Archive for Marketing & Selling Your Book
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?
- It must be 100% FREE
- It must be DOWNLOADABLE
- It should be something special that is NOT routinely and easily accessible via your website (especially your home page!).
- It must be in a format accessible to most (PDF, MP3, MP4 are all recommended formats).
- Suggested gifts include eBook, special report, audio course, eCourse, templates, video series, etc.
What is NOT a good bonus gift?
- An offer of a discount for something they must buy.
- An offer of free coaching or consulting (see more below).
- An offer of a free place on a live course on a specific date.
- Something you would have to send to people via snail mail.
- Something which would cost YOU money to give (such as a printed book).
- Something in a non-universal format (e.g., an eBook in MS Word doc format would not be acceptable).
- 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:
~ JOIN A CAMPAIGN ~
If you would like to be a partner on a book launch, check out the latest campaign I am running HERE:
~ 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:
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,
About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors
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).
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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.
Many 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:
- Newsletter/ezine articles
- “Tweets” (for Twitter)
- “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.
Well, ok, the word “sell” does have four letters, but you know what I mean.
What is it about this photograph that creates a negative reaction in so many of us? Is this the mental image we have attached to the word “selling”? How many of us unconsciously believe selling to be something sleazy, insincere and unpalatable? If we do, why? And what are the ramifications of our aversion to this four-letter word?
I am a spirit author, but I’m also a coach. The majority of my clients are holistic healers, coaches, authors (especially in the mind-body-spirit genre), teachers, and artists in general. What do all these people have in common? Well, for one thing, they tend to be highly sensitive, creative, spiritually focussed and caring individuals. They are also very devoted to their craft, and have a strong desire to help and inspire others. They sound like lovely people, don’t they? They are.
But these people also tend to have another thing in common—they have a strong tendency to cringe at the mere mention of the word “selling”. This is nothing new. After all, the notion of the Bohemian “starving artist” has been with us for centuries. Art and money have always seemed to be antithetical forces in our minds, whether consciously or not. I was a professional musician for decades and used to hang out with the “arty” crowd, and I always found it amazing how many artistic people maintained the notion that getting paid well for their art was tantamount to “selling out”.
Similarly, we seem to create the same divide when it comes to healing professions or anything to do with the heart and soul. I cannot tell you how many people I know in these areas who have the unspoken (and sometimes spoken) belief that asking for money for their work renders them insincere. As a result, they don’t ask for what they deserve. Sadly, I have watched all too many of them go out of business over a short period of time.
So, we have a dilemma.
On the one hand, from a practical perspective, if all the sensitive, soul-based, caring, healing and creative people in the world do not get paid adequately for the wonderful things they do, it means that the world will no longer be blessed with wonderful healers, writers, artists, musicians, coaches, teachers, etc. And that would be a real tragedy.
On the other hand, if all heart-based people in the world suddenly became hardened sales people, like the grinning fellow in this photograph, they would lose the wonderful quality that makes them who they are. If money became the sole focus of their mind-body-spirit work, it would take the soul out of what they do.
Clearly a balance must be found between the two extremes.
This balance was the primary focus I had when I wrote “Module 2: Pre-Publication Marketing Musts” of the Spirit Authors course. “Selling” in the mind-body-spirit genre is very different to other markets. We cannot embrace the same formulae taught by many other marketing schools and expect to reach our target audience in a positive way. After all, the people who read your mind-body-spirit books are just as sensitive as you are, and they cringe just as much at the word “selling” as you do. The mind-body-spirit market is a giving one, based upon long-term relationships. Module 2 of the Spirit Authors course is aimed at showing you how to build your promotional platform in a way that is authentic, guilt-free, friendly and fun.
Helping you to learn how to “sell” your wonderful mind-body-spirit book without this four-letter word getting in your way is a big part of what Spirit Authors is all about. We’ve got a fantastic Grand Opening going on throughout the week of 22-26 February 2010, with over a dozen industry experts coming on board to enlighten, inform and inspire you.
Time left to the Spirit Authors Grand Opening:
Please leave your comments, opinions, experiences and pearls of wisdom below.
I LOVE reading your contributions.