5 Genius Business Tactics Turning Broke Authors Into Millionaires

5 Genius Business Tactics Turning Broke Authors Into Millionaires

Intro (00:00:00)

  • Ryan Holiday, the author, mentioned that most authors make more money through speaking than selling books.
  • Ryan Holiday's daily newsletter, the Daily Stoic, which sells coins, merch, and advertisements, has made more money for him than selling books.
  • The Daily Stoic coin, which costs $25 to sell and $1 to make, has sold tens of thousands of copies, generating millions of dollars in revenue.
  • Ryan Holiday works with a famous mint in the United States and is their biggest customer.
  • These authors are making more money through various means other than just writing and selling books.

James Patterson's hit-making formula (00:03:00)

  • James Patterson, a highly successful author, has sold over 500 million copies of his books.
  • Inspired by Edward Stratemeyer's Stratemeyer Syndicate in the 1930s, Patterson employs a similar formula for his popular thrillers.
  • Despite being 75 years old, Patterson maintains an impressive publishing rate of approximately 30 books per year.
  • Patterson's unique business strategy involves employing co-authors, whom he pays out of his own pocket, to help him produce a large quantity of books.
  • Although he only writes about 20% of each book, Patterson's name is credited on all of them, significantly increasing his productivity and earnings.
  • Patterson's focus is on quantity rather than individual bestsellers, and he has consistently worked long hours for over 40 years to achieve his success.
  • He has built a brand around his name, attracting co-authors who benefit from his mentorship and increased visibility.
  • Patterson's approach challenges traditional notions of authorship, prioritizing formulaic and reader-friendly content.
  • As an advertising executive, Patterson treats book writing as a business rather than an art form, using business tactics and strategies to scale up his success.
  • He conducts surveys using HubSpot templates to gather valuable data from his target audience, ensuring that his books align with their needs and preferences.

Jack Carr's shameless product placement (00:12:30)

  • Jack Carr, a former Navy SEAL, writes popular books that feature product and brand names.
  • Carr's website, jackcarr.com, includes gift guides and sells products related to his books, including an axe featured in his stories.
  • Carr uses affiliate links on his website and in his books to earn a commission on sales made through his recommendations.
  • James Reece, a character in Carr's books, has product placements similar to those in movies.
  • Carr has the potential to earn more from affiliate marketing in the future than he does from his books.

Steve Rinella's $100M content to commerce play (00:18:00)

  • Steve Ranella, a former freelance journalist, founded the website "meateater.com," which offers outdoor-related content such as blogs, podcasts, and books.
  • Meateater expanded by acquiring brands such as a duck call business and a clothing line, and in 2023, it reported $100 million in revenue, primarily driven by book sales and podcasts.
  • The success of meateater demonstrates the potential of transforming content-based businesses into e-commerce ventures.
  • There is a market for lifestyle brands that cater to specific niche audiences, such as cyclists or watch enthusiasts, as these brands provide highly relevant and engaging content to their target audience.

Other $20M - $50M authors (00:23:30)

  • Some authors are making a lot of money through unconventional methods.
  • Becoming an author solely to make money is not a good idea.
  • There are easier ways to make money than writing a book.
  • Top-tier authors like J.K. Rowling and James Patterson have created mainstream literary canons and become part of pop culture.
  • J.K. Rowling's creation of the Harry Potter universe and its unique elements, such as the word "muggle," is remarkable.
  • Some people find it difficult to believe that one person could have invented such a complex and detailed world.
  • Mid-tier authors like James Clear, David Goggins, and Mark Manson have made $20-50 million from a single book.
  • James Clear's book sales have been escalating over the years, with significant increases in revenue each year.
  • James Clear has sold approximately 20 million copies of his book worldwide.

The genius of the Navalmanack (00:27:00)

  • Navalmanack has sold approximately $150 million worldwide.
  • David Goggins' book has sold around $35-40 million through Scribe.
  • Tim Ferriss' "4-Hour Work Week" sold 2 million copies, while "Atomic Habits" sold 20 million copies.
  • Eric Jorgenson created the Navalmanack by compiling and packaging Naval's fragmented tweets into a user-friendly book.
  • Jorgenson gives away the ebook for free and has likely made $3-5 million from the Navalmanack.
  • Naval receives distribution but probably doesn't get any money from Jorgenson's sales.

How Hugh Howey became self-publishing's unlikely hero (00:30:00)

  • Hugh Howey, a North Carolina author, wrote "Wool," a science fiction book, despite his initial lack of success.
  • Prioritizing writing, Howey found a flexible job to dedicate more time to his craft and completed "Wool" in three weeks, self-publishing it on Amazon for 99 cents.
  • "Wool" gained popularity through word-of-mouth and positive reviews, becoming a bestseller and bringing Howey financial success.
  • Howey employed innovative strategies, such as rapidly releasing sequels, encouraging fan engagement, and strategically sending books to influential reviewers, to further his success.
  • Embracing community building, Howey involved super fans in the creative process, incentivized alternative book covers, and engaged with readers on Reddit, solidifying his connection with them.
  • Demonstrating business acumen, Howey sold his film rights while retaining book rights and achieved multi-million dollar success by treating his writing like an entrepreneur.

James Clear's new habit app (00:39:30)

  • James Clear, a renowned author, and Andrew Wilkinson, a successful entrepreneur, collaborated to launch a productivity or habit-tracking app.
  • Andrew Wilkinson's strategy involves partnering with experts and authorities to develop products or services that align with their expertise.
  • Andrew's previous successful partnerships include the Yerba mate drink with Dr. Huberman and various media publications.
  • Successful authors establish a direct relationship with their audience through social media, fostering trust and a meaningful connection.
  • They focus on finding the right fit for their books, rather than promoting them broadly.

The super networking tactics of Andrew Wilkinson (00:44:00)

  • Andrew Wilkinson, a master networker, transforms networking opportunities into profitable business ventures by carefully selecting influential partners, resulting in potentially hundreds of millions in revenue.
  • Wilkinson builds mutually beneficial relationships with influential people, leading to lucrative partnerships and investments, using his design agency as a currency to offer free services in exchange for access to influential individuals.
  • He demonstrates commitment by traveling and meeting people in person, creating value for others, and leveraging his network for mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Kevin Systrom, the founder of Instagram, used a unique strategy to build relationships with potential investors by inviting key individuals to spend a weekend at his place in Truckee, California, leading to successful investments, such as his involvement with Uber and Instagram.

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