From time to time people find out in conversation that I’m a published author. It’s a monicker and fact that sits in my social media bios and certainly something I say proudly on my website and such, but it’s not something that typically comes up on conversation. When it does, I get asked a lot of questions about it.
Writing a book certainly had a big impact on my professional credibility and personal brand. Though anyone with an idea and the Internet, and maybe a little bit of money, can self-publish, all three of my books have been with legit, business publishing houses. For Winfluence, I even had an agent to help me shop the book around.
As an aside, I love the sound of saying, “My agent will get back to you,” and having one sounds like a big deal. I love ya, Gary, but in reality, it’s not as big of a deal as you might think. It’s like having a real estate agent for your ideas.
Nonetheless, people are curious about writing books. Content creators should be. For the influencer types out there, writing a book takes you to a new level of legitimacy and credibility. If you’re not an influencer but still want to write a book, the hard truth is you’re going to need an audience to market it to if you want a publisher to pay attention to your idea.
All those nuances of writing books, or at least business books, stuck in Josh Bernoff’s crawl, as they say where I’m from. Josh has three published titles to his name including the groundbreaking book Groundswell he co-authored with Charlene Li. But he’s collaborated on, ghost written or been involved with 45 non-fiction book projects.
His latest is a new how-to guide that cuts through the fantasy and makes writing a book a very practical thing. It’s called Build a Better Business Book: How to Plan, Write and Promote a Book That Matters.
Sounds a little like the advice we got from Jay Acunzo recently on the show, right?
Josh is here today to share his comprehensive guide for authors to help you write a better book. Or write your first one in a better way. We’re going to dig into whether or not you should be an author, how to be a good one and where books fall into the schema of influence success for creators and brands.
This episode of Winfluence is presented by CIPIO.ai. We are helping brands transform their digital marketing with user-generated content videos and images at scale. Come see us at CIPIO.ai. If you want me to personally show you the platform and how we can solve your digital marketing performance problems with high-performing UGC, just go to jasonfalls.co/cipio … fill out that form and I’ll personally set up time to chat with you.
Josh Bernoff Episode Highlights (AI Generated)
00:06:08 Business books are getting shorter, but still useful.
00:10:40 Build a Better Business Book answers authors’ questions.
00:12:10 Write a book with unique perspective.
00:17:04 Answering questions for audience with engaging stories.
00:18:55 Preparation is key for successful book writing.
00:22:23 Grammar checkers and AI writers lack wit.
00:29:02 Publisher’s role limited, author’s responsibility for promotion. Hire expert book publicist for maximum reach.
00:32:39 Josh Bernoff, a wise business book writer. Share, grow, rate, review, watch, listen.
Josh Bernoff Episode Transcript (AI Generated)
Jason Falls [00:00:00]:
Do you want Instagrammers or TikTokers to post about your brand? Or do you actually want to engage creators who influence their audience to buy your product? If you’re in the latter of those two, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to winfluence the Winfluence Marketing Podcast. Hello again, friends. Thanks for tuning in. The winfluence the influence marketing podcast. From time to time, people find out in conversation that I’m a published author. It’s a moniker, in fact, that sits on my social media BIOS and certainly something I say proudly on my website and such, but it’s not something that typically comes up in conversation. When it does, I get asked a lot of questions about it. Writing a book certainly had a big impact on my professional credibility and personal brand, though. Anyone with an idea and the Internet, maybe a little bit of money can self publish. All three books of mine have been with legit business publishing houses for Winfluence. I even had an agent to help me shop the book around. As an aside, I love the sound of saying, my agent will get back to you, and having one sounds like a big deal. Now, I love you, Gary, but in reality, it’s not as big a deal as many of you might think. It’s kind of like having a real estate agent for your ideas. Nonetheless, I have one, and that’s kind of cool. People are curious about writing books. Content creators should be for influencer types out there, writing a book takes you to a new level of legitimacy and credibility. If you’re not an influencer but still want to write a book, the hard truth is you’re going to need an audience to market it to if you want publishers today to pay attention to your ideas. All of those nuances of writing books, or at least business books stuck in Josh Bernov’s crawl, as they say where I’m from. Josh has published three titles under his name, including the groundbreaking book Ground Swell. He coauthored with Charlene Lee, but he’s collaborated on Ghost Written, or been involved with 45 nonfiction book projects. His latest is a new how to guide that cuts through the fantasy and makes writing a book a very practical thing. It’s called Build a Better Business Book how to Plan, Write and Promote a Book that matters. Sounds a little like the advice we got from Jay Akunzo recently on the show, right? Josh is here today to share his comprehensive guide for authors to help you write a better book or write your first one in a better way. We’re going to dig into whether or not you should be an author, how to be a good one, and where books fall into the schema of influence success for creators and brands. Josh Bernoff is coming up. As always, this episode of Influence is presented by Cipio AI. We are helping brands transform their digital marketing with user generated content, videos and images at scale. Why? Well, shopify data shows user generated content quadruples your ad click through rates. It drives as much as seven times more engagement on social media, it improves website conversions by 29% and email click through rates by 73%. UGC is also more trusted by consumers than even traditional influencer content. Cipio AI is building the next generation of content management solutions, generative AI for images and videos. And folks, this is not 2024 or even late 2023. I have seen the prototypes. While we fully bake that Cipio AI can plug you into your own community of users, find those who create great content, and help you engage them to do it for your brand. Your digital marketing performs better. You don’t have to go looking for content to use for paid or owned campaigns, and we’ve got a team to manage it all for you. If you’d like, come see us at Cipio AI. If you want me to personally show you the platform and how we can solve your digital marketing performance problems with high performing UGC, just go to Slash Cipio, fill out that form, and I will personally set up time to chat with you. That’s Jasonfalls cipio. Seriously, we can make your marketing perform better and take a handful of problems off your hands. Dial it up, folks. Jasonfalls Co slash cipio. Are you ready to write a book that matters? We’re going to get the layout of The Blueprint for you with Josh Bernoff. He’s next on winfluence. Josh, it’s great to have you on the show. I’ve been a longtime admirer from back even in your forester days through Groundswell and whatnot. And that researcher background is something I really appreciate because I think it makes you a more keen observer of what’s happening in the world around us. Which is why I wanted to start off with this question. Are books still a thing? I mean, consumers are consuming more content than ever, but in these little short, bite sized damn videos that are annoying as hell and make you doom scroll, who reads anymore?
Josh Bernoff [00:05:01]:
People who actually have to learn something. So are books still a thing? There are way more crappy, useless books than there ever have been before. And for anyone who’s watching this and, hmm, should I do a crappy, useless? No. No, you should not just put up a crappy YouTube video and that’ll be people. But if we’re talking about ideas that have depth to, you know, how to use threads. But will AI change the world of work? Well, that’s a book length question. People want to know the answer to it, and a book is the way to get that answer out there. So, yeah, they’re still a thing.
Jason Falls [00:05:43]:
Okay, well and just so the audience doesn’t think I’m doing anything but playing devil’s advocate, I’ve authored or co authored three myself. So I believe wholeheartedly that writing a book is quite meaningful or I wouldn’t have done it. But do you think Gen Z and Younger are going to think of books in the same way? Or do they have a chance of becoming maybe not obsolete, but at least different?
Josh Bernoff [00:06:08]:
Well, I do think they’ll be different. I’ve been helping people with business books since 2008. I’ve worked on 50 book projects and what I’m noticing is that they’re getting shorter. Right? So it used to be that a business book was 65 to 70,000 words. Now a 45,000 word book is sort of nice and a 60,000 word book, sometimes people are like, maybe that’s too much. Now, of course, my book is 70,000 words long, so I’m not taking my own advice, but it does say comprehensive on the COVID is not intended to be read from COVID to yeah, I think, you know, if the topic is important enough, people are willing to, you know, you’re saying, Gen Z, this is not designed for people working for Ups. Or it’s designed unless they’re a senior executive at Ups. It’s for people who have serious ambitions in their lives. And those people, yeah, they’ll read books if it’s useful to them.
Jason Falls [00:07:07]:
Yeah, that’s fair. So in terms of just the world of publishing in general, I think from my recollection, Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell, I think was the first in what I would call the modern era of publishing to turn towards redefining it a little bit though. He wasn’t the first to do this, but when he launched Pushkin and Revisionist History, his podcast company and his main podcast, then Talking to Strangers came out and his audiobook was produced like a long podcast episode. It was documentary style, featuring pieces and actual audio from the actual people saying what they said rather than being quoted in a narrative. Does that blending of mediums factor into what you think the future of publishing might look like?
Josh Bernoff [00:07:54]:
That’s a fascinating question. I think every book that comes out now is sort of surrounded by additional media. You tell people to look stuff up on the internet, they have videos that go along with it. And yeah, you’re right. Gladwell is really pushing the envelope on unusual sort of book like things he did. Let’s call it an audiobook because we don’t have any better name for it called Miracle and Wonder on the Life of Paul Simon. And it featured a lot of interviews as well as Musings by Gladwell and Music and so on. And there is no print book for it. It’s an audiobook without a print book. And I’m like, okay, this is somebody who is trying to develop a new art form and actually be able to get paid for it as opposed to the podcasts, which are free.
Jason Falls [00:08:52]:
He’s got subscription based podcasts too, so he’s probably making money. But yeah, he’s definitely kind of pushing the envelope a little bit. Because I’m a podcast fan and love podcasts, I was blown away by Talking With Strangers, the audiobook and thought, this makes audiobooks better, at least for someone like me. So we’ll see. And real quick, I do want to give a shout out to my pal Tim Street. He wrote a book back in maybe 2009 or 2010 that was intentionally built as a multimedia experience. He was way ahead of his time on this idea. I remember opening this book on a tablet, I believe, and it incorporated video and audio and interactive pieces, and it was almost a Choose Your Own Adventure style. Now, this was 15 years ago, and only now are we seeing more and more of this. So, Tim Street, wherever you are. I remember, my friend, I wanted to make sure I threw that out there.
Josh Bernoff [00:09:46]:
I can’t resist sharing here. That Harvard Business Press, which was my publisher for the first two books I did, turned one of them into what they called a book, which was a video book. And I supplied some videos to go along with it, but nobody was interested in it. Of course, this was more than 15 years ago, so maybe we’re finally getting to the point where it will happen.
Jason Falls [00:10:08]:
Maybe we are. I hope we are, because for some reason, it’s a more enriching experience. I guess we’ve had to close the gap on pulling the experience together. The devices need to work better, all that kind of stuff, which that’s how technology works. All right, Josh, sorry for the tangent there, but in this environment where the medium is being pushed and consumers are getting younger with different media consumption habits, you’ve written a book about how to write and promote a book. So give us a little bit of the backstory on why you wrote this now.
Josh Bernoff [00:10:40]:
Okay, so this is the book. If people are interested, build a Better Business Book, available now. And the reason this book exists is because I work with authors all the time, and they kept asking the same questions over and over again. How do I get past writer’s block? How do I organize the chapters? What’s the right way to do research? How should I set myself up for promotion? Is my idea good enough? And I thought, I know the answer to all of those questions because you work with enough authors. You’re like, okay, yeah, I’ve seen this before. So I said, all right, let’s put all of this together in one place, and then whatever the question is, people will want to get their answers there. And the thing that makes me more proud than anything else is these very accomplished authors like Jay Baer that blurb the book, write things like, wow, I wish I’d had this before. It would have saved me an enormous amount of trouble. And I’m like, that’s. Exactly. What I’m trying to do for the next generation of authors is to answer those questions about everything they need to know.
Jason Falls [00:11:42]:
Well, and I can certainly attest to the fact I did my quick read my skim to prepare for this. But then I’ve gone back, and I think I’m through chapter four now, and I would agree that it’s a blueprint. I mean, it really is kind of a step by step guide that kind of takes you along the way, which is fantastic. Now, the dumb question here, I think, is who is this book for? But I think a slightly smarter question is who should write a book these days? And maybe who shouldn’t?
Josh Bernoff [00:12:10]:
Okay? So this is who should write a book? You should write a book if you have some knowledge that is not commonly shared, it’s not easily available, and you’re passionate about getting that knowledge out into the world. Who should not write a book are the people who are like, Me. Me. I’m so smart. Look, I wrote a book, okay? We have way too many books like that, and I have no interest in them. And if you want to write a book like that, don’t try and hire me because I won’t help you. But the people who are like, oh, I’ve been developing and using AI to help me as a copywriter. Now, I know more about using AI to help a writer than anybody else. Yeah, write about that if you want to say, I have a workplace that’s got gen Z and baby Boomers in it, and I figured out how to get everybody working together and what each generation needs, I’m like, yeah, I’d want to read about that. So it’s about having a unique perspective. Let me just define it a little further. An idea that’s worth writing a book about has to be big. That is, it has to affect a significant number of people in a way that matters. It has to be right. That is, you need to have some evidence for it. You’re not just making stuff up. And most importantly, it has to be new. There has to be a differentiated perspective, and it’s that big, right? And new. If it’s got all three of those things, then perhaps you ought to write a book about it.
Jason Falls [00:13:37]:
I love that, and I love the fact that your middle one there, right. There has to be some evidence behind it. I would underline that a million times with how many ever highlighters you can, because like you said earlier, I think about 90% of business books these days are not right, and they’re not supported by evidence. It’s just somebody’s opinion. They just could afford to publish it in a book.
Josh Bernoff [00:13:58]:
Well, you mentioned me being trained as an analyst at Forrester, and we were trying to answer questions that our clients had that there were no simple answers. It was not like everybody already knew the answer. We had to find it out. And some combination of interviewing people who were doing this stuff, talking to vendors about whether their products actually did what they were supposed to do, and data collected from surveying people you’re like, okay, I have enough evidence now to make a reasonable prediction that’s what you really ought to have behind you when you’re producing a book is that kind of evidence.
Jason Falls [00:14:33]:
Yeah. And the best books, business books, anyway, that I’ve read are all anchored in some sort of new research or new surveys or new data or something like that.
Josh Bernoff [00:14:42]:
Jason Falls [00:14:42]:
Certainly solidifies that point.
Josh Bernoff [00:14:44]:
Jason Falls [00:14:45]:
With all that said, the people out there listening, whether they are business people who want to maybe write a book, or whether they’re content creators who think a book is the next step in their personal brand empire whatever, we do need to dig into the blueprint to help those of you who wish to write a book that matters. When we come back on Winfluence, josh will give us the tools we need to do so.
Josh Bernoff [00:15:07]:
Jason Falls [00:15:14]:
Welcome back to Winfluence. Talking to bestselling author Josh Bernoff and his new book, build a Better Business Book how to Plan Right and Promote a Book That Matters. We heard before the break why he wrote the book. So let us now uncover how to not just write one, but write one that matters. And before we get to the blueprint part, Josh, that little extra phrase on the end of the title that matters, I think that’s a big important part of this. Tell me what you mean by writing a book that matters versus just writing a book and why that emphasis is so important.
Josh Bernoff [00:15:46]:
Well, you just got to ask the question, will the person reading this be different afterwards than they were before they read it? So if there’s a book about how to manage your career with networking, you might be like, oh, you know what? I’m going to do things differently. Now, if there’s a book about what’s the right role for It departments in a world where everyone uses technology, executive might actually do something differently about that. So a book that matters is one that actually can be put into practice by the people who are reading it. And if your book is like RA, you should be more confident than you are now. I don’t know if that’s going to make any difference to people, and maybe it’s not worth putting the effort into it.
Jason Falls [00:16:30]:
Josh Bernoff [00:16:31]:
Jason Falls [00:16:31]:
That’s fair. Although there’s a lot of books out there that are rah rah books to get you motivated about stuff.
Josh Bernoff [00:16:37]:
Well, that’s another reason that we already have all of them. We don’t need another one.
Jason Falls [00:16:42]:
Josh Bernoff [00:16:43]:
I like that.
Jason Falls [00:16:43]:
That’s a good point.
Josh Bernoff [00:16:44]:
Jason Falls [00:16:44]:
Now, the blueprint is important, but what are the call outs in that blueprint to ensure the book is, in fact, one that matters? Is there something you do? I mean, you touched on it, but dig in a little bit more there. And if I’m putting my blueprint together, what do I need to circle to say? Make sure you include this so that it’s going to be something that matters.
Josh Bernoff [00:17:04]:
Yeah. So you want to basically answer four questions, which are who is this for? What’s your audience? And then what is the question that they have? Can I be more productive? Can I be more profitable? How can I make the people working for me be happier? Or whatever it happens to be, what’s your answer to that question? Because it’s not enough just to ask the question. And then lastly, how is this different from all the other books that exist in this space? And yeah, that just shows that the people who designed the passover seder knew that the four questions thing was actually a smart thing to be doing. The other thing that I talk to people about that they don’t understand is that business books are stories because they think, no, it’s supposed to be about facts and logic and statistics. No, it’s a story. And the story is here’s the problem. Here’s the solution to the problem. Here are the things you need to do to implement that solution. Not only that, there have to be stories about actual human beings who are dealing with these problems within there. And unless you put the effort in to identify those stories, interview those people, and put those stories into the book as case studies, your book is going to be too boring and people won’t want to read it for sure.
Jason Falls [00:18:25]:
All right, let’s get a little bit more into the parts of the book. I think it’s divided into four parts. Prepare, research, and write. Manuscript into book is the third one and then success is the last one. Now, part one is prepare, which I don’t think new authors really understand the necessity of. They might think that, but they don’t understand falls that goes into it. So take us through the preparation process and why it’s so vital to the project being successful.
Josh Bernoff [00:18:55]:
Yeah, well, I’m reminded of a very successful author I know had a best selling book, was working on her second book, and she posted in an author’s group I was in and was very unhappy. She said, what do I do now? I’m 76,000 words into my 60,000 word book. I’m like, I know where you are and I know how you got there. You got there by typing. People think, I’m a writer, I should start by typing. No, you want to start by defining your idea and then defining what the chapters are that will explain the idea. And then doing the research to figure out what goes into each of those chapters and then organizing the material in the chapter to figure out what that chapter looks like. And only then do the writing. So that’s a significant part of the preparation that allows you to be productive and not get 76,000 words into a 60,000 word book and be stuck. The other part of preparation is that there are multiple publishing models. Now, you can go to a traditional publisher, as people have done from time immemorial. You can work with a hybrid publisher where you pay the publisher to bring the book out, or you can very rapidly and easily self publish a book, although that has a lot less impact. And unless you know ahead of time which of those models you’re going to pursue, you’re going to get to the point where you have a lump of text and you don’t know what to do with it.
Jason Falls [00:20:18]:
You hit that spot on for sure.
Josh Bernoff [00:20:20]:
I love talking to authors like you because they’re like, oh, yeah, you’re right about that.
Jason Falls [00:20:24]:
Yeah, you’re hitting on all the points. I got nothing to add. That’s good stuff. Now, the next part of the book is what many people probably think is the sexy, fun part, research and writing. I’m curious real quick before you get into that, more specifically, do you write linearly, meaning like, chapter one, chapter two, or some other way? And how do you keep it all organized? I think that’s a good part of that book. Part of the book?
Josh Bernoff [00:20:53]:
Well, I write linearly in the sense that I write chapters from beginning to end. So I’m like, all right, now I’m going to work on chapter five, and this is what the case study is in chapter five, and then it’s going to have these points, and then it’s going to get here. I might write chapter nine before I write chapter seven, but I know what’s going to be in chapter seven when I write chapter nine. The other way to do this, which I’m not down on, it’s just a different way to do it, is people just write bits and pieces and collect, basically content and put it into some sort of a big container. The authors that I talk to that do this often use Evernote or Scrivener to hold this, and that’s fine as long as you realize you’re not writing chapters, you’re writing bits and pieces, and assembling those pieces is a linear process, just like what I do when I write a chapter.
Jason Falls [00:21:50]:
Yeah, that’s fair. Yeah. You mentioned evernote. I use Evernote religiously, and I’ve used Scrivener to write longer form projects before, so there’s a lot of really great tools out there. Do you think we’re in danger of relying too much on either? Something like Hemingway? That corrects your grammar and punctuation, which I lean on it probably more than I should. Or even Chat GPT and other AI models that could destroy good writing, maybe.
Josh Bernoff [00:22:23]:
Well, there’s nothing wrong with a grammar checker, although I found Hemingway to be a little overbearing. But chat GPT creates soulless boring. And I’ve noticed as I read things, I’m like, well, what do people do that AI doesn’t do? And the answer is one word, wit. Okay, you’re a great example, Chase. No one could read anything you write and say, oh, yeah, I’m sure an AI could have written that. No freaking way, if you read anything by Jason Foles, you’re like, that sounds like him. And that’s because of wit. It’s because of humor. It’s because of strange turds of phrase, unusual comparisons, stuff that you wouldn’t expect. Whereas these AI writers like Chat GPT, they create what you would expect to be next. And as a result, there’s no wit, there’s no surprise, and therefore it’s not helpful. Now, you can use them to read this thing I wrote and tell me the three main themes. Oh, that isn’t what I thought they were. Maybe I need to go back and edit it. Okay, that’s a useful tool, but no, it’s not a replacement for a human being as a writer. Yeah.
Jason Falls [00:23:42]:
Well, I will take what you just said and I will reproduce it in promotional materials at Infinitum, because that’s a high compliment.
Josh Bernoff [00:23:50]:
Oh, come on. Jason is more entertaining than a machine. I’m sorry. That’s faint praise.
Jason Falls [00:23:58]:
Yeah, it ain’t hard, is it?
Josh Bernoff [00:24:01]:
It’s not a big bar to clear. No.
Jason Falls [00:24:04]:
Well, I appreciate you saying that, because I like to think my writing style is my writing style, and you can kind of go, that’s why I read it, because there’s some personality in there and the occasional swear word. That’s good for me, too.
Josh Bernoff [00:24:16]:
I’m all for that.
Jason Falls [00:24:17]:
All right. Part three of your book is turning a manuscript into a book. Tell people what the difference is and what makes one become the other.
Josh Bernoff [00:24:27]:
Yeah. So people are like, I’m done. I wrote my book. Here it is, 60,000 words. And then what happens to it? Well, it has to get handed to somebody who’s going to lay out pages and put in graphics and make a table of contents, do copy edits, index. There’s a whole process of publishing process in there, and people are like, Wait a minute, I thought I was done. The copy editor has 963 comments here, and I have to figure out what to do about each of those things that’s work. Well, you got to be prepared for the fact that that work is going to happen and that you’re going to be responsible for it. And so that part of the book is about not just that process, but other things, like the COVID and the page layout that people need to know about, because that’s what it takes to turn a manuscript into a book.
Jason Falls [00:25:23]:
Yeah, that’s the first time I remember on my first book, we got the first round of edits back. I’ve never seen so many goddamn colors in a Microsoft Word document in my life. I think seven people had edited comments, and my editor told me, your job is to go through every single comment and either make the change or tell me why you shouldn’t. And this was only the first quarter of the book. I got them in quarterly installments at that point, so the first maybe five or six chapters, and I bet it took me a week to get through all that stuff. I was like, you got to be kidding me. And she told me, she said, this is the work of being an author. This is part of it. Once you have written the book or the manuscript, now you have to write the book. You have to make it a book.
Josh Bernoff [00:26:11]:
Well, if you, for example, accept every comment made by the copy editor, it’s not your book anymore. And they tend to sand off the rough edges. That’s their job. But you need to be like, no, I want that. Italic in there. I know you don’t like it, but I prefer it in there.
Jason Falls [00:26:27]:
Exactly. And they loved me in a way, while they loved and hated me because I’m stubborn and belligerent and selfish enough that I was going to argue every single point. And I did. But at the end of it, I realized they made this book a thousand times better than it ever would have been without their input. So I really appreciated it more after the fact. But they were good.
Josh Bernoff [00:26:48]:
Here’s a word that all authors need to learn stead. Right. STET is a word that means, yeah, I know you want to change this, but leave it the way it was. And as an author, you always get the chance to put stead on anything.
Jason Falls [00:27:02]:
Yeah, that’s true.
Josh Bernoff [00:27:03]:
Jason Falls [00:27:04]:
All right, so the final of the four parts of your book is success, but I think I’m walking down the right path with this. That doesn’t mean you’ve finished the book. Now enjoy the success. What I think it means is none of that other shit mattered as much as what you do here to make it successful. Am I right?
Josh Bernoff [00:27:22]:
Yeah. I mean, there’s this thing that happens I see it all the time with authors where they finish the manuscript, they hand it in and then they’re like, let’s start another book. I’m like, no, you have work to do. You need to promote the book because nobody is going to know about it unless you put time into promotion. And if you think that’s the publisher’s job, it isn’t these days it is the author’s job. So that last part of the book is about promotion and it’s also about ways to monetize your book. Public speaking and consulting and workshops and all of the other stuff that comes out at the end and sort of have a systematic way of saying, all right, this has been published. Let’s make it pay off for me.
Jason Falls [00:28:04]:
So let me share my experience very quickly here to see if I’m sure it concurs and is parallel to yours, but I want to make sure people understand deeply what this part means. So after writing three books, this is my take on this process. You have to have a big audience to get a publishing deal. You have to market your book yourself because the publisher won’t invest anything more than they have to. In you. And I’m not being critical of publishers. This is just how they work. Unless you have a runaway hit, they’re not going to do PR for you or promote you individually because they have an entire series or season or library of books to move in that quarter. They’re pitching channel orders to Barnes and Noble and Books a Million and Amazon and everything else. Consumers facing stuff is all on you in the business book world. So tell me if that jives with your experiences, Josh, and then what are writers to do if they don’t know all the nuances of that?
Josh Bernoff [00:29:02]:
Okay, so I’d agree with what you said about 95% publishers have a series of things that they do do. So maybe they’ll get an excerpt published somewhere. I mean, my most recent book before this one, they managed to get an excerpt published in the New York Observer. Very nice. But it’s still almost all your responsibility. And people need to think about what’s their book’s positioning, what is the question that they answer? What is the way that they’re going to get as much reach as possible by being on podcasts like I’m doing right now with you? How are they going to create things that spread, and how are they going to make sure the timing of all of that publicity happens altogether? So that’s PQRST positioning question, reach, spread and timing, that’s how you can remember that. And if you have a little bit of money and you’re confused about how to do that, you probably want to hire a book publicist because they are experts at how to actually get that kind of publicity to happen.
Jason Falls [00:30:09]:
And if you do the PQRST, when you’re done with it, if you do it by yourself, you’re going to have PTSD, and you’re not going to write a book for eight years.
Josh Bernoff [00:30:19]:
I’m quoting that. That’s fantastic. I got to write about that.
Jason Falls [00:30:25]:
There you go. You can have that quote.
Josh Bernoff [00:30:29]:
I’m going to tell you something. This is sincere. Okay? So this is not the first podcast I’ve been on, and it’s not the last podcast I will be on, but I love this. You guys are awesome.
Jason Falls [00:30:41]:
Josh Bernoff [00:30:42]:
You’re really interesting people, and you ask really interesting questions, lots of different questions from lots of different people. So, no, I am actually energized by this process. I do not have PTSD. I am going to go have a drink after this is done, though.
Jason Falls [00:30:56]:
We’re recording this on a Friday. You’re perfectly allowed, and I will probably have two or three to your one.
Josh Bernoff [00:31:01]:
So there you go, folks.
Jason Falls [00:31:03]:
Don’t waste more time. Go get this book. It’s called build a Better Business book. Josh, hold it up there again so people can see.
Josh Bernoff [00:31:09]:
Okay, here we go.
Jason Falls [00:31:10]:
How to plan, write and promote a Book That Matters by Josh Burnout. It’s on Amazon, other places you can buy books. Josh, tell us where people can find you on the interwebs if anybody wants to connect with you later.
Josh Bernoff [00:31:22]:
Okay, well, everything I do goes through my website, which is Burnoff.com. If you go to Slash Blog, I write a blog post every weekday, five blog posts a week, full of useful and interesting stuff. If you go to Burnout.com Books, you can see this book and my previous book, which is a manual for people who want to communicate better in business. And I’m on LinkedIn. I have 25,000 Twitter followers, and that’s worth diddly now, now that Elon Musk has completely screwed up Twitter. But LinkedIn, as turns out, is really useful. So, yeah, you can find me there and just connect with me right there.
Jason Falls [00:32:01]:
Very good. Well, we’ll definitely have the book links, as well as all those pathways to find Josh in the show notes. You can find [email protected], click on articles in the upper right and find the episode. Or the short URL to get to this episode directly will be Josh Bernoff. Josh, thanks again for continuing to make all of us smarter, man, great to have you on the show.
Josh Bernoff [00:32:24]:
Hey, it’s been great to be part of this, and let’s keep going and making people smarter and having a drink after.
Jason Falls [00:32:39]:
A lot of wisdom there from Josh Bernoff. Big fan of his writing and insights over the years. Certainly no better person out there to teach you how to write a business book. Folks, if you enjoyed this episode, please do share it with someone else who may as well. And if you’re enjoying Winfluence overall, help us grow. Tell somebody about the show. You probably know someone who might want to know more about influence marketing. Send them to winfluence.com or share a link to this episode on your social network of choice. If you have a moment, drop Winfluence a rating or review on your favorite podcast app. We are on them all shows now on video as well. Just look for Jason Falls Winfluence on YouTube to see the show as well as hear it. Winfluence is a production of Falls and Partners and presented by Cipio AI. The technical production is by MPN Studios. Winfluence airs along MPN the Marketing Podcast Network thanks for listening, folks. Let’s talk again soon on.