129. How to Write a Book (with a small platform!) [ft. Book Coach, Richelle Fredson]

How to Write a Book (with a small platform!) [Interview with Book Coach, Richelle Fredson]

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Writing a book is a wild ride, but one that can be worth the trip for many entrepreneurs – if you go into it for the right reasons. In this Summer School episode, we’re revisiting a conversation with book coach Richelle Fredson, who has been invaluable in my own book writing journey (if you want to hear how that’s going, listen to my latest update in Episode 115). She shares practical tips about how to go into this process with the right mindset, what options you have when it comes to publishing, and how to start preparing now for the book you want to write someday.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • What kinds of books see long-term success and sales
  • What a book consultant or coach is – and if working with one is right for you
  • The three publishing options and how to know which one to choose

Listen to the full episode of On Your Terms™ on your favorite podcast platform

Listen to episode 129, follow along so you never miss an episode, and leave a review to help introduce the show to more online business owners just like you!

If you leave a review on Apple Podcasts, be sure to send a screenshot of it to me on Instagram (at)samvanderwielen & you’ll be entered for the chance to win a $20 Starbucks gift card! 

What makes a book thrive in the market?

A common stumbling block for individuals venturing into book writing and book publishing is the desire for instant bestseller status. However, such a perspective tends to overlook the bigger picture – the true success of a book is gauged by its long-standing sales performance, not fleeting popularity. The key? Write about universal issues, striking a chord with the many, and building enduring relationships with your readers.

What are the different ways I can get my book published?

There are three primary pathways to getting your book into the hands of readers: self-publishing, traditional publishing, and the hybrid approach. The traditional route is most well-known, involving a proposal creation process, platform establishment, and finding a literary agent. The hybrid path offers a blend of traditional and self-publishing methods, giving the author more control.

However, the author assumes more risk with this approach, including the possibility of no advance payments and even incurring personal expenses for used services. With self-publishing, the author takes full responsibility, often requiring assistance to ensure a high-quality final product. Understanding the strengths and drawbacks of each pathway is key to choosing the right fit.

 I want to write a book eventually, but I’m not ready yet – what can I do now to prepare?

If you’ve been nurturing the dream of book writing for a while but don’t quite feel ready to embark on the journey, there are three immediate actions you can take to prime yourself for future success:

  • Immerse yourself in more books
  • Experiment with varied themes on your chosen platform
  • Gather insight from critical reviews of similar books in your niche or subject matter

Writing a book on your own terms, publishing it, and making it available to the world is not an unattainable dream. The plethora of options and a publishing industry increasingly favoring the author make it a more achievable goal than ever. The choice of the right path depends on what suits your life, your business, and the kind of experience you want from the publishing journey. In today’s era, publishing empowers authors like never before.

Episode Transcript

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Sam Vander Wielen: Hey there. It’s Sam, and welcome back to On Your Terms. I’m so excited that you’re here. So, I’m really excited because for the next couple of weeks, I’m running something that I’m calling Online Marketing Summer School. So, I’m going to be airing a series of episodes that are all geared towards helping you bump up your online marketing game this summer.

So, I’ll be real with you, as always. I am taking a little time to recoup this summer because I just lost my mom. My mom just passed away. Yes, you heard that right, both of my parents. I have lost both of my parents in the past year. So, as you can imagine, it is very tough, very overwhelming, and I need a little bit of space.

And I know that I’ve already given you hundreds and hundreds of episodes of this show, and thousands of emails and blog posts and social posts, and I know that there’s so much waiting for you that you might just not have had time to catch up on yet. So, I decided to put it all together for you, call it Online Marketing Summer School. And I am really excited to bring back some of my favorite episodes from my and also from your favorite teachers here that I’ve had on the show to help us bump up our marketing game this summer.

It’s such a good time to revisit your marketing strategy or to create one if you haven’t yet. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody. But it’s such a good time for you to do that because you can get some things set up this summer to maybe do some sort of promotion in the fall or just have a better half of the rest of 2023. So, I invite you to kick back, relax, listen to the next couple of weeks of episodes all about online marketing.

And I hope that you’ll send me a DM on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, or leave a review of the show wherever you listen to let me know if you’ve liked these episodes. Hopefully, if you’ve never heard them before, I’m introducing you to something new. And if you’re listening to them again, take a note from my mom, who was a brilliant, brilliant woman and would reread so many books throughout her life. Like, she reread the book Flow and Tipping Point and so many different books throughout her life. She would reread them in different parts of her life, and she would always walk away with something new, and she would always put in the notes what year she read it and what she learned that year versus the other years.

So, there is nothing wrong with re-listening to things. I re-listen all the time. So, I hope that if you’ve listened before, you take away something new from this great episode. So, I’ll see you on the other side. Please send me a message, let me know how you liked it. Thank you so much for listening.

So, I am so excited to be doing my first guest podcast interview today on On Your Terms, and it’s with my friend and my own book coach, Richelle Fredson. I’m so excited that Richelle is here.

So, for her formal fancy introduction, Richelle is a book publishing coach and consultant helping aspiring authors with book concept development, book proposals, platform growth, and book launches. She’s also the host of her own podcast called Bound & Determined. And at the end, we’ll share more about where you can connect and listen. Welcome, Richelle.

Richelle Fredson: I’m so excited to be here. And I’m honored that I’m your first guest on this podcast.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, I’m so excited too. Well, it works out for me because I’m so used to talking to you anyway, so it’s not that awkward for me. Not yet, but maybe later.

Richelle Fredson: Very easy.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, exactly. So, I am so excited that you’re here because I wanted to bring you on today for two reasons. One, I am only taking a very select handful of guests whom I love, and you’re one of them. So, it’s not going to be a regular thing. And I want to talk with people who do things on their terms, who help other people do things on their terms. You’re definitely a person that came to mind when I thought about that.

But, also, because in my own community, I know that there are so many people who want to write a book. And I think that there’s a lot of confusion around it. I know I had my own confusion around it that you helped me break down. But there’s also a lot of like, there’s only one way to write a book or there’s a right way to write a book. And you have a lot of people on social media being like, "The only way to write a book will ever be self-publishing" or "The only good way to write a book is to do traditional publishing." And it feels really overwhelming.

And I also talk a lot on On Your Terms about not focusing so much on social following and getting hung up in vanity metrics. And I think you’re really helpful, and you were helpful to me in understanding that writing a book is not only for "those people" or people with a big following. So, I’m really excited to get into the real deal of book writing with you today.

Richelle Fredson: I’m excited. I love demystifying publishing, because I think you’re right, there’s so much information out there and everyone is pushing their own agenda. And I have very little agenda besides just letting people know what their options are because I think people get very attached to one style of publishing or they think there’s only one route. But there are more options available now than ever before. Like, if you want to write a book, you can write a book.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. I’m excited, too, for you to break down what all those different types are, because I remember that was the thing you kind of blew my mind with because I had only been exposed to people who had very specific types of businesses and they were, like, book coaches who helped people to self-publish. And to me, personally, there’s nothing wrong with that option, obviously. But for me, as Richelle knows, that was just not the way I wanted to go. But it was helpful even to understand why and what the pros and cons are, like, there are cons, too.

But I think before we get into all of that, it would be so helpful for people to know what you were doing before you started your own book coaching business.

Richelle Fredson: Yeah. So, I started my career in PR media work at actually an agency in Southern California, and I was doing products like WD-40 and McDonald’s and the Sony Vaio laptop launch, and all of these very big things with very big juicy budgets and just tons of money to spend, a lot of fun to do.

But what happened was I looked around and went, "Oh, my gosh. The people that are sitting in these jobs, they’re not me. Like, this isn’t actually how I want to live my life." There was a lot of pressure, super high pressure. There wasn’t a lot of movement and growth. And I just said, "It’s for many people. This is not for me."

And I sort of accidentally fell into book publishing, which makes my parents laugh to this day, because I was the kid that never finished a book in school. Just forget it. I wanted the CliffsNotes version of everything. I don’t even know if Cliffnotes is a thing anymore. Did I just age myself?

Sam Vander Wielen: I don’t know. It’s probably all online now, I know.

Richelle Fredson: It’s all online. You don’t have to go by the little yellow button.

Sam Vander Wielen: Just Google it. Yeah, I think you Google it now.

Richelle Fredson: So, essentially, I started my career in publishing about 18 years ago. And I, again, started on the PR side. It was my comfort zone. I thought, I know how to write a pitch. I know how to get people on T.V. shows. Like, let’s stay in my comfort zone in this new industry. And then, over the years grew through much bigger PR campaigns for books. I had lunch with Oprah in her house.

Sam Vander Wielen: I would have died, just for the record.

Richelle Fredson: Delicious gazpacho.

Sam Vander Wielen: Wait. Was this in her Santa Barbara home? The one that I want to live next to one day.

Richelle Fredson: It’s beautiful. Yeah, exactly. Right. So, I was booking clients on Super Soul Sunday, and her old studio show in Chicago, and Dr. Oz, and all the big things. And it was so fun until it wasn’t. It’s really, again, high pressure job trying to please a lot of people. It’s hard because authors, really, are writing about so many things that are really important to them and really intimate and vulnerable. And so, when you aren’t able to always match the industry excitement with their excitement, it’s tricky, but it was really rewarding for a long time.

And my role sort of segued from PR into digital marketing launches at the time that publishing sort of said, "Okay. Social media is this thing now. Email lists are a thing now. How do we meet those standards?" And so, a lot of the PR roles started to transition into digital marketing roles. Like, how can we reach the most people through these somewhat organic channels that authors have created? So, I spent a long time doing big digital marketing launches for New York Times Bestselling Authors and first time authors. So, really learning how to communicate that goal differently to two different types of people at different parts of their journey.

And then, ultimately, began working in acquisitions in tandem with that role. And that was really cool, because now I got to meet with agents and authors and read many, many book proposals and help decide what we would buy and publish. So, I got to use all my former hats from PR and media to digital marketing and social media and all of that to determine what would be the most marketable buy for the publisher. So, that’s what makes my job now so incredibly fun because I get to use all of that former experience to help craft things from the ground up.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. I can see that firsthand, obviously, as a client. And I love how much your background plays into what you do now, because, as you have taught me so much about, that, nowadays, writing your own book, wanting to go the traditional publishing route, it’s not this fairy tale story that I think people like myself dreamed of, that my book would just show up in Barnes and Noble and everyone would be celebrating it. And so, there’s a lot of legwork on our own end for marketing the book. And so, I can just see how much that would help with what you do and how much realistic advice you bring to the table.

Richelle Fredson: Thank you. And, really, what everyone should want is a book that sells for a long time. And I think sometimes when we get caught up in publishing a book, it’s how do I make this a bestseller right away? How do I sell thousands of copies in my first week? And that’s a sort of shortsighted way to look at the publishing process. I mean, a book is this concrete thing. We’re holding it in our hands. It’s not easy to reproduce. You’re printing thousands and thousands of copies. And, of course, there’s e-books and audiobooks which take a lot of production.

So, the goal is always how can I create a book that’s going to sell well long term and sell consistently? So, part of that is that marketing lens of how do we get that flash and how do we create something that’s sustainable.

Sam Vander Wielen: What do you think distinguishes a book that would sell for a long time? What ingredients does a book like that need?

Richelle Fredson: I mean, usually tackling the things that are plaguing everybody all the time.

Sam Vander Wielen: The me too factor. People just being like, "Oh, me too." Or like, "You’re in my mind. You’re in my head." I don’t know if it’s helpful, but when people on your email list or whatever write back and will say, "It’s like you’re in my head." It’s always those topics I try to think about, obviously, that’s what’s connecting with people.

Richelle Fredson: Yeah. And it’s a lot of the emotional components. So, when I think about sort of flash books that will sell quickly, but for a short amount of time, there are things like fad diets or the next great cookbook genre or something like Instant Pot things, that have great kick at the beginning and then they’re going to slow down naturally when the next great thing happens. But when we talk about human emotion and the human experience, that is forever.

And it’s proven to me all the time when I just show up more vulnerably on my social media too. Last night, I did a post about feeling really conflicted as someone who runs a business and is a mom. And my son is sick and I felt guilty for having to move things around my schedule. And my final line was, "We have to remember we’re more than the work that we do." And the comments were blowing up with people going, "This was me today. I needed to hear this." And those are the tidbits that create a good book, like how can you get people jumping in and going, "This is me. I needed this. This sounds exactly like me. I see myself in your book, in your story."

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. That’s exactly what I was thinking when you said that. It’s like, in every good copywriting course class, whatever that you take, I always think of anything that I write is a mirror for other people – or a mirror, as my dad would say – that they’re seeing themselves in it. At the end of the day, let’s just be real, when people read stuff, they’re thinking the what’s in it for me factor.

Richelle Fredson: Completely.

Sam Vander Wielen: So, I think we all get real excited about telling our stories in a book. Like, "Oh. I’ve had this story of me my whole life." But the point is, it has to be helpful to other people and it has to reflect back to them.

Richelle Fredson: A hundred percent. That’s like a reflex for me now when I’m talking people through their book process. It’s like, "This is so good. I love this story about your life." And how do we show up in the teacher seat? How do we now turn the camera and bring the reader into the fold and help them have that reflection or look at that experience?

But you’re right, when people read story, anecdotal story or personal story, they’re often substituting in their own experience into that. So, when people ask me, how much do I need to share in my book, like how vulnerable do I need to be? How open do I need to be? Only as much as you’re comfortable with and only as much as they need to get the point and see themselves in that story. So, you’re right, we’re all just thinking about ourselves.

Sam Vander Wielen: It is true. I mean, it’s just the way the human psyche works. But I mean, the people who are reading your post last night were probably like, "Oh. Thank, God, I’m not alone. I’m not the only person who feels this conflict and this guilt and this pull to want to be both a business owner and an entrepreneur and a great mom." And then, feeling like you’re not doing either that great sometimes because you’re being pulled. So, people can really relate to that. And people don’t want to feel alone, period, end of story.

Richelle Fredson: That’s the whole point of creating a great book, right? Like, let’s just know that we’re all in this together.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. It’s like a hug. I mean, I was an avid reader as a kid, and I felt like the characters in books were my friends. That sounds really sad when you say it out loud.

Richelle Fredson: It’s not sad. My husband says that too. Like, he has a few books, he’s like, "I’m definitely the Holden Caulfield." He definitely has references.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. I feel like that for sure. So, tell me a little bit about how you went from all these, having lunch with Oprah – which I’m now super jealous about – and to actually starting your own business and your coaching? And is that what brought you to New York, by the way?

Richelle Fredson: So, the publishing house brought me to New York, and part of that move was that it was a Southern California based publisher, Hay House. And the company grew large enough to really be competitive with some of these major publishers. We needed a New York presence, so they sent me out here with one other person to start the New York office and really start meeting with agents and talent in person.

And so, that was very exciting for me. I was the first one in my family to move away. They’re all still back in California. You know, I sold my car. It was like a whole different lifestyle moving to the big city, and I loved it so much. But, really, the tipping point for starting my business – and this is like the ultimate On Your Terms moment – I had my son, so I gave birth to Cooper. I was, before that, just working a lot of hours and managing a lot of campaigns. It was a lot and I loved it and it filled me up. But I was thriving on sort of that chaos a little bit, the go, go, go hustle.

And then, I had Cooper. And while I was on maternity leave, I was like, "If I could curate a business or a role or a position that only tapped into the things I really love about the work that I do, what would it look like?" And about two months into maternity leave, my brain started firing on all cylinders, just ready to be back to doing something. I mean, God bless motherhood, but I was ready to start thinking about something else, and, of course, still sleep deprived and not making a lot of sense.

But I would just walk to the local coffee shop in Brooklyn where I was at the time, and just listen to podcasts and take notes and think about could I really create something for myself that feels like it would fill me up, and be an actual lucrative business, and allow me to not miss the moments of my life that I don’t want to miss. And I went back to work. And, again, I loved everyone I worked with. It was a great job to have. And I realized very quickly the shoe didn’t fit anymore.

I had this sort of wake up call to what I wanted my life to look like every day as a mom and someone who built a career. And so, the someday when plan became the now plan, and I just leapt into the great unknown. I had very little plan in place before I was like, "This is what I’m doing, guys. I’m going all in." I want to help the people that don’t have the roadmap to getting published.

Like, I’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the nonfiction industry and they’re wonderful. They also have huge teams of support. How do I help the people that don’t know who to look to? And that’s really when Purposeful Platforms was born.

Sam Vander Wielen: That’s amazing. Yeah, people who still have incredible stories but don’t have the same resources, obviously. That’s really cool. And had you heard of book coaches before you kind of created this business?

Richelle Fredson: No. And I have to tell you, I had a real identity crisis with calling myself a coach just because, especially being in the industry that I’m in, people are very quick to use that label. And so, for a long time I was just kind of framing it as a consultant, a publishing consultant.

And when I first started the business, I was really focused on helping people understand the benefit of a platform. Because I’d spent so long having to turn down really great books because the platform wasn’t there, because that’s where the traditional publishing model was, and they still are. They’re very focused on the platform. But there were so many great teachers and great writers that weren’t getting the attention they needed because they didn’t know how to teach online or how to show up online in a way that was effective.

So, I started really heavily on the platform side. And then, was like, "You know what? I have all of this amazing PR and marketing experience. I know what makes a good book proposal because I was the person on the other side of the table for a long time. How do I take all of that knowledge and develop the idea for these great books?" And so, I just started doing it because I was also really confident in what I knew.

And so, that’s one thing that I’ve never really been hung up on is like, I know that I have what it takes. It’s just about doing it in a way that doesn’t burn me out. And so, I had to build a formula that did that.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. But I love how you went into it ahead of time knowing that you wanted to do things on your terms. I mean, a lot of people will say they want to start a business because they want freedom and flexibility, but it’s kind of a loftier thing. I think, also, when people come from a corporate world and transition into being their own boss, you have a better idea sometimes of exactly what that looks like because you’ve done the other way. You’ve given up all the small moments in your life and you’ve sacrificed probably your health, and your wellbeing, and your sleep, and a whole bunch of other stuff at the time.

Richelle Fredson: I was sick so much when I had a more corporate position. I was sick all the time and I didn’t recognize that it was connected to the way that I was treating myself because I was so focused on the next great thing and climbing the ladder and just giving so much of myself. And what’s interesting is that transition into the new business, there was a period of time where things felt very quiet because I was used to such a juggle, and I had to get comfortable in the moments that were more quiet and not make abrupt decisions. Not take on a client because I felt like I needed the money.

And, of course, everyone at the beginning of their business does that stuff because you’re like, "Oh, my God. I need to pay the bills, so I’m going to take on a client." I learned pretty quickly about six months in that if I took a client based on money, it often didn’t turn out well. So, I had to get really clear on who the right person was for me. And that was just trial and error at the beginning.

Sam Vander Wielen: For sure. And by the way, if anybody wants to learn more about this topic, I just did a few episodes ago about client warning signs, and bad clients, and who to take on and who not. But I also talk about how, sometimes, it’s good to make some of those mistakes in the beginning because you’ll stumble through. So, I’ll link to that in the bottom.

But I was hoping, too, Richelle, you would tell people what is a book coach or a book consultant. Like, what exactly does a book consultant do for people and who would need one?

Richelle Fredson: Yeah. There’s all different kinds. So, there’s certainly people that coach you through the proposal process and help you write the book and things like that. They’re more of editors, I would say, more than book coaches. And then, like you said, there are some people who coach you because they have their own publishing model within their business. And it’s only for self-publishing that I’ve seen. There may be other kinds out there.

But the way that I work is, essentially, you come to me when you have an idea for a book, or you have a business and you know that that book is going to be a part of your business and part of your offerings. And you’re like, I have this coaching practice, or I have this legal business, or I have all these things that I do for entrepreneurs, how do I take what I know and create a tool that brings in business, that fills my coaching programs that becomes this entry point for people to discover what I do?

So, people come to me at, like, the bud of an idea. And usually my consults start with people saying, "I’m not a writer, but I want to write a book." And I tell them that everybody says that. And I help them, essentially, develop the idea. And it’s the marriage of of what I know and what they know. And together, that makes a really marketable idea. So, we work through the proposal process. And, oftentimes, I’ll do agent introductions and help them through the process.

And a lot of it is just being that person they can turn to when, number one, they hit those moments of uncertainty. There’s a lot of sort of I’m not a substitute for therapy, but there is a lot of sort of therapy conversation happening in the work that we do because it’s vulnerable. But helping them navigate all the questions that come up, like What type of agent do I need? Do I want to go self-hybrid or traditional? And just figuring out a route that’s right for them. And so, there’s no template to what I do. It’s just connecting to another human and guiding them from what I know in the industry.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. And just to let everyone know, I hired Richelle in that way too. I don’t think I said I wasn’t a writer. Not that I think I am a writer, but I like to write, so I don’t think I said it. But I came to Richelle saying like, "I have a lot of ideas. I just don’t know what direction to go in."

And so, you were really helpful in, not only nailing down that idea, but I think what’s been so great about our work together so far – and we’re working on the book proposal now – is that you’ve helped me so far to craft something that balances this storytelling the stories that I did want to get out and that do emotionally connect with other people, too. Like, here are tips about how to grow your business, because I didn’t want – I don’t know – a Gary V. style book or something. I didn’t want this bro marketing or this straight up strategic. I wanted the hybrid. But I, obviously, first and foremost, want it to be helpful to other people.

So, I guess I wanted to say to anyone who maybe has an idea but is struggling to figure out how that’s a marketable idea, that it can be really helpful to work with someone like Richelle.

Richelle Fredson: Thank you. And more often than not, people come to the table and they have ten ideas that they’re trying to fit into one book. And I’m like, this is a whole series of books, but how do we not overwhelm the reader? And the beautiful thing about integrating story is some people will learn from the tactical tidbits that you give them. And some people will learn because they see themselves in your story. So, having all of that makes a really complete, beautiful book. I love the sort of straddling line of prescriptive memoir storytelling and help.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, it is fun. And if anybody does something like what I do in the sense that it’s very technical and can be dry and boring, I’ve found that storytelling has broken me out of this cycle of I used to feel frozen about what to write about, because I’m like, "Oh, can I really write another post called what three website policies you need on your website?" That’s how I write and so I connect. Even all of my emails to my list about these podcast episodes is all a story that then links to this episode.

And so, I just find that it can unlock for some of us who feel like we have to express ourselves in that way. And so, I found the book writing or book proposal writing process really freeing in that way.

Richelle Fredson: Yeah. Absolutely.

Sam Vander Wielen: I think it would be helpful for you to explain to people what the publishing options are and then what the differences are between options, like self-publishing, traditional publishing, hybrid, all of that.

Richelle Fredson: So, the three options are what you just said, self-publishing, hybrid, and traditional.

Sam Vander Wielen: You taught me a lot.

Richelle Fredson: Yeah. You’re such a good student. Let’s start from sort of the biggest down. So, traditional publishing is what people mostly know about book publishing. It’s Simon and Schuster. It’s Random House. It’s the agent process. So, you would need to create a book proposal and you would need to have a pretty thriving platform. So, your social media is kicked off. You’ve started building a community. And I don’t like to assign a number to that because I have seen books with 5,000 followers get a six figure deal. And I’ve seen people with 200,000 followers get a more modest deal. So, I don’t like to give a number.

It’s really about are you showing up and talking about what you want to write this book about? Are you present? Are you showing up publicly to teach or to create conversation and community? So, you need the proposal. You need that platform to be thriving. And then, you would need an agent.

So, the first sort of hurdle is getting an agent to represent you because they’re the ones that are going to go and knock on the doors of all the publishers and say, "I have something really great that you should pay attention to." Your agent is like your best friend in this process. It’s why I work so closely with agents, because, to me, it’s an energetic decision in addition to sort of a tactical decision. You want to work with an agent that’s going to champion you, and so it has to be the right fit.

So, once you’ve secured your agent, they will look at your proposal, make any tweaks that they feel it needs, and then you’re sort of off to the races. You will start getting some interest from publishers. Your agent sends out your proposal and you have publisher meetings – and now they’re on Zoom. You essentially talk to their editorial team, sometimes their marketing and sales people, and they will make a decision if it’s something they’d like to publish. And then, they offer you an amount of money, and that’s called an advance. So, you get paid an advance to write the book.

For first time authors, it could be $10,000 to $250,000 up to $500,000. I’ve seen it in every range possible. But, typically, a first time author advances are a little bit more modest, unless you have a sizable platform.

So, that’s the traditional publishing process. You obviously have internal teams. So, you have a marketing team, you have a sales team, you have your on staff editors, you have distribution. So, it’s being put in Barnes and Noble and trying to be sold to Target and Costco and all the big box stores. So, it’s sort of this all encompassing way to publish.

The challenge in today’s market is that it does skew platform heavy. So, to break through the noise, you either need a really strong proposal that builds the case or you need a really strong platform, preferably both.

But hybrid publishing – which is the middle ground – the middle ground between self-publishing and traditional publishing is a more recent model that’s emerged over about five, six years – credibly speaking over the last five, six years – and has basically been formed of people that left traditional publishing because they felt it wasn’t an author-centric model.

So, they wanted to leave the sort of stricter business side of publishing and create a model that put more of the power back in the author’s hands. It doesn’t require you to sign over your creative rights to your material. You don’t need an agent. You need a proposal. But the whole point being that they acquire more based on content, less about platform. Whereas, in traditional publishing, the platform is more of a contender for getting a deal.

So, hybrid publishing, you do not get paid an advance. You pay for the services that you use within the publisher. So, if you want to use their editorial services, there’s a price for that. If you want to have them design your cover, if you want them to sell your book and distribute it, there’s a price point for all of that. Kind of all in, you could expect about $15,000 for that. You’re also paying for the cost to print the books, which is in there.

But the highlight being, you earn more of a royalty on each book sold. So, you can earn anywhere from 30 to 85 percent on every book you sell. As opposed to traditional publishing, you get on average 10 percent. So, there is opportunity to make a little bit more money faster, though you’re not getting paid in advance. But you get to be in creative control, which for a lot of my clients, they really want, and you’re faster to market.

So, traditional publishing, there’s not a lot of wiggle room on the timeline. You can expect 18 to 24 months from the moment that you sell the book. From the moment you sell the book to the publisher, not counting proposal and all that other stuff. In hybrid publishing, you could expect nine months to a year. So, if you’re someone who’s like, "I need a book in my business stat," that can be really helpful to look at the hybrid publishing model. And I have a couple of clients that just really love having more of that creative control. And then, beyond hybrid publishing, they’re self-publishing, and that is the you, you and you model.

Sam Vander Wielen: It’s all on you.

Sam Vander Wielen: Essentially, it’s all on you. And I have clients and friends that have self-published, and love it and wouldn’t do it any other way. But what they learned from book one to book two and book three is that they needed to hire support. So, to make a really professional product, you will need to hire an editor and a designer and all of those things because you want it to look substantial and be competitive in the market.

So, of course, you’re making 100 percent of the money, which is awesome. You just need to know that you’re going to invest in some support from editorial and design to make sure you get it out there.

Sam Vander Wielen: That is so helpful. Before working with you, I didn’t even know that the hybrid model existed. And I think it’s really helpful for people to understand that there are different options. What would you tell someone, though, who has this idea, wants to start a book, is at the beginning of the process, really doesn’t know where to go about which one of these little branches to choose? Like, which one is right for the right person?

Richelle Fredson: Yeah, that’s a really great question. I think at the beginning you don’t need to decide. I think the beginning is what is this book going to be and what is the impact that I want to make. Which is why even my friends who have self-published will tell you the value of doing a book proposal even if you want to self-publish. Because as you’re experiencing now, the discovery that comes from creating a book proposal and the clarity and defining the mission and all of that is really invaluable.

So, you want to go through that process and then go, How long do I want to wait to have the book out? Do I want to take the time to build a more substantial platform? Is my business ready to launch this book? There’s a lot of personal considerations. But at the beginning, it’s like, let’s just figure out what the book is and feel confident in that so that I can feel empowered to make the right decision on how I want to publish.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. Really give yourself options. And it sounds like one of the most important things to think about ahead of time would be how does this fit into my business, considering everyone who listens to this podcast is an entrepreneur. So, if you’re writing this book as a personal project versus is this going to be an entry point to a funnel, is this part of your marketing. And even as you’re describing all the different options, I’m thinking how long term this is, how much this is in the long game.

So, for somebody like me now who’s been in business for, like, five years, I was like, "Okay. It doesn’t matter to me. It takes a couple of years." We’re planning for things that are that long term. So, I could see an argument for maybe going more of the hybrid or self-publishing route if you’re closer to the beginning of your business, need to get your feet under you and start that marketing funnel. As opposed to this being something that you have an audience to sell to already.

Richelle Fredson: I mean, the truth is your business or your platform are your only customers at the beginning. Which is part of why traditional publishing puts so much emphasis on the platform, because they’re like, "This lessens our risk." If we know that we can marry our contacts with their contacts, we have a better chance of success. And, obviously, in traditional, you get a certain number of weeks of PR and marketing support, which is awesome. Hybrid is now matching that, too, with some of their services. If you self-publish, those are additional investments you’re going to make for yourself.

So, look, for the average business owner or entrepreneur, the number one question you should be asking yourself is how is this a tool to grow my business. Because you can integrate so much of yourself and your personal experience into this. But the book should be rooted in what your core expertise is.

And that’s something that we’ve talked about in our work together, especially traditional publishers, they want to know that your first book out of the gate is grounded in what you do. So, you have a better chance if you have a business of your own or you’re starting a nonprofit or any of those things that you want to make sure that the book is an offshoot of what that core expertise is.

Sam Vander Wielen: And I know that so many people think that writing a book in and of itself and then selling that book is what makes you rich. I mean, not only through our own work together – I wish you guys could see Richelle laughing – but even just in our conversation, it’s sounding to me what people should be focusing on instead is how the book will actually be part of the marketing funnel that could make you rich because it leads to the service, the program, the product, whatever that you sell. But the book itself does not make you rich. I feel like you should have this on a big sign somewhere.

Richelle Fredson: I do. Every time I speak in public, I go, "Do not write a book to make money." Launch a course, launch a mastermind, a group program, and a membership. A book is so wonderful for so many reasons. I mean, again, bringing in clients, growing your business’ legacy, all of those beautiful things. But it’s not a fast moneymaker. There’s this beautiful permanence to it – which we talked about earlier – but it really, really is the long game, but it’s an incredible tool for opening more doors of opportunity.

Sam Vander Wielen: I always think about Phoebe Lapine, who wrote the Wellness Project. And so, she wrote The Wellness Project which chronicled 12 months of her life where she focused on a different wellness aspect each month. And so, it’s kind of broken up, like The Happiness Project. And then, she started a group program called The Wellness Project, so every time people were reading the book, they were then going to her website, opting into her email list. Then, she was emailing out however many times a year to say, "Hey, this group program is opening." And then, people were enrolling in this group program. And I was like, "Oh. That’s how a book fits into this marketing funnel."

Richelle Fredson: It’s so good. And I use my client, Chrissy King, as an example all the time. She’s so great. And so, she wrote an article for Shape that was around body liberation and her experience in the fitness industry. And she got contacted by a publisher that was like, "Would you write a book?" And, you know, it was a great offer. And she would tell the story the same herself, but she had no clue how to make this decision or was this the right decision. And so, she reached out to friends who put her in touch with a literary agent who then sent her to me because we know the power of a great book proposal. And so, that book proposal was a significant difference in publisher interest and offers for her, and that’s the truth.

And she’s not the only example I have like that. It’s like if you’re out there in the world doing great work and making waves in your industry, there’s probably people already watching you. I have a number of clients who say, "Oh, my gosh. Tarcher or Hachette are following me" or "An editor reached out to me." And what I always tell them is like, "Great. Now, write the book proposal." Because it’s hard to hit pause for a minute because you want to take that opportunity. But doing a great book proposal puts the power back in your hands so you can negotiate for the best deal possible.

I had a client who had an offer on the table, a great offer. She called me and I said, "Write the proposal. Write the proposal." She’s like, "Are you kidding me? They sent me the contract." And she got three times the offer. She knew she wanted to be with that publisher. It gave you negotiating power. And I’m all about giving authors the power to make those decisions for themselves.

Sam Vander Wielen: Because when you have clarity, you can speak so much more confidently about what you’re actually bringing to the table. But when it’s like a lofty idea, it’d be really hard. But I feel like if you walk in there with a book proposal, you can actually say to them, "This is exactly what I’m going to talk about. This is how it’s going to connect. This is what I’m going to teach people. This is what’s unique about it. This is what people are already asking for." I feel like that would be so helpful.

Richelle Fredson: And social media has just opened up opportunity, too, like in that example of Chrissy sharing the article for Shape. And I have a client who is a sex therapist and she has editors from publishers following her. It’s cool. And you don’t know who’s lurking, not in a creepy way.

Sam Vander Wielen: In general, by the way. Just beyond beyond editors, just there are a lot.

Richelle Fredson: Lots of creepers. But in the best sense, professionals who can help you get your book done. But I think it’s a great sort of reminder to be conscious in the way that we’re teaching and sharing and being consistent about it, because you just never know where the opportunities are going to come from.

Sam Vander Wielen: And you actually were so helpful in teaching this golden nugget I want to pass on to other people. You know, once I had my head around what’s the book going to be about, what’s the general premise, then you started telling me make sure that you’re actually teaching about those topics so that if someone goes and looks at a 30,000 foot view of your business, do they see some blog posts about this, if you have a podcast, a YouTube video, whatever. But making sure that you’re actually touching on those things and that they really are my core teaching areas, I guess.

Richelle Fredson: It’s interesting, because I think a few years ago publishers weren’t looking so specifically at people’s businesses and now they are. So, I have a client who went through my book proposal program and he’s got this really killer book idea. And we built out the proposal. It’s so, so good. And he sent it to a few agents that were all like, "I’m obsessed with you. I love this. I can see the need for this." But there’s no place in your business where you can use this as a tool. That’s what I mean about that disconnect between what you want to write about in your core expertise.

And while it was his core expertise, there was no offering in his business to sell it long term. So, he actually hit pause and said, "I’m going to go build an arm of my business that supports this." And I have no doubt that once that’s up and running, publishers will come knocking down the door because it’s so good. But publishers want to know that you have a way to sell it for the long haul.

Sam Vander Wielen: And that’s probably what has attracted people to their community. I mean, the legal thing that I always compare this to is, don’t sell people health coaching and then talk about vacuums. That’s what I always say. Like, from a legal perspective, that’s not okay because of the whole Can-Spam Act thing. But, also, I think from a marketing perspective, it wouldn’t make any sense if I came out now with a self-help book or something. But it’s also like the end of the road.

And I think going back to what we were talking about before, for example, if I sold a self-help book, that would be the end of the revenue road for me just buying the book. And we’ve now just talked about the fact that books don’t make you money. So then, what the heck is the point? The book should be the entry point to the larger thing in your business, at least from my perspective.

Richelle Fredson: A hundred percent. By the way, your podcast has got me thinking about the way I respond to people in my DMs. Because I get people that are like, "What agent would you recommend? What do you think about this book idea?" Number one, I can’t make any of those decisions without being so immersed in what you do and who you are. But it’s interesting because I could see now how any type of response in those situations could be problematic.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, it can be. We just have no idea what the person on the other end of this question. You know that I’m obsessed with cooking. Richelle loves cooking, too. But I always think about when chefs will talk about this on social media, they’ll get asked a question about something about the recipe or changing the recipe. And they’re like, "I need to know what altitude you’re cooking at, and what kind of oven you have, and whether your ovens even to temperature. Are you cooking on gas? Are you cooking on electric? What are the tools you’re using? Are you using cast iron?" There are so many elements.

And whenever they talk about that, I’m like, "Yeah. That’s exactly what it’s like for us." When you get a DM from somebody, whether they’re asking about a book or their health or fitness or their money or their career, there are like 9 million questions that have to be answered, let alone the legal problems that come up from all of that.

One of the biggest things that I wanted to ask you, because this is something I really wish I would have heard someone answer back in the day, is, what are three things that someone should do right now if they know that they want to write a book, but they’ve not taken any steps to do so yet?

Richelle Fredson: Read books is the first one. It’s such a hilariously basic answer, but it’s true. I think the more that we read and the more that we consume in our genre, we start to see what we like and what we don’t like about certain books. And it helps get the wheels turning about what we want to create. So, that’s sort of entry level answer.

The second is – throwback to the platform – start experimenting, start dabbling with talking and teaching and doing videos, and Instagram Lives, or all the things you want to do around that topic because there’s often a gap between what we want to write and what people actually want from us. And the more that we can experiment and gather that feedback and use it to create our book ideas, the more power we have to create something our community wants.

So, there’s that, if this is what I want to write, if I want to write about meditation or yoga or how to run a YouTube business, I want to see you out there having some of those conversations and experimenting a little bit.

And then, three – this is a tough one because there’s a few in my mind – I would say this is something I give my group students as a task before we begin, but go on Amazon, and not in a snarky way, but start looking at some of the books in your genre. Like, if you know you want to write a prescriptive memoir, you might look at – Oh, gosh. I don’t know – probably 90 percent of the books on your shelf would fall into that category. But if you know you want to write about childhood trauma or loneliness or entrepreneurship, search that category and look at some of the leaders in that space. And then, go beyond that and click on the one and two star reviews.

And this is what I mean about this is not snarky. This is intel. This is just how we strategize. Rule out the reviews that are like, "This was terrible," or "There was a page missing," or any of those things that are just like, "That doesn’t tell me anything." But there are often reviews that say, "This was really great and motivational but I didn’t know what to do once I was inspired," or "I felt like the tone was a little bit this or that."

There’s this intel that we can get, and what happens more often than not, especially for my clients, is it energizes them because they go, "Oh, my gosh. I see where I fit in the market now. I see where my voice and my story and my formula or protocol, or whatever I do, my framework, I see how it fits in the market now." And so, it’s both research and it helps energize you to get really clear on where you want to go.

Sam Vander Wielen: That’s super, super helpful. I always think of an ice sculpture that starts out as a rectangle, and you’re kind of taking the chainsaw and making the little carvings. And one of the books Richelle has behind her is Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb, and I remember when I read that and then I really liked the book a lot. And then, I remember I read the reviews and there were so many reviews being like, "I found her tone condescending" or "I found that she was too self-involved."

And I was like, "Wow. That wasn’t my takeaway at all." And so, it was interesting for me to say like, "Well, that was the kind of book that I was attracted to that speaks to me." And so, it just kind of helps me to find my voice, I guess, as a writer.

Richelle Fredson: Exactly right. And I should preface all of that by saying your book is not going to please everyone, like nothing you do does.

Sam Vander Wielen: Or anything you do ever.

Richelle Fredson: Right. Right. So, when it’s like tonal comments or this vibe or whatever it is, if that’s not a match, it’s not going to be a match for everybody. But what it can make you conscious of is, How do I want to integrate stories beyond my own? Do I have anecdotal stories, client stories, success stories? How do I want to move beyond myself to create more of a balance in the tone? So, yeah, there’s a lot to be discovered.

And I don’t expect when people go through that exercise that they’re going to know how to make sense of everything that they discover. But that’s where someone like me or a coach will come help you dissect it and go, "Okay. This is what’s really valid about what we found here. And these are the things that are just like someone was having a bad day." We can’t judge that.

Sam Vander Wielen: Triggering them for some reason. We call them Lynn at Sam Vander Wielen LLC. Those are Lynns.

Richelle Fredson: Lynns make it in the book too.

Sam Vander Wielen: Lynn is making it into the book. She’s really made quite the impact. Because you have been doing this now for so long, what would you say are some of the biggest changes or shifts that you’re feeling you’re experiencing right now in the industry and what you foresee a little foreshadowing of what you see coming in the book publishing industry?

Richelle Fredson: Yeah. I mean, I think more than anything, more choice for authors, more routes of publishing. I think for so long it was traditional or self-publish and there were huge gaps in that. A lot of the books that were being self-published, people weren’t getting support or didn’t know how they were going to sell it, didn’t have a promotional or marketing plan ready to go, there wasn’t the prep work. Now, I think there’s more options for self-publishing. And now we’re seeing hybrid publishing, obviously, take a real hold in the market.

I will say that there are hybrid publishers that do this very well and then there are some, just like any industry, that can feel a little off. So, you know, you’re going to want to do your research. And I’m always happy to give a few recommendations of who I’ve worked with previously and my clients have. Page Two is great if you are writing, especially, for women entrepreneurs or writing personal story primarily for women, they’re great health books.

For any of the listeners that are writing very strong business books or sort of social justice and things like that, there’s a great publisher named Amplify. Most people have heard of She Writes, which is great.

You just want to do your due diligence and make sure that if your antenna goes up about anything, that you consult a professional to make sure that you’re making a great decision. But just more options in general. And I think in the traditional publishing space, it’s that arm of the business. So, the last few years, it’s no surprise to anyone that a platform has been a key part of the process.

But, now, I’ve seen people get deals where they have a strong business and maybe they just haven’t been showing up on social media. I mean, look at a lot of the therapists, and doctors, and physicians, and things that are getting great publishing deals and great books that have just been in practice for 30 years, like they’re smart, credentialed, well-known people that are just like, "I’m not going to be on Instagram a lot," and that’s okay.

So, it’s like building that credibility in the marketplace will continue to be important, whether it’s through social media or within your business. So, just getting that honed in. And I think we’re starting to see more diversity in publishing.

Sam Vander Wielen: I was going to ask you, what about representation?

Richelle Fredson: It makes me so happy that publishers really have opened their eyes to the fact that we need to learn from diverse voices and amplify diverse voices. So, that’s really a huge shift.

Thank God, my friend Bex Borucki started her own publishing company, so we might see more of that, Row House Publishers, where she publishes diverse voices and experiences.

Sam Vander Wielen: Cool. That’s awesome.

Richelle Fredson: And as a result of not feeling that that existed in traditional publishing. So, now, there’s definitely more awareness, which is great. What else? I don’t know. You know, the second we get off this interview, I’m going to think of one more thing. But those are the primary things I’m thinking.

Sam Vander Wielen: Those are all pretty good things. Those are all pretty good. I was going to ask you about representation, BIPOC voices. I definitely feel like I see that on the fiction side – I read a lot of fiction. So, I feel like I’ve gotten more diverse stories. I mean, these stories have always existed. I think the fact that we just don’t get to see them very often and they are probably not being given the same opportunities and platforms and exposure. So, I hope that that is getting better. I also hope that the equity in in payouts and things like that is getting better.

Richelle Fredson: Yeah, exactly. Actually, that makes me think of one more thing – two more things, actually. One is that I think we’ll start to see more creative contracts in traditional publishing. Whereas, traditionally, it’s like the biggest chunk is the advance and then everything breaks down after that. I think now we might start to see, if it’s a more modest advance sales bonuses and some of those things being more prominent, they’re happening already, but it’s not as prominent or sort of rev share models, things like that. So, I think people will start getting more creative with contracts, I think more equitable contracts as well.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah, I hope so too. Maybe that’ll have to be a template in my future but I’m also, do you make equitable publishing contract emblems?

I would just love for you to speak quickly a little bit to that person who feels like "I can’t write a book until I have a huge following." I was stuck in that mindset for a long time. And I think, you know, talking about maybe how to balance what you’re suggesting to people, which is like focus on that community, and I know that you’re talking more about depth of community versus metrics. But how do you do that while not staying there too long and being like, "I can’t publish this business," or "I can’t write book," or "I can’t even start to work on a proposal because I’m not big enough yet."

Richelle Fredson: I mean, it’s interesting because I think they go hand in hand in a way. And, again, I want to throw back to my many clients who have had smaller platforms and still gotten really great deals from major publishers. It’s a factor. It’s not the end all, be all. So, don’t let it stop you from writing the book.

But I think that the biggest piece of advice at the beginning of the process is to niche down. And I say all the time, a book that’s for everybody is a book that’s for nobody. And I think when people are starting out, their scope is so wide, that if they just brought the walls in a little bit and got really clear on what aspect of what they do they want to write about, then it starts to energize how you show up online. And so, you get to then have more confidence in teaching and being more public facing and getting really specific in what you do.

I mean, look, my whole business are book proposals. Do I edit full books? Nope. And people ask me that all the time. I’m like, "I know my lane," and so that makes me a really strong expert voice, and so I own that. And so, if you have a very broad lens for what your business is, I would ask you to sort of start shrinking that in to a focal point that’s going to help you, not only create a better book idea, but help you show up on your platform in a more effective way.

Sam Vander Wielen: That’s really helpful. That’s really helpful. My last question for you before we get into what I’m labeling as fun Q&A – we’ll see what Richelle thinks later, but stay tuned – was about whether it’s possible to write a book nowadays on your terms while also still getting it published and actually putting it out into the world.

Richelle Fredson: Yes, 100 percent. I mean, this is what’s so great about this time in publishing and all the options that we have. And it’s not that choosing a route other than traditional publishing is any type of failure. It’s you making a decision that fits your life, and your business, and the joy, and the experience you want to have in the process. So, it’s much more empowering than it ever has been before.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. Now that you’re saying that, I’m thinking even the route that you choose to publish the book can be on your terms because that can be to your timeline, the way you want to tell the story, the way you want to control the marketing and publishing of that book. Like, I was always thinking of it from a storytelling perspective and having somebody kind of whittle down or water down your story, but that makes a lot of sense, too.

All right. Well, that was so helpful, Richelle. I’m going to force you to come back one day so that we can talk about kind of the next phase, because you’re also obviously a marketing PR expert. So, for people who maybe already have self-published, we’ll talk about marketing or we’ll talk about those people who might be in the book writing phase. But with that, I want to get into our fun Q&A.

Richelle Fredson: Okay.

Sam Vander Wielen: I know the answer to some of these already for you, but I’m going to force you to do it anyway. Would you rather read fiction or nonfiction?

Richelle Fredson: Nonfiction. It’s a pretty even balance. Like, I’m drawn to nonfiction because a little bit of it is research. And, also, I like self-improvement things. I like things to open my eyes. But if I really want to get lost in something, it might be fiction.

Sam Vander Wielen: Well, is there a great nonfiction book you’ve read lately that you would recommend?

Richelle Fredson: Yeah. I mean, I really love Dying to Be a Good Mother. It’s nonfiction, part memoir. I really loved Untamed.

Sam Vander Wielen: Oh, yeah. Untamed was really good. Have you read Crying in H Mart yet?

Richelle Fredson: No.

Sam Vander Wielen: I can’t wait to read that. After the post-move, I was like, I can’t wait to read Crying in H Mart. I’m really excited about that.

Richelle Fredson: I’m going to read that. I’m reading Casey Wilson’s memoir right now, The Wreckage of My Presence. And it’s both hilarious and deep, those are my qualifiers for a great book. Like, can you make me cry, and laugh, and snort, and sob?

Sam Vander Wielen: At the same time. That’s a pretty good qualifier. All right. We’ll try to link to those below. Okay. Would you rather live at the beach, in the mountains, or at the desert?

Richelle Fredson: Oh, the beach. I mean, I’m a Southern California girl, you know, up until I moved to New York. And I love being near the water. In fact, my apartment in New York is on the water because, just, I need it.

Sam Vander Wielen: You need to be.

Richelle Fredson: I need it. Yeah.

Sam Vander Wielen: Come visit, there’s a lot of water here.

Richelle Fredson: But I love to vacation in the desert. It’s funny, I have a friend that lives in like, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Arizona area. And so, when I’m out there and in the desert, there’s something so calming about that, just like the spaciousness and the heat.

Sam Vander Wielen: Have you ever done an astrological chart reading? Did you do one with Jen?

Richelle Fredson: With Jen? Yeah.

Sam Vander Wielen: Did she tell you, you had a lot of water and fire signs?

Richelle Fredson: I mean, I’m like, fire, fire, fire up and down. But I think the balance to that is in the day-to-day the water.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. Because I needed water, but I also needed more earth stuff. But she told one of my friends that being around the desert, if she couldn’t live there, then at least going there many times a year was really important to her sign. So, I was wondering whether she told you that.

Richelle Fredson: I can get very zen in the desert.

Sam Vander Wielen: That’s so interesting. All right. Would you rather have coffee or tea?

Richelle Fredson: Coffee.

Sam Vander Wielen: What’s your go-to coffee order?

Richelle Fredson: Right now, it’s a coconut milk latte iced.

Sam Vander Wielen: Do you go somewhere near you in New York?

Richelle Fredson: It’s funny, when I’m walking Cooper to school, yes, I will go to either Starbucks or there’s a place called Jack’s, which is good.

Sam Vander Wielen: Oh, yeah. I’ve seen that.

Richelle Fredson: But I’ve been ordering a gigantic box of cold brew from La Colombe.

Sam Vander Wielen: Oh, yeah. Philly’s own La Colombe.

Richelle Fredson: It’s so good. It’s so good. I have like the spout coming out of the fridge, and so that’s most often what I do.

Sam Vander Wielen: That’s what you do, and then you put your own coconut milk in there?

Richelle Fredson: I do. Yeah.

Sam Vander Wielen: That sounds really good. And always iced?

Richelle Fredson: In the heat. And then, my winter brew is a little bit more confusing. I do half Lavazza Dark Roast and half Illy Medium Roast. I do like a scoop of each, and then in the grounds in my coffee pot, I shake a little cinnamon stirred into the grounds. I’m telling you, you’ll never go back.

Sam Vander Wielen: Smart. So good. I know. That is so good. I love that, too. All right. I know you love to cook, too. So, when you cook, do you clean up as you go or clean up at the end?

Richelle Fredson: This is a great question. I dump in the sink as I go and then my husband does the dishwasher. That’s the marital agreement.

Sam Vander Wielen: Richelle does the hybrid option of cleaning.

Richelle Fredson: My mom is a real cleanup as you go, like is loading the dishwasher as she cooks. And I have such admiration for that. I am not that way, but I will dump in the sink.

Sam Vander Wielen: I have a friend who, her and her husband had to have a talk and they decided that they had to clean up at least before they sat down to eat. Because they found that if they sat down to eat and then cleaned up after, it was so miserable and stressful. So, they agreed. I thought that was really smart.

Richelle Fredson: I would agree with that.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. Good hybrid option. Would you rather go to a fancy restaurant or hit up the best food trucks?

Richelle Fredson: Oh, food trucks. Like, 99 percent of the time.

Sam Vander Wielen: Do you have a favorite one? Into The Waffles, is it called Dingle?

Richelle Fredson: Waffles and Dingies or something like that. Yeah, that is good. There’s also a grilled cheese one, I want to say it was grilled cheese. I love a Hole-In-The-Wall Mexican situation, too, really good Mexican food, taco stand.

Sam Vander Wielen: Real taco trucks situation. That’s the California girl in you.

Richelle Fredson: Yeah. Yeah. If it’s my birthday, because I’m such a Leo – you know this – it’s going to be a fancy restaurant with, like, 15 people.

Sam Vander Wielen: What’s your favorite fancy restaurant you’ve gone to in New York?

Richelle Fredson: Oh, gosh. I mean, I love Scarpetta. I loved the Four Seasons before it shifted. I haven’t been back since. And my mother-in-law also enjoys the fancy meal. So, often, my meals have been with her, so we do a lot of the Jean-Georges Restaurants and things like that. They always tastes better when you’re not paying for it.

Sam Vander Wielen: You and I have to go. Yeah, it does taste a little sweeter. There’s something about that. You and I definitely have to go to something. I’m dying to go to Eleven Madison Park now, especially now that they’re plant-based, even though they would do like a custom menu before. But I am mostly vegetarian, so I’m very excited about that.

Richelle Fredson: Yes. Come and we’ll go.

Sam Vander Wielen: I’m down. My American Express gets you a reservation – shoutout to AmEx – because they hook you up with the best reservations. They’re amazing. Okay. Last question because it’s you, would you rather read a physical book, like paperback, or e-book?

Richelle Fredson: Physical book 100 percent. I don’t even know where my Kindle is. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t connect to the material in the same way.

Sam Vander Wielen: No, it’s not the same. It’s really annoying.

Richelle Fredson: I can’t even do audio books really. I really like to hold it in my hands.

Sam Vander Wielen: I get super distracted, and it probably doesn’t help that the only audio book I ever tried listening to was Rachel Hollis. And, like, 37 seconds in, I was like, "No play, guys. You’re gone."

Richelle Fredson: This is the hard part, like if the voice doesn’t resonate, then it’s going to be a miss.

Sam Vander Wielen: Yeah. I called that one years ago. Not for me. Well, thank you so much, Richelle, for doing this. This was so helpful. Will you tell everybody, not only where to find you, but what you’ve got coming up and how they could work with you if they love you as much as I love you already?

Richelle Fredson: Oh, thank you. So, purposefulplatforms.com is the website. You can follow me on Instagram, @richellefredson. And the podcast, as you mentioned, is Bound & Determined with Richelle Fredson, where I teach, I interview industry experts, all the things. I have a group coaching program called the Book Proposal Blueprint, and I take people through a ten week program of creating their book proposal from the ground up and helping them navigate the agent process. And I also work with people one-on-one throughout the year. So, if you’re curious, just hit me up and we can talk about it.

Sam Vander Wielen: That’s awesome. And it sounds like for anybody who is listening today and probably really had their eyes open to a lot of things that Richelle taught you, it sounds like The Blueprint might be a good fit if the one-to-one isn’t right for you at the moment. And you told me earlier that by the time people listen to this episode, you’ll be enrolling for the February cohort of that, right?

Richelle Fredson: Exactly right. February 8th.

Sam Vander Wielen: Cool. And the best way for them to get into that is to just reach out to you through email, social.

Richelle Fredson: purposefulplatforms.com, click on the Group Coaching tab, and there’s a way to set up a consult.

Sam Vander Wielen: Oh, perfect. Okay. So, we’ll make sure we have that link for everybody and we’ll give you all the links to find Richelle and the podcast and everything in between. Thank you so much, Richelle, for being my first podcast guest.

Richelle Fredson: Thank you for having me. This was so fun.

Sam Vander Wielen: Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms Podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.
Just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services. But I think I offer some pretty good information.


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