Coming up with a brilliant idea is often the easy part of entrepreneurship. But once you’ve come up with that million-dollar idea, how do you translate it into something tangible, like an eBook?
Jodie and her husband, Ben, came up with the concept for The Clever Tykes, a book series that teaches entrepreneurship to children, while on holiday.
They realized that there weren’t any characters in books, TV or film for young entrepreneurs to look up to. In fact, sometimes, savvy business characters are often portrayed as greedy or mean.
Jodie knew that if they did it right, books about young, clever kids solving multi-faceted problems while becoming self-sufficient could fill a void for many.
We discussed why it took two years from the conception of the idea until it was a purchasable eBook and everything that happened within those two years.
A Lightbulb Idea
For teachers and entrepreneurs, ideas come and go daily. Whether it’s for a new lesson or a new product to sell, ideas are a constant part of the process.
We all know the difference between a lightbulb idea and a pipe dream. You feel it in your bones when you know a certain idea will work and be profitable. The hard part comes once you’ve decided to act on the idea.
Ask for Help From People that Have Done it Before
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others that have experience in whatever it is you’re trying to do.
Once Jodie and Ben started writing the stories for the first book, they realized they may need to recruit some help. They asked advice from a friend of theirs that had experience with children’s books, which gave them plenty of valuable insights.
But it wasn’t until they hired a professional editor that the book really started to fall into place. “Professional editors are worth their weight in gold,” Jodie says.
The editor was able to break down the story into a manageable format that was much simpler to duplicate when writing multiple books. “The stories just fell into step after that”.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Chance on Newbies
Once Jodie and Ben had their story the way they wanted it, the next step was illustrations. They took a chance on “a friend of a friend of a friend” that had just graduated with a graphic design degree, Sam Moore. Jodie and Ben ended up being Sam’s very first invoice as a freelancer and then went on to work on many more exciting projects.
As teachers, we tend to have lots of connections to people in various fields. Don’t be afraid to use those connections, it’s the whole point of networking!
Be Prepared for an Amazon Learning Curve
Once they decided to offer their book as an eBook as well as in print, Jodie and Ben discovered the Amazon publishing process was a bit more complicated than they anticipated. “There are so many options,” Jodie says, and all those options were hard to navigate.
Jodie eventually enlisted the help of a professional printer, and you always have that option as well. There are also online publishing services that will take all the guesswork out of the pdf process as well.
Remove the Blockers to Getting Started
When asked for advice for teachers wanting to transform their lessons or ideas into a book, Jodie said without hesitation, “Remove the blockers to getting started. It’s never going to feel like the right time to write.”
Even if you carve out ten minutes a day to write, the point is to write. Just do it. Stop the self-doubt and procrastination and write. Like Jodie says “If you’re waiting for a sign to get started, it’ll never come.” So, here it is, here’s your sign. Write that book!
For more on Jodie and the Clever Tykes book series, listen to the full conversation here.