Sean is a legendary copywriter, an affiliate marketing expert, and creator of The Increase Academy. He is known for his role as an affiliate manager for Thai Lopez and Sam Evans. His new book, Seven Figure Marketing Copy, teaches people how to craft engaging copy that sells.
His book “has become the star in the center of my solar system, and it was born out of the collection of SOP in my own business.” Sean designed his copy and visuals for his book using his 15 years of design experience as he wanted his book to be visually engaging.
Sean decided not to sell his book on Amazon, the most popular bookselling platform. “I got to the point where this was a minimal viable book and published it in my membership area as a digital book.” Starting out with 85 pages, Sean decided to get input from his followers to improve and add content to his book, which is now over 400 pages.
Because he didn’t have his book published on Amazon, Sean didn’t have to go through the process of multiple editions to get his book to a point where he wanted to publish. Now that he has updated and edited his book numerous times with years of feedback from his base, Sean is planning on publishing his “first edition” on Amazon.
[02:23] How Sean’s book fits into his business sales.
[08:07] Why he chose not to sell on Amazon.
[11:52] How he came up with a $37 price point for his book.
[16:25] Driving traffic to his website to sell over 25,000 copies.
[21:18] The purpose of having affiliate marketing to promote your business.
[25:32] Where Sean was able to get the most traffic from Facebook.
[31:29] Why he created his introduction as his sales page.
[32:27] His process of building his email and follower list.
[35:00] How writing is very different from speaking.
In this episode, Ramy Vance talks about why focusing all of your efforts on week 1 is the wrong approach…and why he’s making a 3 year commitment to promoting his book (and why you should too).
We also talk about:
– How to get 100’s of reviews on your book within months of your launch (practical steps anyone can take)
– How to sell more audiobooks (and how Amazon promoting his book led him to #9 on all of Amazon)
– The playbook to selling anything on Amazon (physical products or books)
…and so much more. Don’t miss this interview!
Ramy Vance is a former SPS student turned coach. He is the lead coach and creator of the fiction online course at Self-Publishing School. Ramy leads both Fundamentals of Fiction courses, has authored 29 books and coached over 400 students in the past five years. Listen in to find out the fundamental errors to avoid when writing a fiction novel and his seasoned advice on fiction authors’ best writing approach.
When asked what it takes to sell fiction books, Ramy advises, “You don’t have to have a great story to sell, but you have to have a story that hits certain genre expectations.” To head in the right direction for fiction publishing, Ramy suggests meeting the genre and subgenre expectations right at the beginning of your book. “If you don’t meet these expectations in the beginning, then you’re not going to sell it.” Make sure to hit the critical market selling points in your book and your book description and cover content.
If you want to bring clarity to your writing, Ramy suggests to figure out your Tier 1. “Your Tier 1 is a set of criteria, such as guidelines, that you can contribute to your book and look at the key points of your book that make your book unique.” Once you’ve identified these Tier 1 elements of your novel, check out other published books with 6 out of 10 of these same vital ideas to paint a picture of your ideal avatar – the audience you are writing for with your reader in mind.
Figure out the “trope” or storyline that your book fits into when thinking of your story outline. Form a compilation from the combination of your Tier 1, avatar, and trope to create a compelling book cover and description. “These are giving me direction, so I’m not randomly throwing darts in the dark.”
In addition to these components of writing fiction, an author must look at genre expectations. “It’s a holistic approach because you can’t just look at each part; you have to look at how each part plays together.” At the top of your business funnel, you want to attract the right readers to your book page with great reviews and solid front matter content. Ramy suggests doing your best to capture the right readers early on, to train Amazon AI to push your novel to your avatar.
[02:59] What to expect when you publish your first fiction book.
[04:12] The worst thing that can happen to a fiction writer.
[07:05] How the Tier 1 Concept can bring clarity to an author.
[13:30] The process of getting in front of your avatars on Amazon.
[15:50] Two types of mistakes that lead to failures when creating your fiction book.
[17:41] Why genre expectations matter in fiction books.
[20:05] Make sure to deliver on the promise that you’ve made in the first few pages of your novel.
[21:42] How to build a fiction career through a series of books.
[26:58] The process of cyber-stalking your favorite authors to choose your genre expectations.
[31:45] Lessons Ramy learned when writing his fiction novels.
Today, I’m joined by Brad Lomenick, author of The Catalyst Leader and H3 Leadership. He sees his role as equipping, inspiring, and releasing the next generation of young Christian leaders through events, resources, consulting, content, and connecting a community of like-minded Catalysts all over the world.
Brad didn’t have a brand book for Catalyst and never saw himself as an author, and many people were encouraging him to write a book. “I felt like people were saying that I should jump into that pool, and I still don’t consider myself a writer.” He felt a brand book was essential to capture the essence and stories of his brand. “We didn’t have something that would outlast us.” For Brad, his book will be his remnant that will be around forever. “Books are a lasting legacy because a book is going to be around for a long time.”
“Anyone who does conferences you know that the ongoing connection and conversation will have points to learn and intersect.” He thinks of his book as a connecting resource between what people take away from a conference they’ve participated in and what they can learn while reading his content.
His second book, H3, is his life book. “It’s my personal story, it’s much more of my personal mantra, and it’s my life brand book.” He believes this book feels more personal, and therefore, more people are affected by reading this book.
Listen in to find out how Brad wrote his life message into his book, why he encourages people to write the business book first, and how Brad promoted his personal book. Learn how Brad promotes his book on podcasts, how you can think innovatively to approach outlets for promotion, and why you need to make it easy for others to promote and sell your book.
[03:20] Why Brad doesn’t consider himself a writer with two books to his name.
[03:57] What a brand book does for your company.
[05:50] The brand building movement with his book.
[09:25] How H3 fit into Brad’s journey and story.
[11:05] The order of writing his books from business to personal.
[14:49] Marketing tactics Brad used to market his book.
[23:22] Why Brad changed his marketing strategy with his second book.
[27:38] Tips for reaching out to people that you don’t know to promote your book.
[29:22] The more assets you have, the more you can trade with cross-promotion.
[30:02] How he received so many reviews for his book.
Today, I’m joined by Ryan Moran, who is the author of a new book, Twelve Months to One Million and the founder of Capitalism.com, where he teaches entrepreneurs to build businesses and invest their profits. He is best known for his work helping over 300 entrepreneurs build seven-figure companies.
“I think very strategically, my two favorite board games are Risk and Monopoly.” Although he had a plan and strategy to release his book, the pandemic shut the world down, and Ryan had to rethink his game plan.
When planning his book, Ryan had difficulty thinking about what he should write and how he should write his book. Talking with his future agent, Ryan quickly figured out his topic. He needed to narrow his focus from giving many details to bringing the reader from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.
“One of the things that worked best is that I gave my editor permission to edit me ruthlessly.” He also gives his video editors this permission as he wants his content to make sense and be valuable to the listener. “Having that permission to take what I say is not so sacred, and to have a lot of words get deleted, made the book better. It didn’t make my ego happy, but it made the book much better.”
Ryan talks about the launch’s focus, which is to have your book sell more copies one year from the date of publication than it did when you launched your book. “Right now, my sales are more than double right now than when we launched.” He talks about the importance of “going all-in” on every positive review you get, when you land and sell a customer, how to leverage your relationships to market your book, and how he changed his plans for a speaking tour when COVID hit.
Listen in to find out how to get over a hundred book reviews, book marketing pivots that worked during the pandemic, how to land audiobook sales, and how to strategically plan your book marketing.
[02:19] How the pandemic affected Ryan’s book marketing plan.
[04:38] Why Ryan decided to write his first book.
[06:15] The book writing process he decided to take for his first novel.
[07:45] What he would have done differently in his book publishing process looking back.
[09:33] Ryan’s book marketing strategy and how he had to pivot during the pandemic.
[12:22] Where Ryan’s book is now with reviews and sales.
[16:05] His experience with business and the hard work that comes along with a business and book.
[20:49] Ryan’s pre and post-COVID marketing plans and the pivots he made to sell his book in a down market.
[25:10] How he received over 400 reviews before the first year of book publishing.
[28:16] When Ryan knows that people are consuming his book.
[30:27] How his book fits in with Ryan’s long-term business strategy.
[34:07] Why you need to have confidence in your book before your book publication.
If you’re here, you might be wondering how to be a writer for a living. When I see bestselling authors who have turned writing books into a full-time career, I have to stop and ask myself: “How did they do it?”
Stephen King has written over seventy bestsellers since the publication of Carrie in 1974. To this day he continues to write consistently.
James Patterson has sold more than 300 million books worldwide. He has been quoted as saying: “It’s pretty much seven days a week for me. You’re lucky if you find something you like to do and then it’s a miracle somebody will pay you to do it. That’s my situation. It’s not work for me. These are all stories that I’m really dying to tell.”
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, once jobless and with a dependent child, has sold over 430 million copies of her books.
What magic formula do these authors have? What super-talent have they been blessed with? What am I NOT doing now that I could be doing to turn my passion for writing into a real career?
How to Be a Writer
Now you might be thinking, “Well, good for them. But I just want to make enough money on my writing to earn a living, not 100 million bucks!”
But it’s not about how much money you can make at your writing. That might come later, but what really matters is this: practicing the habits and actions professional authors implement as part of their work life that leads to this kind of success. You don’t have to earn a fortune to be a professional writer; you just need to model what the pros do and the outcome will take care of itself.
There are a set of definitive traits pro authors have that make them masters of the trade. Good writing that sells is the result of these essential traits. For both indie and traditionally published authors, these 10 traits of professional authors are universal and a must-have for launching your author career.
Here are the top 10 traits of pro authors, and how you can adopt these traits to become a professional writer that gets books published, earns you an income, and creates a sustainable business you can grow and love.
Pro Author Trait #1: Develop a Daily Writing Habit
Pro writers have developed the writing habit. They write almost every day and have a word count goal for the day. Pro writers stick to a consistent writing schedule and put in the time to put pen to paper [or words into a Word doc]. This is one of the most critical traits. Without putting in your writing time, your book becomes a “someday” thing instead of an “it’s-happening-right-now” thing.
By nurturing the writing habit, you are creating content people will love to read and pay money for. You will exercise that writing muscle and churn out a great story, a memoir, or a book that offers solutions.
What is my daily word count goal?
How many words would I have to write every day to finish my next book by a chosen deadline?
How many books could I finish in a year if I stick to a writing habit of 1500 words per day? [You might be surprised!]
Pro Author Trait #2: Approach Writing as a Business
A hobby is something you do when you have time; the business of writing and becoming a pro author is what you make time for every work day. Authors who approach writing as a business are far more likely to succeed than hobby authors who show up occasionally with little direction and lofty ideas. A professional author is, essentially, a creative business person.
As with any business, your author business needs a schedule, deadlines, goals, and a plan. Authors spend time planning the material they are creating, how they will deliver it and, most important, they deliver when that deadline approaches.
As with any job, you have to show up every day at the time designated or else you don’t get paid. Writers who make a living at their craft go to work every day with the mindset that this IS their business and not just a dreamy project that they are going to pick away at. One of the fatal flaws many “hobby authors” make is in thinking that the writing success will just happen if they keep plugging away haphazardly. Maybe it will, but most likely, it’s your approach to the writing craft as a business that will determine your level of success.
Of course there is nothing wrong with writing as a hobby! However, if you want to turn this into a real thing, start to think and plan as a business leader. Pro authors make a living at writing because they are intentional with their business goals.
Am I a writing hobbyist or is this my future business?
Pro Author Trait #3: Write Valuable Content People Want to Read
A pro author does one of two things: either tells a good story [fiction] or provides solutions to a problem [nonfiction]. A great author can even combine both for a more compelling read!
It isn’t enough just to be a good writer, but you have to write with intentional purpose and provide valuable content people want to read. If you write fiction, you craft page-turners with crisp plots leading to a compelling climax.
For nonfiction authors, your readers have a problem and they need you to solve it. Knowing your audience and writing for them is the best way to make your content valuable and in demand. You can master your craft by giving people what they desire most: entertainment, information, inspiration, or a book that promises to change their lives forever.
Who am I writing for?
Does my content provide a specific solution?
Am I engaging my readers?
Pro Author Trait #4: Delegate Business Work to Other Professionals
There are so many tasks that a writer can do that have nothing to do with writing: editing, cover design, formatting, book promotions, and social media engagement. The list is endless. For pro authors, the crux of your daily activities should focused around product creation. This could be writing a book, blogging, or creating a course.
But the fact is, time is limited. If you try to do it all, you’ll get burned out and start watching television to escape.
As with any business, you need a tribe of people assigned to different parts of the business so that you have more time to do the work that only you can do: writing books. This means creating content readers love should be at the forefront of your business. Delegating everything else to freelancers will save you precious time and eliminate the stress of feeling like “I have to do it all”. You’d be surprised at how many freelance writing gigs and services are out there!
Is there anything I’m doing that falls outside of content creation?
If so, could the extra work be done by someone else?
Could I find someone on Upwork or Fiverr to take care of it, or do I need to look elsewhere?
Identify where you can save yourself both time and stress by delegating the little stuff so you can spend more time doing what pro authors do best…write books!
Pro Author Trait #5: Become a Habitual Note Taker
Both fiction and nonfiction writers craft their books around the ideas they have day and night.
And we never know when or where these ideas are going to strike.
Ideas are like rainbows; one minute they’re here and the next minute…poof, they’re gone!
You need to be ready at all times to catch ideas as they come.
If not, you’ll struggle to remember hours later what that “golden idea” was that passed through your mind.
Get into the habit of carrying a small notebook with you.
When you go to sleep, keep your notebook within reach for ideas that come in the night, or as you doze in the morning.
You can install idea-capturing apps on your devices such as Evernote, Simplenote, and Apple Notes. Make your idea capturing system easily accessible at all times.
How can I set up my system for note taking when I’m on the run? When I’m sleeping? When I’m at a party conversing with important people and suddenly get that idea I’ve been waiting for all year?
Pro Author Trait #6: Read with Purposeful Intent
Writers read! Yes, we love reading. It stimulates your imagination and paves the way for more ideas. You can read books in your genre or read something totally unrelated. When you’re not writing, set aside time to read your favorite book. If you are writing a series of books on sales, you could read books on that topic. It could give you more insight into your area of expertise.
What book can I start reading now that would improve my business or contribute to personal development?
Pro Author Trait #7: Retain Readers and Build a Loyal Fan Base
If you notice, almost all professional authors got that way because they focused on a particular brand or niche. Then they built a strong following of raving fans in that niche. Readers become fans and fans become regular customers who buy your other books.
The best way to create a loyal following is to write for your fans. Keep giving them more of what they crave by constantly creating content that offers value. When you write, know who you are writing for and create content they need.
By using an email marketing service such as MailChimp or AWeber, you can gather email addresses of your loyal fans and communicate with them regularly. Pro authors understand the absolute must of having an email list, and they build their author business entirely around it.
Am I writing for a specific niche, or do I change topics often?
What do my readers like about my work? If you aren’t sure yet, find out why people are reading your stuff.
What email marketing service am I using to collect email addresses?
Pro Author Trait #8: Recognize the Importance of Rewriting
Every great author knows that the real writing isn’t in the first draft—the real work towards greatness begins during the self-editing phase. The first draft offers a framework for the book and the rewrite is the guts of the machine; it’s here that all the sweating and crying pays off.
Writing is 10% talent and 90% hard work. The pros spend about 20% of their efforts on the first draft and the rest goes towards rewriting, revising, pulling their hair out, and refining the manuscript until they get it to the point that it’s good enough to ship to the editor.
Many authors, even the pros, can get bogged down in editing. This is especially true when the perfectionist monster is on your back. But real pros know that an unfinished book is an unpublished book, and nobody reads a book that isn’t published.
In a very tiny nutshell, here’s how to be a writer:
Be a pro.
Revise your work.
Let a professional editor polish it.
Ship your product.
Do I spend enough time on rewriting?
Do I get bogged down in the editing phase and need to ship it to the editor?
Pro Author Trait #9: Ship Product Consistently Despite Their Fears
“Ship often. Ship lousy stuff, but ship. Ship constantly. Skip meetings. Often. Skip them with impunity. Ship…The paradox of our time is that the instincts that kept us safe in the day of the saber tooth tiger and General Motors are precisely the instincts that will turn us into road kill in a faster than fast internet-fueled era. The resistance is waiting. Fight it. Ship.”
James Patterson published 15 titles last year. Indie author Patrick King publishes a book every 4-5 weeks.
Pro authors are always putting out content and creating. But shipping raises fear in many people. Let’s face it, it’s scary to put stuff out there for everyone to judge and criticize. But if you want to become the professional you know you can be, you have to ship your product as often as you can.
Am I stuck because I’m afraid of shipping my book?
How can I get over the fear of putting my content out there?
Pro Author Trait #10: Become a Master of Rejection
If there is any one trait that a professional writer has it is this: the ability to keep pushing forward despite the critics, naysayers, and abundant forms of rejection. You’ve no doubt heard the stories of power authors like Rowling and Grisham, King and Margaret Mitchell. Getting rejected or having your draft torn apart by critics and reviewers can crush your confidence, but only if you let it.
The one trait that turns an average person into extraordinary is the ability of taking rejection and crushing through the barrier of being told “No.” The authors who make it develop grit. In psychology, grit is based on your passion for a particular long-term goal, alongside motivation to achieve your objective. In other words, you get what you want when you want it badly enough.
How badly do I want to write this book?
Am I passionate about the story or content I am crafting?