7: It's great to collaborate! The benefits of co-authoring a book

by Sue Richardson with Dave Harries, Sonja Jefferson and Sharon Tanton

In this episode, we’re delighted to welcome Sonja Jefferson and Sharon Tanton from Valuable Content to the podcast.

Sonja and Sharon discuss how they came to co-author the bestselling book, Valuable Content Marketing, that would go on to help them rapidly establish their expertise and content marketing credentials, build a leading business and open exciting new opportunities for them.

Discover how writing a book with someone else can help you deliver more value to readers, use each other’s strengths and specialties to bring more depth to the book, pool resources to split the costs and work involved, and provide the support and motivation you need to reach your writing goals.

with thanks to Dave Harries of CommunicateTV: www.communicatetv.co.uk

Join us now in the Right Book Project Facebook Group

Sonja Jefferson

Bryony Thomas is one of the UK’s foremost marketing thinkers and is the author of the award-winning Watertight Marketing, which has been in the bestseller lists consistently for over five years.  Bryony is also an in-demand professional speaker for business audiences wanting to understand how to deliver sustainable sales results. Whether it’s a boardroom, team day, or a large conference venue, Bryony can be trusted to inspire, engage and entertain. But, more importantly people will leave her talks with immediate actions to take. She has a unique and memorable speaking style.

Sharon Tanton

Sharon Tanton is Creative Director and chief wordsmith here at Valuable Content.

Co-author of the Valuable Content Marketing book, she works as content director and lead writer for businesses.

As an ex-English teacher, Sharon is a skilled trainer, committed to showing owners and marketers how to create exciting, stand out content.

Valuable Content Marketing – the book

From websites, white papers and blogs to tweets, newsletters and video, content is king in the digital world, now more than ever before. Get it right and you have a huge opportunity to connect with clients and customers in ways they appreciate and trust – they’ll be knocking at your door wanting to do business with you. Valuable Content Marketing shows you how to create and share the type of information that clients, customers and search engines really want – on your website, using social media and through more traditional methods. Whether you’re starting a business or aiming to grow, this book shows you how to get better results from your marketing efforts.

Podcast Transcript

Transcript provided by Copysure Editorial Services: www.copysure.co.uk

Dave Harries: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Right Book Project, a Right Book Company radio production. My name is Dave Harries and I’m here with my co-presenter, Sue Richardson, to explore the whys and wherefores of book publishing, and how writing a book can enhance your business and personal profile. Sue is a publishing expert, who’s been in the book business for many years and has written her own book – The Authority Guide to Publishing your Business Book. She’s the director of SRA books and The Right Book Company, and has helped hundreds of professionals, entrepreneurs, experts and thought leaders boost their businesses and profile with game-changing books. This podcast is all about you and your journey to writing a book, so please get involved by joining our Facebook group, The Right Book Project, or tweet @therightbookco. You’ll find notes, links, recordings and transcripts of these podcasts on therightbookcompany.com. So, on today’s podcast we have got two very special authors, or perhaps, I should say co-authors, because they wrote a book together, who are going to tell us what that was like and what it’s done and what difference it’s made to their business. So, welcome Sonja Jefferson and Sharon Tanton. Very nice to have you in the studio. Sonja comes from a background in… well, she did a psychology degree; she worked in sales and then she set up a business, Valuable Content, in about 1999. Sharon, on the other hand, has done lots of things like teaching and copy writing in internal communications; she’s done TV research. But the two of them came together around about 2012 to write a book. And the book was called Valuable, it Is called, I should say, Valuable Content Marketing. It’s since come out in a second edition. And as a result of writing that book, Sharon actually joined the business and now they work very closely together for their clients in the area of content marketing. So, there’s lots and lots to discuss. But I suppose the obvious question to start with, and I’ll fire this one at Sonja first, is why did you want to write a book? What started that process off?

Sonja Jefferson: [00:01:56] It’s a very good question. I read an awful lot of books and I’ve helped, I help my clients to get books published, I always encourage them to write books themselves. So, I’d been writing a blog and Sharon had been contributing since about 2008. So, all of these ideas were bubbling up around how to use content to market and build your business. And there was a methodology there and there’s no way of getting that into a blog itself. So, I could see that the book was a perfect vehicle for this sort of joined-up approach that I wanted to show people. And actually, it was the publisher who said: Why don’t you write it down? You’ve been helping other people write books. How about you? And went from there. But I needed help. I’d been working with Sharon for a while anyway and I knew that we would write a better book together.

Dave Harries: [00:02:48] So, Sharon is that your version of the story too?

Sharon Tanton: [00:02:50] Kind of. I think I was interested in writing a book partly to see if I could write a book. I think that was…I love writing anyway, outside of content marketing, I’m interested in writing; so, there was a sort of intellectual: actually, can I do this? I was learning lots about content marketing from Sonja. She had a background in it that I didn’t have. So, it was teaching myself more about it; it was writing. I love the challenge of writing. And so, the idea of learning more, writing more and working with Sonja was kind of appealing. I didn’t realise all the things it would do afterwards. But at the time, it was just: why not, I think, why not? Let’s give it a go, I think.

Dave Harries: [00:03:31] That’s a good enough reason as any, isn’t it? Sue, is the co-author thing, when two people get together to write a book, does that change the way a book, the dynamics of a book work and the process and that sort of thing, in your experience?

Sue Richardson: [00:03:45] Without any doubt. Yes. Without any doubt. And I think it’s interesting to hear Sharon’s point there about how her love of writing and the opportunity to take that challenge to that nth, really. You know, that, maybe, had been your dream for some time to write a book, but to actually work with Sonja, being the expert in her field, you know, it’s a wonderful opportunity for these two to have not only developed a great book together, but also actually, ended up really creating the kind of solid relationship that they now have in that process and a great business relationship that’s resulted from it.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:04:28] It’s the best test. Before going into business together. If you can survive writing a book, you can do anything. It was brilliant.

Dave Harries: [00:04:34] So, let’s talk a little bit about that process. I really want to talk about the effect it had on the business as well in this in this podcast today. But before we do that, let me ask you about the process. Because a lot of our listeners will be very interested in that, whether they’re thinking of writing a book on their own or as part of a partnership. So, Sonja, where did it…how did you start the process? You both knew you wanted to write. You’d made up your mind about that. But then when there’s two of you, you know, do you sort of divide the labour up, what do you do? How does that work in practice?

Sonja Jefferson: [00:05:05] Great question. And it was so fascinating seeing how it panned out. And we started, you know this is our first book project, so, we basically looked at all the blogs we’d written over the years and compiled that into a Google Doc. And then we started structuring it, you know, from a book perspective. But both of us were writing, and we were racking up comments on the Google Doc like nobody’s business. So, I think there were about 365 unresolved comments.

Dave Harries: [00:05:31] What commenting on each other?

Sonja Jefferson: [00:05:32] Yeah. Yeah but not actually going: right, slash that, cut this, you need to do this. Because we were being very polite with each other. And it’s only when we got an editor involved, he’s called Robert Watson from Australia, who said: Right. Look you two, you need to sort this out. Somebody’s got to make decisions on this and somebody has got to do the writing. And we split our roles. So, Sharon is absolutely the lead writer in the combination, and I’m good at the editing, structuring and making the decisions. So, we split roles and then we flew after that. Once we had those roles clear. And I think you need that in a writing combination. Like in a business.

Dave Harries: [00:06:08] So, you’ve got to play to your strengths, I guess. How did you feel about that? Suddenly you were the lead writer or whatever you want to call it. Was that okay with you?

Sharon Tanton: [00:06:18] Fine, yeah. I was comfortable with that. But what I also remember about the early days, I think we both knew that we could write and we’d both written lots of blogs. And we’ve had this sort of weird honeymoon phase where we just bunged all the blogs in: ooh, we’ve written this book. God, I’ve done 60,000 words by lunchtime, just by cut and pasting. And then so, the first few months were pretty much wasted work, that we weren’t writing a book, we were just bunging everything we knew into an unstructured, rambly document, and feeling a bit satisfied with ourselves that we were getting somewhere, but we weren’t. So, we had to really strip it back and like Sonja said, focus on structuring which came from her, focus on writing it which came from me.

Dave Harries: [00:06:56] Well, that’s a great division of labour. And again, Sue, if I could turn to you and your experience in the publishing world. Is that division of labour common in co-writing partnerships?

Sue Richardson: [00:07:05] Yeah, I mean you see all sorts of different ways that people choose to write books together. You know, sometimes, quite often, it is quite common actually, to have, in a sense, a kind of lead writer, and then the other author being the editor and being the more structure kind of person. I’d say that I do see that quite often and I think it’s a really good combination. But there may be other times where people may literally take a chapter each and write it that way. I mean, I know you are co-authoring a book at the moment, Dave, yourself, aren’t you? So, perhaps you might even contribute your own thoughts.

Dave Harries: [00:07:41] I was really hoping you wouldn’t mention that, actually. I’m stealing ideas as we speak. Okay. Well, thank you for embarrassing me there, Sue. That’s fine. But getting back to the process and you’d established your roles, which is obviously very sensible, and the editor legitimised that, I suppose in a sense. An outside person saying this will help. And clearly it did because you say you flew after that. So, once you’ve got your first draft written and all that sort of thing, how did you then go back and sort of do your revisions and test it and all those sorts of things? Because again, being two of you presumably you could use each other for that as well as…

Sonja Jefferson: [00:08:24] We did go outside though, as well, which I absolutely think was so important. So, you know, we showed what we’d done to our clients and to people that we respected; and that outside-in view you have to have, you know. To make sure that…there are some areas where we thought it was perfectly clear and people say: I don’t quite understand what you mean there. So, we have to go back. And it’s the same, we teach more now and it’s the same thing. You have to see how it lands with people to be able to refine it to make sure that the points are coming across. It’s vital.

Dave Harries: [00:08:55] So, sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you there. But is it…are we talking like focus groups here? You know, and you hear about them showing Hollywood movies to a group, and then they re-edit it if they get a bad response.

Sue Richardson: [00:09:08] No, but we sent out the manuscript to people that we respected. And I think it was only about 8 to ten in total; it wasn’t huge, you know, great big focus groups. But the feedback was fascinating. You’ve got to be careful, you know this Sue, what you ask for from people. But it was so vital in terms of shaping the book.

Dave Harries: [00:09:27] And you really have to trust those people, presumably as well, and trust their opinions and trust they’ll be honest.

Sharon Tanton: [00:09:31] And tell them what you want people to be able to do with a book. We were really clear that we wanted this book to be really actionable. So, do you feel inspired that you can do something with this now? Do you know what to do? Do you know what the first step to take is? So, it’s not kind of going out to people saying: well, do you like what you’ve written? It’s kind of, does this work for you? Asking a good question of people, before you ask for feedback.

Dave Harries: [00:09:51] So, let’s talk a bit about what the book actually did and what it probably continues to do now. While you were writing it, or even while you’re planning it, and when you were writing it and once it was published; what were your expectations for it? Let me put that one to Sharon first.

Sharon Tanton: [00:10:06] Early on, I don’t think I had many expectations. Very early on, I didn’t even know if we would finish it and do it and it would be published. So, I think the idea of being seen as an expert, I would have had a bit of imposter syndrome about in the early days. Even though I’ve written a book on it, am I still recognised as somebody who knows. Which now I’m very comfortable with that, because I have written it and I have written two books now and so it comes easily. But yes, I wasn’t expecting the kind of kudos, I think, to start with. I was still surprised when people putting author by your name, in the early days. Now I think it is, I hope it says to clients and potential clients and people that we care about helping you enough to write it all down in a book. I mean, that’s what I hope it does for us.

Dave Harries: [00:10:55] Sonja, what about you? Did you have expectations when you started out?

Sonja Jefferson: [00:10:58] I knew if we got it right that it would be a fantastic sales tool for the business; it is our marketing. But I was still surprised how well that worked. When people find that…you know, we got called out to Lanzarote, to help businesses on the island create content, collaborate on content. So, the whole island benefited. It was, the best gig ever. And we would never have got that without the book. People you see you in a different light. There’s a trust, isn’t there? I think. You know which I didn’t expect, I hadn’t felt before, though I’d seen it for other clients who published books. It’s nothing like feeling yourself.

Sharon Tanton: [00:11:37] It’s is the kind of serendipitous lovely things that happened that have surprised me and delighted me the most. Like going to Lanzarote and having basically a free holiday and talking about the book. I mean, that’s just… I couldn’t have imagined that that would happen, because that sort of thing doesn’t normally happen.

Dave Harries: [00:11:53] I’d like you to stop talking about that. Because I’m quite jealous. Sue, these unexpected benefits I mean, is that common, when you publish a book?

Sue Richardson: [00:12:01] Yeah. I love that whole idea of the serendipity of a book. And that actually there are things, there are unexpected things that can happen. You know, books are tremendous door-openers, aren’t they? And I think you two have really discovered that in the journey that you’ve taken. The amount of doors opened for you because of the book. I would argue probably that it isn’t really serendipity at all, because, of course, if you hadn’t written the book it wouldn’t have happened. Yes, absolutely. I think although we love to talk about being very strategic about books at The Right Book Company. And we really are, you know, we do bang on a bit about this, that it’s all about planning; and understanding exactly where you want to go with your book; and what your objectives are for your business. At the same time there are things that will happen that will…this Is the magic of books. This is where books can take you to places you just did not expect to go. Like Lanzarote for a free holiday. And yes, sorry Dave, I know, we’ll stop banging on about that.

Dave Harries: [00:13:10] Yeah, would you mind? Sorry, it’s just upsetting me a bit. Sonja, could I ask you? You’d been running the company, Valuable Content, for quite a number of years, before the book; so, was it transformational, the book? I mean, did it make a massive difference for the company or was it a gradual change?

Sonja Jefferson: [00:13:29] I think it was quite a quick transformation really. And again, that was a surprise to me. We were thrust into the limelight, in a way. We turned into speakers, you know, we hadn’t done much public speaking before the book. But even before the book was published, we were asked to go on stage, which is an interesting story in its own right. And we’ve done masses of speaking all over the world since then. It’s those kind[s] of opportunities, you know, and the credibility that that gives, that I’ve been so delighted by. So, from our business point of view, you know we are a two-woman business and we want to stay that way, but how far our ideas have spread; how much difference we’ve made; how it’s helped us not have to go out and look for work. And this is, it’s the book and the rest of the content that we provide that enables this. But the book is absolutely critical. You know, it really made it a different type of business than I had before.

Sharon Tanton: [00:14:24] There wasn’t another UK content marketing book when we produced the first one, was there? It was a very empty space at that point, so it really made it – Sonja and Sharon are the content marketing people, which was a lovely place to be in.

Dave Harries: [00:14:41] And I wonder whether that very term, content marketing, you have helped to coin. I mean, I’m not saying it didn’t exist before, because obviously your company was called Valuable Content, but it’s a term, content marketing, I only remember hearing…

Sharon Tanton: [00:14:54] It was much bigger in the States, wasn’t it? There were some really good content marketing books that have been published in America. But I don’t know of any over here at the time.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:15:03] This is very a publisher can help, I think, as well, because you know the original title we’d gone in with the book was The Valuable Content Handbook. But they’d seen the opportunity for the content marketing and hanging off that category, which we hadn’t seen. You know, so again, it’s a collaboration, isn’t it, in terms of the benefit that that brings?

Dave Harries: [00:15:21] And I’m fascinated by the fact that you got together, the two of you, to write the book, but, if I understand this correctly, Sharon was not part of the business at that time.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:15:32] No.

Dave Harries: [00:15:32] You worked together, but she wasn’t part of the business. And by the time finished the book, she was part of the business and has remained so. She sneaked in!

Sonja Jefferson: [00:15:45] You know, it’s such a challenge, isn’t it, writing a book? There’s so many highs and lows, the self-doubt, the opportunity, all of these different things. And I think we did an amazing job actually and we thrived. It was a joy to go through that. And I think if you could write a book, you can run a business together. And that became so evident.

Sharon Tanton: [00:16:05] Yeah, it’s kind of finding joy in quite a pressurised situation, which is pretty much what running a business is. I think, we managed to laugh and enjoy each other’s company, even when there were deadlines and having to tell each other that that bit that you just wrote that you really like, is rubbish. Cut it out. There’s an honesty and there’s a kind of openness about how you’re feeling. There’s so many things that you have to get used to. It’s good communication. It has to go into writing.

Dave Harries: [00:16:34] I know the question that all our listeners will want me to ask is: Did you ever fight? Did you ever disagree? I mean, does that happen?

Sharon Tanton: [00:16:41] We did. We disagreed about things. I think we disagree about things quite a lot, but respect each other’s point of view.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:16:50] Yeah, there was never a fight.

Sharon Tanton: [00:16:51] Never a fight, no. Because I find writing quite easy, I think, I’m never precious about what I’ve written because I know I can just change some words and rewrite it. So, it never feels like this is my soul, I demand we write it this way. They’re words that have a job to do, and so, if they’re not working for somebody, you write some other words and make them work.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:17:09] We have such a, from a writing point of view, we have such a different approach to the process of writing. So, I have to be top down. I have to have a structure and a picture of what I’m writing for, and I know once I’ve got that clear I can write. And Sharon is totally different. So, she writes from the bottom up.

Sharon Tanton: [00:17:27] Yeah, I don’t know what I think until I see what I say. That’s the kind of writer I am. I’m a kind of a jump in and see what comes out, and then take it from there.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:17:36] So, we come together.

Sharon Tanton: [00:17:36] With a big splash.

Dave Harries: [00:17:36] Sue, would you say, in general, that when people are writing a book together; whether it is two people or five people, or however many it is – perhaps five maybe a bit too many. Do people generally get on? I mean the fact they’ve decided to do a book together, or does it go wrong sometimes? I mean clearly it went very right, in this case.

Sue Richardson: [00:17:55] Yes it does go wrong, I have seen it go wrong. Many years ago, I published a book for some people, there were three of them, co-authors, who were publishing a book at the same time as launching their business, but unfortunately, we got to the book launch and only one of the people, one of the authors was at the book launch and there was no business. So, clearly the writing of the book had broken the relationship to the extent that they then didn’t go into business together. Well, I suppose you could argue that perhaps that was good because maybe their relationship wouldn’t have lasted anyway. And maybe there’s a difficulty with three, as opposed to two, I don’t know. But yes, it’s certainly a test I think, and I have seen many, many co-authors really struggle. But I guess that the benefits, if it works, can be enormous as we’ve seen with these two.

Dave Harries: [00:18:54] And, Sonja, I’ve heard you refer to a book as a catalyst, when we were chatting before, for the business and clearly you said it transformed the business very quickly. I’d be interested to whether you think the business effectively acted as a short cut and the business would have got there eventually anyway, or whether it actually transformed, changed the direction, created a different business.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:19:15] I think it’s, yeah, I think it’s the latter. It was truly transformational, in so many ways. You know, it made us better at what we do because you write it down, and that makes you think more clearly and therefore moves your thinking on dramatically in terms of a joined-up process. And it’s changed our business. So, we’ve gone from, you know consultants working on projects, to teachers. And I think that does that for a lot of authors really. You become, you step into that teaching role in a new way. So, you know from the credibility it’s given us to bringing us together as a business partnership through to make it better at what we do and turning the business into… we have a new model. And I think that’s interesting as well. You know, it changes you as a person and it changes your business as well. And people need to be prepared for that. It’s useful to know that in advance and maybe do more preparation than we did the first time round. You know, because I wasn’t aware. So, I pass that on to your listeners, your readers.

Dave Harries: [00:20:17] Sharon, can I throw a question at you about content marketing, actually? Because it occurred to me, that you’ve written a book about valuable content marketing, called Valuable Content Marketing. But I wonder is this book effectively content marketing for you guys? Or am I oversimplifying?

Sharon Tanton: [00:20:34] No it is. I mean, great content that does wonders for your business is sort of helpful and authoritative and really useful for clients and beautifully written and all those things. And so, it’s sort of the pinnacle really of valuable content. It’s sort of things like blogs. We talk about kind of stock and flow content. So, you get businesses to think about writing blogs, newsletters and all those kind[s] of things, and they’re the kind of everyday stuff that you keep doing. But if you can work towards a book, that’s a piece of really super valuable content that’ll live for years and years, then, yeah, it is absolutely, it’s our most valuable piece of content, by a mile, isn’t it?

Dave Harries: [00:21:13] And as we’re talking about content, let’s talk a little bit about marketing as well. In a previous episode we had Paul East here, who’s a publishing marketing expert, and who works a lot with Sue, and we had a very interesting discussion with him about how you market books and how you’ve got to think about the marketing right from the start and all that sort of thing and the sooner you get on top of that the better. So, what was your approach to marketing? I mean, did you do that? Did you think about it right from the start?

[00:21:37] Yeah, we did, we did. And again, I think we’ve got sharper at it the second time round, so we’ll be sharper still when we finished the third book.

Sharon Tanton: [00:21:45] The third time, we’ll really be on it.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:21:45] You know, it’s a combination of being really clear about who this is for and what you want to do for them, but also, what you want to do for the business itself. And that’s so key. You know, what is it you you’re aiming for? And the way we took the word out was we wrote our way through the process, we blogged all the way through the process. We blogged about the process on the way, to get the word out beforehand. The launch was fantastic. You know we made a huge deal around that and with a load of content that supported it. And we had a campaign afterwards as well, you know. So, to take the ideas out there and I think we’re ready now. We’re ready for the next book and we’re thinking very hard about what that does for, what we want wanted to do for business; what we want it to do for our customers and who they are; and how we’re going to make the most of this. So, we make a bigger difference and build the business that we really love to run.

Dave Harries: [00:22:40] Sharon, did you…obviously you were starting to work with Sonja, and Sonja was already running a business and presumably knew a thing or two about marketing already. You I think, worked, among other things, in internal coms, copywriting and that sort of thing. So, did you get involved as much in the marketing side and coming up with ideas and that sort of thing?

Sharon Tanton: [00:22:57] Yeah, absolutely. I mean I think we both really enjoy that side of the business. So yeah, I did. But I think I think Sonja is right, we’ve got much sharper. The first one was, it massively changed business in a big way. But we hadn’t really planned it in the way that we planned the second one. And with the third one, we will definitely be starting with this: what do we want out of it? What do we want it to do for people? And be much more strategic about the way we go about it.

Dave Harries: [00:23:27] Sue, you’ve known these guys quite a while. You’ve seen this transformation.

Sue Richardson: [00:23:31] I have. I was at both launches, actually.

Dave Harries: [00:23:32] Yeah, can I just say, my invite got lost in the post? But moving swiftly on. What’s your view, as an outsider, Sue and also as a publishing expert, what’s the transformation been like for you to witness and were there lessons that you could learn as a professional from the way these guys did that?

Sue Richardson: [00:23:50] Yeah. Oh, without any doubt. I mean, I think they’ve been a fantastic example of how to widen your platform, really, through publishing a book. And how to…it’s all about those doors being opened and grabbing the opportunities as they came along. Sonja’s talked about Lanzarote, and Sharon has.

Dave Harries: [00:24:13] You said you weren’t going to mention that again.

Sue Richardson: [00:24:13] Yeah. But also, your amazing experience of speaking in Chicago, which was an incredible thing. Which again, remind me, what was that? That was a digital content…?

Sonja Jefferson: [00:24:26] It was the HOW Interactive Design Conference. And it was a guy Chris Butler who I had met through Twitter. But again, he’s published books and I’ve reviewed his books and he reviewed my book and got the opportunity to go and talk about the ideas at a conference in Chicago, which is phenomenal.

Sue Richardson: [00:24:40] But also, just generally speaking, I’ve seen you know the speaking come a long way, as you said. I mean, I hadn’t even realised that you weren’t speaking at the beginning. But you have become, you particularly enjoy speaking, don’t you Sonja? And you’ve become a superb professional speaker. And that is something that actually has been a real joy to see and something that you wouldn’t necessarily have done without the book.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:25:09] The books, they push you. You have to kind of live up to, what the book expects of you, in a way.

Dave Harries: [00:25:16] So, in some ways it takes you out of your comfort zone.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:25:19] Oh absolutely. Yeah definitely. Absolutely.

Dave Harries: [00:25:23] But that’s a good thing?

Sue Richardson: [00:25:24] And the confidence that they’ve both got, really knowing they’ve got a great business; they’ve got fantastic stuff to offer; you could argue that’s all come from that root of the book.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:25:34] It’s a total adventure. I think that’s the thing, isn’t it?

Sharon Tanton: [00:25:37] And I was just thinking about why, you saying it’s not serendipitous, it just feels serendipitous because there’s a gap. So, the times is that when you’re it’s really dark and really difficult you’re writing in the book, you think I don’t know where this is going. And then it’ll be a year later that you’ll get a phone call about something exciting. So, it just feels like luck. But it isn’t.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:25:53] It’s all that hard work.

Dave Harries: [00:25:53] And I know this isn’t the end of the book-writing journey for you guys. So, tell me a little bit about what’s next. Because I know you’ve done a couple of editions of Valuable Content Marketing, but the next thing is going to be different, isn’t it? Or a different, related I’m sure, but a different subject. So, what is next?

Sonja Jefferson: [00:26:13] It is on the same theme, but it’s a different approach to it. So, it’s you know, really getting very creative and very practical about how people can use content to transform their own businesses. Whether that’s a book or all the other content they create around it. And we’ve got this concept of a map, it is a really visual illustrated map of the journey that people go on, from thinking: I want to use content; I want to attract customers this way through to what we call Bountiful Bay where all the right work comes to you. You’re sitting back on the beach drinking Pina Coladas. But there’s a long journey through there and we’re going to use this map in a very illustrative way. It’s more of a workbook but a really illustrative workbook to try and get people to buy into the ideas and be really clear what they need to do next. And that’s what we’d like to do. So, it’s going to be a whole different thing. We’re very excited.

Sharon Tanton: [00:27:02] It really, it’s kind of wanting to get the joy. And we really care about people running businesses that are fun, that they love, that make them happy. So, it’s going to be…we want it to be more joyful, don’t we? More joyful.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:27:14] Yeah, and I think if we can inspire people and marketing is not everybody’s favourite subject. You’re experts in your field. You don’t necessarily enjoy the process of marketing, but why don’t we make it fun to learn it. And actually, motivate people on that journey in a whole new way.

Dave Harries: [00:27:27] Well, that’s a great note to end on. If you want to get a hold of this book, and I thoroughly recommend it, it’s called Valuable Content Marketing. You can find out much more about Sonja and Sharon on valuablecontent.co.uk.

Sonja Jefferson: [00:27:39] That’s right, that’s correct.

Dave Harries: [00:27:41] So, go there and have a look at the fabulous work that they’re doing. But I’m afraid that’s all we have time for. So, my thanks to my expert co-presenter, Sue Richardson. You can get lots more help and advice on writing and publishing your book by joining our Facebook group, The Right Book Project, where you can also leave a comment, ask Sue your questions, give us your ideas for future shows. Or why not visit our website, therightbookcompany.com to sign up for one of Sue’s popular webinars or read her blog? Thanks again to Sonja Jefferson and Sharon Tanton for joining us today and really enlivening the show and giving us so much great information. We’ll be back in two weeks’ time with our next episode, so, please join us then. In the meantime, keep writing.