SPS-382: You Must Market Your Book – with Honorée Corder

As a professsional, publishing a book is one of the best ways to market yourself. Honoree Corder, a coach with insights on selling nonfiction books, opens a conversation about professionals in the writing scene.

Show Notes

  • How Honoree started writing her nonfiction books.
  • The pitfalls of marketing.
  • Narrowing down your marketing options.
  • Honoree’s clients and what she suggests to them.
  • How to write a book that does well.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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SPS-382: You Must Market Your Book - with Honorée Corder

Speaker 1: Want to sell more books? Make sure you are at the Self-Publishing Show Live this summer. Meet the biggest names in self-publishing at Europe's largest conference for independent authors. Enjoy two days packed with special guests, an exclusive networking event, and a digital ticket for watching the professionally filmed replay, including bonus sessions not included at the live show. Head over to self-publishing and secure your spot. Now, the Self-Publishing Show Live is sponsored by Amazon k d p

Speaker 2: On this edition of The Self-Publishing Show.

Honoree Corder: I figured it out. Book over. Book over book. What are the things that move the needle for sales for me? Not that I'm not interested in doing some of the other things or delegating some of the other things, but I know what my three things are and I can comfortably fit those into my schedule without twisting myself into a pretzel.

Speaker 2: 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 me James Blatch

Mark Dawson: And me Mark Dawson.

James Blatch: Mark Dawson went back from London. We went to London Book Fair today, which is a, I was walking along Hammer, swift Road, whatever it's called, to Olympia thinking, what, what is this show actually about? It's huge fills up all these hangers and in this day and age of the internet of forums, of Zoom calls, I can't really see why it's such a big thing for the big publishers to be there. But I don't know, you said it's meetings and deals?

Mark Dawson: Yeah, we just, I read in the booksellers one, it's been the busiest one ba basically back to pre pandemic levels. And it's still busy. A lot of deals done. I mean, there is, I mean, just think about the right, you, you probably never have been in there before. If you go into the rights area where the agents sit, it is absolutely ridiculous. And it is kind of meeting after meeting after meeting and it is very loud, very noisy. And there is something that, about seeing people in the flesh that you can't really replicate.

James Blatch: Yeah, I see that. I just think it's very expensive to have stands there.

Mark Dawson: It is very expensive. Yeah, absolutely. You know, they're, they're, they're dealing in, you know, these are multimillion power corporation, so 50 grand on a, on a stall. A book fair is probably not all that much to them. but yeah, it is. It's it was busy. So I, I did a panel with Amazon on Thursday and went out for dinner with the Amazonians on Wednesday which was, was pretty good. And again, the, the panel was, was interesting. Lots of questions afterwards on the, on the stand, fairly standard kind of on your feet for two or three hours, answered questions from authors of various, various kinds of questions. My favourite one was it was a guy, a Ukrainian guy, actually turned up and didn't speak any English. And so I think it was one of the authors, not me, was kind of trying to answer some fairly complicated questions. And they were doing everything through Google Translate. So he'd have his phone out and then she, oh gosh, she'd be speaking into it. Trans conversing into Ukrainian, he'd be in then doing the reverse. And I think the, the bottom line was he, he saw Kindle Direct Publishing and thought publishing meant he could sell his rights. And so he was trying to sell Yes. Rights to a book. And he didn't really understand

James Blatch: Self-Publishing. Yeah, yeah.

Mark Dawson: Well, what really, what was being offered. And I think he kind of he kind of, kind of walked away in, in kind of amusement at at one point. But anyway, that was that was one, lots of other questions, you know, various different levels of complexity. Usually fairly on the, on the simple side, but it was, it was a good one.

James Blatch: Yeah. I mean, a lot of people get going. Which brings me neatly on to our launchpad course, which is going to be open in a week and a half 10 days or sofa now. So May the 10th, I think is the date. It'll be open for three weeks. So this is the course, the foundation course teaches you how to build a successful platform to sell your book, to self-publish your book. So everything from your author website to uploading into K D P and getting all the blurb rights, getting the cover right. Putting yourself in the best position so everything's in place. So you can then start properly marketing, next level marketing, sort of advertising paid ads cause there's a waste of time running paid ads if you haven't got everything else done. And that's what the launchpad course is.

It's actually, I can't even summarise it. Very easy cause it's very comprehensive course, and you can do it in modules, but now that will open up on May the 10th, and you can learn all about it if you go to self-publishing, and you can sign up for the wait list. So you'll get a l an email notification when it's open. We look forward to onboarding a new bunch of students who will go through the course together. Lots of support in our Facebook groups and be brilliant to have you on board if that's something you are thinking of taking that next step into the serious side of indie publishing and selling some books. I personally haven't looked back and I'm enjoying joining my far reason to K D P. We're doing well both for Fuse books and for for my own books this year.

So yeah, fact, I'm, I won't do the figures out loud because they're personal to our authors, but had a good morning this morning, totting up very successful. I don't know if everyone's feeling this 2023 is doing well at the moment. Advertising Bang for Buck is good. Getting some really low click rates on low cost clicks on Facebook for sure. Amazon ADS seem to be working for us as well, so Yeah. Feels I know people like to moan, don't they, on Facebook groups, but people don't often say this, but I think things are going really well at the moment, both, both me personally and for authors

Mark Dawson: Yeah. Saying that it's been a, had a good month and I had a book out about a month ago, so that's still doing well. And yeah, I think it's, it's been, you know, it's not quite a pandemic. That was, I was talking to someone from Amazon yesterday about how things have kind of pooled down since the pandemic. I think they, they saw this thousand publishing, they saw some, you know, some of their authors had exceptional years as, as, as did we. And those numbers are dipping back down to kind of where they were before. So still obviously very good, but not the kind of ridiculous sky-high numbers that we saw in when everyone was at home with nothing to do. But yeah, I think, I think it's, you know, it's pretty, pretty healthy at the moment. Yeah. Really quite optimistic.

James Blatch: Yeah. I do wonders if with the Facebook ADS in particular, whether the recession is biting into bigger corporations budgets and that they're pulling some of that money out of Facebook ad that does make a difference in terms of us getting our ads served cheaper. Maybe so, but, you know, but that's the thing about recessions. There's an old adage, isn't there? But more millionaires are made during recessions than during good times, boom times. So it's a time for us Yeah. Who we are disruptors, right? We don't necessarily rely on the the mainstream economy. So yes, here you go. Right. what else we gotta say? Just want to give a plug to our pat option to support the podcast. You want to take it to the next level? We're actually, at the moment, we're sending out surprise goodie packs to our long-serving patrons, so they're getting sweatshirts and baseball caps and stuff like that.

So we do look after our, our patrons, and you can support the podcast for as little, I think as a dollar an episode if you go to self-publishing show. And we're very grateful for that because the podcast is a huge ordeal to get done. And we do want to do it every week for as long as we can, as long as we're breathing right. Should we move on to our interviewee mark? Its honoree recorder. I, I think I've called an honoree quite a lot in the interview, but then that's because most of the time you don't get an accent on the e for whatever in an email doesn't translate it, but I did see there was an accent on the E somewhere, so it's a, she very politely had never corrected me, but it's Honoree Corder and Honoree is a bit of a queen of no non-fiction books, particularly for people who have a non-fiction business. And a book is an important sort of expert flag for you a calling card if you like. But getting that right and also making sales from it, not just using it for that is something that she's really specialised on. So here's honoree eight, then Mark and I will be back for a quick chat at the end of the interview.

Speaker 2: This is the Self-Publishing Show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.

James Blatch: Honoree corder, Welcome to the Self-Publishing Show. I sort of feels like we should have had you on a long time ago. It's been a long time to get you in this seat for some reason, but here you are. So you're very welcome.

Honoree Corder: I am so delighted to be with you. And I've been waiting, I've been refreshing my email for like 10 years. Yes,

James Blatch: Thank you.

Honoree Corder: You fine.

James Blatch: We've rectified that and here you are. So honorary, I think for people who don't know you, and I know a lot of people will, but why don't you introduce yourself a little bit to to the self-publishing show audience.

Honoree Corder: Oh, delighted to do that. Thank you so much. So I have written now over 50 books. They have all been self-published, and I started self-publishing in 2004. So Wow.

James Blatch: I really, early days

Honoree Corder: Yeah, I w so I did the math in my head, just then went, oh gosh, okay. Carrie, the one, right. And so I, my main businesses now are around writing and publishing books. So I'm a player coach. I write and publish non-fiction primarily. Well, I'm, I've only published non-fiction. I'm working on fiction. And I've then help entrepreneurs and aspiring authors to write, publish, and monetize their books all in the non-fiction space.

James Blatch: Yeah. So NonFiction's, your main thing. You say intriguingly, you are starting to look at fiction.

Honoree Corder: Yes. And I have, I think I've been talking about it as long as you've been talking about it, except you've published .

James Blatch: Finally I found someone, who I'm ahead of

Honoree Corder: Yes, you're ahead of, you're ahead of me. But I I have so many fiction ideas and also there I'm only one person and there are only so many hours in the day. And so I haven't figured out quite how to squeeze that into my production schedule.

James Blatch: Well, I know you do a lot of thinking Yeah. A lot of thinking about publishing and self-publishing, and you've you've racked up, did you, I don't know if you mentioned it just then, but I think I read somewhere 50 odd books now.

Honoree Corder: Yes. Yeah. So I stopped counting at 50, just so over 50, probably tack on maybe with my most recent release, a 10 more on there.

James Blatch: Was going to say 2004.

I mean, the publishing landscape, the self-publishing landscape was very different to when it was sort of 2009 onwards in the era of the Kindle. What, what were you writing about then?

Honoree Corder: I had a business book that I published to market my then executive and business coaching business. So it was suggested to me that write a book to differentiate myself from the everyone as a coach and a speaker. And so I took that advice and wrote that first book, sold a lot of books initially, one-on-one, so legitimately to my clients, to people in my old word Rolodex, and was able to double my coaching practise, double it again, double it again, do more corporate training in those sorts of things. There was no Kindle. As a matter of fact, I didn't know I had Kindle royalties when I first signed up. This is a fun little aside. When I first signed up for Amazon right, to sell my books through Amazon, they said, would you like to publish this book as a digital book? And I checked the yes box, and I didn't know for years that people had been buying my books and putting it on their Kindle until one of my clients said, oh, I bought your book and read it on my Kindle at the beach. And I said, wait, what?

James Blatch: I wonder how they did.

Honoree Corder: Amazon had been

James Blatch: The formatting in those days. They must have done a little bit of in-house formatting on your behalf.

Honoree Corder: I probably, so, because there, it was just a, now I had a real formatter, I had an an author friend of mine who had, who has traditionally published many New York Times bestselling books, and he gave me his formatter. So that guy was my formatter. So when I uploaded the book, I would imagine they did a little juzjhing which I'm sure is the technical word,

James Blatch: Yes, I think so.

Honoree Corder: To it, yes. Into the Kindle version. And when my client said, I read it at the beach, I went in search of my royalties, I was like, okay, well, it's been a couple of years. And lo and behold, I had a significant amount of Kindle royalties that were owed to me. But back in the day, everything was switched. So we published physical and they said, as an aside, would you like an ebook? They also said, we're not going to digitally pay you until you've made a hundred dollars.

James Blatch: Yeah.

Honoree Corder: So they were sending me a check to an old address and kept getting the check returned. So by the time I logged in looking for some royalties, they were like, Hey, genius, we've been trying to send you money for a few years, here's your money. And they direct deposited a nice tidy sum into my account. And I went, oh, this could be a thing. I could do this, I could do this book thing, this would be great. And that's when I started to get the idea to write and publish more books.

James Blatch: Yeah. And that's that thing about using a, a non-fiction book as a kind of calling card for a coaching business or speaker business. That is still a thing. And I've, I've got friends who, who do sort of motivational talks, ex-servicemen, that sort of thing, and they are told the same thing. Now that you were told is that having a book is a very helpful way of, you know, when people, people do that second search, they've heard you, they've heard your name, you've been proposed for them, and they search for you, and a book comes up. It just reinforces a great, a lot of positive, positive reinforcement about the authority and the expert nature of them.

Honoree Corder: That is, that is absolutely correct. And it, even though it is now very easy to write, publish, and book in a weekend, please don't do that. But even though it is easy to do that now, being an author is the thing that sets you apart from every other person that says, I'm an expert in X or this is how I work with people. It still, it elevates you, it still makes you the coolest person at parties. When people say, you know, what do you do when you lead with, I'm an author. Yeah. And everybody wants to hear about that. And even still today, last, you know, it happens in real time today. Last week I was at an event and somebody said, what's new with you? And I said, oh, I published a book. And they were like, what? And I don't, when I'm out socially, I don't normally talk about what I do, because unless you're a book person, other people don't want to talk about that, right? Yeah. We're a small group of people that want to talk about books, but I don't throw that around generally speaking. And then when I said that, all of a sudden there was a little crowd, you published a book, tell us about the book. This is really cool. I've always wanted to write a book. And then thus and so, right. The conversation goes on.

James Blatch: Good. Well, I'm pleased it still has that kudos. And so bringing it more up to date honoree, I know you've written quite a lot about marketing in particular. I think there's a couple of areas, you're two latest books that we, we can talk about. One is about the writing process, one is about marketing.

Well, let's start with marketing. So this book is basically a kick up the backside to those were self-publishing authors that we should be marketing our books and this is how

Honoree Corder: That's correct. That's correct. So the book is, you Must Market your book. And I wrote the book to help all authors, though not just self-published authors, but all authors to recognise that the, the responsibility for the marketing falls to them. So they are the Tom Cruise to their top gun. They can't outsource it, they can't delegate it. Really, the marketing has to be done by the author. And yet, and I'm sure you see this as much as I do, there are lots of people who have lots of ideas for marketing their books, and they talk about them. And so the newer authors come to the table and think, oh my gosh, there are 400 things that I need I could do. And I'm, I have to do all 400 things, and how am I going to do that? A confused mind says no. So they get confused and they don't do anything, or they try to do everything. They don't really understand how to think about marketing, how to apply marketing to themselves, their personality, the job that the book has, their time and their budget. So I wrote this book, particularly for authors to help them to understand how to think about book marketing before they market their books, to really get to a place where they are at peace with all of those things that I just mentioned. And then take action from a place of being centred and calm and excited about marketing.

James Blatch: So if we talk about traditional authors for a moment, and I think, you know, lots of people listen to the show and might be self-publishing, but would would still not say no at all to somebody coming along and, and saying they're published for them. Those days of them sitting back and having black and white pitchers taken of them smoking in a, in a roll neck, whatever authors did in the 1960s, that's kind of over now.

You have to be thinking still during the day about marketing. And what, what can they do?

Honoree Corder: Well, they first can figure out what their personality is, what type of person are they? Are they an extrovert or an an introvert or an ambivert that's going to inform an influence whether they feel like going on a book tour and being on lots of aeroplanes and bookstores and those sorts of things. Or if they're an introvert and they can customise their book marketing. The second thing is, what is the job of the book? So again, my expertise is nonfiction. So I'm coming from the place of, is the job of the book to get you consulting gigs, speaking engagements, sell your courses, what you on a stage, right? Like get you coaching clients, what's the job of the book? And then how much time do you have and how much money do you have? So I was listening to your episode with the gentleman from Readzy about Amazon ads and you were talking all about, boy, it's a lot of work to go in and figure out which books as I ns and which keywords and all of those things.

So if you're working a full-time job, if you're working 40, 50, 60 hours a week, do you have all of this time to go do all of those things? Maybe, maybe not. So figuring out those four filters first and then saying, okay, based on that, what are my options? Where should I focus my time and energy with what I have? And my advice is to drill it down to just a couple of things. Two or three things. I have three things that I do to market my books. I don't have 400, I have three. I've figured it out book over, book over book. What are the things that move the needle for sales for me? Not that I'm not interested in doing some of the other things or delegating some of the other things, but I know what my three things are and I can comfortably fit those into my schedule without twisting myself into a pretzel or making myself feel overwhelmed or stressed out.

James Blatch: And can you tell us what those three things are?

Honoree Corder: I can, yes. So the first thing is being on podcasts. Hi James.

James Blatch: Hello. We we're helping out.

Honoree Corder: Yes, you are. You're doing amazing. The second thing is, I have a Kai content email that I send out daily and it's bite size pieces for people who want to learn the crafting writing, publishing, marketing, launching part of the book process. So one little piece of information at a time. And then if somebody doesn't want a daily Monday through Friday email, I have just a Saturday recap. So some people like the daily emails, some people like the daily recaps, some people like both. And then on Sundays everybody needs a nap, right? So we rest. And so that daily content gets shared and my list grows because it is all meat and a little bit of vegetable, right? So all meat, something that people can take to their writing bank right away and apply to their writing business. And then if I have something else going on, if I'm on an interview or I have a course or something like that, I'll throw something like that in.

But it is never beating someone over the head with what else I have to sell because I believe in attracting, not recruiting right? In my own personal business, right? Yes. And then the third thing is because of the other work that I do, which is helping people to write and publish and monetize their books. And I offer a service for that. The third thing that I do is meet people. I leave my house much to my introverts shrug in, right? So I would never leave home if I didn't have to. But I have found that getting in the presence of people breaking bread, having a cup of coffee and having a discussion is the thing that moves the needle for me, that sells books for me and that sells my services. And those are the three things that I have time to do in addition to continuing to write and publish books so that I am still on the field, James, because every single time I publish a book, and this year I published two, really three if you count the companion. If I did, I did also, I must market my books. So three books and each one of those had its own unique challenges and own unique learnings. And so if I'm not in the process, then I can't talk about a book I published in 2016, right. From an expertise perspective, because so much has changed since then as well. While that makes sense,

James Blatch: The email sounds like it's labour intensive, the daily email, high content. Do you you batch this process?

Honoree Corder: I do, yes I do. And, and I also am to the place where I have figured out what the lifecycle is of a learner for me. So someone who comes into my ecosystem and just wants to learn, or they want to learn via courses or they want to learn via engaging me at a different level. And so I repurpose those emails now, now that I have written them right over a course of time. So I set out on a journey to write this daily email, and every week I would sit down and write five days of content with the links, with the resources, with the suggestions, with the other books to read. Now I'm enjoying the fruits of my labour. Now I get to just again, juzzche them. I get to go in and edit them and make sure that they are still accurate and correct in providing the up-to-date information. But I'm not really writing from the blank page. So pHew

James Blatch: Yeah. Yeah, because that would be a lot. And actually repurposing content is such an important thing in business. And I don't think we're as good at SPF as we should be. We we produce a lot of content and probably don't exploit it, which is another sort of shortcut really to, to Yes. Making more impact with, with your time.

Honoree Corder: Yes. I'm writing about that right now in my next book, which will be, you must Monetize your book about the other ways that you can take the content that you have and either just repurpose it, like taking out of a big course. If you have a big course, you can actually take a piece of the course and turn it into a mini course. So you create a new introduction and a new call to action, which is to buy the big course. And voila, now you have a mini course. I did that last week and an hour with my course expert and it blew my mind. I was like, how did I just do that and an hour? That's amazing. So yes, you can do that. You can also combine what you've already done with other aspects of your expertise, education, knowledge, experience, and turn it into a completely different medium. Keeping in mind that some people want to read books, some people want to take courses, some people want to talk to you live, some people want to attend an event. All the things, right? And so it's really just deciding what's the thing that is, and this is my term elf, easy, lucrative, and fun for you to create a new income stream. Which is honestly one of my favourite things to talk about is how do you repurpose content so that you can make more of an impact while you make an income as well.

James Blatch: Yeah. Such a good point. Who,

who are your typical clients then? Who, who comes to you most often? What sort of person?

Honoree Corder: Professionals. Professionals, entre and entrepreneurs who know they want to write an a book and they don't know where to start. They don't necessarily want to wait for trad. They want to retain all the rights and control. A lot of them are very successful and there is a lot of write publish and market your book write, publish, write and publish your book in five minutes. Hmm. And it doesn't meet the quality standard. And so they don't really have a path for a professional book that is also optimised. So I use two words in my business that are interesting to people. Optimization, which is creating the author reader relationship and monetizing or maximising, which is what does the reader do when they get to the end of your book and they say, Ooh, I like that James. I want to hire him. How do I give him my money? right? What's the next way that I can engage with him? Because I liked his message. He established himself as the expert. He is absolutely the person that I want to hire. And so I'm talking about optimization, front matter maximisation or monetization is the back matter, right? And then making sure that it's sprinkled in the middle. So people come to me who are professionals who want a book like that, but they don't know where else to go to get it.

James Blatch: So you are stepping through that process. I guess you could actually do some damage to your brand if you went down the five minute fix here to, to get a book out there, which is, I is something you do see being advertised quite a bit now?

Honoree Corder: Yes. Or damage it or just not help it. Yeah. There are so many people that write books that they write the book and they go, okay, check. But now I have a box full or a garage full of books and I don't know what to do with them. Which is the marketing conversation, right? How do you get your books in motion? Because a book at rest is Money at Rest. And a book in motion is money in motion. And if you are a professional who has published a nonfiction book, having a box of books means there are a whole box of books that are not in the hands of your perspective clients who could be engaging you or these other income streams that you've created.

James Blatch: Yeah. And your your clients don't necessarily have to make a, a return on the brook books all the time because it can be, as you say, like a lost leader for them, a lead generator if you like. But they still need to be marketed. They still need to be in people's hands.

Honoree Corder: That's correct. And my goal is for them to also earn an income from royalties unless they don't care about that. Some of the authors that I work with are not interested in book royalties. They don't even publish it on Amazon. They get physical copies of their books and they pass them out like their candy on Halloween evening to get new business. Because the r you know, when you think about what's the value of a client for a coach, A coach could charge $25,000 a year for coaching. So do they really care about 70% of a 4 99 book? They don't, they want to give you the book and have you say, I'm the client, I'm the person that you want to hire. And so we engage. So it depends on, there's a bit of marketing strategy. Obviously there's a lot of marketing strategy that goes into each book that I work on because it depends on the outcome that the author wants. Do they want book royalties? Do they want multiple streams of income? Are they trying to find their ideal client? All of the above or something else? Right. Sometimes it's just a legacy. Sometimes my clients just say, I want to tell my story so that my grandchildren know what I, what I built this for.

James Blatch: Yeah. S here at SPF f Towers, we are obviously, we are very focused on, on making money from books on con the commercialisation process for books. And not so good at at that latter, latter thing of doing a calling card book that doesn't necessarily need to make money.

So when, when you come to making money as well, I mean the sort of things that we talk about, paid ads and so on, is this a sort of thing that you drive people towards?

Honoree Corder: I suggest that they look at it if they, if those last two qualifiers are something that they have, right? If they have the time to look into it and the money to pay for it, or they don't have the time because they have more money than time and so then they can hire someone to handle that process for them, for whom that is their their thing, right? Like I have learned Amazon ads several times over the years and those buggers keep changing what they're doing. So you have to keep, you have to keep learning. And I prefer to delegate that process and write more books. So yes. So it it's a, it's it's an interesting question, right? What do you do if you're new and you don't have time or money? Or you have time and not money, then perhaps you need to carve out some of that time to learn.

Cause I was just hearing Mark say if Facebook ads and Amazon ads work together, they both have a separate function for your book discoverability. And they both work in different ways, but you have to have the time to figure out what those are. What kind of ads are you running, right? Are you running the, I don't know what's going to work ad first. And then you've gotta watch the data. Then you have to discover what keywords work and what your ad copy is going to be in order to kind of filter that down so that you can build it back up. That takes a tremendous amount of time.

James Blatch: Yes, welcome to, welcome to my World. But yeah. Okay, so cash rich time poor is a, is a quite common position I think for some people to be in. And I can understand them going down that, that route. Now the other book you've written, I'm going to say, cause I've just seen you've got an accent over the, one of your s is it honoree rather than honoree? Because I said honoree earlier. Yeah, it is honoree. Suddenly saw the accent now Honorary. The second book is is on the writing process.

Honoree Corder: Yeah.

James Blatch: So let's talk about that for a bit. So what are you, what are you teaching? There is this again, the type of nonfiction customer you'll look, you're aim out.

Honoree Corder: Well, so yes and no. So the book is the bestselling book Formula. Write a book that will make you a fortune. And I did include fiction books in my research on the book. So where this all stems from is I have my email, my that goes out every day. And I have people ask me all the time, like, how do I write a book that's going to make money? And I have done the, a couple of series, one of them that I'm known for is the Miracle Morning book series with Hal Elrod. And for a very long time, James, I would say, well, Hal is special. He's a unicorn. He was born under a lightning strike. And so his book, the Miracle Mourning Self-published, not particularly excellent, and he won't mind me saying that because he's, he understands that he didn't have it twice edited once proofread graphic design in a beautiful way.

All of those things, right? And, but or, and that book is a global sensation. And I'm his partner in the book series. The book series has sold 2 million books, 39 languages all over the world. I just got I got I, this is how fancy I am. Just so you know, I got $9 from Mongolia last week, Wow. For my share for my share from one book. I was like, send me my money, right? That'll take, that'll bind something at Starbucks. Anyway I used to say he was special, it was a lightning strike and you couldn't duplicate it. And one of the things I tend to do is question my assumptions is that, was that really true or is there a formula for it? And once I started looking for a Formula One revealed itself to me, and it's what I write about in the book.

There are four keys or four common elements of bestselling books. Now, asterisk, see, fine print below. You and I both know you can publish a book, sell five copies, and it's now a bestselling book, orange Tag and all on Amazon. But that does not mean it is what you really want, which is a best earning book. So in the book, I differentiate between a bestselling book, one that is public facing, also great for, you know, third party validation. People can see, oh, it's a bestselling book, it has a tag. But authors, we all know that that's nonsense. We know that a bestselling book is not a best earning book. Not all bestselling authors. Someone says, oh, I have a book some number one on Amazon, but is it, or is it number one in the kitten leg warmer category, right? Okay, so differentiating bestselling from best earning, I went and looked for the these keys and I discovered there are four. Every single book that is a perennial best earning book, one that sells month over month, year over year and perhaps for decades is easy to read, meaning it is at a reading level. And in the US we're going to call that seventh grade, seventh grade reading level. So that people, what

James Blatch: Age is that? Just so understand it. Convert that

Honoree Corder: 12.

James Blatch: Okay,

Honoree Corder: 12 seventh

James Blatch: Grade. We've heard, I've heard that before and it sounds shockingly low, but that is apparently the the optimum reading age.

Honoree Corder: Yes, that's, that's correct. And so if you are trying to be impressive in your writing and use $10 words when someone reads your book and they hit one of those words and they don't understand it the first time, it'll kind of jar them a little bit after a little bit of that. If the material is too dense for what they are trying to achieve, which is read the book, they'll put it down. They won't pick it up again. So if your book is not easy to read, and there are other readability things that are important. So sentence length, word length, shorter words, more simple words, shorter sentences, more simple sentences, make the book easy to read. So if your book is easy to read, then the next key is you want it to be easy to remember. So can people remember your name, the title of your book, one of your characters?

So is it Jack Reacher? Is it The Miracle Morning or is it the Mir? The Morning Miracle? So sometimes people remember something about a book or a character or an author that isn't quite right, but they get the essence. And this comes into play in just a minute, why this is so important. But you want the contents of the book, something about the book to be easy to remember, which leads us into key number three, which is easy to do. So when you give someone advice on something, it needs to be something that they can duplicate, right? They can duplicate your efforts or they can get better results than you as the author without another word, without any more conversation because your book is a one-way conversation. If you're lucky, they're going to get to your back matter and they're going to go, oh, I sure do like him.

I'm going to buy more of his books. I'm going to do more things. But chances are your book is a one-way conversation that's one and done. So they have to be able to do the process that you share in the book. So it could be, and I'll use The Miracle Morning as the logical example. Hal has the lifesavers, they're the six practises of successful people, right? He identified what the practises are, he turned them into an acronym, making it easy to remember the lifesavers silence, affirmation, visualisation, exercise, reading and scrubbing. You see, I did that off the top of my head. Also, I'm cheating because I co-created the series. But nevertheless, I talk to people who have read that book one time, did the Savers for a Year, and they can tell you what the savers are, how long to do them, and they are getting their own great results from the process.

So easy to read, easy to remember, easy to do or create, create those results. And then finally, this brings this to the last key, which is easy to share. Your book has to be easy to remember for people to share, they have to be able to remember the author's name, the title of the book, something about the book so that they can share it with other people because, and you're going to back me up on this, the number one way people discover a book is through a recommendation. It's not through Amazon ads, it's not through Facebook ads. It's because somebody said, oh my gosh, I read this book, it's fantastic. You have to stop everything. Put at the top of your to be read pile and start reading it right now. So once I discovered those four keys, I just threw 'em into a blog post.

Yeah, it was just like, here you go, everybody. And one of my mastermind members, I host the Empire Builder's Mastermind, and he's a ghost writer. So he writes a lot of books and he said, I wish I knew about this. Why haven't I ne never heard of this? And I said, well, I made it up. I I I analysed all the books and I figured out what the common elements are and I made it up and I put it in the blog post. He said, you should write a book about it. So that's how the book came to be, is I really dove into, okay, is my assumption about my assumption? Correct? If you're not lucky, then what can you apply to writing your book that will make it easy to read, remember, do and share so that people can get better results than you.

So I applied this formula, the bestselling book formula test to four books. And one of them was Verity Colleen Hoover's book. And I know you talk a lot about Colleen on the show and so her book is easy to read, it's easy to remember because she talks about that character, right? It's easy to, it's easy to do, right? We're not going to do anything other than just enjoy the book. And then of course we're going to share it because I don't know about you, but I read it in four hours and then told everyone for about two weeks that they needed to drop everything and read the book. So it does apply also to fiction as well.

James Blatch: Yeah, I was just thinking exactly that and the word of mouth thing. I mean, that book in particular God, the Blue Touch paper lit through TikTok, but TikTok is a w it wasn't TikTok ads or even Colleen Running promotion, it was TikTok word of mouth recommendations. Yes. It was just a conduit for that. No, I completely, I think the, the crossover with fiction is, is very real. I was also thinking about the, the simplicity of writing and I think it's easy to overwrite stuff. It's easy to show off your research and show off your vocabulary and they're terrible things to do for fiction. And I think Dan Brown is a really good example of, you know, I, I remember reading the Dan Brown books when they came out and I probably was one of those people who were a bit snobby about it, saying, oh, looks like it's written for children.

And that at the same time couldn't stop reading it and read the next one and the next one. And it was only later I got into this writing business, started to realise how hard that was to write a book that's so easy to read and, and leaves you as a reader slightly ahead of probably where the writing is, which makes you even more engrossed in it. But it's hard to do that and it's easy to show off with your, you know, research into military history and stuff. And that's just the worst thing you can do for the writing.

Honoree Corder: Well, but also too, I would keep in mind don't beat yourself up at all because the people who are reading that military fiction that you're writing, they're not the people that are wanting it to be easy to read. They want to learn something and they're interested in history, to be fair.

James Blatch: Yeah. But I also want a mass audience of, and you know, the best, the best. It's great to hear from an RF pilot who said, I loved your book, but what I really love is hearing from somebody saying, somebody handed this to me. It's not really my type of book, but I loved it. That's Yeah, because that's also lucrative because that's a much bigger market. That's right.

Honoree Corder: That's right. That's right. You can get, you can be a page turner and still have a smart book, right? Yeah,

James Blatch: Yeah. Hopefully. yeah, no, I think that's that's really interesting. And you've, I mean, you've written and sold I think over 5 million books we've sold over five. You haven't written 5 million books because we duplicate them, but you've sold over 5 million of these books. So you, you are, is that right? Four and a half? Four and four and a half million. Okay. Four and a half. Exaggerate

Honoree Corder: To be because someone's going to, someone's going to email me and go, no, no. Yeah, yeah.

James Blatch: Yes. But that's that, that's a remarkably simple set of rules for a career that started in 2004, which is why it resonates I think so powerfully. And always, I always think the best wisdom you ever hear is when somebody makes something sound simple. Because there's no rocket sight and there's no magic dust. There's, there's a few things you need to get right. And that's goes back a couple hundred years of writing and publishing.

Honoree Corder: Correct? Correct. And also the more you write, the easier it gets to write. It's like anything else, it's building a muscle. It's not very hard. Probably you found your first book a little harder than your second For sure. And it easier as as you go on. So the more you, the more you write, the more you write, the more you sell, the more you sell the, once you get into the rhythm of anything, you're going to build that muscle and become more successful, faster and easier.

James Blatch: For sure.

So these two books, your latest two books, where can people find them? And just remind us of the of the titles.

Honoree Corder: Thank you. So you must market your book is Amazon and also almost everywhere, so I'm going wide. And then the bestselling book formula is wide, it's everywhere, everywhere books are sold,

James Blatch: Honoree corder. And you said about keeping things simple. I do know every now and again I see an author name that I can't pronounce or even read on the front of a book. And I think it, it shouldn't matter, but it does, to me it sort of feels like it does matter that if it's a simple thing that somebody can't really, you know, when there's a very funny TikTok this woman did of reading a fantasy book where you come across the surnames, you've never really worked out pronounce, and you just, you must them in your, in your silent internal reading, blah, yes, he's going to true. And it's kind of how we read the books. And I do think if you've got a complicated surname, slightly unusual one, one that you have to tell people how to pronounce it change your name for the front cover of a book because it's very, I I do find it hard to recommend something and you can't say the names, but sort of what you are hinting at though, keep it, keep it simple and easy to talk about.

Honoree Corder: Keep it simple. I, you know, I, I started publishing books before there were other people that I could talk to about it, specifically self-publishing. And so I didn't really go to someone and say, my name is difficult or my name is unique, should I change it or should I use my initials? I just published it under my name and

James Blatch: Went for it. I, I don't think your name's difficult to pronounce it all. I yours is perfect now, even though I said, that doesn't matter. People would, I'd easily say, and I have talked about you having just seen your name, but there are some author names on books, particularly fiction books that I see in our community. And I've never said this to them, but I've looked at that surname and thought, I can't pronounce this. It's a really unusual surname.

And I don't know, would you, would you recommend people think about changing their name?

Honoree Corder: Well, I don't know, I think getting into changing someone's name is a little beyond the scope of my comfort level. Right. I don't know if I would be like, I don't know, Blatch. Right? I don't know. It's hard to sound out. I'm making this up, right. Yeah, maybe you should change it however you do. Raise a good point. And if someone came to me and asked me if they should change their name maybe, maybe make it easy. I think it's why when people come to the US from any country where they're, where they don't have an alphabet, where they have characters. So like, you know, the Asian countries, they come and I'll like go to a nail salon and I'll say, what's your name? And they're like, Sue? Yeah. And I'm like, no honey, what is, what is your name? I want to, I want to address you properly. But I think that's probably why, because they're, yes, birth name is difficult. It would be difficult for me to pronounce. People

James Blatch: Could spell it. It's the same when you go to Benny Hannah and your, your chef is called Jim or Pete and you think it's probably not your name.

Honoree Corder: Probably not. And I try to ask just to be, you know, interested. Yes, yes. Yeah. But you do make a good point. And I haven't ever thought about changing Honoree. I, I feel like it's

James Blatch: No, I I didn't mean that. I think always fine. It's, I I would give examples, but that would be pointing out somebody or people in our community. But anyway, so it just, it just floated through my mind. You talked about keeping it simple and, and word of mouth, making it easy to refer. But anyway, it's a small thing here and there. I think character names probably are equally important, aren't they? Coming up with a, a really unusual, difficult to remember character name is, is not the most helpful thing when it comes to marketing.

Honoree Corder: Yes. Well it's so interesting to realise that a lot of main characters all have the same first name. It's

James Blatch: Jack Hiro. Yeah,

Honoree Corder: Yeah. Or Jack. Everybody who wants to call their character Jack, which there's something to that one syllable with a K. Right,

James Blatch: Right. Yeah. Yeah. Funny enough, my, my hero was called Jake at the beginning of my book, but I did change that because it was a bit too close to Jake Grafton who was the Stephen Kings in a similar, similar book. Yeah. honour, it's been such fun talking to you. Time has flown by and Yeah. And

I'm pleased you'd let people know where they can find your books if they wanted to find you, where would they go looking?

Honoree Corder: They could go to honoree and I'll be right there.

James Blatch: you'll be there.

Honoree Corder: Oh yeah, yeah. Right there. Ready

James Blatch: And poised. Yes. That's brilliant. Thank you so much. Anita, whereabouts are you in the US I guess you're in the us

Honoree Corder: I, yes, in Middle Tennessee. So just outside of Nashville.

James Blatch: Are you somewhere near Taylor Swift's Christmas Tree Farm?

Honoree Corder: Not far. Not far.

James Blatch: Yeah. Taylor Water

Honoree Corder: I think probably shop at the same Publix,

James Blatch: Wow. Because I'm

Honoree Corder: Sure so maybe, I don't know. The tea goes to Publix. Yeah, Taylor's people and I shop at the same grocery store. I think for sure I think that that Nashville would be an excellent location for a self-publishing show.

James Blatch: It really would. I love Nashville. Been a couple of times and it's an absolutely fabulous place. Want to go back? The music is unbelievable in Nashville. Yeah. So well, well for coming back, I'll let you know. And we did visit we last time John, John and I went over to the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's Yeah. Place a really interesting history era in there as well. So yeah. Anyway, we're rambling now. Honoree, thank you so much indeed for coming on the show. It's been brilliant. And yeah, we'll catch up again some Tom. I'm sure

Honoree Corder: I'll look. Love it and look forward to it. Thank you so much.

Speaker 2: This is the self-publishing show. There's never been a better time to be a writer.

James Blatch: There you go. We know all about non-fiction business. So Craig has asked me to talk about running a non-fiction business at the mastermind in New Yorker. And, and I

Mark Dawson: Obviously Craig Martel

James Blatch: Listeners, Craig Mar, Craig Martel, I should say, who runs runs the 20 Bucks conference, but he also runs his own mastermind conferences. I'm going to one in Spain, the B island of Maya beautiful island in June. And so I'm starting to think about, oh I'm going to tell big selling like million dollar authors about running a non-fiction business. And the truth is the everything I can think of is pretty much the same. It's just we do do the same. We, we've, we have lead magnets, we have sales funnels built around them. We use a lot of the same tools for non-fiction and because it's basically it's digital marketing, right Mark?

Mark Dawson: Yeah. So yeah, a lot of the same lessons that we've learned in the fiction space will apply to what we do at spf. So it is building a mailing list. That's the most fundamental thing is we have a very large mailing list now. And that enables us to tell people when we've got things like the conference or when the courses are open. You know, the other day I sent out an email seeing whether people would be interested in us coming to speak to in Australia and yeah, that that that that kind of ability is fundamentally important to this business and, and books as well. So yeah, a lot of the, a lot of the things that we do for books will apply equally to, to nonfiction outside of things as well.

James Blatch: Yeah. So I'll have to think of something original to say be maybe a glimpse behind the curtains

Mark Dawson: You juggle.

James Blatch: I could, I could juggle, I could distract them with something. Couldn't I?

Mark Dawson: I fire alarm maybe. That'd be good one.

James Blatch: Yes. That's it. Unemploy Unemploy somebody. I'll get one of the waiting staff to start the fire and sprinklers. Oh, I had such a good session for you Anyway, sunny. So let's go outside. Good. Yes, actually I'm going to Mecca in the Weeken a bit and it's going to be 25, 26 degrees, which is I guess 80, 80 something in Fahrenheit. And it's been so bloody miserable in this country this year. It's been cold. Every day's cold. Even if it's blue sky, it's cold. And I'm getting to the point now of a being angry about it, you know, it's supposed to go on a test cause I'm going cycling milk cause we're going to like a test ride tomorrow, but I'm not going out in nine degrees. It's freezing on a bike in nine degrees. So I'll do a run instead, but I'm just, you know, I sorted out Mark, you must know people.

Mark Dawson: I was in New York on Friday and no, there was 31, so it was, but that was unusual, but then it was like in the twenties, Saturday and Sunday, which was quite

James Blatch: Nice. So 31 is in you is approaching nineties and I think 32 is 90 or something like that, but so

Mark Dawson: Yeah, it was, it was really hot.

James Blatch: Oh my God. I'm so fed up with it. And it is not good for you. Honestly. It's, it's, I think I'm one of those people who suffers a little bit and that the gloomy weather.

Mark Dawson: Yeah.

James Blatch: I, I might sound chirpy, but I'm angry underneath.

Mark Dawson: All right. On that bombshell,

James Blatch: On that angry bombshell. Perhaps it'll be warm next time we speak. Okay. Thank you very much indeed. Big thanks to our team who put this show together in the background without whom you wouldn't be listening to it. And thank you to Honore Corder for joining us has been far too long not hearing from Monterey on this show. And thank you Mark. We will be back next week. Don't forget, you can find out more about the Self-Publishing launchpad. Of course. Formally known as Self-Publishing 1 0 1 at Self-Publishing. Formula.Com/Launchpad, right? All that remains for me today. Is this a goodbye from him

Mark Dawson: And a goodbye from me?

James Blatch: Goodbye. Goodbye.

Speaker 2: Get show notes, the podcast archive and free resources to boost your writing career at self-publishing Join our thriving Facebook group at self-publishing Support the [email protected] slash self-publishing show. And join us next week for more help and inspiration so that you can make your mark as a successful indie author. Publishing is changing. So get your words into the world and join the revolution with the Self-Publishing Show.

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