SPS 184: From Pastor To Author & Podcaster; Writing For Church Leaders with Carey Nieuwhof

Posted on Dec 3, 2022

Schedule your free one hour book strategy session

Chandler Bolt [00:00:02] Hey, Chandler Bolt here. And joining me today is Carey Nieuwhof. Carey is a best selling leadership author. He’s a speaker. He’s a podcaster, a former attorney. Some would call that recovering attorney. And I think and he’s also a church planner. He writes one of today’s most influential are he creates one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts and has an online content listenership, viewership, whatever you want to call it, of over 1.5 million people a month. He’s written multiple books, including at your Best Didn’t See It Coming and Lasting Impact. You probably heard of his podcast and I know anytime I look at the podcast top charts, I feel like it’s out there and it does really, really well. So I’m excited to have him come on. And we’ll talk about writing faith based books as a leader, as a church leader, self-publishing, traditional publishing, his experiences with both a bunch more stuff. Carey, great to have you here.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:01:06] It’s great to be with you, Chandler. Thanks so much for having me on.

Chandler Bolt [00:01:10] So three books since 2015, as far as I can tell at least, and I was on your website, it looks like there may be one or one or two other books that I’m not seen on Amazon. Why books? How does that fit in with your business, with your podcast, with your ministry? Like, why is that such a key part of what you do?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:01:28] I think we’re trying to figure that out as we speak right now. You know, why do you write a book? Because you can. I got conscripted into writing my first book and just I know you’re one of the 30 under 30 and everything like that, but I think I was 45 when I wrote my first book 12 years ago, which is insane. You’d be like, Oh, you’re writing. Days are over. But all through my thirties people are like, You got to write a book. You’ve got to write a book. I’m like, Number one, I don’t know how. I don’t have any connections. I’m in Canada and I’m too busy leading a church. So the first time was I got conscripted into writing a book with a friend of mine, Reggie Joiner. He was at North Point. He runs orange these days for the last 15 years or so, and we wrote a book on parenting, so it was co-authorship. I did the first draft and then I thought, Well, I learned a lot about change. Maybe I’ll do my first solo book. So ten years ago I came out with my first solo book, which was semi independently published, and then I did that was through Orange, the Rethink Group, Reggie’s company. They went into becoming a publisher, so I was their first book and it was an experiment for everybody. I launched another book with them and then, you know, those books sold relatively well for self-published. So I got a deal through an agent. I got an agent then got a book deal with Penguin Random House. Those are the last two books. And right now we’re trying to figure out what we want to do with books in the future. So timely conversation.

Chandler Bolt [00:02:52] Mm hmm. So conscripted. What does that mean?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:02:56] It means he said we’re going to write a book together. I’m like, Do I have a choice? He’s like, No, we’re going to write a book together. So he volunteered me and I’m like, I don’t know anything about it. So we did. He did all the sort of business and like got the agent, got the publisher, and I was just a coauthor with him. So we worked on ideas for months, maybe a year actually. And I would fly down to Atlanta or Panama City Beach or wherever it Reggie was. We’d hammer out for a day or two, sometimes on a key idea, and then I fly home and then actually wrote the first draft about 35, 40,000 words between Christmas and New Year’s of 2009 since then.

Chandler Bolt [00:03:39] So, I mean, so many follow up questions. There is no follow up on that one. Just real quick. So writing a draft of your book between Christmas and New Year’s, I think this is a time where a lot of people think, hey, I can’t make progress on my book then, and I’ve actually got a similar experience. So I look at your experience first, I’ll share mine. And how did you do it? Why did you do it? Would you recommend it? Would you not?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:04:06] Well, you know, the first one’s easiest I found. I didn’t know anything about book writing, but as a content creator, as a, you know, preacher, and then in law, I really was drawn in my brief time to to the written work, too, or rather courtroom, like preparing arguments and that kind of thing. So, you know, writing it’s funny, every book has taken longer to write, so that’s another story for another day. But that one just hammered out a rough first draft, 35, 40,000 words in about six days. So I was still leading a church full time. So it had to fit in the cracks and it just started to flow. Plus, we had also worked on the ideas for year wasn’t like I was starting with a blank page. We had the ideas. I told some stories, you know, sometimes it was like, insert your story here. And then I went to the next principle. So I mean, it was a, it was a beta, but you know, that first draft is so critical and yeah. Would I recommend it? I don’t know. I mean, my last book took me two years to write. I tried cranking it out and it just didn’t crank. It’s probably my best book, the book I’m most proud of in terms of the final product. But the process was really hard.

Chandler Bolt [00:05:19] So and that was I.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:05:20] Think that was at your best. At your best was probably the book I’m most proud of. Probably, I think went through eight drafts, which is why it took two years. And I mean, that was with Penguin Random House Water Broke. I had great editors working on it, really good readers who said, this doesn’t make sense. So you lost me in chapter four. So it was a number of different rewrites. So, you know, it’s kind of funny. Writing is such a such a thing. I mean, probably the the first draft of the first book was easy because we had worked with the content for so long, but I had worked with the content for at your best for five years. And probably because I worked the content for so long, it was way harder to write. So I don’t know. At one point it worked for to my advantage knowing the subject. At another point I got my head lost in the weeds.

Chandler Bolt [00:06:10] So it’s funny you mention that I, my brother and I you about before the interview the one that plays need read we we wrote our first book in the draft in about a week and it was in it was around Christmas this year. It was the same thing as we both were so busy in business happened with music stuff that we knew this wasn’t a thing that we can just have in the margins like over the course of three years. Like we’re going to need to get in, get out now. Inevitably it’s a rough draft and then you start editing it for the next months and months. But it’s so interesting the parallels of kind of taking that time, which a lot of people would just kind of write off as, all right, that’s just either I’m not working or whatever else, but kind of capturing that time and and using it to make significant progress in the short. Well, I.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:06:58] Think you have to because, you know, like the myth of of being paid full time to write and having your little writing cabin in the backyard like Mark Twain or Donald Miller. I mean, that happens if you sell a million books like I’ve sold a lot of books, but like not nearly enough to retire from other pursuits in life. So I think that first draft, that first book or even your second, third or fourth, that has to come in the cracks because, you know, unless you have a runaway home run, it doesn’t pay for itself. And, you know, people think, oh, you’re an author, you’re you’re, you know, floating in cash. It’s like.

Chandler Bolt [00:07:37] You get to sell a.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:07:38] Lot of books, man. Like a lot of books to to have that kind of like, yeah, what I do is write and I’m a writer and I have friends who are writers and they have that, but they’re always working on a book. So I think for the rest of us, like I wrote. My first solo book, not between Christmas and New Year’s, but I was part of the 5 a.m. Club. I would get up at 334 in the morning, have my quiet time and then get writing because I had a day job that started by 730 or eight. So if you can crank out 500, 700 words a morning, you can get an awful lot done. And so I did that was a shorter book. That was maybe 25,000 words. So it didn’t take quite as long. But, you know, you you’ve got to find the cracks. And otherwise, what do you do? Well, you sleep in, you watch Netflix, you’re on YouTube too long. You get lost on tick tock and, you know, redeem some of that time. So when I’m in a writing season, I don’t know what’s happening in House of the Dragon. I have no idea where the crown is in its production schedule. I’m, I’m. I’m working. I’m writing.

Chandler Bolt [00:08:40] Yeah, that’s great. And I love that you call it a season because it’s a short term sacrifice to create an asset or this thing that then will live for a long period of time. And it’s that short term sacrifice that creates that. Now, you mentioned, hey, you’re not going to get rich, or at least most people won’t writing a book. And and so you said and then earlier in the interview, we talked about how you’re still kind of figuring out where this fits with everything. Why? Why? So I’ll kind of go back to that. And what are your thoughts? It sounds like you’re still working through that, but why books? I mean, in the early days, it was probably as you were a pastor and it was it seems like it was maybe a jumping off point to this broader kind of business that you have and podcasts that you have. But then how does this fit? It looks like every three years or so I think is 2015, 2018, 2021. So you’re not maybe you’re not like you’re saying your friends always write writing a book, but that takes some significant intentionality and effort. So how do you view that in for your goals as they are? There’s there’s a reader goals and there’s the author goals. So how do you do that for your goals as as the author?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:09:52] Yeah. So my books generally sell between 30 and 100,000 copies, which is, you know, you know, the stats that’s way above industry average. The average book sells. Is it still true you would know this because that’s what you do 500 books like even from a major publisher, about 500 books. So, I mean.

Chandler Bolt [00:10:11] Something in that range.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:10:12] Something in that range. I mean, we’ve done really, really well with books. But again, you know, even with a deal with a major publisher, you spread that out over five years and it’s a decent living. But you’re not buying a yacht. You’re not you know, you’re not flying private around the world on that and you’re not quitting your day job. You’re just you’re just not you just you need to sell maybe half a million or a million books for it to be, Oh, this is my chief income, so why write a book? So I’m holding up my book right here. But tomorrow I interview Pat luncheon, and Patrick has become a good friend. I love Pat. He’s been on my show a bunch of times, so this is the third time I’ve interviewed him on The Working Genius. When he first developed this latest thing he’s working on, he and his team reached out to me and said, Hey, can I get come on the podcast, we’ll talk about it. I’m like, Yup. And he had literally just invented it a month earlier. Then I had him on again and we talked about it. That was maybe two years ago, but now he’s got a book. So what’s the advantage of having this working genius thing? He’s shared it on YouTube. He’s got it on his website. He’s around a quarter million people through a paid assessment to figure out their working style. They’re working genius. Well, when he has a book, he’s got all those ideas. And what have Pat write? 200 pages and now it’s codified. And books have the potential to outlive you. Like Pat’s probably, I think his bestselling book is still The Five Dysfunctions of the Team. He published that 20 years ago. Anybody who is blind, there it is.

Chandler Bolt [00:11:44] There you have it. What does it say? You got the 20th anniversary so far on where you go on the podcast on Thursday. So two days from now.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:11:52] You’ll have a blast with Pat. And you know, like the thing about Patrick is that book is speaking to you now. Now are you going back to Pat doesn’t have a blog, but to a blog post from 2008 to discover the five dysfunctions of the team? No, that’s 100 years ago in Internet years. Podcasts, they’re really interesting. I do a podcast. It’s done exceedingly well. We have 25 million downloads and counting, which is amazing. But like, you know, people aren’t going back and going, Oh, I want to listen to everything about working genius and take notes. You buy a book because somebody did the hard work of condensing everything they know or everything you need to know about a subject into a book and putting it together. And if something happened to Pat, God forbid the book outlives a like I was reading, I was finishing another book today by a woman named Caitlin Beattie, and toward the end she’s quoting all these dead. Christian authors. Well, what lives from Eugene Peterson or Dallas Willard or people like that long after they’ve died? Their books? Their talks have disappeared, their sermons are gone. The interviews they do. I interviewed Eugene, never got a chance to interview Dallas. I was bummed about that. They’re kind of disappearing and they’re there if you want to look at them. But the books outlive you. So I think books do two things. Books have the potential to consolidate all your ideas at an accessible price for people. They have the potential to outlive you. And then I guess the third thing is. Books are still the business card. Like, it’s sort of like if you have a book or you have a TED talk, that’s your business card today and you have a much harder time getting taken seriously as a speaker, which I do a lot of public speaking or as a thought leader. If you don’t have a book, I don’t know why that is. That’s just true.

Chandler Bolt [00:13:48] Yeah. Now I’m going to dip back into the writing piece and I want to circle back to the self-publishing. Traditional publishing kind of done both exploring what that looks like in the future. But you talked about. First wrote the draft in a week between Christmas and New Year, she said. Most recent book took two years and was a way more painful process. Why do you think those were different and any lessons learned from those two experiences that might be helpful for authors?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:14:17] I don’t know that I have a good answer to that, but I’ll give you my shot at it because Janika has a really good friend. John is working on Book seven right now or something, and John and I talk all the time and John says, Every book gets harder and I’ll let him speak for himself. Why would that be? Maybe not. That’s maybe not a universal experience, but I have a couple of theories on that. Number one, used a lot of your good stories and book one or book to write. So the easy part is done. It’s like if an album if an artist. Waits 20 years to release their first record. They’ve had 20 years to write that song. 20 years to write that content. 20 years to do all that.

Chandler Bolt [00:14:57] Hang just sat there.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:15:01] Oh, I just got some kind of allergy. I hope you can cut that out.

Chandler Bolt [00:15:04] You good?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:15:05] Okay. Their second album is due in 18 months. So 25 years to write your first album. 18 months to write your second. That’s why the software album usually isn’t as good as the initial album. And then you have to develop ideas that you’re really passionate about. So, you know, as my agent says and as my publisher says and some of the other people I know in publishing, like if you have a really good idea, an idea that you can’t not write about, that’s probably your next book. So I’ve been waiting until I have one that I can’t not write about. Why did this one take two years rather than less than two weeks? It’s a good question because I knew I knew the content well. I taught it as a course. I taught it to leaders around the world when I was speaking. So I thought it was going to be easy peasy. But when you really get into it, number one, I know a lot more about writing now than I did 12 years ago when I wrote my first book. So you just learn a lot more about the craft. The standards are higher. It’s a major publisher, and so you want to make sure that works well. Second thing, publishing has changed. People’s attention span is smaller and you really want to make sure that you capture it. Number three, I wanted to make sure that I had memorable and portable ideas. So I’ve been teaching concepts about managing your energy, not just your time for years. But I hadn’t really taken the time to develop good handles around them. And somewhere around Draft three, I thought, No, this is still too foggy. Like, I know I’ve taught it. It’s changed thousands of lives, the system. But then I came up with green, yellow, red. So you divide your day into three zones. High energy, medium energy, low energy. And I said, What could I do? I said, Well, how about green, yellow, red? So we tried that out in a draft and it went really well. People are like, Oh, I get that. And now everybody talks about the Green Zone, the red zone, the yellow zone, what that means. Just so I don’t people leave people hanging. Green is when your energy is high, your creative ideas are flowing for morning people. That’s in the morning for night owls. That’s at night. Red is those 2 hours a day where you’re exhausted and you need more caffeine or nap. And then yellow is everything in between. And then in the book, I show you how to use each zone to optimize your productivity, your effectiveness, your rest, all of those things. And now we are tens of thousands of people talking about their green zone, the yellow zone and the red zone. It just became super easy. Well, you’re saying, okay, that’s about a 5/2 idea. Green, yellow, red. You didn’t have to get a Ph.D. to think about that. But sometimes that kind of clarity can take a long time. It is much more work, to be clear, than it is to be confusing. And what I wanted in that last book, and I’m not saying my first books were bad, but there is the most memorable, punchy, portable, sticky material in at your best than any other book I’ve written. Probably because it took two years and eight drafts to write.

Chandler Bolt [00:18:04] Hmm. So you think it’s more sticky because you had more iterations and it sounds like maybe also in those iterations you created better frameworks and memorable frameworks. Do you think that’s what makes it more sticky? Or is it something else? Yeah.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:18:17] Definitely. As Andy Stanley says, memorable as or portable as memorable or memorable as portable. So if you can remember something, you’re able to use it in your everyday life. So I worked really hard and at your best to make sure that there were some really memorable phrases. And it’s always fun, you know? Kindle. Kindle is a great cheat because you can tell what people actually highlight over what you think they can highlight. If you get your book published on Kindle and you know, people are highlighting the same stuff and. I’ll go to a conference and or, you know, hop on a call with a reader or a course taker. I developed a new course as well, and they’ll use the language that I used in the book right back at me like, hey, you know, if you don’t declare a finished line, your body will. Or the problem is in how you spend your time off. It’s how you spend your time on. Because time off old you when the time is when the problem is how you spend time on. Don’t give me lines like that. Nobody will ever ask you to accomplish your top priorities. They’ll only ask you to accomplish theirs. So that’s a lot of complicated thought over years, reduced to a maxim that is memorable. That actually takes a lot of work.

Chandler Bolt [00:19:27] Hmm. Got it. Now, you talked about you kind of semi self-publish the first book. You’ve done a couple of books, I think it is with Random House. And then you’re kind of contemplating this next book or future books you self-published, traditionally published. What have been the pros and cons of each so far and how are you thinking through which route to take in the future?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:19:48] So yeah, the first book was really kind of hands off. I was the coauthor and that was with a Christian publisher, not a major publisher. So Reggie handle all that. So I don’t have a lot to say other than the writing process. But then when I published two books with the Rethink Group Reggie’s Company and again, Leading Change Without Losing, it was book number one. They had never published a book. I’d never written one solo. The good news about that is it’s simple, quick, inexpensive and flexible. So if you want to get a book off to press in three months, you can do that. You don’t have the 18 month or two year time frame of a major publisher. And we did that together. In fact, lasting impact. What I did for that book if people. And actually I just I don’t want to say who it was, but I just advise somebody who said, like, wow, he just so been so successful with his online business, sold his eight figure company for multiples of that. I mean, the guy’s brilliant, but he’s never written a book. And we spent some time together at a resort, a conference we were at just after hours. And I said, Look, you already wrote your book. It’s on your blog. So he’s going to take a lot of his blog ideas. So three books ago with Lasting Impact, it was just about church trends. I took 30 posts I had written, hired an editor in Nashville and said, Take my words and take all the listicles out of them and turn that into a first draft. She did that, then I took it and away we went and we were published within six months. So I had already written it. It just lived somewhere else. And then obviously if you have 38 blog posts back to back, it gets pretty boring. So you have to vary the structure and clean it up. But we did that and then, you know, back then I got a deal with Penguin Random House, a two book deal, and that was a great deal. Fantastic Agent. But then you get into the longer cycle, you do get better editing than you would if you hire your own editor. Because, I mean, they have New York City standards and it’s a much more stringent process. I think the surprise for me with major publishing and I’ve shared this with my publisher, so I don’t feel like I’m telling tales out of school is they’re looking for authors with platforms. That’s one of the reasons you get book deals, right? So I thought that the publisher would be able to deliver more copies sold, but probably still end up sending, you know, probably end up selling 90 to 80%, maybe 80, 90% of the books yourself off your platform. And it’s not just social media, it’s your email list, it’s your podcast, etc., etc.. So that left me because the sales of my major published books are not a whole lot better than the sales of my independently or semi self-published books.

Chandler Bolt [00:22:37] Mm hmm. So they make a lot more royalties after the end.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:22:41] Well, if you cut out the middleman. Right. And it depends on your audience. Now, one of the big advantages to going with Penguin Random House, we wrote this in in my contract is I wanted to be in airports. I wanted the book to be available in airports. And they made that happen, which is great, but you can make that happen now with self-publishing as well, or hybrid publishing. So I’m really weighing the options. And then because I run a communications company, there’s probably opportunity in the next book or two to try the self-published run and tied into other things that we’re doing. So yeah, we’re just playing with the model now. If you publish with a major publisher and you end up selling like James Clear Atomic Habits, why would you ever self-publish? You know, he sold 4 million copies. Why would you do that? I don’t know. If I was James Claire, I wouldn’t do it either. He hasn’t even written a sequel to Atomic Habits yet. Right. If you’re Jim Collins, you’re doing other things. But if you’re more of a startup entrepreneur, more of an owner operator, you know, we’re a small company. We serve millions of people a year. We’re very grateful for that. But our team is seven of us. So we’re not like this massive corporation or massive research firm. It’s a hobby of mine that has now become what I do and a business that employs a team of seven and gets serve millions of people every year. It’s crazy.

Chandler Bolt [00:24:01] Hmm. And so what what about the self-publishing that is attractive and has you kind of considering that for the next book?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:24:08] A couple of things. A little more control over the creative process. A little more control over intellectual property ownership. We because I’m a lawyer, we negotiated some good IP contracts is I would encourage anybody who’s going with a major publisher, please have a lawyer vet the intellectual property ideas, because what happens is the publisher can lock them up and then you can’t do anything else with that content for the rest of your life. So we created a really good IP arrangement that allows them to own the book expression, but me to still own the ideas behind it so that we I can’t publish a book that competes with the book they published, but I can talk about the ideas. I can share ideas and other forms, I can create courses, etc., etc. around that. But you have to be really careful. So if you self-publish, you can do all of that. The timeline changes, the responsibility obviously all falls on you, including editing, typesetting, distribution, etc., etc. But you also don’t have a middleman. You don’t have an agent, you don’t have a publisher. So if you sold 30,000 copies, you know, your your take home on that is probably going to be two or three X, what it would be through a major publisher.

Chandler Bolt [00:25:22] Absolutely. Yeah. Those are similar to numbers we see as well. I want to talk about the podcasting and selling books for podcasting, but for that, I want to backtrack and ask a question. I think probably a lot of people who listen to your podcast or who maybe are listening to this this episode specifically probably are wondering, which is as a pastor or even maybe in the leader. But I don’t want to broaden the question too much, like especially as a pastor, because you come from that world. What what advice would you have for other pastors who are thinking about writing a book and what kind of. I’ve always thought that pastors have kind of an unfair advantage because your best sermon series is a book, right? Kind of, like you said, would be listicles is your best most popular sermon series. Could be the book that you write and you’ve done eight sermons in that series, and that’s like you’ve already created a lot of them. So I’ve always felt like pastors kind of have an unfair advantage in that way and in distribution with like, okay, you’ve got a captive audience weekly that that would love to learn more from you. And it’s just it’s it’s a simple way to embed the content that you teach so that it can be, I feel like, implemented in the lives of your congregation. So that’s always been my take. But I’d love to hear your take in any advice specifically for pastors who are thinking about writing a book?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:26:46] So I have some very specific thoughts around this issue. I think it is an opportunity, and I also think it’s a trap. One of the things that my wife and I committed to is we were never going to ask our congregation to buy our book. So for the first couple of books, we didn’t even mention the fact that we had published a book to the church because I didn’t want anyone. I didn’t want that to fall under the category of spiritual abuse or taking advantage of people or, you know, taking advantage of, as you say, a captive audience. So I think the church, thinking back to it, the church did throw a book launch party for me for the first book, Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. But there was no pressure to purchase books because I felt like that was a conflict of interest with my self-published books. I didn’t think anybody would be interested in a book on change theory or church trends because they were in the church. This was for leaders, so we never talked about it. But then with my first major publication deal with didn’t see it coming, Toni and I decided that because the church at that point it wasn’t the lead pastor anymore, but they were like, No, we need to celebrate this book. You need to do a series on it. I’m like, Great, but we can’t make people do it. So we purchased copies for the congregation and gave one as a gift to every household. So that costs you money. But on the other hand, at a book deal and I could do that. And then with the second one, it was a pandemic. The last one at your best. It was a pandemic. So nobody was going anyway. So we kind of we kind of didn’t do much. But yeah, I think you should air on the side of generosity and definitely steer clear of any conflicts of interest. If there’s anything you know, there’s so many pastors in the headlines all the time for everything from sexual sin to financial scandal. And I mean, if there’s anything that is close to a taint, don’t and don’t use your congregation as Oh, there’s my first 500 sales or 1000 sales or 10,000 sales I have. That does not I’m not going to judge other people. That does not sit well with me. The other thing I would say, the other advice I would give and this is what we did, I made one exception. I did a speaking engagement. And I think this is like, oh, 16, 17 years ago, the flight was like $700. I didn’t have that money in my bank account. So the church fronted that money for us and I paid them back when I got paid. And I thought that didn’t feel good. Everybody knew about it, like the elders knew about it. I’m like, I’m not doing that again. And I made sure that my finances from anything I did outside of my day to day ministry obligations were separate. And I always open that up to the elders. Here’s, you know, you want to see my T4, which is the Canadian tax form. You look at my tax form, you I’ll tell you exactly how much money I made. Like, what do you want to know? Where did I spend my time? I think that kind of transparency is really good. Otherwise it’s a trap and you’re going to get caught in some conflict of interest. And the last thing I want is, you know, some single parent making minimum wage to feel that they have to buy my book. I would rather have them not know about my book or have me gift them with a book. So that has served us really well. If that’s helpful to people, I think that can save you from a thousand conflicts of interest and that way there’s no taint. When you get up there and you talk about your book, anybody who wants it can get a copy for free or, you know, at least don’t be the guy opening up the trunk of your car with you. Want to buy.

Chandler Bolt [00:30:18] My book for sure?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:30:21] I don’t know. Do that. Do that in the marketplace. Maybe I still don’t do that in the marketplace. I show up at events all the time forgetting to bring my book, which is bad. It’s probably why I don’t sell more books, but you know, I would rather not have that taint around me, so that’s a long way to say it. Now, that said, here’s the advantage. You’re right. You can test your content before you put it in a book. You know what series did? Well, you know what took off on YouTube and what didn’t take off. You know how many downloads the podcast on Subject X got over the podcast on Subject Y and a lot of pastors, well-known and otherwise, they get to test their material, then they get to refine it, and sometimes you can preach it again in a different form. So I think that’s a huge advantage. And for those of you who don’t have that platform, you actually do have that platform. It might not show up as a congregation, but it shows up as social media shows up on Instagram and YouTube. I mean, I will sometimes float ideas out there when I’m writing a book and realize, wow, that landed with a thud. And then sometimes I’ll express the same idea in a different way. It gets a thousand likes. I’m like, Oh, the Internet is telling you something. So you can definitely get that feedback in advance. And then of course everybody can have early readers, so. Send those initial chapters off to somebody who’s half intelligent, who reads books, who loves you enough to tell you the truth. Not like this is awesome. And they’re saying to their spouse, this is a disaster, but I’m going to tell them it’s awesome. No, you want someone who can tell you the truth like I loved it. The early readers too at your best as it. You know, I think 2018. 2019 was the. No. 2019 was the first summer I polished off draft one. They’re like by chapter four, I was bored. Now, do I like getting that as an author? I’m like, No, but that was so good.

Chandler Bolt [00:32:11] Because better.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:32:12] If I if I bore the first thousand readers on day one, they’re not going to tell their friends.

Chandler Bolt [00:32:18] There’s not going to be a second thousand. There’s no second thousand.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:32:21] So thank goodness I found out about that in the beta stage and didn’t find out about that after the book launch. So get some early readers. So that’s about the feedback loop. And Here ends the Sermon on Financial Integrity.

Chandler Bolt [00:32:34] That’s fantastic. A quick follow up on that. Would your opinion change at all if and have you ever thought about it that if the book rights were owned by the church, does that does that change it all and not like talking about crazy, but that it’s a little bit different? Or is it still kind of. No. Should you do that? Should you not?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:32:56] So I have I have friends who have done that and I don’t know enough like I haven’t read the actual contracts. I understand some of the the basic ideas behind it. And this is my legal brain, right? Law school grad.

Chandler Bolt [00:33:07] So yeah.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:33:09] I think it can work as long as you’ve got full third party disclosure and a lot of pastors will use that because maybe they don’t have the cash upfront to pay for their own thing, but then you got to make sure that the benefit flows both ways. So the way we decided to do it was we were in a separate it. And then, you know, my wife and I are able to be more generous than we would be in the past because I publish books and have income from that and now I run a company full time. We still attend the church. We’re able to to give to the church, which is incredible. We love doing that, but it’s freely given to the church. And again, when I was on staff, the elders had full transparency, so I felt like that was a win win. I think the thing you have to be really careful about with that is sometimes the brand and the money and the author, the pastor, become indistinguishable. So I really believe that as a rule, pastors stay too long. I did the succession at our church when I was 50. Everyone said, You’re way too young. But sometimes if those finances are all intertwined and you can’t find a good exit, you’re going to stay even though you shouldn’t be leading the church anymore just because they own the publishing rights to your book or something. So you have to think. Like contract 1 to 1. If you’re going to enter into a contract like that, you have to think about how it ends. And so you don’t end up holding the church hostage by you, overstaying your welcome by five years, becoming not a good leader. But you want to leave because the book royalties are vested with the church. And I would say if you ever do a hybrid deal like that, the church should get the better end of the deal. Like if it’s 51 to 49, the church should get the 51, you should get the 49 I found every time I take a pay cut, every time I exercise some downward mobility. God has a way of making sure that we’re not destitute. We still get to live indoors. So I you know, just in the name of financial integrity, I would just say get it approved by third party lawyers, make sure it’s fair, be honest and transparent about it, and then make sure there’s an escape clause so that when you’re seasoned as a leader is done, you’re not tied with some golden handshakes to the church that makes you handcuffs, rather that makes you stay well beyond your God appointed time. And there are way too many stories out there with pastors who have long overstayed their welcome in their effectiveness.

Chandler Bolt [00:35:31] So and that’s a refreshing point of view. So thanks for sharing that. Hey, we’re almost out of time. Here we go. Lightning Round. Two final questions. Get a massive podcast you talked about earlier, making your voice over there. You talked about earlier how being on other people’s podcast is help sell books is really a good thing as an author. Obviously, your podcast is sell books as well. Kind of actually unrelated to that advice from the road ahead. So this podcast is doing pretty well. You know, it’s it’s known. It’s, you know, Kerry Neuharth Leadership Podcast. What would be one or two tips on growing a podcast from someone who’s done it well?

Carey Nieuwhof [00:36:12] Well, probably the best advice I got from John Acuff, who I already talked about, he said, it’s your show. Do what you want. If your podcast starts to get a bit of traction, publishers are going to start sending you books. Authors will start sending you books and gifts. And like the courier shows up almost every day here. And at first, that made me feel obligated, like, oh, my goodness, this person gave me a $20 book, I better interview them. And then I realized I give a lot of books away. Now it’s like, All right, we’re going to give this away. I’ll be generous to other people with the books to libraries. Often I just drop off at the church and the staff go through boxes of books. I can’t interview everybody, but if I’m interested in the subject matter or the guest, then it’ll be a good interview. And if I’m not, it won’t. So with Pat, who’s been Patrick Lynch, Johnny, who’s been on my show twice to talk about it, I’m going to spend the first half, two, three quarters of the podcast talking about other things with him and then drill down on different aspects of the book we didn’t cover in previous episodes. So you got to make sure you honor your covenant with your listener, and if you’re interested in it, they’re probably going to be interested in it. So that’s one tip. The second thing I would say, and it was great, my my producer Aaron called me on this recently, she said, I always say this is not a book interview podcast. I don’t want my podcast to be like, oh, in chapter one, you say in chapter two, you say in chapter three, you say, because that’s a really easy and I think kind of a lazy way to interview what I want to do. And it’s taken me like days over the last week to prepare for for interviews in the next few days. But I’ve done all kinds of research. I’ve read the book, I’ve looked at TED talks, I’ve done all of the above to try to come commit. Because remember, the person that you’re interviewing is on an interview circuit and they’re probably going to say the same thing on all those podcast, the other podcast that they’re going on. So you want to have a unique angle. You want to try to figure out why are people going to listen to your interview? And the other thing is because you know how this works, right? Famous authors get media days and you’re interview number seven of 17 that day. They’re bored. They’ve talked about this so you if you find that they’re getting into rote conversation that’s happened once or twice where you’re getting rehearsed answers, throw them a curveball.

Chandler Bolt [00:38:28] And I remember.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:38:29] One interview I did where I asked this this guy and I thought, Oh, I think I’ve heard this answer before on another podcast. So he was in the hospitality industry and I asked, And when you go out to dinner with your wife, what drives you crazy? And he just about jumped out of his chair and he goes, Sometimes she doesn’t want to go out with me because, you know, the server will go. And I thought, okay, I got him, I got him, he’s off script and I’ve got him. And that’s what you want? You want you want the conversation behind the scenes. You want the whole person engaged and sometimes your guest is a little bit bored. Like, I love the fact that you were asking questions about the industry, that you could ask financial integrity questions because nobody has asked me that stuff before.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:11] Yeah.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:39:12] And I’m like, Good, I get to talk about it.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:39:15] Hopefully it’s helpful. People can disagree, but hey, that’s my take on that subject. You got me engaged, so I think that makes for a good podcast.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:22] That’s awesome. Carey Harding Piece of advice for the Carey from whatever it was pre 2009. I think all the other Careys out there who are thinking about writing their first book.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:39:33] Just do it. Just do it literally like you’re going to be scared. Thank goodness I got conscripted to use that word like.

Chandler Bolt [00:39:41] You know.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:39:43] Sucked up into writing my first book because I don’t know how long it would have taken if I didn’t. And then once I did it, it’s sort of like doing 20 pushups. You’re like, Oh, that was hard. And then an hour later, like, Yeah, but I did it. And then maybe next time you can do 30 and, you know, just do it like and maybe you don’t have an agent, you don’t have a publisher, you don’t have any of that stuff. Don’t worry about it. Sit down. Decide you’re not going to watch whatever you normally watch tonight and get your laptop top out and write 500 words. That’s it. Just do that and then you’ve started.

Chandler Bolt [00:40:14] That’s great. Well, Carey, that’s been awesome. We’re going to stay tuned and follow your journey and see what you do with this next book. Where can people go to find out more about you? What you’re up to by your books, whatever would be most helpful.

Carey Nieuwhof [00:40:29] So the easy thing to do is just Google my name. Kerry new half. It’s a horrible spelling, but if you butcher it, the internet will help you find me because it’s such a weird name. Kerry New Health.com or you can go to the Art of Leadership Academy dot com. That’s where a lot of leaders hang out these days. That’s something I founded earlier this year. It’s the Art of Leadership Academy, aka.

Chandler Bolt [00:40:49] ArtofLeadershipAcademy.com or CareyNieuwhof.com and we’ve got his newest book At Your Best but before that didn’t see it coming. First book Lasting Impact.

Links and Resources

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.
SHARE THIS BLOGPOST

Leo Oliveira

What is Self-Publishing School?

We help you save time, money, and headaches through the book, writing, marketing, and publishing process by giving you the proven, step-by-step process and accountability to publish successfully. All while allowing you to maintain control of your book–and its royalties.
Learn to publish a book to grow your impact, income, or business!

Let us know what you think!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *