Did you know that you can create and market a book that will help your ecommerce business gain depth and grow? While writing a book may sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to be! On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he welcomes his guest, Bryan Cohen. In his conversation with Scott, Bryan opens up about his background in writing, what it takes to write a book, tips for grabbing your audience’s attention, how to get the most mileage out of your content, and so much more. Don’t miss a minute of this helpful episode featuring Bryan’s excellent insights!
Learn from the best!
While you don’t need to go out and hire a publicist or editor if you want to write a book, it's a good idea to learn from an expert. Bryan Cohen is an experienced copywriter and a bestselling author. Bryan launched his blog, Best Page Forward in June 2015 and found himself immediately inundated with orders for book descriptions. He’s written over 200 descriptions for authors to date, and he’s in the process of coaching authors to learn the craft of copywriting themselves. You don’t have to break the bank to get your content out there serving your brand. Learn more about this topic by listening to this episode!
You can write a book.
Scratch whatever you’ve thought about writing a book from your mind. Let’s face it; most people are too intimidated even to entertain the thought of putting pen to paper. The truth is, writing a book doesn’t have to be some excruciating and painful process. If you’ve ever created content for your brand, you are already several steps closer to writing a book than you might have thought! To find out what it takes to get your content into a book format, make sure to listen to this episode of The Amazing Seller featuring copywriter extraordinaire, Bryan Cohen!
How to get the most out of your content.
If you’ve been around the TAS community for very long, you know that Scott is passionate about helping sellers like you create content that connects with your audience. While your content might be substantial, the fact remains that you are likely missing a lot of people due to the limitations of your channel. If you only put your content out on Facebook Live, you are missing all the folks who only hangout over on Instagram. If you are only sending your content via an email newsletter, you are missing the folks over on YouTube. Bryan Cohen says that the best way to reach across all content channels is to repurpose your content for each medium. Learn more about getting the most mileage out of your content by listening to this valuable episode!
Start small if you have to.
If you want to grow your ecommerce business into a powerhouse of productivity and profit, you’ve got to do everything you can to put it in the best position to succeed. It’s great to have goals and objectives, but they mean nothing if you fail to start. What is your action step in light of Bryan’s amazing lessons and insights? Will you start expanding your content channels? Are you ready to make steps toward writing a book? Don’t be ashamed of making small steps; you’ve got to start somewhere!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:35] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [1:40] The value of belonging to a mastermind.
- [5:00] Scott welcomes Bryan Cohen to the podcast.
- [10:30] Bryan opens up about his background.
- [20:20] Streamlining and simplifying your time.
- [24:00] Bryan talks about his copywriting work.
- [29:15] How to write a book for your brand.
- [38:30] Tips for grabbing your audience’s attention.
- [46:45] How to get more mileage out of your content.
- [50:30] Just start, even if it is a small start!
- [52:40] Closing thoughts from Scott.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 594
TAS 594: How To Use Books on Amazon To Grow Your Brand and Make Some EXTRA CASH
[00:00:02] Scott: Well, hey, hey, what’s up, everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is Episode #594 and today I’m excited because we are going to share something with you…
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…I say we, my good friend, Bryan Cohen, who I met this past year and actually what we’re going to do is walk through something that I’ve actually done in the past and it's something that we've actually added to the new brand, not that long ago. It works pretty well, brings in a little extra cash and brings in more leads and builds the email list and what we’re going to be talking about is how to add a book or a guide to your brand so you can bring in leads, build the email list, educate your market, kind of like content like we’ve been talking about, and also bring in some extra cash and I’m talking about like maybe an extra $500 a month, maybe an extra $1,000 a month. This is actually what I've done in the past and I’m going to share that with you.
And Bryan Cohen who’s an expert at this, he actually has an agency that helps authors and how-to authors get their books out there and get them ranked and get more traffic and really how to build that book funnel in a sense and that's what he’s going to cover with us. Now, he has a whole bunch of things he could talk about because he's done a lot but he's really mastered this and it's crazy because a lot of the things that you do on Amazon to launch a book, or a Kindle book, or whatever, works really similar to the way that we launch products on Amazon. I guess probably because it's Amazon and if you get sales and if you get reviews and it's like all that stuff that kind of helps the process, it’s kind of what we’re talking about here. Now, let me just also mention this, I met Bryan at one of my masterminds that I belong to and I’ve been saying this for years. Now, depending on what level you're at, you might pay for a mastermind or you might go to a free mastermind and I’ve done both and they're both valuable. But when you get to a certain level in your business and you want to be able to really elevate your game or get around other people that are thinking bigger like this is what happens.
[00:02:05] Scott: And being in the room with Bryan and a few other guests that I’ve already had on the show, it just elevates my thinking, gets me motivated, and inspired, and it allows me to bounce ideas off. It’s not necessarily that golden nugget. It's really about surrounding yourself with those people that are constantly pushing you and that are either at a similar stage or have already been there and know how to get around it or maybe just giving you like I said, that feedback is what you need. Now, I put together my own inner circle and it’s called TAS Inner Circle. It's my mastermind. It's where we actually get together twice a year and we get together in person. We bounce those ideas off each other. We kind of lay out the plan for you in 12 months and it's really powerful and it's been so rewarding so far this year with this first group that we’re running right now. Now, what we’re doing is we’re putting together another group and if you're interested in being part of that and if you would like an invitation, all you have to do is go over to TASInnerCircle.com. Again, that's TASInnerCircle.com.
Now, let me just say that we only accept people at a certain level because we want everyone in that room to be at a similar level, but also where they’re advanced enough where we’re not picking products necessarily. We’re in there strategizing, but we’re also like thinking big like big picture thinking. That's what we’re doing. If you're at that level and you want to be part of an inner circle or of a mastermind, definitely check it out. I would love to have you apply but then also see if we’d be a good fit and work right alongside you in your business over the next 12 months because that's what we’re doing there and it's just so awesome. And that's how I met Bryan through a mastermind that I belong to. Now, I've tried a few. There are some things I like. There are some things I don't like. I kind of take the things that I really like and I want to install them in my inner circle, in my mastermind, and that's kind of how I do it. I really like the one that I'm involved in with Bryan and this conversation today having him on the show is part of that like I was able to connect with him and now we have a great relationship.
[00:04:00] Scott: He's been helping me behind the scenes on a secret project that I'm working on that you guys will hear about probably about nine months, maybe eight months. I forget. I’ll be announcing it at my Brand Accelerator Live which will be in September of 2019 and if you haven't gotten your ticket yet for that, you might want to go over and check out BrandAcceleratorLive.com but, yeah, like it just came from being part of something like a mastermind. So, if you're interested in that, definitely check out TASInnerCircle.com and I would love to have you and kind of work with you throughout the next 12 months. So, with that all being said, hopefully, I’ve set the stage for Bryan. Bryan's an awesome guy. He’s funny as heck. I mean, I just always seem like I'm laughing when I'm with him. He's actually got a little bit of stand-up comedy too. He’s hysterical. But anyway, I'm going to stop talking so you can enjoy this episode with my good friend, Mr. Bryan Cohen. Enjoy.
[00:05:02] Scott: Well, hey, Bryan, welcome to the podcast. What is going on, my friend? How are you doing?
[00:05:07] Bryan: I'm good, Scott. I'm excited. We got to talk in person recently for the first time. We talked a lot about Amazon. You know, I was pretty darn excited. Keep a running gag at the event we were are at. So, it’s great to take this conversation to the podcast masses.
[00:05:27] Scott: Yes. You know, and it's interesting because you have been in the Amazon ecosystem for a while just in a different area and we’re going to talk about that and I've dabbled in that area too, by the way, but we’re also going to be talking about how we can apply some of what you’ve discovered and actually the thing that you're also helping other people with to possibly add to a physical product's brand which I think would be really beneficial, especially when we’re talking about building a brand. But before we get into all of that fun conversation stuff that we had in private, I want to get a little bit more about your story and kind of how you got into the business that you're in now and kind of what got you to the place where you're able to kind of work for yourself and kind of live that dream that we all want to have as like working for ourselves then it happens and we’re like, “Holy crap, like this is actually kind of like it’s still work but it's just on our terms.
[00:06:32] Bryan: Yeah. It really is. It's funny. Of course, when you have the independent lifestyle a little more without the boss, you’re like, “Wait. Now, I'm the boss of myself,” and that comes with all sorts of new problems but…
[00:06:47] Scott: Yeah. Get yourself motivated.
[00:06:49] Bryan: Oh, yeah. We could have a whole another episode on that, man.
[00:06:54] Scott: Yeah. I hear you because it is. It's true and I think it's worth highlighting. It's like a lot of people think, “Okay. Once I get to leave my job, then everything is going to be perfect and it's going to be just amazing and it's going to be the life that I've always wanted.” And in some aspects, it is but in the same breath then you have to deal with like business stuff like your own problems. If something doesn't work, it's kind of all depending on you and maybe you didn’t pull the right lever or even if you have people working for you now, it's really up to you to lead them properly. So, it's just new challenges with every chapter and you got to be willing to embrace them.
[00:07:32] Bryan: Here's my tip I’ll give. This is my big flag in the sand on this motivation point. I think that I keep coming back to this over and over again. What has worked for you in the past for motivation, getting work done, whatever it is, go back to that like look back at, hey, even high school, college if you went to college, look back at what you did at your jobs like what got you motivated? What got you the most efficient work done? And then try to re-implement that. It's so funny. I keep coming back to I tried something like leaving the house without my computer, but with like a little electronic typewriter thing and surprise, surprise it worked three years ago and it works now. But in between, I like forgot it and ignored it. But then, hey, just always go back to what worked for you before and there's a good chance it’s going to work for you again.
[00:08:35] Scott: Yeah. And I also look at it like a lot of people are like, “Oh, I don't know if I want to start this new thing,” or, “I don’t want to try this new thing and it’s scary,” and I think there's always going to be that stuff. But what I like people to do especially like talking about like your limiting beliefs or like why am I able to do this or whatever, I always tell people the same thing, go back to a time in your life that you were whether you're in sports or whether you were getting ready to perform in like a school play or whatever, you had to prepare for that. You're probably nervous in that and then when you actually pulled it off, it probably felt pretty darn good. So, go back to a time in your life that something actually works but it wasn't easy but you actually got it to work like you got to play off of those positive times in your life. And then also like you say, go back to something that worked in the past and go, “Wait a minute, why am I trying this other thing over here? Oh, because it’s new and exciting and scary.” Why not just do what worked or at least apply some of those lessons?
So, I agree. Like you said, we could do a whole show on that topic, but we are not going to do that because I want to dig into your story because I always like to share someone's story as far as like it wasn't always how it is right now for you. You weren’t able to have these other, these new problems that you have now, which are good problems because you're growing, but how did you arrive there? And then once we kind of get that established then I want to move into how we can take some of these things that you're doing right now for clients and how we can maybe even give people some ideas on how they can apply that to their brand. So, get it started. Where does Bryan come from? I mean, not to mention that I think it was the crochet shop or something that you would mention. What was the name of that place?
[00:10:23] Bryan: So, we had shared where all of how we met our significant others and my parents had actually met my future wife's parents a couple of years before I met my future wife at a quilt shop called Thimble Pleasures.
[00:10:42] Scott: Every time you say that, I die. It's awesome. Thimble Pleasures.
[00:10:48] Bryan: So funny.
[00:10:49] Scott: That is so true though. It's a true story.
[00:10:51] Bryan: Yeah. Well, that's a third episode, man. We’re really building the back.
[00:10:57] Scott: Nice.
[00:10:58] Bryan: Let’s cut to my story. 2008. We’re actually coming up on the 10-year anniversary of this. I had been working at Starbucks as a barista. I’ve been doing improv comedy stuff and to make ends meet I was temping. And so, I was doing this temp job that was like Christmas week that I was a receptionist for this big company. I don't even know what they did and great receptionist there, but that no one was calling because it was Christmas week so I said, “You know, I've been trying to set up a blog for ages. Let's sit down. Let's write some content. Let's get it done.” So, I get paid for 40 hours of work that week and 35 of it I'm spending on this blog about writing and I knew I wanted to be a writer. I knew that one of the things people do when they want to start a career is, they start a blog and I know a lot of you out there have done blogs or have had blogs.
And so, I start on that blog, produced a good amount of content for about getting rid of writers block and whatnot, and two years in, I’m making a little bit off of Google AdSense, a little bit off of some other things but I'm still temping, I'm still doing freelance stuff. And I see that, “Hey, some of the posts on my website are doing better than others,” and one of them was these creative writing prompts which are basically story starters that a fiction or nonfiction writer would use and I say, you know, like I've heard about this stuff that people put in books together and selling them on their websites. Why don't I try that? I’ll mash up a bunch these blog posts and I try publishing it at first. It didn't really go anywhere but I learned that Amazon lets you publish.
[00:12:57] Bryan: This was pretty new at the time in 2010, the self-publishing. I put up on Amazon 30 days not much traction but then we get to Christmas 2010, another Christmas. This is all very Christmassy for a Jewish guy like myself. And so, the sale starts to pick up. I remember I was sitting on the guest bed at my wife's parents house and I remember saying like, “Crap, we sold like books in a day,” and I was freaking out. And so, I was like, “Well, let's make this real. Let's like make a business out of this.” So, I publish more books on the same kind of subject. I go do very 2011 things like go on blog tours and create more content and link from all of my blog posts to Amazon. And I ended up selling over 25,000 copies of that first book.
[00:13:58] Scott: Wow. Now, was this before KDP?
[00:14:01] Bryan: So, this was right at the beginning of KDP. I swear I'm going to buy a gift for anyone who tells me KDP was not the first thing it was called.
[00:14:12] Scott: What was it? Okay. What was it called?
[00:14:14] Bryan: It was like Amazon Publishing Services or something and no one has been able to tell me. I feel like this is a Berenstain Bears thing where I am in a different dimension, but, yeah, so I put those books out, started building it over a couple years. It turned into me wanting to help other authors. It turned into me connecting with a bunch of other authors and later doing a podcast for other authors, later running a service business and courses for other authors. And so, it all really started with that blog. It got into me wanting to just help people as much as I could. Went into books and then it went into me wanting to help other authors pull off the same kind of thing that I had.
[00:15:00] Scott: It’s interesting isn’t it how like one thing will then lead to another thing and then an opportunity and then connections and networking and it's just something when you continually take action as I always say you're getting these moments that are opportunities as I like to look at them and you try some, you like them, they don't work, some work, some might work but you don't really like it, you want to do something different, it allows you to kind of go to where you're going and I just I love it. Again, just listen to anyone’s story, but yours in this case like you started as a temp and you discovered like this thing and then you started to expand on it then you sold 10 books in a day and you’re like, “Holy crap, like this is something like we can maybe build this into a business.” Yeah, and then everything else just kind of unfolds. It's interesting because I think everyone has those similar stories. They just have to piece them together and if you do, you’ll kind of see that this thing led to this thing and then this thing led to that thing and it’ll actually give you a little bit more I guess confidence moving forward into other things and just knowing that you're not always going to know what's on the other side until you actually get out there and do it.
[00:16:09] Bryan: Yeah. It does start with the action. You recognize a pattern, you recognize something good, you take action, and then you kind of repeat that over and over again.
[00:16:18] Scott: Let me ask you this. Okay. So, I've dabbled again in the Kindle book world and I’m probably going to say probably five or six years ago and we actually because we came from the photography space so we were teaching people photography stuff. So, my wife had put together like all of her same idea like she create blog posts about like newborn photography tips like how to have a baby stay relaxed when you're through the session and like all of these tips. So, we compiled it, put it into a Kindle book, and we started selling that. So, we did one on newborn photography. We did another one on how to start just a photography studio in general as we did that. That did well and I think at one point in time, both those books they were bringing in leads, number one, and I think and a lot of people overlook that, they're bringing in leads. I was building the email list while we were doing that which was then leading people into more of our online space stuff, our products, and stuff, but it was also bringing some income. I think we're making upwards of $800 to $1,000 a month on just those two books which is insane.
[00:17:25] Bryan: Yeah. And that's huge. That matters even, look, I know probably so many of your folks out there are like, “Well, Scott’s big time now like $800 to $1,000 a month doesn't matter all that much,” but back when you're starting out, it's huge. When I was starting my business, getting that couple thousand dollars a month just consistently that’s your money and funnel it back into your business or you can use it to pay the bills and do less of your other work so that you have the time and the headspace to build the business. Like, $800 doesn't sound like a lot, but getting that consistently every month and having it be very passive.
[00:18:14] Scott: Yeah. There wasn't a lot of upkeep at all. Every now and then you might do a KDP little promotion where you use your five days that they gave you to do free downloads or to do a discount, or any of that stuff. But the thing that I found interesting was everything really still kind of applies that was there over to the physical product space that Amazon is allowing us to use. The optimization, the keyword research, and as far as like finding the search terms, optimization as far as your bullet points, and all that stuff and that's really what I believe you are really good at from what I’ve gathered from talking to you and that's why I want to give people some tips on that but I also want to talk just even about if someone wanted to add an e-book, Kindle book to their brand, how that could be done without them really having to do all that much work if they don't want to? So, maybe we can walk people through that because I think that's a huge add for any business.
Again, if you're in bass fishing, you could create a guide on bass fishing like so easily. And so, I want to talk about that a little bit to give people some ideas on how they could do it. But back to your point of like $800, like people like you said they’d be like, “Eh.” What I used to do, I still kind of do it, just a little bit of a bigger scale now like how can I roll something out, have it be passive, and pay for one of my bills? So, what did that $800 do? That might have been my car payment and maybe my electric bill. I’m like, “Okay. There it is. As long as I keep those books selling, I got my car paid for and I got my electric paid for.” Like I used to try to create ways to pay the bills and then almost like pretend like the bill isn’t even there then like this thing over here is paying for my car and then that way there, it kind of allowed me to kind of chunk things down and kind of visualize what I was doing, rather than saying I just want to make $10,000 a month. So, that’s good.
[00:20:14] Bryan: Let me take this in a slightly different direction too. So, I think this is secret to my success in a way but you get that $800 and you say, “Alright. Well, I'm already working part-time or full-time. I already have the bills paid. What can I do for that $800 that is going to give me more time, giving me more energy, allow me to spend more focused on the business?” Recently, I had asked my wife and this is kind of further down the line, but I'd asked my wife, “Hey, for my birthday, can you get me like three prepared meals like delivered to the house?” Because I’m the cook. I cook all the meals. “Delivered to the house and then like I don't have to think about making the dinner.” And you could do that kind of thing across the board. You could say, “Alright. Well, I usually spend about 30 minutes prepping the food.
This week I’m going to spend that $800,” it doesn’t cost $800 to get all those meals but like, “We’re going to do two pizza nights, three prepared meals and I’m going to get that two-and-a-half hours back.” And then you do something with that two-and-a-half hours. Even if you’re just thinking and brainstorming with that two-and-a-half hours then you can use that as a jumping off point to the next step for your business.
[00:21:38] Scott: Yeah. And I mean I think you're really good at that now because you actually have a team that's doing and performing your services now which that takes time and it takes building and it takes trust and all that stuff. But a lot of it has been done so you can remove yourself from certain day-to-day tasks that you were doing to free up that time. Here’s the funny thing now that I found like I used to mow my lawn. I don't know my lawn anymore. I used to do a little bit more of the odd jobs around my house. I don't really do them anymore. Here's the funny thing. I kind of miss some of those. And it's like my yardwork, it's kind of like that was a way for me to de-stress. I guess my thing is I don't want to have to do it all the time. I like to do it when I want to do it. So, I’ll just give you an example like right around our pool deck, there's a sealer that we got to put on because it's only about a year old and there's some sealer. You got to roll it on. No big deal.
And I’m like, “I’m going to pay someone to do that.” I’m like, “You know what, I think I’m just going to do it myself because I want to do it and it also allows me to not think about the business maybe. I’m just going to go out there and just kind of do that task.” So, sometimes it comes back where you’re like, “I actually want to do one of those things because it will get me away from the computer. It'll get me away from this stuff.” So, it’s just kind of weird how you think, but you’re 100% right like if you can, if you're struggling, if you're still working a full-time job and you're like, “Man, if I can just sit down and spend two hours without having to do the lawn,” then pay someone to do the lawn while you’re building your business. If it cost you $30 to have someone mow your lawn, that's $30 that you’re going to be able to pay that person but then you can work 100% on what you're building which I think is really, really important.
[00:23:23] Bryan: Yeah. I totally agree. I feel like I threw this one off-task. We can get back to the book thing.
[00:23:29] Scott: Yeah. Let's do that, but this is interesting and like I said to you before, I mean, this show is all about just again connecting the dots, but allowing people to build and grow a business, but also a lifestyle and I love hearing your story and I just I love sharing like those tidbits because I think they’re powerful and I’ve had a lot of people, a lot of listeners say, “That one tidbit that you shared on that, that really kind of opened my eyes to something.” So, even if it just opened someone's eyes to something and it helps them, we've done a good job here. All right. Let's get to the book or the book stuff. So, now basically, tell us what you do now for people like right now.
[00:24:05] Bryan: Sure.
[00:24:06] Scott: What’s your main thing?
[00:24:08] Bryan: So, my main thing right now is I run a copywriting agency. Essentially, we write the book descriptions that show up on the back of the book or on Amazon, we write those descriptions for authors, for fiction or nonfiction authors. And it's so funny how it all came about. I was part of a mastermind nothing as high end as a Pat Flynn mastermind but this is a mastermind with some guys and I was doing freelance still on the side with my writing and helping authors and my friend says, “Man, you’re doing all this helping author stuff. Why don't you just do writing for authors so you can get rid of all stuff that doesn't fit with your brand?” And I said, “That’s a great idea,” had a sales page up in a week. I said I'm going to buckle down on this. I’m going to get the sales page up in a week. I already had a bit of a brand built up from doing a podcast.
I have a podcast on book marketing called the Sell More Books Show and, on that show, I pitched it. I said, “Hey, I'll do this.” It was $49 at the time. I got an email from a friend that’s like, “You're crazy.” $49 at the time and I said, “Hey, we’ll write these book descriptions for you,” and I got 100 orders the first month. And so, obviously, there’s a bit of a pain point there. We were fulfilling. People hate writing these blurbs. You see these memes going around with Gollum from Lord of the Rings that said, “We must writes the blurb, but we hates it.” And so, that business has expanded and so now we are the premier people for this in publishing, writing these descriptions, and we’ve had over 2,000 orders over the last three years and so that is how we do it.
[00:26:08] Bryan: But I wanted to bring back around to your point about your photography books. So, you were using these to make the money passively but you are using it also to generate leads. I have a book that I wrote relatively early in the business, maybe a year to a year-and-a-half into the business on how to write a sizzling synopsis which was for specifically fiction descriptions and it's so funny because this book I thought it was good. I thought it was good when I put it out and I promoted it to my list and it got good reviews, but this book has probably brought in more business than most of the activities I've done. It's brought in leads of people who are getting some advice on how to write a description but in the back of the book I say, “Hey, but if you don't want to do it yourself, we’re here.”
And not only that, but you get people, you see people tagging you on Facebook. They’re like in a group and someone asked for help on a description, they’re like, “Do you know Bryan? He has a business. Do you know Bryan? He has this book. Go check out his book.” And so, people can like who don't know about me can learn about it from this socially sharing the book, from people looking up the book on Amazon, from people just getting a recommendation from a friend. So, this book ended up helping to really build my brand, get people to feel like I was and my company is the expert in this particular area and if you can use that whether it's for sale on Amazon or whether it's just, “Hey, this is an add-on you get for buying this physical product,” like it can share, it can spread, and it helps if the book is good, of course, but you can use that book to really expand your business in a way that you didn't even expect to happen.
[00:28:17] Scott: You know, this is kind of leading me to I guess how I want to because I wasn't sure like getting you on I’m like we could talk about copywriting like we could talk all about that for the entire episodes I think that you definitely have a good sense of that and you’re good at it, but there's also a part of it that I think a lot of a brands don't realize how they could actually do this pretty easily. So, I'd like maybe to go down that road.
[00:28:44] Bryan: Yeah. Of course.
[00:28:45] Scott: If we’re talking about going into a market and we can just make up a few but if we’re going into a market like how would someone tackle a project like this to create a lead magnet in a sense to where you can educate people in your market and then leave them over to your services or to your business or your products? What would you advise someone that didn't want to sit down and hammer on a keyboard or didn't think that they had the skill set to do that? What would you say to that person?
[00:29:19] Bryan: Well, I think there's plenty of ways to not write a book that someone else have it write it for you. There's ghostwriting. There's all sorts of things. But I think a lot of people don't realize, hey, I wrote 10 blog post about this. You know, with a little tinkering those 10 blog posts like I did with my first book can become a book. A friend of mine, Steve Scott, who’s – I don't know if he's quite sold a million but I think he sold about a million books, e-books, and he started with blogging, but then he realized, “Oh, I'm not going to blog. I'm just going to take those blog posts I was writing and turn them into books.” So, if you have ever done a blog or if you've ever written some things related to your product like if you've written like a how-to guide to using that product even if it's just really basic, that could be the building blocks of a book that you use for your brand.
So, I think people look at a book, the idea of a book, and they think some traditionally published doorstop of a thing that is like 500 pages that you could use to attack a small animal but it doesn't have to be that big. A lot of these successful nonfiction books are 100 pages, less than 100 pages some of them. I think that book I was talking about, my sizzling synopsis book, I need to look it up to remember for sure. Pretty sure that's less than 100 pages and it’s got something like 10,000 or so sales, lots of reviews, and I'm just kind of treading while I look here to see how many pages it is.
[00:31:22] Bryan: But, yeah, definitely it does not have to be long and if you’ve ever written anything related to it, to your subject, you can reuse, you do not reinvent the wheel, reuse it over and over again.
[00:31:39] Scott: Yeah. Here's one thing too I wanted to ask you because I think it's important that sometimes people think they want to write this massive book. What're your thoughts on like creating like a book on a specific thing like one thing that it's going to help them with and maybe just roll out more of those as a series versus what this one book that encompasses everything?
[00:32:01] Bryan: Yeah. I mean you have to think about who’s reading these books. Does the person who is thinking about starting a photography business or the person who is thinking about maybe trying out this new exercise routine that your equipment that you've done through Amazon is going to work really well with? Like, are they looking to read a 500-page book or do they just want the information delivered in a quick way and just something that they can master as soon as possible? And I think it's usually the latter where you get the information quickly and there is nothing wrong with having two or three short books on a part of a topic. Nothing wrong with it because you can be more specific. That's probably better for the search engine optimization on Amazon if it's not really specific keywords.
You do not have to go crazy with this. You could write a 50-page book. There's nothing wrong with it and people will buy it or and you’ve made this – we had talked about this how you could have it set up so your email autoresponder that goes through Amazon has a link to the book and I have a hack for that. So, you said well that link could just be a PDF and it could be a PDF but there's a service a lot of authors use, a lot of fiction authors use called BookFunnel and BookFunnel does some incredible stuff. The problem with PDF like you got to print it out or you got to read on your computer. BookFunnel it’ll send it to your phone, it’ll send it to your Kindle device if you have a Kindle device, it'll send it to your computer. It gives you the option to navigate in a bunch of different formats.
[00:34:00] Bryan: Got someone who’s like, “I have a Kindle Paperwhite with the ink screen which is really not as harsh on the eyes.” If you have a customer who has an e-ink reader or something like that, they can use the BookFunnel and get it on their device pretty easy.
[00:34:18] Scott: Yeah. I agree like to have in multiple formats is the best, quick and easy as the PDF because you just attach it and Amazon lets us attach it. They do let us include a link to a resource as long as the resource is not selling them something additionally that’s with the product because they don't want you to take traffic away, but we've always done where we can give them a guide or a quick start guide or something like that. That's fine. In this case, if it's a book that’s going to help them with 10 hacks to catch more bass, well that's fine. Like, who's not going to want that they just bought their new bass fishing lure? And then in that book, you can reference your products, you can reference your different rods that you have or your tackle or whatever it is. You can refer to that and that's how you lead people back.
The one thing I want people to understand is like you might go through the work of setting one of these up. Once you set it up, it's done. Like, all you really need to do is just keep every now and then promoting it a little bit and you can do that in various different ways, but the Kindle process works very similar to launching a product on Amazon, a physical product. It's the same idea. We want to launch it. We want to get a whole bunch of people there. That's where you do like the KDP. You offer it for free for whatever. You can use all your five days if you want or you can do it for a couple days and then you’re going to get a spike in the algorithm to get you ranking so that when you do show up, you're going to get in front other people that are buying it for $1.99 or $2.99 or whatever and then from there, the more people you get it in their hands, the more likely they are to come back and visit your brand in your physical products or get on your email list which I'm a big fan of, any of that stuff.
[00:36:07] Bryan: This is one of my favorite parts of the retreat actually, Scott, was talking about this with you that I was saying. So, with an e-book, you do this thing and you’re like, “Yeah. That works for physical products too,” and it just blew my mind because any author could come from learning what I've taught or what other books have taught and go to making a physical product and that would work. Or folks could have the information, the knowledge that you've taught on Amazon products go over to creating a book and those things would work too. It just they fit so well together because they work the same way.
[00:36:48] Scott: Yeah. Here's the cool thing. So, I've been teaching here for the past probably almost two years now building an email list like I think all across any marketing or any brand or anything like that, we always talk about building a list. It's been around for a long time and it’s going to continue depending on what format. It might not be email list forever. It’ll be maybe be Facebook pixel audiences, whatever it is, but you’re building an audience, you're building a list of some kind. Let’s just say it’s an email list. So, let's say that through some of the stuff that I've taught in the past, you’ve built an email list to 10,000 people and you’re letting people know that you have content, you're sharing, you're doing all the stuff that I teach. Well, if you added a Kindle book to this, guess what else you can do? Let them know that it's on sale or that it's free for the next two days and you’re going to get a rush of downloads and that's going to spike the algorithm and then you're going to start ranking. So, there’s another reason why you want to build your brand with an email list or some type of reach. We’ve been playing around a lot with like pixel audiences now.
That pixel audience, you can let those people know you can advertise to just those people. You’re going to do this for the next two days, “Receive our free Kindle book,” whatever. The more downloads, the more chances are of ranking and getting exposure and all that stuff. So, lots of cool stuff that you can do. And you’re right, it’s kind of like cross-platform like once you're in that, it's kind working the same. Let me ask you this. Let's talk about copywriting.
[00:38:12] Bryan: Okay.
[00:38:13] Scott: Because it's one thing to get the traffic but if you don’t have a compelling title or any of that stuff, give us some tips on that because that will even help us with like just our listings in general. But what are some common things that you like to see when putting together a title?
[00:38:30] Bryan: Well, I think we kind of went into this a little bit with our friend, Alex. Has she been on your show yet?
[00:38:35] Scott: She has not yet but she's going to be. She's crushing it. Yeah.
[00:38:39] Bryan: Good. Yeah. So, we saw her listing on Amazon and we said, “You know that you’re missing some opportunities in your title for your product. You could have your brand in there,” because she has a very popular brand. It makes sense for her to mention that. Like, don't skip out on like the feathers you have in your cap already. If you’ve got a big brand, if you’ve had other successful products, if you had other things, you can include that in kind of your products, title, and subtitle like don't forget that sort of thing and make it an appealing title like if it's just steel fishing rod. It's like, come on, like put yourself in an Amazon customer's shoes like get into the specifics about what kind of steel or like to help you catch more fish in less time sort of thing.
Like, be willing to kind of take the title and subtitle to the next level like run it by some people, see what they think, get some feedback. Don't do this in a vacuum. Never do this in a vacuum. But I want to really go into remembering that you are putting out a product that is solving a problem. You’re solving someone's problem. That's why people go on Amazon. I need the thing that does this or I ran out of socks or…
[00:40:16] Scott: My garlic press broke.
[00:40:17] Bryan: Or my garlic press broke and so, “Do you want a new garlic press that will last for a lifetime?” Like you’re solving someone's problem. So, what’s the problem? I love it in the form of a question like, “Do you want to catch more fish with the lightest rod known to man?” like you want to show that your product is solving a problem and make it clear. Your product is the solution to this like, “Discover the newest rod that will make your fishing trips 100% better,” like I obviously don’t fish.
[00:41:09] Scott: I have a little but not as much as I'd like to. The one thing I will say with being an FBA seller, they are strict on their titles. So, the titles you got to be careful. Now, your bullets you have a little bit more freedom there. Your description, you have even more freedom. So, I would say the things that you're saying, I would probably put in the first and second bullet to really draw the attention. The title, they're really making it super strict that it's like stainless steel garlic press. That's what they want. Now, you could add some more exciting words in there that would represent that it's high-quality, but again some of that.
[00:41:50] Bryan: Yeah. In book titles, it’s similar like Alex was able to put her brand because she has this big brand.
[00:41:58] Scott: Yep. Well, they do want the brand. They do want the brand in there, Bryan. Actually, sometimes they will cut your title out and remove it and put in your brand with your product like they've literally removed the title and then they added it back in with your brand because they do want the brand to be in the title for the most part. Now, but you know how Amazon is. They’re always changing things. They’re always updating things. I mean, that happens in the Kindle world too, right?
[00:42:27] Bryan: It does. We’re always having to stay on our toes.
[00:42:31] Scott: Yeah. So, yeah, I agree with you. I think you have to understand that you are solving a problem or making someone's life easier or getting them something a result of some kind. Like you said, if you're buying a fishing lure, you're probably buying one because you want to catch more fish but you might also be buying one because you’ve been getting hung up in the weeds and you want to find one that's weedless. And so, you just have to know what they search for and I think looking through the reviews of other people or even your own customers and seeing what their sticking points are and then kind of like mentioning that stuff back into your bullets in your description and all of that stuff. You know what, before we wrap up, what about reviews? I know that like for Kindle it's probably very similar and you want to get reviews and stuff like how important is that for the Kindle side of things?
[00:43:25] Bryan: It's huge. It's huge. It's the exact same. You want that social proof and sometimes it can even be just more reviews like it's not even necessarily about getting all five stars like that can even look a little dubious.
[00:43:41] Scott: Yeah.
[00:43:42] Bryan: Well, they’re all five stars. It seems like you got all his friends to review it like we want to make sure that you are getting real honest reviews in there and that's what I always ask when I ask my readers, when I ask our podcast followers, “Hey, could you go check out this book and leave a review?” I say, “Honest review,” like I want the real deal there but you need to always be hunting for reviewers. If you are building that email list like you suggest, Scott, then every so often it's okay to go back out and say, “Hey, if you use this product, can you go back and leave a review?” You can ask three months later, six months later. It's okay to ask multiple times. Don't feel bad about asking. This is always a common theme, feeling bad about asking. I feel bad about asking and I do it anyway because I know it needs to be done.
[00:44:38] Scott: Yeah. I got it. It does and like you said, I mean, you can do it in a cool way. You know what I mean? Where you just say, “Not sure if you've had a chance to leave us a review. We’d really appreciate it.” You know, where I've always said too if you’re a small business, make them aware of that, “We’re a small business and we want to make sure that we’re taking care of our customers. We want Amazon to know we are too.” Like, something basic like that and then they can go, and don't say, “Go leave me a five-star and if you're not going to leave me a five-star, let me know so I can make it right,” like none of that crap because that's what’ll get you in trouble. But again, you’ve probably built a relationship with those people and you'll probably do okay. So, just do good by your list and your followers and your customers and you'll be fine. Anything else we want to wrap up with here? It seems like we covered a lot and I wasn't really sure where we were going to go but I really like where we went because there's a ton of value there.
And I think the big thing I want people to understand and take away and maybe think to themselves is what kind of content could I give my audience? And then that content could turn into multiple pieces of real estate really for your business on a blog. It could be on a YouTube channel. It could be anywhere but then you can also compile that, put it into a book that people they would want to go through and have whether it's printed or whether it's on a Kindle. So, this way here you can really create a resource for your audience that could give them value, but then also lead them back to your products.
[00:46:14] Bryan: Is it okay if I spoil something that we kind of talked about on the retreat and people listening aren’t going to have spent thousands of dollars on?
[00:46:24] Scott: Sure.
[00:46:25] Bryan: Okay. I want, you know, always trying to go above and beyond here. And I've heard these people share this kind of thing before, but let's say you start with, you build up a little bit of a Facebook audience. You do a Facebook live. It's not just like, “Hey, Bob. Hey, whatever.” You’re teaching. You’re teaching something. You’re sharing something that that's going to be good information. You do this 20, 40 minutes and you take that audio and you turn it into a podcast and you take that video and you either break it up or you keep it the same and turn it into a YouTube. Then you take that content that was in the YouTube or the Facebook live and whatnot, and you turn that into some blog posts. You do a few related Facebook lives that turn into YouTubes and turn into and turn into a blog post. Then you could take those blog posts, adapt them, and turn them into a book.
So, you can do all of that, five videos, five videos on the same topic. Turn those into the YouTube, the podcast, the blog posts, social media posts, and the book, all just from starting at the top and working your way down.
[00:47:47] Scott: Yeah. I love that and actually, I forgot who it was. It might've been, gosh, I forget who it was now but it was kind of called The 90-Minute Book. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that. And, gosh, who is that now? I'm trying to think who that was. I forget now so…
[00:48:03] Bryan: Now I have to look it up.
[00:48:04] Scott: If I remember. Yeah. You look it up while I’m describing it. So, basically, the idea is have someone interview you or you interview someone else with like 10 things that they need to know and then what you would do is you would almost treat it like you're doing a presentation so if you’re going to do like a keynote or even just a PowerPoint presentation for a school presentation, whatever it is, come up with all of the details, all of the facts, bullet points, whatever, and then just get a recording going where you're going to record the entire thing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can stutter and you um and ah and all that stuff. It doesn't matter. And then what you do is you would then take that and then you would have someone transcribe it and then someone edit it. So, transcribing it's pretty easy nowadays. I mean, you can go to Temi which is $0.10 a minute which is about 85%, 90% accurate then you can go to Rev.com, which is another one. They do a really good job. And then you have an editor go through it, make it flow, and make it read well, and then have it compile and put into a book.
Like, literally, you could probably do that for under $500 and you can have a book-in-hand and you can have an asset for your company, put it on Kindle, get some traffic going through there, deliver a piece of content that will kind of live on and continue to bring in leads and then like you said then you can create other little mini-trainings around it that might be through that book and then just mention the book or not even mention the book, just use that as content to put out on YouTube and Facebook and all these other platforms, but that's how you could do it. Just you need to understand what the topic is that you’re going to talk about and really make that concise and teach through it and then just record it and put it out. Did you find out who that was?
[00:49:51] Bryan: You know, I found a couple things. There’s a thing by a guy named Dean Jackson.
[00:49:54] Scott: That’s it. Dean Jackson. That's who I was looking for. Yeah. Dean, yeah, I followed Dean for a while. He comes from the real estate game. Real great guy, smart, and, yeah, he came up with that whole concept called The 90 Minute Book. I love it and it's something really easy that I think anyone can do. Sometimes it's hard for someone to actually just jump on and record. So, instead, have the questions that you want to be asked or the ones that you’re going to ask and then just ask the questions and have that person go into detail. That's the book and then you can refine it and tweak it later so I love that. So, anything else you want to add and then we can wrap up?
[00:50:34] Bryan: I think remember that a book does not have to be this giant paperweight. Start small. It can start small. It can be a compilation of 5 to 10 blog posts. Remember that books are changing. People's attention spans are getting shorter. So, start with something small. My first book was about 100 pages and I released a bunch of 100-page type books since then and so do not be overwhelmed. Just sit down, throw some of your old content together, reuse, repurpose, and it can really have some legs for you.
[00:51:16] Scott: Yeah. I love it. All right. Now, the last thing, how can people get a hold of you?
[00:51:21] Bryan: Well, if you do want to write a book and you need some good copy to go along with it, go to BestPageForward.net and we will take a look at your description for you and, hey, if you like podcasts, I have one every week, not quite as often as Scott here, but you can go check out The Sell More Books Show and wherever good podcast are listened to and we go over some of the publishing news every week and I think you'll enjoy it if you like hearing more about book marketing.
[00:51:57] Scott: Awesome. Yeah. This has been great. And like I said, I didn’t know the direction we’re going to go, but we found that direction and I think it was very, very useful. So, Bryan, once again I want to thank you. It's always awesome hanging out with you. I know we’re going to be hanging out again here in March I believe so we’ll have some cool things to share in there. Maybe we’ll even do a podcast live while we’re at the house. Maybe we’ll do something like that.
[00:52:17] Bryan: That’s a great idea. That’s a great idea. Thanks for having me, man. This has been a lot of fun and I appreciate you, man.
[00:52:25] Scott: Yeah. No problem and, yeah, if anyone has any questions for Bryan, definitely reach out. He's always there to help anyone that is looking for more book advice. So, Bryan, once again thank you.
[00:52:37] Bryan: Thank you, Scott.
[00:52:40] Scott: All right. So, a little bit of a different direction, but I think that there was a lot of value there and if you are now starting to think, if you're starting to explore the ideas of a book, is it the right thing for your business or for your brand? I don't know of a business or brand that it's not a good idea for and the cool thing is, is you can create another asset that can start bringing in some additional income for the business. Whether you want to reinvest that back into the business into ad spend or products, whatever, you can. And the cool thing is that I think there's probably a different topic in different areas of your market that you could probably do. Now, these don't have to be that long. They can be 45 or 50 pages as long as they are good content. And sometimes like I said with Bryan, it's better to have a variety of topics that are specifically designed to help in one area and then you can tie them all together so someone could buy the collection.
So, definitely think about this and really start thinking to yourself what could your market want and what could they use as a resource in something like this? Because your market probably is hanging out over on Kindle, figuring out a book that they want to read on a plane or on a vacation and that could lead them over to your brand. You can build your list, you can build your audience that way. So, definitely, think about this, think about adding something like this to your business to your brand. I really, really think moving forward just in constant creation alone could be so beneficial for you and your brand. All right. So, guys, the show notes can be found at TheAmazingSeller.com/594. I will link up everything there for you so this way here you can get all of the information that you need. All right. So, guys. So that’s it. That’s going to wrap it up. As always, remember, I’m here for you, I believe in you, and I am rooting for you, but you have to, you have to, come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, take action! Have an awesome amazing day! And I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- The Sell More Books Show
- Best Page Forward
- The 90-Minute Book
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