It never fails that on almost every Titans Xcelerator call, which takes place anywhere from two to four times a month, when someone is on a hot seat about their business, someone suggests, “You should write a book.”
While you know I don’t like the word “should,” I believe it’s something everyone could consider as part of their personal or corporate game plan.
And there are BOOKS and there are books.
Whether it’s a 300+ page opus or a 60 page “big pamphlet” (on a narrow topic), a book is a book is a book, including print versions as well as digital and audio versions.
Regardless, you must have an objective for writing a book…which will determine the size and shape…and its potential impact on your business and your life.
Whatever the format or size, most books have one thing in common:
A fraction of them are read.
I consider that a crime of epic proportions.
I love how marketing superstar Jason Fladlian addresses this crime by encouraging authors to not only write, digitize and record their books…but to also create what he calls an “E-Class” …which is a series of webinars covering the book in detail—kind of like an “Oprah Reading Group” in real time with many more people—with participants engaging with each other (and the book).
The responsibility to have your book read and understood resides with you, the author.
The “E-Class” creates accountability to read the book, stay with it, and includes “homework” (exercises) from the teacher/author…which then makes the book actionable.
An additional strategic by-product of the “BA Bootcamp” has been the creation of Breakthrough Advertising Mastery…yes, another book…that also helps the reader of BA get through it (it’s a dense book)…with mastery. 🙂
All of this to say: Thanks, Jason, for your brilliance.
I know this idea may have been around for a while but Jason made it a “thing”…and as Dan Sullivan says, “Whoever names the game, owns the game.”
Back to buying vs. reading:
Once again: There is never a guarantee because you write a book, anyone will read it.
The expression goes, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Or…when it comes to writing books, “If you write a book and no one reads it does it still make an impact (and is it still worth writing)?”
I remember sitting in a creative meeting one day in the early 1990’s at my company talking about a book called The Book of Inside Information (which we called “BII”).
Those of you who are new to my online family might not know that I helped build and grow a wonderful direct marketing company and publisher called Boardroom Inc for almost 35 years.
Our flagship newsletter, Bottom Line/Personal, was the largest circulation consumer newsletter in America at one time reaching over 1 million paid subscribers at its height.
If you missed last week’s post, (a tribute to Dave Florence, the true O.G. of the list industry), read here to learn the four words he uttered that resulted in a legendary direct marketing brand and company.
We also created many large books that were “greatest hits” from our newsletters and none sold more copies than The Book of Inside Information.
Over its lifespan, BII sold over 3 million 500+ page hardcover books, all through direct mail.
All were sold at $30 to $40, and they were never discounted in retail or on Amazon (except when someone wanted to sell a copy that didn’t sell very well at their garage sale).
We were sitting in this creative meeting thinking of re-launch ideas for a new edition of the book and someone suggested that we create a headline (or a large burst on the cover/envelope) that said something like:
“Over 3 million copies sold!”
However, while that might work for a mass market book, I didn’t think it was congruent to this particular book.
After all, if the information is so “inside” (i.e., secrets), and 3 million other people have the information at their disposal already, how ‘inside’ can it really be?
I came up with an alternative headline, a bit tongue and cheek, and one that we did not use (but we had a good laugh):
“Over 3 million copies sold…but only about a dozen have actually been READ!”
There are many reasons to write a book and they are different for every author or every company writing or publishing one.
And in our world of direct response marketing and entrepreneurship, making a lot of money is rarely the main reason to write and publish a book.
In fact, writing a book could be a way to lose a lot of money which I don’t endorse…unless you just want to see your name in lights.
Many yearn for a New York Times bestseller (which might have nothing to do with making money, only spending it—I know people who spent millions to get their book to #1).
For us less famous folks, with limited budgets, a book may be a vehicle to simply express ourselves fully; or we want to create a lasting legacy; or we want to use the book as a lead magnet or list builder; and there is a large group who just want a more impressive “business card.”
In the case of BII, we worked under the premise that even if you sell more books than anyone in a category you still might want to hide that fact from public view.
Keep it a secret except to the 3 million buyers.
That’s one you have probably never heard before. 🙂
A few years ago I was approached by Entrepreneur Magazine to participate in an article with 7 other entrepreneurs
(including friends Mike Koenigs, JJ Virgin, and Cameron Herold…and even one of my mentors, Dan Sullivan, the top coach for entrepreneurs in the world).
Dan is particularly prolific…he writes a new book every quarter which ties into his latest thinking…and he incorporates that thinking (and the book) into his workshops.
His “why” to write books is as purposeful as anyone I know.
There are so many different reasons to write a book…business, personal or both…and Entrepreneur Magazine went to eight authors to explore some of them.
I was honored to be one of the eight.
I want to share the piece with you today…because while all eight reasons are still relevant, I think many more could be added since the article first appeared in 2017.
Six years is like sixty years in book publishing time.
As you will read here, all 8 of us had different reasons to write a book, all valid, and all part of a bigger mission for each of us.
After you read it, email me with any additional reasons why you have written a book (or books).
Or…if you are planning to write a book, let me know if your reasons line up with any of the eight authors in the article…or if you have a 9th, 10th or 11th.
If I get enough additional notions about “why a book?” I will share your thoughts with the rest of this online family in a future post.
No matter what, I think the eight people profiled in the article, and most of you, would agree that writing to an audience is more fulfilling than writing to no one (or yourself).
Although “professional” diary and journal writers might disagree, they also might concur that writing to an audience may be a more powerful expression if they could see the impact of their most innermost thoughts and writing if they are published after they die…which is often the case.
What about if you want to create a living legacy by sharing your vision with the world while you are still upright (assuming you have something significant to say)?
I believe we all know everything about something…which is always significant.
Write to me about something that you know everything about…and why you plan to write a book about it…and I promise to read it, hopefully with an E-class. 🙂
P.S. Here is my portion of the article…where I mention I was working on my second book at the time (which became Overdeliver) and that my first book gave me the courage to go deeper with a second:
Direct marketing expert Kurtz co-authored his first book, The Advertising Solution: Influence Prospects, Multiply Sales, and Promote Your Brand(through Entrepreneur Press), and he did it with a two-part mission: to help “crystallize” his position in the marketplace, to build a high-quality email list to attract people to his mastermind program and to buy educational materials and books he creates. For quality list-building purposes, Kurtz offered an array of bonuses to those who purchased the book. While his list didn’t grow to gargantuan proportions— “When I see 10 new names, I’m a happy guy,” he says—the quality, in terms of people who are likely to eventually sign up for his programs, is high. But it wasn’t just the bonus method that’s proven fruitful for Kurtz. “When I get on a podcast now, I joke, ‘If you don’t want to spend the $12 on the book, just go to my site and opt onto my list.” But the satisfaction for Kurtz doesn’t just end with more potential clients; he’s now working on a second book, which takes a much deeper dive into his own personal story. “The first book,” he says, “was a stepping stone to my opus.”
P.P.S. While searching the web today looking for something (isn’t that what you do all day too?), I stumbled across a cartoon that I saved on my hard drive…and figured I’d share it with you too.
It’s not directly relevant to what I just wrote about…but it is adjacent…because I hope that what I write about is not extinct news…and at worst, I write reruns with a purpose.
Some of you know (and some of you don’t) that my primary email is TRexKurtz because I branded myself in 2014 as the “non-extinct dinosaur”…despite what this cartoon says…