Sharing Your Story in a Book: Dannie Fountain
Here are some highlights from the conversation:
- Jodi and Dannie talked about how Dannie came to write her first book in 2016. Dannie said that she could see the writing on the wall that the course/membership market was going to get saturated quickly (and that realistically she didn’t have time to manage something like a membership community), but she knew she needed something to further her business in an outward way. Since that first book in 2016, Dannie has written and published three more books.
- Dannie started her own publishing imprint, which is its own LLC separate from her business, because she read a scary blog post about publishing on Amazon without owning your ISBN and how it can be difficult or impossible for other retailers to list your book or for publishers later on to work with you. (Note from a book pub professional: This is totally true!) When she bought her first ISBN for her first book, it was cheaper to buy in bulk, so she bought a pack of 10 to use when she’s ready. Four down, six to go!
- Dannie shared that her favorite part of the writing/publishing process is the writing. She likes that the process of writing helps her to clarify where her mind may have embellished a memory. During the writing of One Honest Woman, for example, Dannie basically had her grandmother fact-checking the book while she was writing it.
- Dannie’s least favorite part — and she recognizes the irony since she works as marketing strategist — is book marketing. Dannie talked about secretly printing a couple hundred copies of the book and placing them on park benches, bus stops, trains, and the like for people to find and spread the word organically.
- Dannie’s books serve her business in different ways. She likens her books to a membership community plus a course plus one-on-one work but in book form. Side Hustle Gal and Bucketlist Babe show her audience that a side hustle isn’t “less than” any other hustle. One Honest Woman is Dannie’s speaker circuit book. Big Plan for the Creative Mind, an anthology that she co-authored with Reina Pomeroy, gets a push from October to December each year when entrepreneurs are planning and goal-setting for the next year.
- Dannie shared how she uses One Honest Woman with the speaking arm of her business, as a book is often required to be considered for speaking gigs. Sometimes a book gets your foot in the door, sometimes the book can be sold at the back of the room, and sometimes the book allows a speaker the opportunity to offer one-on-one sessions at a conference or event.
- Dannie shared this advice for other author-entrepreneurs: Be sure that you’re passionate enough about your topic to live and breathe it for the long haul. Be sure you love to talk about it. (Dannie is currently working toward her PhD and said that’s the same advice she offers when someone asks if they should pursue a doctorate.)
- Dannie had a “read 52 books challenge” in 2019 and just finished with American Royals by Katharine McGee.