In this episode, Barbara and Mike discuss:

  • A shook versus a book. 
  • Top three reasons a main street business owner should consider becoming a published shook author. 
  • The process of writing a shook and how to decide how to publish it.


Key Takeaways:

  • Physical printed books are still seen as objects of value. 
  • It’s key for any type of business or practice owner to be able to articulate unique value.
  • Being a published book author of a real printed book that looks professional that provides helpful information. It’s a game-changer and there is nothing like it.


“I would say an ideal main street author is somebody who has a higher level of lifetime client value, customer value, patient value.” —  Mike Capuzzi


Barbara:         Welcome to Marketing Tips for Doctors. This is your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Today, we have a special treat with us, Mike Capuzzi. He is an author, publisher and coach for business owners and sharp, aggressive entrepreneurs looking to get to the next level in their business.

Throughout his 25 years in Marketing and 21 years as a consultant, Mike’s diligent and innovative use of high-impact marketing has consistently surpassed the expectations and outcomes of traditional corporate marketing concepts and business strategies for his clients. This expertise has led him to be a guest speaker on the stages of some of the world’s most foremost experts on Marketing. Today, Mike has helped thousands of business owners create more profitable marketing.


Mike is the inventor of the widely successful software product CopyDoodles which are hand-drawn graphic files enabling anybody to literally drag and drop attention-getting enhancements to their offline and online marketing materials. Tens of thousands of business owners, marketers, and copywriters have benefited from the use of CopyDoodles. I know I have.


In 2019, Mike launched Bite-Sized Books, a new publishing venture founded on his proven formula for creating short helpful books known as shooks for Main Street business owners. Shooks are ideal for local business owners who are looking to increase their level of authority while also providing helpful information in bite-sized books.


When he’s not focused on Marketing or helping his clients, Mike is the proud father of two beautiful daughters, Caroline and Nicole. Caroline who is attending Penn State University to study Journalism published her first shook, Dog Joy, in 2018. Dog Joy is a collection of dog rescue stories as told by the people who rescued them. She has donated all the profits from Dog Joy of over $5000 and counting to help support a number of the rescues featured in the shook. Mike has been married to his amazing wife, Becky, for 23 years and counting. Becky is the invisible driving force behind everything Mike does to serve clients including being the original handwriting artist for CopyDoodles. Welcome to the show, Mike.


Mike:             Thanks, Barbara. I appreciate it.


Barbara:         What is your definition of a Main Street author?


Mike:             Well, I came up with this phrase Main Street author not realizing it was actually a famous book by, I think it was Upton Sinclair who wrote it. I thought I came up with this really unique concept.

But anyway, a Main Street author is the main street type business owner and I identify those people as the local community-based physicians, dentists, doctors, insurance agents, chiropractors, you know, folks that have a presence on what used to be the main street. So, it’s that kind of local business owner. But I also identify a Main Street business owner as someone who serves Main Street business owners. So for example, maybe a software CEO who has software for Main Street business owners, I would consider him or her a Main Street also. It’s someone who has a business on the main street and has written a customer, client, patient attraction book.


Barbara:         Well, for the next question that I would like to ask you, it’s a shame that you did not come up with this idea sooner because my books all have 250 to 300 pages. What are the main differences between a shook and a book?


Mike:             A shook is my trademark type of short helpful books. So, a shook stands for a short helpful book. And your listeners may cringe at this but I always use the analogy of hey, there are a lot of places to buy hamburgers. Burger King has the Whopper. McDonald’s has the Big Mac. They’re all burgers. But they have their own unique brand, their own unique identity. Well, as you well know, Barbara, because you’re a published author, there are a lot of people out there helping others publish books and I needed that unique value proposition. And we came up with the shook, the short helpful book.


And really, there are a couple of different characteristics, Barbara. First of all, the clients who write shooks, first and foremost, they’re not worried about “making money” with their book. Okay. So, this is not about I sell a book for 10 bucks and I make $8. This is about, you know, a conversation starter, really a business card on steroids if you will. So first and foremost, it’s not about the person who wants to be a bestselling author necessarily or even “make money” on the front end. On the back end, it’s a different story. So that’s one key differentiator.


You know, you and I were just talking before we started here and you were asking some things about my shooks. They are designed very specifically, Barbara. So, they’re a little bit different in size. They’re a little smaller physically. Interior, we designed the interior very specifically. I’m a direct response marketer. Everything is about driving response. We make these things easy to read, physically easy to read. We make them shorter to read. You know, again, everyone’s attention spans are getting shorter. A typical shook takes about an hour to go through. So it’s a real book but it doesn’t take you days or weeks to kind of plod through. And that really bodes well for the author because they can write them much quicker. So you know, shorter to read. They’re highly focused. So they’re very much focused. So your 300-page book, maybe you could’ve written three 100-page books each with a very specific topic.


Barbara:         Don’t think I didn’t think about that when I was looking at your series.


Mike:             Right, right. So that’s really some of the different characteristics of what makes a shook a shook. I’ll just leave it with, you know, again long-time marketing person who’s helped others, these are sales tools, these are business assets. And that’s really the big takeaway.


Barbara:         What are your three top reasons why a Main Street business owner should be considered as a published shook author?


Mike:             Well, I mean, again, I know you know this because you are a published author. So first, I would say even in today’s day and age books are still seen, physical printed books, okay, physical printed books are seen as objects of value, right?

Most of us are used to paying for them. There’s Amazon, the online bookstore. There are still local bookstores. There are still libraries, right? Unlike just about any other type of marketing media, books are seen as objects of value. And people expect to pay for them. So that’s interesting, right? You hand someone a business card, you hand someone a brochure, they may glance at it.

Chances are it’s going to end up in the recycle bin. But you hand someone a book and sign it for them, you know, that thing is not getting thrown away. It may not get read right away depending on the person but it’s not getting thrown away, right? Number one, they’re seen as objects of value.


Number two, I would say a good reason is because again in our society authors, published book authors are seen at a different level. They’re held in higher esteem. There’s a higher level of respect.

So I always say, listen, if you have two similar business owners even doctors, like two similar doctors, credentials are all the same but one doctor has published a book on how to deal with back pain, let’s say for example, and it’s a very specific book on how to deal with a specific type of back pain, and the other doctor has not published a book on that, typically the doctor who is a published book author and is using the book in his or her practice is going to have a higher level of respect. He is going to be looked at differently in a more positive light.


And then finally, Barbara, I’d say a third reason would be when you become a published book author it enables you, the business owner, the practice owner to advertise and market and sell at a higher and more sophisticated level where you literally attract customers, patients, etc. instead of pursuing them, right? So books, I call it book-centric marketing.

Book-centric marketing has been around for over 100 years where the free book author has been a lead generation device. And it’s been around for so long because it worked then and it works now. So you know, instead of just promoting your practice and promoting what it is you do, you promote your book as the solution to someone’s problem and then allow the book to start the conversation and then lead the prospect to becoming a patient, etc. I would say those are the three reasons why a physician or a doctor would want to, you know, consider being a published author.


Barbara:         I agree with you completely, Mike. After all, if you have several doctors in the same specialty in the referrals from insurance companies or are in the same community, people might be in a quandary as to which doctor to go to. But if one of them wrote a book, then obviously they’re the expert in the field and obviously, they’re the ones that you’re going to want to go to as a patient.


Mike:             Yup, yup. It’s very much a reality. I talk to business owners who are authors every day and it’s pretty amazing what can happen.


Barbara:         How can a business owner make money with a shook?


Mike:             Well, just about any business owner can. You know, ideally, I would say an ideal Main Street author is somebody who has a higher level of lifetime client value, customer value, patient value. So you know, dentists, doctors, high-end real estate agents, insurance agents. You know, a pizza store owner could be a Main Street author. It could be fun. They could have fun with that. But their transaction value, you know, it would take a lot of pizzas to justify the investment, time, energy, and money. Whereas a doctor whose maybe the typical patient value is $5000, $10,000, $15,000 or even more, you know, one or two new patients a year from the book could really be a nice little game-changer.


Barbara:         Well, I don’t know. I might like to read a book that tells what the best pizza is and what I should look for in a pizza.


Mike:             You know, hey listen, I’m laughing because I agree with you, Barbara. I would not mind. I have yet to work with a pizza store owner. I think I’m a wanna-be. You know, I got this Italian descent. So I would never do it but I think I would dream about it but I think it would be cool to do that. Now, listen, we are working currently with some folks that do like home remodeling. Again, the transaction value is high enough for those, painting. Typically, it’s someone who has a bit of a back end. And by that, I mean some long-term income opportunities.


Barbara:         Sure, sure. But don’t you want to know whether a square or a round pizza is, you know, better?


Mike:             Absolutely.


Barbara:         And has more flavor?


Mike:             Yeah. I like the round. I definitely like the round.


Barbara:         So talking about that, tell us more about your special sauce.


Mike:             That’s a great segue, the special sauce. I wasn’t thinking of pizza but I was thinking — It’s actually pretty good. Well, I mean, I’ve written a number of books now about shooks and I think in a few of them I know I’ve really gone into detail what I call the special sauce.

So, let me just give a little marketing lesson because again I’ve been helping business owners for over 20 years to improve their marketing. It’s key for any type of business or practice owner to be able to articulate unique value. Because again if you’re just plain vanilla and do what everyone else does and that’s how you market and that’s how you talk about your practice or your business, people are sort of beyond that. They need a reason why to want to work with you.


I came up with a special sauce of the shooks. And I’ve already sort of described them. I mean, the speed for the person who’s reading it to read it. You know, it’s great that a person can read a book on back pain, for example, and in an hour get what they need and then decide, well, do I want to continue on with this person, etc.?

Because, you know, when someone — I don’t know about you, Barbara, but I know when I start a book with all the greatest intention and I don’t finish it because I get bogged down in it, you know, I get a little annoyed with myself. But when I read a book and, you know, I finish it and I found value in it, there’s a sense of accomplishment. So shooks enable that sense of accomplishment.


Again, they’re also faster for folks to write. It takes about eight to 12 weeks though I do have a shook author who wrote one from idea to printed book in 22 days. So, it can be quite quick. Again, they’re easier to read. They’re faster to read. The fact that they’re focused is a key thing.

I think so many people who are book authors don’t have a clear focus of what their book is meant to do. And I don’t only mean what it meant to do for the reader but what to do for the author. Like, what do you want to come from this book? What do you want readers to do? That’s the direct response nature of shooks. And as a matter of fact, that’s possibly one of the key things, key ingredients, special sauces.

Our shooks are embedded with the next steps. We have two different pathways for readers. Unless you want to go into that, I wouldn’t go into it here. But we have what we call our active pathway and we have what we call our passive pathway. But again, we’re leading readers down a path.


Barbara:         Well, let’s leave that as a cliffhanger so that they get your book.


Mike:             There you go. There you go.


Barbara:         Describe one of the most powerful ways a local business owner can leverage a shook to grow his or her business.


Mike:             Well again, there are a lot of folks that help just about anyone publish books and author books. And if you’re an online, internet marketing type of person or, you know, you don’t have a physical location, a lot of that information is geared to them about how to use Facebook and all the common things that people are doing online.

You see, Main Street business owners by the very nature of the fact that they are typically local in a community, have some very, very powerful ways to leverage a shook, a short helpful book. And Barbara, one way that — I constantly stress — I was just on a webinar yesterday talking to a bunch of retailers and sharing with them, listen — And they were all authors. And I was sharing with them. What they want to do is they want to find what I call strategic partners.


So you know, let’s say this doctor who’s the back doctor, he or she could identify chiropractors, gyms, yoga studios that are in their community and literally put a little display stand of their shook in those facilities. So, what you’re doing is you’re getting I call OPC.

You’re getting in front of other people’s customers. And it’s a very powerful strategy that is very unique to a local business owner. It’s leveraging strategic partners that have a business that aligns with your ideal customer, client, patient, whatever that can be found in those businesses. So why not put your shook and make it available in those places of business. That’s a very, very powerful strategy.


Barbara:         Absolutely. I think that’s a brilliant strategy.


Mike:             Yeah.


Barbara:         Now, in your book, you mentioned creating e-shooks and also audio shooks. Are they becoming more powerful as time goes on or more in demand?


Mike:             Well, a couple of interesting things. I just looked — So we just launched a brand new shook this week and it’s the first time I ever — Because I’m typically not worried about “becoming a bestseller” or anything like that.

But this time, I wanted to try to see what I could do. And I’m very fortunate and appreciative of the fact that both the print and Kindle versions are number one Amazon bestsellers. And it was a little more work than I realized. Everyone was like, oh, you just have to put it up there and drive some sales. But you know, it’s done quite well. I was just looking at our numbers before this interview for another reason. By the way, the audio version is not yet available. It takes Amazon much longer to get the audio version up but the audio version is coming.


But the Kindle purchases were like three to one from the print. For every print book I sold, I think we sold three Kindle books. Now, I do have some other books that have all three, Kindle, e-book, print. I’m a fan of print. And all our clients, the first media is print books and then if they want Kindle books and audiobooks. But I’ve heard a lot of people ask for audiobooks, Barbara, and they’ve asked me for them. But our audiobook sales are low, like really low. I was shocked to see the numbers.

So you know, right now, people, at least the audience I was targeting this past week, and maybe because of the price difference, it was just such a no-brainer for the Kindle version because you can make the cost much lower. But yeah, Kindle is number one and the print books were a distant second. But my preference is print.


Barbara:         Well, it’ll be interesting to see if the explosion of audible is going to change that.


Mike:             Uh-huh. I had a gentleman who became a client and he said to me after he became a client, said, listen, I found your book. And it was one of the ones where I don’t have an audio version. And he said yours was the first print book I bought in eight years because all he does is listen to audio books. And when I heard that kind of comment, I was like jeez.

My last two books had been, we’ve done the audio version and — Listen, I think the takeaway is yeah, I mean, if you can do it, you use as many media choices as possible. Some people like to read. Some people like to watch. Some people like to listen. And if you can do it, you do all of it.


Barbara:         Does the author do the reading of the book or do you outsource that?


Mike:             We offer a service with professional narration. Now, in a perfect world, my advice would always be for non-fiction books like we’re talking about, business books, I think in a perfect world the author would narrate it. Because just like you and I are talking now, we’re having a very real conversation.

If I hire someone to be in Mike Capuzzi’s place, it probably wouldn’t be the same. Having said that, for both of my current audiobooks, I hired a professional. I did narrate a book years ago which is no longer in print or no longer available and it was a pain in the butt, Barbara. Plus, I’m from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area so you get that kind of accent. Who wants to hear that? And I’m too much of a perfectionist. So, it’d probably take me three months to do.


Barbara:         Well maybe, you’d want to have Sean Connery speak on your behalf.


Mike:             There you go, yeah. So yeah, it’s an option. But I think for most business owners, they’re just going to really prefer, hey, just have a pro do it for me.


Barbara:         How do your publishing programs work?


Mike:             So, we again work with a very unique type of business owners. So we just work with business owners and again typically either local business owners or folks that serve local business owners. So that’s first and foremost. And literally, it’s every one on one.

All of our clients work directly with me in a one-on-one situation, Barbara, kind of like what you and I are doing. We are very much a boutique publisher. And the reason I do that, Barbara, is I feel it’s a very important process. There are a number of phone calls. My client and I are brainstorming. I’m helping them identify their ideal reader.

I’m helping them identify what I call the shook hook which is the big idea behind their book. And you know, that masterminding happens best when it’s a very personal one-on-one type of relationship. So, all of our clients work directly with me. It takes like I said about eight to 12 weeks. And I literally hold their hand and go from step to step. And at the outcome, they have a gorgeous printed book. And if they want Kindle books and audiobooks, they can have those too.


Barbara:         Well, I’d like to ask you what the one thing to take away from this interview. But before you answer that, I just want to point out that your 100-Page book, by you, Mike Capuzzi, just came out in print and you could get it on Amazon. I have. And it is so worth reading. You know, it really is a primer to show how you can present yourself as an expert in your field and really a must reading, called The 100-Page Book. I’m really enjoying it. So, what is the one thing that my listeners should take away from this interview?


Mike:             I’d venture to say if they have yet to publish a book, they probably have at least thought about it. And my advice would be if you help people which I’m assuming every one of your listeners does, if you help people and you have not authored a book on a specific way you help them, my challenge and my motivation to you would be doing it whether you work with me, whether you do it on your own, however, you want to do it. But there’s a group of people out there in your community or if you have a wider reach, whatever it might be who want that information. And if you’re not providing it, they may find it elsewhere or they may not get it at all.


I think, Barbara, the one thing I would leave with folks is being a published author is gratifying. It’s so cool to be able to hand someone a book. It’s so cool when they ask you to autograph it. It’s so cool when you get thank you cards when you send someone a book. I mean, you send someone a brochure, you typically don’t get a thank you card.

So you know, being a published book author of a real printed book that looks professional, that provides helpful information, it’s a game-changer. There’s nothing like it. And I would challenge anybody listening to consider it. And that’s why I wrote The 100-Page Book. It’s really like you said, it’s an entry point. It gives you a very specific recipe on how to write a short helpful book. I mean, I literally tell you to step by step what to do.


Barbara:         Excellent. I know you have gifts for my listeners. What are they? And how can you get them?


Mike:             Yeah. Thank you. And I would love to offer some additional value. Here’s what I’d like to do, Barbara, if okay because you mentioned The 100-Page Book and right now it’s just hot on Amazon. It’s a five-star bestselling book and it’s priced very reasonably.

I think the Kindle version currently is like $1 and the paperback is $5. That’s a very special introductory offer. And you can go to The number 100, 1-0-0 page book dot com. And all that does is redirect you to Amazon, okay. So it just gives you the choice and you can buy the paperback, Kindle. The audio may be up there soon. But here’s the gift link. So, if you go to, G-I-F-T-S, it’s a plural, gifts, plural, I will give your listeners, Barbara, three valuable gifts.


                                                Main Street Author

The first is I wrote a shook last year called Main Street Author. And in that, I really showcased Main Street business owners who are authors. So that’s a free book. It’s digital. You’ll be able to read it right online. So that’s the first gift. The second gift is, you know, if folks want to do it on their own or kind of think about hey, I want to do my own book or my kids could help me out whatever, there’s a 24-minute tutorial I created on the best ways to design your book.

Barbara, you and I were talking about that earlier on. The design is critical. You want your book to look right and there are a lot of places to make mistakes. This 24-minute video will share some of my best tips.


And then finally, Barbara, some people do want to be on Amazon and leverage with a powerhouse that Amazon is for a lot of different reasons, reach notoriety, etc. And I’m going to invite anybody. I’m going to be doing training in the future here, near future on everything that I’ve learned recently about Amazon. I’ve gotten like a Ph.D. in the last two months on Amazon and how you set up a book properly on Amazon for maximum reach and sales. So it’s going to be great, great training. It’s going to be free for everybody who grabs this special offer.


Barbara:         That is so generous of you, Mike. Thank you so much.


Mike:             You are welcome, Barbara.


Barbara:         Well, I’ve had a lot of fun today and I’m sure your listeners have not only learned a lot but had some fun listening to it as well. Thank you so much for being here with us today.


Mike:             Barbara, thank you for the opportunity.


Barbara:         This has been another episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors. I’m your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Until next time.


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