In this audio podcast interview, internet marketing expert Tom Antion interviews book marketing expert John Kremer on how to write and market your books.
Introduction of John Kremer by Tom Antion
Book marketing expert John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. And I got to tell you I bought that years and years ago. I’m not sure how many editions are out now but it’s not just books I use it for. That book has influenced all of my 400 plus products over 24 years. So this is really a classic of the world. John is a mentor to authors who have sold over a billion books. That’s with a B billion and founder of the Billion Book Initiative to help the next generation of book authors sell another billion books. Over the past 30 years John has helped thousands of authors and that is not any kind of hype. This guy is an icon of the industry. He’s helped thousands of author,s both major celebrities and those just starting out, to sell over a billion books!
John Kremer: On Pinterest Marketing
Pinterest is basically the best social network for selling things because it’s made up of a buying audience. People are using Pinterest to save things that they really want to buy. And they actually share what they like, something that a lot of other social networks don’t do as well. Pinterest is a great tool for driving a lot of traffic to your content and picking up sales. And Pinterest users spend more money than users of any other social network.
Tom Antion: Your Pinterest webinar really opened my eyes. After I started using your method of creating pins in a certain way so that they really stick out, wow, I sold two protection dogs at $20,000 a piece! And so Pinterest is not any kind of simple playtime. Pinterest is a serious way to really reach people. You guys really nailed it with that Pinterest webinar.
John Kremer’s Advice on Working for Yourself
When you are starting out, try to find a part time job that pays you well enough that you can cover your expenses and then spend the rest of the time creating the life you want.
You don’t want to fall in that trap of working parttime and not working on the life you want. You have to set aside the time to build the work that you want to do. I did that when I was working that year part time: I would work four hours a day and then write for four hours a day. Doing that, I finished writing a book in less than a year.
John Kremer’s Advice on Writing Books
Tom: Give us some tips about writing things to promote your business.
In today’s world you don’t have to think about writing a big book. My 1001 Ways to Market Your Books that I’m best known for was over 700 pages. That’s insane to write something that big. If I were doing it today, I would write books of 96 to 120 pages. And I’d write multiple books. That way you can use them as big business cards. You can actually give them away because they’re not that expensive.
I have a friend that does what he calls the book-of-the-month club. He’s written 12 short books. He’s a speaker and consultant to corporations. And when he finds a hot prospect, he sends that prospect a book every month for 12 months. With some nice letters and follow-up emails. Via this book-of-the-month club, he books a lot of speaking and consulting. As a result, he now he owns a nice olive grove in Greece among other things.
Tom Antion: I’ve always said that a book is—from a business standpoint—one of the biggest hassle, least profitable things you can do, but it’s massively profitable in the end. Why? Because it leads to these other things that you can sell: Coaching and speaking and all that.
Yes, but you can’t produce junk. You have to produce real content worth reading, meaningful content that will showcase your expertise and help to sell people on all the other products and services you have to offer. A real worthwhile book builds your credibility. It helps you sell everything else you offer.
Creating an Amazon Bestseller
Tom: You can pretty much be brain dead and have an Amazon Bestseller now. You could sell two books in a category that nobody ever reads and get in the top hundred for that category and then call yourself an Amazon Bestseller.
John: I hate that idea of the fake Amazon Bestsellers. Because in the book industry itself, your book would have to be in the top 500 of all of Amazon to be considered an Amazon Bestseller. When authors say they’ve had an Amazon Bestseller and it’s one of those fake bestsellers, people in the industry know the real numbers and the author immediately loses all credibility with them (bookstores, media, top websites, podcasters, etc.). If you want to be a real book author, you want real book sales, and lots of them.
The sad thing is that most authors who get one of those fake Amazon Bestsellers quite three weeks later or three months later because they haven’t done any of the essential follow-up that would be necessary to build on any momentum from those Amazon initial sales.
John Kremer: On Consulting
Most people who do consulting for awhile discover one major thing: The consultants can give the best advice ever, yet most of their clients only listen to about 50% of what they tell them AND only act on about 10% of that advice. As a consultant, that response gets frustrating. At one point, I actually thought about charging people double my normal consulting fee and then giving them back half of it if they would simply follow my advice.
It’s hard when you are offering the best advice out there and your client either doesn’t hear it or, worse, doesn’t act on it. I understand that authors always have so many options presented to them and a limited about of time, money, attention, and skill to implement all those options. That’s why, when I consult with people, I always try to focus on one or two things they should begin with. I try not to overwhelm them with too many options to begin with.
John Kremer: On Staying Motivated
I don’t really have a technique for staying motivated. But this I know: You stay motivated because you’re doing something you love. And because I love what I’m doing, it’s not hard to stay motivated.
I’m also motivated, of course, because my wife wants me out of the house. So that gets me into the office every day. And gets me to work. Once I’m at work, I start doing the things I love and time just slips away.
The Product Launch Formula
The Product Launch Formula is designed to sell a product for 10 days or seven days or five days and then you say “I’m cutting you off if you don’t sign up. You’ll have to wait a year or two years before you can get in again.” I understand the logic of that in terms of setting a deadline to encourage people to act now, to create urgency.
But I much prefer never setting a deadline. I come from the world of book publishing where when you publish a book, it’s available forever. In today’s world, books don’t go out of print, especially with print-on-demand technology. I like that when I promote a book, it’s always available so whenever somebody decides it’s right for them, they can buy it. That fits my mindset better than setting an artificial deadline.
Saying that, I do understand the urgency technique. And respect it. But I’m not a big fan of using it, especially when selling books.
John Kremer: On Doing Interviews
Doing online interviews is one of the best ways to promote a book. Interviews are so much more effective than book reviews because you can control the messaging when you are interview but you can’t control the prejudices and insights of a book reviewer.
When someone hears you speak via an online interview—and they like what they hear—they are going to tell more people about you and your book. Be sure to share good content. Don’t hold back. And tell some great stories because stories are what people will remember and share with others. Interviews are a great way to share stories, start word of mouth, and sell more books!
John Kremer: Find Something You Love
The key think in marketing books is real simple: Find something you love to do. If you love the things you’re doing when marketing your books, you’ll do them well. Otherwise, you’ll do them halfheartedly or not at all. If there’s something you don’t like doing about marketing your book, don’t try doing it yourself. Find someone who loves doing that thing and hire them.
If you want to be successful as an author, you have to fall in love with marketing. You don’t have to love everything about marketing, but you have to love enough things that you actually take the time to tell other people about your book. Word of mouth rarely happens if you don’t start it. And word of mouth sells 80% of all books.
When I first started speaking, my stomach would gurgle and gurgle, roll over on itself. I was really nervous. But as I spoke more, I grew to love it. I started pushing the people introducing me off the stage so I could begin my talk. Now I love it.
A number of years ago I was speaking at the national convention of the National Speakers Association. I was sicker than a dog. There were 300 professional speakers in the audience. When I got up on the stage, everything fell into place. I spoke for an hour and a half and most of the people in the audience did not know I was sick. Because while I was speaking, I wasn’t sick. But the minute I was off, I was sick again. But I delivered a great speech, and that’s what was important.
I was able to deliver that speech because I love speaking. I love sharing what I know. I love sharing stories of how other authors have sold millions of books. I love inspiring authors.
You can find the complete unedited transcript for this podcast here: https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/11-this-guy-can-sell-your-books-tom-interviews-john-kremer