Interview/Author feature – Jon Toy

This week I’m talking with Jon Toy, York Fast Signs business owner, biz mastermind leader, and author of Geared for Growth.

Demi: Your new book is about a small business owner who meets a veritable marketing Yoda while waiting to get his car fixed at a local shop. What inspired you to write a how-to book as if it were fiction?

Jon: We live in a 144-character world. Attention is hard to capture. I read recently that we have been through all types of revolutions – like the industrial revolution, the information revolution and now….the attention revolution. Capturing and keeping attention is hard. So as a business coach I wanted to try and capture attention in a unique way. I felt that writing a story would help the reader relate to a character, instead of seeing me as selling. I am able to weave in all my core teachings through the story and entertain at the same time. I can only go by what I hear from readers, but most say they can’t put it down, and get through it very quickly. This isn’t the case for most business books in today’s world.

Demi: Beyond traditional book sales, what are some of the ways you are using your book inside your business?

Jon: I use it as an expensive business card. I speak regularly, so I hand it out for free. No one throws away a book. I throw away brochures and business cards all the time. It’s the reality of our world. I am also about to start experimenting with a $1 book sale – after they download one of my other pieces of content – or possibly a chapter download that leads into the $1 book sale. It’s a low dollar entry point to connect them with me. Of course using the book also gives me a level of authority much different than other business coaches. Everyone says they want to write a book, but few ever do. So those of us who do, stand out and appear to be experts…and we are.

Demi: What were the easiest and hardest parts of the self-publishing process? Did you do anything different with this second book?

Jon: Getting the book started and written is always the hardest. You have to make yourself real deadlines that you stick to. Without an editor hounding you for more content, it’s all up to you to complete the book. I recommend creating a schedule and sticking to it as if it were an appointment with your top client. Take it seriously and keep the book moving. One other thing I did this time that made it easier was storyboarding. I drew out a box for each chapter on a white board and listed out important items for each chapter. I might be introducing a new character, perhaps creating an “open loop” to be closed later in the book or just explaining one of the main points I want to get across. The storyboard helped me visually see the book instead of just starting to write.

Demi: If you had one piece of advice for other entrepreneurs thinking about writing a book, what would it be?

Jon: Just do it! Become the expert in your field. Books make you an author and an expert. Don’t get hung up on trying to write the next best seller. Just start writing. Go back to other things you have written – can you compile them into a book? You have something inside you that needs to be shared. Take the time and create your platform through writing a book.

Learn more about Jon at


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