SPS-231: How to Self-Help Yourself to a Six-Figure Income – with Marc Reklau

Marc Reklau has had great success using Amazon ads to boost his book income from three figures a month to five. He talks to James about what he’s focused on to do that and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Show Notes

  • The advantages of writing non-fiction
  • Why covers matter and how ad impressions can give feedback about covers
  • Box sets with non-fiction
  • When a trad offer comes in, is it worth it?
  • The pros and cons of automatic ads
  • The importance of following the data

Resources mentioned in this episode:

PATREON: Self Publishing Formula Show’s Patreon page

COURSE: The Ads for Authors course is open for enrolment for a few more days. Click here to learn more.

WEBINAR REPLAY: If you missed the Amazon Ads webinar with Janet and Mark, or weren’t able to log in, you can watch the replay here.

MERCH: Are you a ligneous beetle or a yawning hippopotamus? Get your SPF hoodies and t-shirts in the brand new SPF Store.


SPS-231: How to Self-Help Yourself to a Six-Figure Income - with Marc Reklau

Speaker 1: On this edition of The Self-Publishing Show.

Marc Reklau: I think everything has been said. I think there are not many new, great things in the personal development to discover. The great thing to discover is do it.

Speaker 1: Publishing is changing. No more gatekeepers, no more barriers, no one standing between you and your readers. Do you want to make a living from your writing?

Join Indie bestseller, Mark Dawson and first-time author, James Blatch as they shine a light on the secrets of self-publishing success. This is The Self-Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.

James Blatch: Hello, and welcome to the Self-Publishing Show with James Blatch and ...

Mark Dawson: God, I can't match that-

James Blatch: Oh, God?

Mark Dawson: ... Mark Dawson. James, I think you're too hyper, I think you may have been ingesting illicit substances.

James Blatch: The sun is shining. It's not even 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon. The sun is shining. It's been good time recently. My ads are working for our books, so I'm happy. My little pet project. We're going to talk about ads today and yes, I'm in a good mood. I'm allowed to be in a good mood.

Mark Dawson: I suppose now and again. I'll load some work on you soon and we'll change that.

James Blatch: My wife tells me the TK Maxx has opened in Huntington, which actually fills me with dread.

Mark Dawson: Is this good?

James Blatch: There's a queue around the car park.

Mark Dawson: Oh dear.

James Blatch: And my hair is looking... I'm going to have to say looking a little bit like Hitler now, my hair. I don't know what else to do with it, but it needs cutting desperately.

Mark Dawson: Yes.

James Blatch: If you're watching on YouTube, squint.

Okay, look. We've got a few things to talk about before today's interview, which... Hey, do you know what? Somebody else full of energy and smiles and happy. You will walk away from today's interview with a spring in your step, I guarantee it. But before we get there, let me just say a welcome to a couple of new Patreon supporters.

They are Christopher Wills and Emma Powell. Thank you very much indeed Christopher and Emma. There's your shout out. Thank you so much, indeed, for going to patreon.com/selfpublishingshow and supporting our little endeavour, our weekly injection of all things nice and neat from the world of self publishing.

Something else to talk about is, you called me this morning and we had our morning chat morning. You asked about loyalty cards, credit card loyalty cards, which is something I've always been quite interested in and always do, particularly there's a British Airways American Express card. It's the equivalent of the American airlines American Express card in the U.S. If you spend a certain amount, obviously when you spend, you get air miles, Avios as they're called in that programme, and you also get a companion voucher to half the number of air miles you actually need to take flights.

Now me, I've been doing this for a few years and my family flew to the States two years ago, all business class return, just paying the taxes. And honestly, I mean, it's a mistake obviously to introduce my teenage children to business class flying because they think that's what long-haul flying is about now. But fantastic thing to do for your family and all off the back of basically earning this, sort of this free money, you pay a, I think the fee is 200 pounds a year, 195.

And this year, in fact, just in the last week or so my friend, Jonathan, who's also massively into these cards and also keeps up to date with it, called me and said, "Right, we need to switch to the American Express platinum card," which is a very good deal on at the moment. 35,000 membership points if you sign up through a referral anyway, and then that's the bonus. I think there's a minimum spend over the first six months to get that, and you can convert those to Avios. So once you've got your companion voucher on the one card, you switch your spending to the other card.

Now, I'm not the only person who does this. The world is full of blogs and Twitter accounts and social media people who track all of these and look into it, but something which occurred to you today, and I'm not doing it either, is our spend through for our advertising programme.

We're missing a trick here, are we not?

Mark Dawson: Just checking how long. Yeah, that was about two minutes of blab there.

I actually would have started at the other way around and perhaps said that people who were spending a lot of money on ads are missing out on a big opportunity, and I am one of those people. I probably spend, I don't know, certainly five figures a month on ads, and I've just been running those through a debit card. And that's just crazy, really. And you're much better at this than I am, which is why I called you to chat about it.

I posted it into the SPF Mastery Group that goes with the ads for all this course, and lots of people chiming in with what they do with lots of loyalty schemes and people buying their groceries with their money back, cash back, air miles. People who haven't paid for plane fare in years. And of course, I'm now sitting there thinking, what an idiot, because I could have had thousands and thousands and thousands of air miles, and haven't.

So I guess this is a kind of a free tip for those of us who are advertising or spending anything on our books, on your book career. You might as well run it through a credit card, take advantage of the points that you can get from almost all the credit card companies who offer some kind of incentive scheme.

There is a post now in the Mastery group with lots of people talking about the various schemes that they're part of. It's well worth having a look at. And so that's going to be one of the things I do this week. I've spoken to my accountant just to make sure that it's okay to have... Basically I'll be paying for company spend, company ads with a personal credit card and then paying myself back from the company. And apparently, that's fine. The benefits aren't taxable, which is good to know. So I'll be looking into that. Slightly annoyed that I hadn't done that sooner, but anyway, there you go. Better late than never, I suppose.

James Blatch: You'll rack up lots of points to spend on the family. And there might even be ways, I'll go through this thread. People probably ahead of the curve on us on this, finding ways of feeding that back into your marketing career, potentially. I don't know if there's things you can buy with those points or transfer them in something that'd be useful, but either way-

Mark Dawson: It's just money, isn't it? Cash back?

James Blatch: Exactly. Yes. Yeah, no, definitely. And there's lots of deals going around. I think Chase and Manhattan are very good ones in the States. They seem to be from the airline point of view, the ones that I follow online. There's a couple of blogs. There's a guy called TPG, The Points Guy.com. There's another guy, Turn Left for Less is another blog that I follow. And all of these people track the best credit card deals at any one time.

They would always be affiliate links on their site. That's how those businesses are driven. But they're open about that at the front. I also have a referral link, which perhaps I should post. So you will have one soon once you get your platinum card, but perhaps I should post that into the group if you want to buy through my-

Mark Dawson: Don't do that. Don't do that, everybody.

James Blatch: The American Express platinum card is the most expensive one of the lots. And I think it's worth it now because they've got a series of deals on. Obviously, it's COVID time and it's some good deals out there at the moment.

Mark Dawson: We should explain why it's expensive. To have it, it's about $450 annual fee. Now of course, the counter to that is that you make much more than that in things like access to lounges at airports, which otherwise would cost several hundred pounds.

James Blatch: Right. So a lounge access card which you get after you've signed up.

Mark Dawson: Yeah. So there's plenty of benefits. I think travel insurance, you won't need to get that separately anymore. That'll all be covered as a part of the card. So you'll make that back pretty quickly, but there is a fee upfront. And I think most of the most will offer that kind of situation. So yes, lots of things to dig into. I think it's one of those things you can get quite geeky about, which is probably why you're also interested in it.

James Blatch: Exactly. The card is also metal.

Mark Dawson: Well, I'm sold. There you go. I'm sold already. Can they do contactless? I wonder.

James Blatch: Yes. It's contactless.

Mark Dawson: Does it work with Apple?

James Blatch: I haven't put it onto my Apple Pay, but I'm sure it does.

Mark Dawson: Should do, yeah.

James Blatch: There'd be no reason why it shouldn't work with Apple Pay at all.

Mark Dawson: Sold.

James Blatch: I will add it to that soon. Good. Okay. Right. That's our credit card discussion. Maybe that's something we'll revisit in six months and post some results. We've done that.

Mark Dawson: Take some picture of me on a beach somewhere.

James Blatch: Exactly. There is a small tax thing, which is that in the UK, we don't pay VAT on advertising spend for Amazon or Facebook for other reasons we're going to go into. Not like we should pay it, but we don't have to pay it, which means you can do it through expenses. You can pay it through your personal account and then just charge your company, like an expense claim you would in any company.

However, if you were paying VAT, I believe that would be problematic, because I think there's a limit to how much VAT you can put through on an expensive claim and claim back. It has to be a direct spend from the company. Just something to be aware of for that sort of thing. Right. That's the first thing to talk about.

The second thing we are going to talk about is, well, let's just quickly mention our webinar, shall we? So we had what could I be described as a big evening online. We had a webinar with Janet Margot talking about Amazon ads and we had nearly 5,000 people register for the webinar. We have a limit of 1,000 people on the night the door shut out about five two, and we had people locked out, which was not great, but it was amazing response to the webinar. And then the whole webinar software creeks at the edges during the evening. But it was a huge... I can only describe it as a successful evening.

Mark Dawson: I'm not sure I'd describe this as a completely successful leaving. It was very challenging. So I mean, it was an annoying. We knew that people wouldn't get to get in. And I had been saying that on at least two podcasts and at least two emails and in the Facebook group. But we still have lots, of in fact, some quite angry emails, which is never pleasant to see that Catherine was dealing with very stoically.

I think the issue was, the GoTo webinar, email that fires out automatically, that we can't change, uses words like registration. So you have your place effectively. And then people understandably were kind of logging into to take that place and then found that it's actually first come first served. We can't change that. That is just how the software works.

But at the same time, it's not an optimal experience, especially when we had some people in Australia getting up at three or four in the morning, just so they could come to the webinar. And I completely sympathise with people who couldn't get in.

Anyway, we are looking at some alternatives that will help us with that. But then when we actually got into the webinar, I don't know why, because we done it again with Joanna Penn two days later and it was flawless. The software was rock solid. But on the first time we did it, we tried to hand over control of the screen so Janet could show her slides from me to Janet and it froze my laptop.

I have a very nice top of the range Mac Book Pro, which it should not have problems with that kind of application. But I was getting the spinning beach ball of doom. And I dared not touch anything for fear that it would blow everything up. We couldn't get the slides handed back to me so poor James took over and we had slightly different decks, because I had amended mine. So James was trying to keep up with me as I was reading, as I was presenting on the ads course. Just about did it, I think. And it kind of held together. The actual content that Janet delivered... Someone there behind me likes SPF. The content was great. And we've had really strong feedback, both from our webinar and then Joanna's webinar.

We think we've ironed out the problems now and we are going to do, as we said we would, we're going to do another webinar, which is... We're going to be doing it on Wednesday. So this has been recorded on Monday. We'll do it on Wednesday. Fingers crossed, everything will go to plan.

And if you've tried to get in, I hope you can. But if you can't or you can't make it, or whatever reason, we are going to be recording this one and we will have it ready to be distributed by Thursday or Friday this week. So hopefully by the time this podcast goes out, that will be available. And if you want to register for that...

James Blatch: I should say, we'll have a replay ready for Friday. I could probably, with my magical editing skills, create a decent sounding webinar from that first one, even. But hopefully it will be much smoother in a couple of days time. But either way, if you've missed both of these, because this is going out on Friday this week after the webinars, if you've missed them both and you want to watch this webinar, it's definitely well worth watching. If you go to selfpublishingformula.com/sixsecrets, S-I-X S-E-C-R-E-T-S, we'll make sure that the email that comes back has the replay link in it for you so you can watch that.

It's been a busy time on the Amazon ads front. We've got a big brand spanking new course, which we should mention, Ads for Authors is still open at the moment. Selfpublishingformula.com/adsforauthors, which is home to that new course. We've been doing lots of stuff around that. So we've been doing the webinars.

I'm going to be doing a live Q and A, just to get those initial questions that people have when they do the course, or just if you've got any questions about Amazon ads at all, put it into the open community group.

Probably I'm going to say 8:00 PM or 9:00 PM, I'd have to settle on at time with Janet we'll, we'll post it into the group of details so people can start putting their questions in. Yes.

So, let's also talk about Prestozon. Prestozon. Hey, Prestozon. We have mentioned Prestozon before, but perhaps you should explain what it is, Mark.

Mark Dawson: Prestozon on is automation software that links with the Amazon advertising API and enables you to do some things with your ads accounts that it's more difficult to do them manually, much more time consuming and much more difficult to do.

I've been aware of Prestozon for about four years now, three or four years. I remember having a call with the founders about, whenever, three or four years ago. And I said to them, "Look, your software is good, but it doesn't really work for authors. And I think you're missing a trick in potentially a really, really large slice of customers who would be interested in your product, but it's not really fit for purpose."

I think they got it, but they had other things to deal with at that time. And they're concentrating more on sellers and vendors. But then subsequent to that, so scroll forwards to this year, and I saw on Facebook, Prestozon now has an author's group. So I thought finally, they've listened to me. It's taken a while, but I got in touch with them again and we've had a number of chats. I'm actually speaking to Dierk from Prestozon at 3:00 PM today. I've got some things to chat about with regards to what the platform can do.

And just kind of quickly to say what it can do, it can do things like automatically adjust your bids in order to try and hit your ACoS targets. So you can tell it you want to hit 70% ACoS and it will then either automatically upgrade them or downgrade them, or you don't even need to do it automatically. It can make recommendations and you can then tell it that you want those to go through, or not.

It can also pull the data that you can get through the dashboard, things like the search terms that our readers are using to trigger your ads.

You can get that and download it in a series of reports. And we have that in depth in the actual Amazon course. But what Prestozon can do is on a tab, it will pull those automatically. So you'd have all of those, you can sort them all, find out which ones are converting at a high level, which ones aren't, what the bids are like, what the conversions are like, all this kind of information, which of course, you can then harvest the best search terms and put them into a manual campaign to start trying to drive some traffic to keywords that you know generate sales for you.

I'm pretty psyched about Prestozon. I think it has got tonnes of potential. And the good news is that I've been chatting with them for a bit and they've put together an exclusive course for us, which we're calling Ads Automation for Authors. I've seen the first two or three sessions. It's going to be really good.

And also coming in with that, they've agreed to give any SPF students one month's free use of the platform, so you can effectively test it out with the course and decide whether it's something that you are interested in or not.

I am enjoying it, I think it adds another level of sophistication and automation to a process that otherwise can take quite a long time. So I think it's got a lot of potential.

James Blatch: And I think that module, that course, will be useful because I signed up for Prestozon when you started talking about it. Just on the test, I think they allow you to have one campaign and see how it's going. Although now that I'm going to be editing their course, I will probably pull out the SPF credit card. Because I really need to understand the platform. And obviously benefit from using it at the same time.

But that's the point I was going to make, is that you have to put the effort into it to get anything out of it. It's the same with all of these platforms. You can sign up for these various dashboards and reports and automations, but you need to understand what they can do for you and how to use them. Otherwise, and even with me, and as you say, I'm quite geeky, they just sit there unused. And it probably did on your PC for quite a while before you got back into it.

Mark Dawson: They did, yeah. They did.

James Blatch: So I think that's one of the real benefits of having these little modules, where someone takes you through it. You follow that, it's a bit laborious to start off with. And then suddenly ah, you start to get the value of it.

Mark Dawson: The good thing is what they've done is they've actually done this with books in mind. So we'll be talking about books. Diak is going to be on the podcast in the next two or three weeks I think. James is going to be speaking to him. So we'll have a bit more on that. But I think potentially this is something that could be quite interesting.

James Blatch: Yes. Yeah, indeed. And they'll probably get a new long term customer from me as well in the end. Okay. Right. Let's move on to our interview.

We have Marc Reklau. I spoke to Marc over a year ago, maybe two years ago actually, down in Barcelona sitting on his boat, which was a very enjoyable experience. And Marc is somebody who's in the non-fiction space, he does these self-help books and advice to changing your life a little bit. You have to look up Marc Reklau to describe his array of non-fiction books.

But he was somebody who was in quite a, not a dark place I'm going to say, but he was struggling financially, struggling with his life. Hence he was living on a boat in Barcelona. He was in between jobs. And he then started using Amazon Ads in particular in anger. And it's turned everything around for him.

The books are the same as they were. He's obviously added to his collection. But he will tell you in this interview that he has just had his first big $35,000 month. I think just under $35,000 last month. He thinks he spends maybe 50% on ads, which is higher than most people. But as he makes the point in this interview, if you put in $15,000 and you get $30, 000 back, you'll do that every month, won't you?

Mark Dawson: Yeah, because that's a hundred percent return on your investment. Yeah, absolutely.

James Blatch: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So this is Marc. Good to talk to him, and not just about non-fiction. I know a lot of you are out there doing non-fiction books and looking for hints and advice. But a lot of the stuff is a crossover as well with fiction. So here is Marc.

Marc Reklau, last time we were speaking was in London. The time before that was on a boat in Barcelona. Whenever I meet you, it's happy times. And you are one of our students with the biggest smile on his face.

Marc Reklau: For me the same, whenever I see you, it's happy time. Or whenever I get my results from my ads, I think of you and Mark and John, because it's just has been an unbelievable this journey, since I bought the course two years ago and started out.

Before the course, I was earning $800-$900 a month. And you came by the boat, we had an interview here. Which is only one year ago, which in itself is only mind boggling because I was making 400, five, no 4000, 5000, I said, "I know I can get to more, it's just a matter of work." And I've worked more. And I got to more. And now it's just mind boggling. I've already passed a 100k line this year. So this is something I couldn't even imagine some time ago.

James Blatch: And tell me what you told me off air, how much you did last month.

Marc Reklau: Last month, 35k, oh, yeah, close to, 34,900 and something.

James Blatch: Fantastic. And you've done this all with non-fiction books?

Marc Reklau: Yes.

James Blatch: Self-help books?

Marc Reklau: Self-help books, workbooks, that's the good thing for us non-fiction authors, because we don't have to run ads to book one of a series. So I just run it to all of my books. And I have noticed now with the years, that really ... Because I write about different subjects, habits, self-esteem, gratitude. And I noticed that maybe a person who wouldn't have bought the habits book, bought the self-esteem book. And then they like what they read and then they buy all the other books.

So for me, I think for us, non-fiction writers, it multiplies even. Because we have different books that can bring in readers.

James Blatch: Have you been careful to brand the books in a similar theme, so it's very easy for somebody to find the other one in the series?

Marc Reklau: Yeah, exactly, for me it turned out everything is orange. So my covers are usually orange. And it's really funny because that's also what the ads do. I had some covers that they didn't work so well. But I didn't want to admit it to myself because I thought they are great covers.

But then the numbers don't lie. And then when you see that you get impressions, impressions, impressions, but no click. Then one of the things, it's probably an Amazon ads, it's probably the cover because that's the only thing they see.

And then I changed the covers and then it got better. So yeah.

And also idea for mark the series page. So I have a series page for my books. They weren't in a series first, but then I just made a series. The good habit series or change your habits, change your life series. And now I have this wonderful series page with eight books on it. And that also helps surely.

James Blatch: Do you do box sets?

Marc Reklau: Yes. I also have two box sets. I didn't have before, but as you were repeating it so often I said, okay, let's try it. And it was ... I even got a BookBub deal for one of my box sets.

James Blatch: Wow. I think you made a really good point back then, which is that you were in love with a cover and you had some resistance about admitting it, but the figures don't lie in terms of going out. And the reason I repeat it is because conversations this week with somebody, that's not untypical, people who love the cover, are convinced by it, and they don't want to hear what people are telling them. That that cover doesn't work in the genre. It doesn't look like it's going to work.

And you don't really, as ultimately, Marc, as you say, you don't necessarily have to believe other people if you don't want to. If you want to do it the hard way, the expensive way, you put it out there, and you run ads to it, and then you learn the hard way.

But you've got to pay attention to the data because that doesn't lie as you say.

Marc Reklau: Exactly. And honestly I already saying it because of course many people ask me also, is it only the course, but how did you do it? And I think, yes, it was the course. And it was, I think we mentioned it last year, it was also the fact that I was really, I was taking in everything. Every module, everything that you teach, I was doing it at least. And then I could see, does it work or does it not work? So I think it's very important. So, it's not just now I learn Amazon ads and now I'm going to become rich. It's like the whole system. I like to call it a system, because it's everything.

I adapted my newsletter, my auto responder, my email sequence, my product page, my pricing, everything of it. And I think that's what makes it at the end work.

And that's sometimes, even I think, oh, if I would take one thing out of there, maybe the whole system wouldn't work anymore.

So imagine my agent got a query from Penguin Random House USA for one of my books. But first of all, I said, I don't know what to ask for because this is a book that brings me $5,000 a month. So that's $60,000 a year. Let's say, well, calculated optimistically, so in five years, that's 300,000. So my agent gets 20%. So if I would ask for 400,000, I still don't earn anything.

They wanted the number and I said, "Don't even tell them a number, they will feel insulted." Because I know, just let me go on with. And what I want to say with it-

James Blatch: Well, you should have said a million.

Marc Reklau: Yeah, that's probably something I will say. But even there, James, the thing is, if I take one book out of my system, not even the bestselling book, will the whole still work? And now it's this comfortable situation where I'm making 20k, 25k on average. So I don't want to mess with it.

James Blatch: I suppose the only consideration there, I mean, you don't need Penguin Random House. And as you say, it might upset the apple cart, as we say in the UK here, but could they get you to parts of the world that you couldn't get? Do they have a reach that goes beyond where you can get? I'm not sure if the answer is yes to that.

Marc Reklau: Exactly.

James Blatch: It probably used to be. But now that we have access to lots of different ways of promoting and different formats and so on. I suppose that's the only consideration. And maybe next time they come to you, if they're really desperate, you say, well, let's write a bespoke book for you that looks a little bit different from the rest of the series. With your name on it, very big. So it's not going to impact on your series.

And ask them what they're going to do. What are they going to do for this contract? Where are the adverts going to go? If they're going to put you into mainstream adverts.

If they're going to put adverts in Forbes magazine for you, I would say that's worth it.

Marc Reklau: Yeah, it depends. But I really am also realistic enough. I say I'm too unknown. I don't have a huge following. I have an email list of 15,000. I'm a big fan of this old thing, never change a winning team. Don't fix it if it ain't broken.

I had an experience with a publisher in Spain which is ... And I know of many horror stories of self published authors that were selling a lot. Then they sold their rights and then they stopped selling. And I would be a failed author. And the funny thing is, I told you before, so I have now four books in the top five, top six of self help in the US, in the Spanish part.

I have a couple in the top 10 in Spain, and those are failed books. They are rejected books from these publishers. Because they didn't sell a lot of my first book I had with them. But then I managed to sell a lot. So it's like, don't fix it if it ain't broken.

James Blatch: I'm just having a look at your books. I do like the covers. Who does the covers?

Marc Reklau: I do them on Fiverr.

James Blatch: Wow.

Marc Reklau: I have a couple of people on Fiverr. So what I usually do is I get four of them to design covers. And usually there's always one good cover there. And of course now with the series, I can send them to the series and say, look, it should fit in this series. And then they get it fixed.

James Blatch: Yeah. I mean, that's the main thing about any cover is, it's genre, isn't it? And your covers are all very much in genre for that type of book. Well, that's fantastic, Marc. I'm so happy for you. And we should say you're a truly international guy, you're German by birth and citizenship, I guess still.

Marc Reklau: Yes.

James Blatch: Living in Spain at the moment. Although there's a move I think on the horizon for you.

Marc Reklau: There's a move on the horizon.

James Blatch: And in terms of markets that you've found success in, a coincidence, I suppose, that you happen to be in Spain when you started all this.

Spain has been a really good market for you?

Marc Reklau: Spain has been amazing and has really carried me through for the longest time. Because when I look at my ads in the US, and now with the new module, which I'm already 75% through, I will go back to the drawing board and really look at my US ads again. Because they are not as great as 25 or 35k would let you imagine.

Because for a long time, let's say, the whole last year, my ads in Spain were going very well. But this all just stopped in December. And what now is happening, and it's incredible, and it's carrying me through is Spanish books in the US. That's just incredible.

And exactly of my bestselling book, Love Yourself First, it's called, in Spanish, Qiuerete. This is something amazing because I have only nine ads for that book in the US. And then one automatic ad just started going crazy. But crazy in a good way. It already sold $9,000. And then when I look now at the success of the book, everything points back to that ad.

James Blatch: Wow.

Marc Reklau: So that happens also sometimes, that happened to me now with two books already. So, that's also something nice. Because when it happens once or twice, I mean, you don't depend on it. You can't. You don't search for it, but you know it can happen anytime again. And it's a good feeling because you can actually really see how this ad ...

James Blatch: I do wonder if non-fiction lends itself better to the automatic ads than fiction. I've had no joy with automatic ads. Although I know some people have. And Mark always says, you should start with them and get some data.

But non-fiction, because Amazon basically is a massive non-fiction business. We sell fiction books on it. But as a percentage of overall Amazon, it's smaller.

And the algorithms work across everything. Which is something I've learned through Janet's course. Where she says that the auto targeting, for instance, if you write a book that's like the sports car billionaire romance series. When it does its suggested bid, the algorithm's looking at sports car and that sort of wording and looking at parts for sports cars. So it's not an algorithm geared around books.

But non-fiction, I think maybe you fit into that ecosystem a little bit better. And that's why that automatic targeting was able to find your customers.

Marc Reklau: I have no idea. But the funny thing is sometime, because I harvest my keywords and look. And then really then sometimes it's book. Book, book. Want, want. Who is putting want, want into the search bar. But it's okay. And that's one thing about it.

And the other thing is, when do you know if a keyword is good? For me a keyword is good when somebody clicks 10 times and buys my book, then it's a good keyword, no matter what the keyword is. And sometimes it's like books about sex. My books are not about sex. But well, if 10 people click on it and one buys it, then it's a good keyword. Although in my head would say, that's not a good keyword.

James Blatch: Yeah, the data says otherwise.

Marc Reklau: The data. It's really, at the end, you get back to the data. And I think that was also one of the key changes in my mindset when I really checked data. And even now, when I see where my weaknesses are, it's because I didn't check my data in the US for a long time. Because I was blinded just by the huge numbers. And I really, I mean, I'm going to get a little bit lazy when success comes. And when my workload goes down, when you make a $1000 or $800 a day, I'm more the guy who's like argh, argh. So I had to re-mentalize again, to go back to the drawing board.

James Blatch: We are doing this so that we can enjoy our lives. So there has to be a bit of balance there. You can take some time off Marc, that's okay. And enjoy yourself in the sun down there.

Spanish language in the US. Let's just talk about that for a second. Obviously you're non-fiction, but this does apply equally to fiction writers. And there are people out there doing similar figures to you. They're doing good five figure months. And probably only publishing in English across all genres.

It's easy to forget, particularly when you don't live in the States, it's easy to forget how widely spoken Spanish is?

Marc Reklau: Incredible. You have more than 300 million people I think in the US and Latin America, because a lot of Latin America also buys on the dot com. Mexico, we're not even talking about Mexico yet because I can't advertise in Mexico yet. When I can start advertising in Mexico it's even more happy times.

And it's another thing I forgot to say. Before advertising my Spanish books in the US I made $0 with Spanish books, zero organic sales. And now, thanks to, I think since mid October or so, we can advertise Spanish books on the dot com. Now it's more than 50% of my income nearly.

James Blatch: Wow.

Marc Reklau: So that's mind boggling. And then we don't even talk about the UK, Germany and all these. So I noticed for me, France and Italy don't work very well, but there's some good info in the cost from what sells well in France. So I'm going to try that maybe. Yeah. So right now with Canada, UK, U.S. and Spain are working.

James Blatch: What about Germany? You mentioned Germany. Obviously you're German and it's your first language, no?

Marc Reklau: For me it's horrible. I think because I was motivated because I saw Mark's success and I said, "Okay, I'm going to translate my books into German." Because I stopped translating my books in German before because I felt the German people they don't like my books.

James Blatch: What's wrong with them?

Marc Reklau: Too happy. And then the thing is, and then I got motivated and I translated my books and it's going like I said so I'm making money in Germany, but I'm making more money with my English books. And the thing that really, yeah. I don't know how-

James Blatch: It's weird-

Marc Reklau: ... it surprised me.

James Blatch: It's a prosperous country, Germany. And it does well in almost every league favour. Funny enough, we're going through the coronavirus at the moment and it doesn't surprise me at all that Germany's figures are like a billion times better than everybody else. It's always the case.

And they beat us in every football match. Thank goodness the euros aren't happening now because-

Marc Reklau: Only in penalties.

James Blatch: Only in penalties. But I do wonder if there's something in the psychology of living in a country where there's very good employment, things work well against living maybe if you are Spanish speaking in the Southern parts of the U.S. where life's a bit more of a struggle or in Latin America, where life is a struggle where you want to improve. That hunger to improve yourself. Maybe that's why your books are going. I'm being philosophical here.

Marc Reklau: I can really tell you the most funny thing and also bothering thing is that they buy a lot of my English books and my English books get great ratings.

James Blatch: Right.

Marc Reklau: And then they buy my German books. They bought a lot less of them and then they even give me bad ratings. And I'm like, what is happening here? This is a challenge sooner or later I will get them. Maybe it's just because the Germans are a little bit strange and they may be one of the few people that when Spanish meets Spanish in the U.S. they're like "Ahh, Spanish."

But the Germans are the only ones who say, "Oh, those are Germans. Let's go to the other side." And maybe it's just they think I'm English. They say, "Oh, what a great writer in English." But when I'm German suddenly they say, "Oh, what a simple book. It's not good enough for us."

James Blatch: That's funny. Well, there you go. You don't need Germany do you?

Marc Reklau: I know it's a challenge. Sooner or later I'll get them.

James Blatch: Crack my market. In terms of the Spanish translation, Marc, I know you speak fluent Spanish.

Do you do the translation yourself?

Marc Reklau: I do the translation myself and then give it to a native speaker to do the correction. Most of time, because the thing is, I get the book in English. I write it in English. I get it corrected and edited in English so that it's had already one editing process.

So then I translate it practically, literally, and then I got another proofreader on it just to get all the mistakes out. But the copy editing and stuff is usually done.

James Blatch: And is the Spanish spoken commonly in Latin America and the United States the same as the Spanish spoken in Spain?

Marc Reklau: No it's not. Actually it's not. But the funny thing is I write it in Spanish because first I wrote only for Spain and now the books have success also in Latin America because it's a slightly different Spanish, but it seems to work.

James Blatch: Okay. So you haven't had them translated into that slightly different Spanish.

Marc Reklau: Yeah, exactly. An actually because in Latin America is they speak a more formal Spanish. Because I'm going to like very directly and I try to talk to the person directly.

And in Latin America it's a little bit different. So if I would translate my books in that kind of Spanish maybe they would lose a little bit of this because I really want to talk to you not to Mr. So-and-so. Right?

James Blatch: Let's talk about the books a little bit.

Do you think that's one of the secrets of the success that sort of a direct conversation or relationship you have with the reader?

Marc Reklau: Absolutely. I think one of the success secrets for success is I write simple. I write like I talk, conversational. I wrote my first book. It's like, I wrote it to myself. I wrote, because I read self-help for many years and never applied it.

I never applied it and nothing changed in my life, right? It always goes like this, but I had bad relationships, bad jobs. And then when I wrote 30 Days, which was my first book, I already started doing exercises. Because I noticed that in personal development there are a couple of exercises that if you really do them they work and all the people who do them become successful.

James Blatch: Strange that if you don't implement it, strange how it doesn't work.

Marc Reklau: Yeah, exactly. And then only 3% or 4% of all people implemented. So I started implementing because I was troubled when I wrote it. I was like, "Oh wow, this works." It's getting better. It's going up uphill.

And then that's why my writing style is also like this. I only want them to get to do the exercises. So it's not a lot of talk and information. So it's like, no, look, this and this and this and this. And now here you have to exercise. And now do it.

And it's going to be and telling you how it's going to be. Probably well. And so that's how all my books are written in a way to get people to take action because that is the difference.

I know it because for 20 or 30 years I didn't take action. And since I've been taking action in the last six, seven years, I've gone from jobless to making $25,000-$30,000 K a month. It seems like I invented it, but that is really true.

James Blatch: You've always been quite modest about your books. And I think that comes through in terms of you don't claim that what you're writing is groundbreakingly original.

What you're doing is giving people a method of implementing really good advice and changing their lives as a result of it.

Marc Reklau: Exactly. You will not find nothing new in my books. I think everything has been said. I think there are not many new, great things in the personal development to discover. The great thing to discover is do it. Most who people do it... And that's, yeah, how I approach it.

And people telling me, "Oh, I didn't find anything new." And I said, "Yeah, yeah. But did you do the exercise?" Then I'm happy. Then I have reached my goal. My goal is for you to do the exercise and not only for 30 days or for 60 days but for the rest of your life.

James Blatch: And how much do you do with your audience, with your readers? You've got 15,000 on your mailing list.

The relationship you build through your writing with somebody reading your books, feels like you're probably going to have quite a lot of contact with your readers?

Marc Reklau: Yeah. It's like maybe 20 or 30 emails a day. And every comment on Facebook, every email I answer it. That was something I've done all the time because I think I owe it to them. Sometimes when they ask too much, I say, "No, I can't answer you anymore. You have to run. I can't do your pushups."

But still at least, or if they get, I'm not like John Dyer, if they get rude, I don't answer them anymore. I'm not who is always nice.

James Blatch: He's always polite.

Marc Reklau: Yeah, but for me, it's like, yeah. And it's really nice also because people write awesome stuff, you know? And sometimes even they say, "Your book saved my life." And then you say, wow, you say wow. I mean, then everything was worthwhile. And that's how I deal with them.

James Blatch: In your space people give conferences and host events where people will pay big money to be in a room with you for the day. That sort of thing.

Are you going to branch out from book writing?

Marc Reklau: Yeah, no, right now, not about that. I had a conference coming on in Costa Rica, which due to COVID was unfortunately postponed, not cancelled. But the funny thing is it's even the other way around for me, it was always, I liked the coaching. I liked the conferences, but the best thing is sitting on my boat and making ads and running five figures.

I also get a little bit self complacent so with the Costa Rica gig it was really good money and everything. And then after a while you say, " Oh well, but it's 10 hours on the plane and 10 hours back, or now it would be all I have to put on a mask on my plane."

So the best thing is doing ads and selling books. I was always obsessed with that. That's why I searched. And thank God found Mark because all the other stuff didn't work for me so well.

The online courses didn't work. The conferences was very difficult to get them because you have to go out and look for them. They are not coming just like this.

James Blatch: There is a simplicity to what Mark teaches, which is to sit in a room on your bum and go through the data and set some things. So let's talk about that a little bit in terms of what you've done.

Is it primarily, or is it exclusively Amazon ads that you run?

Marc Reklau: Yeah.

James Blatch: You don't run any Facebook ads?

Marc Reklau: Nope. Because Amazon ads worked from the beginning. From Facebook ads I always had a kind of fear because I always only lost money on Facebook. So I said, okay, it's working. So, and then I just build it up on Amazon.

Also, we always shouldn't forget it has been two years. So in the first year, maybe I came from $900 to $4,000-$5,000. And then I said, "Well, let's do some more ads. Let's do instead of 10 ads a month to 20 or 30 a week."

Suddenly I was at $8,000. And then I tried to do more and more ads all the time. And I even notice now with the new ads course and still doing a lot of stuff wrong. And so that makes me happy because I know there's a lot of improvement, a lot of room for improvement because before I thought more ads, more money. More ads, more money.

When I looked at my numbers, said, "Oh, well, that's not entirely true anymore," because my most ads, I have like 80 or 90 ads for 30 days in the U.S. and I'm just making $2,000 or $3,000 K with that.

On the other hand, what I mentioned, I had nine ads for the Spanish book and I'm making $5,000 K a month with it. So I will go back to the drawing board and check it out. Maybe optimise a little bit, but I will also still go on just with this old blatant method. Just more ads, more ads.

I got a little bit scared when she talked about ad fatigue. That's what could be happening in the U.S. with my ads. For me I said to Natalia, my girlfriend, I said, "Look, it's like starting from scratch again," but it's a lot easier to start from scratch with $20,000 or $25,000 K coming in then with nothing.

James Blatch: Exactly. And at some point you can refresh the covers and have a whole new look and so on. So there's always ways of reinventing.

And your message I imagine is timeless. There's probably not much in your books that dates.

Marc Reklau: No, that's a good thing. It's timeless. So now I'm going to write a book about minimalism because minimalism, so I'm now preparing a move and I throw again, I already threw half my stuff out when I moved to the boat-

James Blatch: Overboard.

Marc Reklau: No, no in the containers here, but, and now I have to throw again half of the stuff out. Mostly it's stuff you haven't used for five years anyway so that's the funny thing.

But the thing is I feel better and better, you know, less stuff. I came to Barcelona 17 years ago with one bag. It was great and I'm probably leaving... Then I accumulated a lot of stuff. Then I threw it out again. And now I'll probably leave with two bad bags.

And for me it feels good. It's a lightness. It feels lighter. It seems like when you get a little bit metaphysical, the energy flows better, things fall into places. So very interesting.

James Blatch: That's a big movement, minimalism and decluttering and all that stuff. So, my problem is I like stuff. So I like to order stuff. I like it arriving. I like unboxing it and getting it out.

But I do know what you mean. And it feels every now and again, there is something incredibly cathartic about clearing the space around you, about having a nice clean office, which I'm a bit messy.

Mark is fastidiously clean. But during COVID, one of the things I've done is I've chucked a load of stuff out of my office, reorganised it. And honestly, the feeling is, it's a very real thing isn't it?

Marc Reklau: Incredible.

James Blatch: Yeah it's a very real thing.

Marc Reklau: And I mean, you don't have to throw the stuff you. For me it's like most of the stuff I wrote I threw away. Typically you have 40 t-shirts, but you always wear the same 10. Okay so you could get rid of 20 that you never wear and you still have 20. And 10 you will never wear. And 10 you will wear always.

James Blatch: Don't throw away your Mark Dawson self publishing formula t-shirt. Have you got one?

Marc Reklau: Of course.

James Blatch: Yes. Good.

Marc Reklau: I hope I have to get a new one soon because now I'm short pants and I want to become a talentless hack.

James Blatch: Yes, there you go.

Marc Reklau: It's a great phrase. I want to become a talentless hack.

James Blatch: You should call one of your books that.

I'm a little bit surprised that Facebook ads... I think at some point that you need to visit Facebook ads. There's a new audience, a different audience there. And I think your messaging and books would, I mean, it's just the hunch, but you never really know. And as you've been saying, you're surprised by the data sometimes.

My hunch is that these books could do well on Facebook.

Marc Reklau: It comes to mind every now and then sooner or later, because when I did the course the first time I also already got everything set up for Facebook, looked at the best ads, best copy, but then I just stopped it.

But it can become a new thing soon because the best thing is really, I mean, when it gets more and more all the time. So a friend of mine, another author, a Spanish author, he said the Beatles always said, when they needed to buy something, they wanted a new house, a new car. They said, "We have to write a song."

And he and I, we say, when we want something, "Okay, we have to make a couple of ads." And maybe now we will say, "Okay, we need to get into Facebook ads."-

James Blatch: Yeah to write another book. Write another song. Well, the Beatles famously were ripped off. And they saw very little of the money that lots of people around them made with inept management. And you know what? This whole movement that you and I are part of is the antidote to what they went through. The antidote to all those artists, authors, musicians, who just get fleeced by corporate entities that take all the money.

Marc Reklau: No, it's incredible. Yup. We are lucky people.

James Blatch: Yeah. So Amazon ads are working well. You still run some automated campaigns, I guess, but is there any sort of key tidbits you can hand out to us?

Marc Reklau: As for me it was really... I didn't know it's wrong, but the thing for me, it was because it was something Mark I think said in the first edition to scale up, it was more ads, more keywords, more books.

I stuck to this and now I have to re-think if it's really bad. It worked so long. So it's another thing, you know. It's for me very difficult to change things that work. I only change things when they stop working.

And thank God I saw now my numbers in the U.S. and saw that I was blinded by all the other great thing going on. So now I can go back there. And I think so my system is very easy. I think I said it also in the show, the SPF live in London.

I have one golden rule that I have followed all the time. Because one thing is I check my ads every day for the first year, year and a half. I checked them every day, every day. So I got a feel for it, right?

I got a feel for it. I now know exactly if I make a new ad after one or two days, I have to go into that so that I don't get a 100 clicks for a book that don't sell.

And so what I found out is that for me from the beginning it was like, I want to make a sale with 15 clicks. So I go in in my keywords. They are all like ordered by click. And when I see 16 clicks, no sale, I turn it off.

James Blatch: Wow.

Marc Reklau: And maybe this is not logical at all. And it's something just that came out of my mind. And when you asked me, how did you get... Why 15? I have no idea. I think because one guy said 10 and the other said 20. So I said, well, for me, it will be 15. I expect to sell at 15. And that's something I did all the time and it worked.

My conversions are not awesome. So, I guess I'm spending a little bit too much money for my earnings, but if you spent 15K and you got a 30 on it, try it with your bank. Go to your bank today, give then 15k and say "Give me 20 at the end of the month." And they probably call the police.

James Blatch: You're absolutely right. And I do remember in the early days when Mark talked about this, somebody emailed us and said, he'd been working in corporate industry his whole life and he can tell you that that's a terrible return that you need a thousand percent, not 150. And Mark was saying, I put a pound in and I get a pound 50 out. And also I work from home, you know?

So I suppose this guy was thinking of the days when you had this huge building in London, filled with people who weren't making money for you. They were doing administration and running the cafeteria or whatever. Very valuable jobs, but every dollar that comes in has got to pay for all of that before it even makes. So, in those days, that's a massively inefficient way of running a business. And you have to make huge amounts of money just to stand still.

Whereas we work in our underpants on a boat or in a bedroom and you get a dollar 50 in for a dollar spent, happy days. You're eating that night.

Marc Reklau: I think one of the things is also that I never got lost in detail. It's the same approach. Like in my books, I'm very simplistic. I'm doing something and then if it works, it's good. And if it doesn't work, well, I try something else.

Sometimes people, they write to me and say, "Oh, how do I optimise? Shall I up my bid? Or shall I do?" I say, "I don't know. I never did it." I go in the 30 cents or 35 cents or whatever. I put the daily budget, which I always thought helps, but maybe won't, maybe it does. I put it on a thousand bucks, although I don't have them. So I give Amazon, right, they could take 200,000 bucks from you. Of course they don't do it. They take 300 or 200 a day. And that was my thing. So I never went back to an ad and tried. The only thing I went back to an ad was to turn off clicks, to turn off keywords that have more than 15 clicks.

James Blatch: I'm amazed at that. Just because it seems like a very low sample size.

Marc Reklau: Yeah, I know. And statistically, I mean the statistic guys, they shake their hats now or something, but it's ...

James Blatch: It's worked.

Marc Reklau: It could be better, maybe, but I don't know, but it's worked.

James Blatch: Yeah. Okay. And so do you have an idea? Well, I'm sure you do have an idea if we will. I think Mark says he spends roughly a third of his income. If he looks at his overall revenue about a third of that is spent on ads.

Are you closer to half do you think you would say?

Marc Reklau: Yeah, I think so. I would say half.

James Blatch: And that that's a different, and again, I like to say it doesn't matter if you can scale up.

Marc Reklau: And you're talking to a guy who seven years ago was jobless, was getting 800 euros of jobless money. When I worked in the company, I was working my ass off for 160 hours or more for 2000, getting no rest, getting pressure, a lot of pressure. I worked in the book business. I worked in a book printer, so loads of pressure. So, and now I'm sitting on my boat and it's like, yeah.

James Blatch: Fantastic. And a couple more questions about the books. Are most of your sales in ebook format, 'cause I imagine this is a book that lends itself to physical format as well?

Marc Reklau: Oh, it's great that you asked that. I forgotten it. I hardly sell any eBooks anymore, but last month I made 25K in paperback books. That's also one of the reasons why I say for a traditional publisher, it's not interesting for me if I'm by myself. But last month was an incredible month that was. I have to say it was the best month ever, I think for many of us. So the usual would be 15K in paperback. I get afraid. I notice now when the Amazon warehouse closed or when there's a holiday in the US or when, because then my sales go down maybe from 700, 800 a day to two or 300, because they're selling more eBooks. Because, of course the paperbacks have an enormous, how do you say it? margins.

James Blatch: Yes, margin. Yeah. Mark up.

Marc Reklau: So, I would say right now more than half of my sales come by, of the money come from paperbacks.

James Blatch: Wow. And this is print on demand through KDP?

Marc Reklau: Yes.

James Blatch: Yeah. Gosh, that's amazing. It looks, just at a glance it looks to me like your books would be a nice thing to have and to sit and read rather than read on a Kindle, so I could see why they sell.

Looking at the Kindle prices here, but presumably you've had to price these fairly heftily at print?

Marc Reklau: My Kindle eBooks are at 4.99 because it works with ads. The great thing about ads is also, so I mean, reviews are super important, but I noticed because the review team didn't work for me. The asking for reviews of my books didn't work for me. But when anybody writes to me and I answer, then I tell them, "Oh, if it's possible to leave a review, that would be great. It helps other readers find the book." And that's how I get most of my reviews.

And the thing is really the Amazon ads is the solution for me, for everything. Because the more books I sell, the more organic reviews come because they come the organic reviews. And then the price is 4,99.

And even the bad reviews, I started off many books with one star review, which is like the nightmare. Before a book like this was that. And then of course, you probably have to invest more money so that people click on a book that has one star, but we have all the time. We always say, it's not a year. When you think of 10 years of it. And then you get your book out of the one star and get more and more five star reviews. It works. So, for me, the Amazon ads solve this problem.

They also launching very seldomly. I can do launches now without my email list, because I trust, put it on pre-sale, run some ads to it. And then it sells three, four, five copies a day for a month, six weeks. And then Amazon already notices it in my opinion, because I think if they see six, seven books already, it's not bad. It's not 50 or 60, but they see this book. And then maybe I send a couple of mails to my list.

And then the book goes out and the rankings are maybe also not awesome, but it's not. So that was also something that I changed. I'm not looking at the rankings anymore. I'm really only looking at the numbers anymore. If I have a book that brings me 50 bucks a day, I don't care if it's number 300, number 500 or whatever, because I'm looking, I want the 50 bucks every day. And that also helps.

James Blatch: I completely agree. And since I've been marketing Robert Story's books through our little company Fuse, I always forget to look at the rankings. They're kind of irrelevant. We had a BookBub deal and I was doing the after BookBub deal serving and he said, "Did you notice an improvement in your rankings on the day?" I said, "I don't know. It didn't look."

I did look at how many clicks we got in the adverts. I'd looked at how many sales we got, how many pay trees we got. These are the things that matter.

Marc Reklau: Exactly. And then for me, the most important number every day is like, when I look at my sales from the KDP dashboard and my spendings from the AMS dashboard. And as long as that number is North of 400, 500, I'm happy because that's net income then already. And I mean, come on, we are really privileged people. So when I'm talking with my author friends, we say, we can't even believe it. Sometimes say, "Look at us."

As you said, we work in underwear on our boat or our living room or wherever. And we are making a CEO salary and we don't have, I personally don't have a lot of stress. I only get afraid, as you noticed, when I get a mean mail from Amazon, you did something wrong. And then I go, "Oh no." That happened last month. I reached out to everybody and said, "Oh my God." But it's all sorted.

James Blatch: Everyone gets those from time to time. Even Mark gets one. We had an ad taken down. I think it was Facebook actually. Last month we had an ad taken down by Facebook. And it is scary for that moment when your living depends on it, but you do need to have a few deep breaths, and lucky you've got it resolved. And you're a big guy, for Amazon in Spain, in particular, you are someone whose name they know.

Marc Reklau: I don't know. Not anymore because I knew the boss of KDP Spanish worldwide, which was a great guy, but he went back to the States. So now I also don't, I don't know so many people. I know people who know people, which is always good. But, the funny thing about me is also, I'm not standing out in any country. So, in Spain there are people that sell more than me. I'm like flying under the radar. In the US there are surely people that sell more than me. But when you take it all together, then I'm like, okay, that's okay. But I'm not on their radar. I have to get on their radar again.

James Blatch: Get on that radar. Marc, it's such a fun experience talking to you. You're such a great success story. And I think your books are going to be selling. They're going to be keeping you in your retirement in years to come, because they're evergreen books. They're books that are always going to be selling and always going to work, work for you, if you put some ...

Marc Reklau: I hope so. I hope so. Yeah. Really, because the thing is, I think we are only at the beginning. You said that also often of this Amazon, because people said already two years ago, Amazon ads don't work and stuff. And I think we are still at the beginning because they're so ... and then you say like, wow, what else is still to come?

James Blatch: Yeah. Think there is stuff coming down the line this year, we know on Amazon ads in the background. So it should be, will be exciting.

Marc, thank you so much indeed for joining us, the happy smiling Germanic Spanish. I can't, what are the correct words? Germanic Spanish international man of mystery.

Marc Reklau: International. Maltese.

James Blatch: Maltese. So yeah, that's the cat out the bag. Malta is the next destination. So we're going to have to find an excuse to come down to Valleta, which is a beautiful mediaeval harbour in the lovely and Mediterranean island.

Marc Reklau: We fell in love with the Island and then things in Spain don't look so great right now. I said, "Let's try it."

James Blatch: Let's go.

Marc Reklau: Let's go.

James Blatch: And of course it's an old English colony, Malta, so you'll see some amazing old English cars driving around in that place.

Marc Reklau: I like the mix of Malta because it's between modern and mediaeval, Oriental and English. So it's great. The people are lovely.

James Blatch: Very important trading post for thousands of years. And you're going to be sat there at the front line of modern trading, which is exciting.

Marc Reklau: Yes.

James Blatch: Good. Marc, thank you so much for joining us.

Marc Reklau: It was a pleasure. Thanks James.

James Blatch: There you go. Marc Reklau, who's going to move to Malta. He's a bit unhappy with Spain. He said, they're locked down was brutal during COVID. He says, they've got tax laws coming in, just aren't going to be very helpful for people running small businesses. And he's looking at Malta as being a friendlier place to be. What a lovely position he is in now with that money enabling these lifestyle choices.

Mark Dawson: You can just unmoor the boat and point it in the right direction and see where he ends up. I'd probably end up towards the Maldives or something like that, but you know, whatever.

James Blatch: I don't think he's ever sailed that boat. And he spoke on a panel in our conference last year. We'll have news on 2021 conference soon, I think. But, he spoke on a panel last year and I have spoken to him this year to think about well potentially a panel again. But, there's probably a small session I think he could do moving into new markets, moving into different languages, nonfiction, Amazon ads driving. So if we get to more granular details in the next conference, I think he'll be a great guy. And he's a very, very approachable, nice guy to speak to.

And of course he thanks you. He wants to put a statue up to you.

Mark Dawson: Well, I've been waiting for ages. Although, to say that he's actually very generously contributing to the foundation this year, so that we will take that in view of a statue.

James Blatch: We didn't mention that in the interview. Marc has donated to create another foundation place for an author who can't afford to get going, to give them the money to do so. And you can find out all about that on our website.

Right, we're running out of time on our little recording period we get on our cameras, Mark. So, that's it. We're wrapping up today. Don't forget, you can go to selfpublishingformula.com/sixsecrets to get the replay from Janet Margot's webinar on Amazon ads. All that remains for me to say is that it's goodbye from him ...

Mark Dawson: And a goodbye from me. Goodbye.

James Blatch: Goodbye.

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