to have the right attitude. It’s not just enough to have a great story or idea you want to share; you have to believe you can actually do it. It’s a matter of confidence, and believe it or not: your mindset matters.
According to Michael, you need to switch from thinking, “I’ve got to write this book” to, “I get to write this book.” It’s a privilege, something you’re called to do. And you should treat it like one.
Moreover, you need to take ownership of the whole process: your attitude, your actions, and even the results. Of course, you can’t control everything, but this kind of self-accountability will get off the blame train and on the right track.
2. Build a platform
If you have a platform, it creates enormous freedom.
You probably knew this already, but if you want publishers to notice you, you need a platform. A place to gather your tribe of fans and who will follow your lead and want to hear what you have to say.
It’s not easy to do, but there’s nothing like it. Once you have a platform, you have what everyone wants: the attention of an audience. And once you have that, you can do whatever you want.
This is important for fiction and nonfiction authors alike (despite what you’ve heard). And yes, this applies to novelists and memoirists as well as business advice and how-to writers.
And just how do you build a platform? Good question. You figure it out. One step at a time. It’s that simple (but not necessarily easy).
3. Get started
The path unfolds as I take the steps.
What’s the first big step to getting published? Act. Put one foot in front of the other — and repeat. Courage, as we’ve often heard, is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to move in spite of it.
Are you uncomfortable? Nervous? Afraid? Good. Those feelings are good indicators that you need to be moving forward. Getting started can be as simple as starting a blog, declaring yourself a writer, or finally filling out that book proposal.
Whatever it is, you probably already know what it is. So… it’s time to move. And if you’re a little bit afraid, that’s okay. It’s a good sign, because it means there’s something at stake and that you need to get started.
You’ve got something that needs to be shared with the world.
Check out the rest of the interview
In the audio interview, we also talk about:
- When you know it’s time to write a book
- Whether or not you should self-publish or go with a traditional publisher
- Michael’s story of getting rejected 29 times before his first book was published
- What it takes for fiction authors to build a platform
- How many “fans” you need to get published
- The business of publishing and why it matters
- “There’s nothing in our culture that credentials you quite like a published book.” (Tweet that)
- “It’s more important to have the right mindset than it is to have the talent.” (Tweet that)
- “If you have a platform, it creates enormous freedom.” (Tweet that)
- “You’ve got something that needs to be shared with the world.” (Tweet that)
- “The path unfolds as I take the steps.” (Tweet that)
- “It may be possible to succeed without a platform, but you’re counting on lightning to strike.” (Tweet that)
- “If you think you can’t, you’re already defeated from the start.” (Tweet that)
If you could publish a book, what would it be about? Share in the comments.
Special Offer: Michael is giving a special $200 discount off his 21-part audio course, Get Published, for any readers of my blog. If this interview resonated with you, you should check it out.
Disclosure: The above link is an affiliate link, which means I get a commission if you decide to purchase the program. But this is at no extra cost to you. Also, I only endorse products that I use myself and believe in.