The Story and Lessons Behind the Biggest Selling Book Series of All Time
Back in 1994 I met Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, the co-creators of the ALL TIME biggest selling book series in the world, Chicken Soup for the Soul. They had just launched the first CSS book in 1993. Mark told me not long after meeting him that they would one day sell 100 million books. I thought at the time, not a chance. Instead it went on to sell over 500 million copies. Unbelievable!
I was booking Mark to speak at many of my events back in the 90’s. He and Jack then asked me to partner with them on the book Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneurs Soul. Which was a huge honor!
For the launch of my new Don’t Quit book I knew the person I had to have write the foreword was longtime friend, Mark Victor Hansen, because the story of CSS is the epitome of Don’t Quit!
Today I wanted to share what Mark wrote in the Don’t Quit foreword about his and Jack’s incredible story and all the lessons involved! Enjoy!
Foreword to Don’t Quit
When Kyle Wilson asked me to write the foreword for his new book, Don’t Quit, Stories of Persistence, Courage and Faith, it was an immediate yes for two reasons! First, Kyle and I are friends of more than 25 years. We have worked and traveled the country together many, many times. Kyle is someone I respect and admire personally and in business. And secondly, the title so resonates with the remarkable journey Jack Canfield and I had becoming the number one selling non-fiction authors in the world with our Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.
The making and publishing of Chicken Soup for the Soul is a don’t quit story.
It was serendipitous when Jack Canfield and I met while hearing each other speak at the Mandela Conference in San Diego, California in 1989. We immediately befriended each other. I got Jack to think bigger, write bold goals, and really start telling heart touching and soul penetrating stories. Over the next three years, Jack and I met together continually if we were off speaking somewhere to write the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book together. Simultaneously, we were also getting rejected by every agent and publisher we talked to—144 rejections to be precise.
Finally agent free, we found a small publisher in Florida, Health Communications, Inc., that agreed to take our book, if we would agree to buy 20,000 copies at $6 each. We were desperate and said yes.
Jack and I thought the soul of America was in pain and trouble. What we discovered was that the soul of the world was also ailing and in profound pain.
We also decided to test our stories and created seven mandatory discernments to help us find stories that people wanted and would read and reread.
Eventually, the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book was published on June 28 of 1993. And the marketplace responded and has never stopped loving CSS stories!
Every time Jack and I appeared on stage talking and sharing our stories, we enjoyed a table rush of sales that was beyond compare. Our book became the gift book phenomena of all time.
On a daily basis, I was doing two to three radio interviews, many times from a pay phone at an airport between planes. It was exhilarating, exciting, and occasionally exhausting
People started to buy books. And more importantly, they started to recommend and share books within their spheres of influence.
We had set BIG goals! But the results eclipsed even our lofty goals!
Our original goal that I set was to start by selling a million and a half in a year and a half. We sold 1.3 million books the frst year and half. The second year, we sold 5 million. The third year, we sold 10 million. The year after that we started selling fifteen million per year. We had 15 titles on the USA Today list out of 50 books and got listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
We started doing serialization topics like Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, and Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul which we did with Kyle Wilson.
As of today, we have sold over 500 million Chicken Soup books worldwide. We committed early on to tithe on every book sold, which is one of the secrets to our phenomenal success. One of the many charities that we seriously contribute to is Child Help. (See Childhelp.org. Please watch our videos at this website.) My wife Crystal and I fell totally in love with Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson (84 years old) who have helped ten million five hundred thousand children out of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. We are now volunteer as co-chairman of their 60th Childhelp campaign and are busy raising one billion dollars to build the Childhelp Global Campus in Arizona.
I’m inviting you to read the stories in this book, Don’t Quit, Stories of Persistence, Courage and Faith, and see where your heart takes you. See if you see yourself in some of the authors’ struggles, their lessons, and their victories.
You will be moved! You will be lifted up! You will be inspired! Take the authors’ and my advice. No matter what others may believe about you and your circumstance, all that really matters is what you believe and are committed to with passionate purposefulness.
If you see it, desire it, and want it, then for you and the world’s sake, don’t quit!
Mark Victor Hansen is the co-creator of the world’s bestselling book series, Chicken Soup for the Soul, serial entrepreneur in renewable, sustainable energy, and co-chairman of Metamorphosis Energy, LLC. With the same enthusiasm Jack and Mark had when creating Chicken Soup for the Soul, now Mark Victor Hansen and Crystal Hansen are excited and committed to their next book to be released in the spring of 2020, ASK! – The Bridge Between Your Dreams and Your Destiny.
Join Me in My Next Book
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Kyle Wilson Inner Circle Masterminds
Excited about the upcoming Kyle Wilson Inner Circle Masterminds in Dallas, Philly and LA! If interested in joining or attending one of the dates as a guest go to KyleWilson.com/mastermind and fill in the form (or reply to this email with name, where you live and a little about yourself) and I can send you more details.
Since joining Kyle Wilson’s Inner Circle Mastermind, the ideas and creativity have been off the charts. Kyle truly collects the best people and orchestrates an amazing day! I have to tell you it has so exceeded my expectations and let me tell you, having known Kyle since 2006 and watching what he did with Jim Rohn and so many others, my expectations were high. I have the dates checked off in my calendar. Missing an Inner Circle is not an option! – Newy Scruggs, 7x Emmy Winner, NBC Sports
Every time I spend time with Kyle Wilson at his Inner Circle masterminds, I walk away with a question answered, mindset shift or idea to implement right away. Kyle, plus the amazing group of community members, has helped me immensely not only grow my business but recharge my mental and emotional battery every time we are together. Great investment of time and money. — Ron White 2-Time US Memory Champion
To your success! Kyle
Kyle Wilson, Founder Jim Rohn International (JimRohn.com), YourSuccessStore.com and KyleWilson.com
Kyle has filled huge seminar rooms, launched and published multiple publications with over a million subscribers a week, has produced/published over 100+ hours of DVD and CD programs and has published and sold millions of books including titles by Jim Rohn, Denis Waitley, Chris Widener and more.
Kyle, thank you for our partnership and friendship. Friendship is wealth and you make me a rich man. Love and Respect! Jim Rohn, Iconic Philosopher & Speaker
I guard my endorsements carefully. Regarding Kyle, he is simply a marketing genius! No joke. Kyle was the wizard behind the successful business of my mentor Jim Rohn. Every marketing dilemma I have ever had Kyle has given me the brilliant and elegant solution on the spot. Kyle’s consulting has saved and earned me hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. Darren Hardy, Former Publisher SUCCESS Magazine
I have worked closely with Kyle Wilson for 20 years. He is one of the best all-around marketers, promoters, business-builders and entrepreneurs in the business today. We have generated more than a million dollars together. Brian Tracy, Int Speaker & Author
I’ve known and worked with Kyle Wilson for over 20 years. Kyle is the ONLY person that ALWAYS under-promised and over-delivered every single time my dad Zig and I worked with him. He is a valued friend and some one I have great admiration and respect for! Tom Ziglar, President of Zig Ziglar Corp
Kyle is one of my old and dear friends and one of the smartest marketing guys I have had the opportunity to work with. He is the scrappy marketing guy. What I mean by that is, there are lots of guys who will put out business plans and do all kinds of nonsense and swing for home runs. Kyle is the real deal and finds ways to create product, add value, help people, build community, he’s unbelievable. Eric Worre, Author of Go Pro