Behind the Scenes

Selling Thousands of Books in Bookstores: Ken Audible

The Cheat Sheet for Successful Book Signings

Forget the scams. Forget the self-proclaimed gurus. It’s about time you discovered the real, field-tested and proven ways to pump up your revenue by making use of book signings.

Selling Thousands of Books in Bookstores

The Amazon Bestseller Scam

There are hundreds of self-proclaimed gurus who are claiming to teach people how to become Amazon bestsellers. However, the only thing they are good at is scamming Amazon and they are teaching you how to do it.

Here’s their trick:

•List the book on an obscure Amazon category.
For example, your sci-fi fiction thriller will be listed as a paleo-diet because hardly any books are published in that category.

•List the e-book for $0.00
You are basically giving it away for free.

•Get all your friends and family to buy at the same time
This artificially inflates the book and thrusts it up to the number one spot, sometimes for just seconds. That means you have to be watching like a hawk.

•Take a screenshot
The gurus will tell you to take a screenshot of the book at number one and voila! You are an Amazon bestseller.

Technically, you have been an Amazon bestseller. However, don’t expect to make any money from it. So is it worth it? What’s the point of running such a scam to artificially propel yourself to the top if it doesn’t bring in any revenue? What’s the essence of taking the easy way only to end up hurting your credibility?
Interesting enough, those same gurus will tell you that bookstores will not take in self-published books. It’s about time you got rid of that fallacy and discovered the secrets to getting your book into bookstores and scaling your profits.

 

How to Get Your Book into Bookstores

Ken Dunn has thousands of self-published books in bookstores. He has helped thousands of authors to get their books into bookstores as well. Today, he shares with you his secrets so you can also get a slice of the pie. Before you buy into the “don’t bother trying to get your book into bookstores” scam, here’s a story…

One day, while driving with his son and daughter, Ken stops at a Barnes and Nobles to get some Starbucks coffee. His kids love to read so he is not surprised when they wander off in the bookstore. Ken’s daughter was 10 years old at the time and she loved to read fiction books. However, on this day, Ken is surprised to find her in the Sales and Marketing section. It quickly hits him that she is looking for his book: The Greatest Prospector in the World. He immediately tears up.

After some time, she eventually finds the book, pulls one copy out and starts jumping around excitedly. It was an emotional moment for both father and daughter. In the end, Ken signed the four copies available and put them back on the shelf. In addition to revenue, what author doesn’t want such a moment?

 

Laying the Foundation for Profitable Book Signings

Book signings don’t come like manna from heaven. You have to work for it. With these tips, you can work smart instead of just working hard.

•Publish a Great Book
Bookstores are thrilled to let you do your signings in their premises but only if you have a good book. If it’s a fiction book, the hero’s journey must be impeccable. Your non-fiction book must nail down the reader’s journey. For example, you don’t expect to get your memoir into bookstores if you are not an A-list celebrity. A self-help non-fiction will be a better choice and bookstores and readers love them.
For the actual book, ensure you have all the essential elements such as the ISBN and a great cover.

•Do a One Sheet
One sheet is a document that tells the reader a little bit about the author, the book and where they can get the book if they want to order it in the store. It’s pretty much a marketing flyer that goes along with your book.

•Approach the bookstores
You need to make appearances at bookstores and ask for what you would like. Don’t sit and wait for them to come to you. At the store, ask for the manager or whoever book signings for authors. They’ll either get that person and you can talk to them one-on-one or give you their card so you can call or email.

 

A Cheat Sheet for Conducting Successful Book Signings

Ken Dunn has a cheat sheet that he has used and perfected for more than 15 years. It works like a charm. Let’s break it down…

•Let the manager know that you are committed to bringing traffic.
Bookstores are not responsible for getting people to show up. It is essential that you not only promise but also work to attract an audience. When starting out, conduct the signing in your neighborhood so you can get your friends and family to show up.
However, most bookstores will also market your book signing in their emails, flyers and newsletters. If it’s a franchise such as Barnes and Noble, a good number of people will automatically show up for the signing, regardless of your level of influence.

•Make use of Facebook or any other media to run targeted adverts. You can run a Facebook Ad within a small radius of the bookstore such as 1-5 miles.

•Throw in a small token of appreciation for anyone who shows up for the signing. It’s the old carrot technique that works every time.
Ken normally offers Starbucks gift certificates for the first 10 people and everybody gets the audiobook for free. While he’s signing the books he asks the person for their email address and later sends them the audiobook.

•Ensure the store has enough copies of your book
If your book is already in their system, the store will pre-order the books. Alternatively, you can bring them with you when you arrive for the signing. Ensure the books are in new sellable conditions. Flawed books will ruin your credibility with the store and your audience; if it gets that far. At the end of the signing, you will walk away with 50% of the sales. The best part is that you can bring several books. You can also do bundle offers if you like. Bookstores are usually quite co-operative.

A Real-Life Success Story

Thousands of The Go Academy students have leveraged this technique to maximize their sales. One great example is David Carter, the author of The Unknown Chef. He is an amazing chef from Atlanta, Georgia. However, he is a new author and was literally an unknown author.

David paid $7 for Ken Dunn’s course on “Getting Your Books into Bookstores”. In four months, he has done 11 signings where he sold 300 books. It’s amazing when you compare the cost of the course to the profit it nets you.

This cheat sheet for book signings worked tremendously well for David. Today, he is a renowned author and chef. If it worked for David, stand rest assured it will work for you! If you are enjoying Bestseller confessions, please jump over to iTunes and leave a review. Dozens of authors have left remarkable reviews so far.

Stay tuned for the next episode. Cheers!

Millions of Podcasts – Ken Dunn Audible

Millions of Podcasts - Ken Dunn Audible

Begin to Harness The Power of Podcasts Today

Bestseller Confessions has had the pleasure to host amazing bestselling authors who have hit major lists including the New York Times, LA Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Ken Dunn has relentlessly squeezed out the truth about how each of these incredible authors market their books. The biggest takeaway and possibly the most popular media for authors today is podcasts.

Several corporations are calling podcasts “the future of radio.” However, with all this hype around podcasts and the success several authors have had with this media, it is alarming that most authors have not begun to harness its power. In a recent GoRead Author Academy training, a private membership group where Ken Dunn helps authors to become bestselling authors, surprisingly, only five out of hundreds of authors were using podcasts.

It’s about time that changed. It’s about time you learnt how to leverage the power of podcasts and propel yourself to the bestseller league!

Tips for Podcasts

1.Track down podcasts that are related to what you’re doing

There are several podcasts available online. Some radios stations even run podcast versions of their radio shows. Whether you are a fiction or non-fiction author, a simple Google search will help you discover podcasts shows that are related to your line of work.

For example, you could search for “Gardener podcasts” if you have a fiction book whose major character is a gardener or your non-fiction book is based on gardening. From there you can begin to get familiar with the shows and what other authors in your space are doing to get ahead.

2.Regularly listen to these Podcasts

Ken Dunn has made it a personal rule to listen to 12 podcasts episodes every week. Instead of radio, Ken listens to podcasts when driving.

3.Track down podcast hosts

It is essential to learn as much as you can about podcasts hosts. In addition to helping you discover the best way to approach them, it helps you find out how to best give value to the show and impress the host.

Ken created a spreadsheet detailing each podcast and its host. He tracked down each host on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and added their links to the spreadsheet. Basically, he learned as much as he could about these people before approaching them.

4.Script out the perfect Podcast pitch

The time you take to learn more about the show and the host will help you script the perfect pitch. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. You only have one shot at impressing the podcast host/producer enough for them to invite you to their show.

It is important, therefore, that your pitch is likable and offers value to the host. For example, podcast hosts want more listeners. Learn how to string that into your pitch and let them know how your presence in their show will help grow their audience. Let them know how what you have to offer is tied to their podcast.

5.Every podcast matters

There is a huge market that you can leverage into sales by frequenting podcasts. However, it’s easy to assume that only podcasts with large audiences will benefit your campaign. Brush aside that assumption. Bob Berg, a recent guest on the Bestseller Confessions is a testimony that you cannot afford to disregard a podcast just because it has a small following.

In Bob’s words, frequenting podcast shows leaves permanent breadcrumbs on the internet. Leave these crumbs everywhere because you never know who is listening or where they are listening. The small podcast show you visit today may end up becoming the most popular podcast ten years from now and you’ll be there. People will want to get that book or look forward to the book you’ll be working on by that time.

Real-life Success Story

Kevin Coolidge, a member of the GoRead author Academy, writes fiction children books about ninja raccoons. He gets on at least three podcasts a week and talks about literacy and kids – why kids should read. This has a huge effect on his book sales.

One of the most helpful tools in Kevin’s arsenal is radioguestlist.com. By getting on their email list, the website sends you weekly emails with hundreds of podcasts that are looking for new guests. The best part is that it’s an absolutely free service. You can otherwise upgrade to their premium lists and get targeted alerts at $6.67 per month.

You can check out Kevin’s work on GoRead.

 

Know Your Podcast Etiquette

1. Keep your answers short, precise and informative

Never take more than 90 seconds to answer a question.

Either out of anxiety or the desperate need to promote your book, it’s easy to lose focus and begin to rant for several minutes every time you’re asked a question. Fight the urge. It’s a sure way to get yourself blacklisted from every podcast.

2. Make it a personal conversation

Mention the host’s name every chance you get. It helps to make it a personal conversation. Also, before you get on the show, learn as much as you can about the host. Most of this information is available on the internet. Google them, look them up on Facebook or any other social media site and find out what they do, what they openly dislike, their biggest achievements and so on.

During the interview (personal conversation), ensure you promote their book, website or exceptional achievements. Who doesn’t like compliments?

3.Promote the show

Find out when the show is going live and ensure you promote the show. You could even spend some money to create a Facebook ad and advertise the show. This will automatically drive more people to the podcast and any host will love the free publicity.

This also has a great effect on your book and brand in general. You’ll not just be promoting the show, you’ll be marketing your book among two sets of audiences: yours and the hosts.

You now have the secrets to get yourself invited to more podcasts. Utilize the and begin to experience a snowball effect where hosts will invite you back to their shows and get massive publicity for your book. This should, ultimately, translate to more book sales and thrust you into every bestselling list you ever dreamed of. The time to begin investing in podcasts is now!

Stay tuned for next episode, where you learn secrets of the trade from another amazing bestseller.

 

Ryan Levesque – ASK

Ryan Levesque

The man who steps into the interrogation room today is Ryan Levesque, a self-published author whose first book – Ask – hit the USA Today, LA Times and Amazon bestsellers lists. Ken Dunn squashes the truth out of this first-time author and reveals the secrets behind his incredible success.

The Backstory

Motivated by a book – The 4-Hour Work Week – and his friends, who were making money online, Ryan Levesque entered the online space in 2007. He later met Dr. Glenn Livingston, now his mentor, and learned the power of asking questions to understand your audience and what they want to buy.

Together with his wife, he launched his first business where they taught people how to make jewelry with Origami paper and scrabble tiles. The business revenue quickly grew to $9,000 a month. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Ryan quit his job to focus on their online business but the business collapsed.

Relentless, Ryan launched a second course – how to care for orchids. It grew to $500,000 a year. Next, he began teaching people how to improve their memory. The trend went on and Ryan ended up going into 23 different markets over the course of a decade.

A friend suggested that Ryan should share his success story with the world and he decided to tell the story in a book. However, the plan stalled after he got sick that year. In fact, when he was rushed to the ER, the doctor said that he was a day away from slipping into a coma. He was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis and spent 10 days in ICU. At that point, he decided to do something that would have an impact on the world because no one is promised of tomorrow. He focused on publishing his book and sharing everything that transformed his life and his family.

The Ask Method

The commonality in Ryan’s 23 businesses was the ability to ask the right questions – the ask method. Ryan singles out the following pieces of the ask method, which are crucial to every business.

a) Discover

For Ryan Levesque, going into the 23 different markets all started with “asking the right questions in the right way.” He discovered that people are only good at providing two types of information:

• What they don’t want

• Past behavior – Painting a picture of your dream life 5 years from now is much more difficult than narrating how your day was.

By asking these types of questions in a very specific way, you can understand what people want to buy.

b) Uncover the buckets

Whenever you do that deep research, you’ll find different groups of people in your market who have slightly different needs, wants and desires. Ryan calls them buckets’. They represent the profit pools that exist in every market and it’s essential to locate them. As an author, you need to identify the different groups of people who will benefit from your content. You can then direct your efforts towards satisfying those specific categories of needs.

Valuable Lessons from Ryan’s Mistakes and Experiences

1. Hire the right ghostwriter

Ryan was too busy to write the book himself. He hired a ghostwriter, whose skills were not compatible with the type of book Ryan envisioned. Her work did not portray Ryan’s personality. He had to hire another ghostwriter. This setback delayed the book launch by at least seven months.

2. Structuring your book

Ryan’s book is structured such that the first third of the book is a bit of an autobiography. It details how he discovered the ask method. The other two thirds of the book are more technical. Over time, Ryan has learned that it’s more powerful to integrate the story within the actual teaching. Some people love the inspiration and motivation behind Ryan’s story while others wish they could have cut out the first 60 pages of the book.

Ken Dunn advocates that the three essential elements of each chapter should be the teaching, your personal story and the testimonials. Unfortunately, Ryan found that out the hard way.

3. Ensure the budget accommodates your pre-selling

Overselling your books could hurt your momentum. In his effort to make more sales and hit bestselling lists, Ryan presold thousands of copies on Amazon. In the first week, Amazon only had about a thousand books in stock but Ryan had pre-sold about 10,000 books. The pre-selling affected the book’s rankings on the most popular bestselling lists aside from Amazon. Ryan is certain that this blunder cost his book a spot on the New York Times bestselling list.

4. Choose the appropriate channels for selling your book

Some of the channels Ryan used to market and sell his book were extremely disappointing.

• Affiliate Partners

He sold his book through their email lists but soon realized their lack of interest. The JV and affiliate partners Ryan worked with were more interested in selling things like a $200 course. It took Ryan by surprise because he was counting on his strong network of affiliates.

• Television and Radio

Ryan was on television and radio all over the country. He hired a PR firm to help him feature on as many major television shows as possible. All this effort barely had any effect on his book sales. His experience helps to expunge the popular notion that featuring on TV and Radio is a sure recipe to boost your book sales. Many authors have found that being a guest on podcasts is much more lucrative. Ryan had to rely on other profitable channels, which included:

• Facebook ads

On Facebook, he would give offers such as free books and reduced prices for the book.

• Podcasts

Ryan did a podcast tour on over 100 podcast interviews leading up to the launch. He gave away a few free books on podcasts and ended up selling hundreds of copies.

Strategy to get ahead on podcasts

• Get on as many podcasts as you can

It doesn’t really matter how big the podcast is because that interview for a new podcast might become the best podcast episode 10 years from now.

Also, if you’re on five shows in a short time, podcast listeners will automatically believe that everybody’s talking about you and rush to get your book.

• Frequent podcasts months before your launch

Several podcasts today are booking episodes that will be launched a month or two later. To counter that, once he had his launch date in mind, Ryan began to frequent podcasts about four to six months in advance. He talked to the host to hold back the episode until about a month before the book launch. It helped to build the momentum responsible for landing number one on Amazon across all categories, hitting number one twice on Barnes and Noble, number one two weeks in a row on LA Times and Publisher’s Weekly and number seven on USA Today.

The Secret Sauce

Ryan Levesque has a new strategy up his sleeve. For his second book, which will be launched out next year, he has produced a course that teaches content relevant to the book.

The course has helped Ryan to:

• Refine the methodology

Ryan has learned a few things confusing elements of the topic. The course has helped him to recognize the tough questions. He can offer simple solutions in his book and provide maximum value.

• Get additional success stories

The people who have benefitted from the course can be featured as success stories in the book. The opportunity to get featured in the book also motivates the students to successfully implement the lessons and promote the course.

How to Leverage the Ask Method and Sell Books

Once a year, Ryan and his team conduct the Ask Method Workshop. It’s a free online training where people are taken through the entire ask method, step by step. It includes a series of videos and exercises, which will help you learn how to use the ask method based on where you are in your business right now. The workshop also uses dozens of examples including a business that started from scratch and now generates $3,000,000 using the Ask Method. The workshop runs from 11th to 24th so grab your free spot and acquire lessons which will mold you into a bestseller.

This was yet another successful interrogation that dragged the truth out of a self-published bestselling author. It will only work for you if you take Ryan’s advice seriously. Listen, learn and practice non-stop. Use his mistakes to make changes in your life and business.

Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode.

Bob Burg – Secrets to Selling

Episode 05: Bob Burg – Secrets to Selling

Getting the Big Idea

Back in the mid-’90s, Bob wrote a book called Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Sales. He later got the idea to turn Endless Referrals into a parable. Bob wanted to expound on how to get people to know, like, and trust you (the entrepreneur) enough to generate sales and referrals. He found you can do that by giving value to everyone you meet. Hence, Go-Giver was born.

Bob asked John David Mann to be the lead writer and storyteller for this concept. John was the editor-in-chief of a magazine Bob wrote for every month. Despite being so busy, John’s close relationship with Bob coerced him to look into the idea, and he eventually agreed to co-author the book.

Even though they had a fantastic agent, it took about one and a half years to find the right publisher. By then, the book had been turned down by 27 publishing houses.

Bob finally settled for Portfolio, an imprint under a division of Penguin Random House, and now considers them part of Team Go-Giver. After its launch, The Go-Giver sold well, and the franchise took off.

Sell Your Book

Getting your book written and published is just the beginning of your journey. Do away with the myth that the publisher will sell it for you. Whether you’re self-published, independently published, hybrid published, or traditionally published—it’s your job is to sell the book, not the publisher’s.

Despite his praise for Portfolio’s support, Bob emphasizes that selling the book was his job. Your book can be the greatest book in the world, but unless you’re willing to go out there and do the work, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Learn from Bob Burg’s Mistakes

Even with The Go-Giver franchise, there were things that didn’t go right. The biggest setback was experienced when rollng out the third book in The Go-Giver series. For the title, Bob and his team finally settled on It’s Not About You. It was inspired by law number three of The Go-Giver—the law of influence. It dictates that your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first without becoming self-sacrificial. The sales were disappointingly low.

After vigorous surveys, Bob realized that the title was driving people away from the book. People had the mindset, “If it’s not about me, why would I be interested?” Plus, The Go-Giver is a gift book. When you give someone a book titled The Go-Giver, it’s a compliment. When you give someone a book titled It’s Not About You, on the other hand, it’s an insult. Therefore, Bob updated the title to The Go-Giver Leader, and the book has been selling beautifully since.

The Big Lesson: The Law of Value

You are not your customer. Therefore, you need to put yourself in the mind and heart of the customer. Don’t just come up with something and assume it will work because it’s clever. You have to discover the other person’s wants, needs, and desires and then help them achieve those things.

Publicity

Bob Burg looked for mediums that would get his message out there. In the old days, the only options were radio and television. Today, there are many other mediums—or media—to choose from. The trick is to dial for dollars and just go after it. Remember that you’re going to get a lot of noes, especially if it’s your first book and you don’t have a track record yet. Don’t worry about it. Keep going.

Remember, you’re not pitching your book; you’re pitching things that are relevant to the show. The producers and hosts are not interested in your book. They are interested in bringing value to their audience. You’ll still get to promote your book, but there are dos and don’ts. For example, shun comments like, “I can’t really say all that here but if you get my book…” Aim to make the host look and feel good, and they’ll promote your book for you.

Incorporating Podcasts into Your Marketing Strategy

As an author, you want to make it easy for producers to book you on their show. They’re going to appreciate that because they’re busy and want to do as little work as possible. Here is Bob Burg’s advice for an author trying to get themselves on shows:

• Don’t try to get on the huge podcast. Play small at first. 

• Remember that even smaller shows can get you great testimonial endorsement blurbs. Bob has never turned down a podcast, no matter how small, as long as it was congruent with his message.

• Know what you want to say. It helps you get adept at pivoting when you’re asked something that you really don’t want to be asked.

• Give them bullet points outlining the benefits that their listeners will receive from the interview. Suggested questions and talking points will also make it easy for them to be the star of the show.

• Do a search on the podcasters and read their bios. Bob’s secret was to listen to a several back episodes to really get to know the host and their podcast.

• Let the host or the producer know that you’d love it if they’d be willing to refer you to others that might be interested.

• If you know other guests that might add value to the show, ask the host if they would like a referral or an introduction.

• After a show, send a thank you note to the host and producer. Bob handwrites a note thanking them for having him on their show and complementing them for the terrific experience. He often gets replies from thrilled hosts who have never received personalized thank you notes before. You can also use SendOutCards.com. You design the card, and you can even send it with a gift card or a pound of brownies. The bottom line is to interact with the host and producer after your appearance.

Organize Your Work

Bob Burg runs the most organized campaigns. Everything is on a spreadsheet and properly correlated. This kind of organization is a plus because, when book two and three come, you already have a pre-made list of people who are ready to help you promote.

Bob admits that the organization is all thanks to his business partner, Kathy Tagenel. She knows how to work technology in order to keep the whole franchise organized. When a host or a producer is interested in booking Bob for their show, Kirsty, the team’s scheduler, sends an email that includes:

• A confirmation of the date and time

• Bob’s bio, intro, and generic photo

• A link to the basic premise of the interview and a suggested title for it

• Suggested questions, talking points, graphics of the book, and so on

This communication is purely for the producer’s benefit to utilize however they want. Anything that they may want to do for the show with Bob’s information is now easy and accessible for them. After the show, the interview is then put into a spreadsheet detailing:

• The host’s name

• The producer’s name

• Their contact information

• Their basic audience

• What book was Bob interviewed on

When Bob launches a new book and starts putting interviews together, the spreadsheet helps to single out valuable contacts and their information.

The Go-Giver Sales Academy

The Go-Giver Sales Academy is something that every author should consider. It’s an ongoing, recorded course which is designed to make selling more fun, less stressful, and more profitable. Over multiple weeks, you’ll be taken through the five laws of value, compensation, influence, authenticity, and receptivity. Bob will then help you tie your goals into those five laws, making your selling a much nicer, more pleasant, and more profitable process.

The biggest takeaway from The Go-Giver Academy is how to frame your book or your product/service in such a way that your customer understands, by making the decision to buy what you are selling, their life is going to be better.

Conclusion

If you’ve got a book, it means you’ve got a message. The best thing you can do not only for yourself but in order to add value to the world is to get that message out. To be successful, Bob believes in relying on a proven system. He defines a system as the process of predictably achieving a goal based on a logical and specific set of how-to principles. 

By consistently implementing the advice given by the Bestseller Confessions guests, you are well on your way to become a bestselling author as well. Keep working at it, and stay tuned for our next episode

Bestselling Author & Speaker- Nick Boothman

Bestselling Author & Speaker, Nick Boothman

On this week’s episode we’re speaking with New York Times bestselling author, Nick Boothman. He’s taught his revolutionary techniques of rapport by design to thousands of corporations, colleges and universities all over the world, including Harvard and the London Business School. His first two books, How to Make People Like you in 90 Seconds or Less and How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less, have been translated into 30 languages.

Where it All Began

Nick Boothman was a fashion photographer for 25 years. Occasionally, he would be invited to and talk to camera clubs. On one such occasion, he figured his audience had probably read everything about photography and decided to flip the script.

His speech was five minutes of photography and 55 minutes on how to connect with people really fast. Later on, three people: a doctor, a teacher and airline personnel tutor came up to Nick and asked him to do the speech for their people. Specifically, they were interested in the 55-minute bit.
Nick then decided to become a speaker and do away with photography. The following day, after brainstorming with his wife, he rented half the ballroom in the local Holiday Inn and invited all his photography clients to his $28 speech. Just over 80 people showed up and Nick was thrilled.

To develop his new career, Nick realized he needed a book, and preferably a best seller with a killer title. He vowed not go out or get dressed that day until he’d written 1,500 words no matter what they were. He eventually wrote a self-published book.

Before even creating a finished and polished copy, one speaking client asked Nick to carry his book for the speech because he kept saying he was writing a book. A local publisher with a basic Xerox machine printed off 200 copies of the book, which was all Nick could afford.

Noting the high demand for his book after the speech, Nick set aside 10 copies of the book and sent them to New York Founder, a top literary agent that wrote the book, The Complete Idiots Guide to Getting Published. The agent found Nick a conventional publishing house and in no time, Nick had a contract and a six-figure advance.

Desperation is the Key to Success

Nick Boothman discovered that it’s not enough to want to be a speaker or an author. When you put ourselves in a position of desperation and your goal becomes a necessity, you start to find several resources within yourself.

Nick was desperate when he arrived in Canada. He succeeded because he had no choice. He literally sold his camera to ensure he invested all his energy into becoming a speaker because it was the ultimate goal. He did this despite getting offers for $3,000 photography gigs at a time when he was broke.

Importance of Eye-catching Titles

For his first book, Nick came up with the killer title “How to Make People like you in 90 seconds or Less.” When he presented it to Jane Somerville, she introduced him to their acquisitions editor and bought the world rights. Nick left her office with $10k advance and a contract.
Nick reveals some secrets about his titles:

•Beneficial
The title must have a benefit in it, either implied or definite. If you buy a book called The Barbecue Bible, it’s obvious what that’s about and what the benefit is.

•Easy to understand
The should be something around the title that help bookstores or book reviewers, know what section of the bookstore it should go in. If you write a book called Fast, for example, and bookstores don’t know where to put it, the book will get lost in the pile.

•Addresses your audience
If it’s a book about cooking, who is your primary audience? It’s not food lovers and cooks. It’s book reviewers, book bloggers, and television and radio segment producers. These people can put your book in front of lots of other people. No one’s going to buy your book if they don’t even know it exists.

 

Secrets to Rising to the Top and Staying there

Nick is a Workman author. Workman is one of the top non-fiction publishers in the world. However, what made Nick’s books sell is not something that’s exclusive to traditionally published authors. In fact, as a self-published author or an aspiring one, you can become a bestseller too.

•Publicity
Nick’s book tour was packed with activity. In a 20-day tour, Nick did 6 early morning TV’s, 6 drivetime radios and 6 newspapers because they won’t do printing until the next day. He also did half hour interviews for special programs and then the day would end with a book signing.

It goes to show that publicity cannot be underestimated. Nick acknowledges that there are so many agents and so many publicists and it’s much harder to get the attention of influencers.

•Get a following
Having a following makes publicity so much easier. You can make yourself a regular on podcast shows, for example. Get onto radio shows. Ultimately, it boils down to desperation. It makes you willing to do what other people wouldn’t be willing to do.

•Don’t get into a Comfort Zone
Although he is no longer desperate, Nick has not stopped pushing his limits. In January this year. he spoke and traveled more than he had ever done in his entire career. He spoke in Toronto, L.A, San Diego, Orlando, again in Toronto and twice in Tehran. It was a six-figure month.

•Tenacity
Ken Dunn has witnessed firsthand, the last 18 years of Nick’s journey. He is baffled by Nick’s resilience and tenacity. Probably the biggest takeaway from Nick’s story for anybody that is trying to become successful with a book is the tenacity that’s involved.

 

Writing A Sellable Book

Nick’s book has helped hundreds of authors to actually write their books. Several people say they want to write a book and either they never start, or they start, write Chapter One then spend the next four years polishing paragraph three on page two. They never get to the end of it.
Nick’s idea was to help people to write a sellable book: you have to first write the book. His technique has been demonstrated at workshops where people would arrive at 5:00 on Friday and leave at 3:00 on Sunday with a complete finished first manuscript by using this system. It’s a pretty basic and unedited manuscript but it now exists.

From there, you can move on to the next steps to create a bestselling book. Nick calls it “writing madly”. Basically, it’s automatic writing, where you write without stopping once you know what you’re going to be writing about.
Hundreds of authors have followed Nick’s advice in the book and managed to write their books. You can visit WASBfreebook.com to get a free copy of the book. You only pay for the shipping.

To get in touch with Nick, visit Nicholasboothman.com

Stay tuned for the next episode of Bestseller Confessions

Edgy Conversations – Dan Waldschmidt

Edgy Conversations with Dan Waldschmidt

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Dan has sold tens of thousands of copies of his book, “Edgy Conversations.” It’s hit three international bestsellers lists. Dan’s story goes from 20-year-old tech company CEO, getting parlayed into a consulting practice, and now he’s on a mission to make the entire world “edgy”. How did this all start? What’s the background behind this whole brand? According to Dan Waldschmidt, he knew that he had a unique ability to see things that other people didn’t see. After spending four years digging into that, he realized that instead of introspecting, he needed to find out how ordinary people, who are not born into rich families, achieve success. That became his great experiment and set the birth of a book in motion. 

Traditional vs Independent Publishing

  • Dan chose independent over traditional publishing despite getting several traditional publishing offers. The latter conflicted with his preferences, which included:
  • Writing a book that was short and powerful as Edgy is a pretty thin 180-page book. The publishers wanted a 300+ page book on success because if it was heavier, it would sell more copies. 
  • Color, silky-smooth paper, and illustrations There’s a lot of color in and on the book. It’s full of illustrations too. The bulk of the publishers wanted to dictate having the pictures at the beginning of each chapter. Dan wanted to be unconventional and put them in the middle as well.
  • Keen to detail He wanted every detail to be amazing. The cover needed a special feel. The book’s cover is actually embossed, has three different layers and the pages inside are like a magazine.

Dan managed to find an independent publisher who did not think he was crazy and actually gave him other options to make the book even more impactful. They worked to build a book that calls to you from across the room; thus the red. They wanted people to pick it up and delight in the cover that feels like rubber.

Building Up to the Launch

At some point, Dan realized that his network was limited. He had a certain sized network, like most authors who are trying to make a breakthrough. What if you could grab other people’s networks as well and get them excited about the book you’re creating?

Dan went out and created what he and his team called “boxes of awesome.” They were bright red with Dan’s logo plus “this is a box of awesome” imprinted on its cover. He then created 125 different boxes for the top 125 experts in the sales marketing business including John Jance, Keith Ferrazzi, and Seth Godin. In each box, he put brown leather boxing gloves, his book and other goodies such as notepads and calendars. Each boxing glove cost as much as $200. Next, Dan wrote 125 notes, one by one. He found a page in his book that was interesting and ripped it out. Using a black Sharpie, he wrote a note on that page out of the book and say, for example, “Hey, Ken. Dan Waldschmidt here. I’ve enjoyed your friendship and I’m so glad that you’re changing the world. I’ve written something that I think can change the world, and I’d love for you to take a look at it when you have time.”

About four weeks after sending the boxes, Dan had powerful people with huge networks sending him messages that complimented him on the book and wanted to know how they could help. The door to their audiences was open. Thanks to this, Dan generated thousands of pre-orders ahead of the launch. He had to move the launch from February to April to accommodate the pre-orders.

One of those who received the boxes introduced Dan to an owner of a major leadership company that bought 10,000 copies of the book before the launch. Everything he ever thought about scale went out the window. You have to make sure you’re working with a good publisher who can manage to print the books and have them in the right places when needed. Fortunately, Dan had a seamless launch. Dan used a strategy that a lot of people call “Dream 100.” It refers to identifying a list of people that can help your success, loving on them and sending them packages in the mail — in Dan’s case, the boxing gloves. It requires giving them enough value that they want to know who you are and keep adding to their lives without any asks so that they will in return do something for you.

Secrets to Becoming a Bestselling Author

For Dan, three things were key to becoming a bestselling author: 

  • Develop your own style. Dan used his blog before he wrote the book to tease out the ideas. He started blogging in 2006 and didn’t start writing a book until 2010. He had four years’ worth of writing experience earned from writing every day. You develop your own writing style. Dan’s style is very short, choppy sentences; almost a book full of tweetable quotes. 
  • Your Network is your Net Worth. By the time he started writing a book, he was already on popular lists. Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal had already ranked Dan’s blog as one of the top seven blogs in the world. Dan was on sales impact lists of top five sales experts along with Grant Cardone and some of the best guys in the world. He was already sharing his wisdom and insights into the world and developing relationships with renowned people. When Seth Godin wrote his most recent book, four years ago now, Dan interviewed Seth and cut the hour-long interview into five videos. Anyone who signed up for the newsletter on his website would receive the request to be sent a five-part video series with Seth Godin. It automatically created credibility. 
  • Get Personal! It’s important to take a personal interest in people you want to network with and for them know your name.

Free Books and Free Advice!

After selling tens of thousands of copies, Dan is giving away “Edgy Conversations.” People are only paying $7.95 for the shipping. Why would Dan do that? After selling thousands of copies, he believes that it’s time to give back. Although thousands of people have read the book, there are many more whose lives will be impacted by the chance to get it for free. In fact, Dan will probably sign it. He signs most of them. So, what’s the bottom line? 

  • Write a good book. Don’t be lazy.
  • Build your network and following. One of the biggest fallacies out there is that your publisher will do most of the work for you. You should know that it is up to you to build your network. You may not have a network now or even have a blog and that’s okay. Sit down with a pen and paper and pan out the Dream 100. What are 25 gurus in the space that you’re writing? What are 25 authors? What are 25 leading consultants? What are 25 famous speakers in your space? Write their names down and then begin to learn a little bit about them, message them, reach out to them, ask for their help. Build relationships with those people now so that when it’s time to launch, you’re ready to go.
  • Save for Future Investment. Publishing and marketing can be expensive but don’t skimp through it. It costs real money to write, publish and market a book. Fact is, you have no chance of being successful if you’re not willing to invest in your own success.

You can pick up your free copy of Edgy Conversations at freeedgybook.com

Worth Every Penny – Erin Verbeck & Sarah Petty

Worth Every Penny – Erin Verbeck and Sarah Petty, 

Many small business owners feel pressure to discount their products and services, especially when times are tough. After all, how else will they keep up with the low prices offered by their discounting competitors? What they don t realize is that discounting is the last thing they should be doing if they want to win big.

 It’s every author’s dream to hit the most popular best selling lists. You must have heard a lot of dos and don’ts concerning the topic. Wouldn’t you rather learn the secrets right from the horse’s mouth? This week, Bestseller Confessions squeezes the truth out of one of the world’s most elite New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling authors – Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck, the authors of Worth Every Penny.

The Background Story

The success of Sarah and Erin’s book cannot be understood without telling the story behind how and why they wrote the book and what the book talks about. According to the pair, they were not really passionate about writing a book. They simply happened upon a message that they needed to get out there. The two unconventional authors have Marketing degrees and we were working at an ad agency. After her pregnancy, Sarah decided to start a photography business, something she had been doing as a hobby for years. She began to help top photographers in the country with their marketing while she acquired photography skills.

The beginning stage of the book was born as Sarah began to figure out how she could compete in an industry where customers owned cameras too and could take photos for free. Why would they pay for her services? Soon Sarah started speaking in the photography space and began creating products, and that’s when Erin joined the band. Together, they realized that there’s a huge need out there.

The duo started defining what boutique was in the photography industry and put out an eBook. Taking advantage of digital marketing, which was just starting to take off at that time, they grew an email list of 3000 people and ended up having 10000 people download the eBook. They then had the idea to turn the simple 35-40 page eBook into a comprehensive book. Their goal was to position themselves ahead of everyone who was out there teaching business to photographers. A book would help to distinguish them from the crowd.

Settling on a Publisher

Wary of pouring too much attention on the book and forgetting their business, Sarah and Erin decided to explore their writing path gradually. They were only going to continue if they felt comfortable with the progress. They were set on their desire for a hard cover book and being on business shelves with the likes of Seth Godi n. After discarding several publishers, they finally met Clint Greenleaf, the founder of Greenleaf Book Group,  and found a model that met all of their needs. Meeting the Greenleaf team sold them on actually creating the book in the first place.

There are few of the reasons they decided on Greenleaf, which is a hybrid publisher:

• They needed beautiful visuals for their book to pair with their boutique business.

• They wanted to own the content and not give it up to the publisher.

• They need a publisher that wasn’t going to make them do things that they didn’t want to do to promote the book such as going on an extensive book tour. Their love for family and their business wouldn’t let them.

Greenleaf checked all those boxes. Additionally, the publisher got them national distribution for their book, which was excellent because Sarah and Erin didn’t want the hassle of doing that.

You have to Make a Financial Investment

The duo had to pay for the printing of the book. Fortunately, their company was doing well. It goes to show that self-published authors, the most successful ones, are investing in their books, financially! Ultimately, it helps to propel independent authors to the bestseller lists. Worth Every Penny is great example of that, because Greenleaf is technically a self-publisher. By definition, that means you, the author, control the rights.

The Secret to Getting Killer Endorsements

One of the most convincing aspects of Worth Every Penny is the endorsements. They include Seth Godin, Michael Gerber, Anita Campbell, Brian Tracey, and Pamela Bruner.

• Don’t sell yourself short!  

First off, anybody can do it! Neither Sarah nor Erin had any fancy connections  to earn the endorsements. The pair built these relationships one at a time. If you assumed that the publisher worked for Worth Every Penny’s endorsements, sorry to disappoint.

• Give before you can receive/ask.  

Sarah and Erin created relationship by giving first. Writing articles and helping before they asked  for anything. Sarah confesses that they still send holiday cards  every year thanking them for everything they’re doing, and reads their blogs regularly.

One of their biggest advantage was Sarah being featured in a national professional photographer magazine. She pitched to the editor, about interviewing some of these cool people like Michael Gerber, who wrote the e-Myth, and Seth Godi n. With Michael Gerber, for example, his wife – Luzdelia, personally called Sarah and suggested to have Michael write the forward. This was after Sarah and Erin took photos of the couple while creating an article on Michael. The call came after they sent Mr. and Mrs. Gerber some of the photos as a gift, plus an advance copy of Worth Every Penny.

 

Executing a Bestselling Book Launch

Hitting bestseller lists was another one top priority for the duo. They wanted more than just Amazon. They wanted an independent list to hit and so they asked around and found out that you HAVE to sell the books.

• Capitalize on your Email List

Being marketers, they leveraged their huge email list. They approached every single person that they had worked with asked them to buy the book. These include sponsors in the photography industry, partners, and  vendors. Some of these people bought their books in bulks of hundreds or thousands, which really boosted their sales.

• Create a Package

Erin and Sarah had an audience of photographers that probably preferred visuals to reading. So they bundled the book with something this audience wanted – education. They bundled their online courses with the book and it helped to sell hundreds of copies.

• Sell! Sell! Sell! 

The New York Times list gets  information from the reporting agencies. There are hundreds of retailers across America that are confidential reporting agencies. In order for a book to hit that list, in the first four weeks, that book has to sell more copies than everybody else, and the reporting has to come from at least four different retailers, none of which can be Amazon.

 

Advice for the Independent Author

Are you wondering about the next step after you’ve written that book? Sarah and Erin have some advice for you.

• You have to build an audience of followers. 

For these two co-authors, that was an email list built from years of giving. The pair were  emailing their list a couple times a week and inviting them to webinars, teaching them,  and updating their blog. They spent so much time giving that when it came time to ask it didn’t feel weird.

• Don’t sit with the book and wonder, what next? 

Erin and Sarah believe that you start figuring out how you’re going to sell that book at least two years before even writing. The brand should be built! If you want to be a best-selling author, you don’t want to start your business from a position of weakness. Begin by aggressively seeking out the reach and the ability to sell thousands of books.

• Have clear goals.  

Know why you’re writing the book because that’s going to inform a lot of decisions down the road. 

 

Whether you’re a non-fiction author like Erin and Sarah, or a fiction author, the advice that they’ve shared is priceless. In case you have questions or comments, you can find them at JoyofMarketing.com.

You can also grab a copy of Worth Every Penny on GoRead.com,  Amazon, or  Barnes and Noble.

 Feel free to write them a review, you never know where that might lead!

 

Episode 01: What is Bestseller Confessions?

The 6 Secrets Behind the Success of Best Selling Authors.

The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today are responsible for some of the most successful authors today. These best-selling authors have the added advantage of traditional publishers with mega publicity and marketing budgets. It’s just not fair, is it? Today, you will find out the secrets behind their success. Regular self-published authors, like you, can leverage these steps to make a great living from their books. In the Bestseller Confessions Podcast, Ken Dunn, a major Crime Detective, Police Interrogator, Author, and Publisher squeezes the secrets out of bestselling authors and finally levels the playing field for everybody.

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1. Write an Amazing Book

Every author, either traditional or self-published wants to write an amazing book. Most, if not all, authors are actually driven by the belief that their books are amazing. Unfortunately, for most selfpublished authors, the decision to write an amazing book is often the last logical step they make in their endeavor. All you can think about is the moment when you hold that book in your hands. Does that sound familiar? It explains why a talented author would decide to hire an editor with no professional editing experience whatsoever. It could be a friend, a local English teacher or even cheap freelancer. These people will only offer “proofreading”. They will correct errors such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. Proofreading is completely different from editing. In addition to proofreading, a professional book editor will focus on the plot of the story. An editor lays emphasis on your hero’s journey (fictional books) or reader’s journey (non-fiction books). They ensure your readers remain engrossed in the entire book, from cover to cover. When a book is truly amazing, somebody who doesn’t know you will recommend it to someone else who doesn’t know you. No metric beats such a sincere referral where there are no strings attached, no incentives or commission promised.

2. Build a Major Following

It is imperative for any author today to build a following and to keep them engaged. Capture and keep their attention; the success of your book depends on it. Prolific best-selling authors such as JK Rowling and Patricia Cornwell have a massive following on Twitter and Facebook, respectively. They strive to engage their audience. The readers are happy to be part of the authors’ journeys. Ken is building a massive Facebook following on his page – Bestseller Confessions. In a week, he has managed to grow his following by 10,000. He intends to have over a million followers within a year. That will translate to 1M+ authors all eager to develop the right strategies to create and publish successful books. In a paper called “A Thousand True Fans”, Kevin Kelly notes that as an author, you only need 1000 True Fans. Specifically, a True Fan is willing to spend $100 per year on your products. Collectively, the figures described raise $100,000. That’s a six-figure income, which most selfpublished authors don’t get to enjoy.

3. Create an Email List

Despite the evolution of email over the years, the purpose here is very precise: offer personalized communication. Emails allow you to engage with your readers on a one-on-one basis. Send them weekly and monthly updates to keep them engaged. For most authors, the biggest fear is to invest in emails only to end up on the audiences’ spam list. Look at it this way: if your readers were willing to provide you with their email addresses, it means they trust you and they would like to engage with you. Maintain that trust. You can also use emails to run promotions and make sales.

4. Develop Related Products

The most renowned authors are not just involved in writing, publishing, and sale of books. They have developed related products such as t-shirts, hats, and online courses. The product doesn’t need to be profitable, it just needs to raise awareness about your book and brand as a whole. JK Rowling, for example, is actively involved in fundraising and donating to charities. Aside from building her reputation as one of the most philanthropic authors in the world, it helps to promote her book and grow her following.

5. Have a Launch Offer

Successful traditionally published authors always develop a launch offer to hype the reception of their book. It marks the reason why 90% of the bestselling books achieve their success in the first month. Bookstores all want to be part of the launch and a good launch offer helps to boost sales. With a great following and a massive email list, you can promote your launch offer and build up the anticipation for your new book. Launch offers are limitless. It could be an invite to a private reading session, a podcast interview, or even a special training.

6. Maximize your Publicity

Lastly, Ken discovered that publicity is an integral part of bestselling authors. Media channels are the perfect avenues to promote yourself and your book. Today, media outlets have greatly evolved. Podcasts have become one of the most popular media channels. Ken’s podcast “Bestseller Confessions” is one of the millions of podcasts available on the internet. In the US, 44% of the population (124 million) has listened to a podcast. Bob Burg and John David Mann, co-authors of “The Go Giver” foresaw this massive growth years ago. They decided to invest their time, money and effort in every podcast interview they could land. It was all in a bid to grow their audience and sales. The risk paid off and the duo sold millions of books thanks to the podcasts. The playing field is beginning to even out. By implementing the secrets of prolific authors, any author stands to achieve great success. Self-published authors now have a chance to reach the top. The steps described here are just a tip of the iceberg. The Bestseller Confessions podcast will host hundreds of the world’s bestselling authors, who will help you to analyze how these secrets have boosted their careers. Stay tuned!

On this episode Russell talks about knowing the history and math of your industry to be able to grow your business. Here are some awesome things he discusses in today’s episode:

  • Why knowing the history of your industry will make it easier for you to market and grow your business.
  • What it means to know the math of your business and why that helps it magically grow.
  • And Why it’s important to remember that you are not entitled to success just because you worked hard.

So listen here to find out why if you know the history and math of your industry, you are more likely to have success within it.