As you all know, I’ve been working on Fit for Golf – Set for Life since 2012. It’s been a long road with many unanticipated turns and obstacles, so it feels incredible to finally reflect on what I’ve accomplished. Even though the journey has been difficult, that only makes the end result feel all the more rewarding. Now that my books are finally available on Google Play and iBooks, I thought I’d share my inside scoop on the process. If you are looking to publish a book, your path may end up looking very different from mine. Hopefully, you can learn from my experience and figure out what works best for you.
Technically, I really started working on the book in 2010. I introduced fitness training into my instruction in 2005, and then I began teaching about nutrition in 2010. This was also around the same time I hired a photographer to take golf and fitness pictures. I began sifting through various cookbooks and textbooks to find inspiration for my own book layout. With plenty of material and a vision in mind, I began formatting my book all on my own. Watching your ideas come to life on the page is probably one of the best parts of publishing.
The Great Literary Agent Escapade
I initially wanted to publish my book through a company, so I started searching for a literary agent to represent my book. Hundreds of emails later, an agent finally told me that I would need to submit a book proposal. This took well over a month because the proposal required a very specific format and file type, amongst many other things. Each time I thought I was done, I was really only getting started on the next task. Even after all the hassle, agents continued to deny me simply because I didn’t have enough celebrity status. If you are publishing a nonfiction book similar to mine, you should keep this requirement in mind. Don’t have a large platform or following? Go straight to self-publishing.
The Self-Publish Search Begins
Let’s be real: Self-publishing isn’t that much easier. When you publish an eBook, you often need to upload it as an ePub file. Many companies will take your manuscript and convert your file for a relatively cheap price, but this route is best for books without many pictures. Fit for Golf – Set for Life has hundreds of images, so there was no way for me to do this without forfeiting my pre-existing format. In order to get a fixed layout ePub, I downloaded some conversion apps but the process was frustratingly complex. I wanted to keep the original integrity of my book, so I hired someone to do it for me. This wasn’t as affordable!
Where, oh where, can I sell my book?
I immediately thought of iBooks and Google Play since they are some of the top eBook sellers. Both interfaces require you to fill out forms for approval, and the approval confirmation takes about one week to come through. It is important to know that you can only upload to iBooks through another app, iTunes Creator. This means you can only sell on iBooks if you have a Mac (sorry, PC owners!). There is a way around this if you don’t own a Mac: Use Fiverr to hire a freelancer who does own a Mac to help you upload to iTunes Creator. The waiting was a bit tedious, but overall this was not as challenging as it could have been.
The Long Haul of Book Promo
When you’ve been working on a book for as long as I have, it almost feels like the process never ends. Now that I’ve finally published my book, I have been doing everything from social media advertisement to press releases to e-mail promotions to radio talk shows. Speaking of which, I’ll be on Golf Talk Radio with Mike & Billy this Saturday, August 10, sometime between 12 and 1 PM. As long as there are more people on the earth to buy your book, the journey is never truly over– but I’m happy to finally be at this last step.