Lot’s o’ juice in this email. Prepare yourself:
I want you to DO something today.
Reading these emails is fun, but without action items they are pretty useless.
So, here’s your homework:
Step 1. Watch This Video
(Yes. The letter being read is a real letter.)
Step 2. Wipe Away The Tears And List WHAT You Are Feeling
Paper & pencil time.
Write down WHAT you are feeling.
Grief? Regret? Joy?
Step 3. Figure Out WHY You Are Feeling That Way
Drill down as hard and far as you can.
Don’t say, “I feel sad because it’s about fathers not getting to see their sons.”
Figure out WHAT the writer did specifically.
Was it a word? What happened when that word was used? What KIND of word was it?
What themes were being used? What ideas? What images where leveraged to create images and reactions in your mind?
WHY is it working for you?
You Have To Be Able To Write
At Least THAT Good To Make It
I don’t believe in market competition when it comes to fiction.
If someone buys your book, they can also buy my book. We aren’t selling single provider services.
However, I firmly believe in marketplace noise.
Right now, the world of fiction has never been noisier.
More writers. More books. More channels for consumption.
Netflix, Amazon Video, Kindle Unlmited, etc. are all part of the same noise biosphere.
How do you get someone to read your book when they could just binge watch all 6 seasons of The Sopranos for FREE through Prime?
If you want to make a living writing fiction, then THAT is the most important question to ask yourself.
And the answer is:
You have to write AT LEAST as good as that commercial you just watched (The Encounter Collection).
Yes, that was a commercial.
And yes, that’s part of the noise biosphere.
And yes, if you can’t write something at least as good as the copy hacks trying to take your money (like me) then you are dead in the water.
Can you make money writing garbage books?
But not for much longer.
Back in 2005 you could rank websites by keyword stuffing the pants off your articles.
People got rich doing that.
But you can’t do that anymore.
Because Google is smarter than you or I.
They figured out what was going on, and to protect their consumers they shut it down.
If you think Amazon is different then you’ve got a world of hurt coming your way.
Yes, they’ve struggled to identify scammers.
Yes, man titties dominate the front page of most categories.
Yes, people make money (not as much as they claim) farming out ghostwritten work for $0.01 a word.
But to assume this will always be the case is to be naive.
It’s taken Google almost 10 years to beat down the keyword stuffing kings.
But they’ve done it.
And those companies/people who relied on the stuffing are now gone. Bankrupt or chasing their next scam (synonym for almost bankrupt).
It will take Amazon time to figure out how to keep bad books suppressed in their shopping experience.
But trust me, they are working on it.
And it’s only a matter of time before they succeed.
So, if you want to build a real, long term business with fiction (one that is lucrative and enjoyable) you need to learn how to write AT LEAST as good as that commercial.
Otherwise, you might as well try keyword stuffing some articles for cash.
Mike “the copy hack” Shreeve
P.S. I had an idea that I wanted to run by you:
I’ve been trying to think of how to best maximize my time and show ya’ll how to do exactly what I just described (writing better).
If I did a live, over the shoulder recording of me outlining and writing a book, would that be helpful?
I was thinking:
Outline from scratch a new book (a few adjustments and the book I’m working on now could easily be Book #2 in the series). Flip on the screenshare and camera while I’m working, talk you through my thinking, watch as the story comes together.
Walk you through that entire process from start to finish. Maybe something like 15 hours of video chunked over the course of my daily updates.
When it comes to prose time, I record myself writing draft 1 of a few chapters. Then show my editing process.
Basically, you’d get to actually watch me write, instead of just getting these “How to-esque” emails.
I get to cut down on my time too. I get to share with you WHILE I am working, instead of working, then writing another email.
What do you say? If we took the next 15 days of this challenge to do something like that?