How to Launch Successfully
In this video, we're going to talk about your initial book launch. Making sure when it goes live on Amazon you get the most bang for your buck. Increase your Amazon sales increase your Amazon sales rank, which leads to more sales and a higher sales rank in the long-term. There’s a lot you need to keep in mind. So, let's get started.
Your initial book launch is often the most important part of your marketing efforts. The initial push you get leads to more sales in the long-term. It makes Amazon recognize your book as being something that sells, which means they want to promote it more, you get more exposure, more new fans and more purchases of your cookbook.
So, it's something you want to definitely spend time on to ensure you maximize it. You want to get the most long-term bang for your buck when you put out your book.
Going into your book launch there are a few things you need to do ahead of time.
Build Up Your Mailing List
Some of those you should start right now, like building up your mailing list. Your newsletter is invaluable for promoting your launch.
So, if you don't have a newsletter, and you're not collecting emails, make sure you start that right now. You don't even have to send out a single newsletter between now and your book launch. Create a lead magnet and get it on your site to start collecting emails.
So, when your launch comes around, you can start emailing people and drive them to Amazon to purchase your book.
Cultivate Your Network
One thing that helps with a good book launch is to get in front of other people's fans. Start cultivating your network now. You want to get in front of as many people as you can.
If you reach out to somebody six months from now and your book's ready to come out and say, "Hey, you don't know me, but do you want to promote my book for me?" they're most likely going to say no, or just ignore your email.
But if you start cultivating these relationships now, start reaching out when you're not specifically asking for something, it's a great way to build your network. So, when your book does come out, you can maximize the reach it's going to get.
Find Your Super Fans
The final thing you need to do ahead of time and start on now is cultivating a few super fans. There are people who read all of your post, follow you on the majority of social media channels, who comment, who interact, and who email you.
You need to find these people and make a note of who they are. These are the type of people you're going to want to reach out to when your book launches to get reviews.
When you get reviews on Amazon, it's going to help drive sales. They have to be honest reviews. You can't pay for a review and you can't tell people to leave a positive review. But you can skew the results by asking people that you know connect with you and love your work.
So, start cultivating these people now and make notes of who they are. So, when the time comes you can reach out to them for very, very good reviews of your book. So now you have those three things to start working on now, so you'll be ready when your book launch comes around.
During the Launch
We can talk about a few things you should do at the launch itself.
Time Your Launch with Your Publication Date
The first is to time your launch with your publication date, this is true whether you are self published or traditionally published. You want to drive the majority of the traffic in the first week your book is out because this is going to indicate to Amazon this book has potential. And when you indicate that, it's used in their ratio for the next several months.
This means you're going to get higher search results and you're going to show up with a higher sales rank. The result is more people are going to be driven to your book who don't know you already. It's a great way to maximize sales.
Remember, it's better to have all those sales in the first week than it is to have the exact same number of sales spread out over a few months.
Amazon even has a hot releases page that shows which books are selling the best that just came out within the week. Showing up on there is another great way to increase your sales and get in front of new readers.
One way to control this is if you're self publishing, you can set the publication date you want. This allows you to know exactly when it's going on sale.
I generally try to plan all my launch activities for about two days after it directly goes on sale. So, I can get my book reviews in. I can make sure any shipping snafus at Amazon are resolved. And then when the push happens, everything's ready to go for people to buy the book.
Entice People to Buy Now
So, how do you get people to buy right away instead of waiting for a few weeks or a few months? There are a few different strategies. Some people will just buy regardless because they love you and they want to buy everything you're putting out. But a lot of people you can incentivize to give them a little push over the edge if they're on the border.
Bonuses for Buying
The first is to do bonuses. You can treat this like a normal launch that you hear about when people release courses and they give away bonuses for people can access. Obviously, if you're selling through Amazon, you don't have people's email addresses. However, you can include stuff directly with the book.
What we generally do is if someone buys it on Amazon, they email us a copy of their receipt and then we send them a link with access to downloadable bonuses.
This can be anything from an electronic bonus, like a downloadable guide to more recipes or a how to guide for some more fine-tuned aspect that you cover in the book. But you can do pretty much anything you want to ensure people are buying now.
Discounts and Reduced Pricing
We've also given discounts for some of our products and even swag occasionally, if you can still make enough money with your profit margins. If you are self published, you also have control over the price of your book.
Often times for the first week, we will reduce the price of our book. We'll let people know, Hey, the book is currently 30% off. Make sure you get in there and buy it right away.
And there are some people who will buy your book, like I said, regardless. You're leaving some money on the table with them because you're reducing your price and these buyers would be happy to pay full price. But you'll be getting in a lot more sales with the people who want to jump on that discount.
After a week, you can just raise the price and it will go back to normal. It's a good way to kind of support these first movers, people who are believing in what you're putting out to take a leap with you and purchase your book right away.
Previews and Sample Content
One of the biggest ways you can make people buy your book, especially if this is one of your first books is to show people what they're going to get. The easiest way to do this is with free content.
Leading up to your launch is a great time to start trickling out free content from your book. If you're traditionally published, you might need to talk to your publisher about what is or is not allowed. But if you're self published, you can release any sort of content.
I've done anything from downloadable recipe packets for people in my newsletter, to recipes on my blog, how to guides, early access, sneak peaks of chapters. There's a lot of different directions you can go to show people exactly what is in your book.
So, when the launch happens, they've seen your book cover, they've seen pieces of it, they're excited for it and they're ready to give you your money in exchange for a copy.
Teasing Your Book
A smaller version of free content is just teasing your book. The more you talk about your book and the more excited you are about it, the more your fans will be as well.
This doesn't have to just be salesy things. When you get the first design of your cover put it on Instagram, send it out to your newsletter and say, "Hey, just want to give you all a sneak peek of the cover of my upcoming book".
You're not pitching anything. You're not selling anything. You're just sharing with your fans what you're excited about.
And a lot of your fans are going to see it, and their excitement is going to build. Especially if you combine it with some free content over the next few weeks, they're going to be excited to buy when it comes out.
Reaching Out to Other Bloggers
Getting in front of new audiences is also very important and can help maximize sales. Part of this is reaching out to other bloggers in your niche and letting them to write about your book.
This can take many different forms. I've done guest posts on different blogs. I've done interviews with people. I've also done a lot of book giveaways where I'll give them a few signed copies of my cookbook. They then promote it to their audience and one of their commenters wins a copy.
It’s a great way to allow them to give something to their fans while I'm still getting some benefit out of it as well.
And one of the things I've mentioned often in this is your newsletter. Newsletter promotions are huge.
Keeping your fan base apprised of what is going on with your book is a great way to make sure they're excited for it. And when the time comes, they're ready to jump on it and take advantage of buying a copy.
Social Media Promotions
The final thing is to take advantage of social media. I am not good at social media. But leading up to book launches, you want to get as much content out there and build as much buzz and excitement as you can.
And so, you can post pictures of your cover. Take some when you're cooking recipes for your book, make sure you take an extra photo or two and put it up on Instagram. If something goes wrong in your recipe testing, post about it on Facebook, show your audience what you're working on.
Get them excited about it. Let them see a little behind the scenes of what process is going on. And then they're going to be ready to buy when the time comes.
There are numerous things we just covered about what you need to do to have a successful launch. Like I said, writing the book and then publishing it isn't the end of the journey. Making sure you maximize your sales is the easiest way to make sure you have some long-term success, regardless of what your goals are.
You don't have to do everything I just mentioned, but if you can pick maybe four or five of them to really dive into and maximize them, you're going to have a lot better results when your book goes live on Amazon.
And then in the next video, we are going to look at how to get Amazon reviews for you. If you don't have reviews on your book, people aren't going to buy it. It's as simple as that. Luckily there's a few different things you can do to make sure you get not only reviews, but great reviews. That's going to be coming up next.