I kept the documentation that identified me as a Special Education Reading and Writing Student. I stopped going to special education between my junior and senior years of high school. After high school I graduated from my dream college (Penn State), and three months later I wrote a book.
My book, How to Find Your Passion, was downloaded on Amazon more than 3,000 times in the first couple months. This is how I became a #1 bestselling author by the age of 22.
Only a small part of this success was due to my writing skills. Most of it came from the methods I used focused on the following three areas:
- Increasing my productivity and performance during intense work sessions (especially the writing sessions).
- Going into my work sessions with a positive mindset.
- How to market a book.
I’ve systemized this process, and today I’m going to share the marketing methods with you. My education came from the mentorship I received from top-level executives in corporate America and start-up founders from around the world. I’ll be forever grateful for these teachings.
Book Marketing 101
A book is the best way to turn your passion into income. Once you write a book you’ll gain what we call the book echo. In essence it’s the difference between searching for customers and attracting customers. Roger James Hamilton illustrates this wonderfully: “Searching for customer is chasing after butterflies with a net. Attracting customers is building a garden, the butterflies come to you.”
The authority position, leadership status, partnership deals, speaking gigs, blogging, and podcast opportunities you’ll receive after writing a book can be overwhelming.
WARNING: I’m not going to write a lot of “fluff” here. And there’s ONE precursor to all of this. It’s all about community. With the support of a community, your book will reach more people than you ever thought possible. After all, if I can go from being a Special Education Reading and Writing student to being a #1 Bestselling Author by age 22 with my books being bought by readers across the global on a daily basis, you can do it too.
Now, let’s imagine you joined my new Self Publishing System and have a book ready for a go-to market strategy. Here’s how you turn your passion into PROFIT. Please note that skipping any of the steps will unnecessarily complicate things, so stick with the plan. What follows, are proven techniques for publishing a bestseller, with all examples coming from the largest bookstore in the world – Amazon.com:
DISCLAIMER: This an only a blueprint – you must take action in order for this to work!
“If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet; then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
Book Marketing 101: Bestseller Blueprint:
PART I: Social Media
1. Build A Story
Over the past 2,000 years a lot has changed. However, what has stayed the same is the way we pass on knowledge, which is through storytelling. Storytelling is how we tell our friends about a new product, a favorite athlete, a great meal, or a favorite vacation spot.
Therefore, the fastest way to have your book spread is to tell its story. What does this story look like?
It can be scary to tell this story, in part because it requires you to become vulnerable and be authentic. It requires you to share information you weren’t necessarily asked to share.
It’s about what you say and when you say it. You need three different forms of this story to get great results. The story itself is about WHY you wrote your book.
Here are the three different versions of this story you must create:
A – The One-Pager on why you wrote your book
Some points to cover in this single page of writing include the following: Start this story with the arch (plop your readers in the most intense part). It can be pulled from the beginning, middle or end of the story.
This will grab the reader’s attention.
Then move into a vulnerable sharing in order to bring depth to the relationship you’re establishing with the reader.
From there you move into motivation, expressing the 3-5 benefits that readers will gain from reading your book.
Finally, inspire readers by showing your vision and allowing them to feel like they are a part of this mission.
B – Condense your one-pager into a one-paragraph description.
C – Condense your one-paragraph piece into a 30-second pitch (it may be your subtitle).
When people ask what you’re up to lately, answer with C, then B, and then A, in that order.
There are only a few announcements needed before you launch your book, or for any project for that matter. Tell people about what was created, when they can buy it, and why they should buy it.
The what is a snapshot of what your book is about – version C of your story from above. The when is the release date for launching your book. The why is version A of your story from above.
Here’s a tip to use for your release date: Create an email opt-in page.
This allows you to directly contact people via email. Do this by creating a single webpage that contains a space for visitors to enter their email address. This is called a landing page. Use Weebly or any free website service to create the webpage. Then connect an email service with the landing page such as MailChimp to collect the emails.
The next announcement is a Facebook Event created for the release date. Invite all of your friends and add the link to your opt-in page.
“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.” – William Gass
PART II: AMAZON
3. Upload Your Book To Amazon.com KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
If you have uploaded your book more than five days before your release date, press Save as Draft. Once you get within the five-day range, you will want to click Save & Publish. This is because you only have 30 days to be on the Hot New Release List. Once you publish, the clock starts ticking. However, leaving a 5-day window will allow sufficient time for the next task.
After your book is published, you will be sending a PDF copy of your book to 15 close family and friends.
Ask them to read your book, and in return for the sneak peek, ask them to write you a short review. If everyone complies, great! But life does happen, so expect at least several of them to not follow through as you hoped they would.
Aim for 15 reviews.
- Upload your book
- If it’s 6+ days before launch day – Save as Draft.
- If you’re within 5 days of your launch day – Save & Publish.
- Once published, get 15 reviews before your official launch day!
4. Promotion Types
This is a 2-5 day promotion that can be ended at any time. The promotion is best used at the launch of your book, and is the quickest pathway to the bestseller list. I encourage taking this route for any first-time authors.
One unique scenario where you wouldn’t want do this is when you have a strong enough following to provide you with the juice needed to rise through the ranks and sell thousands of book in the first week, in which case I recommend the pre-order promotion for that.
You can launch your book through a pre-order route. A benefit of this will be promoting your book for over 90 days.
This would include not needing to have your final version complete until 10 days before the release date.
During your entire promotion period you will be racking up sales. This strategy is fairly new to Amazon, and is best used if you’re confident that your reach is already in the thousands.
5. Free Promotion Strategy
It’s not only what you do and how you do it, but you must consider when you do it. If you choose to do a free promotion strategy, you will have two options to optimize sales. Again, I have tested each method and have found the following to be the best options:
- 2-3 Day Promotion Launch
In this strategy, you launch your book on a Tuesday. Two factors in your favor are urgency to download by giving a shorter timeline, and also that Tuesday, statistically speaking, is the best day for a launch.
Avoid the Saturday slump – it’s essentially a dead day for book sales.
- 3-5 Day Promotion Launch
This is a solid strategy for first-time authors. Mistakes do happen, and with the 2-3 day launch strategy, there’s very little wiggle room for mistakes!
In the 3-5 day launch strategy, you launch your book on a Monday. This allows you to still maximize sales from Tuesday and avoid the Saturday slump.
This strategy works very well towards the end of the day on a Monday. If afternoon sales are dismal on a Monday launch, don’t panic.
Do heavy marketing and promotion on Tuesday for both strategies.
- Pick your launch timeline strategy.
- Inform your audience of your release date and DON’T CHANGE IT!
- Promote heavily on Tuesday.
6. Pricing Progression
I recommend the following formula, but of course you are entitled to choose any pricing plan you want.
If you decide to do the free promotion, start with a price of $9.99. This will give your book a higher perceived value. 6-8 hours prior to ending your free promo, change your price to $0.99.
Keep this price for a week. Then change to $1.99 and hold that price for a week, then $2.99, and from there you can experiment with prices as you see fit.
Rule of thumb: Any price between $2.99 and $9.99 will get you 70% of that price in royalties. Any price below or above will get you 35% in royalties.
Amazon is running a beta program called KDP Pricing Support. This will show you the relationship between the optimal price, past sales, and author earnings for KDP books similar to yours.
Now you have the secret to publishing and marketing your book to make money for you!
If you would like to write a book and publish it with the full support of a whole community, check out selfpublishingsystem.com.
I am happy to answer questions about the process in the comment area below.
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