I’m incredibly excited about this post, because it’s the first public announcement about a really big milestone coming up this summer!
(No, not FlynnCon, although I am definitely excited about that!)
Team Flynn, please mark your calendars for August 13, because that’s the day my next book launches.
I’m so amped to share more with you, so read on to learn about the process that’s gone into writing and creating the book—and of course, stay tuned for the big reveal: what the book is called and what it’s going to be about.
Why I Chose to Self-Publish (Again)
This book has been in the works for a while—about five years, in fact.
And like my previous books, I’ll be self-publishing it.
When I was working on my 2016 book, Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money, I was grappling with the decision to publish it myself or go with a traditional publisher. I’ve even had agents and publishers reaching out, ready to work with me on my next book.
I chose the self-publishing route.
Although there are a lot of pros that come with working with a traditional publisher (like a monetary advance and distribution in physical bookstores), as I was writing Will It Fly?, I learned that traditional publishing would likely mean giving up control over things like creative direction and content. Since most people end up doing most of their own marketing anyway, I made the choice to self-publish.
I may end up going traditional in the future, though, primarily because I’m very curious about experiencing the process first hand, but also I know distribution and mainstream media can be much wider. But I’ll save that for another book idea I have in mind (hehe!).
My most recent book before this one was the second edition of my memoir, Let Go, which I also self-published and funded through Kickstarter in 2018. It was the first full-color print book with a gorgeous graphic treatment that I’ve worked on with Team SPI, and I’m in awe of how it came out.
With my next book, I’m shifting from memoir and getting back to business—literally. I’ll reveal the title and topic in a moment, but this book is going to be one aimed at entrepreneurs and business owners everywhere.
Visually, it’s going to be pretty great too. While it won’t have all of the custom illustrations we did for the second edition of Let Go, it’s going to look pretty awesome on the shelf and in your hands. (Okay, the written parts should be decent too.)
So why did I choose to self-publish again?
I chose this path because even though things went pretty well for Let Go and Will It Fly?, I wanted to have one more crack at it and see if we could improve on the process. The self-publishing landscape has been rapidly changing, and while there are new challenges, we also felt like we had enough experience under our belt to make the most of the opportunity.
In particular, through our previous experiences, we developed a good idea of what our team could take on ourselves and where we could use some outside help.
On that note, I have to give huge credit and thanks to Ryan Sprenger of New Type Publishing, who is helping us out with a lot of the logistics of self-publishing this book. We didn’t have access to Ryan’s awesome expertise with my previous self-published books, so we were figuring out a lot of things as we went along, and not taking advantage of all the opportunities available to us. Ryan has helped us navigate the pitfalls of self-publishing and make sure the book reaches as many people as possible. We also had some initial guidance from another friend in the business, Kary Oberbrunner, who had some great insight about how to get the book available for pre-orders, which is not the easiest thing to do when you’re self publishing!
I’m also super thankful for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge, which gave me the motivation I needed to finish the first draft of the book. I wrote over a thousand words a day in November 2018, and finished my draft by the end of the year. NaNoWriMo gave me a ton of motivation to get the draft written, but I was also inspired by the knowledge that I was writing about something that could truly help people.
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I wrote over 30,000 words in November, with one more day to go! ? And I’m close to being done with my new book ?? I’m feeling REALLY good about what I’ve written, and although we’ve got a long way to go (more drafts, copy editing, etc), it’s been great to see this much progress in such a short period of time, especially relative to Will It Fly which took over 1.5 years. ? Thank you all for the encouragement this month, it wouldn’t have happened without you, especially after being sick for two weeks of the month. Thanks to those of you who played along with my word count guessing game, and congrats to all the winners! Team Flynnstagram, you have one more day to guess and win a copy of my book, Let Go! What’s your guess?
Okay. I may have intentionally front-loaded this blog post just so I could stall and create some anticipation. So what is this book already, Pat?
Drumroll, please . . .
My next book is called Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business, and it’s about how to connect with people in a way that makes them want to stick with you and your brand for life.
The Origin Story of Superfans
The concept for Superfans was born as a topic developed for a 2014 presentation at New Media Expo, which is sadly no longer around. But this presentation helped put me on the map and land the keynote at the 2015 New Media Expo in Las Vegas, (which you might remember as the one where I came out in a DeLorean). Since then, I’ve been invited to several other conferences to speak on the same topic. In fact, after Social Media Day in San Diego 2017, Jay Baer, someone who’s a big inspiration to me, met with me and said (in more or less these words), “Pat, that was an amazing presentation. That’s the kind of content that should be in a book.”
Ever since that day, I’ve been inspired to see Jay’s suggestion through to fruition.
One of my motivations behind writing Superfans was to create a how-to guide of sorts for Kevin Kelly’s “1000 True Fans” concept. If you’re not familiar, “1000 True Fans” is an essay Kelly wrote way back in 2008. His idea was this: If you can inspire just one thousand people to become true fans (which he defines as “a fan that will buy anything you produce”) and each of those true fans provided $100 profit per year on your art, your craft, your work . . . well, there’s a six-figure business right there!
But more than just supporting you financially, your true fans—your superfans—are there for you in other, non-monetary ways that will help your brand last.
It’s a masterpiece, and it’s still just as useful today as it was back then. “1000 True Fans” was vital in helping me understand how achievable real, life-changing success actually was.
Superfans is a book for anyone interested in building a brand that will last by cultivating an audience of raving fans—of true fans—who will follow them anywhere. This book is for the solo YouTuber, the blogger, the small team, the midsize startup, and even the large corporation. I wrote it to help people running brands of all sizes and types understand how to create magnificent experiences and magical moments for their people.
Building superfans is what I believe business owners should be focused on doing today, with technology changing, jobs being outsourced, and uncertainty everywhere.
Creating a core group of dedicated superfans is the best way to succeed in business and build a brand that will stand the test of time. This concept is something people are slowly coming around to, but there’s still a lot of “old school” thinking going on about what it takes to make a brand and business succeed. A lot of people out there are still really focused solely on driving traffic and conversions. And while those metrics are important in building a business and creating a revenue stream, they can’t give your brand a real foundation for longevity.
The most important thing is to build a set of superfans who can support your business and your life—and you don’t need a lot of them in order to make a big impact.
In March 2016, I wrote in a blog post about Will It Fly? that “I wanted to write a great, timeless book that would help as many people as possible. If I happened to make a bestseller list doing that, then great.”
That book happened to make the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. And if Superfans does the same, that’ll be awesome. But it’ll also be just fine if it doesn’t, as long as it does what I hope it will do for the people who read it: help them build a successful business and a lasting brand by cultivating their own legion of superfans.
Team SPI has also really enjoyed getting into the book in the editing and design process, and I’m super thrilled to get it into people’s hands.
So, you might be wondering:
Can I preorder Superfans yet?
Not yet! However, you can . . . get a sneak peek at what the book might look like!
Here are a couple low-fidelity initial cover ideas we’ve played around with—the final cover probably won’t look exactly like any of these, and the subtitle is still a work in progress too. But this gives you a good sense of what we’re going for.
So stay tuned for the big announcement when pre-orders are available. It’s going to be an exciting summer!