For entrepreneurs and thought leaders who want to find success in writing a book, it can appear to be a daunting process. And then once the book is complete, your job is just getting started because now you are responsible for promoting and selling it. Achieving a best-selling book may seem so out of reach to the average writer without the connections of a major marketing or public relations agency. But in fact, technology has leveled the playing field and allowed authors in any niche to have a successful book launch if they get creative in their marketing. You may even be surprised to hear that some experts recommend promoting your book before you even write it.
I caught up with Angela Lauria, founder and CEO of The Author Incubator, which has helped more than 300 books by entrepreneurs go from just an idea to completion and then on to successful sales. I asked her six of the more unlikely ways to sell a book that many authors do not think about. You don’t always need major book signings and media tours to make a book a success.
1. Sell Before You Write
Believe it or not, it’s possible to start making money on your book before you even start writing it. Create a cover, and market that book. You can start marketing via Facebook without even providing a concrete release date. Set a goal for yourself to pre-sell 1,000 copies before you start writing.
Angela elaborates, “Offer it for free or for just the cost of shipping when the book is done and give them a free class for signing up early.”
Offering free shipping gives people an incentive to buy early. If you don’t pre-sell a single copy you know that this isn’t the book for you, and you need to rework your strategy.
2. Interview Your Family and Friends
Send out a survey to your family and friends; these should be your ideal readers. Ask them some questions about the problem they have (and the problem your book is going to solve). Encourage them to forward that survey to their network to expand reach. Not only will you find out more about your readers wants, needs, and problems, but you’ll gain exposure with potential buyers and increase reach in advance.
Upon release of your book, the following tactics will come in handy to make sure your book makes a huge impact on your target audience.
3. Launch a Book Party (and bring your friends)
Once your book is ready to launch, don’t just host a book party, host a book party with at least 10 co-hosts. Getting others to co-chair your release party online will always bring in a bigger crowd, as it bring multiples audiences together. Have them read out some excerpts from your book.
Your co-hosts should also have the chance to give out free gifts at the launch party, as well. They could include previews of their own eBooks or even free stories to share with attendees. In order for people to show up, it’s important for you to add value to your book launch party.
4. Host a Live Event
Host a live event where the ticket price includes a free copy of your book. Try hard to bring in speakers, other free gifts, and special surprises. Make it a real party that people will thoroughly enjoy.
Angela explains this concept, “Imagine if you charge $300 for the event, and attract 100 people. That would be $30,000. But we’re going to do things differently. Spend that entire $30,000 on the event itself. You’re going to make money through up-selling. To 20% of the attendees you’re going to upsell them onto a special program, which naturally costs more money.”
Now you’ve ensured high quality, while guaranteeing that you’ll cover all your expenses in the process. The Author Incubator hosts live events for all authors once their book is ready to publish. This allows for the book to be celebrated, promoted, and provides and exciting atmosphere for the authors to promote their book.
You may want to promote a book that’s been out for a while. The following tips will help promote a book that may be collecting some dust.
5. Get a New Foreword on an Old Book
Unlike dogs, you can teach an eBook new tricks. To revive interest in an old book, get a new foreword. Release a new edition of your book with some new information and a foreword from an industry influencer. These simple changes can make it feel like a brand-new book, and help bring past publications to light and increase sales and help audiences see the book in a new way.
6. Create a Lead Magnet
Another tip for a book that’s already out is to make it a lead magnet. These could include small eBook supplements, case studies of people who followed your advice, or even a free online course.
The goal of a Lead Magnet is to maximize the number of targeted leads you are getting for your offer of choice. You can give this away through Google and social media ads such as Twitter and Facebook.