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getting my book in the hands of one million people

 
author & gardener
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Done! Very easy and Nicole yes, I am 300!

I updated the links on my blog post.
 
steward
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Devaka snuck in a change just hours ago so that people do NOT have to have a paypal account.   They little text field for the paypal ID has been expanded to be much wider and several lines tall so people can describe how they would like to be paid.

 
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S. Bard wrote:My job is closely related to the publishing world, so here’s my two cents:

. . .    "Having a dedicated webpage for your book with a fresh looking lay-out will also help, so if people are searching for your book, they immediately get to the right place."

I totally agree with S. Bard on this one.  The permies website is like a comfortable old wofati clubhouse with worn leather couches and a cozy rocket mass heater.  It's homely, functional and not too posh so we feel quite comfortable putting our feet up on the coffee table.  I wouldn't change it.  When we are here we are preaching to the interested and converted.  They are here because they chose to come here, are interested and even knowledgeable about permaculture and they are going to be pretty comfortable in here too.  HOWEVER when preaching to the unconverted, uninterested, and those who really NEED this book, we are going to be wanting to send them to something that looks a bit more like the kinds of websites that they would usually order books from - like Amazon.  If we want to make use of your affiliate offer Amazon is not an option.  So I would suggest that you have a dedicated page somewhere with a crisp clean look as a landing page for your book sales.  A single page site with payment options is perfect.

My second suggestion is that you update the 'About the Author' section on Amazon and on any potential landing page for book sales.  Right now it reads "Paul is a giant doofus in Montana who is bonkers about permaculture. He won't shut up about permaculture. On and on, every day...it's annoying. He has gone so far as to make a 3-DVD set that is just about the earthworks for permaculture gardening. And not only did he make a 4-DVD set about rocket mass heaters, but he made ANOTHER 4-DVD set about rocket mass heaters. Why on earth do people need 8 DVDs about something so simple? If you think that is ridiculous, take a look at his 177 hours of video of a full Permaculture Design Course and Appropriate Technology Course. Then there are the cards. Okay, the permaculture playing cards are pretty cool. Before all of that, Paul created hundreds of podcasts, YouTube videos, articles and other bits and bobs about permaculture. That should have been the first sign, right there, that health professionals should have stopped all this. That, or his 26,000 forum posts at permies.com. And he has at least that many at his other site, CodeRanch.com. Oh yeah, he used to be a software engineer before all this permaculture stuff." Whoah!  Why on earth would a millennial want to read something written by a very annoying big doofus that health professionals should have put a stop to ages ago?  Please get someone else to write this section for you.  Us permies are used to your very special brand of self deprecating, acerbic humour and we know and love you for who and what you are.  But it's not going to sell your books on Amazon or to a large demographic who really need to read this book.  Maybe start with the bit about being a software engineer and do a bit of company name dropping.  That will get there attention and show that you are capable of critical thinking and systems design.  Follow that with a more flattering CV.  Just my two coins worth.  I have to also confess that after years of having 'join Paul's affiliate programme' on my 'to-do' list I'm finally getting around to it as, with the quarantine in place, I now have the time on my hands to do it.  It's also in my best interest to have a more sell-able product to refer potential buyers to.  Getting off my high and mighty soap box now.  Most of the time you do a darn good job.  Thanks for writing the book Paul and Shawn.

 
paul wheaton
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Please get someone else to write this section for you.



I think you just volunteered to take a stab at it.
 
Annelie Roux
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paul wheaton wrote:

Please get someone else to write this section for you.



I think you just volunteered to take a stab at it.



I'm not the best writer but I'll happily take a stab at it and then perhaps someone could improve on it.  You have my email address.  Please email me your CV.
 
paul wheaton
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Like this?  https://permies.com/w/stuff

 
paul wheaton
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The publicist said to make a three minute video showing me talking about stuff.  I think the idea is that she will share it with people who will be thinking of interviewing me.  Josiah put it together.  Today the publicist said to make the video public, so here it is:

 
paul wheaton
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first artifact
building-a-better-world-meme.jpg
[Thumbnail for building-a-better-world-meme.jpg]
 
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Great video!  I'm so glad you posted it.  Just sent it to several friends.

I love the cover design of the book.  I just ordered a copy from Amazon.  Can't wait to read it!

Paul M.
 
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I took a handful of the dozen books I ordered recently and left them with the other books in the break room at work. I'm happy to report that several have walked off!  I suspect no one will take the last one so I plan to restock until I'm out.

Will be fun to see if there is more local produce on the table to share this year than there was last year or if someone brings up permaculture in conversation.
 
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Paul, the author in me laments with you. On the other hand you're light years ahead of me in sales. But then mine is a bit spookier. A dark telling of what may be in store for the planet if humans do not change their ways. I have spent most of my 66 years trying to teach humans to be better stewards of the earth... it's not going well. That said, have you thought about selling it through seed companies? Due to a major tragedy with my seed storage, I lost hundreds of dollars worth of seed. I went to my seed companies last week and found all three companies are out of stock on many varieties.  While it was annoying, I was filled with hope that maybe thousands were going to start to raise their own food. Accountability always excites me. Just a thought.

Angelina
 
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All I have are my retirement funds ...... so paying for a book and postage which is considerable  takes careful thought. I did this once for (Healing from GMOs and Roundup Expert Interview Series Platinum +Hardcopy Edition) which I presume was delivered in 2018 to  Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
Vatican City,  00120
Holy See (the)
P: +60162204693

Alternatively, in your country, a mention by Oprah will make this an instant bestseller. I have limited ammo and opportunities so I always aimed high.
If I had enough ammo, Dr Elaine Ingham and Dr David Johnson{of Johnson Su Bioreactor fame} would be my other targets. As would Jane Fonda, Jon Stewart and Michael Moore.
 
paul wheaton
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Edward Lye wrote:Alternatively, in your country, a mention by Oprah will make this an instant bestseller. I have limited ammo and opportunities so I always aimed high.
If I had enough ammo, Dr Elaine Ingham and Dr David Johnson{of Johnson Su Bioreactor fame} would be my other targets. As would Jane Fonda, Jon Stewart and Michael Moore.



Do you have contact information for any of them?
 
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AngelinaGianna Maffeo wrote:

 That said, have you thought about selling it through seed companies? Due to a major tragedy with my seed storage, I lost hundreds of dollars worth of seed. I went to my seed companies last week and found all three companies are out of stock on many varieties.  While it was annoying, I was filled with hope that maybe thousands were going to start to raise their own food. Accountability always excites me. Just a thought.    



I think this is a valid idea. People buying seeds are, at the very least, thinking in the right direction about an alternative to the status quo. I realize the book is not about ‘preaching to the choir’, but it can be a huge uphill battle to get the attention of the very people who need to think about these things the most (let’s say the CEO of Monsanto, as a perfect example). But if you target those who might be most inclined to consider alternative ideas, it may be a way to create the first wave of new readers/thinkers to consider permaculture. Some seed buyers may already be hardcore ecologists, but many are also just experimenting with container growing on a deck railing. I, too, was encouraged by seeing seed packets selling out in local stores, as well as those stores selling (many for the first time) more types and varieties of gardening supplies. I tried to buy wire fencing yesterday. It’s sold out at Lowe’s and Home Depot. I have never seen that happen before. Does this mean more people are making an attempt at raising small livestock? One can dream!
 
Edward Lye
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Hi Paul. I don't know these people. I only know of
these people who are mostly advocates of saving
this planet. I live right at the opposite end of the
world. I managed to duckduckgo these details. I suggest
the shotgun approach and try everything. I suppose
you have your letter/youtube prepared.

Dr Elaine Ingham - You can contact Dr. Ingham via:
     soilfoodweb [AT] aol [DOT] com, info@soilfoodweb.com

Dr David Johnson - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVSSTOJVSSuRcCu68IMcsEA/videos
         David C. Johnson davidcjohnson@nmsu.edu Phone 575-646-4163

Jane Fonda - try engaging her here https://www.facebook.com/JaneFonda/ {active}

Jon Stewart - maybe try https://contactanycelebrity.com/cac/?idev_id=101 or https://www.thehandbook.com/celebrity/jon-stewart/

Michael Moore - try all - Michael Moore can be contacted via e-mail at MMFlint@aol.com.
          For those of you who prefer snail-mail, he can be reached via
          Dog Eat Dog Films at: PO Box 831
                                Radio City Station
                                New York, New York 10101-0831

           https://www.facebook.com/mmflint {active}
            mike@michaelmoore.com

Oprah - https://www.facebook.com/oprahwinfrey
           Here’s the announcement she made via Facebook:

Oprah@oprah.com. This is going to be my personal e-mail account for all of you. When you get something in your in box from me it will be from me directly. And I’ll be reading as many of your e-mails as I can as I move to my next life on OWN. I want you to know that what you have to say matters to me

Best of luck.
 
paul wheaton
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Emails sent!
 
paul wheaton
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Anybody have email address for leonardo dicaprio or david letterman?
 
paul wheaton
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Tomorrow I am being interviewed on "Bringing Inspiration To Earth" ...

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/biteradiome/2020/05/26/building-a-better-world-in-your-backyard-instead-of-being-angry-at-bad-guys
 
paul wheaton
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gonna be on in 20 minutes

https://www.transformationtalkradio.com/episode/building-a-better-world-in-your-backyard-instead-of-being-angry-at-bad-guys-with-paul-wheaton,28865.html

 
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I just listened to the BiteRadioMe one and enjoyed it.  I believe doing such podcasts is an effective way to get the word out.  It might be more of a grind and not as fast as you'd like but it does spread the ideas.  In this case I'd say you were a much more engaging speaker than the host!  Though he was good as an interviewer in that he asked his questions and then got out of the way to let you answer as you saw fit.
 
paul wheaton
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Here is the one from today

 
paul wheaton
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It has now been more than a year since the book came out, so it is now okay to drop the price of the books and still be respectful to the kickstarter backers.   (but we made the price pretty cheap for kickstarter backers, so it is a bit tough to get lower)  My agreement with Shawn is that we each have an unlimited distribution license.  And I just bought 10,000 more physical copies of the book (it was supposed to arrive monday but it still is not here).   I spent a lot of time with fred and jen talking about where to put the books while trying to sell them.  


WTF do you do if you think "I am sitting on the solution to the world's biggest problems?"


All I need to do is get the contents of the book into 100 million brains.  How do I do this?


I thought the book would take off.  That we would have a dozen orders a day for a dozen books.   And then that would grow to a  hundred orders per day as people would buy a dozen to hand out.  Etc, etc, etc.   A million books would be sold within six months.   Instead, people are bonkers about plastic straw issues.



I look to goodreads.com ...  appasrently the way to get noticed is to have people put the book on shelves.  It would seem that two people have put my book on the shelf for "environment".  And when I go to that section, to get on the list, at least 200 people need to put it on the "environment" shelf.  


Part of me thinks the thing to do is to simply coast.   Focus on new content.  The greenhouse movie, the SKIP book, projects, the bootcamp, etc.   The book will sell whatever it sells in time.  And the issues simply will be whatever they will be.   As things get really bad, the permies audience will have rich gardens, rocket mass heaters and be a bit more resilient.  And 99.9% of the population will be focused on straws, politics. sports and the like.


Another part of me thinks that there is a simple thing I can do and then suddenly the viral aspect of the book will go wild.  


Shawn and I put all the extra time into the book with the idea that it would be read by millions and make huge change.   If there is a simple thing that will unlock the viral thing, please tell me what it is.


 
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Paul: Have you looked into Smashwords?
 
paul wheaton
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Bruce Katlin wrote:Paul: Have you looked into Smashwords?



Nope.  

A quick look ...  it looks like a kindle platform for non-amazon?   It looks like it will take a few days of work to re-layout the book.  And then I can choose to advertise on their site?

 
paul wheaton
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Going back to "plan A" from two years ago:  

  - write a really good book that really makes a difference if people read it.  Done.

  - set up a program to make it really cheap for people to buy it by the dozen.  The idea is that a person reads it, gets a dozen, hands those out and two of those people get a dozen, etc.  Done.

  - get the whole process started.  Done.

  - the first few months, books-by-the-dozen sell about five per week.  Then a couple per day.  Then ten per day.  Then 50 per day.  Be prepared to make bigger orders of books.


Maybe "plan A" has a flaw?  Did I screw something up?

Currently the price for a dozen books is $108.   Too high?   Shipping and handling is about $20 for a dozen books.   $7.33 per book.  And there is a 50% affiliate fee.   Maybe for bulk orders I need to cut way back on the affiliate fee (after all, it seems nobody is using it for bulk).   ... ....   affiliate fee for bulk physical orders cut to 10%.   I have a meeting starting in 3 minutes so I sent an email to nicole to drop the physical bulk prices.

So this begs the question:  could this price point be thing thing that made "plan A" not work?




 
paul wheaton
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The price for a dozen books is now set to $86.   And the price for 64 is now set to $280.  

Assuming that a bunch of people are coming to the site to get a dozen books and thought "$120 is too high!" then maybe "$86" will be fine.  

I think that if enough books are moving, I can explore printing larger quantities and might get an even lower price per book.



....   if this is, indeed, the problem, then the amount of people coming to the page to explore getting 12 books will be the same, but the number of sales of a dozen books will increase a lot.  And then grow.


 
Bruce Katlin
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Correct. I used them for my fiction novel and have had great results. I decided to hire someone to do the required formatting. He was a lot more cost effective. I can send you my format if you like.
 
paul wheaton
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So it might be possible that I set up with them, and then 1000 new people find my book.  And maybe 100 of those buy a dozen, etc.  Something like that?  It could be a new seed.  

So I have to put time and money into the conversion.  Plus time into getting set up.   And then time and money learning how to use their advertising and buying their advertising.   How many copies might be sold in this fashion?
 
Bruce Katlin
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Understood. As far as how many copies can be sold, that's a huge questions. I refer you to their "Book Marketing, Part 1 of 6".
 
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Bruce Katlin wrote:Paul: Have you looked into Smashwords?



I have been using one of their competitors, Draft2Digital, which distributes to almost all of the same platforms.
 
paul wheaton
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I started this thread to build ideas for shy people to get books to others:

https://permies.com/t/150777/physical-copies-book-Building-World


 
paul wheaton
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Daniel Ray wrote:The library books donated across the state are circulating pretty well. A checkout is for 4 weeks at a time, your book has been checked out about 30 times since it was cataloged in October.



Daniel, you wrote that in february.  At the time, the book had been out for a few months.  Maybe the book was available on the shelves for ...  a bit more than two months?   And 30 times - for a bunch of libraries in montana.  How many copies did it start off with?   If there were more copies, would it get to more people?

Where do libraries go to get audiobooks?
 
paul wheaton
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I just spotted a hidden thread on this topic.  Let me see if I can fish out some of the summary:



A few members of my community are looking to start a "Zero Waste Society" that would have monthly meet ups to share ideas and inspiration. I've been asked to present at the first meeting to give information about my composting business and future market garden venture.

I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to hand out some of Paul's books! I have 12 physical copies. I was thinking of handing out 5 at this event (maybe more if people are keen?).



Im taking mine and dropping them off at waiting rooms around town.

The key to me is getting it out there in a repetitive nature. Multiple eyes on one book.

So maybe rather than "give it away" to people in the group, ask them to read it and pass it forward.



Bill and Melinda Gates  (Yes, I think they can afford it, but it's a more powerful gesture than just me telling them about it in one of their gazillion emails in the web form...)
Mom and Dad
habitat for humanity
Greta Thunberg (this was someone else's idea, I forget who)
HUD
Pax at Twin Oaks
Acorn
Dancing Rabbit (probably already has?)
Perelandra Center for Nature Research
local City councillors
my immediate neighbors
my landlord (oh landlord, riddle me this, why do you hate money? electric baseboard heating?? really??)

 
paul wheaton
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Path A:  put the book on a hundred sites and buy their advertising.  pay for publicity.  Go on a hundred podcasts.  In the end, sell 2000 copies.

Path B:  about a dozen people a day go to permies.com/bwb by typing that into the command line.  Maybe they are each coming here from the book because the book says something about that URL for getting books by the dozen.   But it has been well over a month since somebody bought a dozen books (other than the second printing pre-order, but I think that doesn't count).   So if we "fix" this, then that would mean that maybe 2 of those 12 people each day would buy a dozen books.  And if those people gave those away, maybe 1.2 people (on average) would end up buying a dozen books.  So 60 dozen one month would lead to 72 the next month.   Then 86.  Then 103 ....     growth.   At the end of the year that is several thousand copies and growing.

Path B is easier and more effective.  If, of course, it works.

I think there are three things we need:

thing-1:  lower price.  done.

thing-2:  more professional page.  Nicole is working on it.

thing-3:  better suggestions on who to give the books to:  https://permies.com/t/150777

 
paul wheaton
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Path B might be getting started.  But it might also dry up immediately after christmas.

 
paul wheaton
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When I go to amazon, I see that oprah has suggestions for stuff for me to buy.

I just saw something about five books that a famous putz recommends.  

And I have read some recent really awesome reviews at goodreads and amazon.  Further, at goodreads, my current number is "4.2" which is super duper stellar for goodreads!  Wow!

So this gets me thinking that the book is good and that the book does make a positive difference.  If only it was read more.  


Is there an idea on this thread that I have overlooked?

Is there something else I should try?


I want to emphasize:  if I can get this book into one million brains, I am willing for my cut of the action to be zero.  Until then, I do the best I can to move the proceeds from the past sales to trying to get to future sales.  And I am open to a lot of those ideas too:  how to spend $500 to sell $700 worth of books.


 
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