In the world of business, “different” is sometimes prefable to “better.” My guest today, Keith Hayden, is a prime example of this. He is an author and is doing incredibly unique things online to promote his fiction book.
Keith has come up with a fantastic way to break his 500-page novel down into bite-sized chunks for social media. He has created an audio drama version of Cereus & Limnic and is combining that with live streams where he goes deep on the book writing process. But how should he go about getting more eyeballs on his content?
We talk about building word-of-mouth, which is vital for any book release. We also discuss the possibility of Keith creating these “book experiences” for other authors as a side gig and promotional tool. Keith has a specific target audience in mind and is creating custom badges for everyone who joins his ecosystem; we discuss ways to take that to the next level and start building superfans.
The inspiration for a lot of what Keith is doing is the sense of belonging he felt when he was in the military. He wants to recreate that for his audience, which is very smart. I had a blast talking to him, and this is an inspiring chat for all of us looking to build loyal, targeted audiences. Enjoy!
AP 1239: How Do I Use Social Media to Get More Book Readers?
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody Pat Flynn here and welcome to episode 1239 of AskPat 2.0. You're about to listen to a coaching call between myself and an entrepreneur just like you. And today we're speaking with Keith Hayden, who's all the way in Japan actually is an author by trade.
In order to get his books out there in the world of especially social media, he's doing something really unique that I haven't really seen anybody do. And so we jam on a lot of ideas with relation to what he likes to call the book experience. And it reminds me of some things that some people have done that aren't quite the same, but I'm, I'm talking about authors like Andy Weir and what he did with The Martian.
And we talk about a few other things, but we jam on some ideas and he gets excited about some of these ideas too. So I want you. Really pay attention to kind of where we go. And it takes me a little bit to get going personally, as far as like the ideation stuff, but what he is doing is really interesting.
And you can check out Keith at KeithHayden.net. And he's got a fiction book, so how, how do we get this to be something that people with short attention spans on social media can get interested in? Well, let's talk about it. Here he is.
Pat Flynn: Keith, welcome to ask pat. Thanks for joining us today. How are you?
Keith Hayden: I'm great. Early in the morning here. I'm in Japan, so.
Pat Flynn: Oh, wow. yeah. Nice. Tell me about that. Like how long have you been there and how is it? Like, I, it's a dream for me to go over there actually.
Keith Hayden: Yeah. I love it over here. I'm in Okinawa specifically, and we've been here about a year now, so my wife's work bought her over here.
I was previously over here when I was in the military. So now I'm back. Okay. I just absolutely love it. I speak a little Japanese. The food's great. The beaches are great.
Pat Flynn: Ugh, that's awesome. I'll have to hook up with you when we visit for the first time, because it's been on our bucket list as a family for so long now.
And you know, as you might know, I'm like big into Pokemon now. I mean, that's where it all goes down. And so, anyway, we'll talk more about that later. I'm I'm here to talk about you. I wanna learn about you. Tell me about what you got going on in your business and a little bit about your backstory.
Keith Hayden: Yeah, so I just started my business officially about four or five months ago at this point, but I'm an author by trade and that's where I spend most of my time.
So I put out my first book in early 2021. And that was essentially my business, right? Just basically trying to sell my book, but of course, like a lot of new authors, I struggled getting my name out there because, you know, unless you're kind of a big name, a JK Rowling, a Brandon Sanderson, something like that, you're gonna have a hard time pushing books.
So I kind of came up with this concept of a book experience. And so this book experience is my way to break down my book and present it on social media, because I found that with a long fiction book and my second book is a fiction book. It's about 500 pages, 150,000 plus words. A lot of my friends were like, yeah, yeah, Keith, that's great, but it's just too long and I don't have time to read that book and it's cool, I want to. But so I, I heard that a couple of times with my book and I was like, is there a way I can solve this? So that's kind of what I was thinking.
Pat Flynn: Book experience. I wanna ask you more about that in just a second, but I love the idea of sort of breaking it down a little bit and putting it onto places where people can consume at least little bits here and there to get them excited about it.
You know, exactly in your mind, you might be like, Hey, you know, nobody wants to read books these long, but we know that that's not true. Right? People read Lord of the Rings, and Hobbit, and like all that stuff, Game of Thrones, it's obvious that people, if they know about the story, if they know about a little bit about what's going on, then they will dedicate their time.
And of course, any recommendations from friends, who've read it, who are like, oh my gosh, you gotta check this out, so good. So I love the idea of taking something in creating an experience with it. Tell, tell me what that is. Exactly. Cuz that sounds really interesting.
Keith Hayden: So I think of it kind of like an expansion pack of the book.
It's really just the book, but I'm packaging it in such a way to where I'm presenting it through social media, I'm doing live streams of me listening to an audio drama version of the book that I've created. And this is a very unique experience for the audio drama because it's completely self produced.
All of the sound design, all of the music, composition, all of the editing, all that stuff, I produce it myself. I even got my wife on there to do some of the voices. That's awesome. Yeah. It's me kind of engaging with that content, making new content as I present the book. So I basically started at chapter one and then I'm going through it, stepping through.
Until hopefully until the end, but I'm bringing people along in what I call as passengers. So basically this is kind of an insider group that gets like Q and As and they get to talk to me in person while I'm live and going live and things like that. And they can get like incentives and I want to create kind of a community type podcast to get their voices on the podcast.
So it's a little bit ambitious. I know. But it's all of it to make it more of an interactive story instead of just, okay, here's my book. Go read it. No, you're actually engaging with me as the author.
Pat Flynn: I love that. And to use social media for that, to be able to garner discussions, to talk about it more it's it's like essentially a book club built into the experience, which is, which is really amazing.
And so I, I love that idea to get the word out there. It reminds me of Andy Weir, another fiction author who wrote The Martian. And he had actually written that book publicly. Yes. And then was able to get like NASA scientists and stuff to kind of contribute to that and be a part of it. And so by the time the book was like all out there, everybody was in love with it already.
So it's kind of kinda the same idea, which I, which I really love. So tell us the name, the book, or where, where can people go experience that in case they're listening to this, they're getting excited about it and, and they wanna learn about it.
Keith Hayden: Sure. So it's a military science fiction novel, and they can go to my website keithHayden.net and just go under books. And then it's one of my books on there. And then on my, the homepage, the front page of my website, if you scroll all the way down, you can kind of find a form and all this stuff that you can fill out to become a passenger on future flight. If they're interested in kind of taking this journey with me.
Pat Flynn: I love that really smart. So KeithHayden.net, go ahead and check it out there. So what can I best help you with, do you think, where do, where do you wanna jam?
Keith Hayden: I got in touch with you because. Really, this is a new thing. This is something very novel that I, as I look around, as I get deeper into it, I realize, Hey, nobody's doing this.
Really a behind the music, a behind the documentaries about movies, those are common. Those are, you know, you see those more often, but with books, it doesn't really happen. You know, usually authors put stuff out and if they're a big name, they may, you know, they may go on tour and answer questions and do live reading and stuff like that.
But to actually have an author sit down and go basically through the entire book and say, here's my inspiration for this scene for this character. Let me talk a little bit more about what my intent was for writing this part of the book. I've never seen that before in a sustained manner, in a continuous way.
So my question to you was going to be, you know, you're, you're kind of the, the king of making courses, and I have to say, I, I have to admit I'm a little star struck talking to you right now, because back in date, it talk back in 2017 and, and you you're so relatable. You're such a, just a good guy. But back in 2017, when I first got outta the military, you were the first person I found.
Your affiliate marketing course, your podcast. It just kind of got me motivated to be like, okay, I can do something on my own instead. But anyway,
Pat Flynn: Thank you for saying that. I, I appreciate that.
Keith Hayden: No, no problem. But you've done this a lot to where you've taken a concept and kind of repackage it into a course and very successfully.
So I figured this is the, the king of this. So I should ask what is the best way to basically introduce a novel concept to a new audience when you're kind of, you're just starting out. You're brand new in the game.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. That was a great question. And, and definitely a challenge, right? It's not gonna be an obvious answer and we'll have to jam and sort of look around and scope things out to see what might be a good opportunity.
It's gonna take a lot of trial and error. It's gonna take some experimentation, which you're kind of already doing and you're seeing some stuff that's working. Whatever seems to be working already you definitely wanna lean into it. If there's a certain component of the book experience that you have, that seems to work better than others, like let's double down on those things.
Right? So I don't know necessarily what is working best or if there's like a particular platform that's working better than others, but whatever seems to have even a little bit of steam right now, you definitely wanna pour more fuel onto that fire. So, so that's where I would start. But secondly, you know, sometimes we.
Bold ideas for, for bold results, right? If we just keep doing the same thing we've been doing, then we're gonna get the same kind of results. And if we wanna like launch this to the stratosphere, if you will, we need some bigger, bold ideas. So let's, let's just jam on that. I mean, one thing that comes to mind is, you know, how do we create some press around this?
Right? This is so different. And you know, the other thing that came to mind is like, you know, what's very hot right now, it's fictional podcasts, fictional podcasts. And so those are, those are hot, but what about the experience behind those fictional podcasts, you don't hear very much of that. So you're headed in the right direction, if anything, right?
I don't know if you've taken your book or some of your books and turned them into a podcast or at least maybe even a chapter. So, one thing that I think I would do if I was in your position would be to perhaps read the first chapter or take even some of the experiential audio that you have already and, and put that into a podcast, but just like the first chapter or the first couple, and then have the, whatever the last audio file is in terms of this preview, cuz the podcast can just be a preview of something.
I've had friends who have non-fiction books who have used the podcasts to promote their book and they just talk about the topics a little bit and then it's there. But then they have to go get the book to get the rest of it. So I can imagine an opportunity to showcase some of your book, get people excited.
You have the benefit of the algorithm, sort of potentially to help you and people searching. And people who listen to this show, listen to this one, or it's apple or Spotify could recommend them. Sure. But then they find you, they listen, they love it. And they want more. This is where now the last episode or the last one that they, that they get access to is, Hey, I want you to be a passenger on board, so you can hear the behind the scenes and actually join me on this experience and hear these things live with me.
If I listen to a couple audio files and it's not in real time, but I, I hear your voice. I'm enjoying the experience. I love this story. I want more. I mean, most of these other fiction podcasts could probably benefit from a situation like this.
Keith Hayden: Yeah. I like that.
Pat Flynn: Right? Which would be really amazing. Another big idea I had was finding out how to get access to one of these authors who has one of these podcasts.
They likely have a built in community already somewhere, but they don't have this innovation like you, do you have the process now for making this. Might you be able to create even just a two hour experience for their audience and you kind of produce and you manage that. And in exchange, you just get some love for people coming over to your book.
And so kind of a pro bono situation. And if I was a fictional author who had a community and wanted to provide more value to them, I would be really open to that idea of somebody helping me to produce something like that for, for my fiction novel. And I think that could be a neat way to have a person who's already sort of has this built in fictional audience who could literally say, Hey, you gotta check out Keith's stuff.
You know, he helped me set this up and he's got a book, a science fiction, military sort of situation, and you could be a passenger on his ride and you could check that out over here. Just one endorsement can like kickstart this whole thing. Right?
Keith Hayden: I, I absolutely loved that. And that's actually something that I got from your course, your amped up podcasting course where it was genius.
When you, when you said it, it was like, Hey, just reach out to people that already have an audience. Just reach out to people that just already doing this to where you could kind of have that kind of cross flow situation to where they're already in consuming that type of content. So if you're making similar content, They're gonna come over to your, your stuff.
I, I like that strategy.
Pat Flynn: Exactly. I mean, I, I would even say like, if we wanna go further, like find one of these authors, you already have something to connect on. You're both authors and, you know, authors are a special breed of people who just experience things that others don't. Like, I know this is a, is a non-fiction author.
Although I do have an inkling or, or, or desire to one day, do some fiction,
Hey, come on over. the water's fine over here.
I'd love to one day. Oh, I know. I know. I know, but it would be interesting to connect with one of them and just get on a call and, and even invite them to one, to, to be a passenger one day, just to see what it's like.
And to see if that's something that they would be interested in having you help produce for, for their audience. And that could be really amazing. And I can either see one of two things, or even both of these things happening. One, you get a whole bunch of people fallen you now because they've endorsed, you know, you, and you know, you help them set up this thing and now they're pushing people over to you. Or, and or, you become known as Keith, the guy who creates these experiences for these fictional authors and you get shared around and you just that now that's your sort of side hustle or business is you create these things for other authors too. I could see that potentially happening as well.
Keith Hayden: I could see that as well.
And I've already kind of anticipated that. That's what I have on like my Twitter profile. I'm like Keith Hayden book experience creator, because it's, it's already, I'm already naming it and claiming it because I realized when I kind of set up my phone and it took me about a month Pat, to like, get all of the systems together to get the flow.
I spent just a month, not even making an email live streams, nothing, no content, just backend setting up all of the stuff to where, when somebody comes into my ecosystem, I can truly welcome them. And, and this is something you may appreciate. I'm doing to where I, I don't have any automated sequences. I'm doing it right now, so I can grow organic.
Like one to one touch. When people join me, I'm sending them emails like, Hey, welcome. I make a custom badge for them when they come in, because I have them fill out some stuff.
Pat Flynn: Oh, that's so cool.
Keith Hayden: So, I mean, I'm really trying to make it to where, like, this is a special place. This is kind of your home. This is your ship.
I, I felt that way a lot when I was in the military. When you walk into a new unit, they have, you know, your stuff laid out, and this is for you. This is your place. And I wanted to create that with this, and I am bringing that mentality to this project.
Pat Flynn: So, I mean, this is how you create super fans, Keith. I mean, you know, you you're doing exactly that, right?
These. One-on-one experiences that known aren't super scalable, but you're just starting out. They shouldn't be, this creates this sense of belonging, this is like, wow, I read several other fiction books and no, I've never talked to any of those authors and look at you, like sending me personal stuff, dude.
I love that. Have you ever thought of like shooting a quick video for, for these people? Like through Bonjoro or even just like a DM or something?
Keith Hayden: That's something that I want to explore. I have not done that, but I'm, I'm totally comfortable on video. I love doing video and, and that's, I know I'm kind of a rare exception as an author, you know, like I'm an author who likes to talk to people, you know, like, all right, you have that too. You have that too, as well, to where, you know, like, cuz a lot of authors, especially fiction authors, they, they just like to write, you know, like they don't wanna be bothered. They're like, okay, put out a book. And now I'm working on the next book and, and you know, marketing and stuff.
That is your bread and butter. And that I'm getting spun up on is, is kind of foreign to them. And, and I've seen authors that struggle with that.
Pat Flynn: Wow. I mean, that's. That is a service you could offer to authors as well. Like how to get comfortable on camera and create, you know, these connections with an audience.
I mean, there's so many things that can happen, but I think what, what what's beautiful is you're using your own fiction novel as sort of testing ground for this, which is huge. Cuz it's one thing to just go to another author and be like, Hey, I have this idea. Like, let's try it together. Versus you testing it, inviting people to it, showing people what it's like.
And I'm sure the feedback already is incredible. I mean, that's something that you could share with these other people too.
Keith Hayden: Absolutely. I've in just the month that I started, I started maybe about a month and a half ago. I've had maybe nearly a thousand plus downloads of my fiction podcast.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. That dude. That's awesome.
Keith Hayden: Yeah. I mean, from nothing right from scratch, from, from nothing, is it nothing. It was just growing over time and it it's already working to provide more exposure and I've gotten better at working with YouTube and, you know, because you'll have like a long live stream. And so people don't want to watch a hour and a half plus live stream from somebody, no name author they don't know. So breaking that up into clips and, you know, serving it in bite size chunks that has been working just slowly trickling people in and people are like, this is kind of interesting when they actually find it. So. The storm's coming.
Pat Flynn: great. Yeah. I love it, dude. I love it. I, I, I hope some of these ideas have sort of, you know, helped massage some of the possibilities.
Another thing that came to mind is, you know, I think about most of the books that I read, especially fiction and how. I got introduced to those books. I would say 97.2% of them have come because somebody else told me to read it.
Keith Hayden: Exactly. Yeah. It's word of mouth.
Pat Flynn: Are, are you doing anything to encourage or incentivize word of mouth within your experiences?
Keith Hayden: Not at the moment. No, I haven't gotten to that. And frankly, I guess this is where I could lean on your council for. What would kind of work at this? I know it's been a long time since you've been at my level, but I know like shoutouts, like basically like, Hey, I'll, I'll shout you out on a podcast. And because it is fiction podcast, but after I'll say like, Hey, I got support from X person, whatever.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That works as like a starting point. For sure. It sounds like there are opportunities for gamifying. Some of the interactions you had mentioned badges earlier, and other things like. You know, there are opportunities within, and again, I don't know what exactly you built as far as systems are concerned, but, you know, Hey, if you bring a friend over and they become a passenger too, you get a, a partner badge to go along with, with your other badge, you know, the things like that work, you know, you don't have to gift anything.
You don't have to give away Amazon gift cards in order to incentivize. I think again, just having people feel like you see when they're helping build the community is enough. It's just the a little bit of attention, a little bit of understanding, a little bit of appreciation. This is the word I was looking for.
And, and like you said, some shoutouts are great too. I would reserve the shoutouts as, as a bonus. Like they didn't even know they were gonna get the shout out, but you shout them out after they've done, something like that. And then they get even more stoked on that and, and that encourages other people to, to do that too.
But over time, I'm sure there'll be some other understandings of things you could do to incentivize, but I would highly recommend seeing what you could do to, especially at that intimate level you have with your audience at the start here, this is the time to sort of see what you can do to help those people bring other people like them in and make the group even tighter.
Right. I would much rather have people in my circle refer new people for me versus me cold emailing people to bring people in, you know what I mean?
Keith Hayden: Yeah. The cold pitching and, and all that stuff. And, yeah. And when you said, like bring certain type of people in that, that brought a thought to my mind, as far as like, if there's somebody listening to this, who's an author, that's like, oh, book experience, that sounds interesting. One thing I'm doing from the start is making it very crystal clear who this book experience is for. And, you know, just like everything we create, Pat, you know, this, it's not for everybody, you know, it's not, and it's not just genre. It's more of like what I'm trying to do with my novel.
I wrote it. I'm a teacher, like my day job is teaching. So I put a lot of lessons into my book as far as society and questions and big things like that. So I want that type of person who's prone to think about those things and not just, you know, read a book for fun and, and that's fine. I like reading books for fun as well, but this is more of, there's not gonna be homework or anything, but I'm saying like, it's more of like, Hey, this is a thinking experience. This is more about philosophy and things like that. So if you're that in that type of mindset and you're listening to this, well, Hey, come on over and check it out. But the point is, I'm tailoring the experience from the jump to say, look, this is only for these type of people.
And those are the type of people that I'm looking for to join.
Pat Flynn: I. Love it, dude, such an awesome idea. I think that there's so many possibilities that could come out of this and again, keep making that experience. I mean, it's, it's built into the program, like the experience, the book experience. I mean, that's, that's, that's what really is the underlying secret behind super fans.
It's just create an experience worth talking about being a part of and sharing and, and you're doing that. So I would say just, I would just encourage you to keep going with that and, and see if you could find wonderful ways to wow your people and, and they're gonna bring people in for you. So just some words of encouragement along with the, the sort of tips and strategies that I shared along the way.
And, and, and I hope this was helpful.
Keith Hayden: It was. And if nothing else, just to get some sort of validation from you, like as somebody who's been through this and iterated so many times over your internet career, and it's a huge deal for me. And I really appreciate it.
Pat Flynn: Thank you. Yeah, it's different. Different is better than better in the world of, of business. So keep up the good work, man. Thank you. And, and good luck where one more time. Can people go to, to follow your work?
Keith Hayden: So my website, KeithHayden.net, and you're gonna find everything there. I post updates. I started doing this thing where I post updates, cuz I create so much.
I also do music and graphic design and I do all of my own stuff. So you can find all my latest stuff on there at the top of the website. And if you're interested in the book, experience it, as I said, you can just scroll all the way down and you can find all the info there.
Pat Flynn: Amazing. Right, man. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. And we'll catch up soon.
Keith Hayden: All right. Thanks, Pat.
Pat Flynn: All right, I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Keith. Keith, again, thank you so much. You can check out Keith at KeithHayden.net. And check out his book experience, and I do really think that this kind of thing, not just with books, but with other things, I mean, we see it in online courses right now, online courses, still hot, but you know, what's also hot and even getting hotter cohort based courses, the experience that goes along with the learning and the application and the accountability of that course material. Right? We're seeing this in a lot of different spaces now.
So how might you with the things that you're doing, especially things. Might have less of a touch in fact, incorporate more touch. Right? So think about that. Anyway. Thank you to key. Thank you to you for listing all the way through. I appreciate you. And if you wanna check out the community that we have available for you heading over to SmartPassiveIncome.com/community, you'll see a few options that we have.
We have the SPI Learner Community, which is going strong, fairly new to the world of SPI. But this is where the beginners hang to learn from each other and get support from our team. Or if you are a bit more advanced, you could check out SPIpro.com and apply there for when we let new people in. And that particular community is for people.
Who've had businesses up and running for a while, and there's a cap on that one as well, because we wanna keep it nice and tight. And that's where masterminds happen. That's where a lot more events happen and things like that. You know, the different levels have different problems and different challenges, but both have challenges the same.
And we at SPI are here to serve you and help you out and help you get to that next level. So that's what we're here for. So make sure you subscribe so you don't miss out on the next, be sure to check out our other podcast, the Smart, Passive Income podcast. We also have another one, the Community Experience podcast hosted by our very own director of community experience, Jillian Benbow. And again, that's the Community Experience podcast. We have a lot of audio goodies for you. So make sure to check em out and I look forward to hanging with you the next episode until then cheers, peace out and as always Team Flynn for the win. Peace.
Thanks for listening to AskPat at AskPat.com. I'm your host Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sarah Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media.
We'll catch you in the next session.