I was inspired to start updating my oldest available book, The Van Halen Encyclopedia, by a few great ideas I’ve seen from others over the past month. I thought they might inspire you too.
I began by updating the book in real time on Twitter. It’s an experiment while I’m learning my way around a new CMS, which will probably host a web version of the book in addition to my blog (and maybe even this newsletter).
The Twitter part was inspired by Rob Hope’s Twitter feed of 100 days of landing page tips leading up to the release of his landing page ebook/course.
Working stuff out in an ephemeral, public medium like Twitter really keeps you on your toes editorially, without the cognitive load of a more-permanent-feeling blog post (blasphemy, I know, but what are your beliefs worth if you don’t question them from time to time?).
The web book part came from the way Derek Sivers is marketing his new books. He posts them, in their entirety in both text and audio, to his stripped-down, personal website. He also offers the books for sale in a packaged download that includes all format. He'll throw in a print version for an extra $4.
This puts everything out there for free (the best way to build an audience), while offering true fans multiple options to own.
Why would anyone buy something that’s available for free? This can’t be working, right?
In the first month, he earned $250,000 — which he gave to charity.
This is part of what I refer to as the “lazy billionaire” strategy. No, Derek isn’t a billionaire, but this is a behavior I’ve noticed in wealthy people in general, and I thought it was a memorable name at the time.
For some reason, billionaires (and lowly multi-millionaires) still like writing, podcasting, speaking, and publishing. I don’t fully understand why. What I do know is that they don’t want to waste time with publishing strategies, launches, or funnels. The money is an afterthought.
That’s exactly why they win. They create something no ordinary creator would, because they have different constraints.
It makes me wonder why so many creators, who aren’t professional bloggers or podcasters, play by the constraints of professionals.
Be a lazy billionaire. Do something different. Be constrained by the knowledge and experience you hope to gain. Give as much away as possible. Make it stupid easy to consume. Then, do it again.