SPS 013: Beyond the Bestseller with Hal Elrod

Welcome to episode 13 of the Self-Publishing School podcast. Today, I am joined by Hal Elrod the #1 Bestselling Author of “The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM).” Hal has managed to take this one book and build a business, following, and movement around it. He now has an entire “Miracle Morning” series and has had crazy success as a coach and speaker.

Hal is also a good friend of mine who happens to live in San Diego. His book has had an amazing impact on my life as I have been consistently applying the principles. His book is not only life changing, but his story is incredible too. When Hal was 20 years old he was in a car accident where he was hit head-on by a drunk driver. He actually died for 6 minutes and ended up with 11 broken bones and was in a coma for 6 days. He was told that he would never walk again.

He went on to not only walk but run a 52-mile ultra marathon. He was also prompted by his doctors to write a book about his experience. The beginning profits of his first book “Taking Life Head On! (The Hal Elrod Story): How To Love The Life You Have While You Create The Life of Your Dreams” were stolen by his first publisher. Hal bounced back again and went on to he create the life-changing “Miracle Morning” book, community, and business. Today we discuss Hal’s book and how he built a business around it.

You can find Hal here:

Miracle Morning Website
Miracle Morning Facebook Community
Hal’s Miracle Morning Books
Hal Elrod Website
Hal on Twitter @HalElrod

Show Notes

[03:05] Hal’s first book was actually “Taking Life Head On”. He was so happy and positive in the hospital that the doctors suggested he write a book. It took 6 years because he thought he wasn’t a writer.
[05:23] Hal used a small Mom and Pop publisher for his 1st book “Taking Life Head On”, it even made it to number 6 on Amazon. He’ll never know how much profit this book made to get to number 6 because his “publisher” left town and disappeared with all of his royalties.
[05:56] The difference between writing a good book and a book that creates income and impact.
[07:58] Looking at people from a place of non-judgement. Feeling sorry for people who wrong us rather than being angry.
[08:51] Biggest takeaway: everyone should write a book.
[10:43] Books are the new “business cards”.
[11:50] Our story, our struggles, and our strategies. We all can write about these three things.
[13:16] The Miracle Morning was Hal’s story, struggle, and strategy.
[14:24] Miracle Morning took 4 years because of lack of clarity and other issues.
[15:30] Hal hired a coach because he knows the power of accountability.
[16:16] Having accountability, and the book was finished in 4 months.
[18:42] To market his Miracle Morning book Hal created a launch team. He also put up an opt-in page with the first two chapters offered for free. He also made an audio opt-in which ran for two years while he wrote the book.
[21:13] An email list is income on demand.
[22:46] Have an audience ready months in advance before your book goes live.
[23:48] The launch team reviewed the book and shared on social.
[27:46] Hal had an assistant create a graph of how many books were sold. His biggest sales month was December 2014. It was nice watching the graph curve up.
[30:52] Hal is working on Beyond the Bestseller. Writing a good book is the most important component. Change someone’s daily behavior, and you create a movement. Build word of mouth into your book the book needs a story to share.
[34:08] Get an accountability partner, don’t go it alone.
[37:55] Creating rituals around your content. 3 practices you do every day.
[39:48] Podcast interviews really drive sales.
[41:15] Hal is self-published and sells lots of books. His speaking fees have gone up and he has more opportunities.
[47:27] Podcasts are great for promoting books.
[48:38] Add value over and over, then ask when needed.
[55:38] After writing a book the real work of marketing begins.

Links and Resources:

self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
How to Launch a Bestselling Book by Michael Hyatt
Your Podcast Guru
Miracle Morning Website
Miracle Morning Facebook Community
Hal’s Miracle Morning Books
Hal Elrod Website
Hal on Twitter @HalElrod

SPS 012: How I Built an E-Book Business of $3,000-$4,000/Month with Lise Cartwright

Welcome to episode 12 of the Self-Publishing School podcast. Today, I am joined by Lise Cartwright who is a Self-Publishing School graduate. She has been one of the most successful students in the program. She is a bestselling author and coach based in Auckland, New Zealand. She blogs and writes books with actionable information for new freelancers and time-poor entrepreneurs.

It is her goal to help these entrepreneurs move forward in their business whether they are just starting out or just need to gain forward momentum. She has an amazing story, and she has been a writing machine and has published 14 books over the last 10 months. Her community is really engaged and can’t wait for each new book to come out. Her writing, community, and income are only building. She has managed to achieve an income of a few grand a month, and it is growing.

Her recipe for success for building an author platform is to write and let the marketing come later. I know her books are going to continue to grow and create an even bigger income. I am really excited to talk with Lise today as we dive into her story and how she has been able to accomplish so much.

You can find Lise here:

Lise Cartwright’s Books on Amazon
Lise Cartwright
Hustle & Groove
Lise on Twitter @LiseCnz

Show Notes

[02:28] Her first book was a guide written in 2012 on how to be a freelance writer on oDesk.
[04:28] Marketing the book about freelance writing was an issue, but her second book “No Gym Needed” is what she considers her first book.
[05:34] To find her topic, she wrote down topics that she already knew and discovered her topic for her second book which she considers her first book.
[07:08] She used mind-mapping as a visual process to organize and create the content for her books. She mind-maps all of her books. She used the old pen and paper mind-map method.
[08:15] She puts her idea in the middle of the page and then puts down everything about that idea that comes to mind. In the mind-map, she uses colors, arrows, bubbles and whatever it takes to get the information down and organized.
[10:05] She mind-maps entire series when she gets an idea.
[11:56] To write consistently Lise set a schedule or the writing wouldn’t get done. She wrote for an hour a day during the week. The more she wrote the faster her writing became.
[14:54] She would outline and find information for her book as well as mind-mapping.
[16:15] She went from finished book to published on Amazon in 7-9 days. She just went for it and hit the publish button.
[18:18] Some of the fears she had were that nobody was going to read her book, but she went ahead with it anyway.
[22:15] How she went from fitness books back to freelancing and “Side Hustle Blueprint” because it is scary for people to start the freelancing process. This also led to questions on her blog which led to more book topics. She ended up writing a book a week. She mapped out a series and wrote 7 books in 7 weeks.
[26:24] She cleared every Monday for book writing and planned out her weeks.
[28:23] She had a process for each book and wrote for 8 or 9 hours and 20 hours total.
[29:02] Having a decent outline and a checklist it could be done. Write, publishing, and launching all in one week is too much.
[30:24] The surprising thing was that book launches are hard and have a lot of moving parts, so she had to outsource.
[33:18] After all of this, she took two months off. Then she co-authored some books to ease herself back in.
[35:04] She now writes faster and finds the process easier.
[38:25] Hearing from fans she doesn’t know has been surprising. She also wants to think about the impact of the books on people as opposed to just the writing of the books.
[39:47] Networking and guesting on podcasts like Self-Publishing School and the Side Hustle have been great opportunities.
[44:12] Don’t overthink it, just go ahead and write your first book. Take action!

Links and Resources:

Lise Cartwright’s Books on Amazon
Lise Cartwright
Hustle & Groove
Lise on Twitter @LiseCnz
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
The Book Ninja

SPS 010: Sell Or Be Sold with Grant Cardone

Welcome to episode 10 of the Self-Publishing School podcast. Today, I am joined by Grant Cardone, a New York Times bestselling author of five business books. Grant is among the top 10 social media influencers. He owns and operates four companies, and is the creator of a top sales training program with the world’s most visited online sales training university. He has worked with the U.S. Pentagon and high profile companies like Salesforce, LinkedIn, and Google.
We have an exciting conversation about how to use books to grow a business. Grant was inspired by his father’s love for calligraphy and writing and wanted to write a book since he was eight years old. He didn’t actually write one until he was 51 years old. Prior to that, he did write a bunch of training programs and workbooks on changes in the sales process. Then he wrote Sell or Be Sold which took him three hours to write. He pitched this book to a couple of publishers with no luck. He ended up self-publishing, and it is now in the top 1% of self-published books. Grant shares his experience with writing, selling, and promoting multiple products.

You can find Grant here:
Sell or Be Sold
Cardone University
Books by Grant Cardone
Grant on Facebook
@GrantCardone on Twitter
GrantCardone.com

Show Notes

[02:49] Grant had a lifetime of information just waiting to come out, and he used it to write his first book in 3 hours.
[04:01] He wrote the book and wrote the chapters out. At the time, you want to be a seller, not a buyer to get money. He just shared what he knew and didn’t overthink it.
[06:03] When you finish your book, you are never done with producing great information. That’s where the subsequent books came from.
[07:40] The challenge with books is getting someone to read it.
[09:03] There are many people who aren’t readers, so create a quick read, a video, and audio version. Do what it takes to make the information consumable.
[09:57] The trick in writing is to stop worrying about the writing and focus on the selling.
[12:25] Grant does a video show every day to put on social media. He doesn’t care whether you like him or not. He wants you to know who he is and benefit from one of his products.
[14:00] The thinker loses to the doer. Be willing to sell to get your products noticed.
[19:30] Grant’s readers now go back and want to listen to his other books.
[20:37] When Grant was young, he had issues with substance abuse, but he cleaned up his act when he was 25 years old.
[22:07] In 2009, Grants real estate business was almost wiped out. The bank he owed money to went under and the new bank wanted the money. Grant was 51, and that is when he decided to become disciplined.
[24:23] You need to have other products besides your books. Think about how to get an idea to people.
[26:53] He creates ebooks about his books and webinars and other products to get the information out there.
[27:53] A book is a calling card the legitimacy is in the range of products. Market, sell, and promote multiple products.
[31:34] Reaching out to a specific product with an item that appeals to them. Be confident and sell.
[32:25] You can also build a product to appeal to a market or show you would like to be on.
[36:22] Grant is a master at setting hooks and getting people to pay attention. Regardless of whether they like him or not.
[38:53] A surprise speaking gig that made 100k was a result of one of Grant’s books.
[40:57] Writing to market and to sell, not to write.
Links and Resources:
Sell or Be Sold
Cardone University
Books by Grant Cardone
Grant on Facebook
@GrantCardone on Twitter
GrantCardone.com
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com