There is considerable value in being a published author as a professional. In this episode, I talk to Michael Hanrahan, the Director of Publishing at Michael Hanrahan Publishing (MHP) in Melbourne. MHP helps professionals and small business owners self-publish their books.
Michael has been in publishing for his entire working career, starting with Wrightbooks, a small publishing house and progressing to Managing Editor at John Wiley & Sons Australia. In 2003, Michael decided to become a freelance publishing provider, working for many of the major publishing houses, including Oxford University Press, Random House and RMIT Publishing.
With experience in all areas of publishing from editing to printing to ebook and bookshop distribution, Michael started MHP in 2014.
Today, MHP is a leading provider of small business self-publishing in Australia, with a focus on high-quality professional books that help those business people stand out from their competitors, sets them up as the experts in their field and helps them promote their business to a wider audience.
Michael has been featured on radio, in magazines and in The Huffington Post Australia. He is also one of the original contributors to Andrew Griffith’s Smallville community, and has written a book on how to self-publish.
We talk during the interview about all things writing, from structuring your book to the editing process and how to get started with your book.
What is covered in this episode:
- What is an end-to-end publishing service?
- I haven’t written a book but I think I’ve got it in me… Where do I start?
- Where to start in the actual writing process
- TIP: Why are you writing your book, and what are you actually going to write about?
- The central question for your book: What is the single question you’re trying to answer with your book?
- The importance of a brainstorming session
- What is a content list and how many do you need?
- Your first draft is just that
- TIP: Just write it down!
- The editing process is where we can make your book beautiful
- The second draft is when you should start sending it to people to review
- The importance of breaking it down into chunks
- Michael stresses you’re a lot closer to having a book at a scramble of 40,000 words than a perfect 5000 words
- How self publishing allows for you to really have your own voice
- Readers want practical advice. They’re not really after the’ academic fluff’
- Michael is not a fan of the phrase ‘You should write as you speak’. He says, “writing is writing and speaking is speaking” but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your personality and tone to your book
- A sneak peak into the editing process
- The art of editing
- The different levels of editing
- The interior design process of creating a book
- The advantage of self publishing is the author gets to make the final decision with the design
- The most difficult part of the whole process… the cover
- The worst thing you can do for the cover design process
- The reason why Michael turns down some authors
- Writing the book is the easy bit, it’s the promotion phase that can be difficult
- A book is a business card on steroids
- The wrong approach to writing a book is thinking it will be a great revenue for earning cash
- The emerging field of audio books and the value of ebooks