book launch

SPS 041: Using Books to Drive Product Launches with Danny Iny

There needs to be a driving force behind product launches. Danny Iny has found that using books is the perfect driver. Danny is the founder of Mirasee, the host of the Business Reimagined Podcast, and bestselling author of multiple books including Engagement from Scratch!, The Audience Revolution, and Teach and Grow Rich. He is also the creator of the Audience Business Masterclass and Course Builder’s Laboratory which has graduated over 5000 value driven entrepreneurs.

Danny is on top of his game, and a great friend of mine. He doesn’t lose sight of the importance of impact and making a difference in people’s lives. Today, we talk about mistakes Danny made with his very first book. The tactics he used to write and market his official first book, and the importance of creating value for everyone you are involved with from readers to customers and collaborators.

You can find Danny here:
Mirasee
@DannyIny on Twitter
Books by Danny Iny
Danny Iny on LinkedIn
Engagement from Scratch!
The Audience Revolution
Teach and Grow Rich
Audience Business Masterclass
Course Builder’s Laboratory
Business Reimagined Podcast

Show Notes
[01:37] Danny’s actual first book was a book about writing published in 2006. It’ a self-published book and Danny knew nothing about marketing. The lesson learned from this book was that he needed to learn about marketing.
[03:13] In 2011, he published Engagement from Scratch! this was a compilation book about building engagement with your audience.
[04:00] This book was about building an audience when you don’t have one. This book put Danny on the map and grew his initial audience.
[05:36] His co-authors were people who had an audience and reach that he worked hard to build a relationship with. These people are rock stars now and it helped Danny build his reach.
[06:40] Danny was guest posting everywhere. His pitch invited people to contribute a chapter.
[10:32] When asking present what is in it for them and be honest about it.
[11:27] His strategy was to glean knowledge and get extra promotion from his guest authors for the book. He also sent each co-author two or three copies.
[13:03] Measuring up against expectations of people who help you out.
[14:40] The large amount of people who get a book deal and then don’t deliver.
[15:17] With self-published books, you can control everything.
[16:32] How giving away free books actually boosted sales and helped Danny’s career.
[18:13] Having a book support team of people with an audience.
[20:01] If people download a book from your website, you can reach out to them. Danny told his list he was available for podcast interviews.
[23:59] Using the book itself as part of the prelaunch process.
[25:04] People look at things differently when they are learning as opposed to being sold to.
[25:54] The importance of delivering real value and information in a way that people are receptive to it.
[26:41] How a real book can be powerful. Educate the market and help readers accomplish something meaningful.
[28:04] More people will optin in for a download rather than a video. The pages of your book determine how much people will read.
[31:49] Properly resourced projects tend to do well.
[32:52] The book should be great, but your offer is the core of what you are doing.
[34:43] Structure of a launch. First video helps people to see an opportunity that wasn’t there before. Second video helping them to see that it is possible for them. Overcome objections. Third video show what life can be like after the journey.
[36:52] 1 star reviews can be frustrating, just accept it and move on.
[38:35] Books as a long term play. It leads into a launch or an evergreen offer. A book is part of your body and work. The more you create the more visible it is. Create great stuff and write a great book.
[40:25] When cool things happen it is not a surprise. Writing something great will attract a higher caliber or better fit of students or customers.
[42:29] Think about why you want to write and publish a book. Don’t have things that are just steps in the ladder.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Mitch Joel
Guy Kawasaki
Seth Godin
Copyblogger
Self-Publishing Summit
Disrupted
Mirasee
@DannyIny on Twitter
Books by Danny Iny
Danny Iny on LinkedIn
Engagement from Scratch!
The Audience Revolution
Teach and Grow Rich
Audience Business Masterclass
Course Builder’s Laboratory
Business Reimagined Podcast

SPS 040: What I’ve Learned from Writing 10+ Books with Joanna Penn

Fiction writing is fun and creative, but it has it’s own unique set of challenges. Things like character, plot, dialogue and more can trip up new fiction writers. Today, we have NY Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author J.F. Penn here to explain the nuances between writing fiction and nonfiction.

Joanna Penn is a creative entrepreneur, podcaster, professional speaker, and travel junkie who has broken the code with writing fiction and nonfiction and is an expert in the publishing and self publishing industry. She shares the importance of choosing a genre, finding good editors, setting deadlines, research tips, her favorite tools, her favorite books and all kinds of knowledge that will help first time and more experienced authors.

You can find Joanna here:
The Creative Penn
J.F.Penn on Pinterest
J.F.Penn Books
Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn

Show Notes:
[01:56] Differences between writing fiction and nonfiction. There are skills that you need for fiction that you never needed before.
[02:19] Point of view. When writing fiction you can choose a first or third person point of view.
[02:50] Dialogue. This is a skill unto itself.
[03:05] Story structure. If you have read thousands of books it may be embedded, but this is where the craft comes in. There a quite a few things you need to learn to make a reader feel satisfied.
[03:31] You can get some of this through osmosis by reading the genre in which you are going to write, but these skills also need to be honed.
[03:47] Joanna’s first fiction book process. She also blogged about it. She discovered genre and that she loved super natural thrillers. You need an idea to sustain you through the tough times.
[05:05] Her first novel took 14 months. You need to be so excited about your idea. Joanna has been journaling since she was 15. The seed for her idea was from 10 years before. Put everything in your head, so that it can come out in a story.
[06:11] The first book was based on her travels and put into a framework of a story.
[06:47] Sustainable idea? Believing that you are creative enough There is a creativity muscle. Any skill that you use, you can learn more. Look into things you are curious about.
[08:12] Build an audience over time by writing a series.
[08:45] Research and get ideas. Joanna travels a lot. Read other books. Put it all in your head, so that it can come out again. Follow your curiosity.
[10:09] People who like similar things to you will be interested in your fiction.
[10:55] Use Scrivener for your first draft. Often in fiction you don’t write in order. You can write in scenes.
[11:54] Put everything into Scrivener and flush everything out or just start writing. Use timed writing.
[13:22] First drafts for fiction writers are really bad. When you discover you need to learn something learn it by taking a class on dialogue.
[13:51] Hire a ton of editors. Your first book will be the most expensive because you have the most to learn.
Structural edit – story structure etc. Line edits and proof readers. This teaches you how to write.
[15:23] Find an editor that likes your genre. It’s unlikely to find a perfect match on the first try. As you change, your editor will change.
[16:14] Your editor needs to understand your genre. You want one that will fix you and make you better without changing your voice. It takes about 5 books to find your voice.
[17:10] As we become better writers it is ok to rewrite. Your voice comes out when you write what you really think.
[18:00] Joanna uses beta readers for expert suggestions to critique and their expertise and make the book more accurate.
[19:17] Writers groups aren’t really the best place for a critique. Pay an editor.
[20:52] Network with groups of authors online that are in your genre.
[21:48] Joanna goes through every edit manually because she is always wanting to learn.
[22:37] How it feels to get the edits. It can be brutal. Don’t look at it immediately. Give yourself time to read it. Then wait before making changes. Then go back and try to see with different eyes.
[24:03] Series are easier because you already have the characters and a design. HEA happily ever after. Once you understand your genre think about what you need.
[25:21] Destroyer of Worlds based on a statue in India. Brainstorming and Hindu mythology and Oppenheimer then start researching and reading books. Create questions and notes. Maybe spend a month on this part. Create characters, setting, and then start putting scenes in Scrivener. Have a plot because something needs to happen.
[28:06] Joanna has a Pinterest board for each book. Learning and going down rabbit holes can help flush out the book.
[28:43] How much research is enough? Joanna keeps her research in Scrivener. Set a deadline to get it done.
[29:42] Look at your schedule and work out how much time a day that you can spend writing. You can research more as you write.
[31:10] How fiction uses a different part of your brain. Stuff can just come out. It’s stuff you put in your brain at some point. Filling the creative well.
[31:57] Joanna now dictates her books. She also listens to rain and thunderstorms when she writes.
[32:57] You need structure in order to let your creativity out.
[33:25] Joanna writes between 2000 and 4000 words a day. In the morning at her desk or outside as she dictates.
[33:59] Fiction writing is tiring. If you use your willpower early. Fiction writing requires making decisions for your characters which makes it tiring. Writing a novel is hard work.
[35:45] After the first five novels, you get more relaxed and trust yourself more. What comes into your head tends to be the right structure.
[39:03] Carrying over subplots keep notes or have a series.
[40:10] Use brevity to reintroduce characters.
[40:35] Write in areas that you are interested in. How AI will help with book discovery.
[42:14] Deconstructing a novel to learn how to write. Using this as an outline to model.
[43:37] Finding story and plot in the real world. 95% truth and 5% fiction.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Joanna’s Blog About Her First Novel
Scrivener
The Story Grid
Bird by Bird
First Blood
Save the Cat Moment
The Creative Penn
J.F.Penn on Pinterest
J.F.Penn Books
Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn
SPS 016: My Exact Process for Writing 16 Books with Joanna Penn

SPS 039: 80/20 Book Sales & Marketing with Perry Marshall

Perry Marshall has turned 80/20 into a verb. It’s an action you take on your business. It’s the central lever to any great strategy. Perry’s book 80/20 Sales and Marketing is mandatory reading in many growth oriented companies. It’s also one of my favorite books of all time. After reading it, I started giving copies away like I was Oprah. The book is legendary.

He also is a pioneer in web advertising, as the author of the Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords, he laid the foundations for the $100 billion pay per click industry. He is one of the world’s most expensive and sought-after business consultants. He has consulted in over 300 industries and even was an expert witness for Google AdWords litigation. He is a man that actually doesn’t need an introduction. Today, we talk about his book, marketing, advertising, and more.

You can find Perry here:
Perry Marshall
80/20 Sales and Marketing
Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords: How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes
Books by Perry Marshall
@PerryMarshall on Twitter
Perry Marshall Facebook Page

Show Notes
[01:58] Perry’s first book evolved organically. In 2002, he went to a seminar and started using Google AdWords.
[02:48] Perry discovered Google AdWords should be the first marketing step for testing. He was invited to speak at a Ken McCarthy seminar So, he made an ebook to sell at the seminar and on his website in 2003.
[05:15] AdWords became so popular that Perry had to work to stay current with his knowledge and ahead of the competition.
[06:09] The snowball effect of his testimonials worked for him, and it became a self-publishing success story prior to the Kindle.
[06:56] He was selling half a million dollars a year of ebooks.
[09:04] Wikipedia flagged Perry as a non-notable person. To have real longevity Perry needed to engage with the rest of the world.
[11:01] He went to an agent speed dating seminar and found an agent and got a publisher.
[11:58] He makes less money with the published book, but he is established as an expert. It is a long-term play to be a number one author on Amazon.
[13:24] How there can be good reasons to go the traditional route, but there are trade-offs.
[14:11] His first book was about beginner to advanced intermediate PPC or Google AdWords.
[15:28] The seminar got him great customers and testimonials.
[18:19] If you can become the number one expert, you can make a good living.
[19:02] 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
[20:21] There is an 80/20 inside of every 80/20.
[21:03] 50% of customers comes from 1% of your business.
[21:50] In Google AdWords it’s closer to 90/10.  Perry cracked the code on AdWords using 80/20.
[23:14] 80/20 became a staple of what he taught.
[23:52] Perry decided to write an 80/20 book because this was the secret to everything. He wrote the book that he wished he had years ago.
[25:23] 80/20 applied to book marketing. Purchasing a book is like racking a shotgun.
[27:40] Playing poker with marks or guys who are going to lose.
[29:05] Everything in marketing is like racking a shotgun.
[30:33] 20% of people who buy your book will actually read it. 20% of them become your customers.
[32:53] The penny book offer is like the Columbia record and tape club. He makes money off of the backend. The penny won in Columbia’s marketing tests.
[35:03] The advantage of reading a book over looking at a computer screen.
[38:10] How buying Perry’s book is a lesson within a lesson.
[38:35] The average person who takes up his offer spends about $25. You can learn a lot about marketing technique from how they sell the book.
[39:54] Perry is a legendary copywriter.
[40:46] Copywriting is the art and science of saying things so that people want to take action.
[43:03] How to make your book twice as good for $500. Go on Fiver and find candidates for reading your book. Pay 5 gigs or $25 to get them to read the book and answer questions. This can make your book twice as good.
[46:41] Write for an hour everyday, first thing in the morning.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Ken McCarthy
Andrew Goodman
Perry Marshall Round Table
The Jeff Herman Agency
Entrepreneur Press
The 80/20 Principle
The Marketing DNA Test
Fiverr
Eat That Frog
Perry Marshall
80/20 Sales and Marketing
Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords: How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes
Books by Perry Marshall
@PerryMarshall on Twitter
Perry Marshall Facebook Page

SPS 038: Using Books to Build Passive Income with David McKay

Writing a book can benefit your business as well as benefit you as a topic expert. Learn how my guest David McKay was able to do just that. He and his wife Ally have built a successful photography company called McKay Photography where they offer classes and travel photography tours around the world. His bestselling book and speaking engagements have helped propel their business to successful levels.

David is also the author of the  Photography Demystified book series. This is a great episode because we dive into how David used his books to build his company and business. We also learn about business, life, travel, and photography with this artistic photographer and successful businessman and author who has built his business on a local and international level.

You can find David here:
McKay Photography
Photography Classes
Photography Tours
Photography Demystified Books
McKay Photography Academy Facebook
McKay Photography Academy YouTube
McKayLive Instagram

Show Notes
[01:19] How everyone has a story within them. David’s just happens to be about photography. Much more has come out of his writing than he had anticipated.
[02:17] Once David makes a decision, he goes for it. The reason behind the first book was to help the business and residual income.
[03:24] Chandler’s step-by-step process was instrumental to David’s success.
[03:50] He went to a hotel room with a poster board and colored pencils and made a mind map and then started categorizing it.
[04:33] He locked himself in and just went for it. The first book took just over two weeks. It took a half week to get on the bestseller list.
[05:26] How setting the time aside was the big trick to David’s success to getting everything done so fast.
[06:12] After mind mapping and categorizing, he wrote down everything he could in each category and just started typing.
[06:54] He thinks on a linear level, so this helped him stay on track.
[09:34] David had developed an email list through his business, so he sent the list a notice asking if anyone would like to join the advance team and get a free copy of the book and leave a review. He ended up with 900 people.
[10:57] He used followed up emails to encourage people to leave the reviews. He figured if people unsubscribed they weren’t the target market.
[11:41] Inviting the group to stay for the next book worked really well. He also left a special surprise for the first 50 reviewers.
[12:47] He went to number one on free on Amazon. Then when he switched to paid, he also shot to number one.
[13:35] He also sent the $1.99 promo to his entire list to catch the people who didn’t take advantage of the free offer.
[14:17] It took David four years to build his list traveling around the country teaching photography.
[15:17] Then he started running contests giving a free trips on his tours. He also worked with a partner on YouTube. Partner with someone who is doing well.
[16:13] After the contests his email lists went to 21,000 subscribers.
[16:23] The cost isn’t all recouped through the book, but the book is an avenue to get people to take the travel tours.
[17:24] David evolves and changes with the market. Anyone can find a way to do it. He also reached out to manufacturers to sponsor contests.
[18:29] The strength is in numbers. Partnering with people is a great way to get those numbers.
[19:28] If the sponsor also emails the contest they too get to participate in the new email list.
[20:41] It only takes one person to buy into the tour to pay for the contest prize. They booked two tours through the contest.
[23:04] They are willing to work with anybody to get them on the tour. They also offer high and lower priced tours so anyone can do it.
[24:09] There is a link in the book to free content for email subscribers.
[25:36] They also participate in travel and adventure shows to advertise.
[27:19] Old-fashioned advertising is dead. Things need to be done in new creative ways.
[27:47] All of the different streams are leading back to the tours and classes.
[31:30] His first residual check was $856.00 and then $400.00, $400.00, then $500.00. This is still worth the investment especially with the valuable back-end of the book and the email list. He is working on his third book, which he plans to hit hard with the advertising.
[34:21] The power of leveraging local media and PR.
[37:02] Going to libraries and get them to purchase your books.
[37:47] For some people it is just a matter of taking a step.
[38:51] The toughest part of writing the book was overthinking and being a perfectionist. His first editor was not one. Get a good editor.
[41:51] Everyone has a story in them that will affect someone else.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
McKay Photography
Photography Classes
Photography Tours
Photography Demystified Books
McKay Photography Academy Facebook
McKay Photography Academy YouTube
McKayLive Instagram

SPS 036: How to Build an Author Platform with Steve Scott

Steve Scott is a well-known author, blogger, and podcaster who has published over 50 books in 3 niches. Steve has written books about habits, productivity, and entrepreneurship. Steve has a lot of experience and is really good at building a platform to market his books and products. Steve is the perfect guest for today’s topic because we are going to focus on the platform side and building a platform and leveraging it into a massive portfolio like steve has created.

Steve shares how he originally got into Kindle publishing to build a platform for his blog. He began in February of 2012, but it didn’t take long for Steve to realize that his books were taking off and making money. He then decided to pick what was at the time an untapped niche that he was interested in and put his head down and write. He also used his Internet marketing knowledge to give away free content and build an email list. This was invaluable for building the amazing platform that he now has and his amazing Kindle publishing success.

You can find Steve here:
Authority Pub
Books by Steve Scott
The ASP Show Podcast
Steve Scott facebook
Develop Good Habits

Show Notes
[01:55] Steve got into Kindle publishing in February 2012. His original intent was to drive traffic to his blog. By summer, he realized that these books could generate income.
[02:44] He was creating Internet business books and realized he needed free content to build an email list. He started his habits books in May of 2013.
[03:23] He shifted to the habits books to build a business model on the Amazon platform. He didn’t anticipate how successful his books would be.
[04:15] His success revolved around his habits, so the books were a natural progression.
[04:43] He was fortunate to find what at the time was an untapped market and drill down into the topic. He wrote everything he knew about these topics. In depth micro-topics.
[06:06] How in the beginning, the writing of the books was the first challenge. He knew the basics of email lists and writing on the Kindle platform.
[07:04] Steve had been doing affiliate marketing since 2006. He knew how valuable an email list would be.
[00:07:46] Blogging taught Steve to create micro topics.
[08:57] How giving away free content isn’t bad.
[09:19] Steve created Develop Good Habits to help build a platform for his books and list building. When people read content and then get into Steve’s email funnel and he will promote his book bundle through his list. He is using a content platform, an email list, and Amazon.
[11:42] Steve is testing content upgrades and checklists for his Mastering Evernote book. Create something special for your top selling books.
[13:06] Steve likes to have a blog because it is great for Facebook retargeting ads.
[14:28] Steve has a VA create slideshare presentations from his books.
[16:14] Steve feels that social media isn’t the best use of his time, but driving people back to content or email lists.
[16:46] Steve launches his books for .99 and he does a solid push for 5-7 days. Then he has a regular sales event every 2-3 months. Selling books for .99 hooks people into the idea of buying .99 books.
[18:24] Steady sales over days are better for the Amazon algorithm.
[18:52] Solid email sequence with a lead magnet have a four to five email sequence. Put an email subscriber call to action in the front and back of the book and have a free promotion. Write three to four books and continuously roll them out. Then find a content platform to promote your book.
[20:37] As books age and have .99 sales and price some as a massive event. Continuously improving on the assets you have.
[22:42] Steve also emails and establishing relationships with some people and gives them free books and tries to get them to leave a review. He uses surveys to see who is interested in free books and the promotion. He also uses other campaigns.
[23:48] He also sends a last chance offer scarcity play.
[24:55] He is literal with his subject lines, but he will copy past subject lines that were successful.
[25:57] Steve is looking to create a lead magnet which signs people up for the main list. Then he sends links and offers to other books. Then it is a mix of content and different promotions.
[29:01] At the back of his books he used to have an excerpt to another book. He just has an offer in the back now. He tries to give people as many opportunities as possible to find his books.
[30:45] What Steve did well last year was being very consistent with his writing and word count. Habit Stacking is also a unique concept when Steve created the book.
[32:47] Steve is planning on going back and doing what worked so well for him in the past, and he is testing headlines.
[34:15] Polling people is a great way to find compelling titles and the same for covers. He is trying to find the right hook and get the best feedback about what will work.
[35:29] Having an email list is really the thing that can make a difference in a business.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
AWeber
Leadpages
PickFu

SPS 035: Using a Book To Get Booked with Grant Baldwin

Grant Baldwin is a nationally known keynote speaker, podcaster, author, entrepreneur, and the creator of the Booked and Paid to Speak training program. He hosts The Speaker Lab Podcast and training site which provides weekly training to speakers at all levels. As a speaker, Grant has given hundreds of presentations and has spoken to over 400,000 people in 45 different states. His book and curriculum for students Reality Check is taught in over 400 schools around the country.

Grant and I met in San Diego, and he is a good friend of mine. I think Grant is a genuinely good hearted guy and one of the good guys in this space. Today, we talk about how Grant discovered his career as a speaker, why he wrote his book, how he self-published it, and more. Grant has sold a lot of books and has given a lot of speeches, and he shares a lot of wisdom and tips with us.

You can find Grant here:
Grant Baldwin
The Speaker Lab Podcast
@GrantBaldwin on Twitter
Free Speaker Lab Workshop
Grant Baldwin facebook
Reality Check by Grant Baldwin
Booked and Paid to Speak

Show Notes
[01:17] Grant has enjoyed speaking since high school. He started learning about and marketing himself in the speaking business.
[02:45] High school students would ask a lot about how to prepare for life after high school. How does real life work.
[03:22] He created his book around these questions and it was also a great speaking tool and it has gotten Grant speaking gigs and it has been an additional revenue source.
[04:12] Grant self-published. It’s nice to combine a book with speaking because when you speak you have a built-in audience.
[04:43] Grant speaks and then people buy the book afterward.
[04:57] Grant wrote the book at his mom’s house and created a timeline. Having a deadline helped him finish the book. Set a deadline and reverse engineer from there.
[05:35] His sister and an old English teacher helped him edit it. Since this was 2008, he actually sent the book to a book printing company called Books Just Books.
[06:59] The biggest challenge is staying on task and getting the book done.
[09:14] Why do you want to speak? Who do you want to speak to? What do I want to talk to them about? Get clear on the answers to these three questions before you begin.
[11:07] Then decide where these people gather.
[11:52] Being a speaker first really helped Grant refine his message.
[12:32] Having a well done book is great. People judge books by its cover. Have a good website and demo video as a speaker. These are critically important because people want a sense of how you communicate and if you are a good speaker.
[15:11] Have a demo video that is like a movie trailer. The point is to make your audience want to see more.
[18:15] Use Google to find cold reach out opportunities. Find an event and try to find out information about when and where the conference is and who to contact. Send an email inquiring about when they are going to hire speakers. A simple email to get them to reply.
[22:32] If they answer the goal is to get them on the phone. The sale happens on the phone. Speaking is a relationship business.
[25:16] Ask what would I Google to find events. Build momentum and reach out to people.
[26:31] This is a numbers game. The more you reach out to the more likely you will be a good fit. You may hear from two or three people and book only one.
[27:40] Do the follow-up call especially if you say you will.
[28:20] Have a system for the follow-up either some type of calendar or CRM type software.
[29:38] Having a long-term perspective keeps you from being disappointed and time and effort builds momentum.
[30:42] Following up makes people’s lives easier. You aren’t annoying them. Stay top of mind.
[33:32] Deep psychological influence of getting a commitment of front.
[34:49] What you charge depends on the market and your marketing materials and your experience. Speakers get paid $1000 to $3000 on their first gig. It’s also good to build relationships with other speakers in their market.
[36:42] Paid versus free. Free can get you course sign-ups and other speaking clients. Speaking for lead generation for coaching businesses.
[38:01] Speaking can be leveraged in other ways.
[38:31] Get the book done and make sure it aligns with the intended audience.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Books Just Books
Highrise
Contactually
FollowUp.cc
Influence: The Psychology of Influence
Grant Baldwin
The Speaker Lab Podcast
@GrantBaldwin on Twitter
Free Speaker Lab Workshop
Grant Baldwin facebook
Reality Check by Grant Baldwin
Booked and Paid to Speak

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