Friday, February 10, 2012

Jack Canfield on How He Got Lucky in Marketing His Books

Here is an excerpt from a long interview Jack Canfield did recently with the Economic Times, a division of The Times of India.

For those of you who haven't been paying attention for the past 15 years, Jack Canfield is the co-originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books, which has over 225 books in print with total sales of over 500 million copies worldwide in 47 languages.

Here, again, is the excerpt from Economic Times (note that the video was not part of the interview, but does talk about one of his key points in the interview):

Did you just get lucky? Or was there a method to it?

I believe that people make their own luck by great preparation and good strategy. We used The Rule of 5 which I write about in The Success Principles, which is to do 5 specific action steps each day to move you towards the completion of a goal.

So every day for the 14 months before we hit the New York Times bestseller list we would take 5 actions steps. We would make 5 phone calls to newspapers to review the book. We would send out 5 free copies of the book to reviewers.

Once we sent copies to all the producers of TV shows like Touched by An Angel and when the producer got hold of the book, they required everyone on their staff, including the cameramen, script writers and actors to read it. That story reached the Hollywood Reporter which published it and then that article went out to syndication and appeared in many more newspapers all across the United States.

1001 Ways to Market Your BooksSo we worked very hard. We actually studied how to create a bestselling book by interviewing 10 bestselling authors and everything they told us they'd done, we then did the same.

We also bought a book called 1001 Ways to Market a Book by John Kremer.

We made a post-it for each of the 1001 ways and put it on a wall, where our commitment was to do everything in the book and then remove each post-it until we were finished.

It took us the better part of a year to do it, but I believe it is this kind of commitment to a long series of actions that is what's always required to create major success that lasts.


To read the entire interview with Jack Canfield, see:


It's interesting that I wrote about the Rule of Five in the 1989 edition of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, Chapter 9. Here's what I wrote:

I'm giving you the basic rule, a rule that forbids excuses. I call it the rule of five.

All it takes is five promotions a day. Really, that's all it takes. Mail a letter. Send out a news release. Phone someone. Take an editor to lunch. Do a phone interview. Give a speech. Jot down a postcard. It need  not require much time - 15 to 20 minutes is enough - but it can make a world of difference on how well your book sells.

John Kremer

John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books as well as the developer of the following programs:

Book Marketing Magic: - How to market novels, children's books, memoirs, and more. $48 special offer

15,000 Eyeballs Internet Marketing Program: - Ten lessons on how to get thousands of impressions for you, your book, your blog, or your website. $50

Real Fast Book Marketing: - How to sell 100 to 200 copies of any book in two weeks or less. $97

Blog Tour Palooza: - How to carry out a blog tour or virtual book tour that gets millions of impressions, builds your brand, and sells thousands of books. $297
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