Mar
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5 Steps to Create an Amazon Bestselling Book Campaign

By on March 22nd, 2010

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.
[mlb /]

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Interesting column, Lynn. Enjoyed the video. Trust you’ll send out a reminder about the vote tomorrow. Good luck with it!

  2. Terrific post Lynn — thanks for sharing. This kind of detailed how-to information is so helpful to authors, especially since it’s based on your real-world experience with the successful Amazon campaigns that you have managed.

    Dana Lynn Smith
    The Savvy Book Marketer

  3. Jacqueline says:

    Hi, Lynn.
    Thanks for sharing this information in an easy-to-follow format. I’m going to have to add you to my mentors list on Twitter. :)
    Many Blessings,
    Jacqueline

  4. […]  Amazon Best Seller Campaign – Lynn Seraphinn has a great article about how to do an Amazon best seller campaign. […]

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