Why is this nuclear engineer helping others self-publish?

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I’ve got to be honest, I’m not as interested in the software today’s guest created as I am in his story.

Dave Chesson started out as a nuclear engineer and arms dealer. He began writing books while out at sea.

When he left the military, he turned that experience into a side hustle which turned into a full-blown business. I want to find out how he did it.

Dave Chesson is the founder of Kindlepreneur, which teaches people how to Self-Publish a book and sell more copies online.

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Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson

Kindlepreneur

Dave Chesson is the founder of Kindlepreneur, which teaches people how to Self-Publish a book and sell more copies online.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses and more and more of the people who are interview, have listened to have been fans. Who’ve gone out and built companies. And, uh, I’m excited to say that today’s guest is built one that, um, you know what, Dave, it’s not so much your software though.

I imagine that I’m gonna be using your software soon. It’s just the fricking story. Dave, Chesson started out as a nuclear engineer and then started writing books on the side, not using his name for some reason. We’ll talk about why then he started saying, you know what? I figured out what works in the, in the, uh, Amazon store.

I think I could help other people do it. He created this course. So he created the site which teaches, created tools that help people rank higher and sell more books. And then he created the monster of all successes. I think it’s called a publisher rocket it’s software that helps authors see what’s really going on in the book market and then pick better keywords and categories so that they could sell more books.

I invited him here to talk about how we did it. We can do it. Thanks to phenomenal sponsors. The first is HostGator. They’ll help you host your website, right? Tell you later why you should go to hostgator.com/mixergy. And the second one you’re ready to sell to your audience. When you’re ready to have a paid membership, you should check out member full and I’ll tell you later why you should go to member fool.com/mixergy.

Dave. Good to have you here.

Dave: Yeah. Thank you so much for that.

Andrew: Uh, can I ask what the revenue is? What are you doing with publisher rocket,

Dave: Right now we’re hitting around $130,000 a month.

Andrew: all bootstrapped

Dave: Yeah. Straight up.

Andrew: and a bottom line. Do you net more than one 50 from that?

Dave: Uh, let’s see. I would say we do about 50% in profit.

Andrew: What does the other 50% go? Developers?

Dave: Yeah. Developing taxes. Um, a lot of research, research and development because we’re always trying to push the fold. Um, I don’t do advertisement. That’s just not my thing. Um, and I’ll, I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m not like the perfect entrepreneur or business person, but there’s certain things I like to stick with, but yeah, that’s, that’s about it.

I like to push the fold and, and grow the company in there.

Andrew: Give me an example of a use case. Who’s going to publish a rocket and what are they doing?

Dave: Sure. Well, you know, when somebody publishes a book on Amazon, there’s a lot of things that you can do to kind of help convince Amazon, Hey, let me show this book when these kinds of people come to look for it. Right? And so this is great, but the problem is, is that we, as authors don’t really know what to do.

We don’t know how to tell Amazon to do this. And so we created this tool to help authors choose the right keywords so that Amazon knows when to show the book better. And to whom to show we also help to kind of pull back the curtain and make sure that authors can kind of see how much money other books are making, where opportunities exist.

So just kind of think of it like a, um, an SEO tool that’s specific for authors in Amazon.

Andrew: And how are you finding out what keywords do Well,

Dave: Well, luckily there’s a lot of great information we’re able to pull. So we pull a lot of information from Amazon itself.

Andrew: by scraping the site, doing the search, seeing what ranks, where,

Dave: Some of that. Yeah. Amazon is also pretty hardcore against scraping. So it’s funny is, is that when you talk about software there’s they always have this conversation about having deep moats, you know, um, the harder it is to build a software, you know, the, the deeper, the moat, because then there’s less chance people get in.

Man, dealing with Amazon has given me half the gray hairs that you might see on the side over here, because they are crazy, but there’s a lot of great information that we’re able to pull from. We also have been collecting historical data that we’re able to access. Uh, we turn from instantaneous information to servers.

Uh, so yeah, there’s, there’s a lot of dynamics that

Andrew: Do you also, um, do you also partner with plug-in makers to kind of watch what people are searching for?

Dave: No, I haven’t. Um,

Andrew: Do you use tools that do that?

Dave: not personally on my Chrome. Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew: No, no, no. Um, But, uh, no, but the com so one of the.

reasons that I ask is I’ve asked some of these sites that will rank, uh, traffic to websites, where they’re getting their data and some will in private. Talk to me about how they get these plugins that are made for Chrome. They’re watching what’s happening on, uh, on Chrome users, computers, and then they use that data.

You’re not doing that. You’re not buying from there.

Dave: No, we’re not. I’ll tell you this though, is, is that, um, creating Chrome plugins is, is kind of a really awesome opportunity, especially for somebody who’s thinking about software, because when you use a Chrome plugin, technically it’s that person’s computer, that person’s a web address. That’s doing all the pulling of information.

Um, when you’re, whereas we are kind of like, we almost complicated a bit more because we’re a server that’s trying to pull information. And so we’re a general location. So I know that’s a bit complicated to sum it up. There were some benefits to using our Chrome plugin, uh, great ones. You can probably look that up online, but for us, no, we don’t.

Andrew: All right. How did you end up as a nuclear engineer?

Dave: Well, I had dyslexia growing up as a child. And so I always thought that I was not destined for English or English classes. Um, and it was at a time where dyslexia wasn’t exactly a known term or it wasn’t very popular. So I always struggled in school when it came to that. However though, I always enjoyed math and physics.

So I did that. I joined the military. Uh, first thing I decided to be was the nuclear summer submariner went to new power school and

Andrew: Oh, so they trained you.

Dave: Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, I got my, I got a physics degree at UWA Madison. I also worked at a, at a, um, proton accelerator, uh, as a side job. So I did a little bit of it.

But when you get into that, you can be a history major and still become a nuclear engineering.

Andrew: why the Navy or why the military at all?

Dave: Well, my father was in the Navy grandfather great-grandfather so we have a long legacy of that. Also, too. I was able to get the military to pay for my college. So it was a full ride in that respect. I just had to pay back in, in blood tears and

Andrew: How was it?

Dave: right. Enjoy the, the summary life. The submarine life is like prison, but worse.

Um, imagine 150 guys stuck in a steel tube with no light of day. For three months, I Freud would had a field day studying submariners,

Andrew: What’s so what happens down there

Dave: uh, uh, three knots to nowhere, uh, is what we jokingly say. You go really slow. You just kind of turn, turn, turn you.

Andrew: and then how do you deal with it? Do you just get frustrated with people? Do you have a lot of, uh, activities that are pre-created for you? Just so you don’t go nuts.

Dave: No, there’s definitely no activities or anything like that. Um, matter of fact, the way that we work the days is it’s six hour shifts and there was only three shifts. So it feels like 18 hour days. Uh, so it actually feels longer than it really is. Um, but honestly, you wake up, you do your shift, you have 12 hours in those 12 hours, you have to train, you have to study, you have to, you know, do your, do your side job in a way, um, on the submarine itself, uh, bathe and oh, by the way, if you’re trying to sleep and a drill goes off too bad, you gotta be Johnny on the spot and do your thing.

So it’s no fun at all.

Andrew: all.

right. So you said, I gotta get outta here. You then decided I’m going to start a business of some kind, right?

Dave: No, actually that’s when I kind of twisted the Navy’s arm, um, they were like, Hey, we’d like you to stay in. I’m like, Nope, peace out. And they were like, hold on, hold on, buddy. Tell us what you really want to do. And I said, well, I want to be a military diplomat. And more importantly, I want to be a Chinese specialist.

Huh weren’t expecting that, but, okay. Yeah, we can deliver. So I went into military diplomacy. Um, I became fluent in Mandarin. Chinese got a master’s degree in east Asia then became a liaison. And while I was doing that, uh, after all of that, all that training, the military sent me over and like, Hey, you know, Chinese, right?

Yeah. Great. We’re going to send you to Korea without your family for two years. And I was like, oh, that was not what I was looking for. But all right, fine. So we did the job, uh, but my wife had this really important question to me. She said, Dave, what are we doing this for? Uh, do you want to be an Admiral?

I’m like, no, she’s like, well then you’re looking down a path. I’ve always been away from your wife and kids. And there’s no real goal here. So what is it that you want to do? And I said, jeepers, that’s a really good question. And when we really thought about it, I was like, I need an exit strategy out of the military, but here I am on the other side of the world, I cannot create, well, if I go get another job or try to get another job, I’m just going to jump into another nine to five traveling job.

Right. I mean, with my background, that’s

Andrew: But before we pause it, but let me pause and just, understand what, why are you doing there? I guess I get that your wife is asking you, why are we here? And that made you think I don’t belong here, but if you could analyze why you ended up there, what was it that you were trying to do with your life? It just seems like you’re so smart.

So full of this creative potential. And instead of, I don’t know what being creative you were doing, what you were told, why?

Dave: I mean, that was, I grew up that way.

Andrew: Just because your grandfather did it and your father did it. That was what you were going to do.

Dave: yeah, you just kind of roll into it. I mean, it was, uh, I didn’t have a, I didn’t have a college, um, debt or anything like that. I had a job coming right out of it. I kind of did it and it job security and my family preaches the whole do your 20 and then get your retirement pay. And I saw that’s what I thought.

Andrew: Ah, okay. All right. That makes sense. So now you’re seeing another way. What do you, so continue? Sorry.

Dave: Yeah. So we started looking at it and I was like, all right, well, what can I do if I’m on the other side of the world, if I start a business, it can’t be brick and mortar. It can’t be something that requires me 24, 7, I’m awake when Americans are sleeping and vice versa, this dramatically change the opportunities I could.

So we started looking and that’s when I discovered about like, you know, this whole make money online thing, which you know, is like crazy. When you think about it, you’re like, okay, yeah, this is a rip off. But I started studying and I learned about building niche websites. And that led me into learning about Amazon and Kindle direct publishing KDP.

And when I started doing that, all of a sudden I had a, I had kind of a foothold, if you will, into a market that I could grow. And that’s what really set me off. And luckily I had a wife that was really into entrepreneurship and so she helped me out.

Andrew: Meaning She was doing a business on her side.

Dave: She was supporting me. She was also allowing me to spend that time. She was allowed. She also gave me a little stipend of money that I could use towards the business. Um, and she was just rooting for me

Andrew: Oh,

Dave: wives. Might’ve been fearful of me moving out of a stable job to then do something crazy, like being entrepreneur.

But now she was, she was a part of it all.

Andrew: Could you have gone back in if you, if you failed?

Dave: Well, we actually, so I didn’t jump out of the air, uh, airplane and build the parachute on the way down. What I did say is, is that our I’m going to do this. And if I can make $10,000 a month, which is more than I was making the Navy, then I could put in my letter to say, peace out. I’m done. Give me that  was it 2 0 4?

Uh, your, your letter out. And so I hit that mark. I just finished Korea and they were like, Hey, do you want to go to Sri Lanka? And I was like, that sounds pretty cool. Sri Lanka, Maldives. But then I said, this is my last tour. I’m done. We’re going to do this. And so I got out and because the business was doing great.

And then I moved to Nashville and yeah, an entrepreneur.

Andrew: When you discovered publishing on a Kindle, what were you was the first thing that you created?

Dave: Well, the biggest thing was I saw I’m not a good enough writer to sit down and write anything I want. I’m not a Hemingway, you know, I, I just can’t. Um, instead though I started to, especially from understanding SEO and Google was, Hey, if I knew that there was like a thousand people a month typing something into Google or in this case, Amazon, and there was no book or article that served them.

There’s a good chance that what I have to say can get in front of them. So I applied what I learned in Google SEO into analyzing Amazon. And I started to look at what is Amazon trying to show me? Where is their money? You know, what books are making, what money. And from there, I started to find these ideas of things that I could write.

And so I started writing these niche books that would corner a market, and it was great because it was continuous, you know, I mean, legit passive income that was coming in every month. And so I could stop.

Andrew: how would you know what people were searching for and did not find the right book or any book at all,

Dave: Well, back in the day, I had to use a lot of Excel sheets. I had to do a lot of searching and a lot of number crunching.

Andrew: how do you know what even searched for on Amazon to see that there’s how would you get search volume? How would you get search words that people are actually searching for?

Dave: So there’s a couple of things. Um, first off is that when you type something in Amazon, Amazon tries to guess at what you’re going to, how are you going to finish that sentence by auto filling in the rest of it? And so you could start to type something in and see, Hey, here are these things that customers has shopped for or look for before.

And so I would start writing down all of these suggestions and putting them in a sheet. The next thing I would do is I’d go, I would do the search and I would look at the books that show up for it. And what’s really awesome about Amazon is they have this number called the Amazon bestseller rank, and it’s a rank from one being the number one best.

Book in all of Amazon to the worst selling book. Right. And so you could use this number and I generated this kind of calculation to actually tell me how many books that day it sold. Now, the idea is this is that if you’re looking at how to, or non-fiction books and you see that Amazon is trying to push that, um, you know, that this particular thing is something people search for and you see that here’s a book that’s actually selling well.

And then the last part is, is there something bad about the book? Like for example, its ugly cover. It’s a horrible book description, it’s got low reviews, but people still buy it. These are all indications of something where there’s a hungry market, but they’re not really being served the right thing. And so it was a very good opportunity to step in, provide a better book with better, you know, cover book descriptions and all the other things that I now teach and that would serve.

And that would, that would garner that market. And that would actually make the marketing much easier.

Andrew: Right. I’m kind of doing this along with you. I typed in how to, to see what topics were coming up, I guess, I guess that’s helpful. Um, since we’re doing a podcast, I typed in the word podcast, the first response for podcast was podcast interviewer, then podcast, planner, then podcast for dummies. So if you saw the podcast interview as the top one that came, that comes up, what would you do?

Would you just scroll down and see what’s the top book selling and see how popular it is and see what wrong what’s wrong with it.

Dave: yeah. Back then. I would do exactly that. I would start looking at the books presented. I would start asking questions like, okay, is this book actually geared towards that or not? Um, I would also then look at, you know, How many sales is it making because let’s face it. If the number one book is podcasts interviews, okay.

And you click on it and it’s like an abs are of a million or worse than clearly. Maybe some people have searched for it, but people are not buying that. A great example of this is, for example, if you type in how to tie in a tie, okay, this is like the dumb search. Nobody’s actually going to do this on Amazon, but Amazon might actually suggest that.

And when you go to click on the books, that show up for it, that they have exactly that title. And you’ll notice they haven’t made a sale in over a year. Clearly not something people are actually looking for. So this is one way for me to call out ideas that aren’t the actual thing people are looking for.

Andrew: How to tie a tie, a gentleman’s guide to getting dressed. I’m scrolling down a little bit more. And what am I looking for here to see what, uh, w what number it is

Dave: yeah. So if you click on the book and you scroll down to book details, there’s going to be the Amazon bestseller rank. And that number is what’s going to give you an indication of how well it sells.

Andrew: So that means not great.

Dave: Yeah, I would say it might’ve sold one book in the past week,

Andrew: I’m one of you in the past week,

Dave: yeah, it actually, yeah, it’s actually kind of good for

Andrew: what’d you say? One in the past week

Dave: Yeah. One book

Andrew: and that’s good.

Dave: that’s. I mean, for something that doesn’t make sense, like why would someone buy a book on that? You know, you’d want to just go to YouTube and watch a video.

Right. But somebody actually paid to do that book go figure. Um, and if I were to look at that and see, like maybe I looked, maybe I looked at the book and it said 70,000. And by the way, anybody listening, I created a free tool online that will actually take that number and tell you how many books it sells.

And you just type in like Google Kindle calculator and it’ll pop up. Um, and so now you can look at how many books that day. Well, let’s say you did that search and you found out that it was say 23,000 and it was selling like seven or eight books a day. And you look at that cover and I’m pretty sure I know which one you’re, you’re looking at.

Looks pretty bad.

Andrew: It’s so bad. No.

Dave: So if you looked at that and you said, wow, people are buying it and it’s bad. Oh man, that’s a good opportunity. And so this is what, a lot of what I did a great example of a book that I didn’t write, but I had great information is that way back when I first started, Evernote was pretty hot, like books on Evernote really hot.

Now I was not a good enough writer to beat everybody else and write the best book on Evernote. And I was not a good enough marketer to then market the book and be everybody else. So what I started doing was I started researching and I saw that based off the suggestions people were typing in Evernote for, and then insert demographic here.

So like Evernote for teachers, Evernote for students, Evernote for project managers, lawyers. Exactly. And sure enough, somebody wrote a book back then that was Evernote for writers and it was. Consistently selling two or three books a day. Now you may say to yourself that doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you’re just starting off and this is your first foray into it, and all you have to do is write a good book on that subject matter, and you can expect six, seven, $8 a day every day.

That’s a great start. And so that’s exactly how I got my start into writing books was doing the research first and writing the book that I knew people were looking for, but they just hadn’t gotten.

Andrew: Okay. And then once you did that, you put it in spreadsheet. You started looking for a topic, you found a topic and then you sat down and you wrote a book.

Dave: Yes, exactly.

Andrew: hard was that?

Dave: Not too hard. Um, I do like explaining things. I love teaching. And so it wasn’t too out of the norm for me to then research and understand or to use life experiences. Um, but once I had that together, then I had to learn how to, you know, format a book, find an editor, uh, and then just the self publishing process.

But once you got it up at that point, Amazon did the work for you. Amazon sent people to it and I can move on to the next

Andrew: book too?

Dave: actually really well. I was doing 1500 bucks a month, um, off my first book, which again, doesn’t sound like a lot now, but when you’re first starting off, it was awesome.

Andrew: what’s the topic.

Dave: It was on languages actually.

Andrew: Okay. All right. Since you learn languages, what was it about languages.

How to learn a language or something else?

Dave: It was kind of yeah. How to learn languages, but also kind of the thought process behind languages and language learning. And then there was also a test component to it.

Andrew: So then why, why can’t I find it when I go to Amazon?

Dave: Well, the funniest part was is that when I was in the military at that point, I was doing a lot of embassy work. Um, and, and there’s a lot of issues with making money on the side while working for the us government. Uh, as you could see, you could probably run into a bit of a conflict of interest where, you know, so who’s buying your product, correct.

Um, just people on the internet who yeah. You know, and so we would have to, I would have had to have like plastered the book with all these things of these are the opinions of Dave Chesson and do not reflect the United States in any way, shape or form, or, you know, um, it also could run into, wow, you got successful, you know, like, can you prove that you didn’t make this money from another country?

So I start off by keeping my, my name hidden for those reasons. And

Andrew: tell the highers up in the military

Dave: well, I did. I got permission. I actually got permission from the ambassador. Uh, at that time I was working at the embassy and I also got permission from, uh, pay come J four as well, who was my direct boss in the military.

And they said, yeah, but they literally told me don’t you don’t use your name. And then we don’t have to ask questions about that. You know, don’t, don’t get it tied. So I was like, okay, cool.

Andrew: Why can’t you say what it is now?

Dave: Well, here’s the thing though, is, is that when I went out Sri Lanka, I started writing the blog on Kindlepreneur and it was basically me chronicling everything.

I learned writing books, you know, and all these companies. And it’s thinking about how does Amazon tick, why do they do what they do? Why do they choose to show this book over this book? And so what ended up happening was is that as someone who had become a book marketer, I wasn’t using my fame because my books were making sales without them.

Every time. I came up with the new book. I had to start all over from ground zero. I had to, you know, create market and launch a book without using Dave Chesson or Kindlepreneur branding or any of these other things. And so it helped me to stay on top of my game. It also kind of differentiated me from other book marketers.

Andrew: my producer said that that was an issue. I think what you’re saying to me is you wanted to make sure that you were doing well because you were using your techniques. Not because there was an audience of people reading about how you do well and then going and buying the books.

Dave: exactly. And it forced me to really stay on top of all the things Amazon changes, because I honestly, if I use the same tactics I did on the first book I had, I wouldn’t make any much money. So I had to learn about, oh man, okay, Amazon ads is now a thing. Oh, should I do pre-orders you know, now that that’s a big thing.

How do I do pre-orders? And so it’s really forced me to not just rely off of the momentum of previous success.

Andrew: How long did it take you to quit your job?

Dave: I would say it was four years.

Andrew: four years. of publishing books and writing on Kindlepreneur, what you were learning.

Dave: exactly as it was two years of doing that. And then I felt confident to tell the military, Hey, this is my last tour and that’s it. But by the four year mark, it was peace out and I’d reached the goal of the $10,000 a month.

Andrew: How’d you and your wife stay so close considering how far you were. Were you still far away from each other?

Dave: We were in Korea. But then when I took on the Sri Lanka gig, um, they were actually able to move out to Sri Lanka with me. And so we did Sri Lanka and the Maldives together.

Andrew: I’m looking at the first version of your site or one of the early versions of your

Dave: Oh

Andrew: Now, you know what a lot of people have ugly sites. Yours is good archive. Yeah. archive.org.

Um, it says four books published 34 websites, 1,723 cups of coffee. What’s the websites.

Dave: Well, I did a lot of niche, niche websites. Um, you know, when I first started, like I said, that’s how I kind of understood Google was. I was like, okay, well, instead of making these big ones, let me find topics that I can write about, build a website, uh, centered around it and then go from there. I also, I’m not going to lie.

This is kind of a hang my head, but I also started learning about PBNs back in the day,

Andrew: What’s that.

Dave: uh, private blog networks. So it’s where you build a website and you make it so that it’s not attached to you. And then you start using links and yeah, I was like, all right, peace out. I’m done with that. But it was a

Andrew: idea was you’re creating all these different sites. You’re, you’re experimenting, sending, uh, Google juice from one to the other so that you get more traffic. Got it. All right. This is what you were going, going through, publishing your books. You showed me before we got started, uh, two of the books that you wrote under different names and they were all, they were both essentially the same.

How much of That were you doing? Trying to be number one. And then by the way, also number two in the same county.

Dave: That was actually the only time I did that. Um, because that was, there were so many people looking for that information that I figured why not. There was, there was another book out there, but I figured going in one and two would take up a lot of the Amazon real estate. But for the subsequent books, it was a new topic, new topic, new topic.

Andrew: All right. My first sponsor is HostGator. Let me ask you this. Is there a topic, that you think if you had to start fresh with a new site and make money from that site through affiliate deals, advertising something else, is there a topic.

that you would go to hostgator.com sign up for and launch?

Dave: No, but I’ll tell you this though. Um, I loved, I loved host Gator. It was one of the first ones I used way back in the day. And so it, it’s kinda funny that we’re talking about the starting of these websites and that was like the place I started with. So, um, wow. A new topic. The truth of the matter is I haven’t thought of that.

I’ve really been inside of, of my, of kindlepreneur.com. Also I own another website that’s that I’ve really been putting a lot of time into, which is going to university.com. Um, so I would say maybe that,

Andrew: Don university teaches people. What?

Dave: well, it teaches about weapons, safe weapons use as well as, uh, gun reviews and, um, even developing tools like the scope ring finder and, and, uh, yeah. Uh, also news and, and legal.

Andrew: Wow. And how do you make your money on that site?

Dave: Affiliate as well as, um, also to my business partner in that particular project, he sells courses on federal firearms license.

So

Andrew: All

Dave: sell that as well.

Andrew: There we go. Listen up everyone, whether it’s, well, actually we didn’t even give an idea here, but the idea is that these are both content based businesses. What’s interesting to me, Dave, is you basically with the first one you said, what do I want to learn? What am I learning? Let’s publish that online and just kind of share.

I’m assuming you did that with an idea that eventually there’d be revenue in it that you might make some affiliate commission, but also as long as you are learning, you might as well.

make some money from, from the education. Am I right?

Dave: Absolutely. That was exactly it. It was I’m going through this process. I was looking for these questions. Nobody else was writing about it. I’m going to start putting this together. And I remember a lot of friends, I was in masterminds and things. When are you going to start, you know, monetizing this, or you should build a course right now.

And I’m like, oh, let me just work on, on the content. Let me just kind of build out this platform. And then I’ve always liked the idea of building out the platform, gaining the traffic first, and then thinking what’s the best product for the people I have here. And so I focused on building up Kindlepreneur first, before I ever came up with the idea.

And it wasn’t a course, so,

Andrew: All right. Um, so there’s an idea of you learning and publishing and eventually monetizing with gun university. I’m assuming you and your co-founder understood enough about guns, guns, and gun safety that you could teach it instead of learning and publishing as you end. Am I right?

Dave: oh, absolutely. So I did international arms stealing for the U S government. Uh, he’s also a, uh, big time, uh, gun expert. He’s a, he’s a sniper. He’s also a firearms attorney. He’s been on top shot history channel. He’s written the book long range shooting, which is. I don’t know it’s been an Amazon bestseller, like every day for the past four years.

Um, so yeah, it’s a, it’s a really good collective between him and I.

Andrew: All right. So whether it’s a new idea that you’re studying, if you’re listening to me and you want to really understand it and master it, and frankly build something as you’re learning, not just have a better set of notes, or if it’s a topic that you already know really well, and you’re ready to teach people, there’s never been a better time to create a website and launch a business that now, if you need a website hosted, I noticed that gun university is hosted on WordPress.

It’s really easy to host on WordPress. If you go to hostgator.com/mixergy, they’ll get you started. And if you use that slash mixer URL, you’re going to get the lowest price that they have available. So it’s hostgator.com/mixergy. You then make more money from your side gig from books. And boy, will you getting affiliate commission at that point when you quit?

Dave: Um, I was, yep. I had a couple of affiliates on Kindlepreneur and, um, that was. That was good. But however though, I think the information from the affiliates was probably the most important. So one of the things that was a game changer for me was I wrote this article called the best book writing software.

And I noticed that I was selling a lot of a software called Kindle samurai and kennel. Samurai was kind of good at keywords. All these things I’ve talked about. And let me tell you, I learned the hard way authors don’t like to use Excel sheets. They don’t like to be in the numbers. So I would constantly recommend, all right, just use Kindle.

Samurai will help with a bunch of this stuff. The problem about Kindle samurai was a couple of things. Number one, it only worked on PC. So I already knew. If I just, if it worked on PC and Mac, probably my affiliate sales would double. The second thing was, was that it was half the components were kind of broken.

Uh, the person who designed it was not a cell publisher. He was more of a programmer that built a whole bunch of programs and just kept moving on. And then the third thing was he had no support. And so a lot of people were frustrated. So here I was providing this, this product to my people and it only worked for half of my people and it kind of half worked.

And so here’s an opportunity where it’s like geesh, you know, if I could create that software, improve it and make it work on both Mac and PC, this should do great. And my people love even this broken thing I can do better. And that was the kickstart to me, creating publisher.

Andrew: It was your, it, wasn’t your first piece of software I’m looking at. What I think is the first thing you had developed, it’s called the Kindle bestseller calculator. I put in a number of the Kindle bestseller rank. And then what do I get?

Dave: And that tells you the number of books sold that day.

Andrew: Okay. So if we were looking, let me see if I could just try it again. We said earlier that the book that I looked at was a 200,183 or something like that. I’m going to click And see

Dave: a less than one book a day.

Andrew: than one book a day. All right. How did you create that? Who built it for you?

Dave: So that one was more or less. I had a working Excel sheet and I’m like, all right. If somebody puts in this number, here’s the calculation to us to come out with. The information is I then went to Upwork. I actually, I think it was called something else back when, you know, cause I’ve worked. Well odd each other up.

Um, but the equivalence of Upwork today, and I found a programmer, the first one was a nightmare do say, oh yeah, I could do that. You know, for very cheap and now he can not do it. And it was clunky and broken. Then the second one I tried, he put it together and I was like, great, this is awesome. This, this works works well enough.

I had to kind of keep going to him to fix some bugs that would pop up from time to time. But that tool was really important for my growth, because I was the only one that actually had a tool and it helped to separate me from just being another blog. And that was also great for backlink gaining people would link to the site.

So that was way in the beginning. And yeah, it was kind of my first friend in the software, I guess. Yeah. I never even thought of it that way.

Andrew: Yeah, I’m looking, it looks like you keep updating that page. You add a little bit more content, so it can, it comes across as fresh, but frankly, just having a tool on the site meant that people had a reason to come in and a thing to link to. I could see how that took off when it was time now to build something or to actually create the software that, um, uh, that I said, I forgot what I said.

I hope I didn’t oversell it. Publisher rocket. What I like about it is that, yeah, it’s bootstrapped, it’s profitable. It has a clear user case. And, uh, and it’s a business user. The only thing I don’t like about it is that you’re so dependent on Amazon. It would freak me the hell out. I would not go to sleep well, knowing that I was dependent on Amazon, you know, not kicking me off there.

Dave: That’s true. Um, and yeah, that, I remember when I first started into it, I I’d have a lot of sleepless nights, but the truth of the matter is, is that over time we’ve, we’ve, like I said, been shifting over to historical information, collecting information, data’s, you know, data servers and all that. Um, we have plans that in case something were to happen, we’d still be able to really supply and support our users.

But that being said, though, we. To create a software like that. Like this was this wasn’t something where you could just kind of turn and hope that you find the right software developer. Now, if you’re looking at getting software created in the United States, like you’re looking at six figures at least, and that was not something I could do.

Uh, in truth. I got a little bit lucky on this one and yet there’s still a lot of lessons learned as well, but I was in Sri Lanka at the time and I was able to connect with somebody. His name is Bonica and Monica is like one of those little brilliant young people beyond belief. And he said, Hey, you know what?

I tell you what I let’s partner up. I’ll find a phenomenal programmer. And I was super lucky. This guy was a genius programmer and we sat down and we built the thing together right there. And so right before I left Sri Lanka, I launched and it was called KDP rocket at the time, but I launched KDP rocket.

And that was a great way to move out of the military and into civilian life.

Andrew: It sells for $97 period. Why, why didn’t You sell it on a monthly fee?

Dave: You know, I get that question all the time. I have a couple of things. Number one. And again, I started this podcast by saying I’m not the perfect entrepreneur nor business leader, but I like to, I’m the kind of guy that I want to price it at a point where there’s no part of me that thinks, yeah, maybe it’s not worth it.

Like I want to know that my software or my creation is so well-priced that I can look anybody in the eye and say it is absolutely worth that money. I do so much better as a marketer when I truly believe that. So for me pricing it at that point was very important. The second thing is, is that you have to remember too authors, most authors are not publishing a book a month.

And so to create a monthly, uh subscription-based or something like that, you would have a whole bunch of churn. You could do annual. But the other thing too is is that as a seller. Authors. Don’t like to commit to things, especially, you know, something that longterm. And so we probably would have had a lot less people jump on instead though we created it.

And what I’ve done is is that anybody who buys into it, they get lifetime. And the most important thing that’s really helped with the software company is that we’re constantly coming out with new features and capabilities and they’re all free upgrades. And I think that that built so much Goodwill in the author community, that it’s created a lot of super fans.

And that’s what really helped us to, you know, exponentially grow and, um, and have such a, a happy user base. And that that’s really protracted to a lot of things, not just the software.

Andrew: I was trying to see where you got your traffic. I went to SEMrush, um, and all I see is you’re obviously getting traffic from Google, but you don’t even have that much content on the site. You’re sending traffic from Kindlepreneur that’s big. Right? And then the final thing is YouTube. Am I missing something for how you’re getting customers?

Dave: A lot of affiliate as well. Um, I think honestly, it’s really become one of those over the years of doing this and creating those rabid fans. It’s just become the software that all authors are using. Um, also with publishing companies, they’re using it, uh, New York times bestselling authors, published authors to sell published authors.

And that word of mouth has been a major contributor to, to publish a rocket’s growth. So I, and I like to credit the fact that we, we spent a lot in support, our support, people are phenomenal. It’s kind of like a breath of fresh air. And on top of that, constantly giving, giving, giving, and anybody who invested it from the beginning has been paid tenfold from all the things we’ve done.

And that just creates that ravenous, you know, fan base. And I think that’s, what’s allowed us to be who we are and not have to change.

Andrew: I was just looking on your site. And I saw there was something called the Amazon book description generator.

Dave: Yes.

Andrew: What is that?

Dave: So when people go to write their book description and. If you don’t know HTML, your book description just comes out as this block of text. If you know HTML, then you have to kind of guess, and you have to, you know, kind of build it up and hope that it works. The worst thing ever is to publish your book and find out that you forgot a tag and then, and HTML and your whole things like bold or your whole thing is italics or something like that.

So what we did was I, I had a simple little tool made that you type in your book description, and then you highlight things and you click a button because remember, a lot of authors are not very techie. Um, it’s a Wiziwig. What you see is what you get, you can design your book description. And the cool part is that we use the exact same CSS as Amazon inside of it.

So you can now see, without a doubt that your book description is going to look like this. And when you have it looking the way you want you click get my code, copy it, pop it into KDP and know that when you hit publish your book description, it’s going to look exactly. Yeah.

Andrew: I didn’t even realize that you could do things like add bold, different heading sizes, different types of bullet points and descriptions. But then once I saw this, uh, this tool, the Kindlepreneur book description generator, I started to notice that, of course, a lot of books in some, uh, Yeah, of course, a lot of books use this type of a, um, what a styling

Dave: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: All right. I’m gonna talk about my second sponsor. It’s actually called member full. Do you have a membership site, Dave?

Dave: I don’t

Andrew: You don’t

you should consider one. What would you do in a membership site if you had it

Dave: boy, I tell you what if I set up a, like a premium VIP, you know, membership group or something to Kindlepreneur yeah, that, that would probably take off like crazy

Andrew: here’s what you could do. What memorable we’ll allow you to do is say, you know what? There are sections of my site that I want just for members. So maybe it’s a video lessons that are just remembers members. Maybe it’s content. Maybe it’s a tool that’s just for members. Um,

Dave: webinars. Yeah.

Andrew: Special webinars that are just for members.

There’s also a lot of people now who are thinking about email newsletters as a paid product. And we’re seeing consumers are willing to pay. Thing is  allows you to do all of that within their software. It also means that if you don’t have to use somebody else’s software to do this, somebody else’s, uh, uh, experience like I’m thinking about sub stack, let’s be honest when it comes to email, you get your email addresses out of there.

But I don’t know that you could take the credit card information out of there. So if you say I like sub stack, but it’s not working for me so much anymore, I want to move somewhere else. You’re done. You’re basically locked into their, to their platform, except yes. You could take the email address away.

What memorable does is that, you know, what use the tool to you? Like you own the relationship with your customer. We just power it up. And because we’re the software. You know, not the credit card processor and the software and the 50 other things that you need, but just the software you do the rest, they don’t have to charge you that much.

It’s available right now for anyone who’s listening to me for free. If they use this URL, you can test it. You can try it for free. I should say eventually they are going to have a small fee included, but it’s all laid out on their site. It’s inexpensive because it’s a it’s frankly just software that works and it’s owned by a phenomenal company.

Uh, Patrion bought them. So here it is the URL. If you want to go try it for free it’s  dot com slash Mixergy, memorable.com/mixergy. I think everyone should be doing both advertising and selling content.

Dave: Okay.

Andrew: So at some, at some point you decided, you know what, I’m not going to just be with software. I wonder why considering how, how much more money you’re making from software.

I wonder why you still publish content while you’re still teaching. Is it just to sell the software?

Dave: Well, actually, to tell you the truth, we’ve really grown in software. Uh, I, as an entrepreneur have had to really understand how to speak programmer. Now, I don’t know how to program, and I still don’t know how to program, but I have to work with programmers. Um, have to understand, uh, structures. One of the things that I did was because publish a rocket is so important, as well as its growth.

I actually bought into a, uh, publishing or excuse me, a software development company. And so now having access to this out for development company, I’ve learned more, I’ve been able to gain more talent and that’s allowed me to build more tools as well as more software. One of the pieces of software we’re coming out with, uh, very soon is called Atticus, which is a book formatting software.

And that again was kind of the same situation. You know, I had an article that talked about how to format a book. There wasn’t a really good answer. There was one software that was kind of good, but this time it only worked on Mac. And so I said to the team, guys, we need to develop something that solves this problem.

And so again, just kind of same thing, just a different way. Um, and so,

Andrew: What does Atticus, let me do. I’m on, I’m on Atticus dot. It’s beautiful. I’ve got to say, usually I go back to people’s earlier stuff and it’s like a horror show of crappiness right. I think your site looked good from the beginning. And then I went to see what’s the theme that he used because I could see it was WordPress.

It was your own Kindlepreneur theme. I don’t know if you took someone else’s theme and you updated it, or if you designed yours from scratch, but there was enough care in it that it was customized. If not totally creative for you,

Dave: Yeah. That’s I, I kind of have. I don’t know, I guess I have a preference. Um, I’ve never credited myself as a major designer or anything like that, but there’s, you know, if there’s something you like it like, like my, my, my family makes fun that I like to wear blue a lot, or you know, that I like, I like cars that are white.

Um, you know, you just kind of, you take one thing and you just apply it to the

Andrew: your stuff has style. So then what is it? Right. And format professional books and eBooks. So this is like, like Google docs for people who are writing books and it also lets them lay it out the way that it will show up on, on, on the page. Is that right?

Dave: Kind of, there’s three things that I really want to solve. Okay. Uh, I want to create, because right now, the way authors do it is that they get a book writing software or just a writing software, whether it’s scribble. Google docs or word or whatever, and they write on this thing, but if they need to collaborate with another author, they have to send back and forth.

Okay. And then when they go to collaborate with an editor, they have to send back and forth. And by the time they’re done with us, they’ve written their book. They’ve had it edited and all that. They probably have seven or eight different files in their computer that says final copy, final, final, final.

This is the final final, you know? And so you never know which one it is, but now you have to buy a program to then format your book. There’s never been one like one ring to rule them all. And so we decided was we were going to create Atticus and Atticus is what you would get as Scribner, Google docs and vellum got together and had a baby.

And right now we’ve launched privately. We’re doing kind of like a paid beta testing to really, you know, find out all of the different nuances that writers have. Um, and all we did was say, we’re going to start with formatting first. And so with Atticus, you can now have simple formatting. You can see exactly the way your book is going to look on every different device in real time, and you can make changes and you can check.

This is what it will look like on Kindle. This will look like on a book and then you can, you know, you can design special, beautiful chapter pages. You can add full bleed images. You can do all these things with just a click of a button we’ve designed it. So that. 70 year old lady who doesn’t know, you know, isn’t into technology can easily design beautiful books in less than 30 minutes.

And so that was our goal. So we’ve launched with that, but immediately after launching we’re, then going to be adding some major writing components, such as gamification and analytics and all these things to help boost them. And then we’re going to add the collaboration. My goal is an author can sit down, write, edit, collaborate with our greeters, formatters, whatever format, their book hit, publish, and only have one file that they can save.

And on top of that, we have it backed up online as well as save locally. So

Andrew: fantastic with comments

Dave: to rule at all.

Andrew: because I think Scribner doesn’t allow commenting. Right.

Dave: That’s correct. The way that we’re going to do with collaboration is that editors can collaborate. You can see it inside your Atticus, and it’s going to look just like word is track changes, comments. All of it and you can accept changes. And again, you never have to go back and forth with an editor. You don’t have to email a copy and try to remember which copy was,

Andrew: So I’ve said for years on Mixergy that I want to write a book, it took me for fricking ever. I never was able to get something that I was happy with. I even got a ghostwriter. I paid $20,000 to get things going. I wasn’t happy with the results. I finally over. COVID sat down and wrote my interview process all the ways that I questioned people all the way that I got anyway, I didn’t Google docs.

And then the problem that we had with Google, Google docs was nice. I was working with an editor every week. She would get on, she would give me feedback. She would keep me going, make sure that I was, writing the right number of words, not getting too much in my head. I love working with, uh, with another person.

Yeah. But then, uh, I needed to move sections around. I realized I want to teach this before that, to select a whole lot of text in Google docs and then move. It is a pain in the ass, especially if you’re talking about one chapter here than other there and move it around. So what we ended up doing was going to notion everyone was talking about how notion is the next way to write and collaborate.

And so what was nice.

about notion was I could take every chapter and kind of compress it into its own section. And then I could move. Great. So then she started giving me comments in there. Well, comments and notion are hidden. You know, you have to just mouse over or something to bring it out. So then comments was just absolutely broken.

I couldn’t see her editing cause it wasn’t also, uh, with Google docs, if someone just crossed something out, you can see, they cross it out. You can see they typed in couldn’t do that. So we moved back to Google docs. The problem with Google docs is if you move, if you want to move sections around, you can’t do it.

I tried to Scribner. That’s how I understood about the commenting thing. It’s a fricking nightmare. I feel like you’ve nailed it with this.

Dave: Yeah. I’m excited as an author who used Scrivener way back in 2007, when it first came out, I’ve been like pounding my own fist on the desk, waiting for something like that. Now here’s exactly what it could look like for you. Based off of this software is you could easily invite your coach, your writing coach, to look over your shoulder in real time and even watches you, right?

If Sobe and leave comments, or maybe make changes, you can then tag in your editor and you can see all of those things. So you get to write inside of your canvas and you never have to leave it, but you can bring people in the cool part is we’re designing it so that your coach wouldn’t need to pay for Atticus, nor with the editor.

You can send them a link and it will open up right there in a browser, give them their own account and they can work on your project right there. And they only have their editor capabilities or co-writer capabilities or whatever permissions you’ve given them. And that.

Andrew: And are you doing this as a desktop app?

Dave: It’s kinda, it’s actually a PWA progressive web app. Um,

Andrew: Okay,

Dave: yeah, that’s the way that we were able to solve the problem of both being able to have it on your computer. Okay. And also being able to have it collaborate online. What’s awesome about the PWA is that once you download it onto your computer, we’ve actually developed it so that you can work offline.

So I now have it on my laptop. If I want to write on a plane, I can take my laptop with me, jump on the plane, no internet and still use it because that’s important for writers. The only time you’re going to need internet connection with Atticus is when you want to collaborate with somebody. Of course. I mean, that makes sense.

If you upload a new book, so you’ve already written something and you want upload it, or if you want to export, that’s it. Everything else you can do without.

Andrew: Do you think this is going to work on an iPad?

Dave: Oh, it already does. Yeah. I even got it on my phone because being a PWA, I’ve actually got a UN. Here’s one. There’s a little doggy. Oops, sorry. So yeah, so it’s already on my phone,

Andrew: dude. This is killer and I love the simplicity of it. I love where you’re going with this. I love, I love how Google doc like it is, but it also understands I’m imagining it also understands what a writer needs. Like for example, with Google docs, I don’t always need to see how many words I have, but if you’re trying to hit your coach’s number, you want to know the number of words and you’ve got it up there in the, in the upper, right?

I’m imagining I can move chapters around if I need to

Dave: Oh, easily.

Andrew: drag and drop those little tabs on the left.

Dave: Exactly.

Andrew: Hey, dude, this has got, this is going to be the big thing for you. This is it.

Dave: I’m really excited about it. Yeah. I mean, this is something that I’ve been looking for for a long time. We’re also going to come out with a publisher’s version too. Imagine, you know, publishers have all the writers and they have to reach out to the writer and say, Hey, how’s it going? You know, what’s going on?

Well, imagine now a publisher can open up there. Atticus and they can look at all the projects that are going on. See the word count, see where they are. Click on it, start looking at the book. And

Andrew: I wonder.

Dave: they can just bring in the editor that they’ve already assigned to work on this book.

And they had her couldn’t do their thing. They can control who has what permissions get the format are involved, have somebody to design images, pop them in all controlled, right? In one spot, no more sending things around. And we’re calling and asking. You can always have a report of exactly where every one of your books is in the process in one screen.

Andrew: Would writers feel inhibited knowing that the publishers looking at their junk on their way over to greatness,

Dave: That’s true. Um, yeah. I tell you one of the things that we’ve gotten this feedback is having a lot of permissions on what who can do what and where what’s crazy is. And I didn’t know this, but talking to publishing companies, they actually don’t want the publish or they don’t want the writer talking to the.

Andrew: Really.

Dave: I’m not, I’m not making that up. Like we’ve had hand sound there. Like, and I, a lot of it is because a lot of editors don’t want to have to talk with the writers because the writers kind of get offended by certain things being taken out. They just want to come in and edit another thing too, is that they don’t want the writer to leave later and then take the editor with them or reuse the editor for another project if they really like them.

So there’s a lot of weird things like that. So we’re going to make it where you can actually control. So maybe if you’re, if you, as a company, you want your writers to not worry about you reading it. I mean, you could make the program so you can’t read it, but I mean, that’s up to you.

Andrew: Got it. Yeah, I guess that’s a simple enough permission system. This is, this is going to be your, you, this is going to be our biggest a S P software. Nobody’s done this before, right? Basic stuff. No, one’s done it. The software that exists is Scrivener. It takes a little bit of getting used steel, right? In fact, a lot of getting used to, and it doesn’t have all the features that we’re looking for.

Do you think that the market for writers is going to be big enough for authors? Because this is basically just for authors, you could use Scrivener for other stuff.

Dave: Yeah, I definitely think so. I mean, the key is, is that there’s a lot of people out there. It’s not just the authors that exist, but let’s face it. Like, for example, you talked about, you’ve always wanted to write a book. Well, everybody who’s ever said to themselves, I want to write and publish a book at some point or sell, publish a book.

That’s a part of the market too.

Andrew: You’re going to charge monthly for this

Dave: No.

Andrew: what’s that what’s wrong with you? Why not?

Dave: here’s the thing though. Uh, I think there’s a really good point to this. When it comes to writing, would you feel good about choosing to write on something that you have to pay monthly or annually? You have just poured your heart and soul into a book? There’s that inherent fear?

That the moment I stopped paying for it, I lose everything I did. I

Andrew: No, you don’t lose it. You, you can still keep the writing that you’ve done. You can,

Dave: I know, but from a marketing standpoint, especially with authors, owning your owning, your writing at all times is incredibly important. That being said, though, I think there are other ways that we can make money, um, that doesn’t cost the authors.

Like for example, we are going to have a list of editors and formatters that have been trained to use Atticus. So if

Andrew: I think there’s a mistake. Software goes by subscription. You pay for as long as you need. So if your dad, if I’m, how about this? Let me put it this way. If I were thinking about writing, but I wasn’t sure that I was fully committed. Would I want to pay all in for software that I may not use again?

I’d rather just go in, have like a 30 day trial maybe, and then it could expand into whatever. And then maybe you would like take away some features later on like No, collaboration and no, editing. I don’t know what something goes away. I’m telling you, this is, uh, this is, this is a killer. This is generational wealth.

And more importantly, this is the thing that every writer could potentially be using. And the reputation that I see your eyes, eyes, your eyes, when you get excited about stuff. And I see arising, like I’m going to let Andrew go. They’re not enthused about this. You’re not enthused about it.

Dave: but here’s the other thing too, though. I, I will say that the publisher’s version will be a, and it will be based off of not only a monthly subscription to have access to it, but also an added, um, price per writer that you connect with. So if you have 10 writers, whatever that number is added to your monthly is exactly what you pay per month.

So there is this ask component, but I think it’s really important for authors to really own the platform that they’re going to write on Scrivener is a one-time fee and they’re, and again, they’ve, you know, maybe they could have made more money by switching over to the subscription based. I mean, look at what happened to Adobe, right?

You can see the day that they changed themselves to subscription in terms of just the NASDAQ. They just hockey sticked up from that

Andrew: Let me say this. Then look at, look at Scribner. If you go in, you see that they get so many requests for commenting, right? Because if you’re edited, right, what’s their response to it. We can’t do it.

We’re a small company. So look at how they can invest in growth because there’s so many people who already bought the previous version of the software that it’s hard for them to justify it.

If they had a monthly subscription, they’d have a reason to avoid churn, to keep people from switching over to something else. It would allow them to do more. How about this free, but free for, for writing. And then it’s paid for the design layout in the future on a monthly fee or collaboration. So they know they always have their content.

You know, you always have some like that. Are you like a religious man and against money?

Dave: Well, I’m a religious man, but I’m not, I’m not against money.

Andrew: All right.

Dave: But I’ll tell you what though. I am definitely listening. Like I said, too. Um, I would never claim to be the perfect entrepreneur or anything like that, and really evaluate your opinion on that. And I think also too, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll learn as we go.

Uh, and that’s another thing for anybody listening is, is that you don’t have to get it. Perfect. You, you set, you set something and just make sure you have analytics and you keep asking the question of, am I doing the right thing? Is this the right decision? Um, but you don’t have to have everything perfect from day one.

Andrew: fricking, I look@atticus.io for anyone who wants to get a sense of how the potential of this is just in one freaking screenshot. You nailed it. It looks good. Right? I know. I know when you’re proud. You see, I could see it in your face too. You should be all right. That’s fantastic. What do you think it is?

Can I ask you, what? Can I run a title by you? We’re now at the we’re still going through editing. I’m very proud of what I’ve written. What do you think of this? A title, or tell me how I should be thinking about the title of my book. Okay. you.

got experience craft of interviewing or how to learn anything from anyone. How would

Dave: Those are the two titles.

Andrew: that’s the two that I’ve got in mind right now? What do you think

Dave: Your subtitle is going to be very important with both of them. Um,

Andrew: subtitle would be? Yeah, go ahead. Sorry. I want to hear,

Dave: the reason for this is that when I hear the title itself, um, some of the things that that shoppers do is they want to know what am I going to get? And this is non-fiction, fiction’s got a different set of roles, but when it comes to nonfiction, I want to know, what am I going to learn?

How am I going to benefit? And is this actually for me? Okay. It’s very important that we ensure that those three questions are answered in the design of the cover, as well as the title. And then the subtitle and the subtitle is where you can really nail down. Some of that. Sometimes we do this, like, you know, this is not your title per se, but sometimes I call it like the Kung Fu we, you know, like, Ooh, that sounds awesome.

Title. But I don’t know who that, for an example, this is somebody once wrote a book where the title was, um, how to go back to school or going back to school.

Andrew: Yeah.

Dave: Cool. But here’s the problem, which kind of person in which kind of school is it going back to get your GED? Is it going back to actually get your college education?

Are you a, you know, are you a retiree who now wants to go get your college education? Are you getting your college education because you want to climb up the corporate ladder? Every one of those is completely different in different books. I’m not going to buy that book, even though it’s covers the broader scope, but I want something specific to me.

And so I would say that when you say interview, the first thing I thought was, well, what kind of interview we talking about? Is this a podcast interview, a job interview is this, you know, um, a journalist interview like, and so something needs to clarify that now granted, if your cover shows like a podcast set up or something like that, or, you know, then, okay, I get that.

It’s probably podcasts, but you know, As somebody smarter than me once said, when you confuse, you lose. And so it’s really important, I think, as Donald Miller, but it’s really important that you have everything that clarifies that. Now, granted, Andrew you’re, you’re famous in the podcast world. So you’re going to have people that would probably recognize that component, but you have to remember that there’s going to be a lot of people who haven’t, that will find your book and they may not understand that they’re going to go for the thing that feels more comfortable.

So that’s why I say your subtitle is going to be really important between those two, because it’s going to clarify, what am I going to learn? How do I benefit and who is.

Andrew: How do you pick a title? If you have two different options or you’re thinking of something else, how do you pick a title?

Dave: Well, you can always go to your target market and ask. I think that’s always a wonderful opportunity, uh, when you are, you know, in this case in podcasts and go to podcast groups and post it and see what people have to say. And another option is if you don’t have access to that kind of group or those kinds of people, um, you could use something like pick food.com.

That’s P I C K F u.com. And

Andrew: The founder is a good friend.

Dave: oh yeah, they’re, they’re phenomenal because you can set up to get a survey and you can put the two titles up, or the two covers the two book descriptions and they will find people that are in a certain, you know, kind of demographic. And those people will not only vote on which one they like, they’ll actually give a comment on why they chose.

And that can be really powerful and very easy and pretty affordable as well. So I’d highly recommend doing something like that. But I wouldn’t recommend though, is don’t post it on Facebook for your friends. That’s, that’s the biggest no-no possible. Cause that’s not your. You know, people aren’t, your friends will know that you’re probably talking about podcasts.

None of them will pick up on the mist mark of this is a job interview or podcast interview. That’s why don’t use people that aren’t your market to actually get the information you need, or at least get complete strangers to give the answer to it, because that’s the best way forward.

Andrew: All right. I think that makes sense. I wish that I could buy ads on Facebook targeted at groups, but I don’t, I don’t know that You can do that.

Dave: you can, there are certain ways, I mean, way back in the day, um, uh, what was that other, uh, that podcast or, uh, he did the four hour workweek.

Andrew: Yeah.

Dave: Um, he actually, I think the first title to the book was like white sands and broadbands or something like that. And he thought that was going to be it. And then he did a Google map.

Andrew: Yeah.

Dave: testing and it was like, oh, I guess the four hour work week is kind of a good title. Go figure. So he used data. Um, I think it’s a lot easier to use pick food these days, unless you’re a Google ads or Facebook person, you can probably string something up and get some really good indicators

Andrew: I’d rather

Dave: use pick Fu and is pretty quick.

Andrew: Yeah. You know what, as soon as I said that I was doing it, uh, John from pick food just texted me and he said, Hey, you should be using pig food to help pick the title. And then I told him my hesitation about one of the titles and he said, Yeah. I agree with you. You should, you should reconsider it.

It’s just too generic or too general. All right.

Dave: I would include title and subtitle in those two options as you provide it. Cause I think that’ll be very clear.

Andrew: Without necessarily even designing it up by imagine, just to see what they think of the title and then design to the title later.

Dave: Yep, exactly. I like to send the title and subtitle and my keywords to my book designer because that helps the person to know, oh, people are going to come from these words. They’re going to expect this. I need to design for them. Let’s see.

Andrew: Ah, all right, man, listen up. I like a lot of what you’re doing. I’m in freaking love with what you’re doing at Atticus. This is the winner. This is the thing it’s got to feel great to have hit this and to have hit it in such a systematic way. So clearly, right. It’s not like you’re just raising money, trying something and hoping it works.

You know, your audience, you understand who you are to them. You’ve understand. You understand what they’re missing. It’s fanfic fantastic. All right. Website for anyone who wants to go and read up on, uh, on Dave is Kindlepreneur and I really, really liked this. Uh, atticus.io, atticus.io. All right. I want to thank my two sponsors who made this interview happen?

The first will host your website, right? It’s called hostgator.com/mixergy. The second, when you’re ready to finally offer a membership on your site, go to member.com/mixergy. Dave. Thanks so much,

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