Self Publishing & Marketing Your Yoga Book with Barrie Risman
“Somehow there’s this thinking that the universe will just magically let people know about the book and that there’s something wrong if that doesn’t happen. And that’s not the case. There’s a way that we can do it authentically, that’s part of who you are.” — Barrie Risman
Have you ever thought about writing a book?
Whether you’ve had the idea for years or it’s something you’ve just started to think about, it’s super exciting and this interview is going to give you lots of great ideas.
Barrie Risman is a highly regarded yoga teacher in Canada and a bestselling author! In this interview we talked about how she decided to self-publish and of course, how she marketed her book:
Evolving Your Yoga: Ten Principles For Enlightened Practice
What does the process of writing a book look like?
“It was about 3 years from the idea of writing a book to actually having the book in my hands.” — Barrie Risman
Barrie shares that she had the idea for the book and from that moment to actually holding the book in her hands, was about 3 years and I’m so glad she was open about this.
Many times we see the finished product and think that it was easy and a quick process but the truth is, it’s anything but that but it’s worth every minute of the process. By allowing your idea to come to life over a period of time allows that idea to become the best version it can be.
Barrie shares a few times of how she navigated this 3 year period and what she highly recommends for anyone who’s thinking of writing a book:
- Hire a writing coach
- Have a way to hold yourself accountable (see above 🔼)
- Start writing….every day
Overall, you want to get the momentum going and eventually you will find a flow that works well but actually writing (who would have thought, right?!) is the first thing to do.
“The way I started was writing a daily blog. It helped me get over the fear of putting something not perfect; out there.”- Barris Risman
“Have a way to be accountable.” — Barris Risman
Barrie also chose to self-publish her book after submitting her book proposal to a few traditional publishers. This allowed her to retain the rights to her work and therefore she had more freedom with some fun marketing strategies too. So if you’re thinking that traditional publishing isn’t right for you, see the list below for the self-publishing resources.
“In the end, I made the decision to rather than continuing to put my effort into approaching publishers and agents, I thought, there’s so many tools for self-publishing, I decided to pivot and put my energy into self-publishing.” — Barrie Risman
Marketing Your Yoga Book
“It wasn’t until later that I thought about marketing. If I would have thought about having to market the book it might have been too overwhelming because just writing the book took years.” — Barrie Risman
Whether you’re self-publishing or using a traditional publisher, you (the author) will be responsible for doing the majority of your marketing. Sure, if you’re working with a publisher or coach of some sort they will share ideas and give you guidance but since marketing your book requires you, it’s important to understand that marketing will fall into your responsibility.
But don’t let this discourage you! Like Barrie says, it’s just how you finish out the project.
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“I really wanted to be responsible to the project. It was important to me to really see it through and marketing was a big part of that. Having anyone that could benefit from it know about it so that’s what marketing felt like. Like it was a responsibility that I wanted to fulfill, to complete the project in the best way.” — Barrie Risman
Barrie shares that she dedicated the first full calendar year from when the book was released to market it as much as she could and that this is pretty much the industry standard.
Ways Barrie Marketed Her Book:
- Used her network to spread the word about the book
- Went on a Book Tour (book signings, workshops and in-person events that facilitated sales of the book)
- Sold the book on Amazon
- Sold the book on her website
- Gave away the first chapter for free on her website
- Created Online Bonus Content
- Hosted a Book Club in a Facebook Group using Facebook Lives
- Media spots (tv, podcasts, guest blogging/article writing)
How to use a book tour to sell your yoga book
Barrie did a great job utilizing her network to help her spread the word about her book once it was released. And you can do the same thing!
Rather than only relying on social media or ads to sell your book, reaching out to your connections is a great place to start.
Barrie said that she reached out to her friends and connections to see if they wanted to host her at their space or in their community for an event. She created a workshop that incorporated what she teaches in the book and the workshop was a free event but the book was for sale.
This was also a great opportunity for her to support the local studios because what the studio did was purchase the book at wholesale prices and then sold it at the event. This allowed Barrie to sell her book and the studio to make a profit as well since the workshop was free.
This is a win-win for both parties and helps marketing of the book as well as the studio too!
Creating Online Content Related To Your Book
As you write your book there will be a lot of content that’s cut from the final manuscript. There will also be things that you think will be included but you will find that they aren’t best inside the book but rather a different medium.
For example, Barrie found that as she created asanas and meditations that these weren’t easily communicated in book form. Instead of just forgetting about these pieces of content she put time and energy into, she took the content and allowed it to be online content to supplement the book.
- Audio files for meditations
- PDFs for journaling prompts so people didn’t have to write in the book if they didn’t want to
- Questions for book clubs that groups can use as they read the book
In addition to having online content that’s directly related to the book, Barrie shared that she blogged through this process as well. She even started teaching from the book on her blog before it was even published!
“Teasing out information early, even if you don’t mention the book, is a great way to prime your audience for the information you will be sharing in the book.” — Amanda McKinney
Continuing to Promote Your Yoga Book After It’s Published
While Barrie dedicated an entire year to marketing her book, she isn’t planning on stopping. She knows that in order to continue to sell the book, you have to continue to market the book too.
Ways you can continue to market something that’s not new:
- Keep it in your social media rotation for posting (schedule it)
- Write new blog posts or update previously published blogs about the book content
- Think of new ways to frame the content to media outlets (podcasts, news, bloggers, magazines)
Your next step
Start writing. You can’t write your book if you don’t start somewhere and even if you aren’t sure what you want to write, just get started. Barrie started with blogging and that might be perfect for you too. Or maybe it’s journaling and then blogging later. The key is to write and become okay with writing something that isn’t perfect.
Until next time give yourself permission to start writing and grace along the way. I’ll talk to you soon!
Barrie Risman is widely regarded as one of Canada’s most highly skilled yoga educators, teacher–trainers and mentors. Her best-selling book, Evolving Your Yoga: Ten Principles for Enlightened Practice, is a guide for teachers and continuing students to deepen, expand, and integrate the benefits of yoga in their lives. She’s the creator of The Skillful Yogi, an online practice and study community of yoga students and teachers from around the globe. Barrie is well known for her ability to convey the essence of the wisdom teachings of yoga with exceptional clarity, insight, and relevance to students of all levels and from all walks of life. As unpretentious and down-to-earth as she is wise and inspiring, Barrie teaches with a remarkable combination of rigor and challenge balanced with sensitivity, humor, and compassion. Her events weave together the technical precision of refined alignment-based practice with an ever-present awareness of the great wisdom of yoga philosophy distilled from decades of intensive study and practice. Teaching for more than two decades, Barrie shares the depth of her experience and knowledge to reveal a uniquely accessible, authentic and integrated approach to yoga. She empowers students with tools to deepen their understanding and inspires them to embrace asana as a path for expansive self-discovery and inner growth.
BARRIE’S LINKS AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
- Book: www.evolvingyouryoga.com (download chapter 1 for FREE)
- Website: https://www.barrierisman.com/
- Ingram Spark Self-Publishing Resources
- Co-Publishing Explained
- Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing Deep Dive Article
For more stories like this, listen to the Marketing Yoga with Confidence Podcast.
About Amanda McKinney (Marketing Coach for Yoga Teachers)
Amanda McKinney is a Marketing Coach with a passion for empowering yoga teachers to earn more money doing what they love. She does this through her podcast: Marketing Yoga With Confidence and Online Offerings. All of which focuses on building confidence and community with an extra dose of encouragement every step of the way.