While I’m confident that what I am about to ask you is a win-win, there is no question this is absolutely a critical moment for me and I need your help. I apologize in advance for the lengthy post, but I want to put everything on the table.
My new book, The Pumpkin Plan, becomes publicly available in two weeks (on July 5th, 2012), but I need to get orders in now. This week in fact. Let me explain. . .
The Purpose That Is Greater Than Me
I have a crazy dream. One that is so “stupid-big” that it requires an “impossible” effort to make it even close to a reality. My dream? To impact one billion entrepreneurs through my books during this century. That means I only have 88 years and counting. And that also means that, unless I achieve the status of oldest human ever, I need to write books that can stand on their own for a hundred years. I believe I’ve accomplished that with The Pumpkin Plan. Or at least I have left nothing on the table. I have put everything I have into making in deliver on the dream.
I get it. My ego is big. I don’t deny it. At that same time there is something far greater at play. I think our world is in for some serious economic hurt. . . unless entrepreneurs start performing at levels like never before. I truly believe it can be done. That it will be done. This reality has defined my life’s purpose. I am drawn to serve and support entrepreneurs (in my notably unique way), because in doing so, I am helping them to serve the world.
There is no one person, or author for that matter, who will provide the single key to long term entrepreneurial success in this next century. Yet, unless people continue to serve, and unless new people step up, nothing will change. I am stepping up. I am throwing my hat in the ring to be one of the people who serves entrepreneurs. I’m meant to serve entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are meant to serve the world.
My First Time At Bat
I wrote my first book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (TPE) to show entrepreneurs, that when the odds are stacked against you, you still have a chance. In fact, more than a chance. Your “weakness” is your biggest advantage.
My goal when I self published TPE was to share it with one million entrepreneurs. It didn’t happen (at least not yet). It fell waaaaaay short. To date, TPE has sold just over 30,000 copies. I am excited that four years later, the book grows in momentum and continues to sell more than 1,000 copies a month, and has been translated into Spanish and Russian.
Maybe one day we’ll reach one million TPE copies sold, but one thing’s for sure, it’s not a mega-success. Considering most nonfiction books never sell more than 3,000 copies in the lifetime of the book, I would consider TPE to be a moderate success (in terms of sales — it is a huge success when I consider the calls or emails I get from an newbie entrepreneur it has served). Here’s the point: moderate success has has not killed my dream; it only strengthened it. Today, I have more drive to serve entrepreneurs than ever before.
Why I Think You’ll Love The Pumpkin Plan
TPE was written for first-stage entrepreneurs; The Pumpkin Plan was written for entrepreneurs ready to shift their business into second gear. More than eighty percent of new businesses fail within the first five years. Behind that statistic is a frustrated, exhausted, nearly broke entrepreneur who is close to chucking it all to look for a “damn job.”
I was in the same boat with my first business until I discovered the same process farmers use to grow giant pumpkins could apply to growing a business. I tested what I came to call the “Pumpkin Plan” on my own company, and transformed it into a remarkable, multimillion-dollar industry leader. . . without killing myself (most days).
Over the last three and half years writing The Pumpkin Plan, I’ve put every ounce of my mind and soul into making this the best, most practical, profound, real, and impactful entrepreneurial read I could have ever created. My dream is for it to serve entrepreneurs in a big way. I think for some, hopefully you, it will have a profound, life changing effect on the success of your business.
I hope it serves entrepreneurs. I hope it serves you. I hope it serves my life’s purpose.
Why I Need Pre-Orders (How the System Works)
I think I know what you might be thinking. . . “Holy crap, Mike. Save all this drama for your mama. Where’s funny Mike? Why so serious?”
Because I have a problem. And I have something BIG to ask. The book industry has changed in a big way (and it is a good thing). Major publishers are scrambling to find and deliver books people want. The solution they have found (for now) is to sign up as many authors as possible, and then quickly get the book out to a few online sites and then watch how the book performs. They don’t market it, and they don’t circulate it. They simply sit and wait for the “surprise success” to rise to the top. That’s when they start supporting it.
It sounds crazy at first, but publishers can no longer afford to market and distribute tons of books for tons of authors. Publishers first need to see what is working, and if it does work, they reason they can afford to back it. Publishers can only back sure things.
And there is one more BIG problem. If a book shows that it is selling well, then the big flywheel of the publisher spins up and starts putting more books on more shelves in more places. But it takes about two weeks after the initial demand to get books moving. This is great and all if we still lived in the 80’s. Today is way different. Demand hits fast, usually within hours, thanks to Pinterest and Facebook. And if the books are not sitting on the shelves (virtual and real) at all the right places at that right moment, the book dies. Fast.
So, I am in the interesting position of seeking as many pre-orders as possible now. If I get more than 2,000 pre-orders, we hit what I believe is a rallying point. A “magic number” that catches the attention of book retailers (Amazon, B&N, independent bookstores and the like). This triggers demand and demand triggers distribution.
Why 2,000 books? Because few business books ever get that many pre-orders (shocking, I know). This is a threshold that, over the years, has become a key threshold number. If the book gets two thousand pre-orders, the fly wheel gets up to speed. The potential for the book to have an impact, real impact, is now possible.
The Biggest Key to Pre-Orders
There is something even more important than generating 2,000 pre-orders so that book retailers takes notice. I’m not talking about seeing numbers or sales stats or rankings or any of that irrelevant stuff.
The biggest benefit to achieving 2,000 pre-orders is you may actually notice that the book serves you. The book could “tip.”
Of the 2,000 copies that go out on July 5th a portion (maybe a hundred, maybe five), will be read right away. That’s where the tipping point could happen. If the book delivers on its promise of helping entrepreneurs grow their business — and only you can be the judge of that — the book has a real shot at spreading via word of mouth.
The success of The Pumpkin Plan is contingent on the first few hundred readers loving it or hating it. My job, my “risk” as an author, is to create a piece of work and let the world judge it with brutal honesty. And if the pre-orders happen, getting it in enough hands with a enough eyeballs reading it, then I have done all I can to ensure the book will have an impact, that it will help me fulfill my purpose. The early adopters will then decide if the book is worth sharing. If it is, then we are well on our way to one million readers of The Pumpkin Plan. . . and one million entrepreneurs better equipped to serve the world.
My Big Ask
Before I ask, I hope I have earned the right to do so. If I have not earned the right, I apologize to you, since that is clearly a sign I am not serving you the way I intended. If I have earned the right, let me first say thank you. And now I’ll put it on the table.
Would you pre-order two (or more) copies of The Pumpkin Plan today? It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The reason I ask for multiple copies is so that one copy can serve you, and one can serve a friend or colleague who needs it. No question, your pre-order will help sales increase in a big way and the book retailer (and I) will see it. But also, I think we all cherish impactful gifts. I think you friends will love it, and will be grateful that you shared.
Because I want to make this ask a win-win, I want you to get more than the book (which I confidently say is worth far, far more then the cost). So for this week, from today Tuesday, June 20th to Sunday, June 24th you can preorder the book and get a few extra things:
When you order two (2) copies of The Pumpkin Plan you will also get a free copy of the audio version of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (MP3 format). Not only that, it is licensed to share with your friends. You can share it or keep it or both. The only thing you can’t do it sell it (that is kinda illegal and kinda not cool).
When you order four (4) copies of The Pumpkin Plan you will also get the free audio version of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur AND you will get a sneak peek of the first chapter of my next book, even before my publisher sees it. In fact you will get the first chapter for two books I am working on, before anyone else in the world. I’ve blocked off time to start writing it in earnest in September. That is when you are get to see it.
When you order ten (10) copies of The Pumpkin Plan you will also get the audio version of TPE, the first chapter sneak peeks, AND you will be on my “Great Challenge Board” for my next book. This is a team of entrepreneurs who will participate in three calls with me over the next year as the book develops. I will read parts of the book to you and share insights. But also, I will ask you to share the biggest challenges you are facing to make sure the book solves your biggest problems.
That’s it. I know it is a big ask. It will help me tremendously. And I hope and truly believe it will serve you and others.
The Next Steps:
2. Email a copy of the receipt (not the order number, but the actual receipt emailed to you by the online retailer) to PumpkinPlan@Gmail.com
3. Morgan (my assistant of pure awesomeness) is watching the email and will get back to you with the access to all the stuff you are getting. Just note it may take her a day or so, since she is also focused on getting lots of playing time with her one-year-old daughter.
Thank you for your help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
– Mike Michalowicz