Indie Author Interview Series: Paul Knight & Mark Benn of Slimthinkers Ltd
First things first… who are Paul Knight & Mark Benn?
They’re the Founders of Slimthinkers Ltd and they coach people who struggle to lose weight, are totally over dieting and desperately need something different to happen with their lives. They approach this from a totally different angle, though – from the head down! Firstly, using their skills with NLP, hypnosis and behavioural change and then including a unique approach to moving more and eating better.
To date, they’ve had over 10,000 downloads of their online programmes and tons of happy comments and feedback, so it certainly seems they’re on the right track.
The Indie Author Interview…
Hi Paul, and thanks for agreeing to the interview. Congratulations on becoming indie authors! Mark and yourself currently have two books for sale on Amazon (Diet Success and Lose Weight From the Top Down). How much of a difference have the books made to your business and did you enjoy the book creation process?
Paul: Loved it! It really brings out the depth of knowledge we have and helps us to get our message out there in a way you can’t with online courses. Not everyone is tech savvy and reading a book is always a good way of teaching someone to be able to do something. Our writing style changed over the course of the writing process, to a more conversational approach which is down to earth and cuts though the fluff. The comments left on Amazon are positive and this style is going down well.
Who are your books primarily aimed at?
Paul: From the feedback on our website, the target market was 95% women between 35 and 55. Having said that, we set out to help anyone who is struggling to lose weight no matter what gender or age, as the simple philosophy applies to anyone anywhere.
How did you find the time to write your book, given that you have a booming business that keeps you busy?
Paul: Finding the time wasn’t so bad actually because little research was needed as it was all tucked away in our heads. Personally, I found it easier in the morning with a cup of coffee and again late at night before bed. It was when my creative juices seemed to be more focused. If I did have sparks of inspiration during the day, I just jotted them in my notebook or recorded them on my phone to expand on later. The only thing I need to implement a little more next time is not to chop and change too much. It seems there is always a better way to say something if you think about it too much, when actually the first or second draft is usually the one.
Would you recommend writing a book and becoming an indie author to any of your entrepreneurial friends?
Paul: Yes is the simple answer. We can now say we are published authors as well as experts with lots of experience. It goes a long way to our members trusting us and therefore they are more willing to part with their hard earned money, especially in a VERY competitive market like weight loss. One thing that we have learned though is there is a lot more to books than just writing them. You can write the best book in the world on your subject but if no one knows about it then it’s pointless writing it.
What advice would you give to other potential indie authors who are considering writing their book?
Paul: Look at what is selling in your field, look at how it is written and the comments it receives from real readers, then do it better or find a slightly different angle of approach. That’s how we started out with our business. The books were just a continuation of that. Write it with the end goal in mind i.e. is it for kindle, paperback, both, or simply to sell from your own site etc. Is it a stand alone book, is it going to be part of a series, could the book be broken into a series? Is the content re-useable i.e. an online course. Is the book going to be a loss leader, in other words a free or low priced book that will be for email capture to help promote other services you have. This applies more to non-fiction, but maybe could be considered for fiction too. Don’t get bogged down with the technicalities too much as there are good people out there who can help, like Michelle for instance. Just write it!
Would you encourage other authors to self-publish or try the traditional/mainstream route?
Paul: I can’t answer that as the traditional route is a mystery to me. I can only talk about self-publishing. The self-published route is easier with more control on your part. The idea can become a reality in a short space of time. There are many ways to distribute and sell these days and it is a minefield when it comes to how you do that. Everyone is an expert it seems in the art of marketing. Whatever your book is about, find out where the people are who will read it and go straight to them. You never know, if the book is a hit the publishers may take note and approach you!
Can you tell us a bit about your books?
Lose Weight From the Top Down – published in 2016
Diet Success, The Only Diet Book You Really Need – published in 2017
Both books look at weight loss from a different perspective. As with our online courses and private practice, we encourage people to think, move and eat differently. By making small changes over time and making those conscious behaviours become subconscious habits that will make a huge difference to their life in general and not just their weight.
The books are not just for reading. We incorporate actions that the reader will do. Simple actions that are easily incorporated in to normal life like different eating patterns, simple 5 minute mindful movements as well was helping readers deal with their emotional attachments to food to name but a few. It’s your mind that puts your hand in the fridge and it’s your mind that puts your trainers on! We also cut through the fluff of fitness and dieting which holds too many people back from achieving their goals. The advice we give is simple and straight forward, common sense and therefore achievable.
Thanks Paul (and Mark!) and all the best with your books!
If you’d like to connect with Paul & Mark at Slimthinkers, here’s where you can find them:
If you’re a published author – either self-published/via mainstream – and you’d like to be interviewed for this blog – please do get in touch!