You’re going to love the interview I did with Randy Gage about the MARKETING of his hot new book, Risky is the New Safe. He shares some really juicy nuggets for authors! Listen to the podcast below. Get the book at www.RiskyIsTheNewSafe.com
The following is the unedited transcript of my interview with Randy Gage. He shares some real golden marketing nuggets. You will love it!
HOST : So Randy Gage, New York Times bestselling author, tell me about this new book that is coming out.
RANDY : It is called “Risky is the New Safe” and it is a really fascinating look at – here’s the formula, the whole premise of the whole book. We are entering the time of some of the most cataclysmic change we’ve ever had, the acceleration of it and the speed of it in human history. This is going to cause some of the most tumultuous challenges for people everywhere around the world. Then, it is really about the breathtaking opportunities for creating wealth, for creating success, for creating prosperity that are going to come because of those challenges.
HOST : Okay, yeah and the title. The title is very intriguing. How important is the title of your book?
RANDY : I think for anyone who has looked into creating a bestseller, for someone who wants to sell books, the title is everything. I mean everything. I fussed over my title for months and I finally got what I felt was in the neighborhood which was “Safest is the New Risky” and then I ended up with “Risky is the New Safe”, after some conversations with my editor.
What I find that really works well in the marketplace and this is true, by the way, for books, CDs, DVDs, coaching programs, keynote speeches and all of these kind of things is I like short, attention-getting or thought-provoking titles and then you can have a subtitle that kind of explains it. So you create this short title and then it says, The 7 Secrets of this or the 11 Ways to do this or the 15 Secrets to this or whatever and the subtitle, but you want something that is short, memorable like “Risky is the New Safe” is short; it will look short on a bestseller list. It sounds short on a radio show. When you say it, people can remember it, so they can type it into their computer when they get home. Titles are really, really important.
HOST : I agree. That will look good on a T-shirt, I think.
RANDY : Yes, it will.
HOST : You talked about that you worked with your editor in discussing the title and such. A lot of people are saying, “You don’t need to go with a publisher anymore.” You did go with publisher Wiley. Tell me more about the thought process in choosing a publisher this time.
RANDY : It is all about what’s the outcome you are looking for. In most times, when I publish a book, my outcome is, how will it be most profitable to me? How can I make the most money out of this book? That means that I’m going to sell and publish them. I had eight other books and six of them were self-published. But in this case, this was a very strategic thing for me where I said, “If I go out and put this on the bestseller list and it really gets on there and stays on there.” You know, I wasn’t really interested in telling my mother and everybody to please go at Amazon at 11:17 and 12 seconds on Tuesday and buy the book exactly then, so I can say that I was a bestseller; a number one bestseller for four minutes.
I said, “If I can put this on the list so it gets that kind of an audience and stays on the list.” Very simple, very materialistic, very calculating; I can take my keynote speech from 30,000 to 50,000 and I can travel 40% less and make the same amount of money. That was a very strategic, diabolical plan that I have had for this book all along. Other than, of course, I wanted to get out of the biggest market; I wanted to have the biggest influence. I write the book because I believe in the work and I want people to get the message. But the reason why I used a New York publisher is, of course, you also want distribution, if you are not going to end in the bookstores, if you are not in all the booksellers, then nobody is going to get your book. So obviously, a publisher is going to make sure that you get the distribution.
But it is also the credibility to hit the list, which because, as you know Gina, I mean, literally, I had 500,000 in-seat airplane frequent flyer miles last year and the year before. Two years ago, I said, “Man, I can never do this again.” I ended up doing it again last year. Just because people were throwing money at me and I didn’t want to turn down speeches.
I come from a very poor childhood. It is funny, I’m a prosperity guy but I have to work on my own prosperity consciousness because sometimes, it is better to just say, “Yeah, you know what, I know I can make $30,000 if I just go.”
You validate it. It is an hour’s speech, but it is not an hour speech. It is to fly nine hours to get there sometimes and stay there overnight and do an hour speech and then there is no flight out until the next day and then fly home nine hours. It took three days out of your life.
Sometimes, I just looked at this and said that I want to really get my feet up higher so I do fewer speeches, but speak to the same amount of people because there will be bigger audiences and it will be done with less travel and I’ll do more technology. That was really the reason for going with a New York publisher with this one.
HOST : Yes to your point. There is no substitute for being there live and on the ground, but the travel has just gotten to be such a hassle. I’m so grateful that I’m able to do a lot of webinars now and virtual training and so on. I’m very grateful for that.
RANDY : Yeah, right.
HOST : You talked about bestseller and talk about the subject that is ripe for debate: what’s the bestseller, the different lists and which ones are important? Dissect that for us and make some sense of it because there is a lot of mist and to solve that mystery would be a tremendous and beneficial for my listeners.
RANDY : Yes, if we just say what constitutes a bestseller? Because here is what the accepted publishing definition of a bestseller is, it is selling at least 20,000 units of your book. That what’s a bestseller is; so even though you were listed No. 1 on Amazon at 11:22:30, that doesn’t make you a bestseller. A bestseller means that you sold 20,000 units of the book. That’s the actual publishing definition of a bestseller.
HOST : You do hear people say, “It’s a bestselling book.” But mostly, you hear people say or often you do people say, “It was a Wall Street Journal bestseller or a New York Times bestseller or an Amazon bestseller.” So, which of those designations is important, if any and why?
RANDY: Again, it is very easy to say that the No. 1 is this because that is the one — it is not about that. It is about what your audience. If Business Week has a list and if you are Mark Sanborn, Joe Callaway and Larry Winget, that’s the one you wanted to be on, I think. I don’t think you’d care what anyone else is on. If you have a diet book, you want to be on the New York Times list. You want to be in the USA Today list.
Now, obviously I want to be on all of them. Most people listening to this show probably want the same thing. If you really hit or cross-pollinate all the channels and you really write a blockbuster, you will probably will be on the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Business Week, the USA Today, but if your audience is primarily business, just hitting on the Wall Street Journal list will be a huge hit for you.
Why you want to be on the list? It is credibility. Ask anyone who has ever been a New York Times bestseller, whether it is a Brendon Burchard, Harv Eker or whoever. Every book they’ll every do, just like you’ll never see a movie that has Jack Nicholson in it that doesn’t say “and Academy Award winner, Jack Nicholson” or “and starring Academy Award Nominee so and so.” That is the perceived credibility and there is certainly something of that.
If you are a speaker, author, consultant, coach, having been listed as a bestseller. Same thing, you might not even sell 20,000 copies, but if you sold 8,000 the first week, that might put you in the Wall Street Journal list or the Business Week list. You could say that if you were No. 3 on the Wall Street Journal list for even one week, you’re going to still say that you were a Wall Street Journal bestseller because you are on their top ten bestseller list that they publish every week.
HOST : Okay. Here we are recording this, it’s October 10. Your book is actually not going to be on the shelves or be available till the 30th and yet I know that you are 100% confident that it is going to be a New York Time bestseller. How are you so sure of that?
RANDY : Well, because I am stacking up advance orders like planes over O’Hare. (Laughs) That’s a big part of the strategy that I would suggest to anybody listening to this, is you get your orders ahead of time. Don’t wait for the thing to come out. So in other words, I created a page, a lengthy page which is riskyisthenewsafe.com.
I made a video just for that page. It is like 16 or 17 minutes. I have taken people through the book. Here’s what the book is all about. Here’s what I’m teaching you in the first chapter. Here’s what you will learn in the second chapter. In the third chapter, you will discover how to do this. So I did that.
I have done a couple of teleseminars since then, on the strategies on the book and how to apply them. I put those on the site and I have all the endorsements on the site. I put a link just the other day so that whenever I get another review of the book, I have a page for reviews. Whenever there is a write-up about the book, I have a page that has the write-ups on it.
I started promoting that six weeks before the release date. To give you an idea, I literally have an email account that is just linked to that sales page when there is an order coming. Right now, it is 2:25 PM at the time we are recording this, I had an order at 2:15, another order at 2:15, I had one at 2:08, one at 2:07 and one at 2:05. This hour so far, I have sold five books.
Of course, I watch this real-time, as people mail out emails, easy mailings for me. I know you are going to talk about some of these promotions and things. I can watch real-time when a mailing goes up, when I’m on a radio show, when I’m on a TV show, when I do a teleseminar. It turns out that I just taped the show before this interview with you that won’t air until three days from now. I’ll be able to see three days from now how that moved the dial.
So, don’t wait. My book will be guaranteed lock and loaded bestseller. Do I know for sure that it is going to hit the New York Times list? No. Nobody knows that. You can’t know that. You can’t manipulate those lists. If that’s the week that J.K. Rowling’s announces that there are ten sequels to the Harry Potter story that she wrote last week and there is another Steve Jobs biography and Barack Obama has an new book out – Hey! It is what it is. Whoever comes out, the week will come out. It is what it is.
But, as a rule, once you’ve sold 15,000, 18,000, 20,000, you are going to hit the list and you are going to be in the top ten of those lists.
That’s what you want to strive for. You want to get orders and I understand, these orders that I have, I can watch them like there was from midnight to 2:00 AM, there were no orders, so I must be falling down on the job because no time is crazier than when I wake up and see that there was an hour that nobody was buying my book.
But there was at least one, between 1AM-2AM, there were 2 between 3AM-4AM, there was 1 from 4AM-5AM, 2 from 6AM-7AM, 10AM, 11AM, 12 noon, not as good as three an hour, five an hour or eight an hour. There are times when I’m selling one every six minutes or five minutes.
Why was I telling you this? What was the question? I don’t even remember why I was telling you this. (Laughter)
HOST : We were talking about how you knew for sure that it is going to be a bestseller. You were talking about advance orders and how important it is.
RANDY : Yes, exactly. Understand what I’m saying. It’s all these orders that I’m looking at, these are the ones that I got on my squeeze page and processed their credit cards successfully. I have other books that they bought and Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Nooks, Amazon, they pre-ordered at their local bookstore, they reserved at their library. I don’t know those. I have no way to track those, but I can assume safely that if I have this many, there is a good amount that I don’t have that will be in the pipeline.
HOST : I know I have heard you talk about a consultant, book-selling consultant result source that you’ve used to facilitate this process. Tell me about what they do and how they helped to make it much more likely that you will achieve bestseller status.
RANDY : Yes. They are a service where they will take your orders and they will make sure they buy them from bookstores and booksellers that report to the bestseller list. How they do that exactly? I don’t know. They don’t tell anybody. That’s their proprietary thing. Have they monkeys who were inputting these orders, no I don’t know.
But what they do, you do what I did and what many bestselling authors do is you create a squeeze page and you start your promo early and you collect the orders ahead of time. Then you send them a great, big check of all that money two weeks before the release date and then they buy it from reporting outlets to make sure that whatever sales you got, at least every single one of those is going to be reported to those media sources so they’ll say, “Well, okay, these people are buying this book.”
HOST : Very interesting and every fascinating how that works. You said that you were promoting this six weeks before the launch date. I have seen some of the emails that you send around, fortunately, I’m on some of your lists about that and I’ve been proud to help you with the marketing. You made it easy for us, so share some of the things that you did to make it easy for people to help you.
RANDY : You have to make it no-brainer, cut and paste. There will be people that want to write their own Twitter feeds, their own easy mail-outs, their own Facebook posts and God bless them, I wish everybody did. But, there are other ones who say, “Hey! I love you. I love your work. I know this is a great book. I don’t have time to write. Send me something that I can send out.”
So what I did was I created a page which is just randygage.com/riskyisthenewsafe/promote and I put like here are the six different Twitter things or here are six different tweets that you can send out. Here are three different Facebook posts you can use. Here are two different easy cut and paste copy. Pick one of these subject lines, cut and paste this copy and put it in. Here are some PDFs of the book cover so you can put it on your Facebook post or I have people use it as their avatar on their Twitter account or something like that.
So people who believe in the book and want to promote it, you got to give them all of the tools to make it easy for them. Then, you have people who will say, “Yes, let me cut and paste the suggested copy you have there and I’m just going to reword it a little bit more in my own words and I’ll send it out that way.”
HOST : I thought that was very helpful and of course, very smart to do. I took even took your Facebook cover and made that my cover. That is my cover right now. I switched my covers out a good bit. So I have used that and encouraged a lot of my friend to use it too and I’ve seen other people using it. So I think that Facebook cover was real smart for you to do and I just grabbed it and added the URL and the comments so people could know how to order it.
RANDY : Yes, it is a simple thing, but I actually change my Facebook page to promote the book. The whole background is about the book. I changed my Twitter page, the whole background is about the book. I have added it to my store on randygage.com, but I have not actually changed the page yet because they are still working on it. But, I will change the whole page to promote the book. You know, it is fascinating how many people, I have a book out, have a seminar or whatever, you’d never know it looking at their social media account, or looking at their own homepage or their own website.
They’re like keeping it a secret. You know, if you are in the Witness Protection program, you shouldn’t probably be writing a bestselling book. If you are not in the Witness Protection Program, we’ll maybe, you should be telling people about it.
HOST : Now, some people will say that you can’t get solo space unless you do these massive emails with all your friends and you’ve all put in these bonuses and that sort of thing. I don’t think you did that at all, right? Why not?
RANDY : I have a pretty sophisticated tribe. They’ve been with me a long time. I have been doing this for twenty-some years. I’m the prosperity guy. I’m about the prosperity consciousness. That’s what my work is about.
If I send them a message and say, “Here’s the deal. I have my book. It is $24.95, but if you buy it today, within the next 48 hours, you are going to get $267,438.12 worth of bonuses.” They would be like, Gage, what are you doing? I know that so many people, there might be a bunch of people listening who do it, who are pissed off me now. Listen, I don’t judge that. That just wasn’t my audience. So that wasn’t right for me. It is very tried and tested, proven thing to offer.
That’s why Sports Illustrated gives you the free football phone when you subscribed. That’s why they give you the free championship jersey, whoever wins the World Series, whoever wins the Super Bowl, within you know 30 minutes, they have a Sports Illustrated commercial ready to air that offers you the championship jersey and hat and everything free with your subscription to Sports Illustrated. People like premiums and I get that. I’m not above giving premiums. I’m fine with it.
This book, I chose not to do that. Brendon Burchard and some other people have a really slick system down where they give away a book for free. They say, “Here’s the deal, just pay the shipping and handling and I’ll send you the book for free.” They’re able to do that because when you buy the book, you will get an instant pop up page that will offer you an upsell. That might be for $100 or $200 and that will give you money to pay for the cost of all these books that you are going to be sending to people for free.
That works great and I think it is a brilliant way they’ve done it. Again, just personally, because this would me my first New York Times bestseller which is the intention that I’m holding for this book, I just make sure that people were really buying it and I didn’t give away 25,000 of them to hit the list. I want to know if people really bought them and I want to know if they really read it. If they really paid for it, they’ll probably really read it.
So I chose not to some of those things. It depends on your book and who’s your audience and what’s your outcome because again, there is no right or wrong. It is always about what is the objective of this book. If you are writing a book to make money, that’s a pretty tough role to hold because books don’t make a lot of money. The price point is too low. Granted that you write Harry Potter or you write whatever like the Chicken Soup. I mean, yes, there is money there but remember those are one in ten million books like that, maybe ten billion for all practical purposes.
Why are you writing? Are you writing because it will just bring you more keynote speeches? Are you writing it because it will bring you more consulting clients? Are you writing it because it will attract people to your coaching program? Are you writing because if you want to launch some other new venture? Or you just want to be a writer and you don’t want to do those other things and you just write books to write books and you want people to read them.
What is your objective? Remember, in my home the other night, we had a dinner party and we had Lisa Jimenez, Terry and Joachim and everybody here. We were talking about this. I think this is really important for people listening to this.
I started thinking the big strategy for this book two years ago. Which is, how do I stop travelling so much? How do I keep getting my work out there but not beyond so many damn airplanes? How can I raise the fee for my speech? I love the chance I get; like this weekend, I will speak to an audience of about 700 people. It is not often I get to do that. Most of my audiences are bigger than that. I don’t get a chance to really mingle with the people because once you get to a few thousands, it can really get crazy with people who want to take pictures and people who want to get books signed and everything. So I’d love when I can be with the more intimate audience of 500, 600, 700 or something.
But the truth, I can only take so many airplanes a year before my body is going to say, “Gage, stop this or you are going to be dead.” It is better that I have 5,000 people in the audience than 500. It is better if I have 10,000 people in the audience than 1,000. A higher fee and a higher credibility, positioning, those kinds of things do that.
I started back two years ago. What’s my brand? As I told you guys at the dinner party, I realize that I have to hire myself as a client because I helped so many people with their websites and with their magalogs and with their branding and what their titles and I look at my own site and I was like the shoemaker with no shoes. I said, “You know, before this next book comes – that’s why I didn’t start writing it for a year, I didn’t start it or outlined it or anything.” I said, “I’m going to get my photos that I want on my website. I’m going to get the titles on my speeches that I want. I’m going to eliminate some of my old products. Clean up the library, the catalog. I’m going to update stuff. Some of the older products, I might have refresh some of them. I’m going to redo my website. I’m going to redo all of my social media pages. I’m going to get my branding airtight. Know where I want to go with this book when it comes out.”
Those kinds of 50,000 feet above strategic issues, I think those are really important if you really want an amazing bestseller campaign, start there before you ever even write a book. Look at where you want to go with this. What is the outcome you are looking for this book?
HOST : Wow! Yes, that was such an exciting time to be at your home the other night for our mastermind get together and dinner party and then for a bonus, the books had arrived and you were able to open them with all of us there. It was quite festive and quite exciting.
RANDY : It was a lot of fun.
HOST : Folks, there is a YouTube video on that, if you haven’t seen it. So I have a link in the show notes for this to take a look at that. Randy, I know that you have been invested a lot into this book to becoming a bestseller. Can you share with me kind of some of the numbers and you said definitely result source and just other things that you are doing that are major investments to insure that this is going to, not only a bestseller right at the start, but part of your plan for this is to live on that bestseller list for a while. So what are the things you are doing there?
RANDY : I really did. You know what? I’m prepared to invest $100,000 on this book. As it really was picking up steam, I said, “I’m prepared to invest $150,000 on this book.” Which is where I’m at now. We’ll see. I’m waiting to hear. I’ve got a phone call that I’m waiting to get. We got an ad; it might be a full page ad in Business Week magazine which would come out the week the book launches. I’m just waiting to hear back from the advertising department if they accepted what I proposed.
I showed this to my publisher because this is the thing, everybody is listening and saying, “Wait a minute. Does the publisher supposed to do all that stuff? Don’t I just write this amazing book and then they invest $5 million in it and make it a bestseller? Then I’m rich and famous and joy and fun and seasons in the sun.” Yes. If your name is Tony Bennett or Johnny Depp or Bill Clinton or J.K. Rowling, that is true. That will happen.
If your name is not one of those ones that I mentioned on the list, you have to create the sales for your book. Publishers are printers. Bookstores are order takers. Bookstores don’t really know how to sell books. That’s why so many bookstores are bankrupt. Publishers don’t really know how to sell books. That’s why they are downsizing and going bankrupt and losing such a huge share of the market. It is a very tough industry right now.
The books that make it are the books that author believe in, that the author gets behind and you have to be the best proponent of your book. Most publishers are looking at it. They want to know. Do you have publisher? I have a publicist which I pay a hefty retainer fee to every month, and that I have been paying for two years. They look for that stuff. They want to know what are you going to do to market this book? So one of the things I say is, “Hey! I’m taking my money and I’m investing in the Hudson Booksellers Program, to put this book on the table displays at their locations. I’m taking my money and printed buttons for every employee at the Hudson Bookstores that says, ‘Risky is the New Safe’, that they’ll be wearing for three months when this book comes out.”
So Wiley looked at that and said, “Wow! This guy is serious about making this a bestseller.” I remember when the guy called me from the publishers and said, “I want to let you know we just bought the biggest promotion package that you can buy on Amazon.com with pictures on the website and dedicated emailing out to the subscriber list and people who bought this book who also bought this book.”
They have packages that they sell to publishers. Publishers don’t talk about that stuff because half the time, they don’t do that stuff. They have said, “Well, let’s see if the book has legs.” It is kind of like the movie studios. It is kind of like the people who make television shows. It has become so expensive to develop a lot of those things, that they’re like, “You know, we are going to throw some mud against the wall and see what sticks. If something shows, then it is going to be a winner, then we will throw some money at it.” If the advance reviews are good, if the social media buzz is good, if the industry gossip is good, if it looks like this is going to be hit, we are getting a lot of screens who want to show this movie, we got a bankable star in the movie.
Publishers are no different. So they’re looking at it, when you are showing them, “Hey! I got such and such publicity agency and they’ll be doing this and here are my influences, here are my contacts. Of course for speakers and authors, it is about, “Are you willing to do a tour? Are you going to be out places where people will be buying the books?” When I talk to them and they said – I was always showing them the things I’m doing personally to market this book. So they’re saying, “Wow! We are going to have a hit here.”
You know, I told you the other day at dinner. I made a video for the sales team at my publisher three months ago, that said, “Hey! I want to let you know, this is in your fall catalog. This is going to be the biggest book of the year for your company. Here is why. Here is what I will be doing to promote this book. Here’s the social media. Here are the people I have that are indorsing this. Here are the people who are going to be promoting it. Here’s what we are doing with Hudson Booksellers. Here’s what I will be doing for display ads. Here is what I’m doing here.” So these salespeople, they got excited about this book. The reason why I made the video for them, by the way, was because I offered to fly to New York and I wanted to meet with them all and do a presentation for them live.
They told me, “Listen these guys are all over country all the time. They’re never in office at New York, so you’re better to do a video.” But if they would have been in office in New York, I would have bought a ticket, got on a plane and flown to New York just specifically to give a presentation to the sales team, who is out there, because they are the ones who are calling on the bookstores. They go out there and they have a catalog of all the books their publisher is publishing that month. It is every month. They’ve got whatever the November releases are, whatever the December releases are.
They can’t go to the bookstore and say, “Listen, here are the 40 books we have coming out this November. You should buy all of these.” No bookstore is going to do that. They are not going to listen to the salesman if they did. They say, “What have you got that is hot?” You want to salesman to say, “Listen, here’s a book. It is called Risky is the New Safe. This one is going to be the hot one. Here’s why.”
So, we could even tell like Barnes & Noble, they’ve ordered for all of their stores. Here’s how it work when the books comes out. They send notice to all the booksellers, “Hey! We got this release that is coming out this day. How many do you want?” Most books, they don’t buy. They literally, I don’t know what the percentage is, but it might be 60%, 70% or 80% of the books that get published. They are not going to buy any of them. There is 10% or 20% that they say, “Yes, we will take one each for the big stores or 1-3 for all of the high volume stores. We’ll see about the secondary stores.” Some will say, “We’ll take one for all of the stores and we will reorder when that one sells and we will buy three or five in the big megastores or whatever.”
Barnes & Noble, they bought for all of their stores and they bought multiple copies for all their stores. I can say, probably some of the social media and the buzz that I created that people are calling and asking if they have it yet, when they will have it and can they pre-order. I attribute a lot of it to the Wiley sales force who I sold them and they went out and they sold the bookstore buyers.
HOST : Essentially what you are saying is that you sold — you really put forth a major effort in selling your own publisher on your own book.
RANDY : Absolutely. I hope everybody really, really heard what you just said. I sell my publisher every day right now because I am a couple of weeks out before the release date right now. Last night, at 1:00 AM, I sent an email to five people in my publisher in New York. It said, “Hey, look. I’m guest blogging on Mark Sanborn’s blog today.” He is one of the guys whom I asked to review a gala proof. He read it. He gave me a beautiful endorsement. I ask him, “Hey, can you spread the word on this?” He said, “Hey, you know what? Be great. You know what? You will get the biggest bang if you do a guest blog on my blog. Write up something.”
So I took some of the leadership aspect because that is his audience, right? He is the leadership guru and so I took some leadership stuff on the book and I wrote a blog. You know I got an email from him. I’m just about to go to bed. I’m finished watching the baseball game. I checked my email because I like to clean my email before I go to bed at night. There is an email from Mark. He said, “Hey, the blog is live. Check it out.” What did I do right away? I copied and pasted it and sent it to the publisher, “Hey, look at what is being done?” When I woke up this morning, John Barry had written review on his marketing site about the book. I cut and pasted it. Send it to those five people at Wiley.
I have done five radio shows today. I’ve sent them an email to the promotion. “Hey, here are the five shows I’m promoting the book on today. So they’re getting excited. They are like every day, the lady in the publicity department told my publicist maybe two weeks ago. ‘I have never worked harder than any book that I have for Risky is the New Safe right now’”.
We are just going crazy with this book. Everybody in the publishing in New York is, “this is the book, this is the one, we are just going crazy with it”, because I’ve sold them that this is going to be the biggest book that you are going to have this year.
You can call me egotistical. You can call me ballsy, you can say its mocksie or you can be spiritual and say I just created a positive intention and I’m out there manifesting it. You can label it however you want to label it.
All I know is that I created a self-fulfilling prophecy of a bestseller because I went after it and I took all these kind of things we are talking about here to make sure that. Again, we probably should have started a long time ago and say what is the first step.
The first step is to write a really good book because none of the other stuff we talked about works if you don’t write a really good book. I wrote a book that really blows people’s minds. I’m talking about cloning. I’m talking about biogenetic engineering. What happened with Mobil? What happens with the Cloud? What happens when somebody starts cloning sex workers? What happens when we get to virtual reality sex? I’m predicting that the euro is going to collapse. What happens to other currencies when that happens? What happens to gold, platinum and silver when the Google boys are mining asteroids and it is cheaper to bring it back to earth than it is to take it out of earth? What is the stuff about when we lose all the lines between broadcast TV and cable TV and internet-created content and then all the lines between the screens of the smart phone and the tablets, computers and the television and all those disappear and people are wearing the Google eyeglasses. What happens when two kids in a college dorm room somewhere create the contact lens that replaces the Google eyeglasses? Then what happens when somebody creates the microchip which replaces the contact lenses.
You know Victoria LaBalme said this book was like sticking your finger in a light socket. Lou Heckler said, “I ran out of aspirin. This book gave me such a headache.” Scott Stratten said, “This book freaks me out.” Winget said, “Holy crap! I love this book.”
I wrote a book that really made people think and it is a great book that I’m really, really proud of. That certainly, obviously my editors in New York and the other people who were helping me, because I have a lot of people around the world helping me make this book a success. They’re doing that because they believe in the work. So we always have to start with that as well.
HOST : Yes. I was really proud and pleased that you allowed me to read a gala copy as well. I so enjoyed it and I was just thrilled that you put my endorsement in there too.
RANDY : I loved it.
HOST : It is a very powerful book and all the thinking about the future and how things are going to be and how the world is going to look and how it is going to change. That just really excites me and so that’s part of what I absolutely love about the book. I couldn’t put it down so I know people are going to love it. Fundamentally, what you are saying is all this incredible marketing that you are doing and we talked just a little bit more about, especially on the social media side of the marketing, but all those marketing is not going to do much good if you don’t have a fabulous, brilliant product, which is what your book is.
RANDY : Thank you. I’m grateful that you feel that way and I’m grateful that so many other people do as well.
HOST : Now, what are you doing as far as e-books and audiobooks to supplement this?
RANDY : Yes. I’m doing all of that and I think it is really important. Anybody who is looking into that, do that. I kept the audio rights and I’ll do it with Audible probably, I’m waiting for them to send me the contract now. E-books, beyond the Kindle and the Nook and all the stuff.
I could just tell you, from my own other books that I sell published, that the last one I did, we were selling 40% print copies, 40% e-books and 20% both. So what that means is that if you do one or the other, you are missing 40% of your sales, no matter what. By the way, that went up. It was about 10% less on the e-books or the electronic version of my product before that. By the year before, it was 10% even less on the products I had before that. So it has been going up in big chunks, in terms of the percentage of people who buy the electronic version of stuff. So it really is important today, if you are doing a book to have the electronic versions.
HOST : As you mentioned, the audible version, I think the combos are so important because if I like a book, I will buy the print and the electronic version and the audio. I don’t think I’m alone. I think that publishers and the bookstores and the online stores make it easier to buy in a bundle like that. I think more people would do it. It is not simple in a bookstore. You got to go to audio section and you got to go to the regular section. I think they are missing such an opportunity there to just bundle it altogether because a lot of people would do that.
RANDY : I couldn’t agree with you more.
HOST : How are you going about trying to get this to other countries?
RANDY : I’m fortunate I have done e-books, so I have been publishing 25, 28 or some number of languages already from my previous books, but I did something different with Risky is the New Safe. Before I wrote Risky, as soon as I had the contract, I wrote my agent who does my overseas writes and said, “Hey! I just had a contract, we are going to publish Risky, (at that time I thought it was November 1st, which we moved it up a couple of days or something), but I said that it is coming out then and let’s go to all the publishers, put this out for bid and let’s sell the overseas copies now.” Which nobody does, they’ll wait until the English one comes out, which is what my agent wrote back. They expect me to be writing in November when the book comes out. I said, “Yes, I know Bob, but I don’t want you to do that. I want you to write them now and tell them that they can get it out at the same time when the English version comes out because this is going to be a bestseller. This is going to have a huge media behind it, a huge social media behind it. It is going to be popping all over the blogosphere so that they can capitalize on it.”
Also, I have some big events coming up. I have a big event in Germany at the end of October. They could sell it there. I have a big even in Czech Republic coming up. They could sell it there. So I looked at my calendar where I was going to be and sent that to the agent. So he went. We got nine foreign languages sold even before the book comes out.
Depending where your market is, particularly me, I’m huge in Asia and Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and all the republics. Those are big markets for me. If I wanted to work 40 weekends a year in Russia, I could do that. I could just go every week. I could do speeches there. For whatever reason, they really value American authors there and whatever in my books, I must have 20 million copies if you count all those knock-offs in those places because there is no copyright protection.
That was one of the things we told the publisher is that, “You know that when this book comes out in English, within 48 hours all the counterfeiters will have copies that they’re going to be selling that will be coming out of your sales. If you buy the book ahead of time, you’ll be able to publish it at the same time it comes out in English or even before.”
Like literally, I’ll be in Germany, I’m doing a program there on the 27th in Germany. We will launch the German version of Risky three days before the English one. The Czech one is coming out before the English. The Korean one is coming out before the English. So I think that is even helping the campaign because again, it is people talking about it and social media and the blogosphere, all around the world.
Normally, for business books, especially you create the bestseller in the United States, sometimes in Canada, sometimes in UK and then it goes off to Europe or it goes off to South America, I’m approaching different, just like the movie studios. They’ve learned, they used to open in the US and then two weeks later, they’d open in Europe, South America and Asia. They realized that if they wait two weeks, there are already 5 million people there with bootleg, pirated copies of the movie and they don’t call it the grand opening.
Now, you see the movie studios, they launch worldwide. So I did the same thing with the book. I actually have a few countries where the book is launching in that language before the English one and it is creating a little pushback to America. I think it is working amazingly.
HOST : I think that is quite amazing and very, very smart. Simply brilliant I would say. This reminds me of a thing that I have heard you say as you have been talking to publishers and different people who are involved in the whole process. I kind of giggled when I heard you say it, people come back to you while we don’t do things typically that way and your responses. I love it. Share that with people, about what you have been telling people.
RANDY : The whole thing is that 98%-99% of all books that are published in the world lose money. So all those New York publishers, 98-99 out of every 100 books they publish isn’t successful. They lose money. But what happens is that they make so much money on the Harry Potters and the Chicken Soups for the Soul that they stay afloat. But that is still a pretty crazy model. If 99 out of 100 of my products lost money, I would probably refine some of my business practices, but you know, I don’t tell other people how to run their business. I do tell them how to run my book.
I want to do something with the subtitle and they were like, “Well, you know, we don’t usually do that with books.” I said, “Great! Because I actually rock opera so it is not a book. So let’s do it this way.” I had, I think, 67 endorsements from thought leaders. So they were like, “Wow! There are amazing! We never had so many testimonials.” How many do you want to use? I’m like, “All of them.” “All of them? That would be like 14 pages.” I’m like, “Yes.” They were like, “Well, we don’t normally do that.” Like, “How is that working out for you? If 98 over 100 books you publish are losing money, maybe we should change some of the stuff.”
To give credit to Wiley, they said, “You know what? This Gage guy may be crazy but is right. He is so behind this, he is so excited about this. You know what, so what if he wants to do some things differently.” Wiley is good that way.
Scott Stratten also publishes with Wiley. He is the guy who wrote on marketing and he has a book out right now called the Book of Business Awesome and it is like a flip book, the Book of Business Unawesome. You flip one way and it is the awesome stuff and you flip the other way and it is the unawesome stuff. So that was different, edgy and a little different. So you know, they are open to stuff like that. That maybe a much, much larger publisher wouldn’t be, I don’t know. But stuff like that makes the difference.
The whole premise of my book is Risky is the New Safe. It is an idea that they hold over their head, at one point I was trying to have a cover design done and I was like, “Don’t make me write another chapter to this book!” About how safe the New York publishers play this and how they are so resistant to change. They were like, “Okay, what do you want to do?” I would say that adopt that philosophy of, “Okay, great! Look at what people who have written bestsellers, look at what they have done and what worked for them. What can we learn from J.K. Rowling? What can we learn from Chicken Soup? What can we learn from Agatha Christie or whoever?” But also, let’s not just fall into the habit of habitual thinking of, “Well, this is how the publishing world works” because the publishing world doesn’t work very well.
HOST : I love that. That is just very powerful and I just keep telling that to myself. I hear myself saying that. “Well, you know, maybe we should try something different. How’s that working for you?” Randy, as we go into the homestretch here, probably one of my favorite chapters in the book is your Top Drawn Marketing and I know you are quite a marketing genius. Talks have been that social media has been important in what you are doing, but dig in just a little bit to your social strategy and how that has really been such an integral part of your marketing for the book.
RANDY : Huge part. I was having a conversion with somebody in New York and the publisher last week and I made a statement which is true for this week, as well. Last week, I said, “I want you to know there is no author in the world right now that has more buzz in the blogosphere and social media than I do this week.” I mean, nobody including J.K. Rowling or anybody who had a name.
There were like, “It’s true! Everywhere we looked on Facebook, on Twitter and YouTube.” I mean, the same again this week, I’m not just that, I’m doing teleseminars and telesummits and webinars and webcasts and conference calls. I mean I’m just doing all these things to get the word on the book out there. There is so much buzz going on for that and that it was a huge, huge part about it.
It really started because I developed a lot of relationships on social media a long time ago and I’m very active on social media. I’m not one of these people who just broadcast pitches of people. I really do talk to my followers on Twitter. I really do have conversations with people who like my Facebook fan page. I have discussions with them. When I got an idea for a speech, I put it out there and say, “Hey, what do you think of this?”
When I was writing the book, I was putting stuff on my blog. My blog is one of the top 1% most trafficked blog in the world. I have been doing that for years and so I have a real community with those people. Then I met Scott Stratten on Twitter and I met Dave Carpenter on Twitter and Steve Keating on Twitter and a lot of really influential people that I might have met on social media that we just become friends.
So when the book came out, it was just natural for me to say and then if I look at NSA, you know that is where I met Winget and Ian Percy and Callaway and Randy Pennington and Victoria Labalme and you and Terry Brock and Lisa Jimenez and so many other people. So it was natural that I would ask a lot of these people, “Hey, would you take a look at the book? Give me your thoughts. Give me an endorsement if you think it deserves it.”
When they loved the book, the next question was, “Hey, would you help spread the word on it?” Again, I made a page and I gave them a copy and I made it easy for them if they wanted to do that. They have gone there. The week we are recording this, right now, it is Wednesday, right? I mean, Mark Sanborn’s blog today, Randy Pennington, I’m in his blog this week. Joe Callaway, I’m in his blog this week. Steve Keating, I believe he will put me in his thing this Friday. Rebel Brown is putting me in her blog this week. The Terri Sjodin reviewed my book in her blog this week.
I can’t tell you how many have just this week. I’m looking at right now, there is a gorgeous post on Facebook on Chad Hymas’ Facebook page about my book. I have so many people. There really is a lot of social media and I’m seeing it now on some of the posts where people have put it up and people are saying, “You are like the fifth person who has told me about this book. That I have to buy this book. I’m breaking down. I’m ordering the book already. Leave me alone.”
So social media – if you want a full page ad in Business Week, I think the rack price is $160,000. So if you got $160,000 lying around or something like that, for the USA Today, it is the same thing. So if you got a couple of $160,000 lying around, that you have nothing to do with, great! Just buy ads, stay home and watch Oprah eat Bonbons. But if you don’t have a couple of hundred thousand lying around to do traditional kind of media, well, you want to do some social media and build some connections and enlist those people who believe in you.
Here is the other thing I did, this was an idea that I got from Dave Carpenter that he got from some author. Actually, I can’t remember the author who did it, but Dave Carpenter was the one who sent it to me. This guy created a launch team for his book. He said, “I’m looking for x number of people who will get an advance copy of the book and if you read it and if you like it, you will be an advocate of it. You agree to post a review on Amazon after you read it. Good, bad or ugly, whatever you think. Make an honest post and then help promote it when it comes out.”
I saw that and I said, “What a great idea.” So I wrote a blog about it and I said, “Hey, you guys know I’m writing this book. I have been talking about it for months now. Now, I’m looking for a Jedi counsel. I’m looking for 75 people around the world who want to join the ancient order of the Jedi knights and restore peace and prosperity to the universe. If you do, here is what you agree. You agree that I will send you a gala proof. You won’t circulate it. It is for your eyes only. You read it and same as the other guy did. Put a review on Amazon as soon as you have read it. I don’t think that you can do it yet on Amazon because they are not shipping it yet, but when Amazon allows reviews, go and put a review. Whatever you really thought about the book and anything else you can do on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.”
I mean, they have done video reviews that are already on YouTube. They have done WordPress blogs on their own blogs. They are all over Facebook with it. They are all over YouTube. I have 75 and we ended up like 78 because I added three other people. We tried to whittle it down and I couldn’t get 75 and I ended up with 78. They are out there beating the drum on this book.
I couldn’t even begin to not mention Teresa, up in Canada, it was Shawne Duperon and Teresa Day Grosbois; they have been so – I just sent out a note to Shawne. It said, “Hey, I’m waiting trying to get some big media hooks that haven’t happened yet and so anything you could do.” She has this mastermind group, it is Teresa Grosbois, to her and Lisa Minimi and Charmaine Hammond are in this. Her mastermind group or something and she said, “Guy, I love Randy Gage and Randy Gage is a big supporter of Project Forgive and you know, he is a good guy and he has always supported me and he has a book coming out and we need to make this a bestseller. When we meet for my mastermind group, my project this week is I want to make Randy’s book a bestseller. I need to know everybody you know who has a mailing list, webinar, teleseminar or anything.”
They deluged me. I was doing like three different speeches in Salt Lake City last weekend and so I debut a new keynote. I did this thing called “Way of the Jedi” and I went out and made a whole Jedi outfit and everything. It was the first time and I got 2,000 people, the first time ever I’m doing this keynote and I couldn’t concentrate because I am OCD guy, I like to clean my inbox every night, I like to clean it before I leave for my speech. They were just overwhelming me with this, “Hey Randy, please meet Joe. Joe has a radio show in Detroit. Joe meet Randy. He has got this new book coming out and you need him on your show.” And “Hey Mary, meet Randy. Randy has got this new book. Mary has got a telesummit that she does here.”
I was so overwhelmed that up to 2AM, I was trying to clean up these messages and all these interview requests. So to Teresa and Lisa and Shawne who was the catalyst and Charmaine Hammond and then my mastermind group: you, Terry Brock, Lisa Jimenez, Patrick, Joaquim de Posada, picked up some people along the way, JB Glossinger has been amazing for me. Nelton Urlabi, Bruce Turkel, you know, Bob Burg has been over and above him and Kathy Zader have been amazing.
Bob mailed his list twice. He did an interview with me. Terry did a video interview with me. Lisa did a blog. She mailed her list. It is really the true way you want the book to be a bestseller is people telling other people about it and social media has really been a big medium in that process this time around.
HOST : People love you and they want to help you and social media has just made that a whole lot easier and the fact that you have been doing social media now for years. You have a platform, you have a presence, you’ve made yourself know through, as you said, the direct exchanges that you had with people on Twitter and then your YouTube channel, I got to believe has been a critical, critical part of that, your shows that people can watch that and they feel like they know you. You have met a lot of people in real life, but there are tons of people that just see your videos and they feel like they know you and they want to help you and to support you and they believe in what you are teaching.
RANDY : Yes. I get a thousand views a day now on the YouTube channel, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are up to like 800,000 views and then it is growing and I’m looking forward to the day that there are 10,000 views a day and then 100,000 views a day. I got my intent for they want to go, but it definitely is.
That is a good thing and it’s a bad thing. When I did a program for NSA on social media, I mentioned, I have actually picked up a few stalkers over the last two years. A couple, I say, are just whacked out crazy and there are a couple more that are not whacked, that have a very normal middle-age successful professional women who have fallen completely in love with me and don’t seem to recognize that I don’t know them.
I do a show every Monday on my channel and you know I’m an open book, you know me, whatever is going on in my life right now, I’m talking about it. People, really, they forget, even on the platform. I’m real, authentic, in the moment and I’m telling you, here’s what failed miserably. Here’s how I made a million dollars doing this and here’s how I lost $300,000 doing that. Whatever I’m doing, I’m an open book. So, people really feel like they’ve known me for 20 years and they forget that I haven’t known them for 20 years. So there are some issues with that, but all in all, it has been wonderful and I have a really, really good connection with my tribe and they have been just wonderful about getting out the word on this book.
HOST : Randy, I really appreciate your time and you’ve shared so much and I know that there is so much more that I want to ask you but I know that you just went back to back with so many interviews and I know people want more and so now you have reason to come back and do the follow-up and how did it go and when were you on the No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and some of the extra goodies that I know you could share more about social media. So we will put it in a show a few months down the road. Okay?
RANDY : Yes. In the meantime, of course, go to riskyisthenewsafe.com and of course, buy a book once you get there, for God’s sake people, go buy the book. I need the money. (Laughs) Go there and see what I did with the teleseminars and how I set the page up and the video and just get on the email list and see what I’m doing because this really works whether you are launching a book, CD series, online training, I mean most of the principles that works successfully in this stuff would work for pretty much anything you want to launch.
HOST : That is a very good point. For those who are tweeting about it, the hashtag is #rins Risky is the New Safe, so follow along on that and tweet some of the takeaways from this interview. Randy you take care and I’m going to go back and read that chapter on marketing again.
RANDY : Alright. Thank you Gina for doing this, thanks for all your love on the book and for everybody listening, obviously, you got on this because you got something you want to get out to the world. You want to write a book, you got a message or speech or something to get out there. You know what? That’s what it is about. It is about touching people and the way that is going to happen is, you know, everybody is the same, “Hey, I hate the market. I just want to find somebody who sells me and I can just show up and do speeches. I just want to write a book and let the publisher make it a bestseller and get me on the Today’s show.”
Well, it is not that simple. If you really believe in your message, you believe in your work, you got to be the biggest proponent of it. You got to be the biggest salesperson, the biggest marketer, the biggest cheerleader and you go on and do that and it gets contagious and then other people do and you really going to get out there in the way that you want.
HOST : I love it, Randy. I say, “Yes, share your brilliance with the world and that’s a terrific advice.” Randy, how do you close things out? You just say peace out?
RANDY : Live rich!
HOST : Live rich. Okay. Alright.
[end of audio-1:10:14]
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