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The Published Author Podcast

LESSONS FROM INTERVIEWING 274 MARKETING BOOK AUTHORS

Douglas Burdett isn’t an author, but he’s interviewed 274 of them. Douglas is the host of The Marketing Book Podcast, and in this episode we chat about the experiences he’s had and lessons he’s learned from talking to authors like Seth Godin, Mark Schaefer, Anne Janzer (see Ep. #5), and Jay Baer. 

Douglas has the answers to these questions and more in this episode.

LINKS

Resources mentioned during the episode

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 Douglas Burdett. Douglas is the Founder and Principal of Artillery, a marketing agency in Norfolk, Virginia. Douglas is also the host of “The Marketing Book Podcast,” which was named by LinkedIn as one of 10 podcasts that will make you a better marketer, and by Forbes as one of “11 Smart Podcasts That Will Keep You in the Know.” Before founding Artillery, Douglas worked in New York City on Madison Avenue at ad industry giants J. Walter Thompson and Grey Advertising. Before starting his business career, Douglas served as a US Army Artillery Officer overseas for three years and then earned an MBA. Douglas, welcome to the show.

Douglas Burdett:

Thanks. Good to be here. Honored to be here. And then I guess it's the other situation because I interviewed you. I think we just realized five years ago this month.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah, we were just talking before the recording, it's exactly five years this month. So, this is fun to come full circle. And Douglas, you're one of the few guests that we're having on who's not a published author and not a literary agent or a publisher. And the reason I want to have Douglas on is because he's interviewed, let's see how many authors was it?

Douglas Burdett:

274 different authors. And I've had last Friday, I published episode 346. So, there have been some repeats.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. So, Douglas has had a ton of authors on his show, he's interviewed a lot of authors, he's read a lot of books. And I felt like this is somebody I want to have on the show, because he's probably noticed some of the trends and things that these authors have done or not done, and what's worked and what hasn't worked. And so just his experience reading all these books, in specifically marketing books, which is very relevant to this audience, I figured Douglas would be a fantastic guest to have on this show. So, if you're listening to this podcast --

Douglas Burdett:

The pressure is on.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. So, of course --

Douglas Burdett:

About 50 sales books too.

Josh Steimle:

Sales books too. Yeah. So, of course, if you're listening to this podcast, then you already like podcasts. So, go check out Douglass's podcast, “The Marketing Book Podcast.” But Douglas, before we dive into talking about these authors, and all the books, tell us a little bit more about yourself and your background. It sounds like your agency, you got the name from your background as an artillery officer. But tell us a little bit about your background and where you came from, and lead us to how you became interested enough in books that you wanted to start this podcast?

Douglas Burdett:

Sure. When the artillery is really simply a metaphor, you know, marketing is to sales artillery is to infantry. That's about as military as we get. Let me zero in on why I started the podcast and why this is so important to me and why I just keep doing it. So, I was an adman for at least 20 years, you know, working in New York City. And then I started my own firm 20 years ago actually this summer. And then, you know, it was all about paid advertising. You know, that was, that was what I did. And I enjoyed it very much and was very successful at that. And then much as I didn't want to, I started to notice things were starting to permanently change. So, advertising is a shadow of its former self, it'll never go away. But I started in advertising at the tail end of the Mad Men era and, you know, there was much more of a captive audience and client's media budget was a big determinant of their market share along with the creativity and how you buy.
So, I started to notice that was kind of going away and I didn't know what was, what was coming. And what I did was I kind of threw myself back into books because when I got out of the army, I went and got an MBA. It's sort of decompressing from really a lifetime in the army because my dad was an army general. And then I went into the army and, and I read a lot of books and I just looked at a lot of different fields. And so when I was going through this more recent crisis, I just started going back to the books, just started reading books, just trying to get inspiration and learn more and read some good ones. And then I stumbled upon an early edition of David Meerman Scott's book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, which is now in like 29 languages and seven, seventh edition, 400-page book, used in a lot of universities. Anyway, I stumbled upon the first or second edition of that. And I said, ah, that's where it's all going. And I thought I had a second bite at the career apple and I, you know, started blogging and getting into digital and all that sort of thing. And pivoted my business to that much more of the content marketing world. We don't buy much at advertising for clients now.
And but when that, before that happened, I was starting to feel like a dinosaur. Like I was growing dinosaur skills. I was having to bring these website guys to client meetings, used to be all about the advertising. And, you know, clients kept asking me about, you know, these fads, like the internet and social media, which, you know, anyway I hated that, I hated feeling irrelevant more than maybe most people did. I just, I couldn't stand that. And I said, I never want that to happen again. And I just kept reading books, you know, I just kept, I really got into it and I said, I'm not going to get nicked again. So, I read books and it got to the point where I would go to a conference, a marketing conference and I knew an author was going to be there and I might have already read their book on Kindle. I would buy a hard copy, put it into the suitcase, fly to the conference, walk around with the book in my messenger bag, hoping I'd run into one of these authors so I can get it autographed.
And so along the way, I started listening to podcasts. Before that I was listening to marketing podcasts. I loved them. And I particularly like podcasts where authors were interviewed about their books. So, something happened where I just said, I’m going to try this. And I saw that marketing book, podcast.com was available. And I thought that's a sign from somewhere that I should do this. And, you know, I reached out to 11 authors with videos. I made videos and this was 2014. And I said, I'm starting this podcast. I met you at this conference, I don't expect you to remember me, but I'd really like you to be one of my, one of my guests. And I've interviewed all 11. It took me 200 episodes to be able to get that 11th one. But I do that. And so this is sort of an occupational hobby. I'm not, if you look up podcast monetization in the dictionary, you're not going to see my picture there. I'm doing in it because I have such and I mean this sincerely, I have such admiration for these people that write these books that can literally change your life and the trajectory of your career. Just like David Meerman Scott’s did. And just like David Ogilvy’s book did in the 1980s. When I read that, when I got out of the army and decided I want to go into advertising.
So, I haven't written a book, I don't know that I will write a book, I'm too busy reading them. And I'm like the sports reporter who can't believe he gets to interview these kinds of, you know, celebrities. So, I love doing it and I love learning, but the other thing that's really keeping me going now is I hear from listeners all over the world saying, Hey, thanks for doing that podcast. It's really helped. Or I got a job based on a lot of things I learned, or I got a promotion. And I'm just thinking, I mean, what's better than knowing that you're helping people while you're helping yourself. And I am like I said, I'm such a fan of these authors that I, you know, love being able to promote the work that they've done. And I can only imagine that, you know, these authors, they spill their blood, sweat, and tears into these books, you know, at the risk of their careers or their marriages or their family life. And I don't, I don't know how they do it. So, that's kind of the, that's probably the most relevant background to your audience as to, you know, why I'm doing this sort of thing.

Josh Steimle:

What have been some of the highlights since you launched the podcast, who have been some of the most interesting authors, or just ones that stick out for one reason or another?

Douglas Burdett:

Well, your audience should know that you told me don't ever mention you. Okay. So, that's why, you know, let's, that's kind of how Josh rolls, you know? Well, I have been able to, well, interview those first 11 people. Let me tell you one funny thing, though. I got to about my 10th book and I'd already read all these books. It was like the 11th book. And I realized, you know what, I'm actually going to have to read every one of these books. It was like taking the wrong exit on an interstate, but I said, okay, well, it's not going to be a problem, just one book a week. I've been able to interview people like Seth Godin. It was just very exciting. And then one day I got an email from him saying, Hey, can I come back on your podcast?
Whoa, I've interviewed people like Philip Kotler, 90-years-old now. He's the father of modern marketing. And, you know, it's just amazing. And then, you know, other folks that have just been very famous, but also there have been some books that were by authors that I wasn't aware of, but I got a copy of the book and I look through it and just, I marvel, you know, at how great these books are. And I say that because I get to pick which book is on the show. So, you know, I get books, a couple books every week and not all of them are a fit or it's not one that I'm not interested in. But I think those are some of the highlights, I guess. But also like I said before, I hear from people, you know, around the world who say, like, I just heard from a guy today who says, you know, I've probably listened to 200 of your episodes and, they'll say --

Josh Steimle:

Doesn't that blow you away when somebody says that you’re like, wow.

Douglas Burdett:

I know. I know. I feel so sorry for them.

Josh Steimle:

I haven't listened to 200 of my own episodes.

Douglas Burdett:

I said, I feel so, no, but I mean, they, I try to keep it practical and helpful and include things that surprise me or are recurring themes that I see throughout the hundreds of books. But I think that's really, the listener reaction is probably the biggest, are the biggest highlights aside from being sent alcohol by listeners. And guess that's really why I do it, but let's, we won't get into that. I've gotten all, I've gotten champagne and wine from France and it's really, it's really very funny.

Josh Steimle:

So, I'm curious now, have there, what are been some of the most awkward moments or like have you ever recorded an episode and then got to the end of it and realized you weren't recording or anything like that?

Douglas Burdett:

One time I was recording an interview with Anne Janzer, who's a member of “The Marketing Book Podcast” 3-timers club.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. I had her on, she’s great.

Douglas Burdett:

Oh yeah. I absolutely adore her. I love her writing. And she wrote a book about writing a book that your listeners, maybe you, and she did that survey related to that book.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. That's why I had her on. Yeah. She talked about that. She's great.

Douglas Burdett:

So, when I interviewed her about that book towards the end of the interview, the computer died, the laptop died. It was a new laptop. Apple had to have me send it back. And so anyway, that was the only one that was, there was two. That was one where it just, there was a mishap, but I have a battery backup and everything seems to be fine now. I did have to rerecord one. I did with Jay Baer a few years ago because he had the wrong headset and we thought it was okay. He goes, oh, I'm sorry. I knew I was doing this. I forgot my headset. And we played a little bit for him and said, he said, nope, forget it. I screwed up. Let's do the interview again. So, it's only two times.
The other things that have been, I have done some interviews and I ended up not publishing them. And I've had some really bad interviews. There've been a few pod books that have been on the show where the author didn't write the book. Okay. Well, when you're interviewed by somebody that did read the book, it gets really awkward, because I'm very familiar with it. And it's almost as if these authors had been given a press release about the book. And I ended up, I sent, one guy, I wrote, he could tell things weren't going well. And I finally said, let's stop the recording. You know, did you have some help with this book? And he ultimately said, yes, somebody else wrote it. It was a great book too.

Josh Steimle:

That's really interesting.

Douglas Burdett:

And I won't name it. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Then there was another book that was on and he was the CEO of a company. And he clearly didn't write it. And as I read through the rest of the book, it wasn't really that good. And the reason it has to be good now is because when I started the podcast, my only concern was that there wouldn't be 52 books every year. And evidently there are. And what happens is over the years, I've heard from listeners saying Douglas, if the book is on your show, I'm much more inclined to want to buy it. So now there's like this wonderful pressure to try to vet the book and read a little bit of it before I decide. There was one book that was on the show and I published the interview and I loved the book. And then I heard from a number of listeners who said that guy's a real asshole. I mean, you don't do a book interview and say yes or no. When somebody says, Hey, tell us about such, you know, whatever. I then spoke to another author and we figured out he didn't actually write the book. So, that's the one that got through, so.

Josh Steimle:

Interesting.

Douglas Burdett:

And I think there's been a few others where at least two that come to mind, and again, it was written by a CEO and they backed out, I think maybe when they realized that I was going to ask questions.

Josh Steimle:

You were going to deep?

Douglas Burdett:

Specifically, about that, that I was going to go deep. And it is kind of funny. I get a book from a CEO now, and I'm very skeptical. A, that they didn't write it or B that their handlers are going to call me up beforehand the day of, you know, and say, oh, he's got to reschedule, which, you know, I just do one interview a week. And so when someone does that, it kind of throws me off. The only reason I do one a week is because it gives me time to read the book at my leisure.

Josh Steimle:

Well, this is really interesting. And this is informative, right? For the audience here, because we do work with people through the published author program who are working with a ghostwriter and somebody's ghostwriting their book. And I think the takeaway here is if you work with a ghostwriter and then you're going to go on a podcast, you better know your book backwards and forwards, as well as the ghostwriter does otherwise you're going to be --

Douglas Burdett:

Please do that. I want to help. Yes.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. And we've interviewed authors who did use ghostwriters, but thankfully they were all very involved in the process. It wasn't that they just turned it over to somebody and said, Hey, write my book. It was a collaborative process where they were saying, I don't know how to write a book, you do Mr. Ghostwriter, Mrs. Ghostwriter. So, please help me write my book, but they were the ones giving the ideas. And so when the book was finished, they knew that book, it was their words. It's just, they needed some professional help to get it out on paper.

Douglas Burdett:

Right.

Josh Steimle:

But this is interesting because I haven't run into this issue yet. And so now I'm thinking, all right, how do I screen out people to make sure I don't get caught in that situation? Because it is really awkward to have to tell somebody, sorry, we're not going to publish your episode. I did have one where we had some sound issues that, and language issues. And it was really tough. And I'm tempted to go back and redo that episode because it was a fascinating author, but just really hard to understand. And that's the only time I've run into that. But yeah, you learn right?

Douglas Burdett:

Yeah, absolutely. One thing I want to add though is, when I say they didn't write the book, it's probably what I mean to say is what you just articulated. They just weren't familiar with the book.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah.

Douglas Burdett:

They weren't involved in it. And I have to use a certain number of shortcuts or I don't know, heuristics where I have to make a decision. And when I see that a book comes from a publisher, I consider it a little more and here's what I mean, it could be a hybrid publisher or whatever. Because I know that more people were involved in the book. I've had a couple books that were self-published and they were, they clearly tried to do it all themselves. And that was a big mistake. I don't think they had a development editor. They didn't, some of them don't have proofreaders. Most of them are really, really good. And, you know, A level books, but even when I have a book that's self-published, I will have, I've read one of their books before, and I know it's really good. Or I get the book and I look to see if in the acknowledgements they talk about their editors and their, you know, who helped them with the book. That's really important, basically the larger number of people I know that were involved in the book, the more likely it is to be better. I'm sorry. That's not always true. But that's definitely been the case.

Josh Steimle:

Right. And for people listening, that doesn't mean that you have to go out and spend $15,000 on an editor.

Douglas Burdett:

No. Not at all.

Josh Steimle:

There are lots of ways to get your book edited and have other people involved in it that don't cost a lot of money. If it costs anything, you might have a friend who's an editor. You might have somebody who's willing to be a co-author in exchange for editing your book. So, there are all sorts of ways to get the job done. It doesn't mean you have to spend a ton of money, but I agree. You need other people to look at that book and say with a critical eye and say, this part's bad. You need to redo this. Or you could write this better. You could do this. It's really is a team effort.

Douglas Burdett:

Pick people that want you to succeed. I interviewed one author and his book was self-published, but I knew him and I'd been reading his blog for years. And I remember him telling me, and I was very pleased with this book. And I remember him telling me that he showed it to a couple people who were friends, but they were also people that wanted him to succeed and knew that he could handle feedback. And one of them said friends don't let friends write bad books and he had to completely redo it. That was a great example. And another guy Mark Schaefer, who you may know.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah.

Douglas Burdett:

He's the king of the marketing book podcast. He's been on seven times and most of his, well, some of his books not, but more of the recent ones are self-published. And in the last one that I read Cumulative Advantage, he talked about how there were other, several, a team of other authors, many of whom I've interviewed, who were involved in this little circle of feedback. So, it's really important, you know Josh, if I could just make one other suggestion for your audience it's about audio quality. And before, so I've had some challenges trying to get people to have better audio quality, and I'm sure you have too, every podcaster does this, there's even a t-shirt out there now that says anything but a yeti.

Josh Steimle:

But I used to have one. I know why there's a t-shirt saying that.

Douglas Burdett:

Yeah. So well, anyway like I said, I have this admiration for these authors. I finally made a video a few years ago, explaining to them why their audio quality is so important. And a lot of it is subconscious on the listener’s part, but the truth is, and the research shows that when an author or a guest doesn't, when their audio calls attention to itself, they don't listen. They just, and more importantly, they don't take you seriously and you are less credible when you don't have good audio. And I could even, I'll give you a link to that if you want to share it, but –

Josh Steimle:

Definitely.

Douglas Burdett:

With your audience. But there is a $25 headset microphone out there that makes you sound like you're in the same BBC, you know, audit studio. And what's the other thing that's funny is some authors already have spent a lot of money on expensive microphone and they think, no, that one's only $25. There's no way it could be, they sound awful. One author went to Best Buy to buy that one that I recommended. And he says, this can't be any good. And he ended up buying a $175 one that sounded awful. He had to go back to the store to get the correct one. So, it's really, really important. People will take you less seriously. And don't use a wireless mic. I've had authors who've the battery runs out and they just don't sound as good. The one I'm talking about is the Logitech H390, for some reason, it always works. And it sounds great.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. And I mean, you and I are here, we're using the same mics. We have the exact same setup I can see on video. We've got the Heil boom arm and we've got the Heil mic and everything. And I love this mic, but it's 350 bucks. And to be honest, I've got one of these oh, what is it? Ars Technica (ph) or whatever. That's like $50 or something. There's not that big, a difference. Like you can get a cheap mic that does a really good job. Like you said, 25 bucks. That's no brainer right there.

Douglas Burdett:

Yeah. And well, not only that I tell the authors in the video, if you're not satisfied with the audio quality after this publishes, I will send you a $25 Starbucks gift card. Please do this. So anyway and you know what, it's funny, the bigger selling authors are the ones that take it more seriously.

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 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. So, you're telling us there about some of the tough moments during the podcast. Now, luckily some of these people that you dealt with, like Jay Baer, he's a class guy, right? I mean, he is a great guy, so it's easy to work with somebody like that. Without naming names, you mentioned some of the authors that you've interviewed that have been a little bit tougher to deal with. What are some of the things that you've had to put up with as a podcast host when it came to guests that you had on the show and booking people, what were some of the tougher moments other than audio and those technical issues?

Douglas Burdett:

Yeah. And all I remember are the audio problems. Most all of these folks are appreciative and they're real pros. And I should add that all the public speakers like Jay Baer, people who are in the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame, they write such great books and I'm convinced it's because they've been testing out their material to live audiences for years, and they just have such a great innate sense of timing and, you know, a great narrative though. So, once I've had a challenge with I've already described it, I don't think they wrote the books and that’s only maybe three.

Josh Steimle:

I guess to reword my question, because I kind of asked the same question two times a row there, but like I've noticed that some people are really easy to get booked and they're on the show. I've had other people that I've booked 10 times and they still haven't been on the show because they're just, they're a little bit harder to work with when it comes to I'm thinking about the authors listening to this and giving them tips for how to be a good podcast guest. How do you make it easy for the host to make you look good? Good audio is one of those things, actually writing your book and knowing your book is another thing. What are some of the other tips that you would have for authors who want to get on podcasts to be able to do a good job and get invited to more podcasts?

Douglas Burdett:

I'll tell you a couple things, but I have to already tell you the summary, Anne Janzer did a three-part series some years ago about how to be a good podcast guest as an author. And after she interviewed me, she said, Douglass, I can't believe the bar is so low, it was basically show up on time, have decent audio. The ones, you know, I hear from I've done this so many times now that it's a lot of the authors compliment me on saying, God, it's so easy. We never have to talk beforehand. You use this, you know, scheduling software, just like you do. And I tell them in advance, these are the four questions I ask at the end of the episode. Otherwise, we're going to talk about your book and, you know, it's pretty smooth frictionless effort there.
I will tell you that the ones that have multiple assistants or any assistant, it always adds friction. Believe it or not. Philip Kotler, Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott, they don't use assistance. They decide to come on, they click a button they're on, they show up on time. I mean, they're pros and I'm not terribly needy. I don't have other questions I want to ask beforehand. I say, please pick a day in a time and then click this button to upload two pieces of art. That's it. So, I think that there are people, there are authors that I'm dealing with right now. And again, these are first world problems, but it's like another problem is that, well, again, I've gotten around all these problems. Authors will ask to be on the show and I'll say, great, can you send me a copy of the book first?
And I say that because for some reason, once, and or early days when I would agree to interview an author, somehow that book was just impossible to get to me. The other thing is I need to print a copy because I mark them up when I read them and I don't want to have to say, you know, I don't want to look at it digital version, just send me a copy of the book and I can look at it and evaluate it. So, I think to be a better guest, like I said, you have good audio. You show up when you're supposed to come on. And I have a series of ways that I get the author's attention beforehand. One trick I use is I will post on LinkedIn and tag the author, a picture of the book I'm reading.
And I'll say what I'm reading interview coming soon. And a lot of the listeners will weigh in and say, oh, this sounds great. That's good. The reason I do that is to get the author's attention. To say, Hey, you got an interview coming up and they're always on time. So, I don't know. I think, you know, I know this sounds kind of stupid, but answer the question I'm asking. I've had some that it's like, I'm trying to interview a white house spokesman or something where it's like, no, let's go back. You know, I'm talking about this specific part of your book and let's do that. But again, that hasn't, that hasn't happened very often. I really think I have a pretty easy time of it. You know, the other thing I do is some every, every single day I'm contacted by somebody saying, can I be on the podcast? I'm just so flattered. And you know, I feel even more pressure, nice pressure. And what I do is I send them a link to a page of about how to be a, you know, here's information about if you want to be a guest. And there's a video from me saying, look, if you want to be on the show, I need a hard copy of the book, but let me explain to you the type of books that I have on the show. So, you can decide if it's even worth, you know, if my little corner of the marketing podcast world makes sense for you and it has my address and so forth, and they'll continue to message back saying, what's the address? And can I send you a digital version? And I'm like, all right, you know, I'm running out of ways to make this easier for prospective guests, but if they're not even willing to do that, some of us struggle reading the instructions. Yeah. And you know, it's funny just to drop Seth Godin’s name again. He was I interviewed him, I think this was a second time and I was telling him, we got to talking beforehand because he was taking the audio very seriously. He actually went into his linen closet to do the interview. And he's an audio file. I was kind of surprised, but he, he wanted it to sound good to your listeners, your audience, you don't have to go in living closet.
But I was telling him that I had just had an author and there's been like maybe three out of 300 that say, no, I'm going to do it my way. We're going to use the microphone I have. And it's not a good microphone. And I say, well, I'm sorry, it's just, I'm not going to produce something. It's not going to reflect well on you. And I had just had one of those that week who, let's just say, he's not going to be writing any anger management books either. It was a sales book and Seth Godin said, I don't, I just don't get this. You're a volunteer. He said, you know, it reminds me, he gets asked to blurb books all the time, right. And so he set up a page on his website, you know, if you would like a blurb, I need a copy of the book and you can send me a digital copy, but I want to read it, but please don't put a watermark on the thing because it's impossible to read and he's right.
And so he'll get a message by somebody saying, Hey, can you blurb my book? And they'll say, okay, well, here's the page that talks about how I do that. And they’ll immediately send him a watermark digital copy. And he's like, you know, I don't know what else I can do. I'm trying to make this easy for folks. But I'd be happy to offer you a link to that page. And the reason why is because at the bottom of that page, you don't need to look in the video. But down at the bottom of that page, I have a number of resources linked to for authors about using podcasts to promote their books because podcasts really work well for selling books based on what authors have told me. And there was even a book on the show a few years ago called Traction. One of the coauthors was Gabriel Weinberg, the Founder of DuckDuckGo. And in that book, they talked about the, I think it was 19 things that every startup should try when they're marketing their company and maybe a testimonial, but try them all because a lot of the startup world uses the same three or four tired tactics, and then go back and figure out the three that are really giving you traction, hence the title of the book, and then go crazy. So, when they launched their book, they did the exact same thing. They tried all 19. They saw how well podcasts were doing at book sales. And they then doubled down on that. They said, we've got to get on 40 more podcasts. And it was a really good book. So, he talked about that later. He didn't talk about in the book obviously, because they'd already published it so.

Josh Steimle:

And that is a great book.

Douglas Burdett:

I don’t know, I guess other –

Josh Steimle:

And just to clarify, it’s not traction by Gino Wickman, which is an entrepreneurial book, this is traction, the marketing book, but both great books.

Douglas Burdett:

Absolutely. Yeah. They really are. I should've mentioned it. Because as soon as I said that, I thought Gino Wickman, which is another great, a great book. So, I guess, you know, be professional, be a bit empathetic, but I guess the last thing I would say that kind of amuses me is that I'm dealing with authors that have written marketing or sales books. Okay. And some of the ones from the bigger publishing companies, they'll send me an advanced copy, six months in advance and say, can I be on next February or whatever? I'm like, yeah, absolutely. Let's do it. That's great. But an awful lot of authors, particularly, maybe less experienced authors, I kid you not, they will contact me and about their book and I'll look on Amazon and see that their book went on sale the same day.
They'll want to know if I can interview them this week. I can't, I got to read the book and then they want to know why I can't publish the interview next Monday. And I just, I'm about a month out. Okay. In other words, I interview an author. It publishes a month later and there's maybe a two or three-month wait. Obviously if I can get an author on closer to their sale date, I like to do that, but it's sort of like pitching a magazine. There's a little bit of a lead time. And I just find it funny that a marketing person doesn't understand that because normally you need to start marketing long before speaking to marketing. Last thing in Janzer’s book that we we've talked about she in her survey, a big finding was how surprised authors were about how much they needed to market their books and how much time it would take. You probably talked with her about that.

Josh Steimle:

Well, I experienced that too. I mean, when I wrote my first book, I thought, great, I've written the book and now the publisher is going to do a bunch of marketing for me. And then I find out no publisher doesn't do any marketing for you.

Douglas Burdett:

No. Yeah. They don't. I don't know what else they do. I mean, they have editors and they might get you some kind of distribution. And I've had these long conversations with Mark Schaefer about that, because he's had big publishers. Then he finally just said, I'm just going to do it myself. And one of the things he had mentioned was like, I'm a marketing expert. I know how to market my book. There is in fact on that same page, I'm going to send you, you don't have to include the page where you might want to include some of the links. There is an article by Jay Baer about everything he did to get a New York Times bestseller. And, you know, it's like a military campaign. You got to plan ahead. There's quite a bit of what may seem like mind numbing work to authors who are more focused on ideas and writing well, but there's quite a bit to quite a number of details that he had to take care of to get it so that, you know, he sort of had be on time and on target as they used to say in the artillery. So, that's a big issue.

Josh Steimle:

It's interesting, you brought up this entitlement mentality that some authors have and I mean, it costs us money as podcasters to do these episodes and either it's time or it's money or it's both, I know what I'm paying to get these edited. And so when somebody comes along, if they have that attitude of, Hey, I'm doing you a favor by coming on your podcast. Well, yes, you are doing me a favor by coming on the podcast, but I'm also doing something for you and it's taken my time and I'm paying out cash out of my pocket to do it. And so it never hurts to be humble and gracious as a potential guest because you're going to get on a lot more shows that way than if you come in with that entitlement mentality as though you're, it's the favors all on the author side and that the host is not doing anything for you.

Douglas Burdett:

And it's probably not going to be a very good interview. And I tell you, I think I must be the luckiest guy in the world because about 97%, 98% of the authors are just great to interview, their books are interesting, they're very articulate almost all of them have a good sense of humor, which is important for, you know, a knuckleheaded guy who started doing standup comedy in lieu of a midlife crisis. And I'm all better now. Thank you. But you know, I like to joke around and have a lot of fun and actually I let the authors know that beforehand it's never at the author's expense, but try to keep it kind of entertaining.
You know, the other thing that works for me as a podcaster doing this podcast is, you know, how some people are described as being the smartest person in the room. I've never felt that way. You know, it's just I, and that's, I think what keeps me so curious and maybe a little insecure and wanting to start the podcast and keep learning.

Josh Steimle:

Well, it's like they say, if you feel like you're the smartest person in the room, then you're in the wrong room because you're not going to get much out of that, right. I love feeling dumb. I love going into situations and feeling like I'm in over my head, because I think I'm going to learn a lot here in this situation. And that's what I'm after.

Douglas Burdett:

Yeah. We're kindred spirits. There is one book that your listeners might really enjoy just given what I understand about your audience. And it was a book by the publisher of Greenleaf Publishing, which is a sort of a hybrid publisher in Austin. Tanya Hall. She wrote this. So, after I think they had done, after they'd done a thousand books, she finally said, I guess I should write a book, you know, for people that want to write a book where they're not necessarily going to hire them, but she really lays out. Now Anne Janzer’s book was much more about the mindset of a writer and getting all that squared away and how to think about that. Tanya's was had a little bit of that, but maybe only the first third was about writing the book. All the rest of it were all the other sort of mind-numbing details like hybrid publisher, established publisher, foreign rights, audio rights, you know, all the different things that are available.
And, you know, only one part did they say, you know, this is kind of what we do, but this is what anyone should know. And I think it was for a first time author. I think it might be helpful. I was just talking to a buddy of mine from the army who is going to write a book. And I was saying, he was asking me all these questions. And I said, I think he ought to just read that book. And then you're going to be much more aware of how to deal with publishers or what your options are. And I think a lot of people, you probably experienced this. A lot of people maybe feel a sense of relief that they have more options now, you know, it's much more efficient I think based upon what people's situations are as authors, you don't have to go to random house, you know.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. There really are so many choices because there is sure traditional self-publishing is amazing these days, how easy it is to publish a book. My wife, as a first time author, she wrote and published a book in six weeks through Amazon. I have a guest who is on this show, Sarah Weiss. She self-published her book in two weeks, wrote it, edited it, published it two weeks, which is incredible. I don't think she wants to do that again --

Douglas Burdett:

But this is like sharing about people who won the lottery.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah. And it's just, you can do that in this day and age with self-publishing, but then you've got the hybrid too, like Greenleaf and there are other hybrid publishers out there that are great and can kind of help you bridge the best of both of those worlds, traditional and self-publishing. So Douglas, is there anybody who stands out as being anybody who was your favorite interview that you did for whatever reason, whether they were just the nicest person or their book was the most interesting. Is there anybody that stands out that you say other than Seth Godin, because you already mentioned him, but was there anybody that stood out that you just said, wow, if I could interview every guest and they were like that guest that's who I'd love to have on every day?

Douglas Burdett:

Okay. like I said, there was a standup comedy and I'm the youngest of four children and I still crave any kind of attention. Whenever I've interviewed an author and they start laughing. That's where my favorite interviews. And it's unexpected. Like if they're laughing at my jokes or it really throws them off, I think it makes for a better interview. It's a lot of fun. I hear from our listeners when we're having fun. But it really kind of comes down to, you know, that particular author. So, I think that when I'm able to have a lot of fun, that's when I do it, like I just interviewed an author Mike Michalowicz who you may know, very funny. Yeah, very, very funny guy.
And I'll be honest with you when I'm reading the book. Maybe it's not out of boredom, but it's like, I read the book thinking, what could I ask them about in the interview? A lot of times I'm writing actual jokes in the book, like tell joke about such and such as set up for this question, that sort of thing. So, when I'm able to get away with that and I enjoy that just because I like making people laugh. And I like knowing that the listener is having a good time. So, maybe an unexpected answer, but it's, I don’t know, I just, I've had a lot of great interviews and I enjoy doing it so much.

Josh Steimle:

Well, I once heard a public speaking tip that if you can make people laugh at the beginning of your talk, then they'll listen to anything else that you happen to say to them. So, there's something to that. Laughter it tracks attention. It makes people feel comfortable. It makes them relax. And so there's something to be said for that. It's hard though, when you're a first time on a podcast as a first time author, first time being on a podcast, I had one of those today. It's hard to relax and but if you can do that and if you can laugh with your host, then it makes everybody feel a little bit more comfortable. Doesn't it?

Douglas Burdett:

I think so. And I have, like I say, I've done this hundreds of times now, there's a kind of an icebreaker. I tell them a joke. I tell every author the first time and I only do it on audio. I don't do the video version and I can almost hear their body language change. They're like, oh, okay, okay. I see what you're doing. And I think that helps them to relax and understand that it's going to be a pretty easy interview. And so that maybe that helps.

Josh Steimle:

So now you've got to tell us the joke or is it a certain joke or it's just a joke?

Douglas Burdett:

It's a certain joke. Are you sure? You want me to tell you the joke?

Josh Steimle:

You got to. You can't leave us hanging like this.

Douglas Burdett:

So, we go through a little bit of a checklist, now I don't want your listeners telling other authors that I do this. Okay. Because then it's not going to work if I interview one of your listeners. But what I do is we go through a checklist and I tell them who the audience is, or remind them which podcast this is. And you know, what I know about the audience so that they'll really be prepared. And I tell them that I say I do need to tell you one thing of a personal nature. And then I pause and they go, oh, okay. I say, well, I've been diagnosed with a clinical condition. It's called an overactive sense of humor. And then they usually go, oh God, I thought you were going to tell me something else. And I say, no, it doesn't mean I'm funny. It means, I think I'm funny. And there's a big difference there. So, if my wife were here, she'd say, please don't laugh at his jokes. It'll only encourage him at which point they kind of say, oh, okay, okay. I got you. I got you.
So, at this point there are a number of authors who've come back on or they are friends with guests who I've had on and they've heard about it and or they listened to the interview and they realize it's, I try to keep it as fun as possible for them. And then I think they really enjoy it. And here's why. A number of authors have said after the interview, for the most part like one guy said I've done 60 interviews. You're the only guest who read my book, but I'm set up to do that. You know, so that's what I want to do. So, but they really like it and they get such a detailed questions and they will even say, I don't remember if this was in the book or not. And then they'll say, I go, yeah, that was in the book because I just read it the week before they wrote it two years before so.

Josh Steimle:

Well you definitely stuck out in my mind. I've been on over 100 podcasts now since 2013-2014 is probably when I started being a guest on podcasts and you've always stuck out in my mind. And I think it was because, I mean, you were nice on the podcast, but then you added a lot of value afterwards. Like you've stayed in touch and you were commenting on my posts on LinkedIn and you didn't disappear. And a lot of the other hosts, they interviewed me. That's great. I love being on the podcast. I appreciate it. But then I've never heard from them since. And with you, I felt like we kind of developed a relationship. Like you stayed in touch on social media and I'd get updates and things. And so I felt like you've just stuck out in my mind as one of my favorite podcasts. Then I went on because of that relationship that you were able to maintain. And I assume you do that with everybody,

Douglas Burdett:

I’m interested in my guests. And as I said, say to them, I'm your advocate. Okay. What I want you to use that little headset. I have one here somewhere. It's because I want to, think of me as your fan or your mom. You know, I want, I'm proud of you. I want you to do well. And I want you to, the authors, I want all the listeners around the world to be really impressed. The other thing that I think has helped us keep in touch, had to do with you. And that was that there was a group, an influencer group.

Josh Steimle:

That's right. Yeah. It was the Facebook group. Yeah. Now it's called Amplify and I actually, I don't run it anymore, but yeah, there was a group that I ran.

Douglas Burdett:

Yeah. And so I found that really interesting. And I enjoyed that, but also just kind of getting to know you personally, and then following your return from, did you live in Hong Kong?

Josh Steimle:

Hong Kong, China, and then yeah, back to the U S after that.

Douglas Burdett:

Boston and now Arizona, it's just been kind of interesting story to keep up with.

Josh Steimle:

I'm flattered that out of all the hundreds of guests, you have, you actually remember these details about me. I mean, that's what develops that relationship, right. That makes you stand out?

Douglas Burdett:

I guess so. Yeah. I just found it so interesting. And you're from Idaho. I didn't, I did not know that,

Josh Steimle:

No, not from Idaho from California, but I lived in Idaho. I lived in Eastern Idaho. We were talking about that before we started recording. Yeah. Because we were talking before the recording about how Eastern Idaho is as cold during the winter, as it is hot in Arizona during the summer. So, if you want to live the good life live in Idaho during the summer in Arizona, during the winter, don't get those reverse.

Douglas Burdett:

Yes

Josh Steimle:

That’s the worst of the both world.

Douglas Burdett:

Right. Right. Like the celebrities. Yeah.

Josh Steimle:

Yeah, exactly.

Douglas Burdett:

That's right. That's right. Well, good. Well, I hope this has been helpful for your audience. And if, I can't remember, did I say the name of the book that Tanya Hall wrote, it was called Ideas, Influence and –

Josh Steimle:

I don’t think you said the name of it.

Douglas Burdett:

Her book is called Ideas, Influence, and Income.

Josh Steimle:

Okay. Ideas, Influence, and Income by Tanya Hall. We'll put a link to that in our show notes as well.

Douglas Burdett:

Yeah. I'll send you a link to that. And otherwise if I, as it's kind of obvious, I'm the like the author fan boy. So, I have a sense that if there are authors out there where I can recommend a specific book, if I can recommend like a specific book, like for instance, that one, I don't want your audience to have to read 350 books to find the one or two that's going to help them the most right now. So, I'd be delighted. It doesn't take much time and I'd love to be able to help your audience, help point them in the right direction. If there's something I can help with. But again, I'm not a published author. So, I'm just a fan of published authors and honored to be on the show.

Josh Steimle:

Well, Douglas, thank you so much for being on the show today. And of course, everybody goes subscribe to the marketing book podcast. You can also find Douglas on LinkedIn. I know he's active there because I see him on there all the time. And is there anywhere else that we can send people that connect with you, website or anything?

Douglas Burdett:

Well, marketingbookpodcast.com is where the, that is. And that's actually, it redirects to that section of our agency website, but otherwise LinkedIn, connect on LinkedIn pro tip, try to include a message when you send someone a LinkedIn message. So, I know you're not a filthy spammer and just get them all day long. Otherwise I'm marketing book on Twitter, but pretty active on LinkedIn, have a lot, enjoy having conversations there and learning what's going on.

Josh Steimle:

Awesome. Thanks so much Douglas for being with us here today on the Published Author Podcast.

Douglas Burdett:

My pleasure.

Josh Steimle:

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