The Audacity Of The 100,000 Word Business Card

by admin

After sending over 50 book inquiry letters all around the US, I received a "best of luck to you" canned response.

Sometimes a "not interested" form letter.

Most of the time…no response at all.

Yet we're told we NEED to write the book that is inside of us. The book that qualifies us as the experts we are.

Let's be real. Are we expected to be like Brian Tracy and write 75 books in forty-two languages?

Nope. We're expected to write one fabulous, industry-defining book. The one book that places us up on Mount Olympus as the greatest [insert industry expert] the world has ever seen.

Not likely.

Here's why.

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That one book has become the calling card of today's elite business people but the truth is...
...we are wasting our 100,000 words (maybe 75,000 words). I want you to think about how long it takes to WRITE a (quality) 200 page book...then think for what?
A calling card?
As a host of my own radio show, I received books from authors sometimes and, being honest, they land on my studio floor. No disrespect to the authors...
...which successful entrepreneur, working on their business, has time to read these books? If you are running your business, you don't have the time. Well, maybe you do...but some of us don't. Yet we're told we NEED to write OUR book.
Let me tell you some of what I learned from the inquiry letter responses I received from literary agents.
1. Do you have a list? - What that translates to is do you have a platform in place. Publishers want authors that come with an audience in place. Here is the catch...most agents will look at you if you have at least 10,000 people you talk to. If you don't, you're not considered worthy of representation.
2. What is your unique angle? - This question was presented to me as a way for the agent to pitch me to a publisher if I signed on with them. Since the publishing industry, as a whole, is hurting for unique books, they can't waste their time on duds. So every proposal is a dud until something makes it a diamond. That sucks.
3. Sorry. Too many of those type of books exist. - Simply put, a flooded market. This has become commonplace and we can't do much about it. Outside of the self publishing world, most topics are just rehashed material. Publishers don't want to pay advances and royalties for that.
To learn more about that, check out EP 7 (iTunes - Stitcher) to learn from NYT Best-Selling Author Ron Douglas. Also check out EP 28 (iTunes - Stitcher) from publisher Diane Taylor.
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Now here is why I say if you are going to use 100,000 words, do a show instead.
Radio, podcasting, video, even live-streaming, is a higher form of engagement than written material.
Let's go with radio since it's in my domain and I know you all should have a show.
Radio taps you into a large reach with little work. Take my show for instance. I have a reach of over 700,000 when my show airs. Weekly. Being that a book has a reach of one (handing it to someone) you're not getting the same ROI.
But I do want to be somewhat fair. Mobile has helped the book industry but I don't think it has helped people like you and I. Take a look at this.
According to, almost 80 percent of global consumers have smartphones, nearly 10 percent own wearables, more than 50 percent have tablets, and seven percent own all three. That's pretty impressive for market share. 80% globally.
It goes on to say 47 percent of emerging market consumers reported using their phones to make in-store payments compared to 20 percent of consumers in developed markets. So consumers are using their devices to buy...anything.
To back that statement, Amazon had it's Prime Day sale and, according to CNN Money, recorded it's "biggest sales day in company history". The general consensus is big AZON is killing Black Friday. So sad.
So how does this help the author? Well, John Kramer, Author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, spelled it out for us. In his post on, he stats "The average writer in my experience probably makes less than $100 a year in ebook sales."
$100 a year?
Then he goes deep into what it takes to be successful on Amazon when it comes to selling that same book.
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For me, the ROI doesn't make sense. Amazon doesn't do any promo for you yet they can make a killing on the products that are not your book.
Guess that takes us back to using your book as a business card...but couldn't you use your show as a positioning tool? I do.
Recently, The Warrior Event invited my wife and myself as VIP in part because of my show and the relationships I've built. Most of these type of event encourage passing out business cards and shaking hands at the bar. Me...I collected my show episodes into two DVD collections, which are for sale, and gave them out for FREE at the event. In doing so, I got stage time I normally would have payed for. You speakers reading or listening to can do this with books but your impact increases if you can cut to the chase. Recording work better. I could not get that type of clout from a book. I believe most of you will have the same challenges.
I'll close on this. Books are good but engaging media is better. Skip the book and really use your voice.
I'd love to hear your comments below. Let us know what you think because I may be right or I may be wrong. You decide.
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