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The Published Author Podcast

AUTHOR OF THE HYPE HANDBOOK ON USING HYPE TO CREATE A BETTER WORLD

People have never been so susceptible to propaganda and persuasion as they are today. Hype truly runs our world.

But imagine if you could generate and leverage hype for positive purposes—like legitimate business success, helping people, or facilitating community change.

Michael F. Schein is a writer, international speaker, founder and president of marketing agency MicroFame Media and a self-described hype artist. As such, he has mastered the art and science of using shameless propaganda and powerful tools of persuasion for personal and social good. 

Michael passes this knowledge along in his new book The Hype Handbook: 12 Indispensable Success Secrets From the World’s Greatest Propagandists, Self-Promoters, Cult Leaders, Mischief Makers and Boundary Breakers.

THE POWER OF GROUP PSYCHOLOGY

Michael tells Published Author Podcast host Josh Steimle: “I realized marketing is about getting people emotional on a large scale in order for them to take action. And that’s no different from what we used to call hype. 

“It’s what the best rock band managers do, it’s what cult leaders do, it’s what propaganda artists do, it’s what leaders of causes do. There’s not so much difference between what the worst and best of them do; it’s that they all understand crowd psychology,” he continues. 

“So I started to take that approach, with the proviso of never deceiving anybody and keeping things ethical, because I didn’t leave my corporate job to become a con artist.”

WHEN IT COMES TO PUBLISHER, PERSEVERANCE IS KEY

Michael went through no less than two agents to get a publisher for The Hype Handbook. There were a few bites. One agent persuaded a couple of editors, but they had to convince the publisher’s sales team that the book would be a success, and for some reason they couldn’t.

At that point, Michael thought his book was done, and that it was time to walk away from all his hard work. He felt really sad about the whole thing.

But a chance meeting with a successful PR woman he’d known for sometime turned things around!  During dinner Micheal told her about his book, and she revealed she’d just gotten into literary agent work. She told Michael: “I’ll sell your book for you,” and within two weeks he had a publisher!

MAKE WAR, NOT LOVE

The Hype Handbook wasn’t Michael’s first book. At 18, he wrote Teenage Road Hogs, which didn’t sell many copies but did attract the attention of Oprah Winfield’s book club. But he never heard back from the TV show after vacillating on whether the driving age should be raised or lowered.

Michael believes: “That’s the first hype lesson: Make war, not love. Always pick fights. Always know where you stand. I never would have made that mistake today. It was a hard lesson.”

As the years passed by, Michael had learned enough lessons, first in a rock and roll band and later in corporate marketing, and as a freelance copywriter, to formulate the ideas for The Hype Handbook

As the book’s subtitle describes, The Hype Handbook breaks the concepts of hype down into 12 strategies, told through the stories of highly effective and sometimes notorious hype artists.

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH INFLUENCERS

One lesson for aspiring business book writers is to realize that building a grassroots audience through, say, Instagram or Twitter may not be as important as nurturing relationships with influencers. 

Explains Michael: “The best hype artists make it look like everything they're doing is grassroots, but it’s only a fraction of what's really going on.

“Instead, they spend a lot of time building strong relationships behind the scenes, so that when they're ready to launch something, they call upon all their favors in a concentrated period of time. And blow it up so that it looks grassroots.”

BUILD ON YOUR WEAKNESS AND INSECURITIES, NOT YOUR STRENGTHS

Another Hype Handbook strategy is discovering that the essence of propaganda is a well-designed package and, in some cases, an almost  cartoon version of yourself. For example, the painter Andy Warhol used his pathological shyness to convey the artificiality of the modern world. “Instead of going to Toastmasters and becoming a firm speaker, he leaned into that shyness and became the most iconic, soft spoken and asthmatic speaker in the world,” observes Michael.

Learn more: If you appreciated this episode, listen to:

Finding The Right Agent And Getting The Best Deal With a Publisher

And:

Writing Books Brings Entrepreneur Speaking Roles, Opens Doors

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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:

Welcome to the Published Author Podcast where we help entrepreneurs learn how to write a book and leverage it to grow their business and make an impact. I’m your host, Josh Steimle.
Today, my guest is Michael F. Schein. Michael is the Founder and President of the marketing agency, MicroFame Media and the thought leader in the marketing world. He's published articles in Fortune, Forbes, Inc, Psychology Today and Huffington Post, and he's an international speaker. Michael's new book is The Hype Handbook: 12 Indispensable Success Secrets From the World’s Greatest Propagandists, Self-Promoters, Cult Leaders, Mischief Makers, and Boundary Breakers. Michael, welcome to the show.

Michael Schein:

Hey Josh, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Josh Steimle:

It's awesome to have you here as a guest. So give us a little bit more background about you and your marketing agency – how did you get started as an entrepreneur and get into the marketing world?

Michael Schein:

Yeah, it's funny, I never would have thought of myself as an entrepreneur, much less as a business person. That was my nightmare going into business. I mean, people in my family had businesses, I thought it was really boring, they worked in businesses. I wanted to do something cool, like write novels or play in bands, and that's what I tried to do. I still write fiction, and I enjoy that. But when I left college, I told my parents, I was going to go to New York and start a band and change rock and roll, and they thought I was an idiot, and they were probably right. And I tried to do that, and I did that, and actually, other than the fact that I couldn't make a living, we did pretty well. We used to sell this club out on a regular basis. Arlene's Grocery, which is kind of a famous club, and we had a residency there, and we were on show time at the Apollo, which we got ourselves on knowing we would be booed off, and that kind of hints at where the marketing comes from. The band broke up, and I got a corporate job, and I started to do well there, I am a hard worker, and have a head on my shoulders.
And so, I learned a lot in the first three years, and I enjoyed that, but I ended up being there eight years, and I was really pretty miserable by the end because I didn't love the work, and also because – I don't know, I feel like I had a sort of creative side, and this was the opposite of that. And so, I ultimately left, which was really hard to do. And I wanted to become, or my idea was to become a freelance copywriter because I had learned about those opportunities, and I figured I was a good writer, I’ve always been told that, and so I could, you know, people would pay me to write. And I really struggled, I had a year's worth of savings, and I just couldn't get people to notice me. The people who I worked for liked me, but everybody else, well, there was nobody else, I just couldn't get people to, you know, I couldn't attract attention. And eventually, what I realized was, I used to be really good at marketing, but I didn't call it marketing, I called it hype, I called it hyping things up because my bandmates and I loved people like Bowie and like the Andy Warhol and the Sex Pistols, people who were really good at raising a ruckus and getting attention. And we were good at that, we would do all kinds of kind of benevolently mischievous things.
But somehow, in the intervening decade, I had become this corporate guy, and I thought marketing landing pages and AB testing and SEO, and I realized marketing is only what it's about, it's getting people emotional on a large scale to get them to take an action. And that's no different than what we used to call hype, right? It's what the best rock band managers, but also what cult leaders do, what propaganda artists do, what leaders of causes do. And there's not so much difference between what the worst of the worst do and the best of the best, it's that they all understand psychology. So I started to take that approach with the guidelines that I never deceived anybody, and then I would keep it ethical, because I didn't leave my corporate job to become a con artist. And it worked, and I started to do quite well with my writing business. So much so that it became a marketing agency, and it turned out that if it's the right kind of business, I actually like business quite a bit – I don't think I'd be really good running a sheet metal production company, that wouldn't be interesting to me. But when it's my kind of thing, business is a great tool and vehicle for bringing ideas to the world. So that's the long short version of my life story.

Josh Steimle:

I’ve had the same experience with entrepreneurship – as long as it's what I want to do, then it doesn't feel like work at all, it's just having fun, and if people pay you for it, so much the better.

Michael Schein:

Now, people say that and I’m not that good, like, it feels like work, I would say there are things that I do in my work, like, when I’m writing or when I’m reading and taking notes or when I’m speaking, it still feels like work, but I’m totally engaged. But honestly, there are a lot of things that I do in my business that I don't really – that feel like work for me. But I care so much about the bigger picture and about what I’m trying to build that I don't mind doing the work. It's kind of like when you go to the gym, you don't always like certain exercises, but you like looking [inaudible 00:05:33]. Right?

Josh Steimle:

You like the results.

Michael Schein:

Yeah, exactly.

Josh Steimle:

So speaking of work, so your new book, the Hype Handbook, this is published by McGraw Hill, is this your first book?

Michael Schein:

Sort of. I wrote a book when I was 18, called Teenage Roadhogs that sold hardly any copies, but it was published by Macmillan. And actually, we can talk as much or as little about this, Oprah called me, I almost – if I wouldn't have messed it up – basically, they asked me if the driving age should be lowered or should be raised from 16, I said, well, on one hand, yes, and on one hand, no, and they never called me back. And that's the first hype lesson, make war, not love, always have a firm stand, always pick fights, always know where you stand. I never would have made that mistake today, but that was a hard lesson in how not to get selected by the Oprah Book Club?

Josh Steimle:

That’s a great tangential tip here [inaudible 00:06:31] for that one. That was great.

Michael Schein:

Yeah.

Josh Steimle:

How to not be ditched my Oprah.

Michael Schein:

Yeah. But yeah, when I was 18, and then for years and years, I hadn't published a book. So this is my first book as a grown up.

Josh Steimle:

Okay. So I’m curious, because it's pretty rare as a first time author – not that you're really a first time author, but it's been a while – it's rare as a first time author to be able to secure a large publisher, and you were able to get this published by McGraw Hill. Can you tell us a little bit about that journey of landing a publisher for this?

Michael Schein:

Yeah, it was hard. It was one of those stories, I think, because I came to all of this wanting to be a writer before, like, I never grew up dreaming, as I said, of becoming the next Steve Jobs. I wanted to be the next Stephen King or Kurt Vonnegut. So beyond the fact that I knew that the book would help my business, I wanted to have a book, I wanted it to be published, I really wanted that recognition for ego reasons, I guess, and whatever. I wrote for nonfiction, you write a proposal, and a proposal is hard to do, usually it could be 60 pages long, it has sample chapters. I did the proposal, and I pitched it, and I got a really good agent, I thought, meaning that it was from a big agency, and he had all kinds of – he was kind of a heady sort of guys, so he wanted to make the book more like a Sapiens, intellectual, and I sort of went with it. And he sent it out to his people, and they, you know, no one said, yes, we got some close bites. And so, then he stopped returning my email, so that wasn't cool. So then I got another agent who I can mention, his name's Peter Steinberg. He was great, but still, he couldn't sell it. He tried to. He got – so something I realized was, even if the editor likes it, they need to sell it to their internal sales team. So I got three editors who loved the book, but couldn't get their sales team to buy it, so that was a close one. And, in fact, that was so close, that I got a little bit depressed, or maybe, I don't want to say a lot depressed, but a lot sad. I basically thought it was done, and, I guess, no one wants this book, and I thought it was a good idea, but whatever. But then it was funny, I went to dinner with a PR woman, very successful PR person named Heidi Krupp who used to pitch me; and we had dinner, and we were talking about other things, and she asked what I was up to, and I told her about this, and I had this idea but maybe I’ll do it as an online course, and she said, oh, I could totally sell that for you. And I was like, yeah, right. She's like, yeah, I just started doing literary agent work. And she sold it in two weeks for a nice advance. And so, that was one of those stories. It was cool.

Josh Steimle:

Wow. Way to go, Heidi. So what was the original inspiration for the book? What was the idea that made you say, I’ve got to write this book?

Michael Schein:

I think it was a couple of things. It's always been, in one way or another, a topic I’ve been interested in. I’ve always had a weird interest in how certain individuals are able to get large numbers of people into this exalted state, right? So I remember being a kid and flipping back and forth between a documentary on the Grateful Dead and a documentary on Pentecostals, like a megachurch. And could not be more different in their philosophy, you know, sex, drugs and rock and roll and purity and religion; and the people in the audience of the Grateful Dead concert were swaying and flopping on the ground and going in circles; and the people in the Pentecostal queues were flopping on the ground and swaying, and I was like, this is so interesting, because the content is completely different. But whatever psychological sort of math psychology principles are being deployed here, are getting the exact same result. So I've always been interested in that, about how sort of programmable we are and how the content itself doesn't matter, it's the surface level sensory kind of techniques. And then, I got interested because I used it in the business, but the thing that actually made me think it would be a good book, I was reading all of these strange crowd psychology books and biographies and things for my business, I would use these ideas and then test them.
And I was reading a book called The Crowd by Gustav Le Bon, which is old, it's from 1895, the first crowd psychology book; and basically, this guy saw the Paris Commune burn Paris to the ground for really no reason, they lost their mind at the end; and he dedicated his life to figuring out how this happened. So he dissected what makes crowds behave differently than individuals. So I was on a business trip laying on top of the [inaudible 00:11:34] and flipping through this book and watching Donald Trump debate, when he was debating 17 people. And I don't like Donald Trump's ideas, but that's neither here nor there, he was considered a clown candidate at the time. No one thought he would win. And I was watching him, and I was reading this book, and the book said things like crowds respond to empty phrases that don't have concrete meaning that are future focused, crowds respond to external signifiers of prestige when there's no prestige available, signifiers of money is an excellent substitute. And I was reading this and watching this, and I was like, this guy could win, and I came home to my crunchy liberal friends and was like, I don't know, like this is, I think this guy could win. And they were like, oh, you're ridiculous, blah, blah, blah. And when he won, I don't know, I was just like, this is fascinating, I need to explore this subject.

Josh Steimle:

You should have placed a bet right there.

Michael Schein:

I don't know how political we should get, probably not, but I was not a fan, and I’m not a fan; and so, my heart didn't want to believe it, but my brain believed it. So I wasn't ready to place that bet. And I guess, because I’m not a fan of his, but beyond that, I feel like I constantly see – so I understand how useful picking and choosing for these strategies can be in promoting good stuff, because we try to take clients on who have great businesses and who do valuable work. But I noticed that, on average, people who don't always have the best intentions, who are uncommonly good at these strategies, and the reason that is, is because a lot of these kinds of people have what's called antisocial personality disorder, narcissism or psychopathic, and those kinds of people, when they're involved in high stress, interpersonal situations, they've done laboratory experiments on this, their pulse and their heart rate doesn't go up. So what that means is that they don't let emotion get in the way, they can see interpersonal dynamics as a chessboard. So it's not that mass psychology tactics, that I call hype, are bad things; it's that people who are not community minded are better at it than other people.
So it started to bother me, and I say this to certain online gurus too, a lot of people selling empty ideas or harmful ideas are better at hyping things up than people who are selling good ideas, and the people selling good ideas make excuses, they say, well, I didn't want to use it any way, I want my ideas to rise to the top. And so, it just became very, very important to me to make the case that the good guys need this stuff, that it can be done very ethically, and then to arm them to do it. Because I feel like the, quote-unquote, bad guys – and bad guys who you consider bad is arguable – but the, quote-unquote, bad guys, they get it anyway, they don't need a book.

Josh Steimle:

I can relate to this so much, because I'm such a good guy. Now, I can relate to this because I get nervous before I go on stage to speak every single time, I get nervous every time I hit publish on a blog post or an article, I get nervous about my books, I get nervous about these podcasts. And when you say, the good guys hold back, I’m like, absolutely, I’m so uncomfortable selling, I'm so uncomfortable pitching my stuff. And so, I do, I make excuses, and I kind of hold back, and I'm like, well, there's this other guy, and he's great too. And this other company, they do a great job too, and here's where we fit in, and I'm like, can't I just do content marketing where people come to me and I don't have to sell them at all and everything. And so, when you're talking about this, I’m like, yes, yes, this is exactly how I feel when I’m out there trying to do marketing, and yes, I need those tools.

Michael Schein:

Well, and to your point, you made the joke, oh, because I’m such a good guy. But let's say it differently, let's say well-meaning, because there are people like you, whether you're good or bad, that's in the eye of the beholder, but you're certainly well-meaning, you're creating products and services that you're trying to make people's lives better. There are people out there who, well-meaning is beside the point to them, it's what enhances – if you're a pathological narcissist, for example, we can't even see the world that way. They really believe that the lens they see the world through is that anything that enriches and enhances them is the same as enhancing and enriching the world. Right?
So those are not, if we consider well-meaning as making society as a whole better, they're not well-meaning people. But those people, yeah, they don't have those compunctions the way you do. They don't – it's funny, I use the example of this group of people, they call themselves pickup artists, I mean, obviously, we know what a pickup artist is, but there was this group about 10-15 years ago, that was very strong and a book was written about them called The Game where they were like, they would go online and they approached seducing women like a science. And in the Me Too era, not only has it aged poorly, it becomes so clear how rotten some of this behavior is. However, these people were master, amateur psychologists; these were people who, you know, most people who become Pickup artists didn't start out being great with the ladies. People who are great with the ladies just go out and meet ladies. They don't have to reverse engineer it. So either these were nerdy, weird kind of people who reverse engineered how to do this, and it was doable, they would go to a bar and every night go home with someone. And one of the greatest teachers of this – by greatest, I mean, most successful this guy who called himself Mystery, there's a scene in the book, The Game, where he's teaching a class, and he says, when you walk up to a woman and try out these strategies, you're going to feel nervous, you're going to feel flutters in your stomach, you're going to feel shaking, think of that like a pebble in your shoe.
And that's the idea, a lot of us identify so strongly with our negative stuff, it's like I can't possibly do X, Y and Z to promote myself or speak or do these things you're saying. It's unbearable. Is it? It's just a physical sensation. It's a fluttering in your stomach. So if you can – when you get a pebble in your shoe, you don't collapse to the ground and start writhing in pain or stop walking, you just keep walking, you have an annoying pebble in your shoe, and then you take it out later. So I thought that was, despite the source, a pretty interesting analogy.

Josh Steimle:

Quick break here. Are you an entrepreneur, do you want to write a book that will help you grow your business, visit publishedauthor.com, where we have programs to fit every budget, programs that will help you write and publish your book in as little as 90 days, starting at just $39 per month. Or if you're too busy to write your book, we'll interview you and then write and publish your book for you. Don't let the valuable knowledge and experience you have go to waste. Head on over to publishedauthor.com to get the help you need to become a published author. You've already waited long enough, do it today. Now, back to the show.
That is great. And this is great advice for other authors out there because we have so many people listening to this show who are nervous about writing a book, about putting their ideas out there, about being open to criticism and putting themselves out there in a vulnerable way. And yet, those feelings, like you say, it's just a feeling, it's not reality.

Michael Schein:

And you don't have to get rid of the feelings. I think sometimes people are like, well, when I can finally feel less nervous, I’ll start doing it. And what if you said to yourself, I'm never going to feel less nervous, but analyze it, like, it's a fluttering in my stomach, it's a shaking of my fingers, it's a tightness in my chest. So what? When you go to the gym, you feel a burning in your arms. That doesn't make you stop. It's about how you interpret it. It doesn't make you stop working out.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah, exactly. So are there any other tips or points from your book that would be particularly helpful for aspiring authors?

Michael Schein:

Yeah...

Josh Steimle:

Kind of sounds like the whole book might be helpful. But...

Michael Schein:

Yeah, I think there are a few. But I’ll talk about a few that I think would be particularly good for aspiring authors. So I'll start with a story. So there's a guy named Tucker Max. Since we've been talking a lot about pickup artists, so let's talk about him. So he...

Josh Steimle:

Perfect example.

Michael Schein:

Yeah. So are you familiar with him at all?

Josh Steimle:

Yeah, I mean, he's kind of a direct competitor of ours, although I don't see people as competitors, but yeah, so I know Tucker all too well.

Michael Schein:

Well, what's interesting about him, he's a competitor in exactly what I’m going to talk about now. So when he started out, he wrote a book for those people who don't know who he is called, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, which basically launched the genre that they call fratire, which offended a lot of people, but it was basically stories of him hooking up with women and getting drunk. And for some reason, this thing really hit a nerve, and it sold millions and millions of copies. So Tucker Max, being the entrepreneurial kind of guy that he has always been, really took advantage of this. He crafted an image for himself as this total like bro, offensive guy, and more than he really is. No one realized he's totally brilliant business person, but he kind of had this image of this drunken buffoon...

Josh Steimle:

And now he's married with children and stuff.

Michael Schein:

Right. So that's the whole thing. So at a certain point, he got married, and had children, and he realized that despite the money he was making with this image, it wasn't great for his family life. And also, he probably grew out of it. But he was so known for that. So all of the connections he had for that old, quote-unquote, business didn't help him for what he wanted to do next. He came up with this idea of kind of a ghostwriting business. He got ghostwriters who were underemployed; when they weren't working, he would have them, according to a very strict outline write business books for people. But nothing about his...

Josh Steimle:

And it was called Book in a box, and now it's called Scribe Media.

Michael Schein:

Scribe Media, right. Exactly.

Josh Steimle:

And they're great, they do a lot of great work.

Michael Schein:

They're a great company. However, what most people think about building an audience for a book, building an audience for anything is that you have to do it in a grassroots way, that you go on to Instagram and Twitter and this and that and you build the following person by person by person until you, quote-unquote, go viral and have this big audience. And we see a lot of people that we think are doing that, and we copy them, and we emulate them, and we don't understand why we're not achieving it. Tucker Max is a much better hype artist than that. What he realized is that the best type artists make it look like everything they're doing is grassroots, but only a fraction of it is. What's really going on is they spend a lot of time building very, very strong relationships behind the scenes, that when they're ready to launch something, they call upon all their favors in a very concentrated period of time, and blow it up, so that it looks grassroots. So Tucker Max did exactly that, he came up with Book in a box, he knew that if he were to grow this new thing grassroots, it would have taken him 10 years, because he had a completely different – Book in a Box could not be as different as a brand from his like drunken, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell thing. But he had spent years and years and years forming friendships with, I call it a secret society, they're all friends with each other – Tim Ferriss, Ryan Holiday, James Altucher, there's like these seven guys, and they're all guys who are all friends, and who all nurtured each other. So he called them up and he said, listen, I got this new thing, put me on your show and sing my praises, and they did, and he did a million in revenue within two months. And that was his marketing, he just went...
So, I guess, what I would say for an author is, yeah, do all that social media stuff, do all the good reads, do Bookstagram, do all that stuff. That's great. But you're competing head to head. What I would do, and start now if you don't have your book, is look for ways to find those targeted people in your niche, who are extremely influential, not in the teenage influencer way, but who really pull strings, who are friends with each other, and crack that secret society. And the way to do that is by finding things that are easy and cheap for you to give up, and that are valuable for them. So in other words, I interviewed this gentleman, Dave Lindsey, who owns a half billion dollar company that he started from scratch. So a guy worth knowing, and he became a mentor of mine early on. So how did I get to know him? Well, I was doing a column for Inc. That happens to be something I have, not everyone does, but we all have something, I interviewed him and it was fine. And then at the end, he mentioned how he had just moved from Indiana to New York, and really loved live music, and he didn't know where the cool venues were.
Now, this is a guy who has everything, but what he doesn't have is knowledge of the hip New York music scene. I did, because I’m into that. So I said, oh absolutely, I’ll totally show you around. Then I did. That was like the one thing that is so easy for me to give, because it's just like my interest. I just happen to know it, because I like music, I like New York music. And it just – there's nothing – if I would have introduced him to 10 business associates are all these things people do in their networking, none of that would have been as valuable as what I did, which was keep my ears open, and give him something that was cheap and easy for me and valuable to him. So I think that's a mindset that most authors don't really consider.

Josh Steimle:

I love that. That is a great tip. Got any more for us?

Michael Schein:

Sure. I think another one, there's a chapter in the book, and each chapter isn't really a chapter, it's a strategy. So there are 12 strategies in 12 chapters, and I call it perfect your packaging. And when I say packaging, I just don't mean having a nice book cover and that sort of thing. That's part of it. But there are these academics named Pratkanis and Aronson that are like the foremost students have propaganda. And they have this great quote in their book Age of Propaganda that says, the essence of propaganda is a well-designed package. And what they mean by that isn't that your wrapping paper should be nice. What they mean is that if you and whatever you're trying to sell is known for something visually, sonically, the words you choose, the clothing you wear, the visuals you use, have to be 100% of the time consistent and known as this. It should almost be a cartoon version of yourself. So some examples, Andy Warhol, I mean, he once said to someone in a rare moment of weakness, I love getting home and taking off my Andy Warhol suit. So in other words, he never – everything about him was Andy Warhol. His studio was wrapped in silver. He had a silver white wig that you never saw him without. The way he spoke – he spoke in enigmatic, vague sentences that no one really understood, that people would read meaning into, he never got caught off guard. And it's not just about that he looked cool, it's random. He had something he wanted to convey, so he wanted to convey something about the artificiality of modern life. And everything about him, he had artificial hair, consumer products, wrapping his factory, aluminum foil, vague statements about fame. When people would ask them why do you paint soup cans, because I like soup.
So everything about him – now, where do you find these things? Usually, it's to be found in your weaknesses and insecurities, not in your strengths. A lot of times we try to project our strengths. The thing about Andy Warhol was, he was pathologically shy. They would have called it Social Anxiety Disorder today. So instead of trying to go to Toastmasters and become like a firm speaker or whatever, he leaned into that shyness, and he became the most laconic, soft spoken, enigmatic speaker in the world. He was balding very early, which he had a lot of insecurity about. So instead of wearing a toupee or shaving his head, he put on a glaring silver wig. So you want to think of yourself as sort of an Alfred Hitchcock figure. You knew who he was just by that little outline. Figure out who you are, what you stand for, and how it ties to your book, and create almost this caricature of yourself. But this takes a lot of dedication. This is hard to do. I'm not perfect at it. I’m wearing a shirt now that doesn't really fit my hype artist image. I could be better at this. Of all the strategies, it's probably the one I struggle with the most. But if you can crack it, if you look at the real masters of hype, they do this. David Bowie would reinvent – he would go into a new genre. It wasn't just on stage he would wear new costumes. He had new clothing, new hair color, new makeup, new sound, new girlfriends that fit the new image. So takes a lot of dedication, but this is what the big stars do.

Josh Steimle:

This is so fascinating. I feel like we could go on for another couple of hours talking about this, Michael, but unfortunately, we have to wrap it up. For the people who want to connect with you and learn more about you, where's the best place for them to find you?

Michael Schein:

Well, thank you for that opportunity. Well, certainly, probably obvious, but if you buy the book, I think you'll learn the most and it would make me very happy. So not that you care about that listener, but I think you'd enjoy it. It's called the Hype Handbook, and Amazon is the best place, but it's all over. michaelfschein.com, my company's microfamemedia.com. Also, I make book recommendations, some of these crazy books that I talked about, if you go to hypereads.com, I’ll send you all those crazy book recommendations. But yeah, I think the best way to get the full picture is just to check out the book.

Josh Steimle:

Awesome. Well, I’ve got it, and I hope everybody else listening to this gets it too. Michael, thanks so much, again for being with us here today on the Published Author Podcast.

Michael Schein:

Thanks, Josh. This was a real blast.

Josh Steimle:

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