Mike Capuzzi, Founder of Bite Sized Books
How Writing a Short Book Will Attract More Investors
I met my guest today, Mike Capuzzi of Bite Sized Books via quite a circuitous route. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on about digital marketing recently and in Dan Kennedy's book, The Ultimate Guide to Writing Sales Letters, he mentions a digital graphics program called, “CopyDoodles®.” The product looked wonderful, so I dug a bit further and found that Mike Capuzzi, the creator of CopyDoodles®, is an expert in producing and publishing short books. He calls them “Shooks,” (short, helpful books).
So I gave him a call, got chatting, and ultimately invited him on the podcast. Mike is a really charming fellow and in today's show he shares some great tips and ideas for how you can also publish your own book. If you've ever wanted to write a book, today's episode is for you.
What You're Going to Learn
- How to Learn the Art and Science of the Long-Form Letter Marketing Tool
- How to Grab Attention in Marketing Pieces with Handwriting
- How CopyDoodles® Went From Idea to Worldwide Phenomenon
- How to Bring Value with a Bite-Sized Book
- How to Use a 100-Page Book to Raise Capital
- How to Write a 100-Page Book
- How to Attract the Ideal Customer with Your Book
- Inspiration to Get Busy and Write that Book
- And much more!
Listen To or Watch the Full Podcast Here
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Learn the Art and Science of the Long-Form Letter Marketing Tool
ADAM GOWER: What is a long-form letter and tell me about cosmetics, in such a thing?
MIKE CAPUZZI: Dan Kennedy is a gentleman I've known for years. I had the good pleasure of spending a lot of time with him, individually, in groups. And about a decade ago, he asked me to contribute to that fourth edition, which is a chapter on what we call, "copy cosmetics". A long-form sales letter is essentially a business letter, again, usually used to sell something. Now specifically to cosmetics, that is something where, gosh, I mean, we could talk for an hour. I know you don't want to but, really, it's about the way your letter or, in actuality, Adam, any marketing material looks. So the cosmetics of it and believe it or not, there's actually an art and science. Now, most people don't go that deep, but there is an art and science of a) the attention grabbing power of something, and b) the readability, the physical readability. You mentioned something earlier. So you and I are probably similar in age. And you're right. I mean, I've got these glasses here. When I wrote that chapter in Dan's book, I could read anything. I could see anything, you know. Now that I'm in my fifties, it's like, wow, like, it's harder. So, if something is physically hard to read because of incorrect font usage, etc, people just give up. So, you may have the best message in the world and someone may just forego it because they can't read it.
How to Grab Attention in Marketing Pieces with Handwriting
ADAM GOWER: Tell me something about how to grab the attention of somebody, just visually, the way that a letter looks.
MIKE CAPUZZI: When I was where you are now. When I was such a student of long-form copy and all the stuff that you're referring to, Adam. I uncovered a little, "secret". And I'm going back like, one hundred years: 1900s, 1920s, 1940s.
ADAM GOWER: Right.
MIKE CAPUZZI: That the use of handwriting, alright, handwriting, which back then was very common, nowadays not so much. But the use of handwriting, in very certain ways, can be a real attention grabber and a real response booster. So I'm studying this now, almost 15 years ago, and I'm like, wow, how do you add handwriting to a letter where you're printing off 100 letters right? So I started reverse engineering this and I came up with my own little graphic enhancement, these little doodles for my copy, so hence CopyDoodles®, that I started using for my own client work. At this time, I'd left corporate America, started my own company. And, I was in a mastermind meeting, back in 2006-2007 it was and I showed somebody a sales letter that I had written, but I put these little doodles on and they were more intrigued by these doodles. Long story short, Adam, that was 2007ish. So, 13 years later, CopyDoodles® was the product I created. He encouraged me to bring them to the world.
CopyDoodles®: From Idea to Worldwide Phenomenon
ADAM GOWER: Stories are the best.
MIKE CAPUZZI: I was one of three people in 2,007 to win a lunch with Dan Kennedy. Now if you don't know Dan Kennedy, that doesn't mean anything. But, if you know who Dan Kennedy is, it's a big deal. I was one of three people, at an event, to win a lunch with him, and I knew this going into the event. I was the only one to show up. So, it was just like you and I are here. It was Dan and I sitting at a table having lunch together. Now, at that point, he knew me because I was part of a program that he was running, but he didn't know much about me. And I'll never forget Adam, I gingerly pushed across the lunch table the very first version of CopyDoodles®. It was on a CD-ROM and I was telling him about it. And he just, he loved it. He took a photo of me. He wrote this most awesome testimonial, which you may appreciate because he mentioned Guinness, the beer. And he said, you know, I forget the exact quote now, but it was something like, these are just brilliant. And that launched CopyDoodles® to be a worldwide phenomenon. And literally, 13 years later, we still have hundreds of people in our CopyDoodles® membership site, that, you know, use these handwritten doodles to mark-up their videos, their websites, their paper and ink sales letters.
How to Bring Value with a Bite-Sized Book
MIKE CAPUZZI: So, this idea of being a book author. I mean, think about anybody, Adam, that you and I both know, or any expert that we watch, or any guru, or anybody that we hold in high esteem. Chances are, they are a published author, okay. The reason being, is because, you know, most people who have something important to say, want to write a book and they realize the power of a book.
MIKE CAPUZZI: You know, I started realizing that most people don't even, you said, you don't even look at a book, it's just up on your bookshelf. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't even, you know, finish a book. And I always thought that was, kind of a shame. Like, if I have something I want to share with you and it's important for you, why wouldn't I want you to read it all? But unfortunately, a lot of business books especially, are just, I call them, they're books with bloat. B-L-O-A-T. They're bloated books, unnecessarily.
MIKE CAPUZZI: Why does a book have to be 250-pages, for a business book? So I came up with the concept of the short, helpful book. I call them "shooks" short, helpful book, and it's a book, Adam, that's designed to be read in about an hour.
How to Use a 100-Page Book to Raise Capital
MIKE CAPUZZI: So, the reason why most of the people that work with us, Adam, and this shouldn't come as any shock. But, in this day and age, it ain't any easier to get your point across and you get attention, right? If you're a chiropractor, a dentist, whatever it is, a pizza shop owner, a barber. Chances are you have competition and chances are you have a lot of competition, in your community. So, this is about, you know, how can I rise above that? I, the business owner. How can I differentiate myself? How can I, you know, position myself as an expert so that when a consumers, you know, hey, I've got this dentist I can go to or this dentist? What's the difference? Oh, this guy wrote a book and this guy has a nice fancy picture in an ad in the magazine. The idea is to tap into that power of being a published author to differentiate you and your business.
MIKE CAPUZZI: I believe in this concept I call, helping before selling. And, it's a philosophy I've always had. We should be helping. Anybody should be helping their ideal prospect before you try to sell. And a book is a great tool for that, Adam. There's so many reasons why a book is a good tool. But, it's about giving helpful bite-sized information that could be read in about an hour and then, and I'm sure even with your published books, you won't make the mistake with your self-published books, because you'll have the control. But then, about taking that reader, figuratively by the hand, to the next step. Most real published books, they don't allow you to embed calls to action. And hey, if you want more information, go here. Or, if you want to schedule a call with me, go here. And that's a huge mistake. I mean, if our readers want more from us, they like what they're reading and they want more from us. We've got to give them that pathway. So that's about the concept of helping before selling.
How to Write a 100-Page Book
ADAM GOWER: So, my clients aren't typically small businesses. They're fairly large companies. They have large staffs. They have a hard time sending emails. Forget about writing a 12,000 word book. No one has time for that. How'd you do it?
MIKE CAPUZZI: There's got to be a good reason because if you can't come up with a good reason why to do it you're not going to do it. Nor should you, necessarily. So, you've got to believe that this is a worthwhile investment of time, energy and money. So, if you believe that, there's a reason why, you know, a CEO of a company should write a book for his employees or whatever it is, that's the first step. Now, without getting too granular, I mean, our process, we have a very unique, sort of, system. We break it down into bite-sized chunks and really walk a client through those chunks. So, it's much more doable than staring at a blank screen and saying we gotta write 12,000 words. And it really, typically, and it takes about, our typical client, anywhere from about 8 to 12 weeks from idea to printed book. And, the first 4 weeks of the process, Adam, they're not even writing anything. We are asking lots of questions. We are planning. Half my family's Italian. So I love to eat. I love to cook. And I actually show it, in the 100-page book. I talk about my Italian grandmother and her recipe cards. Well, we have a recipe card for writing these types of books, and it's step by step. Yes, we do encourage all of our clients to actually write their own books, "shooks". But, you know, we do offer ghostwriting but, I don't advise that. I really think, it always comes best, if it comes from you, I believe. Yes, we'll polish it and all that. But, I always try to encourage our clients to write. So, yeah, you have to be committed. But it's not that big of a deal.
How to Attract the Ideal Customer with Your Book
MIKE CAPUZZI: There's a ton of ways, Adam, to smartly use a printed book or a digital book.
MIKE CAPUZZI: So, I mean, one of the things that a local business has that you and I don't have, necessarily, is a place where people are coming into our place of business, right? Our store, our office, our gym, whatever it is. So, that alone, offers a unique opportunity to literally use your shook as a display. Hey, grab a copy, with a little sign, free book, etc. The really smart strategy is, and I've had so many clients do this, Adam. If you can come up with a strategic partner network. So, for example, I had a client, a dentist, a holistic dentist, doesn't use mercury in the mouth, doesn't use fluoride. So, a person who's interested in that, tends to be health-oriented. He put his shook in yoga studios, chiropractor offices, gym, health food stores, places where healthy people hang out. Within the first 30 days of doing that, Adam, he got three new patients that never even knew about him until they saw his shook at their chiropractor's office or their gym. So, that's a real unique opportunity that local business owners have.
Inspiration to Get Busy and Write that Book
MIKE CAPUZZI: There is a person, and hopefully there's a lot of people, who want what you need to be sharing, in your book. And by you holding back, whether it's busy, you're not sure, whatever the reason is, or reasons. You are not serving them, to the best of your ability. So, I always say, take the light off of you and all your challenges. If you have a message. If you have a way of serving people, helping them with something, helping them prevent something, whatever it is, you are not serving them. And I just think that's a great disservice and I really mean that, like, I really do mean that. So, try to take the light off of you and say, listen, how can I serve these people who need this information. I've got to do it. I've got to commit to it. You know, and then the more tactical stuff, set deadlines, you know, figure it all out, the blue print and all that. But, just think about the people you can be serving because chances are, if you have something to share, there's somebody out there who needs that.
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