Book Writing Process

Episode 15: Book Writing Process, with Henry DeVries

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Book writing process can help leverage your business into the market. Learn how to uncover strategic advantages of the book writing process.

Book writing process with Henry DeVries will help bring out the content creator in you. This will be a great stepping stone if you want to provide only the best for your clients. 

In the last decade Henry DeVries has authored, ghostwritten, and published more than 300 books for business thought leaders, including How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett, You’re Not the Person I Hired, Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business, and Persuade With a Story! He is the CEO of Indie Books International, which has published more than 100 titles since he co-founded the company in 2014. Formerly president of an award-winning Ad Age 500 marketing agency, he is also a former assistant dean for continuing education at the University of California San Diego. In addition to speaking to thousands of business leaders each year, he writes a weekly column for


What you will learn in this episode is about the book writing process:

  • How agencies, coaches, and consultants can use the right recipe to make strides forward during the book writing process
  • What are some advantageous “side effects” of completing the book writing process
  • What are three ways to complete a book – and ways to navigate the minefield of publishing
  • Why Henry DeVries absolutely believes marketing with a book is THE number one marketing strategy
  • The seven magnificent ways to market a book in the right order



Book Writing Process: Full Episode Transcript


Book writing process? Expand your knowledge on your content creation journey through this podcast.

Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I am Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI, and my team and I, we created this podcast specifically for you. So if you’re an agency owner, a business coach, a strategic consultant, and you’re looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality, well, you’re in the right place.


You want proven strategies for attracting a steady stream of well-prepared, right fit prospects into your sales pipeline. Yep. We’re going to cover that. You want to learn how to step away from the sea of competitors so you stand out in on the ground. You’re standing on the edge. We’re going to cover that, too. You want to futureproof your business so you can navigate the following challenges that come your way?


Absolutely. We’ll help you there, too. I promise you that each episode of this podcast will contain valuable insights and tangible examples of best practices—never theory—from thought leaders, experts, and owners who have done exactly what you’re working hard to do. So I want you to think practical and tactical—never any fluff. Each of our guests has built a position of authority and then monetized that position by claiming their ground.


Growing their audience, nurturing leads and, yeah, converting sales. All the while, though, doing it by being helpful. So every time someone from their audience turned around there, they were with a useful answer to an important question. So their prospects never, ever felt like they were a prospect. I also promise you every strategy we discuss, and every tool we recommend will be shared in full transparency in each episode.


Attend the book writing process workshop by registering at a location near you!


Book Writing Process: Henry DeVries’ Introduction


So you can plant your flag on this already, so you can claim your ground and fill your sales pipeline with a steady stream of right fit clients. So I am super excited for you to meet our very special guest expert today, Henry DeVries. So if you’re meeting Henry for the first time, he’s the CEO of Indie Books International.


He’s the former president of an award winning at age 500 marketing agency. And he’s a weekly columnist for So I asked Henry to join me for this episode of the podcast because he’s authored ghostwritten or published more than 300 books for business thought leaders. So he has this really unique lens of knowing what it takes to not only write a book, but he knows what it takes to write a really good book.


And he knows what it takes to ensure that the book writing process turns into a busy dev machine for your business. So we’re going to break all of that down during this discussion because we want you to be able to see how writing a book can. Yes, it can absolutely grow your audience and help you get on stage if that’s one of your goals.


And we also want you to be able to see that it’s a lighter lift, actually, to get it done. If you have the right recipe for building out the chapters, sharing the workload. And we’ll also map out some of the initial steps to writing that book. Again, if that happens to align with one of your goals, because we want you to see how it can actually feel lighter and help you make some of that progress, or if you’ve been working on it for a while.


Well, in today’s conversation with Henry might help you make some of those big strides forward toward reaching your goal. So without further ado, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast, my friend Henry. Stephen, it’s so great to be here and you’ve asked me to talk about my favorite subject marketing with a book and not marketing a book. It’s marketing with a book, I believe, for agencies, consultants, business coaches.


Ready to expand your skills for the book writing process? Be part of our event by registering today!


Book Writing Process: Don’t Let One Etity Take Control of Your Career


In the book writing process, the number one marketing tool is a book, and the number one sales strategy is talking about the book. By talking about the book and generously sharing information from your book, you will impact more people. Then, people will actually discover you by buying the book and finding out. That is awesome. Okay, so I want to come back to why you believe in that so strongly.


But before we do that, let’s go beyond the bio to reveal what’s behind the curtain. Give us a couple of minutes of additional context about your path and journey so that our audience can meet you more profoundly. Then, we’ll return to why you believe so strongly in the book’s marketing.


I was running my own marketing agency, a small shop with five people, when my wife came to me. She used a four-letter word. She doesn’t usually use four-letter words. This one was a J-O-B. You know, you should get a job. And I said, “Well, I am unemployable.” She went, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well, I’ve been on my own for years.”


I made 100,000 on my own. They don’t want to hire people like me. Well, a difficult conversation ensued and she said, I bet the university you’d go work for them. And I was a graduate of the University of California, San Diego. I was the alumni president. And I said, Well, I do love the university. But they don’t. Just out of the blue come offer people six figure executive jobs.


So 30 days later, out of the blue, they came, offered me a six-figure executive job. So my condition was that I only work four days of the week and I get one day a week off my business advisory board and told me to do that. And they said, just cherry-pick your clients. Plus, never totally give all the control of your career over to one entity that could with one phone call, say, we’re moving in a different direction and then you’ve got to start over.


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Book Writing Process: Books Are Revered


So I always had the agency going on the side, and I cherry-picked clients. And then, after seven years at the university, I came to them and said, “You know, I love the university, I love your work. But just for some reason, I love these consultants, some agency people, and coaches more, and they need more of my help.”


They had discovered me at the university. I didn’t go looking to be this ghostwriter, but before I knew it, I had done 50 books and it was all from word of mouth. And a voice told me, “The universe is sending you a message.” I’m in California, so we have to talk about the universe when I’m in the Midwest with Steve and I can speak of God, and God helps those who help themselves.


So the universe or God sent me a message and I’m bilingual. I can talk wherever I go. So I decided to follow up on that and create in the books International. And that was eight years ago. And now I’ve either advise people, but also published 150 different authors in these last eight years. That is amazing. Amazing. Kudos. So let’s go back to because it’s going to dip into two points of view and why you believe so so strongly in what was awesome about listening to you and as you were going through you started out. I believe, and then you went into this about your marketing with a book and you’re very clear that it’s not marketing a book, it’s marketing with a book. So give us your point of view around that, because I think that’s going to be really, really important for not only our audience, but this is going to be a great way to kick off this conversation. So I wrote the book Marketing with a Book, to really help people understand that books are revered.


Sadly, they’re not read, but they’re revered. People think authors are special people. And, you know, Stephen and I would say, well, not so much, but thanks for the compliment. But really seriously, it takes something to think about a topic, really boil it down to be able to explain it to others. My authors keep saying, you know, after I did the book, I just now know what I really believe about this subject and I can articulate it better.


Ready to expand your skills for the book writing process? Be part of our event by registering today!


Book Writing Process: Being Generous Will Help Develop Your Business


In the book writing process I have more confidence when I’m talking to people about it. And I said, that is the side effect. Like when you hear about the pharmaceutical drug commercials, you know, may induce confidence. You see, it’s this side effect that happens. But the real reason for the book is for branding. It brands you as an expert, an authority, someone who’s taken a stand to its lead generation because people will want to read your book.


And then three, it helps with lead conversion. Every day I send a PDF version of a book to somebody and they see it as generosity, as you said, Stephen being there ready to answer a question instead of trying to get them to buy my $20 book, I said, “Well, let me give it to you. And also I think this other book would help you to write it.”


In the book writing process, we say our brand is generous, and the more generous we are, the luckier we get with business development. that is so fantastic. Okay, so all joking aside, when I laughed when you said more about the way you said it, when you told may induce confidence, Yes, I laughed because like I said, how you deliver that line, which was really, really good.


But it’s also a big Because you just pointed out the fact that yes, authors are revered because they’ve crystallized a topic into a thing, in this case a book. There’s that age old expression talkers are hawkers, but writers are experts. Author is the derivative of the word authority that we’re that we talk about. But I think you’re 100% right that like the exercise of building all of that into a book, that distillation of your thoughts and knowledge, and expertise into the book also is a great learning opportunity for the author, too.


It helps us crystallize what it is that we’re trying to teach in a force as a discipline. And you do come out of the book writing process actually more innovative because you’ve gone through sort of the crucible, if you will, of getting that done right, and in the dark hour of the soul, when you get to 90%, you go, “Is this good enough?”


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Book Writing Process: Writing And Publishing a Book Requires Hard Work


My smart enough we call it the comparison trap and the perfection trap. You know, one person came to me and they go, “You know, my book is not as good or great, is it? It’s not as good as one of the top ten all-time bestselling business books.” No, it’s like you’re not Steve, You know, don’t worry.


You know you’re not Mr. Collins. You don’t. Or Dr. Collins. You don’t have to be that. But in your little area, your little niche, you are the expert, you’re more than anyone will know in that area because you also have these hidden assets. Stephen, I have to tell them, have you helped clients go from problem to solution, from mess to success, as my author Judy Carter says?


Well, yes, I said, “Well, those are your defining stories of book writing process. Those are hidden assets that you have that no one else has.” And those hidden assets, those stories of master success in your book are differentiating. They’re also proving to people that you’re not just this professor or journalist who studied the topic, you’ve actually been there and taken people from where they are right now to where they want to go.


The stories prove that you know how to take them on the journey, and we’re kindred spirits. We believe in transparency, and we give it all away. It’s all out there. There are no secrets. But the truth is, it takes some hard work to write and publish a book. And without an investment, there’s no return on investment.


In the book writing process you have to invest time, money, and energy. And then you come out with a book. And I tell people I don’t see a book in your future. I see books in your future. A thought leader doesn’t write one book and say, “Done, Got it.” That’s everything I believe in. No thought leaders are continually writing and speaking, typing and talk, and they say the typing and talking of advice to help people solve their problems 100%.


Let’s go back to that. At the onset of that segment or answer, I should say in that segment, you mentioned this comparison trap, and you mentioned Jim Collins. So, how does somebody know, in your opinion, if their idea is, quote-unquote, worthy of being a book? I believe writing is a team sport.


Ready to expand your skills for the book writing process? Be part of our event by registering today!


Book Writing Process: Don’t Take the Misery Approach in Writing a Book


There are three ways in the book writing process. Hire a ghostwriter who’s going to interview you and write a book. And it’s a ghostwriter who’s written a bestselling book or more so they know what it is. I don’t advise it. It’s ten times more expensive. I do it for CEOs of companies who, you know, it would be malpractice for them to spend time writing a book.


They need to dictate and direct the book. The second way is to go off into a cabin in the woods. You’ve got a few of those in Wisconsin. Go into a cabin in the woods and don’t come out until you have your finished book. I like that approach. Yeah, I call it the misery approach. I named it after the novel and movie, and I’ve done it.


People have hired me. My record once was six days, by the way. I don’t go to mountain cabins. I go to resort hotels. Well, six days in a resort hotel. And I came out with the book. I don’t recommend that either. A developmental editor, somebody who knows the book writing process and can give you an editorial and marketing review can tell you that this is the book that you should be doing.


For example, I have an author this month. Who should I speak to? I do. I do it as top executives do. I do this, I do that. I said, “Well, what’s your expertise on?”Well, building high-performance teams? I said, “You’re to talk to managers and supervisors.” In a survey of 1600 CEOs this year, they said the number one problem that they’re trying to solve in 2022 is attracting and retaining great talent.


They have the strategies for growth, but they can’t attract and retain top talent. And who are these managers and supervisors? These were people who were good at what they did. They were good widget makers or they were good writers. So they said, “Great, we’re going to put you in charge of all the rest of them.” Well, they were trained to be a manager, supervisor or a therapist.


That’s another column I’m working on with psychologist consultants, agency owners, your business coaches have their job as therapists because people open up their heart and their souls. In their frustrations, worries, and doubts like, well, I’m just trying to here to tell you how to sell with authority. Well, no, it’s a whole package that you need to help people with their confidence and their understanding and that they’re okay.


And somebody to say this part of the book works. This part of the book doesn’t work. Here’s why it doesn’t work. And here are some ideas on how to fix that part. So that’s why I say it’s a team sport. Don’t take the misery approach, and don’t overpay unless you’re this high-falutin CEO. That’s the only way to get a book done.


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Book Writing Process: Hiring a Thinking Partner


You still should get the book done, but those people need to hire ghostwriters. Okay, let me give that back to you. Make sure I’m tracking with you. When you have a developmental editor, I think using the words that you said, I’m going to run that through the sort of in Stephen via a little bit and say, okay, we need a thinking partner.


You need a thinking partner who can help you take your idea and help you link that into your expertise and then and then through that help you vet whether the idea plus vet in link on  with your expertise. If that’s truly worthy of a book it might traction with you very much so. So yeah someone like you might be the developmental editor to bring a manuscript to a certain point and then it might get turned over to someone like me who is an award-winning author, an international bestseller.


I can do a write-through so it really makes it sing, as we used to say in the newspaper biz. So it really sings for you. But it’s their voice, the tone of their thoughts just presented a little better and then published. So that’s part of a team effort that might happen there. Okay. So what’s then the next step?


Let’s say that somebody has they’ve gone through, they’ve had their thinking partner, they’ve had some work with a developmental editor and they’re like, okay, I feel, and they’ve made some tweaks and adjustments, and all of that and they feel like they’ve got this kernel of an idea that they believe is worthy of a book. In your opinion, what is the next step of book writing process?


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Book Writing Process: The 3 Options in Publishing a Traditional Indie


In the book writing process, there are three options for publishing traditional indie, also known as hybrid or self. I used to say self was the S word and I never wanted to hear it, but I’ve come along that there is a role in the book writing process. For that a traditional publishing deal is like mine with McGraw Hill. Try the close. A deal like Warren Buffett, you get 15% royalty on the net of the book.


The author cost of the book is typically 50%. The big traditional publisher will not give you a contract in advance unless they’re convinced you can sell 10,000 copies of that book. And the dirty little secret on publishing is the author is responsible for the marketing. Think you’ve got this big marketing giant behind you. You don’t. They’re good at getting books to bookstores, and every day there are less bookstores than there were the day before.


That channel is going away, really. Bookstores have become gift shops and coffee houses. we might have some books over here somewhere. So that’s not the bottle that. What should I read? Let me go to the bookstore, peruse the shelves. You know, we have a problem. We go to Amazon and we look for a book that has a solution in Amazon knows that you don’t buy just one book.


When I was writing this book and I was given 90 days to write this book, I had to go and day one, buy a dozen books off of Amazon about everything to do with Warren Buffett. That’s why they continually advertise. The people who bought this book also bought these books. It’s multiple sales. So that’s traditional publishing. My first book was traditionally published, I was so excited because it would be in bookstores and I got to the bookstore and there was one copy on the shelf right at the bookstore.


So what happens when people buy one book? Well, order another one, right? If they order another one, the price will show up. I had somebody call me. This is because it was before the Internet and it was like you said, when you wrote this book. I said, yes. And they go like, why is it in on the shelf?


I go to bookstores. I can’t find your book. People say your books, but I can’t get tickets. Sorry, I don’t have the answer. They’re okay. Traditional bookstores now. The next one is indie publishing. Indie takes the rigor of traditional publishing with art directors and editors and people been in the business for 10 to 20 years, but it is the business model of the indie film and the indie record where the creator retains 100% control of the intellectual property.


They pay experts to bring it out. And then instead of giving away 85% of the net profit of the book, they keep that and use it to pay expenses. It takes about a thousand sales, by the way, to get into the black. And then once you’re in the black, they’re making a profit from the book. However, the real money and I’ve studied this for ten years and I’ve documented it, the real money is what happens as a result of the book.


The ROI is anywhere between 400 to 2000%, and I have verified that Look, that’s in the publishing of the book, a much faster timeline to typically five months. You’re out there traditionally can be a year to two years. One author told me about his traditional book deal and I said, when will the book be out? Because the end of next year. And I said, “What have they hired months to transcribe the book with pens by hand?”


The third way is so now self-publishing. You’re going to cobble together your own team to bring out a book that looks as professional as a professionally published book. Yeah, that’s important. A lot of people just do it on the cheap and the world does not need another cheap, crappy self-published book.


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Book Writing Process: It’s Always a Good Idea to Get Help


Let me tell you about the book writing process. It’s just like I tell people. I said, “Well, think of it this way. You’ve got a new business pitch and a new business presentation and you want to impress the Bixby Corporation. So you go to Goodwill to find a suit. Is there a suit on the rack of goodwill? Because that’s the cheapest way to do it, you know, and you found in Armani suit, you know, somebody with money passed away, but it has like a new patch on it.”


But they know it’s cheap. No, you don’t want to do this on the cheap even if you’re cobbling together the team. I tell people this approach is like being your general contractor, building your house right now. If you have a lot of experience, it’s not such a problem. If you’ve never done that, then advantaging, supervising painters and plumbers and carpenters and you know, you can just think of it, it’s the same way with a book because you need to have copy editors, you need to have artists and graphic artists.


You need to have production people. It’s a minefield in a minefield. You don’t want to learn it by trial and error. Also called trial and tear you know, it’s good to get help. So I’ve created a self-publishing leery program. So for a fee, I will be there. Self-publishing can simply area. I’ll help them get through that minefield of publishing and they control 100% of decisions.


Is it wrong that I started sharing The Godfather music in the background? Well, our business model also is one day this day maybe ever come, but a favor may be asked of you, and if it’s within your power, you must grant it. Okay, so all joking aside, we’re going to take a quick break here and then when we come back, I’d like to have just a quick conversation around deciding which strategy or excuse me, which publishing method, the one, two or three traditional indeed self is is the right.


And then we’re going to go into the marketing with a book. So first, let’s take a quick break and then we’ll be right back, everyone. Okay, so we’re back. And before the break, Henry was giving us a kind of a 20,000 foot view of each of the three kinds of publishing methods, if you will, traditional in deep self.


Ready to expand your skills for the book writing process? Be part of our event by registering today!


Book Writing Process: Helping Clients Decide on The Best Publishing Method


Now, what we’re going to go through is sort of a decision-making process as part of the book writing process that really has to do with your strategy for the book so that you can decide whether it should be traditional, indeed, or self-published. So, Henry, what are some of the things that you talk about with authors to help them decide which publishing method or route is the right way for them?


There’s no one right way. Let’s start with that. Okay. So traditional in the self—let’s just call them those things. So traditional, a traditional publisher, McGraw-Hill or Simon and Schuster, is looking for an author who can sell 10,000 books, usually in the first year. That means they have what the industry calls a platform. A platform is your ability to reach audiences.


So if you’re a professional speaker who speaks to 100 business groups a year, you have platform social media. It’s nice, but it’s not what decides it. If you have a podcast with 100,000 listeners do have platform and they’ll be interested in you. Okay, so you do it though, not for the money. You do it because it’s less money up front for you.


You don’t have to front the money. You’re going to get the money through royalties on the back end. Maybe a modest advance against royalties. Advance is not money they’re paying you. They’re giving you your money. They’re just giving it to you in advance. But it’s your money. You write you earned it. And if you don’t earn it, there are all sorts of provisions that punish you in their contracts.


But it’s nice for me to say I have an international bestseller for McGraw-Hill. It’s now in five languages now in Chinese. You know, that’s what’s nice to say this, bragging rights. Some of my other authors, you know, they can say they’re with Random House or they’re with Wiley or they’re of the Stanford University Press. So there’s some cachet to that.


Yes, Cachet. And $5 will get you a plain coffee at Starbucks, by the way. So the next thing in the book writing process in indie is publishing. Indie is where if you want to retain 100% control and you want to maximize the money you get it. Control is essential, too. When you’re with a traditional publisher, they say, “Do you like your cover or do you really like this?”


No input options decisions. With indie, you get to decide everything on cover and look and design so you can make sure you love the book. I have a sad story about one of my books with the traditional publisher. and now the book is called Painkiller Marketing, and the publisher insisted that they put a bottle of Tylenol on the cover.


No, nothing. Then, the interns at the publishing company went to the Library of Congress and filed the book under Marketing Analgesics. Yes. The interns thought this was literally about aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and ibuprofen. So I had far more call me a tumor out for daring to do that. And I said, do what?


And that’s how I found out it happened because, yeah, I was selling books to farmers there for a while until they read it. So anyway, it controls indie gives you control, and also gives you the right to take that book if it gets successful to a traditional publisher. That’s what my buddy Ted Blanchard did with the 1 billion manager.


Yeah, he sold 40,000 copies independently and then took it to tomorrow. A moral blew it out and sold 12 million copies. Tom Peters did that with In Search of Excellence. There are many other examples where people took the book out independently and then when they’ve sold 30, 40,000 copies, they’re in a better bargaining position. You don’t get that rookie contract like I got with McGraw-Hill.


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Book Writing Process: The Cost-Benefit Analysis


There are lots of other provisions in the book writing process. Yeah, banks and publishers. I’m sorry to break this to people. They’re not your friends, but they don’t. Banks don’t give you loans because they like you. And publishers don’t give you a book contract because they think your book is worthy. They give it to you because, excellent, we can make money on this.


So you just have to understand that going in the book writing process. The third thing is self. So sometimes, it makes sense to try to do a lead approach. You don’t need as much expertise or help, but you’d like some help putting together that team, that cobbling together the team so self can be a solution to you for a lot of people.


Stephen, I say your first book, Go Indie and build a platform on your second book. Go traditional, so you get to be grown up. My book is Girl Hill. We’re going to talk about Whether you want a New York Times bestseller. You have to be with a traditional publisher to qualify for that. I had to decide whether I wanted to make my Warren Buffett book a New York Times bestseller or an bestseller. I chose Amazon.


Here’s why Costs Benefit Analysis. It would have cost me 100,000 in marketing to make my book The New York Times bestseller. It costs me 20,000 and marketing to make it number one. best seller in four categories. And not for a day, not for a night, Not a snapshot of though this was the real deal. And for over 100 days on the business bestseller list of


By the way, guess who sells more books? or the limited number of bookstores that they use to measure the results for The New York Times. So obviously, it’s Yeah. And what most people don’t realize is that you mentioned the hundred thousand dollars in marketing and so forth and said that there is a specific launch strategy.


There’s a timing of that book writing process to make sure that all of those books come in in a certain period of time and all of that for, you know, that NYT list. And but you know what? If your business is like you want to get on stages and you want to speak and be represented by large speaking bureaus, and then you’re trying to build a significant high-profile keynote business, then the recipe that Henry just gave to you of the first book and then traditional.


You might want to hit the NYT list because it matters for the business. But for for most agencies, business coaches, and strategic consultants, this is where we’re going to go next in the conversation. The book matters from a thought, leadership and authority perspective. But then there’s this brilliant strategy behind the book writing process that really drives ROI back into your business.


Ready to expand your skills for the book writing process? Be part of our event by registering today!


Book Writing Process: The Magnificent Seven


A steady stream of writing for clients. So Henry, let’s talk about the book writing process. Start breaking down the marketing with a book so that we can get a better view of the powerful back end that a book can represent if done right. So let’s start with a cowboy movie. There was a 1960 version and one more recently, it’s the Magnificent Seven, so I don’t know if you prefer the Denzel Washington version or the Yul Brynner version, but the Magnificent Seven, these seven desperadoes who form together to save a town.


My book writing process has magnificent seven ways to marketing with the book. Number one small scale seminars put on small scale seminars. These can be Zoom cars, virtual seminars. Stephen, you’ve talked about this a lot, where you come on, it’s a specific audience, a specific problem. You like to say you’re doing these at no cost, you’re being generous and you’re giving this information away, no barrier to get people in.


Number two of the book writing process, you get invited to speak on other people’s stages today that can be a podcast, but it also can be at conferences. So I speak at conferences. I speak virtually. I speak for this stage international. They hire me to go around the country and speaking to executives, thought leaders, business leaders, okay, get on people’s stages. Number three, take that writing from the book and recite all reuse, very ecological, but you want to get it into blog articles, you want to get guest blogs on other people’s.


You want to get people like me to write about you. Stephen, May I give a gift away? You sure write for Of course. If anybody thinks that they have a topic worthy of Forbes that has to do with business development, marketing, sales, publicity promotion, anything that can come back to business development. Send me an email, Henry at in the I am the IEEE books.


I am Telecom. You can just put Forbes in the subject line. I will send you instructions on how you can pitch and work with me on that column. Wow. And Stephen, you have one coming out this week about you and your work. Thank you. You’re welcome. That was news to Stephen. Okay, so that’s the writing part, then.


Numbers four and five are related. They both involve networking. Number four involves doing pro-bono work for an association that is a target-rich environment for you. Number five involves attending a networking event in this target-rich association environment. So, there are people who gather your people together, and two or more are gathered. You should seek to be there and offer yourself up to help.


You don’t have to be the speaker on the stage. You can just be networking at the event and people will say their problems. Say, well, that’s interesting. You know, I’ve written an article and a monograph on that. I do write monographs still because Sherlock Holmes in his novels was always writing monographs about the 273 different tobaccos of English and when I make it, I’m going to write monographs to give to people.


But now I have three that I give away. So you’re finding people that you can be helpful to go, do you know me? I have your card. Do you mind if I send something to you? I have a weekly tip. I said that. “Would it be okay if I put you on that list? You pick it off whatever you want, so that all builds up.”


That number six is YouTube. You need to have a YouTube channel and you need to do under two minute YouTube videos that are how tos. So think about your 20 biggest insights or think about your top dozen pieces of advice. Boil it down to less than 2 minutes because people are searching for answers on YouTube as much as they are on Google.


So you want to be there. Since Google owns YouTube, they’re okay with it. Whichever way you search is fine with them. They make money both ways and then number seven is putting on paid events where people actually pay money to attend. So that means your information is so valuable people would pay to attend. And I’ll give you a little secret on that.


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Book Writing Process: Becoming Thought Leaders and Not on Advertising


In book writing process you need to be a scientist, a researcher, and a problem-solver. You need to look at your prospects’ biggest problems and then conduct proprietary research. This can involve surveys, depth interviews, or content analysis. There are several ways to do it, but it gives prospects information on how they compare to their peers.


That was my book, Rainmaker Confidential. During the pandemic, I interviewed 100 of the best rainmakers at agencies and professional consulting firms, and I ask them questions such as What is your go-to strategy? Doing the pandemic? What are you cutting back on your budget? What are you adding budget to? The secret sauce? Go to the book writing process for you. And do I have permission to share this in my column?


Do I have permission to share it in a book? And that’s how the book came about. These people couldn’t ask their competitors what they were doing. That’s illegal. But I can ask and I can share. So can you. Yeah. So it’s collusion. If they get together and compare notes and hey, let’s all raise our prices, sure, that’s illegal.


Hey, everybody else is raising their price. That’s information. And you can be helpful in that way, in that strategy. That’s the rank order of things to do. I do that seven, and a lot of the people who do that strategy, it’s almost a break-even book writing process without naming names. I know somebody who put on a big conference at a hotel recently, and I’m going to guess that the big winner financially was the hotel.


Most of the money went to the hotel for food and beverage and space rental. But the benefits of being a thought leader, the authority to gather the tribe together, are so important for what you make as a result of doing it, just like the other seven things. So that’s my mix. I tell people to stay away from cold calling.


Yeah, nothing says trust me like a cold call, you know, sponsoring the coffee break or whatever break, you know, does it do advertising. It’s interesting. I’ve studied the Madison Avenue advertising agencies. None of them got there by advertising. How great they were. They got there by being thought leaders. Think of David Ogilvy, Ogilvy and Mather, and some of these other people.


Their writing, speaking, typing, and talking created the authority position. But when you mentioned David, he famously wrote long-form, super instructional case studies. I mean, it was like getting one of those. The layout was great, and it was just such a joy to read.


And I was like, my gosh, it was just amazing. So I know that we’re quickly running out of time here. I want to shine a bright light on a couple of things. One is The Magnificent Seven. Each one of those is helpful and rooted in being useful. Returning to what you said in the introduction, your brand is generosity.


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Book Writing Process: Using Research For Your Thought Leadership


In book writing process this Magnificent Seven aligns with your brand by being generous, helpful, a teacher, and a thought leader by sharing your smarts in a very gracious way. But it works. It works because your audience then knows you’re not trying to schlep them something, that you’re trying to be helpful every time they turn around.


There you are with a question—or, excuse me, an answer to a fundamental question that they have that magnificent seven aligned in point seven. Everyone, Henry talked about the paid events. That’s where being a scientist research or proprietary research is. I want you to go back to episode four, where Susan Baier, a founder of Audience Audit, was our guest.


We all discussed in depth how you can use research for your thought leadership, which ties in perfectly with what Henry shared in point seven of The Magnificent Seven. So you get this great research and all of these strategic insights. Yeah. Then you marry it together with Henry’s point seven and create a paid event around it.


That may also become the genesis of your book, Henry. Brilliant, as always, my friend. So before we close out and say goodbye, yes. Is there any final advice that you’d like to share? Anything you think we might have missed? And then please do tell our audience or listeners the best way to connect with you.


Thank you for asking. First up in book writing process, make generosity your brand generosity is your brand. I’ve said it before. I’ll repeat it. Not because I forgot that I said it, but because I want you to remember it. The more generous you are with your problem-solving advice, the luckier you’ll get in your business development. Women so they can go to my website


And I have a weekly tip on business development that I send out. Takes 2 minutes to read. You’re welcome to that. If anybody is serious about a book, my generous offer is I will spend 45 minutes on a strategic phone call with you. It’s not a selling zone. I’m going to help you get clarity on four subjects. One, What is the goal for you for the book, not the goal for the reader, for you?


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Book Writing Process: Closing Remarks


Is the book writing process going to change your business, your life? Two, Let’s get clarity on your hidden assets, those defining stories you have that no one else has. Three, Let’s get clear on the roadblocks. Roadblocks don’t stop people like you, but you have to find a way around them over and under. What are the roadblocks, and then for?


Will it clarify how others have gotten from where you are right now to where you want to go? So that is what I call a bookshop, and I am happy to have one with any of the listeners to your program. The only hitch is always a catch. Yeah, the catch is very popular, so you might have to wait a lot to get on the schedule, but I would love to talk to you.


That is awesome. Thank you for your generosity, my friend. Sincerely. And that’s what I love about you: you always always show up about being helpful and generous. And look, everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and relisten, which I hope you do, no matter how often you go back and re-listen to Henry’s words of wisdom.


It’s about taking and applying. It’s about taking this recipe he shared with you in full transparency about how to suss out an idea if it’s worthy of a book and how to choose the right publishing platform or route, not the platform route. And then the Magnificent Seven, which is brilliant. Being able to take that, apply it to your business, and you’ll win.


You’ll accelerate your results in the book writing process. And Henry, my friend, thank you again for saying yes. It was great to see you at Chicago in the Build a Better Agency Summit and thank you for coming on to the show yet again. You did that several times with Onward Nation to be our mentor and guide. I’m grateful for your generosity. Thank you. As they say at Chick-Fil-A.  My pleasure.


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Sell with Authority Podcast

The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

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