Author Podcasting with Dr. Doreen Downing and Janine Bolon: The 99 Authors Project

The 99 Authors Project – Season 3 – Episode 4 with Dr. Doreen Downing18 min read

Dr. Doreen Downing

Dr. Doreen Downing is a Psychologist and Podcast host of Find Your Voice, Change Your Life. She once suffered from stage fright. In conquering it, she discovered being connected to your authentic self is the key to relaxed and confident speaking.

She now specializes in the treatment of public speaking anxiety.

In addition to coaching and online courses, she is author of Essential Speaking: The 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice, a book that teaches you how to transform your anxiety with presence and connection.You can download Doreen’s 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speaking at https://www.doreen7steps.com.

Transcript

Bryan Hyde
Welcome to the Janine Bolon show, where we share tips from around the globe. As we guide practical people with their finances using money tips, increase their incomes through side businesses, and maintain their sanity by staying in their creative zone.

Janine Bolon
Hello and welcome to the show you may or may not know that the Janine Bolon show is a syndicated program of four podcast shows that were combined. When our podcast programming syndicated in October of 2021, my team and I, Janine Bolon merged all four podcasts into one program for you, and up to that point, we have been running four separate podcasts called The Three Minute Money Tips, The Thriving Solopreneur, The Writers Hour Creative Conversations, and The Practical Mystic Show. So today, we will be highlighting one of the 99 authors that we’ll be interviewing this year to receive not only their guidance, but their ideas, and the perspective on the best ways to market and promote your book to get your message, your story, your particular memoir out into the world. Now, many of you have been told that you should write a book about your life experience, well these 99 authors that I’m interviewing over the course of this year, were prompted to write their stories as well, and they succeeded. Each one will tell you what got them going writing, but then each one will also share with you what worked with selling their books, what didn’t work, things they wish they had known before they became the prolific published authors that they are now. Now you’re going to gain unique book marketing ideas, selling strategies and promotional plans that will effectively market your novel and your book and become a best selling author in the real world and online. So today, we are lucky to have Dr. Doreen Downing. She is a psychologist and a public speaking anxiety expert. With her seven step guide to fearless speaking, she helps people find their voice so that they can literally change their life. She offers individual and group coaching, she hosts her own podcast, which I have been lucky enough to be a guest on, and you can find videos filled with public speaking tips on her YouTube channel. Thank you so much for joining us this morning Dr. Doreen.

Dr. Doreen Downing
Thank you, Janine, it’s always so much fun to have conversations with you.

Janine Bolon
I thoroughly enjoy it. And one of the things that I’d like to kick off right off the bat is, do you write under your full name? Or do you have a pen name?

Dr. Doreen Downing
I am now Doreen Downing, and I write under my full name currently, but that’s only been in the last, let’s say three years, and before that I was Doreen Hamilton, and that used to be what I would write under, that name.

Janine Bolon
Right, and that is one of the things I love talking to authors about because whether you are a fictional author or nonfiction, there’s always that moment, do I write under my real name? Or do I write under a pen name? And in some people’s case, like yourself, you actually changed names during the whole writing process, so you have a book that’s out, and I think you were telling me earlier, It’s Essential Speaking, the Seven Step Guide to Finding Your Voice. But now you’re writing a whole new book under Dr. Doreen Downing and tell us what the book title is that you’re writing now?

Dr. Doreen Downing
Well, I have changed Steps to Secrets, so I am calling it The Seven Secrets to Essential Speaking, Find Your Voice, Change Your Life. The essence of what I talk about is speaking from the core essence, finding that power within the strength within as opposed to being a better public speaker, just being a natural view, no matter where you go and having a voice.

Janine Bolon
So when you first published under Doreen Hamilton, and you had your first book, would you change the decision that you had of writing under Doreen Hamilton? Or are you perfectly happy with the way things have worked out that, you know, just keep as you change your name, just keep changing the book title and publish again, under a different name.

Dr. Doreen Downing
Oh, that was such a challenge. I thought all I had to do was change my name, you know, and that’s all I had to do. No. So in fact, I did not want to continue having a book out with my old name, and then be promoting myself with my new name. So I decided that I had to face the challenge of whatever it would take to redo my book. So I made a new cover a new title, to go along with my new name and a lot of new interior in the book also.

Janine Bolon
Right, because we as authors, we are always expanding on our knowledge base, and so you and I were talking about that earlier about, oh, yeah, there’s a lot of new content in there. I’ve learned how to do things with more efficiency and clarity. And so you’re bringing that to your reader as well, that’s what’s so awesome about it. So tell us, did you have a marketing background before you started writing your first book?

Dr. Doreen Downing
Not at all.

Janine Bolon
Most of us are like no clue.

Dr. Doreen Downing
Definitely, you know, I got a PhD in Psychology at the University of California Berkeley. No way, did I ever learn anything about well, business, writing, marketing, nothing, I just got really good and skilled at sitting in my office, meeting people, and helping them be more of who they can be, that was it.

Janine Bolon
Right? And so what most surprised you about the book marketing process?

Dr. Doreen Downing
I think that, well, initially the book marketing process, I had my book, I didn’t even have a website, this was 2009, and I just said, What do I do now? So I figured at the time, you know, well, I need to do a website. So that’s how I started, was saying, well, to get this book out, I need to have it on the internet somewhere, and then, of course, going to bookstores just literally, knock knock, hello. But, then I think the other thing about marketing for me early on was that making connections with other people that might help me promote it. So those were I think, you know, I just didn’t know about marketing. I still am learning today as I start to think about marketing, and I have so many more ideas, so many more resources, and I know exactly what I need now, which I I didn’t I was totally in the dark.

Janine Bolon
I love the way you did that, because you’re leading me right into the next question, which was, what would you change marketing your book today? We’d love to hear that. What would you change? What is it that you would focus on today, considering that we have a whole plethora of new authors coming on board with us?

Dr. Doreen Downing
I know what I need. Now, I need something like a book mentor, or a book marketing mentor. And some way of laying out a program, a launch program. Step one, step two, step three, step four, certainly I learned a lot before, so I know on my website I’m going to have to change my book page. I’m now publisher, I’m publishing myself, so I’ve got a website on Larkspur Publishing company. So I’ve learned a lot, but I still feel like today, what I’m looking for is somebody who’s traveled to verse that whole process and can guide me.

Janine Bolon
And I think that’s something that a lot of people aren’t aware of that what will really save you money in the long term is to connect with someone and then really ask them a lot of questions about their book marketing strategy. Make sure that this book coach or this book mentor is mentoring you along a path that you want to walk. Because there are specialties, whether you’re a fictional author, and you happen to write in the science fiction fantasy genre, you’re going to need a very different book marketing expert, then a nonfiction author, like yourself, who has credentials behind your name, but hey, that’s with me sitting in a room, one on one with people helping learn to find their voice, right? So, that kind of runs us into this, what process did you try, and it totally worked, you sold the most books? I like to ask each author what worked for you, were you surprised that you sold so many books?

Dr. Doreen Downing
Well, for the last several years until COVID, I was doing workshops in person. I’m in the San Francisco Bay area, but I traveled to Europe to do workshops, and all over the country and in Canada. So, the best way for me, I just felt so good to have a product that I could sell, and also what I did was at the end of my workshop, if anybody would give me a testimonial, they would get the book for free.

Janine Bolon
That’s a great way to build now, isn’t it? I mean, that’s what we’re always looking for testimonials. And this is one of my favorite questions, because this is the one people like to hide under the rug. What process did you try that was an epic failure in selling your books? I always like to know what didn’t work, so I don’t make that, you know, similar path.

Dr. Doreen Downing
I wanted to do an audio book, because I don’t know, I guess at the time that was starting to be something that people were moving towards. I could not figure it out. I tried to read it myself, and I got kind of tired. My voice wasn’t really… I couldn’t read the book. So I had to give up and the kind of automated people, I guess that well the AI that reads it, oh no, that sounds terrible. Then I tried out a few voice specialist you know the voiceover people, and I just couldn’t find anybody that resonated with my sense of what the product and what I’m promoting for the people. So I never did it. But this time, I would like to learn how. Not myself to read it, but I know that there are so many resources out there now.

Janine Bolon
Yeah, it’s totally changed from when you started in 2009, I was publishing in 2005. And yes, the landscape today is totally different from what we started with, and I actually love it, to me it’s a lot easier than what we had before. So what is the story that you tell about yourself that kind of gets the most laughs when you did your workshops, and that sort of thing?

Dr. Doreen Downing
It’s actually irony. And so it’s a different kind of laugh, it isn’t a funny haha, but a, oh, my gosh, I can understand that moment, and it has to do with me being a psychologist for a number of years, sitting in my office, feeling like I had achieved and was actually successful, and I had done some research. And they asked me, a conference on psychology, asked me to present my research and I said, no, no, I can’t speak in public, I’m too afraid. So in that moment, the conference organizers said, the doctor, isn’t fear your business?

Janine Bolon
Isn’t fear your business? Oh, my goodness, man, talk about getting that right back in your face. That’s happen to me a lot. Yes.

Dr. Doreen Downing
So I would say you know, people would kind of go, oh, my, it was kind of a shocking laugh, but an irony as opposed to tickle your funny bone.

Janine Bolon
Yeah. But isn’t fear your business? Oh, my goodness, I can just hear it. You know, I can just hear it when somebody comes right back around you and go, well, Janine, isn’t money your business? That would be what I would get. So what I love hearing is, what was the biggest change that you’ve seen in yourself, since you started marketing your your book?

Dr. Doreen Downing
Authority.

Janine Bolon
Really authority? Oh, tell me a little bit more. Tell me more about that.

Dr. Doreen Downing
I know what I know, and I have used it in workshops all over the world. I have also worked privately with many, many, many people. And I also do groups here locally, or I used to locally, but the pandemic, but I would say that there’s a sense of it’s more than confidence, it’s just a deep knowing, because actually, like we just talked about, I had to confront my own fear of speaking. And I found a way. So I am teaching that way, that path, and that’s what the seven secrets are. It’s not about the traditional approach to public speaking, it’s about going the other direction rather than the looking good, and being a good performer. It’s about finding who you really are, finding the voice within, and speaking from there. So I think that kind of certainty of the path I’ve traveled, and how I can teach others and guide others. So authority feels like the strongest thing that I’ve done with the book.

Janine Bolon
And what are the top five tips that you would give authors about selling their books today?

Dr. Doreen Downing
Get a mentor, number one. Well, actually, before getting to that stage, making just something like what I just said, you know that it is really your truth, that you really believe in yourself and believe the path that you’ve been on, and you want to, you have a passion to share it. So I would say that’s, you know, why write a book unless well, there are a lot of reasons about why, but of course, I’m talking about self help. I’m not talking about fiction, or sci fi or something like that. So for me, at least in my genre, this self help, make sure that this is your story, you know the path, and you have the right to tell it to people, or at least offer it as an option to people. So then get a mentor, and I work with people who write books, but then get afraid to go out and speak about it. So I guess the third would be make sure that you have the ability to communicate to people about what you’ve written, and that anxiety of speaking in public isn’t standing in the way. And I can help with that. I’ve worked with many authors that have avoided this getting out into the world and starting to talk about their book, and now we can do it on video, and Zoom and, you know, making videos for your website. And two more things. Launch Party. I mean, I’ve been to a couple, and one was, you were promoting it. And those are fun and I want to have a launch party. I’m still planning it. And last I would say, I like giving sample, you know, my website, I have a free sample that people could download, so it gives them a taste of the book. So I would say that’s a good tip to somehow offer a sample of what you’ve written.

Janine Bolon
And whether you’re a fiction author or nonfiction author, you have so much content that never made it into the book. I mean, I know this about you, my dear listener, that there is stuff that you have written that never made it into the book, I know that you’ve done character sketches for your fictional authors, you have character sketches of maybe your favorite detective or your favorite villain, you have whole segments that never ever, ever made it into the book, and so you want to make sure that you use those as downloadables or you can use those as a way to promote it. So that’s one of those things I like to remind people look, all those things that you think were garbage that you have in a file that goes never to see the light of day, pull those out, because believe it or not, your readers want to see that sample. So thank you for that. Dr. Doreen. So tell me, what was the one thing you misunderstood about becoming an author? I mean, I like to ask authors this, like, what was the one thing that you had in your head, and it was totally inaccurate when you became an author?

Dr. Doreen Downing
Well, I think my story has to do with the struggle, it was for me to write my dissertation. My doctoral dissertation, and I, it was teeth pulling one tooth at a time for me. And there was a little bit of, I don’t know, what I took with me into my business is that my sense of writing was too academic, I think. And you know, what I’m talking about is finding your voice. How do I do that in writing? So I think the most challenging thing for me was that I don’t consider myself as a writer, as such, because years of doing academic, I think kind of did a little damage. So I’ve had to work hard to free my, my writing voice, you might say and learn to listen to her. And I would say, actually, in terms of the writing, that was a challenge. As far as the marketing, I think, way back then it was just not knowing who I could ask for help.

Janine Bolon
But fully agree, fully agree on that one. And finding your voice, which is now your business, right? You know, this is all about finding your voice. That’s one of the things I love working with some authors is being able to watch their writing, improve and get better and better as they move out of that academic, high school writing style, and actually start writing like they talk. And when you start seeing that it’s like, ahhh, angels singing or something. It’s great. Last question, before we go today, what is the primary thing that has been the biggest reward for you at being an author?

Dr. Doreen Downing
Two things. One is the connection to my truth, and being able to have an anchor like a book that holds that truth. And what I said earlier about authority, but the containment of my beliefs and my journey, and my experience, that’s one. And the second, I would say is, I could reach so many more people. You know, being a psychologist in my office, knock knock, one person at a time. But now, you know, being able to get my message to well, internationally, it’s globally, it’s wonderful. It’s wonderful. Right now I have a group and have somebody from London, somebody from Southern California, somebody from East Coast, it’s just like the ability to bring people together around one struggle, the same struggle that they have, and be able to offer hope.

Janine Bolon
And that is lovely when you can do that. So, if somebody wants to get a hold of you, where do you recommend people connect with you?

Dr. Doreen Downing
My website isprobably the easiest, www.essentialspeaking.com.

Janine Bolon
Okay, thank you so much for being with us today, Dr. Doreen, it was lovely having you.

Dr. Doreen Downing
Thank you Janine.

Janine Bolon
And this is Janine Bolon signing off with you today. All of us here at the 8 gates that produce the Janine Bolon show, wish you a wonderful week, and we encourage you to utilize these strategies and plans to get your message, your story or your knowledge out into the world in some way, make it a better place just like these authors are doing for the next generation of authors that are coming along behind them. We’ll see you again next week and until then, you keep sharing what you know with others, keep shining that light that is essentially you. And don’t forget to go out today and do something fun for yourself. See you next week.

Bryan Hyde
Thank you for listening to the Janine Bolon show. Be sure to subscribe to our show notes by going to www.theJanineBolonshow.com, where you’ll find additional resources as well as the opportunity to sign up to receive our program in your email each week. Be sure to visit our sponsor at www.the8gates.com.