Jacob Interviews…The Get Published Coach-Robin Colucci Hoffman, Part Two

The Get Published Coach, Robin Colucci Hoffman, helps aspiring authors get their work published. Photo property of Robin Colucci Hoffman.

By: Jacob Elyachar


Part two of my interviews with Robin Colucci Hoffman focuses on how she defines success; what she considers the difference between a hit book and a flop and also myths about the publishing industry.

Jacob Elyachar: Could you describe the difference between writing a huge success versus writing a huge flop?

Robin Colucci Hoffman: It comes down to the planning and preparation you do before you write the book.  The mistake that most people make at least before they find me is that they will get an idea for a book and jump right into the writing.   It is great to have an idea, but the problem is that if you jump right into the writing, you miss these key steps in between where you get the opportunity to clarify what the book is about, who you are trying to reach with the book and why you are writing the book as far as your personal goals.

When I talk to people, they usually know what I call “The Big Why” is: what role they want their book to pay in the world.  But they often have not thought about what they want the book to do for themselves in their career.   It makes a huge difference because the goal that you have for your book impacts the content of the book and how you are going to deliver the book.  All of these questions need to be answered before you write the book because otherwise what ends up happening in every case people fail to take these planning and clarifying steps is that they either get lost in the material, they lose their direction and motivation.  They are unsure what to do next and ask themselves if they included the right content and they eventually get frozen and stop and never finish or they find a way to push through and put out a book that is sub-standard quality that becomes a flop that no wants to read.

JE: How do you define success?

RCH:  I think that the mistake that a lot of people make is getting really maniacal on what success means for their book.   My definition of a successful book is that it helps you get what you want in your career, in your business and in your life than it is a success.    It is a really personal definition that you decide based on what you actually want in life.

JE: In your opinion, what is the biggest myth about finding success in the publishing industry?

RCH: The big myth is that your book is only successful when it is a New York Times’ Bestseller.   A lot of people get an idea; they jump in to write a book and they spend most of the time fantasizing about how everyone is going to love it and they are going to sell hundreds of thousands of copies and it is going to be a New York Times Bestseller and when that doesn’t happen which is most of the time and even if you do it right most books might not be a New York Times Bestseller and that isn’t even a problem.    The only problem is in your own mind; your book is a failure and is not a New York Times Best Seller.  Not every book can and needs to be a New York Times Best Seller.  You can have a wildly successful book and you can make a lot of money with your book and never see any Best Seller list.

I’ve identified five valuable models that we can call a book successful and only one of them is New York Times Best Seller.   You can be an Amazon.com Best Seller, which is completely respectable and a lot easier to attain.   You can be what I call a “Back of the Room” Best Seller, where you don’t necessary promote your books through bookstores or online but your main goal is to sell the book in the back of the room and speak about it, you can be tremendously successful and sell truckloads of books that way and you can sell more books that way than a New York Times Best Seller.   In addition, because you are selling those direct you are keeping all of the profits and not going through a bookstore you would not be appearing on the New York Times list because they document their Best Sellers through what gets solid in retail.

Another good example and my personal favorite is what I call the “Loss Leader” model, where you do not sell any books and give them away with the strategy of obtaining high level contracts.   One of my clients:  Keith McAslan, who wrote a book called Due Diligence Secrets, used this strategy.  Keith is a consultant for companies looking to buy or sell companies and one of the services that he provides is helping with due diligence.   So if he gets a new client that could be worth six-to-seven figures for him.   He wrote his book, Due Diligence Secrets that gave him the opportunity to demonstrate his depth of knowledge in his area.    He gave people guidelines and understand a little bit about his process as they were learning the guidelines.

It cost Keith three dollars to produce this book per copy and even if he gives away 100 copies, which will probably, get a new client before he gives away even 100 copies.  That is $300 and if he got just one $600,000 client, I mean that is a pretty good profit margin and that is the heck of a lot more money that New York Times Best Sellers ever make on book sales.


RCH: Is Keith’s book a failure? JE: No, it’s not a failure!

RCH: No it is a success even if he gave away a thousand books and received one client that book is wildly successful for him.   The point here is to expand your vision of what success looks like and how your book can help you because it is not just about the ego boost of being on a Best Seller list.

To learn more about Robin Colucci Hoffman, visit her Website: http://getpublishedcoach.com/


Also do not forget to check her out on Twitter (@AuthorAlchemy).


The conclusion of our interview series will be coming soon.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar