I Help Aspiring Authors Write Books And Generated A Record $800K Of Sales Last Month [Update]

Published: May 2nd, 2023
Matt Rudntsky
Platypus Publishing
from Austin
started May 2014
Discover what tools Matt recommends to grow your business!
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Discover what books Matt recommends to grow your business!

Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Hi! I’m Matt Rudnitsky – founder of Platypus Publishing. While I started out as a ghostwriter and book coach, I’ve honed in on a flagship online course that now accounts for nearly 100% of our revenue: The Punchy Books Accelerator.

We teach aspiring nonfiction authors how to turn their vague ideas into one-of-a-kind, successful books (from start to finish – idea to launch). On a slow week, we publish five books.

After nearly a decade of scraping by as a freelancer, the Facebook ads + webinar model has turned a glorified side hustle into a multimillion-dollar business. We topped $3M in revenue in 2022 in the first year of the offering and are growing at an insane rate. Last month’s sales were $832,687. The numbers still feel surreal, and my one-man operation now supports three incredible full-time employees.

You need to do things that sound absurdly unscalable (for example, offering 1-on-1 calls with the founder for new customers) – to go from 0 to 1.

Check this out for our previous update.


Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

The business has exploded since we last spoke. We’ve more than 10x’d our revenue and now have over 4,000 active book-writing students.

It has come 100% from Facebook advertising – cracking the code with a helpful, attractive evergreen webinar and scaling as much as humanly possible. The only bottleneck has been fulfillment – so I’ve hired three delightful full-time employees (Operations Manager, Head of Support, and EA/Tech Wizard) for support.

It feels like one of those “overnight success, ten years in the making” sort of deals. I iterated and failed for years and years, but finally cracked the code with this webinar. It took multiple tries for me to pitch confidently (I am no salesman), but the product resonates with a wide range of folks, and it’s been incredible to see so many aspiring authors finally go for their dreams.

Scrap and scrap and scrap until you find that one winner (spoiler: it took me nearly a decade), because once you do that – you can deploy capital (financial and human) to 10x it overnight.

There’s of course a fear of being so reliant on Facebook ads, so the push for 2023 is to extend into organic. Up first: Write a book (so meta!) to attract customers (and help people who can’t afford a $1k+ product).

This all sounds simple, but it wasn’t easy. My takeaway is clear: Iterate with a small (but scalable) test – so once you nail the formula, you can pump in money to scale to the moon – and help as many people as possible.

It took me four live webinars until I found the winning one to automate. The first time, I was nervous and messed up the tech. The second time, I did alright but didn’t pitch confidently – and jumbled too many words on each slide. The third time, I added extra slides to make each line land more, and I was more confident.

The fourth time, everything came together. I went from a 0% close rate to around 10% – and have hovered around 7-10% for most of the past year.

I wish I could give more detail on the specifics of the Facebook ads, but this is 100% managed by an external agency – the inimitable Needle’s Eye Media. They are wizards and deserve much of the credit. I send them photos and videos while I live my life, every once in a while, and the rest is up to them.

The point: If your offer works with a small number of people – all you need to do is find an agency to scale to the moon because the offer funds itself. Any direct response sales lead to a truly self-liquidating, fully bootstrapped funnel with no limits.

(Except for the first month or two, when your credit card company tries to catch up to your new reality – going from spending $500/day to $5,000 and beyond.)


What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

Our 2023 problems have come down to one thing: How do you maintain (and ideally improve!) fulfillment when 10x-ing your business?

The simple answer is hiring – but as a first-time CEO, the more important answer is learning to lead. I’ll be honest; this is a big weakness of mine. I’m improving, but my own lack eadership is the one thing holding the company back from bigger growth and happier customers.

Part of our success came down to offering things that don’t scale (1-on-1 calls with the founder, unlimited email support, etc.). Part of the future success comes down to building systems that provide customers with similar value but in a scalable way. We’re still working on it, day in and out.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

My biggest lesson is: You need to do things that sound absurdly unscalable (for example, offering 1-on-1 calls with the founder for new customers) – in order to0 to 1.

The next lesson is: Once you go from 0-to-1, the thing that got you there is the thing that will stop you from going 1-to-10 and beyond. And it’s all about hiring and building systems – while also keeping value to the customer at the front of your mind. It’s not easy, but it’s a requirement for explosive growth and happy customers.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

I see opportunities to scale our reach by going global – but that isn’t my current focus. I’d rather keep the customer base similar in size – but help people at a deeper level (and also increase LTV). The likeliest option will be building a community to offer some more personalized support – and make it easier for students to support each other and benefit from network effects.

And my BHAG is to build an AI book writing tool that turns the course into an intuitive app that eliminates overthinking, procrastination, and the menial stuff that blocks creativity. But that’s crazy. Totally won’t happen.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

Eric Jorgenson’s podcast with Robert Hayes and Chris Ho of Athena – a supercharged EA hiring agency. It’s all about delegation and why working with Athena and their super-smart, highly-trained and vett,ed EA’s from the Philippines will unlock your productivity and happiness. I was particularly impressed with how careful they are in choosing their candidates, and how well they are treated.

My EA, JC – has been an absolute pleasure to work with, and a massive upgrade to the business. I’ve been shocked and amazed at how easy the process has been, with Athena always there to support us.

(Get a VIP invite from me here.)

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

Obsess product-market fit and get one thing right – by any means necessary. Scrap and scrap and scrap until you find that one winner (spoiler: it took me nearly a decade), because once you do that – you can deploy capital (financial and human) to 10x it overnight.

Aspire to become an overnight success, 10 years in the making.

Don’t do 1,000 things in a mediocre way. Find one smash hit and quintuple down on it. Then quintuple down again. And again. And again.

Then hire someone who can sextuple it. And so on.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We’re looking to start and grow a community in 2023 – and a community manager will almost certainly be our next hire. If you like books, writing, and community, hit us up at [email protected]! Make sure to do some research on our offer by checking out mattrud.com.

And I’m always open to smart, ambitious people reaching out to suggest ways they could join our mission to help ordinary people write awesome books!

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!