“Finished college. Abandoned lifelong plan to be a lawyer.” That is how Taylor Pearson, author of The End of Jobs, introduces himself on his website. This week I talk to Taylor about his journey from aspiring attorney to author of a bestselling business book, and the future of The Job as we know it.
Taylor Pearson has enjoyed writing since the 8th grade, when he read Dune, but his life plan was to go to college and become a lawyer. After he went to Argentina for a semester in college, however, the prospect of sitting in a law office for the next 15 years sounded dreary. So he went abroad instead, developing a successful career in online marketing and consulting, and writing a blog on “the philosophy, strategy, and mindset behind meaningful success in a thoughtful and helpful way.” He was particularly interested in how technology was reshaping work, making traditional jobs with employers more competitive and less profitable, and making entrepreneurship safer, more accessible, and more profitable.
Taylor says he had elaborate plans to put this all into a book at some point later in his life when he could really devote the time to it, but a mentor called him out on his permission-seeking and said, “Why don’t you just go pro this year? Sit down, get consistent and serious about the blog, write a book, and see if you can make it happen.”
So Taylor stopped asking for permission, committed to the project, leveraged consulting work and savings to fund himself for a year, and wrote The End of Jobs.
The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5
Working successfully as a modern entrepreneur himself, Taylor wanted to share the potential for success and wealth in this new digital global instant marketplace, and also address the decreasingly secure career route as a traditional employee working for a company. He notes that more and more jobs are being replaced by software or competitive freelance talent overseas. His target audience, he says, are people who he would describe as sort of on the fringe of entrepreneurship, people who see that what people like him are doing looks interesting, but they don’t really get it. He wanted to express to people how today’s location-independent entrepreneurs see the world and money and work, and how they’re building their careers, wealth, and future security.
Planning a Successful Launch
Taylor started contacting and outreaching three months before the launch of his book. Specifically, he reached back to the people he had interviewed for the book, scheduling podcast interviews or guest posts, and collecting testimonials. (Check out Taylor’s free downloadable email templates he used for this.) He also scheduled a Thunderclap.
His goal with the launch was not necessarily to make revenue, but to gain ranking and visibility. He was more interested in gaining influence and reaching people and adding people to his mailing list. If 10,000 people read your first free book, he says, you can sell books for the rest of your life.
So in July 2015, Taylor launched The End of Jobs, making it available for free the first five days, raising it to $.99 for the next week, and then finally to its current price of $3.99. …launched it free for first five days allowed under Select…then ran it for 99 cents for limited time first week, then to current price 3.99.
While his goal was to reach readers and build his platform, the launch went very well. Four and a half months after publication, The End of Jobs currently has 159 reviews on Amazon with a 4.6 rating, and is in the top 100 in three different business subcategories.
The Next Big Thing:
Lots of exciting things are coming down the pipeline for Taylor. He is currently coordinating the upcoming November 17 launch of the audio version of The End of Jobs, which he narrated himself. He also has promos scheduled with BookBub and The Fussy Librarian, as well as a big article coming out.
Taylor is also hard at work developing his next book proposal. He says he’s open to suggestions and loves to hear from people. You can find him at TaylorPearson.me.
- Hire an editor. This is advice that is often repeated by successful authors. Taylor says he himself was skeptical over paying an editor to cross his T’s and dot his i’s, but learned quickly that a good editor is invaluable. His own editor shaved off 20% of his manuscript and helped him develop a compelling narrative resulting in a much better book.
- Determine one specific goal when planning your launch. Taylor was more interested in increasing his readership and exposure than he was in making revenue off the bat. He feels if you try to go for both goals, visibility and sales, you risk undercutting both goals.
- Make sure a compelling CTA appears in your book’s preview section. In Taylor’s book, potential readers can see the free downloadable bonuses he offers through his website and click through. It’s more important to him to establish communication with a potential reader than make $2 off the book; plus, he feels he offers enough value upfront that readers are pretty likely to buy the book at some later point.
- If your book is non-fiction, get it into audio. Taylor notes that business book readers consume books via audio at a high percentage, so he felt it was important to get his book into audio. He chose to narrate the book himself as he feels it establishes a better rapport with his readers and allows them to hear the passion he has for the subject. Plan for it to take longer than you think, however. Taylor planned for recording to take three days, and it took the better part of a month — 15 hours of studio time to get 5 hours and 15 minutes of finished product.
Non-fiction writers, what are your best tips for planning a book launch?
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