Lessons Learned from The Secret, Chicken Soup, Abundance Now, and a Guinness World Record Setting Book with Lisa Nichols

SPS 005: Lessons Learned from The Secret, Chicken Soup, Abundance Now, and a Guinness World Record Setting Book with Lisa Nichols

Welcome to episode 5 of the Self-Publishing School podcast. Today, I am joined by Lisa Nichols, one of the world’s most requested motivational speakers. She is a media personality and corporate CEO whose global platform has reached and served nearly 30 million people. She has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, The Steve Harvey Show, and on The Secret.

Lisa has six bestselling books including the New York Times Bestseller No Matter What and her seventh book Abundance Now was just released this January. I am so excited about this interview. Lisa is just hilarious. She is a bundle of energy and a whole lot of fun, and I know we are going to have an amazing interview.

Listen in to find out about guerilla marketing, creating hooks, overcoming fear, and so much more!

You can find Lisa here:


@2motivate on Twitter

Lisa on Facebook

Show Notes:

[01:27] Lisa wanted to write a book as a way to inspire people while she was also doing other things like speaking.

[02:46] If you want your message to have the greatest impact a book should be in your path.

[03:44] How it took Lisa three and a half years to complete Chicken Soup for The African American Soul.

[06:26] How a book is about the message, not the writing and punctuation.

[07:43] No Matter What was Lisa’s first solo book.

[09:30] How Lisa’s English teacher told her she was the weakest writer she has ever met.

[10:38] Lisa’s grammar wasn’t strong, but her message was powerful.

[12:19] Pushing through the fear of writing a book after being in the Chicken Soup Series and the Secret.

[15:16] How Abundance Now is Lisa’s biggest book ever and her life’s work.

[16:24] How fear is present when you do big things, but we have to minimize the fear story.

[18:18] Lisa tries to get as creative and radical as possible with marketing. Guerilla marketing works.

[19:51] Study your market. Who will read the book and where do they gather?

[21:37] How Lisa sent a mass mailer out asking to speak at Churches and then organizations where her audience was.

[23:28] Making Abundance Now a movement and a moment. The new definition of abundance.

[26:40] Tempting readers to read your book by telling them what personal information is on certain highlighted pages.

[29:26] Books are about people and the message on the page.

[30:47] How to use current events in a book to open up a television opportunity.

[33:34] Always be creating a hook and speaking in a way to create your next opportunity when you do a television appearance.

[37:27] Getting that first opportunity to open the door for television shows. Start regional and work your way up. Put together a press release and media packet with video and give them a call.

[42:38] Lisa’s parting words about getting up every day and sharing our message.

Links and Resources:


@2motivate on Twitter

Lisa on Facebook



Chicken Soup for the African American Soul

No Matter What

You also might enjoy:

How to Self-Publish Your Way to #1 on the Amazon & USA Today National Bestseller Lists with Ryan Levesque

SPS 004: How to Self-Publish Your Way to #1 on the Amazon & USA Today National Bestseller Lists with Ryan Levesque

Today, I am joined by Ryan Levesque the #1 National Best-Selling Author of the book ASK. In 2008, armed with a $450 laptop, an Ivy League background, and neuroscience he was able to launch a multi-million dollar online publishing business. He sold information and software products using what is now known as the ASK Formula.

Ryan has used the ASK Formula to help build several multi-million dollar businesses spread across 23 different industries. He has generated over 100 million dollars in sales. This breaks down to generating over 3 million leads with 170 thousand customers across 19 different markets. Ryan has been a busy guy because these numbers are just from the last 23 months.

I met Ryan last September at The Titans of Direct Response Event. Ryan has a background in copy and direct response which is a skill in and of itself. In this episode, we are going to focus on his book ASK. We are going to talk about a case study and how he launched the book. Then we are really diving into the monetizing portion and the survey funnel and different back-end products.

For all this and much more, listen in to this episode of the Self-Publishing School podcast!

You can find Ryan here:
Ask Method
Ryan Levesque
Ryan Levesque on LinkedIn
Ryan on Facebook

Show Notes

[02:25] How a book fits into Ryan’s big picture strategy. Being in the information industry Ryan wanted to expand what he was doing to mainstream products like books on Amazon.
[03:37] How the process of writing a book took longer than Ryan had expected.
[04:22] The way Ryan shared his story in the book and the ASK formula. He laid it on the line and held nothing back.
[05:41] By telling everyone everything you know for free people will pay you to tell them everything again.
[07:31] How an illness inspired Ryan to really look at his life and decide how he wanted to make an impact in the world.
[07:55] ASK was called the single greatest marketing book since Breakthrough Advertising.
[08:35] Don’t be tempted to hold information back in your book and create a tease for your product. Instead, put it all in the book.
[12:25] How ASK came very close to being a New York Times Bestseller. Being in the How To category as opposed to the Business category had an effect.
[14:36] Promotion and launch methods for ASK included creating an amazing product to enlist partners to help promote the book.
[15:05] Cold traffic methods used included Facebook advertising, LinkedIn advertising, and they tested a few other things.
[16:20] Be prepared for customer inquiries if you sell books on a prelaunch basis.
[17:28] Getting great testimonials and telling a great story makes a huge difference in the success of the launch.
[19:05] How Ryan and his wife took their business from nothing to $25,000 a month in 18 months.
[19:43] Talking with people can help you decide if you really do have a great story.
[20:45] Podcast interviews were another awesome tool for the launch and pre launch of ASK.
[22:04] Ryan has someone who pitches his story to podcasters to get on their shows. Laddering up is a low-cost method to get guest spots.
[25:39] Hitting the top of the list on launch week because of pre-launch sales.
[30:14] How book buyers are more critical than information product buyers.
[30:41] Fake reviews and planting reviews are the wrong paths to go down.
[33:01] Trying to anticipate people’s objections to the book. By doing so, you will get counter one aspect of negative reviews.
[39:44] Things that Ryan wishes he would have done differently around the monetization of the book such as more clarity about readers options.
[43:10] Getting readers into your world without directly selling to them.
[47:45] The biggest product that the book helped to sell was the software or the mastermind program, which were also the same offer because they came free with each other.
[53:19] Trust created by being a #1 bestselling author is invaluable.
[54:57] How running out of inventory can create a hit on your rankings. Out of stock protection can prevent this problem from having.
[57:26] An unexpected result of the book is getting people to sign up for Ryan’s highest level mastermind group without Ryan even speaking to them.

Links and Resources:

Ask Method
Ryan Levesque
Ryan Levesque on LinkedIn
Ryan on Facebook
Breakthrough Advertising
ASK on Amazon

You also might enjoy:

How to Write an Introduction That Sells Your Book self-publishingschool

How to Write an Introduction That Sells Your Book

To learn more about how to craft the perfect book introduction, join Chandler on this FREE webinar where he explains how to write a winning intro for your book.


“There’s no second chance to make a first impression.” This applies to meeting your future in-laws, and it applies to your readers’ first impression of your book. Okay—to be honest—while a reader’s first impression will be of your book cover, their second-first impression is going to come while they read your book’s introduction. It’s easy to think an introduction isn’t important because so many people skip reading them, but did you know your book’s introduction is actually a vital sales tool if you’re a non-fiction author? In this article, we’re going to tell you how to write an introduction that will actually boost book sales.

But first, let’s talk about…

Why Your Book Introduction is Crucial

Amazon offers customers a chance to give your book a sneak peek before purchase. It’s called the Look Inside feature, and when shoppers click on it, they’re treated to a free preview of the beginning of your book. This means you’ve been given the opportunity to grab their attention and make them reach for their wallets.

This is why your book’s introduction is crucial to your book’s ultimate success. Readers will pick up your book and make a decision about you as an author and your book based on those first few paragraphs.

How Your Book Introduction Will Help You Sell Books

Your introduction serves two goals. Think of your first 1,000 words as the foundation for the rest of your book’s chapters. Writing your introduction is going to be a useful exercise to help you distill down your ideas and to succinctly encapsulate the messaging of your whole book into just a few, short paragraphs.

And of course, the second goal of your introduction is to act as a sales pitch to intrigue readers so they’ll buy your book.

It’s intimidating, yes, and a lot of pressure is riding on just a few paragraphs. This is why writing your introduction can be one of your first major stumbling blocks as an author. This article is going to help you overcome this significant hurdle so you can continue merrily on the path toward your finished manuscript, and ultimately higher sales of your book once it is published.

How to Write a Book Introduction: 8 Steps

Self-Publishing School created a roadmap, much like we did for mindmapping and outlining, to nail down that book introduction—and also to jumpstart your writing process for the rest of your chapters.

As we go through these 8 steps to writing your introduction, we’re going to use the example of a book called How to Get College Scholarships. As you read, take notes, and insert your own book’s topic into your thinking and note-taking process.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

Don’t dance around the problem. What’s the problem your book promises to solve? State the problem clearly for your readers from the outset. Be straight-forward, unambiguous and concise when you identify the issue that readers hope you can solve for them.

Don’t try to be all things to all people—you want readers to know the specific problem your book will solve for them.

Using our example of How to Get College Scholarships, the problem is simple: college is expensive, and scholarships seem out of reach to most high school students.


Go from blank page to published author in 90 days… and use your book to grow a six-figure income. 

Click here to register now!

Step 2: Present the Solution

Now that you’ve identified the problem that readers are struggling with, you’re going to make their day by telling them you’re going to share the solution in your book. You’ve helped them with a problem AND you’ve revealed that your book holds the solution on the first page. Your book’s going to be a winner!

Directional phrases such as, “In this book, I am going to show you …” or “This book is going to solve your problem by …”

Thinking back to our example, some solutions we’d present in our book would be teaching readers how to write a good essay so you can stand out from the competition, and how to find and apply for the top scholarships.

Step 3: Assert Your Credibility

Now that you’ve presented a problem and posted a solution, your next step is to convince your readers that you, the author, is qualified to help solve their problem. You need to build your credibility and provide readers with a reason to trust you and follow your advice.

Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Why should people trust you?
  • How do you know about this topic?
  • Why are you passionate about writing this book?

Sharing your own struggles and how you overcame them is the first step to building rapport with your readers.


Step 4: Show Them the Benefits

How will your book improve your readers’ current circumstances? Now’s the time to really sell them on how reading your book is going to change their life for the better.

Sold! Who doesn’t want a better life? (It’s rhetorical: We all do!)

You’ve briefly touched on the solution—in our case, how to write a great essay and how to apply for scholarships. In this part of your introduction, you’re going to go a little deeper and explain what good things will happen if your readers take advantage of the information you present in your book.

In short, tell your readers what they’ll get—what knowledge or skill they will gain from reading your book and how that’s going to impact their future for the better.

In our example, the benefit of our book is that readers will go to school for free and live a life without the financial burden of student loans. Readers can achieve their dream of getting an education, without breaking the bank.

Step 5: Give Them Proof

Show your readers the proof of why your book is the answer to their prayers. Give the most tangible and relatable proof you can provide.

In our example, we might share how we put ourselves or our children through school on scholarship. We might also include testimonials from other people we know who followed our advice and got a free education.

Step 6: Make a Promise (The Bigger the Better)

Don’t make a promise you can’t keep, but make the biggest promise that you CAN keep. Aim high.

To come up with your promise, circle back to your books’ purpose—what is the problem your book is solving? Now promise that this book with solve their problem! It’s that easy. You need to be able to deliver on your promises, but don’t be shy in stating what they will get in return for reading your book.

While we can’t promise someone they will be awarded a scholarship (after all, their grades will have a big impact there), but we can promise that we will increase their chances of getting a scholarship by showing them where to find them and the steps to take to apply.

Step 7: Warn Them Against Waiting

You need to create a sense of urgency so your readers know that if they pass on your book, they will regret it because readers will miss out on something really good.

A sense of urgency is created by two magic words, “RIGHT NOW!”

In our example, we would urge people to start well ahead of the scholarship application deadlines so they can submit the best applications they can. Don’t delay, or others who are in the know will snatch up those scholarships! So let’s get started on getting you a free education RIGHT NOW!

Step 8: Prompt Them to Read (Call to Action)

You want readers to continue reading your book the second they finish the introduction. To do that, you have to hint at the juicy secrets your book will reveal to them that will change their lives. You want to intrigue them, and hint at the exciting revelations you’re going to make inside the book. They will have to buy it in order to find out.

Here’s how to craft a compelling Call to Action to prompt them to read your book right away:

The scholarship tips and tricks you’re about to read have proven results. Each chapter provides new secrets that will help you stay in control of your financial future, AND get a leg up on the competition for scholarships. If you follow the formula we reveal in this book, it’s highly possible you can enjoy the rest of your life unburdened by debt.

There you go—it’s that easy! By simply applying a few principles of psychology as you draft your book’s introduction, you can demonstrate to your readers how and why they need to read your book right now. Take advantage of this chance to explain in a few short paragraphs how readers will benefit by reading your book. They will thank you later, after they buy your book and they’re reaping the benefits of taking your advice.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 4/11/16 and has been updated for accuracy.


Like what you read and want to learn more? We’re holding a FREE online workshop where Chandler is revealing the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row… and use them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years. Click here to save your spot now!


Using a Book to sell More Software & Information Products with Russell Brunson

SPS 003: Using a Book to Sell More Software & Information Products with Russell Brunson

Today, I am joined by Russell Brunson. While wrestling at Boise State University, Russell started his first online company. Within a year of graduating, he had sold over a million dollars worth of products and services all from his basement.

For over 12 years now, Russell has been starting and scaling companies online. He owns a software company called ClickFunnels, a supplement company, and a coaching company. He is also one of the top super affiliates in the world. He created his company DotCom Secrets which is also the title of his book to help entrepreneurs around the world to start, promote, and grow their companies online.

Russell lives in Boise, ID with his wife Collette and their five children. In this interview, we are going to talk about why someone who owns a company and sold a million dollars worth of products chose to write a book. We are also going to talk about the launch of Russell’s book and the funnel process.

For all this and much more, listen in to this episode of the Self-Publishing School podcast!

You can find Russell here:


@RussellBrunsonHQ on Facebook

@RussellBrunson on Twitter

Russell Brunson on LinkedIn

Show Notes

[01:42]How Russell tried to write a book in the past and had false starts. In retrospect, he is glad he waited because he had so much more knowledge when he did start.

[04:30] What gave Russell the motivation to finally go all in and complete his book. A conversation with a friend finally prompted him to do the work.

[05:39]About the writing process and how it took about a year and how an event forced Russell to record everything chronologically.

[06:49] How one of the best things about writing a book is cutting things out that aren’t really needed.

[07:56]The business purpose of the book was to establish authority and lead generation, plus motivation and education for using ClickFunnels.

[10:20] About the marketing presales push and how the goal was to presale as many as possible. Russell gave away a Ferrari to whoever would sell the most books.

[12:14] Using the free book where the buyer only pays for shipping leads to sales.

[13:44] Other ways that Russell compensated his affiliates, and how he created a funnel that would sustain all of the cash and incentives to give away the books.

[15:41] How about a fifth of the books were sold by Russell and the rest were by affiliates and some of the different affiliate strategies.

[16:57] About doing radio and podcast interviews to promote the sale of the book along with direct mail and as many angles as possible.

[18:42] How Russell got started on the Internet. Including influences by Bill Glazer and Dan Kennedy.

[20:21] The way that Russell got Dan Kennedy to write the foreword of his book.

[21:06]How Russell was able to get Tony Robbins to create a blurb for the book.

[22:36] The most effective method for promoting his books was probably his own internal list and his affiliate strategy. He would ship gifts to his dream 100 affiliates.

[24:59] It’s possible to get addresses by contacting people on Facebook and sending them gifts in the mail.

[27:56] To get people to promote stuff you need to do cool things.

[28:14] Russell’s initial goal was 15,000 copies and he did better than he had hoped for.

[29:41] What the backend of the book giveaway looks like. 3 core funnels. Book launch funnel. On the order form there was an audiobook offer, an upsell for traffic course, and a webinar sales course.

[30:38] Funnel number 2 is an invite to a webinar, which sells one year access to ClickFunnels.

[31:53] 2 weeks later, there is an invite to a coaching program. Group, mastermind, or high-end coaching. The funnels lead to the large backend funnel.

[34:29] How Russell was able to sell the audio version of his book for $37.00 and trials of getting it recorded.

[37:49] He read the audiobook himself, mostly because he was short on time and he wanted it done right. It also helped with the editing.

[42:24] Russell has a script that teaches the perfect webinar. Figure out the 3 core things that your prospects think are right that are actually wrong.

[46:37] Find out a surprising way that Russell made money on the backend of his book, like a $100,000 coaching gig and t-shirts.

[48:56] How Russell’s business has improved and benefited from books and readers as customers.

[50:43] Don’t wait 10 years to write your first book and fill your book with value.

Links and Resources:


@RussellBrunsonHQ on Facebook

@RussellBrunson on Twitter

Russell Brunson on LinkedIn





You might also enjoy:

Using the One Thing & Time Blocking to Finally Write Your First Book with Jay Papasan

SPS 002: Using the One Thing & Time Blocking to Finally Write Your First Book with Jay Papasan

Today, I am joined by Jay Papasan, Vice President of Publishing at Keller Williams Realty, Inc. in Austin, Texas. This is a real estate franchise company with over 74,000 real estate agents operating across the US and Canada.

Jay has co-authored multiple bestsellers including The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, and The ONE Thing. Before co-authoring the bestselling real estate series with Gary Keller, Jay was an editor at HarperCollins where he worked on bestselling books such as Body For Life by Bill Phillips and Go For the Goal by Mia Hamm.

The ONE Thing is one of my top 5 books of all time. I have a lot of favorite books, but this one I constantly go back to and highly recommend. In fact, our entire company will be reading this book next month as required reading. Today, we will be talking about a lot of the principles from the book and how they apply to writing.

For all this and much more, listen in to this episode of the Self-Publishing School podcast!

You can find Jay here:


Jay Papasan on LinkedIn

Jay Papasan on Facebook

@jaypapasan on Twitter

Show Notes

[01:53] How The ONE Thing has had the most impact on Jay’s life and how it is impactful for others.

[03:45] How Jay ended up working on his first book at Keller Williams by running into Gary Keller in the bathroom.

[05:04] Jay had actually worked on two of the books that Gary wanted to model for the real estate series.

[06:46] The process for outlining the first book and how Jay wrote the chapters.

[08:20] The toughest parts of writing the first book was keeping disciplined, because the novelty of writing wore off fast. Jay wrote discipline is freedom on the wall to help stay focused.

[10:11] How to feel confident and overcome imposter syndrome by powering through until things shifted.

[11:07] The biggest mistake made with the first book was self-publishing with an awful cover. They went cheap instead of taking the time to perfect the cover.

[13:44] The writing process of creating an outline and then handing it off to researchers for additional quotes, stories etc. so they wouldn’t have to go down the research rabbit hole before writing.

[16:26] Coming up with visuals before writing the chapter. Having a visual ready to go will help drive and organize the writing. Lists, graphics, underlines, etc.

[18:10] Time blocking every day to make sure they are writing every day. The most productive people make appointments with themselves.

[19:29] Creating habits by writing an intention statement that states, when and where you will do something, makes it three times more likely to get done.

[22:02] How to strengthen the discipline muscle to make time blocking a priority to get things done. Write first thing in the morning.

[29:08] Setting a time limit so that non-writing activities don’t bleed into early day writing time. Use a timer to put an artificial limit on these activities.

[31:21] Batching email and checking it only 3 times a day using a time limit and blocking off 18 to 20 days a month for writing. If a writing day is canceled, be sure to replace it.

[35:56] Building a bunker. Finding a place to be productive and away from distractions. Store provisions, meaning have what you need on hand and sweep for mines or turn your phone and distractions off. Enlist support by explaining why you shouldn’t be disturbed.

[41:52] Multitasking and switching have costs. The interruptions prevent us from going deep and staying on task. 28% of work time can be lost to reorientation time.

[46:23] How being distracted from a primary task can even prevent us from going back to the primary task.

[47:29] What the 4 thieves of productivity are. Inability to say no. Fear of chaos. Poor health habits. The environment does not support your goals.

[56:28] Advice for writing the first book. Do it for yourself and commit a certain amount of time to writing. Make it a ritual and form the writing habit.

Links and Resources:


Jay Papasan on LinkedIn

Jay Papasan on Facebook

@jaypapasan on Twitter



The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

The ONE Thing

Time Blocking Mastery

You might also enjoy: