There’s a stat out there that says that 91% of people want to write a book.

But did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to write a book that makes a difference – and build a thriving mission along the way?

The truth is that writing is an amazing way to take your experience and story and turn it into a consumable, easy-to-share format. And when it’s done right, your book can be a powerful foundation for growing a thriving business. 

I know that for me there are few things I love more than handing my book to someone who I know it will help. It just lights me up. 

That’s why I’m so excited about this week’s podcast. In today’s episode, we get to hear from Dr. Angela E. Lauria, who is on a mission to help as many world-changing people  as possible write their book for maximum impact. 

Dr. Angela shares her story of going from having no idea how to grow a business (after feeling like a failure for years), to building an 8-figure and growing business that makes a difference helping people write their books. You’ll hear so many gems on book writing and business building in this conversation. 

I really hope that Dr. Angela’s story feels inspiring to you…You don’t want to miss this.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why Dr. Angela decided to help authors write books that make a difference and how she honed in on this particular niche
  • What gets in the way for people who want to write a book but never actually do it
  • Inspiration from going from no idea how you’re going to do something to building something extraordinary and life-changing
  • Insights to help you write your own book that makes a difference in the world

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

I started only doing the Author Incubator in February. I started saying no in January. By the time June came, I was beyond flat broke. I missed my first mortgage payment ever in my life. I turned 40 in March and I was the most broke I'd ever been.

Welcome to The Thought Leadership School Podcast. If you're on a mission to make a difference in the world with your message, you are in the right place. I'm Michelle Barry Franco and I'm thrilled that you're here.

Hello my thought leadership friends. It's so good to be here with you and I just want to send out an extra special thank you for your notes and your comments. I had so many people send me notes through messenger through the different social media channels. Mentioned it to me in passing when I saw some of you in person, I heard from clients I heard from family that they really loved and appreciated the Lit Up Onstage Series. So the last four podcast episodes where I focused on really the message underneath the message, the message that I'm always trying to point you to underneath the strategies and the tools and the best practices. You know, I love sharing with you the practical strategies, tools and best practices and I'm going to keep doing that, but I also simultaneously, I want to keep showing you that underneath all of that is where the fire is, you know that call that you feel to serve.

It lives in that deeper place and those strategies, tools and best practices are just in service. There assistance to that drive to that call and the last four episodes of The Thought Leadership School Podcast where I really, the Lit Up On Stage series where I got to focus in on where impact really comes from, how that connection and how you bring a kind of delight that's almost hard to describe to your audience. Where that comes from. That has been really incredible for me and I loved hearing that it has touched you in a really meaningful way too. And if you're listening to this and you haven't heard it, you can find it inside, you know the list of podcasts within this series. So you'll see Lit Up On Stage series. You can even search for it in The Thought Leadership School Podcast. The second thing I wanted to say to you before I dive in on today's awesome conversation, I got to have an amazing conversation with one of my mentors and friends and just a really extraordinary business woman that I can't wait to share with you.

But before that, and really related to that, I want you to know that you can get a free copy of my book. We're going to talk about my book a little bit today. We're going to talk about lots of people's books and how they get written. So I don't want you to miss the fact that you can get a copy of my book beyond applause, make a meaningful difference through transformational speaking. You can get that free at http://thethoughtleadershipschool.com/freebook and don't forget the word the, so it is http://thethoughtleadershipschool.com/freebook. When you sign up for my free book, you also get a free four part series video series that really guides you through the highlights of the book and I've heard from a lot of people that it's really helpful to have both of those together, so super excited that I get to give you that for free.

You'll understand even more why I wanted to highlight that when you hear more about this conversation. So I am, as I've said, really excited to share this conversation with you. As we talk about in the podcast interview that you're going to hear something like 91% of people want to write a book and I'm guessing that that number is more like 100% here in the thought leadership school community. The reason that we want to write a book, those of us who are called to share our message and our stories is that it's an amazing way to take your experience, your story, your lessons learned and turn it into a consumable, easy to share format. That's what a book does and when it's done right, your book can be a powerful foundation for growing a thriving business and mission in the world. I know for me there are few things I love more than handing my book to someone who I know it will help.

It just lights me up. So I was beyond delighted when Dr. Angela Lauria agreed to be on The Thought Leadership School Podcast with us because she is a captivating and inspiring story. She's an amazing storyteller. She has also done what so many of us want to do. She has become a recognized, very well recognized thought leader in the industry of book writing and she's built a thriving, thriving business. I mean to the tune of 20 million and growing. So it's just exciting to hear her story cause she really starts from really the beginning, like zero. And then you know, takes us all the way through her vision for what's next. I know that her stories are going to resonate for so many of you. In fact, you're going to hear me laugh at certain points during our interview and it might sound kind of strange or maybe even inappropriate, but honestly when I'm doing that, that was me thinking, Oh my gosh, this is so my story and it's a story I've heard from so many of my clients, so I could almost just hear the resonance for you while she was telling the story as well as feel the resonance for me.

So I just am so confident you're going to love this conversation. I've been following Dr. Angela from before 2013 when she started the Author Incubator. So I saw this rise of her business happen. It's one of those things. I remember noticing how cool her new direction was. I was like, Oh, she's doing this new cool thing. And then a little time went by and pretty soon she was everywhere and she was everywhere, you know, because she Rose in thought leadership. She was out there taking a stand for her message and she really is taking a stand for publishing in a totally different and new way, really turning the publishing world on its head. So of course once I saw that she was out there everywhere and I too, like so many of us knew that I had a next book, a book that I was ready to write and I was looking for the best way to do that.

When I looked into her program, it was the best I'd ever seen. So that's why I signed on to write beyond applause. I wrote this book, the book that you can get for free http://thethoughtleadershipschool.com/freebook. That same book is the book that I wrote through the Author Incubator program and then by some magical evolution of conversations and wonders, I am now also the dedicated speaking coach for the Author Incubator authors. So you'll hear us mention that as well. Toward the end it feels like the most natural and cool thing in the whole world to me. So let me just tell you a little bit more about Dr. Angela Lauria and her background. She, as I said, is the founder of the Author Incubator. In 2018 the Author Incubator was ranked number 275 on the INC 500 fastest growing companies. And you'll hear us talk about this isn't just about growing a company as fast as possible.

She's super intentional about creating a conscious business that is actually making a positive difference in the world, but also in the lives of people who are underrepresented, whose voices are not expressed or don't have as much play time. So she supports black lives matter that you'll hear the exciting new direction that absolutely supports underrepresented voices in the book writing and in the thought leadership world. So you'll hear about that toward the end. So yes, it's about building a thriving business, but it's about doing it consciously and in a way that really does positively impact our world. So through the Author Incubator process, she has helped over a thousand authors write, publish, and promote their books. And you'll hear us talk about, it's not just about writing a book, it's about writing a book that makes a difference and it's a really interesting and powerful to hear how she thinks about and talks about writing a book that makes a difference.

I really want you to pay attention to that part because as a thought leader in our world, it really matters how we write our book. The way we write her book. I can't tell you how many people I've had come to me as a speaking coach and they've written the wrong book. The audience wasn't clear enough the way they wrote the book didn't serve in the way that it could have if they just knew how to write it the right way. So it's exciting to just hear that part of the conversation. Dr. Angela has written many books. I think she's at seven. She has a Macomb bag series. She has make them beg to be your client, make them beg to publish your book, make 'em beg to work for you, which is her most recent book and a number of other books that are all really about making a difference.

So she too has written many books that are designed to make a difference in the world. So you're going to hear more about some of those books. You're going to hear about her process of going from zero in her business, like zero. Like how am I going to buy food for my family all the way to this $20 million business. And just as importantly, this powerful impact that she's making in the world. So listen in, and if you love this interview, will you please share it with someone who you think would also love it. And of course, I always appreciate your rating and your review on iTunes. Thank you so much for your support and for being here. Here is my interview with Dr. AngelaLauria. Angela. I am just so happy that I get to have this conversation with you and then share it with all the people that I know it's going to serve. Thank you so much for being here.

Oh my God. Thank you for having me. This is so fun. Yeah,

Super fun. So I would love to start by just having you share why you chose to build the amazing business that you've built. How did you land on helping people write books?

So I had been a journalism major in college and my senior year, actually over spring break, one of my professors recommended me for a job working with a New York times bestselling author. And I worked on that book. That was the first book I ever did. It was about the spy named Aldrich Ames and it was called night mover codename and I always wanted to be an investigative journalist. So this was pretty close. He, the guy I worked for, his name is David Wise, he was an investigative journalist and went over into book writing on espionage. And so it felt like I was on track for my dream career as an investigative reporter. Nice. Which was all really good except for I could never land the investigative reporter job. I kept getting these other jobs, helping people with their books. No, it really felt like I was getting babysitting or dog walking jobs.

Hmm. Cause I had gotten this job in college. The way you might get a babysitting job. Right. One of my professors just recommended me, it was veal job and this went on for 17 years. Oh. That I never built a website. I never built a business. I just kept getting recommended to these different authors to help them either as a ghost writer or an editor. I learned how to build websites. So I did websites for authors. I was a publicist. I think I did everything in the world of book writing and it felt to me like at some point I was going to start my life. At some point I was going to get a real job. But until then I kept picking up these like freelance, nothing. I mean anybody could write a book. It's not like it was hard, so I just say write another book and it was 17 years. I had ghost written 29 books. Oh man. I wrote a book on Y two K I wrote a book on finance in Hong Kong. I wrote a book on the interior design of air force one. What? I did books on identity theft on windows server backup, a bunch of political candidates books.

Wow, that's fascinating. How did you, I mean I just can't help but be like, how'd you get the knowledge to, right. I mean you'd have to understand it well enough

because I thought it was babysitting.

Like it would be like you mean someone who had been a babysitter for 17 years. How did you get the knowledge to take care of so many kids? You took care of kids with special needs. Like how did you know how to ever yeah, oxygen like I don't, I didn't know I knew anything. I didn't know it was anything. I thought real people that had real jobs knew things and I had this weird babysitting gig. Yeah, fascinating. And really low self esteem to go with it

obviously, because look at what you had done it right.

And so then I decided 17 years in, Oh. And there were many stops along the way where I tried to get a real job. So I actually did a PhD in the middle and got a job as a professor for a year. And at the time there was a new website called rate my professor. Yes, I know that way. Oh is terrible. I was damning bad. So I ended up quitting after a year in a month. I quit in October, so like a month into my second year with full classes, I just walked out the door.

Wow. That is fascinating having, I taught college for years, so I know that I know what that must have been on the other end. And also I've also been on rate my professor, so

yeah. Yeah, yeah. I was just like horrified by my existence. Like I finally got a real job and I proved that I couldn't do it and I was a loser just like I suspected. And then at that point I got offered a job to do a book. So I was a professor and I got offered a job to do this identity theft book and I was like, I can't do both. So I'm just gonna quit my job and write the book. And none of this was showing up at all to me as a sign. Like this is what you should be doing. This is your zone of [inaudible].

Yeah. Like the universe is like hello.

Yeah. So I was getting paid $55,000 as a professor and then I got offered to do this book for $50,000 for three months.

Hmm.

But in order to do it, I had to quit the professor job and I was like, I guess I'll just quit cause I'm going to make it three months what I would in the whole year and not be miserable. But none of felt like a sign. And this is the reason I'm sharing this with people is like I just want you to know it may not feel like a sign. It's so obvious now when I tell the story, you're like, wait, yeah, you got offer 50 day, your whole year's salary to write a book. Like that meant you were good at it, Angela. But I took it to mean I'm a loser. Anything can mean what we want it to be. Yeah. Yeah. So I just kept waiting for my life to start and you know, trying all these different things and nothing. I did seem to ever work and I decided I was going to become a personal injury attorney.

Oh I didn't know this part of the story is this new to me.

But I didn't want to fail again at something cause I felt like my whole life was a huge failure. And so I decided I wanted to do that quiz. That what color is your parachute quiz? And if that quiz said I was supposed to be a lawyer, then I was gonna do it and I typed in, what color is your parachute on to Amazon? Cause I had had a copy in high school but it'd been a long time. And I typed it in and this other book came up like if you like what color is your parachute? You'll also like this book called finding your own North star by Martha Beck. And I'm like, well that's interesting. I'm like, maybe I'll get that book too. And I got that book and I read it and it began a two year journey of me figuring out what is my North star. And Martha Beck asked this one question, which is what is the thing you lose track of time doing? And I wrote down writing, talking to my best friend Jenny and reading self help books.

Okay.

And I was like, it's not like that's a career cause no one's gonna pay you to write. Writers don't make money. No one's going to pay you to read self help books and no one's going to pay you to talk to your best friend. So this book is dumb. And of course I now get paid to talk to my best friends about their self help books, which I helped them write. Like I learned all that has made me $20 million a year and it was, everything she said came true, but it all sounded so a logical for so long. I was like, this makes no sense. Everyone knows I'm just a hack. I didn't get trained in this. I did 20 years later, I didn't get trained in this trial. Like I have no experience except for good 20 years of experience at this point.

But what's so fascinating about this to me is, you know, this is kind of, you've probably heard the Steve jobs commencement speech, the Stanford commencement, where he's like, you can't, you know, see the path looking forward, you can only connect the dots looking backward. So it seems so obvious looking backward on it, but somewhere along the line you must have realized, Hey, there's something here. Right?

Yeah. Wow. I had to have a lot of other people tell me that. I know it's all under my nose and it seems as you're saying it like you must've Pat yourself on the back at some time. No, I kept trying to go to school. Like, I'm like maybe if I get a degree, like lawyers have credibility professors credibility. Like maybe someone can give me some piece of paper that will help me to have value. Oh my gosh. Yep. I know that sounds really lame cause I can see how obvious it is now. And I tell my clients this like I see how obvious it is for them. Yeah. Cause that's what I'm thinking too. Exactly. That's so the way it did not feel obvious and I was just, once you believe this story, like I just believe this story, I was really overweight, which was a piece of it for me.

And like I don't have a super, I know this is going to sound more negative than I necessarily mean it, but I'm not friendly. I don't have the kind of personality where people are like, you're amazing. Like I can be a little challenging. So I didn't feel very likable and I didn't feel very accomplished. Like I watched my friends have these amazing careers in 20 years and I had just been doing this babysitting stuff and then I didn't love my body like that. Didn't feel good and I didn't have a relationship and like you know, they say how you do anything is how you do everything. So everything in my life was just like a little bit dark. I was not a happy person so I couldn't see it anywhere. I couldn't see what to do. Okay. So what happened? Something changed because you are running a $20 million business.

So here's what happened. I for two years got really into life coaching and started going to all of these events and at one of the events my coach paired us up and then she said she was putting us in a time machine and it was 10 years in the future and at that point it would have been 2020 so August 14 of 2020 and that's coming up. I know. Very interesting. I have plans for that day. So it's 10 years in the future. And you were being interviewed by a podcast host? Yeah, we didn't have the word podcast host. So she said journalist. But now I know it was a podcast and the podcast host is asking you to tell the story of how you got here. Basically this interview we're having right now. Yeah. Oh my gosh. I have chills. And my partner who was this amazing woman named Allie CodeBaby, Allie just asked me questions, just like the questions you're asking me today.

And I answered them. I was like, I realize, I don't know who answered them, but words came out of my mouth. It was like an improv game. And I said, I guess I just realized all the work I had done with books would be a value to life coaches. So I realized that I needed dedicate myself to helping life coaches and other healers get their books done. So I bought this huge Lake house, got, I couldn't afford it at the time, but it was right on the Lake in West Virginia. And I have women come to my house and they write their books with me and I help them market their books and they're just like my best friends.

Okay.

And I helped them write their books. Now, you know this cause you've been there, but I have not a Lake house but a castle and it's not on a Lake. It's on the Potomac river. But I do indeed fill my house with women and men who are like my best friends and I help them write their books. So all of that came true. But when I tell you it wasn't a glimmer in my eye. Like it wasn't even a glimmer in my eye. I don't know how that shit came out of my mouth, but it is precisely what I went on to do.

So you did that, like as you heard yourself saying it, was it kind of like you're in the moment, you're hearing yourself saying it and then it looked like a plan to, to follow or you know what happened after that where you're like, let me write this down and I gotta go look for that house.

Yes, it did. And it felt like in that moment it was going to be super easy because it was just like, this is what you're doing. Like it was so easy. And then I started doing it and I started by building a website and then nobody came to the website and nobody bought anything. And it was all like so much harder. Then in that moment it felt like it was going to be, so the actual getting the idea for the business for me was so easy. Like it was such a gift from source and then it did not come with all the instruction. [inaudible] is ARD.

Yeah. So that's interesting. So you see this plan, you start to implement what looked like a plan and then,

But at first and then a house and I did, I went to West Virginia and I went house hunting. I met with a real estate agent, like who the hell was going to pay for this house? I do not.

No, it's still then what'd you do? So you had to course correct. So it was hard. And then how did you find, or did you find flow? Is there flow to be found?

Yeah, so I'd set up the website and I started doing, every Friday I did a free coaching call. So, even though I didn't have clients, I coached every Friday and I just picked a different topic, which is like I wouldn't recommend this but I just took action. It was all the wrong action. But I just took action. So every Friday I taught a different class and they're all generally around book writing and book marketing cause that's all I've ever done. So it's all I knew to teach and people came to like sometimes three people and sometimes one person and sometimes 25 people. And they were these free classes on free conference call HD. So it was audio. And then I got random clients. So people who'd come to those calls, they had to beg me for an offer. I didn't know I was making it so hard for them, but I didn't have an offer. So I thought the way it worked was clients told you what they wanted and then if you could do it you said yes. So people would say to me, Hey, could you take my book and turn it into a hundred tweets cause I was really into Twitter marketing at that point. And then they would pay me a dollar a tweet.

So for 100 bucks I would take their 100 bucks, I take their book and turn it into a hundred tweets. And then somebody else would say, Hey, can you do my website? And I'd say, sure, what's your budget? And they'd say $1,000. And I was like, okay. Then I'd be doing a website. And then when we were talking, I would say like, I need your bio. And they'd be like, Oh, I'm so bad at writing bios. I'm like, do you just want me to do it? And then most of the time I would just do that for free cause I didn't thing you would pay someone for this IO. So everything was made up and I couldn't pay my bills. And so I did what I knew how to do, which is I got a ghost writing book to pay my bills, right? So somebody would call me and be like, can you write a book about windows server backup? And I was like, yeah, sure. So I got my real money still from the corporate job, but I was going to, you know, lunches and events and trying to start this business and that went back and forth for another few years. So I had that breakthrough with Brook in 2010 and then I actually started my business in 2013 so it was August of 2010 when I got the idea of February of 2013 when I actually got serious and started the Author Incubator.

So when you say got serious, is that after you were doing the Twitter marketing and the, you know was

I did that but I really made my money from the corporate job. So from when I got the idea until February of 2013 I had the idea, but I didn't by the house, I didn't run the workshops. I would run workshops. I did run a workshop I think in 2012 but nobody came. So I just comped everybody and they came for free and I lost $45,000 cause I of course did all the guarantees for the hotel before I sold anything. Cause I thought that's how law of attraction worked. Yeah. So,

Oh these are so good. I mean, you know, you're telling, you know so many people's stories and bits all within your story. It's just totally amazing to hear the evolution of it. And obviously you came out of that, which is what you know well everyone who's doing this kind of work work that, you know, transformational work in the world, work that makes a difference. That's what they, where they all want to get is they know the struggle. Right? Like it's so amazing to hear how that you went through it too. And that

There must be a path out because here you are. So what was the shift? So this one's a hard one to share. Cause I know a lot of people aren't ready to hear it, but the God's honest truth was I had to give up all the work that was paying my bills. So for a lot of people that looks like quitting their job. So this is what I was telling the universe. I was saying, I want to start this business and have this Lake house where people come to my Lake house and write their books and I wanted to make $400,000 so that was like the big number I could imagine was 400,000 and then while I was saying I wanted to do that, every time somebody would call with a technology book or an espionage book or whatever, a book that was not, what is my know Northstar, I would still say yes.

So I was telling the universe two thing. I was saying like I want to make $100,000 as a ghost writer. And then I was telling the universe, I want to make $400,000 as a book coach. And the thing you want the most always wins. So I made about a hundred thousand dollars as a ghost writer with $100 here for some tweets and $1,000 here for a website. Like I had a little extra money, but I really just kept running my old business. The one I said I didn't want right when I gave that up I shut it down and I had to say no to people. Uh, one of the last books I did was on, it was CS EIT and it was like the council of student exchange programs or something. And I did a book featuring students that had lived abroad and like it was really fun and it was like confusing in my head.

They called me back to write a second book and I'm like, well they're not life coaches but I believe is that my North star. And like I had to say no to that. Okay. Is really hard because they were paying me and I liked the work and I liked them. Yeah, it was their stories. I could see how that was sort of preaching toward it was reaching, right. I mean like it's not a boring technology. So it was really hard. It was all about saying no. When I, when I got really clear, which I got really clear in 2010 when you take out really clear that I actually did want what I said I wanted. Then it happened so fast I had to quit all those other jobs. I had to say no, and I said no. In February I started only doing the Author Incubator.

In February I started saying no. In January. By the time June came, I was beyond flat broke. I missed my first mortgage payment ever in my life. I turned 40 in March and I was the most broke I'd ever been and my family really thought I'd lost my mind. My mom was asking me to come move into her basement with my son. My son at the time, I think it was like seven and it was like, when are you going to get a real job? Like this is embarrassing. You're falling for these get rich quick schemes. If coaching doesn't really work, it's not a thing. No one knows what it is. It's a scam. Are you in a cult? Is this multilevel marketing? You know the friend back into the pop phenomenon. This may sound familiar. Yes. I was like no, I'm going to have a Lake house in West Virginia and ladies you gotta come and write their there and you know my mom's like listen, get a government job.

And so I started looking that summer in July I was looking for government jobs and I got totally freaked out cause I realized I would never qualify for a government job, anything entry level that paid like $40,000 a year. I was way too qualified for it at that point. I had a PhD, like you would just look me up online and you'd never hire me to be your secretary or whatever clerk. And then all the senior jobs that I was qualified for, they required a certain amount of knowledge about certain like house bills like I did because I hadn't been in the government, I didn't have any of that experience. So I think I looked on every job on USA jobs, you know that site. Have you done that? I felt that I've ever been to that site in particular. When it gets really low, it's like Carol center USA jobs.

Oh I've been to other job sites so I know that feeling. I was like I just have to get a government job and then everything will be fine. And when I was super like at my lowest, like lower than low, couldn't afford food, couldn't afford gas, couldn't, didn't pay my mortgage. Oh I learned a new thing about credit just in case. Here's a little PSA in case people don't know it. Where do you get behind? I had these credit cards and the credit cards had like $20,000 limit, $10,000 limit, all this stuff. So I still had money cause it was in credits. I wasn't super worried about going into debt, but I'd spent all my cash. I had no cash flow, no money in the bank, no money coming in. And I started getting letters from the banks shutting down my credit lines. So I had one credit card that had 54,000 but I only had like 20,000 on it.

And I was making the payments and they sent me a letter and they were like, we are readjusting your credit limit and we've made it $24,300 like exactly what my balance was. Oh my gosh. So you were counting on, you were like, it's okay, we're going to make it through this next phase because I have this credit card off my credit and then they shut down my credit lines. Wow. PSA there, everyone like that. I just remember getting that letter and I can still feel my heart. Oh, I did not know what to do. I was like, the small of my back just started dripping sweat. Oh yes. Comes bounding in the door, mommy. I just found a worm outside. I'm like, Oh, we're all going. Oh. So I hit my like lowest low, as low, as low as, and I realized there were no jobs for me. I couldn't get a job. I just like had to get it over myself. Yeah. And make it work. And so I put out an offer and this subject line was $22,000 from an ebook question mark.

That's a good subject line.

Here's a good subject line. Got a great open rate, and I had just read this article and the article said, eBooks normally make on average like $100 or less, and all of the eBooks that were being published on this new imprint called Kindle singles faking an average of 22,000 Oh, okay. I was like, I'm going to deconstruct the formula of what they're doing. I have no idea what it is, but I've never heard of an ebook making $22,000 I'm going to figure it out. If you want to be one of the five people who figure it out with me, it's totally free, but I need to make sure you'll actually do the work. So it's going to be $1,000 up front and then I will take that out of your royalties and then we'll split your royalties 50 50 after that initial thousand dollars just paid off.

Wow.

Isn't that a great office?

That is incredible. And I can't believe I haven't heard this story either. Okay, so,

so I sent out the email. I had 327 people on my email list. Within an hour I had a hundred replies. Wow. By the end of the week, I had 10 people, not five Hayden fall, and it was the first time I made $10,000 in a week.

So it worked. Alsothe program, I saw that, so at the time the program was called Kindle singles, which is not a good name because it belongs to Amazon and not super well thought out, and it was $1,000 but it was really just 50 50 rev share. Yeah, so it's a 50 50 rev share. I just took a thousand upfront, but everything I taught is exactly what I teach today. In the program that you did when you wrote your book, it's a whole lot more than a thousand dollars now our authors in general make more than $22,000 from their books. I did not figure out the Kindle single formula, but I figured out our own formula, which I call the author's way. And it's quite a successful formula.

Yes. So let's talk about you help people write books that make a difference. Right? So that's what came out of that. But it's so specific and especially as I think about you telling that story about writing all these different kinds of books, you know, this focus on books that make a difference. What do you mean by that? When you say that? And why is that so important to the way you do things at the Author Incubator?

Hmm, such a good question. I feel like that's a layup cause that's like my favorite question, but I appreciate it. So here's the deal. Most people, when I say write a book that makes a difference, they get very excited about the content. They think of their favorite book and let's say it's Byron Katie's loving what is and they're like, those words on those pages were so powerful and they changed my life in such important ways. They changed my relationships. Like I'm so grateful that those words were written down on a page because those words changed my life. Unfortunately, if those words didn't get into your hand, they would not have changed your life. So to me, a book that makes a difference has two components. The first one is the Byron Katie component. So it has a powerful message of hope, healing and transformation. The message has to be there, but the second piece is just as important and that is that your book has to get into people's hands and into their hearts.

And the only way we can get it in their hands is by marketing it. If we have the best idea and nobody buys it and nobody reads it, it is not a book that makes a difference. It's just a book that has a good message that nobody read now named for that. So if you think about Byron Katie, she was like a real estate agent, I think had this personal epiphany came out of like a mental hospital, came out of some sort of stay where she had had a nervous breakdown, got this four question increase system and she began to tell this story. The story is in the book loving what is her friend's houses. She was just going to people's living rooms and sharing her message and there might have been three people there or six people there. Obviously there's many more than that today.

So the way she got good at telling that story, the way she was able to build a following to be worthy of that book is by doing the work. She didn't just sit down in her house, write the book, publish it, and then magically people found it and she became Byron Katie and they say the same thing to me about Rene Brown. I want to be the next Brene Brown. I'm like, let's say that I'm an amazing writer. I give you a book. It's better than any of Brene Brown's books have ever been. If we publish it under your name and nobody buys it, what does it matter? They haven't the book before they buy it. It's not about the quality of the book, unfortunately, the quality of the books, a piece of it, but you got to go do the work.

So many of the people who have written books, first of all, most people who want to write a book don't write like they never actually do it. And we could talk about that. But also so many people that write it, that's exactly the experience, right? They even get it all the way through publication somehow and there it sits.

[inaudible] that's what happens to most people. So I put marketing first because I know we can't make a difference if we don't get the book into people's hands. It's gotta be a book with a powerful message of hope, healing and transformation. But people also have to actually read it.

Yeah. So when you say we help people write books that make a difference, what you mean is that people hear about that actually get out there into the world. People hear about it and get to experience transformation through that message and that connection.

Yup. We focus on the marketing piece of it because without that, I mean we do focus on making sure we have authors with the right message. I'm not minimizing. Yeah, but I'm just saying the marketing is just as important. And it doesn't happen after it happens before. So most of our authors make about $45,000 in the three months between when they finish their manuscript and they publish their book. That's our goal, is for everybody to make back their investment and get a return on their investment in those first three months. Cause if you can't sell it, then it doesn't get easier later.

[inaudible] yeah. And really, I mean, if you're going to keep being out there making this difference, you do need to learn how to fund this movement, as you say. Right? Like so it is learning that process, yes. To get the book out there and yes, to just make that difference as a person who serves. Because I know that yes, it's about writing books for you, but I've also heard you say yes, the books matter, but it's bigger than the book. It's even more than the book. So can you talk more about that?

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think what a lot of people, I think is the book is going to do something magical. What does something magical is action. So going back to my Brene Brown example, like the reason her books are so good is behind those books was 15 years of practice as an academic. She was doing research. I want the practice of my authors to be actually doing coaching. But I think there's this sense of entitlement. You see Brene Brown do or you see Byron Katie do it and you're like, okay, I'll just write a better book and I can have what they have. Kelly, what they did was a decade plus of practicing, Malcolm Gladwell calls it the 10,000 hours. So what's fun about a book is that we can use it and I have some pretty easy techniques to use a book to get you those first clients. What matters so much more than the book is you doing your original medicine, you actually working with clients and you get better at it. If you think of the first time Byron Katie taught her four question increase system or the first time Brene Brown taught about vulnerability. Well a lot better now. Yes, of course. 20 years later. So, and it didn't get better cause they sat on their couch watching Netflix documentary.

Yeah, exactly. And I would of course add to that just because public speaking is always on my mind. I mean they're, you know, they have those years experience, they take the time to turn it into something that's like consumable and transformative. Right. So a book does that, you can hand it to someone, it can inspire them, it can help them toward that transformation and then they go talk about it. And especially on the other side of having written a book that that book process, especially the way you guide people to write their books, really helps them talk about their expertise and their message in such a powerful way. I mean Brene Brown and Byron Katie are out in the world talking about this, all kinds of places as well as sharing their books.

Yeah, exactly. The book is really important. It's a cornerstone and it helps you get clear on your expertise and what you want to teach and what stand do you wanna take as you might say. Yes, exactly. But it's only one piece of it. If we just did the book, even if it was the best book in the world, if we had Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammad together, maybe invite Moses' along, they all read that. They're like best book ever. Nobody else reads it. You have a nice book. I don't know what you have. Yeah. You got to get out there. You gotta get on stages. You got to get on podcast. You have to be the leader of this movement if you want people to be moved by your message.

Yeah. I just got off the phone with someone and the thing that just kept coming to me even more than usual was, you know, you gotta be a beacon, right? Gotta be a beacon and say, I'm here, I'm here, and look, I get you. You know, and a book does that. It's something they can do and sort of private. There's such a beautiful way that you can be with a book very personally. And then of course, extending that message out in that broader way just allows more people to learn about it. Your book, your message, all of it. Yeah. So I've seen this statistic that as high as 90% of people believe that they have a book in it. I don't know if that's accurate. Do you?

Yeah, I think that's accurate. I think skid, something that said 91% of people say they want to write a book. It's basically everyone wants to write a book, right? Yeah.

But so few people actually even get through the process of writing it, much less writing a book that makes a difference. Do you have any theories on why so many people want to write books but then actually don't do it? Like what gets them away?

Well, I actually think there's a huge payoff from wanting to want to write a book. So when you go to a cocktail party and you're like, Hey, what's new with you? And you're like, I dunno, I'm kind of working on a book. I'm thinking, you know, we've had such a great experience with our dog, Jake. I just really, they see all these, you know, Instagram dogs, dogs of Instagram. Jake could be one of those dogs. So we've just been like, and all of a sudden you have this fascinating cocktail party discussion, right? And any book that you want to write is a great cocktail party discussion. But if you actually write it, there aren't as many benefits people do say you're awesome. Oh, you wrote a book, it's awesome. But it's sort of can feel like a letdown or a little like postpartum.

Like

people are like, Oh, that's great. You're great. What else is going on? How are the kid?

That's right. It's so funny. It's an interesting, fun conversation. That is fascinating. I never thought about it that way, but that's right. It's like this juicy exploration until it's created,

you write it. They can be a part of it. Oh, you know what you should do with Kevin? Wear a Halloween costume. We do that. Let me show you a picture of my phone. Like they feel like it's theirs. You're in dreaming and scheming phase, and then once it's done, they're like, Oh, okay. Well I don't really want to do public speaking, so I'm not gonna read your book, but I think you're amazing. You got it done.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Okay, so there's a bunch of people who are just kind of excited about the idea of it and they liked those conversations. I feel like there's another percentage. I don't know what these percentages are, but of people who are like, no, they really want to, you know, like, and they dream about it for a long time and I feel like you end up meeting a lot of those authors and working with them. What is getting in the way that stops them from doing it?

Well that is a related phenomenon and that is the, who am I to write a book phenomenon? They have answered the question, who am I to talk about writing a book? They love it. I am the person that has big dreams. I am the person that inspires other people with my ideas. Like a really can step into the role of person talking about writing a book. But when you actually write a book, you have to be an expert on something and you have to claim it. And it's like me. It actually took me a long time to write my first book about writing books. So when I started my business, I didn't have that bug. So I started my business in February of 2013 I didn't write my first book until November of 2014 I had other books. It ghost written a lot of books. Like I had lots of books, but I didn't have a book about writing a book. I love hiding behind other people's expertise. So like I could show you my book on finance in Hong Kong. Very common.

Yeah.

Book about writing a book was like terrifying cause it's me. It's my name. What if I don't really know what, first of all, I think this whole thing's made up anyway. My professor just recommended me for a job. I don't really have any training. Like what the hell do I know about writing books and people are just going to listen to me. I know that sounds ridiculous cause I had written so many books, but I really felt like I'm totally untrained. I did a PhD in philosophy. I failed as a philosophy professor. I quit in the middle of a semester. Now I'm just going to tell people how to write books. Like, come on, we all know I'm a loser.

Right.

And if you don't do that, I mean, no, but yes, I hear you. But yes. But that work of becoming the person who wrote the book before you write it.

Yeah. So it's somehow just recognizing, I mean that sounds so common. I see it all the time and I know that's really what you help people overcome. So they actually write the book. Right? How do you dissolve that? That's so pervasive.

Action. Action. Yeah. Action is the answer. Oh, it's really hard. You believe in your heart of hearts that the answer is sit on your couch and think about it harder. I know. That's what you think. Yeah. Like I know it's what everyone thinks. It's like if I just, I'm gonna figure it out. No, I am sitting down this weekend and I am figuring it out that you will never figure it out that way.

Well, I know from going through the process of writing a book with you, I mean there's so many things built into the process that just require you have to take action. Like it's like not an option. And so that was, I think really the biggest magical thing for me was I couldn't sit around and think about it. I didn't have enough time to sit around and think about whether this was good enough.

Exactly why we do it. That, yeah, you make it so that it's impossible for you to have enough time to do anything but take action. Yeah.

Yeah, it's awesome. Okay. So I know that you have, speaking of big action, I know that you have an even bigger vision for the difference that you want to make through the Author Incubator and in the world. Like what's next for what you're doing?

Well, the thing I'm most proud and excited about right now is we are localizing to Spanish. Oh, that's awesome. Very excited about, I don't believe there is another book program. Like my main competitors don't have a Spanish version. I believe we will be the first program of our kind available in Spanish. Our program is 85% women and 7% are women who have Spanish as a first language. So it's one of our single biggest groups of people. And I think that the Latino women are out there changing the world. It is amazing what they're doing. We have authors from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador. Oh God, why am I blanking on where is Yasmine from? I'm talking to her later today too, but all over South America and even Spain. And so I'm really excited to support those women because I know that's when you change a woman's life, you change the world, you change families.

And so yes. So that is one of the biggest things that I am excited about right now. We're also, we launched our audio books this year or taking those to the next level next year. We also have added a couple new publishing partners that we're working with and I'm taking on more responsibilities with our most successful authors who need a little extra help building their business. So my new book is called Megan beg to work for you. And what I found with our authors is that many of them did everything I said to do and they now have mid six and seven figure businesses and really need to build teams. So I'm working personally one on one with a handful of people this year helping our authors build teams and kind of hit their next revenue goals, you know, while using their books still as the basis, but really extending, extending beyond that into team-building and finance and cashflow management and some of the more technical businessy things I've had to do to get my business to 20 million. Yeah,

that's so awesome. It's really cool to get to here. I'm really excited that I get to share this conversation because what you've laid out is just this amazing evolution, this amazing growth and what's at the heart of it that makes me the most excited. And it's a big part of why I'm excited to be a part of what we're doing at the Author Incubator, what you're doing at the Author Incubator, but getting to be even just a small part of your growing a bunch of businesses that change people's lives in a really positive way. Like when you work with everyone from authors who didn't think they could write a book to writing, you know, their first book, and then growing these mid level six figure and then seven figure businesses and then help them grow those even bigger. That's so much bigger than just the lives of, of course, of the people who are running those businesses. That changes the like fabric of our world and we need that right now.

So yeah, that, yeah, we have a special mission to reach out to less commonly and often suppressed voices. So we're 35% people of color, about 32% LGBT. And obviously 85% women, so lots of immigrants, English as a second language, really trying to get voices out there that other people wouldn't take a risk on. We know this system works for everyone. I really want to use my gifts to help people who I think need a bigger platform and need someone to help them and show them kind of inside the Komono of things that are normally reserved for country club chatter. So that much more important than just the books to me.

Yeah, I love it. And I, you know, you should know, and you probably hear this, but I want to say it again too. I mean I'm watching the way you're doing that and I know that a lot of people are like, it is about the difference that you know we can make in the world through the content and these messages. Yes. And also the way you're building your company and the focus on just those things that you just described. I'm absolutely like, it makes me so much more conscious and aware and activated around how I can do that as I grow my own. And I know that's happening for lots of us, so thank you. It's been a lot of time

not trying to teach on that stuff cause I don't think it's my place to teach it. But I do think like as I learn, I try and do it in a way that hopefully does inspire others. And there are a lot of people who, you know, tell me I shouldn't talk about politics and I'm, I get a message at least once a day telling me, you know, I support terrorist organizations for having black lives matter on my website. Like you both have lots of opinions and I'm just really clear that what I'm doing is what, it's my choice. Like I'm building a business for me and that's the impact I want to make in the world. And rather than put that in a book, I just put it into how I live everything in my life.

Yup. Yeah. I really love it. Well I knew this conversation was going to be awesome and it was so,

So for having me, I love it. The work you do, obviously. That's why we're so thrilled to have you teaching all of our authors. There are a lot of speaking coaches out there, but there are so few people like you who come to it really from the unique perspective of each person. Instead of just teaching a formula, the formula is being more of you and that's exactly how I teach people how to write books. I could write cookie cutter books, I could just write everyone's book. Sometimes I think it would be faster.

Totally. I'm hearing you

And there's so many programs out there that just like, you know, give you the cookie cutter answers and it's really connecting with people at the heart and seeing who they really are and what their messages and how they need to present it. I love that stand that you take for that. So that's why we have you on the Dean.

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much. I love being on the team. So where should people go to learn more about writing a book with the Author Incubator and just more about the program overall?

Yeah. So https://www.theauthorincubator.com/masterclass/ is the best way to really understand what we do. It's a class that I teach and it is about what I mean by a book that makes a difference, how to write one. And I walk you through that difference process, which I teach in the author's way. So if you want to go do it on your own, you will know how to do it from that class. And then if you go to the library on our website, so the https://www.theauthorincubator.com/the-library/, I have five books up there. You can get them all on Amazon and pay for them or you can get 'em for free right in our library. And you'll see all the other books that we have published there as well. They're not free, but you can scan through the books that we've done. Yeah, that's perfect.

Perfect. I remember doing the masterclass and it really is such a great resource and you know, it helped me decide that for me this was the right program and I'm so, so glad. So thank you. Thank you so much Angela for having this conversation. Yeah. Thanks for keeping a real sister. We'll see you soon. Got it. All right. See what I mean? I just love hearing her stories and I love that you get to hear them too. I have gotten to hear many of them because I've been in her world for a while, but as you heard in this interview there were a few new bonus delights in story form for me in this process too, so that was really cool. I really hope that Angela's story feels inspiring to you. It's such a testimony to the fact that you really can come from no idea how we're going to do this thing to building something extraordinary and life changing, world changing really, and if you've got a book living in you, I want you to know you really can write that book faster than you think and in a way that serves way beyond what you can imagine.

Right now. That has been such a gift to my business and to my life. Do check out Angela's masterclass at theauthorincubator.com/masterclass that she mentioned. If you're even curious about the process. The masterclass itself is brilliant and real, just like Angela is, as you heard in this interview. Here's the thing, my friend, your message is meant to change lives. That's why you feel called to share it. There are people walking around right now who are waiting to hear your story, your lessons learned, to see the hope and the inspiration that you are meant to provide. Because here is what I know about you. You were made for this. Want to know how I know that? Because you know that now, get out there and change lives with your message. I'll see you here next week and I already can't wait.

Thanks so much for being here with me on The Thought Leadership School Podcast. If you want specific and actionable guidance on how to become a recognized leader in your industry, you can download a free copy of my book. Beyond applause. Make a meaningful difference through transformational speaking at http://speaksoitmatters.com/freebook.

 

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