Books have the power to teach, transform, entertain, sell and spread ideas, and to build credibility and celebrity for its author. Today's guest is one of the most criticized and controversial authors in modern times and one of the most disruptive, inventive, and successful authors on the planet.
Tucker Max is a three-time #1 New York Times best-selling author that has sold over 3 million books worldwide. He is only the third writer (after Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis) to ever have three books on the New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller List at the same time! He singlehandedly created a new genre of books called “fratire” with titles such as “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell,” “Assholes Finish First,” and “Hilarity Ensues.”
Those who have followed his path have witnessed a remarkable reinvention of his personal brand from a slinger of hilarious and misogynistic tales of debauchery to disrupting the book publishing industry and tripled his royalties to becoming the Founder and CEO of a multi-million dollar business helping people to write best-selling books, without ever typing a word. Tucker's company, Book in a Box, has created an ingenious way for people to write books fast, without ever writing a word.
On our call today we discuss the process of that and discuss unique effective strategies to market your book and build your brand on the back of it. We also discuss some of the growing pains that Tucker experienced as a CEO and how he found his own executive coach who became a partner in this business from reading dozens of books by other coaches and settling on Cameron Herold, the author of Double Double and a future guest of Bacon Wrapped Business.
Some Topics We Discussed Include:
Go here to learn about the complete Book In A Box method. If you're interested in working for Book In A Box, you can visit the career section on their website. You can also contact Tucker personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or on https://twitter.com/TuckerMax
Tucker Max is a 3 time #1 New York Times best-selling author that has sold over 3 million books worldwide.
He is only the third writer (after Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis) to ever have three books on the New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller List… at the same time!
I’ve got a fun episode. Never would I have guessed when I was reading various books by our guest, Tucker Max, that I would be interviewing him on the show. This was back before I started several businesses.
Our topic is actually going to be very business-related. Tucker Max is a multiple New York Times best-selling author. He made his bones and created the genre of fratire with books such as I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Assholes Finish First and Hilarity Ensues.
These books detailed and chronicled his life, drinking, partying, etc. It’s been really cool to watch Tucker migrate over to a very successful entrepreneur, publisher, and somebody who’s made a complete switch on topic of the things he’s doing.
He’s helping other aspiring writers, entrepreneurs, business people get books out of their head using a lot of the strategies he’s done to not only write them, give them out quickly but also some of the publishing strategies.
I invited him on the show to talk a lot about that and anything else that comes up. With a guy like Tucker, who knows where it will go? Tucker, it is a pleasure to have you on the show.
Thanks for having me.
You’re in Austin, is that right?
I live in Austin. Right now I’m actually in Boulder, Colorado. Normally I’m in Austin.
There are a million questions I would love to ask you. One of the things I’m most fascinated about is, some of the strategies that you’ve used not only to grow your business of Book in a Box, a reinvention of yourself but also some of the cool strategies that you’re seeing other people use.
Tell the audience a little bit more about what Book in a Box is so people get familiar with it. I want to dive in with some questions that hopefully you haven’t been getting asked by every other podcast host.
When I describe it you’d be like, “I can’t believe this didn’t exist before.” I figured out a way to turn someone’s idea into a book in their words and their voice without them having to do the typing.
We have a structured interview process that goes through the entire book creation process, positioning, outlining, interviewing for the content, transcribing and editing.
We do all the work on the backend. All the author has to do is they have to know what they’re talking about because we don’t add any content, unlike ghostwriting. We’re not adding ideas, it’s theirs. They just have to get on the phone after that. Those are the only two things you need.
If you have a great idea for a book but you’re busy and don’t have time or desire to sit down and figure out how to write a book, it’s the perfect solution.
These are primarily nonfiction books, right?
All nonfiction. The process doesn’t work with fiction.
I sold my first online publishing business, information products, etc. I stumbled into consulting. One of the very first things I did is I noticed a buddy of mine had great info products and other stuff but he didn’t have a book.
I took some of his content and I helped him do this exact, same thing, a very manual process. I didn’t even know what I was doing. I helped him publish on Amazon and word got out. I’ve done about eight of these informal services for clients in the past.
I know exactly what goes into it. I know how much work it can be. With your process, how long does it typically take when you’ve got a willing author who says, “I’ll do what you say.”
It takes the author about twenty hours on the phone for over six months. We do everything else on the backend. We charge $20,000. It’s not cheap.
A good ghostwriter is going to cost at least $50,000. All that does is get you a manuscript. You should be paying $75,000 to $100,000 for a good one. At $50,000 you could still potentially get one that’s not good.
That’s the real difference. This is a way to turn ideas into books at scale and to do it in a way that’s simple and user-friendly.The act of writing is a totally different cognitive skill than thinking or talking. Click To Tweet
Here’s the thing, most people know what they’re talking about and they know how to talk. The act of writing is a totally different cognitive skill than thinking or talking. We essentially separated these things that people traditionally put together, but don’t have to necessarily go together.
For instance, if I had a book idea, we would do an initial consultation. You’d find out if it’s a viable idea or not. How do you determine viability?
Our sales process is more of a discovery process. Most people who come to us, by the time they get on the phone with us they know this costs $20,000. I know the quality of the books they produce. The question is, would they make a good client and what are their questions?
What we have to figure out is do they have the book in their head already? It doesn’t mean they have to know exactly what they want the book to be about. What we find is that most serious professionals have two or three different books in them.
The question isn’t, “Do they have a book?” It’s, “What book should they be doing first?” We can help with that process. That’s how the process works. We have to figure out, one, do they have at least one viable book in them. If the answer is no, then we can’t work with them.
The other question for us is, “Are their expectations reasonable? Is there a reasonable ROI for this?” We don’t want to be in the business with rich assholes doing vanity books.
It’s not even that they’re necessarily bad. It’s that normally people who do those don’t have much to say. They have unrealistic expectations about what a book can do for them.
Whereas someone like you, who owns a business, is an entrepreneur or is a C-level executive, they look at a book as what it is. It is essentially an all-purpose marketing tool that gets them authority, credibility, speaking gigs, clients, all those things. It’s directly tied to results, not tied to their ego.
Do you find that the people who use it as the marketing tool and understand that, that it plays a much bigger picture? They have a lot more success than the ones who are just, “I want to sell a bunch of books.”
We don’t even work with the other type anymore. We have a whole process. Most serious professionals who can afford to pay for our service have a book in them. They have knowledge in their heads that other people find valuable.
The real question is not do they have a book. The real question is, “What are they going to use the book for and what are their expectations?” A book is an investment in themselves, their career and their company. The people who look at it as an investment, they do really well.
What we do is we start by asking, “Why are you writing the book? Who do you want to reach? What are you saying that’s interesting to them? Why are they going to pay attention?” We help people directly nail down how they’re going to use the book before we even outline the book.
That’s how you market a book. You’ve got to deeply understand what result you’re trying to get from it, who you’re trying to reach, and why they’re going to care. If you understand that, everything else is easy.
What are some of the more ingenious methods of using a book to grow your business that you’ve seen people do to leverage it besides just handing it out as a calling card?
I don’t know how involved you guys stay in touch with some of the authors after it. Are there any cool stories that you’ve seen people leverage it?
It depends on your business. Most people look at a book as a validation for their ego. They don’t look at a book as a marketing tool.
Once you start looking at it as a marketing tool, then you can start to free up your mind and start to see how it can help you.
I’ll give you a great example. We have one client who is a financial planner. Financial planners can’t advertise. They have to go on in word of mouth. For him, client acquisition is difficult. What we did is we did a book.
He specializes with divorced women. It’s not his only client but he has a lot of wealthy divorced women. If you’re a wealthy woman and you’re about to go through a divorce, there are ten things you should be doing that can help you go through your divorce.
He wrote a book that explained all those things. A lot of the things are things that he did. Some are things a lawyer should be doing. Here’s what he did that was really smart. We printed it out. We did it in a beautiful hardcover. He sent the book out to every divorce lawyer he knows.
What he did is he put in the book a free financial consultation for a woman if they get the book from one of the divorce attorneys. He didn’t even put the book on Amazon. He looked at this book as essentially the most baller brochure that he could ever create.
What ended up happening in the six months since that came out is he’s done about 100 consultations. He signed over a third of those women as clients. The average client is bringing in $10 million.
He’s made a huge amount. He created an increase in his assets and management. It’s cost him maybe at most $40,000 to $50,000. That includes us, buying the books, shipping them, and the time value of his time.
He’s a financial adviser. He specialized in wealthy divorced women. He sent it to the divorce lawyers.
The first person a woman who’s getting divorce talks to is a divorce lawyer. She needs financial advice. The lawyers don’t give financial advice.
Every lawyer can then give that to every woman who comes into the office. They can say, “Read this. It tells you the ten things you need to do financially.”
“Plus, this guy is someone I know. He’ll get on the phone with you for an hour and do free consult specific to you only if you come through me.”
That’s what he did. He made it like an exclusive thing. That way, the divorce attorneys are not only more likely to give the book away, but they’re also going to encourage these women to call him.
A beautiful, amazing hardcover book at scale costs about $1.70 to burn. Plus shipping, call it even $4. He sent 100 books to 20, 30 different divorce lawyers. Call that $5,000 plus the time value of his time. They’re all potential sales calls.
He spent nothing, basically. Relative to every $10 million, he’s making $10,000, $20,000, $100,000 a year. It’s the easiest thing on earth for him. Here’s the genius is that he didn’t try and write a book for everybody. He wrote a book that was deeply specific to divorced, wealthy women.
I would say about 50% to 60% of the advice in that book is applicable to everybody. He didn’t title the book or positioned the book for everybody. He positioned it for a tiny niche.
There are not a lot of women every year who are getting divorced and have $10 million or more in assets. That’s the dividing line for his book. He went right after those women. He went to all the attorneys. There are not a lot of attorneys who specialize in that group.
He didn’t try and reach everybody. He went deeply niched. He is the only book out there that is about this one subject. He put it in front of the people who are most likely to interact with those women.
The genius is that he’s doing the opposite of what most people think you have to do with a book, which is move a bunch of copies and get a bunch of attention. That’s why he’s done so well is because he didn’t try and get any attention except the people that mattered for him.
I was having this conversation with a prospective client of mine, who is somewhere on the East Coast. He’s a financial adviser. He’s written a book about how to get cash out of your business. It’s primarily for Baby Boomer business owners. It’s very specific to that.
I was like, “How are you using it? It’s basically just a calling card.” I was telling him that’s exactly what we need to do is to get that in front of his potential referral sources like CPAs, attorneys, and all the people who can potentially refer him clients. It’s this exact method.
Here’s a fun take on this, you may already be familiar with this strategy. This is the first time I’ve revealed it like this because I sometimes charge for this idea.
If you know who you want to reach, it’s not necessarily somebody you already know. If it’s on Amazon, you go and you buy the book as a gift, gift-wrapped and everything with a card on Amazon. You send it to their office.
One of the things we know about Amazon is that it gets opened by everybody. It oftentimes will bypass the gatekeeper because they think it’s something personal.
In that book, when it’s gift-wrapped and it’s got a little note, you could put something like, “I wanted you to have a copy of my book. I’ve got an idea that might help you grow your business.”
You can even have a little, short link to a YouTube video or whatever you did, talking directly to that person. The client of mine who has done it went, “I can’t believe it. They called me. They loved it.”
I could see that as a great way to send it to get the relationships with those divorce attorneys that you don’t know. You let them know, “How would you like to give this book out to your people?”
Do you know who does this really well? Have you heard of John Ruhlin? He came out with a book called Giftology.
I bought that book out of Dan Martell’s recommendation.You can definitely write a crap book and throw it up on Amazon. The thing is, everyone knows it. Click To Tweet
John is a client of ours. We did the entire book start to finish. We used a lot of his principles with our clients. You should have him as a guest because he’s really good at explaining. There’s a lot of weird psychology with gifts. There are a lot of ways to do it right and wrong.
That’s a great way to do it. We were doing some things wrong. You should have him on. That’s a fantastic strategy.
One of the things as I was reading through it, I knew immediately that this is huge. As I was reading through it, I was like, “I’d love to have this guy on.” As a matter of fact, one of the other strategies for this other financial advisor client is he doesn’t have any wow package or welcome package.
I tell all my professional service clients, “Create a big box of stuff to wow your new clients or potentially market to your prospective ones with two copies of your book in there. One to keep, one to give away a handful of other potential gifts that represent something else.”
I’ll tell you the story but have John tell you what he did with the galleys of his book which was smart. A galley in publishing speak is the pre-publication book.
Before it’s totally proofed, you send it out six months ahead of the release date to influencers because you want them to read it. They’d either give you a blurb or whatever. They’re normally cheap, flimsy copies of a book. Everyone understands that.
Ruhlin did the opposite. He owns a leather production company that does all these leather gifts. He did a leather-bound version of his galley in this beautiful leather bag. It came almost like a Hermes gift kit. It was amazing. He sent it out to 100 or 200 people who he wanted to reach.
He got an amazing response rate. It was maybe $8 to $9 per thing instead of $3 to $4 which is the normal hardcover. You’re doubling the cost, but tripling or quadrupling the response rate because it looked so beautiful and it works really well.
It’s more beautiful than the finished product. He lives down in Austin. Do you know Alex Charfen by any chance? I interviewed him on my show where he was talking about the strategy he did using his book, The Entrepreneurial Personality Type, about how he only printed 500.
For anybody else, you guys can check out the Alex Charfen interview. I’ve always been a huge proponent of that book in that first tip of the spear.
It says something about for people who have customers, that the lifetime value of a customer or a client who comes in and their very first thing was a book, is two to three times higher because of the enhanced credibility of a book.
I found him from this book and there’s such a halo effect there. As opposed if somebody comes in through your eBook giveaway or your webinar or something to that nature.
I would say at least half of our clients, the main value they’ve seen from their book has been the indirect authority credibility value. These are high-level fortune 500 CEO types, some of them. They’re like, “I knew but I didn’t anticipate how it would change people’s perception of me.”
Anyone can do a book right now. It’s more impressive to have a book now than it was several years ago. Years ago, the only way you got a book is by having connections with a publisher. You had to be a professional writer. You had to be famous otherwise.
It was a hard gatekeeper to get past. Now, because it’s so easy, no one has an excuse anymore. If you don’t have a book as a serious professional, what that tells people is either you don’t have enough ideas or you don’t want your ideas tested, or you haven’t been able to find time to write it.
A lot of people that we’ve seen were already very established people. They wrote their first book with us. Now they want to come back and do more because they’re like, “I’ve had so many people tell me that I knew you were smart but I didn’t realize how smart so I read your book.”
“I knew something about you, but the book changed the perception.” You can’t hide in a book. You can definitely write a crap book and throw it up on Amazon. The thing is, everyone knows it.
If the cover looks stupid, if they do the preview and they read the first few pages. This is all just platitudes. You’re setting yourself up to be judged. Because it’s so easy to do a book, it’s still hard to do a good book.
This one woman, Melissa Gonzalez, tripled her business in two years. Do you know what she talks about when she does media interviews? She says my mom now introduces me as her daughter, the published author. This seems ridiculous but books still hold this weird place in society.
Especially in the mass market who doesn’t still realize how easy it is. The general population, it still is holding on to that credibility you’re a published author, whether you published yourself or not.
Like Melissa’s mom, I thinking it’s hinging on both sides. The old side is still, “You’re an author. It’s a big deal.” I went looking for a CEO coach, an executive coach because Book in a Box is taking off, I don’t know how to build a business. I really had to learn.
I read every book out there. First of all, I didn’t even consider the consultants who didn’t have books. It didn’t matter the recommendation or anything, because how can I vet them if they didn’t have a book?
You should have considered them and then made them a client. Be like, “Maybe I’ll work with you once you use my service to get a book.”
The problem is I didn’t have time to even go do that. I needed someone quick. I bought ten or twenty books by the best executive coaches. Half of them were total garbage. I stopped reading after five pages through the book. The other half of the remaining half I bailed halfway through.
I was left with two books. One was okay, one was incredible. The incredible one I went and hired the guy Cameron Herold who wrote Double Double. He became a client of ours and he did three books with us.
That book was recommended to me by my friend Sean Stephenson.
Double Double or Meetings Suck?
He came out with a book, Meetings Suck. He’s doing two more with us. Double Double is amazing. The problem is it’s got a really dumb title. Double Double is a cheeseburger from In-N-Out. We’re going to get Cameron to redo that book with us. A lot of it, the advice had been updated.
That’s another dude you should have on your podcast. We work with 300 people now, we’ve done 300 books. I interviewed so many executive coaches. Cameron was so much better than everyone else. This is the dude who scaled multiple $100 million a year companies.
When I would ask him a deep, granular question, he not only knew the answer, he would reframe the entire question and teach me everything about that sector of business in an hour. It was amazing dealing with this dude.
That’s a cool segue to some things I wanted to ask you about. You made a transition to just author who had some great success because you created some amazing books, to now CEO of a service-based business.
What were some of those biggest challenges that you saw yourself facing? You’re like, “If I don’t get an executive coach and figure this crap out I’m doomed.” What were some shifts?
I haven’t talked about this much publicly, but I ended up firing myself as CEO. We hired a professional. He was a client. He came on board because of basically the question you asked. I realized that I was really good at certain things.
My assumption is, “I’ll be good at everything. How hard can being a CEO be?” I was totally wrong. It was so hard because there’s a set of skills that I just don’t have. A great CEO deeply understands their team. They like spending a lot of time with their coaching. They’re detail-oriented.
They also understand the strategy in the big picture. It’s a hard thing to do. I was only good at about a third of the job. I was great at a third, but the other two thirds I stunk.
The lesson I learned was to stop trying to be everything and stop thinking I can be great at everything. Instead, double down on what I’m great at. Now I spend all my time at the one-third of things that I’m really great at. I spend virtually zero time on the two-thirds of things.
I hired Cam to teach me those things. He’s a great teacher, but I realized I was learning slower than my company needed. My company was so fast that I was the throttle.
What I had to do was face the uncomfortable truth that if I want to do what’s best for the company, for my team, I had to move out of my positions and get someone who was already ready to lead because I wasn’t.
What are some of those things that you consider yourself, like that third of activities that you’re really good at?
One of our department heads, Hal Clifford said, “Tucker you need to spend all your time making culture and making it rain.” Strategy, culture and rain. I’m great at marketing. I’m great at talking to people. I’m great at talking about what we do.
I am the public face of the company. I’m still the largest shareholder by far but I spend my time talking about the company with other people, not actually running day-to-day. Strategy and culture, which is what’s our two, five, ten-year plan?
I’m really great at seeing things ahead of time and understanding, “We need to move. We need to go to this spot.” The CEO does the navigation but I say, “We need to go in this direction and here’s why.”
Culture, which is understanding large scale, “How do we message? How do we talk about ourselves? How are people perceiving us? What are we doing right that way? What are we doing wrong? How do we create the environment?”Stop trying to be everything and stop thinking you can be great at everything. Click To Tweet
Both that people outside understand what we’re doing and want to come in and be a part of it and the team inside working with us, our people understand what we’re doing. They can be the most productive as possible.
Everyone thinks they’re good at that stuff. It’s actually hard to be good at it. In my mind, it’s way harder to be good at execution.
JT is like a beast at execution. He is so detail-oriented. Nothing misses his eye. Everything gets done. He is like a British bulldog. Once he gets his teeth into something, forget it, it’s done. I’m not like that. I’m like, “I want to do five things now. I don’t want to focus on the details.”
You and I are a lot alike there. You bring up several points. First of all, exactly what you’re talking about, have you read the book Rocket Fuel?
You need to absolutely get that. I’ve recommended this to everybody. I had the author on the show. Rocket Fuel is all about that relationship between the visionary and the integrator who is your JT.
Here’s the personality traits, quirks, and ups and downs of each side but it’s a framework for how your visionary, your CEO, or the founder of the company should be interacting with your integrator and the person who executes everything.
He creates a lot of different frameworks but one of them that I always remember is this, “The integrator is always the tiebreaker.” You may come up with a lot of ideas and things you want to do but I’m guessing you probably run this by JT. He’ll take a look at the company.
He’ll say, “We don’t have those resources right now, Tucker. Go come up with another idea. We’ll get back to that.” It’s a framework for the meetings. It’s a framework for everything else.
His whole thing is when you find that right visionary and that right integrator, your company works like rocket fuel. It sounds like you’ve discovered that. That’s one of the things I’ve been working on in my business.
I have another business, a national coffee brand that we sell online.
I’ve heard of you guys.
It’s the only coffee marketed directly towards women. It’s got a very sassy, classy vibe. I was great at launching it with my wife. She handles all the quality control and coffee stuff.
Now that launch is over and it’s in that management thing, I find myself doing micro tasks around this. I’m like, “Get me out of here.” I’m looking for my integrator there.
At the same time when you were talking about how you removed yourself from it so you can only work on the stuff that you’re good at and you’re not messing with all the details, I think of that as that’s why I consult. It’s the grandparent business model.
I get to come in and have all the fun, give the kids candy, do all the cool stuff that I’m good at. When it’s time to take care of them and be super responsible, I get to hand them back.
Here’s the thing though, it’s one of those things where what we do, it looks easy from the outside. Everyone’s like, “I want to be that person who comes in for two hours a day and that’s it.”
The problem is to get good enough where you can do that and to be that is actually hard. It’s changed a lot but it used to be you would ask a woman, “Do you work? No, you’re a housewife.” As if managing a house, a family and children weren’t two full-time jobs. It’s an insane amount of work.
People didn’t use to think of it as a job. I think a lot of creative things go that way is it’s easy to think, how hard could it be to sit down and write a blog post and to talk about stuff on an interview? It’s hard to do that. It just looks easy and it feels easy.
There’s a huge difference mentally. Thinking, which you probably spend a lot of time doing. Thinking and strategizing from a high level and doing. They’re totally different brain functions.
I try and keep 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM every day reserved for writing, thinking, reading, no task-oriented stuff. The afternoons are calls and task-oriented stuff because of the high cognitive cost of switching between two things.
I learned that the hard way. Are you writing another book? Is there anything you’re doing?
We actually have a book about our process. My assistant gave me a link. If you have any one of your audience who thinks about working with us, that’s great. Go to BookInABox.com. I’ll be happy to talk to you.
People who want to write a book who can’t afford $20,000, we wrote a book that describes our entire process, exactly how to do it. Your people can go to BookInABox.com/bacon and download the book for free. It’s on Amazon, too. It’s called The Book in a Box Method.
You can get the exact same book for free. It’s everything. It’s all of our templates. It’s all of our processes. It’s everything you need to go step-by-step. From an idea to a finished book exactly the way we do it.
I downloaded it and when I was going through it, I was impressed. If it’s any indication of the work you guys do, it wasn’t thrown together. It wasn’t a calling card. It was actually real life, step-by-step strategies in there.
Of course, because it’s lead gen for something else. If you’re going to read the book and do it yourself, then you’re not a client. The clients are the people who need to save time. They have money but they can save time. They don’t want to develop the expertise so they hire us.
People whose time is not worth that much, they’re going to be doing it themselves. We figured, let’s tell them exactly how to do it, exactly the way we do it so they can get the book done. That’s not competition.
You mentioned that you’re pretty good at setting the culture, strategy and seeing some of the trends in business.
Whether it’s things that you should be capitalizing on, or sometimes some things that aren’t going to be working, what are some of the trends you’re seeing in business right now? You probably connected with a lot of successful business people, what do you see out there?
Do you want to know more short-term, more long-term?
Some of the ones that are on top of your mind, most exciting.
I read Kevin Kelly’s The Inevitable. That book is amazing.
I’ll put that on my wish list. Is it good?
He’s one of the great thinkers of our century. New Rules for the New Economy was written years ago. It perfectly described everything that’s happened in the last decades. The Inevitable is the same thing, it’s just updated.
If you want to deeply understand the megatrends that are coming, I cannot recommend a book more highly than Kevin Kelly’s The Inevitable. That’s more of a long-term, secular megatrend.
Short-term stuff, what I’m seeing the most important thing that I think your audience can apply is we’re starting to see the shift from a commodity economy to a trust economy.
Basically, in a world where everything was commodified, twentieth-century economics, this is the industrial economics, you didn’t need to trust. Trust was nice if you had it, but it didn’t matter that much in a consumer commodity economy.
In a digital economy where almost everything is either free or totally replaceable, near free, what matters now is trust. Most old economy companies don’t know how to develop trust. You’re seeing the last gas with this in politics right now.
You’re seeing possibly the most corrupt politician of all time, Hillary Clinton, and a total lunatic. They’re the exact, same age or within a year of each other. They’re the total embodiment of the twentieth-century business.
The 21st-century business is the total opposite. I want to do business with people who I trust, who I know, who I believe in, who care and all those sorts of things. It’s so easy to be kind, to care, to treat people well. It’s free. Many businesses don’t do it.
If you are in business then focus on that, it’s one of those things that creates compound growth. 50% of our business is word of mouth, client referral.Focus on giving your client the best experience and they will become your evangelists. Click To Tweet
We focus so much on not just doing a great job that we do, but we focus deeply on the author experience and what it’s like for people to deal with us. We’re not perfect at it. Pretty much, most of our authors, by the time they’re done, love us.
Not only do they love their book, but they love us. They become evangelists. We only get that because you give trust and because you build a relationship.
Do the job for somebody, and that’s the best marketing. That’s so crazy.
Do the job but here’s the thing though, this is an important distinction. From the very beginning, we were doing amazing books.
What we didn’t do a good job at from the very beginning that we’re doing good at now is understanding that the objective end result of a book is only a small part of how people rated us as a company. A big part was their subjected experience in creating that book.
We always did a great job with the end product. If someone has a crappy experience dealing with us, then even if they have an amazing book at the end, when you ask them about us, they’re going to say, “The book was great. They were okay to deal with.”
I wouldn’t go through it again.
Even if they say, “I’d probably do it again, but they could be better.” Think about that as compared to, “They were so amazing to deal with. They anticipated everything. It was seamless. The book is amazing.
You think it would be this crappy book, but it’s not. It’s the opposite. It’s the most amazing I’ve ever come up with. It felt like magic.”
The only difference between those two testimonials is how you treat that author as they go through the process and how you manage those subjective experience.
As far as their experience goes, because you said you were improving on that even as it goes, what are some of the areas that you think Book in a Box would even be better for the experience that they provide that it doesn’t currently?
Are there any missing pieces that you think if you could wave a magic wand, we’d love to provide this for them?
Is it in terms of providing a service or in terms of how we interact?
Either one. Here’s an example, let’s say that I came to you, we got the book. Six months later I got this beautiful book. Is there any post-publishing follow up, support services, things like that?
Here’s one of the main things with a book, no one wants a book. They want what they envision a book is going to give them. We started off doing the book. What we realize is that no one’s buying books from us. They’re buying the attention, status, prestige and credibility a book gets them.
They’re buying the leads, the clients a book gets them. They’re buying the speaking gigs. They’re buying all those results. The reason that we were knocking it out of the park with books, doing the book wasn’t enough. Most people didn’t have any idea what to do with the book once it was done.
Having a book by itself would basically know the marketing can get a lot of benefits for a lot of people. Once you put on a little bit of marketing juice on that, that’s when you start to see the high-level changes.
To answer your question, Zach Obront, my Cofounder, started building a whole new division. Informally we call it Plat One Box.
The basic idea is people want not just a book but an entire ecosystem around the book. They want a blog. They want content pulled out of the book to share, guest host and other media sites. They want other content extensions from the book. They want to be booked on podcasts.
Even if it’s deeply in their niche, they want a slow drip of media and a way to capture it. They want an email list. They want all those sorts of things. Basically, everything that is a good authority or expert or someone like that.
We started building that for people. We have five beta clients. That service is going to come and be offered. It’s almost like an expert platform in a box.
As long as you are an actual expert, you factually know what you’re talking about, you’re a great coach or consultant, and we’re starting to be able to build the entire platform around it including the book.
That’s exactly where I was going with that thinking, what would be those great follow ups? What would the person want next? That’s cool that you’re capitalizing on that early. I can see people, “I’ve got a book. Now, what do I do with it?”
Are there any other project, businesses, ideas and things that you’re postponing because you either don’t have the time, people or resources to work on?
I’m sure you’re on the same boat as me. There are 50 things I could be doing. To me Book in a Box was a great idea, off the charts good. I don’t see myself, other than my family and kids, spending my time on anything else other than this.
Book in a Box is a subset of the larger idea. We actually named the company In a Box, not Book in a Box on the LLC. In the future, I feel a lot of people are going to want and need to create media either for their business or for their personal brand or whatever it is.
A huge amount of people is going to have to be good at creating media. It seems silly for someone who is an executive coach to have to learn how video works, how speech writing works, how book writing works. It doesn’t make sense.
They know what they know. All they’re trying to do is get what they know into a media form so that other people can see it. We want to become the company that they go to, to do any media creation.
Once you have the idea, it’s a series of steps. Once you know what you want to say, it’s a series of steps to put into a book.
If you have the idea, it’s a series of steps to put it into a speech, into a pitch deck, into a presentation, a video course or anything. What we think is that we can essentially automate the process of going from idea to finished media products.
We started with books because books fit a certain I knew that niche well. It fit a certain profile. If we can start with clients with high profit, high margin, we didn’t have to raise money. Eventually, we want to do everything, all across the board.
If you’re turning an idea into a finished product, we want to have in a box for it, speech in a box, platform in a box, book in a box, all of it.
There are a million things that people need out there. I’m starting to see this consolidation as well. Come here to get this stuff executed. There’s so much information out there. People are drowning in it.
What’s that old saying, “They’re drowning in information starving for wisdom or something similar to that, starving for execution?” Do it. I know what I need to do, I don’t need to learn how the engine works. I want to get in, turn the key and go.
Are there any resources there that you’re looking for that maybe my readers or anybody else out there have? We’re looking to add this on. It’s a way that we can help provide you with any resources if you’re looking for them.
Are there service providers? Are there people, employees, any nuts you’re trying to crack right now or looking for? I’ve got a lot of readers. They might be like, “I do this. This is what my company does.”
Anyone who wants to work with us, we’ve got a Career page. We’re always taking applications. We’ve got 6,000 people on our mailing list for job announcements. It’s pretty nuts.
Obviously, anyone who’s interested in this, go to BookInABox.com. There’s a career or join our tribe is the link on there. Anyone who wants to talk about this stuff, my email is Tucker@BookInABox.com and I’m easy to reach.
I like that you’re approaching this detailed and professionally. “We’re going to build this out. It’s got to be a catchall for anybody who’s trying to explode their expertise and their credibility.” That trust factor thing is so important.
A mutual friend, Perry Belcher, I remember him saying, “It’s never been harder to get somebody to spend that first dollar with you, but it’s never been easier to get them to continuously buy.”
You’ve got social media, you’ve got Google, you’ve got all this stuff. If you don’t have a great reputation, if you’re full of crap, they can spot that a mile away and they’ve got a million options.
When you get them, when you’ve built that trust, there are so many more options to get them to keep coming back for more. I kept that in mind, that whole thing about trust. Building trust is the key to it all.
Especially in the future because you can’t hide anymore. You can’t stand people anymore. They’re eventually going to find out. We’re almost going backward.
We came from, as humans, as naked apes. We’re social apes. We came from a small tribal group where everyone knew everyone. Building your long-term credibility was crucial to integration in the tribe.
We got away from that in an anonymous, industrialized world but now the world has been reconnected. We’re going back to that which is more human than it used to be. Anonymity is not a normal human condition but tribalism is.
That’s what I was talking about with trust is that’s why if you’re building a business, you look for the long-term. You’re like, “I’m going to do a great job with everyone I work with. I’m going to do the right thing. I’m going to build my name. I’m going to be someone that I can trust.”Building trust is a series of slow steps of doing what you say you’re going to do. Click To Tweet
Once you build that asset for five or ten years, that’s something you can utilize then for the rest of your life. It’s hard to build. That becomes a moat that no one else can cross. It takes years to build it.
You can screw it up with one, you do something wrong. What do they say, “It would take a lifetime to build your reputation and a moment to screw it up?”
It absolutely creates a moat that people can’t touch because you can’t build trust overnight. You can try. A book is a great way to do that.
It builds credibility. It doesn’t build trust. They’re different, credibility and authority. Once you have a book people know, “This person is smart. They are displaying their intelligence and knowledge to the world. I can check it now.”
I don’t have to trust them. I can check it. You check the book and it’s great, “I can trust them a little bit because I have read their book and I see what they think. It makes a lot of sense.” That’s how you build trust is slow steps of doing what you say you’re going to do.
A book is an implicit promise to give something to someone. There’s some ROI. People buy nonfiction books because they’re expecting ROI. If you lift that in your book, then that makes you credible, and then they now trust you, at least a little bit.
The quality of the book matters immensely. I can attest, I’ve been reading, is it John Ruhlin, is that his name?
His book, and the Book In a Box one. It’s a very powerful strategy. It’s one of the things that I’ve done helping my clients get a book off the ground although I don’t personally do that anymore.
I don’t help them write it anymore because I know how much work that can be personally going in and doing that. I like having somebody like yourself as a potential referral source for clients who may want that and come back to them, help them capitalize on it.
Any other nonbusiness or fun related books that you’ve got planned? You’re such an amazing writer that I know you’re probably done with the fratire days, I’ve heard you say. Is there anything else?
No. It’s pretty much all Book in a Box stuff. It’s all that stuff. I’ve got decades of business ahead of me. I’m sure I’ll do other stuff.
Tucker, this has been awesome. I enjoyed the chance to hear these strategies go deep. Hear not just how to create a book but other ways to utilize it and leverage on those. Hear the things that you’re moving forward on.
If there’s anything that I can personally do, or any of my readers to help you speed that up, by all means, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let me know. I know a lot of people. I’ve got a lot of resources that may be of use for you going forward in the future.
To my readers, I definitely encourage them to check out Book in a Box and the free book, BookInABox.com/bacon. You guys can download it there. My friend Selena, was asking me for the exact, same thing.
That’s a sign that you’re on to something hot. It’s not going away any time soon. I don’t know if there’s anything else you want to add but I appreciate the time and everything you shared with us here.
It’s was fantastic. Thanks for having me.
For my readers if this is a strategy that you’re thinking about doing, let me ask you this, this is something that I didn’t cover, “What is the prospective customer’s journey with you?” If they are interested, they’d go to Book in a Box. Do they apply, do they jump on the phone?
Go to Book in a Box. There’s a little form at the bottom. Fill it out. We’ll follow up right away in the next 24 hours. It’s a real human that follows up. You get on the phone with them.
They ask you questions, figure out if you’re a good fit for us, then we answer any questions. You have to figure out if this makes sense for you. If so, then we start moving forward. We’re not backed up. We can get started pretty quickly with clients.
I encourage everybody to go check that out. If you have any questions for me personally, I urge you to send an email to AskBrad@BaconWrappedBusiness.com. It is a personal email. I do read them whether you’ve got insight and feedback or you’re stuck in your own business.
Whether you’ve got a book and you want to know how to better monetize it or your sales is tapped out, you’re frustrated and stuck, I’ve got a lot of tricks in my bag. I’m happy to share those with you and give you a second opinion on what might be a better strategy for you going forward.
I encourage you to share this, tag me, maybe tag Tucker on Twitter, @TuckerMax. Let us know what you think of the show.
Tucker, thanks again. I appreciate it. I know you’re a busy guy. I’ll let you get going. To all my readers, if you like this, keep reading. I’ve got some more good stuff coming up.
Tucker Max is a 3 time #1 New York Times best-selling author that has sold over 3 million books worldwide.
He is only the third writer (after Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis) to ever have three books on the New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller List… at the same time!