SIGN UP TO KNOW WHEN WE RELEASE NEW EPISODES!

The Published Author Podcast

ACCOUNTANT TURNED AUTHOR SAYS GROUP WRITING SPRINTS MADE FINISHING BOOK POSSIBLE

Hearing “phenomenal” feedback from her book's target audience is thrilling for new author Tatiana Tsoir. 

“People say that it's the book they wish they had when they started their first business that failed,” says Tatiana. “Some people read the book and their feedback is that it gives them hope that they can actually start a business, especially the creatives and moms, which are the two audiences that I wrote this book for.

“They need that extra support, that extra confidence, that extra clarity in what to do next, how to even begin . . . knowing  that it's not that scary. And the feedback from those folks, from ideal readers has been phenomenal since we launched.”

A VISIONARY BUSINESS ADVISOR

Tatiana, who has been described as a visionary business advisor, explains that her new book Dream Bold, Start Smart shows entrepreneurs how to bullet-proof an idea. It arms businesses with a framework that enables them to  run a sustainable and profitable business. 

Tatiana explains that some entrepreneurs are inspired by a vision, and that vision carries them through the early years of their business.

But too many pay little attention to the finances. They put money on the back burner and look at the numbers only sporadically throughout their journey. 

Tatiana has taken on the role of ensuring that her clients understand that they are not accountants, but do know how to approach taxes, deal with government agencies, and manage cash—and that last one is a big one, she says. 

She helps her clients set up a business so that it actually makes money a business so that it's actually making money and gives the lifestyle they want. 

“You actually have to face your numbers. And that's what I wanted to show possible for someone who's just sitting there and thinking, ‘I really like photography, how can I make a business out of this?’.”

Tatiana, who has been described as a visionary business advisor, explains that Dream Bold, Start Smart explains how entrepreneurs can bullet-proof an idea. It arms businesses with a framework that enables them to  run a sustainable and profitable business. 

WRITING A BOOK LIKE HAVING A BABY

Tatiana jokes that writing a book was the longest labor she’s ever had! But she made the smart decision of joining a workshop to write her book. She and other participants were provided with a matrix on how to develop structure, create chapters, fill in teaching points, and include stories. 

“I already had a bunch of stories, so I just wrote them out and organized them,” Tatiana explains. “That was the first step. And then the writing was easier, because I already have the expertise. And I already have the story. 

“Making sure that the story highlights the point that I wanted to make was really challenging,” she adds. 

GROUP WRITING SPRINTS TO WRITE CONSISTENTLY, EVERYDAY

Even so, Tatian wrote her first draft in about four months by attending group writing sprints at 6 a.m. every weekday. 

“It was actually really good, because it really motivated you to show up not just for yourself, but also for other people . . .and write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I wrote 1,000 words in an hour, sometimes I wrote 200.”

She says the key to progress is not setting expectations high, but setting the expectation of  writing consistently. These were the two things that really made a difference in writing this book.

GETTING OVER GETTING STUCK

Like almost every entrepreneur-author, Tatiana went through a period of being stuck, especially when she hit chapter seven of her book, which contained a business entity selection matrix. 

She explains: “I wanted to create something based on my not only tax preparation experience, but also tax planning experience . . . something that would allow people to form the right type of entity from the start and understand what they're forming. 

“What I found was that entities, especially in the United States, are a big deal. It has a direct effect on the amount of tax that you're going to pay. Whenever I do tax planning engagements for clients, the first thing I look at whether their entities are structured correctly with the most efficient tax setup.”

However, startups often don’t have the luxury of forming several entities for tax efficiencies. But when they are up and running and earning good money, they keep the old structure and end up overpaying tax. 

THE ACCOUNTANT’S ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Tatiana’s aim was to create a matrix that would address that, but she kept procrastinating. She didn’t want to continue writing other parts of the book until she figured that one out. She was stuck for about a week.  

She observes: “A week in a writer's journey is a lot. So I really got held back because of that.”

Eventually, persistence and determination won through: As she says: “For an accountant to miss something is the worst nightmare ever. Because we never want to miss anything, we always want to consider all things involved. And that's kind of what the thought process was, something wasn't working. So I went back and worked on it and worked on it, and basically developed to where it is today.”

Learn more: If you got a lot from this episode, listen to:

Entrepreneur Writes Startup Guide After Hearing Crazy Startup Ideas, Financial Confusion

And:

How To Get The Best Publicity For Your Book

LINKS

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PUBLISHED AUTHOR PODCAST

If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. You can also watch episodes of the podcast on YouTube.

And if you want to spread the word, please give us a five-star review (we read every single one!) and share this page with your friends. 

We also share valuable snippets from podcast episodes on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

ABOUT THE HOST

The Published Author Podcast is hosted by Josh Steimle, founder of Published Author. Josh is a book author himself and his article writing has been featured in over two dozen publications including Time, Forbes, Fortune, Mashable, and TechCrunch. He's a TEDx speaker, the founder of the global marketing agency MWI, a skater, father, and husband, and lives on a horse farm in Boston. Learn more at JoshSteimle.com.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Josh Steimle:

Welcome to the Published Author Podcast where we help entrepreneurs learn how to write a book and leverage it to grow their business and make an impact. I’m your host, Josh Steimle.
Today my guest is Tatiana Tsoir. Tatiana is an accountant who knows all too well the financial challenges businesses face. Today, she helps entrepreneurs gain clarity and be confident in their businesses by hosting her popular podcast show Talk to Tatiana, and with the release of her first book, Dream Bold, Start Smart: Be Your Own Boss and Make Money Doing What You Love. Tatiana, welcome to the show.

Tatiana Tsoir:

Thanks so much for having me.

Josh Steimle:

So give us some background on you and your life story, how did you end up as an accountant, and how did you end up saying, you know what I really need to do, I need to write a book?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Yes, quite a story. So I’ll start by saying that I actually did not want to be an accountant initially. When I was 14, my dad's friend came over from another country, and I asked what he was doing, and he said he was a lawyer, so not an attorney in court, but actually a person who is developing documents and drafting contracts. I was completely mesmerized by this idea of being a lawyer, and that's kind of what I've been wanting to be since I was about 14. I even started law school, so in Russia, law schools is a five-year kind of grad-undergrad degree. So you have to, at 17, you have to decide whom you want to be, and go to that department. It's not like here where you get to take a few courses, and then see what you like, there you actually select a career when you're 17. And naturally, people often don't want to work in the field that they choose. But I want it to be a lawyer so bad that I went – two years I spent in law school out of five and I loved it, I loved the law, I loved getting to know it, and I've been watching Law & Order since I was, I don't know, 13 or 12, and I loved it. Mr. McCoy is my jam.
But then I came to the United States, and in the United States, in order to become a lawyer, I needed to get my bachelor's first. So as I went to college to get my bachelor's, I needed to pick a major, and I was thinking at the same time, I was working as a bookkeeper for small business, very small business, and I thought, you know, I need a skill, I need something that can carry me through financially because I was here by myself, financially through college, and then through law school, so that I can support myself, buy food, pay rent and that kind of stuff. And I decided to do accounting, because I thought, this is something that you can always find a job for. And I picked accounting, and I was at Hunter College and Hunter College accounting department is very – is doing some smart stuff. And what they did was they were brainwashing us and saying, well, you're majoring in accounting, you might as well sit for the CPA exam. And I thought, maybe I should do that, because like, I’m already doing it, why not? And kind of somewhere in the process, because I was also learning theory during the day and applying it – actually, it's backwards. I was learning theory in the evening, and then applying it at work during the day, to me it was a direct effect, you know, theory and practice kind of got married every day, and it was really fascinating. So I fell in love with accounting, and I kind of abandoned the idea of going to law school altogether.
But I fell in love with accounting, I got a chance to work with small businesses since then with a ton of small businesses, and each and every business is different, different industry, different people, different leadership styles, and I learned a lot from all those folks, and certainly learned to be a better accountant. And then at some point, I was listening to this guy, I don't know how I got across, came across this person, and he said, well, if you want to be an authority in your industry, you need to write a book. And that idea kind of was sitting in my head for a few years, quite a few years, until I came across, I got coached in profit first, I got coached in efficiencies, I got coached in technical tax planning where we look at a tax return and we see an opportunity to save someone money on tax and all of that prompted me to want to write a book even more. And I...

Josh Steimle:

Profit First, are we talking about Mike Michalowicz, his book Profit First?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Correct, yes, Profit First. Yeah, absolutely. It's a very well-known cash management system, and I’ve been applying it before I even read the book, and before I joined the Profit First Professionals for clients, and it's really been an interesting journey. So when I joined Profit First Professionals, I realized that I wanted to write a book that would be a business card book, and I wanted to grow my business, my accounting firm. I wanted to grow it, but grow with smart, not volume, but actually quality. So more involved clients, work with them more often, work with them on a deeper level, teach them, train them, coach them to be better in business, be better with numbers, better with cash. And then I reached out to Mike and I wanted to write potentially a derivative book of Profit First, because I had a little tiny specialty in one industry, and Mike was like, you should come to this event for authors that we're throwing. And as I was sitting at that event, and he was talking about all the marketing ideas he's ever implemented and stuff, I found myself thinking that I love doing taxes, I love the geeky tax stuff, and the accounting and business, but I don't want to just do that for the rest of my life. And he kind of gave me a glimpse of what an author's career could be like, and I got hooked. I no longer wanted to write a business card book, I wanted to write a book that actually changes lives. So I joined a workshop that taught me to actually be able to do that, to write a book, to develop content, to test drive content, to structure content, to tell a story. And I wrote this book that just launched in March. Here we are.

Josh Steimle:

And here we are. And by the way, I got to say, your book cover is one of my favorite book covers, I love everything about it, so we're going to have to dig into that later. But before we get there, this book, so tell us a little bit more about the content of the book and how you came up with the idea – what was the genesis of, this is the book I’m going to write for my first book?

Tatiana Tsoir:

When I joined the book workshop, the Top Three Book Workshop – the owner of this workshop is actually Mike Michalowicz's writing partner. She taught us to think about who the book is for, as opposed to what the book is about. And I wanted to understand where my ideal reader is on their journey and what they're struggling with; and this book, I want to say that it was easy to write, it wasn't easy to write and publish, but it was a lot easier because I’ve already had 15-16 years of client stories, case studies. I’ve already had all the content, I just needed to create a system, and I wanted to create a system, a roadmap for someone who has a business idea or wants to work for themselves, wants to be their own boss, not sure where to start, to have a grip on money, numbers and taxes.
So I wrote the book in plain English because we accountants have a tendency of speaking to people using words and terms that people don't understand, and because they don't want to seem like they don't know anything, they don't want to feel less than worthy, they nod and pretend that they understand and they don't often. And that's what I wanted to avoid, so I wrote the book specifically to tell them in plain English that it's possible. The problem that I saw was that a lot of folks started businesses and kind of dove right in, and had a vision and that vision was carrying them through this journey, but they never paid attention. Many of them never paid attention to numbers, taxes; it was kind of set aside, put on a back burner and sometimes never addressed; sometimes kind of managed, kind of, sporadically, throughout their journey, throughout their year or a month or a week. And I found that actually my clients who've taken on this responsibility to understand, they're not accountants, they don't understand everything I do, but to understand how to approach taxes, how to deal with government agencies, how to manage cash, that's a big one, and how to set up a business so that it's actually making money and gives you the lifestyle, not only the financial lifestyle, but also the time lifestyle that you want is a skill and it needs to be – in order to get there, you have to actually face your numbers. And those who have done it well, my clients have done exactly that, and that's what I wanted to show possible for someone who's just sitting there and thinking, I really like photography, how can I make a business out of this.

Josh Steimle:

This is such a great niche, because as an entrepreneur myself, and most of our listeners on this podcast are entrepreneurs as well, I think we all understand that taxes and finances is not our first love as entrepreneurs. And yet, we know, yeah, we got to do that stuff, we got to take care of that stuff, but we don't really want to, and we prefer that somebody else do it. But we have to do some of it ourselves. We have to at least have a basic understanding. For the record, I failed Accounting 101 three times basically in college. My final grade was a C plus, and I was like, great, I’m done with this class. And that's kind of haunted me through my entire business career too, it's just P&Ls and balance sheets. It's never been my strong suit. I’m always just like, go to my bookkeeper, and I'm like, do I have money in the bank account that I can spend, yes, no, okay, great, and that's all I need to know. And so, I'm relieved to hear that you've written a book that even I can understand about how to run a business from a financial standpoint. So with the book, what was your writing process? As you started to write this book, how did you get it out of your head and out of your experience and onto paper?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Well, the first draft was like having a baby, and I want to say that it was the longest labor that I’ve ever had. But just like with everything else, it's interesting, I was fortunate because I joined this workshop. And in the workshop, AJ Harper gave us basically a matrix on how to develop structure, how to develop your chapters, and how to fill the teaching points and the learning points within your chapters with stories. So I guess, the toughest part of the process was coming up with the structure, making sure that the flow is there – where do they start? What should come next? What should follow that? And why it's coming in that order and why it's important? And certainly, stories is something that there's plenty of throughout the book. They're all real stories, client stories, some names have been changed, but they're all stories of real people just like the reader. And I wanted to relate to each and every reader that picks up the book, and I wanted them to find themselves in one of the people that I've worked with, basically. So I came up with the teaching points, and I guess, the main point of each chapter, and then I looked at the structure, and then for each of the teaching points, I came up with a story. So I already had a bunch of stories, just wrote them out and organized them, and that was the first step. Then the writing was easier, because I already have the expertise, and I already have the story. So just making sure that the story highlights the point that I want to make, that was really challenging.
I wrote my first draft in about four months, basically attending Writing Sprints at 6 a.m. on every weekday. I don't know how I was waking up at 5:55 and joining those friends and what I was writing, but it worked.

Josh Steimle:

Was this part of the workshop, these sprints, like, was it a group thing?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Yeah, it was. So it was actually really good, because it really motivated you to show up, not just for yourself, but also for other people. And right, and just whatever, whatever comes to your mind, sometimes I wrote a 1000 words in an hour, sometimes I wrote 200, to not setting expectations high, but just setting an expectation of writing consistently. That was really, combined with the structure of the outline, and stories that filled that outline, were the two things that really made a difference in writing this book.

Josh Steimle:

How are those sprints set up, like, was that a Zoom meeting with everybody on and everybody's just sitting there working and writing on their book, or, did you check in on Slack or email or something, like, how is that structured?

Tatiana Tsoir:

It's actually very interesting, and I do something similar for people who want to do their own bookkeeping. So we will join on Zoom at 6:00 a.m. There are other times too, but for me, it was 6:00 a.m. and I’m done for the day, which was awesome. So 6:00 a.m., we would start writing, someone would do a timer of 20 or 25 minutes. Then when the time would come, the person who was timing everyone, she or he would also be writing. They would say, time, let's break. We would break for five or 10 minutes, talk about other things or ask questions or share our content and ask for feedback, or, all of the above, and then we would do the same for another 20 to 25 minutes. And that's basically your hour. So by the end of the hour, like I said, I could write 250 words, because, let's say, I just didn't feel inspired that day, or, I could write 1200 words, because it was just pouring out of me.

Josh Steimle:

Or you could be doing research, you could be doing other things to work on the book, right? You just had to be doing something on the book.

Tatiana Tsoir:

Correct.

Josh Steimle:

And this was five days a week, Monday through Friday?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Yeah.

Josh Steimle:

Wow. That is interesting. I haven't heard of a program like that before, but that's a great idea, and obviously, it worked, it got the book done. Right?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Yeah.

Josh Steimle:

Was there any point during the book writing process where you got stuck, you felt like, oh, I don't know how to get past this, or, I just don't want to work on it, did you run into any of that?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Absolutely. I mean, I don't remember all of the times that I've run into that, but certainly chapter 7 of the book that has the entity selection matrix, I wanted to create something that's proprietary. I wanted to create something based on my, not only tax preparation experience, but also tax planning experience, something that would allow people to form the right type of entity from the start and understand what they're forming. Because what I found was that entity, especially in the United States, is a big deal. It has direct effect on the amount of tax that you're going to pay. So whenever I do tax planning engagements for clients, the first thing I look at, whether their entities are structured correctly with the most efficient tax setup. But when a person is just starting out, sometimes they don't have the luxury of forming several entities for tax efficiencies, and then often with the traditional accounting model of having hundreds of clients and not really spending enough time on each client during tax season to actually help them save money, that kind of created this generation of entrepreneurs, who googled or whatever, an LLC, a company formation, it's not a corporation, but it's a formation of a kind, and then they just never do anything with that LLC, meaning, even when they're making money, earning a good profit, they still keep the LLC and keep overpaying tax for years, sometimes for decades.
So I wanted to create something like that, and I really was procrastinating that I didn't want to continue writing other parts of the book until I figured that one out. So after I came up to chapter 7, which was actually previous to chapter 6, I thought, like, I can't move forward. So I was stuck for a couple of days, maybe even a week or week and a half working on that matrix. So to make it easy, of course, there are multiple entities; of course, there are other options for people; but for a simple start business, that matrix was my stumbling block. Like I just, I got really behind, I mean, a week in a writer's journey is a lot. So I really got held back because of that.

Josh Steimle:

That is interesting. And so, how did you finally break through that?

Tatiana Tsoir:

I just kept working on it, just kept looking at the matrix, because there were some duplications, there were some arrows that weren't working, there were some things that I didn't like. And after about a week and a half, maybe even two weeks, so I started, like, I came up with a draft; and then when I started writing, again, about the matrix to kind of take someone on that journey, I realized that it doesn't work, and I went back to the drawing board. So that was quite a journey on this book journey.

Josh Steimle:

That's interesting. Do you think that there was a part of your brain that knew something wasn't quite right, and that's what was making it hard to move past that, as you knew there was something in the [inaudible 00:19:34] that needed to be fixed somehow?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Well, as an accountant, I know, especially as a tax planner, I know exactly which entities work and which don't, and I wanted to create a choice for someone who's forming one business, one entity; I wanted to create the matrix; and I wanted to, all the prior chapters, so chapters one through six, I wanted those elements. So there was an element about partnerships. Should you partner with someone? There's an element about investors. Should you look for investors? I wanted those elements to be a part of that matrix. And because of that, every time you look at something, even if you've looked at that thing for 20 times, you still realize that, you know, but what if that scenario happens. As an accountant, I know the pros and cons of each entity, certainly, like the back of my hand, but that's kind of what was prompting me to go back to it. I felt like I've missed something, and for an accountant to miss something is the worst nightmare ever, because we never want to miss anything, we always want to consider all things involved. And that's kind of what the thought process was, something wasn't working, I knew that logically, okay, maybe there's another scenario where this matrix doesn't apply. So I went back and worked on it and worked on it, and basically developed it to where it is today.

Josh Steimle:

Perfect. So then you had your manuscript, and how did you decide to publish your book?

Tatiana Tsoir:

So part of the workshop was also talking about the different publishing paths, and I just realized that self-publishing was just not for me, because even though I can certainly take that on and manage it well, everything I do, I do a 100%, if I, you know, by taking it on, I do it a 100%. So I realized that in order for me to get a really great editor, developmental editor, for example, someone who looks at the structure, at the flow of information, how teaching points relate to each other, and to the reader, it would probably be anywhere from 30 to $50,000, just for that one person, and I wanted that person to be really good, because realistically, editors are what, take your books to the next level. And I realized that I just can't afford a $50,000 editor that I want, so I figured, I don't want the stress of the traditional publishing path, because in order to get that deal, you have to sell your soul to the devil. Just kidding. You have to realistically sell your rights to the book, just for the advance. Plus when you publish an audio book, you don't keep your rights, and things like that really prompted me to go for a hybrid publisher where I get to keep my rights, I still get trade distribution, I still get my book into libraries, and all those things. And plus, they really project manage this thing. And honestly, it was the best choice I've ever made, because that project management of this book process was just crazy, like nightmare crazy.

Josh Steimle:

And so, who's the hybrid publisher that you decided to work with?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Page Two, that's a Canadian publisher.

Josh Steimle:

And sounds like you had a positive experience with them, if it was the best decision you've ever made in your life.

Tatiana Tsoir:

Absolutely. It was the right decision. The company's values are very aligned with mine, because this book was not a business card book; and if I was just publishing a book, just for the sake of publishing a book, I maybe would have done it self-published, and just got the book out, and that's it. But I wanted a meaningful distribution, I wanted my message to come across, and I wanted people to learn more about it, I wanted to get into libraries and universities where there's entrepreneurship programs; because nobody's teaching folks real entrepreneurship, especially like high schools or early college years. My college, that I went to, has an entrepreneurship certificate, but you have to understand that you want to start a business in order to go for that program. But most people just go for starting a business and don't take any courses. So I wanted to create a roadmap for those folks, and that's why I’m a hybrid publisher allowed me to still get the distribution, but also have the top designers, editors' team behind me to support me in that.

Josh Steimle:

So what were some of the highlights of working with Page Two where you said, oh, I’m so glad I’m working with this hybrid publisher instead of doing this on my own?

Tatiana Tsoir:

There were a number of things that really were life changing. There was a project manager assigned to my book, she kept track of the process when the editor needs to be involved, when I need to turn in my edited manuscript. There were a couple of rounds of developmental edits, copy edits, proofreaders and things like that. Also, same thing with cover design. So someone kept track of all of those things, and not me. So someone was looking at the timeline and saying, okay, so we're sending her the edited manuscript, if she can get it back to us in a week, we can be on schedule to publish on time, we can be on schedule to give this other person, this designer to work on the book cover, and things like that. So that was really the highlight for me, that someone kept track of all the deadlines, all of the relationships, all of the people involved in the process, because I don't know how I would have managed that, especially with the year that we just had, I don't know how I would have managed this whole process, plus run a business, plus launch another business at the same time and have a family. So to answer your question, the highlight was really the project management aspect, plus top designers and top editors that the company has, and distribution channels and printers.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. I often think that writing a book is kind of like starting a business, I mean, you have to learn everything from scratch – I mean, self-publishing a book – self-publishing a book is like starting a business, there's so much to learn, there's so many different factors that go into it, and that's why people go to traditional publishers. But a lot of people still don't know that there's this hybrid in the middle where you still get to own your book, but then they take care of a lot of the things that you need them to take care of. So now I really want to talk about your book cover, because Page Two does great cover design, but you're the first person I’ve actually interviewed on the show who's worked with Page Two as an author. Tell us a little bit about the cover design process and how Page Two worked with you on that.

Tatiana Tsoir:

So at some point in 2020, I hired a marketing director, someone who manages not only Facebook ads, but also branding and kind of all the messaging that's aligned, like, he doesn't do the message writing for me, but he says where the messages are not aligned, where the brand colors aren't aligned and things like that. And what he told me was that my colors are all over the place, and he came up with a color palette that really had both bright colors and also dark blue colors which are one of my favorites, so something that was really balanced and really pretty, but not overly extravagant. And he developed this color palette for me, so when the time came to work on the cover, I sent the publisher the color palette, and I said, I would love to stick to these colors throughout the process because that will look really well on my website and just my kind of, I guess, with colors across the board are very much aligned and look really well together. And the biggest problem with choosing a cover is because, is the fact that they send you a ton of options and you like all of them.
And what's interesting is my cover journey was actually interesting in the sense that I've actually settled on another cover before this one. I had also a two-part, like a two-color book. The reason I wanted two colors is because my book is split into two parts Dream Bold part and the Start Smart part, and I wanted to visually create that as well. Plus Mike Michalowicz was kind of in my brain telling me that he looks at the book spine, and I don't know if you've seen my book spine, but it's actually really cool too. It's actually like that. So it's something that stands out on a bookshelf at a bookstore. And he said that he picks up books and ideas for his next books by the spine often, because that's what you see when you go to a store. So I picked this cover which was dark blue top and kind of like nude, closer to white color bottom. And I really liked it, but the publisher went to a, I don't know, some conference of publishers where the feedback was that for a book like that the cover is just not bold enough, which was really interesting. And we said, okay, we went back to the drawing board, we went back to the palette of my brand colors, and the publisher really wanted to have those prime colors, the magenta and cyan colors for the book, and I just didn't like it. I just thought it was too binary, like, those colors are typically the ones that are representing male and female, and I just didn't want that association with my book. So we kind of came up with this, and I think that that's a perfect color. It looks really beautiful. If you go to my website, you will see that the colors align so well with the book cover, my brand colors align just perfectly well. And another thing that I wanted to say about cover is that I knew early on that I wanted a hardcover book, and the publishers at some point were insisting on potentially doing a softcover, and I just said no. Yes, it costs almost double to print hardcover book, but I just like the feel of hardcover book, and I’m so happy that I did that, because now holding my book in my hand just actually makes me proud of myself.

Josh Steimle:

It does feel better, I mean, it's just got that heft to it, and it just, it looks good, and you just feel like you've got something more substantial.

Tatiana Tsoir:

Yeah.

Josh Steimle:

So I’m also curious about the process you went through for the title, because I think it's a great title as well, Dream Bold, Start Smart, what was your process working on the title – was that you? Did the publisher get involved, or, how did you come up with it?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Initially, I wanted the title to be about unicorns, because at the time, my daughter was involved with unicorns, and I just liked the idea. It's a creature that everyone wants to see, it's magical, I don't know, whatever. But when I worked on developing my reader, who that person is, where they are in their life, in their career maybe or anywhere in between, I realized that many of my clients – I work with a lot of creatives, many of my clients have this dream, and often that dream is so bold, but they don't have the foundation to build that dream to do that better. So what usually happens, and actually, one of my clients, one of my favorite clients, once told me that visionaries don't start businesses he said – accountants don't serve businesses, sorry, visionaries do. Because accountants, we are very pragmatic and practical, we run the numbers – oh, the math doesn't work fine, forget it. But visionaries...

Josh Steimle:

Visionaries don't care about that.

Tatiana Tsoir:

Exactly. Exactly. And often I stopped working with startups a couple of years ago, because typically they don't have the budget for someone like me, but I realized that when prospective clients come to me, when they're already further into their journey, and they can afford someone like me, I found myself thinking that I only wish they started better, I only wish they knew some of the basics. Because what happens is people want to start a business, they have this vision, and then, oh, do I need to get an accountant; oh, I don't have the money to pay them right now, what do I do; you know what, I’m just going to start and just going to do it and wing it and whatever. And then, also when you have a low budget, you get what you pay for, you get a professional often that you can [inaudible 00:33:50] call professional but you don't know that, because it's really hard for non-accountant to assess an accountant's abilities and ethics and all these other things when you're looking at a bunch of documents with numbers on it. So I just thought, if only they can start smart, if only they could start better, so the title kind of came as a result of kind of looking at other books. I wanted it to be a short title, although it came along, I was looking, you know, Mike Michalowicz certainly had a lot of influence on my author career, and he's been very supportive of authors in general and of me as well. And his books are always short titled, Fix This Next, Profit First, Surge, Pumpkin Plan, they're short and sweet, and don't necessarily give away what's in it.
So I wanted to create something like that. So somewhere in the workshop we have a Facebook group, and I just posted some variations of potentially action steps, sometimes titles or action steps, sometimes they are a promise, sometimes they are all these other things, and I wanted mine to be hope. And that's how this title was settled on, before I even reached out to the publisher. Initially, the title was Dream Bold, Launch Smart, I wanted to kind of have the analogy of a rocket launch. But then there were these other books, Rocket Fuel and other things that used the same analogy, so I wanted to be different, so Start Smart.

Josh Steimle:

Got it. Launch Smart would be, that would be great too, but I think start smart's great, you got a little bit of alliteration going on there, so it's good. Well, that's great. So now the book just came out, let's see, when was the publish date, just came out recently.

Tatiana Tsoir:

March 16.

Josh Steimle:

March 16, and we're recording this May 11, so it's almost been two months that it's out. How's the reception been? How's the reaction been?

Tatiana Tsoir:

The reaction with the target audience has been phenomenal, people say that it's the book they wish they had when they started their first business that, let's say, failed or whatever. Some people read the book and their feedback is that it gives them hope that they can actually start a business, especially the creatives and moms, which are the two audiences that I wrote this book for, are the ones that need that extra support, that extra confidence, that extra clarity in what to do next, how to even begin, that it's not that scary. And the feedback from those folks, from ideal readers has been phenomenal since we launched.

Josh Steimle:

So what was your launch plan, what was the marketing that went into this before launch and through launch?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Again, Mike Michalowicz has done a lot of influence on that. I don't know if you know a lot about his marketing techniques, but I was just – my mind was blown when I went to that event for authors. This was in 2019 when I went, and he was talking about things that he was doing, like, having his mum write a request to, you know, for an endorsement and that kind of stuff just blew my mind. I was like, oh my God, like, I would have never thought of that. And so, as I got into the author community, I realized that when you become an author, you become a book promoter, and that's really a journey in and of itself. Yes, you have the book that you work on, but you also have this promotion part. So in 2020, in about July, I decided that podcasts are a great way to promote books and to get audiences, especially bigger podcasts. And so, I got a service that booked me on the podcasts. That was one of the strategies. I also came up with a number of bonuses, preorder bonuses to induce preorders for people. I gave them some content to help them, let's say, analyze their existing business or come up with things that they need to address before the book came out if they were starting a business. It was a checklist called side hustle to business, plus I recorded some explanation for that, and examples to help people really start businesses better, to pay attention to different things. I also kind of recruited what's called the street team, and the street team were people who had audiences, and who agreed to support my book, my book launch. So people did different things, some just posted on Instagram, some took pictures with the book. I got everyone a little promo package that was specifically designed for them. The box was custom with my book on the side and these kinds of things, and I sent them a little gift to thank them for helping my book launch. And so basically, between being a guest on the podcast, pursuing media mentions, recruiting a street team, developing bonuses for bulk orders, and for just individual preorders, all of those things were part of the marketing strategy for my book launch.

Josh Steimle:

Awesome. What worked the best and what didn't work as well as you thought it would work?

Tatiana Tsoir:

I feel the podcasts have worked the best, the influencers, the street team. It worked well for some, so I had about 32 people on the street team/influencers, people with their own audiences, and some folks went above and beyond, some folks had me live on their Instagram, on their Facebook, to their communities, we talked about things and topics discussed in the book, that's something that's super helpful to the listeners. And some did nothing, so that I think was a little, not disappointing, but I did expect that in some way. Mike kind of warned about this kind of thing at the events, but some people really, I was amazed at how much energy they put into promoting my book and we just, you know, they're not my best friends, we've met maybe a month before that. So I was just really amazed and thankful and grateful for those people who really believed in my message and believed in the fact that I think my book will change the world, even if it's just the United States.

Josh Steimle:

Great. Well, Tatiana, thanks so much for talking with us here today about your book journey and everything that went into it and how it's come out on the other end. For people who want to connect with you, where's the best place for them to find you?

Tatiana Tsoir:

Thanks so much, Josh, for having me on the show. And it really is a pleasure to share my book journey, it's been really great. I'm very grateful for the people that I met and everything in between. To connect with me, people can go to talktotatiana.com and get my free checklist or check out my podcast or just read about me and my story and my work.

Josh Steimle:

Awesome. Great. Thank you so much, Tatiana, for being with us here today on the Published Author Podcast.

Tatiana Tsoir:

Josh, thanks again.

Josh Steimle:

If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to subscribe. And if you want to spread the word, please give us a five-star rating review and tell your friends to subscribe too. We're available on Apple podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts. And if you're an entrepreneur interested in writing and publishing a nonfiction book to grow your business and make an impact, visit publishedauthor.com for show notes for this podcast and other free resources.

CONTACT US

Know someone who would be a great guest for the Published Author Podcast? Have a question or suggestion? We'd love to hear from you!

ABOUT PUBLISHED AUTHOR

At Published Author we offer online courses, mastermind groups, book coaching, and ghostwriting services to help entrepreneurs craft a nonfiction book they can leverage to grow their business.

LEARN MORE

© 2021 7 Systems, LLC. All Rights Reserved