Tag Archives: audiobook

Mel Robbins on Motivating for Audiobook Success

5-4-3-2-1! ACX author, narrator, and master motivator Mel Robbins joined us in-studio to discuss The 5 Second Rule and how her method can help creatives of all stripes achieve success. Writing one of the best-selling audiobooks of 2017 and an Audible Original out this past May, Mel knows a thing or two (or five!) about maximizing your productivity and growing your listening audience. Listen to our interview below or read through the transcript to learn from the path she’s blazed.

Mel Robbins_ The ACX Audio Interview(2)

Key points from our interview with Mel:

  • Learn The 5 Second Rule and what went into creating the bestseller. (02:25)
  • Discover how you can join the indie publishing revolution by publishing or producing audiobooks on ACX. (05:20)
  • Hear how to connect with your listening audience from the recording booth. (08:15)
  • Build your social media following the 5 Second way. (09:18)
  • Learn the role of graphic and video content in promoting your work on social media. (11:40)
  • Find out how authors and actors can use The 5 Second Rule to increase productivity. (15:00)
  • How does Mel recognize when she is one the right path to success? (22:15)
  • Mel has inspired a great number of people, but who inspires her? (29:15)

Read the transcript: Mel Quote

Scott Jacobi: This is Scott Jacobi with ACX, and I’m here with Mel Robbins. Thanks for joining us today.

Mel Robbins: Well, thanks for having me.

Scott Jacobi: We are in our Newark, New Jersey studios and today, Mel and I are going to talk about her book, The 5 Second Rule and how some of her tactics can be applied to ACX authors and actors to find success in their own lives.

Mel Robbins: That’s right. Listen up, baby.

Scott Jacobi: So could you please start by, give us sort of your 60 second elevator pitch on yourself and The 5 Second Rule, just set us up with what we’re dealing with today.

Mel Robbins: Sure. My name is Mel Robbins, and I’m a businesswoman, a mother of three. I’ve been married 21 years, which is a small miracle that Chris stuck around for that long, and I wrote The 5 Second Rule which is a book about a mind trick that I created by accident 10 years ago that will help you change any habit and have a deeper connection with your authentic self. That sounded so cheesy it’s unbelievable, but that’s just what fell out of my mouth.

Scott Jacobi: I don’t think it sounds, I think it sounded authentic. Like you said, authentic self. If you’re doing it without thinking about it, I think it’s coming out just right.

Mel Robbins: There you go.

Scott Jacobi: So there you go. Okay, so to get into it, your book has been a smashing success on Audible as well as in ebook and print. It quickly became one of the best selling books that we have on Audible. It has a 4.6 rating over 17,000 reviews.

Mel Robbins: That’s insane.

Scott Jacobi: Yeah.

Mel Robbins: Can we just stop right there?

Scott Jacobi: And it’s just been out a year, right? Last February?

Mel Robbins: It hasn’t even been out a year. 17,000 reviews, 4.6 stars, that is the thing I’m the most proud of. The fact that it’s not only done well, but more importantly, people fricking dig it.

Scott Jacobi: They dig it. They’re giving it great reviews, and you’re nearing 300,000 Audible units. Okay, all right-

Mel Robbins: No, we’ve passed it. Nearing. Give me all the credit it is due.

Scott Jacobi: I need an updated paper. The big thing there that I find so fascinating is your audiobook sales are more than your print and your ebook sales combined.

Mel Robbins: Yes.

Scott Jacobi: Which blows my mind, and I’m sure it blows a lot of people’s minds that’ll be listening to this. It seems, in some ways, like it came together very quickly, like it showed up on the scene very quickly, but we know that usually, overnight success is a misnomer. Can you tell us about the work that you put into The 5 Second Rule that most people wouldn’t see that they might be able to learn from?

Mel Robbins: Well, I’m gonna answer the question two ways. First, I’m gonna talk about The 5 Second Rule concept, and then I’ll tell you into the work that went into creating not only the book but an audio experience that became the sensation that it’s become.

Scott Jacobi: Give it to me.

Mel Robbins: So first of all, the idea of The 5 Second Rule is super simple, and that is that you can change your life in five seconds. In fact, that’s the only way that you change your life, and I came up with this simple trick 10 years ago to help me beat a habit of hitting the snooze button and oversleeping every single morning.

Mel Robbins: So the idea of The 5 Second Rule was something that I used in private for five years. I then shared it on a stage just kind of extemporaneously. I said that correctly, right? Okay. Somebody taped the speech that I was giving and the speech went crazy viral and then people started to write to me about The 5 Second Rule. The writing and the kind of emails that we got from people that saw this speech online drove me to want to figure out why The 5 Second Rule actually works, and so I did a three year long research project into the science of habits and human behavior. I’m a real nerd. Like I’m super curious about human behavior and life hacks and brain hacks and it turns out The 5 Second Rule is one of the most powerful brain hacks backed by science that will help you make any change happen.

Mel Robbins: So there was eight years of using The 5 Second Rule and three years of research that went into the concept, and I think that’s one thing to understand that particularly simple concepts, the reason why a simple concept can be powerful is there’s typically a ton of work behind it. So that’s how the background on the actual concept, but with the book, okay. You’re talking to a chick that has some dyslexia. I have ADHD.

Scott Jacobi: Same.

Mel Robbins: I have horrendous executive functioning skills, and the idea of writing a book is literally the equivalent of taking a pencil and shoving it into my eyeball.

Scott Jacobi: I hope that’s not how you wrote it.

Mel Robbins: Pretty much, yes.

Scott Jacobi: But that’s a big undertaking to put all that together.

Mel Robbins: Yeah, and my business partner will tell you it was probably the worst six months experience for either one of us, because I was complete jackass to deal with, because I was stressed out all the time.

Scott Jacobi: I’m sure a lot of our authors can relate to that.

Mel Robbins: Totally. So we wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote, and I also … So the book took about six months to write. Now here’s the thing that happened. We self published the book, and so what happened is we had all this kind of pent up demand because I have a social media following and I have a speaking platform, and when the book came out, it sold out in terms of the print copies, because it was a really small print run in the beginning. Sold out immediately, I don’t know, the 15,000 copies that they printed. The only thing that was available was the audiobook.

Scott Jacobi: Was the audio, right.

Mel Robbins: Or the ebook. Now, the thing about the audiobook that I think was a differentiator is that when you say overnight success usually means 10 years of experience, the one thing that is different about me as an author is that I have five years of broadcast experience. So when it came time to do the audiobook, I just naturally looked at the audiobook as if it were producing a radio show.

Scott Jacobi: Another broadcast project.

Mel Robbins: Correct. So the interesting thing, and I fricking love ACX. The experience that I have had as an author using your platform and, I should say, this platform, has been mind blowing and very eye opening. Number one, we all know that there’s a huge paradigm shift in publishing, and authors make the mistake of letting their egos make big business decisions. There are a lot of authors, and you may be one of them, that feels a little insecure about your work, and so you think you need an agent, or you think you need a big publisher. You think you need some kind of advance in order to validate your work. The truth is, you don’t need … anybody. The only thing that will validate your work is you actually doing your work.

Scott Jacobi: Getting it out there.

Mel Robbins: Yes.

Scott Jacobi: Doing it and getting it out to people.

Mel Robbins: Yes. Regardless of how the book gets published, you still have to market it. So finish the book, but then when you publish the book, it’s gonna be on you to push it. You’re gonna make more money if you are pushing people to the audiobook, because if you do your global distribution, the percentages are fantastic. Now-

Scott Jacobi: Right. Better than you’re gonna find on the print or the ebook side.

Mel Robbins: Better. Are you kidding? 10 times better for crying out loud. I say to everybody that I talk to that reaches out to us about advice about writing a book and publishing, number one, no matter what, sever all audio rights. Do it yourself through ACX. It’s the smartest business move, it’s a long tail strategy, you have all the resources right here, you’re being a complete dummy driven by ego if you do it any other way. Because let me tell you something, that big publishing house that is launching your book for you, you know what they’re gonna do? They’re gonna hire the same actor you could hire. They’re gonna stick him in the booth here at ACX, and they’re gonna distribute it themselves through ACX and they’re gonna give you a penny. Goodbye.

Scott Jacobi: Right. So do it yourself, and that’s a big part of our platform is the ability either to do it yourself as you did, reading it, or to sort of be your own author entrepreneur or actor entrepreneur, take the power into your own hands, put yourself in the booth, or put yourself in the director’s chair, as it were.

Mel Robbins: The other thing that I wanna say quickly is that just like The 5 Second Rule was a mistake.

Scott Jacobi: A happy accident.

Mel Robbins: Seriously, it was a happy accident that changed my life and will change yours. The audiobook experience and us self publishing for the first time on ACX was an incredibly happy accident, and one of the things that I want you to understand if you do narrate your own book, and this is something I learned at radio that you don’t think about. When you’re doing an audio product, it is a one to one experience. So when you go into that booth, one of the tricks that we used to have when I was in the radio business is we would print out the avatars on Facebook of our fans and I would have one person paste it up, their face in the booth, and I would talk to that one person.

Scott Jacobi: And that’s your audience.

Mel Robbins: That’s your audience. It’s an incredibly intimate experience.

Scott Jacobi: Absolutely, and that’s one of the reasons that theater professionals, theater actors do so well with this, because they’re used to performing to the last row, and that’s a similar sort of idea to that. I think that’s great advice. You bring up your social media followers, which is a great point for me to pivot into my next question, and it also ties into the idea of no overnight success. You mentioned having a good social media following before you launched the book. You said people were reaching out to you and such about The 5 Second Rule when the video went viral. How did you use, once you had this book, how did you use the content around it to grow your social media channels, giving you a captive audience to then market the book to? What did you do that ACX authors or actors could try to replicate?

Mel Robbins: Well, so I have some particular rules about social media. Number one, it’s not about you. It’s about them. Unless you’re Beyonce and people wanna be a voyeur on your life, nobody really gives a shit, and so your social media is about what the audience that follows you is getting. So before you publish the book, as you’re writing a book, if you have something to say in a book, you also have something to say on social media. You need to start pushing yourself now to start publishing more content on social media. That content should be authentic. It should be personal. It should of value to your audience, and how do you figure that out? Well, you start publishing all kinds of stuff, and then you see what people comment on. You see what they heart. You see what they share. They will give you so much information based on how they’re interacting with you. Do more of what people interact with. That’s how you build an audience.

Scott Jacobi: Right. Test and repeat.

Mel Robbins: Yes, and you need to do it now. Don’t wait until the fricking book comes out and now you wanna sell something to people. Do it now.

Scott Jacobi: Right, get them involved. As we said, build up a little momentum, get them involved in the process early. We always tell our authors, tell them that you’ve cast your actor. Tell them that you’ve stepped in the studio. Share a picture of yourself as you step into the studio. Get people bought in emotionally to that product, so that when it comes out, they raring to buy it.

Mel Robbins: More importantly, as you’re writing it, take a photo of yourself as you’re struggling with procrastination. Write about it. Show people what you’re doing, and what happens is people feel like they know you. They feel like they’ve been along for the ride. They feel like for an entire year, you’ve done nothing but give value, value, value, and then when the time comes to support your work, now you can make the ask.

Scott Jacobi: And they feel like they’re giving you something back for what you’ve given them. I love that idea.

Mel Robbins: 100%. 100%.

Scott Jacobi: So as you’re talking about this social media content that you’ve created and you’re recommending others create, looking at your social media feeds, I noticed that you use a lot of video and image. It’s not just text based. I think a very basic thing people hopefully know about social media is video and pictures are going to get more engagement than just text based posts. They catch the eye. They take up more real estate, et cetera. How do you do that? So maybe you’ll tell me you are also a video producer and you’re also a Photoshop expert.

Mel Robbins: Not me. No, I’m not.

Scott Jacobi: So how do you do that and how could others possibly recreate that?

Mel Robbins: Well, the first thing that you could do is first of all, just shoot stuff on your smartphone for crying out loud. I mean, if you look at the stuff that goes viral, it’s really shady, fuzzy looking stuff that people shoot on their phones, so stop worrying about it being perfect. It’s not a book. This is a piece of micro-content that’s gonna last like 10 seconds. It’ll go viral if you’re lucky. Okay?

Mel Robbins: The second thing is that it’s platform dependent, so people that are on Instagram are image heavy. Things that are on Facebook tend to be either longer form or tend to be natively uploaded video. You don’t wanna just link to YouTube. That’s lazy. You gotta upload the video yourself to Facebook, otherwise you’re gonna decrease the amount of stuff that, the amount of times people share it. With YouTube, obviously it’s all video. If you start shooting your own video, almost like a selfie, just kind of talking to camera and showing people what you’re up to, sharing what you’re thinking about, you’ll see if it resonates with people. If you need to do more video, what you’re gonna do is you’re going to take a video of yourself and you’re gonna say, “I’m looking for an intern. Is there any high schooler out there that understands how to use iMovie or any of the editing tools, and I’ve got an incredible, killer, 10 hour a week internship with you that could turn into a paying gig.”

Mel Robbins: All of your friends’ nieces, nephews, sons and daughters will reach out to you, and next thing you know, you’ve got a couple people that are interested in editing video as an internship. Here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna tell them to take five or six of the crappy videos that you’ve shot yourself and edit together something kind of cool. You give them that project as a way for them to try out, pick the best one, boom. Now you have a video editor. You do this one little push at a time, and so that’s how we started. We now have three full time video editors. We have a creative director that runs social media. We have community managers that respond to all the posts and the comments, and one woman who does nothing but just answer emails all day. Because my brand is all about helping people get the advice and the entertainment and the connection that they need so that they can do a little bit better.

Scott Jacobi: So speaking of that, let’s do that right now. We’ve talked about some of the broad tactics that you’ve used for marketing your books, but I love The 5 Second Rule. I think it’s so fascinating, and I tried it myself the other night. I’ve personally not been going to bed early enough, and I have a little daughter who wakes me up at the same time every morning, no matter how late I go to bed, and I’m playing on my phone too long and I’m staying up too late. So having listened and researched your book, I said, I really should go to bed, and then I said 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, I’m getting up and I’m going to bed.

Scott Jacobi: So it worked for me in that little instance. How can authors and actors apply The 5 Second Rule specifically to what they’re trying to achieve in their day to day lives with their audiobook and writing?

Mel Robbins: Great, well, so let’s talk about the big creativity killer, which is procrastination. So procrastination is a habit. You’re not a procrastinator. You have a habit of procrastinating, and when you look at the research around habits, there are three parts that make up a habit. Then those become like a closed loop that get encoded in your brain, and then you get stuck in the habit of procrastinating.

Scott Jacobi: What are the three parts?

Mel Robbins: The first is the trigger. The trigger is something that is outside of you that triggers you to repeat a pattern, and then when you do the pattern, you get a payoff. So with procrastination, the trigger is 100% always the same. Procrastination is a habit that’s triggered by stress. Believe it or not, when you procrastinate on work, it has nothing to do with work. You’re actually stressed about something else, typically, and the stress triggers you to blow off the things that require focus. And so blowing off writing, blowing off editing a video, blowing off working on your marketing, blowing off watching the videos on the ACX university platform in order to get better at the acting stuff that you need to do. All of that is triggered by greater stressors.

Mel Robbins: The reason why you have the pattern of procrastinating is because when you blow off the work that requires focus, you get a small amount of release from the stress that you’re feeling. So the only way to change a habit is not to worry about the trigger. There’s always gonna be shit that stresses you out. You just can’t control that.

Scott Jacobi: That’s life.

Mel Robbins: That’s life. But you can always choose how you respond to the trigger. So if the habit right now is procrastinating as a form of stress release, what we need to do is we need to actually retrain you that when you’re stressed, that you recognize it and that you actually push yourself forward and do a little work anyway.

Mel Robbins: And so the way that you’re gonna use The 5 Second Rule is when you catch yourself procrastinating, number one, acknowledge oh. Don’t say, oh, there I go procrastinating again. Go oh, I must be stressed about something.

Scott Jacobi: Okay, so link the two together.

Mel Robbins: Yeah, link the two together, and it might be maybe your dad’s … Somebody on our team, she’s worried about her dad’s health. They’ve got a test back that’s a little sketchy and she’s now extraordinarily upset about it. Okay? That’s the trigger.

Scott Jacobi: I hope he’ll be okay.

Mel Robbins: So acknowledge, I’m just stressed about dad. So that disappears the trigger, and then go 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and I want you to just work for five minutes. That’s it. The reason I want you to just start working for five minutes is starting is the hardest part, number one. Number two, we’re not actually trying to turn you into a workaholic. We’re trying to retrain you and your response to the trigger of stress. Your old habit when you felt stress was to step back and procrastinate. The new habit is to recognize the stress, acknowledge it, and lean into the work.

Mel Robbins: So I only want you to work for five minutes because if I can get you started, 83% of you will keep going.

Scott Jacobi: 83%?

Mel Robbins: Yes.

Scott Jacobi: That’s pretty good.

Mel Robbins: Yes.

Scott Jacobi: I have a question about what you just said. I can say in my personal life, I’ve been working to try to do the first step of what you said, which is sort of step back and recognize, what am I actually feeling right now? What’s going on in my head or my body? Do you have a good way to take, is it a physical step back? Is it closing your eyes and taking a deep breath? How do you grab onto that moment and to not let it pass by?

Mel Robbins: Well, first of all, I count backwards, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. That’s The 5 Second Rule, and you’ve got to do that because what you’re doing is you’re interrupting all of the bad habits and reactions that get stored as habits in the interior part of your brain, and you’re awakening your prefrontal cortex. By the time you get to one, your mind is now primed to focus, to act with courage, to do something new. So the counting backwards is essential.

Mel Robbins: You can use the rule, the second that you hit one, you’re in control. So you now have the ability to make a conscious choice, whether that’s pushing yourself forward by speaking up, or by doing something outside your comfort zone, or starting the work where normally you’d procrastinate. Or maybe you’re gonna use it to 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and now pull yourself back. You’re not gonna micromanage your team. You’re not gonna snap at your kids. You’re not gonna reach for that Manhattan, that you’re going to redirect yourself away from the thing that you do that’s destructive.

Mel Robbins: So for me, when I first started using The 5 Second Rule, I used it to 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, get up on time. Then I used it to 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, get to the gym. Then I used to it to 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, kinda curb the drinking a little bit. Then I started using it to 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, change the way and the tone in which I was speaking to my husband. We were going through some shitty stuff at the time, and I was not being that nice. Now, I use it mostly for thinking patterns.

Scott Jacobi: Give me an example.

Mel Robbins: So self-doubt. Imposter syndrome. Anxiety. Any garbage that you think that’s actually self destructive. It is a habit, just like chewing your nails is a pattern that you repeat that’s annoying, so is self-doubt. So if you catch your thoughts drifting, you can 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, give yourself like a mental … slap, awaken the prefrontal cortex, and insert something that is optimistic or positive or self-serving instead of defeating. In the five years that I have been using The 5 Second Rule to redirect my thoughts and reframe them, I have fundamentally changed my mindset. I’ve cured myself of anxiety. I have no imposter syndrome, and this goes back to the original question, which is how do you, in the moment, figure out how to do this?

Mel Robbins: Well, I think that inside each and every one of us, whether you call it a GPS or you call it your inner wisdom or you call it your soul or whatever you want to call it, that there is a guidance system inside of you.

Scott Jacobi: Something innate.

Mel Robbins: It’s always talking to you. It’s a combination of all the experiences of your lifetime, situational intelligence. It’s your intuition. The fact is that when you start to use The 5 Second Rule to push all the excuses aside, you gain a level of clarity that is very hard to describe. It gives you a direct line to your intuition, because so many of us, our intuition kind of rises up, and then we shut it down with an excuse or with self-doubt or with anxiety. When you start to empower your own intuition, and you start to have a little bit more courage in your life, what happens is your ability to hear those moments, your ability to really know yourself and be able to self-monitor, it’s extraordinary. It’s the most powerful thing that you could learn to do.

Scott Jacobi: So you’re stripping away the self doubt-

Mel Robbins: Yeah.

Scott Jacobi: Which is leaving room for the way you truly want to be feeling and acting to bubble up and for you to be able to recognize it and act on it.

Mel Robbins: That’s a beautiful way to say it.

Scott Jacobi: Thank you.

Mel Robbins: Yeah, really.

Scott Jacobi: Great. So you talk about success and achieving this success based on these methods that you’re talking about. What are some of the metrics that you use to define success in your own life, and maybe also specifically for your book and your audiobook? What are your benchmarks?

Mel Robbins: Well, I want to be the number one audiobook in the world.

Scott Jacobi: All right.

Mel Robbins: There you go. There’s my benchmark. Let’s go. We’re well on our way. I’m just kidding.

Scott Jacobi: So you said, well okay, you set very high level goals. Do you set sort of sub goals under those to hit along the way, or do you just set that stretch goal and you do everything you can to hit that.

Mel Robbins: So I’m what you would call an outcome thinker, so I’m always thinking about where I want to get to. Maybe this is from a lifetime of experiencing anxiety, which is always living in the future and normally the future’s terrible. So that’s why you feel anxious right now. But I’m an outcome thinker, so I think about the things that I want to achieve, and then I always work backwards to figure out, well, what are the steps that lead me there? I measure my personal success by whether or not I’m energized and proud of what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with. I think the single thing that has been a really remarkable tipping point, and this will be another book that we’re gonna write.

Scott Jacobi: Somebody already used the tipping point, so I would suggest a different-

Mel Robbins: Oh, not that one, sorry.

Scott Jacobi: Just a different title, but I love the idea, so keep going.

Mel Robbins: There is this really interesting tipping point in our business where things just exploded. The deals were suddenly massive and the platform was getting bigger, and that was when we stumbled upon this really interesting little tool that I can’t wait to write more about. That is that every single one of us has an internal fuel gauge. If you think about it like a gas tank that has a gauge that goes from empty to full. When your gas tank is empty, you feel depleted. When your gas tank is full, you feel fully energized. I think we discovered this because we were trying to create an online course around passion, and passion is a very difficult topic to teach because at the end of the day, passion isn’t a thing. It’s not a profession. It’s not something that the place that you live or relationship that you’re in. Passion is energy.

Mel Robbins: The way to discover passion in your life is to follow the energy. When you tune inward and you pay attention to the data that your own body is giving you, you actually have the answer to the question that vexes everybody, which is how do I find my passion? You find your passion by aligning your life with the things that naturally energize you. So we made a crazy, lunatic woo woo business decision a year ago, my business partner and I, that we would only do things and we would only work with people that we are energized by. Anything that depletes us … we’re not doing it. I don’t care how much money they offer. I don’t care how big the person is, and when you use your internal fuel gauge as a way to make decisions, what you’re actually doing is you now have found a tool to make decisions that are aligned with the things that you’re naturally passionate about.

Mel Robbins: The cool thing is that when you’re energized, you do better work. When you’re energized by the people around you, you’re a better leader. When you’re energized by the projects that you’re working on, you’re fricking creative. So what that may mean for you as a writer is you might be depleted when you sit down to write at home. You might notice that if you go to the local library or you go to a coffee shop, you’re more energized. So if you make the small shift to write in places where you naturally feel more energized, you will be shocked at how your creativity and your productivity flourishes.

Scott Jacobi: So it sounds like in order to notice that, we go back again to what you were talking about earlier, that need to take a step back, check in with yourself, use The 5 Second Rule to center yourself, if you will. What I’m getting from what you were just saying is it almost sounds like a melding between eastern and western. It sounds like it’s a little bit spiritual, but you also say it’s internally data driven, and I love the idea of taking something that there are people out there that think spirituality is a squishy concept and aren’t super into it. If you can use it for yourself in a way that feels more authentic, as you said, I agree. I think it can be a great driver to success.

Scott Jacobi: I have a quick question for you on what you just said. I imagine that it’s easier to say, I’m only gonna work with people that make me passionate. I’m only gonna take projects, regardless of the money, that I really feel passionate about. I imagine that’s easier when you’ve had a measure of success then when you’re either just starting out or you’re sort of at that pivot point, like you mentioned, just prior to that tipping point. Any tips for how somebody could avoid the allure of, I need the money. I should just take that project even though I don’t love it. Because you went through that.

Mel Robbins: Oh, god. Look, if you’re at the point where you’re trying to pay your bills, take the … project, okay? What I’m talking about is having the awareness so that if you’re in a situation where you work for a company and there are people in the company day to day that deplete you, be aware of that, and take intentional steps not to get hooked into them. So it’s more of the awareness around how people’s behavior is contagious. If there are people you have to work with every day that deplete you, take steps to remove yourself from conversations with them. Take steps not to engage in the passive aggressive stuff.

Scott Jacobi: Minimize the exposure.

Mel Robbins: Yes. Exactly, and spend more time with the people at work that actually do energize you. If you are somebody that you’re starting the process of becoming an actor and you’ve got, it’s a new paradigm and learning something new depletes you, every time you notice that you’re depleted, I want you to redirect your thoughts to the thing that got you excited about wanting to do this in the first place, and anchor yourself there in the part of what you’re taking on now that actually energizes you. Does that make sense?

Scott Jacobi: Yeah, no, absolutely.

Mel Robbins: So it’s kind of the fact that this awareness around what naturally depletes you and what naturally energizes you, how that can give you the beacons that you need to pivot in order to align your life and your work in ways that are more satisfying and more successful for you.

Scott Jacobi: Right. I love it. That definitely does make a lot of sense. As we start to wrap things up here, I’ve got one more question for you and then we’ll go into our little end game here.

Mel Robbins: Cool.

Scott Jacobi: But as you’ve mentioned and as people will see the moment they click on any of your website or social media profiles, you’ve inspired a great deal many people with this 5 Second Rule. I’m curious, who inspires you? Who has inspired you, or who do you currently see as a hero, and don’t say yourself.

Mel Robbins: Well, if I have to be … The first person that comes to mind, as cheesy and as predictable as it is, is Oprah, and there’s a reason why. The reason why is, first of all, I grew up with her. So I’m gonna be 50 this year, and when I got home from school, she would be on TV. It was my first habit that I remember in terms of television-

Scott Jacobi: A good habit.

Mel Robbins: And always looking forward to something. What I loved about her show was the fact that she made the fact that we’re all screwed up normal, and she wasn’t the kind of expert that was talking down to people. She was the kind of person that was right there alongside with you, and that really inspired me. Then when 10 years ago, I first stepped into the media business, and I signed a development deal with ABC, one of the people that was coaching me was one of the creators of The View, and they wanted to turn me into a talk show host. I remember him making me watch all these clips of Oprah Winfrey.

Mel Robbins: One of the things that he said about her that he wanted me to pay attention to, and as an actor and as an author, when you think about your audio experience of the story that you want to tell, I want you to remember this.

Scott Jacobi: Hit me.

Mel Robbins: When Oprah Winfrey opens her show, it doesn’t matter what she’s about to talk about. She exudes a level of excitement about what’s about to go down that makes you lean in because she believes that what you’re about to hear about the brand new microwave that’s gonna hit, that it’s gonna change your life. So she was a master at piquing your curiosity and making you pay attention. She was also a master at being passionate about what she was talking about.

Scott Jacobi: You took the words out of my mouth. I was going to say, based on what you’ve just said, she must be very passionate about what she does, and that makes a great point for especially actors as they step into the booth and they’re preparing to read their tenth book in a row and they’re looking to get those energy levels up. Having that passion and being passionate about it is such a key part in connecting with the audience for that performance. You’ve taught me, I was gonna say, Oprah must be incredibly passionate about what she does to bring that level of excitement every show.

Mel Robbins: Yeah, and when I step on a stage, for example, it could be an audience of 20,000 in a stadium. It could be 500 folks that work in financial services like we had in the audience yesterday in Dallas. The thing that drives me is knowing that there is one person in that audience whose life is about to change because of something they’re about to hear. If you step into the booth before you record your book, and you convince yourself that that one person, there’s one person out there that has to hear this story, and I’ve got to tell it in a way that is so compelling that I reach that one fricking person, you’ll win.

Scott Jacobi: Going back to what you said before about the audio medium being very one to one, being very intimate. Absolutely. I love it. I think that is great advice, and I think that’s a great point to wrap up the meat of this on, and to launch into our end feature, which we normally call the lightning round, but for this session we’ll call it the 5 second round.

Mel Robbins: Okay.

Scott Jacobi: So I have, and you have not seen these, so I’m-

Mel Robbins: I have not seen these.

Scott Jacobi: And they’re not difficult. They’re not gotcha questions, don’t worry.

Mel Robbins: Okay.

Scott Jacobi: But yeah, favorite place to write?

Mel Robbins: My favorite place to write? Into a microphone. I don’t like to write. I dictate everything.

Scott Jacobi: You dictate everything.

Mel Robbins: I’m an editor. I’m not a writer.

Scott Jacobi: So who puts it down for you?

Mel Robbins: Siri.

Scott Jacobi: Siri?

Mel Robbins: Yes.

Scott Jacobi: Okay.

Mel Robbins: Or Dragon Dictate, I use those two.

Scott Jacobi: Okay, all right. Cool. What is your favorite time of day to dictate?

Mel Robbins: Any time.

Scott Jacobi: Any time?

Mel Robbins: Yes, because I’m not a writer. If a thought comes to me, it’s like, I just puke it out right now.

Scott Jacobi: You gotta get that out right away.

Mel Robbins: Before I forget it. Remember, ADHD, dyslexia. You gotta work with what you got, people.

Scott Jacobi: So along those lines, coffee or tea, or no caffeine at all?

Mel Robbins: Coffee for sure with whole milk, except for when I have bronchitis, which I get every fall and spring, and then it’s tea.

Scott Jacobi: Okay. All right. Favorite pizza topping?

Mel Robbins: Mushrooms.

Scott Jacobi: Mushrooms?

Mel Robbins: And sausage.

Scott Jacobi: Together? Mushrooms and sausage?

Mel Robbins: Yes, mushrooms and sausage. More mushrooms.

Scott Jacobi: Okay. Favorite place to go on vacation?

Mel Robbins: Eleuthera. We had our best family vacation there.

Scott Jacobi: Eleu, where is that?

Mel Robbins: Bahamas.

Scott Jacobi: Bahamas, okay. Great. What item would you bring to a desert island?

Mel Robbins: A tent.

Scott Jacobi: A tent?

Mel Robbins: Yes, a water well.

Scott Jacobi: That’s a very … some people would say their favorite book or a locket from their mother.

Mel Robbins: God, no! I want to survive. Are you kidding?

Scott Jacobi: I like that answer. I like that answer. What was the last movie that you saw? Do you have time to see movies?

Mel Robbins: Yes. I watch movies on planes. I watched Wind River last night on the plane here, and it is a very upsetting movie. It’s a riveting story. I bet it would make an incredible audiobook, but it was very upsetting to watch.

Scott Jacobi: Last question. What is one thing we didn’t ask you about today that you would like our listeners to know?

Mel Robbins: I have no idea. Join us on social media. We reach 20 million people a month on social, and we bring you behind the scenes, and I don’t think I’m an expert in anything. I am a professional over sharer. I am intellectually curious. I’m a nerd about personal development, and I love sharing the stuff that I’m learning that’s working, not because I think that it’s what you should do, but because I hope it makes you think about what you are doing and how you could do it better for you.

Scott Jacobi: Great. Well, thank you for sharing that everything you’ve shared today with us. Definitely, definitely, definitely go check out The 5 Second Rule on Audible.

Mel Robbins is a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, internationally recognized social media influencer, and one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the world.

 

 

Speed Up Your Audiobook Production with Direct Offer

Good news, everyone! Today, we’re introducing a faster, easier way to publish your audiobooks on ACX. With the new Direct Offer feature, authors and publishers can now choose to work directly with their favorite Producers and narrators without opening their titles to accept auditions. We’ve heard from many Rights Holders that they’ve found “the one” —that perfect voice—either through past projects or by browsing samples on the ACX site, and would like to move their audiobook projects directly into production, and today’s changes are meant to help make that even easier.

To make a Direct Offer to a Producer, navigate to your title from your Project Dashboard, or add a new project to your account. As you set up your title, you’ll have the option to accept auditions for your project or make a Direct Offer to the Producer of your choice. Selecting the option to make a Direct Offer will allow you to select your Producer by searching for his or her name, or selecting from a list of Producers that you’ve collaborated with in the past. You’ll then be able to make an offer directly to your Producer of choice and start collaborating as soon as your offer is accepted.

Want tips for selecting that perfect voice? The ACX Blog has you covered. What other features would you like to see added to ACX? Comment with your suggestions below.

This Week in Links: January 2- January 6

FOR RIGHTS HOLDERS:

5 Steps to Set Writing Goals You’ll Actually Achieve– via The Write Practice – Coming up with goals is easy. Coming up with goals that will make you a better writer can be a bit harder.

The Book Marketing Strategy –via Book Marketing Buzz Blog – January sees some of the biggest spikes in sales after people have been given Audible memberships for the holidays. Keep on marketing!

ACX Storytellers: Ryan Winfield – via The ACX Blog – ACX has numerous success stories, Ryan Winfield is one of our favorites. Ryan explains why he decided to retain his audio rights and passed on working with a major publisher to work with ACX.

FOR PRODUCERS:

6 Things you Can Do NOW to Get Started in Voiceover – via Voiceover Herald – It’s easy to procrastinate when you’re not sure how to get started. Avoid that issue with this helpful article to jump start your narration career.

10 Social Media Trends Giving Brands New Ways to Engage in 2017 – via Adweek – Social media is essential to establishing your brand and properly marketing yourself. Find out the best ways to engage with your audience in the New Year.

ACX University Presents: Finding Your Voice Part 1 –The ACX Blog – Before you  dive into audiobook narration, discover your voice so you can find the appropriate projects. Travel back to ACX University 2015 for some starting tips.

This Week in Links: December 19 -December 23

FOR RIGHTS HOLDERS:

How I Chose a Narrator for My Audiobook – via Josh Steimle – Josh provides great advice on how to pick the right narrator for your project and how to choose when you receive numerous auditions.

Build An Epic Visual Strategy for Your Author Brand – via Your Writer Platform – Branding has become as important as the words contained in your book. See how to properly brand yourself to ensure you reach your target audience.

What Are You Thankful For? (Here’s Why Each of Us Is a #ThankfulWriter – via Writer’s Digest – Tis the season to be thankful for all the things we have. Take a moment to reflect on what makes you a #ThankfulWriter.

Is Your Plan For Success “I Just Want to Write My Books”? – via The Book Designer – Marketing a book once it’s completed can sometimes be harder than actually writing the book.  TBD has helpful advice for what happens after “The End”.

FOR PRODUCERS:

9 VO Hacks to Sound Better and Save Money – via Voices.com – Who doesn’t want to sound better while being more productive and saving some money all at the same time?

A Client’s Guide to Selecting the Right Voice-Over Talent for Your Project – via Debbie Grattan – Getting picked for a project can be difficult. Check out this great article about how to turn that audition into an offer.

Drink Up for A Better Voice – via VoiceOverHerald.com – Magic potions, snake oil, bizarre concoctions? Nothing works better for your voice than a tall glass of H2O. Discover the benefits of being (and staying) hydrated.

4 Ways To Get From Good To Great – via Nether Voice – Paul shares tricks of the trade that you might have overlooked or never thought of that can make you a better narrator.

This Week in Links: December 12-16

FOR RIGHTS HOLDERS:

How to Conduct a Year-End Review for Your Writing: 25+ Questions to Consider – via TheWriteLife.com –Sometimes it’s important to take inventory of what you’ve done so that you can get a better idea of where you’re going. How was your 2016?

Marketing tip: link your blog posts to Goodreads and Amazon – via CreateSpace.com – A blog is a great way to let your audience know what you’re up to. Making sure it’s linked to the right websites and resources is key to making it successful.

1 Simple Marketing Tip to Boost the Reach of Author Facebook Pages – SelfPublishingAdvice.com – Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends. It can also be a wonderful resource for promoting and marketing your title.

How the Age of Digital Books is Fostering the Writing and Self-Publishing of Mid-length Books – via SelfPublishingAdvice.com – Is more better? An interesting article about how digital books and publishing are changing the way authors approach shorter, more concise content.

FOR PRODUCERS:

Apps for Voice Over Actors – via VoiceOverHerald.com – Need to record an audition on the run? These apps can help your smart phone into a mobile studio.

Are Your Prejudices Hurting Your Voice Overs? – VO Master Class – You know what they say about people who assume… Gary Terzza explains the psychology of assumption when it comes to traditional roles in narration and how they can hinder your performance.

The 5 Elements of a Winning Voice Over Audition – via Michaellangservo.com – Every audition is different and each needs to be approached as such. Check out these helpful suggestions for how to turn auditions into offers.

Video Lessons and Resources – via ACX.com – Sometimes you don’t need to scour the internet for great advice and resources for getting started with #vo work. The ACX website has a wealth of helpful information from video tutorials to Amazon wish list of equipment to help you get started.

This Week in Links: August 22 – 26

For Rights Holders:

6 Marketing Hooks to Grab Your Audience – via Book Marketing Tools – “[N]ot all people are lured by the same bait. A different hook is required for different people, based on their personality and interests.”

Author Marketing Mastery: Maximize Your Social Media Schedule Using Aggregate Tools – via where writers win – A service that schedules and aggregates your social media posts across platforms can help you stay organized and focused on promotion.

Build An Epic Visual Strategy for Your Author Brand – via Your Writer Platform – “If you are not yet focusing on visual content in your book marketing and platform building strategy, it’s time to get started.”

Marketing Tip: Create a Social Media Presence for Your Main Character – via CreateSpace – Info on another creative way to stay front of mind with your fans.

For Producers:

How to Succeed in Voice Overs (and Why We Fail) – via Gary Terzza – “One of the biggest errors you can make is plowing a fallow field.”

5 Sites You Should Visit Today to Help Your VO Biz – via Dave Courvoisier – A handful of ways you can improve your career in one day.

Are You STILL Not Getting Lots Of RepeatBusiness From Your VO Clients? (Here’s Why) – via Voice-Over Xtra – “Consistent delivery is about much more than the way you read your lines.”

How To Use Twitter To Build Your Voiceover Brand – via Gravy for the Brain – A great overview on Twitter for VO’s, from setting up an account to making the most of your presence.

This Week in Links: August 15 – 19

The final week of #ACXU2016 featured advice on Taking Your Career to the Next Level, with tips from the casting directors of Audible Studios, Blackstone Audio, and Eljin Productions. Watch below to learn how established studios find new talent as well as the do’s and don’ts of interacting with audiobook professionals once you’ve got your foot in the door.

For Producers:

ACX University 2016 – via ACX – If you missed any of this summer’s panels, bookmark this playlist to round out your audiobook education.

The Big Secret To Audio Book Success – via Paul Strikwerda – What does it take to excel as an audiobook performer? A study of Jim Dale’s career provides one possible answer.

How to Master Voiceover Character Skills – via Gravy For The Brain – Learn what you could be doing every day, everywhere you go, to improve your VO character work.

[PODCAST] Drugs Can Help Your Voice Over Marketing! – via Voice-Over Xtra – Should VO’s take marketing cues from big businesses, like pharmaceutical companies?

For Rights Holders:

10 Sure-Fire Ways To Get Media For Your Book – via BookMarketingBuzzBlug – Read some surprising thoughts on “what really works when seeking to capture the mind share of the news media.”

Marketing Tip: Connect with Book Bloggers – Via CreateSpace – At a loss for how to find people to review your (audio)book? Check out this handy list.

A Quick Start Guide to Using MailChimp for the Email Marketing of Self-published Books – via ALLi – Find out how to leverage email to automate marketing and connect better with readers.

10 Ways To Hook Your Reader (and Reel Them in for Good) – via Writer’s Digest – Any prose written to hook a reader will also give your narrator something juicy to voice!

This Week in Links: July 11 – 15

Did you tune in to the inaugural live stream of ACX University 2016? Top producers Jeffrey Kafer, Christa Lewis, and Andrew Tell joined us to discuss the aspects of a successful audiobook production career. Watch the video below, then subscribe to our YouTube channel to get updates on the rest of this summer’s #ACXU2016 courses.

Now, on to this week’s roundup of links.

For Producers:

How To Prepare For The VO Ride Of Your Life: Live Announcing – via Voice-Over Xtra – Ready to take your talents out of the booth? Check out these tips from the announcer of the SAG and Critics Choice Awards.

7 Easy-to-Miss Habits of a Successful Voice Actor – via CourVo – It’s not easy to miss Dave’s handy hints to develop these seven professional habits.

Should You Hire a Marketer for Your Voiceover Business? – via Victoria DeAnda – “If you don’t tell people what you have to sell, no one will buy it from you.”

For Rights Holders:

Social Media Isn’t Working – 9 Tips to End Your Frustration – via The Write Conversation – “[S]ocial media isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. But, that’s still not an excuse not to use it.”

Marketing Tip: Share What You’ve Learned – via CreateSpace – Think of a tactic that’s worked for you, do more of it, then share it with the author community.

What Is Book Marketing Anyway? – via Digital Book World – If this is a question you’ve asked yourself, click through to get one veteran publisher’s definition.

Author Marketing Mastery #28: Google Plus for Authors – More Plus or Minus? – via where writer’s win – Find out if this social network is worth an your marketing efforts.

 

This Week in Links: April 11 – 15

If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely a storyteller. More than that, by producing and publishing audiobooks, you’re changing the way stories are told and listened to. Audible Range, a new online magazine, is exploring this altered landscape by telling stories around listening, voice, literature, and technology. Check out some of our favorites below, then continue on to our weekly roundup of the best audiobook links from across the web.

Audible Range

Weird Voices Are Winning OutIn the newly democratized world of voice acting, quirky, wry, and “real” voices are having a moment.

Why Books Get Banned – Warning: Reading certain books may cause empathy.

Scandal List: The Sounds That Brought Them Down – Here are some of the most prominent people who’ve “Jinxed” themselves by getting caught on tape.

The Amazing, Strange, And Horrifying History of Irish Storytelling – Grab a warm drink and brace yourself for the dark story behind Ireland’s dark stories.

For Rights Holders

An Interview with Fauzia Burke, Author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors – via The Book Designer – An expert look at author branding and digital book marketing.

5 Ways To Connect With Your Readers – via BookMarketingTools – A handful of tips for coming out from the shadows and marketing directly to your fans.

[VIDEO] Money Upfront: How Authors Crowdfund their Books – via ALLi – ACX author Ben Galley discusses various crowdfunding platforms and how to get the most out of them, all lessons that can be applied to funding the production of your next ACX title.

Guest Blogging to Expand Your Influence and Readership – via where writers win – “You benefit from the exposure to new audiences; they benefit with new, original content for their sites. Everyone wins.”

For Producers:

Tips for Perfecting Conversational Tone in Voice Over – via Rick Lance – If you’re struggling to develop a natural, conversational style tone, try these tips.

Your 12-Step Voiceover Lesson Plan – via Backstage – Make sure you’re aware of and working on these 12 aspects of voiceover success.

How to Act Like an Audiobook Narrator – via The ACX Blog – Audible Approved producer Karen Commins stopped by last week with insight into what makes for a successful audiobook performance.

Working From Your Home Studio – via Bobbin Beam – Get a peek at what it’s like to record at home, plus seven tips for success.

 

This Week in Links: April 4 – 8

For Producers:

Your Cure For Deadly Dull Non-Fiction Narrations: Flow With These Four ‘Voices’ – via Voice-Over Xtra – Learn the proper way to voice everything from section headers to quotes.

Don’t Let Poor Sleep Sabotage Your Performance – via Online Voice Coaching – Get Dr. Ann’s five tips for ensuring you’re getting the rest you need to fuel your VO.

The Importance of Sending Monthly Newsletters to Voiceover Leads – via Victoria DeAnda – “A newsletter is a simple way to show others what you know and what you can do for them so you can get some new referrals.”

The Power of Playfulness in a Voice Actor’s Toolbox – Via Anna Parker Naples – “What if failure could be turned on its head to a happy place which allowed you to experiment further with different ideas, and be playful?”

For Rights Holders:

15 Instagram Book Marketing Ideas from Publishers – via BookBub – Not sure how to promote your audiobooks on the popular image sharing platform? Look to publishers for inspiration.

How to Start Blogging: A Definitive Guide for Authors – via Jane Friedman – Learn “what it means to blog successfully and in a meaningful way for an author’s long-term platform and book marketing efforts.”

4 Ways Planning Your Audiobook Can Make You a Better Writer – via Karen Commins – Producing an audiobook has many advantages, including some that benefit your future writing.

5 Ways to Market Your Book Daily (That Don’t Feel Like Marketing) – via BookMarketingTools – The easiest way to build a habit is to start small. This post offers five things you can do per week to get started.