As we talked about last week in my episode with Azul Terronez, there’s a big difference between the number of people who want to write a book and the few who actually do it. What’s more, even if you do put in that consistent effort and put something out there, that’s only the beginning of a successful book launch.
Two conversations come to mind that I get into in the episode. The first was with Jeremy Frandsen from Internet Business Mastery. I told him I was thinking of writing a book one day. He looked at me and said, “Okay. Then that's step one. What's step two?” I didn’t get it. “Well, your book is going to lead people into what?” In other words, the book isn’t everything. It’s a means to an end, even if that’s to put yourself in a spot where you can write more books.
The other was with my friend Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to Be Rich and his very successful book of the same name (Amazon link). When I originally wanted to get into writing books, I drew up this whole plan where I would release one a quarter. Very ambitious. Ramit looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Dude, one book per year, if that.” When I asked why he explained, “Because you need to spend the rest of the year marketing it.” [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
As I talk through in the episode, you’re probably not going to sell a bunch of books off the bat, and depending on your publishing model you most likely won’t make all that much money from it. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t sell more in the future, especially if you use your book as a way to open other doors and other opportunities. There’s a lot more in this episode, including why the hardest thing is getting started, and how to deal with negative reviews. Take a listen, start that book, but remember that it’s only step one.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Team Flynn. Today in this podcast episode, we're going to talk about five hard truths about writing and publishing books. A lot of you may know I have a new book coming out in less than a month. On August 13, my new book Superfans comes out. If you haven't yet pre-ordered it, you can. If you do, you actually get the audiobook for free on launch day. Just go to yoursuperfans.com, and you can submit your receipt there after you pre-order, wherever you want to pre-order it, Amazon, Target, Barnes and Noble, what have you.
Pat Flynn: Today we're going to talk about some hard truths because I've been doing this for a while and this is my third book. Man, it's not easy, and I've learned a lot. I'm here to share everything with you, so stick around.
Speaker 2: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income podcast, where it's all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, his spirit animal is half dolphin and half lion, and really scary, Pat Flynn.
Pat Flynn: What is up, Team Flynn? Pat Flynn here, here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people too. This is session 380, and today we're going deep with writing books because I'm deep in the middle of promoting a brand new one right now, as you know. Superfans coming out very soon, and I'm just so thankful for everybody who has helped support it so far.
Pat Flynn: Today I want to talk about some stuff that you may not want to hear, but it's important to hear because then you may understand how to actually fight through this when you write your book. If you're like most people, you want to write a book. You have this idea. You have this thing in your heart, your soul, your vision of having a book published on the shelves, or at least for sale on Amazon, that you could perhaps one day just share with people. That's amazing.
Pat Flynn: Most people in this world, I think the last time I saw, I think it was 80-85% of people have this idea of having a book in their life at some point that they've authored, but obviously, the truth is, most people aren't going to start writing the book. The people who do start writing their book, many of them don't finish. What's interesting is that over time, especially with self-publishing on the rise, we're seeing more and more books come out at a more rapid pace. It's because not everybody has to go traditional anymore. In 2017, the number of self-published titles cracked one million, which is really amazing. That number continues to rise obviously as self-publishing becomes a little easier. All my books so far have been self-published, and Superfans is self-published as well.
Pat Flynn: With that, I've also seen a number, at least in my own experience reading more self-published books that there's just more errors. The quality is not as good as a lot of the books that are coming from traditional because traditional has teams. They have, first of all, the filter. Not everybody gets to publish traditionally, so the filter is number one, but number two, once you are on board with a publisher, they're going to put a lot of resources into making sure that the quality of that book, both in the physical sense and also the quality of the content inside and the grammar and the spelling, is great.
Pat Flynn: We are seeing a lot of that as well, which is really interesting, but the truth is, it's not easy. It's not easy to get started. I've gone through several different book starts and have only completed three. In each of those three books, Let Go, Will It Fly?, published in 2016, and now this new one, Superfans, it's always been a rough start. When you get that Google Doc open or you open Scrivener, which is an author tool, or anything to write, typewriter, doesn't really matter, you're staring at a blank page. It's one of the most difficult things to deal with. That writer's block is a real thing. It took me a number of different iterations to understand how I best write, and I think that's really the trick here, is to understand what will get you to motivate yourself to just start writing. That's the most important thing. Just start writing.
Pat Flynn: Back with Will It Fly? for me, it was starting to write Will It Fly? as if I was writing a series of blog posts. It was, number one, understanding what the outline was, but then one by one, piece by piece, whichever part I was most interested in. It wasn't a chronological order that I wrote that book, and the same thing with Superfans. I didn't write that in chronological order either, but obviously, in the end, you order things so that they are chronologically making sense for the reader.
Pat Flynn: It was just getting started with treating my book as if it was a series of blog posts because I'm good at writing blog posts. I was terrible at writing the book because it was just this giant thing that was weighing on me that had to be perfect. No, I could write blog posts, so every chapter became a blog post, and that helped.
Pat Flynn: With Superfans, even though I knew I could write a book, I still struggled. Part of it was just I didn't think I had the time. I think that's the major excuse that people have when it comes to writing your book. It's just, "I don't have the time", or, "It's going to take forever and I have all these other things to do", which is completely understandable. We lead busy lives, and so do I. I had an event to plan, a convention that came out, and yet, I was still able to get Superfans done.
Pat Flynn: How? Number one, I cranked on it every single day. I had a challenge to help motivate me to do it. I wrote Superfans in November of 2018 during a month called NaNoWriMo. The month is called November, but the challenge that month is called NaNoWriMo, N-A-N-O-W-R-I-M-O, and that is short for National Novel Writers Month. This is a thing that's been going on for years to challenge authors to write 50,000 words in November, and I took the challenge.
Pat Flynn: Starting on November 1, 2018, I wrote every single day. No, I didn't finish 50,000 words or the end of the book by the end of November, but I finished in December. That was good because once I started rolling, I started to notice that every day I started to write more and more. I even, many of you might remember, on Instagram or Twitter, I shared a little screenshot every single day of how many words I was at, which motivated me even more to just keep cranking. Some days, I only wrote 700 words. Other days, I wrote over 2000, sometimes 3000.
Pat Flynn: Just get started is the best tip I can give you. Obviously, this is the start of anything, not just writing a book, but whatever your next big project is. You just need to start because the truth is this is physics. An object at rest tends to stay at rest until acted on by an outside force. Hopefully, maybe, I can be that outside force to you, or something in your life that encourages you to push forward, a family thing, a life thing, whatever it might be, bills you need to pay, whatever. You need some sort of force on the outside in order to take action.
Pat Flynn: Of course, once an object is in motion, it starts to pick up momentum and accelerate, especially if you have a lot of help and encouragement along the way. That's what I encourage you to find as you are beginning to write your book, not just doing this all on your own. You need some help along the way. That's really what helped me get through this very difficult thing. Just get started, get some help, hold yourself accountable, and honor, honor the fact that you are starting something amazing. Guess what? There's people out there who need to hear you on the other end or read you on the other end too.
Pat Flynn: Number two, number two hard truth, you're not going to likely sell many books. It's very rare to see, especially with just the numbers out there. On average, books sell less than 250 copies each. I don't want to share this with you to deflate you, but I want to share this with you, especially for those of you who have already started to build a brand and have already started to build a following, hopefully maybe superfans as well, as you can see that that's going to help you stand out and do and perform much better than many of the other authors out there.
Pat Flynn: This number comes from a Forbes article that was written that talks about how most authors who write books aren't putting the time and effort to market their books. They're just writing these books and kind of hoping and crossing their fingers because you hear about these success stories, especially in the fiction space, of authors who write a story and it just picks up steam and then it just steamrolls their career and they're on the top of the world, but that's not going to happen. In most cases, we're going to sell as hard as we can market, and that's really important. That's why those of us who are building an online business or a brand and a website and a following and subscribers and, most importantly, superfans who can help promote our book for us and will be the first ones to buy it and leave a review, you can see how important they are. That's going to help us in the long run for sure.
Pat Flynn: It makes me think about my good friend Hal Elrod, who has come onto the show many times before, the author of Miracle Morning and his most recent book and his first traditionally published book, The Miracle Equation. I was sitting with him at the WeWork here in San Diego, which is where my office is in La Jolla, and we were having a chat about The Miracle Morning because The Miracle Morning has sold, gosh, it's got to be over a million copies at this point. It's got to be because it was over 600,000 copies in Brazil alone. It's become a world-wide phenomenon. You think about Hal Elrod and the success behind his book, The Miracle Morning, and just how many people practiced that and the movement that it's created and his Facebook group of 250,000. It's just a beautiful, incredible thing.
Pat Flynn: I asked him about, "Okay. Well, how did this take off? Tell me about the velocity as soon as it published." It was really interesting because when The Miracle Morning published way back when, he said the first month I think they sold like 3700 copies. The next month after that, it was like 2200, and then 1700, and then just the normal downward slope that you would expect to see with a book like that. He had a little bit of a platform and had some help marketing it in the beginning, but even then, just those numbers are very small compared to what he's selling now. He's selling tens of thousands a month at this point. It doesn't mean that you won't sell many copies ever.
Pat Flynn: What it means is that you have to hopefully build in a situation within your book that will help people want to spread that message for you. That's the beauty behind Hal's book The Miracle Morning because people practice The Miracle Morning, and then other people go, "Wait. Why are you going to bed so early?" Then people go, "Oh I'm doing this thing called The Miracle Morning." "What's that?" "Oh it's this book. You should check it out because it has these things called savers, which are going to help you with your personal development every single day. It helped save this guy Hal's life, and it can help save yours too. You'll experience immediate benefits from that."
Pat Flynn: That behavioral change, as Hal told me, is the main reason why his book eventually ended up picking up steam and just doing incredibly well for him. I think with books like Will It Fly?, Will It Fly? doesn't necessarily have that immediate behavioral change that'll get a person to talk about it the next day, but I am seeing sort of a slow pickup again since launching it a few years back because I've seen now people putting it into their curriculum for people that they teach business to, or a lot of other online entrepreneurs picking up the book Will It Fly? and saying, "Hey. This is mandatory reading before you start any of this other stuff that I do", which is really cool.
Pat Flynn: I think that over time, Will It Fly? is going to pick up even more steam. I'm hoping Superfans does the same thing. Although I think that with the time we live in now, especially with social media being very finicky nowadays and Facebook and Instagram and Twitter all getting those algorithms in the way of our followers, because our followers, yes, they vote and say, "Yes. I want to follow this person", yet they don't see us all the time because of what's happening. This is why email is huge, but it's also why superfans are huge, because they'll follow you no matter what happens in social media. I think now is a perfect time for a message like that to come out.
Pat Flynn: When it comes to selling books, you can't expect to sell a ton. In fact, if you attempt to go the traditional route and sell your book as a short manuscript or, what do they call it, like a proposal for a traditional publisher, you may get rejected a ton of times, but that doesn't mean it's over. That doesn't mean it's the end. It just means that it's a not right now or not right now with that particular group of people or publisher.
Pat Flynn: I'm thinking of Stephen King. His first big novel was Carrie, which went on to become an incredibly scary, horrific film, but a very good success. That was rejected I think 30 times. He actually put it in the wastebasket. He threw it away, but his wife took it out. He earned like $39 million from it in 2012. A Time to Kill, which is by John Grisham, his first novel, it was rejected 12 times. Judy Bloom, who sold 80 million books, got nothing but rejections for two straight years.
Pat Flynn: Let's see. J.K. Rowling, the first author billionaire because of Harry Potter obviously. Guess what? Harry Potter was rejected by a dozen British publishing houses. I think it got into print for just like a £1500 advance, which is crazy. Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, he sold less than like 10,000 copies of each of his books before Da Vinci Code came out.
Pat Flynn: Just keep writing, keep publishing, and understand that this is a process, but I think that those of us who have a platform and have a following and subscriber and especially superfans, we have a huge advantage over some of these authors that we just mentioned just now, which is really amazing. There's a lot of noise out there, but hopefully Hal's story and all these people's stories can help you push through that.
Pat Flynn: Number three, you're likely not going to make a lot of money from it. Even very successful authors who sell many books, many copies, when you think about yes, there's an advance, and those can range from ... I think a typical advance is $10,000, $5000, depending on if you go traditional. Obviously, if you don't go traditional, you go self-published, you're putting money out of your own pocket or out of your own business to actually make that happen and hopefully sell books and have an ROI on that.
Pat Flynn: When it comes to traditional, let's talk about traditional first. Obviously, after the advance, you have to sell a number of copies to make up for that. Then you are earning royalties anywhere between $0.50, $1.20 per copy that you sell, even though your books may cost $10, $20, even $30, which is kind of amazing because that's such a small percentage.
Pat Flynn: That's the big paradox of publishing in the traditional world. You're getting the distribution, you're getting an advance, and you're getting some help with a team and an editor, copy editor, all this stuff to make your book look pretty and put it out there into the world. Yet when it comes down to it, you're making just a dollar or two per sale, if that, in royalties over time after you make up that advance. It's just kind of interesting. That's why it's called an advance. You're getting paid in advance, and then you have to essentially pay that back in a way with your sales that you make based on whatever deal that you make. Then you get chump change for royalty. That's not good.
Pat Flynn: This is why you see a lot of traditional authors now moving into the self-publishing space, which is really cool because now you have more control. There's so many things that are advantageous in the self-publishing world, from your control with the creative and the cover and the copy and all that stuff, the speed at which you can actually push out books. I wrote Superfans in November of 2018, and the first manuscript was completed in May. Then the covers were completed, and now it's in print already. It's already in my hands. We're distributing it to a number of people early who want to help review it. We're going to get it in people's hands in August. That's incredible. That's super fast, as opposed to the proposal to shelf process of traditional, which may take several years sometimes.
Pat Flynn: Distribution obviously is something that there's definitely advantages in traditional because they have those relationships. However, I will say, and I may dive into this in a later episode, but I want to give a big thanks to a couple people. Darrell Vesterfelt, who gave me the recommendation to work with Ryan over at NEWTYPE Publishing. This is really cool because you get the benefits of traditional without the disadvantages of traditional. It's sort of a hybrid publishing model, if you will.
Pat Flynn: In this case, I'm working with Ryan at NEWTYPE. I get to keep the rights of the book. It's still self-published, but the royalties are much better. It's not print on demand. I still have to bulk order a number of books up front, and then he helps with distribution through NEWTYPE Publishing, but what's really cool is that he also helps with distribution. As a result of this, I am able to have my book in Target, Barnes and Noble, and even in some airports, even though it's self-published. That's so amazing. It's really cool that there are companies out there like that doing this for authors who have a message to share and just don't want to get lost and taken advantage of in the traditional world.
Pat Flynn: Other advantages of self-publish, it's the profits. NEWTYPE Publishing has a great deal where I'm going to make way more than anybody in traditional on these copies. Yes, there's no advance, but even though they are self-published, I get a lot of kickback on that still. There's a little bit of a share with him because he's putting a lot of effort into the distribution and also the printing and all that stuff, but even if you were to just completely self-publish your book and go through Amazon and CreateSpace, or what was formally known as CreateSpace, Amazon's Kindle publishing house, and you can get your books printed on demand and those kinds of things, you don't have to share that with anybody, except however much percentage Amazon's going to take. It depends on what the price is, but typically they're taking 30% and you get to keep 70%, which is quite amazing.
Pat Flynn: When you compare that to traditional, wow, it's incredible what the difference might be, but the truth is that even if you were to sell a lot of books, like I was saying earlier, you're not going to make a ton of money relative to a number of other money-making opportunities that you might have in front of you. This is why I love business online because you can use tools like a book to start people going into your ecosystem, becoming a fan of yours, and deep diving into other things that you might have available to them, such as there are things like courses or coaching and events and other offerings that you might have. Not just the book.
Pat Flynn: I remember a long time ago when I had even contemplated before writing my first book writing a book one day, I had gone to Jeremy Frandsen from Internet Business Mastery. Old school, right? I went to him and I said, "Hey. I'm thinking of writing a book one day." This was actually in the architecture space I was thinking about doing this, like writing an actual book in the architecture space to tell people the truth about the career of architecture and how it's not all roses and unicorns, as I thought it would be when I got into school.
Pat Flynn: Anyway, he was like, "Okay. Then that's step one. What's step two?" I said, "What do you mean, what's step two?" He's like, "Well, your book is going to lead people into what?" I said, "No. I just want to lead people into the book." He's like, "No, dude. You need to build a business around this. You need to have your book lead into something because those are the people who are going to want to work with you." I was like, "Wow. That's great. And now I'm too scared to do this because I'm overwhelmed now, so I'm going to go back to my blog and my podcast."
Pat Flynn: Obviously, I didn't write a book until 2013 when Let Go came out, which that was a relationship-building tool for me. Will It Fly? became something that put my flag in the ground to say, "Here I am, and I'm somebody who knows something about business. I can help those of you who are just getting started." With Superfans, this is my method for you to grow your business and future-proof it. That's what I'm doing. This is going to bring more people into my ecosystem. Although I will say that Superfans is less about how it integrates into the other courses that I have and those kinds of things. Yes, it does integrate very well into my event FlynnCon, but it's less about that and it's more just this message that I want to share. Because it's not my first book, I felt that this is something I have to write.
Pat Flynn: The truth is, you can make way more money writing a book if you think about what happens after people read this book. Where do you want them to go? How are you going to get their email address? Where are you going to place them? What are they going to get involved with next? How can you position yourself to go from book to event to coaching program to online course to whatever it is else that you have to offer? Affiliate opportunities, those as well. There are so many more money-making opportunities that you have on top of the book.
Pat Flynn: This is why I think a book is an amazing tool for anybody in the online business space because number one, it adds to your credibility. Number two, it helps you take control and really take ownership in these things that you're publishing about. Number three, it can help you lead people into something else you have to offer too. If you're not doing that already, maybe you have a book already, you can republish it with that in mind, but if you are going to publish a book, wow, what a great opportunity for you to integrate it into other parts of your business, similar to what we talked about last week when I had my writing coach Azul come on. If you haven't listened to that, episode 379 with Azul is a great one. He helped me fight through Will It Fly?, and he has helped many, many, many other leaders create books that integrate well into their business, just like we're talking about right now. You're not going to make a ton of money, but there are ways to make a lot more from it. That's good news.
Pat Flynn: All right. Hard truth number four. If you write something and you actually do take ownership in whatever it is that you're saying, and even if you don't, no matter what it is, you're going to open yourself up to potentially receive negative reviews. I remember receiving some of my first negative reviews on my podcast and receiving a number of negative reviews on some of my first books and even Will It Fly?. Those are hard to take, especially when you put so much time and effort and sweat into this publication that you're putting out, whether it's self-published or traditional. It doesn't matter.
Pat Flynn: You're obviously doing it because you care about it and because you know it can help others, but when others don't see what you saw, it can be tough because whether it's a misalignment or they just don't agree with you, it's never fun. It's never fun to feel that kind of stuff. If you haven't listened to episode 372 yet, definitely do that because that talks about really why people hate us online. Hate is a strong word, and this is specifically speaking to those negative reviews that you get that are obviously trolls and people who are just trying to start up conversations and fight for attention.
Pat Flynn: The truth is, hurt people hurt people. People who have the tenacity to leave such negative comments and talk about you personally or how terrible your work is, etc. ... Sure, constructive criticism, let's welcome it all day. You need that in your life, but disrespect and that sort of thing, they're coming from a place of hurt. Really, that's the biggest lesson you need to know. If you want to go deeper into why people hate us online and some stories that I personally have, you can listen to episode 372.
Pat Flynn: With anything, with a blog, a podcast, video channel, YouTube especially ... Wow. YouTube is just prime ground for bad people. When you publish a book on Amazon and anywhere else, you're going to open yourself up to receive reviews and ratings and feedback. Sometimes and hopefully those ratings and that feedback will be positive, but other times it might be negative. I think that as you approach this world of putting yourself in a more vulnerable state by publishing such a book, you just have to expect that it could go either way.
Pat Flynn: When it does come toward the more negative side, you can, number one, make sure to listen to the respectful comments that are sharing what the disagreements are or what was perhaps missing. Make any corrections if needed, which is the beauty of a self-published book as well. In the next iteration, especially if it's just electronic, you can make some changes and publish it the next day even. If you have to do another print run, obviously you're going to have to wait for some time, but that's something that you can change fairly quickly, which is really cool.
Pat Flynn: If it's something you can't change, if they just disagree with you, then just agree to disagree. There are people out there in this world who have certain values and missions that may not align with yours, and that's totally okay. If you are aiming for 100% five star reviews, don't because it's not going to happen. Actually, it looks a little bit kind of awkward when you see a book review area on Amazon and it has hundreds of five star reviews and zero of anything else. It looks a little odd because that's just not normal. If you write with care in mind and sharing this message, and you are putting time and effort into the quality of it, then hopefully it'll be more on the higher side.
Pat Flynn: The most important thing is you learn as you go and find that support when you need it. If you are getting some negative reviews and you need somebody to talk to, let me know on Twitter or Instagram. I feel you because I felt that before and it's almost made me quit. Don't quit. Just keep going. Keep improving. That's the most important thing. The hard truth number four is that a book is something that's much like owning a restaurant. You are allowing for people to come in and consume, and you are allowing for people to come in and judge you. That's going to be something that may not always be pretty, but hey, you got to keep serving that food for people who want to consume it. Let's hopefully not have a Yelp situation and have more positive comments than negative. I wish you all the best with that.
Pat Flynn: Then number five, and finally, the hard truth about writing this thing that you are creating is that it's going to take some work for you to sell it. It's a little bit on the same lines like we talked about before about having your platform, building your market, understanding your target market, writing for them, creating a message that really resonates with them. Understanding who your target reader is is obviously huge, but the more that you can market your book and spend time doing that, the better.
Pat Flynn: Do not just pump out books to pump out books and just kind of hope because the more you do that, the more time you are wasting because there's so many people that do need to read your books. We're not often putting in the effort to get it in front of them. I remember when I first started thinking about writing books in a more rhythmic cadence moving forward, meaning like several times per year, like four or five books per year, I was on a call with Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich. He was like, "Dude, you're going to publish ... " I told him that we were planning on publishing four books. He was like, "Dude, you're going to publish four books?" I said, "Yeah. We're going to space it out once per quarter. It's going to be great. We're going to cover all these topics."
Pat Flynn: First of all, I hadn't yet attempted to write one of these business books yet at this time, so even if I had planned to do this, it probably wouldn't have happened because it was just such a huge challenge to start writing this thing until I got together with Azul, as we talked about in this last episode. He was like, "Dude, one book per year, if that." I was like, "Why?" He's like, "Because you need to spend the rest of the year marketing it, dude." It makes complete sense.
Pat Flynn: Whenever I think about pro markets and people who just know how to do this thing online, Ramit Sethi definitely does come to the top of my mind. He just recently published his book, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, self-titled to his website. It's the second edition. It went on to become a Wall Street Journal bestseller and a USA Today bestseller. I definitely follow in his footsteps for a lot of what he does. Any advice he gives me, I definitely put it into practice.
Pat Flynn: One of those pieces of advice he gave me was, "Work on that book and get it out there, and then market it. Like get it in front of people." This is why you're seeing a lot of content on SPI lately about books, because my marketing strategy that has been the strategy that I've used for years, and this is something you should do, is to let people in behind the scenes. A lot of you know and were following me in November when I started this process and have been keeping up with me ever since. I've been getting messages from people saying they can't wait because they've been just building this anticipation for what this book has become ever since I started talking about it in November.
Pat Flynn: My behind the scenes strategy has always worked really well because I want to build a relationship with my audience, give them something special to remember and share and think about. It also ties into when the launch happens, and that's next month, August of 2019 here. That's one thing I love to do, let people in behind the scenes and have that speak for itself in terms of the quality, in terms of the value that I'm giving. Hopefully this episode and the episodes that are coming out this month are a huge value to you as you consider your book writing career.
Pat Flynn: Then of course, as I know I've taught this before, the more you give, the more you get back. Hopefully giving to you has convinced you to want to give back in a way that is easy and that is as simple as going to yoursuperfans.com and pre-ordering the book. If you do that, again, before August 13, you get the audiobook for free. I'm just so stoked to get that to you. A lot of you saw the behind the scenes of me and even my video on YouTube about going into the recording studio to record the audiobook and why I recorded it at a professional studio versus just doing it on my mic here at home and those kinds of things. All that value along the way, I know that the universe is going to pay me back in one way or another. That's my biggest strategy.
Pat Flynn: Obviously, we are putting things into place. We do have some advertising and things that are going to be happening behind the scenes too. Obviously, the biggest thing that I've done for myself is built up enough trust with my audience on the podcast here and all my other platforms over the past 10 years, or almost 11 years now. I've been doing this since October of 2008. Man, it's just been an amazing thing to see, that this band of superfans that I built over time is there to support me. That's something that I cannot stress enough how important that is. It takes some time, but you need to start now, especially with where things are headed.
Pat Flynn: If you're just starting out your business, I highly recommend checking out Superfans to understand how in the beginning, as soon as people find you for whatever it is that you choose to focus your efforts are, they're going to start to get into your environment that you're teaching them and understand that you are their person, their go-to person, that you will become their favorite. That's really where it starts. Then how to take them from there to becoming a part of your community to then understanding that they have to be your ambassador because you've given so much life, so much value.
Pat Flynn: That's what's really taught in the book Superfans with very strategic tactics that will help you literally step by step make that happen. If you already have a business and you've been up and running for a while, I encourage you to focus more on the efforts of building superfan like experiences for your brand versus just the advertising and the SEO, which, yes, is important, but what happens when people come to your website? How are you going to treat them? How are you going to get them to climb that pyramid to the top where those superfans exist?
Pat Flynn: That's where the magic happens in your brand. That's where you find the most engagement, the most community, the most customers. That's what you need to do because guess what? Those people are also going to promote your brand and bring new people in who aren't coming in cold like they would with SEO or with paid traffic. They're coming in warm because somebody else who trusts you, who loves you, already convinced them to trust you as well.
Pat Flynn: Superfans, I hope you all check it out. Yoursuperfans.com. Thank you so much. I hope that these truths speak to you. Let's cover them one more time. I kind of reordered them based on my list that I have in front of me here, so I hope that I can get them right here. Again, so number one is that this is just not easy. It is not easy, but the best thing you can do is just get started.
Pat Flynn: Number two is that you may not sell a lot of books and it's actually very common to not sell a lot of books, even up front, yet that doesn't mean it's the end. Your launch doesn't mean the end of your book sales. In fact, for many people, it is just the beginning, especially if you have a book that makes change. It gets people to talk about it as well.
Pat Flynn: Number three, you're likely not going to make a lot of money from it. However, as I mentioned, there are many, many, many more money-making opportunities on top of that book. Whether you use that book as a way for you to get on more stages or that kind of thing, like a big business card if you will, or get more opportunities, or a way for you to drive people into an email list to then drive them into a course or an event that you have or other offering, a coaching service of some kind. There's so much more money on top of the book. Remember, what's step two? Your book is step one. What's next? That's step two.
Pat Flynn: Number four, you're likely putting yourself out there into the world and may be receiving negative reviews down the road. I don't wish that upon anybody, but I know that that's possible and it's happened to me. It may happen to you too. I think it's just coming from a place of wanting to try and please everybody. I think that that's the wrong way to approach building anything, trying to please everybody. If you're trying to please everybody, you're going to please nobody, or at least not give anybody enough to have them rave about whatever it is that you're creating. Own a stance on something and take a stand. What that means is there's going to be probably people who disagree with you. That's totally okay.
Pat Flynn: The number five here is that it's going to take work for you. It's going to take work to sell this thing. The bigger and better your platform is, and more honestly and more importantly, the stronger your platform is, the trust that you have with your audience, the more you have of that, the easier it is for you to be selling more books. Hopefully that all helps you.
Pat Flynn: Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Again, Team Flynn, you're amazing. Good luck on your upcoming books. If you are working on a book or have one coming up, let me know on @PatFlynn on Twitter or Instagram. I'd love to just give you a shoutout or say hi to some of you if I can. Just thank you for all the good lucks and well wishes here for this launch. We're staking up a lot of pre-orders hopefully for a big launch day, as well as ... We'll see what happens.
Pat Flynn: The lists aren't important, but we made the list with Will It Fly? three years ago, and I'm hopeful. That's the Wall Street Journal list. We'll see where this ends up, but thank you all for your support. We're in this together. You are the main reason why Superfans, this new book, exists because a lot of you who are superfans have convinced me that this is really why we should be doing business.
Pat Flynn: Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Team Flynn for the win. Make sure you check out Superfans. Get it at yoursuperfans.com. Pre-order it. Submit your receipt there before August 13, and we'll get you the audiobook the moment the book comes out. Thank you so much, cheers, and Team Flynn for the win.
Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at www.smartpassiveincome.com.
Want more from SPI?
Enter your information below if you'd like to join our newsletter!
- The differences between self-publishing and more traditional models.
- Why I don’t work on books in chronological order.
- How I made time to write Superfans.
- Why initial sales numbers aren’t everything.
- How Hal Elrod turned the Miracle Morning into a movement.
- Why you probably won’t make much money from book sales.
- How I’ve changed up my publishing model for Superfans.
- How to think about your book as part of a larger goal.
- What to do about negative reviews.
- The work you need to do after launch to actually sell your book.
- How Superfans can help you with these concepts.
Note: Some of the resources below may be affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.
- Preorder Superfans
- National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
- “What No One's Telling You About Writing That Book” by Pia Silva
- The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod [Amazon affiliate link]
- The Miracle Equation by Hal Elrod [Amazon affiliate link]
- NEWTYPE Publishing
- Internet Business Mastery
- The Smart Passive Income Podcast Episode 379: How Books Increase Our Authority and Leadership with Azul Terronez
- The Smart Passive Income Podcast Episode 372: Why People Really Hate Us Online
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi [Amazon affiliate link]
- Ahrefs Thanks Ahrefs for sponsoring this episode! Ahrefs helps you learn why your competitors rank so high and what you need to do to outrank them. Get help with keyword research and monitoring of your website's performance.