They say that everyone has a book inside of them. Butt-in-the-chair time to extract this thing lurking in your brainspace is step number one. Step two? Figuring out how to publish and market the dang thing.

Earlier this month I participated in the Write to Publish conference. I met emerging writers interested in publishing, stoked the relationship fires with colleagues and offered my book design expertise as a panelist for “Self-Publishing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”

The conference was an awesome experience and it got me thinking about the clients I work with. I see them creating amazing things in the world and it’s an honor to help them design the book that finally tumbled its way out of their hearts and minds and onto paper.

David Rosell, of Rosell Wealth Management, totally rocked the promotion and marketing of his book Failure is Not an Option. It’s an adventure story based on David’s experiences as he traveled the world in his younger years. He paired those stories with financial advice and created a guide to help people rule their retirement.

David’s book is now in its fourth printing. He is a great marketer and I want to dive into the secrets of his self-publishing success.


Check out David’s book cover. What story does it tell?

  •   It speaks to his prime demographic (those planning ahead for the second half of the financial journey).
  • The mountains embody the majesty of Central Oregon, a place known for its sense of adventure.
  • The body language defines hope and success.
  • Endorsements make it credible. David’s world revolves around sports, motivation and business, so he gathered endorsements from people in those arenas to use for the cover.


The design lines up with who David is as an author, an expert and a human being.

  • He’s an avid skier.
  • The imagery captures “the spirit of the mountains” and the splendor of Central Oregon’s great outdoors. People choose to live here for a reason. They are adventurous, smart, willing to learn and want to grow their money so they can maintain their Central Oregon lifestyle.
  • The “edutainment” (education + entertainment) factor hooks readers. Failure is Not an Option is an adventure book, turning the oftentimes boring topic of financial planning into a great read.


David offers the following tips for marketing your book:

  1. Have a website just for your book.
  2. Don’t be afraid to incorporate clever marketing tools. (For example, he created a postcard the same size as the book cover and gave it to traveling clients. It was easy for them to take a picture holding the postcard, pretending it was the actual book. David then used these images as social proof throughout his marketing.)
  3. Stickers are magic. Use the title of your book or a catchphrase. Print up stickers and hand them out to everyone you meet. People love sticking inspirational messages on water bottles, phones, computers and cars.
  4. Sell your books at local bookstores and coffeeshops. Form solid relationships with the owners.
  5. Hire a PR company. They can submit press releases and gather mentions of your book from important publications.
  6. Become active on social media. Create an author Facebook page. This is one of the most important steps in establishing your “author brand.” David uses social media to share his travel adventures as well as the stories of his clients who are out exploring the world and doing cool stuff.
  7. Hire a writing coach, even if you’re a good writer.
  8. Bookstores will only carry your book if they can send it back to a warehouse if it doesn’t sell. Form a partnership with a distributor that can help you with this, such as Hillcrest Media Group. They’ll print and send out the books for you as well as take online orders.
  9. Give it a year. Give it a year. Give it a year.

Writing and publishing a book can be incredibly daunting. The most important piece of advice I can offer is to never give up. The publishing industry rewards persistence.

Keep writing. Keep promoting. Keep your chin up.

You can check out more of David Rosell’s work here. Stay tuned for his forthcoming book, Keep Climbing.