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Unveiling the Secrets of Successful Book Publishing with Paige Dungan Part 1 (Ep 104)

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Welcome back to the Balancing Busy Podcast, where we dive deep into various aspects of life to uncover the secrets of balance. This week, we’re taking a stroll down the entrepreneurial road, focusing specifically on the world of publishing. If you’ve ever harbored dreams of writing a book, feeling that deep conviction that there’s a story within you waiting to be told, then this episode is tailor-made for you. I’m thrilled to introduce Paige Dungan, a PR expert who’s here to share her insights on overcoming doubt and stepping into your power.

Meet Paige Dungan:

With a proven track record, she stands as the mastermind behind numerous triumphant book launches, garnering accolades for her role in catapulting multiple authors onto best-seller lists. Her reputation is built on the foundation of innovative media launch strategies that consistently create a resonant voice for her authors within the bustling and competitive marketplace.

Before establishing her own industry-leading book public relations agency, The Front Porch Collective, Paige served as the Head of PR & Talent at SUCCESS magazine. It was during her tenure at SUCCESS magazine that she embarked on her career in author and book campaigns. Now, with over 15 years of industry experience, Paige has honed her expertise, shaping her into the accomplished and respected professional she is today.

The Misconception about Book Publishing

Many aspiring authors underestimate the challenges that come after writing the book itself. Paige underscores the common realization among authors that the real challenge lies not in writing the book but in getting their book out to the world. That’s where her expertise comes in – Paige guides authors through the intricate process of gaining national media attention and securing placements in renowned outlets like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Target Audience: The Starting Point

Whether you’re launching a book or a business, knowing your target audience is non-negotiable. Paige emphasizes the importance of pinpointing a specific niche market rather than attempting to appeal to everyone. This focused approach allows for more effective communication and engagement, leading to increased loyalty and sales.

Crafting a Heartfelt Message

Your message is the heartbeat of your brand or book. It’s not about sales pitches or discounts; it’s about connecting emotionally with your audience. Paige encourages creators to distill their message into one to two sentences that resonate on a heartfelt level. This foundational message serves as the compass guiding all marketing efforts, from social media copy to media pitches.

Embracing the Power of Storytelling

At its core, successful book publishing – and business branding – revolves around storytelling. It’s about painting a vivid picture that captivates your audience and invites them into your world. By infusing emotion and authenticity into your narrative, you cultivate genuine connections that transcend transactional interactions.

Embarking on the journey of book publishing or entrepreneurship can be daunting, but with the right guidance, it becomes an exhilarating adventure filled with endless possibilities.

So, whether you’re penning the next bestseller or launching your entrepreneurial venture, remember the wisdom shared by Paige: Know your audience, craft a heartfelt message, and embrace the power of storytelling. With these foundational principles as your compass, you’re well-equipped to navigate the exciting – and often unpredictable – terrain of creative endeavors.

Tune in to part 2 of this interview where we dive into overcoming fear and building confidence.



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Leah: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Balancing Busy Podcast. Let’s take another area of life and figure out how to bring more balance to it. Now, this week, we are going down the entrepreneurial road of balance, and we’re specifically talking about publishing. If you’ve ever dreamed of writing a book, you feel like there, there is a book inside of me, This episode is gonna be an extra fun one for you.

We are talking to Paige Dungan. Now, you’re gonna hear all about me meeting her. I was speaking at a conference. Literally, I didn’t even meet her. I saw her and I was like, I love this woman. Like, it was so It was, it was, it was friendship at first sight. She is a book loving publicist and she is truly your book publishing fairy godmother.

Like, the more that you meet her and get to know her, you are going to realize this is so true. She spent 15 years working in the media and PR world from talent [00:01:00] management for entrepreneurs and CEOs to becoming head of PR and talent at Success Magazine.

Then she found her way and her passion for books and TV. Her PR experience and merge those two beautiful things together to help authors get national media attention. Now, here’s the thing. I have a lot of friends that are authors and have gotten huge publishing contracts with huge, huge publishing houses.

And I will tell you that it is a very, very common thing to say, Oh, wow, I didn’t realize how much I needed to understand and needed to do and needed to plan to get my book out there. You think the hard part is writing the book. The hard part is once you’ve written that book, getting it out to the world.

And that’s what Paige helps people do. And so she is just this. True wealth of knowledge. It is incredible how much she knows, and I cannot wait [00:02:00] for you to learn from her. She is the leading book publicist and founder of the Front Porch Collective, where they take authors dreams of getting their book out there and get them placements from everything from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal.

She has been on everything. She has connections with everything. She understands how this all really works. And we’re going to jump in and learn more from her right now.

 Okay, Paige, thank you so much for being on the [00:03:00] Balancing Busy podcast with me. I am so excited. From the moment that I was going to say met, but it’s not even met. Like I saw you and you just radiate like joy and light. I was like, I have to be friends with her. And so I’m so glad you’re on the podcast and everyone else gets to meet you too.

Paige: Leah, I was so excited because it’s so true. It was like a pretty woman moment where, or dirty dancing, you’re across the room. I think it was, yeah, dirty dancing and you see each other and you run to each other and you have that moment. That was you, Leah. And I’m so excited to be here because we’re going to have so much 

Leah: fun.

Oh, it’s, it’s one of my favorite things when I get to speak at conferences is the connections you make. Right. And like you were my favorite connection. And so it’s so, so fun to have you. Okay. So will you take a moment and just introduce yourself? Let everybody know just your story. 

Paige: Yes. So everyone, [00:04:00] I come from a very personal development background, so I have been in publicity and marketing and my entire career, um, on and off as an entrepreneur and then really had my tenure when I was at success magazine, head of PR and working with amazing thought leaders that you guys know today from Mel Robbins to Amy Porterfield and just everyone who has a mission to make this world a better place and left about three and a half year Three and a half years ago.

Yeah. And started my own agency, the Front Porch Collective. And we work with authors on amplifying their books and their voice, doing publicity and marketing for them. And publishing has always been in my blood. Success was a medium publishing company. And I’m just thrilled, Leah, because I really get to tell stories that need to be told that maybe wouldn’t have had a chance to be told otherwise.

Leah: And I love that you do. Your strength is in the PR [00:05:00] because so many of these stories, they might get written, but they’re not going to get out there if you don’t know how to spread your message, right? Like the whole idea of like, you create it, they will come and they’re not going to come unless you know how to help them realize that it’s there.

So I mean, it’s critical. 

Paige: Because there’s 4 million books out there, Leah, like with 4 million books, you have to create your own light in that world. And that’s what we help people do is just feel confident and educated in doing that. 

Leah: I love that. I can’t believe there’s 4 million. Wow. I love that. And I love that this all applies to every small business owner as well, right?

Like there are a lot of businesses out there and we, Each need to learn and figure out how to get our little business light to shine bright so that those who need us can find us and be drawn in. And when we don’t quite understand how to do those things, [00:06:00] then we’re like, gosh, I have this thing and it’s so great.

And it could help and I can’t convince anybody. And we want to make that shift from. You don’t need to convince them because they’re drawn in. They, it’s like a magnet and they’re like, Oh, this is, this is the answer. This is what I’ve been looking for. So, okay. I love it. So tell me, where do we start when, whether it’s the book in our heart or it’s our business and we want to get that light out, like what, where is the starting place for each of us to be able to.

Um, just get that brilliance, that brightness we’re going to need. 

Paige: It always, always starts no matter if you’re product or a brand or a book, you have to know your target audience, right? And guys, we, and I were just talking about this before we started recording about really focusing in on what our niche is this year.

And that could not ring more true because if you’re trying to talk to everybody, you’re talking to nobody. And so you’ve really got to be [00:07:00] clear on. Who is that target smaller market you’re going to reach? And I don’t say small in the means of like you only are going to have a set number of people. I mean small as in like these are the core advocates that you know would love your brand.

And so once you know that, That is a tipping point to then let you see, where are they? What are they reading? What are they listening to? What are they watching? You can’t know all of those things if you don’t know who you want to be watching and listening and reading things. And so that’s where I always begin with everybody, Leah, is target audience.

And then number two is what is your message? Because just saying you have a, Oh, my brand is wonderful or my new skincare, it smells amazing. Like that is not a message. A message is what is that story that’s going to resonate heart to heart with somebody and bring them in to your circle and bring them into your space.

And [00:08:00] that’s where we’re going to We and everybody should spend a lot of time getting clear. And honestly, Leah, it shouldn’t be more than one to two sentences, kind of like your mission statement, but with a little bit more emotion in it. 

Leah: Oh, I love that. Okay. So I want to go back to what you said with step one, which is you have to know that target audience and, and getting really specific.

And I think that a fear that often arises. Is that then they’re closing out so many people. But if I’m more broad, I can, you know. Mm-Hmm. , they, there’s this, there’s this idea that the broader we are, then that means this wider net, and therefore we’re gonna Right. Have more opportunity. Surprisingly, it has the opposite effect, uh, which I know, you know.

How do you, how do you talk someone through that? How do you help them to get past that fear of, but broader has to be better because it means. put more potential people? 

Paige: Absolutely. We’ll think, [00:09:00] I automatically have people think, what are the brands that you are most loyal to? What are the books that are your favorite, right?

And you are excited. Say it’s a book. You’re excited every time that author comes out with another book. If it’s a brand that you just love, you’re excited anytime they launch something new. And so why that’s important to have first have that mindset is when it comes to to PR, it comes to loyalty and loyalty is not going to be found in the masses.

If you spend your time and effort going after everybody, you’re going to actually miss your target audience because you are, it’s kind of like that analogy, like throw spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks. The same goes with PR because if you’re trying to speak to everybody, you don’t have time to really go in depth with them.

You’re giving them a little here, a little here, a little here, and nobody is picking up on what you’re actually trying to say. And so you’re going to spend more time and a lot more money. Doing it that way versus if you get very clear on who you’re [00:10:00] speaking to, you are going to be able to amplify your efforts, have a more cost effective strategy and actually have more sales because you have the time to speak to the people that are already primed to buy.

Right. And already primed to listen to that news story, read your interview, listen to your podcast. Right. And so that is the thing we have to get out of our minds is this scarcity mindset. Like, okay, we’ve got to go everywhere. If I go to me, usually nothing’s ever going to happen to me. And we’ve got to just remember loyalty.

always wins over quantity. And the most loyal people you will find are in a smaller target area. 

Leah: And what’s fascinating is often You go for that smaller target area and then it will compound in time. I mean, that’s going to take time, but it’s going to compound. And so you start getting that, that loyal small [00:11:00] group who then they know other people with that exact same problem.

And so they share it, but they’re going to share it with so much enthusiasm because you know, they’re one of the, The diehards. And so they start bringing people in and it just, it grows and expands, which is so beautiful. 

Paige: It doesn’t actually to get a media placement, you have to know your target audience.

Because media is very clear on who they’re speaking to. Today’s show, Good Morning America versus like NBC Nightline, like versus Sunday Morning versus New York Times. Like, they know their audience. And if you go in and pitch them not knowing your audience and not knowing their audience and seeing that’s misaligned, that can actually hurt you in a way.

And so it’s very clear before you even go talk to any media outlet to get that defined. 

Leah: Okay, so that second component, bringing in that message and having it have heart, I think there’s, there’s probably people hearing that and they’re like, wait, so am [00:12:00] I not doing this right? So will you elaborate even more on like how we had that, um, heart message?

into our branding and our marketing. 

Paige: Absolutely. The number one thing is you have to remember with this message, everyone wants to be inspired by something. They don’t want you to sell them something. Your job is literally to make them have the idea that they need it, not to push it on them. And so that’s why this messaging is so important to be concise.

But again, emotional, because if you are trying to bring them in, not just for a one sale, but for more of a lifetime sales cycle, you’ve got to have that language that’s almost like a friend to friend speaking because the biggest turnoff and think about it in your personal life is if you’re like, Automatically, like when you walk in a car dealership and it’s sell, sell, sell at first and you’re like, Whoa, rather than if somebody told me a beautiful story about how this car can fit a family [00:13:00] and imagine yourself going to the woods and the tents are in the back and like including all of those elements, I’m going to much more be.

Prime to buy rather than already turned off. And so why I say one to do sentences is because that allows you to communicate Leah across all platforms. Social, your marketing copy can be expanded from there. Your pitches to media can be pulled from that. Like it’s your starter copy that everything else can be pulled from.

And so I challenge everybody listening to do this exercise and do not put anything in about a discount, about a sale. What is like at the heartbeat of why? You’re making or writing what you’re doing. Like, what is that? Like, what made you even do that? And start there, start with that, and then continue to evolve it from there.

And it should be something that takes a little time. Some people might be able to whip it out, but you need to really sit with it and let the emotions come in through it, too. Mmm, 

Leah: I love that so [00:14:00] much. When I’ve done the work to really think through what my message is, it comes down to I believe in happy families.

Like I believe we need more happy families while simultaneously, I believe that women are needed to share our voice and that when you have a, uh, something on your heart of something that you’ve, you think you’re supposed to do, you know, some, uh, business or, or career or idea that that was no accident that your voice is needed.

And so it comes down to. If we’re, if happy families are honestly like that, that is the foundation of strong communities, strong nations, 

Paige: strong generations, everything. 

Leah: Yes. Right. And then simultaneously we, we need women to share their voices and their messages. How do we do those two things in a way that is in harmony instead of at odds with each other?

And that’s ultimately what it, [00:15:00] what it comes down to for me. I love that. Oh, I love that so much.

 And that wraps up part one of this episode. But don’t worry, we are not done talking with Paige. So in this episode 104, we talked about unveiling the secrets of successful book publishing.

Like, if you dream of writing a book, if that’s on your heart, I hope you have loved this episode. Now we’re taking a shift and we’re talking about overcoming fear and building confidence because Paige has done some huge scary pivots in her life, especially opening her own publishing agency. And I wanted to make sure we got into that area and talked about how she dealt with the unavoidable fears that come when you’re doing something big and scary.

So that’s the end of this episode. Now come join me in episode 105 and let’s talk about how you can overcome the fears that maybe you feel like are holding you back. See you in the [00:16:00] next one.



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