How Michelle and Bev Made $600,000 with Their Book

Here’s a conversation I had with Michelle Bertram (co-author with her mom Bev of Creating Your Dream Retirement) and her sister Christina Bertram. The transcript is lightly edited for punctuation and clarity.

Christina: I was in the office one day and I thought it was pretty cool that Michelle and my mom wrote a book. So I just decided to snap a picture of it, and kind of change the filter up a little bit on it, and then just posted it on my Facebook wall: “Super proud of my mom and my sister for writing their first book, The Dream Retirement Process.” I tagged Michelle and Bev in it and then got a lot of comments saying, “Oh, that’s so cool,” with a lot of likes. For each comment I would reply: “Yes, super cool. You can get it if you want,” or, “Yeah, you’ve got to read it.”

One of my Facebook friends commented on it, and I replied back to her comment, and somehow—within the Facebook algorithm—one of her friends saw the post. It must have caught her attention, being a retirement book. I’m not sure where she bought it. I would assume Amazon though, because it was the only other place you could get it beside us. Then a few days later she emailed and said, “I read your book. Would love to set up a time to talk to you, Bev, and Michelle, and we’re in the area.”

Michelle: Next, she and her husband came in and met with Bev. They went through our normal Dream Retirement process and became clients after the second meeting. After we showed them the financial plan, they wanted to implement it immediately with $600,000. They have to wait on $50,000 in their 401k, but so far we’ve done $550,000 of business with them.

Michael: And that happened in what timeframe from when your book was published?

Michelle: Well, the first month I would say since we got the copy.

Christina: Yeah, I think they came in within six weeks, tops, of the book being out.

Michael: And your fee for all of that, is that enough to pay for the books?

Christina: Yes.

Michelle: It’s enough to pay for the book probably 2–3 times over.