Joelle Hann: So You Want to Write a Book? | Mindful Strength Podcast

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About Joelle Hann

Joelle Hann is an award-winning writer with a history of developing high-level book projects for major American publishers. Subject areas include wellness and transformation, women’s health, leadership and spirituality, as well as conscious business, personal finance, and memoir. She has worked with top CEOs and humanitarian activists, coaches and thought-leaders, spiritual teachers, scholars, entrepreneurs, and many others. She founded Brooklyn Book Doctor to help more people write transformational books that change the world.

To learn more about Joelle’s work click here.

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To learn more about our sponsor Offering Tree click here. Offering Tree provides health and wellness practitioners with the online tools they need to spend more time on what they teach and less time worrying about tech. 

 

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Joelle’s Links

Personal Website

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Brooklyn Book Doctor 

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Book Proposal Academy

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About This Podcast

Joelle and Kathryn talk about writing a book in 2021, and what first-time authors need to know about publishing. Joelle shares insight on the benefits of publishing vs. self-publishing. She also talks about why someone might choose to write a book in the digital age. Kathryn and Joelle discuss the first steps and how to organize ideas that help not just writing, but marketing in general. Joelle has specific experience helping teachers and practitioners channel their knowledge in a clear and concise way.

Podcast Transcription

Kathryn Bruni-Young: This episode of the Mindful Strength Podcast is brought to you in partnership with Offering Tree. Offering Tree has set out to make digital marketing fun, easy, and most importantly for us yoga teachers, affordable. They are your one-stop-shop for your website, scheduling software, zoom integration, selling digital content like classes or courses, payment processing, email newsletter, and more. Stay tuned to hear more about them later in this episode. 

Kathryn Bruni Young: Hey, everyone! Welcome back. Today on the podcast, I am here with Joelle Hann. This is going to be a different type of conversation. Joelle is my writing coach. I’ve been working with her for the last six months or so. It’s been really interesting work. I wanted to have her on the podcast because I know a lot of you folks who are listening, you’re doing writing and you’re doing marketing.

Maybe some of you are thinking about writing books. That’s what Joelle does. She supports people like us, wellness professionals, healers, teachers, and she helps them get book deals. What an incredible resource to have at our fingertips before we get into the podcast.

I want to remind everyone that if you haven’t tried out the Mindful Strength membership, you totally should. If you’re into this type of information that we’re talking about on this podcast, from pain science to accessibility to strength training to yoga, you’re going to love the membership because that’s exactly what we’re doing in all of our classes. You can go over to mindfulstrength.ca. You can click memberships; you can even take a tour. If you’re just curious to see what it looks like in there, you can watch a couple of trailers.

You can check out the video and audio quality. You can take a look, and then if you want to sign up, you can get started with one of our sliding scale pricing options. What that means, if you don’t know a sliding scale, is it means that you can choose your own price between twenty-five and fifty-five dollars a month. All of the pricing options give you access to everything. We do this in an attempt to make the classes and resources more financially accessible.

All of that starts with a seven-day free trial. You can take a look, try it out, come to one of our classes, do some on-demand classes, start to feel strong, maybe using some bands or some weights or some blocks or whatever you have lying around your house. I think you’re really going to love it. If you want to get started with the Mindful Strength Membership, go over to mindfulstrength.ca to get started. All right, everyone here is my conversation with Joelle Hann.

Kathryn: Joelle, welcome to the podcast.

Joelle Hann: Hi. Great to be here.

Kathryn: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to this. This is a different kind of conversation than we usually have. We’re not talking about exercise or yoga or pain. Today we are going to talk about writing. And I’ve been working with you over the last few months. I’ve really been enjoying it. For the listeners who maybe don’t know about you or your work, do you want to take a few minutes and just tell people a little bit about who you are and what you do just to give them a little bit of context?

Joelle Hann: Yeah, of course, I’d love to. Thanks. My name is Joelle Hann. I live in Brooklyn, New York, but I am actually from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. That’s where I grew up. That’s where my parents still live. And I came to New York to be a writer. I am a writer. And along the way, I developed a little editorial business called Brooklyn Book Doctor. And what I do at Brooklyn Book Doctor is help people develop books and book proposals.

I also run some programs, one of which you were in, helping people get on the bridge from their idea people are really excited about for their book, crossed the bridge into having a book deal. What that looks like is getting really clear on the idea that people have so they know what book it is they’re writing. I also help them to craft a book proposal so that they can go out and talk to agents and editors, and have something very well-formulated that they can speak about articulately with the people who are going to make the book deal and the book for them.

I focus on people who have a mission and they have a passion usually in the wellness space, health, wellness, spirituality, even if that means they’re out to change a corner of the world like their niche of the world. But people who are really motivated to bring their message or their story out to reach a lot of people because they know they’re going to benefit from that. I am a book doctor, a book coach, a collaborator, and often a co thinker.

Kathryn: I didn’t know that you were Canadian.

Joelle Hann: Yes.

Kathryn: That’s amazing. Going from Salt Spring Island. That is like the little gem of Canada. I feel like that’s what everybody always talks about when they’re describing the most beautiful place in the world. I’ve never been there, but that’s what I hear.

Joelle Hann: It’s very beautiful. It’s very beautiful and I couldn’t wait to get away.

Kathryn: That’s amazing. OK, so seems like a lot of people out there in the world want to write books. I’ve been reflecting on this a little bit myself as someone myself who would like to write a book. Why do I want to write a book? I have a podcast that is going to be more well-distributed than any book I ever write, like half a million.

We have half a million downloads on this podcast right now. If I write a book and it ever sells half a million copies, it seems like it’s more like winning the lottery than actual reality. It’s so much easier to make a blog or get really good at social media or start a podcast, but so many people still feel like they want to write books.

It seems like there’s like this kind of magical feeling about writing a book and having it out there. And I’m wondering what you think about this and, you know, maybe why you think so many people want to write books in the age where there are so many other ways that you can get your ideas out?

Joelle Hann: Yeah, it’s a really great question. And you’re right, it is still a big milestone for people and on a lot of people’s bucket lists.

There is a quality to it that is irrational and a quality that is rational. There are two sides to it. The irrational, maybe emotional, has validity as well as the rational. It could be a generational thing because I think people who are not millennials still think of the book as the main way to communicate ideas and insights and research. People who are millennials and below don’t think that way anymore.

They’re very comfortable in different types of media. They’re very comfortable with the more fragmented or modular expression of ideas and a concept of audience. But still, as you know, people of all generations still want to write a book. I think that there are classic feelings of authority that come with being a book author. It’s not just for the people who want to read the book. It also for the people who are buying the book or receiving information from a book author.

For example, audiobooks have become very, very popular and selling extremely well. Yet the audiobook will always come from a print book first, and then there will be the audiobooks. Even though there are different formats for books now, the print book is still the thing. It’s still the touchstone that people start with.
I think it’s a long tradition of books. It’s not a new technology. It has the weight of authority behind it, of the traditional publishing, of the kind of ideas and stories. You likely grew up like I grew up with favorite stories and favorite books. To become an author and express yourself in that form is very satisfying. It somehow doesn’t correlate with sales necessarily or the practical aspect of it.

Being an author can be much more important to people than the money they make from that title or the sales they have or anything like that. It can be a real emotional resonance. There is also a practical benefit to having a book, which is that you are much more likely to get booked on radio shows or podcasts or be seen as an expert in your field.
When you have a book, it makes other people believe in your authority as well, and that can widen your own horizons for yourself as a person or as a brand or whatever your story is, help reach more people.

There is something very intimate and trustable and familiar about a book that makes it something that people want to create and people want to consume, even if that same material exists in other media. It’s that emotional quality to it, I think. And the long roots back to the beginning of books that forms that pull people have towards them.

Kathryn: Yeah, there is something a little bit different about a book. Like I order books all the time and I know that oftentimes I listen to someone’s podcast and then I order their book. It’s so funny because all the information is on their podcast. You could go back and listen to all the episodes. But there is something different about having that book in your house and highlighting it and knowing that you can go back to it and always find that right page where you stuck the bookmark.

In the age where there is so much content and media online, it can be difficult to sift through it, even if the person producing it is quite organized. I think that people are spending so much time online. Then it can be just so nice to open up your little book where you hide your bookmark and your highlighter and go back and read like three sentences and feel reinspired without having to sift through your computer or your phone.

Joelle Hann: Yeah, exactly. I think there’s something very intimate about having a book and being able to go back to your favorite passages, which you can’t really do very easily on a Kindle book or a .pdf version of the book or even podcast to scroll back and hear that section again or an Audible.

It’s not the same it’s not the same kind of relationship you have with it like that book. And that copy is yours and it’s in your hands. As you said, it’s in your house and it’s in your mind in a different way than just a consumable piece of media that we find in other formats. I agree it’s a more intimate experience.

Kathryn: I think that a lot of people work in the wellness industry, whether they’re yoga teachers or midwives, or whoever. They work with people. They have these long careers. They’ve been in these industries for 20 or 30 years. They’ve accumulated quite a bit of not only professional training but also just practical knowledge.

Then they have this feeling like they want to write a book. Right? Like they know so many things. They’ve helped so many people. They want to share this. They want to write a book. I think that sometimes people have a hard time organizing their 10 to 30 years of professional background into one easy to layout, easy to comprehend book idea.

I’m wondering: how do you start to help people in this industry that most of us are in, start to gather their thoughts and figure it out. You know, “I’ve been working for quite a while. I know quite a lot of things, but what do I actually want to put in this book?’.

Joelle Hann: Yeah, it’s a great question and it is a perennial issue, especially when you have a certain level of experience and knowledge. How do you get all this information together in a book format? One of the things I see people do a lot and it’s super counterintuitive is to try to serve people through a book with the same quantity of knowledge that they would want to impart in person.

It’s like people want to download everything that they’ve ever learned and all their knowledge and all their wisdom and all the exercises and all their insights into a book format. And in fact, that’s not doing a service to readers because it’s too much. It comes from a really good place of wanting to share and wanting to help. It also can come from a place of a little anxiety about our authorities as experts, especially women and people who are female-identifying. There can be this feeling like if I don’t say everything, then I have no right to write a book.

But that’s actually not true. That doesn’t do a service to your book or to your readers. The challenge like you say, is to take all of that experience you have and make good choices about what’s going to be in the book. I’m sure a lot of your listeners have, well, I’m guessing a lot of your listeners have businesses or they offer courses or they have at least a lot of knowledge in their area or maybe they blog. There’s some content that they’re putting out regularly.

They’re no stranger to content creation. But when it comes to writing a book, a book has its own requirements of what it needs to work. For example, I know that you offer courses as a lot of people do, and courses tend to be modular in this module. You learn this in this module, you learn that. And over the span of this course and these modules, you will get to a certain level of, in your case, strength training or mindfulness, and you’ll come out at the end with something tangible in a book.

It’s not modular as much as it is narrative. There’s got to be a narrative arc, even if it’s a self-help book, which you don’t really think about narrative. You don’t think about fiction or a story when you’re thinking about a self-help book. But it does have a narrative arc. It has a beginning. It has a middle, it has an end.

When you come to that point of looking at all of your material and thinking about how is this book going to work, you want to look at what’s the thread that goes through my most important work. The work that reaches the most number of people, that I get the most mail from, that I see the most transformation in people with. What is the one unifying force in that material?

To take a bird’s eye view of that material and then say, OK, here’s what it is like, for instance, in your case, it could be Mindful Strength training is healthier than blowing yourself out of the gym or fad diets or fad workouts. That would be true. I’m really simplifying what you do, but that would be true. But that would just be a fact. That wouldn’t be something that would carry you all the way through the book.

That’s more like a blog post where you could state that and then you could give a story, then you could give an exercise, and then you could give a link to something more. In a book, you want to have a bigger idea, something that poses a problem that you’re going to solve in that chapter and in the book, something that you can put research to. Something that you can tell a personal story with, that you can reflect on, you can give exercises to, and that weaves into the chapter that came before and the chapter that comes after.

Finding that idea, that thirty thousand foot perspective on what you’re doing, is the key to knowing what material you’re going to offer, what order you’re going to put it in, how each chapter relates to each other chapter, what stories you’re going to tell and all of that. It will be a process of mining the material you already have to satisfy and express and develop that idea that answers your question and doesn’t complicate things for people.

Kathryn: Are there any exercises that you ever give people when they’re in the early stages of organizing their ideas? Exercises that might help them, you know, just organize their thoughts, figure out what’s what and figure out what they’re actually writing about.

Joelle Hann: Yeah, there are lots of ways to approach this. One thing that in my Book Proposal Academy, which is my four-month program that we go through in a very small group. The first thing we do is really think about the idea.

We do it on two levels. We do it as a paragraph and we do it as a very, very, very short sentence. One thing that people can do is go to this is an exercise we do in Book Proposal Academy is to go to the bestseller lists, the New York Times bestseller list, or the L.A. Times, there are some other ones. Those are two good ones. They look at the ways that those best sellers are described on the bestseller list.

It’s a very short sentence. And when you read it, you think, oh, I get what that book is about. But when you go to write it for your own book, it will challenge you to be specific about what your book is, what it offers, what the benefit is for your reader, and what it’s unique take is on that subject.

That is a really helpful way to figure out the essence of what your book is. Look at those lists and see if you can mimic what they’re doing with your own book, with your own book idea.

Kathryn: Yeah, it’s harder than you think it’s going to be. Like in the first training I did with you, we did a couple of these like very basic, seemingly very simple exercises. It is harder than you think it’s going to be. I found it was difficult to narrow down all of the things that I wanted to say and all the things that I think are important into like a sentence.

Joelle Hann: Yes. Yes, it is. It is a lot harder than it seems. I will just give you a couple of examples of books that you and your audience might know. Untamed is Glennon Doyle’s book that came out in 2020. It’s been on the New York Times bestseller list for forty-three weeks and now it’s at number three. The sentence that describes it is: “the activist and public speaker describes her journey of listening to her inner voice”.

Now this book is about three hundred pages and she tells a lot of stories in that in that space, in the stories all have a lesson at the end of them. That’s an incredibly succinct way to express what she is doing in that book, which is aimed at empowerment and female empowerment, to be specific, told in stories.

There’s a lot more she could say or that The New York Times staff could say about what’s in that book, but they’ve got it down to that one sentence. It’s very clear so that you know what it’s about and you don’t have to think too much when you’re reading through the bestseller list.

Now, as a reader, that’s very easy to consume. As a writer, that’s much harder to frame. People can sometimes take the track of going into marketing copy, like saying “in this book, you will learn this and you will do this and I’ll give you this”. But really what you want to do is stay focused on what the book is, who you are writing it for, and what the benefit is going to be to your reader.

I’ll just give you one more example. Number four on the bestseller list of the New York Times is Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. That’s been twenty-two weeks on the list. That sentence is a little bit longer than the Glennon Doyle one, but it’s still fairly short. It says “the Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist examines aspects of caste systems across civilizations and reveals a rigid hierarchy in America today”.

A little bit more complex. It gets in there that you won the Pulitzer Prize but it has everything you need. Who is she? She’s an award-winning journalist. What is she talking about and what’s the benefit? Well, we get to know about the rigid hierarchies in America today. It’s all there in that one sentence. And that’s really something to work towards as you’re figuring out what your material is actually about, who you are writing that material for, and what the benefit, the takeaway is going to be for your readers.

Kathryn: I feel like these are also good exercises. Even if you’re not planning on writing a book, but if you’re planning on making a website or I don’t know, talking about what you do more. These are great ways to get really, really clear, especially in an industry that can sometimes be not super clear.

Joelle Hann: Exactly. And it really comes down to some basic things. What you’re implying is that sometimes we were not clear what we’re up to and we have a lot of ideas and we’re excited, but we’re not clear exactly on what we’re offering.
So, yes, if you ever made a website, you probably had to come up with an audience profile or a brand profile so that you’re a web developer could make something that suited what you were doing.

This is in the same line. It’s in the same vein of thinking as that. If you are making a podcast, for example, you want to know who you’re talking to and why you’re talking to them and what you want to give them. It’s in that family of things.

Kathryn: I am going to take the next minute to tell you about our sponsor Offering Tree. If you are trying to get your teaching or your business online, I highly recommend you use Offering Tree. I’m using them for my own online teacher training for a couple of reasons. First of all, it is by far the best price for all of the features that you get.

When you sign up, it truly is an all in one. You get your email newsletter system, you get the Zoom integration, it’s a scheduler. You can use it as a website and as a blog if you want to. And you also get an online store where you can sell not only your live classes and your memberships, but pre-recorded classes or courses or challenges or whatever else you have.
You get all of those features for twenty dollars a month when you sign up for the year. But you have to use our link, which is offeringtree.com/mindfulstrength.

All right, everyone, back to the show.

 

Kathryn: I mean, this could be a longer conversation, so like in a kind of brief way, what are some of the pros and cons of working with a publisher vs. self-publishing?

Joelle Hann: Oh, that’s a juicy question. I feel like that’s on a lot of people’s minds these days and for good reason, because the publishing industry, like every other media interest industry, is changing. Authors and prospective authors are wondering if it’s worth it for them to self publish while being drawn to the tradition of the publisher and the agent and that classic route of publishing.

Here’s what I will say about it. And I’m part of a self-publishing group, even though I don’t self-publish because I’m interested in what’s happening. I’m also watching the trends in traditional publishing. I’m just looking at what’s happening.

I would say that if you have a big list, meaning you have lots of followers and they engage with your material a lot and they’re very active and they’re eager for whatever you’re going to put out next…and by large, following I mean, this is the publisher standard of a large following would be thirty thousand followers on some channel or more then you…

Well, here’s a thing. Let me talk about this possible case. If you have thirty thousand followers or more, you can make a very informed decision about whether you want to self-publish or go with a traditional publisher. A traditional publisher, as long as you have a good idea, will likely give you a nice advance for your book as long as your followers were very engaged.

What that will do is give you the seal of approval from an institution that people trust. It will bring you into a family of authors that are also respected. You’ll have a different cohort. It’ll bring you to a different level of exposure because of the clout that that publisher and their cohort carry. And that still means something that still carries weight.

But if you have a list of thirty thousand followers or above and they’re really engaged; your goal is to make money and keep things going into their hands; you want to make a lot of money and you want to control everything that happens with that book. Not going through any other person’s brand, which is a publisher, is a brand not dealing with their marketing department or their editorial department or the fluctuations in their business model, then you could self publish and do quite well. That means you could sell a lot of books.

Now you would have to approach those sales like an entrepreneur. You would want to get your team in place. You’d need an editor, copy editor, proofreader. You need to design the cover.

You need to get the ISBN and the Library of Congress number. If you’re in the US, you need to think about sales. You need to think about backlists like you have to become kind of a mini publisher in yourself, learn about how to get it on Amazon and all the other platforms.

You will do a lot more work on the front end, but then potentially you will make a lot more money. You won’t be a part of that stable of authors that a publisher would give you. You won’t have that imprint, you won’t get an advance. You will pay for everything yourself if you self publish. But potentially that’s fine for you and that works better with what you’re doing.

I think at this point if you have fewer than thirty thousand followers on any channel or in any media that you’re a part of, going with a traditional publisher gives you a leg up on things that you need. For example, name recognition, the authority of the press, and you will still have to do some hustle. But what that will do for you is make sure that your hustle goes somewhere. People will pay attention.

“Oh, she was published by so-and-so. Oh, that’s the same publisher that published this person. I definitely want to check her out. Oh, there she is on Instagram. Oh, there she is giving a talk”. When you have not so many followers, going with a traditional publisher can sometimes be a way to get a leg up. But it really depends on your personality, on what you like to do and how you like to spend your time. The kind of work you want to put into your projects. And it can come down to a personal choice.

Kathryn: So when you say, like, sell a lot of books…say somebody has a decently loyal following. They’ve been running a business, maybe even an online business for a number of years and they’re sustainable. They decide to self-publish. And then the idea of selling a lot of books, like what does that look like? Like a thousand books? Two thousand books? When a publisher, for example, launches, how many books are they hoping to sell?

Joelle Hann: Yeah, it depends. The publisher is going to estimate a first print run of that title based on how many titles of books they think they can sell. And some publishers, like smaller or independent publishers, are willing to take a risk on people who don’t have a platform. Their first print run might be three thousand copies and they might not expect that author to sell all those three thousand copies within the first year. They might think the life of the edition will sell that money.

A book is considered to have good sales when it sells ten thousand copies or more. If, for example, some people self-publish and then they want to cross over into traditional publishing, that first book that they self publish needs to reach ten thousand sales for a traditional publisher to take a look at them for a second book to take them seriously. I would say ten thousand copies.

Now, it’s not a very fair benchmark when some publishers, like I just said, will say, “oh, we’re just going to estimate three thousand copy print, run it for your book. If you outsell that, we’ll do a second printing or do a third printing. But that’s what we think you can sell”. Again the answer is it depends.

Kathryn: OK, well, that’s interesting. It’s all good to know. I feel like there’s a lot of people who are listening and probably have these thoughts of like, “oh, I’m thinking about writing a book. I’m not really sure exactly how all of this works”. Super helpful.

When does a writer know or whatever a person knows…I don’t really identify as a writer but I am someone who hopes to write a book in the near future. That’s an interesting kind of thing in and of itself. But when does a person know when they have found that, like, great idea? It’s big enough for a book. It’s not just a blog post. It’s not just a few Instagram posts. Like what’s the feeling associated with that? Where people are like, “yes, this is exactly what we’re going to write about”.

Joelle Hann: OK, so I do think that passion is important when writing a book. Writing a book is a long-term project. It’s going to take a little while. It’s going to take some elbow grease. That passion and excitement are really, really important.

If there’s something that a person is just interested in, that’s probably not enough enthusiasm to get them through the process. But when one of those ideas wakes you up in the middle of the night and keeps popping into your mind; it keeps coming up in conversation, and you find yourself writing about it in different ways or thinking about it in different ways; if that happens over a period of time, then, you know, you’re on to something.

Now, there can also be situations where an idea starts tapping on your window, like Michael Pollan’s book, The How to Change Your Mind. He started to get interested in the research in psilocybin and consciousness almost as an accident. Then as he started to explore the experiments that were already underway at three major hospital labs in the US, he started to realize that something very big was happening. That got him really excited.

And if you’ve seen that book, it’s really big. He did a lot of research. He really threw himself into that project and he went on this journey of exploration into what is consciousness and what science is telling us about psilocybin and how they alter our consciousness or can give us an experience of, quote-unquote, beyond.

In his case, it started as a slow burn and then ramped up into something that he would write a proposal for and then research and write this entire book for other people, maybe people in your audience.

They might have a lot of material at their fingertips already and then be wanting to write a book from what they have already in front of them, which in some ways is a little bit more challenging because that material is already imprinted on our brains and our nervous systems.

We already know it really well and we know what we stand for. I think having that spark of excitement in itself can be the indication that there is a book here that needs to happen. Now, I know people write books for practical reasons, thinking “I’ve got tons of material. I should really make it into a book. My listeners, my followers, my clients are really begging for this. They’re really asking for this”. And that can sometimes be motivation enough to put a book together.

I’m not saying that’s not possible, but I do think that the idea that wakes you up in the middle of the night you can’t stop thinking about is the one to go with. That’s going to be fun to write, fun to read and will be inspiring for other parts of the work that you do.

Kathryn: What are the trends right now that you see happening in the wellness industry books that are being published?

Joelle Hann: Yeah, so I did some thinking about this and I reached out to an agent friend of mine to just hear her thoughts on it too. And we have overlap in our reflections on it. My feeling is that right now…I feel like as soon as I say one thing, there are going to be 10 examples that prove that it’s wrong.

But here’s is what I’m seeing at a kind of high level, which is that in the last, let’s say, 10 years, what has happened. There’s been a huge rise in the prominence of technology in our lives, which has meant more fragmented delivery of information, shorter reading spans, attention spans, more addiction to technology.

All of that has had an impact on the kinds of books were able to consume anymore. Books have become shorter and more concise and less encyclopedic. In general, I will say in general, it’s not like there aren’t comprehensive books coming out, especially in the wellness space. For example, Gwyneth Paltrow’s book that just came out in December, that’s three hundred and four pages. It’s a food and cookbook with a lot of plates, a lot of photos in it. That’s not a short book.

But in general, people don’t have the attention span anymore to dive into the big reads. Now, I do you have a client at the moment who’s happy to tell me that that’s not true for her client. So like I said, there are always exceptions. People are still reading things like Women Who Run With Wolves or Big Jungian Titles and finding satisfaction there. I would say that that would be a trend across industries in general. I also think that there’s a lot more acceptance of things that used to be thought of as woo-woo. Things that were just too out there.

Even mindfulness and meditation used to be just too far out of the mainstream for publishers to publish a lot of titles on unless someone had scientific research behind it or they were a very, very well established doctor or in some way had some other credibility to them.

I feel like now mindfulness meditation is just accepted across the board. With millennials being very, very interested in astrology at this moment, that that has gotten a lot of traction also. It’s not something that’s seen as something a very niche or smaller independent publisher would do.

Now, big five publishers are interested in that kind of thing. I do think that millennials are big readers and they’re a big book consumer demographic. And their interest in the interplay of wellness and business and holistic health has influenced the titles that are coming out now. I think the idea of holistic has broadened a lot in the last 10 years.

We’re not as afraid to talk about mental health and wellness as well as part of the wellness. It’s not just a diagnosis anymore. It’s also a day to day reality for a lot of people that authors are opening up about. And publishers are more willing to publish that not just as this celebrity crash and burn kind of expose.

It’s OK to talk about fertility. It’s OK to talk about aging. It’s OK to talk about not just sleep, but the circadian rhythm and get really into the nitty-gritty of what these things might mean for us.

There’s a lot on intermittent fasting right now, for example, in various ways You can do it in a vegan way. You can do it in a, you know, like a high fiber way. I do think there is more acceptance of things that used to be considered too fringe for the mainstream. And one thing that’s happened very recently in the past year, which is really exciting on the one hand and also dismaying, is that finally, publishers have made concrete steps towards making publishing more diverse.

And they say it’s dismaying because this has been a known issue in publishing for a long, long time and fostering editors and executives who were not white. And now, since Black Lives Matter of the summer of 2020, there was a lot of…I would say a lot relatively…there were some executive positions that were filled that were non-white people put in high levels of power.

Non-White editors came in and imprints were created to be led by non-white people. That’s a very long overdue change in the publishing world. I think it’s going to have a great trickle-down for wellness books as well.

Kathryn: Thank you so much for sharing all of those things. For people who are interested in getting started, maybe they want to work with you or find out more about what you do or the different options, where should they go to do that?

Joelle Hann: Yes. I am online in a couple of places. I am at brooklynbookdoctor.com. That’s my website. I have a couple of programs launching the week of February 15th. One is Book Publishing Academy, which I talked about earlier. That’s my four-month program that takes you step-by-step through the process of creating a nonfiction book proposal.

I also have “Develop Your Book Idea” and “Get Writing”, which you did, Kathryn, and that’s going to start on February 18th. That’s a four-week program where we really get into the nitty-gritty of your idea and start thinking about what kind of idea will make the book you’re going to write.

You might have many ideas, but there’s only one that can lead this book for right now. That workshop helps people work out what book you’re writing right now. And otherwise, I do offer some one-on-one services as well in a more limited capacity.

But it’s all there on brooklynbookdoctor.com, and it’s also on Instagram. Same name, @brooklynbookdoctor. If you go to the links to the bio, there’s information there on how you can reach me and what I’m offering and the free things I’m doing, and all good things are there.

I’m also on Facebook, but a little bit less. More on Instagram.

Kathryn: Awesome. Well, we have all of those links in our descriptions and the show notes and we transcribe the whole podcast now. Some folks might be reading along with us right now. All of the links are on the pages, though.

Thank you so much, Joelle.

 

Kathryn: And thank you again to our amazing sponsor Offering Tree. If folks want to get started getting their stuff online, go to offeringtree.com/mindfulstrength.
All right, everyone, I’ll see you next week.

Kathryn: That’s our show. Thank you, everyone, so much for listening. If you’re listening on the Apple Podcast and you’re loving the podcast, please consider leaving us to review. All of the reviews really, really help. If you want to learn more about my work, my membership, my teachers’ course, or my new free course called Mindful Strength Foundations, you can head over to mindfulstrength.ca