Dan Janal is a PR genius and shares why every entrepreneur looking for an edge must write a book. He breaks down step by step how to write, make and publish a book as well. He also explains the dirty secrets publishers probably disapprove of him sharing.
Write Your Book in a Flash
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Full Transcript of Dan Janal Interview
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Justin Brady 0:14
Everyone’s trying to stand out from the crowd all the time. All the time. Now he’s been on before, but I’m welcoming back. Dan Janell. Hey, Dan,
Dan Janal 0:23
Hey. How’s it going, Justin? Great to be here.
Justin Brady 0:25
Thank you. I’m happy to have you back. There are very few people on the Justin Brady podcast that have come on multiple times. You are now one of them. You are I guess part of an elite class.
Dan Janal 0:37
I feel honored. Thank you very much. Know, if you provide value people want you back. So that’s something really cool. Thank you. That’s something really cool. Thank you.
Justin Brady 0:46
And I think you have a lot of value to give all the listeners today. One of the things you have been talking to me about is one of the ways you can stand out big time is becoming an author and writing a book and I think for a lot of people that sounds difficult, but you kind of have a process or you have some wisdom that you want to share you all you also just wrote to write your book in a flash. And what’s that about?
Dan Janal 1:12
It’s, it’s how you stand out. You know, the book is The your book now is the big business card, you go to event you want to stand out, you give your business card you don’t stand out. But if you have a book you stand out, that’s because no one ever throws out a book. So people want to hire you today, tomorrow or five years from now they’re going to think, oh, gee, I remember this guy. He wrote a book I met I met him at a conference. I think what the book was blue. It’s on my bookshelf. Oh, there it is. And then they hire you. So this is really important for entrepreneurs are looking for seed money and IPO money and poor management people and who are looking to start their own consulting business one day or her looking to get your next job so they can stand out from the crowd because let’s face it everyone works for good companies. They Everyone has good track records, everyone went to a good school. So those are basic minimum requirements. Everyone you’re competing against, has the same basic background. So how do you stand out, it’s with a book. So that’s why we look at the book as being the big business card today that makes you stand out from the crowd. So you get the job you want, or you get the funding you want and you grow your business.
Justin Brady 2:23
you know, it is true there is you write a book, you do tend to stand up stand out quite a bit. And yeah, you know, I think is there kind of kind of an element to being able to give your methodology and kind of the way you think up ahead of time, is that a particular advantage to reading a book and getting in someone’s hands,
Dan Janal 2:46
I think the real reason why people read a book is to solve a problem. So think about the biggest problems that you are key audience has, and then go about writing a book that shows how you are the trust leader who can lead them from mess to success. So think about those eight problems. And think about eight times when you’ve helped your company or your clients overcome those problems. So You are the hero in the story that takes them to the promised land, or you help someone on their staff become a hero, to take them to the promised land, both kinds of stories are good, because it shows that you can get the job done. And they’re looking for results.
Justin Brady 3:32
It’s interesting, because most people rely on sales processes that require you to stay in front of a customer. And you keep talking to them and saying, hey, and we did this. And we did this. And we did this. But a book is essentially that, but just all up front. And, you know, there’s some fascination we have about printed books still about books in general, there’s some fascination we have. And I wonder if that plays into this.
Dan Janal 4:01
Oh, definitely. I call the book The Silent salesperson, because it sits on that bookshelf forever, until the client is ready to to buy. I mean, you have to be in front of your audience all the time. But as you said, you have to sales the process of calling and calling and calling. And we’ve all seen statistics that say people don’t buy into, they’ve got the eighth rejection. And most sales people give up after the third rejection. So a book really overcomes those processes. Because, you know, who wants to make five additional phone calls, and get voicemail and get no’s, and no’s, and no’s that that’s the feeding to your ego, and your personality. But again, if you have this book, it sits on someone’s desk as a silent salesperson, it sits on their bookcase as a constant reminder. And when they’re ready to buy, they’ll remember you because you’re the one that has the book, everyone else who sends the emails, the voicemails, those disappear, but the most days on the shelf forever.
Justin Brady 4:54
I like what you said about the silent salesperson, it because people have a tough time throwing away books, I was just listening to a podcast yesterday, like an organization and Home Improvement podcast, because my wife really likes it. And so we were putting together some IKEA furniture. And she, you know, they were talking about getting rid of books, and how hard that is for people. And I was just reminded of that, as you were saying, it is a silent salesperson, it sits there. And if it’s addressing problems that they’re dealing with, they’re probably going to pick it up. I really like the idea. And I haven’t heard this before, Dan, of course, a lot of what you said I haven’t heard before, but I’m eight, you’re saying don’t just write a book off of your knowledge. But make sure to connect that knowledge to eight key problems, probably, you know, maybe more but eight key problems that they have your writing as a it’s a sales tool, you’re writing for a specific target. And because you want to make money from this
Dan Janal 5:50
exactly. And I didn’t pick eight for any particular for just out of a random number eight becomes part of the 10, I believe your book has 10 chapters. And it’s funny that you mentioned the IKEA and putting things together. Because the subtitle for my book is the paint by numbers system to write the book of your dreams fast. And I called it that because if you remember the paint by numbers system, when you were a kid, you know, you saw this picture you graduated from, from finger paints, and your mother bought you this paint by numbers, pick a snake actually paint within the lines. So it says picture of a barn, you know, it was basically a blank canvas with little outlines, and you’d see the barn and the number 10, and you pick up 10 and 10 correspond to the the red and see if, if the red pencil you start coloring the red barn. And then you see it has a black roof. And the black roof was number one. So he picked up the number one pencil that was lacking shaders and black right, and you did that with the clouds and the cows and the pigs and the horses and whatever. And eventually, you had your picture. Yeah, well, I think the same thing is true with a book probably more so with the book and with IKEA furniture, which is impossible to put together by now. Wait a nice
Justin Brady 7:00
Now, wait a minute, I think IKEA furniture is fairly easy. I hadn’t. I built the first one by the book. And then the second one almost completely from memory
Dan Janal 7:08
than Justin, my friend, you’re going to make more money being hired to put together IKEA furniture for your clients and your will by consulting with them. Because no one can follow those records.
Justin Brady 7:18
Dan Janal 7:19
Yeah, if you follow my directions for writing a book, you will be able to write the book. And probably people probably saying, Oh, I don’t have time to write a book. I have kids I work at early morning, I get home late at night. If you can spare 15 minutes a day, you can write a book within three months. So that is a promise. And I dealt with many of my writing clients as a coach and developmental editor. Even as a ghostwriter that if they can spare 15 minutes a day, you know, take it shorter lunch hour walk 15 minutes left to the TV, go to sleep 15 minutes later, wake up 15 minutes sooner, whatever, or dictate when you’re driving to work, you can dictate your book to that still counts, and you get someone to transcribe your your transcripts and turn that into a book, we do that as well, you will have a book now I said, 10 chapters. Now the eight chapters are the problems. The first chapter sets up the problem and sells them what you’re going to solve and shows them a bit about who you are, and the successes you’ve had. So yes, there is some marketing there. And the last chapter is how they can work with you. So that, again, is marketing and sales. Because you’ve taken them on this journey, you show them how you can solve so many problems, it would be unfair to your readers, if you didn’t let them know how they can take the next step to work with you. So those are the 10 chapters.
Justin Brady 8:37
I think we need to for those that didn’t catch Dan’s last show. I’m going to catch everybody up, Dan, you’ve written how many books now
Dan Janal 8:45
this is my 13th
Justin Brady 8:46
13th book. And you’ve had and for those people that are thinking, who is this guy you’ve had? How many six figure businesses at this point?
Dan Janal 8:53
Oh, about eight or 10 at this point in different genres and different business models as well. I’m a pretty creative guy. Thank you.
Justin Brady 9:02
I think the first time I actually ended up hiring you because I wanted to break into some industries. And of course, I’m on radio. Now. I’ve been published in a bunch of newspapers all across the world, all in all across the nation. I mean, some are broadcast in the world, but let’s just stick with nation and I owe a lot of that the majority of that to you and your expertise. One of the question, you know, the other thing that’s important here is, I found you in some of your PR work, because, you know, you practice what you preach. You were I discovered you and Tim Ferriss book, because he also credits you with getting some of the attention he wanted.
Dan Janal 9:41
Yeah, yeah, Tim is one of my early clients. And he has done very, very well with all of his his things, is a brilliant, brilliant guy. And one of the great things about Tim is Tim knows how to follow instructions mean, that was one of the big things that really impressed me about him. And if you look into books, especially the first one, the four hour workweek, you know, he wanted to tango competition, he won the martial arts competition, right. And he wanted by following the rules. And he knew that in the martial arts, that he wasn’t stronger or faster than his competitors. But he knew that he couldn’t pin them down. But he knew that if he could get them outside the ring, you’ll push them outside the ring, they would get a fault and he would get a point, right? So he, his whole strategy was like, how can I get this guy to commit that fall? As opposed to how can I take the guy, right? And I think that was really clever that, you know, he followed the rules, he followed the rules that made it work. And again, in writing your book, you just follow the rules I like have deep outline. So we talked about the 10 chapters. Well, within those 10 chapters, we have elements because that, that that that you fill the page with, you know, there’s nothing scarier than looking at a blank page, you get writer’s block, but here Well, I think that if you have a deep outline that says, okay, chapter five is going to be about, let’s say, sales. Okay, sales. Well, what are 10 elements about sales? Well, you might want a case study about how you craft a difficult sale, you might want some statistics that say, most sales are made after the eighth call, right? Or the eighth rejection, you might want to have a cartoon that makes it kind of funny and show a salesperson kind of funny to get attention, all those elements and I had 10 other elements as well. I call them describe burrs and each each letter and describe or stands for another technique, like case studies, or statistics or artwork, or cartoons, or, or expert opinion or other points like that, right. If you put all those into your outline, you will never run out of things to worry right about. You’ll sit down at your desk every day for your 15 minutes or longer if you want to and say okay, I feel kind of lazy. today. I’m just going to put some quotes together. I’ll go online. I’ll look at brainy quotes. I’ll get some inspirational quotes. I’ll put them in the book. And that’s kind of easy to do. And then some other day, you’ll say, you know, chapter five is my real bear. But I have so much energy today. I know I can tackle it. But I’m going to look at chapter five sub point two and just write that point today for 15 minutes, and then we’ll be done with it. And at the end of three months, you will have your book done. And frankly, if you can’t do it, you know, and you realize you need to have it done. Then you hire a ghostwriter. You’re someone like me who can take your ideas and put them into a workable shape. So you do have that book now why would you want to go Strider? Well, some people can say well, I don’t have time to write the book and they honestly don’t. And some people the other flying there are places Japan there whatever. Some people make so much money per hour. They really can’t spend the time to write the book because they’re doing million dollar deals. They’re selling real estate for Gail hundreds of thousand dollars in commissions are 10s of thousands of dollars of commissions,
Justin Brady 12:47
million dollar deals? Maybe they don’t need a book though. They’re just doing you know what, for any of you making million dollars and doing really well for yourself, don’t bother writing a book because then it’ll just make it harder, harder on the rest of us. just just just just stop.
Dan Janal 13:02
I found that millionaires. What more millions? Well, that’s probably Yeah, that’s a good point. Never.
They never have enough. But for mere mortals like us. You know, again, you know, I’m not trying to make light of the situation. But you know, there are times when you, you, you just your third grade teacher traumatized you. And you, they said, you could never write, you’ll never be a writer. And I wanted to spell people have that myth. And I read the whole chapter in my book on how to overcome those limiting beliefs. But if you honestly did feel you can’t do it or whatever, then you can hire people to write your book. And that is one of the dirty secrets of publishing these days, that all these celebrities who’ve written books, they didn’t write those books, they hired writers to write those books. So there’s no reason why a successful business person like yourself couldn’t hire a ghostwriter as well, to write the book so you can do what you do best. And you hire me, Hey, I don’t do my accounting.
Justin Brady 13:53
I don’t either
Dan Janal 13:54
I hire someone to do that. They cost less. They’re much more efficient. They love doing it. I hate doing it. You can tell me Oh, Dan, it’s not that hard. Just numbers, you just match up this. com with AK. Well, that’s as far into me as, as you can imagine. So I hired someone to do that. And if that sounds like you with words, then just hire someone to write the book for you, you’ll still have that silence salesperson who will be out there selling for you today, tomorrow, and 10 years from now.
Justin Brady 14:18
So your book, you said something really key there, you said about publishing. And you know about celebrities publishing books. And for those that don’t know, one of the interesting ways publishers work is they don’t care so much about what kind of book you write, they they really don’t, at least a lot of them, they care if you have a giant network and can make sell a bunch of books and make them some money. That’s all they care about. So if you have like this incredible exposure, they’ll pretty much just give you a book deal and be done with it, as long as they can make some money off you. That being said, if you don’t have a network that that publisher likes, they won’t allow you to write a book because they only care about the money, they don’t care about your idea. So that being said, they’re probably some people listening that don’t have 2.5 million Twitter followers. They don’t have this incredible network, but they have some great ideas and they want to write a book, How can they break through that wall,
Dan Janal 15:11
I am so glad you brought that up. Because that is the wrong thinking, you do not want to be a New York Times bestselling author, you will not sell 10,000 copies of book I’ll tell you what will happen, you will give 100 copies away to your 100 best prospects. And they will reward you with $50,000 Consulting contracts and $10,000 speeches and other fees that far exceed what the best selling author makes in royalties. That’s the point we’re not looking to be a best selling author, we’re looking to use the book as a marketing tool. And if you look at the the publishing structure of royalties, or whatever, and we don’t really don’t want to get into that if you sell 10,000 copies of a book, you’re lucky to make $10,000 back. And frankly, that’s not worth your time. But if you write your book, and you strategically decide who are the top 10 people you want, as your clients and you FedEx them, that book with a handwritten note that says, I think I can help you read chapter three,
Justin Brady 16:14
That’s it, that’s a really good strategy.
Dan Janal 16:17
Yeah, you will get that consulting job, you will get that speaking engagement, you will get a 10,000, 50,000, $100,000 in contracts and fees that far exceed what you could probably think was making as an author selling books because you make $1 a book, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s it to make to make the economics simple.
Justin Brady 16:40
And you talked about in previous books, how the publishing industry and all the numbers are basically fake, a lot of it is total. I don’t want to over simplify this. But there’s a lot of number games and faintness in publishing. And there, there are a lot of authors who will be best selling authors that just simply because they had the money or resources, bought 10,000 copies of their own book and made it a best seller by day, you know, by the data. You’ve talked about gaming, Amazon, and how you can if you order at a certain time, at a certain moment, you can be a best selling Amazon author for not really selling that many books. And there are a lot of interesting tricks I was just talking to, who will go unnamed, a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, they have a book thing, though, I think it was just New York Times and Wall Street Journal, best selling author, and this individual told me that they were on the list without even selling any books, because those numbers can be adjusted based on criteria. And I’m trying to be purposely vague here because I don’t have this person’s permission. But basically, the numbers aren’t real, you can be a number one best selling author on the New York Times or Wall Street Journal, not by the volume of books you sold.
Dan Janal 17:56
Yeah, and we don’t need to go into that. But your absence, right, there are games that can be played with any kind of numbers and statistics. But the point for our listeners today, so look at, you know, what is the bottom line and what can write from getting a book. And the point is, you can say you’re a best selling author or an international best selling author, and that can go in one ear and out the other ear. I don’t know that people really care about that. I think they care that they have a physical book in their hands, right. I don’t think they care that the book was published by Prentice Hall, or Wiley, or Simon and Schuster, or Harper Collins, or, you know, yellow tractor press, which could be the name of your company, because they don’t, I mean, frankly, I’m sure everyone in the audience has listened. has read a book by john Grisham or someone like that. Well, tell me who is john Grisham his publisher? No, I don’t know. You don’t know. No one cares. No one knows. No, your own publishing company called yellow tractor, press quality, you know, red beanie press, whatever, no one cares. No one will remember. They’ll just know that they read a book with a chapter in it that solve their problems.
Justin Brady 19:03
There are multiple elements here. Someone might say, well, Dan, I need to go through a publisher because I need to get my book in the bookstores. But the bookstores are all dying, as long as they publish a book on your own. You can get it on Amazon, which is we’re online, which is where everyone gets their books. Anyway.
Dan Janal 19:23
Exactly. That’s another myth that the publishing industry wants to sell to you. And I’m here to dispel that myth, you do not need to go to a traditional publisher to have your book published, you can hire copy editors and proofreaders to make your book look really good. You could hire illustrators to design the interior of your book, and a book cover designer to make your book look as good as any book in Barnes and Noble. And then you can go to Amazon and upload all that information. And they are only too happy to distribute that book, drag you through through Amazon. And frankly, you know, that there was a guiding damn point he died a few years ago, he was like the godfather of self publishing. Yeah, a great quote. He said, bookstores are horrible places to sell books. And I love that, you know, it’s, it’s, on the one hand, he’s wrong. Because, you know, people go to have people go to Barnes and Noble, they’re looking for a book. On the other hand, they’re going to a hiking store, and like Rei, and they see a book about hiking and they bought your book, well, the world has changed, they were Everyone knows that you go to Amazon to buy books, you know, you could go to your local bookstore, which I love, and I support local bookstores, but they only have 17,000 books and your book, right, 17,001st. So they may not carry it, or someone the character that you have one book, one copy of your book, and in the store, someone buys it, and then, you know, having a book there, but everyone knows, you go on Amazon, you look for a book like a, and people are searching for keywords. It’s an important thing when you’re thinking about the title of your book. So it’s like how to solve you know, a problem. So think about what the problems are, like, how to hire correctly, or how to retain employees, or how to get customers for life. So you have a book called customers for life, right? That’s what that’s what people are looking for. So if your title matches what they’re looking for, they’re going to see it and then they’ll see your ad copy on that page. Sure. And if they like what you have written it in my book, I tell you how to write though, that that sales copy will also serve as the back cover copy of your book. So it’s kills two birds with one stone, they will see that and they will be incentivized to buy it. So that’s the way the world works, say, in terms of buying books. But again, we don’t care if they buy your book. Because the whole idea is a big business card book is to get the book into the hands of the people who can write 10,000 and $50,000 checks and hundred thousand dollar checks. and convince them that you are the trusted leader who can take them from mess to success. The book, the book helps them get to know like, and trust you, which we know is essential for making sales.
Justin Brady 21:51
So writing the book is one thing, and I understand hiring like a designer, for example, to make the cover art. But what about if, I mean, how do we actually publish this thing? We just walk into a print shop and say, can you print off 5000 bucks for me? And here’s the specs, right? How do we get? And what about editing?
Dan Janal 22:08
Yeah, you bet. Well, that back in the old days, that’s exactly what you’d have to do in one printer would say to cost you $7 a book, and you go to another printer, it’ll say a cost you $8 a book. And you say, well, this other guy said, I can do it for seven. And he said, Oh, I can do it for six. And what I call it when i when i self published my first book in 1991. That’s exactly what happened. I got my book down to about $3 and 40 cents, just by playing one printer off of another. But today, the world is a lot different. We have what’s called print on demand, you know, back in the olden days, you would have to go to a printer. And or, and they give you better prices based on number of books you bought. So everyone bought 3000 copies, because they get the best price. And then you have 3000 copies of your book in your garage for years, until you sold them until you through the mouth. But the cost you look only $2 a copy, which was cool, you’ve just wasted 678 thousand dollars on inventory that you couldn’t move. So today, the world is different. You can basically upload your finished manuscript that has been professionally proof read and professionally copy edited. That’s really important. Because you want your book to look as good as possible. You upload those files to Amazon to their print on demand or Kindle service, and they take care of it for you.
Justin Brady 23:30
They take care of the publishing and the editing and everything?
Dan Janal 23:32
No, no — they do not do the Edit.
Justin Brady 23:36
Oh, not the editing. Got it,
Dan Janal 23:38
You upload your finished manuscript, which includes the words it includes your cover, and their publishing data, you like your name, your, your di, ESPN number, whatever, and they take it from there. And I don’t need to go through all the steps of how that happens any more than I need to explain how DVD suddenly transmits music from your player to the speakers. It just does!
Justin Brady 24:04
Dan Janal 24:05
So you upload your files, Amazon looks at them to make sure that that will actually print within their borders and everything. They do have a program that does that. And they it 24 hours later or less, your book is suddenly available, you set the price for your book. And now it is available, just like any john Grisham book is available online. So you can avail be available as an online book, like an E book or print book or a rather or as a print book, they will print it for you as each person orders it. Oh, my Oh, you’re saying but Dan, you said I don’t want I don’t care about people buying my book online. I want to have 100 copies. Well, that’s okay. You tell Amazon to ship you 100 copies and probably close to about two and a half dollars a book probably cost you about $50 to ship the book to to your office. And then you have the books that you can send out to FedEx to your clients and perform that part of the marketing strategy. So your book is a big business card.
Justin Brady 25:03
What I like about you, Dan, is a lot of people talk in the clouds, and they kind of talk about just work hard and figure it out, but you’ve tightly condensed and tightly packed actual, actionable data and information that people can act on. Dan Janell, the writer of write your book in a flash and 13 other books, Dan, how do people reach out to you if they want more information, or if they want more help, or if they want to read everything you’ve written?
Dan Janal 25:32
Sure, I believe in branding. So this is a writer downer. The name of my book is write your book in a flash Well, that’s also the name my website, write your book in a flash.com is also the name of my private group on Facebook. For people who wanted to learn more about writing the write your book and a flash. com on Facebook. I’m also giving away a free chapter from the book or I can call it a special report on how to overcome writer’s block. So if you’re sitting there saying, gee, I like everything that Dan and Justin have said. But I still don’t know if I can write the book. I don’t know if I have enough time. I don’t know if I if my grammar is good enough. I don’t know if I whatever, read this chapter for free. And it will overcome all those blocks that are there that are stopping you, including their perfectionist trap, including the fear of success and fear of failure and the imposter syndrome. So we cover a lot of those issues. And they are trying to clear your mind. So you actually have the confidence to write the book. So go to write your book in a flash calm. And if you like what you see there, you can schedule a free 15 minute session with me so I can learn more about you and see if it’s a good fit for us to work together as either your coach or your developmental editor or as your ghostwriter. So thank you for the opportunity. Justin. And
Justin Brady 26:45
I can say from personal experience, if you want to get your brand out there and become an expert in your field. The only difference between Well, one of the but let me just say one of the big differences between experts that are recognized and experts that are not is that some are recognized. That’s that’s literally it. And they took the effort and made the effort to make themselves in the public eye to put themselves there, and one of the, I think one of the best people in the world for doing that as Dan Janal. So, I would strongly recommend you reach out to Dan if you want to make yourself a brand or write that book or get more information. Dan, thank you so much for sharing knowledge with us today.
Dan Janal 27:25
Thank you so much. I appreciate it. And you know, I will leave you with one thought. Some people are saying, gee, I don’t how do I how do I Where do I even start. And you may be surprised if you given a speech. You have content for a book. If you’ve delivered a PowerPoint, you have content for a book, if you’ve written blog posts you have content for a book is all of that can be repurposed, re edited and turned into your book. So you’ll need to be further along with your book than you ever thought possible.
Justin Brady 27:52
And for anybody scribbling furiously. I’m going to put all this information and links to Dan and all his resources at Justin k brady.com slash Dan Janell that’s da n j en AE l Dan, thanks again. Thank you very much. And thank you to you for listening. I’m amazed at how many people listen to this and I’m also amazed at the high caliber of guests we get on here. If you enjoy the podcast please please please do me one little favor, subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher or Google also rate this show and share it with a friend who wants to be a creativity cultivator.
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