Leon Nacson, the managing director of Hay House Australia, is one of the pioneers of self-help movement in Australia. In addition, Nacson is a dream coach, a go-to source for top media outlets and author of nine books, including three bestsellers about dreams.
With Nacson’s interest in dreams, it makes perfect sense that he’d be bullish on self-publishing; which is making it possible for countless authors to realize their dreams of becoming published authors. Nacson sat down with us for a few moments recently to share his thoughts on self-publishing, social media and Hay House’s Writer’s Workshop Australia 2015 – which will feature Nacson, Hay House CEO Reid Tracy and Balboa Press-turned Hay House author Bronnie Ware.
You have been quoted many times saying “It’s never been a better time to become an author”, why?
LN: “One word: the internet. Books are readily available online throughout the world. They are also available through traditional retailers both in-store and online. With the advent of e-books and print on demand, anyone can fly and a flag and see who salutes it, at an affordable cost.”
Hay House conducts regular Writer’s Workshops, both live and online. What preparation is required?
LN: “It’s best to come into these courses with an open mind and an empty note pad. What we present is basically how to get the attention of a publisher, how to build an ever-growing social media platform and what a winning book proposal looks like. It’s the same as having a desire to go to your ultimate bucket-list location in the world and getting a road map to show you the way.”
There are two routes an author can take, go to a traditional publishing house via an agent or self-publish. Can we speak about self-publishing?
LN: “Self-published books have now the potential to be as successful as any book published. Bronnie Ware’s Top Five Regrets of the Dying began it’s incredible journey as a self-published title. Hay House tracked its progress and acquired the rights. There have been other numerous instances where Hay House has acquired the rights of self-published titles. There are countless examples of other mainstream publishers bidding for the rights of self-published books that have caught their attention. Many authors are keen to go with a publishing house but just as many have elected to keep on doing it themselves. The point is that the author has a choice at all times.
“Here is one of the most important policies to adopt; small steps and gradual progress. Self-publishing is like going to the best buffet on the planet. You would not grab a plate and pile on your appetizer, main course and dessert all at once. What is normal is to elegantly begin with the entrée, relax for a short time then go back for your main course. Maybe, get a second helping. Then finally after a reasonable time, go for the dessert. On your self-publishing journey, follow the same principle to achieve a desired result. Try your manuscript as an e-book with a print on demand option. That’s the entrée. Later, in the fullness of time, consider what next to put on your plate.”
You mention that you regularly conduct both online and live events. Do you have to have a manuscript ready to go?
LN: “Absolutely not. As I stated before, it’s best to come with an open mind and an original idea that requires some insights on how it can become a desirable proposal. At all our events both live and online, there’s always an offer of a publishing contract for the best proposal submitted. The submission date is usually a few months after the workshop. Samples of previous successful proposals are supplied to the attendees as an insight into what has caught our attention. A very important proportion of the proposal is all about a social media platform. The importance of building a community that is interested in what you have to offer.”
What if you don’t have a social media platform or have a very small one?
LN: “Back to the buffet, small bites, build and build and you can always go back for more. It’s very important that an author builds their audience carefully, identifies their perfect reader and the field they wish to be considered an expert in. A functional website, an interesting and proactive Facebook and regular posts on YouTube and Instagram should be on the menu. Once again, gradual implementation and development gets the most successful outcomes. Sometimes it takes a year and a bit to become an ‘overnight success!’ The important thing is not to be daunted by technology, the internet and social media. Think of it as your new best friend.”
I’m certain that there are so many more questions and topics that our readers would love to ask. How do they contact you and are you interested in answering more questions in future blogs?
LN: “Of course, I would enjoy staying in contact with the Balboa community. I can be contacted through all of my platforms; website, Facebook and Instagram. I will do my very best to answer them. I look forward to interacting with you real soon!”
For more information on self-publishing, please download the Balboa Press free publishing guide.
Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BalboaPress, by tweeting us @BalboaPress, or by emailing dghosh@ balboapress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space..