What is a permafree book and how can it help you in your marketing?
In today’s training, Jennifer Waddle will be joining us to show us how permafree book has helped her succeed in marketing her books.
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The Power of PermaFree Book
SHELLEY: Welcome to Author Audience Academy. Today I’m rolling out the red carpet and inviting you into my community to show you behind the scenes look at what’s working for authors like you.
In this episode, I want to position the spotlight on one of my members, Jennifer Waddle. Welcome, Jennifer.
Jennifer: Thank you, Shelley. It’s great to be here.
Shelley: Yes! I’m so excited to have you share on today’s episode. Before we dive in I want to just share a brief bio about you.
Jennifer Waddle is an author, speaker, and contributor who write books for women in the trenches of life. Her goal is to help Christian women face issues that stand in the way of who they were created to be. I love that!
She’s also a children’s book author of a brand new series called “A Day in the Life of a Little Kid”. This book is available on Amazon. Jennifer resides with her family near the foothills of Cheyenne Mountain. And you live here in Colorado Springs, right where I am as well! We’ve attended the same church!
You can connect with her at JenniferWaddleOnline.com.
So for this week’s center stage spotlight training, I’m going to have Jennifer share a specific success strategy. I’m excited to learn from each other on being able to accomplish your goals as an author. And we will be sharing some specific strategies that have worked for Jennifer.
So, thank you for joining us, Jennifer. Please share a little bit about your journey and what it’s looked like.
Jennifer: I really want to share this because I think it will encourage so many authors out there.
Two years ago, Shelley, or I should say just over two years ago, I had zero books published. But I had been writing since I was in grade school. I just didn’t know what to do with all that writing.
It was two years ago that you and I had a discussion at church. And then you handed me a business card for someone who could actually help me launch that first book. I just ran with it and did it.
I have to say, Shelley, two years later, I have ten books and I have at least half a dozen more that are in the works. They’re on their way to being published.
So, I have to say, thank you, thank you for helping me all along for that whole journey.
Shelley: I know! It’s been an amazing journey, and you’ve been part of Author Audience Academy since the beginning. You have just taken the information and implemented it, which is so fun for me. I love that. It’s been so neat for me to see. You also got published on major websites, correct?
Jennifer: Yes! I had articles published on Gifted for Leadership, which is part of Christianity Today. I also got published in Crosswalk, I Believe and Encourage. I’m just blessed with the abundance of my writing.
Shelley: It’s been so neat to really see you grow in that area of writing. You’ve taken steps that were very scary, you still are, and going out of your comfort zone. You’ve been trusting God, giving Him your writing, and seeing all that He is doing.
You’re now a children’s book author and you have Bible studies for women. People are being reached all around the world! Did you ever think that you would have this type of ministry? Wow, so amazing! You have an author platform, a website, and a growing email list.
What did it take for you to get to the point where you’re at now today, two years later?
Jennifer: Well, I have to say that a lot of it is trial and error. But taking steps each day, no matter how small, is really the key. I think that’s what I did. There were times when I was sprinting, and going 100 miles an hour. I don’t recommend that for a long term.
Shelley: No, me either.
Jennifer: Do I regret doing that? No, because I learned a lot along the way. I learned how to prioritize. I’m still learning how to prioritize.
Shelley: Aren’t we all.
Jennifer: I think the biggest thing is to develop a plan and then stick to it. You can tweak it as you like. If you make your 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day plan and it isn’t working, just go back and revise it. Then, just do what’s on the list.
I think it’s so important to actually finish what you’ve started. And that’s what really got me going; just keeping that in mind. So just finish what you’ve started and you can always go back and fix, change, or tweak things later.
Shelley: Yes, that is so key. So how do you think that being part of Author Audience Academy has helped you in that way?
Jennifer: Author Audience Academy has given me direction when I don’t know where to go next. It has given me motivation when I’m stuck, and a lot of times I’m stuck because I just don’t know. I’m fearful because I haven’t done it before.
So I need the motivation to say, “You can do this even if you haven’t done it before.” Or, “You can do this if you’ve done it before and you’re just scared because you forgot the processes.”
That’s what I love. Author Audience Academy helps us complete our books, get them on the market, promote them, and then move forward even after that.
Shelley: I love that because you talk about direction, motivation, and completion. That’s one of the things that so many authors are just scattered. We’re creatives and we love to have a million ideas. It’s always so fun to start something but not as fun to complete it.
I agree. I’m a typical creative entrepreneur. It’s more fun for me to start something new. What God has shown me over the years is, having a focus and being able to be a finisher.
He showed me that I need to complete things before I jump into these other things. He also showed that I need to take the time to reflect and plan. He taught me to say, “Lord, is this something You even want me to do?”
Sometimes, like you said, we look back and say, “Whoa, that was just a bit too much.” I just came through a season where I just published four books. I had four book launches within a couple months, and I was like, “Whoa, that was too much.”
Even for me who works with a team and everything, that was too much. So, sometimes we have to reevaluate. That gives us wisdom for moving forward.
Share with us a specific marketing strategy that you’ve implemented recently that’s really worked for you. You were sharing with me a little bit about this before we started recording.
Jennifer: Yeah, from the very beginning I heard you talk about having a permafree book. That was a term I didn’t understand. First I had to figure out what permafree meant, which is always free.
Shelley: Yeah, permanently free.
Jennifer: Then I needed to know how to do that. I had to learn how to get that on Amazon because Amazon doesn’t necessarily let you put your price at zero.
Shelley: Right, they don’t.
Jennifer: For me, that was something that I just didn’t want to do. But I’d heard you talk about the benefits of it for so long. So, I took the leap and I put my 21-day devotional for women called “Discouraged Again” on Amazon as a permafree book.
How I did that was, I first uploaded that to Draft to Digital. That was my outside platform that I chose. I researched a bunch of them and that one seemed easy to use. And it was comfortable for me. So I uploaded it there for free.
Once it was on there for a little bit, I contacted Amazon and said, “Hey, this other site has my book for free, can I get my price changed to free?” They were super great in immediately implementing that. Now it is a permafree devotional on Amazon.
I have to say, Shelley, it has been number one in Women’s Personal Growth for many, many months.
Shelley: Yeah, and it’s neat! Just like a blog, a permafree or permanently free book is content marketing on steroids. You’re putting it on the second largest search engine in the world – Amazon. So, it’s basically like you’ve written 21 blogs, but compiled them into a book, and now it’s content marketing.
People can find that information, that content, on Amazon every single day and download it. We won’t know until we get to heaven how many people have actually been encouraged, or impacted because they found that permanently free book.
Not only is it a marketing strategy, but it is ministry when you have a Christian book. So it’s just so powerful. I teach that inside Author Audience Academy in the Author Automation System. I teach a very specific way to do that, what to include in your book, and how to connect all the pieces.
I always tell authors, “You need to research your target audience”. Or “Set a 90-day goal and get a permafree book up there”. But so many times authors will resist those big things that will really make the biggest difference.
For authors who are listening and who may have resisted some of these big things, what do you think caused you to resist this for a while?
Jennifer: Like I said earlier, it’s that the process is unknown to us. So you have to try to figure out that new process. And even though you have walked us step by step through it, it just feels intimidating. Also, I think another obstacle is that you’ve gone through all that work to write the book, and now we’re going to just give it away?
So we have to really get over that hurdle as well. And I have a story to share with you just quickly.
I get emails all the time about this devotional. But this week I got an email from a mom who said she gave the devotional to her 15-year old daughter for Christmas. And one night she heard her daughter crying in her room. She went in and her daughter was reading the devotion about being rejected. That had really hit home for her because she was struggling at school with rejection.
I don’t care if I ever get a penny for those devotions. This is the reason why I wrote it. If people choose your permafree book, it’s going to help someone. This is true even if you’re not writing Christian material.
That’s my biggest tip – make your permafree book a helpful book for people. That reward is far greater than any monetary reward.
Shelley: Yes. It really is! We’re all motivated by different things. But I think most authors they want to know that their writing is making an impact. I just got chills when you told me that story, it’s amazing. It’s a ripple effect.
I had encouraged you to put that permafree book out there, and you finally took the process. And now it’s reaching people. You have no idea. That’s just one story of the person who took the time to email you. But you have no idea of other people who are being encouraged every single day.
In the permafree book, you can add calls to action to your email list. You can use it to build your author platform. You can also add calls to action to buy your other books.
There’s a very specific strategy that you can use that free content marketing. You can use it to sell more books, build your author platform, and to even potentially sell other products that you have created. That is what I teach in the author automation system.
There is so much that you’ve been doing and learning. Do you have some closing advice or encouragement for authors right now?
Jennifer: Outside of getting that permafree book up on Amazon, I really want to just thank you for your author automation system. I’m still learning. I’m going through slowly and going back to your training on that. But it is crucial to being a successful author.
Setting up systems from writing to editing to publishing, all the way to marketing your book is crucial. And getting that set up in an automated system is very useful. We are forgetful people, right? We will get done with one book and take a sigh of relief. And then a few months later start to tackle that next book and we’ve forgotten how we did it.
When we set up that author automation, we get everything in place, and in order. Then it just starts working like clockwork. You get more comfortable and you’re able to go forth boldly and get more books published.
Shelley: Yes! Keeping track of your systems is so key. And also being willing to try new things, something like a permafree book, is important.
I do recommend you do it in the way that I teach you inside Author Audience Academy. I have a very specific strategy that I share with you. If you’re an Author Audience Academy member, I’m willing to brainstorm with you.
I was just brainstorming with one of our members yesterday about her permafree book and her title. I’m doing the same thing as well. I just published my book Broken Crayons Still Color. And now I am taking that exact same system that I’ve used in the past for this new book.
So, I’ll be setting up that same system, and what I love about it is that you can set it and forget it. You can always feed the system with more traffic, of course. But once I have it set up that book will continue to reach more people. And it will then be a continual cycle without me having to sit behind my computer.
We only have so much time. You’re a busy person. You have kids, you are involved in the church and you have a family. So you have other things that you’re doing, and you’re writing other books. So that’s what I love about it.
Yes, it takes a lot of time to get set up in the beginning, but once you have it set up it will continue to work for you. So what would you say your take action tip today would be?
Jennifer: My take action tip… gosh, I have so many of them that I kind of forgot!
Shelley: I think you had mentioned the permafree book and just really taking the step to do that.
Jennifer: Yeah! And I think that you were right. Just go in as an Author Audience Academy member and really follow your steps. That’s what I did. I can’t remember if it was a webinar that you did. Did you do a webinar on the permafree book?
Shelley: Yes, we have an entire training on that in the Author Automation System in Author Audience Academy.
Jennifer: Okay. Because I remember specifically signing up for that webinar. It was one afternoon when I was listening to the webinar while I was exercising.
Shelley: Hey! Multitasking, that’s good.
Jennifer: I jumped off the bike and just started writing all of your tips down for that permafree book. It was like a light bulb went on. That’s my one takeaway tip, for them. Just go in, review that training, and get that permafree book on Amazon. It is not as hard as you think.
Shelley: Yeah. I’ve heard you say this before, your strength is not in the technical stuff right?
Jennifer: No! Shelley, listen. This is the truth. Two years ago, when I was first getting started and got my site up and running, I had to call for technical support. The poor young guy on the other side said, “What browser are you using?” This is the truth, I said, “What is a browser?” This was two years ago.
Shelley: Wow! And now you have an international online ministry.
Jennifer: It’s crazy. So yeah, technical is not my strength.
Shelley: So even if someone is not technically oriented, they can do this.
Shelley: They can do this. That’s what I love about these interviews. Everyone has different strengths. I personally do have strength in the technical stuff. But knowing and hearing – those of you listening, Jennifer did this.
She did the steps, it’s on Amazon, and now it’s a permafree book. It’s continually reaching new people, bringing new people to her author platform and introducing them to her books.
If she can do it, you can do it too! I love it! So where can people find you if they want to connect with you online?
Jennifer: Just go to my website, JenniferWaddleOnline.com. That’s the best place to find all my books, my speaking events, and even my kid’s books. I have a new link for that series. I’m loving, loving, loving, loving being a kid’s book author.
Shelley: I love it! Jennifer has actually coauthored a book with me. It’s taking me a while, Jennifer, to get it finished. But in the next few months, we’ll probably have everything finalized. Once I do it the first time, you know how it is, you learn the system the first time then it will come easier.
She’s coauthored a children’s book with me and that is so fun. There are so many things that God is doing in your life. I love it that you are branching out and stepping out into the areas that He has called you to be in.
He’s going to bless that, and I just pray that He continues to bless you.
I thank all of you that have tuned in. I thank you for being here, and I hope that you found encouragement from Jennifer. I also hope that you noted specific tips and strategies that you can implement.
Until next time!
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