nice big header here…
1. Write a book that people want
-Find a way to make your book more topical, relevant. Think ahead of time, who your ideal influencers are going to be (the blogs, websites, bloggers who
2. Make it a group effort
100 high profile people with networks or platforms related to your thing.
Put up a simple form, or just use email; respond with your 1 thing. Even if they don’t respond, try to find a quote from them on their blog or website to include. It will come in really handy later when you’re looking for reviewers or sharers, to say “I mentioned you in the book, here’s a free copy, thanks for being an inspiration to me, here’s the link to Amazon.”
Finish the book
-Get it edited (or have beta-readers weed out typos).
-Get better design elements
-Convert to epub, format for print: make a new free samples/excerpt of first few chapters.
Print book versus ebook only.
-Make 3D book mockups.
The book isn’t news: who you are, why you are writing, what you want to accomplish matters too (especially for non-fiction). You are part of the story; make sure you tell a version of your story that is remarkable. If you aren’t doing anything remarkable yet, dream up something big. Give yourself a world-changing mission.
-Put up simple landing page
Reserve your free book. (Landing page is about credibility: need well designed graphics, a few excerpts, really nice short introduction about the project, at least one blurb, hopefully by a reputable sounding/well-known person.
(affiliate links to optimize press/lead pages/thrivethemes.com/wordpress sites.)
I made a video series on author websites you can get here.
Book Blurbs (Endorsements) – Research
Find ten most similar books to yours. Google “book name + review” and see what blogs or websites have posted reviews. Contact those blogs/bloggers and say “I see you reviewed X… I have a similar book about Y and would love to send you a review copy… I’m attaching it here.”
Review all of those books. Follow the authors on Twitter and Facebook. Pull quotes from their books to share and tag them, linking to their book. Post a video book review of their books.
See who reviewed/blurbed their books (back cover and Amazon page). Reach out to them and see if they will review yours too.
Make a hit list of people you want to endorse/share your book, and/or review. Could be people, authors, bloggers, speciality sites in your niche. Get your list to 100. If this sounds daunting, hire a part-time VA on fiverr.com or other sites to do it for you; should cost around $50 (but could be more if you want really competent VA).
Brainstorm guest posts and blog articles
Content marketing. Interesting, controversial, fun stuff. Go a little crazy. What’s a really shocking case study/experiment/stunt you can pull and talk about the results?
Also brainstorm articles on your keywords: Use an article generator. Pick out the top ten and see where you can put them for maximum visibility.
10 high profile blogs where your readers already are. Pitch them the articles. Find a REASON for them to share your book (mention them in the book if you can).
10 interesting articles tangently related to the topic.
Submit guest post articles; have them go live 2 weeks before launch, leading to landing page.
Contests to build list
Find a big prize appealing only to target audience, run contest with rafflecopter, get emails. Search for fun/interesting stuff; or make your own stuff (I recommend posters, 8.5×12, easy to print and send: get some of your content or a nice quote made into a large, beautiful infographic or poster. Don’t make it promotional, make it cool). Or custom something from Alibaba.
-set up email autoresponder.
Follow everybody recommended in your industry (first, search for the big names you’ve already got on your list, and all the blogs on your list)
(Make it a community, a group, not just the name of you or your book; focus on the subject, let people in to engage. Instead of “Man Date” make “Successful Men” or something, something cool, that people will like or support (becuase it says something about them, not you.
post useful content related to your niche; use google alerts.
Do you really need a blog or website? Maybe not, but I would definitely have one, because I like to focus on content marketing; you want to attract people back to you. but honestly, your best content might perform better on bigger sites with more impact… so you could focus on those and a landing page.
But I recommend: posting at least 10 blog posts before launch – focused on keywords (so google knows where to put you). Don’t have to be amazing, though you shouldn’t make them crappy). You can use a lot of the content from your books. Review books by other authors, how-to posts perform amazingly well, as well as lists and “Expert Roundups” and “Link Bait.” (I have a lot of those on this site!) Build traffic quickly, that’s traffic that YOU control, that will keep working for you forever, as long as you can put up enough good content that google likes and trusts you. It’s also important, for ranking, to include… name, phonenumber/email, address, safety stuff, make it as official as you can.
Use Canva or WordSwag (iphone app). Pull out 20 great quotes, make stylish graphic images that match your colors/brand/cover. Post one on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest every day with appropriate hashtags and link (also might want to add a tiny link to your landing page).
Boil your whole book down to the essence and make a nicely designed powerpoint presentation (this is something you can hire out). It should have an introduction, the main points of your book, a few quotes, an about the author and links to the landing page.
Add it to Slideshare.
Think of any related “How to…” things you can help with, maybe smaller processes you talk about in your book. Make small powerpoints explaining them as well. (For example, maybe nobody is searching for the general keywords of your whole book, but lots of people are searching for specific micro-topic keywords of your individual sections or chapters. Break up your content into chunks so that people searching for those keywords can find those sections.
Record your screen of the powerpoints you’ve made and you talking about the powerpoints. Even better if you can record yourself talking about the book, and/or most of the individual subjects of the book (people don’t search for big problems, they search for little individual stuff).
Youtube makes it very easy to find you. Post 20 videos on topics related to your book, add long descriptions (you can just cut and post sections of your book into the YouTube description) then link to the landing page. Being comfortable on camera can be a very steep learning curve (it took me a couple years). It might be easier to set up a smart phone (so you can’t see the screen/see yourself talking). Don’t worry about overproduction or editing or special effects or text. Just pick a simple background, lots of natural light, look as nice as you can, talk about what you know. I prefer honest, authentic, unscripted dialogue. Pretend your best friend asked you a question and you’re explaining it to them. You can even put up a picture of your best friend/someone you feel comfortable with next to the camera and pretend you’re talking to them. Don’t overthink it. You might want to record the same thing several times to get a ‘good take’ but it’s fine if you stumble or pause or say um… something up and on YouTube is better than nothing. Do it.
Build your list as much as you can. 2 weeks before, send out a free copy of your book, ask for reviews. Have a contest/prize for reviewers. Ask for a review in the front of your book. Remind them again at the end.
In back of book, have a reason for people to come sign up (if you’re writing more books or building a business of any kind. If not, you don’t really need emails… Email list, autoresponder… something simple and basic (link to mailchimp/aweber).
Publish and Distribute
In short: Kindle and Createspace – fastest, easiest, widest distribution. Focus all sales there for three months, then put on other platforms. Benefits:
(affiliate like to createspace?) Createspace and Kindle (KDP) are different platforms.
Focus your sales on one. If you do two, do ibooks as well, need a mac to publish. Focus on those two.
Need your book page set up 2 weeks before your official launch… probably set it at 99cents in the meantime, so your friends/betas don’t have to pay much for it; you can also ‘gift’ copies… or order copies from Createspace and mail it to them directly.
Make sure your page looks good, your formatting looks good and your description is Killer. Get a few blurbs posted under “editorial reviews.”
Get at least 10 reviews posted up before launch.
Keywords and Categories
setting up, choosing, research… kindle spy (aff).
Set a big (but reasonable) goal and update people
The book launch will go smoother if you have a specific goal in mind and are asking people to help you get there. For non-fiction, 1000 free downloads should be easy. 5000 would be better. 10,000 would be pretty awesome (for fiction those numbers can get much higher).
That way, instead of reminding people “Get my book!” repeatedly or sounding like your nagging you can say, “We’re up to 629 downloads – help share so I can hit my goal of 1000!” People like measurable numbers and want to feel like they are making a real impact.
Recently I’ve been using ThunderClap, which is a good way to get people to support your launch campaign on autopilot. Check it out.
Boosted Facebook Posts
You should be growing your Facebook likes and Twitter followers, because you’re posting a lot of targeted, useful content. Share all your blog posts, and image quotes, and cool articles/etc.
Watch what gets liked/favorited/shared. Use Facebook advertising to “Boost Post”
A lot of authors skip this step: I wouldn’t – FREE is dynamite book promotion, because most traditional publishers (and other authors) refuse to do it. So you can get thousands of downloads very quickly, hit the #1 spot in the free section, and get a lot of visibility. The more of your target audience you can reach for free, the more reviews and word of mouth you’ll get (if the book is truly great).
-pro tip – use twitter keywords, and tweet at free book stuff.
-reddit boards, linked in
If the book is a very niche subject, you have your own platform to sell to, it isn’t lead-gen (attracting clients to more profitable services or businesses) and you want to make a bunch of money with it, you can start at 99cents or higher – but you’re trading off in terms of visibility.
Make sure you get your book listed on all the “Free Book” sites; you can use fiverr gigs (aff) or ebook…
Hopefully you hit #1 in your free… now we want to do the same, so price at 99cents (lower price = more downloads, which impact ranking.) You want visibility in the paid category, ideally #1 so you can say you’re an “Amazon Bestseller” or “#1 Bestselling Book” (though I rarely use those, since they don’t mean much actually).
But even if you get to #20 in paid, that’s OK, you’ll be visible. But if you can’t break #20, you’re invisible, nobody will see you, nobody will buy the book, it will become more and more invisible.
Use your email list
for free, for reviews, make them feel special, thank them, make it a group effort.
You could also offer big prizes for bulk purchases, if you’ve made a print book. For example, $1000 coaching package in exchange for buying 50 bucks; think up some fun stuff.
I would also do a lot of advertising
-specific blogs or networks
(Easier to sell free or something cool than ‘buy my book’).
Redo landing page
Change the email signups to link to the book on amazon, etc.
Should you drive people to your website or amazon directly? depends. Test both. A really good landing page might be better… maybe not.
Hopefully you’ve done an awesome launch and can get up to 100 reviews. I’d leave the price at 99cents until you get 100 reviews. Keep working on content and articles. Cast a deep net.
Then put it to 2.99 or 3.99. Also consider putting out a shorter ebook/manual, something more basic and specific, that you can make ‘permafree’ (use draft2digital or smashwords, put on kindle, pricematch). That will get bigger download numbers, in the back of that book get people to your website.