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SPS 017: How I Went From #1 NYT Book Launch to $5.1M Product Launch with Jeff Walker

Welcome to episode 17 of the Self-Publishing School podcast. Today, I am joined by Jeff Walker the #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams. Jeff’s launch strategies have transformed the way products are sold online. Before he started talking about his product launch formula, there was almost nobody else talking about product launches. The idea of a million dollar launch even seemed ludicrous, but now no one even bats an eye at a million dollar launch.
 
His techniques aren’t just for gurus or people with established platforms. He has helped thousands of students in hundreds of different niches, and they have generated over 500 million dollars in sales using the product launch formula. His book launch was a huge success and we are going to dive into that and the impact it had on his business and The Product Launch Formula itself. We also learn how Jeff was involved in online business since 1996 and created The Product Launch Formula in 2005, and how he hopes the book will cement his legacy.
 

You can find Jeff here:
Jeff Walker Website
Product Launch Formula
The Launch Book

Show Notes
 
[01:46] Why Jeff wrote and published Launch. He began online business in 1996 and became really good at launches.
[02:04] In 2005, he began teaching launches through the Product Launch Formula.
[03:05] Jeff wrote the book to get credit for his Product Launch Formula that he created. He also did it for legacy.
[04:43] He also wanted to help people and generate leads for his course.
[05:29] Writing the book was a challenge because he was obsessed with making it a good book.
[07:03] How writing and editing at the same time wastes time.
[08:02] Jeff used early morning writing time on his writing days to get his writing done.
[09:06] He used relaxed melodies and binaural beats for 50 minutes at a time. Then a 10-minute break and then back on for another 50 minutes.
[10:53] Having a big following and a large list helped make the marketing easier. He also used JV partners and affiliates.
[11:55] During a launch you shine every asset you have on your book or product.
[12:22] If you don’t have a list, start one now.
[13:40] He used a 99designs contest for an awesome book cover. Then he let his community vote on the best cover which was great publicity for the book.
[15:36] He also created an unboxing video of his first box of books being opened.
[16:14] The pre launch gets people engaged and excited. Then he had a pre-sale launch with bonuses.
[17:44] He also tested upsells to use with the book like his list-building course.
[21:35] Then he ran a special on The Product Launch Formula.
[23:38] How the book has impacted future launches of The Product Launch Formula.
[24:19] There is one PLF launch a year, the year after the book launch PLF increased by a million dollars.
[25:12] Then it increased, even more, the following year up to 5.1 million.
[26:10] PLF is a process that romances people into the sale with content.
[29:02] The launch ends when you pull the product or when the price goes up or when the bonuses go away.
[29:56] For books or lower priced items deliver value ahead of time and get people excited.
[32:30] Sustaining sales and gaining momentum.
[35:53] How Jeff doubled up marketing efforts to try and make the New York Times Bestseller list.
[37:28] To get a bestseller make a great book.
[39:02] The book has case studies that drive readers to Jeff’s website. This generates leads and they ask for recommendations through word of mouth.
[41:05] The book has impacted his business with high-quality leads and opt-ins.
[43:02] Podcasts and interviews are also a result of the book.
[44:09] Jeff ended up playing tennis with Richard Branson.
[44:39] Writing a book is hard and rewarding. Have discipline and write. Get an editor. Launch with a plan and build anticipation. Don’t stop after the launch.
 

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Relax Melodies App
99designs
Brendon Burchard
Michael Hyatt
Reid Tracy
Richard Branson
Jeff Walker Website
Product Launch Formula
The Launch Book

SPS 016: My Exact Process for Writing 16 Books with Joanna Penn

Welcome to episode 16 of the Self-Publishing School podcast. Today, I am joined by Joanna Penn, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes thrillers and nonfiction. She is a professional speaker and entrepreneur who was voted as one of the Guardian UK Top 100 Creative Professionals of 2013. Her website The Creative Penn is regularly voted as one of the top 10 websites for writers.

Her site has a lot of great content, but today we are going to dive into her writing process. Joanna is a prolific writer, and she shares a lot of value. Her writing gets a lot of accolades, but she also has a lot of books out. She is known for publishing quality and quantity in the fiction and nonfiction arena.

After college Joanna became a consultant, but she was in search of the thing that she really loved and tried many different things. Joanna wrote a book about Career Change which ended up changing her career trajectory. In writing this book, she learned that she loved writing. She didn’t get to where she is overnight. It has been a 15 year journey. Today, we talk about that journey, Joanna’s writing, and more.

You can find Joanna here:
The Creative Penn
Books by Joanna Penn
The Creative Penn Podcast
Joanna on Twitter @TheCreativePenn

Show Notes
[01:30] Joanna’s journey began with journaling as a teenager. She studied Theology at Oxford and then became a consultant.
[02:25] Joanna tried many things like a scuba diving business and property investment, but she was searching for what she loved.
[02:36] She wrote a nonfiction book called Career Change. This actually changed her life because she learned about writing and publishing and she quit her job 3 years later.
[03:57] How reading a lot is important to understanding nonfiction. She wrote notes and made her first book up as she went along.
[04:53] She used beta readers for her first book and listened to their feedback.
[05:16] She also paid for an editor and cover design. She also learned that she loved the process.
[05:51] How working for a paycheck you don’t feel like you have earned anything. A book can earn and create a permanent impact.
[07:10] How reading someone’s book is like access to their brains.
[07:33] How Joanna’s first book really changes your life.
[07:56] If you enjoy writing books and you love the process you are a writer.
[08:28] Joanna’s passion was in the writing and learning and helping other people.
[08:47] Her business came out of a passion.
[09:38] Joanna’s writing process. She uses Scrivener. For nonfiction, she brainstorms the chapters and table of contents and then fills in the blanks.
[11:27] She prints out and goes over her draft and then gives it to her editor. Then her beta readers and proofreader.
[13:08] How writing improves over time. She is now a better writer. Every time you write a book you learn new things.
[15:20] Things that Joanna has done to be a better writing include using better editors and understanding flow.
[16:26] How a book needs to lead people through a journey.
[17:02] How Joanna also takes courses from people who are doing what she wants to do.
[18:02] How reading a lot is a great education. Read in your genre to understand how it works.
[19:06] The more book you write the more you earn. For writers, it keeps on going up.
[19:40] How she went from nonfiction to fiction and learned to tell a story. She started with NaNoWriMo.
[23:07] Choosing your mentors carefully and learning from people who do what you want to do.
[25:58] How with fiction it is more personal because you become part of the book. Fear of judgment.
[27:51] Writing the novel was “type 2” fun which is fun but it is hard work.
[29:19] How tiring writing fiction can be making so many decisions. It is work with a sense of achievement.
[30:59] Listening to waves and rain and thunderstorms helps relax Joanna when she writes.
[33:17] How it is important to get out of the house. Creativity is hard and needs to be done in the morning before Joanna is tired.
[36:07] Setting a timer and getting away and actually committing to writing. Learning structure and having a series also helps.
[39:27] Joanna uses a wall calendar to keep track of her word count. Our creative sides are children. She also uses stickers and adult coloring books.
[42:18] Balancing writing for her books and for her blog posts. She mostly focuses on podcasts now and writes for books.
[44:07] Joanna’s best writing productivity tips are using Scrivener and getting into the flow state with rain sounds. She also writes in the mornings.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
All About Joanna’s First Novel
Alastair Humphrey
On Writing Stephen King
National Novel Writing Month NaNoWriMo
The Creative Penn
Books by Joanna Penn
The Creative Penn Podcast
Joanna on Twitter @TheCreativePenn

SPS 015: How to be a Writing Machine with Steve Windsor

Today, I chat with Steve Windsor. He is a best-selling author who writes wild and irreverent thriller books. He also writes how-to books on being an author. He is also one of my earliest and most successful students here at Self-Publishing School. Steve is a writing machine. He writes quality content fast with his no nonsense, no BS, and sometimes controversial style. Many writers strive to be as talented and productive as he is.

Steve worked in IT and start-ups. He was always a good writer, and he always wanted to write. After a failed Google interview and being prompted by his wife, Steve decided to head to the coffee shop and give writing a try. His routine was to go to the coffee shop before it opened and then sit in the corner and let himself go inside and write. By writing about his own inner dialog, Steve learned to rip off every filter and crank out the words. He still practices this no nonsense style today. He also shares his methods for writing fiction and nonfiction along with a lot of other great stuff.

You can find Steve here:
Steve Windsor Website
Books by Steve Windsor

Show Notes
[02:04] How Steve began writing and became the writer that he is.
[05:31] Steve is a project oriented person who likes to see the finished product.
[05:51] Without a finished product, you have nothing to work with. He dives in and writes his first drafts fast.
[06:33] He consumed everything he could get his hands on and learned about dialog and writing.
[08:12] Steve blocks out large amounts of time and gets immersed in what he is doing and imagines the world he creates in his mind.
[09:22] Steve says he writes 15,000 words in a day using his immersive method.
[12:02] Some of the questions that Steve had to get past before becoming a writer.
[13:48] Going to misery school (your job) for most of the year. This caused Steve some hardcore introspection.
[15:32] Doing something for just money wasn’t the lifestyle that he wanted.
[16:08] Everybody asks if their writing will be commercially viable.
[17:18] Steve has been cranking out a book a month. He would do the writing in about a week.
[19:38] Steve’s writing methods for non-fiction.
[19:59] He wanted to learn story structure. There is story structure for fiction.
[20:43] How bad guys monolog instead of shooting the bad guy.
[22:03] There is a formula for writing fiction. Learn the basics, craft the story, and improve.
[23:09] How Steve would plot out the novel and put the points in the proper place. Then he would focus on those areas. Being immersed in the world Steve stays in the zone and doesn’t stop.
[24:53] How writing through structure helps him to keep focus and control the story.
[26:23] To write decide that it is important to you. If that is what you are going to be then you have to dedicate time to it. If people put time and money into something that is what they care about.
[28:07] Block off a day to get immersed in the world. Take 3 days and go to the coffee shop from 4:30 am until the afternoon or evening.
[30:13] Finding a sacred place to write. Steve likes a coffee shop, but he has written just about everywhere.
[31:40] Self-Publishing School helped Steve hone his writing skills and discover how to market his books.
[34:34] Challenge yourself to write as much as you can. There is no reason why you can’t put out a lot of content. Human beings can do amazing stuff.
[35:43] There is a lot of competition with fiction. Fiction makes more money once you figure it out, but it’s a long haul game.
[38:50] Getting over the fear that you can do it. Learning the mechanics. Practice becoming a good writer.
[39:59] Non-fiction takes a little less practice than fiction.38:01] The core problem that fiction is solving is boredom.
[42:33] Turning nonfiction books into solid info without fluff.
[43:56] How there is a need for nonfiction books especially those that encourage would be writers.
[46:29] Once you start writing and know the path your confidence level will go up.
[49:05] Get started now if you want to write a book. Just do it. Find a community and it will be easier.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Russell Blake
Story Engineering
Steve Windsor Website
Books by Steve Windsor

Our Students Publish Bestsellers

From Meds to Motivation

By following the guidance of Self Publishing School, Michael wrote and published his book One-Month Willpower, and enjoyed its rapid rise to best-seller status. Initially, Michael had thought maybe fifty people would read it. To his surprise, thousands of people are now reading his book. People are reaching out to him from all over the world saying how much the book has helped them.

Michael Unks

Best Selling Author of One-Month Willpower

Published Turned Self Publishing Success

In self publishing The Power of Responsibility, Joelle shared, “The results I had with my latest book launch, following Self Publishing School, were amazing . . . I finally [had] the opportunity to become a ‘real author.’ ” Joelle is now selling roughly fifty books a day whereas previously, with traditional publishing, she was lucky to sell fifty copies in months.

Joelle Casteix

Best Selling Author of The Power of Responsibility

The Hidden Truth

“[Chandler Bolt] states that you can write and self publish a book in three months, and that is the truth. I was worried about making that timeframe true, and when I found out that he actually had a three-month timeline that told you what to do . . . it was a no-brainer.” Carly is a #1 best-selling author in two categories. In the first two days of her launch, she sold over 1,400 copies of her book.

Carly Danielle

Best Selling Author of The Toxic Truth

Holistic Healing

“I felt like I could deliver value to even more people who could benefit from the information, but didn’t know how to achieve that,” To establish herself as an expert and attract clients to her business, Shirley decided to write a book. She carefully followed Self Publishing School to publish Resurgence of a Fallen Angel.

Shirley Wu

Author of Resurgence of a Fallen Angel

About Self Publishing School

Hi, I’m Chandler Bolt,

6-time bestselling author and creator of Self Publishing School.

There’s a book inside you. And my goal is to help you find it and go from blank page to bestseller – even if you’re busy, idea-less, or bad at writing like me.

See, everybody wants to write a book – we just don’t know how. If you’re like me, you’ve dreamed about becoming an author for years.

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