119: Tread Your Profitable Author Pathway with Michael DeLon

Michael DeLon is the President of Paperback Expert, a book publishing firm that helps business owners create and publish books in less than 24 hours of their time. We discuss how to create a book without writing a word, essential book marketing ideas, and what writing a book does to your credibility.

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Tread Your Profitable Author Pathway with Michael DeLon

Our guest is Michael DeLon, the President of Paperbook Expert that helps you create and publish your book in less than 24 hours of your time. Michael, welcome to the show.

Thanks, Steve. I appreciate you having me. It’s going to be a great conversation.

Well, let’s hope so. Let’s make it good. Yeah, it’s great to have you. So, Michael, you had one of the most peculiar entrepreneurial journeys on the last talk. So can you help the short version? Can you share the short version with our listeners, please?

Absolutely. So it started way back. I’ll just talk really fast because there’s a long journey here. I started back in 1990. So I’m a follower of Christ. I met my wife and married her in 1990. And the first five years of our marriage, Steve, were like this. We were just like complete opposite. We were fighting all the time because even though she and I grew up in church, nobody ever taught us how to be married. And so after five years of conflict, we went to a marriage conference and God used that marriage conference to radically change our lives because they taught us God’s blueprints for marriage. I didn’t know he had any blueprints.

So we got his blueprint, started applying the principles and our marriage got stronger. Now, I was back in the day when I was in Christian radio, I was selling Christian radio to people. And I found out after two years of doing that, Steve, nobody wanted to buy Christian radio. They wanted to sell their products and services. So I had to become either really, really good at selling or really good at marketing. So I chose marketing. I read the books, I followed the gurus, I went to the seminars, I learned how to do marketing for small business owners so my business would grow as my client’s business would grow.

So now fast forward to about 2000, I’d been in Christian radio for nine and a half years, God led us out of that to a startup.com. Now, do you remember Amazon when they first got started and they had the radio ads about the world’s largest bookstore? Well, some friends of mine started a.com, so I went to work for them, selling banner advertising to car dealerships who didn’t even know what the internet was. And that company was ahead of its time, Steve. That means it went bankrupt. And so I was standing in my living room one day, looking up going, all right, what am I supposed to do now, God? And he spoke to my heart, he says, I want you to ministry to families, and I want you at family life, which that ministry that changed our marriage.

So we raised support for two years and moved from Indiana down to Arkansas. And I thought I’d hit Nirvana, man. Why would I ever do anything but help other marriages? So I climbed the corporate ladder. Six years later, I was on the leadership team and they started going through those corporate reorganizations that are so popular. Well, after the third reorganization, my name was no longer on the leadership team. They started shuffling me around the ministry. That was a two year, what I call my prison term, meaning a job that I hated at a ministry that I loved. So after two years, I prayed again, said, God, I gotta get out of this place.

He said, what do you wanna do? I said, I wanna go help small business owners with marketing because they struggle with it, they hate it, and I love it. So he said, go. So January 1st of 2013, I stepped out of ministry, started a marketing consulting firm. I call you and say, Steve, I think I can help you grow your business. You’d meet with me, we’d have a great conversation. You’d say, Michael, who’ve you helped in the last few years? And I say, well, I helped build marriages and families at Family Life. And you say, oh, that’s honorable way to go, Michael. Oh, look at the time. I’ve got another meeting coming up.

Let’s keep our conversation going and you usher me out the door. And so I wasn’t getting any clients and so I went to my church one day I was praying I said God how do I help Steve because I know I can and he gave me the idea to take all of my marketing strategies and put them in a book. So I published my first book on marketing back in 2013. Then I’d call you Steve and send a meeting I’d mail a copy of my book to you. I’d walk into your office about a week later and there it was, my book was on your desk, dog-eared, highlighted, underlined, you’d read my book.

And in that meeting, Steve, you’d say, now, Michael, in your book, you said, how do you help me do that? And you’d hire me. And so I started gaining clients and I thought, well, this is really cool. Why don’t more business owners write a book? Well, you’ve written a few books, Steve, you know how challenging it can be. So we created a, excuse me, we created a system, a process where we now help business owners create a book without writing a word, and then teach them how to use their book and their credibility and their authority to gain clients because they’re experts at what they do. So that was a really long story, but it kind of tells you the pathway that I’ve taken to get to where I am now where we help business owners create and publish books to position themselves and grow their business.

That’s really interesting. So how you essentially synthesized or metastasized your experience with the managed counseling and the marketing and then marketing yourself and then basically figured out by trial and error a process that works for you. And now you teach other people how to use the process to work for them. So, so, OK, I hear you. So you can help them create this book in 24 hours. That sounds very, very attractive. But how do I know as a business owner that I actually have a book in me? Does everyone have a book in me? Is my 18 year old son has a book in him? How do we know that?

Yeah, that’s a great question. And I get that question a lot from prospects. And really, if you’ve been in business three to five years, doing what you do, you’re an expert at it and you have enough to create a book. And when I talk about books, if I’m not talking about a 350 page warrant piece or anything like that, I’m talking about 110 to 150 page book. It might have 11 or 12 chapters in it. It answers the questions that you’re answering every day when you’re talking with prospects or clients. And you’re telling stories of how you’ve helped people accomplish a transformation, whatever you do, whether you’re a tax accountant or an attorney or you’re helping people every day.

And you have more information in your head then you will forget more about what you know Steve than most of your clients will ever learn. Okay because you’re an expert. Well the problem is you have this self-talk going on going well I’m not really an expert because you’re looking at your peers but your audience is looking at you going wow he’s written two Amazon bestselling books. He understands this. And all we do is help you share really what you share every day, just in a very compelling way. So yeah, if you’re in business, you definitely have enough to talk about to create your own book.

So then the question is, and I’m not being devil’s advocate here. I’m just trying to understand this is the deeper level. So if I’m a business owner, how do I know that my message is going to be unique enough or different enough so that people are going to read my message as opposed to others in my genre? So if I’m an attorney and there are already a hundred books out on how to proof your business, error proof your business with, you know, contracts, whatever the topic is, how do I know that it’s going to be, and maybe that’s about the marketing piece already, that it’s going to be different enough, or does it even have to be different enough? What does it have to be for it to be successful?

Great question. And it does need to be different enough. And it comes more along the lines of who you are and your unique story. So as you know, our process is really a four-step process. We always start with having a clear, compelling, what we call a signature message, okay? So case in point, an attorney, I’ve got an attorney client. He was down in Florida. He was the little guy competing against two big gorillas, okay, law firms. And he’s like, I wanna write a book So we started down the process and we went through our process to discover his unique story Well, he was from the Northeast.

He went to Florida on a baseball scholarship he was heading towards the pro as a pitcher and in a second year in college, he threw his arm out and had to have surgery and go through rehabilitation Racked up lots of expense killed his baseball career. Well, so then he graduates, he becomes a personal injury attorney. And now today he helps other people who have been hurt, have to have surgery, go through rehabilitation, right? And I said, William, have you ever told that story? And he’s like, well, no. So we created his book and his brand and his message, it’s called, When Life Throws You a Curveball, from a baseball player turned attorney. Now, why is that important? That came out of him, his story.

His big guerrilla competitors can’t replicate that, right? And it positions him in a way that it builds a common ground with his audience very quickly. And he can relate with them by saying, I’ve been where you are. Life threw me a curve ball and I’ve been there. I’m going to help you get. It’s changed everything for his business. It was a story that was dormant in him and he couldn’t find it, but our process brings that out. So I tell our clients, I’ll tell you, I don’t create your story, I discover it. And that’s what makes your book totally different and unique than anybody else’s.

Life threw me a curveball, but I learned how to hit it out of the park. Share on X

Well, that’s very interesting. Even though, strictly speaking, he was trying to throw that curveball, right? When he… It wasn’t live, but let’s blame live for it. No, I love it. I love it. And I love the cover as well. So that’s great. So you help discover this dormant story, which helps them relate to the audience, and then the audience will say, oh, wow, this is the person, this is exactly what I’m going through, and this person has been there, he figured this out. So that’s great. So I’m a business owner, I come to you, I sense that maybe there is a book in me, but I don’t know how to get it out. And then my other, so you wanna help me with the message. That’s great. But what about my voice? So how do I, if I don’t write the book myself, how can I make sure that my voice will actually come through the ghost writer, whoever it’s gonna be? Is there a process for that as well?

Absolutely, yeah. And that’s really important. I’m glad you asked that because it’s really important to me that our client’s voice comes through the pages of the book. Okay, and so, our process is not that you don’t write your book, you speak to write your book. So. we have a staff of writers. We would assign a writer to you, Steve. And through a series of interviews, very much like Zoom like this, we would ask a lot of questions or conversations to build the outline for the book chapter by chapter. And then you speak the content of your book because the writer is asking you questions.

You can talk about your business all day long. We just guide you through a process. So then we have all of the content of your book because we’ve recorded all of your speaking. We transcribe that and then our writer massages your words into the book. So we don’t add content to your book. We’re just massaging the words you brought to the table. So the book is in your words because you’re speaking to write your book. And that’s really, really important. But that’s how your voice shows up in your book is because they are your words. We just make them sound good on paper.

Your book is not just ink on paper; it's your voice and expertise echoing in the minds of your readers. Share on X

Okay, so that’s exciting. I mean, an audio book, typically a 1250 page audio book is about six, seven hours of spoken word. So I can see that the 24 hours, maybe one quarter, one half of that could go towards speaking the book, perhaps. What about the rest of the 24 hours? So what is the time that the business owner would spend on other than speak the book? Because the four steps you talked about, the messaging, creating, promoting, and turn it into profit. When I wrote my books, it was less than half the job to actually write the book, and then I still had to promote it and market it. So what other stuff the business owner is expected to do and how do you help them?

Sure. So the book creation process is the speaking and the reviewing of the manuscript. Once that’s finished and we create the cover design, we promote, we publish it to Amazon. We do that ourselves. We’ll promote it to be an Amazon bestselling author. We’ve got a promotion engine to guarantee to make that happen. And then on the marketing side of it, our clients are business owners. They’re experts. They’re thought leaders who already have some marketing in place. We’ve created about 12 to 15 credibility marketing playbooks is what we call them. They are step-by-step guides.

So we work with these clients to create a credibility game plan to say, what do you want to achieve with your book, Steve? And some clients come to us and they say, well, I want more clients or I need more referrals or I want to get on stages. So depending on the goal of the business owner, we go into our archives, we pull off different playbooks and say, okay, based on the marketing you’re already doing, let’s add these playbooks that coincide with what you’re doing, because now we’re going to position you as the author of Pinnacle, right? Get a free copy of my book at my website. And then we teach them how to market there.

We teach them how to sign copies of the book and give them out to happy clients to get more referrals. We have strategies to teach about centers of influence or how do you get on a stage or a podcast? These are all systems that we’ve built that we give to our client so they can integrate them into the marketing they’re already doing. And it’s just, it’s phenomenal. So, it’s them showing up for a few weeks to learn these systems, implement them in their business and then they are set for the rest of theirlife.

So you actually train them, so you’re a business owner, you create the book together and then you actually put them through kind of a book promotion university course?

Yeah, we have an ongoing coaching program for authors and we put them in that coaching program for about six months and it’s a weekly program. So that’s where some of the rest of the time comes in, but that’s where they’re learning these systems, they’re working with other business owners and they’re being guided by myself and my son, who’s my chief operating officer, guiding them to implement this in their business.

Okay, That’s Fantastic. So, half the time is going into speaking and creating the book and strategizing the concept, the message, the outline, the actual stories and all that stuff. And then half of that stuff is going to be essentially learning all the ins and outs of marketing the book and promoting your business with the book, with this peer group of other people in this coaching group. Is this the process?

This is, yeah, you’re right on. Because what happens, and you probably, you know this more than a lot of people because you are an author, is when you become an author, something needs to change in your mind because you now have an asset to hand to somebody and people look at you differently. And you need to market yourself a little differently than all of your competitors do because you’re an author. Now you don’t do it flamboyantly. You say, oh look at me, I’m the author. You don’t do that. We want to bond with people and we want to take our book that we’ve worked so hard to create and we want to put it in the hands of people and we want to build credibility with them. That’s what we teach is how do you show up differently because you’re an author?

Bond with your audience at the heart level, and they will follow your mind. Share on X

So, tell me a little bit about that. How do I show up? I’m an author, what should I be doing to show up differently? Maybe I’m missing some things.

I think number one is making sure your book’s available on your website. I’m a big fan of giving your book away to your audience. Get it in their hand. I’m a big fan of podcasts and video. I think a lot of places where people miss the boat is on video because video allows you to show up like you. And if I’m going to do business with you, I first want to know who you are and do I even resonate with you. And too many times we wait for that Zoom discovery call or whatever we call it to start building relationship. I’ve got videos in my funnel before so when you book a call you’re getting videos from me before we ever meet.

I’ve got people showing up on my calls now Steve saying Michael I feel like I know you. Because it’s video, it’s personal thank-you notes, it’s gifts in the mail. How are, what are you doing that’s so different than anybody else that you put yourself in a category of one? Because at the end of the day, Steve, they’re going to buy you more than what you say you’re gonna do for them. Because there are a lot of coaches or attorneys or financial, a lot of them out there doing the same thing. But I’m gonna bond with a guy who life threw him a curve ball because life just threw me a curve ball. I like him already. Now, if I can get some videos from him and learn from him and listen to his podcast, I start bonding at a heart level. And once you, when you reach the heart, the mind will follow.

Okay, I love that. Bond at the heart with a book.

Yeah.

It’s very, very cool. So, we’ve gone through the process of creating a book, discovering the message, getting the stories out, speaking it in my voice, transmit it through the pages. And then I went into Michael DeLon University. how to promote my book and I’m getting it out, podcasts, videos, speaking from the stage, whatever it is, handing out copies. Now how do I get the book to break through and what is your standard? I hear some people say for a book to break through they have to get a 100 reviews on Amazon and that sounds good but I don’t know how real that is. Is this really what matters? And what is your standard of this book getting into the mainstream? Because it’s one thing to use it as a business card, and maybe that’s our purpose, just to use it as a business card. If I’m more ambitious than that, and I want my book to actually be discovered by people organically, what does it take for me to get there?

Your book is your business card, but it can also be your golden ticket to growth. Share on X

That’s a great question. So our whole purpose is driving revenue for our clients. That’s the bottom line. That’s why you should come and hire me is to gain clients, get referrals and grow your revenue. Okay. So if you’re looking to become the next Simon Sinek or Tony Robbins and get your book out to the masses, I’m probably not your guy. I have some strategies that I can show you to say, if you want to be on a TED Talk, here’s some strategies that you might implement, okay? No guarantees. If you wanna speak at conferences, here’s some strategy. If you wanna be on podcasts, here’s some strategies.

But most of my clients are business owners who are so focused on what they do and they wanna serve local markets or their audience, their vision is not to be that next level guru, right? And so that’s not my world. My world is how do I help you with your, I would rather work with somebody who wants to be a big fish in a very small pond, smaller audience, where they’re going to get more clients because they’re following our strategies. They’re gonna win that client’s heart and the influence of that client with their friends, neighbors, relatives, business associates, church members, expanding their sphere of influence five times or more because of the systems and strategies we use so that they’ll gain more clients and get more referrals and grow the revenue, right? That’s our model.

Become the big fish in your small pond and watch your influence ripple far and wide. Share on X

That is our clientele and our audience. So if it goes beyond that to somebody, to somebody really wants to go and speak on massive stages and get, sell millions of copies of the book, I’m not their guy. I can get your book created. I can make you a bestselling author, but that’s not my world. And I learned a long time ago, Steve, I have to stay in my lane because I’m really, really good at what I do. But when I start venturing out saying, well, I can figure that out for you. It’s no good for either of us, right?

Yeah, I respect that. That makes a lot of sense. So, okay, so you help business owners create this book that I was writing about, 24 hours of their time. That’s very attractive. So if I am that business owner, well, I already have my books, but you know. there are listeners, business owners, and friends.

My friends, they want to do that, they want to get out, they want to have the books, be able to put it into the hands of their prospects and network with it. Then what should they do, how can they find out about your process? Do you have a book yourself where they discuss it or do they go on your website, what should they do?

Yeah, paperbackexpert.com is our website. And that really is the hub of all things Michael. So you’ll be able to find information about what we do, see books we’ve published, connect with me on LinkedIn, find free trainings that we do, schedule an appointment to talk with us. But paperbackexpert.com is always the first place to go because that’s really gonna orient you. You’re gonna hear videos from me. You’re gonna get to know, okay, I kind of like this guy or this guy’s a schmuck. I mean, that’s okay. I don’t, I don’t connect with everybody. Right. But if you go to my website, that’s the beginning point. And from there you can choose your journey to figure out what’s the best next step for you and should we have that conversation?

Okay. Well, awesome. Well, that’s definitely a place to go. paperbackexpert.com. Check it out. Michael definitely has his own story, very compelling. And if life is throwing curve balls at you like it throws curve balls at me all the time, maybe that’s gonna make your book stand out. So, Michael, thanks for coming on the show. Really enjoyed talking with you.

It’s been fun, thank you.

It was great to have you. Really, you made good on the promise of making this a fun conversation. If you’re listening, guys, stay tuned because next week we’ll have another episode coming out to another exciting entrepreneur. coming out to another exciting entrepreneur. Have a great day.

 

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