What are top three mistakes entrepreneurs make when they decide to write a book and pitch publishers to secure a contract?
The first mistake, is writing the entire book and not the book proposal. But, if you plan to self-publish, go ahead and start working on your manuscript.
Secondly, don’t get too invested in your initial book idea. My initial idea pivoted millions of times. It is important to be flexible enough to pivot just as you would with your business.
There are a lot of different ideas that come up along the way and getting too invested [in your initial idea] can be challenging.
Lastly, don’t lose sight of your brand.
Don’t publish a book that is not going to help your business grow. I really took this into account through all of the variations of proposals I wrote by asking myself, “How does my brand fit into this book concept and [does it have the potential] to expand by business?”
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[like-gate] How did you balance the daily responsibilities of running your online dating consultancy, eFlirt Expert and writing Love at First Click at the same time?
I wrote Love at First Click in three-and-a-half months. It was a very intense period. I did have longer, but I had other responsibilities to attend to. Writing my book and running my business simultaneously was a challenge because I had to rely much more on my team to move the business forward while I wrote every day from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed.
I also had to learn efficient practices for working with clients during that time. I have worked with CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies and in comparison, writing a book was the hardest thing I have ever done. I grew professionally as a business owner during that time.
What was the biggest personal challenge you encountered while writing your new book?
The writing process was kind of lonely. However, I did quite a lot to ensure it wasn’t such a lonely experience. For example, I would take my laptop to bars with me, so when I was working at night I would still be in a social environment. I also wrote my book at a lot of tea shops, parks and coffee shops. It was inspiring to be in different environments.
I also engaged with people on social media while I was writing my book. It sounds like procrastination, but it wasn’t. I used social media to involve other people in my writing process. For example, I [crowdsourced] alias character names for the client’s featured in my book. It was interesting because everyone was able to be part of my process from beginning to end. Now that Love at First Click is on bookstore shelves they are more invested in my book and my brand as well.
Now that you have created a successful small business and written a book to build your brand, what can we expect from eFlirt Expert in the future?
eFlirt Expert is growing on a local scale—nationwide and that is our plan right now. So we are training certified eFlirters in other local cities. I want [to increase our staffing plans], especially in cities where we have a high concentration of clients, to have someone that clients can sit down with and talk to a little bit more personally than you can over Skype. And it will help us better understand the culture of dating in that [specific] city—such as the best date spots.
We also just launched eFlirt Engine—in beta—our recommendation engine for dating sites. So, singles can go there, they can answer a couple of quick questions and it will tell them the top three sites that they should join.
Right now there are over 1,400 dating sites in North America alone so it can be very confusing for people who are wondering, “Which one should I join?” The best site for someone might be a dating site they have never even heard of, too. It is a consistent problem that we see with our clients, which we are solving.
In terms of my book, I am doing a book tour in several cities across the U.S. and a lot of online events as well.[/like-gate]
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To order Laurie’s new book, Love at First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating visit www.eflirtexpert.com/loveatfirstclick. Also, find out how you can connect with Laurie on her book tour at www.eflirtexpert.com/tour.
Photo: Laurie Davis, Michelle Kinney Photography