Steve is a 3rd generation minister and the best selling author who has coached 600 people to also become a bestseller. Steve gives ideas on how to get your book to become a bestseller.
Steve Kidd Real Estate Background:
- 3rd generation minister
- Best selling author and coaches others on becoming best sellers
- Has helped over 600 people be best selling authors
- Based in Oswego, OR
- Say hi to him at bestsellersguild.com
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Best Ever Tweet:
“You need to have a very specific marketing campaign that will market your new book.” – Steve Kidd
Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless. This is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast where we only talk about the best advice ever; we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff. With us today, Steve Kidd. How you doing, Steve?
Steve Kidd: I’m doing great. Thanks for having me.
Joe Fairless: Well, it’s my pleasure and looking forward to our conversation. Best Ever listeners, today is Sunday. So because it’s Sunday, we’ve got a special segment, Skillset Sunday, where you will walk away with a specific skill. Today we’re gonna be talking to Steve and I’ll give his background, and then we’ll talk about what his skill set is. So Steve is a third-generation minister, he’s also an author and coaches others on becoming bestsellers; he’s helped over 600 people become bestselling authors on Amazon. So what we’re gonna be talking about today, the skill set is one, the importance of being clear on messaging and how there are some fallacies in the publishing industry that he’s going to clear up for us, and just overall, the importance of having a book for your business. So with that being said, first Steve, do you want to get the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background, and then we’ll go right into the topic?
Steve Kidd: Sure, absolutely. I’m an international bestselling author. I have five books that have ranked number one in a number of different countries around the world, and I love, more than anything else, to help people really get clear on what their message is; not necessarily their message forever, but what is that conversation that will best help you in where you are in life and business, get to that next step for yourself.
In 2020, there aren’t a lot of money to be made in books, but without it, you’re always going to be leaving money on the table. You really need, especially that bestseller, to really have the best marketing campaign you possibly can… And I love doing that. I’m a third-generation minister, as you mentioned. My father is actually still, even though he just turned 80, still pastoring in a church, and I’m in the non-traditional route, working in and out of churches. And now I get to spend every day working with authors and helping them frame and shape who they are into a written book that will become a bestseller.
Joe Fairless: Okay, so what is your business model?
Steve Kidd: We have a system to help people write, publish and market their book to bestseller, and much like books like The Four Agreements, or literally any book that you’ve ever read by Sir Richard Branson or many others, we employ the concept of speaking to write. What you will find is that when we write – journaling is a perfect example, because it’s very cathartic – most all of our own writing is going to be very internalized. It’s very much a lot of who we are and what we’re feeling, but not so much listener-oriented. When we speak, especially if we’re speaking to a person, we typically are going to have their thoughts, their feelings and their needs in mind. So employing that speak-to-write process really allows you the ability to really serve the needs of the people that you know you’re meant to serve. We have a whole system to be able to do that, and we can actually take you from absolute chaos and confusion to being a bestselling author in 30 to 90 days, and we like to say we can really help it be effortless.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, and so the term bestselling author – it can be a little misleading, and I want to get to the heart of what your process is, because I think it’s interesting and I think there’s a lot of value. But just talking about throwing around the term bestselling author, how do you exactly become a bestselling author? What’s the approach that you take?
Steve Kidd: Well, I would always recommend that the most “real bestselling author” statistic is Amazon’s. Number one, Amazon sells more than 60% of all books around the world that are sold. Secondarily, they are the only list that I know of that are purely based 100% on statistics, meaning that if a book ranks, say, number two over another book that’s ranked number three, that legitimately means that that book has sold more copies of the book than the person who was number three. Now, they are updated on a regular basis, and although they reflect a somewhat hour by hour reflection of the sales that are happening on Amazon, it’s not exactly hour by hour, but that’s a good way of thinking of it. So it’s also very up to date as well…
Whereas the New York Times bestseller list is an editorial. They actually take the statistics from the Nielsen company, the same people who do rankings for television shows. They take that information, and then they write an editorial based on who they think should be listed as the bestselling books, and we could fill the whole show just with stories of people who statistically should have been on that list, but for whatever reasons– and don’t get me wrong, they’re a privately held company, they can list anybody they want to, but just from a purely statistical standpoint, they have left people out for whatever reasons they choose to. So we want to do something that’s systematizable, is predictable, and then a person when they say they did it, that means that they literally actually got their book in the hands of more people than the people around them did.
Joe Fairless: So what is your process for doing that?
Steve Kidd: We’ve been a marketing company for more than 20 years now. Everything we do starts from research. We research what keywords, categories, all of those kind of things are going to best serve the book itself, and then we use that to on the author’s behalf do some updates into their description and their keywords, the categories they’re in. If you wanted to try to rank as number one in the main parent category self-help, you’re going to probably need to sell about 10,000 books in an hour, which unless Tony Robbins or Oprah Winfrey is promoting your book is probably not really realistic.
There are other categories often that really are clear about what your book is that will serve you much better, and when you’re placed in a category that really is what your book’s about – because let’s be honest, self-help can mean a whole lot of different things, whereas your book might be how to be a good Christian mother, just as an example, which is a much more specific thing, and there are a lot of good categories that that can go in. I’m not talking about putting them in underwater basket weaving and gaming the system; I’m talking about a legitimate category, but one that’s going to be clear for the person when they’re searching and is going to do it. Ultimately, Amazon’s search engine– Amazon is a search engine for people looking to buy things, versus Google is a search engine for people looking for information, and having been in technology space throughout literally the inception of the internet, it is about appealing to that search engine and making that algorithm see your book in the best light possible, to rank as best as possible.
Joe Fairless: Are those the two main components – find the right keywords and then optimize accordingly, and then two, find niche subcategories that are hyper-relevant? Obviously, the book has to be good, but just from a marketing standpoint, are those the two main things?
Steve Kidd: That, and then thirdly would be, you need to have a marketing launch campaign. Most people, what they do is they launch their book and then they announce to the world that their book’s out there. You need to have a very specific, very structured campaign that is going to bring the people in as tight of a timeframe as possible, as well as the most number of people in various different ways, but an overall plan and not just simply doing like most people do and just throwing out a Facebook post that says, “Hey, I got a new book.”
Joe Fairless: “By the way, I have a book.”
Steve Kidd: Yeah.
Joe Fairless: Okay, and then on the marketing plan, bring people in to as tight of a timeframe as possible – what are a couple of effective things to do for that?
Steve Kidd: Well, number one is, even if while you’re listening today, you’ve decided, “Okay, I’m going to write a book,” you don’t have a word written, you have no cover, none of that stuff. The first thing you want to do is go out onto whatever social media platforms you use regularly and announce it. Tell people, “I am starting the writing of my book today.” There is probably no more powerful social media impact type of post you can make then when you talk about your book. People are always interested, you get lots of likes, lots of follows. We even actually had people who have built from no Facebook following to 1,500 to 3,000 followers in the course of their first 30 days, starting with the announcement of the fact that, “Hey, I want to let you all know who I am and the fact that I’m starting into the writing of a book.” So that would be the other thing is, is that really have a buy-in from the people that are in the tribe you either are part of or are building throughout the whole course of the process of your book, so that they feel like they’re part of it, and when it comes to your marketing launch day, they want to participate.
Joe Fairless: Got it. So it doesn’t sound like you subscribe to the philosophy of making it free for a period of time to artificially inflate the amount of people who get the book to then be on the bestseller list.
Steve Kidd: Well, there is all kinds of marketing programs. One of the most powerful programs that Amazon has available, is if you are part of Kindle Select, you can do up to five free days every quarter, and for people who the continuing marketing of their book is part of their marketing program, I would absolutely recommend that you make use of all five of those days; the number one of which being is on your initial launch. Yes, do do a free day. There’s more behind it than just having the book be free, but Amazon doesn’t quantify whether your book is free or you sell it for a million dollars. They’re looking at unique individuals as identified by your unique email address, and who actually got a copy of the book in their hands.
Joe Fairless: With the fallacies that you’d mentioned to me prior to us recording, where you said there are some fallacies about the publishing industry, what are some things that come to mind there?
Steve Kidd: Well, so the number one, of course, is that it’s hard. Most people would tell you that “I’m expecting to start my book and it’s going to take me a year to three or four years to get it done”, and that I need an agent to push my book to a publishing company, and all of those things. And really, that’s a very old concept, and ultimately if you go that way– and I’m not saying that there aren’t times when you need to use your traditional publisher, but if you go that way, you need to understand the publisher owns your book. One of my good friends that has several books out, she would be the first one to tell you publishing companies are like loan sharks. They may give you an advance, but the more of an advance they give you, the more it would cost you to be able to actually get the ownership of your book back. So that’s one definitely – it’s much easier than you think, and you really can own 100% of your book; you can be in control of it.
In fact, I’ll give you a perfect example. Terry Brooks, most people know the name Terry Brooks, one of probably the most popular fiction authors in the United States today. Terry Brooks has really never– there was one TV show that they finally did, but none of his stuff, with as hugely popular as they are, have ever made it into television or movies because of the publisher and what the publisher wants in order to be able to get there. Terry would be okay with it. I actually had a one on one conversation with him at a book signing he did, and he would be fine with it, but the publisher and the movie studio couldn’t come to terms, and therefore [unintelligible [00:15:34].03] our movie, for example.
Joe Fairless: Anything else that we haven’t talked about that you think we should about publishing?
Steve Kidd: So the second one is the concept that a book should be 350 pages. The reality is– and you probably even have some of these books on your desk now, Joe, that are books that are great, but you haven’t finished them, and maybe you never will, because you got what you wanted, and then you moved on, or you got busy and forgot that you didn’t finish it.
The 350-page book actually isn’t what people want. In fact, statistically, Amazon has tracked these statistics, and if a book is 100 pages or less, more than 60% of the people who get the book will finish the book. If it goes over 100 pages, if it’s 101 to 200 pages, that number drops down to 20% of the people will finish the book. If the book goes over 200 pages at all, that number actually drops down to less than 3% of the people who get that book will ever finish it.
So if you have things that people really should know about, then the very best thing you can do is write it in a way that is consumable by the people you’re writing it for. And in most people’s cases, what they have is not just a book, but they actually have a whole book series.
Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing?
Steve Kidd: Sure, the best thing to do is go to our free Facebook group; it’s called The Best Sellers Guild. The easiest way to get there is just go to bestsellersguild.com and that’ll take you right straight to the Facebook group. Ask to join, we would love to have you in there. There are 3000+ people that are all the way from beginning to they’ve written several books now, somewhere on their bestseller journey.
Joe Fairless: Steve, thanks for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day. Talk to you again later.
Steve Kidd: Thank you.
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