How To Sell Millions of Books (Alternatively Titled: My Reckless Gambling Streak!)

I was wondering how to motivate one of my clients to finish his book, as life and work seemed to keep getting in his way. So I recklessly said: “Let’s have a bet: let’s see if you can finish your book before I finish mine.”

Before I knew it, we’d agreed that I would roll up my sleeves and hand-wash his car if he finishes first.

And so, ‘Millionaire Authors: The Secret To Selling Over A Million Books’ was conceived.

I set myself the goal of finishing it within 4 weeks and launching it in the autumn to coincide with this year’s Millionaire Bootcamp for Authors from 1st to 3rd November.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly at the start. ‘This bet is going to be a doddle,’ I thought. Never mind that my client owns a dog that sheds fur and drools, and leaves muddy footprints on his car upholstery. I only have about 10 hours of interviews to do, and maybe another 2 hours writing the introduction. And my car could do with a good clean after so many school runs with my kids.

Except that I’ve been hitting one or two unexpected snags…

So far, I’ve contacted over 60 bestselling authors and their agents, requesting interviews. And I’ve received almost as many rejections along the way.

I’d like to interview 12 millionaire authors for my book. So far, ‘in the bag’ as it were, I have:

Jeffrey Archer, ‘Kane & Abel’ – 250 million copies sold;
John Gray, ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’ – 50 million copies sold;
Sir Terry Pratchett – ‘Discworld’ series – 85 million copies sold;
Eric Carle, ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ – 30 million sold;
Alexander McCall Smith, ‘No1 Ladies Detective Agency’ – £40m sold;
Joanne Harris, ‘Chocolat’, £21 million sold.

To achieve this, I’ve had to contact – and receive rejections from – a list of celebrities and authors who include:

  • J K Rowling
  • Dan Brown
  • Jacqueline Wilson
  • Danielle Steel
  • John Grisham
  • James Patterson
  • Bill Bryson
  • Patricia Cornwell
  • Ian Rankin
  • Julia Donaldson
  • Francesca Simon
  • Martina Cole
  • Philip Pullman
  • Stephenie Meyer
  • Delia Smith
  • Stephen King
  • Marian Keyes
  • Josephine Cox
  • Sophie Kinsella
  • Jodi Picoult
  • Terry Deary
  • Anthony Horowitz
  • Ian McEwan
  • Wilbur Smith
  • Sebastian Faulks
  • Helen Fielding
  • Lee Child
  • Dave Pelzer
  • Mark Haddon
  • Joanna Trollope
  • Jackie Collins
  • Louis de Bernières
  • Jack Higgins
  • Anita Shreve
  • Robert Harris
  • Frank McCourt
  • Salman Rushdie
  • Robert Allen
  • Anthony Robbins
  • Louise Hay
  • Lynne Truss
  • Robert Kyosaki
  • Bob Proctor
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Brian Tracy
  • Marianne Williamson
  • Mark Victor Hansen
  • Malcolm Gladwell
  • Khaled Hosseini
  • Ken Follet
  • Tim Ferris
  • Eckhart Tolle
  • Marci Schimoff
  • Joe Vitale

In other words, only 10 per cent of the people I’ve contacted have agreed to be interviewed. So it’s likely I’ll need to contact another 60+ authors to find another 6 writers who’ll agree to be interviewed!

When I was little, my mother told me the fable of ‘The Hare and The Tortoise’. If you’ve never read it before, it’s a story of how persistence and determination allows a slow tortoise to win a race – even when the competition (the hare) is a much faster sprinter. Mum told me the fable when I was a kid. She said: “What matters is that you keep plodding on right until the very end. Often it’s the plodders who are the winners!”

That lesson always stuck with me: that persistence and determination often win the day. If you want something badly enough, you just have to work for it. There’s no point whining or complaining. You just dust yourself down and get on with it.

Or, in my case, you prepare to roll up your sleeves grab a sponge, and get covered in dog hairs and soap suds.

I’ll keep you updated with how the bet is coming along in blogs that follow…

In the meantime, remember to block out the 1st to 3rd November in your diary for The Millionaire Bootcamp for Authors: I’m already lining up some fantastic speakers!

I’ll be releasing full details shortly at: http://www.millionaireauthorsbootcamp.com.

The Secrets To Selling Millions of Books

The Secrets To Selling Millions of Books

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