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The Published Author Podcast

AUTHOR GRATEFUL FOR PUBLISHER’S REJECTION, SELF-PUBLISHES AMAZON BESTSELLER!

Julie Broad is yet another example that determination plays a huge role in writing and publishing a best seller!

This guest’s first book has its origins in rejection! Wiley book publishing contacted Julie and she then pitched an idea for a book about real estate investing. Their response was no, they already had a book like that. Instead, they ask Julie to work on another title.

But after three months of work on a book proposal, Wiley then turned around and rejected their own idea. 

Says Julie: “I was certain I was getting a book deal, because it was their idea. They sent me an email that said the marketing department doesn't think you have a strong enough platform to sell books.”

REJECTION STRENGTHENS AUTHOR’S DESIRE TO SUCCEED

However, that big no from Wiley “Turned out to be the greatest gift that I ever could have been given,” Julie tells Published Author host Josh Steimle. 

She went back to her original book idea and finally published More Than Cashflow: The Real Risks & Rewards of Profitable Real Estate Investing.

Julie was well aware that everyone talks about getting rich in real estate, but it can be a minefield for some, and she wanted to give new investors a warning, and much-needed guidance.

BOOK BECOMES AMAZON BESTSELLER IN ALL CATEGORIES

Her book included stories such as investors accidentally buying a crack house, a property manager who punched a tenant  who then died in hospital, resulting in the property manager being charged with manslaughter, and a property manager who stole rent money  

Julie told herself that if she was going to write this book, she’d do a much better job than Wiley. 

“So I made sure I had all the editors, the designers, and I dove into self-publishing for all the information that was out there. 

Her book landed at number one on Amazon, ahead of Dan Brown ahead of George R.R. Martin. It was in the top 100 print books on Amazon for 45 days!

SO GRATEFUL FOR PUBLISHER REJECTION!

Julie says she is so grateful to Wiley for their rejection. “Reason one, I made a ton of money,” says Julie. “I would have made less than $10,000 for their royalties. I made almost $80,000. 

Author of the newly released Self-Publish & Succeed: The No Boring Books Way to Writing a Non-Fiction Book that Sells, Julie says she’s also grateful for the fact that as a self-published author, she owns the rights to her book and has complete control over what happens with the material.

WITH A PUBLISHER YOU LIKELY DON’T OWN THE RIGHTS TO YOUR BOOK

Julie says one published author changed fields and so Wiley republished his book word-for-word under another name. She explains that legally a publisher has the right to do this because they own the book. 

Because she owns her book, she’s been able to build courses around it and use the material in other ventures that she wouldn’t have been able to if she’d gone with a publisher. 

HOW TO USE A BOOK TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

“My husband and I together raised a lot of money. And then we started teaching other people how to raise money. And through that a lot of people realized that a book is a powerful way to grow your business.”

She says the book has made selling big ticket items much easier. Once people read the book, they have no hesitation in signing up for her $10,000 mastermind or anything similar.

In addition, investors came to Julie saying ‘Hey 've got $250,000. Can I invest it with you?’.

Julie self-published her second book, The New Brand You: Your New Image Makes the Sale for You, in 2016 and has since diversified and now helps people write books, self-publish, and develop results-driven marketing plans. Explains Julie: “My friends who got deals with Wiley, they were wondering why their books didn't go to number one. They wanted help, so I started to do all this book stuff on the side.”

BEGIN MARKETING BEFORE YOU BEGIN WRITING YOUR BOOK

The biggest challenge, explains, is that authors who traditionally publish begin a marketing plan before they write their book. Self-published authors, meanwhile, often write a book and then try to figure out how to market it.

Next, inexperienced authors often think they can do everything themselves. But it’s impossible to edit your own work and all the other tasks are incredibly time-consuming. 

In response, Julie has launched a business that takes care of marketing, podcast interviews, speaking engagements, bookstore distribution, partnerships, and a whole lot more. 

Julie begins this way with nonfiction authors:

  • Understanding the author’s hook point
  • Drilling down to really understand an author’s reader
  • Helping authors avoid writing a boring book
  • Understanding how authors want to grow their business
  • Focusing the author’s thinking so that the approach is strategic.

In this episode Julie covers a tremendous amount of ground, including how books can be life-changing for authors, the impact of book cover colour on sales, and examples of what Julie terms the juicy hook that makes people stop and want to read a book.

If you like this episode, you won’t want to miss these episodes:

Mastermind Student’s Book Becomes Instant Bestseller. Here’s How He Did It 

A Hook Point For Your Book Will Win You More Clients

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ABOUT THE HOST

The Published Author Podcast is hosted by Josh Steimle, founder of Published Author. Josh is a book author himself and his article writing has been featured in over two dozen publications including Time, Forbes, Fortune, Mashable, and TechCrunch. He's a TEDx speaker, the founder of the global marketing agency MWI, a skater, father, and husband, and lives on a horse farm in Boston. Learn more at JoshSteimle.com.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Josh Steimle:

Today, my guest is Julie Broad. Julie is the founder of the self publishing business Book Launchers. And of course, she's a self published author too. Her books include More Than Cashflow, The New Brand You and her latest book, Self-Publish & Succeed. Julie, welcome to the show.

Julie Broad:

Thanks so much for having me, Josh.

Josh Steimle:

It's almost hard to imagine a better fit for this podcast. I mean, interviewing somebody whose latest book is Self-Publish & Succeed, because that's what this podcast is all about is helping entrepreneurs to write and self publish their first book. Before we get into your book and your business and what you do give us a little bit of background on, Julie, where you come from, what makes you you and how you got interested in helping people write books?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, thank you. So I'm a Canadian. So when I say process, it's actually my universal goal is to have all Americans call it process, not process.

Josh Steimle:

Follow the process.

Julie Broad:

That's right, follow the process, you get it. So yeah, I am Canadian. But we are based in California now. The book, I got into books, in a weird way. So I run book launchers. So a lot of people assume I have a publishing background. But I actually did an MBA in real estate and finance and started investing in real estate in 2001 and in 2008, I quit my job and went full time into real estate, because I have really great market timing.

Josh Steimle:

I was going to say the 2001 part. That was great timing.

Julie Broad:

2001. Yes, that was good timing. 2008 not so much. But actually, it was a really good time to pick up properties that are really good deal was a very hard time to make an income in real estate. But through all of those experiences, I started to write a newsletter and it kind of brought me back to that looked a little girl and me that always wanted to be a writer. And I thought I would always write and teach. But then somebody told me writers and teachers don't make money. And I like money. And so that's why I went to business school instead of becoming a writer and a teacher originally. But as I was doing all this real estate investing and things were going wrong, I started to share the stories with friends and family more of like a beware because a lot of people were getting into real estate in 2006 - 2007, because the market was so hot and then in 2008-2009, everybody just wanted to know all the stories, right? They like the graphic, gory stories. And as I did that, I started a real estate training and education company and started to build a platform. And when I say platform, but basically a platform is just an audience. So people are listening to you. In my case, it was primarily a newsletter and a YouTube channel. And I got connected with a couple of editors at some publishing houses. And Wiley, in particular, the editor at Wiley was very interested in working with me. So I told him my book idea. And he said, Oh, no, we've already done a general real estate investing book, you know, that's not a good fit, but we have an idea. And so they gave me this book idea and said, write a proposal for this idea. So we went back and forth for three months. I was certain I was getting a book deal, because it was their idea. And they gave it to me. And they sent me an email that said the marketing department doesn't think you have a strong enough platform to sell books. So first, they shot me down as my idea and now –

Josh Steimle:

Yes, couldn't you have told me that ahead of time before I spent three months on this book proposal?

Julie Broad:

Right? You know, firstly, it was my idea. So I kind of thoughts it's just my idea, but now it was me. So it took a while, you know till my ego recovered, because that was a pretty big hit to my ego. But that little girl inside of me that always thought she would be a writer, she was now like in full force, right? She was going like, we're going to write a book, we're going to write a book, and she wouldn't go away. And so I was kind of forced into self publishing. And so it's one of those things where a lot of people feel like they need to be chosen and when they don't get chosen, they go self publishing. But here was what, here's kind of the pivotal moment for me, it turned out to be the greatest gift that I ever could have been given and the reasons are many-many fold. But the short kind of story of what happened is I went back to that original idea, and wrote that original book that I really thought needed to be written because it was a real estate investing the risks, right, it was about the crack house that we accidentally ended up the owning ourselves. It was about the property manager that punched another tenant, and the tenant died in hospital and so he got charged with manslaughter. It was about the tenants or the property manager that rob money from us. It's about all those mistakes that nobody talked about, because everybody talked about getting rich in real estate. And I said, well, real estate's great, but there's problems. And I wanted people to know. So I went back and I wrote that book, really not thinking very many people would read it, because Wiley had told me so, and really not thinking much other than I believed I could help at least one investor. And I ended up going into it with that. But also, you know what, if I'm going to do this, I'll do it better than if Wiley did it. So I made sure I had all the editors, the designers, you know, I kind of dove into self- publishing for all the information that was out there and this was 2012. I learned everything I could. And I took it to number one on Amazon. So ahead of Dan Brown, ahead of Game of Thrones, it was in the top 100 [Inaudible] [00:05:10] print books on Amazon for 45 days.

Josh Steimle:

We're not just talking like number one in some obscure category here.

Julie Broad:

Number one in books.

Josh Steimle:

That's impressive. Because everybody says like, Oh, my books on Amazon bestseller. But a lot of times what people mean is they chose a category with only five books in it, and their books sold two copies, which was one more than any other books. So hey, Amazon bestseller. That's not what we're talking about here. This is the real deal.

Julie Broad:

Absolutely. Yeah. And it's so funny, because Amazon still won't let you put bestseller on your book. Anyways, it's fine. I was legit number one for almost 48 hours. And then I was top 100 for 45 days. So sold 1000s and 1000s of copies. And, you know, so there's lots of reasons why I'm so grateful to Wiley. One, I made a ton of money.

Josh Steimle:

Yes thank you Wiely.

Julie Broad:

Yes. I would have made less than $10,000 for their royalties, if that was the sales results that I had with them. You know, for me, that was almost $80,000 in just like direct my bank account. Of course, government got their share after but government would have got their share after on the 10,000, Wiley would have paid me too. So that was one. But the other big thing I didn't realize at the time, was I own the rights and the control to this book. And I had a colleague who was in the real estate space actually did get a book deal with Wiley and later he went into personal development, Wiley republished his book word for word under somebody else's name. And that was my reaction to this kind of like, how could that be? But you got to remember, you don't own that book. Right? You sold it to the publisher. And it's ---

Josh Steimle:

Yeah, but still.

Julie Broad:

I know, it's morally gross, but legally, right. And he was no longer in the real estate space and Wiley said, you're not promoting this anymore, so we're going to republish it. And then I had another friend who had a production company that wanted to do a TV show with him for HGTV, HGTV Wiely wouldn't negotiate with HGTV. So he had to buy the rights back to his book, which meant buying every print copy that was in circulation which meant every bookstore, this was in Canada, but every bookstore in Canada, was carrying at least one copy of his book. So you can imagine how much that cost.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah, but that wasn't cheap.

Julie Broad:

No, and he he's happy. Ultimately, he didn't end up. He flew to Florida, they filmed the pilot and then HGTV didn't greenlight. So it didn't go through. But he's still thrilled because he's done so much with his book that he couldn't do before. And this is kind of the big thing, I made more money, and I had full control. So I did talk to production companies, nothing came of it. But I built courses around it, you know, I use the name, you know, I actually later sold a lot of the rights around my company and some of that involved the book. I couldn't have done that if Wiley owned it.
So, yeah, so it's pretty powerful. And through all that, I started to see the opportunities and the gaps for helping self-published authors that were like me to do it as good as a traditionally published book, but not have to figure out all the steps that I went through, because I think I couldn't have done it if I didn't have that vengeance feeling of I have to do this better than Wiley because there was a lot. It was tremendously overwhelming. But I was determined.

Josh Steimle:

Wow, that is such a great story there. So some takeaways from the book to starting the business.

Julie Broad:

Yeah, so nothing's a straight journey in life. And it was a windy, roundabout way, which is how you end up with a real estate investor running a book publishing company. But in that I was doing a real estate training and education company and I also helped people raise money because we bought about a house a month and renovated it and that took a lot of capital. So I raised and my husband and I together raised a lot of money and then we started teaching other people how to raise money and through that a lot of people realized that a book is a powerful way to grow your business and you know, raise capital for your business. Because for me, the book, you know, really made selling our training easy. We found it really simple. Once people read the book, they were no, it was no issue like to sign up for our $10,000 mastermind or any of those kind of things. But it also had people calling us saying, hey, I've got $250,000 can I invest it with you? So people wanted to write books. And so as part of my real estate training and education company, I started coaching some of them just you know, as part of that coaching for the real estate. And then my friends that got deals with Wiley, they were wondering why their books didn't go to number one. So they wanted help. And so it just I started to do all this book stuff on the side. And it was way more fun than real estate like way, way more fun. And I started to see the problems in the market. The biggest one and this is a really important point for everybody is my traditionally published author friends, they had a marketing plan before they wrote their book, the self published authors, they wrote the book and then tried to figure out how to market it and it was a huge like a universal truth. And the other challenge is when you go to hire all the pieces that you need, because no matter how much you want to do it yourself, do everything yourself, you cannot do everything yourself as an author. Because you're not, we're not built, you don't have the design brain to do a cover. If you've got the brain to do the copy editing and you can't edit your own words anyways, your brain plays tricks on you. So you have to hire out pieces but the problem is, if you hire out an editor, you hire out a designer, you have to teach them your vision for the marketing and who your audience is, and who your competitors are. You have to teach them everything. And if you haven't done that, you're just letting them do their job in complete isolation. And so I knew there was a real need for a marketing focused organization to come in and help people from start to finish. And at the end help you get podcast interviews, [Inaudible] [00:10:50] speaking engagements, get bookstore distribution, B2B partnerships. So I wanted to have it all under one roof and have it start in the beginning figuring out okay, what's the hook of your book? Who is this reader? And what are your goals for this book, and build the book that's more likely to succeed at the end.

Josh Steimle:

Perfect. Can you tell us a little bit more about your process? How you take your students through that?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, so I mean, we're not, we're service. So it's not, there's no training and what we do. We basically coach you in the beginning to get the book, but then everything else we do. But we start the first conversation with everybody is really understanding what's the hook of your book. And no matter what kind of book you write, we believe it shouldn't be boring. We want to help people write books that people want to read, not need to read, because I know we all have those nonfiction books sitting on our desk that we feel like we have to read, because we need to kind of extract that information. But we want both, right? I think nonfiction books should be something that people want to read and have to read to get that information.

Josh Steimle:

Right. I mean, not to do read textbooks in college, but I sure didn't want to.

Julie Broad:

Exactly. And so we don't want that boring textbook feeling when somebody picks up your book, especially if you want to grow your business from it. Because when they close that book, what's gonna grow your business is partly the information they learned, but really that connection they built with you. And so that's not boring, right? If you can build a connection, they're going to be interested. So we start by understanding what's cool about you? And what's that outcome for your reader that you want to deliver in the book. And it starts with understanding your reader. And so one of the big problems that I see is people come to us and they say, Oh, my audience is women, you know, over 40? Well, you know, I fall into that category. And I can tell you, I am not like every other woman and most other women are going to say the same thing. So you got to get more specific, like, what is the problem that you're solving? And how are you going to solve it in a way that's going to matter. And so you really have to dig deeper and if you're citing who your reader is, by demographics, you don't actually understand the problem that they have and how you're going to solve it. So you have to get deeper. Another test for that is to figure out if you can tell me where they've already tried to solve the problem, and how it didn't work, then I know you're really getting connected to that reader, because you're gonna be able to say, this is how I'm different than what you've already tried. And this is, you know, the solution I offer. So that's where we start and then there's a whole bunch after that, but I'll just give you a second to jump in.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. So you help people get started. I mean, you literally are doing A to Z, everything to help them. So you're helping them come up with the idea for the book, figure out the right book to write, and then you're taking them through the process. Now backing up a little bit, who exactly is your audience? Are you helping anybody who wants to write a book or a certain type of author?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, we're focused on working with not, we only do nonfiction, and then it's for people who want to grow their business or build their brand from their books. So it's largely entrepreneurs or professionals, like we work with quite a few doctors, and a few lawyers, you know, anybody who really has expertise and wants to build their brand, because as you build your brand, you can usually add a zero to whatever it is that you charge, if you do it, right. So those are the people we focus on. We do a few memoirs. Memoirs don't fall perfectly into that category. And memoirs are harder to sell. At the same time, they are, you know, we love it for [Inaudible] [00:14:14] really good story. So we do the odd memoir, but we want to make sure the author still goes into it with the intention of marketing it. They're not just creating a legacy piece, because for us, the fun part is really seeing the book get into readers hands, which is you know, we have an entire team built out and we're right now we actually have three positions open, because that's where we're really focusing is really growing that distribution, you know, getting you speaking engagements, getting you those partnerships that sell in bulk. All of those pieces are really important to us. So we get excited by that. So we want to make sure that you're committed to that.

Josh Steimle:

And then do you help them write the book or do you sometimes like bringing ghost writers and actually write the book for them? Like, where do you fall on that?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, we have both. Some hosts people will start with our story expert who helps you figure out the hook and then create the outline. And then we'll pair you with either a writing coach or a writer. Either way, you're going to feel pain, like that's one thing you got to know going into this, if you're doing it right, you're gonna feel pain, because it's thinking, it's the thinking work that's hard.
A lot of people think it's actually the writing, but it's the thinking work. That's hard. And so even if you go with a writer, you still have to do the hard work of thinking. They're just doing the hard work of figuring out which words go on the page in which order. But yeah, we do both. We have writers and writing coaches, and then we, the way we're set up, you can come to us with a finished manuscript, you don't have to come to us in the beginning. The thing that I always prepare people for is if you've created the manuscript on your own, it might be a little bit like building a house without a blueprint and then having the inspector come through and tell you all the walls that are in the wrong place, and the pipes are in the wrong place, and you have to kind of rip it apart. It is emotionally painful to watch that beautiful house you built have to get torn to shreds to make it you know, much stronger, but we will work with you at that point. It's later in the process that we've stopped working with people, because we can't put the marketing back into the book and there's really fundamental things that we've seen work when you go to market your book, that if you don't have those in the beginning, then your book is going to struggle. And you might have an editorial sound book like it reads well, but it's missing that marketing juice that actually gets it out in the marketplace.

Josh Steimle:

So then what's the typical timeline for one of your customers, if they're going through the whole process, starting from scratch from the time they come in, and they're working with you on their idea until they're holding that published book in their hands?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, everybody's different. Because some people are really dedicated, or they, if somebody has done a lot of talking about their subject. So they've done speaking, they've done courses, they're probably going to go through this faster, because they've already thought through their concepts, right, they already have stories and cool ways of explaining things. So they'll probably be around the nine month mark, from start to finish. The majority of people are going to be more like 12 to 15 months and it also depends on the length of your book and the time you're putting in this because some people dedicate, you know, 10 hours and they go faster, some people dedicate two hours a week, and it goes much slower. So it really varies. I usually tell people 9 to 15 months, but we've had people a little faster, not much. And we've had people a lot longer.

Josh Steimle:

And like you said, no matter how much you think you're going to do this all by yourself, you're going to have to bring in people who can help you with editing, cover design, typography, or typesetting, all these different things. What do you tell your customers about what to expect in terms of cost overall for everything that they're going to put into this book? Do you have a figure or a range that you generally give them?

Julie Broad:

Well, we're set up differently than a typical, you know, company, and that we're set up as a membership service. So as long as you're a member, we keep working on your book. And that's largely to create flexibility so that you can cancel at any time. I never wanted to be one of those companies that you know, you paid like 30,000, upfront, and then you're obligated to us. And if something goes wrong in your life, or with the service or anything like that, you're stuck. So you can pay monthly or prepay an annual membership.

Josh Steimle:

So do you include all those services within that membership, then? So editing, cover design; all that is included.

Julie Broad:

Yeah. And that's the other thing about the way we work is we're really full service and all inclusive. So you start talking to our marketing team while you're in editing and we have all these other kind of support things to get you your author platform started while your book is going and that's the other reason why we're not piecemeal, like a lot of companies is because we're really like, again, we're really focused on that marketing. So we want to be starting that really early. And then I also never wanted to put somebody in the situation where they had to get, you know, recoat right oh, I don't like this, I want to change my cover and you have to recoat Well, it's just all in our membership. We just do it. We do as many versions of the cover until you find that perfect cover and all those kind of things. So of course, if you take a long time, it's going to cost you more because it's monthly service. But so yeah, so most people are going to spend somewhere between 13,000 to 16,000, if they're working, if they write the book themselves, if they're working with a writer is probably going to be more like $25,000 to $30,000. But it also depends how long you stay with us on marketing, because that's the other reason why it's membership is you can stay with us for as long as you want post marketing and every month you're with us we're running your Amazon ads, we're submitting you to Book Awards. We're pitching media outlets, and speaking engagements and partnerships and all those kind of things. So most people stay with us for about six months post launch. But again, you can cancel at any time. So if it's not working for you, you can cancel and go and do it yourself.

Josh Steimle:

Got you. Cool. How many customers are you working with at any given time?

Julie Broad:

I mean, we're growing so it's that's a changing. That's a moving target. We're like I said, we're hiring three. Actually, we have five positions open right now three are in marketing. So yeah, we have 135 clients right now but it's been growing quite like that number changes quite rapidly.

Josh Steimle:

Cool. So in a year, it'll be 250. Right?

Julie Broad:

I don't think we'll grow that fast. I don't want to break anybody while we grow. We do control the growth so that we can always we want to service people immediately. So when you sign up, like we immediately start, and that's also because it's a monthly membership we don't ever want there to be delays. So we do control how many people are signing up at a given time and it's just that we're adding team members all the time so that we can take on more.

Josh Steimle:

Cool. So with you providing so much help and support in helping these people through the process, I'm sure you still see that people get hung up on things. Is there a certain place where people tend to get hung up and stuck, and you really have to help them over that hump?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, everybody has what we call an author freakout moment. And everybody has it at different places. But there are some common places where we see it. So the first place that we see an author freakout is during that writing process as they get about three quarters of the way through the book. And it starts to become a reality and so that's one place. Now we find that between the author, like the author having a writing coach or a writer, and then we also have somebody we call the concierge. So they've got regular touch points and support. We've found that we've actually reduced a lot of that author freakout moment, but when people are sharing personal stories that can kind of trigger other emotions. And that can be that freakout moment. We redirect them back to that reader, right, because again, this book is about the reader. So your book might be your story, but it's not for you. Right, it might be about you, but it's not for you. And so redirect yourself back to that reader that you cared about enough to start writing this book, and that you have that clear outcome of how you want their life to be different, better, you know, what's going to change for them, that usually helps ground people back to their book and realize that, you know, if you're freaking out, a lot of times, it's your ego getting in the way, it's all your monsters, right, whatever you want to call it, you know, you've got your imposter syndrome, you know, your fear of judgment, you know, your fear of success, your fear of failure, those monsters come out of the closet. And that's usually because you're not focused on your reader anymore. So turn your focus back to your reader. And that's ultimately the answer to this at every phase is turn your focus back to the reader.
But the next place that comes up is the cover. People, it come, you know, that's the other time when your book comes to life and you're afraid of judgment, you're afraid of people not liking your cover. So again, we usually have to talk people down and say like is this cover something your readers going to like because that's really the only person that matters when you're creating a cover. You know, of course, you want to feel proud of your book. But I always give the example of my book. Now because, I will just show you it's yellow, and yellow is my least favorite color. I love blue. I love purple.

Josh Steimle:

It's perfect for this show, though it's on brand with our black and yellow [Inaudible]

Julie Broad:

It is perfect, yeah. But yellow when we did the competitive analysis, yellow really stood out it was the much stronger color. And it was appealing to the readers. So yellow, it is alright, and see if it appeals to your audience too. So we're onto something with that.

Josh Steimle:

So if you look at the bookshelf behind me, where does your eye go? It's either going to read or it's going to the yellow for those listening. If you're watching this on video, I've got all my books color coded behind me on the shelf. So yeah, the yellow kind of stands out.

Julie Broad:

Yeah. So yeah, so it's back to the reader. So my cover is a perfect example of that, because if this book cover was about me, it would be blue. So that's usually the moment and then the final moment is right before we hit publish. I mean, that's when everybody finds like itty bitty errors, they got to change a single word and that's when the panic sets in. And again, if those monsters go back to the reader, you're never going to help anybody if you don't hit publish. So usually, that redirection back to the reader helps tremendously for people to get over it.

Josh Steimle:

Awesome. So tell us some of the people that have been through your program and what are the results that they've achieved afterwards?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, it's always an interesting question, because it vary so widely, depending on what the author's goals were. And that's the piece I think people really need to think about is what do you want the book to do for you. Most people start off thinking they're going to measure their success by sales, or by bestseller. And even though I was an Amazon overall number one best selling author I can tell you, Ellen didn't call and neither did Oprah like life changed. But life changed for me as it does for many authors in a slow kind of like notch by notch thing. It's not an overnight thing. So you want to kind of focus on where do you want your book to take you. And we've had authors, you know, we had one author, who his goal was to get a university to publish his book so that he could build stronger relationship with that university. And he had tried pre-publishing it. And nothing happened. So we worked with them, we got his book out there, he sold a bunch of copies. And the next thing you know, he got that university deal. And now actually, I haven't talked to him. But I was getting a picture of his book. And now it looks like HarperCollins has published his book. So I don't know the story of where it went. But it went from Colombia to HarperCollins. And but I know for him, that was like, the dream outcome was that first step, which obviously opened the door to other cool opportunities. And then we've had other authors who wanted to use this to get paid to speak, they were speaking, but they weren't getting paid. And so they'll, you know, take it and they'll go, okay, great. I've got a book. And now suddenly, even if they're not getting paid for that talk, they're selling 200 copies of their book in order to be paid to speak, right. So you can sell your book as a speaking contract to kind of when you're not getting paid yet, a lot of people think book, now I'm going to instantly get paid. You need to have a speaker's reel, you need to, there's a bunch of pieces, a lot of times people want referrals, they want to know testimonials of other places you've spoken. So you might still have to speak for free, but your book gives you a way to get paid until you're getting paid, like officially. So you can have 200 books that they buy for everybody in their audience. Now you've got your book in everybody's hands. And you've just made the difference between the cost of the book and whatever you charge that place for. One of our clients Michael Brenner is one of my favorite stories, because he came to –

Josh Steimle:

I know Michael. That's great.

Julie Broad:

You know?

Josh Steimle:

Yes.

Julie Broad:

Awesome. Has he been on your show?

Josh Steimle:

Not yet. But he actually did the book, he did a blurb for my first book. So.

Julie Broad:

That's awesome. I didn't even know that.

Josh Steimle:

Small world.

Julie Broad:

It is a small world. So you can actually ask him this, if you ever have him on your show, which could be a good fit for your show. So he came to us with a book that his colleagues had told him was like, beyond saving. We're like, he called it the empathy formula. And they and he had some colleagues read it. And they said, like, nobody's going to read this. And so we brought it to us and basically said, is there hope and in conversations with them, he's had 42 different jobs before he became a consultant and he just kind of blurted out, you know, mean people suck, you don't do you mean to get results in business and that was the kind of the moment where the story expert went, that's your book. And so we didn't have to change, like his book didn't have to go through a complete overhaul. The empathy formula is still alive and well. But what it was missing was that packaging, like have that juicy hook, right that thing that's going to make people stop and go, what's that about. And so it's now mean people suck how empathy and how empathy leads to a better life and bigger profits, I think, is his subtitle. And so for him, it now became a branding thing too, because it's a green cover. And it's got kind of a mean people face and he wears a shirt when he goes on TV, he wears the shirt whenever he was doing his promos. So it was really cool, because it was one of those elements that you know, the book didn't have that hook and now it does. And then it became a branding element for him. So there's so many ways you can use your book. And of course, I could tell you about people who've sold books. But to me these other ways are more, these are the more exciting things.

Josh Steimle:

And this is one of the lessons that we try to help people understand, especially for first time authors is that it's much more likely that you're going to make money off of something the book does for you than the actual book sales. But are there examples of people actually doing pretty well with the book sales and making decent money off the book sales that you can tell us about?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, I mean, I can't disclose specific numbers, because again, they're self published. So we have access to their data, but it's their data. So I can't actually say so and so sold a bunch of books. If they've disclosed it in something else publicly I can tell you. So I can tell you, one of the videos I did with one of our authors named Rob Warli [ph], he had sold 800 books in pre-launch, which is a pretty solid number, like that's if you can sell 500 in pre-launch that's a really solid pre-launch as far as I'm concerned. So he'd sold 800, in his early kind of sales. And so going forward, I don't know if he kept that up but it's one of those things where it's a good start. And that's really solid momentum. And then you know, I can tell you that [Inaudible] [00:29:17] gotten the Columbia house deal, he had to have sold 1000s of copies, you know, and moving on like that, you know, those things you can kind of extrapolate in order to get the attention of a publisher, you need to be showing them that you can move 1000s of copies. Trying to think if there's anybody else that I can actually tell.

Josh Steimle:

Is there anybody anonymously, you can tell us about numbers without a name?

Julie Broad:

Anybody that's making their sole living off of books to be honest. I can't actually think of anybody. They're all making money from the books plus, you know, like the book, I think again, even with More Than Cashflow, I made $80,000 I had that but I had expenses, right. I paid for PR. I had the other expenses. So that wasn't a living and it wasn't kept up year after year. I mean, I still make I make about $500, $300 to $500 a month from book sales before Self-Publish & Succeed came out, because that's a new book and I'm in that space, but like kind of passive income, if you will, of stuff I don't talk about like, I don't talk about The New Brand You or More Than Cashflow other than, like examples you know, that's $300 to $500 a month in passive income for me, but that's not like that's not a living. Do you know what I mean.

Josh Steimle:

Right. It's not a living but it's kind of nice.

Julie Broad:

I like it. It's great. I encourage everyone to create those kind of streams of income, where it's like, bonus, like, where did this money in my bank account come from. But yeah, I can't honestly can't think of anybody who's making their money solely from their books. Everybody's got courses, or they do consulting, or they've got speaking engagements or there's some other way that the book is facilitating them to make money but the book is not their sole income.

Josh Steimle:

That's a good lesson for people to learn. So what's your book launch process like for your customers who say I want you to take care of marketing and everything and help me launch this thing. How do you walk them through the book launch process? Like you said, that your marketers actually get involved very early on with the author. Can you walk us through a bit of that process?

Julie Broad:

Yeah. So early on, they're talking about the platform, because there's fundamental elements, especially in, you know, when we pitch you for media, if you don't have an author website that's professional and has certain key elements in it, you know, we lose pitches. We've had authors in the past that didn't have that, and we've lost pitches. So the early phase is really focused on that platform.

Josh Steimle:

What are some of those key elements real quick for the website that people need?

Julie Broad:

Yeah. So you want to have, obviously, you want to have your bio. You want to have your book. You want to have the book description. We always recommend this doesn't help you with media. But we always recommend that above the fold, you've got some sort of an opt in, and not just an opt in that says, sign up for my newsletter, but some sort of a specific reader magnet call to action, here's my, get my checklist, get my worksheet, get my workbook like something that's going to make them put their email address in there. Because media doesn't often directly sell your book. You want to have them go to your website, build a relationship, you might sell your book or sell something else. But for media, it's really having some images of you, having some images of your book, your bio, your book description, and anything else that's going to build credibility and showcase your expertise in the subject that you're in. And then if you have social media, that's great. If you haven't built it out, that can almost be a negative. So that's where we kind of evaluate, what do you have as your assets? What can you do over the next 6 to 12 months before your book comes out, in order to build those pieces up. So that's the early conversations. We also talk about anybody you might know, for endorsements or influencers that you might have relationships with and then we also get kind of a dream list of influencers so we can do research. Because we'll research all these people. And then we have kind of a team effort of here, you can go contact these ones, and we'll go contact these ones. And you know, what are we going to use out the contact for? So that happens early on. As you get closer to launch, we shift our focus into creating a media kit. We want to try and get book reviews. So we will do kind of a two fold thing. Well, on our side, we do a lot of paid. So we'll net galley, good reads giveaways, book sirens, there's a variety of things that we use to get paid editorial reviews. Sometimes the good reads giveaways actually land Amazon reviews, but it's like a small amount. But it's still part of that whole process is trying to get editorial reviews, trying to get reviews and then on your side, we're working with you. We're giving you some tools. So walking you through who can you ask to have in your book army so that you've got people that are ready to write reviews when your book launches? So it's all those things are happening about 60 days before launch. Really trying to make sure if there's one thing our authors do that makes everything more successful for us, it's get book reviews. And it sounds so simple, but it's actually one of the most difficult things? If you have five people who say yes, one of them is probably gonna do it, maybe two. So if you want to have 50 book reviews, you have to have 250 people say yes.

Josh Steimle:

Everybody means well, but when the rubber hits the road, only a few people actually get it done. A lot of people in the past if you go read blog posts will say well, you have to get verified purchase reviews on Amazon, it has to be a verified purchase. Is there still value in people reviewing the book if they got the book from a different source and just going to Amazon and reviewing it?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, for sure. I mean, there is, there are some, I guess there's weighting that is given to the verified reviews, both in terms of Amazon but also in terms of the viewer. The people looking at them, they will look to see if they're verified in some cases, if they're savvy Amazon buyers, and Amazon is really-really vigilant about removing reviews or even blocking them. This year, we found a lot of authors have had their reviews, somebody goes to post a review, and it's being blocked before you can even post it. It used to be the Amazon would review them like on mass. So just be like, all of a sudden, it's like some robot comes through and scrapes all the reviews. So non-verified reviews are seem to be more at risk of that scraping. But they still, you know, every author I know has those reviews, if you've given somebody a copy, and they've posted that review, make sure that they say I received a free reviewer copy for an unbiased review at the bottom of their review that does help. But yeah, every review helps, honestly, because it's all going to going to go towards that at the top of their book description. It says, you know, four and a half stars 52 reviews, like that's the first thing and that's the most important thing.

Josh Steimle:

In fact, I just saw something in the news today about Amazon caught like some review farm or something like a company that was just doing mass reviews and selling reviews for people. And so they're constantly cleaning nothing. If you think you're smarter than Amazon, you're not right. I mean, they've got the algorithms. They've got the programmers to throw out the stuff to detect all this and they can figure out pretty well, when it's a scam review, or when it's legit, right?

Julie Broad:

The blocked reviews were really interesting this year, because as we dug into the people who were getting blocked, every single person that got blocked, had some sort of connection to the author. Now, it's still they weren't in violation in many cases of the terms of not having a friend or family member. And we had some clients that tried to review my book and like, we're really distant, like, I don't really have much of a relationship with them at all. But they gave us a heads up. And we figured out that it's because our production manager uploaded their book from her IP address, and she uploaded my book from her IP address. We figured that that has to be the connection because otherwise we weren't connected on social media like theirs and that's the other thing. If you don't mind, once I get going social media is often the place that Amazon connects you. So do not connect your Goodreads, to your social media, because Amazon owns Goodreads. So we actually have a separate email address that is naked, basically, that we use to create the Amazon accounts for our clients so that they're completely separate from their social media. But when you connect your Goodreads and your Amazon book, it all unites in one happy family of data for Amazon to know everybody you're connected with. So try not to do that.

Josh Steimle:

It's kind of strange, though, because of course, the people you're connected to on social media are going to know about your book, and they might buy your book, and they might leave a review. And it seems like that's a legitimate thing that they wouldn't want to get rid of or block people for.

Julie Broad:

It's so frustrating like it is from our side, at the same time you understand Amazon's challenge, right? They're up against these review farms. They're up against all these people kind of game the system to get reviews, and everybody wants the reviews to be legitimate. Like it's good for all of us for the reviews to be legitimate. So it's hard. And I don't think they universally remove like if you have a connection on social media, but it's been shown repeatedly that is one of the things that triggers a review for removal.

Josh Steimle:

Very interesting. Do you have any clients that you can tell us about their book launch that was particularly successful in what you did or what they did to make that book launch really pop?

Julie Broad:

Let me see. I only have recent ones like tonight, we have one book launch, and he's got a magician coming to his virtual book launch. And he's already had a lot of like, really, so he's gotten really creative with it. And it's actually a real estate book. It's called the Armchair Real Estate Millionaire. So that's great. But I try to think of one that there's so many different ones. We had one that was just out on hemp. And I can't think of the exact title but it's it was about the billion dollar hemp industry, and how it's the next disruptive industry. And a lot of what worked for him was keywords. Because it was, it's something that's being searched. So you know, making sure your metadata is really strong, letting everybody in your audience know that it's coming. And then you know, running ads around that, you know, driving, you know, the 99, the 99 cent eBook sale that you can do at launch or anytime we did them every quarter, but you know, driving that just doing whatever you can to kind of drive sales and then promote that, that can really work with your audience. If you have a small audience, one of our clients, she did a video with us. I can talk about that. Her book, her name is Gillian Goerzen. And her book is The Elephant in the Gym, and she had less than 1000 people in her audience between social media and her newsletter. And what she did really well that created a really strong launch, so strong that she's in Canada. We actually got her into 26 of the chapters, indigo bookstores, and she got endcap display space, which is something publishers actually paid for normally. But she, it just her book was in demand and sold well, one of the secrets that she did was really getting all of you know, the 100 or so people that she was close to, they went into the stores and they requested her book. They wrote reviews, they were advocates for her book in every way. And so if you can get a really core group of people that are loud, and really talk about your book and promote it, it can really-really spread and you don't have to have a huge audience. So hers was a really fun one that I know I can talk about, because it's on, YouTube, she tells the story on our booklaunchers.tv channel. But that's also inspiring, because a lot of people think they have to have this huge audience. But if you just engage with them, she sent emails every week. She had live party for everybody. She had virtual parties. She gave them prizes. She cheered them on. She thanked them. She showed massive gratitude on a regular basis, and they did everything they could to support her.

Josh Steimle:

That's great. do you advise all your clients to do a pre-order campaign months ahead of time? Or how do you handle the pre-order process before it launches?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, we have four different kind of launch strategies. And so one of them is kind of just launch it. So that said, the caveat on that is the catalogs take time to populate. So if you're not just doing Amazon, which for most entrepreneurs and professionals, I recommend you go wide, right, you're doing this for brand awareness, not necessarily making the most per every copy sold. So you really want to have wide distribution. But if you're only doing Amazon, you can upload it and two days later, you can launch it and you don't have to have that pre-order period. For the other launch strategies, though, we have like a maximum momentum launch, which is really building a lot of early momentum so that your launch is really strong. You do want those pre-orders. And if you want to have New York Times, or not New York Times, because if you're self published, sorry. But like a USA Today, or Wall Street Journal, one of those, if you want to have that kind of a launch, you're going to have to have three to four months pre-order, because you're probably getting bulk sales that have to be funneled into all the channels. So we do that and that takes usually we want at least four months in presale, so that we can get those bulk orders, you can sell as many pre-order copies as you can, because your goal is to sell like 7000 copies in a single week, all through channels that will go through bookscan. So in that case, you need a big one. For typical launch, though six weeks is good. And your focus is largely getting reviews, getting art copies out to those professional reviewers. Professional reviewers, they generally want it before it's launched. So you want to have that copy out to them early. And then you are starting to get pre-sales, but I'm not a big like you got to sell 1000 copies in pre-sale unless your strategy warrants it.

Josh Steimle:

Got you. We're going to have to edit this out because I had a question and I forgot what it was. But I know I really wanted to ask it, but then I was listening to what you're saying and then I was like I mean my next question. Oh, shoot, what was it? Oh, I remember. So you're teaching people how to self publish. So are they doing this mostly through Amazon KDP? Or through Ingram Spark? Or how does the actual printing take place?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, it's a little of both. And again, it kind of goes back to the strategy and the distribution needs of the client. We generally are using Ingram Spark for everywhere, but Amazon.com. And then we use KDP Print for Amazon.com. And it's like being Canadian, it's one of the funny things I always tell people is we're actually distributing to Amazon.ca through Ingram, and it's a better distribution through KDP Print, which is Amazon's company. I don't understand why, but that is just how it works. And it's been like that for a long time. So yeah, that's usually we use both of those for print. There's a slight print difference. And so, you know, if anybody kind of really cares about quality, Ingram does have a slightly better quality. To a typical reader they don't necessarily notice it unless they're really picky. But Ingram does have like, I'd say 5% to 10% better quality.

Josh Steimle:

And of course, Ingram does hardcover, which Amazon doesn't do at all. Do you push your authors to do hardcover or?

Julie Broad:

Amazon's beta testing a hardcover. So there's beta, we've had some of our clients get the beta offer. So that's coming. Hardcover is really hard to make money on. And actually not very many people buy hardcover. So, you know, in the nonfiction space, most of our clients on launch are seeing 70% of their sales roughly in print. But if you've got it, so a lot of people are surprised by that because they think e-books are still you know, they sell so well, over time, it tends to level to be about 60/40. Hardcovers just don't sell. I don't think people want to carry them. There, they're more expensive. And then as an author, you're lucky to make a dollar when you have a hardcover.

Josh Steimle:

I only buy them if they're the same price as the paperback. If it's the same price I'll buy the hardcover. I figure it's going to last long but if it's $3 more, yeah, I go for the paperback.

Julie Broad:

Yeah. And it's heavy. I mean, if you're going to be traveling around with the hardcover book or even me, I find the bigger ones they're hard to hold. So yeah, I almost always just wait until it's available in softcover. But so yes, some of our clients do hardcover. They typically have a specific reason for wanting it. Mostly it's the high level consulting clients that they're going to be giving copies to. They want to give them that hardcover. So that's often the reason why we're producing hardcovers.

Josh Steimle:

I was reading something the other day that some people, some authors were saying that they publish through Ingram, and Ingram wasn't replenishing the supply at Amazon quickly enough. And so it was showing up as this title is not available right now. And they're like, what are you talking about, like Ingram can print these things on demand. It should be there. Have you seen any problems between Ingram and Amazon where it almost seems like Amazon's trying to push people to only use Amazon KDP?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, we've seen that because we use Ingram for pre sale. So for print KDP doesn't do pre-sale for print. So we set up a pre-sale period with Ingram and we've found that if you have a really strong pre-sale period, sometimes Amazon there's like this weird, like you said temporarily out of stock, or this items not in stock, which is and then it doesn't give you a timeframe, right, it doesn't even say like available to ship in six, eight weeks, which is the other thing that can happen, which is really annoying. It doesn't happen that often. But we have seen it. It's almost like there's like a few that, like, sparks up and there's you have this problem for a few days and nobody can resolve it. We've escalated that situation pretty high and didn't get a clear answer as to what was going on. But I wouldn't, like I wouldn't live in fear of that happening. It has happened, but it doesn't happen very often.

Josh Steimle:

And then what were you saying just now about Amazon and not doing not being able to do pre-sales?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, you can do your e-book pre sale on Amazon. But KDP Print doesn't do pre-sales, like pre orders for print books.

Josh Steimle:

But if you do it through Ingram, then you can run a pre-sale for the print versions. That one.

Julie Broad:

Yeah, exactly. So that's what we do. We set it up on pre-sale with Ingram. So it actually distributes to Amazon.com in your pre-sale. And then we go in manually the night of your publication date and we switch it to be Amazon so that you're making more money per copy sold when it's you know, launch date and beyond. But you've got that sale on Amazon in pre-sale. So that's how you get that the pre-sale period without it being KDP Print.

Josh Steimle:

Well, I hope that everybody listening is getting the picture that writing a book and publishing a book is a ton of work. And there's a lot of stuff to learn and it's really just easier if you go hire Julie's company to do it for you, right?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, or if you, if we're a little out of your budget book, launchers.tv, or YouTube channel has tons of tips. I want to help everybody. So, you know, I get it that not everybody's going to go full service like we provide. But you know, if you've got questions, I'm always happy to answer them.

Josh Steimle:

Well, Julie, thank you so much for being with us here today. If people want to connect with you, or with book launchers, where's the best place for them to go?

Julie Broad:

Yeah, go to booklaunchers.com and that gets you everywhere. And like I said, booklaunchers.tv is our YouTube channel and that's kind of my personal hangout. So if you want to be able to hang out with me, that's where you go to find me.

Josh Steimle:

Awesome. Thanks so much, Julie, for being with us here today on the Published Author podcast.

Julie Broad:

Yeah, thanks for having me.

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