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AMY PORTERFIELD: I'm writing a book. Surprise! Or maybe you already knew that. And to say the least, it's been a process. But I feel that as an entrepreneur, you have something to share. Let's be honest. You have a lot to share. And putting it in a book to get out into the world is one of the best ways to do that. And yes, I'm looking at you. But where the heck do you start, right? And how hard is it to write a book?
Well, to be honest, I started with a call to multiple New York Times’ best-selling author Gabby Bernstein. She was literally my first call. Now, Gabby and I have been online friends for years, but I really got to experience her magic personally because she helped me with the premise of my book, as well as the proposal, which was overwhelming at first because I had no idea what I was doing. I'm a believer that if you want to become an expert and succeed at something important to you, you study those who have gone before you, the experts. So that's what I did.
And you're in luck because Gabby is on the show today, and we are talking about writing a book as an entrepreneur and how that just might be one of the best things you could do. Even if you're on the fence about writing a book, stick around. After all, I think you might be surprised by Gabby's answer when I ask her how writing a book can benefit your business.
INTRO: I'm Amy Porterfield, and this is Online Marketing Made Easy.
AMY: Three to four days a week for ninety minutes at a time, that's the time I've decided to commit to working on my book each week. And let me tell you, it's not always rainbows and butterflies. Oh, heck, no. In fact, oftentimes, there are a million other things I would rather do than put pen to paper or type in a Google Doc. Sometimes after my writing session, I'll go downstairs, which, by that time, Hobie's woken up because I do it early, early in the morning, and he'll look at me, and he'll know, like, oh, that was a good writing session, or “A little tough today?” he'll say, and I'll say, “Yes. I don't want to talk about it. Get me more coffee.” Like, this has been a process. But I made a commitment, and so each morning when it's book-writing day, I dive in on it.
Now, this is most definitely not a process I would want to go through on my own. Like I said, I turned to Gabby for a little help—actually, a lot of help. And I'll never forget in that first call that I made to Gabby, she emphasized to me how important it was to get my book messaging down, like, before I do anything else. I always think of it as my book premise. And she said, “Okay. Get ready because you're going to need to be incredibly vulnerable. And once you get that messaging down, you need to start telling stories that you don't want to tell.” That's how vulnerable she encouraged me to be. And I thought, “Oh, no. Here we go.” But I committed to it, and I am ready to do this. So while writing a book can be a challenge, the rewards far outweigh the blood, sweat, and tears that go into bringing your creation into the world.
So in today's episode, Gabby is giving you tips and strategies like the ones she gave me on our very first call. We're diving into how to overcome writer's block, the clearest path to publishing, and how a course creator can turn their course into a book. Gabby also shares how a book can benefit an entrepreneur. And you can bet I asked her how a book can help you grow your email list. We definitely talked about that. To top off all of this, Gabby now has a digital course about writing a best-selling book, so we're going to chat about that as well. And if you want to check out a sneak peek of her new book, go to amyporterfield.com/4secrets. It's a free training. I'll talk about it a little bit later. But amyporterfield.com/4secrets. Totally worth it if you've ever thought about writing a book.
And one more thing I wanted to add before we jump in. I’ve also invited Luvvie Ajayi Jones on the show for a future episode because she is also a multi-best-selling author, and she talked to me a bit about how she has a unique perspective about writing books and getting published, and she's agreed to share her insights because she, like many of us, wants to see more women of color get published. And I think that's a damn good mission to have. And because it's important that I have different voices on the show, I was thrilled when I asked her to also come on in the future, when she's ready, to talk about book writing and book publishing from her own experiences and perspective, and she said yes. So that's coming up in the future.
And for today, buckle up because I prepared some of the most-asked questions about book writing and book publishing, and I know you're going to get lots of great insight from Gabby. So let’s do this.
Hey, Gabby, welcome to the show. Actually, welcome back to the show. I'm so happy you're here.
GABBY BERNSTEIN: Listen, I love you, and any chance I can have to hang out with you, even if it's just for a podcast recording, is a dream. I love you. You’re one of those special, special, happy people in my life that I just get excited to talk to. And I really mean that. I’m not just BSing you here.
AMY: Oh, well, I appreciate that, and I love that because you and I have gotten to talk a lot lately. And so, Hobie, my husband's, like, “All right. Enough about Gabby.” I'm like, Gabby this, Gabby that, because we've been talking a lot about my book. But that's not why we're here today. We're talking about just writing a book and getting a book published because you actually have a digital course, teaching people exactly how to do that, and we'll talk about that. But before we even get there, tell me about what you loved about creating that digital course and what you didn't love, because my audience, as you know, they're all creating digital courses at one point or another. So before we get into all the book stuff, how was that experience for you? And you've created many digital courses, but it's very fresh for you right now.
GABBY: Yeah. This is such a cool question for me at the moment because it's a great teachable moment for people. So you actually helped me a lot with this, okay? I've been creating courses for over twelve years longer, but I always did it one way, which was I would record a live event, whether it was a live workshop or a live talk, and then I would cut it and advertise it into specific modules with worksheets or whatever. And that’s cool. It’s nice to see a live event. But that’s cool for, like, a bonus. That’s cool for one module or an addition to a module, something along those lines. But I find that it can be a little bit more of a difficult learning experience for people.
So this year I really put my big-girl pants on, and I said, “Let's resurrect this awesome course that I have.” I've had this course. It started live. It was called the Bestseller Masterclass. Of course, like always, I shot it live, put the live videos into the training, and then a year ago started selling it digitally. It kicked ass. People loved it. But I felt that there was a missed opportunity because I think that when it's coming to digital courses and online learning, it's a lot better to really speak direct to the camera, be extemporaneous—I don't read from anything; I just teach. So it's as if you're in the room with me, but you don't have all the noise and the meshugas of what's happening in this live event. And I’ve taken some of the live-event content and given it as bonuses.
But I completely—in quarantine, my producer Lindsay and I resurrected this course, the Bestseller Masterclass. We outlined the six modules. We've redone all the worksheets. We've used some of the live stuff, like I said, for bonuses or extra ancillary material. But it is so sweet. It is so direct. It is so easy to digest. It takes something that seems so big and scary and demystifies it, boils it down to simple actions. And it's so awesome, Amy, that what happens now is all you have to do is press Play and follow my direction, and you will have a book published, and you will have the exact plan on how to make it a best seller. It’s foolproof.
So, that process of redoing it was one of the most—probably one of the best decisions I made career wise in the past year, because it, like I said, I put my big-girl pants on, and it was like, “Okay. Let’s sit down and do this.” You helped me a lot because I witnessed how you create your courses. I also had a conversation with you about it, and you were really helpful. And you were just like, “Yeah. I think it's just better like that.”
AMY: I'm so glad you took it from live to prerecorded, because, also, because you had done it so many times and because you've been talking about this topic for so long, I can't even imagine how great the content is when you sat down and you could be a little bit more mindful and present with it as you delivered it. I think it’s a different experience for those going through the digital course.
GABBY: It is, 100 percent, because I was able to think about how someone is needing to learn and be really mindful of that in a different type of setting.
GABBY: Leading people live, I know I’ve done that for fifteen years. Digitally, I’ve done that as well, but now I’ve done it right, and I really think that doing it direct to camera is the way to go. You could always share those extra, bonus live videos for extra gifts and things like that.
AMY: For sure.
So, there's some elements in this digital course that I want to talk about here on the podcast. And I want to talk about the things that come up the most for my listeners, and many people listening right now, they want to write a book. Whether it be right now or in the future, they’ve talked about writing a book. And I want to start with this concept of how do you think having a book in addition to your online business, whether you're a coach, a consultant, whether you have digital courses, how does a book change the game for entrepreneurs?
GABBY: Well, you're speaking to the right lady. I've published nine books in eleven years.
GABBY: I've been in this field for fifteen years, so most of my career I've been writing. The books have been, for me, the calling card. They've been the—a big part of the PR, right, a big part of really getting the message out to the world, a huge part of really establishing me as an expert in my field. These books have been a way of allowing the message that I teach to be carried far beyond me live and in a weird way, even beyond what we can do digitally, because you have to realize you're sitting—your face is next to someone's bed every single night, or maybe your face isn’t on the cover; your name is right next to someone's bed every single night. And so you get really intimate with people when they fall asleep with you. So that is no small thing. It only benefits your career in whatever form, whatever capacity you choose to take it.
For me, I have made the commitment to pretty much write a book a year because it's just been also a very healing experience for me each time I write. So I've allowed myself to ground myself even more and commit even more to the messages and the principles that I preach, because if I'm going to write them, I have to live them. There's so many professional and personal benefits to writing books.
I also, before we go on, Amy, I want to say one thing before we go on. So I'm sitting here, and I'm like, “I’ve written nine books in eleven years,” but I had zero writing experience when I first started, so I want to really start there because people might be looking at me like, “Well, they must know how to write, and they've got all this stuff.” Totally self-taught; learned how to write my first book, with the support of a writing coach who just helped me figure out how to do an outline; and then the rest is history. The more you write, the better you write. I totally self-taught. I've written every single word of all nine books that I've written. I'm literally putting the finishing touches on the ninth now. I taught myself how to write it. I taught myself how to market it. I taught myself how to write a book proposal by Googling “How do you write a book proposal?” Everything I've done is self-taught. And I want to say that up front because I don't want somebody sitting back, being like, “Well, I can't do that because I don't have the background,” or whatever. Guess what. I didn't. So you can do this if you feel you have a book in you, even if you can't string a sentence together, because that was the case for me, couldn't even put a sentence together.
AMY: Okay. So that actually leads me to my next question that I get asked all the time. People aren't really asking me. They're actually complaining to me about this issue, and I want to ask an expert. What do you do when the words just don't flow? I mean, it's writer's block, and I know you talk about this a lot. But I also want you to talk about writer’s block and maybe a strategy or two of what to do about that, but two things in addition to that. One, writer's block makes me feel like I'm not good enough, and I don't have the right things to say, or I'm not going to say it. So I get really ment—that all the emotion in my head when it happens. And then number two, I'm dying to know a little bit about your writing process. I know everyone's writing process is different, but I want to know what it kind of looks like behind the scenes for you as well, which those kind of go hand in hand. So hit it.
GABBY: They do go hand in hand because my writing process sets me up so that I never have writer's block.
AMY: Okay. That’s what I was hoping you’d say.
GABBY: Never, ever, ever have writer’s block, ever. I have been writing freely and effortlessly and joyfully for nine years. This is how. And I break all this down in the Bestseller Masterclass because if I don't teach that up front, then you're screwed, okay? You’re pretty much going to be in writer's block the whole time. There's two key elements to being untethered in your writing and to be free in your writing and to allow it to come through. Well, three, actually, and I'll just touch on them today because, really, they’re broken down into deep-dive workshops.
The first is that you must, must, must, must have a core message. You and I have worked on this. We really dialed yours down for your book. And I'm real—I'm a boss b-i-t-you-know-what when it comes to core message, because I won't stand for someone not being grounded in what their book is about. You know when someone asks you, like, you said this, like, when someone says, like, “What's your course about?” And you’re like, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, and you just aren't grounded in it? It’s the same thing with a book because someone says, “What's your book about?” and you’re like, “Well, it's about the esoteric changes in my inner landscape.” And it's like, shut the f up. What are you—? And then it makes the person that's talking uncomfortable, it makes the person that's listening feel uncomfortable because, like, “I have no idea what you just said.” So it's all about boiling it down, boiling it down.
Examples of a core message. I actually have several of my books next to me right here, so let's just see what I've got up front. Great one. The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith. The core message is often the subtitle. Transform—you don't have to make it the subtitle, but it should be because the purpose of a core message is to tell the reader what they're going to get. What is the promise of this book? While writing this book, if at any point a chapter or a sentence or a paragraph started to detour from transform fear to faith, I would stop and delete it. This is the core message, the through line throughout. And that's not just for nonfiction; that's for fiction as well. You want to know the journey that you're taking your reader on, no matter what kind of writing you're offering. And that could even go for poetry. You often would want to maybe have a style or a theme or a direction. With direction, you can be really free.
The next level of direction is a very clear outline. If you don't have an outline that is super solid and clear, you will write yourself into circles. You will have writer's block because you will be all over the place. I go really deep into the exact process for how I create my outline because it's kind of like a puzzle. It’s really cool.
And then the other element that I teach in the course is all about creating a story bank, because when we—just like with writing email copy or when you talk and even with a digital course, having those rich stories that support the chapter or support the message or support the lesson are really what the reader needs most. They want to identify themself in you or in the story or in the character. So one of the things I always have going in the background on a Google Drive is just a story bank of ideas and ideas, and then I puzzle piece them into my outline.
The reason I bring all those things up, when you have the clarity of what your message is and you have the clarity of where you're going and you're committed to that and you have the stories to back it up, you never get writer's block, because you've done the prep work to step aside now—so you've done all that preparation—and now you can step aside and open up your right brain’s creative capacity to allow inspiration. I use the word channeling. Inspired intuitive ideas. But if we don't have that clear left-brain outline, then we don't have the freedom to allow the right-brain creative capacity to open up.
AMY: Yes. I actually had no idea that your process for writing is very similar to the process I teach for creating a digital course.
GABBY: So similar.
AMY: Right? From the premise to the outline to the story bank, I mean, all of it. And so there's a question that comes up with my listeners a lot. Can you take a digital course and turn it into a book or can you turn a book into a digital course?
GABBY: Yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
GABBY: I've done the opposite. I've taken my books and turned them into courses.
AMY: You have? Okay.
GABBY: Many of them.
AMY: Is it too redundant? Like, who's going to buy the book when you have the course, or who's going to buy the course when you have the book?
GABBY: In terms of the book, there's two answers. And I can actually give you a Brendon Burchard answer here, too.
GABBY: So I wrote a book called Judgment Detox, and Judgment Detox is a six-step process for really undoing the judgments in your life so that you can really feel more free. And it's a six-step process that is very actionable. There's an emotional freedom technique, tapping exercises. There is a lot of workshopping. So it's very obvious to me that that was a course that would lend itself to a book. Excuse me, a book that would lend itself to a course. So I wanted to launch the course with the book. I literally took the exact lessons from every module and just taught them straight to camera. This actually was the first time I did a straight-to-camera course. And it really became this course that I think is best benefiting someone who's read the book already, but it can stand alone.
And I think that there's two ways to play it. What Brendon taught me in terms of the issue that you brought up of, will it jeopardize the course and whatnot? he suggested that I name the course something different than the book. I don't even remember what we called it because we've actually denied Brendon that truth. I understand where he was coming from, and I think that that would work for many people because you want to be able to, like, “Here's my book, and then here's a course,” so it can be two different things. In my case, it benefited me more. We realized it about a year in, why don't we call this the Judgment Detox Digital Course and just sell it to the core adopter, which is these hundreds of thousands of readers that we have. And so it depends on where you are and what your goals are for the course. Brendon is correct that if you want it just to be a standalone course, change the title. But if you want them to be a package deal, you'd want to keep those titles connected.
AMY: And I've seen a lot of people create a digital course as a bonus to their book. And it's, like, the secret chapter that they've now turned into a course, or they've gone deeper or whatever it might be. So let's talk about publishing, because this is a hot topic, and people want to know, like, what's the clearest and most efficient way to get published? Can you talk a little bit about self-publishing versus going through a traditional publisher? Like, they want to know what they should be doing?
GABBY: Yep, totally. And again, this is actually a whole module in the course. It’s all about your publishing path, so I can speak to this very freely right now. When you want to get a book published, you have to have the willingness to really look at the full landscape because sometimes going the traditional route isn't the right direction. For whoever, wherever you are, you could be Amy Porterfield, you could be the first-time author, it doesn't matter. Sometimes it's right; sometimes it's wrong. So the most important thing is regardless of whether you're going to go after a publishing deal or not, I recommend that people write a book proposal because the book proposal and that whole process I lay out in the module before is so crucial—and you’re just going through it right now, so you can testify to this—but it’s so crucial to the process because it helps you identify your reader. It helps you know who your competitors are. It helps you really lay out your marketing plan. It forces you to write some sample chapters. It just gets the whole vision down on the page.
Once you've done that, the next step would be to send that proposal around to some agents. And this is if you want to go down the traditional publishing path. And if you're someone like Amy, she could just call up an agent, and they'd be like, “Yes, I want to get on the phone with you.” And I'm not trying to make Amy better than everybody, but she has a big platform, and we all know this. If you're someone without a platform, it's much more helpful to get that, nail that proposal first so that you can send it around to agents and get them interested in the idea, because they may not see a huge following.
Then, if you secure an agent, the next steps of the path are to perfect that proposal. The agent takes it out to the publishers. In Amy's case, she's going to have a bidding war. I’m already projecting it.
GABBY: And she’ll have a few days of meetings, and then within three days, she's going to have a bidding war, and that's what's going to happen for Amy. If you're a first-time writer, that can happen, too.
So, one of the teachers in my course is my friend Jenny Sansouci, who had never written a book before, had a modest following online, maybe, like, 20,000 people following her on Instagram or something, had kind of like a blog newsletter kind of thing, but it wasn’t this major big name out there. She wrote a killer book proposal, and she teaches how to do that in my course. And she wrote this book proposal that landed her a six-figure deal off of her first-ever book, with a very modest social platform.
So the answer is, if you're a first-time author and you don't have much of a platform, you can still do it, but you have to really rely on your proposal more. Whereas, Amy, you're going to do both. But you probably could have just sold it to a publisher. But to get that bidding war, you're going to go big with your proposal, as your teacher, Gabby, taught you.
GABBY: So, that’s the publishing path. And then you bring out to the publishers.
The self-publishing path is epic. I highly recommend the self-publishing path. What I often say is don't wait to be picked. If you are not getting feedback from an agent, when you're not getting any feedback from a publisher, okay, whatever. Their loss. Go self-publish. The beautiful thing about self-publishing is that once you go sell a bunch of books and your self-published book, you can then sell it to a publisher.
GABBY: So, it doesn't stop you from having the opportunity to be fully published.
AMY: Actually, I didn't even think of it that way, that even if you did sell it on your own, you could still be published down the road. That's fantastic.
And also, let's go back to traditional publishing. When I started down this road, luckily, I got to get mentored by you in this whole experience. But I was clueless in the sense of I was like, “Do you even need an agent? Why can't you just go right to the publishers? What's the point of the agent?” But can you talk about that a little bit because people are very confused of the steps.
GABBY: Yeah. I think that the only time that it's wise to go straight to a publisher is if you're a seasoned author who has lots of books behind you, you already have a reputation and a relationship with that publisher, and you know that you don't want to get any kind of bidding war or any activity going around it. You want to just go straight to the same place.
I have a girlfriend who's a memoirist, and she just continues to go back to the same publisher over and over. It doesn't take it out. That's her people. That's her editor. That's her place.
But most of the time, you're going to want to have someone representing you. The agents have relationships with all of these different publishing houses and specifically with different editors. There are different editors for different beats. So in your case, there's going to be business editors. In my case, there are spiritual editors. So there are different imprints. There's several—hundreds of different imprints inside these publishing houses that all have a different beat. And you're not going to know who they are, necessarily. So the most common approach to publishing path with a traditional publisher is to get the agent behind you. The agent has the relationships. The agent sends out a cover letter, with your proposal and get some activity around it.
AMY: Okay. So, that, yeah. That was really important for me to understand kind of the process that went through. And I have to tell you guys, the proposal—so I'm finished with my proposal at the time of this recording. It's in my agents’ hands. They're going to give some feedback, and then we're going to shop the book. And I have heard—I don't know if you agree with this, Gabby—I’ve heard the proposal’s one of the hardest parts. Like, when you’re done, you can take a big sigh of relief. Now you can get to writing. Would you agree with that?
GABBY: Oh, yeah. I dedicated an entire module to proposals that sell—
GABBY: —because it’s not like, “Oh, just do your proposal.” It's a whole module. There's a full worksheet. There's sample proposals. It's the most—
GABBY: —important thing if you're going to sell because, like I said, even if you know you're going to self-publish, write the proposal. So much of what's inside that proposal is the overarching plan for the book. It's your table of contents. It forces you to get that table of contents down, to get that sample chapters, to get that market research. It's just crucial. The more you put into your proposal, the more likely you will get a better advance. Period. End of story.
You, my friend, have done an excellent job of just beating it up and beating it up and going back to it and asking for help and going back to it. When I read the proposal today, I sat there, and I had full-body chills, and I was like, this is a humongous book deal.
AMY: Ah, I love when you said—you guys, Gabby’s one of the greatest friends to have. She makes you feel like anything is possible. And I just… because she's a master manifester, I'm like, and so it is. When Gabby says it, I say it too, and so it is.
But I will tell you, I'm so glad you pushed me to put so much blood, sweat, and tears into that proposal. Just so you guys know, it took me a few months to do because it wasn't the only thing I was doing. I was trying to also get a launch up and running. And I got some help from somebody on my team. But I am writing the book, so definitely I wanted to be a part of this.
And I know some people who have had other people write their proposals, and everyone does it different. I totally get that. For me, though, writing the proposal myself, with help from a team member, allowed me to get it in my body. Like, I owned every word. I believed every word. I know what the book's about. I have total clarity now. I know the flow of it. When you do a proposal, you do, well, we did a full, fleshed-out outline to get us to the proposal. So now I've got this fully fleshed-out outline like you teach in the course. So it was a good experience, although I’m not going to say it was easy, but it was a good experience. I'm so glad you made that a huge part of your course.
GABBY: It's so important. Regardless of if you publish or if you don't publish, it gives you—to your point, that experience of the full-bodied acceptance of the book and understanding of the book is exactly what it gives you. You just can't mess with that. It's so important.
AMY: It is. It really is.
So, tell me this. You've worked with a lot of people that have written and published books, and where do you think they get stuck the most? because a lot of people who are listening right now, they will eventually write their proposal. They will eventually get their book out there. What do we need to be aware of through the process? So I need some mindset hacks or suggestions before I even get to them, I think.
GABBY: Well, what's very unique about my course is that while I'm an author, I'm a spiritual teacher first, so the methods for clearing mental space, for clearing energetic blocks are all in there. I have seven meditations in the course. So even in my own writing process, it's not just a practical process; it's a spiritual experience. Writing a book requires a part of you to step aside. It requires that overactive thinking subside. The way to undo those patterns is through meditation, through intention, through affirmation, through breath, through physical movement. Sometimes I'll step up, and I'll get off the desk, and I'll do yoga for five minutes and just stretch my body. That alignment, how we sit, all of this is key.
I also believe that one of the ways that we can really eliminate blocks is to have rituals around our writing. So I'm a mama of a two-and-a-half-year-old little boy. And when you put a baby to bed, you have all these sleep cues for them. So you've got, you turn down the lights, and then you read the book, and then you turn on the sound machine, and then you give them the blanky. And every detail leads them to the anticipation of sleep.
I have writing cues. I have a whole ritual around my writing. So I write in the morning. That's my time. I become uninterruptible. The coffee is my ritual. Coffee is my ritual. I have a cup of coffee with a lot of frothy nut milk, and it's next to my desk. And smelling that coffee in the morning at the desk, with no other tabs up is all cues that it's time to write.
So that's one way to sort of stay consistent is to have those specific writing cues and rituals and practices to create the space and set the stage. You don’t want to be going straight from working all day and being totally burnt out to now forcing yourself to write a chapter. Though, sometimes that may happen, that's not ideal. It's much better to take forty minutes of uninterrupted, clear-minded space in the morning than two hours of crappy, energetic space in the afternoon, totally.
AMY: I'm a morning writer as well, and that's exactly what I did because writing the proposal, I told myself I'm just going to treat it as though I'm writing the book. So I got up and between, like, 6:00 a.m. and 7:30. So usually ninety minutes is my writing time with my coffee upstairs, only me and my dog. It does feel like a sacred time once you get into the flow of it.
GABBY: And if you really get into the flow, you crave it. You're like, I can't wait. I think back to the time—I wrote two books in my old house. I had a house four years ago that I lived in. I lived in that house for two and a half years and I wrote two books in it. And I just have this vision, Amy, of this tiny white office. I painted the floors white. I painted the beams and the ceiling white. I had this white chandelier, a little tiny white desk, a purple chair. Like, I was just really serene. And I think my way back into the mountain house and being in that writing experience, and I think about how sacred that was. I longed for that feeling, so much so that I've built out a space that will be my writing space. That's how seriously I take this, because—not that everybody has the luxury of being able to build out a space, but this is my art. It’s like someone having an artist studio—because you need to create the space for that creative flow to come through you.
And sometimes it's physical space. Sometimes it's somebody going off to Bali for three months. Whatever it is. I don't actually leave my life. I write while I live and work, as you are going to as well. But having those rituals is key.
AMY: You know, I was thinking, something you said made me think of this. A lot of people that are listening on this podcast, because it's called Online Marketing Made Easy, we take list building very seriously. And I know you actually have a very big, not only big, email list, very engaged. Like, your audience pays attention to your emails, beyond most people I know. So you're actually a good person to ask. Do you believe that your books contributed to that? And if so, in what way?
GABBY: For many reasons. One, when you write a book, you're going to always want to have some kind of lead magnet embedded in the book somewhere. So this is, obviously, your audience can understand this. So you have a resources page. So you can say throughout the book, “If you want that guided meditation to listen to audibly, not just read it, go to the resources link,” and that is where you capture the lead, and that's where you give away a lot of additional resources, and you can also sell them your course or sell them the meditation album that accompanies the book or whatever it is in your case. The cooking utensils that accompany the cookbook, whatever that story is. Amy will be selling her digital course in the back end of that lead magnet, all the way. And so it’s very valuable for getting—and we have funnels just for each book. So I have the Judgment Detox funnel. We call it the JD funnel. We have the universe funnel for The Universe Has Your Back. And those funnels also sell people these ancillary products that accompany the book.
So you've already had this target audience. They've identified themselves as a reader. Now they're going down this journey to get that product that's going to help support their process with the book or that thing or that deck. I do a lot of art card decks that support the book. So they can find all that once they've opted in. It's great because you also now know who your readers are. So if you're going to go on a book tour or something next year for your second book, you've got all these readers that you've captured from the first books. You can really get them engaged for the next books. You've got a segmented list of readers. Invaluable.
In addition, I would say that the capturing the lead is really valuable as an author because you can retarget those people when you want to run ads to them in the following year or with your digital course or whatever it is. It's so important to know who they are.
AMY: Yes, it really is. And you're right. There's so many opportunities in a book for a lead magnet. So you've done many of them. Can you just think of one that might have been your favorite or was probably the best one that you've done?
GABBY: All of the lead magnets inside the books go to a resources page.
AMY: Oh, they do? Okay.
GABBY: But I have many lead magnets that are set up prior to the book coming out. So I have a free event that I do before the—and I give the whole playbook for this in my course. I literally, literally, lift the hood and give you the entire Gabby playbook.
AMY: You do. And you give examples, like, here's how it looks.
GABBY: I show the sales page. I show the lead magnet. I give them—I’m like, “Copy my page. Go do this.”
AMY: Yes. When you showed me what you did and how you marketed your book and how I should do it, I was like, “Holy cow.” That's why I've been so excited for you to get this course out there, because, actually, let's talk a little bit about this. So the name of the course is…
GABBY: The Bestseller Masterclass.
AMY: Tell me a little about it, and then we're going to tell them of a webinar that you and I are doing together about this. But tell everyone a little bit about the actual course.
GABBY: So the Bestseller Masterclass is a six-module digital course that guides you through the process of setting yourself up to write a best seller, the process of creating a proposal that will sell, guiding you through the entire publishing process so you can decide what your unique publishing journey will be, followed by the clearest, clearest plug-and-play path to marketing your best seller. What I love to say is if you follow what I do, it will work.
So these methods, that's why at the front of this podcast, I wanted to really highlight that this is all self-taught, because I don't want someone thinking I'm not this or I'm not that. If I could figure it out, with my literary career ending in eighth-grade English, my literary education ending at eight-grade English, and my career beginning at twenty-eight years old, we really have to accept that we all can do this.
So I lay the whole path out. The first module's core message. The second module gives you that whole breakdown of your outline. Then we do your kick-ass proposal and the proposal that's going to sell. Then we talk about your publishing path, and we get into the marketing. And then at the end, you get my entire six-month marketing plan from start to finish. And that's why I'm saying you just plug and play. It literally says do this month one, do this month two. And the module prior to that teaches you how to do all those things. So the sixth module just says, here's the plan.
I love being the teacher for this because I can testify to it. It's not like I'm just like, “Oh, this is a cool thing.” I've lived it. I've practiced it. I've led it. I've led it by myself. I’ve led it with small teams that were not totally equipped to do it. I've led it with teams that were more equipped to do it. And next year I'll lead it with a team that's overly equipped to do it. So it doesn't matter how big your team is, it doesn't matter how many resources you have, if you have a book in you, you can follow this plan, and you will publish it, and you will have the path to becoming a bestseller.
AMY: So here's what's cool. Gabby and I are going to do a free training. Well, of course, Gabby's leading it, but I'm going to be there live with Gabby. It's called Four Secrets to Your Best-Selling Book. So if you want a little freebie sneak peek about what Gabby teaches, this is where you need to go. So it's Four Secrets to Your Best-Selling Book. It’s amyporterfield.com/4secrets. So, amyporterfield.com/4secrets. It’s June 22 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific. So June 22, 10:00 a.m. Pacific. Put it in your calendar. Go sign up. Amyporterfield.com/4secrets. We will be live, and I’ve got bonuses. If you decide to join Bestseller Masterclass, I have contributed bonuses that are part of my own process of writing my proposal, writing the book, what it looks like behind the scenes for me, so you actually get a behind the scenes from both of us through this whole experience. It's really, really cool. So join me and Gabby on this live training, amyporterfield.com/4secrets.
So, Gabby, thank you so very, very much for being here. This is such a treat. I love talking about this topic, for selfish reasons, but also because my audience has asked about writing books for so long. So what's your final words of wisdom? Anyone listening, thinking, “Maybe, maybe I can do this.”
GABBY: My final words of wisdom is if you're listening to Amy Porterfield and you've created a digital course or have been interested in creating a digital course, then you absolutely must write a book because you could write that book and it could help your course. You could do the course and it could help you write the book. If this is already on your radar, if you're already thinking about your expertise in these ways and you're ready to put it into a digital product, there is zero reason why it shouldn't be a book. Zero reason. Go for it.
AMY: Ah, I love it. Perfect ending.
Gabby, thank you so much for being here.
GABBY: I love you.
AMY: Love you.
All right, my sweet listener. Your first action-item step: decide do you want to write a book to share your message with the world? And I hope your answer is a heck, yes. Maybe it's yes, but not right now. Or maybe it's a big old no. No matter what, I want you to start thinking about it. Like, right now where you're at, could you see yourself writing a book in the future? I really hope it's your long-term goal. I know for me, I've been thinking about this for years and years, and I would have loved to understand this process at a deeper level years ago, because, quite honestly, I might have written the book I'm writing now back then, and it would have been amazing back then, just as it's going to be now. So I didn't need to wait this long, but I honestly didn't even know where to start. So I want you to really take what Gabby shared here to heart, and ask yourself if this is something that you want to explore. I hope you walk away from today's episode feeling inspired and also having a little bit more clarity on what this might look like for you. But to really understand the process, get on the free training, Four Secrets to Your Best-Selling Book. And Gabby never holds back. So amyporterfield.com/4secrets.
Thanks for joining me today. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.