JACK CANFIELD’S SUCCESS: 10 Tips to Self Promote Like a Marketer

By Kathleen Pickering http://www.kathleenpickering.com/

jack canfieldJack Canfield spoke on one of Steve Harrison’s marketing webinars on “How to get from where you are to where you want to be.” Listening and taking notes, I couldn’t help but nod like one of those spring-neck dolls in the back window of a California low-rider and think, “This plan can work!”

Most everyone has heard that Canfield’s first Chicken Soup book was rejected 144 times. He also didn’t mind sharing that he’d maxed out his credit cards up to an impressive $400,000 to get his business off the ground. Now, I don’t feel so badly about my marketing debt!

Jack said his success turned around when he applied a marketing mindset to his book sales. By thinking like a marketer, Jack Canfield achieved resounding success. He has sold millions of copies of his books, and enjoys huge notoriety as an author and motivational speaker.

Jack’s webinar was loaded with advice from which I’ve culled ten tips for success by thinking like a marketer. While much of this advice works especially well for non-fiction or how-to books, Canfield’s advice can be tailored for fiction, as well. Here goes:

1. People remember stories. Telling stories is emotional Velcro to the mind. When promoting your book, introduce it with a background story, i.e., the inspiration behind the work, obstacles to publications, happy endings. A story gives your listeners insight to you, your process and gives them the opportunity to become proactive in your success by buying your book.

2. Have a mission behind your work, i.e., why you’ve written your book. Canfield’s Chicken Soup series were written to inspire and empower people to live their highest vision to achieve their personal goals through body and soul. Why do you write your books?

3. Decide to deserve to succeed and EXPECT success, including personal satisfaction as well as monetary growth.

http://www.public-domain-image.com (public domain image)

4. DREAM HUGE! For whatever we dream, our subconscious will begin to seek solutions. Can you imagine? What a simple, yet great tool for achieving success.

5. Visualize your goal. Make print-outs of your dream and paste them all over the place! Visualize book stores with only YOUR book plastered in the windows. Jack’s efforts ended up with Chicken Soup for the Soul books having their own section in book stores! Here are more tools for visualization:

– Use vision boards — put them on your screen saver. (Here’s a link to creating vision boards on my website: Kathleen’s Vision Boards)

Vision Board 2

– Next, use affirmations. Speak out loud positive statements such as, “I am so joyful and happy that I am making millions of dollars a day using my God-given talent to make the world more aware of their relationship as ONE with each other and our Creator.” (This is Jack’s affirmation. What would yours be?)

6. Take ACTION on your IDEAS. Others may have the same thoughts but only a few will act. ACTION brings success.

7. Live your gratitude for your success:

– You can be a go-getter or a go-giver! Be a go-giver! Use the motivation of wanting to give the best for your reader. (Back to the idea of writing a GREAT book. You can’t market junk!)

– Identify a charity to receive a portion of proceeds for all books written. Put that charity in the back of the book. When you give these organizations recognize you and help you market your product.

– Give away chapters from your book.

– Give away articles about/from your book.

– Give FREE talks. Speak to different churches, chambers of commerce, libraries, schools.

8. Become a Joiner. Join associations and pay dues. Your exposure is well worth the expense to be around other professionals in your field where you can network. You never know who you will meet who has a solution to one of your goals. (This just happened for me at the NINC conference in Tampa. While chatting with a man about social media marketing, he gave me a resource for selling a game idea I have. That precious nugget wouldn’t have been delivered if I hadn’t been “out there” to receive it!)

9. Target radio and TV interviews. I can see myself sitting across from Oprah or David Letterman, one day—despite the fact that they both look like they’re laughing at the idea in the photo. But, seriously, can you see yourself in one of those seats?


As we all know, a book is like an iceberg: 10% is writing; 90% is marketing. You have to be out there among people! Books travel word of mouth. But, they can’t travel if no one is talking about them. Take whatever interviews you can get. The more interviews keeps your product before viewers and guarantees sales. How to get exposure:

– Get a directory of direct-marketing companies and call and pitch your book to see if they will sell your book for you.

– Get a directory of radio shows to see who will let you speak about your work. The successful, spiritual motivational speaker, Scott Peck, said he started with three radio interviews/week for a year. Best are to get a one hour interview so listeners can really get to know you.

– Internet radio shows are excellent, too, because that is niche marketing.

10. Never underestimate the useful tool called Bypass Marketing. One out of 7 people go out to buy books. That means 6 folks do not go out to buy. Bypass Marketing is taking the book to where you don’t think people will go to buy a book, i.e., gas stations, bakeries, pet stores, salons, spas, doctor’s offices. Anywhere someone has to wait is the place to leave your book.

Canfield says, when you start thinking differently, visualize and act like a marketer, you attract the audience your require. New thinking brings the audience to you . . . automagically.

Yes, you too can create your own words when you’ve sold over 80 million copies of your books. How big are your dreams? Which of these tips appeals most to you?

10 thoughts on “JACK CANFIELD’S SUCCESS: 10 Tips to Self Promote Like a Marketer

  1. Hi Kathleen,
    I’ve read Canfield’s books but this is an awesome reminder. I love all these tips but this morning number 3 is calling to me.

    “Decide to deserve to succeed and EXPECT success, including personal satisfaction as well as monetary growth.”

    What is it about that word “deserve?” Not sure.

    I have been engaging in Bypass Marketing since my first book came out in May. I work full-time as a counselor in a hospital based nursing college. I’ve got my books in the gift shop. My hubby also works at a hospital and my books are in that gift shop too. Lots of folks sitting around needing something to read. 🙂

    Love your vision boards. I think you’ve posted on that topic before because I remember checking them out. Great stuff. Thanks!

  2. Hey, Jillian! I know: Deserve–to be worthy, fit, or suitable for some reward. I happen to believe deservability (A new word. Yay!) is why we were born–to discover and use our talents to deserve everything wonderful. That’s one reason I find Canfield’s approach to business so appealing.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Kathleen, I like to set goals I can measure, like a weekly quota of words. And then striving to make each book the best it can be. Doing the things I can do to connect to readers, working on the craft side. I know I’m in control of those things–the results I release.

  4. This is great advice. So in bypass marketing, are you supposed to leave free copies of your books in these venues for customers, or offer books for sale through consignment to the shop? Jillian, how did you get the gift shop to sell your books?

  5. Hi Kathleen,
    I like your new word, deservability. I’ll remember that one. 🙂

    Hi Nancy,
    I don’t leave free copies. I asked the gift shop manager if she would consider selling my books. She said yes. That easy. I did promise that if the books didn’t sell though that I would buy them because they are purchasing from my publisher.They only order 6 at at a time but so far they’ve sold out every time and just keep doing it. Not huge numbers, but it adds up over time.

    I asked the volunteer manager where my hubby works because she is over the volunteers in the gift shop. Same thing there but for some reason they’re not selling as much. The gift shops like to sell and make profits for the hospital foundations. I’m not sure how that all works.

  6. Nancy– I’ve left signed books I bought from my publisher with independent booksellers for free to help support the small book sellers. Believe me, they don’t forget the gesture.

    My family has a jewelry store in Amityville, and I stock them with books that they sell at discount. I think both effots build a fan base and paying it forward by giving freebies leaves a ripple effect that grows.

  7. Kathleen – I think that the idea of giving proceeds from the book to charity is brilliant. I’m deciding how I can implement that into my overarching promotional strategy. I was scribbling “to do’s” after reading this article. Thanks!

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