Rick started his career as a producer in New York for WOR radio. From there he joined a company called the Planned TV Arts and he’s just started his 38th year in the publishing industry.
He built that company up to the biggest publicity company for authors and experts in America and sold it to Ruder Finn, a big PR firm.
At one point in the early 90s Rick’s firm had 50 employees making 500 calls a day. He and his team helped launch the careers of people like Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and T. Harv Ecker.
He also worked with fiction authors like John Grisham, Barbara Taylor Bradford, and Barbara DeAngelis. Rick has also helped speakers such as Nelson DeMille and Harvey Mackay and he’s worked with major publishers such as Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, and Hyperion.
Rick decided he wanted to be an author while working in the PR field. He’s never been a good writer so he works with ghost writers to get his books produced.
His first book Guerrilla Marketing for Writers came out in 2000. That’s when he learned that you don’t need to be a great writer to be an author. You just need to know a great writer to be an author.
Rick dictates his books and has a team of good ghostwriters convert the audio into a book that is readable for customers.
He spent his career promoting and working with authors. He is a best-selling author and a publisher as well.
Rick’s company, Morgan James Publishing, gets about 5,000 manuscript submissions a year and publishes 130 of them. Recently he published Brendon Burchard’s book The Millionaire Messenger.
How to Get Started as an Author
There are a few things you need to do as an author to set yourself up for success.
The first thing you need to do is to build your author website (here’s a step-by-step article on how to setup your website).
Rick has 15 nonfiction books. He has a website for each one. He also has a main hub site rickfrishman.com
When you go to that site you will see:
- Pictures of Rick with famous people.
- Video of Rick speaking at different events.
- Video of Rick speaking on the news.
- Video of Rick being interviewed.
- Newspaper stories.
- Links to buy Rick’s books.
- Links to articles about Rick’s topics of expertise.
Go to http://rickfrishman.com/ and see what you can model from his site. Rick and his team update the site continuously.
Give Readers a Reason to Sign Up for Your Email List
One major element that Rick has on his website is an opt in box that allows him to collect email addresses from visitors. Typically, website visitors who are interested in Rick and what he does will trade their email address for some sort of ethical bribe.
The ethical bribe should tie in with the topic that you’re an expert on. When Rick is on radio or television, he tells the audience to go to his website to get his free million-dollar Rolodex.
Getting a visitor’s email address is far more important than getting one sale. When you have someone’s email address they become a member of your audience. You can market to them for as long as you have their email address.
Buy the Right Domain Name
One of the most important things you can do is buy the right domain name. The first thing you want to do is buy your proper name if you can. The next thing you want to do is buy domain names with easy words or phrases so that your audience can easily find you on the Internet.
Pro tip: If you have children buy their domain names as well.
How to Come Up with the Right Title for Your Book
When you’re thinking about a book title consider the following:
- Your title should be between one and five words.
- Where’s your wow factor? You want a title that is unique, easy to search for and is going to make a customer click on your book when they see you on Amazon.
- For nonfiction books your subtitle is the benefit that the reader will get from reading your book.
“You need to own the URL for the title of your book. If you don’t own the URL for the title of your book then it’s not the title of your book.” – Rick Frishman
Write a Book Proposal
You need to write a book proposal even if your book is already written if you want to find a traditional publisher. There are several good books on how to write a good book proposal. Rick has a whole book series on how to publish books called Author 101. The first book in that series is Author 101: The Insider’s Guide to Publishing From Proposal to Bestseller.
One of Rick’s students created a software to help you generate a book proposal that will get you published. That free software is available at bpwiz.biz
The software is plug and play. It simply guides you through the steps of creating a book proposal that will sell your book.
A good book proposal has:
- Your title.
- Your subtitle.
- 1 to 2 chapters written out.
- 15 chapter titles. (The chapter titles can change but you need to have something in the book proposal.)
- The most important piece of your book proposal is a description of your platform.
- Testimonials from people who love what you do.
- Testimonials from TV and radio hosts who’ve had a good experience interviewing you.
How to Describe Your Platform
In today’s hyper competitive publishing market, the most important element a publisher takes into account when deciding whether or not to take a chance on you is the platform you already have. Your platform can come from many sources.
Here are some questions that will help you define the scope of your current platform.
- Who loves you?
- Who can you market the book to?
- Who is your audience?
- Do you have an email list?
- Do you have a blog?
- Do you have a podcast?
- Do you have a YouTube channel?
- Have you ever been in the newspaper or on TV before? If so when?
- How many websites do you have?
- Do you plan on doing publicity when the book comes out? What kind of publicity are you planning?
- Do you plan on hiring a PR firm? If so who?
- What’s your budget for publicity after the book comes out?
- What social media channels are you on, and how many followers do you have on each channel?
The best chance for you to have your book traditionally published is to have a relationship with an audience of at least 100,000 people.
This means that you have some sort of direct connection. They either follow one of your social media channels, or they get your email newsletter. In some way you’re able to directly promote your book to 100,000 people.
For nonfiction authors you should aim for a book between 160 and 225 pages long. If you’re writing a fiction book, most best-selling fiction books are between 300 and 400 pages long.
Publishing Can Be Faster Than You Think If You Get Started Now
It’s possible to publish a book very quickly. Brendon Burchard wrote The Millionaire Messenger in 13 days in January 2010. He turned it into Rick on February 5th of 2010. Rick had it published on March 5th and it was number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list on March 20th.
Don’t let anyone tell you that publishing success has to happen slowly.
Brendon’s journey began at Rick’s event Author 101 University. There he was able to network with agents and editors as well as Rick. Rick helped Brendon come up with a plan of attack and execute it. Now he’s one of the best-selling authors in the world today.
Tom attended author 101 University as a volunteer helping out with staff work two months after he published his first e-book. He learned tremendous marketing strategies that allowed him to have his first $10,000 month just 12 months later.
Rick holds these events twice a year. Check out http://author101university.com/ to find out about the next one.
How to Create Your Author Platform from the Ground up
The first thing you have to do as an author to create your platform is to have a website devoted to your work and what you do.
Next you have to concentrate on building the four pillars of your media platform.
The 4 Pillars of Your Media Platform
1. Your Author Website and Internet Strategy
You need to have a personal website that’s tied to your author name. You need to have a website for each one of your books.
You need to be on all of the major social media channels:
- Google plus
You should post to YouTube once a week. Rick posts to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter every day. Rick also has a blog on his website where he posts on a regular basis. You don’t have to post on your blog every day but you should be consistent in what you do.
All of those channels are free to join and help you build an audience.
You need to do radio interviews. Rick’s client, Alex Carroll has a website designed to help you find radio shows that need interviews you can leverage to catapult your book to bestseller status.
If you don’t have the money to invest in buying a database you can just do a Google search for radio shows on your topic or in your area.
If you have some money and not a lot of time you can hire a virtual assistant through upwork.com to make the calls for you.
If you don’t want to go the virtual assistant route, you can go to your local college’s communication department and hire an intern to make calls for you.
You’ll want to offer them between $7 and $10 an hour. It’s great work experience for them and they can put on a resume that they work for a best-selling author.
3. TV Publicity
The principles that work for radio work for television. The only difference is when you’re interviewed on television you have to go to the TV Studio. So you’ll want to start with your local TV markets first. You’re going to have five or six outlets per local market.
- Cable access
Start with your local market first and then branch out as you are able to.
4. Print Media and Blog Publicity
The principles that work for radio and television also work for print publications. With print publications you can do interviews through email or over the phone. As far as your blog goes keep it current.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Success As an Author?
To be successful as an author you have to take the long view. Author success is an ongoing process.
When Rick started with Mark Victor Hansen it took them a year to get a TV spot. No one knew what Chicken Soup for the Soul meant. 38 years later they’re still at it promoting their brand and selling the books.
The most important thing you can do to help yourself succeed as an author is to write multiple books. Very few authors are successful writing just one book.
The first book you publish will be the hardest book you ever have to write. When you write and publish your first book you’re just figuring out the process of how to do it. Every subsequent book you write will be better and easier to do.
Networking and publishing makes all the difference. Networking will make your book a much bigger success than it would be if you just wrote a book, published it and did nothing else.
One of the keys to success is to start with a realistic goal and build on it. Rick suggests that if you’re publishing your first book you should aim to sell 1,000 books rather than 1 million.
Resources Mentioned in This Interview
http://rickfrishman.com/ – Rick’s website
Author 101 Bestselling Book Publicity: The Insider’s Guide to Promoting Your Book–and Yourself – Rick’s book on how to promote your book and your brand.
http://www.ruderfinn.com/ – one of the biggest PR firms in America.
Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition (Collins Business Essentials) – Harvey Mackay’s book on how to succeed in business.
Networking Magic: How to Find Connections that Transform your Life – the newest book by Rick Frishman
Morgan James Publishing – Rick’s publishing company.
The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice by Brandon Bouchard
Author 101: The Insider’s Guide to Publishing From Proposal to Bestseller – Rick’s book about how to write a book proposal.
http://author101university.com/ – Rick’s event where he teaches you everything you need to know about how to publish your book in today’s market. It’s also an excellent networking opportunity.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 13.0 download – Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium 13.0 will allow you to transcribe your book from a digital recorder into a document that you can send a ghostwriter to make into a book. Currently Dragon 15.0 is available but the reviews are mixed. Dragon 13.0 is also much less expensive.
Software and Services Rick Recommends to Help You Build Your Author Platform
http://www.rickscheapdomains.com/ – the cheapest place to buy .com domains on the Internet.
http://bpwiz.biz/ – use this free software to write a book proposal that will get you published.
email@example.com – you can email Rick directly using this email address. He answers every email personally, and he’s eager to help you succeed.
http://radiopublicity.com/ – Alex Carroll’s site where he offers to teach you how to find radio shows that can help you launch your book to bestseller status.
http://rickspressreleasesender.com — a service that for $297 gives you access to 3000 press outlets around the world to submit your press release to.
http://ricksprleads.com – a service that allows reporters and correspondents to query you. If you email Dan Janal and tell him that Rick sent you he will give you the first month free (a $99 value.)
Http://rickswebsolution.com – this link goes to a shopping cart. It cost about $50 a month. The shopping cart will help you manage email addresses along with processing customer sales. Rick gets an affiliate commission every time someone signs up.
http://go.infusionsoft.com – Infusionsoft is the granddaddy of all autoresponder systems. If you have a big list this is where to go. If you’re just starting out do your research before choosing an autoresponder.