How To Successfully Self-Publish Books With a Small Platform (Part 4)

Here we are in part four in this series on how to self-publish books when you don’t have a huge audience. Don’t forget that tonight I’m hosting a free webinar where I’ll be continuing this series, answering your questions and telling you about an amazing opportunity to be a part of a live demo. Details here

What I hope you take away from this series is that your first book isn’t “it.” This first book is just the foundation that you need to 1010374_531308310312541_4450249279877872376_nbuild on and create a real business from. My first book flopped but I got back up and self-published a second book and created an online business that supports our family so well, we were able to move to Maui, Hawaii.

I didn’t and still don’t have a huge audience, that’s how I know you can do this too. After this series is over, I’ll be having a couple of follow-up posts that talk about how to self-publish a book: who to hire for editing and formatting, what you should price your book. I’ll also be talking about KDP Select and a few other things related to self-publishing.

If you want more specific help, I do offer coaching and have helped many authors self-publish their books and do well. I myself have self-published two books that have sold over 82,000 copies, so I know a little about this stuff :)  Let’s pick up where we left off:

9. Set up spots on local TV. Despite the popularity of the Internet, people still watch TV. There’s an untapped opportunity that we miss because we think it’s impossible: being interviewed on your TV local stations. Think about how much content your local Fox or CBS (and so on) affiliate has to fill, they’re always looking for good content.

The key is having a good hook, something that garbs attention or causes controversy. There’s a strategy for how to get booked but I won’t share that here, I’m saving that for a special bonus :) Even with a self-published book, you can print out physical copies through a few places and bring them on one of your local stations.

10. Launch the books for 4 days: Tuesday through Friday. When we see the A-Listers launch a book, they usually use the whole week, the reason they’re doing that is to make the New York Times best-sellers list, that’s not our goal (YET!). For smaller platform launches, you don’t need a full week, three to four days max. I say launch on a Tuesday and end on a Friday. (more…)

How To Successfully Self-Publish Books With a Small Platform (Part 3)

This is the third post in our series on how to self-publish a book when you’re not an A-Lister. We’ll continue in this free webinar I’m hosting on Tuesday April 22 at 8 pm CST/9 EST, details here. All your questions will be answered live!

Barnes and NoblesLook, can you do this and do it well? Yes! You have to adjust your expectations and see this for the opportunity that it really is. Let your first book be just that, your first book, from there launch more books or more products and services, really build a business that supports your family.

Let’s pick up where we left off:

5. Form a launch team. You may have heard about this strategy but like everything we’ve talked about, we’re going to do it differently. We will form two launch teams: one will be bloggers who will review the book on their blog, share on social media and write an Amazon review, the second team will be people who don’t have a blog but will share on social media and write an Amazon review.

The point of having two teams is to keep things organized. You want to send specific instructions to each team and since they’re both doing different things, it wouldn’t make sense to communicate with them both at the same place. Usually with launch teams, there’s a Facebook group offered as a bonus, we’re not going to do that.

If you’re like me, you’re probably in twenty groups already and after a while, you lose interest and aren’t active anymore. This has been my experience when I formed Facebook groups for my launches and groups I’ve been a part for other launches, it’s not effective anymore. The way we will communicate with our launch team is through two separate email lists.

The purpose of the launch team is to use the power of numbers and bigger networks. When forming the launch team, we won’t just take anyone. They have to have a similar audience or something close. If they don’t, we’ll have them on the second launch team. This team will help let the world know your book and bonuses are out there and ready for people to get them.

To form a launch team, create a separate email list with your email service provider, create a form that asks the questions you want answered. Here’s an example of a form I created for my first launch team:

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 4.55.00 PM (more…)

How to Successfully Self-Publish with a Small Platform (Part 2)

In case you missed it, we’re in a series right now on how to self-publish a book when you’re growing or have a little audience. There’s a ton of advice and information out there from some amazing A-Listers but a lot of it won’t work unless you have a large platform. If you missed part one, check it out here.

I personally know the frustration of putting your blood, sweat and tears into a book, releasing it to the world and having it be Are You Living or Existinglargely ignored. You’re frustrated, you’re confused, you followed all the advice and it didn’t work, what’s up with that? That’s why this series is here, I hope it helps you see self-publishing in a new light.

Let’s pick up where we left off:

3. Adjust your expectations. You’re not going to build sustainable income with one book. Is it impossible? No but it’s highly unlikely. Almost all of the successful self-published authors have multiple books: Amanda Hocking, John Locke, Jasinda Wilder, Joe Konrath, Barry Eisler and the list goes on. If you click on the link for Joe Konrath, you’ll see he has self-published 40 books since 2009!

a. Realize your first book is just the beginning. What we’re building here is a house and the first book is the foundation of that house. From this first book you’re goal is to spring-board into more books and use the exposure from this book to launch other revenue streams. If you’re self-publishing a book, I’m going to assume you’re build something that you want to support you and your family one day, the first book is just the beginning. Instead of expecting it to be a NY Times best-seller or sell the same number of copies as an A-Lister you saw launch a book, set a realistic goal for yourself.

The number that I’m setting for the two case studies we’ll do at the end of this series and the goal I give my coaching clients is 1,000 books during launch week. That number isn’t crazy high and it’s not too low. Look at your book as a small piece in a big puzzle that will support you someday.

b. Launch other income streams. In this series we’re going to use the launch to not only sell a book but launch other income streams in our platform. If you’re a coach, we’re going to tie in your coaching business, if you’re a speaker, we’re going to tie in your speaking business. There’s so much exposure during your launch that it would crazy not to convert it for more than just your book. If you have a small platform, this can be the key to creating something that actually supports you and your family. We’re adjusting the expectation that this one book is going to be it, we’re realizing that we need more.

The best way to do this is cross promotion and packaging. What can you package with what to make the deal irresistible to the buyers? Again, I’m assuming you’re building a real business here, not just selling a book, so tying in your other offerings is a killer strategy to create good income during the launch.

c. Set goals, not dreams. This is the goal we’re setting for this series: 1,000 book sold during launch week. 1,000 books isn’t going to make you rich but it’s a good starting point and it’s decent income. You can use that number to spring-board your book in Amazon’s algorithm. That’s the goal I want you to set and plan how to achieve. (more…)

How To Successfully Self-Publish Books With a Small Platform (Part 1)

Let’s start off with what makes me qualified to talk about this. Three years ago I self-published a book that completely flopped, it sold five copies in the first six months, I was devastated.

555075_10151591560670449_917950540_nAfter almost having a nervous break down, I decided to pick myself up and become a student of self-publishing and online marketing. Three years later my two self-published books have sold over 82,000 copies and I have a traditionally published book.

I’ve hesitated to talk about self-publishing, writing is my passion but marketing definitely is not. The reason why I want to talk about this now is because there’s a lot of information out there but it’s not relevant unless you have a large platform.

I’ve read the posts from the A-Listers and it’s solid stuff but people read it and expect the same results. The launch strategies that some authors are using are to make the NY Times and other best sellers lists, it’s specific to larger platforms.

If you have a small platform, those strategies aren’t going to work. I want this series to be a help those who have tried to self-publish and haven’t gotten the results they wanted, the ones that followed the advice and it didn’t work for them.

I also want this to be a blueprint for those who want to self-publish. At the end of this series is going to be an opportunity to see if this strategy works. I’m going to give you a chance to be a part of a live demo.

What is a small platform?

I think the answer here can vary but for the purposes of this series I’m going to say anyone with less than 1,000 email subscribers. Once you get to 1,000 email subscribers you can really make significant income from your platform. The word platform just means your overall online presence: email list, social media fans/followers.

The Strategy: 

Understand who’s your target audience. This is for writing the book and marketing it. This is the key for everything we’ll do. If you’re not clear about who you’re talking to, you’ll never be able to figure out where they are and how to best reach them. Your book isn’t for everyone, you have to get it in front of the people who it’s meant for, that’s who will buy the book. Once you know who your target audience is, use that information to create a campaign that they can’t resist.  (more…)

Today Our Dream Becomes a Reality

As you’re reading this, our family is on a plane somewhere over the United States. At 6 a.m. CST this morning, we left Milwaukee, Wisconsin for good. We’re on our way to our new home in Maui!

Our home in Maui :)

Our home in Maui :)

In April of 2010 my wife and I went to Maui as a long belated honeymoon. As soon as we got off the plane, we felt “something,” I can’t really explain it. As we enjoyed the trip, we started to talk about a crazy idea: why not retire here?

We got home and checked that idea away. In wasn’t until the death of my father in mid 2012 that the idea came back alive. His death woke me up to how short life really is and that I didn’t want to waste a single minute of it on dreaming, I had to act.

Getting to this flight has taken longer than we planned, we should have been there already, dreams are like that. You’ve read about this journey, the ups and the downs, it wasn’t easy but man, this is a sweet moment.

I’ll keep this brief, I am flying after all :) Understand that we can’t just dream, we have to do something about those dreams if they’re ever going to become a reality. For a long time I was caught in a dream world, like Walter in the movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

The tagline for that movie is stop dreaming, start living and it’s so true. We can’t live in a dream world, we have to work on things in the real world. This will be hardest thing you’ve ever done, it’s not going to go as planned, that’s life.

You know all of this but a reminder ever now and then doesn’t hurt. You can and will do this, we need you to believe. We need you to act. We need you to determine that you won’t let doubt, fear or failures break you, you’re doing this no matter what.

Determine that you will live life by your own design, you will strive to get to freedom. Family man, that time with your family is too important to live life any other way. I’m going to sign off, I’m using the airplanes wi-fi and we’re about to land at LAX.

Get ready

On Friday I’ll be starting a series on how to successfully self-publish a book when you have a small platform. There’s a lot of great information out there on how to self-publish but it’s from people who already have a large platform. I get asked daily how to do this and actually make money when you don’t have a large platform, so I’m going to show you. At the end of the series, you’ll have a chance to see this system demonstrated. Come back Friday and bring your author friends :)

Keep pushing forward, you’ll be in this very position soon enough. Where are you at with your dream? Please update us!

A Behind The Scenes Look At Living Your Dream

I did a webinar the other day about what life is like when you’re living your dream, it was fun! I get asked all the time about what life is like now that I’m not doing bread. Let’s just say, I don’t miss it!

1654091_583108378441270_20996181_nIf your dream is to have an online business that supports your family, here’s a sneak peek into what life could be like and what my days look like since leaving bread.

Mourning routine

I wake up everyday at 5 a.m. to get a run in, I normally run five miles a day. I get home, shower and have morning devotions. After that, I have tea and my wife has coffee, we spend a half hour every morning talking.

I make breakfast for the kids and we all enjoy breakfast together as a family. The kids get to school and I crack open my MacBook Pro and get to work.

Work routine

After some trial and error, I’ve worked out a pretty good flow. Let me tell you, once you’re completely supported by your online business, it can be a struggle to stay productive.

There are so many distractions that can easily keep you from getting stuff accomplished. Facebook is calling, TV is calling, answering email is calling, you really have to guard your time.

Monday’s are for 30 minute free coaching consultations. I get a lot of inquiries about coaching and people wonder if coaching is worth it. On that 30 minute call, I try to go over the top, I want people to walk away with actions steps they can use immediately.

If you’ve hit a wall in this journey, coaching may help you get over that wall. Most people look at how much coaching costs but if it gets you to your dream quicker and you generate income far above what you pay, wouldn’t that be worth it?

If you’re curious or want to see if I know what I’m talking about, schedule your free 30 minute consultation by emailing me at That 30 minutes WILL be worth your time. (more…)

3 Deadly Mindset Traps That Guarantee Failure

This is a guest post by Kevin Anthony Williams. He is a Career Coach and the author of Defining You, a coaching work book that will walk you through the process of clarifying your values. You can get a FREE download of Defining You, which also includes 45 minutes of FREE coaching by subscribing to his blog. You can also follow him on Twitter.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

So you have finally decided to stop merely talking about your dream and to start actively pursuing it. Congratulations! That one decision alone has propelled you into rarefied air. The sad truth is that most people never muster up enough courage to

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

step out of the talking phase and into the wild, uncharted territory that is the doing phase.

Action is what matters in any dream chasing journey.

So, why is it that some people seem unstoppable while others can’t seem to get off the couch?

In a word. Mindset.

When attempting to accomplish something unconventional whether that be starting a business, having a great marriage or getting out of debt you will frequently battle negative mindsets.

I find that the height of the mindset battle occurs immediately after getting out of bed. It is important therefore to have a strategy for dealing with the onslaught early.

When you conquer limiting mindsets early, you will be unstoppable for the rest of the day. When you don’t, the day will spiral out of control.

Based upon my experience encouraging and coaching others to achieve big dreams, I have found that there are at least three common mindset traps that pretty much guarantee failure.

Let’s expose these hidden dream killers for the lies that they are and discuss ways to defeat them: (more…)


A special welcome to those visiting from Inspire Me Today, I’m thrilled to have you here! This website is dedicated to helping you live life on your own terms and create freedom. Life is far too short to waste it on the things that aren’t important to you and your family.

Here I talk about the dream chasing journey: the ups and downs and how to get through them, some tips on what to expect. My goal is for you to live your dream and get that freedom you’re craving and I won’t stop until everyone who reads this blog does. Be sure to sign up for email updates so you don’t miss a single thing and you’ll get a couple of cool thank you gifts.

I’m here to help, you can reach me directly at, I answer every email. Send a message and let me know where you are in your dream chasing journey and what are some of your biggest struggles, I’d love to help!

Peace out,

How To Keep Your Dream From Failing

Have successful people ever failed?

The answer is yes and one of the most famous incidents is Thomas Edison creating the light bulb. It’s said that it took him First Book1,000 tries before he got it right. There are cases after cases of successful people failing but pushing forward anyway.

After my first book failed, after the first negative review, after the first time I spoke and sucked, I had a decision to make and I chose to push forward towards my dream. I still had crazy doubt and fear, I still didn’t fully believe in myself but my dream was too important to give up.

You have a choice to make, except a failure or move forward with your dream?

The stories we hear most of the time are about those that accepted defeat, like those stats about how many books most authors sell. These stats and stories don’t have to be your story.

You have the power to choose what your story will be by how you respond during times when you experience a failure. How should you respond?

Get back up and take it one day at a time. When we focus on the big picture, it can be overwhelming, seemingly impossible. When we wake up and just focus on what we have to do that day, impossibility is gone. (more…)

Stop Learning, Start Implementing

In 2012 I attended two of the best conferences out there: Brendon Burchard’s Expert Academy and 10x Empire conferences.

IMG_0496The information in those conferences was far above anything being taught, the people I networked with were where I wanted to be, I met my publisher at that conference. Each conference was three days of non-stop learning.

I left those conferences ready to make my dream a reality, I had all the tools I needed to succeed. I got home and was ready to get to work, until…..

I’m guessing you read books, read blogs, listen to podcasts, you learn more and more everyday. I got home and heard a podcast talking about something new that was working, I read blog posts talking about another thing that was working and I wanted to try all of it.

It wasn’t long before I had information overload and didn’t take any action. I had learned so much I was confused where to start? This person said do this, that person said to that, who was right?

Does this sound familiar?

We all have experienced this at one point or another and it keeps many from taking action on their dreams. How can you balance learning and implementing what you learn?

Stop learning

I’m not telling you to stop learning forever, just become selective on what you learn. Determine right now what you need to implement from what you’ve learned already. Once you figure out what that is, only learn things that will help you implement that specific thing. (more…)