Sean started this episode off by giving a great teaser for a movie. Apparently Sara Silverman is on a couch delivering lines and it’s so funny. I mean, shit, I’m sold for sure.
The first of our voicemail was creepy because Mike totally worked it, hitting such show favorites as Dean Fucking Koontz, goths in trees, and Justin Bieber. He then said that we were awesome and worked in a question toward the end (though it was totally tacked on,) about which platform he should use for a first nonfiction book.
We said Amazon. Or iBooks, done through Lulu.com, which would be good for nonfiction. (There was more discussion, but this was the heart of it.)
The second voicemail from Cassandra was creepy because she expressed interest in my abs, which then led to a discussion of Dave’s abs, which we decided could colorfully be described as “pendulous.” She asked about Smashwords. We then discussed Smashwords. See how this works?
We had a final question that wasn’t via voicemail and hence may or may not have been creepy. It was from Scott, who asked about converting a largely graphic book to Kindle. The short version is that we have no fucking idea, but that we think it’s damn near impossible to literally use all those images.
Building your tribe and telling others to piss off — and no, not literally, but we know what the real score is
There’s a ton to this discussion, but the short version is that you can’t try and talk to everyone in your books, your marketing, and in your online platform. You have to be yourself and accept that some people won’t like you… because only by allowing some people to not like you will you form strong bonds with the people who DO like you.
Food for discussion on this point is Derek Sivers’s post Reach Them Like You Would Want To Be Reached, which introduces the oft-cited (by me, anyway) concept of “proudly alienating” people who don’t resonate with your message. Note that this is PROUD alienation, meaning that you’re not just accepting that some people won’t like you. You’re PROUD that they don’t resonate; you’re saying, “Awesome. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.”
The genesis of this idea recently, though, came from Sean’s experience with his Digital Writer site. He found out that the people on that rather large list were not his ideal people. So he wrote a tactful “fuck off if you don’t agree with my new direction, and join me if you do” post and email to that list and ended up with a much smaller — but a much better and more resonant — list that represented his true tribe.
So… don’t shoot for a zillion people who “kind of like you.” Be real and shoot for a smaller list of people who LOVE you.
To view the video version of this episode, go to: Self Publishing Podcast #20 – Building and Trimming Your Tribe