Anna David knows that each person has a story to tell, and she’s never afraid of getting hers out into the world. Anna is a New York Times bestselling author, founder of Legacy Launch Pad Publishing and three-time TEDx speaker. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Today Show, The Talk, and many other programs.
Her company is dedicated to helping aspiring authors write and publish their books. In her own words. She’s helped clients add six figures to their bottom line, sell book rights to film producers, land speaking engagements and appearances on TV shows, and launch into being industry leaders.
Legacy Launch Pad Publishing’s podcast, Entrepreneur Publishing Academy, teaches entrepreneurs the skills needed to publish books on specific topics and in formats that will grow their businesses. The show features best-selling authors, entrepreneurs and publishing insiders, and has been recognized as one of the best publishing podcasts by LA Weekly, Feedspot, Podchaser, and Kindlepreneur, among others.
I’ve known Anna for a while but it wasn’t until this interview that I really learned her fascinating story. Through the course of our conversation, it became clear how much more there is to this woman than what meets the eye!
Her writing career
Anna is a New York Times bestselling author of eight books, a media personality, and has an extensive writing portfolio for some of the world’s biggest magazines.
Formerly, Anna wrote sex and dating columns for publications like Details, Cosmo, Playboy, The Post, and others. Her work has uncovered the darker side of our society, including addiction, upper class prostitution, and Hollywood executives using crystal meth.
She obtained the rights to her first published novel, Party Girl, back from HarperCollins in 2021 and republished it under her own publishing imprint. She also revealed that she co-wrote a screenplay to bring the book to the big screen.
Traditional Publishing Vs Self Publishing
“I am just going to embrace it all, let go of what I don’t get, and appreciate what I do. And all that does is bring in more abundance.”
As a published author, Anna has been able to experience the pride that comes with having her work appear on shelves in stores. But according to her, after having six books traditionally published, she realized it wasn’t really sustainable.
“I had miserable book releases because I was just focused on all the things, the reviews I didn’t get, the TV shows I didn’t get,” she said. In a way, she felt that traditional publishing killed her love for writing.
In 2017, she launched Legacy Launch Pad, which offers all the advantages of traditional publishing but allows clients full control and 100% of the proceeds. The first book they released for a client landed him a six-figure spokesperson deal, added hundreds of thousands of dollars to his company’s bottom line, and launched a lucrative speaking career.
Anna also has written and released two books herself and the response has been delightful. Her appearance on Good Morning America for Make Your Mess Your Memoir was a lucky break that not only changed the course of her book but also became a game changer for her company.
“I could prove that doing the book yourself or doing it with my company is more effective than doing it with a big five publisher because I couldn’t get on Good Morning America with any of my traditionally published books.”
Make Your Mess Your Memoir
Anna, who has done so much to tell people’s stories and share her own in particular, is now helping other writers find their voice through the biz-oir. The biz-oir, a term Anna has coined, is a memoir/business book hybrid which combines an account of one’s experiences and methods on crafting them into compelling literature.
Her book collects stories of her personal lows, career lows, and illuminates how her life today would not be possible without those experiences. It also provides insight into how others can use their mess in order to grow and navigate their path to success.
“The reason that I wanted to do this is that I find business books can be a little bit pedantic at times, and memoirs are wonderful, but I’m often left with “What do I do now?” And so I wanted to do something where you could have the benefits of both.”
75% of her biz-oir is made up of her story. In the last quarter of the book, she shares a practical guide where she breaks down key points on how to become a successful published author.
Why authors need a book funnel
Writing a book is a successful, high-impact but low-cost marketing strategy for driving business growth and success if you are an entrepreneur. Thus, building up a solid sales funnel can help authors increase their book sales, attract new readers, and grow their audience.
A book sales funnel is a sequence of carefully thought-out stages that direct readers toward your book, your brand, and eventually, make the decision to purchase from you.
“The idea with a book is that most of us are not going to make money from book sales. And I don’t mean not make significant money. Not make money,” Anna mentioned. Most authors do not make money from sales, but instead it’s more about building an audience and then leveraging that.
“If you want to make money from a book, [you] should have a plan for how you’re going to do that,” Anna said. “So your book should be about secret power. And it should be the thing that people always ask you how to do. The thing that you wish you didn’t have to repeat yourself all the time talking about it.”
Anna is indeed living out her purpose helping other writers. So if you are looking for a way to launch your mess and message out into the world, do not hesitate any longer. You can check out our very insightful conversation on the Fascinating Entrepreneurs podcast!
Transcript from Podcast
[00:00:00] Anna: The reason that I wanted to do this is that I find business books can be a little bit pedantic at times, and memoirs are wonderful, but I’m often left with, “What do I do now?” And so I wanted to do something where you could have the benefits of both.
[00:00:17] Natasha: Welcome to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS. How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur? How do they scale and grow their businesses? How do they plan for profit? Are they in it for life? Are they building to exit? These and a myriad of other topics will be discussed to pull back the veil on the wizardry of successful and FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.
I’ve written a book, a memoir. Starts with my challenging upbringing, with all the twists and turns and inflection points, including saving my company due to the pandemic. It will be published this year. So please go to natashamiller.co and sign up on my mailing list so you’re the first to know when it’s available.
In this episode of FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS, we talk to New York Times best-selling author of eight books, Anna David. She has written for the New York Times, appeared on the Today Show and is also a TEDx speaker. Anna transforms entrepreneurial thought leaders into best-selling authors so they can attract higher quality clients, become go-to media sources, land speaking gigs, and grow into being the leaders in their field.
Her new book Make Your Mess Your Memoir is part of a new genre she coined a term for, “biz-oir”. We get the inside scoop on her journey to entrepreneurship, becoming a writer and helping others tell their story.
What was your journey to entrepreneurship?
[00:01:54] Anna: It was the rest upon me because I have been fired from every job I’ve ever had. And if you would like to eat and pay your mortgage and you’re fired from every job you’ve ever had, you have no option, but to be an entrepreneur or I guess, to marry an heir to a fortune, which wasn’t presenting itself and wouldn’t have really fit me.
So I basically tried all of these things. The last things I was trying before I started my company was creating websites and selling them. And I was successful in doing that, but I still had a boss because I sold my website to a person who ended up hiring me. He couldn’t afford me anymore in a way.
And one of my team members who would do it for half the price. So I ended up starting this company because people were coming to me and basically banging down my door, asking me to do this thing and offering to pay me a lot of money for it. And I was so unwilling, unable to see it. Then I didn’t see that this whole time I was scrambling for pennies and trying so hard to set up other businesses, that there was a business right in front of me. And finally, I woke up to that and here we are.
[00:03:05] Natasha: And so tell us about the business and when did it start?
[00:03:09] Anna: It’s called Launch Pad Publishing and we write and publish books for entrepreneurs and thought leaders. It started in 2017 with this person basically, because one of my books was a New York Times bestseller. I’ve had lots of people come to me, wanting me to write their books and I always say no.
And it’s how I still feel that I would not write someone else’s book again. And most people just go away. When you say that this person didn’t go away, he just kept insisting and insisting. And when I continued to say no, he said, “What about you just edit the book?” So I had a girl I knew who had been coming to me, telling me she needed work and she was a writer.
So I was like, “Okay, maybe I could ask her to write it.” And so that was the book. And then that book launched this guy’s whole career and he already had a big career. He’s a sports agent for huge athletes. But he then launched his school speaking career and spokesperson thing. And so I counted from starting then, but I didn’t have another client for probably another year because I didn’t understand that I had a business.
[00:04:17] Natasha: And had you self published or professionally published versus traditional publishing at that time?
[00:04:23] Anna: I have, in a not organized or clear way, mostly in an experimental way. I would say “Oh, let’s see what happens. I’ll put together an anthology and that’s something I can do in a couple of weeks,” and so I did that.
I put together an anthology and I published it on Amazon. I figured that out. I tried it with a couple of different things and most of them I’ve now taken out words to the wise you can’t actually delete from Amazon. Yeah, you can make your book. You can have it go back to draft form, but it will always show as available.
Not ideal. So be real clear that this is the one you want there because they’re the world’s largest bookstore and they want to show that anything that’s ever existed.
[00:05:10] Natasha: That is incredible right there. That peace, that negative wisdom that I think pretty much anyone would assume would not be so. That’s important because you don’t want to put yourself out there in a way that you regret later. ‘Cause there’s no really erasing it.
[00:05:27] Anna: It’s ironic because books would go out of print before Amazon existed. The most tragic thing that could happen is that your books go out of print. So I had played around with it, but I hadn’t done it. In fact, this client, Darren, who had my team write his book said, “Now I want you to publish it.”
And I said I have no idea how to do that. ‘Cause even though I’d done it, I really didn’t know. And he said, “No problem. I will pay you to figure it out,” and so that’s what he did. And I figured it out. It’s really complicated to do it right. So I quickly got a team together so they could do that part because I’m not good at that.
[00:06:02] Natasha: So let’s go back to when you were publishing traditionally. I know that a lot of authors and a lot of entrepreneurs and thought leaders, because I know this is how I felt as well, are just so beholden to the possibility of getting a large publisher book deal, a traditional book deal. And so I want to ask the question first that, how did you approach getting an agent and a traditional publishing deal? Then we’ll go down the road a little further once you’ve answered that question.
[00:06:32] Anna: I was in an entirely different situation because I was a very established writer. I was writing to the New York Times. I was writing for Cosmo and Teen Vogue and Playboy. So I have that as a writer. So I actually had agents coming to me and saying, “Do you want to write a book? If so, I’d like to represent you,” which I get is a very enviable position, but I had also worked for 10 years. It was the standard trajectory for somebody like me, who started off in magazines.
[00:07:04] Natasha: Were you a reporter? Talk to us about that kind of work that you did.
[00:07:06] Anna: I started doing celebrity profiles. I worked for People and Us Weekly, but then I worked up to Premier magazine, which was this very respected magazine along with us. And I was doing celebrity profiles. I would just sit down with a celebrity. I did a lot of cover stories for Cosmo and they were very easy.
It was very easy, good work because you would sit down with a celebrity, Oftentimes, a delightful celebrity. Jessica Alba. I did two cover stories on her and I have just, what a queen. So she’s just.. Bow down. So you sit with Jessica Alba for an hour, and have a delightful time. And then it was great money for freelancing.
So they would pay you about $5,000. If you’re doing the Cosmo cover story, they would even pay for the transcription. And it was a good deal. I really lucked into a situation where I started to do first person, Party Girl, she did the sex column for New York magazine. I don’t have a sex column anymore, but she used to do it.
And she came to me and she said, “Do you want to do this story for Playboy where we trade dating lives for a week?” So I did that. Turns out I knew how to write in first person, and that launched this whole career. I was in Playboy, they shot us. It was made into a reality show pilot. It was this big deal.
So then that was really my beat, was doing first person dating stuff. So I had a column for a magazine called Razor, but I wrote for Maxim and stuff and all the lad mags, but I also reported stories for details. I did stories on addiction. I did a story about like sex work in Hollywood. Different things.
[00:08:50] Natasha: And so you had agents calling you due to your notoriety as a journalist, which makes sense. How did you make the choice of who you are going to go with?
[00:09:00] Anna: Actually I had a crazy situation because I was finishing Party Girl. I had no agent and I’m talking, I was in my last week of writing it and the agent reaches out to me and says, “Hey, I’m a huge fan of your work. If you ever have a book, let me know.”
And I said, “That’s so funny. I’m putting the finishing touches on my book right now,” and he said, “Send it to me.” I send it to him. He goes, “I love this. And in fact, I’m going to be in LA next week.” I can’t remember because this was a long time ago. The actual timing really soon. So he said “Let’s have lunch,” and I said, “Fantastic.”
The next day, I get an email from this woman named Pilar Queen who emails me and says, “I’ve been reading your column all morning. I am laughing out loud. You need to do a book,” and I go, “Not only have I just finished my book, I’m about to go sign with an agent,” and she said, “Call me right now.” So I call her and she says, “Do me a favor, do not sign with this guy today. I’ll cancel the rest of my day. I’ll read your book. If I don’t like your book, you got no problem. If I like your book, you need to give me a shot.”
So I went and I sat with this guy and he was really surprised. I expected him not to really care. And he’s, “What do you mean you’re not signing with me?”
And I said, “I just need a day.” And he’s, “I’ve already shown your book to people,” which he shouldn’t have done that, but it was all awkward and strange. And then she said, “I love this. I can sell this book a ticket to come to New York next week,” because we’re going to create a situation where there’s a bidding war.
She was so savvy and smart. So what she did is she sent it out and she said, “Anna is coming to New York for two days. So you have to read it now. She’s coming next week.” I didn’t have any plans yet. And so she sent it to six people and we got two offers and one was ReganBooks, which was two to three and was the queen of publishing. She was my top choice. So we went with that one.
[00:10:48] Natasha: Amazing. So you won this little race.
[00:10:51] Anna: Yes.
[00:10:52] Natasha: And what would’ve happened if you had signed the other deal?
[00:10:55] Anna: I know. It’s funny though, my friend and I were talking yesterday about those things that happen oftentimes, when you’re in your thirties, there are gifts from the heavens and you don’t get that, you’re getting your lucky break. You think, I deserve this. Obviously I’m going to sell my book to Regan. Obviously my first story for Playboy was going to get auctioned and made into a reality show.
It’s always going to be like this and it’s not, maybe for some people it is, but it’s really interesting. And it’s a real awakening because I didn’t get that I was so lucky. I did not get that. And it’s really what you do from there.
[00:11:37] Natasha: Do you know what you needed to do from there to ride the wave?
[00:11:42] Anna: As it turns out, I did not. I always say I had such the Cinderella story with Sally and then I had that wicked stepmother story with what happens because Judith Regan was fired in the biggest publishing scandal ever.
So they talk about in publishing how editors are always leaving and going to new houses and you get orphaned and I always say, I got orphaned and the orphanage was burned to the ground. There was just no company. There was no anything. And the key thing was there was nobody to get the book in bookstores and back in 2007, that mattered a lot.
How big an order Barnes & Nobles and Borders in those stores put, determines the success of your book. And I was like dead on arrival. And I didn’t know that.
[00:12:26] Natasha: How did you eventually get out then?
[00:12:28] Anna: They created an imprint under Harper for the books from Judith Regan’s company that they decided to salvage, which was just a small fraction.
So I was lucky, and I was. Except it’s like at one Chelsea Handler who wasn’t really Chelsea Handler, then she was another book and she had her agent go to another division, like an existing division where she got real help. Whereas we didn’t know it was unchartered territory. My agent hadn’t seen this before.
And so it was released. There was just no support behind it. So I did what I do with my books now, which is everything actually, had hired a very expensive publicist who did a good job. I’m a nightmare to be a publicist for, because I have so many media contacts that I’m going to do a better job than they are, and I’m going to resent them and be their most difficult client.
So I try to do favors for publicists now and not hire them.
[00:13:27] Natasha: That’s so funny. So was Party Girl your first book?
[00:13:30] Anna: Yes.
[00:13:31] Natasha: Okay. So at some point you found that traditional publishing wasn’t necessarily for everyone and that professional publishing and people referred to it as different things, self publishing, professional publishing, what do you refer to it as?
[00:13:50] Anna: I like hybrid. Sounds better than self.
[00:13:51] Natasha: Correct. So when did that become of interest to you versus traditional publishing?
[00:13:57] Anna: Very late in the scheme of things. I wish I had understood around 2010 to 2013, when it really took a hold. I did not. I was the ultimate snot. People would go, “Oh, I published a book,” and I’d be like, “So?” For real. I really was the worst.
And I had a lot of ego and pride around the fact that I was with Harper and then Simon & Schuster. And I had cried even when my book deals dwindled to $2,000 and..
[00:14:29] Natasha: 2000 was your advance?
[00:14:32] Anna: Yeah. So my first advance was 50. My second was, I always talk numbers, I’m fine with it, 25. And then I stayed around there.
And then I went up for Falling for Me. I switched to William Morris and my book Falling for Me–I think I got 60 and then I got 2. And I was like, okay, this is not sustainable. And I really felt that traditional publishing killed my love for writing. Cause it really did.
[00:15:00] Natasha: Was it the editors or was it the reality of what would happen once the book left the nest?
[00:15:07] Anna: There was no editing. So they don’t really add it. My experience, I happen to have an editor that the big sort of joke about him was that when he was fired, because he left Regan, I’d got to another imprint, but when he was fired, ultimately they open his desk and there’s all these untouched manuscripts. So I have no evidence that he read three of my books, let alone touched them.
I’m a very clean writer. I say not to be self-aggrandizing, but I don’t need a lot of editing. I surely would have benefited. I was dating… Through one of my books, I was dating a very big writer who had the same editor and he showed me what that editor did to his book. I couldn’t believe it. I was just like, “He does all of that?”
I had no idea he was even supposed to! So, really I just got copy editing. And like I said, I didn’t really know any difference. But it’s just heartbreaking. And I just read, there’s this incredible thread going around right now, which I’ll send you the link about traditional publishing about what the heartbreak is, where it’s just, you just watch the publisher, not pick your book to get behind.
So not only are you feeling sad about the state of your book, but you’re watching your friends get all their intention and all their effort. And literally, I’ll compare it for you.
It’s like a movie where you’re the writer, the director, the producer, the star people gave you money. You had investors and then the movie comes out. They’ve changed their numbers. Like you can’t even find them. And you’re like, “But you gave me money! I thought we were in this together,” and it’s a movie nobody cares about.
[00:16:49] Natasha: So they’re just really focusing on another set of writers that they feel is going to give them a better return. So they’ve invested in you, but it’s no longer a viable investment in their mind.
[00:17:03] Anna: Yes and publishing it’s one of the only industries where they know they’re going to lose money on 90% of the total-
[00:17:09] Natasha: Well venture capital is, it’s yeah..
[00:17:12] Anna: I guess that is, but like in venture capital, you still get the money. Like you’re still getting what they’re giving you. With this, you are getting the money, but you’re not getting the reason you went with them and it turns out they’re not evil, they’re just business people.
[00:17:28] Natasha: So I am really looking forward to getting into Make Your Mess Your Memoir. It’s part memoir and part how to. I loved it. I read it. Actually I didn’t read it. I listened to read it to me, which I loved because I got to know you a little bit through how you voiced it. But I think, you coined the term “biz-oir“? Tell us the top three things that you can do with this type of book and everything else that you want this audience to know.
[00:17:58] Anna: I will say that the reason I know I’m not going right into the top three, but the reason that I wanted to do this is that I find business books can be a little bit pedantic at times, and memoirs are wonderful, but I’m often left with “What do I do now?” And so I wanted to do something where you could have the benefits of both.
So my goal was to share my journey and then show people how to do it themselves. And so with a biz-oir, what I did for 75% of the book is just my story. And then the last quarter, I share how, and then I have that section that sort of like TLDR, like too long don’t read, where I break down in a chart, what the takeaways are and what you can do.
What’s interesting is my company is now doing, we’re like ‘this is their biz-oir.’ We’re doing that for clients, but not in the same way. We’re weaving their business lessons more into their story, which is what you’re doing in your book.
[00:19:01] Natasha: Yes. I actually found you through an EO member in our EO authors and speakers group. And I had said, “Hey, I have a question. I have this memoir, but it really is intertwined with my business. And I don’t know what to do. Is it a memoir? Is it a business book? Is it a business memoir?” And someone was like, “Oh, I heard this gal on a podcast. And she had coined the term biz-oir. I think you should talk to her.”
So that’s how I found you. So what has been the reaction to Make Your Mess Your Memoir? And a lot of the people listening to this may not understand what a marketing funnel is. And talk to us about how much of a funnel this book is to lead clients to you.
[00:19:46] Anna: Yes. The response has been really wonderful. And I will say as a side note, that comes from me. Which is to say, the response to your book. You listen, are you Natasha? This is going to come from you. I had miserable book releases because I was just focused on all the things, the reviews I didn’t get, the TV shows I didn’t get.
And what I had done in these books that I’ve released myself because I’ve now done two is I am just going to embrace it all, let go of what I don’t get, and appreciate what I do. And all that does is bring in more abundance. So it’s almost like if it hadn’t gotten a great response, I might not have even noticed, but it was wonderful.
I got this very lucky break, which I got on Good Morning America, which was not just a game changer for the book, but a game changer for my company. Because I could prove that with doing the book yourself or doing it with my company is more effective than doing it with a big five publisher because I couldn’t get on Good Morning America with any of my traditionally published books.
So the idea with a book is that most of us are not going to make money from book sales. And I don’t mean not make significant money. Not make money. And so you, if you want to make money from a book, should have a plan for how you’re going to do that. So your book should be about secret power. And it should be the thing that people always ask you how to do. The thing that you wish you didn’t have to repeat yourself all the time talking about it.
And the goal is that you are showing people who cannot afford your services, how to do this on their own. And you are showing the people who can afford your services that they don’t have to do it on their own. So I think it’s important and doesn’t infringe on your creativity to have that in mind the entire time you’re writing.
What I did with Make Your Mess Your Memoir is I pictured a couple that I know, genius network members, these lovely couples, sometimes in my head, they’re my replacement parents. And they had talked about hiring me to do a book. They worked together and I thought about them all the time when I was writing the book.
And I don’t think they read the book. But I will tell you that dozens of people just like them have hired my company as a result.
[00:22:18] Natasha: That’s amazing. Let’s just stop right there because I want people to understand this, to have a book, it can raise your authority and get you business, even if they don’t even open it and read a thing.
And so this is really important that I think people need to understand. In my core business, we have this show called Entire Variety. Yes, our clients attend it. Do hundreds of people attend it? No. But it’s not necessary. People are booking us for some of the talent on the show just because they know it exists.
And I just think that’s really important, but if people do open up the book, let’s talk about what can happen then, but also what it can lead to. So it’s a funnel into your business. Is it getting you speaking engagements?
[00:23:05] Anna: It’s a weird year for that. It came out July 15th, 2020, arguably the absolute worst time for a book to come out, which was another experiment I wanted to do because my theory is that all this stuff that the traditional publishers sling around about “This is the best release date,” is nonsense.
There are advantages and disadvantages to all dates for this. No, my speaking is kicking up now, but, and I did some virtual events, but that was not my goal. I was very clear that my goal was to get clients from that book.
And it was my eight book. And it was the first time that I went with an intention of doing that. So that I think is key.
[00:23:51] Natasha: Would you say that this book has given you more joy than any of the other past books?
[00:23:58] Anna: Yes, Party Girl gave me so much joy to write. I can’t even tell you.
[00:24:03] Natasha: And it still lives on. We might as well just talk about how it’s living on. So.
[00:24:07] Anna: It’s living on.
[00:24:08] Natasha: Yes. What is happening with that book right now? Maybe, like what’s possibly happening?
[00:24:13] Anna: The movie rights have been auctioned over and over since it first came out. And different possibilities, some of them exciting, but right now this is, I wrote the script over the pandemic and it is-
[00:24:30] Natasha: Can I ask a question about script writing as an author and as a columnist and a reporter, how easy is it to move to writing a script? I think it’s a whole other beast. Is it?
[00:24:41] Anna: Yes. And I’ll tell you the truth. I was terrible at it. I tried to be a screenwriter. I wrote TV specs. I did all the things back in the nineties, and I wasn’t any good at it So my boyfriend is a screenwriter who is a genius at structure.
And in fact, one of the Melanie Griffith optioned the rights back, whatever, when it first came out and she said, “I want you to write the script,” and I met with her and Antonio Banderas and they were like, “You’re gonna write the script.” And I tried, and it was terrible because I was just taking my book and writing a script.
I didn’t know. And Jim looked at it, he’d read the book and he’s like, “Here’s the structure. Start with this, go to this, do that.” And it’s really a math problem. And I can’t do that. So once he told me the structure, it just flowed and the script is very different because the book takes place in the nineties. And this is 2020 or 2021.
It is like in the book, she becomes a magazine columnist who hears about that. Today she becomes the biggest podcaster. So it’s been updated and I was shocked to discover that the script was good because I had many experiences writing scripts that were not. So I’ve decided I’m going to manifest just the way I don’t mean to sidetrack, but in this Clubhouse conversation that you and I had recently, I was so blown away.
I don’t think you knoe, like how powerful the statement you said was, we were talking about just your book and you just basically said, “I’m doing this book. I’m moving to the next phase of my life. It is going to launch my course,” and it was just said so beautifully and with so much conviction.
And I know, cause you’ve accomplished a lot, you have the power to do that. I really loved it because we talked about it, but I’d never heard you articulate it like that. So that’s what I’m doing with this script. It’s going to get made. Right now, Jeff Garland who’s on Curb Your Enthusiasm is attached as a producer and as talent to play one of the parts. And every week there’s like somebody, I did find somebody, there is somebody who’s interested in making it a producer and can raise money, but it’s a very low budget.
So I’m not sure there’s a lot of locations. And so it doesn’t lend itself to a low budget movie, but I’m just going to see where it goes.
[00:26:56] Natasha: I believe that your book probably had to wait this long for you to catch up to it for you to have the full experience, a great screenplay, the right team, the right time. And it’s just going to be amazing.
Whereas if you had, maybe if Melanie Griffith, maybe there would be changes, it didn’t happen for a reason. So this feels like the right time.
[00:27:25] Anna: Yeah, I agree. Yeah. I remember it just broke my heart that Party Girl didn’t do better. And then I realized, I was like who knows? Like maybe it wouldn’t become this huge success. And I would have been a total asshole, but who knows?
I know several people who had huge hit books out of the gate, everybody was jealous. They got all the things and they are constantly and never able to dig themselves out of “my greatest successes behind me.”
[00:27:54] Natasha: That is not fun. Okay. So we’re going to go back into your business. And one of the things I’d like to know is right now, today, what is one of the biggest challenges that you’re working on or working through in your business?
[00:28:09] Anna: The biggest challenge is extricating myself from the day to day, I have a team and the amazing team, but I have set up a business that involves me emotionally and literally. Where, because I’m the face, basically clients expect to deal with me all the time. And it’s very challenging and I have definitely hit a breaking point lately. Cause I do all the boundaries and I say, I can’t be long. And they really get angry or they just say no. Or they just ignore the boundary. And so I’m working so hard right now to change that.
I was just like, is there a way to get me not to be the person that signs the contracts? That would be the dream? I don’t think so.
[00:28:58] Natasha: There is, by the way, but…
[00:28:59] Anna: My God for our next call, please. Okay. Wow.
[00:29:04] Natasha: So this is not a challenge specific to you. Yeah, I think one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs and business people have in general is something different and that is their people operations, the people hiring, firing, keeping them engaged, keeping them happy: culture.
But the other thing is delegation and removing yourself from the center of the business. And so you’re working in your business and not on it. It sounds like your goal might be to move toward working on the business.
[00:29:38] Anna: Absolutely. It’s what makes me happy. Chill. It’s what I enjoy. And I’m in this situation right now where every time a client signs, I’m like, “Oh God, I signed someone this morning,” and I don’t want to have that response to something that I can’t believe a year and a half ago, I would’ve killed for.
[00:29:57] Natasha: It will happen. Just like everything. It has its own timing, right? Yeah. You’re probably too new of a business to let go of the reins completely. And it doesn’t hurt or it doesn’t help that you’re so fun to talk to. And so smart and exciting to be on a call or in a room with.
So maybe you should just make yourself not so desirable.
[00:30:21] Anna: My team is like that though. The highlight of the week is our team meeting because they’re just so delightful. It’s funny because we were talking last week about ENFJ, what are those called? The Myers-Briggs test. We were all the same thing.
[00:30:35] Natasha: That is a thing. So as you scale and grow your business, I won’t be able to talk about Myers-Briggs specifically, but if you take a disc assessment, I’m a high D. I’m a driver, and I won’t be able to walk you through the other, the I and the S and the C very well. But when you have a team that’s growing and a business that’s growing, you have to diversify.
So this is working now and I love it. Let’s just embrace it for the moment. And then the next question I have for you and you can’t answer with the same answer, what is a strategy that you’re focusing on to scale and grow your business this year?
[00:31:14] Anna: There’s two. I would love to make my online business work. So I focus in a lot on that, on the actual funnel.
[00:31:26] Natasha: And that’s attracting people. Let’s talk about what a funnel is for the people who don’t know.
[00:31:32] Anna: It’s attracting people to my newsletter list. So I have this cheat sheet, which is the 20 Ways to Launch a Bestselling Book, which you have read. It’s great. I have had a lot of lead magnets that are not great. So I think I may have figured this out.
So that’s the lead magnet. You sign up and you get offered a $5 product, which is my book, Write and Launch Your Book in a Year, which is 52 chapters. And they’re very short and each one has a tip and then a followup. So what you should do for that tip, and it’s very manageable. You can do this tip in a week. And the goal is it’s not a book about writing.
It is a book. The thing is lots of people I talked to write their books and they don’t publish them. So that will not be your problem Natasha. But so this is to get you ready to both write and publish your book in a year. And then you get offered my course, which is Launch Your Book, which I’m thinking of re-titling it “Overnight Bestseller.” Is that really better?
[00:32:29] Natasha: I mean. That’s really exciting, but it feels like there’s a guarantee there. So you just have to work out. There’s gotta be fine print on the desk. But it doesn’t because you can’t control the content.
[00:32:43] Anna: I know, but if you follow the launch strategy, you will be a bestseller. Everything can change.
[00:32:49] Natasha: That’s right. I was joking with someone about: Do I need to be a USA Today or New York times bestselling author? Do I need to be an Amazon best-selling author? There are a lot of authors out there, especially in the entrepreneurship world where they’re like, “I’m a bestselling author,” and you know what? We just all believed them.
I could become the best-selling author of my neighborhood and still say that might even mean nobody else has published a book in my neighborhood. So it’s wordsmithing.
[00:33:17] Anna: It is. And by the way, somebody who worked for me, who left, who started a competing business, who is not a New York Times bestselling author who now claims on Instagram she is. I have to be telling the truth apparently.
[00:33:31] Natasha: It would be hard to really prove that I guess.
[00:33:36] Anna: I was going to comment and go, “Which one is the New York Times bestselling book?”
[00:33:40] Natasha: Wait, one thing I have to say out loud, which is pretty funny. And I think I told you this, I have a friend in New York who, before he wrote his book and it was a dummies book about mortgages or something. He had tattooed on his chest in the reverse so that when he looked at the mirror, it says New York Times bestselling author.
I think that was his way of manifesting it. You know what I need to go back. I’ll tell you what, it’s still on there. So he has plenty of time to fulfill that destiny.
[00:34:11] Anna: I’ll tell you something very dark that occurs to me because I’ve been so wearing in recovery. And there’s this joke, which isn’t very funny. I guess if you’re not in the program that anybody who tattoos their sobriety date on their body is going to go out because you’ve got to be one day at a time. Like you can’t do that.
[00:34:29] Natasha: So I’m assuming you don’t have a tattoo.
[00:34:32] Anna: I do not have a tattoo.
[00:34:35] Natasha: Just checking. Yeah. That’s a lot of pressure. A lot to answer to. Okay. So I think you said you had two things, so two strategies. One is the digital marketing funnel.
[00:34:49] Anna: And the other one. Okay. So my challenge, you and I have talked about this is that we are such a high touch business and we are a boutique and I do not want to become a book factory that releases hundreds of books a year.
So how do I scale? So I think I can grow sideways, which is to say, if we’re in the authority building business, which is what we are, how else can we help people build authority? Podcasts, social media, publicity speaking, all of these things, podcasts being the most obvious because I am being interviewed from my sound booth, my bottom floor in my house is a sound booth.
So I started to offer that to clients and I actually have a great way to take a book and make it into a podcast. But I haven’t made a real effort. So that’s one way to scale. And then the other way is to offer a more concierge level where you basically get somebody on my team at your proverbial beck and call doing all the things. Both have challenges.
I haven’t implemented them.
[00:36:02] Natasha: Yeah. It’s a great starting point. And I love hearing that. That’s very exciting. And I do see other businesses that are similar to yours doing that. It will mean bringing on more talent, whether it’s freelance, 1099 or employee, but you can figure that out in the future. I love it. I love it.
Anna laid it all out for us. She didn’t hold back and she taught us a lot. For more information about Anna, her books and our company Launch Pad Publishing, go to the show notes where you’re listening to this show.
For more information about me, go to my website, natashamiller.co. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you loved the show. If you did, please subscribe. Also, if you haven’t done so yet, please leave a review where you’re listening to this podcast now. I’m Natasha Miller and you’ve been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.