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A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

Rawseed

Legendary Lurker
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Mar 1, 2018
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Atlanta, GA
I need to stop lurking and action-faking. So, I've decided to start this thread.

Reasons for this thread:
  • To force me to map out a plan of action
  • To hold myself accountable to my plan of action
  • To allow other entrepreneurs to learn from my future successes and mistakes
  • To encourage Devil's Advocates to give me honest feedback about my plan of action
If you're interested, I discuss my background here: INTRO

I'm the typical Idea Entrepreneur that @MJ DeMarco talks about in Chapter 47 of Unscripted . I have a hard time executing and I have a million ideas. I'm also addicted to reading business and self-help books.

My current business is book writing and publishing. But, I'm executing poorly on the publishing part. I currently have 5 books on Amazon and 1 box set.

My first book has 276 reviews with a 4.4 rating (none paid for). I get decent sales when I do promotions or Amazon ads, but I never get around to doing promotions or Amazon ads.

With my business, production isn't the problem. My problem is with operations and marketing.

I currently have 17 novels and novellas that I've written and had edited. Most of those have book covers designed. Yet, only 5 of those are published.

So, part of this thread is going to be documenting that I'm getting the 12 non-published books up on Amazon and maybe Draft 2 Digital.

In addition to getting all of the books published, I've decided to turn the books into a fiction podcast. Ideally, I'd call it an Audio Drama. But, early on I'll only have one voice actor per book. And, I won't have music. So, I'll call it a fiction podcast instead.

I think a fiction podcast can be a productocracy.

  • Control: I plan to syndicate it through Libsyn, so no one entity would be able to kill my business. I also plan to use lead magnets to get my listeners onto an email list.
  • Entry: I plan to hire voice actors to produce the podcast. This investment is a barrier to entry. The long road to profitability is also a barrier to entry. Writing quality stories that keep listeners coming back is another.
  • Need: There really aren't that many audio dramas out there and there aren't any audio dramas for the genre that I write in.
  • Time: I'm going to outsource the narration and the production. I'll need to write 4 novels a year. Unless, I just outline the novels and hire ghostwriters to write them. In that case, I'll just need to outline and do the first edit.
  • Scale: The market size is only limited to the number of people who enjoy my genre.

Revenue Sources: book sales of current and future books, advertising, affiliate products, courses that I'll create, and products that I'll create.

Marketing: word of mouth, viral giveaways, Facebook/Instagram Ads, Adwords, front and back matter of books, and influencer marketing (social, bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters).

Ultimate Moonshot Goal: Have one of my stories turned into a movie.

So, that's the overall plan. Next is to create a step by step execution plan. Then get to work.

Any feedback is welcome. Especially, from Devil's Advocates. I'm not looking for reassurance.
 
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Ranman

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jul 10, 2018
17
22
I need to stop lurking and action-faking. So, I've decided to start this thread.

Reasons for this thread:
  • To force me to map out a plan of action
  • To hold myself accountable to my plan of action
  • To allow other entrepreneurs to learn from my future successes and mistakes
  • To encourage Devil's Advocates to give me honest feedback about my plan of action
If you're interested, I discuss my background here: INTRO

I'm the typical Idea Entrepreneur that @MJ DeMarco talks about in Chapter 47 of Unscripted . I have a hard time executing and I have a million ideas. I'm also addicted to reading business and self-help books.

My current business is book writing and publishing. But, I'm executing poorly on the publishing part. I currently have 5 books on Amazon and 1 box set.

My first book has 276 reviews with a 4.4 rating (none paid for). I get decent sales when I do promotions or Amazon ads, but I never get around to doing promotions or Amazon ads.

With my business, production isn't the problem. My problem is with operations and marketing.

I currently have 17 novels and novellas that I've written and had edited. Most of those have book covers designed. Yet, only 5 of those are published.

So, part of this thread is going to be documenting that I'm getting the 12 non-published books up on Amazon and maybe Draft 2 Digital.

In addition to getting all of the books published, I've decided to turn the books into a fiction podcast. Ideally, I'd call it an Audio Drama. But, early on I'll only have one voice actor per book. And, I won't have music. So, I'll call it a fiction podcast instead.

I think a fiction podcast can be a productocracy.

  • Control: I plan to syndicate it through Libsyn, so no one entity would be able to kill my business. I also plan to use lead magnets to get my listeners onto an email list.
  • Entry: I plan to hire voice actors to produce the podcast. This investment is a barrier to entry. The long road to profitability is also a barrier to entry. Writing quality stories that keep listeners coming back is another.
  • Need: There really aren't that many audio dramas out there and there aren't any audio dramas for the genre that I write in.
  • Time: I'm going to outsource the narration and the production. I'll need to write 4 novels a year. Unless, I just outline the novels and hire ghostwriters to write them. In that case, I'll just need to outline and do the first edit.
  • Scale: The market size is only limited to the number of people who enjoy my genre.

Revenue Sources: book sales of current and future books, advertising, affiliate products, courses that I'll create, and products that I'll create.

Marketing: word of mouth, viral giveaways, Facebook/Instagram Ads, Adwords, front and back matter of books, and influencer marketing (social, bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters).

Ultimate Moonshot Goal: Have one of my stories turned into a movie.

So, that's the overall plan. Next is to create a step by step execution plan. Then get to work.

Any feedback is welcome. Especially, from Devil's Advocates. I'm not looking for reassurance.
Any updates?
 

Rawseed

Legendary Lurker
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 1, 2018
421
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43
Atlanta, GA
Updates on my fiction podcast.

After two months, I now have:
  • A podcast name, domain, and website
  • A podcast cover/artwork designed by professionals
  • A podcast intro, outro, and first CTA (Call to action) recorded and mastered by professionals
  • A CTA landing page to capture emails
  • A CTA lead magnet to encourage email sign-ups
  • The first 10 emails to send in the every other week newsletter (20 weeks)
  • Episode descriptions/summaries and tags/keywords for the first 20 episodes
  • A step by step podcast episode production process to go from the various episode subcomponents to a tagged MP3 uploaded to Libsyn
The last needed piece is the content. The voice actor has recorded the seven hour audiobook. I've listened to it and I've sent it back to him for some edits.

Once I get the edited audiobook back, I'll have the content for the first 20 episodes of the podcast.

My plan now is to:
  • Launch the podcast on October 1st
  • Get another audiobook narrated in October
  • Use Facebook Ads as the primary way to attract listeners
  • Adjust my strategy based on subjective and objective feedback. With more focus on the objective feedback.
 

Ranman

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jul 10, 2018
17
22
Updates on my fiction podcast.

After two months, I now have:
  • A podcast name, domain, and website
  • A podcast cover/artwork designed by professionals
  • A podcast intro, outro, and first CTA (Call to action) recorded and mastered by professionals
  • A CTA landing page to capture emails
  • A CTA lead magnet to encourage email sign-ups
  • The first 10 emails to send in the every other week newsletter (20 weeks)
  • Episode descriptions/summaries and tags/keywords for the first 20 episodes
  • A step by step podcast episode production process to go from the various episode subcomponents to a tagged MP3 uploaded to Libsyn
The last needed piece is the content. The voice actor has recorded the seven hour audiobook. I've listened to it and I've sent it back to him for some edits.

Once I get the edited audiobook back, I'll have the content for the first 20 episodes of the podcast.

My plan now is to:
  • Launch the podcast on October 1st
  • Get another audiobook narrated in October
  • Use Facebook Ads as the primary way to attract listeners
  • Adjust my strategy based on subjective and objective feedback. With more focus on the objective feedback.

Wonderful update!! Im ecstatic about your progress and look forward to hearing your work. I also plan on entering the podcast field and you've everthing mapped out perfect. Do you plan on starting your own podcast network or shopping your podcast to a network?
 
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MJ DeMarco

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FASTLANE INSIDER
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I changed the thread title to be more descriptive, otherwise people just think it's another podcast among thousands. A fiction podcast is a bit different.
 

Rawseed

Legendary Lurker
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 1, 2018
421
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Atlanta, GA
@Ranman No, I'm not looking to join or start a podcast network. Right now my plan is to focus on this one podcast and get as many happy listeners as possible.

I want as many listeners as possible and their attention. Many argue that attention is the most valuable asset to have.

@MJ DeMarco Thank you for changing the thread title.
 

Rawseed

Legendary Lurker
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 1, 2018
421
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Atlanta, GA
In my last post, I stated I'd launch on October 1st. I misjudged my readiness. Again. ;)

But, I now have three audiobooks completely narrated, edited, and mastered. So, I have 15 total hours of narration.

My plan is to have 15 to 20 minute podcast episodes. So, I currently have enough content for 45 to 60 episodes.

I plan to launch with four episodes and then release two episodes a week. So, I currently have enough content for 20 to 28 weeks.

After creating the pilot episode, I sent it to some people I trust. They gave me feedback about the audio quality. So, I pushed the launch date of the podcast to November 1st.

That's where I'm at.
 
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Rawseed

Legendary Lurker
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 1, 2018
421
1,037
43
Atlanta, GA
Update on this.

I launched the podcast in February. I released two chapters of my audiobook a week.

I marketed the podcast a little, but not nearly enough. I still got 110 downloads of episode #1 and 50 downloads of the episode #22 (the final episode). Apple podcast stats show that listeners typically listened to the entire episode.

However, not many people answered my CTA which was to sign up for my newsletter to receive a free ebook of another story. I also don't think that I received much word-of-mouth marketing. Not a good sign.

I stopped working on it because I think the business model is flawed and/or the book wasn't good enough. I'll likely come back to it as a passion project once I have a real prodoctocracy set up and running well.
 

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