SPS 214: The Pursuit Of The Wall Street Journal Bestseller List…Exactly What It Takes with Steve Chou

Posted on Jun 14, 2023

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Written by Chandler Bolt

Home > Blog > Podcast > SPS 214: The Pursuit Of The Wall Street Journal Bestseller List…Exactly What It Takes with Steve Chou


Chandler Bolt (Host) 00:02

Hey, Chandler Bolt. Here and joining me today is Steve Chu. Steve is an influencer in the e-commerce space and has taught thousands of students to effectively sell physical products online at profitableonlinestorecom. He’s also the creator of a wildly popular blog called mywifequitherjobcom and an e-commerce podcast the same name My Wife Quit Her Job. He’s also the author of his upcoming book The Family First Entrepreneur. Check it out. If you’re on watching on YouTube right now, let’s see the book, steve.

Steve Chou (Guest) 00:41

I’m so excited. This is it.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 00:43

Look at that thing Beautiful hard copy, great cover. Yes, that’s the book. We’ll talk about that, obviously, on this episode. This is crazy. I normally have a pretty short bio but I’m doing this research and I’m like, wow, you’ve got about five more businesses that I even knew you had. He also runs a seven-figure e-commerce store called Bumblebee Linnons. So he’s practicing what he’s preaching in the e-commerce space and puts on an e-commerce conference called the Seller Summit. So a lot of experience in e-commerce, a lot of experience online marketing and then now launching his first book. So we’re going to talk about the blends and what are the lessons learned and the carryover. So he’s in presale at the time of recording this podcast. So you’ll get a little bit of behind the scenes of what he’s doing in the presale phase And then, by the time you’re probably listening to or watching this, you’ll be able to go check out the book and see the results of that. So it’ll be kind of a fun behind the scenes of the process. I’ve talked long enough, steve, welcome. Great to have you here.

Steve Chou (Guest) 01:45

Yeah, happy to be here, Chandler. I’m sure most of your audience is interested in just like the book launch process and everything, So we can focus on that today, if you want.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 01:53

Let’s do it So I guess, for starters, i mean, why a book? How do you see this book fitting into your brand and your business? Actually, i’ll maybe put a lens on that question. There’s the reader focus purpose and there’s the author focus purpose, and so I think what I’m really curious about is the author. For you, what does this book do and how does it go?

Steve Chou (Guest) 02:16

Yeah, so writing a book has always been on my bucket list, and one of the reasons I wrote the book is because I’ve always felt that most of the entrepreneurship advice that I’ve been getting doesn’t really apply to me, because it’s traditionally given by single dudes who don’t have any responsibilities, no kids, and they can just work 80 hours a week. But that’s not the case for myself or a lot of people out there who have families, and so I work 20 hours a week. I have multiple seven figure businesses and I got these two kids that occupy almost all my afternoons and my weekends because they’re playing club volleyball right now. So I’m basically writing a book for people from the perspective of a father with two kids who actually wants to spend time with their family and still make some pretty good money at the same time.


As I mentioned before, it’s always been on a bucket list and I’ve always dreamed of taking my kids over to the Barnes and Nobles and telling them Hey, look, my dad’s book, your dad’s book is on the shelf, and I’ve been blogging for over a decade now, and I had the YouTube channel on the podcast, and my mom has never read a single thing or listened to anything, but when I told her that I was publishing a book, she got all excited. She was like, oh, where can I read it? Where can I buy it? I’m going to get a whole bunch of copies, can you sign mine? And I’m like, all right, i finally finally got some validation from the street cred with mom Street cred.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 03:37

There you go. Oh, that’s awesome, and so I know you’ve got, you got a book deal And you did the book with I’m forgetting right now Harper Collins, yeah, okay, so Harper Collins, so how’d you get the book deal And are you glad you went that route, or any reflections, kind of post.

Steve Chou (Guest) 03:57

Yeah. So for me, honestly, the book has always been about kind of ego, to be honest with you. So that’s why I went to traditional route. I think if you want to go and actually make money with a book, then you self publish, like I’m fully on board with self publishing. I’m glad I went to traditional route because that’s really the best way to get into stores And my goal is to hit the best seller list Right And to get that book deal.


I want to say almost took a year. I had to write a book proposal which ended up being a lot of pages I want to say it was like 50 pages or even more where I outlined all of my audiences And I estimated how many books I could sell. I had the table of contents And I also wrote a sample chapter And then I had to find an agent who then shop that proposal around And I think the agent just has a lot of connections with the big five publishers. And then I went through a lot of meetings through a lot of different publishers And then we had we set a date for like, the bids to come in And it was almost like selling a house in a way, like everyone’s bid came at the same time And then we kind of reviewed them And then we chose a winner.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 05:04

Got it Cool. So the book proposal I mean obviously the fact that you’ve got an existing audience. That is a major help, i mean, for those who don’t know. I mean it’s you know, it’s like kind of like they say banks give money to people who don’t need it And they’re going to give you money if you don’t need it. Publishers are only going to give publishing deals to people who don’t need a publishing deal. You need an audience And the book proposal for them is how are you going to sell books? And so that’s I think, yeah, thanks for walking us through that process. Quick sidebar for anyone who wants to learn more about a book proposal episode 78 on the podcast with Chad Allen, we talk about how to write a book proposal that gets you a book deal. So if you’re going to go, we won’t go deep in that on this episode, but if you want to check out that other episode, steve, what was the toughest part of actually writing the book once you got the deal?

Steve Chou (Guest) 05:55

I think the writing part actually wasn’t that bad because I hired someone to help me with it. His name is Jeff Goins And I don’t know if your audience is familiar with him, but he’s a bestselling author. He’s an amazing writer, and the process was I’ve got like a thousand blog posts and I’ve got a ton of solo podcast episodes and a ton of YouTube videos, and I just kind of dumped it on him And then we just kind of talked through. The exact words he uses is I want all the clay on the table, and the clay meaning the content that I’ve ever created. And then the more clay the better, he said, and then we’ll just kind of mold the clay into what you want to talk about, because obviously there’s just too much stuff out there.


It’d be like a 10,000 page book if I were to write it, and so we had a whole bunch of meetings together talking it over, and then we just came up with the table of contents first And just kind of like the big ideas that I wanted to express in the book. And then from there, the process that I used to write it was I just dictate, like I dictate a lot better than I actually write, so I just hit the record button on Audacity, which is the software I use, and I just started narrating what I want in the book And then we just kind of slowly molded it into it. So the writing process is actually easy. I think the hard part is the marketing, and I don’t know what you want to focus on, but I think it’s really hard to sell a book.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 07:20

So that’s, right Yeah.

Steve Chou (Guest) 07:22

Yeah, i mean, i’ve sold physical products online. I sold courses that cost a couple thousand dollars. I’ve sold event tickets where you actually have to get someone to fly out somewhere, pay for the ticket, pay for the hotel, like thousands of dollars, and out of all the things I’ve ever sold, i really think that selling a book is harder. I don’t know if you feel that way, chandler, maybe because and again, i haven’t actually released yet, right, i’m just talking about pre-orders here, not the actual like once it’s on Amazon.


My stuff’s on Amazon, but it’s. You know you can’t get it yet.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 07:56

Right, that’s really interesting. So why do you think that is? Why do you think it’s harder to sell? I mean, because you mentioned e-commerce products. In my experience I would maybe say in-person events like the hardest to get. Because it’s like all right, they got a sold on the event, they got to buy a flight, get a hotel room, be away from their family, like all that stuff. So why do you think this is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to sell?

Steve Chou (Guest) 08:21

And just to be clear, i’m just talking about pre-orders here, when the book hasn’t even available yet. Right, yeah, i would say it’s because I think of all the different mediums where people consume content now, and the culture now is just short attention spans. You know, we’re talking about short form video tweets, like everything’s like 10 seconds or less now, at least I think for like the younger generation. Picking up a book and then spending like a couple hours reading it to learn something doesn’t sound as appealing as it might have had been, like 10 years ago. So that’s why I feel like it’s a little harder. So you actually have to try hard to convince people that what you got is going to be worth the time, because you know it’s a commitment to actually read a book.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 09:05

And so obviously, I mean at the time of recording this podcast, we’re just in pre-order, right? So do you think it’s harder to sell a book in pre-order, or do you think it’s harder to sell a book after it’s actually live? I?

Steve Chou (Guest) 09:19

don’t know the answer to that question. This is my very first book, Taylor.


You’re talking to me in a couple of minds And I’m happy to share my goals. So I want to hit the Wall Street Journal bestseller list And, from what I understand, the best way to do that is to get a bunch of pre-orders, because you have to sell X number of books in a week, in any given week, and the best chance for you to do that, obviously, is if you have all this time to do pre-orders which count towards that first week. And so number one, i think it’s. I’m sure it’s much easier once the book is released, because right now I’m kind of selling vaporware right, so you’re pre-ordering and you’re not going to get like I started this whole pre-order process like three months ago, and so it was even harder three months out, because you’re like, hey, this thing isn’t even going to be out for three months. Most people don’t plan that far ahead, and so that’s. You know, i’m sure it’ll be much easier once the book is out.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 10:11

Yeah. So let’s talk about that three month pre-order process, because I hate to keep referencing this because you know this will be kind of irrelevant to most people listening, but I think it is contextual. So at the time of recording this we’re about two weeks out from launch, right? So just to give people perspective of kind of where we’re at in that pre-launch cycle. So you have a three month. You said you’ve been doing pre-orders for three months. What did that look like? What did you do first? How have you sequenced those pre-sales?

Steve Chou (Guest) 10:42

Yeah. So ironically, i found and I tried a bunch of different things I tried just telling people about the book over and over and over again. That actually doesn’t work that well And what I found that works the best, ironically, is not even selling the book but selling these bonuses. So, as part of pre-order in the book, i’m offering a three day workshop on how to get started in e-commerce and a two day workshop that teaches you how to make money through blogging, podcasting and YouTube Cause those are the things that I do And it ended up just saying, hey, you get the book, you get these bonuses, and I even set up like a private membership site with all these courses in them, so you pre-order the book. You don’t get the book for a long time, but you get access to these bonuses right away, and that started working really well.


After that and this is just my experience I sell courses live, like on a webinar. So I was like, okay, why don’t I try to sell my book on a webinar in a way? So I got on and I promised to teach like a really good lesson on e-commerce, which is what I teach, and I let everyone come in free. So I would amass, like you know 1500 people or whatnot to come on, and then I’d give the class and I’d say, hey, if you want the replay, then you’re going to have to buy the book. You can enjoy everything, live for free, which is the way I’ve always done it, or you can pre-order and get everything forever. And what I also did is I did a private Zoom call only for people who pre-ordered at the end, and that started working really well actually much better than just selling the bonuses.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 12:26

Oh, oh interesting. So you’re saying that selling the book on the webinar worked better than selling the bonuses on a webinar and then having the book included, Or that worked better than just selling the bonus? It’s just separate.

Steve Chou (Guest) 12:41

So one thing was just through email. I said, hey, if you pre-order, you get these bonuses Right, and that worked pretty well. But when I got on live to a captive audience of a bunch of people and just told them that and was interactive with them, that worked a lot better. It’s like an infomercial versus just seeing an ad online. That makes sense.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 13:00

So you talked about pre-order bonuses, the courses and then the three day live event. Then you talked about the webinar and using the webinar and selling the books on the webinar with the bonus Zoom, kind of Q&A just for people who purchased the book or pre-ordered the book. Anything else that you’ve done kind of in that three months.

Steve Chou (Guest) 13:21

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So the reason why the webinar works really well is because there’s a sense of urgency, like you can only get the replays up in a certain point, and once that started working, i was like, huh, okay, i need some sort of sense of urgency. So I started putting a piece of content in that private membership site for people who pre-ordered every single week, and if you pre-order you get everything from then on out. But if you pre-order after a certain date of that bonus, you don’t get access to the old bonus, and so that gave me an excuse to email them every single week saying, hey, this bonus is expiring. If you pre-order it now, you get access to everything from here on out, otherwise you miss out on everything Interesting. Wait, say that one more time.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 14:04

How does that? Okay, so let me give you an example.

Steve Chou (Guest) 14:07

Every single week I would introduce a new video bonus to the private membership site for people who pre-ordered. So, for example, I had a lesson on SEO, I had a lesson on chat GPT, I had a lesson on just conversion optimization. I released those once a week. If you order before, like as early as possible, you get access to all three. If you order one week late, you only get access to two bonuses. If you order two weeks late, you only get yeah. So every week there’s an expiring bonus.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 14:36

That’s cool, that’s cool, i like that. So expiring bonuses and urgency that’s I mean it’s easy for people like you and I in the marketing space to take this for granted because it just feels like it’s so ingrained. Is urgency Of course? Yeah, there’s since of urgency, there’s scarcity, there’s things like that, like those always move tickets, they move product, they move books, they move the product, and so I think that’s a great thing. I mean, i think that’s a great thing, but I guess I’ll get. I’ll share an anecdote And I’d love for you to unpack, like, okay, sense of urgency, any other ways that you’ve done it or why that matters. I mean, i think one of the greatest books of all time is influenced by Robert Chaldeany, my, the principles of persuasion, right, commitment, consistency, liking. We’re back for people. We like urgency, scarcity, kind of all those things. So this sounds very basic, but what is it? Why does it matter in any other ways that you’ve that you’ve used urgency to move books in the pre-sale process?

Steve Chou (Guest) 15:38

Yeah, i mean, actually, things that I’ve been doing is pretty much the, the Chaldeany playbook really. So urgency is, you know, just giving someone a reason to act now as opposed to wait for later. The other thing was reciprocity by giving away free content in return. In this case it was gated, so it wasn’t true reciprocity. What I did that was true reciprocity is I gave out a free chapter of my book. I was like, hey, just grab it here, take a look, and then, if you enjoy like I chose the intro, which was written very well I made sure the intro is written very well gave that out and people enjoyed the intro and they just went and bought the book, right, so you’re giving away value. Actually, in the case of the webinar, i was giving away value. You just couldn’t get the replay unless you purchased the book, so I was giving something first, right.


One thing that I’m working on now, which, now that we’re like three weeks out, i would say, is a launch team. So anyone who, prior to the book, i made them feel special by saying, hey, do you want to be a member of my launch team? You’ll get a free digital copy of the book, special behind the scenes access to see what we’re doing behind the scenes And I’ll give you, like, the live counts and everything, and I’ll be in this special Facebook group interacting with you And just have these people help with reviews, which haven’t happened yet, obviously, but that’s how you saw, i teach how to sell on Amazon, and the way you sell on Amazon is traditionally as you rank for keywords. I think I’m not sure how that works for a book, to be honest with you, but I do know reviews matter Similarly. Yeah, does it Okay?

Chandler Bolt (Host) 17:13

Yeah, and so I want to touch on that real quick, and then I want to talk about the parallels and the crossovers. So I sent you a copy of this book, right?

Steve Chou (Guest) 17:23

I do, i got it Yeah.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 17:24

Boom. So a good refresher as you’re leading up to the launch team. Chapter 15, page 111 is the chapter all on launch teams.


Oh sweet, okay, You’re probably doing most of it, but there might be one or two things that can tweak there. And for people who want to learn about a launch team, check out my book published chapter 15. You talked about the crossover between e-commerce and physical products, so I’m going to say how I view it in my experience, and I’d love to hear what you say. Hey, that isn’t your experience, it is. It’s anything else, because this is one of the fascinating things in PrEP for this interview is like man, i really want to ask, steve, like you have a deep e-commerce background, what’s the crossover? And for anyone who’s maybe an e-commerce, who wants to publish their first book, like, what are the things that they already know that they might not think apply? that does actually apply, and so I guess the way that I’m thinking about it is like Amazon is an algorithm, right, and the algorithm works the same, or pretty similarly, whether you have a physical product or whether you have a book. Now, zooming out a little bit, you also have the algorithm of any.


All of these ecosystems operate pretty similarly. So, like your podcast, for example, downloads and reviews and subscribers right, and similarly on Amazon, the ecosystem is and then you can find podcasts by searching, and so, similarly with books, it’s are you in the right categories where they’re being discovered? Do you have a lot of reviews? Because Amazon wants to make more money, right, so they’re going to show products higher in search that people are likely to buy. Reviews are a buying signal, for that There’s the keywords are different, right To your point, but they’re still buyer intent, like they might be searching for an author or a type of book. And then there’s ads, so there’s Amazon ads, so you can show up under certain authors or certain book titles or whatever, and those are like kind of a lot of the under overarching principles that I feel like probably carries over. What’s your take on that? Anything that you see differently?

Steve Chou (Guest) 19:22

Yeah, I think the difference, in my opinion, between a traditional e-commerce product and a book is that if I’m looking for an e-commerce product, i might type in you know, i need pants and I look for them, but with a book, usually they’re looking for an author, i don’t know. Maybe you can answer this question. Do people just search for, like business book? Did they type that in and search and then buy that way, or are they looking for a specific title?

Chandler Bolt (Host) 19:49

I think a lot of times it’s title or author, but I always go back to what’s your. You know what’s your search Like? how do you find books? Now, obviously there’s recommendation engines, but for me right now it’s like I’m trying to learn on real estate investing, so I am typing different keywords of like multifamily real estate investment.

Steve Chou (Guest) 20:07

Or I’m typing.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 20:08

So it’s, it’s my mind goes to how can I get as specific as possible with the keyword? So for me, i know this, like how to write a book, how to publish a book, there’s, there’s all these kind of phrases that can help rank on on Google as well, because Amazon’s, you know Amazon’s so powerful that you, you know you can rank under certain search terms with books and with products and stuff like that. But then also what, what might be the, the search terms that they’re searching inside the platform.

Steve Chou (Guest) 20:36

So traditionally the way I do it for a physical product is I use a tool like Jungle Scout, which tells me what people are searching for, the keyword volume and how hard it is to rank for that item, like what the sales velocity needs to be. I would imagine for a book like real estate that keyword’s got to be pretty competitive, i’m guessing. So I would just choose all the different permutations And if I were to try to game the system and I’m not sure if you guys do this for my followers I would have them type that keyword in search, then buy the book.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 21:06


Steve Chou (Guest) 21:08

Yeah, that’s how you would game it, or there’s other ways. Is that what you?

Chandler Bolt (Host) 21:10

do on the e-commerce side of things. Yes, got it. That makes sense.

Steve Chou (Guest) 21:15

Yeah. So I wasn’t sure if I needed to do that with this book because, like, are people really searching for business book? I guess I can look online and see if that’s true And if that’s the case, then reviews really matter And keyword intent really matters, like what they’re searching for to find your book. But I would imagine most of them are going to be searches for the author name and the actual book title.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 21:37

Yeah, I think that’s true.

Steve Chou (Guest) 21:39

One thing that I’ve found is that it’s actually really easy to rank in a category for a book. There was one day when I think I moved like 100 books. I shot up to number one in like five categories. So clearly that indicates to me that, and against some of the big names too, that indicates to me that there aren’t actually a whole lot of book sales happening in any given day. Would you agree with that for a specific book?

Chandler Bolt (Host) 22:04

in the business category at least. I mean, i think there’s a lot of book sales that’s happening in any given day, but I think it’s just a matter of what are the books in those categories and what’s the competitiveness of the books in those categories. And the long tail, right, because oftentimes it’s like we can see a book is like oh wow, that’s a huge book and a big name, it was published a decade ago And so how many copies is that book really selling on a day in, day out, week in, week out basis? It still probably has a pretty strong long tail, but if you coming in and selling 100 books in a day or whatever, might be more than that book sales on an average day, kind of. That’s how I look at it.

Steve Chou (Guest) 22:44

I mean even some large categories, like, I think, small business, like I just sold 100 books and I shot up to like the top five or something like that And I was like, ok, well, does that mean that a lot of small business books aren’t selling that many copies in a day? I don’t know. It’s nice, it’s gratifying actually, because you see it at the top, and it just makes me feel like, hey, this job might be a little easier than I thought, because with products it’s different. Like, if you’re going for a competitive product and you want to target a keyword and win at it, you got to move a lot of volume. So you look at what the products are, how much volume they’re moving, and you got to match that volume basically.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 23:22

Got it.

Steve Chou (Guest) 23:23

I assume it’s review-based as well, it’s review-based Reviews is all about the conversion rate. So in the e-com space a good conversion rate is 10 percent or above, i imagine. in the book space it’s higher than that because people are searching for authors and titles.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 23:38

So the intent is higher when they actually land on the page. Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. You can run ads on certain search terms. Similarly, to make sure you can do it on the product side of things.

Steve Chou (Guest) 23:48

Yeah, the publisher is actually running the ads for it. It was funny about this is I was like, hey, do you want me to take over that, since I run ads for my stuff? But I imagine they already know which keywords to use. I don’t know. We’ll see how that goes. I’m very curious at the ads.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 24:03

I wouldn’t hold your breath. Just quite candidly, just from people that I’ve, a lot of my traditionally published friends, i’m like, oh cool, let me tell you what we’re doing with ads. You do this, try this, and it’s just normally the publishers aren’t super receptive, unless they’re maybe a smaller, more hybrid publisher. Then they might be more receptive to to. On the ad side of things Let’s talk about, i know so I want to talk about the journey to Wall Street Journal bestseller. Like that’s the goal, and how have you been thinking through that? Yeah, and how have you been moving books and pre-sales? So Wall Street Journal, that’s the goal. You said, hey, about 5,000 copies by week one or before and during week one, Yeah, you mentioned that you’ve got about a thousand pre-orders so far, 2,500 in pre-order, so about 30, sorry, in like book, book buys.


Yeah, so about 3,500, which is really, really solid, especially even just in pre-release, and I think you’ll see that that launch week will be very, very, very solid. But talk to me about, like, how are you approaching that? How did you break down that 5,000 number and are you like, all right, i’m expecting X amount from bulk, x amount from this, and kind of like, how are you looking at it?

Steve Chou (Guest) 25:20

I don’t know what I’m doing, chandler, i’ll just. but I do know that I have relationships with a lot of people over the years from running the podcast. So I so one prong of that approach was just hitting up all my buddies to be on their podcast and thank you so much, chandler, for having me And so I’ve been doing a bunch of interviews and for some of my buddies, i’ve just been asking them to just blast out to their email list And that’s actually worked quite well. And I’ve worked since I run an event. I’ve been working with a lot of companies who have sponsored me over the years. So I was like, hey, i got a YouTube channel, i got a podcast.


If you want me to make a video for you or if you want to come on as a guest, just buy a hundred or 200 books or whatever and just give them away to your audience. just give them away. So I have a sign up sheet for them and you know I do a video for them or whatnot. And then they, they, they pay me for the books. And then I say, hey, just give them away to your audience, fill out this form and I’ll just make sure they get a book. It’s that simple.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 26:23

Oh interesting. So you’re doing bulk purchases and then you you’ll bulk ship them to that person, or you’re actually individually shipping? Individually shipping I mean I run an e-commerce company.

Steve Chou (Guest) 26:35

right, yeah, okay.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 26:40

So walk me through the mechanics of that. Like is your publisher fulfilling on that, Or you?

Steve Chou (Guest) 26:45

No, i actually have a book launch coach who’s helping me with that process. I don’t know, actually, what’s going on behind the scenes.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 26:51

to be honest with you, I see, got it So okay, so so. But the whatever’s happening behind the scenes. The mechanism is you can say, hey, chandler, bulk by 200 books, and I’ll come in and do this thing, and you can give them.

Steve Chou (Guest) 27:08

And you say, hey Chandler, you can just send out, i guess, a form or something, just a form of just addresses of people who want the books and I just make sure that those people get books Cool.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 27:17

And that’s a fun win-win.

Steve Chou (Guest) 27:19

Yeah, Sometimes I do a promotion where I’ll sign the books. I don’t know how that’s going to work out. I hope it’s not too many. I promised that to one person. I was like, Oh, what am I getting into? But you know it’s fun. Yeah, Yeah.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 27:30

That’s a little bit trickier logistically, right, Because then you got to get it shipped to you, sign it, And then you have to ship it somewhere else. You kind of pay double shipping, Correct Heaven forbid. You’re doing single orders. I mean if it’s like all right, I’m going to sign 200, then the logistics of I got to collect 200 addresses and all this And that can be a little bit tricky.

Steve Chou (Guest) 27:51

It’s tricky, but I run an e-commerce company and we ship out hundreds of packages a day. It’s not a big deal, right For sure, as long as it’s reasonable, yeah.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 27:59

Okay. So thanks for unveiling that bulk purchase process. Anything else that’s worked well. Specific to bulk orders To bulk orders.

Steve Chou (Guest) 28:14

No, i mean, the real key is just make sure real people are getting them Right. And you know books are expensive, so it’s not like you’re going to buy them all yourself. I mean they won’t count right to the best of the list, like if you buy like a thousand books or so, it’s just not going to count. You have to have real people getting the books.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 28:31

Yeah, and so I guess, on that note, when you’re doing those books, like is this an 80-20 at work, like do you have a couple of people who are like, hey, i’ll buy 500 or I’ll buy 700 or something like that, or is it more of? hey, we’ve gotten to 2,500 and it’s been kind of like a hundred here, a hundred there.

Steve Chou (Guest) 28:50

It’s just been a hundred here, a hundred there, like I mean, if you think about it, each book and I don’t know if it’s because of the cost of the paper each book at retail right now for my book is 30 bucks, right. So if a company is spending, like, if they want to buy a hundred books, that’s three grand, right. So you’re talking about like a thousand books, that’s a lot of money, talking 30 grand, right. What company is going to bulk, buy, pay 30 grand? I mean I’d have to do a hell of a lot of work for them somehow to do that. I don’t know.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 29:26

All right. So we’ve dove into the I’m just taking a bunch of notes here We’ve dove into the bulk purchase process, the pre-sale process, the three-month pre-order and all that stuff. What’s your game plan for launch week and what do you expect to kind of be the biggest needle movers of books during launch week?

Steve Chou (Guest) 29:49

I have absolutely no idea, chandler. I’ll tell you my plan. We’ll see if it works. So I got the launch team, so I get a bunch of reviews immediately upon launch. That’s the hope. And then I’m going to just start blasting like crazy And I have all these social posts that I’ve amassed which are all going to go out like every single day that week Like fun videos. So my book’s called The Family First Entrepreneur, so my family’s involved, so there’s just like funny skits and stuff that we’ve kind of put together trying to get people to sign up. I’m going to hit up all my friends to blast their lists during that week And all the podcasts in theory should go out on launch week like all at the same time, like all those exposure from everywhere, and so I’m going to be just posting on social media every time I’m on one of those podcasts and everything, and just hope for the best man. Do you have any suggestions?

Chandler Bolt (Host) 30:42

Yeah, i mean. So there’s a few things, and I’ve got a chapter on this in the book too. It’s just like I love the concept of involving your family. But so back to Robert Chaudhini influence, right, social proof.


So what I like to do is celebrate certain milestones. It’s like shouting out reviews, shouting out, hey, we got to 50 reviews, the goal’s 100 by the end of the week. So for me, sure, book sales are important, but I like to really focus on reviews as the singular North Star, because if someone’s going to leave a review, they probably have to buy the book. And so instead of me asking for two things, i’m asking for one thing all week leave a review, leave a review, grab a copy, leave a review, but the review is the focus and celebrating that, and there’s a lot of social proof around that.


And then, with the launch team, what a lot of our authors find that is different from what they think. They think, hey, i’ve got this last team, it’s great, we’ve got 100 people, 100 reviews done. Deal, it’s a lot more one on one follow up than you think, and so that’s what we’re recommending. We always recommend, when people say, all right, launch day, one or two hour, block to text message or email each person individually on your launch team about leaving a review, day two, day three And then making it fun, having some memes ready to go, like we’ve got a guy who teaches on this and with our authors is. He talked about follow up, being pleasantly persistent but making it funny And so he would have a meme and it’s like the Pablo Escobar from Narcos. You know where he’s like. He’s waiting, waiting, you know, and it’s me waiting for you to leave your review.


And just like this stuff, like or like another one that’s like a skeleton on a on a bench and it’s like me, just like just fun, like really making it fun. And then actually one commonality that I’ve seen for a lot of people on this podcast, because I’m always asking, obviously, like, hey, what books, what work? well, all that stuff one commonality that you wouldn’t think of, that feels a little bit like I’m gonna do that, Do I know is going through your contacts on your phone and every single person saying Hey and having some sort of template. it would mean the world to me if you grabbed a copy of the book today.


And just that one to one hand to hand combat making a big difference, whether it’s for reviews, specifically, or for individual book sales. So it’s not, you know, quote unquote, scalable, but it seems to move the needle for a lot.

Steve Chou (Guest) 33:14

I mean every copy counts you know, yes, so, and every review counts. I mean, there’s studies on Amazon. I don’t know if this applies to books, but as soon as you cross in a physical product realm, as soon as you cross 10, the conversion rate shoots up. As soon as you cross like 100, it shoots up even more, and if you can get past 1000, conversion rate is sky high. I believe that for sure?

Chandler Bolt (Host) 33:36

Yeah, I believe that for sure, With a man we’re. I’m running out of time here with all my questions So I asked you a couple final ones. So the concept of family first entrepreneur, can you just walk us through I know this is a big question, but some of the kind of core tenants or principles from the book and how that can apply to authors.

Steve Chou (Guest) 34:00

How can apply to authors? I mean, i consider writing a book like a business, as, as I’m sure you do, it’s going to provide leads and that sort of thing And one thing I talk about in the book have you heard of the four burners theory, chandler?

Chandler Bolt (Host) 34:12


Steve Chou (Guest) 34:13

So the four burners theory states that in your life it’s run by four burners family, work, friends and health. And in order to do one thing well, you have to turn off at least one burner. And if you want to do something really well, you got to turn off two. And if you’re Elon Musk, you have all of them turned off except for the work burner. Right? Really, what it’s saying is that you have to prioritize things, right? So in the book obviously it’s called the family. First, I prioritize family, and you just have to understand that you can’t do everything. And then you need to make some tradeoffs.


So for me, family is number one, and then I would say health and work follow. And then if I have to turn off a burner, i’ll usually turn off the friends burner for a little bit. And the other thing is, you know we’re all juggling a lot of things. At least most people are in life. You have to understand which balls are made out of glass and fragile and which ones can bounce back. So for me, my glass balls and my family and the ones that can bounce back traditionally are, you know, friends, like there’s some people that I don’t keep in touch with, but when we do get together, it’s great.


So it’s really about prioritization and then understanding that everyone these days should be starting a side hustle. I think we’re living in this period right now, especially with AI, where a lot of people are going to lose their jobs And unless you have something else going on and it doesn’t have to be huge just while you’re working, just have a side hustle, and who knows, that side hustle might turn into something big, like we sold handkerchiefs and our initial goal was just to make like five grand and it’s turned into a million dollar business And we didn’t plan necessarily for that to happen. But you have to have these seeds planted in order to even give it a chance for it to happen. And so the book is about how to start a side hustle, and the second half of the book is really how to maintain it and scale it so that you’re not killing yourself, so that you’re not working eight hours a week in order to do so.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 36:10

That’s awesome. I love that. Well, steve, where can people go to buy the book, grab a copy, find out more about what you’re up to. All that good stuff.

Steve Chou (Guest) 36:20

Yeah, just go over to thefamilyfirstentrepreneur.com and you can buy the book anywhere, but there’s a form on that site to redeem the bonuses. As I mentioned before, there’s a three day workshop on how to get started with print on demand, specifically to get started e-commerce. There’s also a two day workshop on how to make money with content YouTube, podcast and blogging And I’m also doing this what I call a six week family first challenge, where I’m going to be in a Facebook group with you guys and help you figure out what your side hustle is going to be, and it’s going to be a real interactive experience.

Chandler Bolt (Host) 36:54

Awesome. Well, thefamilyfirstentrepreneur.com check it out and grab a copy of the book. If you can’t spell entrepreneur, you know what? I think it’s just kind of the most messed up word for people that usually become entrepreneurs. It’s like what? So that’s got to spell that. Then just Google it thefamilyfirstentrepreneur You’ll find the family first entrepreneur website. You can grab the book. You can grab it on Amazon. It’s kind of like the word rural.


I’ve always been out in the country and I’m like why do you call it rural? That’s the hardest word to say. Oh man, thefamilyfirstentrepreneur.com Check out the book y’all. Steve, good luck on the launch. It’s been really, really fun seeing the behind the scenes of the launch. I appreciate you being so transparent with your strategies, with your numbers, with everything, and I hope that a bunch of people buy the book and read the book. It’s just cool seeing what you’re doing. So appreciate it, ma’am.

Steve Chou (Guest) 37:54

Cool man. Thanks for the tips too. You got it.

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