In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview AJ Harper. AJ is an editor and publishing strategist who helps authors write foundational books that enable them to build readership, grow their brand and make a significant impact on the world. As ghostwriter and as developmental editor, she has worked with newbies to New York Times bestselling authors with millions of books sold. AJ is writing partner to business author, Mike Michalowicz. Together they’ve written nine books, including Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan, Fix This Next, and their latest, Get Different. She has her own book now called — Write a Must-Read: Craft a Book That Changes Lives—Including Your Own.
How do you write a book that readers rave about? The answer to that question follows a simple, yet powerful philosophy: Reader First. When you learn how to put your reader first at every stage of book development, writing, and editing, you can create the connection and trust required to transform their lives. In this episode, AJ Harper shares her proven methods and frameworks she has used for nearly two decades to write and edit perennial bestsellers. It’s not the easy way or the fast way; it’s the effective way. The payoff for doing this important work: a must-read book, and a massive readership who serve as ambassadors for your message and your brand.
Questions I ask AJ Harper:
- [2:04] Why is the idea that a book is like a business card and everyone needs one a silly concept?
- [3:58] Is there a system to writing a good book?
- [6:32] Can you unpack the concept of transformational reader sequence from your book?
- [7:44] How do you get someone to trust you in the book that you’re writing?
- [11:01] What role do credentials play when you don’t really have them?
- [13:00] What makes a book transformational?
- [14:00] How do you apply the idea of “Shitty first drafts”?
- [16:35] Are you a fan of self-publishing or traditional publishing?
- [18:11] What’s the route in self-publishing?
- [19:33] The editing process for connection is probably the hardest part — how do you do that as an editor?
- [21:23] I find that I don’t have the crispest grammar as an editor may want, so where’s the fine line with that kind of stuff while trying to remain authentic?
- [23:18] Could you share with people how they can work with you and the course that you mentioned?
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