How Writing A Book Can Help Your Speaking Career – #136

How Writing A Book Can Help Your Speaking Career

Jessica Killingley is a Literary Agent, Publishing Consultant & Life Coach. An accidental serial entrepreneur, she runs a business that supports founders, consultants, and coaches who want to write & self-publish books that grow their business and their profile. Her podcast, The AUTHORity Show, gives aspiring non-fiction authors the inside track into what it really takes to get a book out there that turns readers into clients. After working for over 20 years in the publishing industry, she also co-founded The BKS Agency – a literary management Agency based in London – with two friends. They currently represent around 75 authors globally, across a wide range of fiction and non-fiction genres. Their authors are Sunday Times bestsellers, Olympic athletes, gifted storytellers, international speakers, entrepreneurs, journalists, consultants, and experts in their field. Jessica’s interests lie in business, personal development & smart thinking projects and she is looking for authors who have strong brands in their fields to be the thought leaders of tomorrow. 


  • Writing a book is hard work – why should someone bother? 
  • How can having a book support your speaking career? 
  • What is the best way of getting my book published? (See also Do I need an agent? How do you get a book deal?) 
  • How do I make a book work hard for me once it’s out?


Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript

Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

Jessica Killingley:How Writing A Book Can Help Your Speaking Career

James Taylor  0:00  

I’m James Taylor and you’re listening to the speakers you podcast a show for aspiring and professional speakers. This episode is with my co-host Maria Franzoni. Enjoy the episode. Today is all about books. Our guest today is Jessica Killingly and Jessica is a literary agent publishing coach, a consultant and life coach, an accidental serial entrepreneur. She runs a business that supports founders, consultants, and coaches who want to write and self-publish books that grow their business and their profile. Her podcast the authority show gives aspiring nonfiction authors the inside track into what it really takes to get a book out there that turns readers into clients. After working for over 20 years in the publishing industry. She also co-founded the BKs agency, a literary Management Agency, based in London with two friends. They currently represent around 75 authors globally across a wide range of fiction and nonfiction genres. Their authors include Sunday Times bestsellers, Olympic athletes, gifted storytellers, international speakers, entrepreneurs, journalists, consultants, and experts in their field. Jessica’s interests lie in business, personal development, and smart thinking projects. And she is currently looking Jill was looking for authors who have strong brands in their fields to be the thought leaders of tomorrow, please welcome to the show. Jessica Killingly.

Jessica Killingley  1:27  

Hello. Thank you both very much. Welcome. Hello, hello. Hello. I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t have a dance break in the greenroom.

Maria Franzoni  1:38  

Yeah, we do like a dance. You can dance at the end because there was a little bit more music afterward. Yeah, it’s like, James calls it a theme tune. That sounds a bit like a TV show. Doesn’t it? Like a game show? But I like it. I like it. So I so we get to keep it. Jessica. Writing a book is hard. I know, I’ve written my book. And I haven’t done anything with it. I put it aside. It’s really hard work. James has written books and is writing another book. It’s hard. should we bother?

Why Write A Book

Jessica Killingley  2:07  

Well, obviously, I’m biased because I’ve been doing this for 25 years, I always like to cut myself and I will bleed. But yes, I really, really think particularly when you’re thinking about nonfiction writing as well, you know, if you’ve, if you’re a speaker, you’re in the business of sharing ideas that are going to solve a problem, improve someone’s life make things easier, whether it’s in business or personal. Being able to put all of that into a book is, you know, in this day and age where so much content is quite ephemeral and you know, is gone in a flash, having that sort of, you know, the longevity, the legacy, the platinum business card of a book to your name is always going to be a really, really valuable piece of currency. And it can feel like hard work. And I think, you know, there are ways of that there are ways to make it feel a little bit easier. But one of the really specific things I always like to kind of point people to, for a reason why it’s a great, a great thing for them to have in their kind of toolkit when they’re working with people, is if you think about why somebody, whatever it is, whatever service or you know, the thing that you’re providing why someone wouldn’t work with, you wouldn’t want to take you up on what it is that you help them with nine times out of 10, it’s not you, they think you’re great. It’s them, they believe that my business won’t get those results, I won’t get those results with you as a coach, whatever it is, and they think that they are the problem. Your book is an incredibly effective way of kind of pushing through all of those blocks that somebody has to actually teach somebody, how whatever the results that you’re you’re in the business of delivering are possible for them. So it’s a really kind of neat little way of giving somebody a result, but also opening up a huge kind of world of possibilities for how far that they can go with whatever it is working with you might bring to them.

How Writing A Book Can Help Your Speaking Career

Maria Franzoni  4:10  

What was interesting when we were in the greenroom, Was you said something, after I told you that I’d written my book, and I’d like to expand on this as well. And you said that sometimes we write the wrong book. And that scares me a bit too. So had I thought I’d written the wrong book. And how does that happen? What did I do wrong? What stood out I miss?

Jessica Killingley  4:30  

I’m, funnily enough, it’s the first step. I’m a really really big believer of like, kind of ICT you know, when I meet people, both as a consultant or as it’s signing them on, as their agent. I always want to know what people’s endgame is, I want to know, where are you going? Like, why are you writing this book? You know, there is a lot of people who are welcome to look cool on my CV or what have you. But the mistake that people often make is thinking, Oh, I know about this, too. This is what I’m going to write a book about. Is that the book that your audience needs to read? And it’s really about thinking, Where am I going? Not what we’re not? Am I writing a book for where I am now? But are you writing a book for where you want to be in your career in your speaking business, or your coaching or consulting in three years time in five years time, and it’s writing the book that’s going to get you there that’s going to bring those readers along with you? Because otherwise, you can, you know, you do have that thing of like, Oh, I know this. But by the time you’ve written the book, you’re like, I’m not there anymore. I want to be going here. And then when you start to think about what is the book that people need to read, you’re able to then reverse engineer, right? How do I combine what I want to be doing with what people need to hear from me? And then you can, that’s when you start to kind of get into the planning stages of it. But I always recommend that the more time you spend, or when you just make the decision to start writing a book, you don’t sit down and put pen to paper that day, the early stages of how you actually thinking about what this book is going to do for you. That the more time you spend there, the easier and the quicker the sort of writing part will be.

Best Route

James Taylor  6:13  

So in speakers, and a lot of people listen to this show that I often think they’re, they’re probably one of three types of speaker, they might be just kind of getting started, maybe they’ve got a nine to five job, they’ve got a consulting gig, they’ve got something else, but speaking doesn’t make them up the main part of what they do. But it’s something they want to hopefully increase improve over time. Kind of the middle class, I guess, of speakers, often their member of maybe speakers associations, they’re, you know, 75 80% of their income is coming from going out there speaking, speaking at conferences, and then you have this third kind of grouping, I guess, of the superstar speakers, the people you’re going to see headlined on those, those larger stages, the, I guess, the Marie folios, of this world, or the Mel Robbins, for example. And I wonder, when you’re having conversations with those three types of speakers, how does that change the type of route, they might go down Vivi, where they go more than that kind of self-publish route? Or a hybrid route? Or going with a traditional publisher? What would what advice? Would you be giving teachers, three different groups?

Jessica Killingley  7:21  

That’s a great question. And actually how almost like how you just laid out the sort of three stages with those three different publishing options would be my advice. You know, I think when you are just starting out, and I’ve got clients that I work with, and you know, when they came to me, they didn’t even really think that they could, you know, that maybe they’ve done a little bit of speaking to their kid’s school or in their church group. And, you know, the beauty of self-publishing or, for example, using the Amazon platform and doing it on the KDP KDP. The platform is, is incredible, incredibly easy to do, it’s not very expensive, it’s very quick, you know, that those barriers to entry a low, you still need to be putting out a quality product. And, you know, we can talk more about how you make your book a quality product. But when you’re, you know, you’re not in a situation where you’re investing 1000s of pounds in the process. And you’re in those early stages, you know, doing it is still very important, but self-publishing in that way is a great way of doing it. I mean, the one thing I would say about all three of your groups of speakers, is they all need to get booked, it doesn’t matter how high up the chain you are, you still need somebody to book you. And so you still have to have that kind of calling card of you to know what it is that you’re going to someone’s booking you they want to know, what are you going to deliver to my audience, and having that book is a really, really brilliant way. So I always kind of say to people, particularly in the who maybe aren’t quite the Marie Forleo level, I think she people know what she’s about. But you know, having the book is a great way to set you apart from other people who might also be pitching for speaking slots, because you can physically send it to the Booker with a note saying, chapter three, that’s a big part of what my keynote is, this is what I kind of delivery, this is what you can expect from me. So having that kind of tangible physical product to help make your case to get booked is really helpful when you’ve got that middle group of people. And I think hybrid publishing is a great thing. Hybrid publishing is a bit of a mysterious thing. People think oh, is it like vanity publishing which is that’s not really what it is. It’s about working with a kind of publishing a small independent publishing company. And you’re entering into a partnership with them so you are paying for their publishing services, which means that you know that you’re going to get a very, very good quality product out of it because you’re going to get some professional eyes helping you with your book. You’re going to get kind of a slightly bigger if you self publishes just through Amazon, and you don’t I’m not going to get into boring things about ISBN but you just do it through Amazon, then that’s kind of your only retail outlet. If you work with a hybrid publisher, they’re going to help you get your books into places where, okay, it’s not going to be stocked in Waterstones, but somebody could go into Waterstones and order a copy. It’s a much more professional-looking product. And you know, if you’re a professional, you want to represent yourself and your brand to a very high standard, it’s a really, really great route, particularly if you might not have the kind of profile and platform yet, that’s going to be enticing a kind of traditional publisher, I’m always a really big fan. And I recommend this a lot is that if you’re not sure, I mean, one if you’re not sure have a pun, or get getting a traditional deal. And we can talk about that as well. But or so hybrid, publish your book with a great publishing partner, and go and sell a ton of copies, and show that you can make a success of it. Because then when you write your next book, and you go and start to look for getting an agent or a traditional deal, you have got evidence of like I know how to write and I know how to be commercially successful because those are the things that a publisher is going to be looking for. And so those, that two kinds of avenues don’t close down for you in the future. Kind of the opportunity of eventually kind of flipping over into the traditional track, as it were. And obviously, once you’re at the kind of I mean, Mel Robbins actually is a great example of this because I think when she first when she first did the first book that was she self-published that, and obviously now she’s a much bigger name. And I can think about that there’s the Australian coach Denise Duffield, Thomas did exactly the same. She had her heart set on being published by Hay House, they were interested, she self-published her first two books. And then they came knocking and in fact, republished her first two books under there, under their imprint. So yeah, the traditional route is going to be something that has, you know, there are a lot more moving parts to that, and platform and profile are going to play a big part in sort of getting catching the attention of a traditional publisher.

James Taylor  11:57  

Maria, I’m interested to know, when you start thinking about your book was a particular path. I mean, you’re very entrepreneurial Ria. So I’m guessing the more of independently published self-published or the hybrid route might have made more sense for you because you have connections, you have that ability, that understanding of marketing?

Maria Franzoni  12:15  

I absolutely was thinking of that. And it actually I have a question based on what you’ve said, regarding that, because you said, if you can publish, it can sell a ton of copies, then you could look at, you know, a publisher, so what’s a ton of copies in the nonfiction world?

Jessica Killingley  12:32  

Well, that that that’s a good question. And obviously, self-publishing is slightly different from hybrid publishing. And when if you’ve traditionally published and you kind of get kind of a, you know, retail spread from the sort of all the outlets, it’s difficult to put off kind of thing, you know, if you sort of you sold in your, if you could sell sort of between sort of two and 5000 copies in your first year, that would be considered to be impressive. Yeah, traditionally published books might not do that. Like it’s, you know, it’s kind of tough market out there. And I think one of the things that people often people get to publication day and go, Ah, okay, job done, end of the journey, that was a great personal goal that I’ve and yes, is that moment, but I always like to remind people that the journey actually starts the day the book comes out because now this is where it all, this is where it all kind of kicks in, and why, you know, we’re talking about how writing a book can help in your speaking career. I also like to look at how having a speaking career can really, really help promote your book, because you’ve got the opportunity, you know, to sell copies from the back of the room, in the most simple, simplest way. So if you’re, you know, if you’re incredibly engaging on stage, and you’ve got 500 people in the audience, how many copies of those you’re going to be able to sell at the end of your event? The other way, a great way of doing it is if you’re doing a lot of corporate speaking, and I know a lot of people sort of sometimes in the early days might say, I’ll waive my speaking fee, if you buy 200 copies of my book. And that’s and obviously, you’re then still making as the author, you’re still making some money that way. But you know, there’s an adage about you making more money giving your book away than you do actually selling it. And it’s sort of thinking in those terms about how am I in I’m sure in much the same way that you would plan well, where would I like to focus, you know, my attention and getting booked to speak? The book becomes a kind of natural part of an add-on for that as well.

Maria Franzoni  14:33  

Brilliant. James, did you have a follow-up question?


James Taylor  14:34  

No, I would just think I mean, one thing I’ve noticed on that I was talking to a co-writer I’m doing something with just now and she’s she just published a book and she said one of the things that the publishing the publisher said they will really focus in fact, they didn’t even want to put in a glossary or certain appendix because papers more expensive now I’m told and so you’re seeing this push size of book number of pages, kind of condensing these books. And I know the past couple of speaking dates I’ve done. And I’ve been there with other speakers who are hybrid publishers or even traditionally published, and I’m looking at their books and they’re about this size. They’re thin, so it makes it really easy to take them on the road or have them shipped to different places as well. And so I wonder if that’s, that’s if that’s a trend that we’re gonna see. I remember speaking to I think it was, it was a speaker who was I think it was actually they might be with Hay House. And Brian Tracy, so not have a Brian Tracy was a speaker. And his model was to publish a new book every three months because he said, The publishers have got such a short attention span. He wanted to show that there was one in every quarter and every cycle. And they were small books. And that was his whole game plan. He wasn’t doing like a Yuval Noah Harare, like. And so I just like get your take on that. Because you must work with different speakers authors who have those big books in them, like those Gladwell research-driven books, and other people who that’s not their thing. That’s not their voice. So that’s the topic doesn’t suit that as well.

Length Of Book

Jessica Killingley  16:14  

At no, absolutely. I mean, just very quickly, just to get to go back to the beginning of your content, I mean, that the thing about paper cost is actually kind of a very recent thing. And it’s a big thing in the publishing industry at the moment. Because of obviously just you know, what the last couple of years and Brexit and the pandemic have been like, so that is, that is a big factor. And we’re gonna see increasing supply chain issues, which is an argument in a way for being to think about doing it yourself because you do have, there’s a bit more agility, I suspect Amazon is probably going to be somebody that never runs out a paper. But you know, the print on demand model is quite, it’s quite effective that way, in terms of sort of the length, I mean, often you’ll find that hybrid published books are probably between 30 to 40,000. Word, Mark, which, you know, that’s about four hours of talking, which sometimes people think, Oh, I could never write 40,000 words. But as we’re talking, I can handle traditionally published nonfiction in this space would maybe get up to sort of 60, maybe 70,000. But you’re not really looking a lot, a lot longer than that, like, as you say, unless you’re doing these big think pieces, because people don’t want to people don’t need to know, 90,000 words of every single thing that you know, on the subject is not, it doesn’t make a kind of a workable book. Or the interesting thing that you said about the Brian Tracy, I mean, a book every three months is great if you are a good marketer because if you think about it, you’re constantly having to, I mean, it gives you new content and fresh target. But if you know that you’ve got kind of a good audience and a good route to market and a good funnel, then actually, you could build a really, really kind of eager following from people who are hanging on your next book, every quarter, could actually also investigate a really interesting subscription model there, I think, as well, if you know that you’re delivering some really kind of, you know, I always like to encourage I’m a big fan of the kind of the sort of business side of it as well, in terms of online learning. So I think also, it’s quite interesting. If you think about if you’ve got a keynote speech, and you expand that out into a book, where could you then further take your content in terms of thinking about online learning, and creating courses? And you know, what is the book that somebody could buy? What is the course that somebody could take after they’ve read your book, and they want to go deeper and they want to learn more,


James Taylor  18:38  

that’s almost like a classic, you know, it’s like a Brendon Burchard with a funnel-like that. advert to free plus postage and packaging book to page, you know, to click thing of the low priced online course, up to subscription or live or live event in-person event up to keynote. And so there’s a whole and yeah, every three months, he just rolls out he’s very

Jessica Killingley  19:02  

good and that and that’s a great example of when I said you know, you can make more money giving your book away than you can sell it because he just does the PMP I mean, you know, there’s kind of get you know, like kind of logistics involved in that. But actually, I mean, and this is where I can get really kind of nerdy and talking about your value ladder and your kind of the client journey because you know, a book, if you think about the top of your, is your you know, very high note, keynote speaking your book is a tripwire it’s the one step above your free content, which I hate

James Taylor  19:28  

can put this out. I hate that word is used by American marketers. The idea of a tripwire of your putting someone in order to set off some explosion makes me queasy. And, and so I call it a self-liquidating offer because I just have

Jessica Killingley  19:46  

that one. Yeah. So yeah, in essence, yes. Okay. I see an explosion of creativity. And

James Taylor  19:52  

so I think I think we should get we should get some British phrases in here rather than these Americans dominating.


Jessica Killingley  19:58  

Yes. Well, it’s like a digestive biscuit. Everything through the metaphor medium of cake is fine with me. But no, it is exactly like us, you know. So politically, that’s a great thing. And in fact, you could kind of stack those again, this is I get very nerdy about this. But it’s interesting when you start to think about how you might like, like, do paid to advertise to kind of promote your book, because it is that model of like, you know, it’s low, it’s a low-cost entry into your world. And then you can and, and the ads, the money that you generate from that kind of from the ads, and that are where the self-liquidating part and but then somebody is in your funnel, and they’re, they’re keen for more content and more learning and teaching from you. And yeah, I’m a big fan of actually, one of them there was a series of episodes on the podcast where I did an episode on the sort of different kinds of funnels. And, you know, the thing I also say is, what do you want someone to do when they’ve got to the end of your book? Because obviously, go and leave and go and leaving a review on Amazon will be nice. But what if somebody wants to go further with you? And they thought This is great. How do I? So it’s always worth thinking about? How can I take somebody further outside of the life of the book? How can I extend what it is that I’m an expert on? And you know, whether that’s an online course or a membership, or you know, events,

James Taylor  21:14  

returning? I think it’s great because now we’re getting into this whole hybrid in terms of online offline. And for so many authors that obviously they’re just thinking English first, if the English speaker, but suddenly, all of those books, all those funnels, all those courses, all of those things, can be in Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, whatever, the things. And so suddenly, you explode from just one idea. There’s one core concept that probably makes up a speech, you probably some washes, you’re already giving this speech, suddenly, you have both, you have this huge business around it.

Jessica Killingley  21:47  

Absolutely. And I mean, that’s interesting. You know, also, because I’m sure you know, I’m sure you’ve seen in the speaking industry in the last couple of years, that you know, hybrid is a word that’s very much in your, your lexicon, as well in terms of events and where things are live and online as well. So yeah, it completely opens out, you can be doing it from your back bedroom in Scarborough. And you can be talking to people all over the world. And the translation thing is really interesting, because obviously, you know, sort of normal, one of the benefits to having an agent because actually I’ve worked I have a client in the agent. So she successfully self publishes and funnels people into membership, I actually got her a deal in the UK, which she turned down because financially, she makes more money from self-publishing. But what that allows me to do is still then go and sell her rights in translation or audiobook because she doesn’t have that. Now, you could go and find yourself, the translator and lots of things. But actually, you know, that’s one of the places where an agent can really really add value because we can then go and do all of those deals with all the foreign markets for you.


James Taylor  22:48  

I’m James Taylor, keynote speaker, and speaker business coach, and this is the speakers you podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations that will help you launch and grow your speaking business fast new thought possible, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discuss marketing strategies, sales techniques, as well as ideas to increase the profitability of your speaking business and develop your craft. You will find show notes for today’s episode as well as free speaker business training at speakers This week’s episode is sponsored by speakers, you the online community for international speakers, speakers, you helped you launch, grow, and monetize your speaking business faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker, then speakers will teach you how just go to speakers to access their free speaker business training. I’m hearing that word agent Maria. This is always something I’ve always wondered about Bureau, your expensive bureaus. I never understood why bureaus didn’t adopt more of a 360-degree model. I know they made a little bit each, but they’ve got you like most speakers like us. We have online courses, we have subscriptions, we have memberships, we have books, we have all these other things. And like why did they not have these other divisions, parts of them? Maybe I’m missing? Most of them. I don’t see them doing having someone like you were having a discussion about this agent, or this almost like manager in the middle there has this bigger view of that speaker’s career because there’s

Maria Franzoni  24:13  

too much money to be made just selling the speakers to speak, quite frankly, there are models where the whole 360 exists for a small number of people. But to do that, that 360 is pretty you know, you need somebody who really knows what they’re doing and you need to set up a whole team. And it’s not as lucrative. It’s not as lucrative it’s not as easy. The bureau model is one of the simplest models you can get. You don’t have any stock. You literally are selling on-demand or you’re attracting the inquiries, you’re doing the deal and then two professionals then work together. You’re brokering the deal and the two professionals go and do their very best the client is a professional. The speakers are professional, they want the best result. You sit back you take your margin your commission and your holiday in the Palmers


James Taylor  24:58  

so why is to say why? The publishers then go that this through and say I’m do all I’m doing is money. And so how does that work? Can I, if I want to sign with a traditional publisher that has like a real heavy-duty Bureau, part of it does that exist?

Jessica Killingley  25:13  

Here, they’re starting to, I think there are a couple, you’re, you’re more likely to find that taking place at the agent level, and there are and you know, even the big shot was relatively small all the way up, you know, the big agencies like Curtis Brown, or, you know, or they often will have separate. So kind of, you know, silos that is just about speaking or, you know, Curtis Brown will have for actors and all that kind of, you know, at the BKs agency, we will manage somebody’s rights in terms of just for their book, and for film and TV and all those sorts of things. And, you know, ultimately, I would love to be wrapping kind of speaking to that as well, because I want to build a relationship with the talent that’s about their long-term career, and that really is quite 360. About where they want to, you know, that, you know, the platforms on which we share the knowledge is, you know, it’s changing so much at such a rate, I think, but I think publishers, publishers are quite risk-averse I have. So but it’ll be interesting to see how where if they if that kind of changes over the next five years, and they become because there are a few a little bit more of that sort of having event companies, I think, but yeah, I think it’ll be it’ll be good to see that happen. I agree.

James Taylor  26:33  

Maybe Maria, maybe we need to convince Amazon to get into the speaker Bureau business, they have all the data. They could be a pretty amazing speaker bureau. I’m guessing

Maria Franzoni  26:45  

I could feel the letters flying in saying Don’t, don’t do it. Don’t do that to us. Anyways, I have a question for you. This is a personal question. I’m gonna stick it in here. How do I get a book deal?

Book Deal

Jessica Killingley  26:58  

So well, you could come to the how do I get a book deal event that the BK sh is here running in London in February you’re on. So to get a book deal really means is, it really means how do I get an agent because the vast majority of publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts a cover a couple does and more of those small nation dependents occasionally do but you know, Penguin, Harper Collins, Random House Hachette, they don’t accept unsolicited. So it’s really really about finding an agent. And if we’re talking nonfiction, because it is it is different for fiction. You know, you don’t have to have written the whole book, you just need a proposal and some sample material. And then every agent tends to have slightly different kinds of submission guidelines, the best thing is to get yourself a copy of the rightest. And artist tier book, I’m just looking to bury back on that shelf behind all my author’s books. And that’s a directory of all the kinds of agents in the UK there is the equivalent in the US, it’s called the Writers Market. And that will list all of the agents in the UK and sort of their areas of specialty. So for example, with the UK as an agency, we’re very clear that like, we don’t do poetry, for example, it’s just a bit too specialist for us. So we don’t have those connections. And, and then it’s about putting together a really great pitch, do get yourself the agent, and then the agent is going to you know, I like to come, I like people to come to me, kind of with a fully formed idea, or a, you know, a kind of a real sense of conviction about what they want to do. But there are also there’s also open for us to have a conversation so that we can help shape so that I can bring my knowledge and expertise to the table. So that when I come to send out that I know that okay, I know 20 editors in London that I can send this to that I think are going to I’m going to like that. So really, it’s about looking at what’s out on the market. And again, we know we are going to cover this at our event. And it’s you know, it’s understanding how publishing works, and what people are looking for. I mean, I was chatting to an editor this week, and it can be it can feel tricky, because she was sort of saying, well, it needs to be relatable, but not too broad. And it needs to sort of be niche, but at the same time be quite universal. It’s understandable that it can feel a bit of a minefield, and if you do need to know that you’ve got a really quite strong hurt for the book and they and they are looking for the big mainstream publishers are looking for either somebody who is a really recognized expert in their field that might be coming from academia or you know, very high, you know, a kind of C suite business and has got that proven track record or they’ve got a big profile. You know, and if they marry the two, you know, we’ve seen some really big bestsellers, for example, you know, to TOC is now the platform. And there are lots of and I think TikTok is actually a very interesting platform that I suspect lots of people are kind of disregarding as being just about cat videos. But actually educational content on TikTok is going massive. And there have been some, you know, books published recently from therapists, for example, that have come through because they’ve got a very big TikTok following. So yes, it’s thinking about what is the hook of the idea that its sort of the same, but different properties like a bandwagon? And that you know, that you’re kind of bringing a fresh perspective to whatever the topic is.

Maria Franzoni  30:41  

Okay, I have a follow-up question. So because I’d like to know, how is that? How much is that going to cost me then if I find myself an agent? Do I pay the agent? Or does the agent get

Jessica Killingley  30:50  

no pay? That is a great question. Publishing, maths is genuinely one of the most community. So the way that it works is public, an agent will take a commission will take 15% for a UK deal and 20% for a US or translation deal. And that’s standard across agenting. Like you’re not going to be able to post-trade percentage points. And that’s obviously the commission for doing the deal. So the publisher would offer you hopefully would offer you in advance, and advance gets paid to you in three chunks, or sometimes four, depending on who the publisher is, that’s usually when you do the deal when you deliver your manuscript and it’s accepted and when your book comes out. So you get those three chunks, so you get an advance for 10,000 pounds. And so you the publisher gives you, the publisher gives your agent, the money, the agent keeps 15% And then passes the restaurant to you. And that’s, that’s yours. Once your book is started selling and you start making some money for the publisher, and they earn back that advance you are said to have earned out and that is when you start earning royalties. So that’s when twice a year you’ll get hopefully, you’ll get a nice royalty check again, we’ll come to your publisher, they’ll take their 15% and then pass the restaurant here. So you’re never out of pocket as an agent. So as an author, sorry. So you know, if an agent’s asking you to pay money, then that’s not a particular kind of great, that’s not sort of valid agency relationship. Sometimes, for example, I’ve had people that I’ve ended up becoming their agent, but I worked with them privately as a consultant to sort of help them put their proposal together, for example. But as you know, if I if I’ve done the proposal, I know it’s going to be great, then I’m going to sign him.

Maria Franzoni  32:41  

Brilliant, brilliant. James’s question because Jerry and we

James Taylor  32:46  

could have gone on I’m sure as well. So we’re gonna have a link so people can learn about the workshop that you’re doing you to speak about if they want to also learn a bit more about your agency and other things you can have got going on your other services, that kind of you, we didn’t even get to the kind of coaching side of what you do as well, which is another part of where’s the best place for them to go and learn about

Jessica Killingley  33:08  

probably Instagram is just the Killingly Instagram because that’s where I kind of talk about everything, or the podcast authority show on whatever platform or that I’ve got all of those links in my Instagram bio, to the web, to the agency to my websites, or the different kind of coaching things that I do. But yeah, in the I can send you a link and I’d be really, really happy to offer all of your people a 20% discount for the event because we’d you know, it’s we’re really keen on helping, you know, my, my thing that I drive that drives me is books, books, change people’s lives. And, you know, it what, what we do is to help get better books out into the world because then everybody wins. And you know, so we’re really, really keen on helping people navigate that, you know, you can probably go and find all the information out for free on YouTube, you know, I mean, it’s all out there but it’s not helping it’s not curating you and it’s not saving you time because we want to really really cut through what feels like quite a kind of closed shop and really make it as kind of easy for people to navigate as possible and to really sort of save some time and you know getting the right proposal right first time in the right hands so that’s our goal but yes, come and say hello on Instagram. I’m not on tick-tock Yeah,

How To Get  A Book Deal


James Taylor  34:24  

we’re gonna put the links to people who are speaking I’ll make sure that we add that link for the workshop. So if you’re in London end of February, I’m sure you do kind of lots of them on a regular basis so you can make that one get on the list so you can learn about future ones or connect in person or virtually or via zoom or however you want to want to do it. We’ll put all of those links if you go to speaking for Well, thank you so much for coming to the show today. Maria.

How Writing A Book Can Help Your Speaking Career

Maria Franzoni  34:52  

Thank you fantastic, fantastic. Jessica. You are free to go James and I are going to do a little bit of a wrap-up piece because we love to after You’ve had a guest. We’d love to sort of digest what we have learned and what we’re going to apply. But you’re free to go put your feet up and have a

Jessica Killingley  35:07  

cup. I will know much. I’m very much looking forward to seeing both of your books. Soon

Maria Franzoni  35:14  

what? I think I might be in touch.

James Taylor  35:17  

Thank you, Jessica. You can subscribe to the speakers you podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts while you’re there. Leave us a review. I really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor and you’ve been listening to the speakers you podcast.

How Writing A Book Can Help Your Speaking Career