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AP 1006: Book or Speaking — Which Comes First?

AP 1006: Book or Speaking — Which Comes First?

By Pat Flynn on

About This Episode

Stacy Brookman joins me this week to talk about her future plans for her book and on-stage speaking engagements. We talk through her long-term goals, and Stacy creates an action plan moving forward.

What You’ll Learn: How to plan a strategy around releasing a book and on-stage speaking opportunities.

AskPat 1006 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn:Hey, what’s up everybody? Welcome to Episode 1006 of AskPat 2.0. This is the show where people apply at to get a little bit of coaching time with me. Meaning, if they have a problem or a pain in their business I’m there to help them. And through helping them, I can help you too by you listening in and hearing the questions that I’m asking, and how I got a person through some of the pains and problems they’re having in their business.

Again, if you’d like to apply to perhaps be coached by me in this sort of situation—maybe you want to wait until after this episode, so you can maybe hear what that sounds like. But if you want to do that, all you have to do is go to and just hit the application button right there in the middle of the page next to the Smart Podcast Player, where you can hear the other episodes in the bank. And if you’re selected, you’ll hear from somebody on my team. We’ll set up a call, and we’ll jam. Just like we’re gonna jam today with Stacy Brookman.

This is an interesting one because it was actually not through—actually she did apply for AskPat 2.0, and I found this out during a live call in one of our sessions with the beta group for a physical product I was creating. So she was one of the twenty-one beta testers. She was telling me about this thing she was going through. And she was like, “Yeah, I actually submitted the same question to AskPat 2.0.” And then right then and there I was just was like, “Oh, can I just record this conversation, and I can answer your questions, and we can do a session right now?” So it was kind of on the spot, which is why when you hear it, it’s gonna just pick up right from her question before we do any sort of formal introduction, which is why I’m introducing her here just like this, and to give context to it. But before we get to that . . . And actually, we do talk a lot about some stuff that we haven’t talked yet about here on AskPat 2.0 related to book writing and speaking and which one comes first, and having too many ideas and kind of where do we start. That’s what we’re gonna talk about today.

But before that, I do want to give big shout-out to today’s sponsor—actually the sponsor of AskPat all year—which is, one of my favorite companies. They’ve helped me so much with organization in terms of the finances in my business, because sometimes just dealing with your admin work and your finances and stuff, it just gives you a headache, right? Especially if you’re self-employed. You’re creating invoices, you’re calculating expenses, you’re tracking your time. Just puts you on edge. Right? But this is what FreshBooks does for us, and it’s why you should get involved with it too. You can actually get a thirty-day free trial right now if you go to, and you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.

You can do a few things. You can create a perfectly-branded estimate or an invoice; it just takes less than thirty seconds to do that. But get this, FreshBooks has recently added the ability to create project proposals as well. Now you can include an outline of your projects, scope of work, and a timeline for your deliverables as part of your estimate too. This is so much more than just keeping track of your expenses and pulling out some forms during tax season; this is stuff that’s gonna help you with invoicing, project proposals, estimates, those kinds of things.

Again, if you want to check this out for free for a thirty-day, unrestricted free trial, all you have to do is go to, and you just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section, so they know you came from here. Thanks.

All right, so let’s just dive right into the conversation with Stacy. Remember: We were just talking, and then all of a sudden I was like, “Let’s hit record.” And here it is.

Stacy Brookman: My big question—actually I just sent this to AskPat 2.0 as a question.

Pat Flynn: Oh cool.

Stacy Brookman: But maybe you can answer it here too, or both. Now that we have this draft . . . Actually two questions. The question I asked for AskPat 2.0 is: I also want to go on speaking tour, and I want to have the book and the speaking tour, but which kind of comes first? Or how do you plan that out with a book versus speaking? Do you go get speaking appointments, and then you promote the book? Or do you get the book, and then promote that to speaking appointments that you have a book? Which comes first?

Then the second question is, before that, the developmental editor, and how do you choose what type of editor? I’ve kind of done a little bit of investigation. They run anywhere from like $4,000-$15,000 to help you get your book done. So what suggestions do you have?

Pat Flynn: Yeah, first of all, there’s a few different types of editors. There’s the copy editor, right, which is more for spelling and grammar and things like that. Then there’s the content editor, in terms of the order of things. And you don’t need to have a content editor—that is just something that a lot of people use just to make sure things are the way they’re supposed to be because you get this professional with an outside perspective on what works and what doesn’t with relation to books and how they’re done who can give you some great advice and direction.

But you don’t need that. And if you’re just starting out, and if you don’t have a huge budget, I would actually recommend—as much as it would kill some of my team members to say—to not worry so much about that more so than just having other eyes to read through it with that in mind: “Is there anything missing while you’re reading through this? What questions do you still have?”

What I would do is find people who may be interested, or who may be in your audience, or friends even, family, followers, etc. And find just a few of them to give early access to the manuscript and what you have with just the idea that, hey, you know this is really rough, and I’m calling on you for a favor to help me because I want to make sure this book is great. You’re one of the first people to ever see it, so please don’t share it. Make them feel really special with that. And in return, you can get some great feedback on what’s working, and what doesn’t, where the holes are. I think that would allow you to at least crush those big gaps, which may exist, that do not need a content editor hired to find. Does that make sense?

Stacy Brookman: Yeah. And I’ve thought about vlogging because I’m gonna start doing YouTube just like you in 2018, every week and say, “Okay, here’s what I’ve done this week on this book,” kind of keep moving forward, but yet showing the audience part of that. I don’t know if that will—

Pat Flynn: Tell me more about why you want to do that.

Stacy Brookman: Well, one thing is to hold myself accountable to completing the book, now that I’ve got the first draft. Second of all to maybe get people like, “Oh man, that’s kind of exciting. I want to follow along with her.” And then at the end of, I don’t know, three months, four months—you know, when the book comes out—I will have a tribe of people who have kind of come along in the journey with me.

Pat Flynn: I love that idea. I mean that’s how I blog, right? I blog about my journey through things. Even with this physical product experiment that you’ve been a part of, you’ve kind of seen it from the beginning and all the way through, which is really cool. I think that’s a great idea. The only worry is: Is it adding to the plate of things you already need to do, and would that take away from the actions that you need to take to actually get the job done? Or would it be a distraction to you? How might you make sure that this is not more of a distraction or an excuse versus actually something that’s going to help?

Stacy Brookman: Well, I know I’m not doing any Facebook Lives yet. I’ve done one or two. Or YouTube, so I know I need to start doing it, and this would be one way for me to have an entree into that with already material that . . . Like, I know what I’ve done that week, and I know the failures or successes that I’ve had, and I could share that probably easily off the top of my head. I don’t do much off the top of my head really well.

Pat Flynn: How often do you think you would be shooting a video?

Stacy Brookman: I’d try to do it once a week.

Pat Flynn: Once a week. Would there be any reason you couldn’t also go live once a week, and have them be almost the same thing?

Stacy Brookman: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking about, is just going live instead of . . . Yeah. That’s what I was—

Pat Flynn: Cool. Yeah, it’s a little easier to do it that way versus the whole production of getting things onto YouTube. That’s where I was going because there’s the thumbnail and the description and the metadata and all this stuff with YouTube. And YouTube, I’m finding out, is a huge beast that has a lot of control over . . . Facebook too, right? They have an algorithm that kind of throttles. A live video on Facebook, however, is still doing very, very well. And it’s still free, right? I imagine that later on as bigger players come on, that they’re gonna charge for that, which is gonna be crazy. But for now it’s still free, and I would definitely utilize that because the other part of it is it can be just one camera. It can be very raw. You can make mistakes, and it’s more real. It’s more real than a produced video on YouTube. So I think . . .

Stacy Brookman: It’s portable too. I mean—

Pat Flynn: It’s portable. You can do it on the go. If you are not in front of your computer, you can just be on your mobile device. And, you know: “Hey guys, I’m at Barnes and Noble because you know what? I was struggling with writing today, and I just needed to get some inspiration.” How cool is it to get inside your head to see those kinds of things? I think that would be a great way for you to develop a relationship with people about what this book is about and eventually by the time it comes out, they’ll already know you. You don’t have to sell them anymore.

Stacy Brookman: Right. I like that.

Pat Flynn: I think that’s a fantastic idea in terms of like, “Okay, how can I get an audience behind me as I’m writing this book?” I think that’s really smart.

Stacy Brookman: Now how does that play in with, do you think, getting on the speaking circus . . . Circuit. Circus. It probably is a circus.

Pat Flynn: It kind of is like a circus, yeah.

Stacy Brookman: Circuit, and do you have the book first, and then you go to speak? Or do you speak, and then you . . . I don’t know.

Pat Flynn: It can work either way. I would worry about waiting until the book is finished to then go and start finding speaking gigs because that’s just mainly . . . You’re just using the book as an excuse not to do the hard thing, which is like, “Okay, let me see how I can get booked on stage.” You can get booked on stages without a book.

However, when you have the book, that’s another thing that you can take out of your pocket, figuratively speaking, and have as part of your pitch for what you have to offer. “Oh, I’m also an author, and here’s my book. And here’s how many people reviewed it, and this is the kind of thing I’m gonna be talking about.” That gives you a little bit more leverage when reaching out. But I would actually start with trying to see how you might be able to start finding speaking gigs now, and perhaps there’s a way you can time it so that maybe when the book does come out, you happen to be on one of those stages and kind of have it be a big thing. Then from that point forward, now you have the book to have.

But I would definitely try to see how you might be able to get on stages first. When I started speaking—and what most people do is they start speaking for free first. Some people are able to get paid for it, but most of the time, when you’re entering the speaking circus—we’ll continue to call it that—it is something that you want to offer value first before they start paying you back for it. And actually, in most cases, you will likely not get paid even in the long run after you start speaking. Knowing that you are on stage to introduce yourself to a new audience, people who you wouldn’t have normally gotten in front of, right, through the trust that those people have with that conference because you’re on their stage. Secondly, they get to know you while on stage. Then know about what else you have to offer. Not that you would sell things on stage, although you could potentially get to that point, but that you’d be selling your message, and you’d be selling your brand, so that—

Stacy Brookman: That’s what I want.

Pat Flynn: Yes, exactly. So that, “Okay, now I know who Stacy is.” They’re gonna come to your website or get into your podcast or start watching your live videos or whatever and get your book. And that’s when you can really start the journey of funneling them down to whatever other services or offerings or messages you want to share with them.

Stacy Brookman: Right, right. I like that.

Pat Flynn: Let’s talk about stages a little bit. Have you thought a little bit about . . . Actually why don’t you just kind of re-share a little bit about the book you’re writing and how that relates to your business? And eventually what kind of stages you want to get on.

Stacy Brookman: Sure. The book I’m writing is . . . I still don’t know if I’m doing two books or one, but it’s The Sociopath’s Wife: A Memoir and Resilience Primer. I’ve been divorced from a sociopath, and all those crazy, crazy stories, but also through that and after that, I’ve learned a lot about becoming more resilient. A lot of it has to do with writing your life stories, because when you write your life stories, you get them out of your head and you find words for what’s happened to you, and you put them down on paper. They start losing the power to hurt you.

So my tagline, or my thing that I’m about is that I help smart, outwardly confident women who secretly have low self-esteem issues due to an emotionally abusive partner, to take back control and begin to recognize that they aren’t the crazy ones, so that they can develop the resilience they need to be themselves again. So it’s really women in emotionally abusive partnerships, or out of those and trying to recover from them.

Pat Flynn: Great, that’s very admirable for you to write about that, and I’m sure you’re telling personal stories throughout that book.

Stacy Brookman: Absolutely, yeah.

Pat Flynn: I imagine that—and I hope you’re imagining this already even before it’s published—that a lot of people are gonna get a lot of benefit out of this.

Stacy Brookman: I hope so.

Pat Flynn: And feel like they’re not alone. So yeah, let’s see what we can do to help you out with that. Stages. Tell me about, first of all, why do you want to speak on stage?

Stacy Brookman: Well, mostly to get more of my message out to people who don’t necessarily know me through the podcast. I mean I have the Real Life Resilience Podcast, and it’s been going on my website. I haven’t paid for any ads or gotten really out there yet, so this would be one way to spread the word and be able to help more people.

Pat Flynn: I think another thing that’s great about this is it’s not just about the forty-five minutes or however many minutes you are on stage. It’s about the people who are gonna come up to you after and shake your hand or give you a hug, who are going to remember you from that point forward. It’s about the conversations that are gonna happen in the hallways even before or after you speak, and when you go to dinner with a group of people or the other speakers who are in the same space as you.

You know, they say that one of the best ways to grow your online business is to get offline, so I love that approach. That’s why again, speaking for free is not a bad idea. Because it’s not just that time on stage, it’s just the people you are surrounding yourself with—both your audience and colleagues.

Stacy Brookman: I can’t ever imagine charging to speak, ever.

Pat Flynn: It could happen though.

Stacy Brookman: Eventually, maybe.

Pat Flynn: I wouldn’t close it off completely, because it would mean that your message is worth that much to somebody that they would want to pay you for it, right? So don’t shoot down that as a potential goal. But let’s put that into the shoebox for later. Let’s focus on okay, how you can get on stages now. Have you at all brainstormed or listed the kinds of conferences that are going on or—

Stacy Brookman: No.

Pat Flynn: That’s what I would start with. If you could just wave a magic wand and be on all of the stages that you would want to be on, what would they be? Think big, think small. You’re going to have to do some research to kind of determine, “Okay, which ones make sense?” Do you go to any of them, or do you know anybody who goes to any of them? Start with that because you have some knowledge about that already, or a friend who has some knowledge about that already. Then you just start growing that list, and then one-by-one you go down and see if there’s a place to literally just go and apply for that. If not, you reach out to the conference director or the person who helps with booking, and you just ask. I mean most people aren’t going to do that, and that’s where I feel like the SPI community and people like yourself Stacy, differentiate yourself. You are action-takers.

It just takes a little bit of work, but then you kind of go out there and ask, because really what’s the worst that could happen? And at least when a person goes, “Oh sorry we’re not taking new speakers right now,” well then you know to ask at a certain time later, so that there’s more time for them to make that decision. Or they might say, “You know what Stacy, we’re not really looking for somebody like yourself right now.” And then you go, “Okay, well, what would have made you say yes?” Right? So that you can remember that for the next person you ask. That’s also really insightful for just you and your brand in general.

You’re almost kind of pitching and selling yourself in this way to see if the message that you’re sharing comes across. And that would be actually really great practice. How does that sit with you, to kind of run through that exercise, do you think?

Stacy Brookman: I can definitely do that. Do you know how far in advance . . . If I’m reaching out to people now in December and January for 2018, is that when all the 2018 conferences are filled up already?

Pat Flynn: They’re not all filled up. I mean I would still call even it’s close, so you can just at least ask and maybe get a pulse on, “Okay, well how far in advance would this conference need to know?” But I would say in general, I mean I know that for conferences that I’m speaking at, June, July, August—it’s right now December, so six or seven months in advance because they need to plan. They need to put things in their marketing material and what not.

Plus you’ll never know. Maybe somebody dropped out, and you’re gonna be this magical call that’s gonna fill in that spot that had just dropped. So you never know until you try, but it sounds like you’re getting kind of excited about this.

Stacy Brookman: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. I can do that.

Pat Flynn: Awesome.

Stacy Brookman: I don’t mind researching and all that sort of thing. It’s a little bit difficult with . . . How do you find conferences that the people who are in the audience or people who have gone through trauma, are abused relationally, and that sort of thing. I have to kind of think through that. There’s no database.

Pat Flynn: No, but I also think that a lot of your information could potentially be preventative as well. That opens up your audience to anywhere where there’s women who get together who want to improve their lives and make sure that they are the best version of themselves.

Stacy Brookman: I need to get to young women then. That’d be great.

Pat Flynn: I mean, you can get there, Just ask, right?

Stacy Brookman: Yeah.

Pat Flynn: Cool. How does this all feel? What did you learn?

Stacy Brookman: First of all, don’t wait until the book is out in order to start contacting and setting things up. I can set things up right now even without having the finished book.

Pat Flynn: Perfect.

Stacy Brookman: And be able to go do research on conferences and contact them even if I don’t have a book, but just start asking and setting those appointments up. That’d be great.

Pat Flynn: Fantastic. Hey, Stacy . . . So this call’s being recorded by the way, and we basically did what we’re gonna do on AskPat anyway. Can I take what we’ve just done together and use that as an episode?

Stacy Brookman: Sure absolutely. Absolutely, yeah.

Pat Flynn: Fantastic. Now really quick, can you share with everybody where they can find more info about you?

Stacy Brookman: They can find me at, and my podcast is at

Pat Flynn: We just killed two birds with one stone there.

Stacy Brookman: Great.

Pat Flynn: Thank you. That was great.

Stacy Brookman: Thank you.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, that was helpful?

Stacy Brookman: Yeah. Very helpful.

Pat Flynn: All right, Stacy, thank you so much for coming on and sharing and being open with us here. I think it’s just really helpful.

Gosh, I love this show. I love the format of this show, and I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from all of you. If you have further feedback to encourage me to keep going this way, or if you want to encourage me, you can also apply for coaching too, if you need help. All you have to do, again, is go to It’s free. Just for a little bit of my time I do some coaching, and I do some paid coaching too, so if you . . . I don’t want to say you win a spot because it’s really just a selection from my point of view, in terms of okay, what would be the most valuable to the listening audience? That’s you. Who really needs help, and can I help them? So please apply: You get selected, you’ll hear from us, and we’ll schedule a call. We’ll jam.

Then also, just remember FreshBooks. They sponsor this episode and the entire show, they make it possible for me to just pay for team members to be able to super easy put this together, so that I can just focus on finding and reading these applications and creating the show and recording and doing all the other things I do. So thank you FreshBooks. I appreciate you so, so much. If you want to check out FreshBooks for thirty days for a free, unrestricted free trial, all you have to do is go to, and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.

Then finally, if you have a sec because this is a new format of AskPat—again, we’re six episodes in . . . No, five episodes . . . Wait: one, two, three, four, five, six. No, six episodes in. Sorry, I can’t count right now. Since we’re six episodes in, if you’ve enjoyed what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes for AskPat 2.0. It would help out a lot, especially in this new format, convincing other people who are like, “I don’t know about this,” to come and listen, to get some value and perhaps even get coaching too. So leave a review.

Thank you so much. I appreciate you, and I look forward to serving you all in the next episode of AskPat 2.0. Cheers.

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