163: Use Your Book as a Business Builder – Interview with Suzy Prudden
Co-Founder of Itty Bitty Publishing
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
- How an Itty Bitty Author went from making $100,000 a year to $750,000 a year
- Why it’s so important to pick up the phone and follow-up
- Why you shouldn’t give your book away as a business card
- How the internet has changed the publishing industry
- What’s it like to write an Itty Bitty Book
Click to Read the Show Notes
00:52 “I was a fitness expert. I had a fitness school in New York City.”
1:05 Prudden describes all the rapid changes that occurred after she sold her business at 40.
1:33 “I couldn’t pay my franchise fees, so I lost the franchise, thank goodness, so I started to work with entrepreneurs.”
1:52 “Working with entrepreneurs is very exciting because entrepreneurs, they have to be self-starters.”
2:21 “The most challenging thing for most entrepreneurs, literally, is picking up the phone.”
3:03 “People don’t like to hear the word no.”
3:55 Why it’s so important to follow up right away.
4:49 Prudden discusses the origins of Itty Bitty Publishing.
5:10 [On writing the first book with her sister] – “We didn’t know what we were doing, we had no idea what we were doing.”
5:25 “We had 2,000 to sell, we have 1,800 left. It just didn’t work.”
5:50 “I asked my sister to change the cover of the Itty Bitty Book, and to cut it, make it shorter.”
6:40 [On the Amazing Itty Bitty Weight Loss Book] – “My ego had a blip…I looked at my sister and said, ‘Are you sure you don’t want my name on the book?’ And then I looked at the book and said, ‘Actually, that’s a million dollar business.”
7:05 “2 weeks later we had our first author, 6 weeks later we had our first published book.”
7:19 “Because of the internet, the publishing industry has totally changed.”
8:00 “The world is being inundated with information.”
8:33 “So when we look at Itty Bitty, we thought: ‘All we want to do is we want information that’s going to make a difference for the reader that they don’t have to weed through.”
8:55 [On sorting through larger books for salient info] – “Itty Bitty Books are the yellow highlights.”
9:38 [On the type of person who should write a book] – “Any person who has a sort of expertise that they are using in their business.”
10:40 How having a book you’ve written in your area of expertise will increase your credibility and open doors for you.
11:00 Examples of writers who have written for Itty Bitty Books.
11:15 “A lot of our authors sell their books, a lot of our authors give them away, which I don’t like them to do that.”
11:30 “People don’t value what they don’t pay for.”
11:58 [On why she dislikes people handing out books at conferences] – “If I buy the book because I’m interested in reading [it], that’s a whole different thing.”
12:25 “You should not give you book away as a business card, you should sell your book.”
13:18 “If you give your book away as a business card, that book usually ends up in a pile that either ends up in the garbage, which I will not do, or ends up at goodwill.”
13:36 “We have about 130 authors that are ‘in play,’ so to speak.”
14:12 “The moment we came up with the idea we knew we had a million dollar business.”
14:23 “It wasn’t that we started Itty Bitty and it slowly grew and then we knew it was a winner, it was almost as if God had handed us this thing.”
14:52 [On founding on a new business in her seventies] – “It’s like we wanted something that would live beyond us.”
15:18 “Bookstores are a dying breed. I love bookstores, I love going into bookstores. I don’t want my book in a bookstore, because you won’t find it.”
15:39 [Why Prudden hates book signings.] – “Unless you’re a really famous person, people aren’t really going to show up.”
15:45 “If your book doesn’t sell within two months, the bookstore tears off the front cover, sends it back to the publisher, and the publisher has to refund the money.”
16:35 [On why Prudden prefers stores were Itty Bitty Books can have their own kiosk] – “When I’ve been at places where I have all my books on display, people will go through my rack and by ten books.”
17:01 Prudden tells about meeting the person who helps people get their products into Target.
18:33 [On one of their authors who’s written 4 books with them] – “Using his Itty Bitty Book he’s grown from making $100,000 to making three quarters of a million dollars a year.”
19:23 “He is our golden boy.”
19:35 “I believe a book is a business builder, not a business card.”
20:06 Why if, you have to give away your book, you give it to a decision maker as a program for success, not as a business card.
21:30 [On how long it takes for an Itty Bitty Book to get published] – “That depends on the author. We’ve had people write their book in three days. We’ve also had somebody who will write their book in two years.”
21:41 “When you become an Itty Bitty Author, we send you a ‘How to Write an Itty Bitty Book’ book.”
22:01 “You have to keep it very short. A lot of people overwrite.”
23:02 [On Amazon and all the digitals] – “Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo, D2D, iTunes, Barnes and Noble – anything you can put on your computer, your phone….”
23:40 Prudden describes the ins and outs of Itty Bitty Publishing including author splits and digital vs. print versions and pricing.
24:00 “Everyone asks me, ‘How quickly will I make my money back by selling books.’ And I tell them, ‘You won’t. You’ll make your money back by using your book as a business builder.”
25:05 Prudden tells about how Itty Bitty Book’s Marijuana book: 15 Ways to Use Cannabis for Healing, came to be, including its upcoming sequel. – “And then I said, ‘Then you’re going to write the book 15 Ways to Talk to Your Kids about Cannabis and then you’re going to write the book 15 Ways to Use Edibles Correctly.
27:36 How Itty Bitty’s “15 Experts” Books are compiled
28:00 Five Question Round
29:48 “You are the power in your life.”
30:22 “You have to work at it. You have to take action.”
30:52 “I’ve been making up companies for 50 years. You get an idea, and you just do it.”
Suzy Prudden is a prize winning speaker and seminar leader, author and TV/radio host and personality, has been inspiring audiences since 1965. She is also a New York Times Best Selling Author, fitness expert, hypnotherapist, and success and accountability coach. She’s written 14 books on physical fitness, weight loss, body/mind technology and mind power, as well as 4 videos, and dozens of DVD’s and CD’s. She created and publishes the Amazing Itty Bitty Book series and Fit For Life® Publishing.
She’s been on Oprah, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. The New York Times says, “If Suzy is talking about it today, the rest of the country will be talking about it tomorrow.”
For more information, visit Suzy Prudden’s website.
Contact Info for Suzy Prudden
Web address: www.ittybittypublishing.com
Travels from:El Segundo, CA