Ep. 74: Self Publishing & Marketing Your Yoga Book with Barrie Risman

“Somehow there’s this thinking that the universe will just magically let people know about the book and that there’s something wrong if that doesn’t happen. And that’s not the case. There’s a way that we can do it authentically, that’s part of who you are.” - Barrie Risman

Have you ever thought about writing a book?

Whether you’ve had the idea for years or it’s something you’ve just started to think about, it’s super exciting and this interview is going to give you lots of great ideas.

Barrie Risman is a highly regarded yoga teacher in Canada and a bestselling author! In this interview we talked about how she decided to self-publish and of course, how she marketed her book:

Evolving Your Yoga: Ten Principles For Enlightened Practice

What does the process of writing a book look like?

“It was about 3 years from the idea of writing a book to actually having the book in my hands.” - Barrie Risman

Barrie shares that she had the idea for the book and from that moment to actually holding the book in her hands, was about 3 years and I’m so glad she was open about this.

Many times we see the finished product and think that it was easy and a quick process but the truth is, it’s anything but that but it’s worth every minute of the process. By allowing your idea to come to life over a period of time allows that idea to become the best version it can be.

Barrie shares a few times of how she navigated this 3 year period and what she highly recommends for anyone who’s thinking of writing a book:

  • Hire a writing coach

  • Have a way to hold yourself accountable (see above 🔼)

  • Start writing….every day

Overall, you want to get the momentum going and eventually you will find a flow that works well but actually writing (who would have thought, right?!) is the first thing to do.

“The way I started was writing a daily blog. It helped me get over the fear of putting something not perfect; out there.” - Barris Risman

“Have a way to be accountable.” - Barris Risman

Barrie also chose to self-publish her book after submitting her book proposal to a few traditional publishers. This allowed her to retain the rights to her work and therefore she had more freedom with some fun marketing strategies too. So if you’re thinking that traditional publishing isn’t right for you, see the list below for the self-publishing resources.

“In the end, I made the decision to rather than continuing to put my effort into approaching publishers and agents, I thought, there’s so many tools for self-publishing, I decided to pivot and put my energy into self-publishing.” - Barrie Risman

Marketing Your Yoga Book

“It wasn’t until later that I thought about marketing. If I would have thought about having to market the book it might have been too overwhelming because just writing the book took years.” - Barrie Risman

Whether you’re self-publishing or using a traditional publisher, you (the author) will be responsible for doing the majority of your marketing. Sure, if you’re working with a publisher or coach of some sort they will share ideas and give you guidance but since marketing your book requires you, it’s important to understand that marketing will fall into your responsibility.

But don’t let this discourage you! Like Barrie says, it’s just how you finish out the project.

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“I really wanted to be responsible to the project. It was important to me to really see it through and marketing was a big part of that. Having anyone that could benefit from it know about it so that’s what marketing felt like. Like it was a responsibility that I wanted to fulfill, to complete the project in the best way.” - Barrie Risman

Barrie shares that she dedicated the first full calendar year from when the book was released to market it as much as she could and that this is pretty much the industry standard.

Ways Barrie Marketed Her Book:

  • Used her network to spread the word about the book

  • Went on a Book Tour (book signings, workshops and in-person events that facilitated sales of the book)

  • Sold the book on Amazon

  • Sold the book on her website

  • Gave away the first chapter for free on her website

  • Created Online Bonus Content

  • Hosted a Book Club in a Facebook Group using Facebook Lives

  • Media spots (tv, podcasts, guest blogging/article writing)

How to use a book tour to sell your yoga book

Barrie did a great job utilizing her network to help her spread the word about her book once it was released. And you can do the same thing!

Rather than only relying on social media or ads to sell your book, reaching out to your connections is a great place to start.

Barrie said that she reached out to her friends and connections to see if they wanted to host her at their space or in their community for an event. She created a workshop that incorporated what she teaches in the book and the workshop was a free event but the book was for sale.