Superfans is coming out next week. As you can maybe tell, I’m super excited to launch this new book about how to build the kind of following that gets you past the algorithms and helps you truly futureproof your business. Over the past month we’ve been talking a lot about books: how to write them, how to market them, whether or not self-publishing is right for you, and so much more.
For this episode, I wanted to take a look back at Will It Fly? to do a retrospective of the process and specifically answer the question, how much money did it actually make? And how does that income break down? We drill down into the numbers to really look at how it all came together, three years and four months later.
One thing that may surprise you is that, spoiler alert, book sales alone don’t tell the whole story. I made about $100,000 in royalties from paperback and ebook purchases, while I made closer to $120,000 from audiobooks and the Audible bounty program. But that’s not all. Because it was so important to me to offer additional value to my audience, I put a lot of energy into the Teachable companion course for Will It Fly?
What I ended up with was a 51 percent conversion rate on getting my readers’ email addresses, which lead to the creation of Smart From Scratch and all my other courses. I ended up making almost as much money from those offerings as I did from the book itself, and it helped me build the incredible audience that is Team Flynn as we know it today. Listen for the full details, and don’t forget to pre-order Superfans and submit your receipt at yoursuperfans.com to the get the audiobook for free at launch—next week!
Pat Flynn: So I remember sitting in class one day doing some work for history class or something like that. And it was A.P. US History and the teacher, Mr. Ihlbrock, he just had this passion for history. And after the bell rang and we were on our way out, I just remember asking him randomly, ’cause it came to me and I was curious, I asked, “Mr. Ihlbrock, why do you love history so much? Why do you think that it’s important for us to be studying history?” And he said he loves history so much and he thinks it’s so important to learn and the reason why he teaches it is because it helps us understand how to better ourselves. And I remember because I was quick on the way out, but that answer has stuck with me for years. And it’s why things like my income reports and going back into time and listening to my old podcasts or reading my old blog posts and thinking about how far I’ve come so that I can become better as I move forward into the future, it’s just so important.
And so today in this episode I’m actually going to be going back into the past, related to something that’s coming up in the near future. Many of you know, especially if you’ve been listening to the podcast lately, that my new book, Superfans, is coming out next week. On August 13, Superfans will be shared with the world and I’m so excited and I’m so nervous and I’m just so thankful for everybody who has helped support it already. And if you do want to support it still, you can obviously share it with people. But better yet, you can actually get the audiobook for free if you pre-order the book on Amazon and submit your receipt at yoursuperfans.com before the launch date.
But to help me and my team and just wrap my head around, well, how can we have the best launch possible? What can we do differently this time? Well obviously, we have to go into the past and luckily I have a foundational launch of another book in the business-related niche that was called Will It Fly? And it still continues to make sales today. I consider it a major success, but a lot of people have been asking me, well, how much of a success was it? How much money did it actually make? How many emails did you actually collect from that?
And so I went into the past, into the archive, into Amazon KDP, into CreateSpace, into the earning reports, into Audible, and ACX, which is the website where you go submit your Audible books and get the sales reports. Looking at just my history with Will It Fly? over the last three years and four months, I’ve taken all that data and I want to share it with you all today as I’ve learned about this very recently. I hadn’t gone back and actually kept track in such a detailed manner.
So I want to share all this with you. I have all the numbers right in front of me. But first, before I get to that and some of the biggest lessons learned and how I’m going to take that experience and hopefully make Superfans even better, let’s get to the intro. Here we go.
Announcer: 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. If he only had forty thousand dollars to buy a house, he’d buy a DeLorean. Pat Flynn.
Pat: Hey, what’s up? My name is Pat Flynn. Thank you so much for joining me today on the Smart Passive Income Podcast. I’m here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people too. We are here today in Episode 383 doing an income report on my book, Will It Fly? We’re going to talk about everything from ebook sales, paperback sales, audiobook sales, bounty sales. What is that? I’ll talk about that as well. Bulk paperback sales for events and things like that. Royalties from foreign rights of the book. I don’t know if you know this, but the book was published in Korea, Vietnam, Romania, Taiwan, and Poland and a few other places. And how much money was made from that?
Plus money that was made beyond the book. The book is a first step in a process to hopefully help more people and serve people in different ways—if they’d like to be served in more in-depth manners. And that includes a course; that includes collecting emails; and I have a grand total to share with you at the end. And we want to compare this to, well, how does this compare to, if I were to take an advance, for example? And I know a lot of you are self-published authors or soon-to-be self-published authors, or you might be weighing the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing, which we talked about a couple episodes ago. Let me get that number for you. That was Episode 381.
Last week in 382, I had a clip from a video interview I did with Hal Elrod where he talks about how he sold millions of copies of his book, The Miracle Morning (Amazon link). And it’s funny because you’ll hear in that interview, he didn’t sell very many at first. It took a snowball effect and wow, just kind of really inspired me and blew me away. So I hope you listened to both of those episodes. We’ll have all those links in the show notes for you. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.]
But today we’re going to dive into the income of Will It Fly? And so this book was written, it’s called Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money. And it was written to answer the number one question that I was getting from people, which related to the number one and two fears that people had related to starting a business. Actually, most of my audience has even yet to start a business and this is why I’m here. And the book was a great answer for that question because it’s something that people can hold and work through, it’s a system, a step by step process. That’s why the tagline is “How to test your next business idea so you don’t waste your time and money.” You often hear me talk about running surveys and having conversations with your audience members and your target avatar, such that they’re going to give you the language to use in your products and your emails. Well, this is a direct case of that because testing a business idea and not wasting your time and money, I didn’t guess about that. You all told me that and that’s why I wrote the book.
And Superfans is a little bit different. Because Superfans, coming up, is less about what people have told me they needed but more about what I know they need versus what I think they know they want. And so Superfans is a little bit different. But if any of you are thinking about writing a book, I would definitely start with, well what is the most important question that is holding your beginners or your target audience back? And that’s where Will It Fly? came from. This is why I continued to write it even though it was hard. It was about a two-year process. I hired a coach to help me write. It was so important to me to finish it because I knew was going to be so helpful. And three years and four months later, we’re going to go over the numbers right now.
So let me start with a total number of units sold and then I’ll break them down by chunk in just a minute. But we sold 52,166 copies. Now depends on who you ask, but for me, that’s a huge, huge success. However, if you were to ask Stephen King or JK Rowling, that wouldn’t be a success. And that just drives me to my first lesson is you cannot play the comparison game. If you do. If you go, “Oh, Pat sold 52,000 copies, I only sold this many copies.” And this is why I’m talking about this. This is the first lesson here that sets up this entire episode because I don’t want you to hear these numbers. I don’t want you to think about the number of units I sold because we’re apples and oranges. We’re different people, we’re different audiences, and we’re in different niches, perhaps. So you have to base success off whatever you feel success is for you. And for me, and what I would recommend, is making sure that you’re at least getting this into people’s hands, which means you need to market it. And you also need to change people’s lives with it, actually help them. And that’s what serving is all about. And we can serve in many different ways and you should serve with your book too.
But a book is a great way to start serving people and to also build authority. This book has definitely landed me on a number of stages, on a number of different podcasts. There’s a lot of byproducts of writing a book as well beyond just the hard numbers here. But 52,166 units sold. I don’t know what you think that is in terms of whether you think that’s a success or not, but to me it is.
And so let’s start with ebook sales: ebook, Kindle version. It had different prices because I did different deals. I remember there was a week-long period at the start to help market the ebook to sell it at $2.99, and it went back up to $6.99 afterward. So there was a big drive to push the ebook sale upfront, which definitely helped because I landed a Wall Street Journal bestseller List spot based on my ebook sales, which was really cool. And I ended up position number seven after a week of selling, I think seven thousand four hundred, just to give you some benchmark there.
So I sold seven thousand four hundred ebooks at $2.99 in the first week and that landed me number seven on the chart. But of course, it’s different every week. Different books sell at different rates and I got lucky that there weren’t a lot of other more popular books at the time. Not to sort of discount my book. I think we did very well and I think I earned that spot. But, you never know. You might come out during the same week of ten other gigantic books from gigantic authors and you just have no chance. So you have to kind of play that game a little bit. But overall, over the last three years and four months since it was published, there was—let’s see, 19,221 ebook sales. And so the overall income coming from that, based on those different price points, from $2.99 to $6.99, I don’t think I ever went above that. Superfans will definitely be more expensive eventually, although it will likely have a discount upfront like before, which really helped drive sales in that first week.
But anyway, $32,893.93. That’s the total number of dollars from ebook sales, and about twenty thousand units sold over three years. Paperback sales are less units, 13,556, but the book is more expensive. The retail price is $16.95. But Amazon never sells it at that price. They always discount it and it changes almost daily or weekly depending on what they know based on their algorithms and what have you. It just changes. So the royalties differ, but I think the average royalty that I get for that book is about five dollars, which when you consider the royalty from a traditionally published book after the advance, I mean you’re earning ten cents, twelve cents per book. I talk more about that in Episode 381 if you want to go into the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional.
But seeing it here at about $5 per book is pretty amazing in terms of just the long-term of this. Especially if it’s a book that continues to get shared, which is why Hal’s book is so inspiring. Self-published and millions of copies. I mean, half-a-million in Brazil alone, just ridiculous. And he had some strategies mentioned in that book, which were amazing. So 13,556 units and that grossed $62,495.48 over the last three and about half years. So less units sold, more income, 62,000. So in total, that’s about 95,000 for those combined.
Then there’s the other part of ebook sales, which is Kindle Unlimited royalties. So if you opt into Kindle Unlimited, what that means is people can borrow your book and borrow it for free. And I think there’s some other parts of Kindle unlimited that you get access to, but they pay royalties based on a pool of money that is sort of put in for people who are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. And then it gets split between all the authors depending on how many pages are read, I believe. And so my royalties over the last three years from Kindle Unlimited is $4,087.88. So significantly less. But, but all those things combined, we’re talking a hundred thousand dollars over the last three years from ebook sales, paperback sales, and Kindle Unlimited royalties, which is really amazing.
But here’s where it gets interesting. Let’s talk about the audiobook, guys. The audiobook sales: about 90,000 copies, 90,000 units sold. To be exact: 19,389. Interestingly enough, very similar to the number of ebook units sold. But the total income coming from audiobook sales, this is audible.com, 96,945. So that, and then there’s a second part to the audiobook, which is really interesting. So if you have your book on Audible, which if you want to get your book on Audible, go to ACX.com. I’ll also put a link in the show notes for a video that I did where I showed you behind the scenes of what it was like to go into a professional recording studio to record that audiobook and what it’s like. There’s some special formatting that needs to be done if you’re recording a book. But you can do it yourself. And although I have the equipment to do it myself, I wanted to be in a professional spot because I would just hone in on that day. And that day would be my day—actually two days to record Superfans—is I’m just in Superfans audiobook mode, no distractions. And there’s an audio engineer that’s there by my side or in the other room to catch my mistakes. And there are a lot of them. So I’ll link to that video because it’s really interesting. You get to see what it’s like in the studio. I get to goof around a little bit and you get to see what it’s like behind the scenes.
But when you have your audiobook for sale, so first of all, if you have a book and you don’t have an audiobook, you got to get moving on this. And here’s why: because in addition to the audiobook sales, which are going to make more profit, you’re making about the same amount of profit as you are with your print book if you do CreateSpace or print-on-demand and not traditionally published. There’s something called bounty. You get a reward. Not for hunting people but for getting people to become new Audible members. And if your book is the first one they use with that first credit, and by the way that first credit is free, so there’s some awesome promotion. I probably could’ve gone harder with this because the pitch is like this, “Hey, my new book just came out. If you want to go listen to it, get your subscription of Audible, you get your first month free and you can download my book first.” Because what happens is if you then subscribe to Audible and you get my book first with that free credit, I get fifty bucks. Fifty bucks per person that you bring to Audible and you have your book on there.
And so I was able to send four hundred ninety people into Audible to download my book first to then become audible members, which generated $24,500. So that’s fifty dollars each. So the Audible bounty program is definitely something worth getting into. It’s sort of a no-brainer, especially if you’re a podcast—oh my gosh, your listeners love to listen, right? So if you have an audiobook, perfect. Which is why I think if you don’t have the audiobook already reserved for Superfans, which you can only get by pre-ordering Superfans now, with getting your pre-order in and submitting your receipt at yoursuperfans.com—I mean, please do that. It’s a huge value back because you’re going to get the audiobook for free when it comes out. Anyway, $24,500 plus $96,945. So total audiobook sales, $121,455 if you include the bounty and the audiobook units. Wow. More money than the ebook and the paperback and the Kindle Unlimited royalties combined. Pretty amazing.
Now let’s also talk about bulk paperback sales. When you have a book, oftentimes you might be able to sell bulk copies of your book to people who have events that you might be speaking at. Or maybe you’re going to be doing a little meetup and you have somebody who wants to sponsor it and they’ll buy bulk copies. Perhaps you might be working with a company who just loves what you do and they’re almost considered a partner. They might buy copies for their employees or even some of their customers, which has happened before, which is really cool. All in all, not too much money considering all the other numbers that we already talked about, but thirty-five hundred dollars for several hundred copies that were sent to people in conferences and whatnot, which is not bad. Those aren’t registered through Amazon and CreateSpace, the print-on-demand service, which CreateSpace, by the way, it was actually purchased and is now combined with Amazon. So if you get your book on Amazon KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing, you have the option of also, for free, getting your book for print, which is really, really cool. And they make it pretty easy, which is amazing.
So total book earnings from—this is a self-published book—$224,432.29. Total units sold 52,166, not including the bulk paperback sales. So that means total earnings per unit about $4.30. So it’s lower than five dollars per because of the Kindle stuff. And there were more units sold in the Kindle space, but definitely got it in front of more people. Two hundred and twenty-four thousand dollars, three years later. So I’m very happy with that. I mean, if you had offered me a $200,000 advance upfront for this book, I probably would have taken it. Because it was three years ago and I didn’t really understand the power of self-publishing, the power of building an audience, the power of having a book that spreads itself because of just how useful it can be. And I’m not just saying that to toot my own horn, this is what people have said.
Some entrepreneurs who have coaching programs have made it mandatory reading for themselves, which is really amazing. So it doesn’t quite have the effect of Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning. And if you didn’t listen to that episode, the big learning item from that episode with Hal Elrod and how The Miracle Morning has just gained so much steam just because of the quick behavioral change that that book can offer and the fact that like you can tomorrow wake up earlier, practice your S.A.V.E.R.S., which was taught in The Miracle Morning (Amazon link), feel instantly better, and then share it with your friends. And they get to try it the day after and the book can just spread like wildfire from there. It’s really amazing. With Will It Fly?, it takes a lot longer for the process to work and, for that reason, it doesn’t pick up steam quite as fast, but it’s still getting out there, which is amazing. But, wow, to have the self-published book, which still continues to sell, earn $224,432.29, I’m extremely happy with that. And thank you so, so much for everybody who picked up that book. I’m so incredibly grateful and you are the reason why it’s a success and you’ll notice something in the dedication of Superfans when you pick it up as well. That’s for you, by the way. So anyway.
Is that the end of the income report for Will It Fly? Well, no. There’s a few other things. Let’s continue to talk about the book and then we’re going to talk, like I said earlier, about the stuff beyond the book. Because the book is just the first step, often. This is something I talked about in Episode 380, we talked about it in Episode 379. It’s been book month here. Obviously, I’m setting up Superfans, but hopefully, the information shared in the past month has been really helpful for you in giving you insight and some of these behind the scenes are really interesting as well.
So I found an agent, it was actually Hal Elrod who gave me a great contact at a publisher, who was able to support me by keeping the book self-published in the US but selling the book and selling the rights to foreign countries. So the book is currently published in six different countries right now—Will It Fly?. And it’s really an amazing and interesting thing to have your book be published in another country because number one, how do I know if they’re translating it properly? It could be a completely different book or story. It could say mean things about me and I wouldn’t even know. I wouldn’t know how to tell if it were real or not. But I trust my agent and I trust the publisher that we signed with. But in these different countries, depending on the advance and what they think it’ll do and the market that’s out there . . . every market’s different. For example, Korea has a really big business market, so I was able to collect a bigger advance there, and it works much like a traditional book deal where I get an advance and then I don’t see any more money coming in until after that advance is made back by the publisher. And then I get a small royalty, six cents per book sale after that or something like that.
It’s different for every country, but it works in the exact same way. So here are the royalties from these foreign countries, just to give you some perspective. Korea: $10,000. Wow. And that’s definitely the biggest one. But it was so cool to . . . That was the first one, actually. And so I thought all the other ones were going to be at that level, and they definitely were not. Vietnam: $1,200. Romania: $1,000. Taiwan: $5,600. And Poland: $1,800.
Now, interestingly enough, the one that it’s picking up in the most is in Poland. Thanks to a lot of help from Michal Szafranski who is—I don’t know if you remember the story that I’ve ever told about the marathon runner who crossed the finish line holding a banner with my name on it after having gone through a terrible accident. But he ran a full marathon with a banner with my name on it because he listened to the podcast, got inspired, and if you’ve heard that story before, he actually helped me get into the Polish market because he is one of the number one authors now as a result of learning from me and taking action in Poland. He’s crushing it right now. I think in the first week, he self-published a book, and it’s sold forty thousand copies in the first week. He’s doing better than me. Anyway, I’m just super proud of him.
But Poland, one thousand eight hundred. So in total $19,600, minus commissions, minus finder fees for the agent and whatnot. So it’s roughly about twenty thousand dollars. But in total—so that’s all related to the book and the book itself, right? In the US and foreign rights. So total so far, $244,032.29. So we’re rocking. I mean, we’re at about a quarter-million dollars now since writing this book and I’m just so thankful for that.
But it doesn’t stop there because, like I said, your book is oftentimes going to be a launching platform for other things. Now, one of the most important things that you can do with your book is try to collect email addresses. I don’t think it matters what niche you’re in unless . . . even honestly, even if you’re writing fiction, I think it’s important to collect emails. Now, I wouldn’t collect emails in the middle of a book. That being said, I can find some pretty creative ways to, “Hey, put your email in here to get the backstory behind this part here. If you want to download the image and the illustration that is probably going through your head right now about this part in the story, go here and I’ll get your email.” Yeah, I think email is so important. You’re going to hear me talk more about emailing in the upcoming months because it is something that is so important now, especially with social media and algorithms getting in the way.
A lot of people are saying social media is on the way out, and email marketing, although many people have said it’s been dead for a while or it’s dying, it’s definitely not in my business, that’s for sure. But it’s something that I think more businesses will be needing to pay attention to. And if you’re writing a book, you need to collect email addresses. And the way that I did it with Will It Fly? was through something called a companion course. So this companion course, which lives on Teachable. By the way, it only took a day and a half to create putting assets up on there and Teachable made it easy. By the way, I’m an affiliate for Teachable. I’m also an advisor for the company. I love it. And the reason is because they’ve helped me out so much. My first experience with Teachable was this exact thing, this companion course and they just made it so easy. [Full Disclaimer: I am a compensated advisor and affiliate for Teachable.]
Anyway, the companion course is lessons in this online digital course. You have to login and get your login and you see the course lessons. One lesson per chapter. It’s laid out just like the book. Within each chapter, there’s videos, if they’re relevant, for things that maybe were a little bit more difficult to explain in the book. Some are just links to YouTube videos that relate to things that I mentioned. All the links mentioned in the book are in their respective chapters in there. Worksheets, high res digital images of the things that are black and white images in the book, and those kinds of things. Didn’t take very long, but it’s just a value add and a lot of people have said that it’s really helped them because it forces them to hold them accountable going through the book, which is really amazing.
I actually got inspired to do that by a show called The Walking Dead, which many of you may have heard of before. But if you weren’t a super nerd fan of it like I was, AMC is the station that it was on or the channel. Does anybody even say station anymore? Does that even matter? Anyway, they had this thing called the AMC Walking Dead Story Sync where—while the episode was playing—you can go to this website and it would, in realtime, with the episode, show you other information, to add on to the scene, behind the scenes information, other things that you may miss. And it was really cool.
So I was trying to create something similar. I didn’t want to just go, “Hey guys, get this other ebook.” Or, “Hey, get the audiobook for free by sending me your email.” Or some other usual bonus that one might offer. I wanted something that was very high quality, something that would be an obvious, and it was mentioned at the beginning of the book. It was mentioned at the end of the book and it was mentioned throughout the book as well. And I just pulled up the numbers here and these are beyond what I thought they were in terms of how many emails I collected. So remember, 52,166 units sold. Here’s how many people are enrolled in the course right now, which means I have their email. 26,680. That’s a 51 percent conversion rate. I knew it was going to work and I knew it was going to work better than what are the other people are doing. But I had no idea it was going to break fifty percent. I mean, thirty-three percent is what I was saying it was the whole time because I knew it was high, but I wasn’t really keeping track of the numbers so much because they’re all in different places. But audiobook and ebook combined, and it is mentioned in the audiobook as well, but we’re talking 51 percent.
Half of the people who read this book send me their email. Can you imagine just the amazing power that that comes with? And number one, responsibility. But number two, the ability for me to now further help these people through the Teachable course, through other offerings, through blog posts that relate through other real relevant podcast episodes? I had mentioned courses. I have a course called Smart From Scratch. It was the first online course I ever created and it was created largely in part due to a number of requests from the people in the companion course. They said, “Pat, this book is great. It’s helped me get started. I got the companion course, but I want more. I want to go more in-depth. I want a specific case study that I could follow.” Which I give in the course of through my own experience. “I want communication with other members. I want communication with you, Pat, through office hours.” Which I offered and the way that all my courses are now are a result of the way people had asked me courses to be back when Smart From Scratch was starting.
So I owe so much to the Will It Fly? companion course members. Now, not all Will It Fly? companion of course members are obviously students of this course. First of all, fifty percent conversion rate from the book and then a hundred percent conversion rate from the book into the course? That’s unheard of. That’s impossible, nearly. But that’s what you want to shoot for obviously. But in total we have 1,684 students enrolled in Smart From Scratch and no, not all of them have also gone through this funnel. But many of them have. Most of them have. 1,684 students, which total $215,308.71 in earnings. And the best part about this is yes, you’re, you’re probably like, “Whoa, that’s just as much money as you made from the book.” Just about. But here’s my favorite part. I get emails and handwritten notes every single week. “Thank you for Smart From Scratch. It has helped me start my business. I launched my course and I got my first customers, I launched my product, and I finally has something I can be proud of.”
This is why we do what we do. This is why you write books, but this is also why you do things beyond writing books. This is why you need courses. And if somebody had just told me that earlier, because my course came out in 2017, I had been doing this for eleven years now without an online course for nine years. Only having done online courses for the last two years. And online courses are huge for me in my business right now and I totally recommend it to everybody if possible. But $215,308.71 in earnings. That makes the grand total from book earnings, that includes ebook to paperback to the royalties from Kindle Unlimited, audiobook sales, bounty units, the royalties from foreign rights, and remember, the emails that were collected, and then in turn, turning those people into customers of Smart From Scratch for those who wanted to go deeper.
And I am not aggressive with it. I don’t go, “Hey guys, you’ve got the course and you have to join this course. You joined the companion course for free. Now you’ve got to pay for this other course every single week.” No, I would say once a quarter at most I’m mentioning it and I could probably do a better way of automating it, but I don’t want to be on the aggressive side. I’d rather go on the side of people asking me, “Okay, well what else can I get?” And that’s what’s happening and that’s working. But I also know that there are people who could use the help who don’t hear about it. So I could probably go a little bit more frequent with the promotion of Smart From Scratch to the people who have read Will It Fly?
But anyway, this is our grand total. Three years and four months later. Books and courses combined, $459,341. So about a half-million dollars. Wow. Just thank you, number one, for all the support. Especially the course students who have wanted to go deeper and for all of your feedback and advice, especially the Betas. Huge. The beta students, I cannot thank you enough for putting your trust in me and not only that, being very upfront with me about what needed to be improved, what was missing. Because you helped frame not just the course Smart From Scratch and making that the best it can be, but making all other subsequent courses, from Power-Up Podcasting to 123 Affiliate Marketing to Amp’d Up Podcasting, even better. We have another course coming out later this year that has been the number one request coming up later. I’m just going to tell you it’s about email so just keep that in mind. But more on that soon and I’m just very thankful for you. So hopefully this gives you a lot of insight and background on Will It Fly?
And also another thing, I was very thankful that I looked back into my archive and in March, 2014 this was about a month after Will It Fly? published, it was a very detailed, very detailed here’s what worked and here’s what didn’t and I’m looking through this. I’ll link to it as well. For those on my team, it’s called “Will It Fly? From Start to Finish.” There’s a part one and a part two. But the overall lessons that were at the end here, I think I’m going to share them with you now. This also reveals some numbers as well from some of the stuff that was happening in the first month. But here are the lessons learned from Will It Fly? and I’m going to comment on how these have been responded to now with Superfans coming out next week.
So number one. It says, again, this is about Will It Fly? and it was a month after that published in 2016. Lesson number one: I would give myself and my team more time. After setting a hard launch date of February 1, we were off to the races. It became our stake in the ground as we continued to make decisions and add new items into the mix and as a result, some things were rushed or never happened at all. For example, all this stuff with the Kindle launch wouldn’t have happened if we had given ourselves adequate time to get that uploaded.
A little bit of background on that, we didn’t have the Kindle book up and running and live on launch date. We had the paperback. The Kindle version wasn’t available. It actually was a couple of days later that it was fully available and actually on the same page because it actually did go live the next day, but it was on a separate page. So I had to send people to two different places if they wanted to get the paperback and the ebook respectively. Anyway, there was a lot of mess and it was because we didn’t give ourselves enough time. But that’s often what happens the first time you do something. You just don’t know. But this time, you’ve heard me talk about Superfans and getting the pre-order for the last two and a half months. We were up on Amazon with the pre-order months in advance now. So you can be sure we did not let ourselves fall into the same trap. We definitely gave herself more time and that’s one way that we responded.
Number two: I would have hired a coach sooner. I hired a coach to help hold me accountable and really guide me through the process of getting my manuscript complete, but I ran into a few roadblocks. Looking back, there was a good three or four-month period during the past year that I feel I wasted because I wasn’t in the right mindset at the start to write the book. A lot of it was not believing in myself. I heard from so many readers that this kind of doubt is a big struggle for them and I want you to know that sometimes I struggle with it too. After Azul helped me over those hurdles and I started to gain momentum the writing flowed.
I didn’t need to hire a coach this time because I knew exactly what the problems were before. And actually, I combined my writing style, that helped me, which was taking the book and chunking it up into smaller, more achievable goals like individual chapters and treating them like individual blog posts. I just did that right from the start this time and I used NaNoWriMo to help me. National Novel Writer’s Month in November, which is a big worldwide challenge for all authors to write a novel in a month. I didn’t finish in a month, but I wrote like forty thousand words in November and an additional twelve thousand words in December. And I finished on my birthday, I think, December 6th, which was amazing. So I finished the whole thing in a month and a half. But the outline had definitely been worked on for quite a while. It helped that I had a coach before. So if you haven’t written a book yet, I would definitely hire somebody or look to people who have done it before, who have shared their methods.
Number three: I would get the manuscript into the hands of select people earlier. I didn’t have a full manuscript available until January 1 to give to the launch team and those who are potentially going to promote the book. Again, this is all related to the time frame, so very similar. We just didn’t give ourselves enough time this time having the manuscript ahead of time. We collected so many blurbs and gave it to so many people months ahead of time. We definitely succeeded this time around with that.
Number four: I would create a share page. One thing that was lacking in this campaign was a share page, a page full of assets like images, pull quotes, tweets and email copy that anyone could use to help promote on their own platforms. We did have a share page for the launch team, but it was very basic and if I had a chance, and again more time, I would have had a more robust page available for those who wanted to help promote the book. We’re creating something similar and I think we’re almost done with it. I think. I don’t know because we are getting the book printed right now and then when we print the book we actually have a flyer. So in addition to the share page we have a actual paper flyer that is going to be put into the book and sent to influencers and some of my friends and colleagues to give them more information on how they might be able to help out and those kinds of things. And of course, anybody can share any of the pages and I hope that you share either this podcast episode or the Superfans book with your friends and your followers. That would be amazing.
Number five, I would collect blurbs. Again, along the same lines. Wish I had the manuscript earlier so I could have a collected more honest blurbs from folks who read the book before launch, which we would then include in the final product. I was able to get some people to read the book and collect blurbs, which you can see on Amazon. This time I think we collected like twenty, twenty-five blurbs and we had so many that we didn’t include all of them in the book. But we did it. And those are the four lessons. I thought they were more. Oh no, that was five. But anyway, it’s kind of cool to recap and see . . .
This goes back to history. It’s important to look back when you’re doing something repetitive. How did it go last time? What went well? And this is why these reports are really key and why I’m really excited about these kinds of income reports that are now living on SPI. For awhile I did income reports that were just about the numbers. And there were lessons involved as well, but it didn’t go so deep into specific things. And now lately any income reports that are published on the site are more in-depth. Like this one, this is actually a podcast that’s inspired by an income report that was published recently on the blog, which is really cool. And I just thought that talking about it on the podcast will be interesting, too, in case you don’t read the blog anymore. And it would allow me to expand on it more and share some of these other additional items.
So yeah, a lot has changed but a lot is the same and we’re definitely improving on it. And the biggest thing is just, I’m hoping, crossing my fingers with Will It Fly? having done so well launching as a Wall Street Journal bestseller. One would think that three years later with a bigger audience and more fans that this one will go just as well, if not better. But who knows? The book may not be well received. I have no idea. The people who have read it so far are my friends, so they’re all saying nice things and I hope that the fans will love it too. But even people who don’t even know who I am, I hope they get their hands on it and love it as well. I think you’re going to enjoy the stories in the book. I think you’re going to enjoy the pace of it. It’s actually a quick read and it’s a quick read because you’ve got a lot of things to do. But these are things that are going to help you grow your business, future-proof your business, have a lot of fun doing it, too, in a way that’s not going to take away from that experience that you’re offering your people. It’s actually going to add to it. And so I’m looking forward to it and getting it in your hands.
I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes. Let me know what you think on Twitter or Instagram, @PatFlynn. If you want to do me a quick favor, if you’re not driving right now. If you want to take a picture of your surroundings and where you finish this episode, I just always get curious about where you listen. Are you at the gym? Are you on a walk? If you have a puppy, make sure their face is in it. If you’re on a nice walk with a beautiful scenery in front of you, take a picture of that. I’m there with you, as you can hear. I’m there with you. I just can’t see where you’re at right now. So take a picture, tag me on Twitter or Instagram, @PatFlynn if you want to send it through a direct message. Cool. If you want to send it publicly, cool. I just want to thank you for that.
And if you pick up Superfans, pre-order it, make sure you submit your receipt, whether you get on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Target, submit your receipt at yoursuperfans.com and you’ll get that audiobook during launch week when it comes out. And I’m just, again, so, so thankful for you.
This has been a lot of fun talking about books leading up to the launch next week and I’m just so thankful for the amazing Team Flynn members. That is you. You are Team Flynn. You are why this team succeeds. I am just the team captain, but you get chances to score and I pass you the ball every once in a while and this is what it’s about. We’re in this together. Let’s get a bestseller. Thank you so much, Team Flynn, yoursuperfans.com, I appreciate you. Show notes are available at smartpassiveincome.com/session383. Keep rocking. Keep going. This book is for you. This episode is for you. Take care. I’ll see you in the next episode. Cheers. Team Flynn for the win.
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