Ep 404: How Chicken Soup for the Soul Sold 500 Million Books with Patty Aubery



There’s no doubt that you’ve heard of Jack Canfield and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which has over 250 titles and has sold more than 500 million copies in 43 languages worldwide.

Today, you’ll hear from Patty Aubery, President of the Canfield Training Group, former secretary to Jack Canfield, and one of the people behind the biggest book brand in history.

Join us as Patty offers some insight into the successes and challenges of building the publishing industry’s first billion-dollar brand.

We talk about how they did it, the role that promotional partnerships and licensing deals played, and what the Canfield Group is up to these days.

As the author of the bestselling book and course, Permission Granted, Patty also shares her passion for business building, her desire to help people live life on their own terms, and how she helps speakers, authors, and coaches create the lives and businesses they’ve always wanted through her online programs, coaching, mentoring, and luxury retreats.

If you’re looking for inspiration to show up more authentically and go after your own dreams, this episode is full of incredible anecdotes and practical advice from someone who has done exactly that!

For all this and so much more, be sure to tune in to this conversation with the one and only Patty Aubery.


  • How Patty came to work for Jack Canfield and build a bestselling brand.
  • Some of the best (and worst) selling titles from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
  • The story of how they sold the company in 2008 after selling 500 million copies.
  • Insight into the unique marketing plans that accompanied each and every title.
  • Why it was such a blessing to work with a small publisher who had his own printing press.
  • How Chicken Soup actively prospected each licensing deal and promotional partner.
  • The secret to finding money and distribution outside of the bookstore.
  • A look at the evolution of the Canfield Training Group, of which Patty is President.
  • How Patty empowers women to show up more authentically with Permission Granted.
  • Advice for staying focused and sharing your vision, even when it seems impossible.
  • How to view a book as the “hub of a wheel” with every spoke representing a new opportunity.


“Because we said in the back of the book, ‘If you have a story, share it with us,’ – people started writing stories and – it was like foreshadowing. We knew what the market was looking for.” — Patty Aubery [0:10:01]

“We always looked for: where is there money and distribution that we don’t have? Where can we show up outside of the bookstore? Because only 3% of the population ever went into a bookstore.” — Patty Aubery [0:24:57]

“We often step over the people that are sitting right there on our front porch and think we have to go someplace else. Tell everyone you know what you do. Share your message.’” — Patty Aubery [0:33:25]

“Your book is like the hub of a wheel. Every spoke is the next opportunity to take it to a new level.” — Patty Aubery [0:34:10]

About Patty Aubery

Patty Aubery is a powerhouse of wisdom, creativity and authenticity. She can be your best friend or the tough love you need to get unstuck when it seems impossible.

She’s been there and done it – from her early days of building one of publishing’s first billion-dollar brands, Chicken Soup for the Soul, to her current role as president of The Canfield Training Group, Patty has created an inspiring life for herself (and others!) around the world.

For the last several years she’s been empowering women to show up more boldly and authentically in their lives with her best-selling book and course, Permission Granted. In it she teaches clients how granting themselves permission can lead them down a path of fulfilling what they want most out of life.

Now, combining her passion for business building and her desire to help people live life on their own terms, her latest mission is to help speakers, authors and coaches create the lives and businesses they’ve always dreamed of through teaching online programs, providing coaching and mentoring, and running luxury retreats at her home in Nashville, TN.


Patty Aubery

Permission Granted

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Jack Canfield

Patty Aubery on LinkedIn

Patty Aubery on Facebook

Patty Aubery on Instagram

The Success Principles

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

Speaker 1 (00:02): The first time I met Jack Canfield, I was just a young whipper snapper in my early twenties at the National Speakers Association. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit. I’ve interviewed him a couple times. And now I’m so excited because I get to introduce you to Patty Aubery, and she is the president of the Canfield Training Group. So that’s her current role. But she also formerly was one of the people behind building the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. And then they, that became a billion dollar brand. They sold that business. And so we’re gonna hear a little bit about that story and how they did it and what they’re up to today at Canfield Group. But Patty also is the author of a group of a book called Permission Granted. And she talks about really like how to find the, the bold courage to go out there and just claim and own your voice and share your message. So she was an easy and obvious fit to bring here to the show. And anyways, Patty, great to meet you. Speaker 2 (01:01): Thanks. Thanks for having me. It’s nice to meet you too. Speaker 1 (01:04): So, and I love, you’re a part-time Nashvillian and a part-time Santa Barbaran, which are, those are, those are great places to be. So you’re, you’re, we’ll have to hook up in person when you’re here, but I’d love to start at the start. And this is probably not the start, but when I, when I think of, when you say Chicken Soup for the Soul, I mean, that is in such a category of its own. I mean, it’s, it’s just, it’s so far different. And, and not just one book, but the whole series. I would love to just hear how did it start and then what did it become? And just like, how did you even meet Jack and, and how did you guys get connected and y you know, just like, walk us through the story. Speaker 2 (01:46): So I, it was like 1989. I was living in Santa Barbara actually at the time, and I was working for a tech company that sold government software and I hated it. And I was always in trouble. I was not meant to live in a cubicle . So as my son reminds me often, so I moved back to, to la I was born and raised in the valley. And so I, I moved in with my parents and I started looking for a new job. And the interesting thing is, I didn’t know anything about self-help or publishing or anything like that. And I always said, I’m never gonna be a secretary. My secret, because my father wanted me to take typing in school. I’m like, no, my secretary will do that. He’s like, sorry, my daughter’s gonna learn to type. I was a typist in the Army. Speaker 2 (02:34): You don’t have a choice. Uhhuh . So I went to a Buck Fuller workshop and I set a goal. It’s like, I’m gonna make $25,000 by January 1st, 1990. And I think I was making 14,000 a year at the time. So I see this ad in the LA Times, it says Secretary wanted, and then in bold, 25,000 a year. I’m like, Ugh, don’t really wanna be a secretary. But 25 there. It’s, that’s kind of a lot of money. You know, I was 23 or 24, whatever it was. And so I answered the ad along with like 200 other people. Sure. And I went down and I interviewed with Jack and his ex-wife Georgia, and then this little condo in the Palisades, specific Palisades and like red furry carpet and, and suns burning like a nice, and I’m like, what is this place? And he was actually doing self-esteem in the classroom. He was training teachers on how to facilitate more self-esteem during their own teaching to the kids. And so I didn’t get the job. A couple months later, he called me and said, I, I’ve made a mistake. I really think we’re supposed to work together. And I said, well, it’s gonna cost you 30 ’cause you waited Speaker 1 (03:49): Wow. Interest inflation. Speaker 2 (03:52): And he said, okay, can you have lunch? I’m like, wow. He is smart and he is easy. This is a good thing. And so I ended up taking the job, went home, told my dad who flipped out, you’re gonna work for a hippie. I send you to business school. What’s wrong with, you know, he just flipped . And so, but it was great. I mean, I got there and Jack traveled so much of the time. He just basically said, all right, I’m gone for three weeks. I’m like, what am I supposed to do? So I just kind of took over, updated all the technology. It was all really archaic and stuff. He came back, I said, I wanna be vice president of operations. I just redid your whole office and saved you like $40,000 for the year. He was like, okay. So I was only the secretary for a few minutes. Speaker 2 (04:32): And then one day he came home, I think it was like right after I started in July. In September, he came to the office and said, you know, I go out and do all these talks and everybody keeps saying, do you have that story in a book? Mostly women? Do you have the story in a book? He’s like, no, but it’s on my Nightingale Conone tapes, or it’s on my career track tapes. Or, you know, and women would say, but I don’t listen to audio tapes because I’m in the car. I’m out of the car. I, you know, I, I read. So I think the universe is telling us to take all the best stories from all the best speakers and put ’em in a book. And I said, okay, thank God I was 24. I had no opinion. ’cause If it was today, I’d be like, what are you talking about? Speaker 2 (05:08): So I started working on it with them. And we published our first book in 1993. As you know, we had a hard time finding a publisher, if you’ve heard, a lot of people have heard that story. And we ended up with a real small publisher at a Deerfield beach, which was the biggest blessing on the planet because he owned his own printing press. Ah. And so by, it took us about 14 months to hit a, a bestseller list. And we did every wacky crazy marketing thing you could do. John Kramer’s, 1001 things to market your book. I mean, we did every one of ’em, maybe except for a couple hundred. And at the very tail end of getting the but together, mark and Jack met at a breakfast club and Mark said, Hey, I should do that book with you. And Jack said, okay. And so that was a whole new Mark, Victor Speaker 1 (05:55): Hanson, everyone that Victor Hanson see that she’s talking about. Yep. So Speaker 2 (05:58): And so Speaker 1 (05:59): Who was also an n s Aer. And they, so they, they had known each other, I guess for a while. Speaker 2 (06:03): They kind of knew each other, but not well. But Mark, you know, mark is so gregarious and could sell anything to anybody, and Jack’s much more of an introvert. So it was a good team, and it was great for me because I got to learn the, the really anal side of Jack as a teacher. Every detail he explains. And I also got to have Mark’s brain of, you know, come on, kid. Bake it till you make it. If you believe it, you’ll see it. I mean, I’m like, okay, if this stuff doesn’t work, mark work, start a church. ’cause Mark was also a Bible scholar, . And so so we went on, we did that. And then Marcy Schoff wrote Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul, and she was in a meditation retreat and called and said, Hey, I have an idea. She was in a silence retreat, so she couldn’t talk for nine days. So she said, we need to talk on Friday night at nine o’clock. I have something. She faxed it how long ago was faxed. So we do the call with her and she says, what about chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul? And I thought, that’s kind of dumb. I mean, women are buying the books anyway. And Jack’s like, no, hold on a second. This could be good. And I’m so grateful that she did that because it opened up and we did it, it went nuts. And then with Speaker 1 (07:18): The same publisher. Speaker 2 (07:19): Same publisher, okay, Speaker 1 (07:21): So this is not, this is not like a major New York publishing deal where they’re paying you a book advance and push pushing your book everywhere. This is like a small publisher pr basically, basically like a vanity, like a hybrid publisher today. Maybe you printing your own books. Speaker 2 (07:35): Well, they’re, they, they were a regular publisher, but they printed like recovery books like John Bradshaw, you know, healing the Inner Child, Melanie Beatty, recovery Books, addiction, things like that. So they were little, but he had had a couple bestsellers Okay. In the past. And so when he saw the number start climbing, he bought the highest end German printing press. Like he got prepared, he saw, and he would call me, he is like, keep those chickens rolling. I mean, he’d sing to me, you know, I’m like, oh God. Another book. You know, we marketed the first book forever before anything happened. So when Marcy said that, we did that book, and then we thought, well, what else could we do? And then the next book, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and my sister had come to work for me and she said, why don’t we put a bunch of stories together for mom about people that have survived cancer? And I said, so all you authors out there listening, or anybody that’s thinking about having a big dream, the words that came outta my mouth, which are embarrassing, were, well, why would they let us do a book? We work here? And she said, Patty, you have been with Jack before it was even an idea who deserves it more. And so, and she was bossy. She was younger than me. And so she convinced me. So I went into the conference room with Mark and Jack and said, Speaker 1 (08:58): This is Marcy. Speaker 2 (09:00): No, my sister came to work. Oh, your Speaker 1 (09:01): Sister, okay. Speaker 2 (09:02): Yeah. And, and she just gotten her degree in nursing. And so I said, while you’re studying for your state boards, help me read these stories, because there were stories coming in. And so I, I presented this thing, I wanna do this book, chicken Soup for The Surviving Soul. And I was so scared. And they said, okay. And I went, yeah, great. And so did that book, and then that led me into Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul. And I did, I did 14 books of my own out of the 250 that I managed over like an 18 year period. Speaker 1 (09:34): Wow. You guys did 250 ver iterations of that brand. Speaker 2 (09:40): We did 200. Wow. And that it, it was such a blessing. And they Speaker 1 (09:45): Were all just different verticals like that. Basically chicken soup for the teacher’s soul and for the brothers soul and whatever. Speaker 2 (09:51): Exactly. And, and the thing is, because we said in the back of the book, if you have a story, share it with us. And so people started writing stories and it sort of gave us, it was like foreshadowing. We knew what the market was looking for. We were getting a ton of pet lover stories. We were getting a lot of Christian stories. We were getting, you know, all kinds of different things. So at one point, I think my publishing schedule was five years out and Wow. I think the biggest year we did 18 books in one year. It’s, that’s insane. Speaker 1 (10:24): Yeah. Speaker 1 (10:25): So did, were, were all the books selling well, or was it just the, like, a few of ’em that were really the main drivers? Speaker 2 (10:34): I think the one that sold the least was probably Chicken Soup for The Surviving Soul. ’cause It was a very small market and that probably sold 500,000. Teen Soul sold 12 million Speaker 1 (10:49): Oh man. Speaker 2 (10:50): You know, Christian Soul, I sold a million the first quarter out the door. So out of everything we did about, maybe we did like 230 or 240 tiles, but when we sold the company in 2008, we had done, I wanna say, and we did a deal with the Chinese. So there was, so we’re up to 500 million copies sold with all the books collectively Speaker 1 (11:19): 500 million copies across 240 ti 250 titles. Wow. And so they, and then they bought and they bought all of them. That was the deal was they basically, they said, we’re buying. Like, what, what did they exactly, they bought, they bought the rights for all those books. Speaker 2 (11:36): Well, we didn’t get in advance. He, we actually had to guarantee him that if we didn’t sell 20,000 copies of the first books, we’d pay him back. So, and then we worked out in advance, you know, so we could be off the road and writing books. We got a decent royalty, but we, we also owned all the rights. So we were able to do licensing. We did dog food, we did grading cards, we syndicated columns, calendars, journals. We did a lot of, we did a lot of work with pharmaceutical companies. We did co-branding with a lot of different brands that were launching new products. We Speaker 1 (12:12): That Did you sell all of that stuff? So basically, is that what became the business, was like all the books plus all the licensing deals of where you licensed the brand out? Speaker 2 (12:21): Yeah. So what what happened was we had all these co-authors. So if you think about it, I think I figured it out. I had 26,000 contributors. Speaker 1 (12:31): Wow. And Speaker 2 (12:32): Over 500 co-authors. And so the co-authors all got a nice royalty, but we owned the trademarks and all the rights at the end of the day. And so in 2008, when we sold it, it was about as good as the entire time that we, like, we, we kind of doubled our money in one day and we sold it and we sold it to a couple guys out of Connecticut. Speaker 1 (12:58): And, and so that, and then after that, as of that time, then it was just like, it was gone. You guys sold it, they took over the rights, all the licensing, all the people and everything. And then basically you guys were starting over, so to speak, like it was all you were out. Speaker 2 (13:13): Yeah, it was weird. Speaker 1 (13:15): Wow. Like Speaker 2 (13:16): How many employees? Chicken soup people. And one day you’re not Uhhuh. Speaker 1 (13:20): And what, how many people were there? Speaker 2 (13:22): W we had, so we had two companies. So Mark had a company, and then Jack and I had a company, and then we had a shell company that kind of held all the assets. So on Mark’s end, they were in charge of licensing and legal. And on my end it was marketing and production and specialty deals. So we kind of, and Mark’s Mark was married to a gal named Patty at the time. So it was basically the four of us kind of running it. And then I had about 15 employees. And Mark Mark’s company, they only had a couple employees that actually worked with chicken. My entire team was on, I mean, from permissions to editorial, to creating marketing plans, getting things ready, and things like that. So Speaker 1 (14:12): When you were launching these books, like what worked really well? Like you, you, I mean, you launched 250 books, 18 in one year. Did, did, did you think that, was it really about the launch and it was like, oh, if we, if we set it, if we do a big launch that sets the trajectory? Or was it more of just, we kind of do the same thing for everything. We put it out there and some of them catch flight and some of them don’t? Speaker 2 (14:37): No. We did a launch for everything. And we, we did things like Chicken Soup and NASCAR Lovers Soul, and we worked with head NASCAR headquarters. When we did the Pet Lover book, we worked with Marty Becker, who was on Good Morning America as their expert veterinarian. We did a deal with Petco, they got the books for the first two weeks before I went to bookstores. And that was 500,000 copies. We did Chicken Soup for the Traveler Soul and had a giant rig go from New York to LA with a giant chicken on the side with the backpack and stopped in all these small little places. So every single title had a very specific marketing plan Speaker 1 (15:19): And like a marketing partner Speaker 2 (15:22): Most of the time. Yeah. Some were just authors that were great authors and they already had platforms like Marcy Moff, Lisa Nichols different people. They had a, a decent following. So over time you start to look at, okay, your perfect author has a platform. They know how to speak, they know how to edit. And you know, once you get it going to a certain level, you have all these people out there promoting this massive brand. And so it just, and, and the publisher put a lot of money into placement. I mean, if any bookstore that you went into in those days, we had a whole wall. I mean, those are not cheap. Speaker 1 (15:58): Oh, so the publisher was buying store placement? Oh yeah. Was it the same publisher the whole time? That’s that like local publisher? Speaker 2 (16:06): Yep. Speaker 1 (16:06): Wow. So they like went all in on you. They’re buying printing presses. They’re pushing it to the front of store. Mm-Hmm. . So you weren’t paying out of pocket for the store placement the publisher was. Speaker 2 (16:16): Right. Speaker 1 (16:17): Wow. Yeah. That’s expensive stuff. Speaker 2 (16:19): I know. And he has a very nice jet these days. . Speaker 1 (16:23): Yeah. It paid off for it paid off for him. Speaker 2 (16:26): Yeah. He was, he was really, he, he is a big horse race guy and he loves to bet on things. And he, he just, he kind of bet the farm Speaker 1 (16:35): And picked the jockey, not the horse man. He, he got it. So that’s, that’s amazing. What a cool, I didn’t know that. I didn’t, I didn’t realize that. I didn’t know that you guys were doing, you know, paid promotion and all that kind of stuff. I mean, you, you know, a lot of people don’t realize you just buy that space like in the airport or whatever, like Right. But it’s expensive and, and competitive. It’s expensive. Speaker 2 (16:56): That’s why it’s really hard to get a book published with a New York publisher because they, they have a lot of, they have upfront costs, you know, and the thing with us that we were so lucky about was we thought, oh, we, we really wanted a bigger publisher. And we met with other publishers over the years, but nobody could pump out 500,000 books a week. But he could, because he owned the printing presses. He owned the editorial, he owned the art department, he owned the distribution. So it was a one side, it was like a little mini Amazon before Amazon. Speaker 1 (17:29): Wow. And so how, when you, when you would launch, I mean, you, like you said, 500,000 for Petco. That’s insane. So you, I mean, that was down the road though. That was after you had established the brand, the books were selling and then people are going, Hey, we wanna do, we want to do, you know, chicken soup for the whatever, soul. And then, so we were these licensing deals and these kind of part promotional partners, were they basically just coming to you at some point once or were you always prospecting them? Speaker 2 (17:55): Yes. Always. Speaker 1 (17:57): How, how, how did you do that? Speaker 2 (17:59): Well, the first time we did anything at all for licensing, we did a book called Chicken Soup for the Golfer Soul. And so we went to the P G A show and my husband owns a golf company. And so one of the companies came and said, Hey, we want 300,000 books. We’re launching this new driver to go up against the Callaway Big Bertha driver. So I went to my publisher and he said, no, we can’t do it. There’s laws, you know, pricing laws and so forth. And so my husband said, well, why don’t you just create like a little tiny book and just wrap it around the head of the golf club and charge the three books and sell ’em how many units they want. And I was like, that’s like a lot for a little tiny booklet. He is like, yeah, but if you do that at the same time, the book’s coming out, it’ll spread the word that way. Speaker 2 (18:48): They’ll, he, he said, you guys are like the Callaway of golf, you know, as Chicken Soup. That was our first deal. And it was great ’cause it was upfront money. And so we, we thought, well, that worked for golf, who else could we do it with? And then we, we got a gal that was really in with brand managers and pharma and said, well, we we’re doing a book called Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul. You know, is there a brand that could use us to help launch? And they said, well, we’re doing this new drug, Paxil for depression. If you could put together a few stories on people overcoming depression, we could launch that with it. So when you go to the doc, so we did, zoo would sell a million units to a pharmaceutical. They would then give ’em to the reps, the reps would take them out with the new drug. Speaker 2 (19:34): They would give ’em to the doctors, the doctors would prescribe. And then they would say, by the way, here’s a message from the chicken soup people. So we were sort of that warm and fuzzy side of the drug world, which really covered the overhead because when you’re, when you’re writing books, you don’t get a whole lot of money as a royalty. You know, we were only making a dollar or 25 a book or whatever it was. And when you’re splitting that with other authors and you have overhead, you’ve gotta figure out creative ways to pay your overhead. And so that was the beginning. And then we thought, well, what if we got a licensing agent? And so we started licensing greeting cards and cups and mugs. And, and then she came to us and she said, okay, chicken soup for the dog, love soul dog food. And I’m like, this is really pushing it. But it was the biggest licensing deal we did. It was crazy Speaker 1 (20:22): Really that, I mean, I used to believe that. I mean, pet lovers are, I mean, people, they’re crazy pets are, they’re, yeah. I mean, they’re family members. Like it’s a, it’s, they’re, Speaker 2 (20:30): They’re uhhuh Speaker 1 (20:31): . So you got a licensing agent. Does that mean you hired a, a full a person or like an employee that just focused on licensing? Or that’s more of like, you went and got someone like, like an actual agent who just agents deals? We Speaker 2 (20:45): Went to an agency. Yeah, we went to an agency in New York and got a licensing agent. And, but when we did specialty deals with farmers and stuff, I had two people in house. So that’s all they did were send out proposals all day long every day. And we would mock up stuff like, this is what we’re thinking, this is what it would look like. We did all, we did the research, we knew what they were doing. So we always went out with, Hey, we know you’re working on this. We think we have a way to help support you. So it wasn’t, Hey, we need you. It was more like they kind of really needed us. It was still a hard sell. We probably did a hundred of those over the years, but probably sent out thousands, you know, to get the hundred that we did. Speaker 1 (21:24): And you’re just basically going pick a company, you basically like pick a company or, or you pick a market and then you find a company that serves that market. And then you go, what are the goals of this company? And how could we pitch this or present the idea of a book specific to that market in a way that they could use it to help them achieve whatever their other goal was. Speaker 2 (21:48): Exactly. Like, for example Speaker 1 (21:50): That’s so brilliant and simple, but so brilliant. , Speaker 2 (21:54): It was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. I’m telling you. It was a crazy like . But yeah, I mean it was, you know, we did a book for chiropractors with a big unit Parker Chiropractic and the president of that school was our author on that. And, and he came to us and said, you know, we can’t make claims as chiropractors, but if you tell stories, it’s different. So it was just life changing stories of people of not being able to walk, but going to their chiropractor and getting better. And the alternative things that they did. So that was kind of a specialty book. We did one with Isagenix, which is a multi-level company. And that was all that was like Chicken Soup for the Healthy Soul. And it was all stories of people losing weight and their lives changing because of it. So we weren’t, we weren’t making claims, we were just telling stories. And so it was, it was above board and legal Speaker 1 (22:51): Uhhuh . Well, and, and just the, you know, the, the, the magic of that, right? Is every, everyone does a book launch and they go, how, how do I get people to buy my book? In the simple, the simple switch that you flipped there was just going, how can we make our book a part of the things that other people have going on? Like just basically hitch to their wagon along to the ride and show ’em how, how it supports them. I mean, that’s, that’s really, really powerful and really, really cool. And so then you would basically just come up with the idea, identify some companies, and then just email ’em, phone call ’em, send ’em a proposal and say, Hey, this is, we, we got a book coming out. I dunno if you’ve heard of the brand. Here’s how many copies we sell. Here’s examples of who we’ve done this with. Here’s what we think we could do with you. It’s like, is there a way to partner up on this? Speaker 2 (23:36): Pretty much. I mean, it was a little bit harder, you know, mostly like boots on the ground. Who do we know? You know, we reached out to people that we knew. At the time it was February, Sue Mancini that was running Parker Chiropractic. Kathy Cooper was a friend, and I just made her, you know, made a call and sent her a mock up of what I thought it could look like. And, and so we always gave them everything we possibly could mocked up how it would work, what it would look like. The biggest thing was, you know, in the book business, you get returns when you do a specialty deal, it’s a one-time sale. So it was bulk buys of a hundred thousand or a million or whatever it was. So there was no risk, which made it a lot better. Speaker 1 (24:20): Right. Well, and because they’re u they’re using it as a marketing tool. It’s, it’s not like, it’s not like selling to a bookstore who’s gonna try to resell the book. They’re packaging it. Like when you, when when you said the pharma one, you basically, you were saying that the, the reps would give them basically piles of them to each doctor so that every time the doctor prescribed the medicine, they also gave them a book. Speaker 2 (24:45): Exactly. Or a sample of the book. But the sample would be like a 16 or a 32 page. And because that, that way you could have a, you know, you weren’t carrying cases of books. And it also was at the exact same time we were launching something in the bookstore. Speaker 1 (25:02): Right. So, Speaker 2 (25:02): So, and, and there were some that were just specialty, that were just never, that never went to bookstores. But we always look for where is there money and distribution that we don’t have, and where can we show up outside of a bookstore? Because only 3% of the population ever went into a bookstore in those decades, Speaker 1 (25:22): Even back then, which was the peak, the peak bookstore time. Yeah. Yeah. So, so that’s a really powerful question. Where is there money and distribution that we don’t have? Basically where is there a huge network of people that you just kinda like are tying in, tying into and riding that sort of, riding that wave or working in that circle? Speaker 2 (25:44): Exactly. Speaker 1 (25:46): Patty, that’s amazing. What, what a powerful story. So, so then so you sold the company and then you started the training company, then it was Canfield Training Group after that? Or were they kind of running like simultaneous? Speaker 2 (26:00): They were, we, we, we would do one big training a year. ’cause Jack loves to do really in, you know, deep workshops, more like, just a lot. It’s a lot of personal work. And so we did that every summer during chicken soup, but we weren’t on the road as much because we were so busy editing and compiling books. And before chicken, we had a company called Self-Esteem Seminars. And so that’s still today our original company and we have a D B A of, you know, the Canfield Group and Jet Camfield companies. So when we sold, we kind of sat around and felt really weird. I was really happy. I’m like, I am good to go. They don’t, I’m done. I’m, you know, they, it’s like they don’t care what I think I didn’t have. And that was the big thing for me. I didn’t wanna have to come onto another organization and be responsible for three years or whatever it was. Speaker 2 (26:54): So we didn’t do that. And and I said, well, you know, we, we published the Success principles in 2005, so this is two, 2008. I said, why don’t we circle back and start training people how to do what we did and using the success principles. And all of those principles were used throughout our time of setting goals and creating affirmations and, you know, writing down steps that you have to do and visualizing it and sharing your vision and all the stuff. And, and we had more clout by that time. So we did kind of a year long road trip to about 10 cities and did one day events. And we, we just, we just called it Train the Trainer if you wanna become a trainer of the success principals. And we had a huge teacher market, so they were kind of our ideal avatar because they already knew sort of how to speak. Speaker 2 (27:52): And then it morphed from that into an online certification when certifications really weren’t happening yet. And so we decided to do that so we could get to more people. So for less than the price of travel, you can get certified online. And so that was a two year process. We did that. And now we, you know, we, we mostly cater to authors, speakers, coaches and teach them interactive exercises that they can bring into the things that they do. How do you make your talk more engaging? We do a lot of author stuff. I just came off a two day author retreat. I do those about eight times a year. Mm-Hmm. , so Speaker 1 (28:35): 18, which was an, which was an event, an event that you guys hosted that was specific for authors. Speaker 2 (28:41): We worked, we do it with Steve Harrison. Do you know who Steve and Bill Harrison are? Speaker 1 (28:47): That sounds familiar to me. They, Speaker 2 (28:48): They used to own a company called Radio Television Interview Report, r t I r. Okay. And we would place ads with them for all of the books to get radio shows and TV shows. And so they cater to authors a lot and helping them get their books done and published. So we do about eight a year. It’s me and Jack and Steve, and we did like two, this two we had, I wanna say 18 authors total. So it’s like a, it’s like a mastermind. Mm-Hmm. And we did, we do ’em via Zoom, and we just talk about, okay, here’s your book. This is what you should fix. This is a way that you could market it. Think about doing this. And Speaker 1 (29:25): Yeah, I mean the, I have to say, this is probably the, just the most creative marketing strategy book marketing strategy conversation that I’ve ever heard. Really. I mean I mean, it’s really powerful and, and simple. And, and so then and so then, and then that led you to write permission granted. So you had written 14 Chicken Soup books or been a part of 14 yourself, and then you released permission Granted. So you’re still at the, you’re still president of Canfield, you guys are still doing all that stuff, but then you released your own book here recently as well? Speaker 2 (30:02): I did. I released Permission, granted, I wanna say probably right before the Pandemic in 2019, it was a compilation. People like a and Janet Atwood and Marcy Shimoff and Lisa Nichols, and then other people, it’s only like 15 authors. And I just said, just gimme your best story of when you finally decided to give yourself permission to show up and just go for the dream. Like just say it out loud. And, because I feel like so many people, they, they wanna write a book or they wanna do something different, or they wanna put their job, or they wanna say, I don’t wanna be married anymore. Or they wanna ask for a raise. I mean, whatever it is, it’s, it’s, at least in my life, it was hard for me to speak up. And I’m a pretty bossy kind of gal. But I was a professional hider, so nobody knew that I was running the company. Speaker 2 (30:56): No. People would call me to speak Rory, and I would turn it down. Oh, we have 7,000 women in the stadium. Can you come and speak about your book? Oh, no, I’m too busy running Chicken Soup for the Soul and the President. And because I didn’t know how to do it, and I thought you had to memorize everything. And I didn’t know there was a formula. So once I figured out, wait, there’s some method to this madness, I, and by doing the online training, I kind of figured it out and I’m like, there’s a methodology here. There’s certain key ingredients that you need to use. And so I just thought, I’m, I’m gonna do it. And I kept waiting for Jack to say, Hey, you should, you know, come on stage more and you should. And he never did. And I literally told myself that he must think that I’m terrible or he would’ve asked me. And the real story was like, well, I didn’t know you wanted to do it. He’s like, I’m not a mind reader. So that sort of set me off on this journey of, of giving other women permission to really mm-hmm. show up and live their dream. Speaker 1 (31:57): I love it. Well, I mean, we’ll link up to permission granted in the, in the show notes and everything. Yeah, I mean, what a story Patty is, is where do you want people to go to, to, to learn about that about you or what you’re up to and what you’re working on right now? Speaker 2 (32:12): They can go to my website, it’s patty aubrey.com and that’s a U b e r y. Everyone spells it r e y, but it’s a U B E R Y. And I do women’s retreats. I do a lot of coaching for people that need to learn how to share their message more. And just some other fun things and a lot of stuff with Jack as well. So we run a lot of high-end luxury stuff, fun things around the world Speaker 1 (32:39): That’s really, really, really cool. Speaker 2 (32:41): Can we do some in Nashville? So we’ll have to invite you next. Speaker 1 (32:44): I mean, yeah, let me know. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s in the neck of the woods. I at least gotta come over and say hi. Like I would love to know this. This is such a great story and I mean, this is amazing. 500 million people that you guys reached with just that and every, and that was all the way back in 2008. So everything that you guys have done since then is just really, really inspiring. I mean, if, if there’s somebody out there listening right now who, you know, has that dream and they go, wow, you know, and think back to where you were, where you couldn’t get the publishing deal and before you sold 500 million copies and 250 books and all that. But like at some point there must’ve been a moment where you guys were just starting out where you’re like, what are we even doing? Like what, how, how are we gonna, how are we gonna pull all this off? Like, what would you tell that person right now? Speaker 2 (33:35): I would say make a plan. Share your vision with everyone. I mean, the reality is, the publisher that finally said yes to us after 144 said no, was the only person we knew at Book Expo. And we said, Hey, could we just park our backpacks here while we go hand out manuscripts? Because our agent gave us the book back and said, sorry, I can’t sell it. And at the end of the weekend, we still got more nos. And then Peter , who was the president of Health Communications, our publishing company, he said, Hey, why don’t you let me read that book? And I didn’t know this at the time, I didn’t know this until we did a documentary years later. And and he was the one that published it. And what’s so interesting is that we often step over the people that are sitting right there on our front porch. Speaker 2 (34:21): Mm-Hmm. Amen. And think we have to go someplace else. So tell everyone, you know what you do, share your message, get it down. Well go hang out with Rory, got brand builders. It’s amazing. I’ve checked it out and, and just don’t give up. I mean, it takes time. And I, I do believe that Chicken soup sort of put a spin on the book world that you can just go out and have these bestsellers. And the reality is, I tell all of my clients books are like babies. You don’t birth them and leave them in the alley to raise themselves. Mm-Hmm. You have to raise them and spin off products and think of trainings and how can you coach people and what, you know, your book is like the hub of a wheel and every spoke is an next opportunity to take that to a new level. Speaker 1 (35:11): Yeah. Well, you guys certainly did that. And I think I can call, I’m gonna title this from Incense, burning Hippies to the Billion Dollar . Thank you so much, Patty, for sharing the story and just your wisdom and insight, like what a joy and treat, I learned so much. And I mean, we just continue to wish you and Jack and the whole team the best. So keep going. Thank you.

follow us on
social media

get 30 days free access to our online summit

Request a Free Strategy Call

Get clear on who you want to become and how you will make more money.
free training

monetize your personal brand

with Rory Vaden and Lewis Howes
free video course

First Step to Famous

get our free video course when you subscribe to receive our weekly email updates

Subscribe to
The Podcast!


5.0 – 154 Ratings

Free Online Summit

25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap