Julie Broad, Founder of Book Launchers, moved from real estate to helping people self-publish books. Now, she finds their hook and gives them everything they need to succeed as an impactful author.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
With an MBA in real estate and almost two decades of real estate investing experience, it is funny to think I'm running a professional self-publishing services firm, but that's where I am.
In 2013, after being turned down by traditional publishing, I self-published a real estate investing book and took it to number one on Amazon in Canada (more than Cashflow). It was the start of me seeing the problems and opportunities for authors of all kinds. A few years later, I started the company that I wished had existed, and it's been more fun than I could have imagined.
What kind of work does your role involve?
These days, it's far more administrative than I would like because we have employees in 11 different states. There’s so much more complexity involved in growing a remote multi-state enterprise than I realised when we started to expand. The best parts of my day involve creating content for authors on self-publishing (I have a YouTube channel that is my passion - BookLaunchers.TV), supporting my team to publish and market the best quality non-fiction books, and connecting with authors to hear their stories and goals for their book.
What gets you excited about your industry?
Self-publishing is mainstream now, and book publishing is where music was ten years ago. Creators are only now realising the power of keeping their rights and maintaining control over their content and their brand. The gap has also closed between what a traditional publisher can offer and what a self-published author can do on their own. Books leave legacies, impact people, and open the door to tremendous opportunities for authors - and you don't have to have a traditional deal for any of that to happen. I love it!
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
If you have a bad day, it's your own fault. That was my grandma Broad. She taught me that even when things happen to you, there is always a choice in how you react. I now pass that on to my son as he learns to handle his emotions. You can let those emotions control you, or you can choose to control them.
What's the best way to support aspiring leaders in your field?
We help them figure out what is cool about themselves and what advice they are offering that is uniquely positioned to have an impact on a reader. In publishing terms, we help them identify their ideal reader and create the hook for their book. The hook is the unique angle this author has to offer on creating an outcome for a reader. Then, we layer on storytelling to help create a book people actually want to read. A lot of my team has a background in scripts, theatre or journalism, which makes them very well versed in what hooks readers and keeps them consuming the words.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
Jane Friedman has an awesome paid newsletter on all things publishing called The Hot Sheet, and I read it carefully every couple of weeks. Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur also produces excellent content on his blog. Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn has a podcast that always covers the latest in the industry and innovations to watch. Self-Publishing with Dale has a top-notch YouTube channel I always watch closely too. And, finally, we are active members of ALLi and IBPA, which are industry groups that provide a ton of content, forums, and training.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
I had to invest a large sum of money in the business before starting it or getting a visa to move from Canada to the US. They don't tell you how much it costs either, so my visa was rejected the first time. I was told simply that the business plan was strong, but I hadn't spent enough money to show I was serious. We'd sold our house and had an apartment and an office waiting for us in LA but couldn't cross the border from Canada into the US to get there. Oh, and did I mention I had a six-week-old baby at the time?
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
This is not my money - someone lost their ticket - so first, I would see if there is any way to find the rightful owner. If I couldn't find the owner, I think I would sit on this for a while to figure out what exactly I could do with these funds. When you're given money like that, I think it's not really for you to spend; it’s for you to allocate and manage.
How do you define failure?
Failure is an opportunity to learn, improve, and grow. True failure really only happens if you fall down and never get back up.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
That all the scams, vanity publishers, and bestseller gimmicks would vanish.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
If anyone wants to write their own non-fiction book, Self-Publish and Succeed: The #noboringbooks way to write a non-fiction book that sells is the perfect resource for you!
How should people connect with you?
*If you want to thrive in a business or career, join like-minded people by applying for The Industry Leaders membership.
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