Kickstarter And Multiple Streams Of Non-Fiction Income With Bryan Cohen

How can you manage a successful Kickstarter campaign without burning out? How can you expand into multiple streams of income? Bryan Cohen talks about crowdfunding, changes in his business model, and more.

In the intro, 10th year of double-digit audiobook growth [Publishing Perspectives]; Spotify’s plans for audiobook expansion [Spotify]; Free webinars for audiobook month [FindawayVoices]; Val Kilmer’s AI voice in Top Gun Maverick [Fortune]; Transitions, Endings, and New Beginnings [Ask ALLi]; The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel.

kobo writing life

This podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors. 

Bryan Cohen is the author of non-fiction and superhero fiction, and the co-host of the ‘Sell More Books Show.’ He’s also the founder of Best Page Forward, which writes book descriptions for authors, and he teaches authors how to use Amazon ads more effectively.

You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below.

Show Notes

  • Advantages of Kickstarter — for fans and your bank account
  • Challenges and lessons learned from Bryan’s first Kickstarter — and what he’ll do differently next time
  • Ideas for backer rewards and extras
  • Timing issues for fulfillment and managing backer expectations
  • Why indies are moving toward selling direct, before publishing to stores
  • How Bryan went from books into multiple streams of income
  • Scaling a business and tips for hiring freelancers
  • How podcasting plays a part in his business

You can find links to everything Bryan does at and his next Kickstarter campaign at and on Twitter @bryancohenbooks

Transcript of Interview with Bryan Cohen

Joanna: Bryan Cohen is the author of non-fiction and superhero fiction, and the co-host of the ‘Sell More Books Show.’ He’s also the founder of Best Page Forward, which writes book descriptions for authors, and he teaches authors how to use Amazon ads more effectively. Welcome back to the show, Bryan.

Bryan: Thank you for having me, Jo. I was looking. It’s been five years, and I’m happy to be back.

Joanna: Time flies, doesn’t it?

Bryan: It does.

Joanna: Today we’re going to focus on your multiple streams of income, because I definitely think you are an author-entrepreneur, and I want to talk about a lot of that.

Let’s start with the Kickstarter. I hit you up with an email and was like, ‘I need to know about your Kickstarter.’ So, we’re going to talk about that first. You did this Kickstarter. It was on self-publishing with Amazon ads, which funded at over $20,000, amazing, and over 600 backers.

Tell us about the project, and why did you go with Kickstarter?

Bryan: I’ve always really liked Kickstarter as a backer. I’ve funded multiple projects, multiple books, entertainment projects, and I’ve just really liked this idea that you can throw in perks, because I think that, as authors, we really get focused on this $2.99, $3.99 book, and yes, we can sell enough copies of that to live on, but we need to sell a lot of copies.

This opportunity to reward your readers by giving them these extras is a really fun opportunity, first and foremost, but it also allows you, hey, to maybe pocket a little extra cash than you would have when you are just launching a low-priced book.

From a money-in-money-out perspective, it’s really nice to, within the end of the funding of a Kickstarter, a week or two, you actually have some money, rather than waiting 60 days and change for Amazon and the other retailers to pay you.

Joanna: Right. So, that’s one, the money side, and, two, you can give something extra. You can come up with extras.

How did the project go? What were your lessons learned?

Bryan: There is a lot that goes into a Kickstarter, and I know you’ve spoken with Monica Leonelle (episode 614), I think, and Russell Nohelty about the Kickstarters, and there’s just a lot of planning. There’s a lot of marketing that goes into this.

And even though I knew it would be a lot, even though I knew there would be hours and hours of time that I needed to pour into this, I did not really budget for it. And I think you and I have that in common sometimes, of just, we leap before we look, and then, oh, my goodness.

One of the biggest issues was just a lot of time had to go into making it the right kind of campaign at the beginning, and then at the end, and we’re still kind of in the end, is actually fulfilling all of those things that you promised to the backers.

There’s a lot of work on the front end, a lot of work on the back end, and then, of course, in the middle, you have to get people to actually back the project.

Joanna: Let’s talk about two specific things then. First of all, these extras that you use in the campaign as the different reward levels.

What are some of the things that you did in those extras? And why did that add time as well?

Bryan: One of the things that you know about from your early days of publishing is you’ve got to print out some books on your own, through a fulfillment service of some kind, rather than Amazon. You don’t have to do that, certainly.

I wanted to make sure my backers received a book before anybody else in the world could. And so, you could certainly get it printed on KDP Print or Ingram. I ended up going with a smaller company, Mixam, that was recommended to me by Monica. And they’ve been really great.

It’s my first time ever printing out things from not from a fulfillment, not from a retailer, but from an actual printer. And so, there were time constraints to think about in there.

I also offered an audiobook, and I know you. This is all just the, ‘I should have listened to Jo and thought about episodes of “The Creative Penn,” and said, “Oh, maybe I shouldn’t record my own audiobook. Oh, maybe I should plan more ahead.”‘

[Note from Joanna: I narrate my own audiobooks! Lots more tips in Audio for Authors]

Audiobook, the printing, there are all these personal rewards I kind of threw in there, like phone call with Bryan, or a video from Bryan.

And I thought that just by saying, ‘I’m going to give these to these people’ that it would give me the extra motivation to pull it off, but I’m already busy and already tired, so, it was a struggle.

It has been a struggle to get everything out to the people, with all of those bonuses. I think every Kickstarter creator should consider these things when setting up the campaign initially.

Joanna: That’s the thing, that special print run, it’s both a really special thing, because it’s a special print run, but equally, like you said, we haven’t really done it before. I was looking to work with a partner on that, but, in the end, I just felt like the amount of work was too much for me. I also didn’t want to do this spike marketing thing, which I’m uncomfortable with.

So I wanted to ask you about that too. There is this period, there’s the pre-marketing. You have to tell people you’re going to do a Kickstarter, and get them to sign up for this pre-launch page. And then you have the campaign.

What were the things that you did during that spike marketing phase?

Bryan: I didn’t even think that that was what it was called, but it absolutely is a spike marketing phase. So, I definitely let my email list know about it.

I created a Facebook group related to the campaign, and all of the channels that I already do have on social media, on Facebook, on TikTok, I certainly let them all know about it.

I think a lot of it does come back to email, since that’s the percentage…you’re going to get the best bang for your buck letting your email list know about it. I let both my email list know about it, and I made sure to run some targeted Facebook ads, where I was targeting my own email list. And a lot of that was the build-up to the campaign.

But I always made sure to go back to what has always worked best for me. I am a performer by nature, former improv comedian, and so I made sure to do a couple of webinars. And I did a big webinar to kick everything off.

I didn’t push the actual launch campaign button until the moment I launched the campaign on the webinar, so that it could get people excited while they were talking to me, while they were listening to me, and get them to actually take the action. So, I made sure there was something that fit with my strengths, in order to get folks in the door.

Joanna: I know you can really bring the energy when you’re up for it.

Bryan: Exactly.

Joanna: Like you said, that’s your performance side of things. You can bring it. I see your videos sometimes. I’m like, ‘Well, Bryan is so good at that stuff.’

Bryan: Thank you.

Joanna: And again, that’s something I’m definitely not strong on. And, of course, people can do it in different ways. We’re not saying that people have to do it your way or Monica’s way. You can do it however you like, but obviously, that project is over, but you’re going to do another one. So, presumably, it wasn’t that bad. Tell us about the next one.

What will you do differently next time, or how will you improve your experience of it?

Bryan: I definitely did learn a lot. And despite all of the craziness, yes, I did decide to do another one, launching on June 2nd. And so it’s already launched by this point, the magic of podcasting. It is a new book for authors, called Self-Publishing and Email Marketing.

It is essentially the book and the training on the email side of things, on how to build up that email list, grow subscribers, get more reviewers from that. And so, the campaign, I definitely didn’t want to do certain things from the first time.

I almost treated the first campaign as, ‘Hey, I have these disparate things. I have the ad training for Amazon ads. I have sales page improvements for Best Page Forward and Best Page Forward Plus. Let’s just throw all of that in there at different levels.’

One of the things I learned from Monica and Russell was that if I was going to be promoting this thing based around a certain topic, it made sense for not just one funding level, not just a few funding levels, but all funding levels, to actually fit with that theme.

So one thing I’m doing differently this time is every level is related to email. I’m not throwing in things related to the Amazon ads. I’m not throwing in things related to the other stuff I do. It’s totally focused on email, and the theme is pervasive throughout. So, that’s absolutely one of the major things that I’m doing.

Joanna: One of the fears, and I have heard from several people that their projects, they didn’t even make money. Maybe they broke even. Sometimes they were even out of pocket. And so this is another question.

Did you find anything cost much more than you expected?

Because those print books, right? You can’t do the print run until you’ve finalized the project or sold out of that reward level. And that’s costing that we don’t really understand, and then there’s shipping, which can change.

There’s a whole load of costs that are not under your control. Obviously, your time is your time, but you just keep working more. Were there any costs that ended up being higher than you expected?

Bryan: I do think that the monetary costs, when it comes to print, when it comes to hardcover, I did expect that going in. I knew that it wasn’t going to be like getting a proof from KDP Print, where it might work out to a few dollars each. I knew it was going to be higher than that.

I think my actual printing costs ended up being for, I think we printed 250 books for paperback, and it was about $8.33 for each one, which I thought wasn’t terrible. And the shipping, we actually did not include shipping. People had to enter an additional amount if they wanted to do the paperback or hardcovers.

So, if you plan ahead, if you have that people can pay for shipping up front, because you can do it so people don’t pay for shipping until after the project, but then people feel blindsided with this extra cost. I don’t think you want to do that to people. You want to be very upfront with it.

But I really think, beyond any monetary thing, the time and energy costs involved with the campaign, like recording my first audiobook, which I honestly just finished yesterday, and I’m very happy with it, but it was a lot of energy, and then, certain things that I had a lot of trouble getting fit into my schedule, those were the hardest parts.

If you are as busy as me or Jo, you definitely need to think about how can you conserve your energy?

How can you give a lot of value in your funding levels, but also make it easier on you?

And that is something I would definitely consider whenever creating a campaign.

Joanna: You have to say when is this expected, don’t you? I wonder if the answer is to just move your… You think, ‘Oh, I can do this by next month. If it’s launching in June, July, I’ll deliver in August.’ And that’s kind of how we’re used to doing things as indie authors, because we’re like, ‘Oh, well, I’ll just upload the book and it’s available tomorrow,’ or, ‘The e-book’s available now.’

I almost wonder whether with these Kickstarters it’s better to add on a month or even two months, to make sure that you’ve got enough time to deliver things according to people’s expectations.

I’ve funded projects that haven’t arrived for a year.

Bryan: Right. And a lot of backers expect that at this point, Kickstarter-specific folks. They know they’re not necessarily going to get things right away. It’s readers who you’re introducing to the platform, who might think differently.

I think the advice that Russell Nohelty gave me, that I’m following this time, is to have the book finished before you launch the campaign. And this time around, I’m 11 out of 12 chapters in, as we’re recording this, but by the time we launch the campaign, the book will be finished, and I’m going to put it in the hands of folks right at the conclusion.

Even though we ran our campaign in November 2021, and I said, ‘We will deliver the book by February,’ I still did not meet that. I ended up having to email everyone and say, ‘Sorry. It’s going to be an extra month.’ And it was only an extra month, for the e-book.

I had always said the paperback wasn’t going to be until a couple months later. I knew because of paper shortages that not everything was going to be in my control. But nobody minded.

In fact, and my team really helped me out with this, they said, ‘Bryan, if you say that you were tired and tried your best and didn’t quite get the deadline, these wonderful authors who follow you will empathize.’ And they did.

Joanna: Oh, yeah. I backed it. And as far as I’m concerned, that happens generally anyway, so I think that’s really good that you just gave yourself permission to do that, and will do it differently next time.

What I love about this model, and I may do one at some point, but I love the fact that you’ve now done this, but it’s not the end. You now have another asset.

What happens with the book next? Are you just going to publish everywhere else now?

Bryan: You’re absolutely right. I think this is what people are missing, is that, okay, let’s say I put a book out on Kickstarter, and you make a modest amount, like, $300. Well, that’s probably more than you would have gotten in 60 days if you’d launched it just onto Amazon or onto Amazon and the other retailers, but now you get to sell it to other people afterwards.

So, you bank that $300, and you get to sell it elsewhere. And not just on the other retailers. I am very, very interested in the direct sales model. I’ve been really studying some folks and what they’ve been doing with platforms like Shopify, and I am starting to wonder, and this is, you know, kind of me spilling the beans on what I’ve been thinking about lately.

You do a Kickstarter, you launch the book and all these extras, and you have to create these extras, but once they’re made, they’re made, and then you certainly launch the book on Amazon, Apple, Kobo, etc.

But now you have all these extras, and you can use Kickstarter’s platform. Well, it’s a Kickstarter… I can’t think of the right words.

Joanna: Accessory.

Bryan: Accessory. Yes. A Kickstarter accessory Backer Kit, where you can actually sell those extras after the Kickstarter is over, but then you could also sell those extras, and the book directly, on your website or on your Shopify store.

So, it’s almost like Kickstarter ends up being this almost loan. It’s almost like you’re getting investor seed money at the beginning, to sell a project that you can sell significantly more copies of later on.

Joanna: I’m totally with you. I’ve been selling digitally direct, since 2008, courses and e-books and audio, but I’m also looking at Shopify for the print, because they have these plugins, with Lulu and other printers, where you can do print direct. I’m thinking of moving there.

And similarly to you, I’m starting to think about doing standalone audio… I don’t want to call them lectures, but just standalone audio things on different topics that I would put up and sell as… It would be no book. It would just be a sort of audio extra, me talking about particular topics, and, not a course, but just back to the days of when we used to do this audio-only product. And so, yeah, I feel the same way.

And actually, I’m planning on releasing mine without the Kickstarter, but selling direct only, for maybe two weeks or even a month before I put it anywhere else as well, in order to get upfront sales.

I think we’re all starting to change our mindset, aren’t we? To sort of, ‘Let’s take the chunk of sales ourselves before we put it out onto the stores.’

Bryan: Right. I think what people also don’t realize is, let’s say you’re planning to sell the book exclusively on Kindle Unlimited. If you do what you’re doing, Jo, and you sell it direct before anywhere else, you might be able to bank some wide-ish sales by having it sell directly on any platform, Amazon-agnostic, and then you eventually do launch it on Kindle Direct.

You can have both. You can have everything. You can have your cake and eat it too. It’s a really great opportunity for people.

Joanna: I really think that’s where we’re going. And it’s funny, because when I first came into this space, and you were only a few years behind me, but when I started with the blogging in 2008, 2007, this is what people were doing.

This was before KDP, so that’s what we did. We all sold PDFs and everything like that direct from our websites. And then, of course, Amazon and Kobo and Apple, and they all launched their bookstores, and then people started buying.

But that brought down the price so much, whereas before those stores, we actually sold for decent amounts. It is interesting that that’s coming round again these days.

As you said, we could have our cake and eat it too, but there is a little bit of the cake that I think might be impacted. You teach Amazon ads, and you understand how the algorithms work.

One of the things we do is we talk about the also-boughts, and we talk about how it’s important to target your books to people who buy other books like yours. And in that way, it helps the algorithm know who your readers are and all of that.

If we are creaming off a percentage of our existing readers, our target audience, how will that impact Amazon ads, for example, if we’ve taken away this bulk of initial sales?

Bryan: That is definitely something that needs to be considered. I think that when you do skim off the top a little bit with these other sales methods, it is something that you will not have, that flood of initial buyers from your email list first, your own followers, and then eventually, the people who just find out about it in launch week, you won’t necessarily have that, which could affect your also-boughts, which could affect things initially.

But, at the same time, we cannot just assume Amazon is going to solve all of our problems. I like Amazon. I’m glad that we’ve had all these wonderful opportunities through the KDP platform, and through Amazon ads, but we have to be open to the future, as you’re always talking about, the future of this industry. I think that it is not necessarily going to be just selling the bulk of our books on one platform.

In order to make sure you still get the most out of your Amazon ads, you just need to get all your ducks in a row, sales page, the cover, the title, the book description, subtitle, everything, needs to be very clear.

Yes, this is for this particular sub-genre. If you read this sub-genre, you’ll like it, and you want to do everything you can with your seven KDP keywords, the categories you choose, and you can still ask your readers to go and leave a review on the book on Amazon when it launches, even if they happen to read it not on Amazon. So, you still have some things in your control to steer the algorithm in your direction.

Joanna: At the end of the day, to me, it’s like you mentioned briefly. When we sell direct, when I sell direct, even right now, the money’s in my bank account within minutes. I much prefer money in my bank account within minutes than anything I do with the algorithm later. So, I think the selling direct is, in these times of inflation and we all need the cash flow. Who knows how much that money will be worth in 60 to 90 days?

Bryan: Exactly.

Joanna: Let’s talk about some of your other streams of income. We met almost a decade ago. It must have been around then, and you’ve pivoted a number of times along the way, and you had a daughter as well, which kept you busy, for sure.

What I think’s important, so often, there’s a discussion in the author community about books being the main thing and the only thing. But, of course, many of us choose other things. So, like, this podcast, for me, is an income stream as well as book marketing.

Tell us about some of the other aspects of your business, and why you decided to expand beyond books.

Bryan: In the beginning, like you said, it was pretty much just books. I had my non-fiction books and some fiction books, and I really did think that maybe this could be enough, but the ups and downs of book sales, even back in 2012, 2013, it made me realize there had to be other options.

So, originally, I was doing freelance. I was doing freelance on the side. I even scored a fun gig doing freelance, pretending to be ghost writing these CEO articles for ‘Forbes,’ and ‘Fast Company’ and whatnot, and that was a lot of fun. But that eventually pivoted into something where I had more control over it.

So, that became the Best Page Forward book description business, as we talked about back in 2015 on this show. And that business turned into helping authors with other service areas. Service is definitely one thing you can provide.

We were writing book descriptions. Now we’re also doing the category and keyword research, the metadata, and book covers. We’re doing all of that now with Best Page Forward Plus. That’s the service side.

There’s also the course side. You can have a course. And long ago, I had the course ‘Selling for Authors,’ which was great and covered a lot of different things, but ended up niching down to the Amazon ads, and now we have the Author Ad School, teaching ads. And so, we have the course side of things.

If you know how to do something well, you can create a course around it.

Number three is the coaching. I think that these are the three main areas I tend to think of as side income. Coaching allows you to, one-on-one or you to a group of people, to teach even deeper, and to help guide people through challenges they might not have been able to do on their own.

We have this ongoing, every quarter, Mastermind that we do through the Author Ad School. Originally, it was all me. Eventually, I did hire three wonderful folks to take over the coaching side for me. And that was really hard, to give that up, because I really do love coaching, but it was time for money.

That is one of the challenges with all of this stuff is can you make it so that you aren’t just working for $10 an hour, $20 an hour, $30 an hour? Can you have some things where you are not spending all of your time to make them work? And a lot of that has to do with hiring and outsourcing and delegating, and that is a huge part of having multiple streams of income, so that you aren’t watching each individual one like a hawk.

Joanna: I know that you’ve struggled with this over the years, and I’ve struggled with it and have stepped back from it. You’ve struggled with it and stepped into it.

Bryan: Yes.

Joanna: So, basically, you have scaled your businesses. You have a team of copywriters at Best Page Forward as well, right? You don’t personally write everyone’s descriptions.

Bryan: I used to.

Joanna: I know you did. I guess this is my question, and I really do have this question because I have failed at it, which is, if we want to scale our income, as you say, past a certain point, you have to hire people.

What were some of your biggest challenges with hiring, and finding the right people? How did you make it through those initial feelings of, ‘Oh, I can just do it better?’

Bryan: Absolutely. At first, I hired friends, and I think there were positives and negatives to that. A couple of those friends are still with my company four or five years later, so, it certainly wasn’t all bad.

I didn’t follow the advice of never hire your friends, because it actually did work out, and being kind to them and being understanding to them is always a good way of making that work.

Then I did start to try to hire people who I was not familiar with. I accepted resumes, and did interviews, and asked questions, and I definitely got it, not wrong per se, but I didn’t find the perfect fit at first with that process, because I had to get better at it. I had to get better at hiring.

You’re not automatically going to be able to hire someone who is an expert and who fits perfectly with you. You need to work on it.

I actually think that one of my levels for the email marketing Kickstarter is going to be specifically about hiring someone to run your emails, because that is something that I think every author wants, and very few authors know how to do. A lot of that comes down to not just asking people questions and hoping you’re a good fit.

I’ve had people do personality tests, Myers-Briggs, and the Clifton StrengthsFinder. I’ve had people do sample tasks before I hire. I will have multiple people do a sample task, so that I can see their work in action. And before I did that, it was just hoping for the best. But once I started to really refine my hiring process, it became a lot easier.

The last thing I want to put out here, and this one I don’t hear talked about very often, but I have really loved this idea of looking at my fans, and my people who are advocates for me, and folks who just really love the courses and services I offer, and maybe have bought those courses and services in the past, asking them if they want to work with me.

And that has been my best option. The people who are already on board with the message and the mission of the business, because they’re a part of it from the customer side, they have loved being a part of the actual business, and I think that people who I’ve hired through that way… I’ve had an 80% to 90% retention rate on those folks for years, and I love working with them, and we have a great time, and then they learn, actually, even better by being on the inside. So, that, I think, is my best tip.

Joanna: Yes. That’s how I found Alexandra Amor, who’s my virtual assistant, and has been for, goodness eight years or something at this point.

Bryan: Nice.

Joanna: I totally agree there.

Are these people on your payroll, or is it freelance?

Bryan: All freelance right now. Everyone is a part-time person, part-time contractor, and there’s definitely labor laws that you need to follow, making sure that people are paid for meetings. You need to certainly make sure everything is done right with your accountant.

I did not always have an accountant. I’m glad that I got one for this sort of thing. And you just need to make sure everything is above board, and that you’re doing everything the right way. I don’t think I worried about it as much when I had one person, but now that I have about 25 people, I do need to pay attention to making sure I’m doing everything correct on that side.

Joanna: And then, of course, you’re also the co-host of the ‘Sell More Books Show,’ but you’re the primary host, really, because you did it with Jim Kukral since 2014. Claire Taylor is your co-host now.

Bryan: Yes.

Joanna: So, you’ve got the podcast, and you’re still weekly. You do a great job. Podcasting takes a lot of time, and it’s obviously great for marketing. You mentioned there building a community, and it’s great for community, and it can be for income as well.

What part does the Sell More Books Show podcast play for you in your business?

Bryan: We did have a Patreon. I think I might have followed the lead of you and Mark Dawson and some other folks wading into Patreon. And it was going well for us. We were paying for our show notes person, Roland. We were paying him through the Patreon, and everything was going well with it.

But we didn’t feel like everyone was getting as much value as I really want to be able to give. And I didn’t feel like we were able to work it into me and Claire’s schedule to help the patrons.

I know that you do your Q&As, and you give these wonderful things to your patrons. I didn’t feel great about it. So, that was the main direct way we were making money from ‘Sell More Books Show,’ and we took it down.

I’m pleased with that decision, because I feel really good about now, I don’t have this thing where people have bought a thing from me and aren’t getting value. The value thing is very, very important to me.

Now, the ways that we get value out of the podcast are all indirect. New people finding out about us, people finding out about if Claire has a new offer for some of her craft writing stuff through her company, FFS Media. And if I have a new thing or a new webinar, I can talk about it on the show.

And for our show, we don’t really do ad reads very long. We just say, ‘Hey, we have a thing,’ and then we move into the content. But I think that we don’t always have to get the direct actual ads from the show.

I think you certainly can, certainly if you have a large enough audience, but it’s totally okay to just get the indirect benefits from something as well, to have something that it makes you present in the community.

For me it would be easy to just be in my high tower, as CEO of Best Page Forward, and not pay attention to what’s going on in the industry. ‘Sell More Books Show’ forces me, every week, to know what’s going on, so that I am able to be in touch with the struggles that beginner authors are facing, and that value, that intangible value of the knowledge, is huge for me.

Joanna: It’s also our interest, isn’t it? Because I’m the same. I just like knowing what’s going on, and I’m interested in the news and things, although I don’t cover the news that you do, because I feel like we serve a similar niche, but I cover a different angle.

I wanted to circle back to your fiction and your comedy, because I feel like the Bryan I first met a decade ago, I don’t think you were married. You certainly didn’t have a baby, who’s now a child, and you’ve moved house, I think. You moved across the country.

There’s been a lot of change in your personal life, and I feel like you kind of had to accelerate your business because you had a lot of life going on as well.

Bryan: Yes.

Joanna: So, that fiction side of you, the comedy side of you, I almost feel like you’ve put that aside for a lot of the business stuff.

How are you still serving that part of you, or is it put aside for now, and it’s something you’re going to come back to?

Bryan: One of the ways I’ve tried to still use this, and I think it’s been a few years, certainly, since I’ve really done any specific comedy, but the ways I’m trying to scratch that itch, I decided, early on in the process for that ‘Self-Publishing and Amazon Ads’ book, and now that’s kind of part of a series with these self-publishing books, I decided they weren’t just going to be like one of my old books, where I just had a little bit of comedy mixed in with the education.

I decided I was going to use half of the book to tell an almost allegorical story, in fiction style, a narrative style, with essentially me working with a student, helping them through the challenges.

I have that in ‘Self-Publishing with Amazon Ads.’ I have that in the new ‘Self-Publishing and Email Marketing’ book, where I’m working with a student, and I get to have fun conversations with this student as the author, and I get a lot of comedy out of that.

In the first book, the student thinks I’m full of crap. It’s really fun to have that kind of banter in this, yes, non-fiction book. I get to scratch that comedy itch that way.

And then the other way, it’s silly, but TikTok @bryancohen. I’m doing TikToks. I’m recording them.

Joanna: That’s perfect for you, though.

Bryan: I know.

Joanna: That’s perfect.

Bryan: I’m doing the edutainment, of the education and the entertainment there on TikTok, doing about three a day while we’re recording this one. And so, I do have my fun a little bit with that.

Joanna: Oh, that’s good. And it does really suit you as a platform, and with the comedy and the performance side. It totally does not suit me at all, so I just haven’t got anywhere near it, but it was made for you.

So, that’s brilliant. I’m not going to have a look, because I don’t even have TikTok, but I’m sure lots of other people will.

Bryan: Fair enough.

Joanna: Tell us where can people find you and everything you do, including the new Kickstarter?

Bryan: The new Kickstarter, it will be at So, if you go to prior to June 30th 2022, you will be able to back the campaign and get the self-publishing and email marketing book, with all of the really fun extra perks that go in there, including an email challenge, because I love challenges. And so, that is the Kickstarter.

You can certainly listen to me and Claire every week for the ‘Sell More Books Show’ podcast at and wherever you listen to that sort of stuff. And I’ve still got my quarterly ad challenges for Amazon ads over at And you can check that out.

The next one will be in July 2022. And so, lot of stuff going on, but thank you again, Jo. I hope it’s not another five years, but if it is, that’s okay. I’m very happy to be on your show.

Joanna: Thanks so much, Bryan. That was great.

The post Kickstarter And Multiple Streams Of Non-Fiction Income With Bryan Cohen first appeared on The Creative Penn.

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Author: Joanna Penn

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  • June 12, 2022