Archive for Launching a Book

How Many Followers Do You Need before Doing a Book Launch?

Spirit Authors is well-known for its ‘bestseller’ book launches. So why is book marketer Lynn Serafinn advising an alternative plan for marketing your book?

A couple of weeks ago, a new client sent me an email asking, ‘How many social media followers would you consider “enough” for me to move onto planning a full book launch?’

My reply to her was that there was no simple answer to this, as there were so many variables. As I was explaining these variables in some detail in my email, it occurred to me that my readers here on Spirit Authors would probably also like to know the answer to this question. So today, I’ll be looking at the factors that I believe contribute to a successful book launch, as well as an alternative to the big ‘bestseller launch’, which I believe is a viable, economical and more sustainable book marketing option for many new authors.

The Golden Era of Launches

My first exposure to ‘bestseller book launches’ (also called ‘Amazon launches’) was in 2008 when I attended a seminar in London with Janet Switzer, one of the marketing brains behind the book Chicken Soup for the Soul. That was the first time I had ever heard of ‘joint venture partners’ and the idea of collaborative Internet marketing campaigns. It was clear that the key to success was in the strength of your network. One person even naively asked Janet if she would share her partner mailing list with us (!). Of course, she gracefully declined, explaining that this was not only a breach of confidentiality, but that she had spent years cultivating and nurturing the relationships with these partners. The people on that list would have no relationship with the new person. Thus, without relationships, the list would be of no value whatsoever – even though, for Janet, it was THE most valuable asset she had.

(As an aside, in hindsight I realise that what Janet did NOT talk about was the fact that the ‘Chicken Soup books themselves are collaborative projects, as they are comprised of dozens of different authors. That’s a whole different subject I won’t delve into here, but it is a major defining factor in the success of these books.)

I had attended the seminar because I was just about to self-publish my book The Garden of the Soul, and wanted to get ideas for how to give it a good ‘birth’. While the seminar opened my eyes, it also raised more questions than it answered, and I embarked on a quest to research everything I could find on the subject. I incorporated ideas I liked, and discarded those I didn’t. But the one thing I could see would be the biggest determining factor in my success would be my network. I started a radio show. I created free Garden of the Soul audio meditations. I made Garden of the Soul video poems for YouTube. I started blogging on a special site just for the book. But the most effective thing I did was set up a Garden of the Soul network on Ning. Sadly, no longer a very popular social media platform, many of my closest network partners today originally came from my Ning network. It was a lovely ‘micro-universe’ where I made close connections with a few hundred people who were 100% committed to helping me when my book came out a few months later. As a result, I was able to get the book to #18 in the spirituality category on Amazon, which wasn’t bad for a one-person act who had never done a book launch before. I was able to return the favour by having many of these people as guests on my radio show. Dozens of them continue to be my book launch partners today, and a few even became book marketing clients.

Since then, I’ve coordinated dozens of book launches for clients. I have a superb team who know exactly what to do and when. It’s become ‘systematised’ to such a degree that I can pretty much guarantee a client will hit #1 (or at least #2) in one or more category on Amazon. With each launch, my network of partners grows, and our relationships become stronger. Now my own circle of partners (along with my team) has become my most valuable business asset.

To Launch or Not to Launch?

So far, you might be thinking, ‘Great. All I need to do is find a person like Lynn or Janet who has a strong partner list and I can do a bestseller book launch.’

Well, when I was just starting out doing these launches as a business, I also made that assumption, thinking my clients could ‘ride on my coat-tails’ so to speak. But let me tell you from experience, this assumption is completely WRONG.

After a year or so of doing book launches, I started to see some patterns:

  • CLIENT A: Those clients who depended primarily upon my partner network might get to #1, but it was harder to get them there and it didn’t necessarily result in big sales. Furthermore, once the launch was over, it was sort of like, ‘Ok, I’ve spent all this time and money. Now what do I do with myself and my book?’
  • CLIENT B: Those clients who had strong partner networks of their own (which were then combined with my network) would rise to the top of the charts more quickly, and stay there longer, resulting in more book sales overall. However, as books are cheap, it was only on rare occasions that their profits from these sales would cover the expenses they had laid out to do the launch. Thus, they’d write it off as a business expense, and just return to ‘business as usual’ after the launch, meaning the launch made no significant change to their business.
  • CLIENT C: Those clients who had strong partner networks AND who had ‘spin off’ products and follow-up offers for their customers not only made better book sales, but they also made residual income after the launch. This was the only group who actually profited financially from doing a book launch.

As I saw these patterns emerging, I decided I would no longer offer book launches as an option to clients in the ‘A’ category. I felt it was unethical to ask them to commit so much time and money for something that would give them ’15 minutes of fame’ and then a big crash and burn (if not a credit card debt) at the end of the tunnel. Instead, I worked with them to build their marketing platforms and their networks – sometimes for as long as a year. Some would go on to do a book launch, but many didn’t feel the need, seeing the platform building as a steady and sustainable alternative to business growth and book sales.

Clients in Category C, obviously, had the greatest potential to benefit from doing a book launch, and I am happy to do a launch project with them.

Clients in Category B are ‘borderline’. What I tend to do with these clients is work with them for a while to create their follow-up offers so they can ‘ascend’ to Category C before their launch.

Back to the Question of the Day

OK. Now, taking all that context into consideration, let’s get back to my client’s question: ‘How many social media followers would you consider “enough” for me to move onto planning a full book launch?’

What you might notice is that, so far, I haven’t even MENTIONED social media followers. When I referred earlier to ‘strong partner networks’, I was NOT talking about big mailing lists or large numbers of followers on Twitter or Facebook.

That’s not to say that large social networks are not important. The fact is that your partners will appear from these networks. Of course, it’s up to you to recognise potential partners and cultivate your relationship with them (I talk a lot about this in my Twitter book Tweep-e-licious).  

Numbers have to be looked at in context. For one thing, the number of ‘followers’ that is considered substantial will vary from one social media network to another. While 2,000 Facebook friends is a lot, it’s not particularly exceptional on Twitter. Also, low numbers in one network can be offset by exceptionally high numbers elsewhere. For example, one of my clients has a minimal presence on Twitter, but has over 60,000 fans on his Facebook fan page.

But most of all, it’s not just about quantity, but about quality. Things I would assess before considering someone for a book launch are:

  • The level of engagement they have in their social networks (quantity and quality)
  • The amount and quality of informational content they have created and shared online
  • The degree to which that content reinforces their overall brand message
  • The amount and consistency of traffic they are driving to their website every day
  • Their mailing list size AND the consistency/relevance of their communication with that list
  • And, as already mentioned, the level of connection they have to potential PARTNERS who have equally solid platforms as them

Closing Thoughts

I hope you can see that making the decision to embark on a book launch cannot be reduced to a numeric equation. The decision comes from looking at a combination of factors, including your marketing platform, your partner network and your business/brand development. Think of a finely crafted watch. The only way it works is: 1) for all the parts to be of good quality; 2) for them to be assembled and working together as a unit correctly and; 3) for them to be maintained regularly.

Frankly, I think the ‘golden era of book launches’ is dying out. I believe building a solid platform and making a plan for how your book marketing will support your business growth is far more important that the ephemeral ‘rush’ you’ll get from being #1 for a day. It’s like winning the X-Factor and then not being able to make a career out of singing.

This is why we at Spirit Authors (now a branch of the 7 Graces Project CIC) have been focusing more and more deeply on developing a range of platform-building packages for our clients. We feel, for the majority of clients, these options give greater long-term value and are more sustainable than a book launch.

If you’re writing a value-rich book, you run an independent ethical business, or you’re planning to launch a new product in 2014, have a look at our platform-building packages and then drop us a line via the contact form on this site to set up a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your needs.

Lynn Serafinn
11th December 2013


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LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn   @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

Book marketer Lynn Serafinn has managed Amazon launches for dozens of #1 bestselling authors. Today she tells why doing a launch is NOT always the best choice.

I’m an independent marketing consultant for non-fiction authors. I started specialising in this area in 2009 because authors were asking me to develop ‘Amazon Bestseller Launches’ for their books, having seen the success I’d had launching my own publications. Over time, this developed into my company Spirit Authors. I no longer work alone, but have the pleasure of working with an experienced and organised team. Together, we have delivered full-service book launches to dozens of clients, the majority of whom attained #1 bestseller status. Our team have fine-tuned our launches into a system we could probably do in our sleep by now (and, yes, I do sometimes dream about launches).

A successful book launch can rapidly inject a business with a zing of energy not easily attainable by other kinds of marketing strategies. For example, one of my recent launch clients, Morgana Rae, says that the launch of her book Financial Alchemy, which became a #1 bestseller in 4 countries on Amazon, bringing her ‘3000 new mailing list subscribers, over 6,000 new Twitter followers’ and made her ‘a quick $30,000 in sales.’ When Morgana says ‘quick’ she means it; these benefits came to her over the course of 48 hours.

These kinds of statistics make bestseller book launches look like candy in the candy shop to authors. BUT (and there is always a ‘but’), it’s important to put it into context: such results can only come at the end of an intense 6 months of planning, organising and promotion. To the outsider the launch might look fast, exciting and glamorous, but behind the scenes it’s a lot of hard work and long work weeks for both the author and the marketing team. And, of course, employing an experienced team of 6 or more people to work hard for you over the course of half a year incurs a significant financial investment.

When I started Spirit Authors, I used to offer our book launch services to anyone who asked for them. Not any more. The more I do book launches, the more I have become a firm believer that they are NOT appropriate for everyone. While it is true that hitting #1 can be the ‘ultimate high’ for an author, if you and your business are not ready to take on the time, expense AND the follow up after a launch, you are unlikely to reap the benefits. I’ve seen some authors (not my clients!) feeling lost, depressed, broke, resentful and even ashamed after their book launch—even apparently ‘successful’ ones.

For that reason, it’s vital for authors to know whether or not this is the ‘right’ time for them to do a launch. To that end, I’d like to share what are, in my experience, the 5 most important criteria for deciding whether to go down the bestseller launch route, or to invest in a different approach to marketing your book.

Criterion #1: You must have the freedom and willingness to block out the TIME

Even ‘full service’ launches require a significant time investment from the author. There are things only the author can do such as show up to radio interviews, write or record virtual blog tour interviews, interact with fans and followers, engage with their audience through regular blog posts/newsletters and meet with the project manager to do the planning. Also, if the author is still in the throes of preparing their book for publication, there might also be many other creative or mechanical things they need to attend to, such as working with their editor or designers.

If you are employed in a full-time job or have many family obligations, trying to ‘squeeze’ in the time for all these things is going to be extremely challenging for you (and you risk serious burn-out).

Even if you are self-employed and you notionally have the flexibility to give time to the project, if you routinely have dozens of plates spinning in the air at a time, as so many creative people do, you might find it challenging to GIVE UP some of your business activities to the project. If you are used to having a chock-a-block daily calendar, you will only be able to manage a book launch if you are willing to let go of some of your obligations. A good consultant should be able to pick up on this habit and help you address it, but ultimately you have to create the time you need for the project; there’s no such thing as ‘finding’ time.

Criterion #2: You must have an established online PLATFORM

An Amazon bestseller book launch is an online marketing activity. Therefore, if you don’t have a good online presence, there is really little point in doing an online launch (unless you happen to have some sort of fame/celebrity in mainstream media). By ‘established’ online platform, I mean:

  • You are blogging at least once a week or can get started doing this right away
  • You are set up on all the major social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and possibly YouTube or other niche networks)
  • You are regularly using social networks to promote your business
  • You are ‘influential’ on at least one of these networks (i.e., have several thousand followers/contacts)
  • You have a current and targeted mailing list of at least 1000 subscribers
  • Your web traffic and page rank are healthy (a complex subject that I cannot go into here)
  • That all of the above is speaking to the SAME audience as the readers of your upcoming book. For example, if you’re known widely as a business coach and you’ve decided you want to write a young-adult sci-fi novel, you’re going to have to start working on a new platform!

If you cannot tick ‘yes’ to most of these criteria, you really should spend a minimum of 6 months to bring yourself up to this level before considering doing a book launch.

Criterion #3: You must have an established BRAND

Some people ask me whether or not being a first-time author is an important consideration in deciding whether or not to do a launch. In my opinion, being a first-time author is not an issue if the client has a well-established brand. For example, Financial Alchemy was Morgana Rae’s first book, but her brand had already been around for 10 years. People already knew who she was and what made her approach unique. But what’s more, SHE understood her ‘USP’—her unique selling point—the quality that made her brand different from others.

Having an established brand is possibly the biggest distinguishing factor between authors who fizzle out after the temporary euphoria of reaching #1 and those who truly benefit from attaining this status. A bestselling book makes a strong brand stronger. Conversely, if you have a weak, generalised or newly formed brand, your book is likely to reflect its lack of clarity, and a launch will do little if anything to make it clearer.

Those who do best with their launches are those who relate to their brand as something beyond themselves—as an entity in its own right, with its own character, personality and life-force. When your relationship with your business is clear and well-defined, and your book will be a clear, outward expression of that relationship. This is the perfect time for a book launch, even if some ‘gaps’ in your platform need to be filled before kicking off the launch planning.

Criterion #4: You must be a seasoned and spirited entrepreneur

Doing a bestseller book launch is an entrepreneurial venture. You MUST see it as part of your business and marketing budget, and know that the ‘return’ you receive from it may not be immediate, and may not even be financial (at least at first). A true entrepreneur knows this, and is prepared emotionally and financially for it.

Being an entrepreneur is something of the ‘middle way’:

  • You cannot be too rigid, always looking at the balance sheet, unwilling to invest what might seem to be a disproportionate amount of money in something that won’t necessarily pan out quickly, if at all. Panicking over every penny spent during your launch will shut you down. It will limit your creativity and deprive you of your joy, even if you DO hit #1. I’ve seen this happen many times.
  • Conversely, you cannot be too reckless, TOO willing to drive yourself into debt, spending more money than you are able to repay on something that won’t necessarily yield quick results, if any. When authors get swept away by the elusive ‘high’ they imagine they will feel by becoming a bestselling author, they can easily convince themselves that maxing out their (personal) credit cards is justifiable. This can ruin you unless you have an income stream to pay this debt back. Please don’t imagine your book sales will do this for you. Only a few #1 bestsellers make enough in royalties to cover the expense of a launch. And even if they do, it takes a good 6 months to receive your first royalty cheque.

The only way to enter into a book launch is to understand the risks, and use the influence you curry from your launch to help grow overall business. And that brings us to the fifth and final criterion…

Criterion #5: You must have a plan for building upon your success

A successful launch can result in a surge of business growth and increased media presence. But this can ONLY happen if you ‘spin it’ and make it happen. My very first launch client, Allison Maslan, took her #1 status and ran like crazy with it. Four years down the line, the woman has multiple multi-million-dollar companies and her own TV show. The expression ‘Ya gotta work it, baby!’ is an essential post-launch mantra.

Have a plan for what you want this launch to DO for you. When I wrote The 7 Graces of Marketing, I already knew I wanted to host a conference and build a community, training programme and certification programme upon it. I didn’t exactly know how that would look, but I knew that ultimate purpose of my bestseller book launch would be to set the wheels in motion for my bigger business vision.

Closing Thoughts

These days, if I feel an author is not ready for a bestseller launch, I tell them. But unfortunately, not all companies are as transparent. Many authors have written to me over the years, sharing their stories of how they were disappointed by the level of guidance, care and service they received by companies that were only out to make money from them. Use these 5 criteria to assess yourself before you call a marketing company about a book launch. Understand your own strengths and weaknesses; understand your brand and your business goals. But most of all: understand that a big book launch is NOT the only way to promote and sell your book, and that maybe your time for a big launch is when you publish your NEXT book.

Take the time to create space in your diary, build your platform and establish your brand. Get to know what kind of entrepreneur you are and who your audience is, and how you can ‘spin’ and develop your message into something bigger.

Then, when you’re ready for a book launch, drop us a line at http://spiritauthors.com/contact, at least 6 months before your proposed launch date. And if you’re NOT ready for a launch, contact us too. We can help you prepare for self-publishing and have a number of platform-building and branding packages that can help you get ready.

I hope you found this article to be helpful, and I wish you the very best of luck in your publishing adventures!

Lynn Serafinn
12th June 2013


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Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Lynn Serafinn’s book marketing advice for authors getting ready to launch, including tips for ensuring your book gets into the right categories on Amazon. 

Last week, I shared the first part of an interview I did with Kristen Eckstein of Ultimate Book Coach, where she asked me these 5 questions about book marketing:

  1.  When in the book publishing process should an author start promoting their book and planning their book launch?
  2. Should all authors consider doing an Amazon “bestseller” launch?
  3. What are some of the activities you help authors with in the 6 months leading up to their launch?
  4. You told me that you always recommend “kick starting” an author’s book sales before an Amazon launch. What do you mean by that? What benefits does it give the book and author?
  5. What other book launch tips can you share?

In part 1, I shared my answers to questions 1 – 3. You can read those is ‘How to Kick-Start Your Book Sales – Part 1’.

Today, I like to share my answers to the last two questions, where I also reveal my ‘secret sauce’ tip.

KRISTEN: You told me that you always recommend “kick starting” an author’s book sales before an Amazon launch. What do you mean by that? What benefits does it give the book and author?

LYNN: By “kick starting” I mean ordering 2 or 3 copies of the paperback AND Kindle version of the book in each of the Amazon websites (or at least the English language sites in US, Canada and UK). You can send them to people who live in those respective countries. To make it practical, you could send it to people you have asked to review or endorse your book.

There are three reasons for “kick starting”. The first one is to ensure your book is listed as being in stock on Amazon. The only way Amazon will purchase a quantity of your books is if they see that it’s selling. Some people use pre-sales for this, but I prefer to use the kick-start method. When authors do not do this, they may get to launch day and Amazon says the book is out of stock, which can put buyers off from buying it.

The second reason is so that your book will appear in the sales rankings. Until your book has sold at least one copy, it will show no sales ranking at all.

And the third reason has to do with placement. Most of my authors either use Lightning Source for printing and distribution, or they are published by major publishers. All of these channels use either Ingram or Baker and Taylor for distribution to retail outlets, including Amazon. When you submit your title for distribution, you have to choose the categories into which your book may be classified (they call these “BIC categories”). Unfortunately (and inexplicably), Amazon’s categories don’t quite “match” the BIC ones and your book can end up catalogued in some pretty arbitrary categories. The only reliable way to find out where your book is placed is to order a few copies of your book a few weeks before your launch date.

Hopefully, by doing this, your book will appear somewhere in the “top 100” in at least one category, even if only for an hour. This should give you an indication of where Amazon has placed the book. If the category is way off, you can write to them via Author Central, and give them suggested changes. As an example, a few weeks before my book The 7 Graces of Marketing came out, I discovered they had placed it in the “accounting” category. Wow, what a mismatch that was! Fortunately, the kick-starter strategy ensured it was all sorted out before the launch.

KRISTEN: What other book launch tips you can share?

LYNN: Oh, I’ve got plenty! Here are just a few:

  1. A launch is a business investment. Invest wisely. Having an international #1 bestselling book can open up many doors to you and your business. But don’t go into it with “rose-coloured glasses” and no plan of what you want this status to bring you.
  2. Don’t expect to put together a launch in less than 6 months. If you suddenly get the idea to call a marketing company like mine one or two months before your book comes out, thinking they can “do it fast” for you, you’re wrong.
  3. Your launch doesn’t have to coincide with your publication date. Some of my most successful launches happened 6 months AFTER a book came out. Just because your book is coming out next month does not mean you have to launch next month.
  4. Don’t try to do it on your own. Hire an experienced team to do it for you, and focus on doing the things only you can do—writing, doing interviews, creating your business products, etc.
  5. Don’t expect your Virtual Assistant to be able to run a book launch for you. I’ve seen that fail time and again. An Amazon launch is a specialist skill, and you’ll only frustrate yourself and your hired help if you ask the wrong people to do a launch for you.
  6. Don’t cut corners. Do it right. You won’t get the results you want if you try to save money by eliminating any of the essential components.
  7. Don’t feel hopeless if you’re not ‘ready’ for a big launch. If you’re not ready for a launch, there are still many things you can do to market your book and build your long-term platform. That is why Spirit Authors offers alternative packages for authors who many not be quite ready to invest in a big launch. Then, when their 2nd book comes out, they’ll be in a much better place to invest the time and money a successful launch requires.
  8. SECRET SAUCE: Your 1st book will very often increase in sales as a result of a successful launch of your 2nd book. Every time you launch a new book, it has an impact on past titles IF they are written for the same audience.

I do hope these two articles gave you some useful information.

Please share your comments and questions below!

If you are thinking about having an Amazon book launch OR you’re just getting started building your book promotion platform and would like to see how our team at Spirit Authors can help, send us a SHORT email describing your project and where you are in your marketing so far using the contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

AND…if you’d like to get PRACTICAL tips on building your online marketing platform using Twitter, you can get a free 90 minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com. You also find out about my award-winning marketing book Tweep-e-licious, which was written very much with authors in mind.

Lynn Serafinn

1 May 2013

 

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BOOKS BY LYNN SERAFINN

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER

The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell

Find out how traditional marketing negatively impacts our health, economy, communities and natural environment, and how to turn it around with a new paradigm called the 7 Graces of Marketing.

Brit Writers Awards Finalist

eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Learn how to create meaningful content and build powerful collaborations through Twitter and other social media ETHICALLY.

eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

 

The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self

A metaphoric and poetic journey about finding your voice, receiving the blessings of life, overcoming trauma and becoming whole.

An Amazon spirituality bestseller 2009. Kindle version coming later in 2013.

Read excerpts and buy the book at http://give-receive-become-be.com/

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She was also a eLit Book Awards Silver Medalist in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs and a Bronze Medalist in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

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LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

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Recently I was interviewed by Kristen Eckstein who runs a site called Ultimate Book Coach. She had read something I wrote in a Facebook comment about ‘kick starting’ your book sales and asked if I would do an interview with her for her readers.

I thought I’d share it here on the Spirit Authors site too, because many of you might find it useful. 

The questions Kristen asked were:

  1. When in the book publishing process should an author start promoting their book and planning their book launch?
  2. Should all authors consider doing an Amazon “bestseller” launch?
  3. What are some of the activities you help authors with in the 6 months leading up to their launch?
  4. You told me that you always recommend “kick starting” an author’s book sales before an Amazon launch. What do you mean by that? What benefits does it give the book and author?
  5. What other book launch tips can you share?

Today, in part 1 of this interview, I’ll be sharing my answers to questions 1 -3.

KRISTEN: When in the book publishing process should an author start promoting their book and planning their book launch?

LYNN: Really, an author should start promoting their book the minute they have landed the title for it! When I say “promoting” it, I don’t mean trying to sell it, but rather, building an online platform for themselves through blogging, YouTube and social media. This helps grow their network and mailing list, and starts to establish them as experts in their chosen field. If an author already has a good network, they should start to create content on the specific subject of their upcoming book and “name drop” their title at the end of articles, indicating a book is coming out soon (e.g., “This article was an adaptation of ideas from my upcoming book My Book Title coming autumn 2013.”)

KRISTEN: Should all authors consider doing an Amazon “bestseller” launch?

LYNN: I don’t think big launches are a good fit for all authors. Back when I was a new marketer, I used to take on any author who wanted a launch. But these days, I never take on a client for a full book launch unless (or until) I can see their online platform is solid. Big book launches are expensive and they require a substantial number of systems to be in place before they can be pulled off successfully. Also, if you have no platform, you are unlikely to attract very influential partners to support you. So you owe it to yourself to spend at least a full year building your online platform before you even consider approaching partners for a launch.

I have observed that the books that sell the best in bestseller launches are the ones by people whose business/brand is well established. They may be first-time authors, but people already know who they are and what their message is. Because the business is already well-established, the book tends to be more useful to the public, for the simple reason that the author knows what works and what doesn’t work for their own clients, customers or readers. These kinds of launches also tend to attract the best partners and have the most focus. Finally, the author tends to have an integrated business plan for what this book will do for them, and the expense of the launch brings a good return on their investment not just through book sales, but also through business growth.

I have also observed that first-time authors who are also brand new business owners tend to struggle. The author may be very passionate about their work, and they may be willing to pour their last dollar into a launch, but I really don’t recommend this. While they SHOULD develop a modest launch and a long-term marketing plan for their book, they absolutely should not put themselves into financial difficulty to do a bestseller launch when they do not yet have the systems in place where a) they can attract a strong network of partners and b) they already have an audience of buyers for their book AND their business products and services.

Q3: What are some of the activities you help authors with in the 6 months leading up to their launch?

If their platform is already pretty solid, I first look for the “gaps” in their online platform and fill them. Then, I work with them to create a blogging and leads generating strategy to increase their following while we do the mechanics of the actual launch. Then, over the next 6 months, we work with my team of 7 people to plan and deliver a telesummit, coordinate a Virtual Blog Tour and a radio media tour and coordinate and mobilise a team of network partners who will help promote them. We also design the graphics, make all the web pages, autoresponders and marketing copy, make a video book trailer, invite high profile guests to speak at the telesummit, create intake forms, collect and manage data, get endorsements and reviews and get systems going on Amazon, including book categories and author profile and lots of other bits and bobs. All this takes a tremendous amount of work from our team and the author. Fortunately, I’ve got a highly experienced team and can depend upon them to do the job splendidly.

Behind the scenes, a lot is going on in terms of motivating and communicating with partners and crisis control. As the project manager, it’s my job to deal with all the possible worst-case-scenarios that will arise in a CALM, efficient manner. My clients are “allowed” to freak out, but I cannot.

Then, on launch day, there are a lot of things to do around tracking sales, capturing screenshots and motivating partners. I really focus on developing a proper “team” with my network partners, so they get behind the client, and vice versa. It’s my goal to ensure everyone (not just the client) benefits from the launch.

*** END OF PART 1 ***

Please be sure to subscribe to this blog so you can receive Part 2 of “How to Kick Start Your Book Sales”, where I (finally) talk about what I MEAN by “kick-starting” your sales, along with how and why to do it. I also give 8 additional bonus tips that can help you stay sane during your book launch.

If you are thinking about having an Amazon book launch OR you’re just getting started building your book promotion platform and would like to see how our team at Spirit Authors can help, send us a SHORT email describing your project and where you are in your marketing so far using the contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

AND…if you’d like to get PRACTICAL tips on building your online marketing platform using Twitter, you can get a free 90 minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com. You also find out about my award-winning marketing book Tweep-e-licious, which was written very much with authors in mind.

Lynn Serafinn
24 April 2013

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BOOKS BY LYNN SERAFINN
The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER

The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell
Find out how traditional marketing negatively impacts our health, economy, communities and natural environment, and how to turn it around with a new paradigm called the 7 Graces of Marketing.

Brit Writers Awards Finalist
eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Learn how to create meaningful content and build powerful collaborations through Twitter and other social media ETHICALLY.

eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

 

The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self

A metaphoric and poetic journey about finding your voice, receiving the blessings of life, overcoming trauma and becoming whole.

An Amazon spirituality bestseller 2009. Kindle version coming later in 2013.

Read excerpts and buy the book at http://give-receive-become-be.com/

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She was also a eLit Book Awards Silver Medalist in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs and a Bronze Medalist in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

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Erica’s fast-paced life as a Fortune 500 corporate manager suddenly came to a halt when she collapsed from a stroke. But little did she know, her journey to recovery would lead her to a profound personal transformation.


As most of you know, most of my marketing clients are non-fiction authors. I’m pretty choosey about my clients, as I only want to work with authors who write books that bring real value to people and planet.

One such client is an inspiring woman named Erica Tucci. Today I’d like to share her story with you.

Erica is a stroke survivor. She was struck down suddenly on her way to work nearly 2 years ago. Her stroke left her unable to walk for many months and she couldn’t even lift a finger on her paralysed side. She spent nearly two years in recovery at the Spero Rehab in Katy, Texas.

Prior to her stroke, Erica was a real go-getter. She was a corporate manager of a Fortune 500 company. She was also a Reiki master, massage therapist, life coach, and author of three books. She told me she would push herself to work often 80 hours a week. She moved fast, spoke fast and never took time to stop.

But then, life stopped her in her tracks when she collapsed onto the floor, unable to move.

Throughout her two-year rehabilitation, Erica took her situation as a message from the Universe that it was time to reassess the way she had been living her life. She realized that her stroke, while a traumatic, frightening and painful life-altering experience, was also a gift. It gave her the time and space to change: her thinking, her outlook, her priorities and her lifestyle.

The result of Erica’s inner and outer transformation is remarkable. Even though still in recovery and living on disability benefits, she calls herself a ‘Radiant Survivor’. She uses this term because she feels she has not only survived the devastation of the stroke, but she has become a better person. She has tapped into inner resources she never knew she had:

  • not just strength but softness
  • not just courage but vulnerability
  • not just determination but the ability to trust and surrender

Now Erica has written a book called Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences. It is a collection of inspiring stories from Erica and 14 other ‘radiant survivors’, along with many practical exercises she hopes will inspire anyone facing their own life-altering experience. Her hope is that this book will help thousands of people around the world who may be facing a serious life trauma.

The book will be coming out on November 19th, 2013.

There’s a reason why I’m telling you Erica’s story so many months in advance.

To edit, publish and launch any book costs money. Because she is still living on disability benefits with very limited funds, Erica is running a crowd-funding campaign to raise the money she needs for this project, so she can bring this book to those in need.

I’m reaching out to ask you to help Erica with her fundraiser. Between now and Friday June 15th, we are on a mission to help Erica raise $15,000 to cover the costs of editing, cover design, printing, marketing, distribution, etc. All the professionals being hired (including my own team of 7) are offering their services at discounted rates because they believe in the good this book can do for others in recovery.

To help us with the Radiant Survivor project, go to
www.radiantsurvivor.com

Everyone who makes a donation will receive a nice thank you gift for their contribution. Some of the ‘perks’ on offer include a signed copy of the book, a framed copy of the Radiant Survivor poem, and many other gifts. You could even get a donation of books made in your name to an organization of your choice, or have Erica come speak at a local event.

ALSO, if she exceeds the target amount of $15,000, Erica will donate the surplus to the Spero Rehab in Katy, Texas, where Erica spent nearly two years in recovery (that’s Erica in the picture at right, taken a couple of months ago). It’s her way of ‘paying it forward’ for all they have done for her and others.

I hope you’ll help Erica and the 14 other contributing authors bring this book to the public. Whether you give $15 or $1000, your contribution will make a big difference to someone you may never meet, but who is in real need of hope.

To watch Erica’s video message and to find out more about the book, the ‘perks’ and the Radiant Survivor project, go to www.radiantsurvivor.com

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog via the form at the top of this page for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook

Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

 

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

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7 KeysCampaign manager Lynn Serafinn shares a simple formula to give power to your words (this is an updated version of an aritlce orginally published on April 5, 2010).

If you are planning an Amazon campaign for your book launch, you will need the help of a great network of personal and professional friends to help you. But something you might not have thought about is the fact that you will need to provide some “ezine copy” for them to use to help promote your book. That’s right: YOU will have to provide the article or articles your “joint venture partners” (JVPs) will send out to their lists.

The reason for this is two-fold. First of all, your JVPs are probably pretty busy, and if you ask them to write an article for you, it is less likely they will have it ready in time to meet your timetable. Secondly, YOU are the person who knows best what you want to say about your book. Those are the two most important reasons why you should write the “copy” (article) for your JVPs’ newsletters when they offer to promote you. And you’ll need to write several over the course of the campaign, in order to speak to the different audiences your partners represent.

I know this might sound a little daunting to some of you, especially those of you who don’t like the idea of “selling” (which covers just about 99.9% of the mind-body-spirit authors I know), so I thought I would give you a little formula to get you started, so you could see it is not so much about selling at all, as it is about connecting and inspiring the reader.

When you write your copy, make sure it meets the following criteria:
  1. It is between 400-700 words.
  2. It is written casually in the 3rd person as if the JVP is writing about you.
  3. It arouses curiosity in the title and opening line.
  4. It inspires the reader by sharing something meaningful about you and your book.
  5. It has a specific place where the JVP can (and should) personalise it.
  6. It’s NOT a sales letter but…
  7. It has a short, clear call to action at the end (i.e., it tells people when, where and why to get your book).
Ways to Keep it Real
  1. Remember  that the primary purpose of your copy is to arouse curiosity, and not to “sell” your book (yes, I thought you’d be happy to know that!).
  2. The other thing to remember is to write it in the third person about you, as if your JVPs were writing the article. There is tremendous power in your partners’ saying, “I found this book to be inspiring.”
  3. Make sure you have places in the article where partners can personalise it to make it more their own. And if “keeping it real” means that you need to send a copy of your book to your partners (at least a pdf version of it), BE GENEROUS and do so. It will help them say (nice) things about you in a much more authentic way.
  4. Don’t make your ezine copy just about the book. Make it also about YOU. Audiences like to know the person behind the book. Talk about how the book came to be. Bring the reader on a personal journey. Let them into your world. If you only talk about the book, a vital human connection will be missing.
  5. Your ‘call to action’ should be consistent with the character of the article. In other words, do NOT make it schmoozy and salesy. Make your call to action short and INVITING rather than hitting people over the head with ‘you’ve gotta get this book because it will change your life’ kind of attitude. Let it emerge naturally from the body of the article instead of jumping out like an attack!
See an example of this in action

If you want to see an example of this in action, have a look at the article I wrote called “How to Have a Life Well Lived”. I was the campaign manager for Patrick Ryan’s book campaign, so I made this copy (and several others) for the JVPs on his Amazon campaign. If you analyse it carefully, you will see 7 key elements I mention above. It must have worked, because his book went to #1 in spirituality in Canada and #2 in the US on the day of his launch in April 2010. :-)

Are YOU Planning a Book Launch?

If you are seeking a manager for your mind-body-spirit campaign, give me a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way. Please note I only accept a limited amount of clients per year and require a 6-month lead in time for a full-service launch.

Please DO leave your comments below. I LOVE hearing from you!

AND DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing: How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is the of Spirit Authors, a site dedicated to providing information on publishing and book promotioin for and about mind-body-spirit authors, both established and aspiring. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

I first shared this story in my newsletter Creative Spirit in June. I thought it deserved to go on the blog as well, in case you missed it. Also, things changed since first publishing this story (you’ll find out in the ‘kicker’ below). Hope this gives you some useful tips on how to invite partners to your next marketing campaign.

Many of you, especially you authors, are probably familiar with the term ‘joint venture partner’ (JVP). My entire business depends upon the support from JVPs, as they are the people who help to promote my clients’ books. JVPs are the life-blood of any online business, and being a JVP can also bring a lot of business back to you. I’ve written articles in the past about the advantages of being a JVP, and how to support your JVPs. But earlier this month, something happened that proved to be a valuable lesson to in how to INVITE people to be your Joint Venture Partner on your online book launch…and how NOT to do it.

It all happened when an author named Diana Young wrote to me back on May 7th of this year (2012). Just so you know, I asked Diana for her permission to share this story with you, and to my surprise, she even told me to use her real name. Diana didn’t know me personally, but she saw my name in connection with another launch. She sent me an email that was nearly 2000 words long, asking me to be a partner on the upcoming launch of her book Financial Fitness for Beginners. While she was very polite, there were many things about the letter that just didn’t ‘work’ for me and I felt were quite ‘schmoozy’ (a word I use to describe most formulaic sales letters). In her opening paragraph I felt really put off when I read the words:

‘I wanted to let you know about another

excellent opportunity that you can benefit from…’

The next 1000+ words of the email described how she wrote the book, the many benefits of the book, and a long list of endorsements. The letter seemed especially long because it was text only, with no images or special formatting to make it easier for my eyes to scan and get to the key points.

Diana had obviously invested a lot of time and thought into this email. But if I’m honest, the letter felt invasive and seemed full of overblown sales clichés. My gut reaction was to send a short reply saying I was too busy at this time to participate (which I was), and put it off my radar.

But then, my inner voice of compassion started speaking to me. The voice said, ‘Maybe you’re reacting too hastily. Maybe this Diana person isn’t a schmoozer at all. Maybe she’s just doesn’t know how to invite people to be partners. Or worse, maybe she’s been taught to do it this way, like so many others have been.’

So, I took a few minutes to read her letter again. This time instead of reacting with my gut, I let my head and heart guide me to see if I could help Diana in some other way. When I did this, I could easily identify the problem with the letter: it lacked the 7 Graces, most specifically the very important Graces of Directness and Invitation. Each of these comprises its own chapter in my book The 7 Graces of Marketing, but in a nutshell:

  • Directness is the Grace of simplicity and getting to the point. It means we avoid using hyped up or flowery language that blurs what we are actually saying, with the intention of impressing or misdirecting others.
  • Invitation is the Grace of courtesy, respect, generosity and engagement. While sales letters are always invasive, they are especially so when sent via email. That’s why it’s very important to remember that when we send an email, it is no different from knocking on the door of someone’s house.

After seeing the key areas I thought could help, here’s what I wrote back to Diana:

Hi there Diana,

Regretfully, I’m not really in a position to commit to any new partnerships or promotions until after the summer is over, as I am focusing 100% on a conference I am organising in London and live stream and will need a long break after that is over!

While I can’t help you on this promotion, as I work as a marketer on collaborative campaigns all the time, can I give you 3 small tips when you “cold call” someone in an email like this?

Tip 1: Never tell people you are giving them an “excellent opportunity that you can benefit from”. It is not wise to try to “sell” your launch to your potential partners. To say it is an “opportunity” is risky, as very often people who approach others for a collaboration are doing to because want to benefit by tapping into their networks, which are often substantially bigger than the network of the person making the proposal. It is much better to approach people humbly, by asking for their help and telling them how you hope to help them back.

Tip 2: Never try to “sell” the book to your potential partners. This is the biggest mistake I see authors do over and over again. If you are writing to someone you don’t know, it’s best to start by “breaking the ice” with a very short and very direct email that says something like:

Hi [name],

I met you through [explain how you met or know about them].

I’m launching a book called [name of your book] on [date of your launch]. I am writing to you today to see if you would be interested and available to be a promotional partner for the launch. This would entail offering a bonus gift and helping me out with promotions through your newsletter, blog and/or social media.

We’re aiming to reach [put a number] of readers through the promotions. The ideal readers for this campaign are [here describe your target audience]. Some of the features we will have on this campaign are [here if you are doing a special event or something unusual for the launch, or you have a high-profile person backing you, mention it here].

May I send you more information about the book and the launch campaign so you can see whether this might be a good match for you?

I look forward to hearing from you,

[signature]

Tip 3: The goal in contacting people should NOT just be to get them to help you with your promotions on this particular book campaign, but to establish an ongoing professional relationship with them. For example, I cannot be your partner this time around, but what about on something in the future? If you come across like you are trying to “sell” me something and that you’ve got a “great opportunity” for me, it is very likely I will switch off and not pay attention to future correspondence. Fortunately, I am dedicated to helping marketers understand that these strategies don’t work, so I thought I’d write to you with tips that (I hope) might get a good response from your future partners.

I hope you don’t take this as a criticism, but rather as some guidance from someone whose entire business is based upon building collaborative relationships. AND I wish you great success in your book launch. Keep me posted on the next project.

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn

I hit “send”, not knowing how Diana would react.

But the very next day on May 8th, I received this email from her:

Hello Lynn.

I can’t thank you enough for your in-depth and thoughtful email regarding my June 12th launch. I will take all your advice to heart and re-write my “sales” email. I did just graduate from a $2,500 course with XXX on how to write these letters [Diana cited another well-known marketing coach, but I don’t think it’s fair to mention their name here], however, since my response has been less than stellar, I will incorporate all your ideas (and send you a copy if you don’t mind).

I’m glad my email prompted a new blog posting for you. If there is anything else I can do to benefit you, please let me know. Thanks again for taking so much time and giving me such expert insight – I can’t tell you how much I truly appreciate that!

Wishing you great success at your London Conference…I looked through your website and it looks excellent.

Cheers and a big “thanks again”!

Diana Young

Well, that was nice.

But THEN, on May 10th, Diana sent me this email…

Hi Lynn,

I know you are busy… I just wanted to touch base with you again to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I got 6 yes’s yesterday using your advice (and the revamped email I did). I also got two more “maybe’s”.

Thanks for being so generous with your expertise. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

Have a wonder-filled day!

Diana

And THEN…
on May 11th, Diana wrote yet again!

Hi Lynn,

I can’t thank you enough. Now, I’m tempted to go back to the original 200 that I got ZERO response from and say something like…oops…I blew it and then try again with the new email. I am very happy for you to share this story with your readers so that they can avoid the bad results I got. I was following a “formula” that obviously didn’t work for me. I would like you to add this paragraph from me though if that is okay?

“As Lynn has described I am a newbie at launching my book which is on schedule for June 12th. My original JV email was a bust – however, Lynn took the time to respond to me personally and provide me with valuable advice. After I revamped my email, the yes’s started flying in to my inbox. After I thanked Lynn again she asked if she could tell this story without using my name, or details just so she could help her readers avoid the same mistake. Of course, I am so thrilled with the results that Lynn can do as she wishes, however, I asked her to use my name, for the sake of full disclosure, but most importantly, I wanted to publically thank her for being so generous and giving in her advice. We have never met and my JV email to her was my first contact. I was overwhelmed with her help – she is certainly “paying it forward” and I can’t thank her enough. This is all I asked of her to tell my “learning” story, so I could share with her readers how grateful I am that our paths crossed”.

Of course Lynn you don’t “have” to include this thank you…but I think it is important that your readers know how giving you are.

Thanks again.

Di

P. S. I got interrupted while writing this email and I went out for a walk. When I came back in I got two more yes’s!!!!!!!!

(yes, she really did put 8 exclamation points)

And here’s the kicker…

Wait for it…

When Diana’s book came out on June 12th it went ballistic! Not only did she have an amazing array of partners including Peggy McColl and Bob Proctor, but her book SHOT to #1 in more than once category on Amazon and was also extremely high in Amazon’s overall rankings.

What is so inspiring to me about this is that
this is a prime example of the 7 Graces of Marketing IN ACTION.

The 7 Graces are not merely lofty principles, but good, honest guidelines that can start to transform the world of business and marketing and bring us back together as people. I might not be able to be a partner on Diana’s book launch, but I’ve made a new friend.

So, after being so gracious for letting me tell this story, I really do think it’s only fair you take a moment to check out Diana’s book Financial Fitness for Beginners on Amazon:

(Gosh, I guess I ended up helping with promotions after all!)

And if you haven’t yet read The 7 Graces of Marketing, you might want to pick that one up in paperback or Kindle, too. 7 free MP3s await you when you do at: http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/book-launch/pages/launch.php

AND…

Spirit Authors are currently seeking partners for the big book launch of
Financial Alchemy
by the exuberant and totally delightful Morgana Rae!

This book launch is happening on Wednesday January 23rd, 2013. If your audience is aimed at financial wellness, prosperity, Law of Attraction, business mindeset, success, etc., you might be interested in joining us. Morgana has a massive network and she’s soooo hilarious when she’s on the air (I can’t wait until our telesummit). I know it’s going to be an launch that is bubbling with fun and energy.

Partners can offer a bonus gift, be on our Virtual Blog Tour or book Morgana on your radio show or podcast (or a combination of the above). I don’t have the official sign up form for this yet, but if you would like to be on our partner list, drop me a line via the CONTACT FORM on this site and our team will contact you with details very soon.

If you don’t know what you could gain from being on someone else’s book launch, please read my Spirit Authors article 7 Reasons to Partner on Someone Else’s Book Launch NOW.

AND DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing: How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is the founder of Spirit Authors, a site dedicated to providing information on publishing and book promotioin for and about mind-body-spirit authors, both established and aspiring. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Watch for Lynn’s new book Tweep-e-Licious: 160 Twitter Tips and Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically (coming October 2012).

As a book promotion expert and book campaign manager, I receive a LOT of requests for consultations from authors who are preparing to publish their books. Some are experienced authors who have published in the past, either self-published or through a royalty publisher. Others are first-time (and usually self-published) authors. During our initial consultation, I tend to hear many of the same questions again and again. As these questions are so key to authors before they decide whether or not to do a full-blown “bestseller launch” for their book, I thought it might be a good idea to pull together my “Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions” I am asked by authors on almost a daily basis.

Q1: How many books will I sell during my online book launch?

First of all, let’s define “the launch” as a 24-48 hour period of time in which we will be driving traffic to buy your book. Asking how many books you will sell during that time is really like asking “How long is a piece of string?” It depends upon so many factors that we can only, at best, give a very broad figure. I have had clients who sell as few as 50 books during a launch and others who have sold around 1000. The average self-published author tends to sell between 300 and 500 books during a launch. Those with major publishers might sell twice that amount, not necessarily because the publisher helps with your promotion, but more because people recognise the “brand identity” of the publisher and are more willing to take a chance on the title. And of course, if you are not a first-time author you will probably sell more books if people know your name already. The key to selling more books is to devote a fair amount of time well before your launch to cultivate and grow your audience. That’s why I spend the first two months of work with my clients developing strategies and systems to build their platform and mailing list before anything else.

Q2: How do I become an Amazon bestseller?

If your book sales are amongst the Top 100 in any category on Amazon, you are technically a “bestseller.” You don’t have to be in the Top 100 of all books. There are dozens of categories and sub-categories on Amazon, and if you achieve a sales ranking in the Top 100 in any of these, you can say you are a bestseller. Of course, it is always nice to hit the “Top 20” or the “Top 5” or (best of all) the #1 sales rank in one or more categories.

Q3: How many books do I need to sell to be an Amazon bestseller?

Again, this is not a question I can answer definitively because being an “Amazon bestseller” is a relative title, and it depends upon: 1) how well other books in your categories are selling on your launch day and 2) how competitive your categories are. Some categories like “Religion and Spirituality” or “Business and Investing” are extremely competitive with thousands of titles up against many famous authors for the top position on the list. Other categories, such as “channelling” or “alternative medicine” are less competitive.

Q4: How can I choose the category I will be in on Amazon?

If you were to ask this question of some of the top publishers (I have), the common answer you will receive is this: “You can’t.”However, I have found this not to be 100% true. Let me explain.

First of all, when you submit a book for publication through Lightning Source (for example), you choose 2 “BIC” (Book Industry Communication) categories, which are standard categories that are used by all publishers and distributors. Now the problem lies in how retailers interpret these categories. Think of the last time you went to look for a book in the shops. Sometimes it might be in the “self help” category, while other times it might be in the “spirituality” section, etc.

Amazon “interprets” your BIC categories according to their “virtual” bookshelf. To make things even MORE confusing, Amazon UK, Canada and US might not interpret your book at all in the same way. Even major publishers have told me they have no real control over this. Some authors find their books placed in very strange categories. BUT here’s the big secret I have found: I your book is not ranking in the right category, you CAN get Amazon to change it via Author Central in the US and the UK. Just write to them and ask them to recategorise your book. My book The 7 Graces of Marketing was placed in the “accounting” category at first (NOT!!). When I wrote to Author Central, they very quickly and painlessly put the book into the cateogries I requested: business ethics and marketing/sales.

If you are unsure of what categories to choose, your best bet to get your book in the RIGHT category is to do some market research to find out which categories other titles appear that you feel are the closest in content or message to your own book. Don’t go for a “top level” category like “Business and Finance” or “Health and Wellness””. Go for a sub, or even sub-sub category. Get it as precise as possible. That will not only help you increase your likelihood of reaching the top of the ranks (as it will be less competitvie) bit it will also increase the likelihood of people who are looking for your book will find it, because Amazon’s system will group it together with similar books.

Then, make triple sure you get placed correctly, do two more things: 1) make sure your title, subtitle, back cover copy and description use keywords that help point the folks at Amazon in the right direction AND 2) start putting some TAGS on your book page that help people find your book.

PLEASE NOTE: All of the above is mainly with respect to PRINT books. For Kindle, you can actually SPECIFY two categories via Kindle Direct. These bypass the BIC settings altogether, as Kindle is an Amazon proprietory format.

Q5: Why don’t I see my book listed in a category on my Amazon listing?

You won’t see your book listed in a category unless it is in the Top 100 of that category. Until that time, all you will see is its overall sales rank, which changes every hour. Amazon US and Canada tend change just past the top of the hour, while Amazon UK tends to change at 40 minutes past the hour.

Q6: How can I find out in which categories Amazon will place my book?

It’s not always 100% reliable, but the best way to “guess” which categories you will appear is to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen until you see the words, “Look for Similar Items by Category.” There you will see several suggested categories that are likely to be where your book will be placed when ranked. If these categories look range or irrelevant, refer to Q4 above.

Q7: How can I track my rankings?

So far, Amazon does not have any legacy tracking system for rankings, which means you basically have to watch the rankings yourself like a hawk during the launch, as they change every hour. Typically, my clients and I stay up for the full 24 hour period in shifts, in constant communication on Skype, to watch the rankings. The only way I have found so far to “log” your success is to take screen shots. I use the program “Jing Pro” for this. There is a free version, but the Pro version is very reasonable, and has many worthwhile features. You can download it at http://www.techsmith.com/jing/. DO take screenshots of EVERY stage of your rankings. They make great images to add to your promotions when you are sharing the success of your book with readers, media and event managers. To track your rankings for OVERALL book sales, see Q8 below.

Q8: How can I track my actual sales?

Tracking sales is another matter altogether. Of course, the most reliable method is when you receive your royalty report and payment from your publisher or printer. However, these can some to you months after your launch. There are two ways I have discovered that can give you ball-park figure of your sales during a launch. Once is to use your Amazon Associates link on your purchase page, in which case you will see the sales appear within a few days in your Associates account. Another is to use an online tracker such as Novel Rank at http://novelrank.com, which can show sales on a daily and monthly basis. They also show, in numbers and in graph format, your overall sales rankings (not category rankings) over a given period. Bear in mind, to get the best from this service, you need to start tracking your book on their site several weeks in advance of your launch.

Another option is to sign up for Amazon Advantage, although as far as I can tell, you can only sign up for this if you will be directly supplying Amazon with inventory. If a company such as Lightning Source will be printing your books on demand or you will be using a subsidiary publisher, you will need to speak to them about whether or not you can use Amazon Advantage, as they will be fulfilling the sales and sending you the payments and sales reports (of course they will also have some sort of reporting system for your sales as well, which will tell you your overall sales, not just to Amazon).

Kindle sales are updated once a week in Kindle Direct.

Q9: How much money will I make on book sales during my launch?

This depends completely upon:

  1. How many books you sell
  2. The retail price of your book
  3. The cost of printing your book
  4. What your royalty arrangement is with your publisher (if you have one)
  5. Whether or not you use your Associates account for sales.

Let’s say you have a 250 page book that sells for $15 and you sell 500 books on your launch day. That is a gross intake of $7500. Amazon pays you according to whatever wholesale “discount” you have agreed to sell your books to them. Let’s say you have agreed to sell your book to them for a 55% discount off the retail price (a fairly common figure, although this can vary). That means they will pay your publisher 45% of gross, which is $3375. If you are the publisher, you will receive that money from Amazon.

From that amount, you need to deduct your printing costs. The cost of printing a 250 page book through a company like Lightning Source is around $4.15 ($0.90 per unit and then $0.013 per page), which means 500 books would cost $2075. Deduct that from what Amazon will pay you, and that leaves a net profit of around $1300.

If you are going 100% self-published, you will make the whole $1300. But if you are receiving a percentage of net from your publisher, you would take the percentage from this amount. Many subsidiary presses take 50% of net, which means you would make $650on 500 books. If you are working with a royalty publisher who pays you a given percentage of retail or net, you will have to calculate it accordingly.

If you use your Amazon Associates link during your launch, you can earn between 4% and 7% of your retail sales as a commission. In other words, if Amazon were to sell 500 books at $15 (although they will tend to sell it at a lower price), you would make an extra $0.60 – $1.05 per unit. You ALSO make a commission if your buyers happen to buy other products at the same time. It all adds up, so it’s worth making sure your links are in place during a launch.

Please note that these figures are accurate as of this edit (July 26th, 2011).

UPDATE DEC 2011: I’ll be writng another article in the New Year about chosing the right royalty structure for your publication and different ways to use eBooks/Kindle to drive traffic to your print book. Be sure to subscribe to this blog to stay on top of new info articles.

Q10: What’s the real benefit of doing an Amazon bestseller launch?

I’ll be honest with you: it costs a heck of a lot more to run a bestseller launch than you will receive in immediate monetary returns. I think you have probably already deduced that doing an Amazon bestseller launch is NOT going to make you lots of money selling books. So it does beg the question why people bother to do them at all, and why people like me are continually booked months in advance to do these launches.

So here are some of the real advantages of doing an Amazon launch:

  1. It builds your online platform significantly, which ultimately leads to more business for you
  2. It establishes long-term relationships with dozens of networking partners
  3. It raises your credibility as a professional, which has an impact upon your income
  4. It establishes you as a leading expert in your field, making you a sought-after media guest and keynote speaker
  5. It just plain feels great to say you’re a bestselling (especially a #1 selling) author

Deciding to do a bestseller campaign should not be an impulsive decision, nor should it be entered with rose-coloured glasses. My most successful clients are those who entered our work relationship with this level of understanding. They did not have unrealistic expectations, and they took the “kudos” of their bestseller status to build stronger and more viable businesses that could only have come about as a result of their Amazon bestseller campaign. I think most of these would tell you their decision to do a launch made a positive difference in their business.

I hope this article is useful to any of you who are currently preparing to publish a book in the coming year. Please do leave comments below and feel free to contact me via the contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact if you have any questions about this content, or you wish to discuss an upcoming launch.

And, as always, don’t forget to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for regular tips for authors, both established and aspiring.


Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self, as well as the upcoming book The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several #1-selling book campaigns. She is the founder/creator of Spirit Authors, a virtual learning environment and community that offers training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. As part of her work with spiritual and self-help authors, she also regularly hosts large-scale online virtual events (usually free of charge) with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Subscribe to her Spirit Authors blog at http://spiritauthors.com/category/news/ so you can receive more useful tips and news about upcoming online events. While you are there, do check out the excellent and affordable online courses for authors available.

If you are an author seeking 1-to-1 support or campaign managment for your upcoming book launch, you are also invited to request a free consultation by filling in a contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact. Please note that full service campaigns require a 6 to 8 month lead-in time, so be sure to contact Lynn well in advance of publishing your book.

Photo from 123RF

When authors have a book launch, they very often gather together a group of network partners to support the launch by offering a bonus gift. Offering a bonus gift for someone else’s launch can be a great way to find new targeted subscribers for your mailing list (see more information about why you might wish to join a campaign at the end of this article).

I manage many book launches every year, and every time I do it’s necessary for me to give some guidance to network partners about what makes a good, appropriate and effective bonus gift. If you are going to be offering a bonus gift for a book launch, it is essential you choose the right kind of bonus gift AND present it properly. Otherwise, you are likely to be very disappointed with the results of all your efforts.

I thought I’d share this information with my blog readers because it is not only relevant to bonus gifts for book launches, but pretty much to any kind of special offer you might use for leads generation. These guidelines are based upon years of experience in what works and doesn’t work in YOUR best interest, and hopefully increase the probability of opt ins for you.

What IS a good bonus gift?

  1. It must be 100% FREE
  2. It must be DOWNLOADABLE
  3. It should be something special that is NOT routinely and easily accessible via your website (especially your home page!).
  4. It must be in a format accessible to most (PDF, MP3, MP4 are all recommended formats).
  5. Suggested gifts include eBook, special report, audio course, eCourse, templates, video series, etc.

What is NOT a good bonus gift?

  1. An offer of a discount for something they must buy.
  2. An offer of free coaching or consulting (see more below).
  3. An offer of a free place on a live course on a specific date.
  4. Something you would have to send to people via snail mail.
  5. Something which would cost YOU money to give (such as a printed book).
  6. Something in a non-universal format (e.g., an eBook in MS Word doc format would not be acceptable).
  7. Something anyone could easily find by visting your website.

What is an “opt in page” and why do I need it?

Your opt in page is the place where people will come to REQUEST (not receive) your bonus gift. It should include a sign up form where they are required to enter their name and email (I suggest you do NOT ask for any other information).

How do I get a sign up form?

Any email delivery or autoresponder system such as AWeber, GetResponse, Constant Contact or Mail Chimp will allow you to create a sign up form. If you don’t have any of these services, I recommend you get one. Mail Chimp is free for the first few hundred subscribers.

What should my “opt in page” look like?

It should be VERY basic with no distractions, such as outbound links, adverts, etc. It should ONLY show your bonus gift and the opt in form. It should be on a special stand-alone page that is NOT on the home page of your website.

What happens after people sign up?

The opt in form will have a function where you can tell it where to send people after they sign up. They should be taken DIRECTLY to a download page. THEN, you should also set up an automated follow up message that says something like, “Thanks for downloading my bonus gift (Title of Gift). Just in case you didn’t get the chance to download it, here’s the link to the download page again: (link to the page).

But I’m looking to get clients. Why can’t I offer free coaching (or whatever it is you do)?

Frankly, because you never will be able to fulfill the requests you will receive.What if you receive 100 requests? Are you prepared to give away 100 precious hours of your time? You shouldn’t be. If people are asking for free coaching and have no intention of hiring you, you are simply wasting both their time and yours.

Instead, give people a free downloadable gift (eBook, MP3, etc) that costs you no time to deliver, and then, if you want, put a message at the end of the eBook that you will offer a free consultation to the first 10 requests, or something along those lines.

But I want people to visit my website so they can check out my products and services. Why can’t the opt in page have info about these?

Please remember, on these launches people will be clicking to receive DOZENS of free gifts. They are not interested in checking out anyone’s site while they are doing this. It’s overwhelming enough for them (yes, it’s actually overwhelming for people to have so much choice). If you overwhelm them further with “information overload”, or it looks like you are trying to sell them something, they will CLICK AWAY from your page. Trust me, I have had many a JVP not follow my advice, and not receive but a handful of opt ins during a campaign.

Personally, I typically get hundreds of opt ins on my bonus gifts BECAUSE I make simple, not distracting pages that do not attempt to “sell” people anything. Remember: once people are on your list, you can send follow up messages with information on how to take the content further. You can also put this information IN the product itself (in fact, you should).

~ EXAMPLE ~

If you want to see an example of a bonus page that receives LOTS of downloads every week,
so you can try to model your page after it, have a look at this one:
http://spiritauthors.com/pages/bonus/why-nice-people-hate-marketing-request.html

~ JOIN A CAMPAIGN ~

If you would like to be a partner on a book launch, check out the latest campaign I am running HERE:
http://spiritauthors.com/latest-book-launches

~ NOT SURE WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO BE A PARTNER? ~
Find out 7 reasons why you would want to partner on someone else’s book launch NOW in an article I wrote:
http://spiritauthors.com/news/7-reasons-to-partner-on-someone-elses-book-launch-now/

I hope you have found this information helpful! And do check out my upcoming book launches, and come join us if you like.

Until next time, I send you warm wishes,

Lynn Serafinn


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self.

Her upcoming book, The 7 Graces of Marketing, is coming in June 2011.

She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced a long list of top-10 book campaigns, including many #1-sellers. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Contact Lynn about YOUR book project at at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).

Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, self-promotion tips, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.

Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.


Receive Creative Spirit

Subscribe to my 2x monthly ezine and receive 2 free audios on personal transformation.

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Many of you have probably seen online promotional campaigns where people have partnered up to help launch a new book or product. Perhaps you’ve wondered why people would bother to get involved in another person’s book campaign, and what they could possibly gain from it. It’s easy to understand how a collaborative campaign benefits the author whose book is being launched. While being #1 on Amazon doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be raking in the “big bucks”, the kudos of being a #1 seller is worth many times its weight in cyber-gold when seeking gigs as a public speaker or media guest. Furthermore, if you are a self-published author who later wishes to approach a publisher, being able to prove your ability to promote yourself successfully will be highly influential in their decision of whether or not to pick you up as one of their own.

But when it comes to being a PARTNER on such campaigns, many people ask the question, “What’s in it for me?” They wonder things like:

  • “By promoting someone else in the same field as mine, am I not just handing a sale over to my competitors? Isn’t that totally against all business logic?”
  • “Doesn’t promoting someone else take the limelight off me and shine it on the other person, leaving me in the dark?”
  • “Won’t people be less inclined to buy MY book when it comes out if they have already bought the other author’s book?”
  • “I’m still writing my book. Shouldn’t I wait until my own book is finished before I consider partnering on someone else’s book campaign?”

The answer to ALL these questions is the same – Absolutely NOT!

Here are 7 good reasons why you should become a partner on someone else’s book launch campaign, and why you should do it NOW rather than later:

  1. List Building. I mention “list building” first only because most people think this is the primary reason why you would join a collaborative campaign. It is indeed true that such campaigns give you the opportunity to grow your mailing list, but your success will be contingent upon how attractive and relevant your message and your bonus offer is to the target audience of the campaign. Be sure you join campaigns that appeal to your target audience and take time to create bonuses that are likely to attract people who will stay with you. And while wanting to build your list is one good reason to join a campaign, it is NOT the primary reason. Read on…
  2. Friendship/business relationships. In my opinion, this is the top reason why you want to join a campaign. When you work on a campaign of this kind, you are not just working with the author; you are also working with the other partners, increasing your network of excellent business associates. I cannot tell you how many creative alliances were made between partners I introduced to each other on my book campaigns. The alliances you form can have a big impact on your business growth in the long term. Remember-if you have enthusiastically and authentically helped someone else succeed, they will remember you and are likely to support you when you go to launch your own book… for no other reason than the fact that they like you.
  3. Visibility and Brand Recognition. The campaigns I design reach hundreds of thousands of people. Even if people do not opt into your list, every time someone goes to the book launch page, they see your face, brand name and product. Think about it: this is free promotion for you. Dozens of other partners on the campaign are helping to get your name out by driving people to the launch page. Even if your own book is only in its early stages, you can (and should) create a bonus that gives a “sneak peek” at who you are and what you are about. State the name of your book and the date it will be coming out (or a close estimate). Start building your brand recognition NOW.
  4. Association in the public eye. When you appear on someone else’s page, people associate you with that person. They assume you have something in common and that you have some sort of personal connection. If you are part of a campaign with people who have high profiles, it can raise your own profile in a very positive way. I had a new partner approach me a few months ago who said, “My list isn’t that big, but I’m a good networker and I just want to ‘play’ with you guys.” In other words, she wanted to be associated with the other partners on the campaign, which is great. I took her on as a partner right away, and she became one of the most reliable partners on my list. Be sure to select a campaign that creates the RIGHT association in the public eye. That way, when your book does come out, people will already associate you with similar books and be inclined to check you out.
  5. Learning the ropes. Being on someone else’s campaign is the BEST way to learn what works and what doesn’t work in a book launch… but you’ve got to study it and pay attention to detail. One of my networking partners recently told me that she had been studying how I ran my campaigns and was going to have her team implement my strategies in her own upcoming book launch. As a result of her highly-organised campaign, her book hit #1 in two Amazon categories in both the US and Canada. Being on the inside of campaign and receiving all the communication from the project manager is the very best way to learn how campaigns work.
  6. Empowerment and satisfaction. When we work together as a team and help a new author reach the #1 rank, there is a genuine feeling of empowerment and satisfaction of having achieved something together. It isn’t about “sales”; it’s about working together to reach people’s hearts. By telling others about this wonderful book, you have spread good will and added value in the world. And knowing you have the ability to inspire others to buy a great book will boost your self-confidence when you get ready to release your own book (or teleseminar, course, workshop, etc.) in the future.
  7. Practicing the Law of Abundance. The old era of marketing was based upon fear, scarcity and competition. Now, we are entering a new era of spiritual marketing is founded upon mutual support, collaboration and a belief in abundance. This new era can only evolve if we come to trust that the Universe has enough for all of us, and that the more we allow energy to flow by giving to others, the more will come to us in return. While our wish to receive should not be our motivation for giving, our faith that we will be taken care of should be at the very foundation of our trust. If you wish to flourish, become a partner on a campaign. It will help you shift from scarcity mentality to a feeling of expansion and abundance.

I hope this article has helped you see the many advantages of partnering on a campaign. Remember: it’s not just about selling books and list building. There is much more to it than that. Every campaign I do gives me a rush!

And if this article has enticed you to expand your networking, and you would like to become a partner on an upcoming book launch, here’s your chance, I am currently seeking partners for several upcoming book launches.

~ JOIN A CAMPAIGN ~

If you would like to be a partner on a book launch, check out the latest campaign I am running HERE:
http://spiritauthors.com/latest-book-launches

I look forward to hearing from you!

Warm wishes,

Lynn


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several top-10 book campaigns, including FOUR #1-sellers, in 2010 alone. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Contact Lynn about YOUR book project at at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).

Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, self-promotion tips, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.

Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.


Receive Creative Spirit

Subscribe to my 2x monthly ezine and receive 2 free audios on personal transformation.

Comments (3)

Champagne CelebrationMany people hire me to create and manage their Amazon book campaigns, or to support them as a book promotion coach/consultant. In either case, I have noticed many of my clients experience a steep learning curve at the beginning of their campaigns, as they try to get their heads around all the components and how they work together.

For that reason, I thought it might be a good idea to write a short article giving an overview of the initial steps I use when I put together an Amazon campaign, so you can become an Amazon bestseller like my clients.

The basic concept of an Amazon book campaign is to drive people to a special page you will create that tells them about your book, and to get them to return to that page to buy your book on the specified day of your launch. The reason why you want them to come on a specified day is to drive up your Amazon sales rank. The reason why people will want to return to your page (as opposed to just going to Amazon to buy your book) is that after they buy your book, they can come back to your page to claim some great bonus gifts.

Who is offering the gifts? A group of “JVPs”, or “Joint Venture Partners” you have brought together. Finding and choosing JVPs is a topic I cover in the first week of Module 4 at Spirit Authors. For now, let’s assume you already have a good selection of JVPs who have confirmed their participation in your launch, and let’s move on to our 5 steps to get your campaign going.

Step 1: Design the Timeline and Components of Your Campaign
First off, you will need to choose the components of your campaign, and construct a timeline showing when all these components will occur. Here are a few examples of components that go into a typical Amazon campaign:

  • Bonus gift offers from JVPs
  • Email/ezine blasts
  • Twitter campaign
  • A Contest
  • Virtual Blog Tour

There are different strategies, technical aspects and creative elements to each of these components, which would take too long to discuss here. For now, let’s say that you decided you were going to utilise all of them in some way.

Step 2: Coordinate Your JVP Materials
Assuming you have already determined the level of commitment promised from your JVPs, your next step would be to gather relevant materials from them, such as headshot, bio, and bonus material information, including a link to the opt in page where people will sign up to receive their gift.

A word of advice: It is highly likely you will need to guide many of your JVPs as to what is an appropriate bonus gift. A good bonus gift should be a downloadable entry-level gift. A not-so-good gift is one that requires the customer to buy something else to receive it, or requires them to travel to specific geographic location. The bonus should also not be an offer of free or discounted coaching or consultation, because if they have a high number of requests, they might find it impossible to honour them all. You, as the manager of your campaign, need to guide your JVPs to choosing the right kind of gift.

As you collect this information from your JVPs, make sure you use some sort of tracking system to cross check you have received all the info. I use an Excel spreadsheet for tracking.

Step 3: Creating Your Pre-Launch Page and Follow-Ups
Next, you will need to assemble all your JVP information, along with key info about you and your book, onto a webpage we are going to call your “pre-launch page.” On this page, people will find out about you, your book, the date of the launch, and the bonus gift offerings. Make sure you standardise the format in which you will publish the JVP content on the web, so everyone’s entry looks similar.

Apart from the JVP information, the key ingredient on this page is a sign up form, where they will sign up to receive a reminder about the book launch. This sign up form should be connected to an auto-responder that sends them a follow up message saying something to the effect of, “Thanks for your interest in my book. I’ll be sending you a reminder the day before it comes out so you can get those great bonus gifts you read about. Be sure to mark your diary.”

Step 4: Create Promo Copy
The next thing you will need to do is create some great promotional copy for your JVPs to use for your campaign. There are basically 3 types of promo copy you will prepare for your JVPs:

  1. Newsletter/ezine articles
  2. “Tweets” (for Twitter)
  3. “Virtual interviews” (if you are planning to do a Virtual Blog Tour)

I usually make two contrasting pieces of ezine copy for my JVPs per month, to give them diversity and choice (they are likely to send only one per month).

I usually make 50-100 Tweets for my JVPs—and I try to make them 120 characters or less. It’s really not as complex as it might sound, and it can make your campaign vibrant, fun and very effective.

A “Virtual Interview” is when your blog tour hosts send you a few questions in advance before the date of their “stop” on your tour.

I cover the details of how to create all these types of copy on Module 4 at Spirit Authors. In fact, I dedicate an entire week to EACH of these types of copy.

Step 5: Create Clear Instructions for Your JVPs
The last step to getting your campaign off the ground is to create a set of clear, written instructions for your JVPs. I always include a timeline, a description of the components, and a break down of how everything will run. I write it in such a way that it is visually easy to read, and convert it into a PDF document. I give them tips on how to use the materials, and how to increase traffic to their bonus.

Follow a Real Live Launch
As I am currently the project leader for the upcoming Amazon campaign for Patrick Ryan’s book Awakened Wisdom: A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance, the easiest thing you can do to understand the things I have been describing would be to look at the page we have put together for that launch at http://www.awakenedwisdom.com/Public/Amazon/booklaunch/index.cfm. As of this writing, we are still finalising some details on it (and there are a few more JVPs coming along). Of course, I also hope you’ll check out Patrick’s book and sign up for a launch reminder while you’re on that page (I made the video, by the way. Do you like it?).

And if you are on Twitter, follow me at http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn and you can see some of the Tweets I’m sending out about the book. Hopefully they will give you ideas of how to make your own. Most everything I have learned about online promotion is the result of watching others who know what they are doing, so now it’s my pleasure to invite you to do the same (hopefully I know what I’m doing!).

This article has been a very brief overview of the 5 steps needed to put together your Amazon book campaign. If you’d like to know more about creating, running and benefiting from an Amazon book campaign for your upcoming book, have a look at my 8-week course on the Spirit Authors website: Module 4: Your Book Launch – Designing and Delivering. For a limited time, you can take a 14-day test drive for only $1, and receive some special bonus gifts that are yours to keep just for trying it out.

If you feel you need a more personal touch, fill in a contact form on the Spirit Authors site to request a 1-to-1 consultation.  Please be aware that I only take on a limited amount of book launch clients throughout the year, and that we will require 4-6 months to work on your launch, depending upon the strength of your online platform.

I hope you found this whistle-stop tour useful. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.
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