Nick Hutchison: Rise of the Reader

On episode #224 of The Author Factor Podcast, I am having a conversation with Nick Hutchinson, the brainchild behind Book Thinkers, a digital marketing agency for book lovers that bridges the gap between authors and their readers.

Nick Hutchison & Mike Capuzzi

Nick is the author of the nonfiction book, Rise of the Reader, where he presents a compelling blueprint for revolutionizing your reading habits. The book stands out with its actionable strategies to transform passive reading into a dynamic learning experience. What listeners will find particularly captivating is the concept of setting a SMART goal for each book they read—a simple, yet powerful tool that promises to elevate their reading journey exponentially.

The impact of being an author has profoundly shaped Nick's career and identity. For him, publishing Rise of the Reader wasn't just about sharing his passion—it was the ultimate assertion of credibility and the manifestation of his wisdom into a legacy. Nick's book authorship has fortified his speaking engagements, enhanced his business services, and most importantly, offered life-altering insights to readers globally.

Unlocking the Author Factor: This Episode's Big Takeaway

The key author factor from this episode is the emphasis on intentionality and differentiation when it comes to both reading and writing books. For reading, Nick Hutchinson advises setting a SMART goal for each book to ensure actionable takeaways and a more impactful reading experience. For writing, he underscores the importance of creating a book that is distinctly different from others in the market to stand out and truly provide value to the reader. This differentiation is crucial for a book's success, as it generates word-of-mouth momentum and separates it from the plethora of other titles available.

Nick Hutchison shares his Author Factor...

Learn more about Nick Hutchison by visiting:


Mike Capuzzi: Ever wondered how a single vision can transform millions of lives through books? Meet Nick Hutchison, the genius behind Book Thinkers, a seven-figure marketing agency uniting authors and readers worldwide. Nick's podcast, Book Thinkers, Life changing Books, is a top podcast that features captivating interviews with world class authors such as Grant Cardone, Lewis Howes, and Alex Hormozi. His new book, Rise of the Reader, offers a blueprint for revolutionizing your reader habits and realizing your potential. Nick, welcome to the show.


Nick Hutchison: Mike, you used the word genius, and I'm going to have to live up to that expectation. I hope I can deliver for everybody today.


Mike Capuzzi: Well, from a little bit of checking you out, Nick, it looks like it fits. It looks like you've done some kind of neat things. More importantly, you've helped a lot of clients. We're going to get into that. Yeah, I think you're doing a pretty good job. So I just barely touched on your background, Nick, and what you do and how you serve your clients. Can you share a little bit more?


Nick Hutchison: Yeah, of course. What normally surprises people, given the fact that I have a thousand books behind me, and I work professionally with authors, is that I was not much of a reader growing up. So I was more of the athlete stereotype, not really much of the academic. And so when I was in middle school, high school, and even through most of my college experience, you couldn't pay me to read a book or do my homework. I was not a great student. But that all changed for me going into my senior year of college up at the University of New Hampshire, because I took an internship at a local software company. And my boss at the time, Kyle, I think he recognized what I would call unfulfilled potential. That's probably a nice way of putting it.

I was a little bit of a know it all 20-year-old sales guy, and he said, listen, Nick, you're driving an hour each way, five days a week and listening to the same playlist, the same radio station, the same song for the 5000th time. It's not going to get you closer to where you want to be in life, but the right podcast might. So that's what I started with. I started listening to shows where successful entrepreneurs and authors were being interviewed and sharing their secrets. And what I realized very quickly was that so many of these successful people were giving at least some credit for their success to the books that they were reading. So I realized if I wasn't going to read because it wasn't cool, then I was choosing to live under my potential. That wasn't great. So I went to my local Barnes and noble, grabbed about a dozen books, and the rest is history.

I've been reading 50 to 100 nonfiction, business, or personal development style books every year, and I am just obsessed with the idea that the right book at the right time can change somebody's life.

Mike Capuzzi: Without a doubt. So I probably have a. I'm guessing a couple decades on you. It was my grandmother who really turned me onto books when I was about five years old, she was a voracious reader. I would have to travel a couple hours to go visit her, and every time I did, I would pull a book off her library shelf. And I love books, Nick, and I've always shared with folks that whatever it is you want to figure out or learn how to do or get better at, whatever it might be, chances are there's a book written about that now. You might have to find it, and if not, maybe there's an opportunity for you to write that book if it hasn't been written. But, yeah, there's just such a wealth of knowledge.

Now, I've got to ask you, with a thousand books behind you, I don't have quite a thousand over here, but it's getting pretty close. Are you also a fan of some of the classic books that go back in the early 19 hundreds, you know, some of the, you know, self-help books and business books of those, those decades?

Nick Hutchison: I absolutely am. Books like the Science of Getting Rich and Think and Grow Rich. I am a fan of that time period as well. Most of my reading today, I'd say about 80%. There are books written within the last couple of years. But I think it was important for me, especially in the beginning of my reading journey, to go back and read a lot of those classics. So I definitely have read them, and I continue to reread some of them, so. Yeah, absolutely.

And you find that a lot of the books being written today are just reiterating and reorganizing a lot of those original principles.


Mike Capuzzi: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, there's. Once in a while, there's an idea that might be more profound than different, but typically it is just a rehash with that author's spin and viewpoint. I don't know if you'll get to it yet, but I have a collection of, like, first editions that I've bought, you know, fairly expensive books that I just read. I don't know what I'll do with them. My girl, my two daughters who just graduated college, they're not as interested in old books as I am, but, you know, they're just neat to have these old books that have been written and been helping people for decades.

We digress. Before we talk about your fairly new book and your first book, tell us a little bit more, Nick, about what you do to serve clients. Because I know you are helping men and women who have written books get the word out, I guess a bit more.

Nick Hutchison: Yeah, I'll give you a little bit of context on that. So I started reading these books. They started to change my life. I started to solve problems, remove insecurities, build confidence, and build new skill sets. And then I graduated college, and I started reading books on sales and marketing, persuasion, negotiation, effective communication, and applying those books directly to my sales role. And I started to experience a lot of financial success as a result. So I was hooked. I mean, I was trying to get all of my friends and family and coworkers to read these books because just like you highlighted before, that were decades, right? These books are condensing decades of somebody else’s greatest life lessons into days of reading an application, the greatest shortcut ever made.

So as I'm starting to read and implement these books and nobody around me wants to hear about it, I turned to social media, and I started sharing the books I was reading on Instagram and Facebook with the hopes of connecting with likeminded people. And about a year later, I developed a little bit of an audience. And maybe about a year after that, I actually had authors reaching out to me and they'd say, hey, nick, I love your book reviews. Can I pay you to review mine? And I'm like, of course you can. I get it. Getting paid to read, you know, in my off hours, like, that's a dream come true. But as I started to work with these authors and ask follow up questions, I started to realize that oftentimes these books are a lead mechanism for some type of complimentary product or service, like coaching, consulting, speaking some other type of business. And a lot of the traditional publishers or hybrid publishers, they weren't supporting the authors on social media.

You sign a book deal, the book gets professionally created, and then now you have to go promote and market it. And obviously for self-published authors, they have to promote and market it as well. So I realized I was like, young enough to understand social media, but old enough to maybe help them and start to build a business on the side. And so that's what I did. Fast forward until today. I have about ten people on my team, and we're helping north of 150 authors a year promote and market their books. And there's three things that we're really good at one is short form video content for social media. So we'll actually take a physical book and help the author turn it into either 50 or 100 pieces of professional video content.

Like, we literally fly out with the cameras and the lighting and then do all the editing for them. We do podcast booking. So placing authors on shows to talk about their books, always in front of the right audience. And then we still do book reviews. We have a large audience of a couple hundred thousand people, and we have a podcast, and so we can really help a book get out there.

Mike Capuzzi: Well, I've noticed that with your book. So your book, rise of the reader was published in late 2023, is that correct?

Nick Hutchison: Yes, November 1.

Mike Capuzzi: All right. And I happened to glance at Amazon. You've got a lot of book reviews for just a few months. That's no easy task. So you obviously are doing for yourself what you're doing for clients. So nice job there.

Nick Hutchison: Thank you.

Mike Capuzzi: Let's talk about your book. So you love books, you're helping people market books, and then all of a sudden you get this great idea. I should have a book, I would assume. Tell me about that.

Nick Hutchison: Well, it came because of an inbound demand for the information that I had curated over time. So again, all this was by accident. Like, I'm starting to help authors. I'm reviewing more books. They're sharing it in front of their audience. I'm attracting some followers. The audience gets bigger and bigger, and all of a sudden, I'm the book guy. And so over the years, I received hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of similar questions.

Questions like, hey, Nick, how do I choose the right book to solve this problem? Or, hey, Nick, how do I take effective notes so that I can implement what I'm reading? Or, hey, Nick, why does the information go in one ear and out the other? I'm having a hard time retaining it. And so to be of service and answer those questions, I'm going out there and reading books on how to retain and implement. I'm reading books on effective note taking. I'm reading and implementing, you know, I'm trying to find the solutions to these problems. And I wish there was a one stop shop where I could have just recommended a single book to my audience every time there was a question, but I couldn't find one. And for me, that was a sign of you know what, it's time to put my own agency to the test. Write a book that helps solve this very clear problem that my audience is struggling with, and then also test all of my own services and go through the process of becoming an author so that I could understand and maybe empathize a little bit more with them because I was selling book promotion services without having ever authored a book. And so it just felt like I could serve both audiences with integrity by going through that process, and that's what I did.

I sort of documented my own tips and strategies and tools for getting more from the other books that you read as going through that process. So it was a lot of fun.

Mike Capuzzi: Well, it's very cool that you say that because I've been in this game for a little while and I think we're approaching 30 years. And I always think it's interesting when there's an expert out there saying, go do something when in fact they haven't done it. So good for you for realizing early on, yeah, you need to be a book author. I mean, there's a lot of reasons you need to be a book author, in my opinion. I was just talking to a gentleman within the last week who has a fairly big promotional pr company for authors. And it's interesting because he doesn't have a book and he probably should, but good for you for recognizing that. So I want to talk about your author journey and what you've learned. But before we do, could you share Nick a tip or two from your book to just entice our listeners to go grab a copy?

Nick Hutchison: Sure. And I'll try to be as quick as possible. I think one of the biggest issues plaguing the average personal development or self-help reader is that most people don't read with intention. And so what I teach people, one of the many things I teach people in my book, is actually to set a smart goal for each book that they read. A smart goal is an acronym that stands for specific. So a goal needs to be specific. You need to know why you're reading the book. M stands for measurable.

So at the end of implementing the book, you need to know whether or not you've achieved your goal. A stands for attainable. You need to set a realistic goal. You can't set a goal like, I want to make a million dollars by the end of next month, but something reasonable like implementing one or two things from it. R stands for relevant. So you want to be emotionally connected to the information that you're reading. What problem is it solving? What skill is it building? Really drive home the emotional connection and then it is time bound. You want to give yourself a deadline for taking action.

So if I was reading a book, I have $100 Million Leads by Alex Hormozi in front of me. I would set a smart goal, like find and implement at least two new lead generation strategies for my business book thinkers by the end of March. And then I'm going to write that goal, that smart goal on the inside cover of the book and review it. Every time I read another chapter, it's like I'm sharing my goal with the book so that the book can share just the best information that I should be taking action on. Back with me, we're leveraging the reticular activating system that our brain has, that natural filtering function. And so be really intentional with each book that you read, and you're going to get more actionable takeaways from it. So that's one tip that I share in the book.

Mike Capuzzi: Yeah, I love it. I love it. I think you're right. I think most people, regardless of what they're doing, whether it's reading a book, attending a conference, listening to a podcast, sort of do it in kind of autopilot mode. And if you can be a hunter, like, I always use a hunting analogy. Like, think about, I'm hunting for this nugget, for this idea, and I am on a mission. It's my job, while I'm reading or attending this event, to be that hunter. You know, it makes it that much more valuable.

So nice job there. So let's talk about your author journey. I'd love to hear, Nick. What? Cause because it's so new, because you work with authors, you have this insight of being able to see a lot of different things. What is something that we want to warn my listeners about when it comes to either self-publishing or publishing a book? It could be either on the writing, the publishing, the marketing. But what's a pitfall that you have seen that you'd like to warn my listeners about?

Nick Hutchison: I used to think everybody should write a book. And I think that from almost like self-administered therapy perspective and getting really clear on your messaging, everybody should write a book. But if you want to write a book that sells, it needs to be differentiated, very clearly differentiated from everything else that's out there. There needs to be a clear demand for it, and it needs to be differentiated than the other people who have written books on the subject. Otherwise, you blend in. I mean, we have so many people come to us, and they'll say, hey, Nick, I spent 30 years learning this very specific leadership skill. I spent three years writing it once I exited my business or once I retired. Then I put it out there and nobody bought it, and it blends in.

It's just like everything else that's been written on the subject of leadership. So my biggest tip, I think the biggest pitfall, is that people write bland books. You don't want to write a boring book. You want to write something that people need, and that's different than what else is out there. And that's how you stand out. That's how the word-of-mouth momentum starts to build because people read it and they go, whoa, this is different. This is very different than anything else that I've read. And each book that you sell turns into another book being sold over time.

So, yeah, don't write a boring book. Don't write a bland book. Write something that's different and that's needed.

Mike Capuzzi: Yeah. And that, you know, that takes a lot of effort. We help our business is helping business owners, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders publish new. Now we publish short books. So our books are 1 hour reads. They're intentionally designed to be that way. I wrote a book in 2020 called the 100 Page Book, which was sort of that unique idea. A.

It was unique because it was about short books, but just the idea. What's the concept of a hundred-page book? And it went on to, you know, we've sold well over 10,000 copies, which in your world might not be a lot, but it's not too bad.

Nick Hutchison: Oh, it is a lot. That's amazing.

Mike Capuzzi: Yeah. Well, you know, we've had people on here who've done, you know, hundreds of thousands of books with a lot of fuel on the fire in the marketing, but still. And I think what's very cool is hearing from people that I don't know until they send me a copy of their book that said, hey, Mike, thanks for inspiring me. So that's one of the beauties of writing. What? You're a good, quality book that isn't bland, that isn't buried in there. So we work hard with clients to try to, we call it the special sauce. What is the special sauce of what you do? And how can we wrap a book around it? So this one's going to be easy for you. You help people market their books.


What is a strategy you would want to encourage book authors to really consider when it comes to the marketing and promotion of their book?

Nick Hutchison: I won't mention any of my services here. I'll mention something a little different. I think that people should document the process and involve their communities. From day one, that was a strategy that I leveraged for the launch of my book. Rise of the reader. That worked very well. So as I was going through the writing process, I would be transparent and document the struggles and share them with my community and try to get feedback throughout the entire process so that my community felt like they were bought in. So that by the time I said, hey, the book is available for preorder, everybody was like, oh, man, I feel like I contributed to this thing.

I put polls out there on social media with different cover designs, different title, and subtitle options, asking people in my community what problems they were struggling with and what they wanted me to write about. What solutions, solutions do they want me to write about? And so again, by the time I launched, it wasn't a new thing. Like, hey, I put out a book, everybody go buy it. It was, hey, you've been through this with me for a couple of years now, and it's finally available for preorder. Like, how cool is that? Thank you for helping me. Now go buy it. And so I think that most people don't share enough of that process. And I think that they'd be surprised at how well or how much better they'd perform if they did well.

Mike Capuzzi: I think the results speak for themselves. For the fact that you have almost 200 reviews as of the recording of today on a book that's only been out there for a few months, that's indicative of that community effort, I will say, leaning more towards a younger author. You've grown up on this. You're very used to. For you to share and do this on social media in particular is a very common, natural thing. Myself, I've never done that. I know I've left a lot of money on the table by not doing that, but it's just, for me, I just can't, I can't get out of my own way specifically. But it doesn't mean it even has to just be social media, right? It could be an email list which we have.

And that's the way I prefer to communicate a blog, whatever. But again, the wisdom shared, Nick, is really key. And everyone who has shared that idea on this podcast, you see the fruit of that effort and you see a lot of very positive things that come from that. So thank you for sharing that. So, as we get ready to wrap up, and I realize, you know, again, well, let me, before you go to the, I want to talk about what the author factor has meant to you. But before we do that, I've got a. I'm going to guess that rise of the reader is just your first book. Am I right there.

Are you one and done?

Nick Hutchison: No, it's definitely my first book. I just turned 30, so I wrote the book in my late twenties. I put it out in my late twenties. And I thought you had to be this very established business person with a bazillion dollars in exits or whatever to write a book. But what I realized is that you just need to be two or three steps ahead of the person you're trying to help. Right. And I am today two or three steps ahead of the 20 year old version of Nick, who just picked up books and didn't know how to implement them effectively. So, yeah, it was the first of many, many, many books.

And I can't wait to write more. There are so many things that I want to write about.


Mike Capuzzi: That is awesome. I helped. I guess he's probably about 35 now. I met him when he was just graduating college. So, like, 20 years old, he has gone on to publish with a traditional publisher, many books since we first met. His first book was a little digital ebook. And then I kind of took him under my wing and helped him. And now he's got traditionally published books where he's getting advances on and built just an amazing network around them.

But I think it's very cool to see the younger generation be as hungry and as motivated. And Nick, whatever you can do to encourage. And I saw it somewhere, maybe it was on your website to put down the damn phone. Unless you're reading your kindle on there, put down the damn phone and the social media for a few minutes and pick up a book. Right. 15 minutes down, 15 minutes to read. Like you said, I think whatever you can do to move that needle with that generation, your generation, I think, could have such a profound, positive result.

Nick Hutchison: Yeah, I think so, too. So many people are addicted to doom scrolling all day long on social media, and that helps nobody. So reading has so many benefits, including lengthening your attention span, improving your vocabulary, helping you get more control and agency back in your day to perform better work and take more action. I mean, in action has so much opportunity cost. And scrolling through social media all day long is the definition of inaction because it. It doesn't even serve you in the present, it doesn't serve you in the future. It doesn't serve you in any way, shape or form for the most part. So I'm a big fan of reading and writing.

Mike Capuzzi: Amen. Amen. Well, listen, I'd love for you to share whether it's your journey and what it's meant to you, or if you want to kind of just talk about it at a higher level. What it has meant to be a published book author so far.

Nick Hutchison: It is a point of credibility. I mean, it's the ultimate leverage. And it's also credibility. I mean, people still today, in 2024, it means something when you say you're an author. For the average person who hasn't written a book and they don't know how easy it is, they go, whoa, a book, like, good for you, man. And that adds a layer of credibility. It adds a zero to your speaking fee. It adds a zero to the services that you could charge in your business.

It does so many things for you on that front. And, uh, it also is the greatest form of leverage. I mean, just like you, you know, selling north of 10,000 copies and just imagining that while you're sleeping or while you're on vacation, somebody somewhere is learning what it took you a decade or more to figure out. And they're implementing that shortcut and their life is improving. And that's leverage, man. You write the book one time, and then it's out there serving people for the rest of humanity. And that's just so cool to me.

Mike Capuzzi: I love it. And it is true. And you probably already seeing this, even with the reviews and people contacting you. It is amazing what happens when you finally get that book out there. You don't know the lives that you're changing. Oftentimes, only a small percentage of people leave a review will reach out to you. So, you know, there's this tip of the iceberg that's beneath the surface that so many people are being impacted. And I always encourage folks that if you don't write that book, Nick, it's not going to help anybody.


Someone needs what it is. You have to share your special tweet, your special sauce. And, you know, just like you said, it's easier. There's folks like me, there's folks like Nick that make it a lot easier. So, Nick, thank you for sharing all your wisdom. How can our listeners get your book? Where can they find your podcast? And how can they learn more about you?


Nick Hutchison: The best place to go is Instagram at bookthinkers. I mean, there we share a new book recommendation every single day of the week, and then we have links in our bio to my book and our author services and everything in between.


Mike Capuzzi: Well, Nick, thank you very much. I appreciate your time today and all the wisdom you shared.


Nick Hutchison: Yeah, I appreciate you, Mike. Thank you for the opportunity.

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