November 27, 2023

Episode 48: Pen Pals​:

Two Experts, Two Styles in the World of Book Coaching

There CAN be more than one! But, perhaps, only one for YOU.

Episode 48: Pen Pals: Two Experts, Two Styles in the World of Book Coaching

by Carma Spence | The Author Switch Podcast

Notes

In this episode, host Carma Spence, chats with Ben Gioia (“joya”), a four-time best-selling author and mentor to leaders worldwide, about authoring a book that not only speaks volumes but also serves as a pivotal business tool.

Links Mentioned

Episode 44 Monetizing Manuscript, make money with your book
VIDEO: Geekonomics: Leveraging Your Unique Traits for Success (Coffee with Carma 21)

Recap & Takeaways

  • 00:41 Introducing Ben Gioia
  • 02:12 Our book coaching focus
  • 03:16 Book length
  • 03:58 Big Business Card
  • 04:51 Quality
  • 06:32 Self-publishing
  • 07:36 Guerilla self-publishing
  • 08:42 Book covers
  • 09:46 A book as a repository of your expertise
  • 11:43 AI and books
  • 13:02 Geek Factor
  • 13:39 Conversations as marketing research
  • 14:08 Fact check AI
  • 15:24 Field of Dreams thinking
  • 17:16 Top 3 tips
  • 20:09 Our Geek Factors
  • 22:02 Get in touch with Ben
QuickStart Guide to Writing Your Authority Building Short Book

Transcript for Episode 48: Pen Pals: Two Experts, Two Styles in the World of Book Coaching

Carma Spence:

Hello and welcome to the Author Switch Podcast. I am your host, Carma Spence, and I help entrepreneurs write a client-attracting book in 90 days or less. Now, my guest tonight, Ben Giaoa, does something similar, but not in the way I do it. And as a way to model the idea that there is no competition, there’s just those people who I was meant to serve and those people, other people who do things that I do, are meant to serve.

 

I invited him because we had a really interesting conversation and got along really well, and I think he does good work. I invited him along.  Welcome to the show, Ben. Thank you so much, Carma. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here. Yeah, and it was super fun to chat with you, and I’m so glad you thought of, having this conversation and being able to share it with folks.

 

Ben Gioia:

Yeah, so I help folks write books quickly as well. So for me, it’s a, what I describe as a messy manuscript in five weeks and for my stuff, my people really focusing on the business development aspect as a something to do in conjunction with the writing and then helping them to publish position leverage the heck out of the book to help more people and make a bigger impact.

 

Again, just really an honor and a pleasure to be able to help people create books. I didn’t know that this is where I would find myself so many decades later after, wanting to write my first book at 12 years old and it’s pretty cool to be here.

 

CS:

You started late. I wanted to write mine at four.

 

BG:

 Yes, I’m a little slow sometimes.

 

CS:

Yeah. Let’s get this started first with… So we both talk about books in. In relationship to business and how it builds one’s business. Now, my particular framework is write a short, highly strategic book so that it attracts clients, grows your list, grows your authority, your thought leadership, all that kind of thing. Now, do you focus on longer books or shorter books or all of the above?

 

BG:

Yeah, thank you. I don’t know the definition of longer, shorter, etc. I love the 15-to-25,000-word range for the books. My books have been 22,000 words, about 150 pages. And, I like to say, could somebody sit down and read the whole thing on a, what’s the word, like a medium-range flight or in an afternoon on a rainy Sunday?

 

That kind of book, because if it goes beyond that, that should probably be a second book or part of one’s course or some other, use of that content.

 

CS:

Yeah, I found that it depends on what the purpose of the book is. So for example, Public Speaking Super Powers, which is my award-winning book,  is 200-ish pages, but that’s because it’s like a public speaking course in a book.

 

It’s everything you need to know, but we’re afraid to ask, with a bonus of some information on how to build your business as a speaker. Most of the books I work with are more like in the 75 to 100, 125-page range. They’re like thin, usually they’re delivered as an eBook, but I want them to be that long so that you can print them and hand them out strategically to people, which brings up the whole idea of a big business card.

 

Before I go into my thoughts on that term, what are yours?

 

BG:

I think it’s an incredibly limiting term for people who, don’t see the potential of one’s book, like sure, yeah, it’s a big business card. Sure, whatever. And there’s so much more to it. Then that right and people totally miss the opportunities for, income in impact and influence because they’re just, they’re denigrating the idea of what a book can do for them, or conversely people in the outside are looking at it going, “It was just a big business card,” those aren’t your people in the first place if we really get down to it.

 

CS:

Yeah.

 

BG:

Books are so powerful for our businesses, right? Big little everything in between and can you tell I care about this?

 

CS:

Oh yeah. In fact, I actually wrote about that topic recently on Medium because I think, it came into vogue because yes, you can use it as a networking tool.

 

But I found that as people moved in that direction, you started getting lower and lower quality books. You got books that just basically were fluff, large print, very glossed over in their topics, and what you ended up being is, it ended up being a big business card. Business card, you get it, you go, oh, that’s nice, and then it goes in a circular the same thing goes with these books.

 

They may not throw it away, but they’ll give it to goodwill, which doesn’t do you any good. Or they’ll sell it on Amazon and marketplace to make a few bucks, but you get these crappy books. I, this is another story. I just bought a book that I know the author wrote it to be like. a client attracting book on Amazon.

 

You can get it on eBook, or you can get a physical book. I prefer physical, so I bought it. It was only seven dollars. I get it. It’s 75 pages, 14 of which are actual content. The rest is about the author.

 

BG:

Sure. Yep. Totally. Yeah, it’s pretty it’s pretty amazing the range and quality and lack of quality,  right? It’s amazing that the quality of what’s out there and what I think, something that’s really important to remember for a lot of the people that I serve possibly karma for you as well, right? Because that, let’s say lack of quality and lack of behavior happens in the book world…

 

CS:

Yeah.

 

BG:

…because a lot of people are self-publishing crap.

 

CS:

Oh my gosh.

 

BG:

That does not mean that. that self-publishing is not a brilliantly effective way to bring your book to the world, right? This is really important. What I remind people is you want, at least for my kind of strategy, right?

 

You want professional self-publishing, right? You want all the freedom, the flexibility, the lack of basically, you don’t want to sign your book away, says me to a traditional publisher, which is why you want to self-publish, but. In the same vein that you don’t want to fix your own electric and kill yourself.

 

CS:

Yeah.

 

BG:

We want to engage with a professional self-publishing company.

 

CS:

I agree, and actually I don’t even think you necessarily need the professional company. You just need to hire professionals to help you. You need to have a professional cover, have a professional editor, and they don’t need to be, it’s helpful if they’re cohesive, but a lot of times the, I’ve found that the publishing, self-publishing companies charge you an arm and a leg, and if you don’t have an arm and a leg to give, it’s like, there’s ways to guerilla it.

 

BG:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, I’ve been blessed to find a brilliant company that doesn’t do the arm and a leg. And is able to do the one roof thing because I know a lot of my folks, are incredibly busy. Samir is a great example of this. He just, built an entire business right and then sold it and then is back running it now.

 

And we’re working on his book together. And yeah. Yeah, so we’re we found a really good avenue for how to move quickly through it and, how to not break the bank in this and also how to deal with one point of contact. Because I’ve guerilla’d for years, believe me and that’s the right thing to do.

 

And I encourage everybody who’s listening, who’s watching, at the point also that you can, move into ways to start taking back some of your time. Do start making those investments bit by bit because they pay off, hundredfold.

 

Absolutely. Absolutely. Because they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but we all do. We all do.

 

CS:

Now I find this interesting because I was doing a little bit of research because I was trying to find out, okay, the big gurus, they use short books to catapult their business. And one example I was using was Frank Kern and his probably most popular book, the one that really got him going was Convert. Which is yellow with the word convert on it. It’s an ugly cover,  but because he’s Frank Kern, people bought it and I, I bought it. It’s a decent book. Where in that line do you go with making your cover look brilliant? Or you go with one that’s maybe less brilliant, but it’s still effective. What are your thoughts on that?

 

BG:

Yeah, I would lean toward brilliant and make sure, it’s hyper effective, just by thinking in terms of best practices for, people seeing that your name and people seeing, the title of your book, very clearly, because most people are looking on digital things.

 

I think that’s something that’s really important. And, for me one’s book is, of course, this fabulous, Swiss Army knife kind of tool for a business, for impact, for income, and it’s a repository, a powerful repository for our story, for our message, for our curriculum. So to speak. Not that we put all of our curriculum in our book. That’s not a good idea, right? But to be able to actually have I heard the term knowledge management recently.

 

CS:

Yeah.

 

To be able to get your stuff out of your head and put it in a thing like I have, I’m coming out soon with my fourth book and I remember writing my first book, which was called Marketing with a Heart and looking back at the book and going.

 

Holy crap. That’s my stuff. That’s what I teach. Yeah. That’s how I talk about it. And that was one of my most wonderful, delighted insights because it was, not only did it, not only was, oh my God, it’s right there, but I knew how to just go back in and copy and paste text so I didn’t have to keep re-explaining and trying to figure out what the heck I do, because I figured it out for the book.

 

Let me just take it and repurpose that. And then at some point, of course, that language evolved, right? Because our stuff evolves. I sound different in my later books, and I, to this day, am going back to the book that’s about to come out and going that’s how I said that. Okay. That’s that list of those things, right?

 

CS:

Exactly.

 

BG:

Yeah. What a resource for ourselves and what a, way to leverage one piece of content. into 29 different things, not that you have to do that, but you can make…

 

CS:

But you can.

 

BG:

…different things from a book.

 

CS:

You can. That’s in fact, I did a podcast earlier where I talked about all these different ways that you could monetize your book.

 

And some of them are like, I should try that one. I come up with these ideas that I haven’t done myself, but I know other authors have. And then I’m like, I like that. I think I’m going to do that.

 

BG:

Yeah. It’s really something we, we have more freedom and flexibility in the publishing world today than ever.

 

CS:

And with the rise of all these different online tools, we could feed our book into an AI chatbot so that people could come to our website, ask questions, and the AI would pull content from our book and spit it back out in answer to the question, almost like a person answering the question, giving your readers this interactive experience.

 

BG:

Yeah that, that’s mind blowing and incredibly helpful. And for all of you who are listening, watching right now, don’t use the AI to try to write your book.

 

CS:

Oh God, please don’t. Please. They, it writes junk. It writes junk.

 

BG:

Yeah. Yeah. It’s it totally it. We lose the humanity in the AI, like it’s great for brainstorming. It’s great for research. It’s great for, parsing data and, you to review transcripts for. Like you’re…

 

CS:

What are the salient points, that kind of thing. Yeah.

 

BG:

So definitely use AI and ChatGPT and all the good things as tools.

 

Don’t use it to write your book.

 

CS:

No. There are all these people who are, and I haven’t dug into what they’re actually teaching.

 

And I’m just going, Lord help, help those who actually use it to write their content. Yeah. It’s one thing to have it like, write your outline, and then you flesh it out with. You because it’s your Geek Factor that makes your book more powerful because five people could be talking about the same thing, but no one’s going to be talking about it like you do.

 

BG:

Totally. Yeah. And I think also. If one is writing their book super dialed into their business and, talking about the process that they take people through or their method or their pillars or that, that kind of stuff. The presentation of that, like AI can’t do that.

 

CS:

No, it can’t.

 

BG:

It can help you research pieces for that, but it can’t do that. And the thing that I teach my authors is having conversations with their ideal clients about the book that they’re writing as they’re writing it. AI can’t do that. AI can’t think on that level.

 

CS:

Yeah.

 

BG:

But if you come with words from those conversations, right? Then you can, do magical research and…

 

CS:

Exactly.

 

BG:

…Create some great marketing content and, get some, extrapolate some great data and all that kind of stuff. Hey, everybody write your own book.

 

CS:

Oh yeah. And fact-check everything it tells you.

 

‘Cause a few months ago, I started the research on the book I’m going to release in June. Cause I’m going to release a book a month next year.

 

BG:

Congratulations.

 

CS:

And it’s basically I was trying to tie neuroscience to creative blocks. And I’ve organized them into six different kinds, so I said, I would ask it, okay, give me research, cite journals that put these two concepts together.

 

And it spit out all this data. And then I go to the library to look those journals up so I could actually read the articles. They don’t exist. And so I said, Hey Chat, I can’t find these. Where are they? And they went, Oh I made that up. I just thought they were probable. And I’m like, really, you just lied to me.

 

Yeah, you have to be very careful what, don’t take everything it says, even in research. Fact check. Fact check. Ask it for links.

 

BG:

That’s a great point. Thank you. But what a wild world we’re in.

 

CS:

Oh, I know.

 

BG:

Yeah. And, easier than ever to write a great book.

 

CS:

Exactly.

 

BG:

But, going back to your point, Carma, real quick about, everybody’s “write a book with AI,” it’s like in a lot of industries, especially in the publishing industry, people say things like, hey, just write your book, with the implication that everything’s therefore going to happen just because you wrote the book.

 

CS:

Uh, no, no.

 

BG:

Some of us remember the Field of Dreams movie? Kevin Costner?

 

CS:

Yes.

 

BG:

If you build it, they will come. No.

 

CS:

No.

 

BG:

It doesn’t work with books, right?

 

CS:

Occasionally, if you’re really lucky and you’ve got the right keywords, maybe.

 

My first book was Bundt Cakes. Apparently, Bundt Cakes are really popular, so it just sells, and it’s been selling at least one copy a month ever since I published it. 16 years ago, but it’s because it’s bunt cakes. But as I said, it’s I just lucked out. I just lucked out because I had no idea what I was doing 16 years ago.

 

CS:

Totally. Yeah. I think all of us for sure. That’s how we get to figure this stuff out. Yeah, thank you. I appreciate that. And yeah, I think that’s just, a good thought across the board in our businesses, right?

 

BG:

That the publishing of the book by itself is not the thing. Make sure you’re thinking of how are you using the book?

 

CS:

Exactly.

 

BG:

If your book is a stepping stone or a bridge, right?

 

CS:

What are your goals and how do you make that book reach those goals? Yeah.

 

BG:

Yep. And what, what are the goals for the reader, right? Because I’m sure you don’t want to just have them read and that’s it. You want them to take some next steps with you. And what are your goals for your business? If you’re, I like to say to my folks if your book is like a bridge or a stepping stone to things like clients or coaching or partnerships or speaking think about that when you’re writing the book, think about that when you’re, dropping those very subtle, soft pitches in your book just you know, when I speak to large audiences da you can totally talk about yourself without boasting or embellishing or being heavy-handed.

 

CS:

Exactly. So I have two questions before I want to start wrapping up. The first one is, if you had three tips for your ideal clients, what would those three tips be?

 

BG:

Yeah, thank you. Do exactly what I say if you’re going to work with me because, then I can guarantee results. For anybody who will ever keep listening to me around this have conversations with your ideal client about the book you’re writing as you’re writing it because it will give you a lens like nothing else on the planet. Don’t ask for their opinion because you’ll never get out of there, but just, have a collegial peer-to-peer conversation to help give you the lens. You know what you’re going to put in the book, but the conversations help you really get that lens sharp and clear.

 

That was number two. And number three follow a blueprint and dictate as much as you can to stay connected to your authentic voice and to, the expertise that’s just inside of you. And then you don’t have to be like, Oh, is that the right word? Do I use a semicolon here?

 

Who cares, right? Teach, share the thing you love. The editors and stuff will sort that out with you later.

 

CS:

So when you say dictate, you literally mean like talk a recording device.

 

BG:

I do. Yep. Yep. Following a blueprint, following an outline section by section for one’s book. It doesn’t have to be the whole book; a lot of people get stuck in the writing.

 

CS:

Yeah. Yeah.

 

BG:

Really or, all these things. And I just say, speak as much as you can because At least if you’re speaking at my pace, seven minutes you get 1200 words.

 

CS:

Nice.

 

BG:

A big chunk of a short to medium-sized book.

 

CS:

Exactly. Now my three tips. One is to make sure that your idea is strategic to begin with before you even write your outline.

 

And I actually have a framework that walks you through that. And if you’re interested in that framework, drop a GIF, a comment, whatever, and I’ll get you a link to a freebie that gives you that framework. The second is, like you said, to write an outline. And the reason why I say that is because a lot of people don’t want it they say, I don’t want to write an outline because it cramps my creative flow.

 

Research shows that creativity is actually better when it’s constrained in a structure or a box of some sort. Your outline becomes your guideline that creates that structure so that what I like to say is that turtle writer does the outline, rabbit writer flows around with the muse. And so when the two work together, rather than try to race and beat each other out, you actually get a better book.

 

And third tip is, put on your marking hat, even if you go with a traditional publisher, you will have to market your book. So you might as well start marketing right at the get-go, growing your list, growing your following, growing your author platform.

 

CS:

So my next question is, we all have a Geek Factor.

 

That’s our secret sauce, our own pixie dust. What makes Ben Gioia, Ben Gioia, the amazing person that someone should hire? What’s your secret sauce?

 

BG:

Thank you. It’s seeing right through to the book, right?, to somebody’s book and then helping them prove it in the market right before they write it. And then guarantee it’s going to work through the proving in the market, right?

 

CS:

So that’s like market research?

 

BG:

It could be called market research. But the literal having conversations with one’s clients and knowing how to invite those conversations to not only get epic feedback on the book and epic clarity on the book, but to be able to start developing relationships with those people you talk to, so those people can become clients and strategic partners. that’s right in there. I don’t have a good name for that.

 

CS:

Gotta come up with a good name.

 

BG:

Yeah, it is the secret sauce. Actually the, in terms of my program, I call it ROI Right Now.

 

CS:

Oh, I like that.

 

BG:

So yeah. So return on investment right now, you don’t have to wait until your book is published or even finished to start attracting clients and strategic partners.

 

CS:

Absolutely. Absolutely. I like to think of my secret sauce is not only the personalization that I do, but I’ve created a system called Author Diagnostics where I’m almost like a doctor that goes into your business, figures out how to fix what isn’t working, and then create a book out of it.

 

So it’s a, I have both the creative side and the science-y side fused in one, which is apparently not that common. So we’ll see there. So Ben, thank you so much for being on The Author Switch. If someone wanted to work with you, where would they go?

 

BG:

Thank you. So InfluenceWithAHeart.com is my website. You can find me on LinkedIn. Or just email me, Ben@InfluenceWithAHeart.com, Ben@InfluenceWithAHeart.com.

 

CS:

Perfect. Thank you so much. This is the end of  this episode of The Author Switch.  This is Carma Spence, your host, saying ciao for now.

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The Author Switch is a podcast dedicated to helping experts, entrepreneurs, and small business owners turn on The Author Switch — and keep it on — so that they can leverage the power of books to take their businesses to a whole new dimension. Learn more about the show and where it is available on its page.
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