Welcome to the Books, Brands, and Business podcast with your host, Chris O’Byrne, from JETLAUNCH.net.
My guests today are Tammie and Rob Chrin. Tammie and Rob began selling on Amazon in 2014 testing out retail arbitrage and online arbitrage (RA/OA) and it proved to be very successful all the while doing it part-time. After that initial success, they realized that arbitrage wasn’t the business model they were interested in and decided that the private label business model was a better fit. They pursued that, released several private label products and became aware of print on demand (POD) for both Amazon Merch and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Tammie pursued the KDP direction creating low-content/no-content books, but had difficulty getting her books to sell online. Then, she came up with a strategy to create branded, customized low-content/no-content books for businesses, which became the KDP 4 B2B model to create a recurring income stream.
Chris: Hey Tammie and Rob, thank you so much for joining me today. You have got something pretty exciting, at least to me, I think it’s extremely exciting, to share with people. And especially people who are authors, who are looking for another income stream, another way to supplement what they’re doing. And yeah, let’s just jump right in.
Tammie: Great. Thanks Chris, thanks for having us.
Rob: Yeah, thank you for sure. We’re to be here and share the information that we’ve come up with, so hopefully it’ll be interesting to your audience as well.
Tammie: Yeah, definitely.
Tammie: Yeah, so this is KDP for B2B. And what that is, is Kindle Direct Publishing for Business to Business. And that’s the model we came up with just a bit ago, about a year or so ago. And basically how this got started was I was in business when I was in my 20s, quite a long time ago, but my 20s. And I had a brick and mortar business, it was a salon. So I’ve always been in business for myself. And then we’ll fast forward, we won’t go through my whole life. But here’s fast forward to today, and about a year and a half ago we were going through this whole Amazon eCommerce business. And my husband Rob, who’s here with me, he mentioned that there was a course called 10 Books in 10 Days and it was a KDP course.
Tammie: And he said, “You should take this course. It’d be creative, it might be really fun for you.” Probably get me out of his hair. So I took the course and it was basically how to create journals, they’re called low content, no content books, journals, notebooks, et cetera. So I took the course and was able to get the 10 books up on Amazon and waiting for them to sell because you had to do all these things like put keywords in. And we’ll discuss that a little bit later, but put keywords in and try to drive traffic to your book.
Tammie: Well I waited and waited and I had no sales. So I was like, “Wow, this is a drag.” I was so excited that I was going to make this extra income and nothing happened. So as I sat back and was kind of thinking about how can I take some of my experience from 20 years ago in business and how that would look for me. And I started thinking, I remember thinking, “Man, we get something printed and you have all these books sitting in your office,” or any marketing material you’d have, you had to buy a thousand copies of it. And then you’d have to put it out there. And if there’s mistakes or anything or you weren’t using that model anymore, you had a stack of books in your office.
Tammie: Anyway, so I decided to think about the businesses that I knew here in our area. We had just moved to Colorado about three years ago. So I met up with some people that I had a gym that I went to and I just started talking to the gym owner and saying, “Do you guys use anything to train your customers? Do you write it down for them?” He said, “I just write it on a piece of paper and hand it to them when they come in.” And I said, “Would you ever be interested in having a customized branded tracker for you?” And he goes, “I’ve always thought about it. I really would love to have one. I just never knew how to get it done, how the process would be and everything.” And he goes, “Can you do this for me?” And I said, “Absolutely.”
Tammie: And that’s really how it got started, was through a gym that I was going to and just talking to the owner and finding out their process. It’s a franchise and they only have a piece of paper that they hand a client how they’ve been on the treadmill, tracking and all that. So we ended up creating customized branded book for them. And I started thinking about other businesses that might want this opportunity, went out to another person who has an online business and she wanted a journal for her company. So I just sat down with her and said, “What would that look like for you?” And we talked about it and she was so excited. That’s was what was lighting me up. Because if people are getting so excited about this process. That they could have a book, you can buy one book at a time versus having to have a stack of 1,500 books in your office like I used to.
Tammie: So then we created that journal for her and she has an online business. So the journal, now she’s able to have that journal sent from Amazon out to all her customers on Prime. In two days people get their journal. So yeah, that’s basically how the KDP Model for B2B started. I just started using my business background and thinking how would this work for someone in a small business? It can be big business, but small business is where it kind of led into. And that’s how we created this whole project.
Rob: Yeah. And I just wanted to clarify, you kind of implied it, but yeah, we’re using Amazon’s KDP platform to generate the books for these businesses. So, I’m sure a lot of your listeners have been in that environment, but we used it for the low content books. But being able to use the print on demand from one copy up to almost a thousand on an order gave the business that flexibility to not have to put a lot of monies into purchasing-
Tammie: Right. That was a big thing for a business owner to not have to put in all that money into having copies of books made and then they’re just sitting there waiting to sell or give away.
Rob: Right. And then just another quick thing, because I know we’ve talked about when we were discussing this model, a lot people that when you look at different models are involved in multilevel marketing. So we just wanted to make a comment to anybody that is listening to this if they’re interested in further things that we do that’s not a multilevel marketing type process that we have a course for. But it’s really to create your own business. So I just wanted to kind of clarify that. It’s not meant to be a quick, get rich quick type strategy. It still takes time.
Tammie: Right. It takes time, yeah.
Rob: Like any business. But the whole idea of the model that came through was the businesses. And like Tammy said, every time we’ve talked to a business, they’re super excited. Because I think the opportunity, they don’t even know this exists, right? That you can create these books on a print on demand model. And it’s just so eye-opening that so many of them, either they already had the idea or if you start talking to them, all of a sudden you can see their wheels start spinning. And they go, “Oh my gosh, if I could do this or that or whatever.” And it’s so exciting, like Tammie said, that’s what gets her excited when she’s talking to these businesses.
Tammie: That really is. That really is the part.
Rob: And seeing that.
Tammie: There’s one other lady that I worked with, was just somebody I went in to take … was actually sort of a workout process. And she goes, “Oh, here’s my binder for my whole course.” So she hands me a three ring binder. Of course the bells go off in my head, like the light bulb, “Woo!” It’s a three ring binder that she’s selling her course for $600 and it’s this white little binder with photocopy paper in there. So of course that was the first thing I thought was, “I could make this look really good for her.” So I was able to create this book with all her content.
Tammie: So I just took all her content, put it in the book, got the cover and made. And now she sells the book and she has people from all over the world that take her course. So now she’s able to just send the book out through Amazon, which is really helpful without having really shipping costs. Because if you have Prime, then you can do all that. But we can get into more of that. But I just want to share, courses are a great group of people. They don’t even know it’s available to them at this low cost and really. So, yeah. And so the books really are, when I first started was low content, no content books. And what that is, and I’m sure your audience does know this too, but is, we just started out with journals and notebooks and trackers and workbooks. Very simple and hardly any content to the book. And that’s kind of been the beginning of the model. Now we’ve gotten into a little bit more, thanks to you Chris, with helping with templates and all. So yeah, so that’s the other part of it too.
Rob: Yeah. And probably most of the people that are in your audience, Chris, have worked in the environment. But if somebody is listening this and it hasn’t been exposed yet to this, any of the creating books, especially low content, no content is you don’t have to be a graphic designer to do the work that we do. And it’s really easy to learn. And the other thing is, even if you know how to do it, there’s so many opportunities to be able to outsource this work relatively inexpensively. Or we’ve also created a bunch of templates and we’re constantly adding those in too, so that you don’t have to do all the work. You can work on building the relationships with businesses, which we’ll talk about in a little bit, about how we go about that. But just wanted to clarify that part, if anybody’s listening to it and doesn’t have that experience.
Tammie: Right. And I did not have that.
Rob: That’s true, yeah.
Tammie: That was not part of my experience, I’m not a graphic designer. And that’s why I love having you with your help, Chris. And your team has been so helpful. Because I think you saw that I was … I struggled at it. It’s not what my strength is. So I reached out to people like yourself and have you do all my designing for me. So I don’t want people to think that that’s a sticking point. I get out there, I love talking with businesses. I will show you how to have relationships with businesses. What to say, how to do it all step-by-step. But like I said, I didn’t have a graphic design background. You are the one that’s been helping me a lot with that as we’ve moved forward. So that’s definitely find a resource and go that route.
Rob: Yeah, for sure. And we alluded to talking to businesses, a lot of this is building relationships. And I think another thing that people may be thinking is, “Oh, since I do more book design and stuff …” If that’s who you are and you’re listening, you don’t have to be an extrovert type person, a sales type person to do this model. The type of things we talk about are very low key, almost natural conversations just to build a relationship up. And then when that time is right, when there’s an open conversation, then there’s an opportunity just to ask them that question like you did Tammie. To say, “Hey, have you ever thought about …” Especially if you see what their business is doing. “Have you ever thought about having a customized branded book that would be unique for your clients or customers that you have there?”
Tammie: And it’s such a good opportunity for businesses because to have their brand on something. And if they go to any functions they can hand these out and all the contact information is there, besides a business card and a piece of paper. So, for many different businesses, this is a huge model for them. And it works really well.
Tammie: And as far as, like Rob was saying about talking to the businesses, we also have a lot of information to help you, guide you through building those relationships up. It’s really something I’ve done all my career. I feel strong about how I can show you how to walk through and talk to businesses. And without sales, I’m really not a salesperson, never sold any product. I always say I just fill the need for somebody. So if you’re thinking, “I’m not a sales person, I don’t want to do this,” let’s just take a step back and just say we’re building relationships. Find the right people. They really want your help and they really need it. They just don’t even know what’s available.
Tammie: So as the conversation starts, that’s how we’ll walk you through. And we’ll give you more information if you want to know about how to do that.
Rob: Yeah. Yeah. And in regards to tools for creating. I’m sure most of your listeners have some tools they use to create the books. But if you’re new to this or haven’t done much, we use Canva, which is a free … or there’s a paid and a free version. A free version usually is more than enough that you need to create the books. But you can use any tool you want. If you’re more comfortable with something like InDesign or if you have Photoshop experience or whatever, any of those tools are available. But you don’t have to spend money to create these books. You can use tools that are very inexpensive. In this case, it would be free for Canva.
Tammie: And then as you build, you use Chris like I do.
Rob: That’s right, yeah, exactly. 100%. And then speaking of the type of businesses that you’d want to talk to, what we’ve found is for low content, no content books, any businesses that have their customers log, track, journal, those are perfect types of businesses. So like we were talking about before what Tammie was saying, she went to a gym, gyms are perfect. Because so many of their customers, whether they’re tracking things on their own. So they may be tracking how many reps they’re doing, weights, machines that they’re using, whatever those things are.
Tammie: How much water they’re-
Rob: Yeah, exactly.
Tammie: Food intake. I mean, there’s so many variations that you can create.
Rob: And even though a lot of that can be electronic, a lot of people love having the physical books themselves. It just depends on that person. And then the other aspect with regards to gyms too, are trainers within those gyms. If they’re working with a client, they like to be able to have their clients track what they’re doing and do that progress and see-
Tammie: Nutritionists are another one. So that’s just in one business.
Rob: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Tammie: That’s just one business. Chiropractors can be one. Oh, one that’s great too is trainers. Dog trainers, any training, any training at all. Could be dogs, horses, cats, I don’t know.
Rob: Yeah, for sure. Therapists.
Tammie: Yeah, therapists. Yeah, journals-
Rob: We worked with some therapists with journaling. Tracking emotions, issues. You even created one that had some coloring aspects, so when people are going through to be able to kind of deal with things. So those are great opportunities. Realtors is another great one.
Tammie: Oh yeah, that’s a huge one for us.
Rob: Realtors love to be in front of people. They’re always trying to-
Tammie: The brand.
Rob: Yeah, branding, making sure that they’re outdoing their competition. Because you see them everywhere, whether it’s on billboards, webpages, newspaper, grocery carts. So being able to create a branded book that’s unique to them, that allows them to keep ahead of their competition. And the type of books we did for them, we had one which was a home maintenance book.
Tammie: Home maintenance checklist.
Rob: Yeah. So if they sold a house to somebody, they could give gift this person the book. What they should do on a monthly, quarterly, yearly basis type stuff.
Tammie: But that just keeps the realtor’s name in front of that person. So every time they go to change the furnace filter, they pull that book out, write it down, the date, and there’s the realtor’s name. So that’s a big one for us. And we created the templates for that so that … there’s so many realtors, so you could really … it’s branded specifically for them. So you don’t have to worry about competition for yourself. Like, “Oh, I hit one realtor, that’s all I can do.” Everybody will have a different story, a different cover, different look. So I just changed the covers, put their information on the front and back and then use the template for the interior.
Rob: Yeah. One other great thing about this model is if you were going to sell, like Tammie had started online, a lot of people sell journal, trackers, et cetera, online. Everybody’s looking for … you got the whole world literally looking for certain books and things. So you’ve got to compete and make yourself stand out. What I love about this model is it doesn’t matter where you’re at. So it’s very localized. So if you’re going to go to a gym, somebody in the same city, you can have multiple people going to different gyms or localized areas-
Tammie: Or realtors too. I mean, how many realtors are just in one city?
Rob: Right. So it’s very specific or localized to there. So you don’t have to deal with the competition level that you have to when you’re online and everybody’s seeing everything. So it allows you to communicate to people and not have to worry about keeping things quiet or whatever those things are. So that’s some great … what I really like, like I said, about that model is you don’t have to really focus on the world, if you will.
Tammie: The other thing I’d like to bring up too, because this is really about your customers, Chris. It would be this also is a reoccurring income stream. And this was really fascinating to me when I started doing this. And people always asked me, “Well, how are you making a reoccurring income stream?” Well, what I have is I set, everything’s under my KDP account. So when the books are created and set under my KDP account. And then the customer or the business owner buys them through Amazon, sends them out. I put in a royalty fee into the cost of the book. So every time that book sells, I get a royalty. So that pays for everything, and then I also make the royalty. So that’s the reoccurring income stream. And in the book world I feel like that’s kind of rare that you can get a reoccurring income stream, is what I’ve heard.
Rob: Right. And I we kind of look at two different models. It’s like one of the things is, as most of you know, there’s no cost of putting a book on Amazon. To list it, I should say. So for a business, there’s no cost of the listing part. But you want to be able to be compensated for the work if you’re going to create the book. We do, in many cases, have a setup fee. So we’ll have a fixed fee initially. And then as the book sells, then like Tammie said-
Tammie: That’s where the reoccurring comes in.
Rob: Yeah, we go over and how to build the price into the selling price and/or the wholesale price if the business wants to have them physically at their location so that you get compensated for every book. And most cases, like Tammie said, it’s under her account. And most businesses, that’s okay. I mean, every once in a while a business will want to take control of it. But most of them, they just want the book. They just want to be able to get something easily that they can provide to their customers. And some cases they don’t even want to make money. They’re just saying, “You know what?” Especially if it’s like a realtor or if you’re doing a course, like you’re saying, if someone’s spending hundreds of dollars for a course or even more. That expense is relatively small for them to be able to add value and provide something that’s that customized branded book for them.
Rob: But you can also work with them so that you get a royalty and the business gets a royalty. So it’s kind of a win-win, depending on what that … obviously it depends on the ink, size of the book and stuff, what you have to sell it for to get those royalties. But that’s something you can work with them and say, “You can make a royalty along with myself as we move forward.” So it’s a recurring revenue for the business themselves. So that gives them flexibility and additional income.
Tammie: In a year and a half we’ve really worked through a lot of these issues. So we have it all set for everybody how to work through this, what it looks like for you as you’re building your business and giving you ideas which way you want business to go. Every business owner is going to be a little bit different. But we are here and we do walk you through a lot of those things that come up.
Rob: Yeah. With regards to, we say we use Amazon’s print on demand platform. You don’t have to use that. Obviously if you have another platform that is a print on demand, you can obviously use that. But what we help people with is using the Amazon platform. A lot of it is just because it’s easy to do. Like I said, it’s no cost to list the book. People trust Amazon in the sense of when they hear Amazon, they think good prices and good quality or quick delivery. So when you talk to a business, they get that. They know the name Amazon versus, I’m trying to think of the other print on demands.
Tammie: Yeah. The other thing though, with that is Amazon only does the books that are the paper cover. They don’t do a spiral bound.
Rob: Correct, yes.
Tammie: That’s sometimes where you have to go maybe outside of Amazon.
Rob: For hard covers or whatever.
Tammie: For hard covers. The other thing though, is you have to kind of take this model and think of it as just this is kind of a niche. This isn’t an author writing a fiction book and all these things. These are more like workbooks and journals and things that are … paper is fine to have, the paper quality is great, things like that.
Rob: It’s really just that extra value they can add for their clients. They’re not really necessarily worried about high quality per se. Not that it’s bad quality, but it’s just enough to allow them to give something to their clients or sell them something that’s going to help them.
Tammie: Yeah, absolutely. And then…
Rob: And I think related, another thing I just wanted to bring up. We talked about this as it’s a relationship with a business. It’s really, I don’t want to say a partnership, but you’re working with them moving forward. So we also have, as part of our training is talking about creating a partnership agreement. Just an outline, not necessarily a contract, just outline expectations. What is the expectation that you’re going to do as the developer? What’s the expectation of the business? How our royalties are going to be paid out? All of those types of things. So it’s just more of a high level document to talk about. There’s no surprises, essentially. So that everybody understands and are on the same page moving forward. So we have templates for that and walk you through of how that should be set up and designed.
Tammie: Yeah. So we’ve really gone through this process for quite a bit and try to make it as easy as possible, step-by-step for you. And then also to be able to answer the questions, we’ve been doing this for a while now.
Rob: Yeah. And I would say as you work through this process, there becomes a time where you never know if a business is going to be interested moving forward. But I think as you have conversations. And as you’ve done Tammie, yourself, is if you’re interested in this process, don’t just necessarily go to one gym or one realtor and kind of depend everything there. Because sometimes these things take time to develop. So I suggest if you’re going to do things like this, opportunities will arise when they’re ready for the business, if at all. But go visit multiple different gyms and talk to them or coffee places. I mean, we’ve talked also-
Tammie: Wine logs.
Rob: Yeah, wine logs or beer tasting logs.
Tammie: Beer tasting, yeah. There’s many options, kind of fun things to do. And just being out there and talking with people and it’s amazing how the doors start opening up. So I don’t bring it up right then and there. But I’ll just get to know someone and it just sort of evolves. So you’ll know when you’re ready.
Rob: Yeah. And I think you’ll get that sense, like Tammie said, just when that conversation … once you have some sort of relationship. And like Tammie said, we talk about how to break the ice, if you will, and just start basic conversations. But once they start understanding kind of when the opportunity comes to talk about what you do as creating the journals, you start seeing the mind of them, the wheels spinning.
Tammie: Yeah. Like I said, that is my favorite part. That’s what makes me so excited. There’s a couple of things, but when it clicks. When they start to get it and they start going, then they start rattling off about, “Okay, well how about this book? How about this book?” They have about five books. I go, “Let’s just get one done.” Right, Chris? So it’s a great way to see first they’re not sure, then they understand, then they start just going in. And you have to kind of reel them back just, “Let’s get one done and get it done and get that going forward.” So yeah, it’s been fun that way.
Tammie: And also just all these relationships and people you know. And you’re helping their business. And that’s so exciting to see that happen. And you’re a part of their business now. Because you’ve sort of created something for them and you’ve built relationships. And they want to keep coming back to you and they want to keep doing more books. Or you can revamp them for them. Because their businesses are evolving. So you just set up those fees and you make money that way as well, by revamping their books. And they’re just so thrilled. They’re so happy.
Tammie: And that’s the part I really enjoy. I really enjoy serving the client and making something they thought would never … It’s like, you made my dream come true.” And I’m sure you’ve heard this Chris, with someone’s … you’ve created many books. And actually we have a fun thing that we show in the course too, is how did deliver the book. So you get all this stuff done and then we’ll create the book. You’re going through the whole process with the cover, the interior, back and forth. Then when you actually get a copy. I always order a copy and I either send it or bring it to them, but I like to bring it to them in person.
Tammie: And then I’ll usually try to capture it on video. Because I think it’s so fun for them to see their excitement. Then I bring it to them and we get a circle of friends there, the business people and then bring them around all the employees and hand the book to them. And their face just lights up. And that is, to me, one of the best and exciting things that keeps me just wanting to do this forever.
Rob: Yeah. So I think, as we’ve been rattling on, Chris, I think that’s the majority of the things that we wanted to talk about. And to let your audience know that next week, February 10th depending on when you are listening to this podcast, we’re going to be doing a live workshop. Go into more depth and talk about this in more detail. It’s going to be free. And if you’re listening to this after the week of the 10th we’re going to be doing these live workshops routinely throughout every other month or so. So, there’s opportunities and I think you have the link, Chris, to share with your group. If they are interested in this concept, it sounds like, “I’d just like to get some more information and find out about it,” we’d love to have people join in for this training.
Tammie: Yeah. I really want to share this with people. Because I think that’s the other part that makes me very excited, is this can be something that mostly everybody in any city can do. You can even find people online that have courses if you don’t have anybody in your town or area or wherever you’re living. But through the Facebook groups, I really want to give as much value in training to you. I want it to be not just take the course and, “Okay, now what do I do?” We really, Rob and I both want to be interactive. We have some team members and we’re going to bring in some experts and Chris is going to be one of them. And we’re going to bring them in and have people talk about all the different parts of this process. So we can really get you to be able to be as confident as possible to work through this KDP for B2B model and make money. I mean, we all want to make money. And we want you to be successful. We want you to be happy and excited and build your business.
Rob: Yeah. And just one other thing I have to mention about when we’re this live training, we’re going to have a contest. So we’re going to give away our course to one lucky winner. So if you are interested and this sounds like it might be something you’d want to do, we’re going to be awarding at least one person a course for just attending the live workshop.
Rob: What do you think, Chris? Did we miss anything? Anything we were a little confusing on?
Chris: No, I don’t think you were confusing at all. I kept looking for points where I wanted to ask for clarification. But yeah, you did such an excellent job. And I am, oh man, I’m really excited to share this with people. And I mean I’ve been doing, in my business we’ve designing books for years, about a dozen years now. This is an opportunity that is available for anybody to do and to make it into, it could be a side hustle, it could be a full time income.
Chris: Having seen what’s available and what works out there, this is like a golden opportunity for people. Especially because there’s nobody else really doing this or talking about it. I mean, I’ve got my ears out all the time for new opportunities. So when I saw that you were doing this, I knew that I just wanted to let more people know about it. And yeah, I’ll make sure that all the links and everything they need, especially the link to the Facebook group for the live workshop.
Tammie: Yeah, we’d love to have people join and just come in and check it out. No obligations. It’s free. We’re just in there all talking about books and how this all works. And if you want to do the course, great. If not, if you get everything out of it that you need, then go for it.
Rob: Yeah, 100%.
Tammie: We just wanted to share this idea with everybody.
Chris: Yeah, it’s very exciting. Thank you so much for coming on and just letting us know about this. I really appreciate it.
Thanks for coming along for the ride. If you want to be part of a tight-knit community of people learning how to make money with their books, join my FB group at jetlaunch.link/group. That’s the best place to ask me questions and get fast answers.
If you’re listening to this shortly after it’s been published, be sure to head over to www.facebook.com/groups/202323337603860 to join Tammie and Rob’s Facebook group called “KDP 4 B2B-Kindle Direct Publishing for Business to Business” and to watch their live workshops.back to blog