Archive for best-seller

Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors announces the launch of the new spiritual, psychological novel ‘Island of Souls’ by author Milan Ljubincic.

TODAY on Amazon, an inspiring new novel is making its debut. It’s called Island of Souls: light within the dark by internationally renowned psychologist and speaker, Milan Ljubincic.

I’m pleased to be the campaign manager for the launch of this refreshing and illuminating book.

Written much in the tradition of other metaphysical authors like Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist) and James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy), author Milan Ljubincic uses the powerful vehicle of fiction to weave a rich, allegorical story that illustrates how every one of us can find harmony and joy when we learn the language of our own hearts, and reawaken the wondrous spirit that already lies within us.

To buy the book AND receive dozens of free bonus gifts, go to:
http://islandofsouls.com/book-launch/pages/launch.php

Many of us have a library of self-help books on our shelves that ‘tell’ us how to transform our lives. But in Island of Souls, we simply step into the story of lead character, Lucas, and experience that transformation along with him. Set on a mysterious, uninhabited island, Island of Souls is a modern-day parable that blends real-life events with depth psychology, metaphors, archetypical figures and mythical symbolism to convey the underlying message of connection, aliveness and meaning. As much a guide as it is a story, Island of Souls is an invitation for you to reflect on your own life journey, its teachings, and the meaning it holds for you.

 Island of Souls: light within the dark is celebrating its big Amazon launch TODAY Tuesday May 13th, 2014. When you buy the book during the launch, you’ll receive DOZENS of beautiful bonus gifts from Milan’s friends and colleagues.

To buy the book AND receive these bonus gifts, go to:
http://islandofsouls.com/book-launch/pages/launch.php

And as a special gift from Milan, when you buy the book you’ll also receive:

  • The MP3 audio downloads from the ‘Soul Awakening Telesummit’ with over 4 hours of inspiration and information from Milan and 10 other world-class speakers including Dr. Eric Pearl, Chloe Taylor Brown, Gregg Levoy, Lynn Serafinn, Karen Erlichman, Emmanuel Dagher, Cari Murphy, Frederika Roberts, Wendy Kennedy, and Anna Sienicka.
  • A FREE 1-hour online class with Milan, where he will share the fascinating ‘story-behind-the-story’ along with an in-depth discussion on the underlying insights and lessons within Island of Souls.

I’m sure all those gifts will make you feel pretty illuminated even before you read the book! I do hope you’ll check it out on Tuesday May 13th, 2014.

Lynn Serafinn


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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

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Author Daniel Parmeggiani

Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors interviews author Daniel Parmeggiani about how and why he wrote his book The Magnificent Truths of our Existence.

Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 11 of Daniel Parmeggiani’s Virtual Blog Tour, whose new book new book, The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence, is currently celebrating its official launch.

Daniel Parmeggiani is a modern-day spiritual teacher whose approach is unaligned with any particular religion or tradition. Driven by intense psychological turmoil when he was younger, Daniel discovered within himself a deeper reality that he says not only saved his life, but also showed him the way to permanent happiness and inner peace. Those revelations became the foundation of his book, The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence.

Yesterday, Daniel visited Jennifer Lyall’s ‘Your Soul Connection’ blog at http://yoursoulconnection.ca/topics/articles/ where she asked about the one thing that everyone in the world wants, and the importance of community on our spiritual path. Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Daniel when I got to ask him to share a bit about the process he used to write his book, and the advice he would give to other authors who may be thinking about writing a book on spirituality.

***INTERVIEW***

LYNN: What were your original reasons for writing a book about your spiritual experiences? What was happening in your life that made you want to share them in this way?

DANIEL: Ever since I had my first spiritual breakthrough at age 17, I’ve felt a deep sense of responsibility to share the simple, clear vision of our true innocent nature that I was blessed with. The recognition of my own absolute innocence rescued me from a seemingly hopeless state of obsessive-compulsive behaviour and self-loathing, and brought me self-forgiveness and peace within myself. I’ve always known that my perspective is unique in its clear logic and rationality, and I have no doubt that this book will greatly benefit all those who read it with a positive, receptive attitude.

LYNN: Why do you think it took you 8 years to finish your book The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence?

DANIEL: I quickly found out that writing an ordinary book is easy, but writing an extraordinary book is very hard. When I set out to write this book in 2006, I was determined to create something extraordinary, something different and practical that would really help people. I was willing to take all the time that was necessary for this to happen, and that turned out to be 8 years!

LYNN: How did you finally manage to get focused to get the book done? What kinds of things did you have to do or change to move the process forward?

DANIEL: After my breakthrough at age 17 that started it all, it took me almost 20 years to finally feel ready to begin putting my ideas down on paper. I knew I needed to help myself first before I could effectively help others. I also wanted to be sure that I fully represented my own spiritual teachings in my personal life. Then when the writing process began, I only wrote when I felt inspired to do so. I didn’t want to force any of it, because I wanted everything to be as genuine as possible. This meant that sometimes there were long periods of inactivity. But the importance of my mission always kept bringing me back to the desk.

LYNN: What advice you can give other authors who are thinking about writing a book on spirituality? What things should they watch out for? What tips can you give them?

DANIEL: I once heard Dr Wayne Dyer say, “Don’t die with your song still in you.” I think those words were the ones that finally got me started on this journey. Writing your first book can be very frustrating at times. It is a marathon that takes great endurance and perseverance. It is a trial and error, learning experience that requires lots of patience and the willingness to grow and change. There will be dry periods when the task will seem unsurmountable. But through it all, just keep plugging away. Try to do a little bit each day. And when you feel like you just want to say, “The hell with it!” and quit, remember the words of Dr Dyer. The payoff is great in the end, and worth every sacrifice.

*** END OF INTERVIEW***

Book - The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence by Daniel ParmeggianiI hope you enjoyed this brief interview with Daniel Parmeggiani, author of The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence.

In Daniel’s words, “this book provides deep spiritual insight about who we really are, the cause of our suffering, and how to transform our lives.” If you are intrigued to find out more about Daniel’s approach to achieving the highest spiritual aspirations of happiness, love and inner peace, pick up a copy of The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence at:

http://www.MagnificentTruths.com/order

AND…when you buy the book now during the official launch, you’ll receive dozens of beautiful free gifts from Daniel and his friends and colleagues. It’s their way of saying ‘thank you’ for supporting Daniel in this important spiritual work.

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

Be sure to follow Daniel tomorrow on the next stop of his Virtual Blog Tour, when he’ll be visiting Ana M. Bruckner and Antonia Daniek’s ‘Inspired Planet’ Blog at http://blog.inspiredplanet.co/where they ask about the 5 existential needs of life, and the logic against guilt.

Lynn Serafinn
10 May 2014


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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

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Island of Souls by Milan LjubinicLynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors talks about Milan Ljubincic, author of the spiritual novel ‘Island of Souls’, and about the FREE 3-Day ‘Soul Awakening Telesummit’. 

The secrets to achieving happiness and inner peace are highly sought after. But this desirable state can sometimes seem impossible to achieve in a world that turns faster with each passing day. In this digital information era, we often find ourselves getting confused about what we should listen to, and the right path to take. In such a world, things can sometimes seem very black and white: they are this or that, one way or another. The secret, however, lies not only in the beauty of the light, but also the depths of our shadow.

My client, psychologist and author Milan Ljubincic, understands that it is within the shades of grey that the richness of life unfolds. While many people put the study of psychology and the mind in one box, and the world of soul and spiritual experience in another, Milan sees them as working together, as one integrated whole. His work in the field of spiritual psychology can be seen as a return to the ancient origins of the ‘psyche’ where psychology interfaces with spirituality, to reawaken the spirit within each one of us. He has come to understand that true happiness and inner peace is attained when our mind and our spirit cease tugging in opposite directions, and when the two begin to dance harmoniously together. For that to happen, we must listen to the voice of our heart, and recognize that our emotions carry our teachings. When we tap into this new way of hearing, we begin to heal and rediscover the joy in all those wonderful shades of grey – as we embrace the light as well as the shadow within.

The desire to share this simple but profound truth is what led Milan to write his illuminating new novel Island of Souls: light within the dark, which is launching on Amazon on Tuesday May 13th. Much in the tradition of metaphysical authors like Paulo Coelho and James Redfield, Milan uses the powerful vehicle of fiction to weave a rich, metaphoric story that illustrates how every one of us can find joy when we embrace our whole-self – light, dark and all shades in between.

To share these insights with you, and to celebrate the launch of his book,
Milan is hosting a panel of 11 world-renowned spiritual speakers on his

FREE 3-Day ‘SOUL AWAKENING’ Telesummit
Tuesday May 6th to Thursday May 8th, 2014

Guest Speakers on the Soul Awakening Telesummit

Soul Awakening Telesummit

I am delighted to tell you that Milan has asked me
to co-host this beautiful event,
which will feature
11 international guest speakers..

To join us, you can book your place FR*EE at
http://islandofsouls.com/book-launch/pages/telesummit.php

Over these 3 days, we will explore:

  • CONNECTION: How to find deep, intimate connection with Self, Life-Force and other people
  • ALIVENESS: How to feel fully alive; how to manifest miracles in everyday life
  • MEANING: How to align to the soul; how “going with the flow” unlocks our purpose in life

When you register, you’ll have access to 3 days of LIVE round-table discussions from these dynamic speakers (in order of appearance):

  • MILAN LJUBINCIC (host) – Psychologist, speaker and author of Island of Souls: light within the dark
  • LYNN SERAFINN (co-host) – Coach; marketer; author of The 7 Graces of Marketing, Tweep-e-licious and The Garden of the Soul
  • WENDY KENNEDY – Channeler, public speaker, media personality.
  • ANNA SIENICKA – Homeopathic medicine and kinesiology expert; certified personal trainer with mind-body connection.
  • KAREN ERLICHMAN – Faculty, teacher, mentor at Sofia University, et. al., social worker, psychotherapist, spiritual author
  • DR. ERIC PEARL – The Reconnection® founder; top media speaker, author international bestseller The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself.
  • GREGG LEVOY – Human Potential expert, keynote speaker, author of Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, featured in upcoming film, Openings.
  • FREDERIKA ROBERTS – “The Happiness Speaker”, presenter, coach, author of Recipe for Happiness: 9 essential ingredients for a happy life.
  • EMMANUEL DAGHER – Personal growth catalyst, transformation specialist, speaker, host of ‘The Miracle Cafe’ radio show
  • CARI MURPHY – Soul success coach, speaker, bestselling author of Treasures of Heaven, Create Change Now and others, host of “The Cari Murphy Show: Straight Talk for the Soul”.
  • CHLOE TAYLOR BROWN – Transformation & Lifestyle enhancement expert, author, speaker, radio host, entrepreneur.

Attend the Soul Awakening Telesummit
at absolutely no cost by registering at

http://islandofsouls.com/book-launch/pages/telesummit.php

If you cannot attend the live broadcasts, register anyway, so you can access the audio replay.

I’m delighted to be participating in the SOUL AWAKENING Telesummit on May 6th, 7th and 8th. I do hope you’ll join us. I know you’ll find it to be an uplifting, informative and enlivening experience.

See you there!

Lynn Serafinn

2 May 2014


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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:

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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:

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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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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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http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

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.

Finding Your Readers

Lynn Serafinn, promotion manager for #1 seller mind-body-spirit authors, on how to understand your relationship with marketing, identify your target audience and find your potential readers.

Many authors come to me for marketing advice just as their books are getting ready for publication. You will, however, note that I have placed this module BEFORE the module on preparing for publication. That is because, quite frankly, if you do not start your marketing long before your book is even finished being written, then you are apt to have a book come out and be extremely disappointed in the sales results. You might ask, “How can I market a book that isn’t even written yet.” The answer is simple. You aren’t. You are marketing YOU. That is what this lesson is about. It will really get you thinking about your personal relationship with all those wonderful people in the world who will be reading your book in the not-so-distant future. It will give you some strategies to identify them, know them, find them and reach them in an authentic, spirit-based way. If you find yourself resisting any of the material in the lesson (and I have had many a client and colleague for whom some of these ideas pushed them to their “edge”), slow down and take as much time as you need to understand why you are resisting. To understand this resistance fully, we will be exploring what I consider to be the key factors that influence how we approach the subject of self-promotion and online marketing

  1. Our relationship with money/selling
  2. Our relationship with technology
  3. Our relationship with other people
  4. Our relationship with ourselves (and I mean our TRUE Selves)

And after that self-examination, you’ll be ready to embark on a journey exploring how these factors will impact the success of your book, as you take the first step towards building your promotional platform — identifying, finding and reaching your targeted readers.

The above introduction is from Lesson 1 of Spirit Authors Module 2:
Pre-Publication Marketing Musts (aka “100 Days to Build Your Online Promotional Platform).

In that lesson, you will:

  1. Explore your relationship with money, marketing and selling
  2. Learn how to identify your target audience and why this is important
  3. Learn the two key goals of early marketing
  4. Outline the infrastructure you need for finding your audience online
  5. Create a plan for reaching your audience

For more information about the complete 10-week course, which includes audio downloads, full transcripts, weekly workbooks, access to member forum and monthly members-only calls, see http://spiritauthors.com/module-2/mod-2-overview. You can take the course for a 7-day “test drive” for only $1, and get some great free bonus gifts just for checking us out.


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.


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Categories : News, Platform Building
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Book promotion coach and campaign manager Lynn Serafinn reflects on the Law of Attraction when her client, Luis Diaz’s book  Memory in the Cells hits Number 1.

I learn so much every day of my life.

Let me set the context. Just a little over 24 hours ago, my fantastic client (and I really mean that), Luis Angel Diaz, launched his book Memory in the Cells: how to change behavioral patterns and release the pain body. The book, which was originally written in Spanish and has only now been translated into English, is about healing your emotions at the deepest level of your being. I first met Luis on the Ning networks, and have watched his work for the past few years. When he first approached me to be the campaign manager for his book, I knew that he already had cultivated a widespread, loyal audience in the Spanish-speaking world for decades, and that the release of this new translation of Memory in the Cells would be his first real introduction into the English-speaking audience at a global level.

Over the course of the past 5 months or so, I have been working closely with Luis and his team to create a wonderful promotional campaign that would reflect his personality, his values, and the true essence of what he does. That is really the fundamental principle behind all the promotional campaigns I co-create with my authors. My campaigns aren’t really about the book so much as they are about the author (and, yes, we create them together—that is absolutely vital). In this way, the campaign becomes something unique that cannot be duplicated by anyone else. It is my experience that when the heart and soul of the author is fully present within the core of the campaign, the campaign has a special sparkle to it that “magically” makes it work—even if it is a first-time, self-published author.

I call this approach “the path of least resistance to the Self” and it’s my fundamental principle to how I approach life. My core belief is that when we are truly and visibly authentic in the world, then all that is meant to flow into our lives comes to us with ease and grace.

“Ease” doesn’t mean we don’t WORK for it—heck no! Frankly, during these Amazon book launches, I have to block out 3 solid days because there is simply so much to do and so much promo copy to write that I’m pretty much “on call” 24 hours of the day during that time (I didn’t go to bed last night until 5am, and then I got up again at 9am). When I say “ease” I mean that the ideas are flowing, the energy is flowing and you just plain feel fantastic (even if you ARE in serious need of sleeping for about 12 hours straight after the launch is all over!).

Now, a lot of people might say that this sounds like the “Law of Attraction.” But the funny thing is, I never have used that term to describe my approach to life. In fact, I’ve pretty much shunned the term because I found the film version of The Secret to present things in a way I couldn’t really relate to. It all looked too simple—desire, believe, receive. I remember the scene in the film where the girl looks in the shop window at a very expensive necklace and it’s suddenly around her neck—well, I must confess it put me off the whole film because it seemed shallow to me (I do admit I have never read the book; I am told it is much better).

Well, what is so funny (or at least I think it is) is that yesterday I came face-to-face with The Secret, and I’m feeling like it’s a real test of my own power of intention!

Within a few short hours of the release of Memory in the Cells, it SHOT up like  rocket to the #1 place in Canada in three categories including Mental and Spiritual Healing and New Age (which is a massive category, and VERY hard to get to #1). Luis’s book even surpassed authors like Louise Hay and Eckhart Tolle and so many others you would recognise. Moreover, it achieved an astonished rank of 14th of ALL books in Canada. That means, out of something like 2 million titles, his is the 14th bestseller of ALL of them in any category. It’s remarkable to say the least, and I am really feeling pretty pleased with myself today, especially as (as of this writing), the book is STILL holding strong to the #1 place.

Have a look at the illustrious company he is in:

And again #1 in New Age in Canada…

But here’s where The Secret comes in.

The book also got as high as #5 in the UK and a very impressive #3 in the US, and the rankings in the US were just a few books shy of the top 100 of all books, which is, frankly, astronomically good for ANY author, what to speak of a self-published (and first-time in English) author like Luis. But you know how it is… once you have a taste for #1 you want it all. I WANT his book to go to #1 in the US. Like a hawk I’ve been watching the rankings every hour and I see it creeping up 1 notch at a time… holding at #3 for hours and hours and hours…

So then I thought I’d take a look to see what’s sitting in front of him at #2.

Can you guess?

Yup. Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret!

Ironic, isn’t it? It is sitting there like a big giggling challenge for me, seeing if my desire for Luis’ success is powerful enough to “attract” that elusive #1 slot in the United States. It’s asking me, “How much do you really want this?” “How much to you really believe you will receive it?”

Ok, here’s my answer: Totally on both counts.

I REALLY want this for both Luis and myself:

  • For Luis, I believe reaching that pinnacle in his genre would give a real push to his speaking platform in the United States, and worldwide.
  • And for me, well, I just keep aiming to get higher and higher on each campaign I create because every time I push the boundary that much more, it brings in more energy and potential for my future clients and makes my business stronger. It’s also creating more abundance not only in my life, but also in the lives of others, because the more my business grows, the more people I hire to work on campaigns with me!

So right now, I actually have come to a completely different relationship with The Secret and the idea of “Law of Attraction”. I am viewing both as a wonderful opportunity for me to create a solution to my desire for Luis to move into the #1 slot on Amazon US today.

And so I wrote this article.

And seeing “obstacles” as not being obstacles at all, but rather as opportunities for creating new solutions to what we most desire in life is, I suspect, what “The Secret” really is, after all.

So, as I said, I learn so much every day. :-)

Let’s see what happens.

You can find Luis’ wonderful #1-selling book Memory in the Cells at http://memoryinthecells.com. And just to “attract” you to check it out, if you buy the book TODAY, you can receive over 30 free downloadable gifts from an array of international experts in many fields of personal development. I’m also offering my mini eCourse “Making Friends with the Monsters Under Your Bed.” I’ve received well over 100 requests for the download in just the past day. Certainly attracting something!


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 FOUR #1-selling book campaigns, and another #2-selling campaign, 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, 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.


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Categories : Books and Authors, News
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rising starPatrick Ryan’s New Book Number-1 in Spirituality

Recently I’ve been telling you about a new book called Awakened Wisdom: A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance by my friend and colleague Patrick Ryan. Well the book had its official Amazon launch yesterday, and I simply had to write to you to tell you that within the first few hours, Awakened Wisdom became a bestseller in spirituality in both the US and Canada.

Most impressively, the book reached an amazing rank of 29th in overall books, out of many millions, and took the Number-1 slot in Canadian spirituality sales (click to see a screen shot), and the #3 slot in self-help, sharing the very same page on Amazon with top-selling spirituality titles such as Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love. At one point, Patrick and Eckhart were dancing back and forth in the top 5 spots on the Canadian list, which is interesting because so many people have compared these two writers even before the book was released.

In the US, where the competition is even steeper, the book reached the Number-2 rank in Kindle spiritual self-help titles, and the paperback was the 18th most popular spiritual title yesterday. I have high hopes that today, that figure will soar up later today, as news of the success of the book starts to spread.

Not too shabby for a first day, don’t you think?

Patrick RyanBorn in the Canadian prairies, and surviving a near-death experience in his youth, Patrick Ryan has been a life-long spiritual seeker. He spent some time as a Buddhist monk in Burma, and has studied the world over with healers, shamans and other indigenous wise people. The culmination of his multifaceted experiences, from the home-spun to the esoteric, is to be found within his unique, and inimitably down-to-earth, system of spiritual development he calls “Awakened Wisdom”, which he has taught in workshops throughout the world for several years. The essence of those teachings, along with practical exercises for cultivating them in your life, may now be found within the pages of his newly bestselling book.

I should also mention that I consider Patrick to be one of my personal mentors. I studied with him for nearly a year on the Co-Active Leadership programme, and I also took his internationally acclaimed Awakened Wisdom course. I can say without any reservation that my life would not be where it is today had our paths not crossed. I was my great delight and pleasure to be able to give something back to him by acting as his campaign manager for this thrilling Amazon book launch.

BOOK: Awakened WisdomThe Awakened Wisdom launch continues today and tomorrow, and in celebration of its official release, Patrick Ryan and a group of his colleauges, including authors, coaches, entrepreneurs and spiritual teachers are giving away over 40 exceptional personal development and spiritual growth gifts when you purchase a copy the book during the launch.

One of these gifts is an unprecedented 2-session “Awakened Wisdom Virtual Experience”, in which author Patrick Ryan will take participants on a journey through the “8 States of an Awakened Life” via webcast in May. This is a rare opportunity to learn directly from a world-renowned spiritual teacher—and now top-selling spirituality author.

I myself am offering four never-before-offered audio meditations from my Garden of the Soul Workshop, on the Four Principles of Give, Receive, Become and Be.

To pick up your copy of the Awakened Wisdom, get all those free gifts, and sign up for this very special event, which is open ONLY to those who purchase the book this week, go to:

http://www.awakenedwisdom.com/Public/Amazon/BookLaunch/index.cfm

Make sure you do this as soon as possible, as the launch ends this Friday, April 23 (extended from April 22). And if you are reading this AFTER that date, you can still find out how to buy the book by clicking the link above.

Thanks for your support in helping this rising new star in the spiritul author universe shine so brightly! I wish ALL of you Spirit Authors reading this a future where YOU are shining even more brightly.

Categories : Books and Authors, News
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InspirationI might not know you, but my guess is that you probably have two things in common with everyone else who is reading this blog:

1. You hold personal spirituality to be amongst your top priorities in life AND
2. You love to write and/or read great spiritual books

Well, knowing that about you, I am writing to you to suggest you mark your diary for THIS TUESDAY APRIL 20TH. That’s the BIG day for the launch of Patrick Ryan’s book Awakened Wisdom: A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance.

What’s the big deal?

The big deal is that everyone who buys this important book on the DAY of the launch (this Tuesday, April 20th) can sign up to attend a 2-session “Awakened Wisdom Virtual Experience” with Patrick himself, where he PERSONALLY will guide you through the “8 States of an Awakened Life”, which are the cornerstone of all his world-famous work.

Oooh… I should mention that I will be hosting that event! How lucky am I, huh?

The Awakened Wisdom Virtual Experience will be on May 5-6, via webcast. That means you can attend EITHER via the web or via telephone. There’ll also be some opportunity to ask Patrick your questions about his teachings.

If you can’t make the live event, don’t worry. The audio will be available for download BUT only to those who register for the VIP pass.

In addition to the Virtual Experience, there are over 30 of us who are giving away some FABULOUS free spiritual gifts to you when you buy Patrick’s book. I’m giving away 4 audio meditations from my Garden of the Soul Workshop. I have NEVER offered these before (in fact, I just finished recording them tonight!).

I URGE you to go over to Awakened Wisdom Book Launch Page tonight and sign up for a “launch reminder”. That way, on Tuesday morning, when the gifts are ready, we’ll send you a “go and get them” reminder, so you can buy the book and get all the cool gifts, including the VIP Pass to the Awakened Wisdom Virtual Experience.

Patrick RyanPatrick is one of my personal mentors AND he is also my client, as I am the campaign manager for his book launch. Let me tell you, I am DETERMINED to get his book to the number-1 spirituality slot on Amazon on Tuesday. Why? Because I think he totally deserves it! First of all, his work is surely world-class, and I want to see his message spread all over the planet. Secondly, I studied with Patrick for over a year, and now that I’ve also had the great pleasure to work with him at a professional level as well, I can assure you he’s not only an amazingly spiritual teacher, but also a truly down-to-earth human being.

Thanks everyone! Hope to “see” you at the Awakened Wisdom Virtual Experience on May 5 – 6.

Warm wishes,
Lynn

P.S.: On a slightly different note, if you haven’t had a chance yet to vote for me in the Next Top Spiritual Author Contest, it would mean SO much to me if you would. The voting for Round 1 goes only for another 2 weeks. Right now I’m in the top 5%, but anything can happen with the public vote. Please remember that you can vote for as many authors as you like in the competition, but you can only vote ONCE for an author per round. It would be great if you checked out my video and cast you vote. There’s also a free gift there for you: 4 audio excerpts from my book, The Garden of the Soul (not the same audio as I am offering with Patrick’s book). Hope you enjoy them! The link to my profile page in the contest is http://www.NextTopAuthor.com/?aid=2016, Thanks so much!

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Vote for Lynn Serafinn for Next Top Spiritual AuthorPlease check out the video I made as my “pitch” for the “Next Top Spiritual Author” contest. I have entered my book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self, which as many of you know, is currently self-published.

The grand prize is a book contract from Hampton Roads Publishing, one of the top Body-Mind-Spirit publishers in the world, along with a promotional package worth over $50,000.

There are 3 rounds of voting. The first round starts MONDAY March 29, 2010, and ends April 25, 2010. I could REALLY use your vote to help me advance to Round 2.

Here’s the video podcast I made for my contest entry. I poured my heart and soul into it!

And here’s the same video as it appears on YouTube. I’m putting both versions because sometimes people have trouble viewing certain video formats. If you cannot see EITHER of these videos on your screen (or you wish to see it in a LARGER window), view it on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8P92UVYwCQ.

If you think The Garden of the Soul deserves to go to a wider audience, please help me by:

1) Watching this video to help you decide whether you think I deserve to win the title Next Top Spiritual Author AND THEN
2) Voting for me at http://tinyurl.com/TopAuthorLynn between March 29 – May 3 (the page will not be live before the 29th).

And there is NO pressure to choose only one author to win this contest! There are hundreds of great authors for you to consider, and you can vote for as many authors as you like (but you can only vote ONCE for each author per round).

I you can help me advance to Round 2 of this exciting competition, I will be EXTREMELY grateful!

My motivation is fuelled by your encouragement and comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say about the video, my book and whatever else, in the comments box below.

Thank you everyone!

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn

P.S.: If YOU are a spiritual author, EVEN IF you are just in the very beginning of wanting to START your book project, YOU should enter this wonderful contest. Unpublished and self-published authors are invited AND they give you lots of help to develop your “pitch” if you don’t know how to do it yourself. Check out the Next Top Spiritual Contest and ENTER NOW at http://www.nexttopauthor.com/index.cfm. It’s going to be a fabulous journey, and I hope will take advantage of it.

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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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Dec
18

Using and Integrating Blogs and RSS for Book Promotion

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Lynn Serafinn, promotion manager for #1 seller mind-body-spirit authors, on blogs vs websites for book promotion, setting up feeds and social networks, basics of  leads generation, and online interaction.

To REGISTER for this Module, click HERE.

Module 2: Pre-Publication Marketing Musts

Week 3: Integrating and leveraging blogs and RSS

Subtitle of this newly revamped module: “100 Days to Build Your Online Promotional Platform”

LESSON SUMMARY

Finding Your Readers

When designing a blogsite for your book, it is essential that you are mindful of your target audience, and that you design the blog in such a way as to be attractive to potential readers. This attractiveness must extend into the character of your theme and colour scheme as well as the content of your posts.

Most of all, remember that while the purpose of your book blog is to get people interested in your book, you will not achieve this simply by creating a site that does nothing else but talk about your book. To build your promotional platform, your primary objective in making a blog should be to create an environment where readers can really get to know:

  • Who you are as a person
  • What your message is
  • How you write

AND… if you do it right, your blog will also become a platform where you can get to know your readers too—both collectively and (in some cases) individually.

OBJECTIVES FOR THE WEEK

In this lesson, you will learn:

  1. The importance of having a dedicated book domain
  2. Purpose of a blog as opposed to a website
  3. Considerations for setting up your blog
  4. How to set up your feeds
  5. Integrating your feed to social networks
  6. Installing a sign-up box on your blog
  7. WordPress enhancements: Plugins and Widgets
  8. Building interaction into your blog
  9. How often and what to blog
  10. How to make the most use of your material

Click “Read More” to begin your lesson for the week.

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Dec
18

Target audience – knowing, finding and reaching your readers

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Lynn Serafinn, promotion manager for #1 seller mind-body-spirit authors, on how to understand your relationship with marketing, identify your target audience and find your potential readers.

Module 2: Pre-Publication Marketing Musts

Week 1: Your readers: knowing, finding and reaching them

Click to listen to an overview of this week’s lesson:


To REGISTER for this Module, click HERE.

Subtitle of this newly revamped module: “100 Days to Build Your Online Promotional Platform”

LESSON SUMMARY

Finding Your Readers

Many authors come to me for marketing advice just as their books are getting ready for publication. You will, however, note that I have placed this module BEFORE the module on preparing for publication. That is because, quite frankly, if you do not start your marketing long before your book is even finished being written, then you are apt to have a book come out and be extremely disappointed in the sales results. You might ask, “How can I market a book that isn’t even written yet.” The answer is simple. You aren’t. You are marketing YOU. That is what this lesson is about. It will really get you thinking about your personal relationship with all those wonderful people in the world who will be reading your book in the not-so-distant future. It will give you some strategies to identify them, know them, find them and reach them in an authentic, spirit-based way. If you find yourself resisting any of the material in the lesson (and I have had many a client and colleague for whom some of these ideas pushed them to their “edge”), slow down and take as much time as you need to understand why you are resisting. To understand this resistance fully, we will be exploring what I consider to be the key factors that influence how we approach the subject of self-promotion and online marketing

  1. Our relationship with money/selling
  2. Our relationship with technology
  3. Our relationship with other people
  4. Our relationship with ourselves

Get ready for a journey exploring these factors and how they impact the success of your book.

OBJECTIVES FOR THE WEEK:

In this week’s lesson, you will:

  1. Examine your relationship with money and selling
  2. Learn how to identify your target audience and why this is important
  3. Learn the two key goals of early marketing
  4. Outline the infrastructure you need for finding your audience online
  5. Create a plan for reaching your audience

Click “Read More” to begin your lesson for the week.

Read More→

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