Thriving Best Sellers
Gabriel Flores 1:20
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I'm here with Steve kid. Steve, how are you doing?
Steve Kidd 4:10
I'm doing great. Thanks for having me, Gabriel.
Gabriel Flores 4:12
Yeah, thank you for being on today we're going to be talking about thriving best sellers, because what Steve really does is actually helps individuals write books, if I recall correctly, and then goes ahead and gets those books published. But before we get into all of that, Steve go ahead and introduce yourself who is Steve kid?
Steve Kidd 4:30
Hi, my name is Steve kid. I am a third generation minister, and international best selling author of now 21 books and counting. But I work with entrepreneurs. I'm a marketing company with a strong publishing division. We help people write, publish, market their books. To best seller and beyond. There are several 1000s of authors that I've actually worked with now, helping them become best selling authors. And the really cool part about that is is those 1000s of people equate to literally millions of people who have downloaded their book and whose lives have been touched by what they put out into the world.
Gabriel Flores 5:08
It's incredible. And you know, folks, I think the interesting thing when you're thinking about book writing, at least for me, personally, I feel like I'm trying to go through that process. Here. I've been doing a lot of blog posts, repurposing that content for a book right? I'm that's what I'm always thinking about.
Steve Kidd 5:24
Yeah, absolutely. Well, and I always encourage everybody speak to right. Especially when you're a podcast host like what you are, you're pretty good at talking and stuff. Just simply even better yet. If somebody can interview you, especially somebody that knows where they're going with the interview, but speaking to right is so powerful, I mean, all the way to serve Richard Branson, that's how he writes his books. So it's not like you know, only nobodies do that. I mean, the book The Four Agreements was written speak to right.
Gabriel Flores 5:54
So explain that what is speak to right.
Steve Kidd 5:56
So in other words, rather than sitting in front of a computer or taking pen to paper, you actually just turn on some type of recording device, zoom or whatever that might be. And you literally just speak out the words. Like I said, the best way of doing that is to have somebody that knows what they're doing, and the process of the book, to interview you to get you to ask you questions and get you talking. But um, that's really the easiest way to just get all that content out of you. And then bring in people whose expertise is story development and making sure that you have flow and grammar editing and all that kind of stuff. But as far as you being the content expert, that you are just purely simply having somebody asked you Well, what do you mean by that Gabriel? And then having you answer that, there's no more powerful way to get the content out and less least painful and easiest on you as well.
Gabriel Flores 6:51
Yeah, and grammar is so important. In fact, folks, if you if you're subscribing to the newsletter, this not a little plug if you're not the shades of e.com If you find a grammar mistake on my newsletter, please let me know and I will send you a free sticker for every grammar you find. I've actually enlisted my wife to help me because grammar is so important. So Steve, tell us more what like let's talk about thriving best sellers. How did you start this company?
Steve Kidd 7:19
So I mean, that's its latest iteration of name because of a divorce. I went through and stuff but in 1987 not talking about all this stuff. I didn't sales prior to graduating from high school, but in 1987, I started a sales and marketing company. We did mostly marketing advice and manufactures wrapping of products. And we've been in business doing marketing ever since we were early adopters. in what became known as the Internet back in the days of bulletin boards and all the precursors to the internet. And we've been in book space since 2007. But yeah, way back in 1987 and February of 1987. I had an opportunity to help an organization find some products and that just kind of blew up into a company that's existed ever since.
Gabriel Flores 8:13
Now, you mentioned in 2017, you kind of pivoted into the book space. How did that happen?
Steve Kidd 8:19
2007 But yes, so it was actually totally by accident. My second youngest daughter and my then wife were huge fans of the movie Twilight, and we at the time lived outside of Portland we actually lived in in a little town called St. Helens and if you if you know anything about Twilight, it was all filmed. The first one was filmed pretty much almost exclusively within an hour drive of Portland because Portland has good enough. You know, hotels that celebrities would stay in them versus out in the middle of nowhere. Anybody that knows the Pacific Northwest knows forks is the literal definition of the middle of nowhere. And there is no nominations for for celebrities there. So it was all filmed there. And they went to all the different locations. They blogged about it. And I then helped them take all of the notes and the blogging and everything they did and turn that into a book and publish that. And that actually at one point was the number one best selling movie related travel guide on Amazon.
Gabriel Flores 9:25
Oh, wow. Wow. So do you just kind of went from blogging to writing a book or helping the blogger to write a book?
Steve Kidd 9:32
Yeah, I mean, they were just really just having fun. It started out as a mother daughter trip. And people were asking him, what did you learn? What did you discover? And so they took it from there and went to a blog and then because I had some printing stuff I was doing with what we're doing with the company. I turned it into a book it was originally the literal definition of self published it came off of a printer at my house, and then eventually we moved on to being printed and available on Amazon.
Gabriel Flores 9:59
That's amazing. Now, you kind of speak and then I'm assuming it's probably not but you kind of make it sound like writing a book is kind of easy, but how difficult is it to write a book
Steve Kidd 10:09
actually writing a book, okay. And I want to use this word very carefully, because everybody should be an author but very few people are writers. Writing a book is very difficult. Having a book is very easy and being the content master that you are because you're the master of being you you've been that your whole entire life you know you and putting out what you know thus far. That should be in is a is a very simple process. Actually.
Gabriel Flores 10:41
That's there. That's a great point, right? Where being a writer someone that's actually articulating what you're actually saying versus myself write up a content creator. To your point I can do the speak to write method where I can I can truly just speak to a writer who really knows what they're doing. And man now you're now you're getting my head turned a little bit like Man, this is actually a little bit more feasible than I'm I've been truly sitting at home. How do I write a book? So how did you how did you finance this venture now? Actually, first, is this your first business?
Steve Kidd 11:14
Well, I mean, technically yes, because I was 19 or wanting I guess I had just turned in 1987. So technically you know, it was my first business. Like I said, this is an additional iteration of it. Because of some situations that happened in my life. Back then I financed it old school method. If you want money, you hit the streets and you push, push, push, push, push until somebody buys something. And that's where the money comes from. You know, these days, you know, I'd have to say that still I do a lot of that but, you know, I have been blessed to be able to borrow money at certain times, both from family as well as you know, just traditional loan type of sources and do those kinds of things to take advantage of opportunities.
Gabriel Flores 12:06
How difficult would you say your experience has been trying to grow this business?
Steve Kidd 12:12
Um, you know, difficult is so random because there's been times when it's been excruciating. And times when it's been really easy. It really is about consistency. I have found that whatever you do now, is really what becomes reflected in what you're gonna start seeing showing up about 90 days from now. And the problem that most of us have at least Dawn if not, still do, no judgment. It's just we've all done it is when we get beyond that 90 days and the effective 90 days ago, is beginning to shine through and we start making money and those kinds of things. We stopped doing what we did those first 90 days or we slack back a little bit, or we don't spend the amount that we did in marketing or all those kinds of things. And then another 90 days goes by and then the roller coaster dips again and it's really about being consistent in those efforts. ongoingly that is what's going to create consistent results.
Gabriel Flores 13:20
How do you kind of keep going during that 90 day process
Steve Kidd 13:26
um lots of prayer, lots of singing and crying and I mean, the truth of the matter is, is sometimes it's really tough and sometimes what you really just need is some people that are in your corner that are telling you but um, the biggest piece of that is you need to have documented what you have done so that in the times when things look like or even are not good, you can go back and see all of the successes you've had. I'm a big proponent actually even of way back when you're a solar entrepreneur, literally giving yourself like certificates and awards and plaques and, you know, award yourself a trip for the weekend or, you know, dinner for two at a restaurant or something like that. And then keep the receipts or the tickets or the whatever and have kind of your own little Hall of Fame for the ways you celebrated yourself and the reasons you celebrated those four, so that then when the times get tough, you can look back and you can see here's where the tough times were this is what we did that got through it. You know and this is also remember that it may feel like nothing ever goes right. But the truth of the matter is that's not really how it is. Yeah,
Gabriel Flores 14:47
that's it. That's very, very true. Well said. Now let's let's talk about a little bit about your background. You know, your kind of trials and tribulations. You mentioned you started this in the 80s when you're 19 around 1920 years old, right? branding and marketing was probably different than than it is today. I would love to hear Steve's journey through that marketing and branding. How did you market and brand back when you first started, and how has it changed to today?
Steve Kidd 15:13
Well, it's changed even more because the first sales job I had I was five so you know, when you're five branding and marketing is all you got to do is just show up cute. My brothers it used to make them angry because they'd go to a house and the people would say no, and then I'd go right behind them and the people would say yes, you know, that's really not fair. But as an adult we'll skip all the things that kids cheat. As an adult, really, it was a matter of really honestly looking at where the needs were. But then also understanding who Who am I what, what makes me tick all too often, we begin to look at trends, and we chase trends rather than understanding who we are as a person and going deep into being the best version of ourselves versus going wide into whatever Cool. Next thing looks really popular at the time.
Gabriel Flores 16:15
Yeah, yeah. And how would you say what what would you say are some of the things that kind of shocked you the most in that you've had to adjust to?
Steve Kidd 16:26
Um, you know, I think a lot of it really and this one is going to be maybe really shocking for people is just how the same things actually are compared to how different people want them to be. It's really fun when you you know even work with a coach and again, not to diss them at all, but they have this new method. And you're like, okay, cool. I want to hear what's really working. And you see you go to their seminar, even buy their course and you're sitting there and as you're listening to it, you begin to hear the voice of somebody. I think very specifically a one specific one and I don't want to call the coach out. But I remember there was a gentleman named J. Douglas Edwards, who is a sales teacher from the 1960s. And the things that this person was teaching other than the fact that they were West Coast and Jay Douglas Edwards was a very east coast you could tell from his accent. You would have thought that it was him teaching the class it was just all the same things. Because the basics never go out of style. And when we become really an expert at the basics, then we really can have that ongoing success. And when we chase the latest found when we really drill down on that we find out and that's the most shocking always for me is it's like oh do this new thing and it's really going to work and then you drill down on it you find out that what you did is you took three months learning how to get back to doing what you were doing before you started the three months.
Gabriel Flores 18:00
And how would you say you know, kind of mistakes are common, right? People make mistakes. What are some of those common mistakes that excuse me, that you've seen in the in the book writing industry that you would love for entrepreneurs to kind of know like, Hey, don't make this mistake.
Steve Kidd 18:18
So I'll try not to make the list too long. But, you know, we talked already about the fact that almost nobody is a writer, but everybody needs to be an author. That's a huge mistake people make. The other really big one is we all tend to want to regurgitate everything we possibly can imagine thinking of all in our one book. And the truth of the matter is, is that what people really want to know is what is the next step? I always say it as you take one point you make it really clear. You giving them a clear action from that point. And if there's a second point, then that's a second book. I'll give you a perfect example. We all use Google to search for things. If you were to search for something in Google. Google does not have the capability to say, you know contained in chapter 25 of this amazing book is the answer to that question. Whereas if you have a book that is just the answer to that question, and Amazon statistics actually even back that up, they found that if a book is 100 pages, I'm talking pages or less, more than 60% of the people that get the book will read it and finish it. If that goes from 101 to 200 pages that drops to around 20%. And if the book goes over 200 pages, it's less than 3% of the people that ever even finished the book and our next steps in our What are you going to do next and the outcome for people is at the end of the book and they never get there. And then people are out there saying well this book didn't really help me because you know, and the truth is, is the because is because I never really finished
Gabriel Flores 19:58
it. Yeah, you kind of mentioned some statistical data. Do you know kind of like, if there is an author listening right now there's somebody that wants to be an author. What do readers want? What should they should be like focused on?
Steve Kidd 20:13
Yeah, I mean, readers want what Amazon calls short reads. Again, in order to classify as a short read, it has to be 100 pages or less and I'm talking about the print pages. You know, an eight and a half by 11. Single space to document is going to be about four to six ish pages. You know, so you're not talking about a lot of content. People want, they want you know, if you will microwave you know, they want the answer to whatever question they're asking. They want that now they want to be able to get to it to give a person a book that they can read sitting in a doctor's office and get the information they need in Coraline waiting for kids or, you know, even sitting there, like we've all done as parents out waiting when the kids are done with whatever event and really legitimately grow in that time. That's really what people are looking for. Because if not, what happens is, we write this big book we have let's just use 10 steps because all of us tend to start off with 10 steps. And we tell the people, you need to take action on step one before you do step two, almost all of us do that. But all of us people read through all 10 steps. And then what we want to do is just take action on step 10. And then we're like why didn't work? Well, it's because you didn't do step one through nine. And step 10 is based on the success of all of those, not just on jumping up, you know, to the end of the book.
Gabriel Flores 21:44
Yeah, you know, you kind of talked about, you know, gradual success, right. And I kind of think about almost like in the book industry too, with the auto book now. Do you see like, do you see listeners leaning more towards the auto books these days versus the paperbacks?
Steve Kidd 22:01
Currently right now. It's almost exactly a third, a third, a third. A third of the people want ebooks. A third of the people still like the tactile nature of a book. You can hold on to and about a third of them want them in audiobook form. I also know a lot of people with the audio books that a lot of people will listen to the audiobook even for a book that they want to own. You know what your favorite author, but who has the time to sit down and right and to read a whole entire novel by somebody that you just love reading it. But if you can plug it into the car and listen to an hour of the you know, when you're talking to a novel you're talking usually 15 to 18 hours at 1x speed. Some of us listen to it faster than that but you know what I mean? You know, even with that, we will do that, but we still kind of want to own that book. Also, though, from a marketing standpoint, only about one out of 20 books is available in audiobook form. So there's as much demand as all the other formats, but there isn't as much supply which means that you're more likely to get more people when you do have that that available for your book.
Gabriel Flores 23:16
You know, and to that point, have you seen readers willing to so you mentioned the Amazon, you know, 60% or 60 some odd percent of the people are going to finish the book if it's within 100 pages or less, that as the pages go up, the numbers go down. Have you seen readers being willing to take on larger books and audio format versus the reading because I agree like I would I'm like a 2x like to listen to it, John 2x, right, some 1.52x. So I get down quicker, but I'm still able to retain the information. I'm thinking myself I'm wondering if you've seen it, I'd probably would be willing to take on a larger book, right to listen to on an auto version than a paper Have you seen that as well?
Steve Kidd 24:01
It's kind of yes and no, because there's two sides to that fence. On the one hand, yes. It's very easy to plug in an audio book and listen to it while whatever we're doing okay. Sometimes very actively listening to it and sometimes very passively listening to it. But the flip side to that is when we look at the book, you know, I have an Audible account most of a lot of us do. When you look you're looking through books and it brings it up and it says this book is 18 hours this book is 15 hours. All of us have that immediate shock value even if it's totally in it's like I'm gonna get this book it wouldn't matter if it was 3000 hours. You know, it still gives us that shock value of when the heck in my life with as busy as it is, am I going to have 18 hours and so then we ended up listening to the audiobook in the shower and while we're shaving and, you know, doing all those things. So it's kind of both, you know, I mean, it has a lot of appeals to it, and people will take on a little bit longer. Again though the problem and I'll give you a perfect example. If you're familiar with Mike McCalla wits, his book Profit First or if you're familiar with the book atomic habits, both of those are perfect examples of a very effective 350 ish page books. Mike in in profit first literally actually says at one point of the book. Don't go on any further until you do this thing I just told you to do what he should have done it stopped there, made them go and buy a second book or even gifted them the second book, but had it be the end because we all like that. Success of completion. And that's where the longer audiobooks start giving us problems is, you know, when we've invested, let's just say, a whole you know, we're driving someplace really long and it's a five hour drive. And you know, when we get done with that five hour drive, you know, the book is even at double speed the book isn't even halfway through yet. Rather than feeling that sense of accomplishment, we kind of have that sinking feeling and it makes us go you know, maybe I won't get the next book and audio maybe I'll just, you know, skip it. And, and there's a lot of good material that's out there. When we talk about atomic habits. You were talking about blogging earlier with your book. That's actually how atomic habits was originally written. Everything he blogged out about all of it, and then they just compiled it into one place where you can get all of it so he was in by intention, dripping it out to people and giving them little tiny steps to take to then get to and we all make the mistake of I was in a men's group where we had to read it over the course of just one month. You know when we all make the mistake of rather than really catching the cool stuff in there. We make sure that we've read enough of it that for the next week's group, we know you know, we can have a legitimate discussion about what was in that section.
Gabriel Flores 27:15
Interesting. Interesting. Now, where do you see kind of the future of the book industry?
Steve Kidd 27:21
Um, well, I have a really radical vision actually. Love the future if you want to hear this really way out there. Um, if you're familiar with what an NF t is, I believe that eventually, all books will become NF Ts. And more importantly, the courses or the whether it be TED talks or keynote speeches will also be an attached part of that NFT and that books themselves will be for the most part, likely given away and that the money will come from the empowering of people because for every person that's a creator, you know, there's like 90 I think it's like 96% of the population that creates nothing. You know, I think the Facebook stat said that out of 100% of people, only 1% of them actually write posts, and only 4% of them are the ones that like and comment to posts. You know, so the other 96% of the people are just along for the ride. You know, they they read them, but they don't even hit the thumbs up button. And so I believe that in giving content to that vast majority of the people that they can then regurgitate whether it be for their course or their podcast or their whatever. That eventually we will see the truly prolific authors moving more in that direction. That's a very long term vision. Don't expect to see that in the next year or two. But if you see that happen in 10, or 15, or 20 years from now, you will understand why Steve talks about being the extreme visionary versus just, you know, on the bleeding edge I talk about being out in the air in front of the bleeding edge of the sword
Gabriel Flores 29:15
a little bit, you know, in fact, that brings me into another point, folks, if you see these social media posts at the shades of your posting, Steve's information will be on there please like please just you know, hit the thumbs up don't scroll by I love to see you guys like it. I would love to I don't know who's listening. So I'd love to hear your guys's input. Feel free to comment on some of the episodes that you've seen. Let us know what you like about the episode we'd love to hear about what episode you guys love the best. Feel free to email me directly either way. I'd love to hear from you guys. Now. Now Steve, what is some advice you can give to an aspiring author or somebody that wants to get into the writing industry?
Steve Kidd 29:53
The number one piece most importantly is that somebody's waiting on you. There is a person. They may even literally be on Google right now as we're talking searching for the answer that is contained in the thing that you do probably so easily that when you think about what book I should write, that's probably not what you're thinking. It's just so easy for you that you assume everybody must know. How to do that thing. But it's really important. I guess somebody needs that. And secondarily is that you have a purpose. There's a reason for everything you've been through. And you'll be you know, knew better more 510 15 years from now, but it's where you are right now. There's somebody that needs that and it needs to be shared. So don't hold back.
Gabriel Flores 30:40
I love it. You know, and we're talking about social media information. Steve, what about your social, what's your website? How can folks get in contact with you? Maybe they're interested in writing a book, what's your information? How can they get ahold of you?
Steve Kidd 30:51
So my website thriving, best sellers.com You know, talks about everything for our company, but I made it even easier for the listeners because sometimes going through a website and looking at all those kinds of things, especially because it's kind of a corporate II based website. I made it really easy I gave I have a free gift for your people. If they go to ongoing wealth guide.com That's ongoing wealth guide.com I put together a free gift. It's a little short five step program for truly being able to create and market and have an abundant flow like we're talking about, so that you don't have that 90 day up and down roller coaster, but you can consistently have that. That's yours absolutely for free. And what I've even done is on the thank you page where you can download that you can also click a button and happen and schedule a 15 minute call for free to talk to me
Gabriel Flores 31:48
perfect, perfect. So again, that's ongoing wealth guide.com. I will have the information folks that are listening on the newsletter. So we'll go ahead and have that information on the newsletter. Steve, thank you again so much for being on the show. Is there any last words you'd like the listeners to know?
Steve Kidd 32:04
Don't wait, it doesn't take that long. You could be a best selling author, if not in a month, at the most in the next 90 days. And remember, somebody's waiting on you. So go for it. share who you are with the world maximize while it's called today.
Gabriel Flores 32:21
I love it. I love it. So folks, don't forget to reach out to Steve Cain if you're interested on Steve. I might actually chat with you at this thing. This thing interview right now. But no again folks, thank you again so much. You can follow us at the shades of E on all the social sites where you're on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and sometimes tick tock. You can also subscribe to the newsletter at the shades of e.com. Again, Steve, thank you so much for being on the show. We will have the information for thriving and best sellers on the newsletter again that ongoing wealth guide.com That's free for you the listeners. I will have that on the newsletter as well. Steve, thank you again for joining the show today. I really do appreciate it coming on and telling us about your business. I'm really excited to learn more about it. And so folks, thank you again for listening and have a great night.