Subject: Inside a Best-Selling Author’s Mind (Interview with Chandler Bolt)

Entrepreneur of the Year and best-selling author Chandler Bolt graciously accepted my invitation to this interview despite his tight schedule.

He not only replies to all my questions but also provides us with a free video training session which reveals how to write, publish, and market your book - even if you don’t have time, writing skills, or a book idea.

BIO: Chandler was bit by the entrepreneurial bug at an early age when he saw that he could make a lot more money working for himself. While his friends were off searching for jobs, he was out starting businesses.

He began early (age 11) by selling his personal snacks at scout camp and, by age 17 he hired his friends to help him operate his landscaping business that earned him $10,000 for college. All in all, by age 20 he started and ran over $320,000 in businesses.

During this time, he taught other college students how to run their own successful businesses and received the "Entrepreneur of the Year" award from Young Entrepreneurs Across America.

Chandler now speaks to students across the country teaching them the lessons he's learned as a young entrepreneur and encouraging them to take the entrepreneurial leap. He is also the founder of Self-Publishing School.

Let's pick Chandler's mind now:

Why do you write?

I write because it's my way to reach the masses. So I can distill my knowledge down once and reach a mass audience forever. It's timeless and it'll live on forever.

How long have you been writing?

I started out a really, really bad writer and I've actually - I was a C English student and I just sucked at writing and I hated it. Then I wrote my first book and everything kind of changed from there. So I've learned to love writing and I've learned to be good at it but I've only been doing it for the last three or four years.

How long have you been in the self-publishing business?

The same amount of time. I wrote and published my first book about three years ago and I've done five books since then.

Is writing publishing your full-time job, if not, what is?

Yes it is, I run Self-Publishing School. That's where I teach other people how to write, market, and publish their first book in 90 days or less, and it's mostly geared towards non-fiction. So I'm either working on books or I'm helping other people write, market, and publish their books through my program.

What's your daily work schedule?

I get up at 6:00 every morning. I have a morning routine that includes reading, some journalling, exercise, all that, and then I always do my highest leverage work - whether that be writing or that be high leverage activity - first thing in the morning. So my mornings are always sacred. And then Monday, Wednesday, Friday are what I call buffer days. So that's where I have most of my meetings, podcast interviews, things like that. But then Tuesday and Thursday are my focus days. So that's where I really get a lot done on those days.

What's the best writing advice you've ever gotten or read?

That is my crappy book is better than the book you ain't got, which is obviously very not correct grammar. But it's so true. A finished book is better than someone who's making fun of you that doesn't have a book written at all. The best marketing advice I've ever gotten is shotgun versus rifle approach. Most people approach marketing a book like shooting a shotgun, where they just spray everywhere and hope that something hits. But I prefer to use the rifle method and focus in on just what works.

What's been your best marketing decision so far?

It's honestly been to publish my first book, and to build an email list right after that.

What's been your worst decision as a writer and how did you bounce back?

Worst decision as a writer would probably be not doing an outline. I do it now, but I used to hear the advice of doing an outline to begin with and I said, "Oh, that's stupid." Then I just started writing. But once I really started getting into writing books I realized that the outline is everything. If you do the outline it makes all of your work easier, so it's very important to do that.

What do you think of yourself as an author and entrepreneur?

I think I'm a decent author, and that's something I'm getting better at. I think I'm probably a better entrepreneur. I really love growing things. I've been able to build Self-Publishing School really quickly and at a young age, and I'd say I'm a pretty skilled entrepreneur. But both are things that I'm learning.

What would be the key factors to your success?

I'd say my work ethic number one. I work harder than pretty much anyone, and then I would say my discipline. And so that's discipline to put in the work day in and day out, even when it's not easy, and even when it's not something I want to do, or when I'm having a rough day. I have the discipline to stick through and to push past that.

What do I think traditional publishers should learn from self-publishers?

How to actually market and sell books. I think that traditional publishers are very dated and they've learned how to retain power of a couple of key things, but I think traditional publishers can learn pretty much everything from self-publishers. Because I think traditional publishers suck. They do a very poor job of marketing. In fact, they do zero marketing and everyone who's published a book knows that. So I think they could learn how to market and actually sell books.

What should self-publishers learn from traditional publishers?

I'd say how to get better distribution and how to do a big scale launch. So the distribution really helps with that, but what a lot of self-publishers need to learn is the fundamentals behind that. So the build up, the PR, the traveling. The different things that happen not necessarily because of publishers but as a by-product of releasing a published book. So that's something that they could learn.

What is a Self-Publishing Success Summit and how did it start? 

The Self-Publishing Success Summit was an on-line event taught by people who had written or published a book. And it was all about how to help people write, market, and publish their first book. And how to build a brand, business, or following through a book taught by people who have done it. There were tons of experts in all different industries. Not self-publishing gurus, but people who built their business brand or following through a book and they were teaching the best stuff that they learned in the summit.

Self-Publishing School is an on-line training program where we teach people to write, market, and publish their first book, and use it to build their business brand or following. It's mostly geared toward non fiction but we also have a lot of fiction writers as well. And in Self-Publishing School it's the training program but it's also the community and it's a really supportive group of people who help people write, market, publish their first book in 90 days or less.

How did it start?

It all started when I did my first book and I launched my first book and I quickly made $6,000 in the first month off my first book, and then it continued to cash flow $4,000 to $6,000 a month. Then I did another book, and then I helped a friend do a book, and I felt like a broken record because I kept having the same conversation over and over and over again about books helping people. Then finally so many people asked about it I said, "Okay, this is something I should focus on, and this is something I'm going to do."

Please share some student success stories.

I'd say the success stories from our program are insane. Our success rate is through the roof, and it's better than any other program I've ever heard of. And the common thing that we get from our students is it's the first on-line program that they bought that's actually given them a tangible result. So it's not uncommon for students to graduate the program and obviously have a book - a tangible book. Something that they can be proud of. Something that can give them confidence, can give them success, and open up other opportunities. But also it's very common for students to have either thousands a month in passive income. It opens up the door for speaking gigs. It opens up for coaching, for running their business. Our big thing though is it's about what the book can do for you not just about the book itself. Where people get caught up is in the trap of how much passive income can I make immediately. We tend to focus more on what the book opens up.

Just the other day, we had one of our students that just got booked for a $3,000 speaking gig, their first ever speaking gig, all because of their book. Other students make $3,000 to $4,000 a month in passive income. Other students have made $12,000, $15,000, $17,000 off of clients that have brought in from their books. There's all kinds of success stories in different ways.

Why should authors consider signing up for Self-Publishing School?

If you've always thought about writing a book but you've never done it, I'd say our course is a great fit for you. If you're an author that's struggling to sell books and you want to learn how to do this the right way and actually sell books, I'd say that self-publishing school can be a good fit for you too. We definitely know what we're doing when it comes to the marketing.

What are things authors will learn in SPS?

They'll learn how to write, and market, and publish their first book. It's the A to Z on the whole process. We teach some in-depth marketing. We teach how to get an editor. We teach how to write the book, how to write it well, how to format it, how to publish it. All the logistics, everything you need to know start to finish. But we're also very conscious to limit the amount of material in there, so that it doesn't cause overwhelm.

When can authors enrol? 

You'll just have to check out and look out for our next enrolment period. You can go here to get started.

What do you think the publishing landscape will look like in five years?

Our goal with self publishing school is to put the publishers out of business. So I think that the publishers will be out of business in five years, and self-publishing will not only be a viable option, but it will be the best option. You'll see a lot more independent publishers, a lot of people will be self-publishing books.

Please share some words of encouragement for other authors who are still struggling.

I would say that just get in there and do it. Your first book isn't going to be your best book. Just get something to the finish line. Doesn't mean it has to be crappy work. I definitely don't mean that. But just get in there. Get that rough draft finished. Especially if it's your first book, that's really going to help. And once you get that finished you'll be able to really run with it.

Thank you!

Remember to watch Chandler's video which reveals how to write, publish, and market your book - even if you don’t have time, writing skills, or a book idea.

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