Welcome to our new interview series, The Next Level. In this series, we catch up with successful Black entrepreneurs who have taken their businesses to the next level in their respective industries.
This week, we had a chance to chat with serial entrepreneur Chanel Martin, founder and CEO of Beyond the Book Media. Beyond the Book is a publishing company that helps writers finish their non-fiction manuscripts in 21 days or less. They also host writing boot camps and publish niche books.
Since the pandemic, Beyond the Book has tripled its revenue and has successfully served more than 1700 clients since its founding in 2019. Here’s how Chanel Martin took things to the next level.
BBG: Beyond the Book is such a unique concept—21 days to a finished manuscript. Tell us more how you came up with the idea and what inspired you.
CM: In 2019, I was struggling to complete my second book. But I figured that with dedicating a few hours a day, I could finish it within 21 days. I invited several friends to join me, and they helped prove out my theory! So I decided to create an outline and writing formula to help busy professionals and business owners complete their manuscripts in less than a month. Many of our authors that have used our model have admitted to trying to write their books over the span of 2-10 years unsuccessfully. After applying our formula, they were able to successfully complete their manuscripts in as little as 7 days.
BBG: Since 2019, Beyond the Book has helped more than 1700 clients finish their books. What strategies did you use to achieve that pace of growth?
CM: We actually started by growing our Facebook group to 400 authors in 30 days – none of whom were paying clients yet. But it did lend itself to proving out the need to start Beyond The Book Media. We have an interesting concept in which we provide accelerated group writing coaching first, then preferentially push them into our publishing process. Initially, we used word of mouth. I also used to post in Facebook groups and get my friends to share as well. Now, I run social media ads and host quarterly virtual events to acquire new authors.
BBG: What has been one of the biggest challenges that you’ve had to overcome as a business owner in the publishing world?
CM: Honestly, not allowing the competitive market to slow my pace. I was a newbie to the publishing industry. I came from a beauty tech background with my first company MYAVANA. So entering into the publishing space was challenging. But, I have a niche for growing really engaged communities. So I used that as my competitive edge.
BBG: Beyond the Book helps small business owners create additional streams of revenue. How does this work? What do you see small businesses are often missing in this regard?
CM: We help small businesses create “Forever Coin” and show them how one book can spring forth several different streams of income. Basically, we show you how to flip your book! Small businesses that want to stand out against their competition and create additional revenue streams should ALL write a book. Also, many authors try to DIY their books. But, if you are a professional you should get your book professionally published too. Your book should match your brand.
BBG: What advice would you offer new small business owners looking to grow?
CM: Get your foundation right first. A solid foundation is built to scale. They should also build with the end in mind. What is the ultimate goal of your business? Do you desire to sell, or keep it as a legacy business? Close down once you retire? These are questions that will help you set your business up correctly.
BBG: Looking forward, what do you see in the future for Beyond the Book Media?
CM: We are planning our first luxury destination writing retreat! I am excited about all the fun and books we will write!