AskPat 274 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Whoo-hoo. What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 274 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today, hope you're having an awesome one.
Before we get to today's question from Robert, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is AWeber.com, a company I've been using for over five years to help me help collect email addresses and build my email list to a point where it's just become a huge asset for me and my brand. As Amy Porterfield says, “The strength of your brand is directly proportional to the power and the strength of your email list.” AWeber's helped me build my email list. But not only that, they are helping me keep in close contact with my audience through not only broadcast emails that go out when certain events happen, promotions, things like that, but also my autoresponder sequence, so a series of pre-written emails that get sent out sequentially over time after people subscribe, which deliver more value, which promotes certain things, which brings traffic back to the site. It's just an awesome thing you need in your business. So, if you're looking to get set up with an email service provider, I recommend AWeber. Go to AWeber.com/askpat and you'll see a little video testimonial from me on that page. And also, you'll be able to get a $1 dollar trial of AWeber for 30 days. One month for $1—check it out. AWeber.com/askpat. Sweet.
Now, let's get to today's question from Robert.
Robert: Hey, Pat. What's up? My name's Robert Duth, and before I get to my question, I just want to say thank you so much for the inspiration and teachings that you've given to everybody and me over the years. I was thinking back, and actually, a year or two ago I emailed you; I didn't get a response, but that's okay. It was more for me than for you. I just wanted to say in that email that I resolve to get a source of passive income online, and since then I've been able to generate a couple different sources of mostly passive online income, and currently the revenue from those things rivals my full-time psychology intern pay, because I'm in my last year of my PhD program, and the pay isn't what it will be in the next couple of years. But the passive income that I'm getting now from online things really helps out, so I just want to thank you for that. My particular question's about ebooks. I'm the author of an ebook called Hardcore Self-Help. F-Anxiety. You can fill in the blank there. There's a little bit of language in it, but if anybody's interested in checking it out, it's HardcoreSelfHelp.com. It's just on Kindle, and what I was wondering is, what takes the place of book signings for ebooks? The book's doing really well—better than I thought it would, and it's generating a great amount of income for me, and it's really popular, especially, interestingly, in the UK. A part of me fantasizes about going over there or even just locally and doing some sort of book-signing event, but I don't know what that would look like for an ebook. Would it be a selfie thing? Would it be some sort of program that inserts a page? I just don't know really what you think takes the place of that. So, I would love your perspective on it. And again, thanks so much, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Robert, thank you so much for the question. First of all, thank you for the kind words, and I'm so happy to hear that you've been able to create passive income streams for yourself. I mean, it's really cool, because you obviously don't have something that's making you a bajillion dollars right now, but just a little bit can go a long way. And if you're able to create these systems of automation to build these passive income streams and these assets for you, these are going to continue to work for you over time, even after you get your PhD and you're making more money with your day job. These are still going to be very, very helpful for you for whatever you want to use that money for. So, that's really cool, and thank you for sharing that with me. And I apologize about the email that I didn't respond to. I'm usually pretty good now. If you sent it about a year ago, that was probably when I was just drowning in email before I hired Jessica, who you may have heard in Episode 155. And one of the things we had to do, and we talked about on that episode, because I interviewed her, was we had to declare email bankruptcy. So, apologize your email was probably in that bankruptcy moment. But, glad I feature you here on AskPat now.
So, let's get to your question. What takes the place of a book signing for a digital book? This is a really interesting question, and I love this question, because it comes from the heart. It means you want to give back to your audience and the amazing things that have happened since you've been able to publish these books on Kindle. I think that's really cool. So, let's think about really quick what the purpose of a book signing is. And that's really interesting, because I just got back from a conference for a TV show that my wife and I watch. They weren't doing book signings at this conference, or this convention, or this event, but they were doing autograph signings and photo ops and things like that. This show, for those of you who are just curious, it's called The Walking Dead. So, I was able to meet a couple of my favorite people from television on that weekend. It was just a really amazing experience. I was able to get platinum tickets to that event, and it was just awesome. It's called The Walker Stalker Con, or Walker Stalker Convention. Anyway, I'm thinking about that event and why people would spend just an over an hour or two in line just to get a person's autograph. Really, it's not about the autograph, right? It's about the memory of what happens when that encounter happens with somebody who has changed your life in one way, shape, or form. People on television, obviously, through entertainment, of being able to make a connection with people. Through books, perhaps through putting into action what we wrote and just finding change in their life, and amazing things happening because of that. It's not really about the actual ink on the book; it's about that experience of that book, and having that signified that there's this moment where you guys made a face-to-face connection. And I think that's really cool.
I remember being there when Chris signed his first books—Chris Ducker over in the Philippines at Tropical Think Tank. He wrote his book Virtual Freedom, and he sat down, and of course, his book was physical. And so he sat down; he had a stack of them there, and the attendees came out of their little meeting, and he was there waiting for everybody because everybody got a copy of their free book. He was just there signing, just smiling, biggest smile on his face. I think for him, not only for the people who were getting the book signed, that's cool, but for Chris, it was awesome. It was a very cool experience. I was very, very happy for him. So, this is something that you have to think about for yourself, too. What makes a book signing fun for you? It's the ability to meet people who are able to connect with you through your book and help you understand that you've made a difference to them in one way, shape, or form. It's also a way for you to give something back, a little something, a memory to people so that they can take that home with them and remember that encounter that they've had.
So, really, like I said, it's not about the ink in the book, necessarily. It's just about that experience, but also something to take home with them as well. So, there are a few options that I came up with and of course I'd love to get the audience involved here as well, for everybody listening; we have thousands of people listening. If you have access to Twitter, use the hashtag #AskPat274 and just come up with some random ideas for Robert of what can take the place of a physical book in the book signing of a digital book. So, Robert sells his book on Kindle; he wants to meet his community in person. How can he, quote, “sign” his book when his book is digital?
Well, the first thing that obviously comes to mind is you can get print versions of it and sell those, or maybe give those away to people that you meet. Those are real easy to do; you could even sell print. You should explore the possibility of selling hardcover copies or print copies of your Kindle book. You can do that through something like CreateSpace; even through Amazon.com. So, that can help you get those, and you can be able to actually do real book signings, actually sign books with those print on demand copies that people might get. You can bring a few with you if you like and do it that way as well. But one other way that I thought of is maybe taking a section of your book, and I'm not saying like rip a piece out. You know, print it out, and rip a piece out. No, not that, but maybe—for example, my book Let Go has at the beginning of each chapter a very nice quote related to that chapter. Quotes, probably all types of people, and the art works that go along with them. I could, potentially, if I wanted to do a book signing for Let Go, instead of signing the book, I can get just those graphics printed out, at the top of each chapter with each of those quotes on there, and I can sign those. That can be something physical that I can sign related to the book, because it's one small piece of it but something related to it, memorable, and obviously, it goes along with the branding.
So, that's something you could do. You could do postcards related to it, which could essentially could become larger business cards when you think about it. But I really like this idea of quotes, and even if you don't have quotes at the top of each of your chapters, you could take some of the best material. Maybe it's a card you create, 8-1/2″ by 11″ stock card, better quality than a piece of paper but something a little bit more solid. You get something printed on that; you get a number of copies done. Maybe it's a top 10 list. Maybe there are certain things in your book that you can easily think of that you can put into a list format, or one or two quotes that just totally sum up what the book is or things that you say in the book that are reoccurring: motifs, something, imagery, whatever. Something that again, you can print out for yourself on something a little more solid than paper that you can sign and hand off to people as they're coming up to the table or you meet them at a copy shop or whatever. Selfies and these pictures, that's sort of the trend now as a take-home from meeting people that you want to meet.
I know that I overheard Taylor Swift—not in person—I wasn't sitting at the booth next to her or something at a restaurant. But I overheard on the radio that she has found that most people who she meets now, her fans, they don't want autographs anymore; they want the selfies. People are excited about those. That's a cool thing because people share those. People put those on Instagram; people put them on Facebook and on Twitter. And they say amazing things along with them. I know I do this when I go to conferences; I'm always happy to take pictures with people. So, if any of you guys are listening out there and you're like, “Oh, I don't know if I want to bother Pat because he's busy or he's talking, I don't want to be that person who's like, ‘Can I take a picture with you?'” Please, I love taking pictures with you guys; it's awesome. I love that, because it becomes a way for you to remember that I'm there, I'm there with you, and I'm a real human being. But it's also, as a byproduct, most people who take pictures with me, they share it. That's cool, because it just spreads my brand even more, and that's awesome.
So, you could do the same thing and offer selfies, or just be like, “Hey, do you guys want to take a picture together?” And maybe something, if you really wanted to put your mark on it, tell them to share it on Instagram and say you'll go in there and thank them in person. That way, it forces them to share it, but also you go in there and show that you are able to follow up on your word and just say thanks and sort of @ tag them on that as well. It would be really cool for everybody else watching and comes across that picture too, who are their followers who are like, “Wow, the person who this person actually took a picture with came back and commented on it. That's pretty cool.” Maybe there is some sort of physical object related to the book that you have that you could give away, some sort of symbol. Maybe it's a sticker with a certain logo on it, maybe it's a toy related to it. I don't know, I'm just brain storming here. There's got to be something related to your book that you can pull out whether in text on a card or something physical that you can create or get manufactured or done for you or something that you can buy in bulk. I don't know. Those are all things you can do to create the same effect that you would have in a literal book signing.
So, hopefully that gives you some ideas Robert. Just brainstorming off the top of my head. And I know everybody else out there has some good ideas, too. So use the hashtag #AskPat274 on Twitter and let's help Robert out and each other out. What are some creative ideas you might have that can take the place of a book signing for something like an ebook? So, let him know what you think. Again, hashtag #AskPat274. Thank you so much for listening in. Robert, thank you so much for the question, and an AskPat t-shirt will be headed your way. T-shirts: There you go. There's another one. That's another thing you can sign and get printed out or have done for you. Anyway, an AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way for having your question featured here on the show. For everybody else out there listening, you can head on over to AskPat and ask me a question right there, and you can ask using the widget thanks to SpeakPipe.com. So, whatever mic you have handy and available to you, you can use that. That'd be awesome.
I also want to thank today's sponsor again, which is AWeber.com, so you can try it out for $1 dollar for 30 days. You can start building your list right now. Check it out; go to AWeber.com/askpat. You can visit that page, see the testimonial from me—video testimonial, actually, if you want to learn more about how it's helped me and my business. Definitely the easiest to get started with. Check it out: AWeber.com/askpat.
And to finish off the week, I have a great quote from Seneca, who said, “Difficulties strengthen the mind as labor does the body.” Love it. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you all in the next episode of AskPat.
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