by | Jan 1, 2024 | Business Building Musts, Copywriting

During 2023, my big project was my book – Small Town Big Impact – 107 Simple Marketing Strategies for Regional Business Success.

Since publishing the book, loads of people have reached out to me about the process.

I guess lingering in their minds is the thought that perhaps one day they might like to publish a book too – but just want to know more first.

Maybe that’s you?

Honestly, I believe we all have a book or two inside us – whether that be a business book like mine or a novel.  And seriously if you lived through the pandemic, you have a story to tell – let’s face it!

So, given the amount of people who have reached out and thinking there’s probably more out there that haven’t reached out – I thought I’d give some thoughts, ideas and my experience around publishing a book.

Even if you never thought about it – read on because maybe afterwards you will think about it!

Let’s start with a few hard truths about publishing a book.

Firstly, I remember listening to a podcast a while ago and the authors where talking about publishing books and just casually mentioned that most Australian authors will make around $10K from selling their book.  I believe these authors were novel writers.

So, heads up and first up, writing a book is probably not going to make you rich.  Don’t write a book thinking it’s going to make you rich.  Because through sales alone, it probably won’t!

And if this is true, most make around $10K – that’s not even covering what I paid for the book to be printed!

My book, in all honesty, and as great as it is – is a glorified business card.  Most business books are.  Many mentors over many years have said to me “Jenn if you want to go to the next level, you have to write a book”.  Are they right? I’ll let you know in 12 months perhaps – but so far, so good and I’d tend to agree.

I have made good sales from my book, hope to sell more, of course, but my book was written to not only change the way business owners look at their marketing and market their businesses, but also to open new doors for me as a speaker, author and thought leader in the marketing space.

Honestly, my money will come from those three things – being a speaker, author and thought leader. Not necessarily from book sales.

Your book might be different, or it might not be.

There’s a chapter in my book called “Start with the end in mind” and I honestly, 100% live that. This book was written with an end goal – a very sustainable, steadfast goal.

I knew exactly why I was writing the book, both for me and for my audience.  If you want to write a book, first figure out what is your end goal? Because I think it can’t really be to make book sales and make you rich!  The money will come, possibly, from different income streams rather than just book sales.

Ok, let’s leave that bit behind and get into some more process-based (fun!) stuff!

If you are a content writer, like me, you should definitely write a book.

My book has 107 simple marketing strategies in it and because I have been podcasting for five years and blogging for about seven, I had loads of content already.

I used a lot of this already done content in my book, and while much of it needed updating on the specifics to make it current, the headings hadn’t changed.  The book has 107 simple marketing strategies in it, so although I may have written a blog on email marketing three years ago and the content needed updating, I was able to use bits of it.

Basically I had the bones of my book from my content – the headings, the ideas, what the strategies would be etc.

And I also think the book structure worked well for me – 107 simple marketing strategies. It meant that I didn’t have to write the book from the start to the end.  I got to choose a marketing strategy and write that one.

In practice that meant if I felt like writing about radio that day I did, if social media was making me mad that day, I didn’t write about social media and so on.  Then it was just a matter of collating the book into a book!

I didn’t use a project management system to track my book – I find they don’t work well inside my brain.  I just haven’t found a app/system that works well for me, so I made it simple and just used an excel spreadsheet with colour codes.

I listed all the chapters in the spreadsheet, colour coded which were done, as I went along, and also entered the word count and “tips/strategies” as a number as well.

I didn’t set off to write a book with 107 simple marketing strategies, that’s just what the total was when I stopped writing!

I’d highly recommend you get yourself a book coach and some author friends.  I attended Andrew Griffiths “4 Day Book Writing Retreat” back in March 2023 and that’s where I planned my book.  On sticky notes!  I also wrote the first chapter “Where it all began for me” on those four days, which Andrew then reviewed and gave feedback.

That feedback was invaluable to me, because I didn’t really think I had what it took to write and publish a book.  So, getting feedback around the way I write and how engaging it is to the reader really gave me the confidence to say, okay, let’s do this!

On that retreat I met Michael Hanrahan, from Publish Central, a Melbourne based company, and it was Michael’s company was who I hired to publish the book.

Lots of people have asked if I self-published.  According to what I learned on my book writing retreat what I did was a hybrid-publish.  Not self-publishing, not a publishing house.

My friend Katrina’s first book was self-published. Which meant she interviewed and hired a editor, she interviewed and hired a proof reader (yes, they are different people, it’s an entirely different skill, so I learnt!) and she dealt with the printer of the book.

I did none of that. I wrote a book, handed Michael the second draft in early August this year. He then sent it back after going through it and said “it’s too long, loose 25,000 words” – yep, that was tough – I’ll talk about that later, then I handed him the 3rd draft in early September, it went to the amazing Karen Comer, an author herself but my editor, then back and forth to me, then to the proof reader, then to the printer and the book arrived at my door two weeks after I signed off on the final, final, final draft of the book!

I didn’t like the idea of going through a publishing house for this first book. While maybe I will next time, for this book I wanted full control. Because sometimes, or I believe a lot of the time, you don’t have control over things like the book cover, who does the audio version and so forth.

As a first-time author this was a great choice for me and highly recommend Publish Central, and Michael’s team (Anna, was a god sent, she talked me off a few ledges!).

Was writing the book hard? Kind of. The writing wasn’t – it just literally poured out through my fingers into the keyboard and onto the screen.  It’s a marketing book. I live, breathe, dream marketing – the topic wasn’t new to me, I know marketing.  So, the content side wasn’t hard.

But the self-sabotage was. Who am I to be writing a book? Really, you don’t even have a marketing degree, who’s going to listen to you, are you really an expert – blah blah blah.  Having author friends and just good friends and family in my corner helped.  I was talked down a few times, but I have to say, if I am being completely honest, I only had three breakdowns about the book.

The second time was actually posting the book to people who’d purchased it. The thought of someone actually reading it, judging it, judging me, that was a rough day.

The first breakdown was trying to get it from 95,000 words down to 65-70,000.  That took me a whole week to get my head around. I just couldn’t think where I was going to get those words from.

After a week of most emotions (crying, angry, frustrated, etc), I did what my brain needed me to do – how I work best. I turned it into a mathematical equation – 65,000 words divided by 107 strategies, that’s about 600 or 700 words each and go! I highlighted every section, if it was under 600 words – done – left that, if it was over, I culled.  Once I found a solution, in the end it took me less than 2 hours to cull.

The third was two days before the printing was supposed to begin when I got the book for the very last time to go through and only minor changes were allowed.  I’d forgotten a really obvious tip – something so freaking obvious that I cannot believe I forgot it. I’m not prepared to say what it was, because I feel so stupid, but I managed to slip in a few words here and there to cover it.  It doesn’t have its own section, which it one hundred percent should, but at least it’s mentioned in the book.  I feel stupid re-living it as I write about it here!

The biggest question you probably have is how much did it cost? Not including my time to write the darn thing or the book writing retreat I went on, it cost around $17,000 – and that was for 400 copies of my book.  It’s an investment, absolutely and one I know will return tenfold to be me over the next 12 to 24 months.  You’ve got to think about these things as an investment.

So, my advice to you if you want to write a book:

  1. Know your subject really well and the writing bit will be simple (maybe not easy, but simple!)
  2. Get yourself a book coach, and surround yourself with authors to talk you off ledges!
  3. Attend Andrew’s 4 day retreat – he has virtual and in real life ones – here’s the link:
  4. Reach out to me, happy to answer any questions you might have.
  5. Know the end game for the book – start with the end in mind. I actually wrote the last two pages first! I always read the last two pages of any book first, so it made sense for me to write those two first for my own book!
  6. Investigate which type of publishing will work best for you – just don’t look at the price – it’s got to work best for you otherwise, you won’t finish.
  7. Just start! Get out the sticky notes, start making a plan, or start a spreadsheet or start typing! Let the book inside you ooze it’s way out!

Small Town Big Impact was my first book – although I’d written a chapter for a book collective before (that might be a good way to start if you’re curious).  But I guarantee you, it won’t be my last book, I already have 3 ideas for books to write, but this one will be my book for the next few years!

Hope you enjoyed that little look before closed doors of the process of my book writing. If you haven’t got your copy yet and want one, go to

If you have any questions about the book writing process. I’d love for you to hop into my Facebook group Like Minded Business Owners and let me know – I’d love to be able to do a follow-blog or podcast episode.

Or if you want to chat, get in touch.  Email me or DM me on Instagram or LinkedIn – I would love to hear from you.


I would love for you to book a free discovery call with me to talk about how I can help your nail your business goals, planning, strategy, marketing and social media! Simply click the link and grab a spot!

My Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group is also a great community to join – full of awesome people in small business!

Or you can DM me on Instagram or LinkedIn, or send me an email

I wish to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Yorta Yorta People, on which I conduct my business today and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reading this blog post today.

About the Author:

Jenn Donovan of Social Media & Marketing Australia.  Jenn’s an expert marketing coach and mentor from rural NSW. She is all about empowering business owners to earn what they’re worth so they can make a bigger difference in the world.  Not only is she a sought after expert on all things marketing for Small Business, she is a keynote speaker, author of Small Town Big Impact, was the Founder of Buy From a Bush Business and a Co-Founder of Spend With Us e-commerce marketplace, and is the host of the very popular podcast Small Business Made Simple and Stories from the Bush. Jenn is all about community and humans interacting with humans!  H2H Marketing – human to human marketing. Jenn talks the talk but importantly walks the walk!

Get in touch –

On Instagram – @jenndonovan_

On Facebook – Jenn Donovan

Or on LinkedIn as Jenn Donovan

1 Comment

  1. Michael Peiniger

    Thank you for sharing Jenn! There is far more of a process to writing the book than I realised!


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Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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