SPS 198: Successfully Self Publishing ^ Selling Books Through TikTok with Gabrielle Stone (Eat, Pray, #FML)

Posted on Feb 22, 2023

Avatar Of Chandler Bolt

Written by Chandler Bolt

Home > Blog > Podcast > SPS 198: Successfully Self Publishing ^ Selling Books Through TikTok with Gabrielle Stone (Eat, Pray, #FML)

Chandler Bolt [00:00:03] Hey, Chandler Bolt here. And joining me today is Gabrielle Stone. Gabrielle is no stranger to the world of entertainment. She grew up on set with her legendary mom, Dee Wallace. You may know her from Cujo or E.T.. She’s also the host of the Ethanol Talk podcast and the author of multiple books, including Eat, Pray, Hashtag, FML, and The Ridiculous Misadventures of a Single Girl, among other books. This can be a fun one. We’re talking about books, podcasts, all the things.

Gabrielle Stone [00:00:35] All the things. Welcome. Thank you for having me. I’m happy to be here.

Chandler Bolt [00:00:40] So I guess, first and foremost, why did you decide to write your first book?

Gabrielle Stone [00:00:45] Well, my book kind of happened to me. I was working in L.A. as an actress and a director at the time. I had not written anything except a short screenplay that had done really well. That’s obviously wildly different from a book. And it really happened because of what went down in my personal life. So I was married for almost two years, found out my husband was having an affair with a 19 year old for six months among a lot of other extramarital issues that were happening at the time. And I filed for divorce and left shortly after that. I met a guy and we fell madly in love with each other and had this whirlwind romance of like, meet my family, have my babies, like the whole fairy tale dream. And he invited me on a month long trip to Italy 48 hours before getting on the plane. He told me he needed to go by himself and broke up with me. And I was absolutely devastated. This man broke my heart like my ex-husband never could have done. And I had a decision to make. And that was either stay at home, heartbroken or go travel Europe for a month by myself. So I took my backpack and I did six countries over the span of a month and wrote Eat, Pray, FML while I was on the trip.

Chandler Bolt [00:01:59] Why. But now like that, you got the experience in movies and directing and screenplay writing. Like why not just make this into a movie?

Gabrielle Stone [00:02:08] You know, the second I found out I was taking this trip by myself, it was almost like I heard what I needed to do, and it was like, I have to write about this because my life had become this, like, weird horror movie mixed with a sitcom. And I was like, Whatever I’m going to learn on this trip is going to be really powerful and really impactful in my life. And if I can share that with others, maybe it will help them heal some things that are going on in their life as well. And I’ve got to be honest, from the moment I decided I was going to write about it, I saw the very clear path of it. I was like, I’m going to write the book. It’s it’s going to be successful. It’s going to help a lot of people around the world. And then I’m going to take it to the screen like it was very, very clear in how the plan was going to go. And it’s been really exciting to see a lot of that come to fruition.

Chandler Bolt [00:03:05] And has it has it went to as you turn into a movie yet?

Gabrielle Stone [00:03:08] It’s in the very early stages of it. Yeah. Yeah.

Chandler Bolt [00:03:14] And so how? I mean, I got so many questions. The first one is like, maybe big picture. Then we’ll talk book one and we’re going to work our way through like big picture. I feel like you’re like you title things in a very provocative way. That’s very attention grabbing. And I feel like. It’s attention grabbing. But it’s also compelling. It’s clear it’s all those things. And I think a lot of times people can shy away from that. How did you decide, like whether to do that or whether or not. Yeah. What was kind of the thought process by that?

Gabrielle Stone [00:03:48] Well, it’s interesting because really a lot of that has to do with publishing versus self-publishing. I think the reason why a lot of people shy away from that is because publishing companies will say, Oh, that’s not really marketable or that’s too much. I came back from Europe and had written the fall book in two and a half months flat, which I can tell you from writing the sequel is wildly fast and was pitching it to publishers. And, you know, I had it in my head of like this, asked to go to one of the big five. It’s going to be huge, like it needs to be in every store. And each place we took it to was it’s a little racy. I think it’s too much. Oh, I don’t know if there’s a big enough audience for it, which was a really funny one, because that’s like what every woman everywhere and men that want to heal, too. But. Okay. And, you know, we wanted to take out some of the profanity in it or you should shorten it, all things of which I didn’t want to do. And I knew that if I released the book in my authentic way, that’s how it was going to resonate with people. And I think the titles, to answer your question, come in full circle of that. So I knew when I was going on this trip I had never seen Eat, Pray, Love, I had never read the book. I went in the night I got broken up with and was like, Might as well watch this movie if I’m going to Europe and like sat there with my jaw open thinking, Oh my God, this is like literally my life right now. And I had always, you know, I can’t say it on this podcast, but I had always said FML, like, you know, f my life and it just hit me. I was like, this isn’t eat, pray, love for me, this is eat pray fml. And it it really just became its own thing. I knew the title before I left on the trip. I bought a leather bound journal the day before I left. Started writing in that journal the first day of the trip. And if you open up the journal, it’s like chapter one. It’s written very closely to how the finished book ended up being published. And I think I just it was a very clear thing that, like this is what I was supposed to be doing and all of the stuff I had gone through was leading me to be able to write this book.

Chandler Bolt [00:05:59] Yeah. So did did you end up self-publishing? I did, Yeah, I did. So I come to that conclusion.

Gabrielle Stone [00:06:06] I shopped it to all of the big five publishers, got a bunch of no’s. Some were like, Well, we’ll take another look if you do A, B and C, And I was like, not willing to do those things. And then luckily I was introduced to another self-published author by a mutual friend of ours, and she kind of became my mentor in self-publishing. Her name is Kelley Rand as she wrote the bestselling book Spilled Milk, that she self-published. And she really made it clear how not only it was possible to self-publish, but how successful you could be self-publishing. And I know now from going through the process twice that. The difference of what you can make financially when you are a self-published author versus when you are with a company is so drastic, like it can be life changing numbers like releasing Eat, Pray, Families and Self-Publish author financially changed my life. I was able to buy a home in L.A., which if you know L.A. prices doesn’t hurt. And it really it it gave me so much more control over the process. I got to shoot my own cover. I got to decide when the book was going to be released. And I think what people don’t realize about publishing companies is that unless you’re Chelsea Handler or one of the bachelorettes or like someone with a notable name, they’re not going to put marketing money behind you. They’ll, you know, pay for an editor and put your book on a shelf. But then, you know, people have to walk into that store, look at all the thousands of books, have their eye court to yours, and then decide to, like, pick it up, see if they want it and then buy it. That’s a long process to go through in hopes that someone’s going to buy it. So they still expect you to do all of the marketing for your own book. And I’m like, Why on earth would I be paying someone so much of my sales if I have to do all the footwork anyways to make it successful? It didn’t make any sense to me.

Chandler Bolt [00:08:09] For each. Yeah, I completely agree with that. It’s like, well, I mean, first off, unless you have a massive audience, they’re not going to give you an advance, Right. And and especially not in advance. It’s going to make it make sense. And if you can sell like you’ve sold this book, it’s certainly not going to be more than you make. Interesting quote. There’s a guy named Michael Hire. I don’t know if you know of him. He’s a mentor, an advisor of mine. He used to run a company, one of the publishing companies, Thomas Nelson. He said, I thought it’s kind of interesting. It’s like if you take out a loan for $1,000,000, you work for the bank. If you take out a loan for $100 million, the bank works for you. Right. And kind of the similar the similarity in publishing, like if you get a, you know, small, medium sized deal, you work for the publisher. If you have a big enough audience, then you get a massive book deal. Well, then they work. Then they actually work for you. Right. Because they’re like, Hey, we got to make our money back. So we get in this book.

Gabrielle Stone [00:09:05] Absolutely. And it’s like, you know, with the advance, because I took a deal on my first audio book for EPF email because I had no idea what I was doing. I was like, I know nothing about doing an audio book and producing it. So I took a deal for that and I got a small advance, which is like unheard of for a first time author. But the book was doing well already and I did the audiobook with them. Let me tell you, I did my second book, the sequel The Ridiculous Misadventures of a Single Girl. I did that audiobook independently, cost me $3,000 to do the whole process, to go into a professional studio, work with an audio engineer, do the entire book. It was longer than the first book. $3,000. I made that back and then some in the first week that sequel came out. The checks I get for Eat Professional for the audiobook are so incredibly disturbing when you’re like, Cool, you did really well this month. The book netted like $74,000. Here’s a check for seven grand. And you’re like, I’m sorry, what? Like, it’s astronomical. How much of a percentage they’re taking? The the audiobook that I did on my own, it brings in more money than the first one does simply because I’m not paying royalties on it.

Chandler Bolt [00:10:25] Mm hmm. Mm hmm. That’s really interesting. So, I mean, I would assume I would assume if you were going back to do it, you would you would self-published the audiobook on the first book?

Gabrielle Stone [00:10:33] 100%. I mean, to be fair, it’s very daunting to go and do that on your own. If you before you really like, do the research and like figure out how possible it is. But yeah, when that contract’s up, I’ll definitely be going in to rerecord it myself.

Chandler Bolt [00:10:50] Oh, interesting. So you sold the limited audiobook, so that’s a limit. That’s a time bound contract.

Gabrielle Stone [00:10:56] I believe it. I might be speaking out of turn right now, but I believe it’s seven years. Okay. When they they initially published it and I actually recently there were things in the book. This is another great thing of self-publishing that I wanted to change, like a few words that weren’t sitting right with people. I wanted to, like, take a paragraph out. I also wanted to like, add in the end of the book like, Hey, you can read what happened after you’re up in the sequel and kind of plug that. And it’s easy on when you’re self-publishing. You can just like do it on your your word doc and re-upload it to KDP and then it publishes on Amazon. But it’s not easy when you are in a contract with a publishing company. So I had to like have my manager call and be like, Look, this book makes you guys a lot of money. Let her come in and rerecord for one day. It’ll cost. You guys like 500 bucks, Like, let her come in, do the pickups, and, like, republish the audiobook and they finally, like, approved it and let me go in to do it.

Chandler Bolt [00:11:56] Hmm. Nice. That’s. So I guess takeaway here too, and this is something that a lot of authors know in general, much less first time authors, is negotiate the audio books rights separately. Yeah. Even if you traditionally publish your your you know, the birth, the Kindle e-book, print book, all that stuff, you can carve out the audiobook rights in your deal and you can record separate. Or you can negotiate those separately. And so that’s kind of a complicated way from there.

Gabrielle Stone [00:12:22] Yeah. And it’s it’s honestly as daunting as it might seem to like, I don’t know how to do an audiobook. It’s really it was the same exact process I did with the company. Like you go in, you’re there for 5 to 7 days, you’re recording everything. You’re with an audio engineer, that’s it. It’s the same exact process. You’re just doing it on your own and then you upload it on your own video. The engineer does it all and it my book was my the book that I did independently was quite long. It’s like upwards of 300 pages and I did it for $3,000. So most books aren’t going to cost you that crazy of an amount to to put up front. And I promise you, it’s so worth it when you’re seeing those like those residuals come in every month.

Chandler Bolt [00:13:11] Agreed. And you get those bounties. Right. You know, something that a lot of people know about is, you know, someone signs up for Audible in your book is the first book that they purchase as part of that free trial. They stay on Audible as a subscriber, I think, for one month or something, and you get 50, 75, 100 bucks.

Gabrielle Stone [00:13:25] Yeah, they get there’s a lot of incentives on it and you don’t see any of that if your books with a company No doubt.

Chandler Bolt [00:13:32] And one thing I don’t know if you do this, but if not it might be a helpful ad is I. I create a short link. It’s published so it’s from my book It’s published BBC.com forward slash audio book. But then you can sit people there and then that short link redirects to kind of the the bony link, the audible smart. And you have a podcast whose it’s like, if you send people that way, then it’s just I mean, and the pitch is you can get the audiobook for free because they can either they sign up for an audible trial or you use a credit. And so either way you can just get the book without having to pay anything. And so it’s just like kind of a cool way to to use that bounty program.

Gabrielle Stone [00:14:10] That’s really smart. I have not tapped into that. That’s a really good idea.

Chandler Bolt [00:14:13] Yeah, no, no worries. So self-published author, first time author, How in the world did you sell so many copies of this book? That’s impressive.

Gabrielle Stone [00:14:24] Thank you. I appreciate it. So full transparency. When I first launched this book, it was June of 2019 when E Proof email came out. I only had like. 11 12,000 followers on Instagram. It was like nothing crazy or substantial and definitely not enough to sell the amount of books that I’ve now sold. And I put it out. I think it maybe did 500 to 550 copies in the first week. I’m sure 150 of those were my friends or people that knew me or people that wanted, you know, to know the drama of what I had been talking about for the past year. But and then it still it sold consistently, you know, every every month. It would do, I don’t know, 10 to 15 copies a week. Sometimes it was five copies, like nothing crazy for the first year. And then the pandemic started and everybody started getting on TikTok. And I was like, Oh God, I don’t want to get on another social media app. It’s all these kids dancing like, This is so dumb. And then the pandemic kept going and I was really bored. So I downloaded Tik Tok for purely entertainment purposes to watch all these videos because there’s some really great content on there. And my mentor, who I had mentioned was on Tik Tok talking about her book and selling like crazy because her book was going all these videos she was doing, things were going viral and I was like, Oh, okay, maybe there’s something to this. If I can figure out a smart way to have some of these videos go viral, it could be directly linked to book sales. And it’s really important that when you adventure into the social media marketing realm that your book is live and you have a direct place where people can go and buy it, like they don’t want to see it and be like, Oh, it comes out in two weeks, great, I’ll come back to the page then. So, yeah, short, short, fuzed energy. So you have to really be like, Oh, this looks awesome. Click Amazon going to go buy it? And I had maybe 400 followers on TikTok at the time and I was like kind of down on myself and like, who am I even posting to? Like, who’s even going to see this? Like, I don’t know. And I went to bed one night. I posted a video at like 11 p.m., which is like not technically prime time, who knows what the algorithm is doing and went to sleep, woke up the next morning and it was that almost a million views and all the comments were like, Oh my God, I have to read this book. Oh my God, can you make this a movie? Oh my God. Like I just bought the book. And because I self-published, I could go on to my KDP back end and see how the numbers were spiking from the video going viral.

Chandler Bolt [00:17:25] Yeah.

Gabrielle Stone [00:17:26] I’ve now been on TikTok for the last two years. Any time I have a video go viral, you can see the direct correlation with how many books are selling. It’s marketing that you cannot pay for. It’s better than although I do recommend like being on podcasts that have a good following. That’s always a great way to kind of like get the story out. It’s better than being on podcast. It’s better than like paying for an advertisement somewhere like millions and millions of people. When a video goes viral all over the world are seeing this content and then choosing to go buy your book. So not only has it skyrocketed my book sales, but I now have fans that are in Africa and are in New Zealand like are all over the world that are either buying the paperback version, buying it on Kindle, then coming to discover me or listening to the podcast, and it’s kind of all filtered in. So what now is this like brand that I’ve built?

Chandler Bolt [00:18:24] That’s awesome. So I mean, I’m assuming Tik Tok is the number one driver of book sales, or is there other stuff as well, or do you feel like Tick Tock got it into orbit and then it kind of took on a life of its own or.

Gabrielle Stone [00:18:37] Yeah, I think it was it was doing well and it was finding people just from being being available on Amazon. I think just because like the cover is really kind of interesting and like I’m drinking wine and like throwing divorce papers in the air and like, the title’s catchy. It was finding people in that sense. I did a few bigger podcasts that I could see would help the book sales because then, you know, you can go on and be relatable and tell the story and people connect with you and they’re like, Okay, I want to read that. But Tick Tock is really what blew it to the next level and has continued to do that. What’s nice about when you have a video or a couple of videos go viral, they continuously are being seen by people. So even on the days where it gets slow, I’m still selling 20 copies just from people discovering random videos that are circulating online.

Chandler Bolt [00:19:35] Hmm. So let’s break down some of the tick tock stuff. I guess, first off. You think that’s topical? What do you look like? Do you think the fact that Tick Tock has done so well is because it’s relatable and basically like, you know, asking the question that a lot of people watching this or listening to this maybe think it’s like I didn’t have a chance.

Gabrielle Stone [00:19:58] Right. Right. So, look, dive book, talk on Tick Tock, there’s a whole section of book talk. It’s huge. It’s it’s brought back books that were released ten years ago that are now like topping bestseller lists because of Tick Tock. So I’ve seen really creative ways where authors will go on and they’ll pretend that they’re talking about their real life and they’re like, So story time, I want to tell you about the time that like da da da da da and they go into this whole crazy thing, but it’s really the summary of their book. And at the end they’re like, So this didn’t really happen to me, but you can read about it in da da da da da. Now those will find the audience of readers who are book people and will vibe with that. What’s been special about my content is it finds readers, but it also finds people that relate to just my story. I have so many readers that dilemma, and they’re like, I have not read a book since high school, and I read this in two days. So it reaches people and it’s making people buy it that aren’t readers, which is really important. And that’s because the way I put out my videos, I always make the book an afterthought. So most of my videos are like, you know, the the synopsis of my story in some way or some form of that and really hooking people into, Oh my God, her husband cheated on her with a 19 year old weight and then she met this guy and then she went to Europe. And then the after thought is, oh, and I wrote a book about it. Sometimes I won’t even say the name of the book in the video, because then it makes it feel like I’m trying to sell you something. And then people will go to the comments and be like, Wait, wait, what’s the book called? And then you answer there, or other people will start to chime in and answer. So it’s like a smart way of marketing it to be relatable and interesting and hook people, but not make them feel like, Hey, I’m here to sell you something, please buy this.

Chandler Bolt [00:22:01] Yeah, that makes sense. And so now there’s like, you got kind of like a nonfiction example, which is your example, and then the fiction example, which is, Hey, this crazy story happened in Oh, wait, that’s not me. That’s actually my book. You can read it. Check out the book kind of thing.

Gabrielle Stone [00:22:13] Totally.

Chandler Bolt [00:22:15] Is there any rhyme or reason to or, you know, kind of like a process for making a video that has a high likelihood of being more successful on tik-tok or going viral?

Gabrielle Stone [00:22:26] God, I wish I could answer that. And it’s like the question that everybody is continuously answering, including creators that are on the app. They’re like, What makes a video go viral? Why is this one successful versus this one? I have no idea. However, I will tell you that on my page specifically now, you know, when you have a video that goes viral, you’re automatically now in a niche and that can be a blessing or a curse. If you posted a video about this is how I chop lettuce and now everybody on your page only wants to see how you do things with lettuce, that’s not great if you’re trying to sell a book. So I got really lucky in the sense that when my first video went viral, it was about my story, about the divorce, about the Europe trip, about the book. And so now anything that’s under that umbrella on my page usually does pretty well. Does that mean it’s going to blow up and get like, you know, millions and millions of views? No, But if I post something about my dogs, people are like, cool, it’ll like rack up some views, but not really that much. The second I start a video and say, So my husband cheated on me, it’s automatically going to do better. So once you figure out what your niche is, that’s kind of what you need to stick into. And you just have to be very careful that the first kind of like the content that you’re putting out at first is somewhere in where you’re wanting it to be.

Chandler Bolt [00:23:52] That makes sense. And so do you have kind of like 3 to 5 best practices that you try to nail with any video? I mean, I’m sure it’s probably second nature now because you’ve created you’ve been creating videos on the platform for years, but is there any kind of best practices for people who are they haven’t done it before?

Gabrielle Stone [00:24:10] I would say find other creators that are in your wheelhouse of what you’re trying to do. So like if you’re an author that wrote something nonfiction, come look at my videos on my page. Go to my mentors page. Cale ran this some of her older stuff where she was really posting about the book, go to people’s pages that have been successful in what you’re trying to do or what you’re trying to market and for lack of better terms, copy those videos like not obviously exactly, but take that idea and be like, How can I? I repurpose this into something that’s related to my book or to my product or whatever you’re trying to sell. And it really is like, that’s what TikTok is, is finding trends, being able to like, copy them and make them your own. Most of the videos that I’ve had go super viral were two stupid trends. So like the the one that went the most viral I think is like upwards of 65 million. And that’s on TikTok like it did like 100 million on Instagram as well. Across like different pages. And it was literally a 15 second video of me in sweatpants in my backyard with my dog dancing doing this stupid dance. That was like one of the trends that was going around. But on the top of it, I wrote a little snippet of my story, like my husband had an affair with a 19 year old. He would, you know, bring her over to our house like some of the facts of the situation. I found out that he was telling her his name was Daniel. I filed for divorce. I wrote a book. I named his character Daniel. That’s the video. Like, that’s it. And it blew up and it sold a lot of books. And I didn’t even mention the name of the book in the video, so it didn’t feel like I was like, Hey, I’ve got this book. Do you guys want to read it? It was like, Here’s my crazy story. Also, I wrote a book about it. That’s that’s like, I think the sweet spot to try and hit.

Chandler Bolt [00:26:16] And so I was going to ask you about how do you create it? How do you create a video that actually sells books? But you’ve kind of touched on that and answered that. It’s just like it’s it seems like it’s making it somewhat related to the book, but not so in-your-face that it’s like, okay, this is a sales pitch for the book.

Gabrielle Stone [00:26:33] Yeah, you make it kind of like an afterthought. You want it to you know, people also I say this lovingly, people are dumb, so you don’t want it to be too obvious because there’s still people that’ll comment on videos where the name is in the book and they’re like, What’s the name of the book? And I’m like, It’s literally in the video and you can click the my profile and it says author of But it’s fine. So yeah, I would say make it an afterthought. And really like the most important part of doing promotional marketing Tik-tok videos is to hook someone in the first few seconds because that attention span people are just on there scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. So you want to have them hooked in the first sentence or the first thing you say or the first thing they read on screen, and that’s really going to keep them there.

Chandler Bolt [00:27:21] Hmm. It’s good. And backtrack just a little bit for people who don’t know what’s what is book talk?

Gabrielle Stone [00:27:28] Book talk is a I guess, a section on Tik tok. But you can go to Tik Tok and search book Talk and it’ll bring up all of these videos where people hashtag book talk or have anything to do with books on on book talk. You’re on Tik Tok. And it’s really it’s done incredible things for for writers, again, from people that published years and years and years ago that probably thought their book was like, all right. I mean, even my mentor, she released that book, I think now like eight or nine years ago. And like, it’s always done well, but like 2020 was insane for her because of TikTok.

Chandler Bolt [00:28:13] Mm hmm. And do you do you use the hashtag or tapping to book talk on all your videos? Some of your videos? None of your videos.

Gabrielle Stone [00:28:21] I and this is my personal thing. Everyone’s always trying to figure out what the algorithm’s doing. Like, why do videos go viral? Should you use this hashtag? Like when TikTok first came out, everyone was like hashtagging for you. Page But like, that didn’t put your video on people’s for you page. I li I’ve done it on a few videos, but I lean more towards if I’m going to hashtag anything. And again, that video that did 64 million views, there were no hashtags. So like there’s no rhyme or reason to it, but if I’m going to do a hashtag, I’ll do like divorce, heartbreak, healing, things that are more centered around that, because I’d rather have people who are going through those things or will relate to those things in some way. Find the video and then potentially read the book as opposed to just readers in general.

Chandler Bolt [00:29:14] Hmm. That makes a lot of sense. Makes a lot of sense. So I’ll circle back to kind of a I guess I alluded to this but didn’t directly ask you earlier, Do I have any chance as a dude whose, you know, writes about publishing? Like, is this it does this fit on book talk or like, what do you think?

Gabrielle Stone [00:29:36] 100%. So I actually have a video that I stitched for people that don’t know what stitching is. It’s when you find a video on. Someone else’s account and then you want to comment on that video. So it’s like you you take the first like chunk the first 5 seconds of their video, and then your video starts after. So the video I stitched was this girl going, So how does someone write a book? And then my video started and it was like, Let me tell you how to do that. Step one. And I went through all the process. Every time one of my videos goes viral, I always, without fail, get the questions in the comments. I’ve wanted to write a book for so long. How do I do that? And I’m just not on the app to like, explain to people the step by step process of how to write a book. Sometimes I’ll do little videos answering like with some details, but yeah, like that would be a perfect area for you to step in and be like, Hey, this is my book on self publishing. Let me tell you how to do it. You know, that’s definitely everybody. I mean, I’ve taught, I think four or five master classes now on zooms that were all sold out just on self-publishing and people wanting to know, like, I want to write a book, how do I do it? So there’s a huge market for people that want to do that for sure.

Chandler Bolt [00:30:59] That’s cool. So we’ve talked a lot about Tick Tock. What else? I mean, is there anything else that you feel like has been a big mover of books over the years?

Gabrielle Stone [00:31:09] Podcasts, but podcasts that not necessarily have a massive following but have a really dedicated following that’s specific to the type of content your book is. So I’ve gone on really big shows that I was like, Oh my God, this is going to really do something and it doesn’t do anything. And I’ve gone on smaller shows where they maybe got like 500 to 1000 downloads per episode, and a good percentage of those people go in and buy books because it’s specific to what we’re talking about on the show. Like, you know, if the show is centered around cheating or divorce or heartbreak or healing or self-love like any of those. So I would say finding podcasts that are really specific to the content you’re writing about and the people that you’re trying to attract. But that being said, like, it’s it’s really if you can go on any type of medium and connect with people. So podcasts, Tik Tok, Instagram stories like whatever it is, radio interviews and you’re able to have an authentic conversation with people and really be like, Look, this is who I am. This is what I’ve learned. And like, this is why you’ll get something out of reading this book, I think, a lot of times. Not only authors. Anyone that’s selling something has this weird kind of who I don’t want to, like, sell too much. Like I don’t want to be like, Hey, you should really buy this. I have learned and I think it’s been really beneficial to me to let that go, because I know when I make these dumb videos that go viral on TikTok that sell a ton of books, I don’t feel bad because, A, it’s supporting me in my life. But B, anyone that reads this book is going to go on this great journey with me, have a lot of fun, heal, and it’s probably going to change their life. So yeah, I’ll, I’ll happily be like selling myself out on the internet If people are healing and I’m getting the DMS every day about like this book changed my life. Thank you so much for writing it. Absolutely. Like, I’ll continue to go on and and sell my soul. Like, why not?

Chandler Bolt [00:33:33] Yeah. And when you believe in your product and you put in this specifically with the book, it’s like if you believe this can make people’s lives better. Well, sales is service. Yeah. It is your moral obligation to do everything you can to get my book.

Gabrielle Stone [00:33:47] Literally exactly that.

Chandler Bolt [00:33:50] Yeah. What I love about hearing this story of your book is, you know, I talk about this concept of like the Lamborghini launch versus the Toyota Camry. And and it’s like everyone’s focus with the Lamborghini launch, right. As fast and sexy shoe, but then it’s gone. You use all this fuel, people focus on launch week and not launch year. You’re on the long term success of the book. And I think it’s very interesting. I mean, how our right has been a big promoter of of us and, you know, super successful self-published author like you book called The Miracle Morning. Same story. Right? It’s about the sales in in three in Yeah two and and and building a Toyota Camry. Yeah just going and going and going.

Gabrielle Stone [00:34:36] Absolutely. And I think it’s really important for authors to also remember there’s no expiration date on your book. Like, I’ve had people in my life be like, okay, it’s going so great right now and like, you’re killing it. But like, what about two years from now? What about five years from now? And my answer to that is like, what about it? Like, you think there’s not going to be new people that continually discover the book or all the people that are like 16, 17, 18, that are now 25 aren’t going to like be going through some stuff and want to now read this like it’s their for life. Like as far as I’m concerned, when I have kids one day like that book and those residuals will be continuously helping them out once I’m gone. Yeah, there’s no expiration date on it. So I think. Launch week is like, you know. Yeah. Do you want to sell books? Sure. But, like, is it the end all? Be all? Absolutely not. My my stuff didn’t become super successful until a year end, and you have to give yourself some grace in it not being successful right away. It takes time for people to discover things. It takes time for word of mouth to start. It takes time to really, like have people start sharing what they now have like read and loved. I always thought I was so clear in my head. I was like, Some big celebrity is going to find this book. They’re going to read it, they’re going to love it, they’re going to post about it, and it’s just going to take off like wildfire. That’s the path. That’s how it’s going to happen. Never in a million years did I think, Oh, I’m going to go and be successful on some stupid new social media app and it’s going to blow up. And I had to be open to that. So you have to. We’re getting into a little far from self-publishing, but you have to decide in your life what your goal is and what you’re trying to manifest and then let go of the expectations of how that’s going to show up and happen for you. If you’re like, this book is going to sell 500,000 copies and it’s going to be super successful. However it’s going to happen. Universe, bring it to me. I’m open, but I know that’s the end goal. And then you have to, like, release it and let it go. The more you try and like squeeze and hold on to something because you want it so badly, the more it, like, can’t come to fruition for you.

Chandler Bolt [00:36:53] Yeah, that’s good. That’s so good. I’m going a couple of final questions. Kind of lightning round for you. Seven over 7000 reviews on Facebook. Yes. And anything you did specifically, I mean, besides cell.

Gabrielle Stone [00:37:09] Yes. Such a good question, because it’s it’s I want to pass it along to other self-published authors. So whenever people would deem me on Instagram and messaged me about the book and I still do this till this day and, you know, say how much it affected them and how thankful they are or whatever. Like the the amazing message is I read every single message that comes in. And if it sounds exhausting, it is like it’s it’s a lot. But I read every message that comes in and then I respond to them in an authentic way and like, say, thank you so much and like, comment on whatever they said. And then after that I say. Also, thank you for taking this journey with me. It would mean so much to me if you had a second to drop a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It helps a ton and nine times out of ten everybody is more than happy to do that after you know, you’ve taken the time to respond to them and have a conversation with them. And it’s it’s just asking. I’ve never had someone like push back on that. Who knows if everybody actually goes and does it. But half the time, they don’t even think of that. They’re like, Oh, right. Like, that’s such an easy thing that I can go do. That’ll take me like 5 minutes or less. So I’d totally recommend doing that. And it’s really just a matter of like staying in touch with the people that reach out to you that read. It’s always a good idea to ask, you know, your first round of readers that you send to to write a review once the book is live. But yeah, that’s, that’s been the main thing that I’ve gone and done. I’ve also like sometimes when I’m doing Q&A is on my Instagram, I’ll put up a thing that’s like also reminder, if you want to send me any type of like, thank you or like you appreciate the content I’m putting out, the best gift you can give me is going and leaving a review on the book or the podcast.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:05] That’s cool. That’s cool. I like that a lot. And you broke up just a little bit on the on the messaging back to people. So did you.

Gabrielle Stone [00:39:12] Say, oh, yeah.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:13] Are you as you said, are you asking them to copy and paste or hey, can you.

Gabrielle Stone [00:39:17] No, no, no, no, no. Yeah. So once they, once they do you like read whatever they wrote, have like a little exchange with them. Thank you so much for taking the journey with me. Also. It would really I would really appreciate if you had, like, 5 minutes to go drop a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It really helps a ton and they’re usually like, so happy to go do that.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:36] Nice. That makes sense. And one thing I’ve heard from authors and kind of similar and one thing that we we talk about is like if someone says this book is amazing, say, Hey, would you mind copying and pasting that here?

Gabrielle Stone [00:39:47] Yeah, right.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:48] Just like, all right, there’s no barrier like what you just said. Put it here.

Gabrielle Stone [00:39:52] Right, Right.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:53] That’s cool. And do you do a short link for the reviews at all?

Gabrielle Stone [00:39:58] I don’t. I usually literally just say if you have a second to drop a review on Amazon or Goodreads, I feel like it’s more authentic that way. Like, if they’re not going to go and do it, they’re not going to go and do it. But I feel like sending the link is like a little bit like here. And you know, I’ve seen really good results with it. And normally, especially because of my book specifically, like it’s such a journey that people go on. So they really feel like they’re my best friend when they’re done reading it. It’s like not the biggest ask for them to, to be like, yeah, like go take a couple of minutes and drop a review real quick.

Chandler Bolt [00:40:34] Yeah, that’s awesome. Last couple questions for air time. I feel like you’re just looking at your book, looking at your site, all that. You’re really good at marketing. Yeah.

Gabrielle Stone [00:40:47] Yeah.

Chandler Bolt [00:40:47] Where did you learn that from? And any tips for people who want to be especially like outside the box marketing? Like, that’s what I respect a lot about. Kind of just seeing your branding and your site and your books and all that. It’s just like it’s different. It’s attention catching and it’s outside of the box. Like. Any tips for people?

Gabrielle Stone [00:41:04] God, I as far as like the books, when I had a very clear idea and vision of like what I wanted the covers to look like, I went, I shot with a photographer and then I hired an incredible cover designer. Her name is Murphy Rae. She does all of Colleen Hoover’s books. She’s like extremely affordable and she’s done all of my covers and I send her the pictures and I’m like something pink with, like, you know, some pizzazz. And she comes back with these incredible designs. I always recommend if you’re self-publishing, hire a cover designer, hire a formatter, hire an editor. Do not skip that step. Like, please, if you’re going to spend money anywhere, spend it on an editor. But as far as the marketing, it’s it’s kind of just been my vision the whole time. And I’ve been like, what’s going to be eye catching to people? What are things that are going to stand out? Like if if I put a book on a shelf, like what’s a title and a image that’s going to grab me? I feel like publishing companies lean so much towards like the the cool font with like an obscure background. And I’m like, What is that? No. Like, let’s put me in a tank top drinking some wine with, like a passport and divorce papers flying over my face. That’s something that people are going to be like. What’s that?

Chandler Bolt [00:42:29] That’s super smart. Seriously, Gabrielle, this has been awesome. A lot of fun. Very, very insightful. Where can people go to buy your book to find out more about your what You’re up to? All that good stuff.

Gabrielle Stone [00:42:43] Yeah. Thank you for having me again. This is great. I don’t get to talk about this stuff all that often, so it is really fun for me. The books are both exclusively available on Amazon because I self-published. So the first one is Eat Pray, FML. The site. The sequel to that is the ridiculous Misadventures of a single Girl. I also self-published a self love healing journal called F Off. I’m Healing, so that’s available on Amazon too. You can also get all three of those signed personally by me on my website, which is eat Pray for gmail.com. That’s also where we have all the podcast merch and all of like all the info of everything. If you want to check out my TikTok videos and steal some ideas for your content, please feel free. It’s at Gabrielle Underscore Stone. And I’m also really active on Instagram and often do like Q&A and stuff on there. If people have any questions, they can of course DM me and reach out and that’s at Gabrielle Stone.

Chandler Bolt [00:43:38] That’s awesome and I love the trio signed copy idea and we didn’t get it. I’m like, I just realized that questions I want to ask about the podcast. You didn’t get to talk about the podcast, so this is awesome. Gabrielle Thank you so much.

Gabrielle Stone [00:43:52] Oh, you’re so welcome. I want to say one last thing about for people when they’re looking and they see a bad review, this is like, Ben, my saving grace, Go to your absolute favorite book that is like very, very popular, beloved by so many. You know, we I went to Eat, Pray, Love when I first got my first horrible scathing review. Go to their one star reviews. People are insane. Art is a vulnerable, subjective medium. Do not feel bad when those come in. You have to have the bad reviews in order for people to write the amazing ones. So don’t let those get you down.

Chandler Bolt [00:44:29] That’s awesome. And it’s a remember, it’s a review on the book, not a review on you as a person, but it feels like a review on you as a person.

Gabrielle Stone [00:44:37] You know, when you’re writing about something as deeply personal as I’m writing. But I mean, I’ve had reviews where people are like, She’s terrible. She’s an entitled oiled brat. Like she needs to crawl under a rock and die. So trust me, whatever reviews you guys are getting, I’ve gotten worse. But go to your favorite book and read the one star reviews. It will instantly make you feel better.

Chandler Bolt [00:44:58] I love that we celebrate the one star reviews like in our community when someone gets. Pursell Institute. It’s a celebration because that means you’re reaching people besides your grandma and your mom and your friends. It’s that’s the book is officially doing something right. It’s getting out there where people might not like it.

Gabrielle Stone [00:45:15] I absolutely love that I’m in support of that.

Chandler Bolt [00:45:19] It’s awesome. Well hey guys, check out the book or the books. She’s got the trio set on her side, like she mentioned as well as the podcast. Gabrielle, thanks again.

Gabrielle Stone [00:45:28] Yeah, thank you for having me.

Links and Resources

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.
Liked this post? Share it with friends!

Interested in working with us?

Book a free strategy call with our expert team!