Are you interested in writing your own book? You should do it. Here’s why:
Books are one of the timeless mediums to record wisdom. Even in our digital age, the physical book will not go away completely so long as there are people who want to smell the pages of a great story; want to hear the paper turn as the ideas unfold; want to look on a shelf and remember the hours they invested and walked away different.
For every hour a reader spends reading a book, there are tens of hours that have been spent producing it. Therefore, a book is one of the few mediums that a reader can capture the heart and mind of an author in an accelerated fashion. I will always appreciate the voices behind the words I read, especially when my life has been enriched by them.
So, as you read my words, my wish is that you will come out the other side as I have, grateful and humbled. Here are five lessons I’ve learned from my own number one Amazon Best Seller.
A successful launch day represents a year of work
I left the conference Thrive 2015 with the energy to finally write what has been locked in my head for more than five years. And although I knew I would finally put into writing what I knew should be, I was not prepared for the amount of work it took.
In full disclosure, I used Tucker Max’s Book in a Box Method, which is his systematic plan of how he helps others put their knowledge and wisdom into a book. Many of us are not authors by trade, because we become specialists in other crafts. So, much of our talent and experience never makes it to a timeless medium like a book. He fixes that with his method and his inexpensive book on Amazon.
Following Tucker’s method meant that I needed to do a lot of preparation in planning my book, recording my auditory answers, transcribe them into a narrative form, and then editing them to an acceptable level. Now, I say acceptable because what we released wasn’t perfect, but it was viable. And that is just the writing of the book.
As Brian and I went back and forth with our team for a good launch date, I’m happy that we followed our mentor’s advice and pushed it back. We pushed it back more than three times because we weren’t ready. The book was ready enough for a launch, but we needed to grow and prepare.
Launch day was a whirlwind, where I felt like I was riding the hurricane with my phone and laptop attached to me. I was posting all throughout the day tagging people, sharing posts and filming live video, which I’ve never done before.
All in all, I was mentally exhausted even though I had stayed in my home the entire day. I was spent emotionally and mentally, but the success of the launch was just one day in a year’s worth of investment.
Behind every successful launch are months or even years of preparation.
There are no shortcuts, only best practices and hard work
Everyone wants the easy route. I do and so do you. We would be lying to ourselves if we said otherwise. But, easy doesn’t mean shortcut. Successful launches are easy but complicated to implement.
For example, promoting the book on launch day was easy. It was a hell of a lot of social media posting on Facebook and asking others to do the same. It was complicated because no one wants to come across as salesy or pushy, but the only way sales get done is when people know about it. The answer was simple.
Admiral David Farragut, during the Battle of Mobile Bay to take away the Confederate’s last port in the Gulf of Mexico, said,
Damn the torpedos…full speed ahead.
So, when you are thinking about how difficult it may be to take your book idea to the next level, remember, damn the torpedoes.
Fear of failing doesn’t disappear after the launch
We achieved more than we expected by achieving #1 in all three categories we put the book in. We are grateful to Jesus and our supporters, for without Him and you, the launch would not have gotten to where it had.
However, my fear of failure didn’t end with launch. Almost immediately I wondered if people reading my book would even find it valuable? We discounted the book to 99 cents for one day as a special, but I even wondered if people would regret that amount.
Furthermore, I know we released the book with some grammatical errors that we discovered after we uploaded the book for publishing. Would people be turned off from my inability to write cohesive sentences? Would they want a refund because my book sucked? Would they begin to think I sucked? I thought all these things and more.
To corral my fear of failure, or at least minimize its impact, I created a way of thinking called the 40/80/90 principle. When creating something new, I build it to 40% completion. This I call a prototype. Test the prototype to see if it’s worth moving to the next stage.
80% is implementation. This is where you release and implement your new product or service. Most people get stuck between 40% and 80%. They usually stop at 79%. Launching a product is scary. It opens it up to criticism and the potential for it to fail. But, you must remember, that you are not your product. You are the creator of the product and it can be improved. If you decide to improve it, then you do so until 90%.
90% is when you release it. Yes, it means to move on to something else. You may sell it or develop another product. Whatever you do, you must emotionally and mentally detach. Begin focusing on the next thing. To not do so means that you will not grow beyond that product. You will not get better and neither will your products.
The book is at 80% right now. During the next year, we plan to release a second edition that will fix the grammatical mistakes and add additional value based upon our reader’s input. But once this is done, I’m writing another book, launching an online class, or fill in the blank with our next thing. I refuse to build an altar to sacrifice my future on. So should you.
Lone wolves don’t launch successfully. You need a team.
When I started Entrepurpose and began writing this book, it was just me. However, I quickly invited Brian to help and eventually hired a team of mentors who have already had successful book launches. Lane Ethridge and Haris Reis run a company called Changing Lanes International. They are wonderfully compassionate and intelligent guys who can help you become an Amazon #1 Best Seller too.
They provided wisdom and advice the whole way. They also helped us refine our process and filled in the gaps where we were clueless through their own wisdom or the skills of others. Do you like the cover? We love it, but we didn’t make it. That was a referral from CLI to a guy named Wesley Bryant. He designed the cover after an interview and we couldn’t have been happier with the results.
We couldn’t have had that connection without Lane and Haris. And I wouldn’t be here writing about this success without Brian. Furthermore, and more importantly, we couldn’t have done it without you. Every person who shared our posts with their friends or bought the book was a part of our team. You did this. And you deserve the credit. Thank you.
Success is not measured by numbers, but by impact.
Entrepurpose, the book, was a number one by numbers and that feels good. Our friends cared about us enough to support us, not the book. Even though we appreciate and love you for it, we want the book to be of enough value to stand on its own.
I am confident now that it can.
Since day one, we have received messages and glowing reviews about the content. This surprised me at first, but I have grown to accept it because it really isn’t about getting a pat on the back. It isn’t about gloating. What I see in those comments and feedback is impact.
I can smell a fake pretty well. I know what fake looks like. I used to be one for many years as a teenager. I know when someone is blowing smoke up my butt because they think that is what I want to hear. What I want is honesty and authenticity.
Many of your comments tell me that the book has put into words what you’ve felt for many years. The ideas give you hope because they resonate with you. And this is what I really measure the success by – changed lives.
I want you to write your book, not because you will make money, but because you care about altering a life forever. If that is your goal, then you are undertaking a virtuous task and you should begin working on it today.
For, books of antiquity that have blessed countless lives over the centuries would have never become what we revere if they never started. Every great journey starts with the first step, so what is holding you back? I promise it is going to boil down to either fear or pride. You can ignore your fears and suppress your pride. Get started today and when you are on the other side wondering what took you so long, send me a message. I want to be one of the first to say, “Congratulations. What’s next?”
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Book in A Box Method by Tucker Max