#5 episode of Helping B2B High Ticket Service Providers Grow – One Lesson at a Time, with Joe Gregory, author, publisher and Founder of ReThink Press.
Joe’s first business dates from 1997, where he was working with coaches, consultants, and experts to grow their businesses.
His first book wasn’t a pure success, but you learn from your own mistakes, isn’t that right?
STAY TUNED for more incredible lessons, stories and growth tips, straight from the most successful entrepreneurs!
[00:00:06.740] – Dancho – Hello, everybody. Welcome to another show to Helping B2B High Ticket Service Providers Grow – One Lesson at a Time. So far, this was all pre-recorded, so I had enough time to make a lot of mistakes because I knew that my marketing team will pre-edited, precut it, put some intro, put some outro and everything. Well, guess what? This time is live. So I have to figure out it will go at least smooth. This is our fifth episode that we’re doing on One Lesson at a Time, with the main goal is actually we look very hard to find the best expert in the B2B world and we’re bringing them on these interviews in order to share their golden nuggets. And we looked really hard, particularly hard in this case because I have Joe Gregory with me from Rethink Press from UK, and he’s actually gonna talk about how important is to publish a book. Joe, welcome.
[00:01:00.400] – Joe – Hi, Dancho. Thanks for having me on. This is great.
[00:01:03.760] – Dancho – Yeah, a short disclaimer. It’s also Joe’s fault for the launching of today’s book that I actually republished it an hour ago. Because when I recall before we start with the interview, I have to share this story, Joe, that when we started with the book project, I went to Joe and I was like, you know what this book is gonna be called? Six-Step ZZ Framework for B2B Lead Generation. And he was like, nobody’s gonna buy that book, man, unfortunately. And I was like, why? It’s ZZ Six-Step Framework for B2B Lead Generation. I have all the keywords. And he was like, I did exactly the same thing with my first book. What was the name of the first book, Joe?
[00:01:41.920] – Joe – My first book was called “The Gorillas want Bananas”. Yeah, it was a bad marketing.
[00:01:48.110] – Dancho – Exactly. So he saved the book. So when you’re going to see the book, if you like it, it’s my fault, if you don’t like it, it’s his fault, you know the drill. But to give some proper introduction Joe, if you could give some background about who you are, what you do before we dig it into the subject matter.
[00:02:08.460] – Joe – So my background is marketing. My first business, I started in 1997 and it was working with coaches, consultants, experts to grow their business. In 2003, I wrote and self-published a book and I got it all wrong. I’ll be honest, I got it all wrong. I got the title wrong. I did so many things wrong. I bought twelve thousand copies and then proceeded to try and sell them and give them away. That’s a lot of books. And when I learned in that process is when I finally published a book and had a book on my own, when I would speak anywhere for free, or my co-director would speak anywhere for free in order to promote what we did, people were willing to pay us and people were more keen to have us on their platform, to talk to us. So the book, I thought, wow, this is a great business tool. It’s actually a brilliant business tool. And I got excited about that. Clients, coaches, consultants, experts, I made an offer to them. I really got excited. I thought, I want to do publishing. I don’t want to do marketing anymore. I think publishing is the thing that’s really going to make the difference for my clients and my authors. So I invited them to work with me. They wrote a book on their expertise. I would publish it and we would share in the proceeds. So I did that. That was back in 2003, 2004 and started publishing books. So since then, I’ve published over 600 books as my previous publishing business and as Rethink press. And really, in a nutshell, what reading press does is we work with experts, entrepreneurs to write and publish books to build their business. And that’s what we’re all about. It’s actually using the book to sell you rather than working about how many books you’re going to sell. And I would say today we want to sell loads of your book because we want it to become a best seller. The purpose of that is so that you can be a best selling author. It’s never still really about selling books. So yeah, so that’s my intro, I suppose.
[00:04:02.660] – Dancho – When you started saying you bought 12,000 books back in 2003 and I was curious, do you still have a copy from that? Because 20 years fast forward…
[00:04:13.360] – Joe – Yeah, I had a big list at the time. We had a list of about 20,000 people, and I thought that was about right. But when Lorrie pulled up at our office, it was a hot, sunny day. We were on the third floor, our office was on the third floor. The list was out of order, and this Lorrie pulled up and a palette came off with, like, piles of books. And I said, to the driver, you got a forklift to get off sent to the driver. Are all those books for me is like, no, there are another three pallets on the truck. And I carried every one of those boxes at three flats of stairs to the office. And we filled one of the rooms in our offices, floor to ceiling with books. And it was at that point I realized I didn’t really understand publishing all books at that stage. And it took us about three years to shift all those books, and it wasn’t really all about selling them. It was using them to open the door to our marketing services. But, yeah, it was hard. It was hard slog. I wouldn’t recommend. And the great thing is now we’ve got print on demand. I wouldn’t recommend anybody buying that many books upfront, unless they know where they’re going.
[00:05:17.440] – Dancho – Yeah, well, I actually measure them when they arrived here. I actually bought 200, and they’re 70 kilos. Twelve thousand, that’s, like in tons. And Joe, the reason why I wanted to talk with you today was that I mean, when it comes to authorship and publishing book, there are two general directions. One is authors, who really want to become an authors, and want to publish their book and make money out of it. And the other group is actually experts, business consultants, people that see the book as another marketing channel for their company. And Rethink Press actually specialize in the letter one, right?
[00:05:55.540] – Joe – That’s right, that’s correct.
[00:05:59.160] – Dancho – And because our target audience are high ticket service providers, I really wanted to talk with you, to use this opportunity, actually, to discuss first, how hard is to write a book, then how hard is to pass the other parts of the book like you’re gonna write it, then you need to publish it, then you need to market it. And then the benefit analysis. Not actually, but what is the perceived value of publishing a book?
[00:06:23.130] – Joe – Yeah.
[00:06:23.580] – Dancho – So to start from the writing, I mean, you had three. You said you write personally and you’ve been involved with more than a few hundreds. How hard is it? I mean, what is people stopping from saying, you know what? From tomorrow morning, I’m gonna dedicate one or two hours every morning in writing?
[00:06:39.750] – Joe – Yeah. Well, you’re actually right. It’s discipline. But I’d say before discipline is planning and before planning, it’s actually expertise. So my initial publishing business, it was all about interested in experts with muddy boots, people that have walked what they’re teaching and what they’re writing about. And I think if you’re an expert, you owe it to your audience to write a book on what you do. You owe it your business to write a book on what you do. So first of all, it’s having some expertise, some value that, you know, you can share in a book form. So that’s the first thing. The second part is planning it because in the planning, it’s knowing what not to put in the book. It’s not so much what to put in, because there’s so many things experts know. It’s knowing what level to pitch out and how to do that. And so we developed in Rethink Press, a system for planning. And we help people plan using cards. And we go in detail. We map the whole thing before I suggest putting fingers to keyboard or pen to paper. It’s actually map at every part of that book. With this big question in mind, and this is the big question for me. Well, there are three big questions. The person who’s it for, who is your ideal reader? What’s their pain? What’s the pain that your book is going to solve? And what’s the big promise? What are you going to give them? So there’s three there, and that’s the basis for any good, well-positioned book is, it talks to the person, alleviates some kind of painful problem, and it makes a promise. And the way I phrase that is, I’d answer the question, by the time you’ve read this book, you will dot, dot, dot. And then it could be able to or know or understand, fill in the blank. But having that before you start planning, before you start writing is really critical. A big mistake I often see, people will just write everything I know down and then I’ll organize it later. But I would say start with the plan, have it absolutely mapped out in detail. So if you do that, the writing can be easier. But there’s no getting away from the fact you have to put in the hours, if you’re going to write your own book.
[00:08:44.260] – Dancho – And I’m curious, Joe…
[00:08:46.660] – Joe – Yeah, go ahead.
[00:08:48.230] – Dancho – Sorry. I’m curious because those things that you mentioned actually are relevant everywhere, not just in the book. I mean, the target, the pain and the promise, even if I need to create a training or coaching lesson here again, well, who is the target? What’s the problem? What’s the promise? So how big is the difference? Because we also have a lot of consultants and trainers. How big is the difference between planning a book with those three that you said, compared to planning either training or any coaching or consulting session?
[00:09:19.840] – Joe – That’s a really good question. I think it’s the same work. So this is a bit not a hack, but a shortcut. If you’ve really done the hard work and you’ve got a successful business, which is why we love working with successful business owners and entrepreneurs. The work is already done. I think what tends to happen is when people start writing the book, they think they have to find their writing views and they get in their own head and get in their own way. It’s just business as usual. It’s basic, straightforward value proposition marketing, finding your ideal client or reader. It’s the same basic building block.
[00:09:50.930] – Dancho – Got it. So, actually, if you already have a training, you just transforming the training thing to more a written material rather than creating something from scratch. And if you ask me, for me it was really easy because for me, it was more journal way, because all I need to do is document what we’re already doing in BizzBee over the last five or six years because, well, how we build databases? Well, we do this, this, this. And I’m like, wait a minute. Why are we doing it like that? So you go back to BizzBee, fix some processes, then come back and continue the book. So it was really, you know, it. You just need to document it. And while documented, you’re actually reflecting on the frameworks and the steps and the process which improves your service overall.
[00:10:31.810] – Joe – Absolutely. You nailed it. This is one of the benefits of planning on writing your own book is you actually, you take stock of what you actually really know and what you really do for your clients. And usually within that there is a defined process or a methodology or a set of principles. And those are the things that make really good books. I like to think of a book. So the training course, you may go deep, you may go deep into the how-to, how to do it specifically, the perfect book for positioning as an expert is more of a What to. What do I need to pay attention to? And why is that important? And that’s usually the right level. So you don’t end up writing a great big kind of weighty book that nobody wants to read a new position, then the next logical step, which is, oh, I know what to do. I know why it’s important. I’ve got the sense of how to do it. I now want to work with you, and that’s the difference between a sort of a textbook and a book that’s going to build your business is putting that frame together. So you still give people a complete answer in your book, but then they’re excited about getting your help to actually do the implementation.
[00:11:37.860] – Dancho – And I’m interested because I also had these questions for myself at the beginning, and I’m sure other people have it. Is that, well, what if actually a consultant or an agency has already published, like, 10, 20, 30 blogs and they can just then somehow or series of ebooks that they can then just merge it into a book because it needs some polishing. But if I understand you right, the blog will be more in depth on the details and the technical aspects on how to do it. While the book should be more not in pages quantity, but more in quality and actually still living a space for people who say, now, I understand this. But now I need you to help me to do it.
[00:12:17.700] – Joe – Yeah, exactly. It’s principles level stuff you don’t like, for instance, in your book, there are specific lead generation strategies. If you went into the technology, if you went into a specific platform, that’s going to date the book very quickly because the platform is always evolving, the basic principles that you teach in your book, they’re not going to change. They’re going to be true, whatever the platforms. So I think for an online training or training or an implementation, that’s where that detailed how to specifically is more relevant for a book to position you as an expert or an authority. It’s principles, the big picture direction. It’s a what to pay attention to, and why you should pay attention to that is going to work much better, and it will open that door for people to want to work with you.
[00:13:07.030] – Dancho – I see, I see. That has a perfect sense. And Joe, I know that also Rethink has a program for helping expert that want to start the planning stage because we are at that stage. What was it, book builder or something?
[00:13:21.330] – Joe – Yes, Book Builder is group writing program. We help entrepreneurs to write their book in 90 days. It’s perfect if you’ve got a level of writing ability, whether you write blogs, you feel you can write it. Now, the aim of getting that final manuscript isn’t to have it perfectly polished and the spelling all correct. It’s just to get the content out in a structured, organized, logical and valuable way. Book Builder is great. Lucy and Bernadet are in Australia. We run the program in different time zones. So we’re running one in Europe, kind of fits Europe and the US and then and we’ve got one that fits Europe and Australasia, and so people can kind of get in, and we’re running them runs roughly every two months at the moment. And it’s either Lucy or Bernadet in Australia as the main mentor.
[00:14:08.760] – Dancho – Got it.
[00:14:10.790] – Joe – What that does really, we get the planning done. So you go through this in a proper way. Go ahead. Sorry, Dancho.
[00:14:16.140] – Dancho – No, there is some slight delay, but that happens when we do live. But you said 90 days. So is it possible, actually to write the first draft, first pre-draft of the book in 90 days?
[00:14:31.660] – Joe – It is, yeah. We recommend people set an hour aside a day. They schedule an hour a day to do the writing work, and the first two to three weeks is actually planning and getting it all right. And then there’s the hard work of writing. Our ideal size book is 30 to 40,000 words. So that’s between 30 and 60 hours writing time. So an hour a day over that 90 day period, it’s not actually the full 90 days of writing, but it’s very much possible. And I believe why Book Builder is working. So 75% of people that go through Book Builder so far, we’re tracking this, have written their book in the 90 days and have got it to that first draft stage. So not everybody’s going to do it, life gets in the way, business gets in the way. But I think having accountability, other people to work with, scheduling that time as immovable time like you would with an important meeting. All of those things help. We believe in having a writing ritual. So I’ve got my writing mug…
[00:15:29.953] – Dancho – Nice!
[00:15:32.280] – Joe – So that’s kind of part of it. But Lucy is also a tenacious brilliant mentor. She won’t let people off the hook. So we get people to check in with their word counts, and we’re there to support and give feedback on any questions they have around those Ps, the Ps in particular, the person, the pain, and the promise.
[00:15:50.920] – Dancho – Yeah. But I think that nobody is aware of how much effort it is, because in my head, it was like two years in writing. But as you said, you write, and you think, and you step back and everything. And when you said 90 days, I thought like, okay, can I dedicate three months from my life? But then you actually said three months, one to two hours per day, which is actually reasonable. As much busy as you are. Instead of doing one Netflix show per day, just keep that part and you have the time to actually start doing the book.
[00:16:21.040] – Joe – The shortest time, one of our authors, the shortest time anybody I know has written a book is two days, written an entire book. We did a plan on the Friday. He had a reason to do this. He’s a great guy. I mean, if you don’t mind me shouting out one of our authors, Dan Meredith. He wrote a book called How To Be Awesome, it’s a great book. We had a day together on the Friday. He had an event, he had Gary Vander Chuck showing up at his event. And so he wanted to have a book and he didn’t have very long had, like, three weeks. And this was way back. So we don’t tend to make this promise by saying this, I’m not suggesting anybody should do this.
[00:16:55.710] – Dancho – Do not try this at home.
[00:16:58.440] – Joe – He’s a great copywriter to start with, but we planned it. We worked out the book and literally on the train home from the cards that we put together for his plan. He was writing and he wrote all over the weekend. He booked out the coffee shop in his hometown. Can I have the whole coffee shop to myself? I got to write and he nailed it. He did it in two days. But again, it’s the hours, that’s still two days long hours.
[00:17:24.570] – Dancho – Yeah, 40, 50 hours in the process. But when you know what you want to do. Okay, I think that by now we’ve covered quite a lot of aspect on what is the motivation and how much effort it is. But we didn’t touch why? Would someone in their right sense spend 90 days in writing the book? What’s the main motivation here?
[00:17:48.840] – Joe – So this is my view. I think there are kind of two ways looking. There’s the idea. Becoming a successful published author is a dream of many people and a successful published author it feels great. And if that’s the motivation, that’s a good enough motivation to say, I’m going to take this seriously. It’s an achievement. And as you say, is this an achievement, like running a marathon. There’s work and effort goes into it. Not everyone is going to put in the work to do it. So there’s an achievement element. The big one for me is the instant authority. I’ve seen it time and time again with the hundreds of authors I’ve worked with. And it happened for me. You go from just another service provider, just another expert, just another founder with some software to author and authority on the thing that you’re an expert of, an authority on the software, the problem that your software solves, an authority on the coaching that you do. Just by having that said, the instant authority of saying author. And you think who gets quoted most, its authors, who gets the big speaking slot. It’s authors. Who do you see on the news? They used an author. So it puts you into a slightly more elite circle within your industry. So that’s part of it as well. I think there’s a big, I wanted to share what you’ve done and creating a legacy. I believe books are a magic artifacts, that can time travel. As a kid, I picked up a Tony Robbins book at a market store, like 50 pence, and it had been written 15 years earlier. And that book, that one book changed my life. But it traveled time and space to get into my hands, to have an impact. And every book that gets published and printed, and every book they get in somebody’s hands is likely to pass through many other people’s hands in its lifetime and have an impact far beyond just at one sale. So it’s that idea of legacy. I think we get that we get that innately. And as a child, like, books were valuable. They’re valuable artifacts. You might throw a really expensively produced brochure in the bin if it’s not of interest, you’ll find that very difficult with a book because you understand the value of it.
[00:19:53.770] – Dancho – Yeah. Well, for me, it was interesting that I started listening some podcast on writing a book and everything that was there to read about writing a book before starting with this. And there was a lot of things, like a book is an extended business card that you give to people because you give a business card, they’re like, okay, Dancho, thank you. And with the book is like but okay, let me see what they actually wrote. Of course, if it’s relevant for them, if you just go around and sharing. But it’s the same with business cards. If you just go and share around your business card, it’s not gonna get any result.
[00:20:26.540] – Joe – Yeah. So that’s a really important point. I think those are the drivers, but strategically and tactically, a book is a brilliant tool for generating leads and opening that conversation on the front foot. As an authority, an expert, it’s a very highly valuable, high perceived value gift to be able to use in that journey from stranger to client to evangelist. And because there’s usually money involved, even if it’s just pain, post and packing, it’s that kind of very simple trip wire, very understandable trip wire in that sales process where you go from consuming for free to actually say, I’ve now invested. I’ve invested some time and money in the person and their business. So I love books from that point of view. And I mean, I guess you told me a bit about your audience, but there are kind of two kinds of things. There are people that maybe selling services and kind of have a kind of a stack value offer where it kind of grows. I got a very clear front end.
[00:21:31.700] – Dancho – Like a value ladder.
[00:21:31.700] – Joe – Yeah. And then you’ve probably got people that sell high value done for you or consulting type interventions. Where how do we get from complete stranger to them wanting to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or pans with our business and trusting us. And the book can be used at different parts of that process to do different things. So it can be a really good convincing tool if you’re pitching or putting a proposal together to a board or a group of decision-makers. Or it can be a really great door opening tool to start that conversation.
[00:22:03.520] – Dancho – I see. But to put it out there, you’re not going to get rich from the book.
[00:22:08.620] – Joe – Yeah, from selling books. I would say I’ve got lots of authors, so I’ve got the data, you know, the people, the authors that make a full time living from just or could make a full time living from just book royalties. I can count on the fingers of two hands out of 500 authors. The rest of them, the book sells what they really do and sells the high value, high ticket products and services they really offer.
[00:22:34.010] – Dancho – Yeah. We’re slowly switching toward the marketing aspect because the book is actually the front end funnel, so people will be okay, $5, $10 $50. It’s a small amount of money and several hours. It’s a small investment. And then it depends if they like it, they say, you know what? I actually want to buy more of this at a more expensive service. So when we’re talking about marketing, it’s now a different thing. One thing is that the book is a marketing vehicle to your potential clients. But then, on the other hand, you need a marketing for the marketing. So you actually need a marketing for the book. So it’s like, okay, now I have a marketing tool which I need to market around to other people so they can buy my marketing activity. How does that work actually, when it comes to book marketing?
[00:23:20.340] – Joe – Yeah. Well, this is my experience. A book is very understandable. So if you’re selling something that’s a bit complex and requires a bit of unpacking, a book is quite an easy thing to sell. It’s book, it’s got pages in it. We know how they work, and I’m going to get whatever the book promises. That’s why we work so hard on getting the titles and subtitles right, because that is the headline. That’s a headline on the opening paragraph of an article or any other piece. So the book is such an easy thing. What I found is when people put their book at the front of their funnel, they maybe a conversion. Let’s say they’ve got a quiz or a checklist as their current lead generator. That’s good. But it’s kind of like people kind of sense that’s going to be a marketing thing. And I don’t want to give you that much data just yet. If I have a free book or just pay post and pack for book, or just you get basically seeing oh, I get a book, I understand the transaction. I understand where it starts and ends. So conversion rates from that being the front end offer tend to be higher than other types of lead gen. If you position it in the right way. It opens the door with a high-value thing, something they can consume. So we specialize in books at about 30 to 40,000 words because we want people to read them. We want people to spend a few hours with your ideas and thoughts in their own head. This makes sense, I like what I’m seeing here. So that you’re accelerating that lighting, knowing and trusting element. It’s kind of a nurture that they can do for themselves on top of the other marketing. In terms of marketing the book, I’d say, just put it in the front of your marketing. It’s just a simple switch of put it somewhere near the front. You were saying, as you were saying, the frontend offer. Somewhere at the front of your marketing or depending where people are at with you and then just see as an extension of the marketing. So rather than seeing it as a separate thing, you have to promote in its own way, it just becomes the door opener. That’s what I’d suggest. So you’re not kind of diluting attention and trying to do two things.
[00:25:16.140] – Dancho – Yeah, like an inception doing a marketing activity, but then you need a marketing for that marking activit,. Then you need marketing for that marketing activity, and it is in a continuum. Okay. Well, Joe, I really think that it’s a great idea that experts need a book in order to get the authority and the credibility. And let’s touch the subject of publishing, because for me, writing the book a year and a half, almost two. I was so tired when I finished honestly, but at the end, I was like, I finished the manuscript. I don’t want to see it anymore because that’s it. And then you came in and you said, well, actually, that’s step zero. Now you actually need the publishing part. What happens in publishing? What options people have? But from working for business experts, not for authors that do it for a full time living.
[00:26:08.240] – Joe – Yeah, there are three main routes the publication, obviously, I’m going to be biased and say our approach is best, but there’s a traditional publisher. There’s a dream of Penguin coming and published in your book. Now, that’s great for credibility. There’s no beat in kind of the mainstream big publishers for that. But their operating model is based on selling books, is based on selling books and investing in multiple authors. So they kind of hedge their bets. And the winning books make lots of revenue and then the small wins from all the other authors create that. So it’s a very leverage business model for a traditional publisher to have lots of authors, and then they can’t really pick the winners. But winners come through in the numbers game that they play. While many authors just don’t make, they don’t make even a part time living from the amount of effort they may put into trying to sell books for the mainstream publisher. So mainstream publishers a great in the respect of kudos. In terms of control, they tend to want to position the book in order to sell it. Which often means for business experts. They’ll generalize a message where you want it to be specialized. They’ll look for a wider market when you know that narrow is better for your business, and the relationship is pretty much you work for them, so you’ve got a contractor work for them to deliver when you said you will the manuscript to their specification so that they can capitalize on that and sell it as anywhere as you want. So it’s not always a good option for entrepreneurs to pursue the traditional publishing model. It will also take between 12 to 18 months from final manuscript, your book being on sales and available to sell on Amazon with a traditional route. So the upside is kudos, the downside is a loss of control and also a slight misunderstanding of what the purpose of the book should be, in my opinion, which is to promote your business and sell you. So do that, then there’s do it yourself publishing approach, which, if you’re resourceful enough and you can get editors together and a cover designer and you can type set the book and you’re happy to manage the distribution and that side of things. It’s a perfectly viable route. The doors, the barriers that once were there aren’t there anymore. You can get to your market with your own self published book. In my experience, we are all experts on what we’re experts on. As I say in 2003, I knew nothing about publishing. I don’t really know what a good cover or a good title for a book, so it look like so it’s possible you’ll make mistakes if you haven’t got people that are experts in the game advising and directing you and trying to pull a team together, they may have the skills. A graphic designer may be a great graphic designer, but they may not specialize in cover design. So I see the DIY route either goes one or two ways. You create a book where he goes, oh yeah. I hate the phrase “A crappy self-published book it’s not really a book”, or they smash it, and they do well, despite the fact that it could have gone wrong. And then there’s the third option that we do. It’s a paid for option. So the downside is you have to put some money and you have to invest the money. And I’d say why you have to invest the money or at least a lot of time. Then the third option, which is working with a hybrid publisher like Rethink Press, is we’ve got the expertise, we’ve got the team, we’ve got a large team of editors, type setters, cover, designers, publishing insiders that understand how publishing works. We take that off you and you focus on writing the book that you need to write and make sure that’s as good as possible. So the downside is you have to invest some money up front. The upside in particular with us, we understand the purpose of that book is to sell you, but we’re not focusing on you’ve got to sell this book at all costs, because that’s how we’re going to make our return. Where like this book has got to sell you at all costs so that you could tell everybody the return on investment from the money you spent at Rethink Press, ten hundred thousand hold worth it because that’s how it resulted in sales. So the downside of that is spending some money. Having more control having the book targeted to work for your business, being in charge in your process. With Rethink Press is typically three months from manuscript to book in hand, so it’s faster. You can get out there more quickly. And we’re giving everything we do in that book. Every editorial choice we’re making is based on it, building your business. It’s how is it going to sell you and build your business. We’re not thinking, how are we going to sell an extra few copies of the book. Because that’s not really our goal. I hope that clears it up. So those are the three roots. I believe, I genuinely believe hybrid publishing is the best route for entrepreneurs, experts, selling high ticket items. It gives them far more control without the hassles that come with doing it all themselves.
[00:30:56.570] – Dancho – Well, if you ask me I also took the same route, because we actually went with Rethink Press. But interestingly, yesterday when I was googling for Sweet Leads, I actually found a version in Barnes & Noble. I was like, wait a minute, what’s the book doing here? But then I realized that since it’s still through a publishing house, you’re actually distributing to the ISBN, the number and everything to actually every major retailer.
[00:31:23.200] – Joe – Absolutely, yeah. I mean, the data feed is called an Onyx feed. It’s XML. We send that out to all the data. I’m trying to think that they collect the data they do, and then they handle it. So Barnes & Noble, it will be available worldwide to most retailers. Whether your book will be on sale on their shelves is another question, but it is available, the data is available. When you DIY self-publishing, most people will go straight to Amazon and there’ll be, Amazon is a killer app. There’s absolutely no doubt. I believe Amazon is where you should focus most of the retail attention. But you miss all of the libraries and you miss all of the other distribution by going direct to Amazon that you might get. So that’s another downside of DIY. And you can put the people in place to do that. But it becomes like running on micro publishing business for a single book. If you decide to go the DIY routing and do it fully.
[00:32:16.960] – Dancho – Exactly. I wanted to mention that because you should advertise it more because I was not aware. I’ve realized yesterday, actually, that a copy of the book can be bought from Barnes & Noble. And it is because you as a hybrid model, you still are able to distribute it to as many locations as possible.
[00:32:33.630] – Joe – Yeah.
[00:32:34.010] – Dancho – And Joe, the publishing, I understand the three options, and I can just recommend to everybody there are pros and cons in each of the three sections, and, of course, for me, the hybrid worked the best. But there are people that, after they realize they may say, you know what? I can wait two years or 18 months and get it published by publishing house or people can say, you know what? I’m just going to do it myself. And then I’m gonna, I have the time, I don’t have the money or I have the skills. I know how to do my own cover and everything. But generally, those are the three roots. As a business expert who want to publish a book, who actually spend the effort in writing, those are the three roots in publishing with different pros and cons and different timelines. So in my head, I had to read the book another 20 times during the publishing process. I mean, I did share some news on Facebook, like first editing ten thousand comments. I corrected it. I send it again. Next editing another 10,000 comments. And I was like, man, I don’t want to read this book anymore. But from there now, Joe, I wanted to go to the last stage. Is that where we are saying, well, okay, you got inspired. You actually sit and did the work and write the book. You went through the publishing process, and now you have the book. Now it comes the marketing part. So what should people do?
[00:33:52.660] – Joe – So first thing is think of what the purpose of the book is. That should have probably happened when you were right at the beginning of the journey. What’s the purpose? How are you going to use that book strategically? So my view is, as I said earlier, lead generation is a great use of a book and opening that conversation as a higher value opening. One of our authors, Daniel Priest, he says he summed it up as like if you would go for a coffee with someone, if you pay for a coffee and pay for the coffee and spend an hour with somebody because they might be a potential client, you should send them a book and you should do it completely for free because it’s about the same price, but you don’t even have to show up. So you can then do that at scale by having these coffees with multiple people. And it has a similar effect on the relationship, which is I’ve had a high value interaction with you and I’ve got something of value that I can work with.
[00:34:48.150] – Dancho – Coffee or beer. Depending on…
[00:34:48.270] – Joe – Depending on the time of the day, I usually think, yeah. So that’s one thing. You think of it as a tool and you can use it as a lead generation tool, I think. And again, this is where you need to work with experts like your business, knowing what your cost per acquisition is for your client and know what your cost per lead is and all of those things. It becomes really important in the decision is what’s that core product you’re selling? Can you afford to give a completely free book away? Or actually, is it better to give a free book and charge a little bit of post and packing because then you activate the credit card and it’s much easier to say, I need a few pounds for a book or a few dollars for book than it is to say, I want to ask for a couple of $100. So they kind of straightforward. Post and packing works really well. If you’ve got a relatively maybe sub $500 product sitting behind it that you might want to make a one time offer or a limited time offer on, then actually charging a bit of money makes sense, and it doesn’t have to cover the cost of the book. It can be less than that. It’s just getting the credit card details.
[00:35:48.400] – Dancho – Making sure that they’re ready to make the effort. I think that funnel that you’re talking was free plus shipping, the name of the funnel. And I know that Russell, because I was buying all the books from him. He’s like the book completely free of charge. I’m gonna ship it to you. All you need to do is pay some small fee for the shipping and I’ll just send it to you. And it was still $20 for the shipping, I’m in Macedonia, so everything is far from us. But still the moment when you realize I’m going to get the book. Well, I just need to pay for the shipping. It gives some value to it. And also Joe, you mentioned Amazon, which is the last part I wanted to introduce the variable. Is that, the platform is huge. I mean, the big thing. And if you have a book, you have to have a presence on Amazon. I was curious for the people that are like, I’m going to do the marketing myself, what they should do?
[00:36:42.390] – Joe – Yeah. So this is my honest belief. You want the traffic that you want to know the details on Amazon, any promotion you do, you get a sale, but not necessarily the data. And I think the data for your business is far more valuable. So I would do what you’re doing, which is do a very straightforward launch to get that best seller status on Amazon. Get reviews on Amazon. Update, you get the opportunity to have an Amazon author account, an Amazon central account on Amazon. So you get visibility like third party endorsement, visibility for proper retailer. It’s worth doing all those things, guessing the best seller and then forgetting all about Amazon and focus on retail entirely on promoting and putting your advertising spend and whatever promotion you do into getting people into your world. Fire the book and the fact that it’s on Amazon is just third party proof. Like there is a legitimate real book. This isn’t just some kind of pamphlet. I would also say if people aren’t warmed up enough yet and they’re kind of like, I don’t even want to give you my details yet. They can at least surreptitiously go to Amazon and buy the book and then get influenced by the book. I always have a strong call to action in the book for a logical next step in every book that we published. But I use Amazon, it’s backup, it’s reinforcement. I wouldn’t worry for 1 minute about retail sales on Amazon. I would let it take care of yourself. It doesn’t hurt to always ask people to review the book on Amazon. That just builds credibility there. But I don’t think that’s the place for entrepreneurs who have got the book specifically to build their business to worry about effort. I don’t think that’s where the return on investment is.
[00:38:22.400] – Dancho – Yeah. And actually, that’s the main point, Joe, because everybody are saying, well, go to Amazon, use Amazon, not use everything, and it works for fulltime authors. But as a businessman, you’re like what? I’m gonna sell 50 more books or 100 more books and what’s the value? Nothing. Well, actually, maybe we were advised by you, of course. But the whole point of today and tomorrow is actually to sell as many Kindle versions of the book for $1 or for one British pound in order to get that high ranking and some credibility on Amazon. And even we’re going after the Amazon best selling author in these two days. But after that there is no really additional value for us to spend money and resources on Amazon, because at the end of the day, I’m not interested in the book sales because you said it’s pretty straightforward. You’re not going to get rich from the book. So we need the book in order to start building a database of fleets, which we can then continue nurturing with email sequence with everything. And I was surprised that Amazon is not giving you a list of who bought your book. I was like, but why? Actually, I wanted people to buy the book from me, so I can say give me the 100 people that bought the books I can actually continue following up because they actually expressed interest. And the other thing I’ve noticed also Joe, is that you don’t have really much control. When people buy the book from Amazon, you cannot slip in some additional letter or some additional material or a book mark or like, well, thank you for buying my book, well, if you want to hear more, my podcast is “Sweet Buzz.” My website is this, some additional stuff.
[00:39:54.400] – Joe – Yeah.
[00:39:55.180] – Dancho – Actually, as a business owner and as an expert, the whole point of the book as a marketing channel is that you’re putting it at the front in order to start generating leads. On Amazon you’re not getting that.
[00:40:07.460] – Joe – Yeah, here is the magic, though. This amazing thing that happens if you put enough books in people’s hands and people are photographing themselves and talking about your book. Amazon sales happen all by themselves because reputation, the momentum builds in. People want to buy what other people are buying and reading. And if they’re not, for whatever reason, your marketing didn’t pick them up and bring them into your funnel directly. They’re like, I need to go to Amazon anyway. So there’s a correlation between best selling authors on Amazon or also the authors are using the book most effectively to generate leads and data for their business. I would focus there. The sales on Amazon will happen there, people will find you there. But I don’t think pushing people to try and go there and then hoping they’ll somehow turn into a lead…
[00:40:51.290] – Dancho – They’ll figure out a way to come back.
[00:40:52.610] – Joe – …Is the best strategy.
[00:40:54.620] – Dancho – That’s actually the opposite of marketing. People are coming to you like, don’t go to me, go to Amazon. Hopefully it’ll come back sometime in the future. Well, Joe, I’m looking at the watch and we need to come slowly toward the end. I think that we covered quite a lot of topics on the inspiration, on the writing and the publishing, on the marketing. People are saying, you know what? Maybe the time I should try that book. If Dancho can do it, probably I can do it because it’s like, extreme motivation. Well, where people can find you? How people can reach with you?
[00:41:28.890] – Joe – rethinkpress.com is our main website, and there’s a contact form there. We’ve got a team of commissioning editors. So if you’ve got questions about books, just go to rethinkpress.com. Click on any of the contact forms and just book a console to have a conversation with our commission editors. If in particular you are interested in Book Builder, there’s a free workshop that you can attend at book- builder.com. And if you’re just not sure if you should write a book or not, we’ve got a card, you can do a self quiz and that’s bookready.com. If you go to book ready, there’s a self quiz. It will pop out a personalized PDF report score on the five criteria we think are important to make sure you’ve got in place before you write a book to grow your business.
[00:42:16.260] – Dancho – Well, usually because this is pre recorded, I’m always saying, well, after below this video, we’re going to put these links. But when we’re going to put it on our website, we’re going to add the links that you’ve just suggested so people can just watch the video and then simply click it. Well, Joe, at the end, usually what I do in this kind of video series, because I’m the student in this case. So I was actually taking notes as you were talking. So instead of actually one lesson, I got several golden nuggets, actually seven different things that I pointed out. So if people missed something from the beginning or from the middle, I wanted to just pinpoint what actually I took out from this conversation. First was when it comes to the, aside from the twelve thousand books, people don’t do it, it’s a bad idea, but the first one was the expert owe it to their audience to write a book. I mean, that’s really inspirational. I haven’t thought about it like that. Well, if you know something, you owe it to the people to share it with the rest of the world, so everybody can get access to that knowledge. So that was really inspirational. The three “P” was really interesting, figuring out the target, what are the pains and what is the promise that you’re giving? And that is really applicable, not only in book, in training and consulting, in actually any product that you’re building. So people be aware of those three “P”. The fourth part was that you convincing me to write a second book because if it’s 90 days, to one to two hours per day, I can afford that time because I’m the guy that wakes up at 05:00 a.m. and I do a lot of stuff in the morning and I can do one to two hours in the morning. And if I did now, you know, the Sweet Leads, which is cold prospects with nurturing up to appointments. I’m gonna do the Sweet Deals, which will be well, now when a guy comes on a meeting, what should you do in actually to get them to become a client. So I could follow up on that, which was really inspirational. The fifth was that the value of writing a book. I mean, the achievement on a personal level that you can get or the instant authority that you’re getting just by having the book or becoming part of the elite circle where you’re being invited either as a speaker or in the news and generating leads is all the values why people should actually write a book. So that was golden nugget number five. On the 6, when it comes to the marketing, it should be at the top of the funnel, because if you compare it toward the quiz and the checklist which you did book is perceived as first, a bit fatter and with more insights, so it’s perceived as a more value. When it comes to publishing the three options I was aware, but I wanted to put it here. One is to go the regular publishing route with a publishing house. The second one is to actually do everything yourself. In the third is actually finding a hybrid where it is through a publishing house, but it’s not the official record. There are pros and cons in each of these three roots of people should actually see what works best for them. But the last part I wrote here the last golden nugget is that Amazon is a fantastic platform to position yourself as an established author, but if you go from the book is to generate leads, then do the Amazon bestselling author. Try to get some authority and credibility on Amazon and then try to figure out your own funnel whether it’s going to be a free plus shipping, whether it’s even giving away the Kindle version where they just need to leave their email. At least you’re building a database that you can continue nurturing into becoming a client. So eight golden nuggets instead of one, Joe here and I wanted to wrap them up so I could have it at the end of the recording.
[00:45:56.620] – Joe – Amazing summary! Thank you, Dancho.
[00:45:57.790] – Dancho – Well, for everybody that are listening, if you’re interested, check out rethinkpress.com. Because they’re amazing, I actually did it with them. And to finally use also the opportunity, here is the book, actually for the book that we actually spent all the effort to do it. We are now launching today and tomorrow is the Amazon Kindle version. So it’s what, Joe? It’s £1 actually, and one euro.
[00:46:25.230] – Joe – 99 cents, 99 pence, depending where you are.
[00:46:31.210] – Dancho – I think Amazon should keep sayinh one beer and that’s it. And then it calculates the country you are just like in UK, okay, it’s more than a pound, I’ve been there.
[00:46:39.610] – Joe – Yeah, you get a here in the UK.
[00:46:43.530] – Dancho – Exactly. So for you it’s £2, but then in different places of the world, instead of a beer just by a book. Joe, I really want to thank you very much for coming to the show because it really gives some…
[00:46:56.928] – Joe – Thank you, Dancho.
[00:46:57.090] – Dancho – …insights that I know that even I’ve been through the process. There is always new information. And I really appreciate spending the time to sharing with the rest of us because that’s the whole purpose of this show that we are running because sharing one lesson of a time we can actually become better and better.
[00:47:15.220] – Joe – Thank you, Dancho. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you!
[00:47:18.110] – Dancho – For everybody out there, have a great day ahead of you. And don’t forget, go to Amazon. Check out the “Sweet Leaves” and I will let you know by tomorrow how are the stats. But for now, have a great day and we stay in touch, everybody.
[00:47:31.860] – Joe – Cheers. Bye.
Dancho is a serial entrepreneur, founder & CEO of BizzBee Solutions, proud father of two boys, and a ‘kafana’ enthusiast. He’s also the author of Amazon’s bestseller, ‘Sweet Leads.’ Dancho believes in building relationships with people and is inspired by growth. His ‘ZZ framework’ and formula for growth have brought 500+ clients the results they sought.
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