Chandler Bolt is an investor, advisor, the CEO of Self Publishing School & SelfPublishing.com, and the author of 6 bestselling books including his most recent book titled “Published. The Proven Path From Blank Page To 10,000 Copies Sold.”
Self Publishing School has been an INC 5000 company for the last 3 years in a row and is one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the US.
Chandler is also the host of the 7 Figure Principles Podcast and the Self Publishing School Podcast. Through his books, podcasts, YouTube channels, and Self-Publishing School, he’s helped thousands of people write a book that grows their income, impact, and business.
What you will learn
- How to make time to write a book with the 30 day challenge time blocking tactic
- Tips to write an outline for your book with mind mapping
- Discover the secrets of what you should write about
- How to use a book to grow a business
- Why starting to write before you’re ready is vital
- The 4 step structure and process to write your book – “MORE”
- The important steps for launching and promoting your book
- The importance of creating “Authority”
- Create a minimal viable product first to discover what your target market wants
- Target one niche first and expand to other niches later
00:00:05 - 00:01:37
Hi everyone and welcome to the Jeff Bullas show. Today I have with me, Chandler Bolt. I love the name Chandler Bolt because he's been bolting for quite a long time. He's bolted into Forbes 30 UNDER 30, is an investment sea of Self Publishing School and SelfPublishing.com. If that seems like a bit of a theme, it is and we're going to find out more about that. He is the author of six bestselling books. He didn't stop at one because he's a driven young man. And also his most recent book is titled “Published” again. You might notice a theme happening here. Published. Self Publishing School is an INC 5000 company the last three years in a row as one of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in the US.
And as we know, the US is the powerhouse of entrepreneurial spirit and Bolt, Mr. Bolt actually personifies that. And he's also the host of the 7 Figure Principles Podcast because he hasn't anything better to do during the weekends and the Self Publishing School Podcast. Again, I think publishing sort of creeps in here somehow I don't know why, but through his books, podcasts, Youtube channels and Self Publishing School, you help thousands of people write a book that grows their income impact and business
Welcome to the show, Chandler Bolt.
00:01:37 - 00:01:42
Oh Jeff, thank you so much, I appreciate you, thanks for having me.
00:01:42 - 00:01:49
I didn't realize your name was actually just so appropriate to what, how you are and what you do and how you act. It's really really cool.
00:01:50 - 00:01:53
You've been bolting for a long time, haven't you?
00:01:53 - 00:01:57
Yeah, long time, long time. Learning from my parents.
00:01:57 - 00:02:18
So was that a, look, we all get called nicknames at school, don't we? I got called a range of names. Um I could go into them, in fact I will. I got called Big Bulldog because I was the oldest brother. I got called Bullas, Bulldog and Bullshit. That's some of the names we got called. Why did you get called at school?
00:02:18 - 00:02:36
Oh man, I got called Bolt. So I think you're, you're onto it with that one. I got called CB, I got called Chanman, I got called, gosh, a couple of others but those are the main ones, Chanman and Bolt and CB we're kind of like the main three.
00:02:37 - 00:04:33
Alright, well I get called JB occasionally, so there's a lot of people who can't actually pronounce my name properly, so they just go JB. So it's fine. Now before we get into talking more about Chandler's entrepreneurial adventures and story, which is fascinating. Chandler's brother, Seth Bolt, I think they must be related, played in a Grammy nominated band called Need to Breathe. So, and you can see them on Rolling Stone. Amazing band. So that's a really good fun fact and I suppose during Covid, that's a really good name as well. So that would be rather appropriate. But that's actually a dad joke. Sorry about that. Okay, we slip that in. But okay, Chandler, you obviously very driven and I met you in a restaurant in San Francisco about four or five years ago, I think it was now next to Twitter's headquarters and you'd already started Self Publishing School and discovered you and we, we've had a bit of a chat and we've done a bit of, collaborated on things together over the years. And so I was very impressed by you and you moved from San Francisco now to Los Angeles and now you've moved to Austin, Texas because, and there's reasons for that, but we won't go into that. They're all fun facts. Less taxes is one of them as a good entrepreneur should try and minimize tax but not evade taxes as we know. So there's a big difference. So minimizing tax is also very important, in other words, maximize revenue, minimized costs.
So Chandler, where did the entrepreneurial spirit initially, when did you sort of feel it starting to rise? When did that happen?
00:04:35 - 00:05:46
Gosh, high school, high school really and then ultimately fostered in college and beyond. So in high school, I started my first couple of companies, the first one was a landscaping, lawn care and pressure washing business and then did a kind of a school canteen. And then in college, I, I didn't internship, It's kind of like a franchise meets an internship. It's called student painters and they teach you how to run a business by running a house painting business. So painting houses and I did that, and then I was number one in the company and number one in the country and then, and then basically that gave me the confidence to drop out of school, so I realized I'm learning how to run a business from professors who have never ran a business. That doesn't make too much sense, and I was learning so much more actually doing it that I said, all right, I think I need to drop out and just go all in on this whole business thing. And so that's when I did that, and, you know, failed a lot, but ultimately kind of failed my way to Self Publishing School and to write in a couple of books and then those did those one thing that actually did well, and then that kind of parlayed into Self Publishing School and it's just kind of just snowballed ever since then.
00:05:46 - 00:06:01
Cool. So the question I do love to ask is where did the idea for publishing school come from? I think I heard a hint of it in the last sentence you mentioned, but where did it originally come from?
00:06:02 - 00:07:56
Yeah, it's kind of crazy. It's, it's one of those things where, you know, I published a couple books, they did decently well, and then people kept asking like, hey, how are you doing this? And I would just get on the phone with them for an hour for free, just to be a nice person and just you know, just say, hey, I do this, do this, do this, you try this and then hey, good luck, hope hope this helps. And so you know, you do that enough times and it's kind of and I believe that the market votes with their wallets, right? And then one of the biggest mistakes you can make as an entrepreneur is to try to try to guess what people want and you need them to tell it to you and not just tell it to you, but, but but actually vote with their wallet and so that was where um you know, that that that's what I did in this case, where, you know, it's kind of one of those things where you only get smacked in the face so many times before you turn it on look
and you turn it on look and there's a line of people and that's what I realized was happening, I was just totally failing at this business I was trying to start because I didn't ask people what they actually wanted and I just built the thing that I thought people wanted and then meanwhile everyone was telling me that they wanted help with this thing, which is the book thing. And then finally I said hold up, maybe I should start charging for that. And we opened up our first cohort of self published of what became Self Publishing School and that was 44 students. And I want to say it's it's like over 60% of them wrote and published a book in just over six months. Which I mean that's just crazy. And and so that's when I realized, Oh wow, we can replicate this and other people like let's start doubling down on this. And then it's just been a series of just focusing on that and continuing to to get better at what we do and execute and improve and and repeat kind of over the years. And so then fast forward to today. And we've published about 6000 books over the last 6.5 years, we've helped a ton of people write books, published books, grow their businesses. Like all that stuff through books.
00:07:57 - 00:08:40
In other words, you listened to what was working, what didn't and we, quite often, what we do is we try and force things that because we think that's where the money is. Okay, sure there's gotta be money. But what you gotta do is listen to people's reaction and and trying to guess what they want. A lot of people go down and spend what, hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars of building a platform before they even test anything.
So, and then they discovered that people don't want what they want because they actually haven't been listening. But the other reality, that term of heard and used the other day was that people's honest feedback starts to happen only when they start paying for your product.
00:08:41 - 00:08:44
Mm yes, I agree. I agree.
00:08:45 - 00:09:03
Because basically if everything is for free, they're not going to be honest with you, they start paying for something and they're not quite getting what they want, then you're going to start to get complaints in the inbox. So how long ago did you start Self Publishing School?
00:09:03 - 00:09:09
Yeah, we started, we launched in February of 2015. So it's been about 6.5 years going on seven.
00:09:10 - 00:10:27
Yeah, I think I met you about a year or two into the journey. I think actually in San Francisco yeah, I've heard about you and I self published my book back in 2012 and that did went very well. It's called Blogging the Smart Way and I still published it myself. I wrote 38,000 words, I think. So, let's talk a little bit about the process, the book publishing process and how you make it easy for them because I think like we go write a book, oh God, that's gonna that's so hard. There's a lot of moving parts because number one, you've got to get the idea, you got to structure it, then you've got actually got to write it, then you got to show up every day or regularly and actually put pen to paper or touch the keyboard and put it on the screen.
So how would you describe simply and distill the, from idea to successful book selling because that's where we're really getting too, isn't it? And also the other thing about bookselling is it's not necessarily about making money from the book, it's about building a personal brand that actually gives you credibility as well so we can talk about that as well. So quickly tell us about the process distill that. So our listeners can understand what the self publishing process looks like from idea to promotion.
00:10:28 - 00:13:29
Yeah. And so I'll break this down and do two or three parts. So first and foremost, I mean just with the caveat, I'm a sea level english student and a college dropout with ADHD. So if I can write a book I promise there's probably a lot smarter people listening to me right now that that you have more knowledge and experience and the topic that you write on that than I do and then a lot of people do and that's why you're qualified to write this book. And so I think in that though I had to figure out, you know my I think my thing that I'm telling that is making complicated things simple because it's what I have to do. It's like alright if you can't explain it simply I'm not getting it. It's like, can I write it out, can you write it on a napkin, or can you just like, I don't need.
Exactly. So that's kind of how I look at this. And then and then also, as you said, there's a concept, I call it leveraged impact, and I think that's the powerful thing about books is is you do all this work once to create a book. And then that book goes on to to impact thousands, tens of thousands, maybe even millions of people, right? And but that's leveraged impact. And so how do you structure a book to to grow your impact, to grow your income and your business and really bringing in like business, that's for a lot of our customers, that's what they care about. So that's kind of the backdrop and then getting super practical, the overarching process. So I just published this book, you know, called Published, it's the second edition, but basically I outlined in there, there's eight milestones. And so the eight milestones is, this is where to go from idea or no idea to launch. Like your book is launched. So milestone one is mind napping, milestone two is turning that mind map into an outline, milestone three is creating your or writing your rough draft. And then milestone four is the editing and specifically self editing. So those, those first four milestones create what it's it's a acronym, it's called the M.O.R.E writing method. Right. And so this is how you write your book faster and better in a higher quality book is M.O.R.E. Mind map, Outline, Rough draft, Editing. Right, So you've got self editing then milestone five is professional editing. Then you move into cover Design, then you move into milestone, milestone six or sorry, seven, which is Formatting.
So like actually getting the book ready to publish and all the other additional things that have to do there. And then milestone eight is the Launch. And so those are kind of the eight milestones and that's how we like to structure things. All right. What are the checkpoints and as a student or as a reader, how do you just take that very next step and nothing matters except for that next step for that next milestone. And then you just keep moving through the process and next thing, you know, you have the book published and launched.
00:13:29 - 00:14:40
Yeah, I love that. So in fact I do have your wonderful workbooks that you use as part of it that outlined that and I've, actually, I've used them in the past as well. So because Chandler sent up to me over the years, different resources, which are fantastic. So let's, let's get into it so you're writing the book. Okay, so writing the book is one thing, draft, everything else, the structure would get all that. So what are the best ways to promote the book? And also what are some of the other benefits of writing?
So number one, let's let's let's talk about before we get into the marketing, how do you go, what would you recommend to promote a book? Well that's yours. And the other maybe questions, I'll just pile this a couple of ways. Why should you self published over getting someone else to publish? I know the answer to some of those questions already. So what are some of the benefits to a writer when he writes a book, when they write a book? Sorry.
00:14:40 - 00:16:27
Yeah, so yeah, benefits, I look at it, it's it's the impact, income and growing your business. Right? So how do you, how do you use your book to do those three things? And then if you have a business, writing and publishing your book is gonna help you get more leads, sales and referrals. And so I looked very specifically in those buckets. And so this is why I just re launched the second edition of the book, Published. I know this is one of the best things I can do to grow my business. People will buy this book, they'll read it and then they'll, for the right people, they'll say, hey this was really helpful, like I'd love to work with Self Publishing School.
They'll book a call with my team, they'll sign up for Self Publishing School. So if you're a business owner, it's a no brainer to increase. I mean, you have a sales funnel, right? Which is traffic to leads, leads to, you know, some sort of sales mechanism, maybe that's a sales call and then there's a, you know, okay, sales call to show up and then there's show up to close. And then that's the process, Right? So I look at how do you use a book and every step of that process or in the highest leverage steps of that process to increase your conversion rate. So you're bringing in more leads, more of the people who know about you are deciding to do business with you. And then you're, you're turning customers or prospects into referers so that they can actively refer your business. You know, it's, I think a lot of people have heard a book is the new business card. People, you give someone a business card, they're gonna throw it away within 24 hours, but if you give them a book, they're gonna keep it in their home at their office on their desk, whatever. And every time they see it, they'll think of you. And, and so that's the, that's the power of the book. And those are the benefits of, of writing a book and how it's specifically can help people on the business side of things as well.
00:16:27 - 00:17:03
Yeah, that's awesome. So a lot of people think they're gonna get rich from a book, but not many people get rich from a book, you can earn a reasonable amount of cash flow. And I did, I did when I launched mine. And so, some of the questions, I also have things like, we've all got a lot of ideas about a book and then you're going, should I write on that? Should I write on that? Should I write on that? So which one do you choose? What is there, is there, is there some magic source for that?
00:17:03 - 00:20:00
Yeah, it's so funny. It's like, I'm trying to send you a copy of my book. It says it's, we're having a real bear of a time in Australia. So yeah, it's it's like you're reading off the table of contents this book. So there's the chapter four I talked about what to write about. And so I I found that people, they're typically in one of three camps. Camp one is I know exactly what I want to write about. Camp Two is, I'm not quite sure, maybe I've got a vague idea right, and then Camp three is I've got way too many ideas, like I don't even know where I'd start because there's so many ideas. And so either way, I recommend. There's there's, it's kind of a two step process, there's the idea finder is what I call it, which is if you're not quite sure. And then, so I would say, hey, what what do you get paid for as your job or in your business and you probably have years or decades of experience on that thing that if I were to try to do that thing, there will be a gap between what you know and what I know and and that gap is a really great book. So that's the best place for most people to start. What are you passionate about? What do people come to you for advice on or if you're a business owner, what are the broken record conversations that you just keep having over and over and over again with every new prospect or client, that's probably your book topic. And now a lot of times people dismiss that because they're like, I am so tired of talking about this thing. Well guess what if you're tired of talking about the topic, it means you probably know a lot about it. And the best way to stop talking about it is to write a book and then point to that book and just say, hey, yeah, great question. Check out the book. Right?
And and then, and then come back to me and I can answer any other questions that you have. So you just get more leverage on your time. And so that's like the coming up with the idea of phase. But then to your point, how do you choose? Like if I've got multiple ideas? There's three questions that I ask and recommend that people ask. Question number one is which one, which one can I write the fastest? So I have the most content or life experience on this topic. I mean I could get a rough draft done and then that kind of parlays into question two is which one of my most likely to finish? So not only am I just going to get started, but I'm actually gonna get a rough draft done. And then question number three is which one is gonna make me happy, Which one am I gonna enjoy writing? And those are kind of the three questions that I ask if, if someone has too many ideas and then they can narrow in on which idea to write first. Because we only have two rules when we work itself when we work with people at Self Publishing School. Rule number one is you can't edit while you're right.
We all know someone who has five perfectly written chapters in their unfinished right? And but then rule number two is you can't write more than one book at a time. So that's why it's so important you ask those three questions, when you have one idea, you write one book. And then you can repeat the process, but only write one book at a time.
00:20:01 - 00:20:17
I love it. It's, I think the one that I really liked was what are all the questions that people ask you all the time, especially as a business. What are the, what big problems or problems are you solving in your business all the time? You can write down maybe 10 questions and then you've got 10 chapters.
00:20:18 - 00:21:09
Yeah, no doubt, no doubt. And that's kind of the mind mapping processes. What that, that was step one, which I would say if you're listening to this as soon as this interview is over, grab a blank sheet of paper and write your book, topic in the middle of the page and put a timer for 15 minutes and write out to your point, everything that you can think of on that topic. So those broken record, conversations, ideas that you have stories that you've told or could tell on this topic books that you just start going and what you'll realize or at least what most people realizes. Hey, I've got, I've got a lot of content on this and this, this can become a full book and then that's where it goes from my map to outline. You start to structure your ideas into an outline, which is exactly what you said. Like all right now I've got 10-15 chapters and then you use that outline to write the draft of the book. That's cool.
00:21:10 - 00:21:51
Now another question I have, which is raising its head more and more is that when you write a book, there's maybe a bunch of different audiences, personas that you may be writing it for in your mind initially.
So should you choose one niche? Because essentially with a book you create starting to create a little bit of a tribe and community around that book because of the topic, for example, it could be that you're going to help for you. You for example, like are you helping retirees write a book? Are you helping millennials write a book? Are you helping stay at home moms that write a book or just helping anyone write a book?
00:21:52 - 00:23:24
Yeah, that's a great question. My recommendation. I mean I'm sure some people have heard this is the riches are in the niches, right? And so niche down as much as possible and get as specific as possible. And most people try to write a broad book because they're trying to, they don't want to exclude people or miss out on an audience of people that could buy their book, but then no one knows if it's for them or not. Right. So I'm, I would much rather be be too exclusive and specific. And then other people will say, oh yeah, that's probably for me too. But the people who would definitely for will say, yeah, that's definitely for me and so that would be my recommendation. And that's actually kind of how we did how we've done it with Self Publishing Schools. We started out, it was for first time authors writing nonfiction books like that was probably the first year, year and a half of the business. We were really focused on that and when we still are and we still do that at a high level. But since then we've rolled out our Children's books school, we rolled out our fundamentals of fiction and story program for fiction books. We've rolled out our full time fiction program for fiction authors who want to make a full time living. We roll out our Somewhere books program, you know, it's like all these different things about all those products solve a very specific problem for a very specific market. and so we're not trying to go broad and and all and and with one product just to solve everyone's problems, just like I wouldn't recommend one product or sorry, one book to solve everyone's problems and get more specific and it'll be a better book and you'll sell more copies.
00:23:25 - 00:24:27
I think that's really great advice because what you can do then is and I'm sure you did initially is you can start with a minimal viable product which tests the market before actually trying to do everything. Yeah, so you could have been stopped publishing school for kids, older people, you know, like cartoons or whatever story books, fiction, nonfiction list goes on. So, and I think that's really, really important is that if you can create, just solve one problem or provide the answer to one problem and be very clear on what that is and how that audiences, you can expand it later once you've nailed the actual process for the minimal viable product and also get the feedback you need to say, what do you need?
Did you create a community? Like you obviously created a community. Did you run Facebook lives or whatever you were doing back then as well? So you had the content, did you start building a tribe and community and movement around this as well?
00:24:28 - 00:26:23
Yeah, we did that pretty much from the start. We did a Facebook group pretty early on and and that was a core place. But what we did is, I mean we followed exactly what I was talking about the beginning of this, which is the sell then build, and so validate the idea and then build the product. And so we sold our first cohort of 40 for students and then basically in that case the product wasn't even created yet. But we said, hey, we're gonna, we're gonna craft this directly to what you need. So we drift out content one week at a time and it was based off of the feedback of what people wanted to learn and what people needed help with and then we had live group coaching calls every single week. And then we have, we had one on one and coaching call every single week, which is actually like a lot of these things are pretty similar to how, like the structure of how we structure things now with Self Publishing School. We don't do content anymore, it's, it's, it can be self paced, but all the other stuff. And so that's how we started doing it and, and that's where I think, you know, people make progress is because they have the curriculum to admit they have the curriculum that they can follow and self study, but then they have one on one accountability and then group coaching and group accountability. So it's a little bit more than just them. And, and maybe a little bit more than just them and their coach. So that's why that's how we built it and then the community really is, it's, it's consistently one of the things that people rave about and talk about is just because it feels like, okay, I'm not alone doing this thing because a lot of times is aspiring authors, it can feel like I'm the only weirdo in my group of friends that wants to do this and, and nobody and, and other people are like, hey, why are you doing that? Who are you to write a book? Like all these things. And so it feels like, okay, I can plug in to a group into a home of people who really, you know, get me and and and alongside me through this journey.
00:26:24 - 00:26:59
Now, the big question rising out of that for me is that if you can do all these one on one coaching, and it's just you you're essentially almost trading time for money and as well as an entrepreneur that's actually, Look, you can maybe make a couple 100 to $300,000 a year, doing that, trading time for money coaching all the time. How did you scale so that you weren't doing the one on one coaching? How did you transition from, because I'm sure you initially did it, so how do you scale yourself, or how did you remove yourself from that from that equation?
00:26:59 - 00:30:04
That's a great question. Yeah, I it was one of the first things I really, because when you were in fulfillment mode, you can almost be on this seesaw of self fulfilled, self fulfill, so, oh crap, I've got all, I've got all this fulfillment all, and then I'm doing all this film, it's like, oh crap, I've got no sales and no revenue, and then you just kind of yo yo back and forth and so, pretty early on, I realized all right, I'm gonna have to pass this, like, I'm gonna have to pass this off for if I'm gonna be able to free up by time to, like proactively work on the business. And so for me it's, it's kind of, and I learned this the hard way is one of the things you wish they would teach in school. It's just the power of systems and process. And I just remember, you know, I'm an avid reader and I dropped out of school, but I, I operated as if I said, I, I need to treat, I need to operate as if I'm still in school. It's just the mechanism of learning is gonna change. So instead of going to class, I'm gonna be reading books, I'm gonna be going to conferences, I'm gonna be going through online courses, but I need to, I need to operate like I'm still in school and learn like I'm still in school. And so I've read a book a week for years and years and, and books are, I mean, another reason why I'm so passionate about books, write books, change lives, they change the lives of readers and they change the lives of authors and, and I call it a $15 mentor, right? It's like the smartest, most successful people on the planet have distilled the best stuff that they know into a book and all you have to do is pay 15 bucks and, and spend a handful of hours and you can learn all the smartest stuff that they know. And so that's why I started doing is reading all these books and then just kind of circle all the way back is the thing that kept popping out is Systems Process, Systems process and I realized, oh man, if this is going to scale beyond me, and it's not just gonna be, like you said, just a high paying job, which there's nothing wrong with that, but if you want to build a business long term that is, you can't do that. And or if you want to build a business, a scalable business where you do not want to be the one fulfilling, you can't do that.
And so that's when I said, all right, I've got to put systems and process around this and make this about the process and not about me and then teach other people in the process. And so we took some of our earliest successful students and we turned the best ones into coaches and that was the big thing, big kind of core value for me is teach what you've done, you know, kind of like I dropped out of school because I was learning how to run a business from professor that never ran businesses. I just think teaching something that you haven't done is very difficult and you can do it at an okay level, but it's just totally different if you've done it. So, ever since then that's gonna be been a core value for us as well. And and the people that we hire as coaches as they published books. either they've published books or they have a deep teaching background and they published a book within like the first six months or a year of joining the team. And so that's how we started doing it, we built out a coaching team and we've got, gosh, six or seven coaches on the team now and it's, this works really, really well.
00:30:05 - 00:30:22
Yeah, because that's a question a lot of people, a lot of people entrepreneurs when they start off, especially they started coaching business and they're going well and they get in there going like you said, fulfilled self fulfilled self, and it's just this non virtuous cycle.
00:30:22 - 00:30:25
Yeah, for sure,
00:30:26 - 00:30:53
So, and I love the fact that process and that's one thing that I've discovered two is running this podcast every week and interviewing entrepreneurs such as yourself and learning from really sharp minds that had the highs and lows of running a business and process, it sounds boring as batshit, but it's actually where the magic happens. Oh, I agree. It is, and it's a whole mindset shift, isn't it?
00:30:54 - 00:32:16
Yes, sir, it's it's not because I'm gonna imagine a lot of people hear this and they're like boring, let's talk about the fun stuff and, and also I can't systematize this, and that's how I thought earlier, I was like, oh yeah, this is just so unique and I'm just so talented that, you know, you can't systematize this, it's just, it's different for every person is different for every student and you just realized that systems and process set you free and it doesn't mean you're a robot.
Or that you're asking people to be robots. It's it just means that you have a process and they and it actually gives them freedom to to to be creative within that process. But while delivering and an exceptional service to clients to students to, you know, that sort of thing. So yeah, it's not, it's not sexy, it's not interesting or it is interesting, but it's just not like an intrinsically interesting to a lot of people. And it wasn't to me, but I realized, you know, I think in phases of business you realize these things where you're like, I suck at that and if I do not get better at that, this is not going to grow. So I can either ignore that and keep doing what I'm doing or I can learn to love that or hire someone that loves that and make sure that we get good at that because that's how we're gonna grow and that's how we're gonna take the business to the next level. And so that's very much how I felt about systems and process.
00:32:17 - 00:32:51
I love the sentence “Systems and processes will set you free.” I think, I haven't heard it stated that way before, but it's so true if you're going to scale your business, remove you from the equation which is important. It doesn't mean you remove yourself from the ideation and making sure you manage the company culture but removing yourself from the doing to being the conductor is very very important.
00:32:52 - 00:32:53
Yeah I agree.
00:32:54 - 00:34:11
Now the other question I was going to have to is not the question. But the other truth that I think a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with is that reading a book seems like a waste of time because you're not doing mm hmm. But a lot of us have the guilty pleasure reading going. I'm going to read for an hour or two today and you're going oh that's I'm really because I enjoy reading so much that if I'm enjoying this this is not work. So But I've read nearly 60 books this year as well and the ideas that are used to actually polish what we do, crack hectoring culture, the 12 week year came across which were weaving into the company now all of those things, in other words still focused. But in other words how can I keep polishing the processes and systems. How can I keep building a really healthy culture. How can I make sure that everyone feels onboard? Which a lot of the X factors that are, you know, soft and fluffy. But the trouble is that you've got to be soft and fluffy because we're not bloody machines, we're humans that makes some love, don't we?
00:34:11 - 00:35:15
Oh, no doubt. And that's and and I would even just say, you know, on the, on the reading piece and the reading and but not implementing, it's it's the abe Lincoln quote where, you know, if if you give me whatever the number is, it's like if you get, if you gave me 88 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first five sharpening the ax. That's what that is, that is reading. And it's a lot of times reading about the fluffy or the non sexy stuff because those are the things that, like you said, you were in the business of working with humans and and this is a people business. Every business is a people business, whether you want it to be or not. It's like I heard sometime one time somebody one time they're like, yeah, you know, I'd really love my business. If you just took away the employees and my customers, it's like what he took away your employees and your customers, you wouldn't have a business. You're in the people business, Everybody's in the people business. And so a lot of times that means learning about the fluffy, nonlinear stuff.
00:35:16 - 00:37:09
The other thing that you mentioned before, which is about books, and there's a lot of people that can't read books because they're dyslexic. My son is one of those, but there's other ways of learning it's called Youtube. It's called Audiobooks. Right? So there's a lot, especially today into the digital age well and truly you've got so many different types of media that can actually get you past that obstacle if you're dyslexic and have a reading problem agreed. The other thing I love reminds me of is essentially quoted as saying by Stephen King, the famous fiction writer. It only makes about $40 million dollars a year from his writing. So he's but his book on writing is one of my favorites and he said, and you mentioned it that when you pick up a book and read it, this is an expert distilling decades of experience, passion and learning into a few pages And you can read that 10 years later. After written it, Stephen King says books are time machines. Mm hmm. Yeah. And it's just so true. In other words, books can take you into the past, they can take you into the future and they can actually, the writer is sharing his past experience and expertise with you today, but it was written maybe a decade ago or 100 years ago. Yeah, I agree. So, the other question I had, I've got a lot of questions actually, it's really, really good good questions, help you get great results. You need, we need to ask better questions. Okay, how do you write a great book in a short amount of time. I think that's a pretty important question to ask because I'm sure a lot of our readers and viewers are going to want to know how that is done.
00:37:10 - 00:39:08
Yeah. One of the, I mean one of the biggest excuses that I hear for not writing a book, because the New York Times says that 81% of people want to write a book, we know that less than 1% of people actually do it. So why is that? I think people don't have a proven process to follow and they don't have accountability to keep them going. And then for a lot of people, they don't have the wine now, like, and so they say, I don't have time or the timing isn't right? And so they just keep pushing off maybe someday, maybe next year, and then maybe someday becomes maybe never. So a couple of things you're gonna have to get started before you're ready on this book writing journey. But then how you actually do is you're gonna have to make the time and then follow that more writing method that I talked about. So mind map outline, right? And I break this down one chapter at a time. And so really it's so that's the process and then you repeat that process, chapter by chapter by chapter. And so we've got this, it's called a 30-day rough challenge, 30-day rough draft challenge and I talked about it in chapter seven of my new book. But basically there's there's the we, I talked about mowing down your rough draft one chapter at a time. So you mind map and outline the book as a whole. Then you drill down a chapter at a time and you mind map outline, right, repeat mind map outline, write one chapter at a time. And for some people who speak better than they write, you mind map outlines, speak right? And so you just keep repeating that process chapter by chapter by chapter and then the next thing, you know, you know, every two or three hours you've got a chapter done and if you're writing a 15 chapter book, well then there you go, whatever that is. 45 hours, let's call it maybe 60 hours of writing time. Now that's on the, that's on the low end and that's a rough rough draft. But you can, I use that as an example to just say, hey, you can make a lot more progress a lot faster than you think.
00:39:09 - 00:39:15
And that begs the question is what's a good number of words for a good book?
00:39:16 - 00:39:48
Yeah, great question. So it's, it's a typically about 30, well. It depends on the genre and the type of the purpose of the book from 15,000 words, which would be like very small. Lead magnet really if the type book for your business up to more traditional nonfiction is, you know, somewhere between 30-70,000 words is kind of the ballpark there and then you can go lower for children's books, higher for novels. So that's kind of runs the gamut, but that's the general ballpark.
00:39:49 - 00:40:22
Okay. Yeah, I think the first book I wrote a blog on the spot where it was actually 35,000 words. So yeah, and I'm thinking of writing a book for the new product we're launching soon, which would be more a lead magnet as the kernel of what would be a longer book. But also by doing that is to test the book concept as well.
Alright, so the other question I have is how do you successfully launch a book?
00:40:23 - 00:43:58
Yeah, it's so, so there's, there's a couple of things I look at when I, when I think about this and you see me keep looking at the book, it's like think about having new concepts in curriculum and stuff. You're like, all right, I need to pull out this book real quick. So there's, there's prelaunch, there's prelaunch prep, then there's launch week, then there's selling books after the launch. And so I'll drill into the actual launch. But just with the caveat of, I talked about this concept of the one year launch and I think too many people follow what I call the Lamborghini launch. And so if you know anything about Lamborghinis, they're, they're fast, they're sexy, they use up a lot of fuel, but they're going into flash, right? And so people focus on launch week and they want to be flashy and all this stuff and then the book just vanishes and it doesn't sell right? So instead of that, I recommend taking the Toyota Camry approach with your book, which, you know, Toyota Camry, just keep going and going and going. And so how can you set up your book to sell books long term and not just during launch week. And so specifically how I look at this is I call it the launch triangle. But in the launch triangle, it's kind of the three essentials you need to use to launch your book. So number one is a launch team, this is a small group of people that support your book, Right? Or support you, or the topic of your book could be 15 people, it could be 50 people. As the time of recording this interview, I'm kind of wrapping up the launch of the newest book and I had about 150 people on that launch team. And so you gotta launch team, these folks read the book ahead of time and leave a review on day one. So now all of a sudden you've got 5, 15, 50 reviews right out of the gates and they get a free copy of the book and, you know a bunch of stuff like that. But that's the launch team. If you do nothing else just do that.
You're gonna launch with more momentum more reviews and all that stuff. So that's number one. Number two I've kind of already alluded to, this is reviews and so getting as many reviews as possible during launch week. And this this involves one on one outreach and follow up. And then # three is promotions and this is where you know this is kind of an accordion. We're depending on your time, the time that you have the budget that you have, how far out from the launch your resources, all that stuff it can be, you know we've got two launches that I talked about in the book. There's the MVP Launch to the minimum viable product launch. Then then there's the traditional launch and it's really just a spectrum right? And so somewhere on that spectrum depending on your time resources and all that stuff will be the scale of promotions that you do. And so there's a lot of fundamental promotions kind of regardless. But that that that's the overarching thing. And then I think of how do I turn these one off promotions into evergreen assets and create as many assets as possible. That will sell books long term I mean you're great at this Jeff. I've learned a lot of this from you which is just like
content and S. C. O. Is assets, right? And then that content then continues to rank, continues to get traffic, continues to bring in books, just like a bunch of stuff like this podcast interview for example, this is why I'm prioritizing podcast interviews as part of the launches, this podcast interview will live hopefully forever, right? And then so now, months from now, years from now, someone is listening to this and saying, hey, this sounds interesting, I wanna grab Chandler's book and so it's it's just creating long term assets through one off promotions.
00:43:58 - 00:44:01
I love it and I totally agree with playing long game.
00:44:02 - 00:44:03
00:44:03 - 00:45:51
And a lot of people want a quick fix and they want it now and there's nothing wrong with that. The trouble if it's you just don't want the Lamborghini approach, you want the camera approach, which I love that. So you want a car that's going to do a million miles. Not just 5000 be parked in the garage, it's nothing wrong to have a piece of art and called a car and as cars are a piece of art, I just bought one recently. But I do enjoy it if it's both aesthetic as well as a tool. So now the reality is to that playing the long game is important and SEO takes time to earn.
You can't just concentrate on that, creating a different variety of content that just keeps putting content out. One of the reasons I do the podcast is I create many pieces of content out of this and I create three different types of media, text, video and audio, Youtube, Spotify, iTunes, audio content on the website, blog post. And out of that then rises the long game of creating Assets. People going, Jeff wrote this book 300 years ago, he's now dead. I'm now going to read it because it's really good stuff. Still hopefully look the reality is recording this, publishing on the internet on the big platforms and on multiple platforms. Is that as long as the internet keeps running and the electricity stays on and we don't get hit by an asteroid. Yes, you could live forever. It's just called digitally Virtual Living Forever.
00:45:52 - 00:45:53
00:45:54 - 00:46:13
So I think one of the final questions we'll let you go because I know you've got to be on another 20 podcasts after this because you're doing a little bit of a hit on this. Look, how do you use books to grow a business? I think you've touched on it, but let's just have that out. There is one focus question.
00:46:13 - 00:48:11
Yeah so it's kind of what I alluded to earlier as I look at this book to do three things is get more leads, more sales and more referrals and so how do you integrate it into your, how do you integrate it into your sales process to generate more leads, how do you integrate it in your sales process to increase the conversion rate? So people who I already know about, you, who choose to do business with you because of your book.
You know the root word of authority is author and you can't spell authority without the word author. And so when you become an author, your authority goes up, which improves, you can increase your prices, you can increase your close rate. You can increase them on the referrals that you, that you get, we give away copies of books to friends of customers through like a specific link. We say, hey if you ever have anyone who says hey I'm thinking about writing a book, how did you do it? Just send them this link that we can fill out a form. I'll send them a copy of my book for free.
And so just little things like that that help, That's a virtual introduction through that friend and through a free copy of my book, a physical copy, we actually ship them a copy. And the next thing you know, as we said, hey we're sending you this book on behalf of your friend because it sounds like you're working on a book. What's your book about? How can we help? Right and just segways perfectly into helping grow the business. So that's why the first edition of Published has generated, gosh, millions of dollars in business over the last 6 years since it was launched. And then that's why I said, all right, I've got, I've got to do an updated and second edition because I was like, all of our content got better and that book stayed the same. So I said, alright, I need to overhaul this and just doing the big promotion behind it. I knew it would generate a lot of, a lot of just business for Self Publishing School and it already has and I really think it'll, it'll generate hopefully tens of millions of dollars for the business over the next few years.
00:48:11 - 00:49:00
I think it's great. I think the little, the term he used in the word authority is the word author and you can build real authority as no water credibility, which then you become a price giver rather than a price taker. And I think that's also another thing to understand is you're not just a commodity, you've created a unique piece of content that's you, that's yours, your ideas, your experience and if you take enough time to polish that rough gem and turn it into an absolute jewel. It's amazing. And look, I think the important thing is just to get started a lot of people. And so just wrap it up here. What are the top tips you'd leave for people wanting to start writing a book?
00:49:00 - 00:49:26
Yeah, you gotta get started before you're ready, the timing will never be right. You got, you're gonna have to start before you're ready. And what I encourage you to do is just a minute, as soon as this this podcast interviews over, grab a blank sheet of paper, write your book, topic in middle of page, set the timer for 15 minutes and just mind map everything you can think of on the topic and you're you'll be on your way to getting started with your book.
00:49:27 - 00:49:44
So and then time management, how do you recommend to write a book? Is there routines? I think there's different strategies to do that, such as time blocking. What are some of the routines and time management that you mentioned that you found to work?
00:49:44 - 00:50:24
Yeah, I would say take the 30, 30-day rough draft challenge. And so the 30-day rough draft challenge, it's very simple. It's 2 30 minute writing sessions per day for 30 days in a row. And in that you will make a significant amount of, you don't have to, you can do it in the morning and one in the morning, one at night. You can do one in the morning, one in the middle of the day, but 2 30 minute writing sessions per day for 30 days straight. And that's the 30 day rough draft challenge. And so for a lot of folks, you can even get a rough draft done in as little as that 30 days if you follow that process to listen.
00:50:25 - 00:50:31
I think some really great tips. So how can they get in contact with you and Self Publishing School channel?
00:50:31 - 00:51:40
Yeah, so two resources, that would probably be most helpful. First and foremost, check out a copy of the newest book. It's called Published.: The Proven Path From Blank Page to 10,000 copies Sold. Um this is a 10,000 ft view of all the best stuff that I teach. And so I created a link where folks can get a free copy of the book. So if you go to publishedbook.com/jefff. So it's Published Book, like I published a book, publishedbook.com/jeff. You can grab a copy of the book there for free. The 1st 50 people, I will literally, I will print it, packet ship it everything. You don't have to pay anything. All you have to do is fill out that form. Just as a little thank you to Jeff for bringing me on here. So publishedbook.com/jeff is the best and first way.
And then if you'd like to book a call with my team and say, hey let's chat about my book and see if it makes sense to work with Self Publishing School. Just go to publishedbook.com/apply and you can book a call with me, be happy to chat with you and about your ideas and your goals and kind of start putting together a plan.
00:51:41 - 00:52:10
Because you provide a whole sort of support coach that's called Self Publishing School.com. All right, thank you very much, Chandler. Great to see your smiling face even though it's on the screen rather than across the table in San Francisco. There's a certain joy in actually catching up in real life that we both Yes, I can. I can read your body language saying he's not that interested in me because we had a very romantic evening that night, I thought.
00:52:10 - 00:52:23
Oh man, thank you for having me, Jeff. And maybe we'll get to, when travel is allowed again. Maybe we'll get to get together back in person.
00:52:23 - 00:52:30
It's an absolute pleasure, Chandler. Great to see your smiling face and to see you thriving and flourishing. It's an absolute pleasure. Thank you for your time.
00:52:31 - 00:52:32
Yes, sir, Thank you.
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