Sara is the author of the fictional book, Day After Disaster. She blends her education and experience in business management and marketing with her passion for survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past in order to help launch book and product marketing to a new level.
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Worst Entrepreneur Moment
- Sara was SO inspired and excited about her published book, and then the reviews started coming in. Fire Nation, we’ll all deal with this at some point in our lives, and Sara’s advice here is PRICELESS!
Entrepreneur AH-HA Moment
- It may not be in your exact niche, Fire Nation, but WOW… you can learn SO MUCH from the right training.
What has you FIRED up?
- Without Land. Sara’s newest book!
Best Business Book
Sara F. Hathaway: I am ready to blast my career to a whole new level!
John Lee Dumas: Yes! Sara is the author of the fictional book, Day After Disaster. She blends her education and experience in business management and marketing with her passion for survival techniques and forgotten life sustaining methods of generations past to launch book and product marketing to a whole new level. Sara, take a minute, fill in some gaps to that intro and give us into your personal life.
Sara F. Hathaway: Okay, so my personal life, my family is always primary. That’s why my book is all featured around my family and they’re just the world to me, and they mean the most. They are the primary. So, I’m a very goal-oriented person, and being home with my son just gave me the chance to take my dreams and make them a reality. I took my creative writing and I published it, and it’s been an incredible journey from there. So beyond my writing, I like to go hiking, I like gardening, hunting, and I generally just like to be outdoors. That’s my passion.
John Lee Dumas: Well, I love your passion, Sara, and I’m really looking forward to diving into your journey, because it is a fascinating one. But before we even kick into that, we are entrepreneurs. We’re looking to grow our businesses, and no matter where we are at in that journey, we’re looking to generate revenue. How do you currently generate revenue in your business?
Sara F. Hathaway: Well, John, revenue for a fictional author is the tricky part.
John Lee Dumas: I was gonna say, is it fictional?
Sara F. Hathaway: Yeah, right? So I am blessed with the opportunity to be home and just focus on my goals without really being too concerned about my revenue at this point. So, but where I make the most money is where I’m physically out there at events. I take my books out and I sell them personally. That’s where I make the most amount of money. And it’s always the social media marketing whatnot after that that really brings the numbers to my books. So, my plan is to – I just published my second book. It’s called Without Land, and it’s the second book to the Changing Earth Series. Day After Disaster was the first.
But I figure if I can put together a nice package of books, that’ll bring me the revenue, and then I get the TV contracts going – that’s where I’m aiming is to get it into a TV show. And that would be my end goal. And then I’m also putting together programs so I can help other fictional authors kind of learn to do what I’ve done, and walk through those steps. So I’ve started a Pinterest program that’s called Simple Pinning, and it shows people how to get on Pinterest and really rock the Pinterest world. So, I’m just kinda creating some other revenue areas with those projects.
John Lee Dumas: Heart and hustle, Fire Nation, you have to get out there and make things happen. And this idea of passive income is a great idea, and there can be a time when you get to passive income on some levels, but it never starts that way. You gotta be like Sara, getting out there, hustling at conferences, creating courses like her Simply Pinning course. Doing the things that need to happen. And, Sara, I just gotta commend you for that hustle, because that’s what it takes in the beginning, because it’s not easy to make money as an authors. It’s not easy to create a fictional work of art and then to expect to live off of that. And you’re in a good situation now where you’re able to hustle and not have to have it be your sole revenue source. So, great stuff. Keep going with that.
And let’s talk about your journey now. Now, specifically, within your journey, you’ve had some ups. You’ve taken books to conferences. You’ve had some good days there. But, you’ve also had some downs. And I wanna talk about one of those tough moments. Me, as an authors as well, I know the difficult of putting together a book and staring at a blank page, and those are some tough times. But what you, Sara F. Hathaway, consider your worst entrepreneurial to date? And, Sara, really take us there and tell us that story.
Sara F. Hathaway: So, I just finished my manuscript and I’m ready to go to publishing. I have no idea what I’m doing. My mom just encouraged me. Now that I got the end on it, she’s like, “You gotta publish it. You gotta get it out there.” And I’m like, “Who’s gonna wanna read my story?” So, I hired a company called Tate Publishing, and they did a lot of really good things. My cover is beautiful. They hit their time schedule. They did a lot of really nice things. So I go through the whole editing process. I get the book in my hand. I’m all excited. And now it’s time to send it out for some reviews and see what people think about it.
So I contacted this girl who does a lot of reviews. She lives over in Belgium. “Can you please give me a review?” And she said she loved the story, but the editing was horrible. And it just kind like, here’s my bubble, it was just like the pin, boom! Everything just shattered down around me. So I was pretty frustrated because I had trust my publisher to really do a quality on this. I’m an author. I’m not an editor. I really am no good at spelling. It’s one of the things that I struggle with a lot, so I was really hoping that they would do a professional job there. So when it didn’t happen, and then I got another couple reviews saying, “Yeah, I love the story, but man the editing’s really hard to get past.”
So I went, okay. Hold on a second. I’ve gotta rectify this problem, because it’s book one of a series. So I found this girl, Gabriela West. She lives over in San Francisco, and I paid her to totally re-edit my work. And the funny thing is, the part that she re-edited the hardest was the part that they had edited the hardest. So, it was kind of – it just really set me back a few paces to have those kind of reviews for my very first work of art. So that was really challenging. And I got it re-edited. The book’s beautiful now. It’s going to a whole new place, but I still have to deal with the fact that those reviews do exist of my book. But now it’s trying to convince people oh no, it’s all been fixed. It’s all better. So, that was definitely, definitely a challenging moment for me.
John Lee Dumas: Right. And Fire Nation, when we’re first stumbling and I use that word, because we’ve all been there. We don’t really know who’s gonna create the cover? Who’s gonna edit my book? How am I gonna get it up on Amazon? There’s all these moving parts. You’ve not gonna get it right the first time. And I love this quote, Sara, that I would have shared with you back in the day when you were just about to launch, and you were maybe questioning. I would have said, “Listen. The founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, said ‘If you’re not embarrassed by the shipment of your first product, you waited way too long.’”
So, Sara, you could have just kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and you never would have gotten the feedback that you needed to correct it until much further down the road. So, these things are going to happen. It’s part of the game. We can’t stress out about it too much, Fire Nation. It’s just the fact that we need to ship. We need to put things out there into the universe. Get the feedback – positive, negative, neutral. Digest it as we need to, and then move forward in the new direction, if that’s what’s needed. So, Sara, that’s my takeaway from your really tough story. But, what you wanna make sure Fire Nation gets from that experience that you had?
Sara F. Hathaway: What I would like for everybody to get out of that is that a second set of eyes is always worth the time. I had a second set, a third set, a fourth eyes, and it still had the problems that it had. So, it’s just about overcoming those issues and moving on. I found a great editor out of the process, and held my head up high and just kept marching forward.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah, Fire Nation, surround yourself with the right people. Find that master mind. They don’t need to be in the same industry. And, in fact, sometimes the outside of the box thinking can really be helpful. So, let’s move forward, Sara, because you’ve shared a really tough time in your journey. But you’ve also had some epiphanies. Some breakthroughs. Some aha moments. Tell us one of those stories, that you know is gonna resonate with our listeners, Fire Nation, and really take us to that moment, and tell us that story.
Sara F. Hathaway: So, in 2014, I signed up to a program called the 30 Day Book Marketing Challenge. And this program is hosted by D’vorah Lansky. She’s a book marketing genius. But her focus is all on non-fiction authors. So, I signed up for the program anyway, and I figured I can walk through these steps. I’m gonna learn some great information. I love to learn, so I just keep feeding my brain. John, that’s just the way it goes as an entrepreneur – you gotta keep walking forward. So, I signed up for this program, and along the way, I figured out how to pull all these non-fiction concepts from my fictional novel, and I launched by author platform based on all of those non-fiction concepts with the fictional novel as kind of a bonus to it, as an entertaining way to educate at the same time.
So, being able to do that as a fictional author has created a ton of buzz. I’ve gone on a virtual book tour to discuss the concepts of my book, and also my marketing platforms. And then I turned around and went on a virtual podcast tour. I’ve been on over 25 podcasts now. And usually it’s very difficult for a fictional author to get these features, to get these podcasts to have you on, because you’re just another fictional author. But, because I could pull out these non-fiction concepts and really apply them to real world application, everybody’s been eating it up, and here I am on Entrepreneurs of Fire, and I just love it.
John Lee Dumas: Loving it! Let’s get specific on that note, Sara. What were some specific tactics that you learned for that workshop that you can share with us now that really took your book launch to the next level?
Sara F. Hathaway: So the specifics of what I’ve learned is how important it is to have that strong author platform. So, you gotta be on Amazon Central with your own page. And you gotta be on Goodreads with your own page. And you don’t wanna just share the stories of your book, because your book is the story. You wanna take the messages of that book out. So, in my book, specifically, I share a lot of survival knowledge. Things that are real world that you could learn from, that you could apply if you were ever in, God forbid, in a situation where you were dependent on these skills. So it’s not only just giving you these great story where you get to following along, but it’s teaching you these great skills.
So I try to turn around and show fictional authors, even if you’re in a romance story, well now you’re talking about relationships, and you’re talking about maybe relationships problems, and how to heal them. So everybody has these real-world applications inside of your book, and it’s all about finding those messages, and being able to make them into real world. And then if you say, “Hey, if you wanna learn about it, and you wanna a great story that’s gonna walk you through the steps, you’re gonna be entertained, and you’re gonna be educated at the same time.”
So I went ahead and made a podcast that’s central to that theme where I go through and actually read a chapter from my book, and then I have a survival professional on to talk about one of the themes that was in that chapter so we can all learn from that experience of what the character in my book went through.
John Lee Dumas: So, what would you say to people that kind of make the comment, “Wow. You’re reading a chapter from your book on a podcast that’s completely free? Are you crazy? People will get it for free.” What would you say to that?
Sara F. Hathaway: You know what I would say? The podcast is gonna end in March, so a lot of people are really excited about the book, and they don’t wanna wait until March, so they’re gonna go buy the book anyway. It’s giving me a great opportunity to also put together an audio version of my book, which I’m still finishing up, and getting the audio up, so that’s another product. Also, I have future plans as far as being able to put together a non-fiction book from the content of that podcast to be able to market that as a package with my fictional novel in the end.
So there’s all these ideas that I’m getting out of doing my podcast that I can make applicable. And I’m a brand new author. This gets my work out to the world. This gives them an opportunity to experience the work of Sarah F. Hathaway. I’ve got my brand new book, Without Land out. And a lot of people are interested, what happens after Day After Disaster? What do they do next? So that’s more marketing for my next book as well. So sharing that for free with the world gives them the opportunity to experience my work, and hopefully I get a TV producer out there to turn his head and go, “A lot of people like these stories. I think we can really bring it to life in a TV show.” And that is the end goal for me.
John Lee Dumas: Fire Nation, all of these things are absolutely critical points. This is the mindset of abundance. This is the world that you need to be living in. Not of scarcity. The scarcity that if someone gets a bigger piece of the pie, I’m gonna get a smaller piece. No, live in the world of abundance. Share, share, share. Put yourself out there. Grow that audience that’s going to be coming to know, like, and trust you. Build that credibility and authority. Now Sara’s out there building credibility and authority that these other authors aren’t because they’re scared of sharing their content for free.
When I launched free podcast course and free webinar course, I had two paid communities for that, and people said, “John, you’re crazy. Why would you do that? You’re gonna really just limit the amount of people who are gonna join your paid communities.” And it’s done the exact opposite, because now I’m the authority figure in those topics, so when people want to take it to the next level and join the paid communities, who are they gonna go to? The person who gave them that great content for free within those courses. So, really think about that.
And, Sara, one thing that I wanna mention that I kinda scratched my head a little bit about, just because I don’t know anything about the fictional world as an author. And I know pricing always confuses people and make them scratch their head as well. I notice that you price your book at $20.98. Can you speak to that for a little bit? How’d you come up with that price point? What were some thought processes that went behind it? Do you change? Kind of talk to us about that number and what it means.
Sara F. Hathaway: So, for Day After Disaster, my first book was Tate Publishing set the price on that one. So it’s as far as how much paper, literally, did they have to use to print this, and what are they making off of Amazon and stuff. And I actually don’t make that much off of the book sale. So that’s kind of challenging. Maybe that’s one reason I was like, “Okay. I’ll give it out for free!” As an author it’s a struggle. So I end up making more money when I just order them myself and sell them myself.
So, but with my next book, Without Land, I had to make that decision on my own on what I was gonna price it at. And my thought process was $20 is a pretty even number for a book. It’s a great weekend of entertainment. If you’re gonna go to the movies, you’re gonna pay way more than that. If you’re gonna go out for pizza, you’re gonna pay way more than that. So, to get the story for $20 in hard back copy that you can have forever, you can share with your friends or whatnot, that’s a great price at $20. And then the price for my eBook, it was originally priced at $9.99.
Well doing research, I found that Stephen King is priced at $11.99. So I went round and round a little bit with my publisher about let’s get the price of that eBook down, because I’m a brand new author, and people aren’t going to go spend the same money on me that they’re going to spend on Stephen King. So we worked with that and we got it down to the $2.50 price is what that’s going at, and that’s really fair, as well. That’s kinda average as far as an eBook goes, so.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah. That’s something that’s always going to challenge people in every industry – products, services, communities, book. What is that price point structure? So I just wanted to kinda have that conversation to, Fire Nation, kinda give you a peek inside of Sara’s head and what was going through that. Now, Sara, what is your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Sara F. Hathaway: My biggest weakness is I am a go-getter, so I want to take on everything. I want to do everything at once. I wanna be everywhere at once. And sometimes when you’re trying to be everywhere at once, you can’t really dig into those relationships that you could be forming that really make a difference in the long term. So, I had to learn how to say one two-letter word, which is no.
And, I had to really learn how to focus my attention on where my marketing efforts were gonna really make a difference for my books for the long haul, and then start forming those relationships with those people that are like, “Hey! You gotta go get Sara’s book. This is awesome. You gotta go do this.” Because the word of mouth is worth so much. So they find you on the social media, but then they go into their real life. And they’re like, “You’ve gotta check this out. You’ve gotta see this.” And that really makes a difference in the long haul.
John Lee Dumas: Massive, massive – you need to focus on that word of mouth, and how do you really do that, Fire Nation? You create awesome stuff, and it speaks for itself. Now, Sara, what’s your biggest strength?
Sara F. Hathaway: My biggest strength is probably my ability to adapt and overcome. I’m really tenacious, and that’s not to say where I have my low moments too, where I’m crying on my husband’s shoulder and thinking that I’m gonna give up and nobody wants to read my stuff anyway, but the sun always rises in the morning, and I just put my best food forward, and I keep going, because it’s my dreams, and this is my passion, and I love to do creative writing. And to just know that there’s a world out there that loves to read my creative writing is really encouraging, so that’s really what keeps me driving.
So I would have to say it’s just my ability to adapt to the situation and overcome it, and realize that you’re gonna have to have those lows, and you can just actively manage those, and move on.
John Lee Dumas: What’s the one thing you are most fired up about today?
Sara F. Hathaway: One thing I’m most fired up about today is the new release of my book, Without Land. I just released it on Friday. I went and did it all of my – all the work on it myself besides having the editor done. So I did all my own cover design. I figured out how to get the print copies myself. How to get the eBooks up. And I saved myself about $3,200 in the process doing it that way. So I’m super fired up about the book being out there, being available, and I’m super fired up that I was able to take those steps and learn that knowledge and do that on my own. And it was a big challenge. Those were some days that definitely left me in tears. But I made it through and I learned so much and I’m ready to share it with the fictional author community on how they can do that really easily and efficiently.
John Lee Dumas: Now, in just a sentence or two, who is Without Land for. Like if Fire Nation is listening, just give a sentence or two as to why this book might be for them.
Sara F. Hathaway: This book is an adventure story based around family and a very strong female heroine. It’s big government controlling how the world is reacting after disaster, and how one character is trapped in the middle. So it’s for those people who are interested in hearing about some of the things that we might be facing as a society, eventually.
John Lee Dumas: We seem to be heading down that road. Now, Fire Nation, we’re about to enter the lightening round, but before we get there to thank our sponsors. Sara, are you prepared for the lightening round?
Sara F. Hathaway: I’m ready!
John Lee Dumas: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Sara F. Hathaway: I would say the stigmatism that after college you’re supposed to go and get some high-paying corporate job. That’s really what my focus was. I got my Bachelor’s degree, and it was on to the job that you were supposed to have. And I’ve never realized that my creative writing could be my job, and my passion could be my reality.
John Lee Dumas: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Sara F. Hathaway: The best advice I’ve ever received is not business, but more emotional. I was always taught that you have to recognize your emotions, and then you had to learn to do deal with them. And then a very close mentor told me, “You can have emotions, and you can change them. You can physically decide that you don’t wanna feel that way anymore, and feel a different way.” And that’s helped me through some of my hiccups along with raising children as well, so.
John Lee Dumas: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Sara F. Hathaway: Dedication and perseverance. You just have to keep knocking at the doors. You have to do it every day. You have to try every day, and you have to get yourself out there every day.
John Lee Dumas: Do you have an internet resource like Ever Note you can share with our listeners?
Sara F. Hathaway: The one I’d like to share today is the book marketing conference that’s coming up – Reach More Readers, and it starts in October. I’m a speaker in that, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun. It’s D’vorah Lansky’s putting it on again, and anybody who’s got a book out there really should check out this program because it’s very thorough and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of that community.
John Lee Dumas: So if you could recommend one book to join Day After Disaster and Without Land, on our bookshelves, what would that book be, and why?
Sara F. Hathaway: I would have to say, for my background, I have a book that’s called – or, it’s not my book, but it’s my bible – it’s called Back to the Basics. And it can teach you everything you need to know about how to survive in a older style of living, and it teaches you about our holidays, and it teaches you about American traditions, and it’s called Back to the Basics, and it also teaches you how to hunt, and how to do everything you have possibility couldn’t imagine doing out in the world.
John Lee Dumas: Well, Fire Nation, I know that you love audio. So, I teamed up with Audible, and if you haven’t already, you can get an amazing audio book for free and eofirebook.com. Sara, this is the last question of the lightening round, but it’s a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experience you currently have. Your food and shelter is taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next seven days?
Sara F. Hathaway: The first thing I would have to do, John, is make sure that my family is with me, or else I don’t really have a reason to go on in this new world. So, with that said, and assuming I still have my book manuscripts, I would go immediately and publish them on Smash Words, on Kindle, and there’s a great company called Lulu.com for print books, and then I would order about 50 of those books, and I would just start peddling them. Then I would get my platform back together. I would start with the basics of my blog, and a newsletter, because the newsletter builds your long-term relationship with people, and you start building that list, and that list of resources that you can go to for your next book, and for your ideas.
And, of course, you’re on all the social medias, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon author page is essential. But my focus is always onto Pinterest, because people are there to learn, and they’re there to learn about future purchases that they’re going to make. The other reason I really love being active on this site is because your content is ever green there, which means whenever people wanna know about a topic you’ve already presented, it’s there. It’s not like on Twitter where you’re searching effortlessly forever through tweets that it’s not gonna find you the information. That’s why I’m all about Pinterest, so that would definitely be there.
And then I would be looking for those two or three mentors that I could really form that relationship with, and we can really start scratching each other’s back so we can help each other out and get our work farther and farther out to the masses.
John Lee Dumas: Back to the basics, Fire Nation. And, Sara, let’s end today on fire, with you sharing a parting piece of guidance. The best way that we can connect with you. Then we’ll say goodbye.
Sara F. Hathaway: Best way people can reach me is at my website – it’s author Sara S-A-F-A F like Frank Hathaway H-A-T-H-A-W-A-Y dot com, and all of my books are on there. All my survival information is on there. Where to follow me. It’s just my hub of activity. So, www.authorsarafhathaway.com.
John Lee Dumas: And a parting piece of guidance.
Sara F. Hathaway: Chin up and keep moving forward. It gets touch and you wanna go down on yourself, but don’t. Realize there’s ups and downs. Put your best food forward. Wake up the next day, and be on fire.
John Lee Dumas: Love it! Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and you’ve been hanging out with Sara H. and J.L.D. today, so keep up the heat. And head over to eofire.com. Just type Sara S-A-R-A in the search bar. Her shonos page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about. Of course, her website, authorsarafhathaway.com. Her two books, Day After Disaster and Without Land, if that just appeals to you, go check them out. And I just wanna say thank you, Sara, for the sharing your journey with Fire Nation. And for that, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
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