How about we just jump into this by blowing up the elephant in the room:
One of the BIGGEST reasons a lot of authors don’t hit their income goals is because they just aren’t organized. In this post I’m going to break down exactly how you can set yourself up to get more excitement, engagement and sales/reads from your audience.
Hey, it’s not a bad thing! Most creative people aren’t organized. (Hell, I’m not organized most of the time!)
And just in case you’re wondering: This also applies (often times applies MORE) for top earning authors as it does for those starting out or struggling.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t follow a simple, paint by numbers style system every time you release a new title. Seriously. How much easier would it be if you printed out a 1, then 2, then 3 style “to do” list & had it on your wall next time you launched?
(Hint: The real successful authors hire someone to do this for them)
Fast Backstory: At this point I’ve had the opportunity to speak with HUNDREDS of authors directly when they apply for our agency program. Hundreds as in nearing a thousand. And that’s just in the past handful of years.
As you might imagine, after that many conversations, patterns begin to emerge.
In more than 90% of cases, authors at every level of their career, report they are coming out of the writers cave at lightening speed in order to get their book launched on a deadline & often forget to engage some, if not most of their marketing steps.
Now for some this means they’ll still earn $10K+ from that release in the first 30, 60, 90. And great. But it also means they are leaving potentially another $5K – $15K on the table. (or more depending on what is missed)
For others who might not be at that level, not engaging the steps I’m about to lay out can be the difference between making even a small profit or losing all the money they put into creating that title.
Let’s get into it. Shall we?
Book Launch Master Plan Part 1: Building Excitement
One thing you’ll notice pretty quick is that if you don’t inform your “internal” audience in advance about your new title, they won’t be ready when it’s time to buy/download.
Your “building excitement” phase needs to start 1 or 2 week ahead of your “GO GO GO” phase.
VITAL KU/WIDE NOTE: If you are in KU you DO NOT want to “presell” your book. As Amazon counts sales in real time, running a presale will murder your bestseller ranking thereby dramatically reducing the number of eyeballs who sell you & make an impulse buy and/or download with KU
During this time you’ll want to be focused on your “Internal” ecosystem.
Your Internal Ecosystem: This means assets YOU have direct access to. This would be your social media fans & your email list.
We’ve found a pretty massive disconnect with just about all authors when it comes to using their internal ecosystems correctly.
VITAL NOTE: Social & email are to be combined. One hand washes the other. Do not think of them as 2 different groups of people or marketing tools, stat thinking of them as 2 different methods of communication.
Here’s what all this means: You’ll want to use your email subscribers to drive eyeballs into your social (NEVER personal profiles ALWAYS business pages or groups)
The reason you want to send subscribers into your social is because when they engage with your posts/videos you can put them into an audience and stay in front of them at all the vital moments so they don’t forget about you. (this topic will be covered in detail in an upcoming post)
As groups still have a great deal of organic reach (depending on engagement) you would do well to try to drive as many of your scattered readers as possible into your launch or reader groups.
You then schedule engagement activities inside the group & show up at those times.
Example: Let everyone know to join your group because your new title will be live soon and the COVER REVEAL is on X date at Y time. You’ll also be doing a FB live (if you’re down with video or just picking someone who engages with the cover post if you’re not)
During that time you’ll be giving away something special to # of people who are there live & are engaging.
During this phase you’ll want to be using your email 2x per week at least in order to drive traffic into the social property you have selected to focus your efforts.
Brutally Honest Note On More Frequent Mailing: <startrant> Yes. Some people will unsubscribe. That’s how all this works. This entire industry needs to get over the FEAR of “what if I sent too much email?” The fact is almost nobody is sending even sort of enough. Every single author doing it 1x per month or less is literally leaving 90% of your potential profits on the table AND letting your fans/subscribers forget about you. Get over your misguided opinions. They don’t serve you. The “I don’t like to send that much because my subscribers are special and different and won’t like it if I do” is sooooooo played out. IF you want to increase your income you MUST send more often AND do it with intention. As 85%+ of our best clients are women I’ll tell you the same thing I tell them (and they are all blown away with the results) SHE WHO SENDS THE MOST EMAIL MAKES THE MOST MONEY.
^ In all reality there so many bone headed, misguided author group fueled BS belief systems/mindsets I should do an entire post just on those. And author knows it’s stupid. Not a single person has lasted more than 20 seconds in a conversation with me or anyone on my team before the author sighs and says “yea, I always knew it was a bad idea, I just heard it from INSERT BIG NAME AUTHOR HERE and figured she knew what she was talking about”
Just know this: Your subscribers signed up because they want to hear from you. When you make the choice to not message them you’re actually robbing them of what they wanted most: the ability to engage with an author they fell in love with. So when you DO NOT mail you’re actually stealing from them. The same goes with frequent social posts. </endrant>
You can set up 2 or 3 more engagement/awareness moments during your Building Excitement phase. It’s up to you and lots of authors have come up with lots of creative stuff that really gets the fans going.
Book Launch Master Plan Part 2: The Countdown
Depending on if you started 2 weeks out or 1 week out, the countdown can last anywhere from 7 to 3 days.
This part is SUPER simple.
The point is to stay front of mind, build urgency & excitement.
IF you are wide then you can drive people to your presell link on all platforms.
IF you are in KU you MUST tell them NOT to buy until the day you go live.
Pricing: While I love when an author is able to be successful at full price, they often find they earn MORE when they go live at a slight discount.
AKA: If your normal price is $3.99 and you’re wide, run your opening day(s) at $2.99. Or if you’re in KU, keep your book at $2.99 until the day you go live and then drop it to $.99. (change the night before)
Inform your subscribers/fans that the time to buy is coming up & if they grab your book during a preset window, they will get the best price possible.
Power Sales Note: A lower price is great and it works. It’s also typically like $1 and you can get WAY more of your core fans to move when you offer them an exclusive bonus for buying/downloading at the right time.
Hey, grab your copy on X date & email me. I’ll send you a free, exclusive copy of this short… or something cool like that.
Count Down Messaging Sequence: FYI: You’ll want to make these headlines a bit sexier. I’ve left them raw & nasty simply to illustrate the idea behind each.
CD Message 1: Best Price For TITLE Is…
In the boxy of the email you’ll want them to inform them of all the cool stuff they will get (price/bonus) when they by between DATE & DATE.
Post the same to social & email.
CD Message 2: Get Ready For Your Bonuses
This one can be a social only post.
CD Message 3: TOMORROW IT IS LIVE
Yes, this one you’ll want to push out using both email as well as social.
Let them know tomorrow is the day & they will want to get ready.
Inform them again what’s in it for them & when to take the action.
Book Launch Master Plan Part 3: WE ARE LIVE!
If you’ve taken all the steps above then you have a pretty healthy group of your internal ecosystem AWARE and also EXCITED to get your new title.
Will some people have unsubscribed & written in saying how they don’t like the “new you”? Yes.
Fast Note On Humans: As a business owner you really need to make a decision about what sort of messages you put in your head. Do you want to listen to those who complain? Those who want to keep you small & less successful than you could be? Do you want to listen to those who live unfulfilled lives of seeking attention on social by being trolls & making cryptic posts in hopes their friends flock to their aid… “OH NO! What’s WRONG? IS EVERYTHING OKAY? PLEASE TELL US MORE!”
So make a choice. Do you want to build an audience of readers who LOVE you, LOVE your books & can’t wait for you to publish another one so they can gobble it up… or do you want “Brittany” with all her drama telling you what you are allowed to do based on her feelings?
The Ultimate Solve: Okay, okay! I’ll go easy on ya. IF you want you can mail your list & let them know you’ll be increasing your messages. You can then give them a link to click where they can join a list where they will only get 1 message from you each time you release. In just about every autoresponder you can set up simple automations so they are removed from your main list & put on this “quite” list. (so you can have your cake & Brittany too!)
For the live phase you’ll want to have AT LEAST 3 messages.
Day 1: We’re live! Go here, get this, do this when you have it & get bonus (if you’re doing a bonus)
Remind them the deal ends on DATE
Day?/Message 2: Did You Miss It? Hey, just wanted to make sure you saw DEAL. The price is going up soon and the bonus is going away. If you’re wanting to grab your copy go here, get this, do this when you have it… ENDS ON DATE)
Message 3: LAST SHOT
This message is every bit as crucial as the 1st message. The reason is because here you’ll wake up those who were waiting and/or just haven’t taken the time to open any messages yet. This message is often can equal day 1 sales or even surpass them.
And yes. Combine all this with social posts. Try to post 2x per day.
NOTE: This works just as well with KU as it does Wide.
End Game: You can set up every aspect of this sequence in advance so it rolls out even if you space on your actual launch day. IF you find you’re having a hard time doing that, hire someone. Clearly we do this for a lot of authors. You can hire us! Or you can get a part time VA.
The bottom line is doing this can make you A LOT more income & there are no excuses for not doing it. If it’s not you, make it someone else!
Go. Do this. And if you want some personal hand holding? Read below now as it’s ending in a few more days.
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