You’ve likely heard me say that your work as an author-entrepreneur is far from over when you finish writing your book. In fact, that’s just the beginning. You might also mistakenly think that you can sit back and relax once your book is uploaded to and available for purchase on Amazon. If only that were true! Here are five ways to maximize book marketing as soon as your book is available.Read More
Some of the hesitation I hear regarding a plan for book writing comes with the unknown. As a business owner, you've planned a launch or two (or 10), but you've never spent months writing and then publishing a book. Whom do you need to hire? What steps come first? Here’s what you need to know to plan your book writing and publishing for best results.
To allow plenty of time for schedule mishaps, breaks, and, you know, life and business, author-entrepreneurs should allow six to nine months for this process. (More wiggle room in the schedule never hurt anyone, did it?) Sure, you could do it quicker than that, but putting together a high-quality book takes time.
Ready to dig in?
Repurposing comes up a lot when it comes to content. I'm not suggesting that you can cut and paste a bunch of blog posts together, slap on a book cover, and consider yourself an author-entrepreneur (PLEASE don't do that). You probably have a lot more content than you think that is appropriate for a book, with some tweaking. One of the first exercises we do when I work with book coaching clients is to look at their content archive compared to their book brain dump.Read More
A book is a tool — a catalyst — that enables results for you (and, by extension, your business) in the form of credibility, growth, and visibility. What makes a book unique is that it’s an evergreen product that benefits from continued marketing efforts in a way that doesn’t necessarily happen with courses and other products. Think of Amazon as a search engine — in addition to a place where people go to buy books. (That’s not always the case on Facebook, or your website, or…you get the idea.) Listing your book on Amazon isn’t free marketing, but it certainly doesn’t hurt (especially if you’ve paid attention to your author profile and selected strong categories/keywords). Your book marketing plan slows but does not stop after the book launches. You can do as much or as little marketing as you want; that’s both the beauty and the curse of book marketing. Of course, the more you do, generally the more fruitful the results will be.
Writing a book establishes you as an expert in your field. This can help you attract ideal clients in line with the services and/or products you offer. Testimonials from clients who are recognized in their industry will do wonders for your credibility. People will begin to associate your name with the topic you’re writing about, which allows you to become the go-to person for people seeking information about your topic. Your credibility is tied into visibility.
Here’s a personal example: I speak annually at the American Copy Editors Society annual conference. Speakers submit a bio, of course, for the conference program, and I included my book title in mine. To my surprise and delight, the morning of one of my sessions, the Society tweeted out, “Be sure to stop by merch table after @JodiBrandon’s session to pick up a copy of her book.” They were showing their audience that their presenter is credible (as a published author), and I had several people approach me to congratulate me on my latest book. Win-win!
Here are just a few possibilities that I’ve seen my clients achieve:
A second book, which can lead to a discounted/bundle price on your website
Speaking engagements, which often involve back-of-the-room sales opportunities
A live workshop or a signature course based on your book
A giveaway item at conferences and retreats, which can put you in front of a new audience.
Being able to include “Author of X” in your bio can benefit your business in many ways, and increased visibility is certainly one of them. A book can give radio/TV personalities and producers, podcast hosts, print journalists, and others a reason to reach out to you. And being featured in the media can grow your audience like nobody’s business! You’ll have an added blurb for press releases, starbursts on your next cover, and so forth that say “As Seen in X” or “Featured on X” — and that is just what helps you get more of these opportunities.
Want to learn more about how a book can serve your business? Book a complimentary Book Brainstorm Session today.
The term author platform gained traction in the book publishing world alongside the rise of self-publishing. Essentially, it refers to your ability as an author to sell books based on your audience — who you can reach and convert into paying customers. Traditional book publishers were looking for authors with a large platform to help with marketing efforts. Nonfiction writers with a built-in author platform had a greater chance of getting a book deal, especially with larger book publishers. An author platform offers influence, which gives authors a leg up when it comes to book marketing efforts.Read More
Beginning on Black Friday and continuing through the beginning of the new year, the holiday season marks the busiest shopping season of the year. This is great news for author-entrepreneurs, whether your book is new or not. Why? Books make a great holiday gift!
Actually waiting until Black Friday to start thinking about holiday book sales is too late, though. You need to be ready well in advance, so start thinking about your plan now.Read More
As an author-entrepreneur, you’re well aware that your email list is a warm audience. So any time you launch something (a course, a new service, whatever you’ve been working on) it’s a good place to start your sales efforts. This, of course, applies to your book/ebook as well — but with a twist.
That warm audience means that your email newsletter is an ideal place to share details about your book, both before and after its release. The mechanics of launch emails DURING A BOOK LAUNCH are no different from any other evergreen product or service launch (AKA no cart close date): focus on the benefits of your offer (to illustrate its features), show the offer in action with case studies or testimonials, etc. And, of course, it goes without saying that you need to link to a killer sales page for your book with every email you send. However, your pre-launch and post-launch emails don’t follow the launch formula in that they aren’t part of a sequence but rather book-related more generally. Your regular email newsletter likely sometimes contains something book-related during the pre-launch and post-launch phases.
That warm audience means that your email newsletter is an ideal place to share details about your book, both before and after its release. - @jodibrandon
Email Ideas Based on Launch Phases
Your book launch has three phases, so your book-related emails will fall into those same three phases: pre-launch, launch, post-launch. As noted previously, the launch phase will follow the traditional launch sequence entrepreneurs are familiar with. Here are some ideas to share with your list related to your book:
Launch ambassador recruitment
Beta reader recruitment
Virtual launch party details
Bonuses/freebies/discounts for newsletter subscribers
Bonuses for newsletter subscribers
Mapping Your Launch
A key difference between book launches and other launches is that it’s truly never too early to start marketing a book. Early momentum is a good thing for book launches. Planning your launch calendar will be much, much easier, though, once you have a launch date — sometimes called a “book pub date” (as in publication) — because you can work backward to select dates for certain emails. You can do this electronically or on paper, but get your sequence mapped out, including email subject lines and topics.
A key difference between book launches and other launches is that it’s truly never too early to start marketing a book. - @jodibrandon
Have you successfully launched a book? What tips do you have regarding launch emails? Share your do’s and don’ts in the comments!
If you have followed me for a while, you know that I regularly talk about the long game of book marketing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I have seen so many authors treat it like a sprint and burn out — quickly. The investment of time, energy, and money can be overwhelming, and it is ongoing, so pacing yourself is critical. Book marketing experts talk about multiple phases of marketing, and most agree that there are three (called by different names, of course): pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.Read More
With about a million books published each year in the United States, book marketing is absolutely critical. Much of book marketing is trial and error, since every book is unique. That said, here are some common book marketing mistakes I see. Learn from others’ mistakes and avoid these, and you’ll already have a leg up in the book marketing game.Read More
One of the common misconceptions about self-publishing is that you can’t get a self-published book into bookstores. False!
It is absolutely possible to get a self-published book into a bookstore. That said, there are a few things you need to do as an entrepreneur to make sure your book is available to sell in bookstores.Read More
Entrepreneurs often ask me, “When is the perfect time to write a book to serve your business?” This isn’t a cop-out answer, but truly, there isn’t one. Lots of factors play into when the “right” time is for people, but here are three guidelines that I discuss with author-entrepreneurs to gauge whether it’s the right time for them. (Note that these will look different for every entrepreneur.)Read More
Audiobooks have been on the rise for the last few years. As a book lover, you probably know that. What does this mean for you as an author-entrepreneur? Does this mean you need to find a production studio, hire a professional narrator, and shell out a few thousand bucks to produce an audiobook in addition to your print version? Nope. But you shouldn’t immediately write off the idea of an audiobook, either.Read More
Technically speaking, a book trailer IS optional. But given the explosive growth of video in today’s marketing world, you’d be silly NOT to take advantage of it when marketing your book. According to ComScore, readers are 64 percent more likely to buy your book if they see a trailer that promotes your book effectively. 64 PERCENT. That’s just about two out of three people. Creating a book trailer and including it on your book’s sales page as well as in your marketing efforts in general, then, is a no-brainer.
Here are a few pointers to keep the process manageable.Read More
With so many possibilities — unlimited possibilities, really — it can be hard to know where to focus your book marketing efforts. That includes both time and money. Whether you DIY your book marketing or hire a book marketing/publicity firm, these three tips work for just about every author-entrepreneurRead More
With thousands of books published every day (yes, you read that correctly), you need to give your book the best chance to succeed. One of the smartest ways to do just that is to conduct a book positioning study. (You might also see this called a competitive analysis or a book marketing study.) Of course book success relies on writing a great book that has a great cover. But there’s SO MUCH more you can do.Read More
As an entrepreneur, validating an idea isn’t a new concept to you. Surely you’ve gone through a validating process when you’ve launched other things (courses, products, services). The concept is the same when it comes to a book: Ask the people who are your ideal clients (and thus likely your ideal readers) for feedback.
With a book, though, you might complete the validation process a few times: with your book idea/topic, with your cover, and then with your actual text. The text is our focus today, and in book publishing, we call this process “gathering beta feedback.”Read More
Regardless of the format your sales page takes (whether you have a separate website for your book or it’s a page on your current site), it’s critical that you have one. You must have a way to capture emails to stay in touch with your readers, and Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers are under no obligation to (nor do they) share customer information with you. Think of your book sales page as a “one-stop shop” for anything and everything a potential reader would want to know about your book.
Whoever manages your website should be able to add a page or create a new site for you. If you want a simple option, check out booklaunch.io. There are paid and free versions to set up a sales page for your book if you aren’t technically inclined and don’t have an entire new site in your budget.
Keep in mind that this page isn’t taking the place of your book sales page on Amazon, but Amazon should be people’s second stop, not first. If you send them to Amazon first, they may never make it to your website, they may never sign up for a freebie you’re offering, and they may never check out your other offers and services. So where do you begin?Read More
As entrepreneurs and business owners, we know the importance of our email list. We don’t “own” our social media followers. This can take on a whole new level of importance when it comes to book publishing. Why? The almighty Amazon. Amazon doesn’t share customer information with authors, so unless someone who purchases your book is on your list, you may never have an interaction with them, That is NOT ideal, obviously. (I don’t mean to pick on Amazon, because obviously this is true of Barnes & Noble and other booksellers, of course, but let’s face it: Most book sales these days are coming from Amazon.)Read More
You’ve likely heard (correctly, I might add) that obtaining book reviews is one of the most stressful parts of the book publishing process. It’s a catch-22 when your book is first released: You need reviews to sell the book, but you need people to read the book in order to get reviews.
Reviews are different from beta feedback, in which you’re guiding a reader through the book in order to get feedback. With a review, anything goes.Read More
What: Book Ambassadors Defined
Book Ambassadors vs. Book Reviewers
At the time of your launch, these are not the same people. I repeat: These are not the same people. Book ambassadors can BECOME reviewers after they’ve read your book. But at the time of your launch, ambassadors have likely not seen/read an advance copy. They are merely cheering you on and helping you build buzz around your book launch.Read More