Today we are speaking with New York Times bestselling author Tucker Max. Tucker was a blogger who became a best selling author. His most famous book was “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell”, which even became a movie. The New York Times said he created a new genre “fratire”. In 2011, he retired from “fratire” and spent 4-5 years angel investing and consulting. In late 2014, Book In A Box fell in his lap. A conversation with a consultant at a dinner party for entrepreneurs gave him the idea to create Book In A Box.

He became obsessed with the idea of writing a book without writing a book. He realized that some of the greatest books weren’t written by the person the book was about, they were written by scribes. He began interviewing the consultant he met at the party until he had a book for her. This was the beginning of Book In A Box. It is a service that creates books for people through a series of interviews. A ghost writer will write what they think a book should be about. Book In A Box takes what you already know and translates it into a book.

Topics discussed include:

  • The structure for Book In A Box is a set of algorithmic steps
  • For positioning, they have sets of questions to get the three positioning points they need
  • The process is so refined that they can plugin freelancers at each step
  • You have to be smart, but it is a clear process
  • The amount of interview time depends on the author, but it is a very structured process
  • The first step is qualification
  • Result, audience, and what do you know? These are the 3 factors in positioning
  • If you were teaching this to someone, how would you teach it? What are the steps?
  • Structuring a book properly, they get everything out of the author’s head that the readers need to know.
  • They are not writing from scratch, they are in the author’s voice, but it is made to flow and read well
  • Then editing process, and professional publishing, layout and distribution, etc.
  • This process takes 5-6 months
  • In the last year they have been building a team and a process that can truly scale
  • They have about 20-30 clients a month now
  • They have 14 full time team members and about 100 freelancers
  • They can’t be cheap with freelancers, they need experience dealing with words and stories. They pay $50 to $100 an hour
  • Combining great process with great people creates amazing books
  • The onboarding process begins with a form
  • The base price is $20,000, putting that on the site restricts the leads to professionals
  • The author consultant, tries to understand if they have a valid book idea
  • Then find out if there is a reason to do the book
  • Then they answer questions for the prospective author
  • They aren’t the best way for everybody, they are the best way for some people
  • The Book In The Box Method – available free on the site or on Amazon describes the entire method
  • Then they send a contract, once it is signed they go to the publishing manager
  • They are the contact person, who makes sure everything is working
  • Then they start working with the outliner
  • After coming out with a finished outline, they know everything that will be in the book
  • Then they start interviews with the editor based on the outline
  • They keep asking questions until they get everything out of the author’s head
  • They have an automated process
  • The transcript is then turned into a book. Just rewriting paragraph by paragraph. It is made clear prose, but same idea and same voice
  • Cover designs are looked at during this time, and they pass it to freelance cover designers
  • Cover comps go back and forth, they work on author bio, picture, book description, blurbs etc.
  • They do calls about the manuscript and make changes and edits as needed
  • Reading out loud is another method they use for reviews. If it sounds good out loud it will read well
  • Then locked manuscript and the book goes to production
  • The interior design of the book is really important, especially in print books
  • They set up author accounts and send them the information
  • After the book releases, they promote the book to free and paid lists, and try to get them to #1 in a category. They also do case studies and profiles, but they don’t promise media placement, but they at least do the story.
  • Tucker’s goal is to build a company that scales. He is not interested in consulting and book marketing because it is selling time.
  • Doing work that matters enables a business and person to succeed

Resources Mentioned:

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