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What's MJ's Story on How he turned TMF into a best seller?

persistencyiskey

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Hello,

Big fan of @MJ DeMarco and the forum.

I've been trying to search for a post where MJ discusses and breaks down in detail his successful story regarding The Millionaire Fastlane, but I haven't been able to find one...does it exist?

If not, if MJ could be generous enough to share with us some background on the below, it would be incredibly helpful for all of the aspiring writers out there, and/or entrepreneurs who are curious to learn more about the publishing industry!

-how you came up with the book concept
-what went into writing it, how long it took, the bumps in the road, etc (the process!)
-how/why you decided to create your own publication versus other possible alternatives
-your approach to marketing/pr to get the book noticed/turn it into an international best seller
-any other helpful tips and insights that would be beneficial for your fanbase of readers

Thanks greatly.
 

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Vic Sage

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Yes! I'd like to hear that too.
Especially the part about getting the book noticed (says the author of several ignored books).
 

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I take it you have read @ChickenHawk 's thread detailing her self publishing exploits over 5 years?

A very good read while you wait.
 

MJ DeMarco

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You didn't get the memo?

My big secret is luck! Again!

It's all random chance! You just gotta be lucky baby!!
 

RazorCut

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My big secret is luck! Again!

It's all random chance! You just gotta be lucky!
:rofl::rofl::rofl:

"I’m a Great Believer in Luck. The Harder I Work, the More Luck I Have"
- Thomas Jefferson
 

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Time for MJ to write a new book detailing his journey on how he sold this many copies, the exact steps he took, and a list of resources on the last few pages (e.g. book publishers, tools, personal helpful contacts, mentors' phone numbers), as well as a tearable cheat-sheet blueprint of the process for easy reference.
 

MJ DeMarco

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In all seriousness, Ill try putting some thought to this later today.
 
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persistencyiskey

persistencyiskey

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In all seriousness, Ill try putting some thought to this later today.
That would be highly appreciated, thanks and looking forward to it!
 

MJ DeMarco

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Vic Sage

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Thanks, MJ! Since I wasn't here several years ago, I appreciate the link.
Also, this is a lesson to remember that I need to periodically revisit things because the audience is always changing and new people come along. It's so easy to say "Don't you remember when I said...?"
 

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MJ DeMarco

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#2

Write something that most people (if you hit the right audience) will find relatively valuable (that's an Unscripted concept) and different.

At the time I started writing it (remember, that was over 10 years ago) very few authors spoke of VALUE as a centerpiece in money and/or business books. Very few people spoke of NEEDS and how it relates to scalable mathematics (the wealth equations) and your ability to tap into that power (via CENTS). Very few spoke of how our choices impacts everything. Very few books talked about entrepreneurship as a financial strategy.

Instead, authors focused on ONE single concept, and blew it up into 250 pages. I wanted to talk about FORTY concepts and put it together into a workable formula. While TMF did a decent job, I feel Unscripted does a better job at that.

If I thought there was a similar book on the market touching on these concepts, I would NOT have written it.

Same goes for Unscripted.

A good example on how things have changed: Nowadays, everyone is talking about value-based entrepreneurship whereas back then, money-chasing "make money online" and "blogging for profit" was the hot topic. Today (I believe) money-chasing is now being more recognized.

#3

Write something transcendent, or evergreen.

Anything I write in the future will fall into the evergreen category. Meaning: When you read it today, it will be just as valuable 5, 10 years from now. I want to discuss things that are transcendent, not hot one month, and gone the next. While some hot Facebook advertising strategy might be worthwhile to write about, in 2 years, much less 1 year, that "strategy" will be deprecated and worthless.

For me, I felt most books weren't big picture , something transcendent that could outlast the years, but small expiring concepts that where "hot" at the time, but 1 year later, antiquated.

TMF has to withstand time.

And while some of the verbiage is dated (in the older version, not the newer one) the concepts still hold firm. This is why the book continues to sell, year after year.

Ultimately, I hope it becomes as popular and long-standing as Think and Grow Rich or RDPD.

And finally, I was damn tired of all the books promising wealth if you just save your pennies and put it into an indexed-fund for 50 years. I want to crush that Wall-Street shilling narrative, and at the time, the recession proved that "wall street" and "jobs" as a foundation for financial success is pretty damn risky.

I want to address entrepreneurship as a financial plan, as a strategy for massive wealth in 10 years or less, not 50 years or more.

All of this creates the potential for a PRODUCTOCRACY.

PRODUCTOCRACIES can grow without advertising because people recommend the book to other people.

And TMF has.
 

MJ DeMarco

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#4

The fourth part of the story is an extension of your product. You must have a unique position that is somewhat different, polarizing, or perhaps, even politically incorrect. This goes also to branding, such as "Fastlane" etc.

If my position was just as common as other positions (start saving early! Wall Street! Compound interest! Indexed funds!!) I wouldn't have written anything. Why bother? There's already 96,000 books saying the same thing.

My book has sold well, but it never really received any mainstream media attention, either from the guru cartel who make their living as gurus (gee why would that be?) or from any financial media who promotes Slowlane orthodoxy. When you make your living convincing the drones that 50 years of Wall Street is the secret to wealth, do you really want to promote something that smashes the old paradigm, and even goes as far to say it's a scam? Probably not.

This has given me a unique position, but it also means you won't be hearing about my work on the front page of Yahoo Finance or some other Slowlane-promoting rag anytime soon. The work had to be spread at a grass-roots level, on its own by virtue of its own message.


#5


The fourth concept is the hardest, yet, it is the most effective. Once again, we're at PROCESS VS EVENT.

For most people, writing a book might take a few days or weeks. It's fast and within a month, they've gotta book on the Amazon platform. This is the EVENT aspect of authorship.

The PROCESS aspect?

That's building a community, a platform, around your work.

This does double duty:

  1. It allows readers to discuss the concepts and share their journey.
  2. It introduces NEW readers to the concepts and acts as a lead generator for the books.
I've spent countless hours contributing here and it is the bread and butter of the "secret". But just like any secret worth its salt, the secret is simply the process.

It's not the gym, but the diet.
It's not the wedding, but the marriage.

PRODUCT, POSITIONING, PLATFORM, and PROCESS.
 

ExaltedLife

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#3

Write something transcendent, or evergreen.

Anything I write in the future will fall into the evergreen category. Meaning: When you read it today, it will be just as valuable 5, 10 years from now. I want to discuss things that are transcendent, not hot one month, and gone the next. While some hot Facebook advertising strategy might be worthwhile to write about, in 2 years, much less 1 year, that "strategy" will be deprecated and worthless.

For me, I felt most books weren't big picture , something transcendent that could outlast the years, but small expiring concepts that where "hot" at the time, but 1 year later, antiquated.

TMF has to withstand time.

And while some of the verbiage is dated (in the older version, not the newer one) the concepts still hold firm. This is why the book continues to sell, year after year.

Ultimately, I hope it becomes as popular and long-standing as Think and Grow Rich or RDPD.

And finally, I was damn tired of all the books promising wealth if you just save your pennies and put it into an indexed-fund for 50 years. I want to crush that Wall-Street shilling narrative, and at the time, the recession proved that "wall street" and "jobs" as a foundation for financial success is pretty damn risky.

I want to address entrepreneurship as a financial plan, as a strategy for massive wealth in 10 years or less, not 50 years or more.

All of this creates the potential for a PRODUCTOCRACY.

PRODUCTOCRACIES can grow without advertising because people recommend the book to other people.

And TMF has.
"If I wrote only for my time, I would throw away my pen"

- Victor Hugo

His books are still selling and being talked about, 150 years later
 

Vic Sage

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Yes! Great, incisive stuff, MJ!
If I may ask a question: Is a printed book still a viable core product for the "event" part? I have a few published books that don't sell (never had the know-how to market). I have a new project that I envision as an online course (with membership forum) but I am unsure whether a book in print would add anything to that since it would be the same old problem getting exposure for the book. By the way, my slant is always unique and "evergreen", so content and positioning are never a problem for me, just the breakthrough circulation. Just how did you market TMF, because I assume people came here to the forum because of the book, not the other way around?
 

MJ DeMarco

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Yes! Great, incisive stuff, MJ!
If I may ask a question: Is a printed book still a viable core product for the "event" part? I have a few published books that don't sell (never had the know-how to market). I have a new project that I envision as an online course (with membership forum) but I am unsure whether a book in print would add anything to that since it would be the same old problem getting exposure for the book. By the way, my slant is always unique and "evergreen", so content and positioning are never a problem for me, just the breakthrough circulation. Just how did you market TMF, because I assume people came here to the forum because of the book, not the other way around?
Yes, book = event.

I gained traction by pre-selling the book and growing the forum. That was made possible by a reputation I built by contributing to various forums. That was the hard part. I also gave a lot of books away, did some advertising where I could (FB declined ads for the book) but none of those was really the impetus for anything. The forum and the book kinda fed off each other which is why the book never rocketed to the best seller lists, but still consistently sells.
 

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A reverse progress thread. Pretty cool and learned a lot already!
 

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Anything I write in the future will fall into the evergreen category. Meaning: When you read it today, it will be just as valuable 5, 10 years from now. I want to discuss things that are transcendent, not hot one month, and gone the next. While some hot Facebook advertising strategy might be worthwhile to write about, in 2 years, much less 1 year, that "strategy" will be deprecated and worthless.

For me, I felt most books weren't big picture , something transcendent that could outlast the years, but small expiring concepts that where "hot" at the time, but 1 year later, antiquated.
The fourth part of the story is an extension of your product. You must have a unique position that is somewhat different, polarizing, or perhaps, even politically incorrect. This goes also to branding, such as "Fastlane" etc.
These two are, to me, the most valuable advice you can get, when approaching this subject. I also think that 'transcendental' books are philosophical and answer a lot of questions 'why do we live...'. The rest of the problems will just solve 'by themselves' when you know, you are creating something bigger than yourself.

Unique, even when you write about concepts that are well-known ('wealth' creation). Be different. But not only with your name. Also with your approach to the subject.

This is great!
 

Determined2012

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Yes! Great, incisive stuff, MJ!
If I may ask a question: Is a printed book still a viable core product for the "event" part? I have a few published books that don't sell (never had the know-how to market). I have a new project that I envision as an online course (with membership forum) but I am unsure whether a book in print would add anything to that since it would be the same old problem getting exposure for the book. By the way, my slant is always unique and "evergreen", so content and positioning are never a problem for me, just the breakthrough circulation. Just how did you market TMF, because I assume people came here to the forum because of the book, not the other way around?
I can tell you how I found the book...

I had just gotten fired from my job!

I remember feeling how I had no control over whether I could earn money or not- I believed I was at the mercy of my managers/supervisors. I had a $2,000 per month house payment and I now had no clue how I was gonna pay for it now without my job!

I remembered feeling that I NEVER want to be in this type of position again where I didn't have the final say about where my money would come from...

I started googling online...terms like "how to reinvent myself" and "how to create my own work" "how to make my own job" etc. etc.!!

This same word kept popping up... "Entrepreneur".

I never really heard the term "entrepreneur" before at all in my whole entire life and didn't really know what it was or what it meant! Next thing I know a link to read the first 3 chapters of The Millionaire Fastlane was on my screen. I clicked on it. The first three chapters sucked me all the way in. I ordered the iBook version and read the whole book nonstop in TWO days. I was SHOOK!!! I never was the same person ever again.

I decided that day, no matter what I have to become an *entrepreneur!!!

This was in June of 2012.

I have purchased multiple copies of this book EVERY SINGLE YEAR from 2012 til now. I STILL urge anyone who will listen to get this book 7 years later, and might I add- with the SAME tenacity and urgency as I felt for the book when I first read it- I tell friends, family, and now my CHILDREN since they are old enough to understand a lot of the content (We read this book together as a family over their 2 week Christmas break!!!).

*I am moreso self employed, but still actively working on becoming an entrepreneur. What I can say for a fact and with extreme pride is that I have not worked another 9-5 since January 9, 2012, and for that I give 10,000% credit to this book. My journey has absolutely been that squiggly line going all over the road on my path to entrepreneurship!

This book is POWERFUL- to anyone who can comprehend the words that they read. This book transformed me as a person, and transformed my LIFEstyle. I live life on my own terms 365 days a year. To this day nothing else I have ever experienced has had that type of impact on me.

I don't think he had to market the book at all. The book connected to and resonated so well with the readers that WE marketed for him. That is the best type of marketing/advertising you could ever get. The people are doing the work- consistently, diligently. We keep it going, person by person.

I know I just got longwinded, but this book really deserves all the praise it gets. I'm so thankful. Gratitude.
 

ExaltedLife

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Yes, book = event.

I gained traction by pre-selling the book and growing the forum. That was made possible by a reputation I built by contributing to various forums. That was the hard part. I also gave a lot of books away, did some advertising where I could (FB declined ads for the book) but none of those was really the impetus for anything. The forum and the book kinda fed off each other which is why the book never rocketed to the best seller lists, but still consistently sells.
Thanks for validating the idea I had in mind.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Determined2012

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Thanks Kira, means a lot to me!
There is a saying in my community (Black) that if you want to hide something from us put it in a book. (signifying that we don't read-- and that the knowledge gained from the book is POWER)...

This book has EMPOWERED me in a way that nothing else (maybe international travel) ever has.

I feel that this book has EVERYTHING that my community needs to know, but doesn't know- due to one reason or another we were never told or taught it--- even our parents or school teachers didn't know or didn't teach it to us. But it made so much LOGICAL sense and could not be ignored.

When I read the book I had so many epiphanies and revelations rushing through my mind I thought my head was gonna explode. I felt I need to spread the word and that EVERYONE needs to know about this book and they need to know NOW!!!

Its bigger than just my community though- everyone needs to know about this book because of what it means and what it stands for... I can never unlearn what I learned from this book and I'm so thankful for that.

I still believe this book should be required academic reading, and to that point I have still been trying to get my twins school to select this book as one of their books for the semester, replacing the current book: The Hate You Give.

The fact that you know/remember my name! LOL Wow. Amazing.
 

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