Serial entrepreneur Jay Samit is the best-selling author of Disrupt You!. He a digital media innovator who has pioneered advancements in content distribution, social media, and ecommerce that are enjoyed by billions daily. Jay shares his background and experience writing, publishing, and promoting his book, as well as tips for writing and disruption!
What inspired you to write Disrupt You?
With 2.3 billion millennials entering the workforce and millions of older workers losing their jobs, people need to be given the tools to become successful entrepreneurs. I was teaching college students a course on building a startup, when I realized they needed far more information than just basics. They needed to view themselves from a new framework. They needed to understand that getting a job at a big company doesn’t guarantee success or security. Only 57 of the original Fortune 500 are still on the list. It isn’t security that robs ambition, it is the illusion of security. Everyone trades a day of their life for their job, years of their lives, for what? I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to live a life of purpose. School curriculum was designed to create conformity and factory workers. Today, we live in an era of endless innovation where everyone is just one click away from 6 billion consumers. Anyone can prosper and Disrupt You! is written to empower readers.
How did you go about getting it published?
I wrote a hundred plus page treatment and several publishers were interested. I made the decision with my literary agent to retain the rights and license the book per country/territory to the publisher that would be best for each market. So far, the book is available in five languages in either hardback or paperback editions. I also polled my social media followers, and based on their request, personally recorded the nearly 9 hours of the audiobook. My US publisher also released the electronic version of the book.
What was your favorite part of writing it? The greatest challenge?
When I was in college, I wanted to be a writer. I enjoy writing my pieces for the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and others. The challenge with a book was making the time while running my company. My least favorite part was footnoting the final draft (I felt like a high school sophomore with homework). My favorite part now is hearing from readers all over the world. In the era of social media, I hear how the book has positively impacted others. That is the true joy of writing and so motivating.
What are three things you hope people takeaway from your book?
- You can change the world by changing how you see yourself.
- Successful people are no different than you; they just understand that failure is part of the process and aren’t afraid to fail.
- Most of the world’s billionaires and millionaires are self-made. They learned the art of self-disruption early (and it is never too late).
How are you promoting it? Please share a few tips.
I post every day on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. I am grateful for my followers in social media around the globe. They even drove the book to #1 in Australia. I try to engage with every reader that reaches out to me at jaysamit.com or on Twitter @jaysamit. I log hundreds of thousands of miles a year traveling around the world speaking at major industry conferences and for corporate audiences. I also have found podcasts as a great forum for reaching readers. Promotion is a very labor intensive commitment.
Advice for non-fiction writers?
Much like an unsigned band, you need to build up a social media following for your artistic expression. I did it through magazine, newspaper articles, and videos. I would think non-fiction writers need to get their words out in the same manner.
What do you know now that you wish you knew before writing Disrupt You?
I wish I knew that 100 percent of the marketing effort falls on the author. Publishers, even the largest ones in the world, don’t spend the time or money to market books. You will spend more time, energy, and money, marketing your book than writing it. (So make it the best book you have the ability to write). You must be passionate about the content to dedicate that much effort to making it a bestseller. For me, the payoff is the kind words I receive daily from my readers. That is what motivates me to continue to push Disrupt You!, as it comes out in additional languages.