Rob Kosberg – takeaways –
- Entrepreneurs, coaches, and consultants how to stop hunting for clients and instead position themselves as the hunted, using their own bestselling book
- Who are the people at the very top of that industry? 100 times out of 100, they are going to bestselling authors whose books were possibly the launching pad for getting them there.
- The winning formula for promoting your book and making sales for your business.
- How to start writing your book.
Meet Rob Kosberg
Our guest Rob Kosberg is a two-time international bestselling author and founder of Best Seller Publishing, based in the Los Angeles area. He has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News. Rob has spoken to and taught thousands of entrepreneurs, coaches, and consultants how to stop hunting for clients and instead position themselves as the hunted, using their own bestselling book. Through his trademark Publish – Promote – Profit program, Rob helps his clients to create their own professional bestselling book, and he guarantees it. And then he and his team books his clients for media opportunities like TV, radio, blogs, a podcast, as well as speaking engagements.
A breakthrough or major success that you had using this (publishing) as a specific marketing tactic?
Yeah, well I mean, I can tell you kind of the origin story if you like. I mean, it obviously started with me, because I don't come from the traditional publishing world. If you like, I can kind of … hopefully not bore your listeners too much with that?
Why are people going to write their own book? What's the benefit for doing that?
Some of it is theoretical. Right? Like, for anybody that is listening and maybe thinking of doing a book, all you have to do is consider for a moment, I don't care what industry you're in, who are the people at the very top of that industry? And 100 times out of 100, they are going to be authors, bestselling authors, that in many, many, many cases, in fact, the vast majority of cases it will have been the book that actually thrust them to the height of the industry. So, part of it is theoretical in that well, you know all these other people have done it this way, so maybe I could do it this way. And then of course, for me personally and for my clients, it leaves the theory and becomes practice.
I wrote my first book about ten years ago because I was advised to by a mentor, and I had never thought of writing a book before. I owned a financial services company, and this was during the financial crisis. Terrible time to be in real estate or finance, and you know a little of my story. I had just closed a very, very successful real estate company that was doing 100 million dollars a year in transactions, millions of dollars a year in income, and went through this massive failure. And this new book that I wrote, in some ways at the worst of times, terrible economy. Certainly the worst in my generation. You know, took me from zero to a million dollars in income, got me on TV, got me my own radio show, speaking engagements, coaching opportunities, et cetera. So, from a real practical perspective, not just theory, it changed my life. And man, I am happy I wrote it, let me tell you.
You've taken your experience of generating seven figures of income as a new publisher or a new bestselling author, and now you're doing that for hundreds of other people.
That was kind of the blessing in disguise of all of it for me. I mean, I never … not only had I never considered writing a book ten years ago, but I certainly never considered being a publisher. And so, to find myself actually doing this for others instead of being in real estate or financial services is kind of crazy. But you're right, I love it. I love what I do. I sold my financial services company about four or five years ago when it was still a multi-billion dollar company because I started having so many people coming to me asking me if I could help them to replicate the success that I got. And fortunately, there is a model that you can follow. I mean, it's proven. It's not, as I said before, theory. So, I'm fortunate, man. I consider myself really blessed.
What's the biggest myth about using this as a tactic to grow yourself, your business, your coaching practice?
There are a lot of myths. I would say the … I don't know if it's the biggest, but one to be wary of, would be … a lot of us entrepreneurs are always looking for the next shiny object. And I would say one to be wary of is, once the book is completed, and in many cases that are the hard, hard work of doing a book. Although, your experience is a little bit different with our team and all, certainly if you're doing it on your own, and even in many cases if you're doing it with help, it can be the hard part. So many people, I think, are tempted to, once the work is done for the book, then leave it and move to another project. You know, a new shiny object. And when I … not only do I teach my clients, but we actually do this for them, we launch the book. We get our clients on TV, radio, et cetera.
I would just say, you know, if you have gone to the effort of writing a book, then you have to make sure you incorporate it in everything that you're doing. Opportunities for speaking engagements, opportunities for consulting. Mailing it to people. Using it in all of your marketing, whether it's free plus shipping funnels that you see online, which they're the hottest funnels going. Frank Kern, Russell Brunson, just this week, talked about that. Anyway, I don't want to drone on, but I would say the biggest thing to be wary of is, once it's completed, your work is not done. Now you want to use your book in everything else that you're doing. Does that make sense?
What are the publishing business models old school vs. new school?
I said that there are lots of different myths, you know, it's kind of the author 101 versus author 201, as we could call it. So, what you're referring to is often the thing that stops people from ever taking any steps like I just shared about using your book, and that is how difficult it is to actually write it. A lot of authors, or potential authors, think that they need to grind out writing 500 or 1,000 words a day, or they need to go away to a cabin in the woods, or … like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, right? Which didn't work out too well for him, or anybody else. And quite frankly, there's just a better way to do it.
And there are pitfalls with traditional ghostwriting, which I had challenges with myself. We do something we call hybrid ghostwriting, which is about using a set process to verbalize your book, to speak your book, in a way that captures both your content and your context. And I can share more about that if you like, but that works really, really well to help people to more effortlessly create their book.
When I was advised, ten years ago, to write a book, I knew that I wasn't going to … I'm not the guy that's going to write 500 or 1,000 words a day. It's just not who I am. And so, the only other thing that I knew to do was to hire a traditional ghostwriter myself. And if you've ever done that or ever looked into it, you know, the least expensive ones are $10,000, $15,000 dollars. And that was then. And so, I hired a … you know, at that time for me, an expensive ghostwriter. And just like you said, I was actually very, very unhappy. It probably took six months of recordings and then waiting on my ghostwriter to get me my first draft.
And I remember I was so excited, but within the first ten minutes of reading, I was just devastated. Because the sentence structure was good, it was well written … if anybody reads my emails, they were like oh you have misspellings, and … so, I mean, she certainly wrote it better than I could. But it was like it could have been from anybody. It wasn't in my voice, and so the hybrid ghostwriting, as you just shared, that solves that issue, which is a big issue.
Client Success Stories
Kaelin Tuell, ladyboss.com, is our client. And she did a book, she has a really cool story. She basically lost 65 lbs and went from 65 lbs overweight to actually become an IFBB professional bodybuilder in the fastest time ever. I don't remember how many months. But I mean, she went from 65 lbs overweight, and this was for a girl 5'2″ or 5'3″, to professional bodybuilding champion, and now has a very, very large community of people that she serves and helps with weight loss.
And so, we did her book, Big Fat Lies, and launched it. It became the number one best seller on all of Barnes & Noble, which is a big deal. To give you an idea, Tony Robbins launched his book around the same time, and his book was like number 22 or something, and hers was number one. It was actually going back and forth with Bill O'Reilly when he was still on the O'Reilly factor. This was like, I don't know, maybe two or three months ago. And she just got finished with her media tour, which is really exciting.
The business model
She did seven cities, multiple TV appearances in each city. And the cool thing that she's doing with it is, she's using her book as the front end funnel to sell her products and online coaching. So, the book is what we would call a free plus shipping offer, where she's offering a physical version of the book for free, and all someone needs to pay is shipping, which is usually $6 or $7. But the cool thing, to give you the psychology behind it, and I know you know it, but for your listeners. The psychology behind it is, you know, once somebody takes out their credit card, even though you've maybe gone into the hole a little bit on the front end, once someone takes out their credit card, they are a buyer. Even though it's a free book because they're paying for shipping.
If you build out your website, your funnel, appropriately, they will then buy various upsells. And so, they have various upsells like the audio version of the book, they have the LadyBoss program, which is like $197. And they're doing six figures a month using this funnel and driving cold traffic to it, plus getting tens of thousands of copies of the book into people's hands. So, it's really, really cool. I mean, very exciting.
How can you guys make such a bold guarantee?
I get asked that a lot, as you might imagine. And you know, our guarantee is a money back guarantee. So that's, in one sense, even bolder. I guess the … you know, if I could share some of the origins of that, I come from real estate, right? And so, when does a realtor or a mortgage person actually get paid? Well, I mean, typically speaking, they get paid when a result occurs. And that means a house closes, mortgage funds, et cetera. And they could do a lot of work up until that time and not get paid. And I found, when I started as a customer in the publishing industry, I had all these people that were lining up to take my money. Publicists and book marketing experts. And I was paying out all this money, and I mean I got nothing in return. And I was so ticked off. I was like, this is ridiculous. That's, ten years ago, what prompted me to figure out a lot of this stuff on my own. And so I just thought, when we started Best Seller Publishing six years ago, I thought, if we have a process that works, then we need to guarantee it. Because what authors want is a result.
We just do the work. We do the marketing, we put it in front of millions of people, and it's a process that doesn't fail when it's followed. That's the long version of a short question.
You've probably seen, almost every single week our authors are posting on their pages their appearances on ABC San Francisco, or CBS Sacramento, or wherever. Washington D.C. or Dallas or whatever. And this is the fun stuff, and that whole thing morphed as well, Doug, because I had, when I was just doing books and launching books for clients, we didn't have our full-time publicist in-house. And I had all these publicity firms contacting me and saying we'll get your authors on TV and media. And I'm like great, so what's the price? Okay, $5,000 a month, three-month commitment, this was very standard. And I said great. Of course, that was more than what I was charging for what I was doing. And I said, so tell me, what do you guarantee? And they said oh, guarantee? I mean, we can't guarantee anything. And I'm like, so you want my clients to pay you $15,000 and you won't guarantee even one TV appearance? I'm like dude, I can do better than that. And so, I started to.
I hired my first publicist, she had been in publicity for ten years. This is like going back three or four years ago. And it was a UCLA grad, been in publicity, New York, and LA. And when I hired her, I said, look. This is an experiment. I'm gonna be completely honest with you. I'm gonna pay you what you want, but we are gonna throw some money at this for two months, and we're gonna do this for our authors, and see if we can actually do it. Because I didn't know. I had never done it before, other than for myself. And you know, I mean, lo and behold, it worked.
What's the biggest mistake that you see people make that are trying to get their first book published?
The biggest mistake that I see people make is, they tend to write more about themselves than about their audience. And that's usually because they have a great story, or they've overcome challenges and attained success, and so the first thing they think is well, I need to write about what I've accomplished, my story. And your story is important, as you know, but it's only important insofar as it helps the people that potentially will buy your book because you know, if your name is not Kim Kardashian or Hilary Clinton, then people aren't gonna read your autobiography, right?
They want to read their solutions to their problems, basically. So, that's a big mistake people make.
What are you most excited about to see in the next six to twelve months?
I love the media stuff. Both online and social media, as well as the mass media. The radio, the TV. Because that's where … getting that kind of exposure and celebrity is where things really get exciting. And I'd say, while TV and radio have been around for a while, podcasts, obviously like this one, are exploding. And also, all of the advent of social media. So, at the moment, we're advising our clients on what to do with free plus shipping funnels and things like that. But down the road, we may be more involved with that, because I have a number of clients that are doing six figures a month with their book funnel. And that, to me, is like … I mean, that's a thrill, to see them that massively successful with their book. That's what it's all about. So, that's probably the thing I'm most excited about, is when my clients actually use their book in various ways to get what they want. You know, to build what they're trying to build.
Giving your book away
Some authors that don't get how this really works, they hear “giving their book away,” and they freak out. They're like, give my book away? What? Right, they don't understand that that's really using your book to attract attention and to sell or do what you really want it to do for you, is where the money is really made. Unless you're Stephen King, right? Or that's all your writing, is fiction or … you know. But for our clients, that's just not the case.
This gets you speaking engagements if you want to be a speaker. That is going to get you customers, clients, consulting gigs. That's going to open doors for you that wouldn't be open. That's going to get you on TV over somebody else. I mean, name it.
When you're the person that's written the book on it, you know, you're just viewed as the expert. That's kind of the way it works.
If someone wants to go through this process, I mean, how much time is it going to take?
Great question, thanks for asking that. I mean, here's the way we describe it. Of course, it's … every client, every author is different. But our process, typically, is to get the book created takes about five or six months, because we like … most of our clients are busy entrepreneurs, and we like to do a minimum of one recording, one chapter per week. And if we do one chapter a week, we do an average ten, twelve chapter book, then we're looking at say three months for the content creation. Another month or so in the actual rewriting process with the writer, and then maybe another month or so in editing and formatting and cover design and all of that. So, easily it can be done in five or six months. Some clients want it done faster, which is great. Most clients take at least that length of time because they're busy. And we don't want this to be about them having to dedicate days on end to this. We want this to be seamless within their lives.
How many authors that you've worked with have typically published more than one book?
A good number of them do. Maybe less than you might think though. I would say it's probably a third that will. Many of them, like in the brick and mortar space, we do a lot of books for financial advisors, doctors, dentists, chiropractors. And generally speaking, with a chiropractor, with a financial advisor, they're going to write kind of their proprietary mode of thinking. And then do their thing, do their business. Build their chiropractic firm or build their book. And at least from what I've seen, some of them are prolific and they want to do book two and book three, but I'd say two-thirds of them, nah. They're happy with the one book that they created. They're thinking it's going to last them five or ten years, or maybe even longer, and they were very much of the mind of, this is what the book is going to do for me, not the book itself that's important. If that makes sense.
What advice would you give to yourself or entrepreneur or somebody listening to the show?
The first advice I would give myself is, get the book done. Write it. Complete it, right? Why wait?
The second bit of advice would be, don't use the traditional ghostwriter because that cost me … I shared, you know, it cost me tens of thousands of dollars, but what it cost me more than that was time, because I took like six months in the writing process with that writer, and then basically abandoned her. I never asked for a refund or anything like that, I just knew it wasn't gonna work. But then, the only other thing I knew to do, Doug, was just started writing every day. And I took, obviously, some time to write and a lot of times not to. And my book took like another year before it actually got done. So, the first year of launching my book, I did a million dollars. But consider if I would have launched my book one year earlier. I mean even if I would have just made half, it's like I lost a half a million bucks by doing it that way. So, it's always, get it done. I mean, some people ask me, when's the best time to publish a book? And it's like that old adage about the oak tree. Twenty years ago was the best time to write your book. The next best time is now, immediately. Get it done. It'll change your life.
Almost everybody you speak to thinks that the way you really make money with a book is the royalties off it. I always tell people, look, what would you rather have? Would you rather have a check for $10,000 or $20,000, or a $1.62? And it takes a lot of $1.62s to add up to ten grand. And yet, I've had clients that were new consultants that got a six-figure check. A check for $100,000, because their book landed them a big deal. And so, get it in people's hands, and it'll do some magic for you.
What are the steps they would have to take to get started?
I would say the first step is always a real deep dive into whether or not it does make sense. And we have author development coaches here on staff that do author strategy sessions. We want to know when we get on the telephone with somebody, you know, what's your plan? What are you trying to accomplish? What do you really want to do? And if someone says, well I just want to make a million dollars in royalties. Then we very nicely say, well, good luck. Or you need to understand that it doesn't really work that way, that's a miracle. On the other hand, if you have other things that you desire, then we can kind of flesh that out together and see if it makes sense. So, the first step is always kind of a free consultation to determine whether or not it even makes sense for you to invest the time and money into this kind of thing.
Someone can go to Best Seller Publishing, or they can call our office and schedule a call with one of the author development coaches, and we want to know about your business, we want to know what your plan is. Do you want to do speaking? How would media work with your topic? And to really almost flesh out a business for somebody. You know? Almost try to determine, okay, can we craft a business for this person from their book? And then we know that the $13,000 to $25,000 that we charge is going to get them a significant return on investment. Many, many, many times that. Otherwise, why go down the path if we don't think it's going to be a win for them as well as a win for us?
Based on your years of business and experience, who is one guest that you think I absolutely have to have on The Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast?
We've got tons of really great authors that are entertaining and that are doing some really cool things. I think Shanda is fantastic. She's a dear friend, I got to know her from doing her book a few years ago. She's one that's doing her … does six figures a month with her book funnel. She has a, I don't know, seven to ten million dollars a year business. The big event that she does every year. I think she would be terrific. You'd love her. So, she comes to mind. Rich and Lawrence, who we did their book recently and they just got done with their media tour, in the coaching space as well. I guess first ones coming to my mind are coaches that I think would be really cool for your show.
Contact Rob and start the publishing process
We're going to give them a link to a PR program. If anybody's interested in getting on radio, TV, or that kind of thing. I did a pretty in-depth, multi-part training that we normally sell, but we talked about giving it away. So, we're going to give a link in the show notes to that. But I'd also say, just go to our regular website, bestsellerpublishing.org. If somebody is interested in setting a call with one of our author development coaches, or just seeing some of the results. We have results of hundreds of our launches, and hundreds of TV and media appearances. Anybody can check that out, and see if that's something that excites you and gets the blood moving, then let's get on the telephone, see if we can do it for you.