The Author’s Leverage’s Parchelle Tashi joins us to discuss what goes into turning your book into a course and other ways to further your content, monetize your ideas, and connect with your audience.
Olivia: Hi, and welcome to this episode of All Things Book Marketing. I’m your host, Olivia McCoy, and today we have special guest Parchelle Tashi. Parchelle is an award-winning creative entrepreneur, popular podcast host and creator of The author’s Leverage. A former high school math teacher turned tech-preneur, she and her team specialize in creating high-end, memorable, impactful online courses for authors and creators who want to establish automated and residual revenue streams. A teacher at heart, Parchelle’s personal mission is to create noteworthy learning experiences that inspire action and change. Hi, thank you so much for joining us.
Parchelle: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Olivia: Of course. Why don’t we start by having you tell us a little bit more about your work and how you help authors every day.
Parchelle: Absolutely. I love what we get to do. It’s the perfect combination for me personally, just around my background in education as well as in production and digital media. And we essentially help authors turn their books into programs, online courses, and we do that in a very systematized way, if you will, to ensure that they not only get their course done, but it’s actually keeping the conversation in motion about their book, which is a huge challenge for a number of authors today when it comes to their book and asking the question of, “what else can I do with this?” Right? There’s more impact, there’s way more even income that I intended for this to make, and it has not. So we’re just really excited to explore the challenge in the market. And so that’s essentially how we help authors today.
Olivia: What exactly does it look like to turn a book into a course?
Parchelle: Yeah, they take on a number of different forms. One form is a mirror to the book, right? Maybe within each of your chapters there were specific action items or things that needed to be conveyed in a different way. And you can definitely go with a more self-paced course that’s gonna be aligned with that, with the chapters of your book, for example. But we like to be more creative with that because we want to see how we can really help your reader take action and get to that next step. So, that second part really looks like essentially asking the question, what is the next step that my reader needs to deal with or needs to overcome or the next step for their journey? And of course, can also serve in that way to bridge the gap and to, again, provide a smoother and easier pathway from your book to being in your world, becoming a student and, and it can go on from there. Most of us know that the customer journey that we want to provide, even as an author, is really important. So that’s essentially in a nutshell what it can look like. And when you look at that, of course, that most of us are familiar with, let’s say you’re on a Kajabi, you bought a course where you’re watching a video and you’re going along with each of the steps laid out. It’s very similar what we do in terms of what we’re able to set up, but it’s more of all things being set up for you as an author when it comes to not only the media, the learning design, but then also the entire setup of all of the tech things that need to happen on the back end.
Olivia: Are there any genres that benefit the most from becoming a course or lend themselves more to becoming a course?
Parchelle: Yes. So, one of the principles that I share is that people pay for implementation, right? We’re in a day and age where there’s so much information that’s at our fingertips that we can easily Google and get answers to, but the bigger question is how do we take action on those items or those steps? So that way we are taking in what we read right to a deeper level. And so for that reason, one of the more challenging genres to, I shouldn’t say challenging genres, but, the challenging areas where it’s difficult for people to do and make progress just alone. Those genres tend to be in the areas of health. That could be mental health, physical health. Wealth building, and that could be business related, something you want to do with your finances, real estate, right? There’s a number of courses that do well in that area. And then relationships, in terms of genres, if what you have to share or teach in your book helps support someone in those areas, you definitely have a really good opportunity ahead where people are, it’s just going to be a given that they need support and help with implementation, and they are willing to pay for it.
Olivia: Awesome. So that implementation piece is really where a course is able to step in and help you where a book couldn’t, perhaps, maybe the book is presenting ideas and the course is then helping you take action in making it happen. Is that what I’m hearing?
Parchelle: Exactly. Exactly. I mean, one of my personal stories in my entrepreneurship journey, so the first 10 years of being self-employed, I just struggled. And it wasn’t until I read a book, and this was around the pandemic, I read a book called The Millionaire Master Plan, and that’s like a very cheesy sounding title for a book. But it really introduced me to a system in understanding entrepreneurship and a path for myself based on my strengths that were going to be supportive for me. And so I loved the book, I read the book, and I pretty much practiced what was there for about a year, but got to a certain place where I started having challenges and lo and behold, through this community, there was the opportunity to take my learning further. So, the book can get us to a certain level, as I mentioned before, but I needed support with actually implementing, with having accountability around some of these areas and just going deeper into the learning itself. So I found myself going into a workshop and then an online course. It’s like they were together. And then, now, I’m in a group coaching program for a year. So, and it’s absolutely my go-to when it comes to my business, how I’m making decisions, how I’m making these moves. And that for me also, and just seeing the success for that as a learner, as somebody who wants to improve in an area, that’s the possibility that is also available, if you are conscious about, again, laying out this path for them in which they can absolutely get that result. And for authors setting up a course, it’s a digital product. And so the beauty of it, same way in writing a book, you can put that energy forth, right? Now the book is published, right? You can sit back for a little bit, but not too much because you have to get back up and talk about it. And as you continue to have that conversation, you want to give your audience, give your readers the next step in a seamless way and you can also do a lot of that heavy lifting with support. And that’s what we are excited to provide for a lot of authors in the coming years.
Olivia: I love that authors are able to add further guidance and support for their readers through this course of action. And I love that you as a reader had that experience as well. That’s really interesting.
Parchelle: Yeah, I’m a student at heart, that’s for sure. So, I was always doing really well in school. I mean, I just was always a student. So I feel lucky, I feel honored because really for our authors, because we’re actually reading the books. So I feel just so privileged and honored to just learn. And then to be able to support this beautiful person who poured this stuff out, that’s my favorite thing.
Olivia: That’s a great sentiment. And those authors that are bringing their brand and everything they have into these topics and ideas, how do you incorporate that into an online course as well? I mean, you have so much of who they are as people too.
Parchelle: Absolutely. But we definitely want for, again, we look at the learning that’s happening, right? If they have a book or even an ebook, right? They’re just engaging with the words, it’s visual, it’s physical, in terms of the senses that are active at that point. And then as you add more senses, more sensory of our five senses into the experience, you are not only supporting them at another level, they’re getting to know you. They’re getting to know more about you and where you’re coming from and what your mission is, what your passion is, and find other ways that you can make that connection with them. And so, being able to incorporate your experiences, your stories, even just visibly being present on or being visible on camera. It’s not a requirement of course, because we have beautiful options like today we’re on audio. But it’s just something that again allows for a much deeper connection with your reader. And in most cases it could start with someone just reading the words on the page and then hearing you, right? And then actually seeing you, and then maybe even seeing you in person. This is the journey that’s possible if, again, we’re thinking of, for most authors, this is your life. We don’t want to stop talking about your story, your mission, your passion, right? We have to find other ways and other, I guess you can say, other ways just to keep that conversation going. We need to continue to be active online within our communities about what we’re teaching. And we can always point back to the book. And then, if you have a course tied to the book, now you’re putting them on a path to where not only they’re going to, again, get a great experience and take that learning deeper, you’re also going to make money, and more money than if you just publish the book alone. So there’s so many beautiful upsides and benefits to having something like this in place.
Olivia: And that was going to be my next question. Some of the best ways to market an online course to network and followers, some long term promotional strategies for getting the word out there that there’s more than just a book or maybe people coming across the course and not realizing there’s a book. How do you do both?
Parchelle: Yeah, we are excited, in the new year for a new accelerator program that we have essentially perfected. And the point of it is to really address a lot of these issues, right? Because you can have a course up and published and just like you published your book, it’s up there and you’re thinking that the masses are going to come, but that’s not always the case. And so, when it comes to the promotion of your course, it really depends on you and your preferences and what’s really going to work for you. But literally, if you pick any of them, yes, it will work. And so for example, if you’re speaking, that’s a beautiful way to now promote your book, which then leads to the course. And you can really be creative as well as a consultant, let’s say, where if you’re going to be called in to speak, well, great, here’s my speaker fee and I will give everyone that’s attending this event 50% off the book and access to the course, that’ll be included in as well. So now you know that if that’s part of your rhythm as an author when it comes to your business, then you can absolutely use your speaking engagements that you have to leverage those. And then also, of course, online, right? There’s a lot of ways and strategies that work really well online. TikTok is a really great platform right now that’s allowing content creators really to more easily connect with people because of their algorithm and how it works. So, social media is definitely another way for sure. But one thing that we’re excited to explore is going to be podcasting in the next year and how we can leverage this medium to support authors even further with the very easy and simple funnel that can always be in motion after you’ve had it set up. And all you have to do is contribute more of your new ideas and maybe new thoughts that you want to share for the month or for the quarter or for the year and infuse that into this process and essentially allow that engine to keep going there. There’s really a number of other strategies. I only know what I know as well in this space because of my podcast interviews that I’ve been doing on our podcast called The Author’s Leverage. I’ve done several interviews with not only publishers, book writing coaches, but also book marketing specialists and authors as well. I was like, there’s one other person, but authors as well just to really gain insight and understanding what are the biggest issues that are facing authors. And so we’re just excited to attack a lot of these challenges and hopefully solve the problem to ensure that the promotion is happening. And it’s something that you do contribute to, but it can be feasible, it doesn’t have to be a drag. So we’re hoping to kick that off in the new year and excited about that. And also I recommend checking out our podcast, just to mention that, because there’s a lot of good resources there for really any stage of the author journey that you might be in.
Olivia: It is exciting. Congratulations.
Olivia: And I’m glad you mentioned speaking. That’s something that comes up a lot in the consulting that I do here at Smith with authors, is how do I promote the book, how to promote my other things when I go to speak at events. And we’re often recommending that you use the book as a business card to promote your courses or your blog or your newsletter or any other promotional resources you have available on your website. We’ve seen a lot of authors lately have been doing QR codes on business cards.
Olivia: To lead to their website or to a course, or to the book page, whatever it may be that they’re looking to promote. But I’m glad that came up and podcasting, another great idea, like a more verbal blog.
Parchelle: Exactly. And through podcasting too, it’s the perfect segue for authors because of the explosion of audio books in this space. So your readers more than likely are accustomed to, and would appreciate some sort of an audio experience with you. So we’re excited to explore that, like I said.
Olivia: We actually had an interview several months ago where we talked to an audiobook professional and they were saying they don’t always recommend that authors narrate their own audiobooks, but for those authors that are interested in sharing their ideas themselves, this is the way to do it. Get a course, get your own podcast, and get started sharing that way.
Parchelle: Exactly. And it’s a win-win because, it’s a win for you as the author and a win for the people that want this information. And I think it also emphasizes the importance of knowing your purpose, knowing your message, knowing very clearly who you’re here to serve. All of those things are so important as you endeavor in these different mediums to connect with your audience. The more clear you are, and even if it’s a segment of only a thousand people in your community or are interested in what you have to say, a thousand is pretty amazing. And you can do so much with that. So, just know that you can make that impact and really generate more income that is absolutely part of your journey, part of what you deserve for sharing this information. So, I mean, I used to be a teacher, so we didn’t exactly get signing bonuses and huge packages. So, there’s something to be said about those who labor to actually teach someone else something and how they’re compensated for that time and energy and effort. I take that personally, I suppose, and even addressing some of that within my own life. But I think it’s beautiful for anyone who’s venturing out to share what they know, share their experience for the benefit of other people. It’s really special.
Olivia: Mm. I love that you do talk about making sure that you’re getting what you deserve and you earn your worth back in sharing this expertise. Do you have any additional monetization strategies for authors today?
Parchelle: Hmm. I mentioned speaking, I mentioned podcasting, some other monetization strategies that come to mind as really around if you have a more of a corporate direction in your business when it comes to consulting or working within those organizations, for example, DEI or something to that effect. You also have the ability to monetize that in terms of opening up licenses to seats to your course. And that’s a really great strategy. So for example, if you’re speaking with the HR department of an organization that needs this training or needs, let’s say your book, right? You can leverage all of these into some kind of sweet package. But the point being is that you can also leverage, again, how many seats can be licensed for a year. And so these are really common as well in the consulting space. And I think that, again, using the book and having a training connected to it or having some kind of course connected to it is a really great monetization strategy as well. The next piece that I would say around monetizing and being smarter about that is thinking about your next book. And especially if you’re in touch with your audience and you’re getting this feedback, and you more than likely are going to observe and see what is the next pain point that they’re running up against. And so one of our favorite authors, Greg Alexander, he wrote a book called The Boutique: How to Start, Scale and Sell a Professional Services Firm. And of course, this is written to really address all the things you need to do to make this happen. But he had a little bit of foresight in his own experience, but of course got a lot of feedback from his audience and his readers on that book. And now he’s releasing his second book called The Founder’s Bottleneck because each of the founders, if they want to go that path, you have to deal with the biggest, hairy monster that you’re going to face. So he’s written the second book as well, and it’s just so powerful, just to see how he’s created that. And the beauty of it is that he’s releasing it only to his audience. So it’s not even a public book necessarily, but it’s part of a really, really well done strategy for how to monetize your own audience as well, and to have that next opportunity available to them in their journey that’s really connected to what their challenges are ahead and providing that next step for them. So we’ve been fortunate to help support in producing the courses for him. So it’s beautiful just to see how that’s come together as well. But hopefully that helps. I know that there’s a number of strategies out there and, and really it’s kind of like all these different ways of just bundling what you have and, and repurposing it. So what I’ll say at the end of the day when it comes to monetizing your book, to sum it up is the way that you do it is by repurposing what you wrote. Create experiences that get people to the next step that enrich their learning experience and you’ll find that the monetization opportunities will show up because it can come in so many formats, right? Workshops, courses, speaking engagements, they all work. But it’s all about how you repurpose it. And so have that mindset and see your book as more than just a book or more than just a business card. It’s really like the Eiffel Tower in a way because it’s the main attraction. But most of the money made in Paris is not from the Eiffel Tower. It’s from all the experiences created around it that are connected to the Eiffel Tower. So that perspective is really important at the end of the day when it comes to how you can monetize a book, because it’s like, there’s so many ways you can get so creative and it’s going to continue to get creative, but it’s up to you and how you feel aligned with how you can repurpose the work that you’ve laid out. And if you’re not sure, that’s what we’re here for as well. You know, we love to strategize and see what’s possible here. Let’s look at your audience, let’s do some analysis. Let’s build out the learning for them and the path and connecting it also to your business. All these things matter at that stage. So if you’re not sure exactly, that’s literally the first step of our process.
Olivia: I love that example of using exclusive content to incentivize and further engagement with your network. We said it before on the show and we’ll say it again, but those niche audiences really do have a lot more engagement potential. You have those people that are really interested in you and what you’re offering, and they’re not just one of many, they’re there to learn and interact with you. So using exclusive content to further develop that relationship is beautiful.
Parchelle: Absolutely. It’s about the experiences.
Olivia: So what does timing look like for creating a course? Is there an ideal timeline in a book’s production or do you have to have a finished book for this? Should the book already be out? Should you try and publish both the course at the same time as the book?
Parchelle: Yeah, that’s a great question. Ideally, you want for, when your book releases that the course is already available with it, that’s the most ideal case. So, in that line of thinking, getting started with this process at least three to six months before your book is to be released, you’re in good shape, for the most ideal case. However, if you’ve already published a book, the timeline to actually do it is about the same. I would give yourself three to six months. Our process is about four months. And within that you’ll be able to still, again, in this particular case, if you’ve already published breathe life back into your book, bring some attention back there because I’ve talked to so many authors in the last two years, and that part is just, I’m trying to like count on my hand how many times have I actually talked to an author and what they intended to do with their book in terms of the word being out and it actually being powerful and a big driver for them, and it’s just everything is good. Maybe like one out of 10, it’s very, very rare. So yeah, all that to say that this process, it can work. And, again, looking at that time frame and what you can do within it, you can either really get your book launched with a really strong foundation and a customer journey built within it, or you can use this course or this experience connected to it to leverage what you’ve already put out there. And now let’s get an engine in place that’s gonna keep that cycle going.
Olivia: And what are some of the most common questions that you get asked about your work creating courses?
Parchelle: A lot of folks ask about like, how are you going to truncate all this information into a course or how does that happen? That’s a common question. We also get asked about the media production side of things, which is really one of our specialties. So, my background is also in being a video producer, that was my self-employed gig, if you will, that had been building up. So I’ve been involved in the media space as well. So we get asked about how that process is going to work. And through our testing, through our processes thus far, we’ve been pretty successful with either we can do it remotely with an author or we can do it in person and in person looks like coming to San Diego to literally just show up, everything’s already done for you and you’re going to look like a million bucks. Those are the two options involved there as well. But, again, you’re looking at really what your preferences are in that. And then one other question that we get asked about is around pricing, of course, and what that looks like. And I generally tell people it’s either starting at $3,500, it can go all the way up to the six figures. So, it really depends, case to case. But as we explore into 2023, we do have some new packages that we’re gonna be releasing and excited to present that and reveal that. So whenever you’re listening to this, definitely circle back and let us know, with what we have, if something like that makes sense.
Olivia: Going back to that first question on truncating a book, I imagine there is a lot of content chunking that goes into creating a course. How involved are the authors in the course content material and in picking what goes into the course?
Parchelle: Oh, that’s a really good question. So the first phase of our process really involves them sending us their manuscript and completing a questionnaire. Our team essentially reviews all of that content, reviews the material, and then we already come to the first strategy session with them with an idea of sort of how we’re seeing a really powerful course shape up for them. So, I’ve been very intentional with how this process has been set up to ensure that for the author it’s just show up and teach, right? That’s what you do best, it’s your thinking ability and your ability to communicate that we really want to make useful in the time in working with us. There’s not a whole lot involved outside of just sending us the content that we need or allowing us to produce it for you.
Olivia: Thank you for sharing that. Where can our listeners follow you? How can they get in touch to learn more about your work and The Author’s Leverage?
Parchelle: Yes, yes, yes. So definitely, definitely check out our website at theauthorsleverage.com. As I mentioned, we have a podcast and that’s called The Authors Leverage as well. We’re on Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok as well, which is pretty cool. And, is there anything else I’m missing? Those are the main ones, so yeah, you can definitely check us there at The Author’s Leverage. And if you circle back, if you’re listening to this and it’s 2023, I do want to invite you to check out a private podcast that we’re releasing, because a lot of the process that I was sharing, I really want to explain it more deeply so that you can understand more about that whole process. It’s our book to course funnel, How to Get More Bang for your book, that’s the name of it. So check back with us to come and join that. If you want to tune into a conversation where I’ll dive into that and really reveal sort of the secret sauce to how we can keep the conversation going and make it effortless and easy for you as a communicator and as a teacher, help more people and make some money.
Olivia: That all sounds great, and I’m going to include the links below in the description so you all can find that there. Thank you so much for joining us today, Parchelle. It’s been really nice talking with you.
Parchelle: Yeah, my pleasure. Thank you.
Olivia: Thank you for listening to All Things Book Marketing. If you enjoyed this episode, please rate, review, subscribe, and send it to anybody else that might be interested. We’ll see you next time.
Parchelle Tashi is an award winning creative entrepreneur, popular podcast host, and creator of The Author’s Leverage. A former high school math teacher turned tech-preneur, she and her team specialize in creating high-end, memorable, impactful online courses for authors and creators who want to establish automated and residual revenue streams. A teacher at heart, Parchelle’s personal mission is to create noteworthy learning experiences that inspire action and change. Learn more at www.theauthorsleverage.com and follow on Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.