ASP 49: 9 Strategies Used to Launch The Miracle Morning for Writers
Quote of the Day:
“The good news about self-publishing is you get to do everything yourself. The bad news about self-publishing is you get to do everything yourself.”
The Miracle Morning for Writers has been one of our most successful books, reaching an overall Amazon rank of 292! Today, I will talk about the seven-step launch program we used, and that we have previously shared in the Miracle Morning FB group.
To start, NONE of this would have been possible without the support from everyone in this group. So we (Hal, Honoree, and I) owe you a big THANKS for the early feedback and awesome reviews. That being said, if you haven’t had a chance to leave a review, then feel free to do so here: The Miracle Morning for Writers.
So let’s get to the SPECIFIC strategies we used to launch The Miracle Morning for Writers (and a few mistakes that I made during the process). My advice? Copy this information into your preferred note-taking app or tool. (Naturally, I suggest Evernote.)
The 80/20 of Launching a Book
In the last section of The Miracle Morning for Writers, we talk about finding the 80/20 of your author platform. Well, the truth is that the 80/20 rule can be applied to any strategy, skill, or business model. And when it comes to launching a book, there are only a few strategies that move the needle:
- Emailing your list
- Building buzz through a Facebook launch group
- Networking outreach
Here is a bit of info about each strategy:
1. Email Your List(s)
I’ll admit it…Hal and I are fortunate enough to be followed by a lot of awesome people (i.e., everyone in this group.) And when it comes time to launch a book, the best strategy you can implement is to leverage your audience. The simplest way to do this is to send email broadcast messages. I’ve learned (after launching 60+ books) that email beats the pants off of any other promotional strategy.
Now, I recognize that sometimes it can sound obnoxious to tell authors to “email their lists” when they don’t have one. But at one point, I had NO email list either. And the same can be said for Hal. Everyone starts from zero and builds from there. To quote the old proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Okay, on to the TACTICS aspect of email promotion…
Amazon prefers a steady, consistent level of sales. So instead of “blasting” ALL your lists in a single day, it makes more sense to space out your promotions over the period of a week. That’s why we followed a specific calendar for our marketing efforts:
- Friday, June 3rd to June 4th: Promoted the $0.99 deal to this group.
- Sunday, June 5th: I emailed my Develop Good Habits (DGH) list.
- Monday, June 6th: Hal and Honoree emailed their lists.
- Tuesday, June 7th: I emailed my Self-Publishing/Authority Pub Academy lists.
- Wednesday, June 8th: I sent a follow-up reminder to my DGH list.
- Thursday, June 9th to Friday, June 10th: Hal, Honoree, and I emailed our respective lists, reminding subscribers that the price would increase to $4.99.
Obviously, there was a lot more involved than emailing our lists. But each of these messages generated at least a few hundred sales, which is usually enough to drive a book to the top of Amazon’s charts.
2. Build Buzz Through a Facebook Group
This is a new strategy that I had never tried before, so I owe a huge thanks to Honoree for walking me through the process, and also for being an excellent facilitator of conversations.
If you have ANY type of following or online presence, then it makes sense to build a Facebook group (not a page) around your books. The group doesn’t have to be based around just your book launches, but you should have some sort of community where you can talk to readers on a one-on-one basis.
My recommendation is to create a Facebook group and do the following:
- Ask your most loyal readers, friends, and family to join and participate.
- Create simple videos to encourage conversation (my biggest regret is that I didn’t have a lot of time to do more of these). The videos don’t need a crazy high production value. just used a simple Logitech webcam and recorded the videos, while rocking a caveman beard on my vacation. 🙂
- Send a download link to the book TWO WEEKS before it launches. This gives people enough time to not only read it, but also to catch those small mistakes. And honestly, we soooooo appreciate y’all catching those errors in the books! They help more than you can imagine!
- Offer the lowest possible price to launch team members. Not only should you send a free download link to launch team members, but you should also drop it down to the lowest possible price (i.e., $0.99) that they can access on their Kindle devices.
- Ask for SIMPLE support. You don’t have to overcomplicate the process and ask for too many things. Actually, the MORE you ask people to do, the more you’ll create a paralysis analysis where the team member is not sure WHAT is most important. So we stuck to two simple requests:
- Leave a review.
- Share the book through their preferred social media channels.
Our goal was to get 100 reviews, but even the current count is pretty awesome (61 reviews in the U.S.). Fortunately, there’s still time to leave a review. You can leave yours here.
Overall, the Facebook launch group has been a great experience. We appreciate all the help everyone provided, so feel free to copy our strategy whenever YOU want to build buzz around a book.
If you’re interested in learning more about this strategy, here are two great posts that helped me fully understand the process:
3. Networking Outreach
This is another REALLY important strategy. The idea here is that if you can leverage OTHER people’s audiences and have them share your book, then there is a huge compounding effect of strategy #1 (i.e., email your list). This is how you turn a bestselling book into something that lands on the New York Times Bestseller’s list.
I’ll admit…this is one strategy where I REALLY dropped the ball. While I did reach out to a few of my writing friends (who have their own lists), I didn’t provide enough lead time to get a lot of extra promotion for TMM4W.
The major issue? Our book directly competed for attention with the relaunch of Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula product and Chandler Bolt’s Self-Publishing Summit—two major products that were promoted by EVERYONE with a decent-sized list.
In retrospect, I should have done a better job of paying attention to what was being launched around the same time as TMM4W.
All that being said, we do owe a big thanks to Bryan Cohen and Matt Stone for recommending the book to their lists.
Okay, that’s the 80/20 of the book launch. Now, let’s talk about the some of the other strategies that “might” have a positive impact on your sales during a launch.
4. Create Native Social Media Ads
You have to make it easy to share your books on the various social media platforms. This means that it’s not enough to ask people to share your book cover. Instead, you want to create native social media ads where a person can “one-click” a button and post the image to their preferred platform. For instance, you can see an example of a Pinterest-style version of The Miracle Morning for Writers here.
You should create an image that matches the dimensions for all the platform. Here are the dimensions that I recommend for each of the major platforms:
- Facebook: 1200*628
- Twitter: 880*440
- Pinterest: 735*1110
- Instagram/LinkedIn: 640*640
Sure, this might require extra work (or an additional financial investment), but remember, you’re creating an asset that helps with the long-term marketing of your book.
5. Create One-Click Shareable Messages
Again, you want to make it super simple for fans and readers to share your book on the various social media platforms. The best way to do that is to use tools like ClickToTweet.com to craft a message (ahead of time) that has a direct link to your book. So even if someone can’t directly buy, review, or promote your book, there is still a simple way to share it with their friends and followers.
Another great tool is Bitly.com, which tracks the number of clicks on each link. My advice is to create a separate tracking link for each platform. That way, you can identify the site/strategy that generates the most clicks and/or sales. In the future, this data will be super important when you want to do an 80/20 analysis of where you should spend the most time.
6. GLEAM.IO Giveaways
In theory, running a giveaway sounds like an excellent way to spread the word about your book. If a giveaway gains critical mass, then you can reach the “friends of friends” who might not already know about your book. So a giveaway has the power to “go viral” and generate lots of attention.
I thought that a giveaway with a LOT of great prizes would take off like gangbusters, so we decided to give away a copy of my Authority Pub Academy, Honoree’s Prosperity for Writers course, and a ticket to Hal’s live event. PLUS, I also included three 30-minute coaching sessions.
The result? We got a LOT of entries from our existing audience, but not much outside of that.
Even with the “viral share” aspect of the Gleam.io tool, the giveaway was kind of a dud. Odds are, I did something wrong with the “execution” part of this strategy. But probably my biggest mistake was trying to hit a home run BEFORE testing the tool on a smaller scale. Well…lesson learned. 🙂
7. GENI.US Links
This a cool little find that I discovered during the book launch. One of the maddening things about promoting stuff on Amazon is that it uses different links for the various Amazon stores. So if you send a reader to your book in the United States, this won’t be the same buying link for a reader in Australia, Canada, or the United Kingdom.
The Geni.us tool fixes this problem by generating a single link that can be used to automatically redirect readers to THEIR country-specific Amazon stores. Moreover, if you take the time to sign up for EACH Amazon Associates program, you can generate a little bit of side income from your book promotions.
Dave Chesson has a great article about the Geni.us tool that’s worth checking out.
And there is another one from Publishing Profits Podcast.
These are a few of the lessons we learned and strategies we implemented for the launch of The Miracle Morning for Writers. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in this thread.
And once again… thanks for all the support you’ve provided in the past few weeks.
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