I interviewed Chandler Bolt on what he's learned from helping 5,000+ people self publish books:
Watch the full Chandler Bolt interview:
Chandler Bolt runs Self Publishing School, a very popular service that takes you through the entire process of self publishing a book. Their introductory product starts at $6,000 and goes up from there. He's helped people publish more than 5,000 books and do between $5m and $10m in sales per year. Also interesting is that his family has a famous AirBnB’s called The Bolt Farm Treehouse, and his brother is a famous rockstar in a band called NEEDTOBREATHE!
Listen to the Chandler Bolt interview here:
Why you should self publish a book over going the traditional publisher route.
- How many books have you written?
- How long does it take people to write a book.
- How many people have you helped write a book.
- Should you self publish your book, or get a book deal first
- NYTimes best seller?
- AppSumo book story with big advance if could sell 10,000 books. Is that number still a thing or has it changes.
- I have several books, two main ones. This Book Will Teach You To Write Better and You’re Gonna Die.
- Do people make a living off the books?
- Why the heck is writing a book still more official than anything else? I almost feel a long form interview like this is better for transferring information than a book, yet a book still has this magical property to it. What’s that about?
- “Riches are in the niches”
- “Book publishers are like venture capitalists” - Chandler explains how book publishers will almost “invest” in authors like a VC company, giving out advances. They know most of them won’t make a lot of money, but that 1 in 10 will, and that 1 in 100 will be a huge breakout hit that returns major money for years to come.
- “Make a “Review Sweeper” that kindly asks people for a review at a set time.”
- “Rolling Cohort”
How to write a book (the technical details and software required), Chandler prefers Google Docs
This is a super common question, “What software do I use to write a book?” Chandler goes through this question and his answers are very helpful! Many people over complicate this part!
- Do people write in Microsoft Word, or Google Docs?
- Any specific software you use?
- How long does it take people to write a book typically.
- “Write on whatever you use normally. Whatever you can get the most amount of words down per hour. Most people just use Google Docs.”
- “I think mind mapping each chapter is incredibly helpful.”
Promoting the book:
How to promote a book to make tons of sales
Chandler goes over the best ways to promote a book, specifically by building a small “Launch Team” that helps you promote on day 1, which is mainly just friends and family and existing fans.
- What’s the way to promote a book?
- What really sells a book? Is it word of mouth? Is it reviews?
- Blogs, social
- “Create a Launch Team before the launch of your book. This is family, friends, and fans that will buy your book, write a review, and maybe even share your book to friends on the launch.”
Content Marketing: How Self Publishing School does content marketing
Free content marketing brings in over $200,000 in free traffic every month
- How are you getting people to hear about Self Publishing School.
- I helped hire your content person right! She was great.
- What channels are ya’ll using?
- Video, Twitter, YouTube, Podcast?
- Ya’ll get $200k+ worth of free search engine traffic per month, is that a big channel for getting signups?
- Ya’ll have 60,000+ subscribers on YouTube, is that a good channel for you?
- “Email is a byproduct of how well we’re doing on other channels.”
- “Our top channels are Podcast and Content.”
Podcast:“Our podcasts sells the most books and brings in 5 to 10 clients per day”
Chandler Bolt of Self Publishing School explains how one of the top marketing channels for their company is their weekly podcast.
- You have a podcast with 500+ reviews on Apple alone. Is this a big channel for you over others?
- What works on podcasts? Looks like you do a lot of interviews?
- How often are you putting out a podcast?
- “We like also publishing our podcast on YouTube since we can be on all channels for people to find instead of just podcast.”
- “We put out about 1 podcast per week.”
- “People who buy books are often the ones listening to podcasts, so podcasts definitely are the #1 mover of books.”
Business: Writing A Book Lighting Round Questions (1 minute timed questions)
We ask Chandler a couple of Lightning Round questions and get some great rapid fire answers!
- How would you get 100 reviews for a brand new book?
- How would you write a book from start to finish?
- How do you get ideas to start a book?
🖥 Website: self-publishingschool.com
📘 Book: Published.
🎤 Podcast: Self Publishing School Podcast
🚹 Facebook: selfpublishingschool
▶️ YouTube: Self Publishing School
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Neville Medhora 0:00
So Chandler bolt Welcome to the podcast so let's give a quick intro to Chandler so Chandler bolt runs a self publishing school, very popular service that takes you through the entire process of self publishing a book right? There introductory product starts at six grand and goes up from there, right? Yep. Oh my god, good lord. And you've helped people publish more than 5000 something books y'all do, I mean north of 5 million to 10 million sales per year. And also some interesting facts about Chandler. Your family has a famous Airbnb called the bolt farm treehouse that has 200 plus 1000 followers on Instagram and Airbnb that has 200,000 plus followers. Interesting. And your brother is a famous rock star in a brand called need to breathe. That's it. It's kind of interesting life.
Chandler Bolt 0:45
Yeah, it's a so it's funny, you know, on the, for people who are watching the video version, this is my brother and I wrote a book. It's the first book bring it up. Over there. Yeah. So breaking out broken system. And it was all about how because I mean, this is like kind of tangent in probably what we want to talk about. But you know, my brother, I grew up with my brother being kind of this famous musician, Grammy nominated rock'n'roll band, like all that stuff. And, and so it's, we felt like there were 15 things our parents taught us that we thought were normal. But we got out in the real world and realize that no one gets taught this stuff. And so it's, and that's why it's, you know, the first half is his his stuff, which is white on black pages. The second half is my stuff, which is black on white pages. And it's his perspective. He's a musician. Mine is a business guy kind of on these same 15 things.
Neville Medhora 1:33
Oh, interesting. Do your parents introduce you at family meetings and stuff? Like they're like, this is our This is our famous rock star son. And this is Chandler. He just said the business stuff.
Chandler Bolt 1:46
It's a classic. Sorry, that's not to go for it often. But like, it's the classic I think what's the saying is like, you know, most business people want to be musicians, or rock stars and musicians or rock stars want to be business people. It's like the guy. Yeah, I think also comedians always want to be musicians and musicians rather be comedians because they have two different stuff each time. Let's talk about Okay, so obviously, we're here because we're talking about books.
Neville Medhora 2:08
How many books have you written?
Chandler Bolt 2:10
Neville Medhora 2:11
So you have wrote six?
Chandler Bolt 2:12
Neville Medhora 2:12
And how many copies of books roughly Have you sold?
Chandler Bolt 2:16
Neville Medhora 2:18
We're talking about 100 or
Chandler Bolt 2:19
100,000? Plus? Probably? Yeah.
Neville Medhora 2:22
And that like, so you make money off of selling books? Also? Yes. Yeah. But then you also obvious it's like an upgrade? Yeah, like that. Yeah. Okay. So how long does it typically take someone to write a book? Because you've got this process with like, what? 5000? People?
Chandler Bolt 2:35
Yeah, we've, we've Yeah, so how long does it typically take? So I think it's 50 to 70% or so of our students write and publish their book in less than a year. Now, if you just say, how long does it generally take people to write books? I mean, if you're going through traditionally publishing company, it's going to be a minimum of two years. Plus, if you're self publishing on your own, it might be a year, it might be a decade, depending on how disciplined you are. Right? And then, but our goal is to save people hundreds of hours in the process. So it's like, how do you move through the process faster, but also write a better book. I mean, it's Parkinson's Law. If you know, an object will swell in proportion to the amount of time you give yourself to complete this thing. So what we found at least is even with traditionally published books, most of the writing happens in the last two months before the manuscript that deadline Yeah, but I've got this deadline I gotta hit. And so it's like, Okay, well, what if we just did that, but from the start, and we have kind of this force constraint that will help you get the book done faster, but also write a better book?
Neville Medhora 3:33
Oh, how do you put pressure on people to do that force constraint? Yeah, yeah, you'd like their, their their service that they paid 6k plus four,
Chandler Bolt 3:40
was like the classic. It's the classic. You know, when growing up, it's my mom and I did p90x forever to that, and they paid like $100 for DVDs back in the day, and it was like, but it was like everyone said, you're paying $100 for DVDs. It's like, Well, no, you're people who pay pay attention, like I'm paying so that I will then actually do the thing. And so sure there's part of it is that but then a lot of it is the reason we went more upmarket is because we just saw students got better results when they had more accountability and coaching. So we had the kind of, Okay, here's the course only piece, but those students just didn't get as much results. So we said, How can we go up market enough to where we can like push in accountability mechanism. So there's one on one coaching throughout, there's hundreds of group coaching calls over the course of a year, like we have multiple group coaching calls every single day where people just hop into a Zoom Room, we have it's like, set up to where if someone's sitting in one phase for too long, like they say on the rough draft phase. It's like someone on my team will call him and say, Hey, I just want to check in like, how's the book going? Let's take the next step. And just like always trying to always try to hold people accountable to take the next step, which, you know, I think in theory, a lot of this a lot of reason people pay us money, but then sometimes it's not as comfortable when you're on the other end of it, where it's like, hey, No, you need to write your book, you need to get it done. You've been sitting in the rough draft phase for three months, like what are you doing?
Neville Medhora 5:06
You're so nice. I can't imagine. I'm not making those calls. You're way too nice. Like me to come, I will come to your house, and now we're friendly. This so that's really interesting. Uh, you always do self weight. First of all, I'm always fascinated by your business models. When I first met you, you were doing this also. And I thought you were selling just like a single course, like 49 bucks on Udemy or something like that. Then I realized your introductory offer at the time was like five or 6k. And I was like, Oh, wait, that's different. Yeah. And I remember like, you kind of have jumped to what the end evolution I think of courses is right now it was courses where you basically give people more work. Yeah. Then I think it's going to cohorts right now, like that's kind of like a definite trend. And you've kind of done yours a little bit like a cohort, like within one year, you're gonna publish a book. Yes. But but but you don't start everyone at the same time. It's like you can start tomorrow. If I want rolling cohort. Yeah. Rolling cohort. I never heard that word.
Chandler Bolt 6:04
Yeah. Which probably defeats the purpose is like that's an oxymoron. In a sense. It's like It's okay, that's maybe not a cohort. But because we I mean, we have probably, I don't know, whatever it is five to 10 people are signing up per day. It's like, there's a rolling amount of, oh, if you happen on this group coaching call, that's the rough draft group coaching call will automatically, I guess, in kind we do it is we flip, we just flipped things probably two years ago, where we said, oh, there's milestones. There's a, there's a course promise. And then there's milestones to get to that promise. So we break it down. I think it's about seven milestones. And then we said, well, what if we just put the milestones at the front of everything that we do? And then everything else is just supporting that? Right? So it's like a group coaching, call one on one coaching call curriculum in the course, like everything is just okay. Now, how do we help the student take the very next step into their next milestone? And so then we just said, Oh, well, now we're going to have group coaching calls, but they're all specific to the milestones. And so then most people the way they do cohorts is like, oh, when did you sign up? Okay, you're in that cohort, right? Well, it's like, well, the this should actually be based on where people are at in the process, because we might have signed up at the same time. And you might be way further ahead than me, Well, the fact that we're grouped now in this same cohort is not really that helpful. But if I know that I can show up to a rough draft group coaching call for a rough draft, like half day workshop, and know that all those people are working on the same exact thing. Maybe I can find an accountability partner in there as well. And it's like, so it's just, but you have to be a certain volume, where that makes sense. Otherwise, I mean, and I remember it was a chicken to the egg conundrum for us in the early days is, when we're doing these big launches a couple times a year, I feel like we need to switch from that, because it's like, the crack business model of just like, you know, it's like, make all this money in a short period of time. And then it's just feast or famine. And so then you finally, we can't we finally broke that threshold. And then it was okay, now we've got these rolling cohorts. And we can sign people up at any time. And
Neville Medhora 8:06
what do you so so with that launch model of courses? I mean, I've seen it a million times, including with myself and a bunch of creators we've produced for Yeah, it's just like, they do a launch. And the first time the first time a creator does a launch, it works really well, because everyone's like, wow, never seen a product from them. They're excited. And then it's like, they're like, wow, that worked. Well, maybe these come of business. And they're like, well launch it a second time. And everyone's like, Alright, okay. And then like, the third time, and then like, I'm always like, talk to me the 17th time you've watched this course, you start to get some course launch fatigue. Oh, no doubt. Right. So you you fully moved over to the justice, rolling cohort for lack of a better word. Yeah. Interesting. Okay. I like and
Chandler Bolt 8:41
it doesn't mean you can't do promotions. I mean, we still do promotions, like we're in the middle of one right now. It's like this full time author challenge. And so it's like, oh, it's it's a five day challenge. We're helping people sell more books, like stuff like that. And so, you know, we'll still do promotions, but I'm a big like, you know, iterative guy with when it comes to business and anything, it's just li ke, I hated the fact that something could totally go wrong. And then that just botches a majority of your revenue, and you're just working up to that for three or four months, and exactly what he said, it's just launched fatigue. And it's like, man, I have to hit up my friends one more time to promote this thing. And just like, oh, and then you just feel like, Alright, I'm just like, you know, yeah, it wasn't for me personally. And so that's why we do the ongoing stuff. And that just forces you to run an actual business and get better. But on the flip side, like, the highest leverage thing that you could do all year is one of those launches. So it's kind of like that. It's like what I alluded to earlier, it's like, it's, I remember someone talking about this concept of crack money, where it's like, their mentor told him is like, okay, what's that? What's that thing that you could do in a short period of time, that would make a big amount of cash, but you can't keep doing it? Right? Because you'll get it so it's like bartending For a lot of people is crack money. It's like, Oh my gosh, I can make a ton of money in a short period of time. But if that's not in alignment with your long term goals, and you don't stop and evaluate, well, then you're gonna wake up and 15 years later, you're bartending, right. But the concept as it relates to, like business and stuff is like, for me, I've ran a house painting company in college. So it's like, my version of crack money in the early days was like, Okay, I could go paint a couple of houses, and make and in two days make enough money to pay the bills for a month or two. And then I can spend the other 28 days working on my business, right? So it's like, it's really nice. So similar with launches in the early phase of your business, it's really great to get a lot of cash flowing. But then you wake up and you're like, Alright, I can't keep doing this long term. It's not sustainable.
Neville Medhora 10:42
I totally feel you I also get annoyed when people's lists I get on their list and at first or send a lot of good stuff. And then it's just like a constant launch. And like, we've gone through that too, or just Yeah, sure. How many sales can we do before people kind of get a little bit turned off? Yeah, some people never unsubscribe, but then they stopped opening as much. Yeah, yeah, you got to be really careful about that. Let's, let's get back to the kind of nuts and bolts of books. Should you Okay, your your political self publishing school, specifically, when all self publishing? How come you kind of like issued the traditional publishing?
Chandler Bolt 11:14
Yeah. And early on, it was the us versus them. I mean, it was like classic us versus them marketing. And so we were we were the little guy that underdog, the, okay. We're the Uber of the publishing industry, like, you know, taxis. Everyone knew they were broken, and no one did anything about it, you felt slimy, you felt like you were taking advantage of the neighbor came along, overused analogy, but feel similarly with the publishing world. It's like, Okay, everyone knows that it's like, you're getting screwed in traditional publishing industry, your industry is broken, and all that. So like, that was kind of the starting point. But it's the I mean, it's the riches are in the niches like how do we how do we start very specific and then expand from there, and that's kind of what we've done. So it's, you know, we've even now it's like, Alright, we'll work with some traditionally published authors, and I think a lot of like, what we have to offer it, it helps traditionally published authors, but our bread and butter is like putting the power back in the hands of the author and helping them publish it themselves. And, you know, kind of control the end and process and all that stuff.
Neville Medhora 12:14
I've also been through the publishing process a few times self, and then I've actually, I don't know if you know, but me And no, we're going to co author a book. We're working on appsumo time. And they're going to offer us a seven figure advance. And, and the reason is, and we talked to, I think it was, safety's like book, or Tim Ferriss book publisher guy, and we went to New York and met him. And basically, all the book publishing industry wanted was to sell 10,000 books. Is that still the case? Is that no magic magic number roughly,
Chandler Bolt 12:40
for I mean, and yeah, and then for a lot of them, it's 10,000 in week one. So if you can hit some sort of list like that could help you hit the New York Times, or The Wall Street Journal or USA Today bestseller list or whatever, but then yeah, and, and depending on the advance, I mean, it's, it's basically traditional publishers or venture capitalists, right, they're gonna place 10 bets on authors, one of those books is going to really go and nine of them are and so then the, the, the nine of them are upset that they don't have the rights, their book, and their books aren't really selling. And then the one of them is upset, because they feel like they've sold all these books, and they're not really getting paid, what they what they would like to get paid for those for selling all those books. But I mean, it's the same thing as venture capitalist, right. But then the difference is you have a backlist, too. So that's where all the money is, is in publishing. It's like, okay, the five love languages is gonna continue selling a million books a year till the end of time, right? And so like if I'm a publisher, and I own that as part of my backlist, it's recurring revenue business, which not many people would think about books as a recurring revenue business, but they just keep selling. And so it's alright, how do we cover that at the advance is the investment how do we cover? What's our likelihood of covering that advance? And what's the likelihood of long term sales? And like, that's the business model in a nutshell,
Neville Medhora 13:57
I've never heard it described as VC that makes total sense. Wow, that's pretty interesting. It's also why you see all of these like the big five are the big seven becomes the Big Five becomes the Big Four because they're just swallowing up all because it these these publishing companies are often also owned by big media corporations, you know, that pretty much all that are owned by Disney, right? But it but they're, they're owned by big publishing Corporation, new CEO will come in and say, hey, I've got to hit quarterly revenue targets. Let's just sell off this publishing division that isn't that profitable. And on the flip side, the other people are saying, Oh, I want that backlist. And now it's, I want guaranteed future revenue. And so that I mean, it just makes sense to just swallow up all those publishing. That's super interesting. But then Amazon comes around. So for example, each of these books I wrote in less than three months. So this book will teach you how to write better, which is actually a book like about like copywriting and this one was just like a thesis on like, why I picked a day to die when I'm 85 years old. And I wrote both of these in three months. And if you look Get them. They're super small each one's like 48 pages or something. And it's kind of weird. Like, it took three months to write like this stupid little book, like this tiny little thing. And then I remember when we were doing stuff with an actual traditional author, it was way more of a pain in the ass, like, way more, and they wanted like 300 pages. And I was like, there is nothing that you have to take 300 pages to say yes, there is absolutely nothing nowadays, I can make a video that explains in five minutes. Yeah. And like, we need 300 pages. And I was like, why 300 pages, then I realized, like they want the book to be thick. Yeah, thick book sell more. More money, right? Yeah. Didn't book worthless money. Is that is that actually true?
Chandler Bolt 15:37
Yeah. Can it kind of shoot for that 275 page like sweetspot. It's just kind of a solid length of a business book that I'm sure there's other methodology behind it. But then some of it is just it's how we've done it. So there's not really it's not
Neville Medhora 15:51
five love languages to understand a page. So your should be 200 pages. Because I remember I read I read some books, I read decent amount of books, and as many as you I go through a decent amount, and I'll read like half the book and like that was a great book. And then they'll start just telling like random stories and the book kind of falls apart. Yeah, and it's totally doesn't get old mad. Did you kind of do that? I do this. Did you have to put some filler in there? Oh,
Chandler Bolt 16:12
no, I was just looking. I was like, can't wait now. I'm curious minds, I guess. 199 page bucking the trend
Neville Medhora 16:17
already? Cuz you're self publishing? Oh, two to two. Yeah. But you self publish that right?
Chandler Bolt 16:21
Yes, I did. Yeah. And, and a lot of that can be dependent on formatting and a bunch of other stuff. But I want to add friendly books. So that made my book longer in because there's all these images and all that stuff. Because, you know, I'm a C level English student and a college dropout with ADHD. So it's like, I've got to be able to understand this and, and, and I want other people to be under be able to understand it. But I love the as it relates to the length of books. It's like, I learned this from your copywriting course, way back in the day. I'll never forget that. I feel like I repeat this often. But it's like, how long should a sales letter be? I think he answered in one of your videos or something. It's like, like a woman's skirt long enough to cover this. Yeah, sure enough,
Neville Medhora 16:58
we don't we don't talk about that analogy anymore. Denise wasn't mine either. To blame him. He was I think we actually have to edit out of this. Oh, yeah, it's still in here. Oh, my God, are you gonna show it but it says a copy is like a woman's skirt. It should be long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep it interesting.
Chandler Bolt 17:16
It's an old quote template. Like my team has also said not to reference that quote, but I'm like, you instantly get it. It's silly.
Neville Medhora 17:27
Yeah. Why can't we have nice book was written in 2013. Okay. It's not that bad. man knew. But um, I totally agree. But here's the thing. Here's the only reason that we originally wanted to go through a big seller, The New York Times bestseller list. Come on. I mean, that's that's like the real scam. Yes. But when you put that on there, I mean, once you get a New York Times bestseller list, I mean, you just put that on the bio ba bam. Yeah. It's not that it's gotten better. I know, you think it's a scam? But most people like, Oh, for sure. Awesome.
Chandler Bolt 17:57
Right? For sure. For sure. And then I said kind of tongue in cheek. So the thing is, is not a real bestseller list. But it doesn't. I mean, as with anything in life, it doesn't matter what's real, it matters what people think is real. Right? And so if my perception is that that is real, then I'm gonna, I'm gonna view you differently because of that. So basically, New York Times is an editorial bestseller list, which means it's directionally based on units sold, but not actually based on unit sold. And so it's editorial meaning it editors make the decisions on what is included and what is not included. So if it's raining in New York, or if my girlfriend just dumped me or any other number of things, I as the editor, or I can just say, I don't like nevel I think he's not funny. And so therefore, I'm going to take you off the bestseller list, right? Or you're in the internet marketing world. So therefore, I don't like that. And Yep, like, there's been multiple people who have sold way more than enough copies and just got kept off the list. And then, you know, they knew how much the number one person sold and they sell more than that. And they weren't on list right? So that's the only that's my only beef with the New York Times. But But Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller list or actual Wall Street Journal was in the middle and then USA Today is a pure number of books sold. So I think it's the truest bestseller list. But yeah, you're right. I mean, does. The cachet of I'm a New York Times bestseller still means a lot to a lot of people
Neville Medhora 19:25
is there like I know people put Amazon bestseller which I don't know anymore. But at one point, it was like literally by the minute stats. So you sell like three books in an hour. And like, yeah, at 3am. Totally. And your number one.
Chandler Bolt 19:37
Yeah. And I think that's the flip side of it. Right, which that's way overused. Yeah. And I think it's, it's kind of ridiculous. And so yes, it's still by the minute stats, and it's weighted. They'll never say what the algorithm is, but it's highly weighted towards recency. You know, there's probably 25 to 50% of the algorithm is on last day or last week, then there's probably another 25% that's last Last month and then whatever and so it's, it's, it's but it's very much recency weighted, because think about it if you're Amazon, and you end up as a consumer comes back and sees the same list, every time that they come back, well, they're not going to buy any new books. So it's good for business to have a list that changes. Because then people are coming back to that list saying, Oh, that looks interesting. I'll buy that. And
Neville Medhora 20:24
that multiple all Times bestseller list, right? First, I remember seeing like, the number one was like the Bible or something along those lines, which would probably be for a long time. But then like, there's also like the new bestsellers.
Chandler Bolt 20:35
Yeah. So they have hot new releases. And then and so that's where I think people have taken it too far, which is like, Oh, I'm a hot new release in underwater basket weaving, with all the category books. You know, it's like, okay, now I'm an Amazon bestseller. It's like, that's kind of ridiculous. And I guess it's a classic thing, though, right? It's like, I might think that's ridiculous. But it doesn't matter what it is. It matters what people think that
Neville Medhora 20:57
fair enough points
Chandler Bolt 20:58
on both ends of the equation. It's, it's, there's truth. And there's a version of the truth. But yeah, I think and when and I guess one of the thing, which is kind of surprising is that the majority of the top 100 books in all of Amazon are fiction books, which so there's a difference writing fiction and nonfiction, I always say it's kind of like, use a baseball analogy. It's like nonfiction as ways your base hits singles and doubles. Like you can more predictably make money from a nonfiction book. Whereas fiction, it's like a home run hitter, you're going to strike out a lot, but then if you hit a home run, it's going to be big. And so I mean, the big fiction authors, those, those are the people who make all the money on Amazon, but it's
Neville Medhora 21:39
still like the Andy Weir, the Martian, all those kinds of things. Yeah. Interesting. So fiction, serialized fiction. Yeah, it's
Chandler Bolt 21:45
way bigger money for a small group of people, because I mean, it needs to be good. I need to believe that it's good. There's a higher barrier to entry. It's like I'm not buying. I'm not buying a fiction novel from no name, so and so like, it might suck. But if they have a bajillion reviews, and a whole series, it's like, I could get into this. My friend said, hey, it's good. I could get in that series. So
Neville Medhora 22:10
but generally, like a book like yours, like you're also selling 6k a pop 510 a day. So you're probably making more overall from like, your book world.
Chandler Bolt 22:20
Yes. fiction author. Yeah. I mean, definitely the 99.9% of fiction authors. Yes. But it's not like the top top top ones. But yeah, so that's, and that goes back to I mean, if you're thinking about writing a book, it's the classic Simon Sinek start with why or Stephen Covey begin with the end in mind. It's like, why are you doing it and for me, it's I want to use this book, to bring in leads sales and referrals for self publishing school. And then also to help people who can't afford our program. It's like, we have this we have a journal, we have like, a book outline challenge, like we do have some lower price like 47, or maybe even $97 products, but it's like very much, that's the self serve version. And then people read this book, and they say, Oh, my gosh, this, this is gonna help me grow. Or like, you know, I love this. So I want to, I want to just work with self publishing school to get my book done. And so that's the, when I think about it is like, how do you strategically use a book to get more leads sales and referrals and advanced kind of an ideology? And so I call this the silent salesman because it goes out into the world and brings back leads sales and referrals. And so that's the goal. Have you ever our buddy Ryan Holiday, who lives here in town,
Neville Medhora 23:31
he is now he's become with this famous author? Yeah, everyone knows. And he had this thing in this book called perennial seller, where he said, like, so let's say he has 10 books, right, which I think he does something around the area, but he launches a new one. And what happens is, ironically, like you get a little bump in sales from that new one, of course, but what happens is everyone's finds the old ones, and the old ones actually make the money. So when do a book launch? It's not the new one making the money. It's actually all those old nine bucks. They're just like, Ryan Holiday. Interesting. I don't care about ego is the enemy. But what's this trust me online? Hmm. And so they end up doing that? I saw that with like, my measly two little books. When I did the, you're gonna die when people look at your author profile, and they see this other one that has like, way more reviews and stuff, because it's an established book. And they're like, what's that? They also buy that? Yeah. Do you see that happening with all the author peeps?
Chandler Bolt 24:20
Yeah. Oh, definitely. I mean, and then fiction is a huge thing, because it's read through rate is like one of the biggest, most important things. So it's like rate one rate? Yeah. So it's basically like what percentage of people that buy and read book one, buy and read book two, what percentage of those folks buy Book Three will persist? So serialized? All right. And so that is a big indicator. And so you can actually it's kind of like the measuring stuff like a viral coefficient or anything else, where it's like, oh, if you start to see that those numbers are good, you can start pumping ads into the first book and knowing that your numbers are going to kind of shake out a little bit. And, but then also, as you launch new books, that'll boost the Your your backlog or your catalog, and then then you're packaging them and box sets and stuff like that. And then same thing on the nonfiction side of things, though, which I think will probably be most relevant for your audience, which is, I mean, you, you see those people who's that are just going back and I mean, it's like the Malcolm Gladwell is of the world, the Seth Godin is the ryan holidays, the john Gordon, the, I mean, you see the same thing where it's like it boosts the catalog. Interesting.
Neville Medhora 25:26
Yeah, that's, that's pretty awesome. So speaking of that, so boosting that catalog building that catalog? Do a lot of the authors you were who actually make a living off the books, or is it mostly like, beside income? I'm sure there's like some weird, obvious distribution of like, most people don't make anything was some people make a ton, right? Sure. Sure.
Chandler Bolt 25:41
It's the 8020 rule, just like with it, just like with anything else. And so I think it's, and that's where I go back to the basics versus homeruns analogy, where it's like, weather fiction, odd or sorry, with our nonfiction authors, it's a lot of people like, Alright, cool, I'm gonna sell some books, I'm gonna use this as a platform, like, this is an impact thing. For me, this is an authority booster, like the classic can't spell the word authority without the word author, like I'm an author to build my authority. And, yeah, and just, there's just stuff like that. But if, if you were strategically, I think the people who make the most money working with us are like, they're strategically using a book to grow their business, or they're like a one in 10. Like, crushing it with fiction book or a few nonfiction books. So it's like, Alright, you can either make your money selling books, which you're gonna have to publish multiple books, maybe you'll hit on one, but if you hit on one, you're gonna have to market that book like crazy. Or the more predictable path is, I'm using a book to open doors and to grow my business and all that stuff.
Neville Medhora 26:46
Interesting. I mean, I don't care about talking about this, but like I make about I still make I don't promote these at all. This was the you're gonna die when I never even meant to promote it. Just like a thought that a fun experiment I did. This one still makes me about 1000 bucks a month. So make 1000 bucks now between $501,000 I don't promote it. I don't talk about it. Yeah, I don't say anything about it. I rarely even say I have a book. Yeah. And people go, but I made it. I tried to make it free. Yeah, of course. You have to charge something. Yeah, I was trying to like, Can I make it to where people only pay shipping or something? Amazon's like, you have to charge like five bucks or something to even make it worth our while. So I get $1.71 in profit per book sold. And I get I don't know about you. But does Amazon send you money to your bank account in different like countries? So knowing it's, I get like 17 deposits every month? Yeah, from Amazon, sometimes being for like 17 cents? Yeah, that'd be like So Andy about your book, you know, your distribution is only 30% of the book. And after taxes and stuff. It's like nothing
Chandler Bolt 27:45
talking about a first real problem. It's like he had so annoying to Amazon cuts me 17 different direct deposits every single month. But
Neville Medhora 27:53
I can always tell when it comes in. Because my bank statements is claw. It says like, Amazon is Amazon, UK, Amazon, JP Amazon USA. It's a it's hilarious. Yeah, but up. But I remember thinking seeing that for the first time experiencing when I started selling this. It was making a couple 1000 actually a month and I was just like, I could legitimately maybe live off a $5 book. I was kind of surprised. Now to be fair, I do have somewhat of an audience already. Yeah, I have an email list. Sure YouTube channel, I have something that can sell to already. But then the lion's share of the marketing is through Amazon. Amazon markets. I don't pay for it. I don't know how it does it. It just automatically puts me in there and knows it's a highly bought book. But based on CTR, I guess so it shows it. Yeah. And recommended books. Is that what people see, like most of their books come from the Amazon promotional engine?
Chandler Bolt 28:35
Oh, no doubt. And that's when it's I mean, it's the stats, I don't want to say it's something like 70% of all books sold or sold on Amazon. And and so that's the beautiful thing is they're bringing, they're bringing in customers, you just know how you just have to know how to work that algorithm. Right? So it's like our I'm picking keywords and categories that are going to be discoverable. It's like, what are people actually searching? And I mean, you you've kind of, probably intentionally, I mean this, but maybe I was nothing intentional. It was all random. Okay, I mean, how to write better isn't the title of your book, which is really good for SEO. So if I search how to write better, either in Google, sometimes that might show up as a product listing, or definitely, if I'm searching how to write better in Amazon, that books more likely to show up because it's in the title. And probably, you know, it's in book description. It's in the actual content of the book. And so and then the click through rate is, is good. So it's like that gets boosted. So there's a bunch of other stuff. And that's not even before you go down the rabbit trail of like, just doing a couple strategic intentional things to maximize reviews. And then also, I mean, are you running Amazon ads?
Neville Medhora 29:43
We tried it for a little bit. Got it?
Chandler Bolt 29:45
Yeah, um, those work a lot better when you have when you have all three formats that you're selling. So if you're selling print, ebook and audiobook, because the print and the audio book are higher price, your higher you have a higher average order value. So your Amazon costs If sales is what they call it is, is it's easier to make that ROI positive. But I mean, we have a lot of our students that are doing well on Amazon ads, because just the, the inventory is underbid currently. So it's like you can even self sustain even more sales. And then there's a bunch of the other stuff that we teach, which is like, one super simple thing is, I mean, we use this as an opt in. And so this I mean, this is how you can set this up for a copywriting course and stuff like that, which is, what I do is in the very beginning of the book, we give away the audio, I give away the audio book for free. And I give away the video, this is basically a webinar that sells self publishing school. And so right out of the gate, and so people it's like if you've ever done the look inside feature, so you look inside and preview the book, well, people can download the audio book or the video without even purchasing the book. That's so now we're just funneling hundreds, maybe 1000s of leads a month, and they only have to buy the book now a lot of them will because and some people will think you know, Chandler's an idiot, he doesn't even know I can get this audiobook for free without even buying the book. But of course, I like that lead to me is worth way more than the dollar or two bucks. And instead of paying for leads, I'm getting paid to get leads, or they're at worst case scenario. They're free leads. Right? So this is like funneling tons of leads into the ecosystem. But then one super so that that in itself really helps with growing the business hold
Neville Medhora 31:21
it up in that camera real quick. Just hold that that Yang up so people could see a little bit yeah, nice. Yeah, that is so smart. Dude, I've never heard of anyone, like exploiting the look for for that as well.
Chandler Bolt 31:32
And because, you know, there's there was the stat it's, I want to say it's like 20% of books that get started, get finished. So the first thing when I published my first book, I put the call to action and the lead magnet or an opt in whatever in the back of the book, right? They're gonna finish the book, and then they're gonna opt in to this thing. It's like, Well, no, they actually don't do that. So just see putting in the beginning, it really bumped everything big time. But then just one small thing. And in relation to that is like we have, we have what we call a review sweeper. And so it's basically just an automated emails, email sequence. So after someone opts in from any of these things, or goes to a free plus shipping funnel or anything, 21 days later, they'll get an email from me, you should totally set this up. If you don't have it set up already. They get an email from me, and they'll say, Hey, you know, I'm just curious what it looks like you got the book a few weeks ago, like, what do you think? Do you like it? hit reply, and let me know. And then people hit reply. And then someone on my team, obviously, if it's good, if they're like, Hey, this is really great, blah, blah, blah, we'll just reply to that and say, Hey, thanks so much, Mike, this is really awesome. I'll make sure this gets in front of Chandler, would you mind just copy and pasting this and leaving it in the Amazon review? Here's the link. So it's just like your two stepping your way into a review. And so then that was I mean, there's a couple other follow up emails, it's just like, Hey, could you it's like classic. I mean, it's, I learned copywriting from you. So it's like that classic kind of stuff. Or like, hey, finally, like, I'm not gonna keep bugging you. But like, reviews really helped me as an author, blah, blah, blah. And that that just sweeps in reviews, week after week, month after month, that sort of thing.
Neville Medhora 33:12
I've done everything wrong in this book with like, the call to actions at the end. It's not very clear at all. It's just like a paragraph. Man, I've done everything wrong button,
Chandler Bolt 33:22
you need a big button. Yeah. And one thing I'll even do just while we're on Oh, interesting. We're getting like way in the weeds right now, hopefully xlv boboli, when one small thing is just surgically or like, Hey, could you leave a review, it's just like a small prompt at the end. But like this triggers the algorithm, which once that book is if that book is up against another book on how to write better, but that book has more reviews, your book will then it's going to rank because Amazon's algorithm weighs very highly towards reviews, right? So it's just like all kinds of little stuff like that. Oh, that's so maximize the publicity for what
Neville Medhora 34:02
I think we're going to do it company book, like a team effort from some of the top people in the company. I think we're going to do a book together. I don't know if it's gonna be the biggest seller of the world. I think that'd be fun. Yeah. And I think I'm going to include a lot of these little tricks this I've never actually heard these at all. Now. Yeah, this is this is good stuff. Alright, so I know we're already going to the technical stuff. So let's go into the technical details writing book. I get this all the time. Do people write in Microsoft Word or Google Docs or something else? Like when they write a book?
Chandler Bolt 34:27
Yeah. My blanket advice is right, and whatever software that you already use, because this is like one of our most popular blog posts on self publishing school is best book writing software. Yeah. And, and, and really the answer, I mean, we have like this whole quiz that people can take and all that stuff to figure out which one it is. And really, the answer is which one are you are you already using and you can get the fastest words on the page. So that's what I recommend for people. And, you know, for me, it's Google Docs. And I think that's The best. We've got this pretty slick, we can link it up in the show notes was like this book outline template. And it's a twit you just press a couple buttons. It's a book outline template generator, you press a couple buttons, and it spits out like a 25 page, pre formatted Google Doc, that's like chapter headings, acknowledgement copyright page, all that stuff, the title page, all that stuff already answered. It's like, when you start writing, you're going to start with several 100, if not several 1000 words already in your book. And so it's like, because all the filler stuff. And so it's like it feels more substantial. And it's not like this blank cursor, just blinking, taunting you to write a first word. So I love Google Docs. And I also love the collaboration piece with editors and stuff like that, because I can chase an editor through a doc versus waiting two weeks to get it back. And then I got to review everything and then send it back. And I
Neville Medhora 35:53
like highlighted in red.
Chandler Bolt 35:55
Yeah, and you're dealing with different versions. It's like, oh, shoot, I opened up the wrong version. This was all this isn't the newest stuff. So I like Google Docs, I think it's the best. But what I would say before then is we kind of have a three step writing process that that we teach, which is and step one is the mind map. And I think so many people skip this step. So I'll actually just do a brain dump of all the ideas around the topic for the book, a mind map it, then I'll turn that mind map into an outline, which is step number two, and then I'll use that outline to write the book, which is step number three, and then basically, and it's, I mean, obviously more in depth than that. But then step number three, I start chapter number one, and I'll do the same thing, 10 minutes mind mapping, everything I can think of on that chapter 10 minutes turning that mind map into an outline for that chapter. And then I'll either spend 45 minutes to an hour and a half, writing the chapter based on that outline, and repeat the process chapter by chapter, or I'll spend 10 minutes speaking that chapter for people who speak better than you, right? And then speak that basically repeat that one chapter at a time. And then I've got a, you know, get that transcribed. And, and then All right, now I've got something substantial that can work with and pay an editor to, to do the editing, or do the editing form, or do the editing myself or whatever, but so that, like, that's kind of the process. So let's do that first, and then work within whatever software that you're most comfortable with. Nice.
Neville Medhora 37:17
I did both these in Google Docs. And it was super easy. I mean, they're admittedly only like, less than 50 pages. So it's not that bad. But do that that generator sounds cool. Because the biggest pain in the ass was doing all the formatting. And so my trick for that was I hired people on Fiverr Yeah, for like, 40 bucks. Yeah, like to get the good ones. Yep, they'll they'll format the whole book for an E pub file or whatever, like, Amazon requires it. And like, it's, it's kind of a pain in the ass to do it, it's really hard. Because what happens is, you put it in like a certain size, wherever these are six by nine books. So it's like put in a certain size, so I did it, but then it changes all the formatting. And so then like there's like a random picture on a page by itself and like this one light is word gets cut off. It's so weird. So don't do it yourself. Yeah, was a smart move. Yeah, exactly. We're
Chandler Bolt 38:00
always like, cuz there are there is ways that you can do it yourself. And just like just pay, it's like 40, maybe 100 bucks, depending on how long your book
Neville Medhora 38:09
well at charts and tables and images. And there, it was horrible. It was just like it's a table get cut off and go to the next page. It was garbage. Then I paid some guy in Estonia. 40 bucks, and he totally did it. Yeah. One interesting thing. Let's talk about promotion promoting a book. How do you promote a book? Yeah. I imagine that's like 90% of it. I don't about 90 but like you write the book, and then like promoting is the trick.
Chandler Bolt 38:35
Yeah. I mean, if you build it, they will not come yet. You have to tell him about it. And it's the classic. It's like, Man, this is why this is why this is why I went through your stuff early on in the copywriting course I know. I've told you this before, but copywriting courses like one of the first online courses they ever took. And also, I want to say definitely the first copywriting course that I ever took this because I got there as a result of failing and coming to a couple mentors of mine and I'm like, hey, what am I doing wrong? And they're like Chandler, you gotta learn sales and marketing. That's what you're doing wrong. And it's and then it's the classic will hold up. I don't like sales and marketing. And they said, it doesn't matter if you like it, you got to learn it. Because you're not going to sell books, your business is going to struggle if you don't learn this skill set. And so then it was okay, what is copywriting? salesmanship in print, being able to, to use the written word to sell things? And then where does copywriting show up? Every I mean, everywhere it's in the title, it's in the subtitle. It's in the way that we structure this. This the cover of a book, it's in the book description. It's in the you know, it's the classic like the job of the cover is to get them to click into your Amazon listing the slippery slope, slippery slope concept, but so then that's like ongoing marketing and building that into the book. But how do you promote a book? I'll just say there's a lot of ways to do it. But if you just do one thing, do you create a launch And so a launch team is it could be five people, it could be 15 people, it could be 50 people, it's anyone who's supports you, or the topic of your book, and you pull together a little, it could be friends, family members, customers, doesn't matter. And there's two sides of the coin. That's what they what they do and what they get. Right. So what they do is they, they read the book ahead of time and leave a review on day one, that's the most important thing. And then what they get in return is they get a free digital copy of the book, I like to put their name in the digital copy of the book, people love that. And I get to see like kind of the behind the scenes of the launch, it's a cool thing that they get to be involved in. And obviously, they can promote more than just leaving a review. But for me, it's I want to be super clear where it's like if you just do that. And so now the sudden when you're launching, you've got 515 50 reviews right out of the gates. And that really helps the Amazon algorithm say, Oh, this is a book that people like, and it just their search algorithm is very highly weighted towards reviews. So if you want to rank for keywords, if you want to all that stuff, long terms, like you need reviews, outside of all the other stuff that's obvious to us as marketers, like social proof, and no one's buying a book with three reviews. Just like you need reviews. And so if you just do one thing, do the launch team,
Neville Medhora 41:19
so you're talking about it's like your brother, your mom, your dad a part of your launch team, right? I mean, depending on how big your audience I mean, let's say you're not Chandler bolt the audience, like you're talking about, like your buddies.
Chandler Bolt 41:29
Oh, yeah. For me, this was I'm on this was friends on Facebook, I think my first launch team, I probably had maybe 50 to 70. And it was I mean, reach out like, and it's like the classic. I will say like, what the mistake most authors make is, they come out of their hole on launch week. And they're like, Oh, my gosh, guys, and launch it. And then it's just like, for a week, they just be everyone over the head with it. And then they go back in their cave. Like no one cares. I this is the first I've heard of this, I'm not interested. And so instead, what I recommend is just involve people in the process. I mean, Hollywood has done this, well, I feel like four years of just like the behind the scenes random orbit experience, where it's like leading up to it, it's and it's, oh, I'm now seeing that I'm writing. And so we'd like build this into the student journey where it's like, we send them a surprise gift in the mail after they enroll. And like one of them is like future, this future published author sign where it's like they can put in a date, they can take a picture of it, post it. So it's like that's public accountability for them. And it's building buzz towards the book. And it's like, Okay, what are the all these milestones, and we're trying to build a, we've got like this book cover mock up generator where it's like, you put in your book cover, and it spits out a bunch of promotional images that you can use, that are pretty cool. But we're trying to take that we haven't been able to pull it off yet. But take that to the next level where it's like, Okay, what are the 10 to 20 milestones that you want to celebrate as an author? And how do we allow you to upload your book cover? And it's like, Oh, I got my first review, I got my first 50 reviews, hit the number one bestseller tag, like all these things. So it's like, how do you just involve people in the process? I'm thinking about it. And you've probably seen people do this. And we kind of popularized this concept, but voting on titles and voting on covers. It's, it's like, Hey, what do you guys think of this book cover and which one's best the title, like, and so involving people in the process, and the people who engage it's like, oh, hey, you want to be on my launch team. I'll give you a free copy of the book at a time.
Neville Medhora 43:29
You know, I think I inadvertently did this with with this book. This book will teach you how to write better, I was doing all these I was going to call it the 10 copywriting commandments. And I had a picture of like, whoever the Noah guy, whatever the I don't know, Christian, I don't know what the good Noah's Ark guy is holding the commandments, whoever that dude was. And he's holding up the 10 commands, but says 10 copywriting commands, I thought it was so clever. And so we tested it versus this book cover, and the copper the commandments, they just failed like crazy. It was like 9010 like, don't do that one. Do this one. And this one was just a random cover someone that was helping me at the time, just made as like a placeholder. Yeah, it wasn't meant it wasn't meant to be like anything crazy.
Chandler Bolt 44:10
And, and I mean, this, this, this, this even just looking at this cover, I mean, this, this is the I mean, this is what we teach. It's like a good book cover does three things, it grabs attention. The title is easy to read and is preferably in the upper third. Right easy, very easy to read and it's in the upper third. And then the third thing is is your prospect or potential reader instantly understand what the books about whether or not it's for them. I mean, this book will teach you how to write better is the title of it simply understand
Neville Medhora 44:45
look at the back to you plus this book equals
Chandler Bolt 44:49
I think this is classic you and like classic your style of writing, but it's so effective and then it's this book is short, effective, and Sort of offensive, but you will write better after reading. He's like, I'm I'm ready that I'm like, oh, cool, I'm gonna like this. And then communication is just getting information from one brain to another brain close. It's like, Okay cool like I pretty much what the books about and whether or not it's for me and I either I'm gonna say oh no offensive I'm out or offensive that could be funny and make this topic more interesting all right I'm in for this let's I want to learn I always
Neville Medhora 45:27
tell people I always really strive to make sure that everyone's on the same page about something usually unhappiness is something like if someone's like I didn't like this course I'm like it's just like they were expecting something and we didn't match up somehow I met expectations. So I was debating the like, offensive thing I was like, well, I probably wouldn't say that again today. But 2013 I was like, I mean, there's some uncouth language in there. I may as well just say that. Yeah. So people All right, we're on the same page over here. Okay, so I think about it. launch team. I like that thing. I did a bunch of I did a lot of involvement on my blog, with like, this thing, like everything, I learned why I picked a six by nine book. I actually copied it from Kemal rubycon navall Ravi cons brother. I met him and he had a book called Love yourself, like your life depends on it. He was exactly the size. And he sold it for five bucks exactly what I did. And I, I got on the phone with him. And I was asked him some questions. And I was like, do you mind if I literally just copy everything you did but know about a different topic? He's like, Oh, yeah. And so I literally modeled this book after that one was the exact same type of thing. I like I just like to it's like five. It was such a fair trade. I remember, it's five bucks. I learned an interesting lesson. And I was like, Alright, money well spent. Yeah, I didn't take a lot of time. Yeah, it felt very, like pleased by the transaction. So I always purchase his book. Yeah. Like, it wasn't like super up my like loving yourself. Like, I'm not really into all that kind of stuff. But I read it. It took me about 30 minutes. And I was like, I got something out of that. Yeah. Cool. It's great. What more beautiful. Everyone's luck. Yeah, it's the money. I paid a little bit of money. I got something out of it. Yeah, we're all happy. I really, really like that. What about promoting the book through like blogs and social, I imagine like people take to social media now. And just start like hammering the book out, does that work? Well, or
Chandler Bolt 47:10
it does it to a point. I mean, so I'm all about like, rifle not shotgun approach. And so I mean, being from the south, I guess maybe this is worth explaining the word Texas. But you know, it's like, when you shotgun it's a bunch of little BB sprays everywhere, you hope that you hit the target with some of them rifle that traveled a long distance extremely accurate. So for us, we're looking at the rifle approach to marketing so so there's a lot of stuff that you can do, but a handful of things that move the needle, those handful of things. I mean, there's, there's, you know, launch team stuff, there's good podcast interviews, really move the needle. So it's like, I would be way more strategic about doing podcast interviews and would be about guest posting for other blogs. And then there's other stuff like influencer stuff and getting people to post and so yes, social can move the needle, but then it becomes a chicken in the egg. Like if I've got no audience. Well, I'm just posting to no one. But I mean, it's what I did with my first book was just engaging social, but mostly in the highest leverage way possible to get to like build buzz and bring people on to my launch team, and then one on one outreach outreaches to like, follow up for reviews and stuff like that.
Neville Medhora 48:27
Interesting. Yeah, we're just talking to Ayman the CEO of app Sumo and he was like actually socials, the weakest channel that they have. Oh, yeah, they do it and it's great. But socials, the weakest channel by that. I
Chandler Bolt 48:35
mean, same for self publishing school. We were talking about that right before the interview is like, yeah, we're not really on social Aton because it just doesn't drive a ton
Neville Medhora 48:43
because I look at like stuff like some of your numbers. Don't not don't add up, but I was looking at some of your numbers. It's like your YouTube channel has tons of subscribers. Yeah, like pretty high for a YouTube channel, your podcast. It has like hundreds of reviews. Yeah. So it sounds like that's a pretty big channel. We'll get into that in a second Twitter's like five people or something. Twitter's like no, like I actually couldn't find you. I typed in Chandler bolt author, because I was like swear folly or something. And there's like some bald dude with the beard goes up. It's not even you you're not even like on there.
Chandler Bolt 49:10
I personally do not have a Twitter or Instagram or anything besides Facebook. But then as a company, we technically have a Twitter, we are pretty bad. I
Neville Medhora 49:17
don't think we posts you're probably not selling a ton of books. Yeah, that's always that's always kind of encouraging to hear whenever I hear it, like someone will say, Oh, they only have 800 followers. But then you're like, Oh, they have $100 million company. You're like, yes, wait a second. Like, oh, social media is not real life. Sometimes
Chandler Bolt 49:32
it's stylistically, right. Like we could build a business around that. But for me, I've just always ran away from that concept. I'm like, I don't want to be dependent on social or on posting on social too, as a way of living. Because then I'm living life. This is a bit of a bit of a soapbox, but then I'm living life to grab the picture to be able to sell this thing and like constantly feeling like I've got to post everything about my life to like drum up business, which works for Some people, some people love it, but just not me.
Neville Medhora 50:02
Yeah. So let's say Okay, so let's that perfectly in the content marketing. Yeah. How are you getting people to hear about self publishing in school? I'm assuming since like, social is not like a huge channel. I'm going out on a limb and saying number one, email number two podcasts, huh?
Chandler Bolt 50:19
Gosh, those would be two big ones. You know, it's interesting. And I think I probably have a contrary opinion to most people in the marketing world, as I actually don't consider email a channel. The word email, to me is a byproduct of other channels. So we are very good at email marketing. But to me email in itself is a is an extension of a marketing channel where we captured that attention, because it's like, well, how did they end up on our email list? Well, they either found some of our content, subscribe to the podcast, or they saw an ad or they whatever. So it's like, email is a byproduct of those other channels. But I mean, if we counted it as a channel, I almost definitely be number one. But so you're pretty close. So I would say there's there's probably three or four main channels. And I think that's one of the things we've done well as a business is actually like diversifying channels so that we're not channel dependent. Or it's like, if we lose a channel that we would be really screwed, which in the old days, we definitely would be. So I'd say it's content marketing is like our blog, and sites that we own is probably probably number one, then I would say, somewhere close to that maybe even higher than that is business development. So podcast interviews, me going on people's podcasts, me speaking at events, me doing webinars, or we have like a speaking team. And so basically think, you know, popular authors like how our rod, for example, he sent us more customers than anyone all time, author of The Miracle Morning, right says, oh, I've published a book, it changed my life, you should publish a book to hear learn from Chandler, so that, like me, or someone on my team coming in to do trainings with people's audiences, that's one of the biggest ones. And then you've got content marketing, then you've got like Facebook, YouTube, Google ads, and all that stuff. And then I mean, then there's a bunch of other random stuff that I would bucket in content marketing, but we also own self publishing comm which is a, we've built into a decent size site, and then a decent amount of sites, I won't say but in the space. So basically, if anyone Google's anything about writing and publishing a book, they're probably landing on one of our sites. I mean, I think you're like number one for a lot of those major keywords big enough to keep a lot. And I mean, now now, it's, you know, will be two out of the top five or three out of the town five. And so just, I mean,
Neville Medhora 52:46
yeah, well, also like your videos will show up, your images will show up exactly on your listings will show up. So multiple, so you're kind of dominant part of the search engine. Yeah.
Chandler Bolt 52:55
and nice. It's vertical SEO, right. And even inside of him, I mean, people getting my books, like, that's what I would consider that within a content marketing channel and all that stuff.
Neville Medhora 53:05
So of all those channels, you're using live video, Twitter, YouTube podcast, it sounds like YouTube. And like podcasts are like pretty big. So podcasts typically tend to move the needle for selling books, right? Yeah. Oh, definitely. Every podcast has, like, just tons of authors on all the time. Yeah, I think that's well established that yes, podcasts sell books. Oh, yeah.
Chandler Bolt 53:24
That's still the case. Oh, no doubt and and used to be that people did book tours, but now they do podcast tours. And I mean, I would call that a virtual book tour. Right? Yeah, I'm just going to a bunch of podcasts. And that's pretty common now. Because who's buying books, people who are listening to podcasts, who are trying to better themselves. So there's a lot of crossover, there's just so much correlations, like, if I'm the type of person that listens to a podcast, I'm also probably the type of person that buys books, especially self help, or business or whatever the topic of the podcast is. So podcasts, definitely move books. And in the same vein, I mean, this is why we brought the podcast back and the YouTube channel and made that a focus is because, gosh, a year and a half ago, maybe it was just a random Monday. And it was like, in the course of the last 24 hours, it was like 10 or $15,000 worth of sales. And from the podcast, it was last the last two or three sales that we had, like what in the world like people were added forgot that the podcast was out there. And because I just had backlog of like 50 some episodes and I was I went and looked I'm like, hold up, this thing's still getting like two or 3000 downloads a month. And it brought us our last two or three sales like what are we doing? Why don't we just bring this back and for? For me, it's a Trojan horse to like, go build new relationships. And so it's like, I'll bring someone in the podcast. They're like, Oh, wow, I'd never even heard about self publishing school. You guys are legit. I get asked about how write books all the time. You want to come and do a training on my people. It's like cool. Yeah, sounds good. So it's like just building new relationships and bringing in and and it's just cool. That's fine.
Neville Medhora 55:03
That that's what about the YouTube channel? Would you say the same thing that people who read books, Watch the YouTube channel? I'm sorry, anyone who's watching this on YouTube a little differently is saying you're an idiot.
Chandler Bolt 55:20
I would say a little less of a correlation. Obviously YouTube skews younger. And we have typically older clients. And so YouTube hasn't worked as well for us. But I will say what I love about it is its vertical SEO. Right? So it's like, if I want to own the term, how to write a book, How do I own it on every single platform, so I want to own it when people search on Google, I want to own it when people search on Amazon, I want to own it when people search in the apple podcast store, I want to own it when people search on YouTube, I want like, every single platform that they could search. And so for me, the the video is a way to do that. And and it just so happens that I mean, I'm a big fan of play to your strengths and content creation. So for me video, and audio is way better than writing and so we have a team and people that that right, and then I do the video content, and then they will a lot of time synthesize that into written content. So I like that. But then also, just like you said earlier, it's like if I search how to write a book, it's like, oh, there's Chandler's video on how to write a book. There's the self publishing schools post on how to write a book. There's self publishing coms post on how to write a book. And then there's Chandler's TEDx talk on how to write a book. Like, boom. Like, we're just taking a bunch of that real estate.
Neville Medhora 56:36
Yeah, I always kind of wonder that do people always talk about different channels? So I think about it, too, is like Twitter, Instagram, blah, blah. It's just like, how about all like, preferably, oh, I never like limited resources. But you could show up on just every single one.
Chandler Bolt 56:49
Yeah. And it's man, this this circles back to the the social thing. I'm a big fan of channels that have longevity. That's what I hate about social if I post and it's gonna be gone in three days, and no one's ever gonna see it again. That to me is running on a marketing.
Neville Medhora 57:03
Okay, so I'm gonna push back on that because I have a little bit of so with Twitter used to be kind of a joke back in the day. And now it's like, everyone's got a Twitter, every doctor like, emergency stuff is that the, here's the thing. You're right, for the most part in my feed, whatever's like 50 seconds old doctor, it's gone, it's gone. But every once in a while I see some new person and I'm like, let's check out the Twitter feed. Yeah, and you start scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. It's like a blog and you just kind of like, you know, next 20 minutes. You're like, why am I reading, you know, posts from like, March 2017 for this person. But the thing is, I mean, you're not gonna see it all the time. But you do see it. Yeah, right. And I just, it's it's not like really shown in the stats that that stuff's getting read. And so I was thinking about that, even with i was i Cora, no more. I used to hate the idea of stories like Snapchat stories than Instagram stories, which in popular, I used to hate it, because I would watch my friends do it. I'm like, Wait, you're putting all that work in. And a 24 hours, it's gone. You just wasted part of your life to show this to like fake people right? Now, I post stories all the time, just because I want to remember them totally. And it's kind of interesting. Like, while they do get kind of indexed away, it saves it in the background. It saves it in the background. So for that reason, I'm like, oh, that work isn't gone. If I ever want to, I could put one of my hosted stories and have it live there forever. Yeah, yeah. And so so even with social I'm starting to see like people do scroll back and look at old posts. Yeah, I started doing a search poking back to old posts, and you'll still see several 100 impressions a month. And I'm like, that's not enough. Oh, 100% not enough.
Chandler Bolt 58:31
I think Twitter is probably the exception to that. Whereas Instagram or Facebook, I mean, that's what I think is genius. And that's why I mean, I'm not a big Twitter guy. So I can't really speak very knowledgeably on it, but but I think it's when I lived in San Francisco, I had a friend that works at Twitter and it's like there's no innovation happening over here or over there How is this a billions and billions of billions of dollar company and growing it's like the embed the embed in the search ability. Like you're not seeing that often Instagram post or Facebook posts embedded on a piece of content that then will rank and then we'll come back and let people keep coming back to that thing, but you see tweets embedded on on posts, and it's searchable and there's so I think that's I think there's a better argument for that. But for me personally outside of that, it's like how do we create a piece of content that lives forever that keeps bringing back viewers subscribers all that and so that's why you know circling back to you know, the the YouTube piece is it's very searchable and Google owns it's obviously they're gonna show it and it's gonna keep bringing in
Neville Medhora 59:33
and it sounds like so I was looking at your your stats just spying on it and you get like 200k plus worth of free search engine traffic a month and that's just for for content not even considering YouTube. Oh, no doubt, you'd probably make that number even bigger. No doubt. I'm assuming you get a ton of email signups from like those big hefty article like, I'm assuming how to self publish your book is probably a big one. I looked at the traffic stats is pretty nuts on some of those. Yeah. So I'm assuming You've made a lot of your emails and stuff from just like single posts like that, that you probably wrote a couple years ago and refresh every once in a while, right? Oh, gosh,
Chandler Bolt 1:00:07
1000s and 1000s and 1000s of leads a month. Wild. I mean, yeah, maybe maybe north of 10 to 15,000 leads a month off of off of content stuff. Yeah.
Neville Medhora 1:00:20
Damn that. So I mean, content still definitely works. So let's talk about the podcast. So your podcast, you got like 500 plus reviews, and that's us on Apple alone. And I'm sure Spotify has some in stitcher or whatever. So you said podcast is a big channel, like what works on podcasts? And I'm just asking, selfishly to, like interviews like this, does that work? Or is it when you sit down and talk while I'm chatting about I'm gonna teach you how to do something like what works better?
Chandler Bolt 1:00:48
Yeah. And we don't have a ton of great tracking. on that, I would say, I like to have a mix of big guests send us like that, that. And because we're also and that's why I like publishing it on YouTube, as well, because it's searchable. And a lot of times, we're better at SEO than the people that we're bringing on to authors. So then we can start searching for their name for the or sorry, we can start ranking for their name for their book for like all this stuff on YouTube itself. And so when people are searching like, oh, Gary Chapman, five love languages, it's like, oh, here's this interview with Chandler bolt, who interviewed Gary Chapman and five love languages like that. And so that helps our discoverability and introduces us to new markets. And so I like that component. And so it's like this mix of that, then bring on successful students, this case studies that works really well. And so then people see it, but I don't do it in a spammy like, and tell us how horrible your life was before self publishing school and how amazing the program was. And like, it's just an infomercial for 45 minutes. It's like, you know, there's a couple of calls to action, but it's like, Alright, let's talk about you and your book, and your experience and all that. So that works pretty well. And then, and then sometimes bring in subject matter experts, like all my team, like coaches have specific, like, we have a children's book school program, or we have a fundamentals of fiction and story program, we have a summer books program we have, so it's like, Alright, let me bring in the coach that runs the children's book side of the company to talk about children's books. And then it's like, oh, do you want this person to coach you book a call with a self publishing school team? And, you know, let's talk about working together in this like, oh, that person I heard on the podcast could be my coach helping me with my book. So like that, that works pretty well? Well, with a very clear call to action at the end. Oh,
Neville Medhora 1:02:39
that's interesting. What's the cadence that you're putting out podcasts? Is there like, one a week? one a week? Yeah, that was always the case.
Chandler Bolt 1:02:46
Yeah, pretty much. I think it's I think it's the right cadence, although a lot of the I mean, the algorithms are, you know, favor better or more frequent posting, because it's like, every time you post with a whole subscriber deal at boost downloads, and so this one, but then I just think people long term get tired of that. And, and so then it just inverse like, it's a short term spike, if you do it that way. But for me, I wouldn't I don't want to run on a hamster wheel. It's
Neville Medhora 1:03:12
also hard to multiple interviews per week. I mean, just even this, like you got to schedule everyone's time together, you're gonna edit and put like, I don't think people realize like, how many steps are just to uploading a video interview? Yes. It used to take us like a week. We're trying to get it down to like a day. It's a whole process. Yeah, I'm assuming you've figured the same thing with podcasts just getting the guests on board figuring out like after six. Yeah.
Chandler Bolt 1:03:35
Who's left lingering on? Yes. Like then you're bringing on Chandler boy. I mean, geez, we're at the bottom of the barrel here, man.
Neville Medhora 1:03:43
I know, I brought you on for like subject matter. Like, like you said, it's kind of like a thing. Well, one, we live really close. So it's kind of fun to hang out. But to it's also like, we were thinking about a book. And I was curious about book stuff. And I was like, well, he's like the best person on books.
Chandler Bolt 1:03:57
That's what I love about doing this is like all the smartest, most successful people write books. And it's like, I have the skill set. And so it's an inroad to any of those people. Because I have a thing that I'm like, Hey, I can help you. And it was, you know, what's
Neville Medhora 1:04:09
interesting about that nomadic Matt, one of our buddies runs a big travel website. He says he purposely does not go to a lot of travel conferences, because that travel conference, everyone's like, the travel guy, and everyone knows where to go in San Diego rini. But if he goes like a business conference, and he's like, the one travel guy, he's the travel. Yes.
Chandler Bolt 1:04:26
Same with our stuff with Biz Dev. I mean, back when events were happening a lot, we don't go to writers conferences, we go to entrepreneur conferences, or we go to chiropractic conferences. We go to like stuff like that. I'm interested those go so much better. Because those those are people who are like, Oh my gosh, that it's it's less market sophistication, right? Because they're not having a bunch of people that speak as often as I do. Come in and speak. So it's like, I'll come in and speak and they're like, Oh my gosh, this guy was unreal and gumming because just sat through five chiropractors giving like a boring talk, I can set the room on fire. And then people are like, Oh my gosh, I want to work with this guy. So it's like, same thing.
Neville Medhora 1:05:09
And those are the people, honestly, that can benefit the most from a book, they're probably not going to have like some hit chiropractic book. But when you write the book on chiropractor, you get 35 reviews, to big deal to somewhat like a random chiropractor who not
Chandler Bolt 1:05:19
only that, but it's like we'll teach, it's like, it goes back to the whole lead sales reviews thing, or sorry, lead sales referrals thing where it's like, oh, let's show you how to add that as part of your evaluation process give to to every patient or every customer, like you get five patients from this at two grand a pop that's Tinker like 10 grand where the customers in the first month are like, like just that type of thing. So it's I mean, it's using the book. But not I mean, most of those folks don't care about the Amazon reviews. So this is people my door.
Neville Medhora 1:05:50
So kind of wrapping up here. But we're like when you have one thing I always thought that was interesting about you, because I lived with you in San Francisco a couple times. was fun times. And when you get people on board for self publishing school, you normally just get on board with a salesperson. That's what I noticed the biggest like between our businesses, ours, like we use that people call and stuff like that, but we're just full like web self service. Right. Yeah. You on the other hand, I think most of your company salespeople, right, or maybe at the time 40%. Maybe? Yeah, but that's a lot of salespeople. Yeah. I mean, you got like 10 plus salespeople, I think. Yeah, we do. Yeah, I mean, that's maybe 12. Maybe that's a bit unusual for like, you're not really a course creator. But like, yeah, that's that's crazy. So you get people, I mean, went right before this, because it remembers the same. Like everything basically just leads you to a calendar. Yes. It's like the call to action. Yeah. So I'm assuming that you get more people to sign up. If they have a proper phone call. I assume it's self selects people who aren't serious. Yeah, they're not going to get a phone call. If they're just dilly dally. Yes. And so your whole business, your whole website? If you go to self publishing school? Yes, you sell that school, it'll probably get you to a calendar within like two or three clicks, right? Yes, that's what it seems like no doubt. So that's just still the number one way
Chandler Bolt 1:07:09
that's the model. Yeah. And and I think it just works better. And a lot of ways. I mean, because we're just such a high inbound company. I mean, we talked about all the leads. So we're not I mean, I don't have a sales team doing any outbound or any cold calling, or whenever we do warm calling, which is like, these are people who have given us their contact information. But the end goal is like, how do we because it's a high, I mean, people don't want to make a five 610 $1,000 purchase, just like art go, I'm just putting my credit card into this form. It's like they want to talk to someone. Right? Yeah, so that helps. But then it's also helpful for the customer, the prospect, and we're able to be selective. So it's like, we're qualifying people on those calls, too. So it's like, Hey, are you gonna actually do this? And, or, like, are you gonna implement this. And so it's like, we're able to be selective, we're able to help a ton of people who don't even enroll. And then it's, it's just more efficient. Now, the flip side is you got to be good at hiring and developing a sales team, which I think is probably a bit of a defensible note that we have. That's, that's, it's like, we can build an organization that recruits that trains that develops really good sales team, but then by doing that, that feeds a lot of so much of what we're able to do in the rest of the company, because it's, there's higher margin, we can invest in r&d. We can do all that all the other stuff.
Neville Medhora 1:08:30
Yeah, that's awesome, man. Well, let's do it. Let's do a quick little random questions first, and then we'll do a lightning round and wrap up. So random questions your family owned bolt farm family tree house has 205,000 Instagram subscribers. Yeah. For a freakin Airbnb. Yeah. What the hell?
Chandler Bolt 1:08:52
Yeah. What's going on? It's, uh, yeah, so we were talking right before this. So I mean, talk about play to your strengths. I largely ignore social and my brother and his wife are unbelievable at it. And so obviously, my brother plays in a Grammy nominated rock'n'roll band need breeds. So that certainly doesn't hurt. But they built the first one on my parents property, like, this is where I grew up. And they did marketing for it. And it got booked out like six months in advance every single day of the week, and it won't do much stays booked up. And so they said, oh, wow, we've got something here. And so it's kind of a mix of so yeah, my brother's a really good designer. He's the creative one. And then they've done a lot of really good stuff with marketing and then his wife super talented. And they Yeah, they, you know, she comes from a TV background. And so they kind of did that. And we did an ad did an interview with him on the self publishing school podcast. It's like influencer marketing and PR because that is their bread and butter. And then what they'll do as well as they'll do a giveaway. So they have like, Tim Tebow posted about it though, whatever. And it's like, oh, we want to give we want to do this giveaway, and especially during COVID it was like, Hey, want to give away a stay at a tree house to like a essential worker who really deserves it. This is like nominate and so someone like Tim Tebow, it's like, or whoever I mean, they do this was I mean, Florida Georgia line, like, all these big celebrities will post about it. And for them, it's like, Hey, I'm hooking my audience up for this awesome thing. And then they'll just get I mean, 1000s 10s of 1000s of followers and, and tons of bookings. And so now they just opened up their Chattanooga location. It's eight domes in two tree houses. They were just on the world's best vacation rentals look, like show me Netflix show like all that. And he's just I mean, the fly will spin in and, and business is booming.
Neville Medhora 1:10:48
What does that farm go for per night? Roughly?
Chandler Bolt 1:10:50
Three, four or 500 bucks a night, something like that. Depending on depending on which one and I mean, it's a unique, unforgettable experience. Yeah,
Neville Medhora 1:10:58
look at wild if you want to check it out. Oh, it's crazy. Bolt farm bow farm treehouse calm. Yeah. thing and has a website and everything. That's pretty awesome. Sweet. So let's do let's do a quick lightning round. So I'm just gonna, I'm gonna time you want these we use them as like YouTube shorts. So that's what I'm doing. So I'll time it. No pressure, we could redo it if we need. So that's the question. And there we go. So. So I'm going to do the How To Get 100 reviews for brand new book. Alright. So how would you get 100 reviews for a brand new book,
Chandler Bolt 1:11:31
launch team, get get? Get, I would get 125 people on a launch team. These are people who support you or the topic of the book, I'll give them a free digital copy of the book, in exchange for a review. Immediately when it launches. Second option is I would if you have an email list obviously is I would say enter to win a signed copy of this book. I've actually done this, I got 188 reviews in 48 hours. So enter to win a signed copy of the book, click this link that's going to take you to the review page. Now you have to be careful because you can incentivize reviews. So as you say, you're going to enter to win just by clicking this link, it's going to take you to a review page. If you'd like to review, leave a review that would be amazing and unbelievably helpful. But you don't have to. And then boom. I mean, for me that was 188 reviews.
Neville Medhora 1:12:21
Nice. Good answer. This one was a little bit vague. Would you write? How would you write a book from start to finish? That's something you answer in a minute. That too vague? Sure. Alright, so how would you write a book from start to finish?
Chandler Bolt 1:12:36
So I would, I would, I would do three things I would mind map outline, and then write the book. Alright, and so I'm going to mindmap all the ideas I have on this topic, I'm going to turn that mind map into an outline. that's step number two is the outline. And then step number three, write the book one chapter at a time, do the same thing. Mind Map, everything I can think of on the chapter 10 minutes turning that into an outline in 45 minutes to an hour and a half, writing the chapter and repeat that process chapter by chapter, or in 10 minutes speaking the chapter repeat that process chapter by chapter, you get the draft done in as little as a weekend, you get paid an editor, you get the book produced, you launch that bam, done,
Neville Medhora 1:13:16
I'm going to use that method. Thank you. And then this the ideas one, so let's see, how do you get ideas to start a book?
Chandler Bolt 1:13:25
Yeah, so there's three or four questions. I call this the idea Finder. So it's, what do you get paid for? What's your expertise? So if you run a job, or if you work in a job, or if you run a business, you know, what is that knowledge work that you do, we're all knowledge workers, if I were to try to do what you do today, there would be this gap between me on day one and you and that gap is really great book. So that's the best place to start for most people. Second one is a business owner, what are the broken record conversations that you keep having just over and over and over again, this is either sales conversations or onboarding conversations, the best way to stop talking about it is to write a book on it. And then just point to that, and guess what, that also be the best business decision you ever made? Because it's gonna bring in tons of sales for your business. And then maybe what are you passionate about? What do people come to you for advice on is like a last ditch effort if you can't think of some of the first two
Neville Medhora 1:14:16
nights that was actually a really good answer. Let's see man, Chandler bolt thanks so much for projoint Where can people find you what was the website the socials that want to follow?
Chandler Bolt 1:14:27
Yeah, so best place would be go to self dash publishing school.com that's the main place we're putting out content that sort of thing we've got our pillar posts on how to write a book is like kind of the main place you can get a free copy of my book published there. We've got free training there, all that good stuff. If you're interested in chat with my team about potentially working with us itself, dash publishing school comm forward slash apply.
All roads lead to booking a call, as we talked about earlier. And lastly, just me personally on social media On Facebook, so kind of an old school and Facebook man said, I'm so young, but I know you're 65
maybe making an Instagram soon is so just so much social pressure. I've resisted for so long.
Neville Medhora 1:15:13
Well, thank you so much. I'll link everything in the show notes all your stuff. Thanks so much Chandler bolt for doing that. This is actually really cool. I selfishly invited you here because I want to write another book. And you're like the king of this stuff, so we're gonna make it happen. Yeah, you got a big ol YouTube channel. And I won't almost call your salespeople just to see what they do because I'm just curious. It seems to work so well. So like, that's this guy. He was gonna be the newest student at self publishing school boy, he knows it. Yeah, I'm gonna have self pub dash link school. Alright, cool. Thanks. Appreciate it, man. Thank you, sir.
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