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[ecourse] bestseller book launch – day 7 of 8

launch your book to bestseller

– day 7 –


Prepping Your Launch – the unsexy step most authors miss (and why they fail)


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You’re 7 days into this course, or about 90% of your way to a bestselling book launch.

At this point, you have the foundational elements of what you need to successfully launch a book to bestseller.


And this is a big however…

You still need to “prep” the launch.

It’s funny (or sad), but this is the part so many authors skip. They do all the hard work of building out their plan, creating their book sales page, maybe (in a few cases at least) even identifying alternative marketing channels…

Then they launch their book and…


What happened?

More importantly, how do we avoid the same fate?

Today, I’ll answer both questions. So let’s start at the beginning…

Book Battlefield Preparation…

I spent 9 years in the U.S. Army – 4 years at West Point, 5 years as a commissioned officer.

During my military career I worked at the Platoon and Company level, all the way up to Battalion and Brigade level. Because I had a knack for strategic planning, I became responsible for much of the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) training for our Battalion.

One of the first things you learn as you’re going through MDMP (which is another way of saying: creating a plan of attack for an operation), is that no mission starts until you’ve conducted Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (or IPB for short).

IPB is a process where military leaders define the battlefield environment, describe what effects the battlefield will have on friendly and enemy forces alike, evaluate the enemy threat in the area, and determine possible enemy courses of action.

In other words, IPB allows military leaders to get a full picture of what’s going on…which allows us to mitigate the greatest potential risk and failures with our plan BEFORE we move forward with it…

In combat, lives were on the line, so you can bet I took this topic very seriously…

While the stakes aren’t quite so high in book publishing, you can bet the same rules apply to a book launch.

That’s why steps 11, 12, and 13 of The Bestselling Book Launch Sequence are so important – it’s when you put together the remaining pieces of your book launch to make sure everything is lined up and ready to rock and roll for your launch…

And the secret that most bestselling authors know (that most amateurs miss) is that launch day is not the most important day – it’s the days leading up to launch that matter the most.

So let’s get to it…

A Review of The Bestselling Book Launch Sequence

The bolded items are the ones we’ll cover today.

Step 1: Create a Book Launch Sequence Working Document

Step 2: Identify Key Players

Step 3: Set Your Launch Date

Step 4: Clarify Your Goal

Step 5: Centralize all Materials for Your Book

Step 6: Create an Early Notification List

Step 7: Create an Ambassador Group

Step 8: Develop Your Influencers Circle

Step 9: Identify Alternative Marketing Channels

Step 10: Build Your High-Converting Book Sales Page

Step 11: Get Your Book Ready for Distribution

Step 12: Notify Ambassadors and Influencers

Step 13: Final Prep and Pre-Launch Marketing

Step 14: Launch

Step 11: Get Your Book Ready for Distribution

Now that we have the backbone of our marketing and promotional effort ready, it’s time to square away the distribution.

Primary Ways to Distribute Your Book

  1. Amazon.com (to sell your book on the largest digital book platform in the world)
  2. Createspace.com (for print on demand)
  3. Gumroad.com (for selling directly to your audience)

There are of course many other platforms for book distribution, like Barnes and Noble, the Apple store, the Google Play store etc. – but those listed have the greatest reach and marketshare (Amazon + Createspace), and the greatest ease of use (Gumroad.com for direct-to-reader sales), which is why I recommend them.

How to Get Your Book Ready for Distribution

As noted above, there are dozens of ways to distribute your book. Depending on which route you go, you’ll need to collect and assemble that information LONG before your book launch (so nothing goes wrong at the last minute).

If you intend to leverage the market leaders (Amazon / Createspace), here’s what you’ll need to do at a minimum;

  1. create an Amazon KDP account
  2. create a Createspace account
  3. create an Amazon Author account (yes, this is separate)
  4. secure your ISBN. This comes free if you want to use Createspace as your “publisher”; otherwise it costs about $125 for a single ISBN. Note: you do NOT need an ISBN for a digital-only book (ignore anyone who challenges this statement – they’re wrong).
  5. generate an ASIN. This is like an ISBN but for digital books – Amazon creates this automatically for you when you upload a book into KDP.
  6. create your book description
  7. create your about the author description
  8. consolidate editorial reviews
  9. set your pricing and distribution options
  10. upload final documents and review them online and offline (you should order a physical print copy weeks before launch so you can make changes if need be)

You’ll want to make sure that no matter which route you go – whether digital or physical (or both), direct to your reader, or via a platform like Amazon.com – that all the necessary information is plugged in and ready to go BEFORE launch.

I recommend getting this part setup at least 30 days in advance (more if you’re publishing a paperback or other type of physical print version of your book).


When you do this stuff on a platform like Amazon, there is generally a 24 – 48 hour lag time for most information. That means if you wait till the day before to start filling in your information on Amazon, you may miss your ship date!

This is not a smart move for any author…so please, make sure you do your due diligence and get your distribution channels set up BEFORE launch day.

Otherwise, you’ll feel like this kid when you miss your ship date:

Step 12: Briefly Notify Ambassadors and Influencers

Now that you have everything setup on the back-end for your book launch, it’s time to share your book with Ambassadors and Influencers.

Ideally you want to give ambassadors and influencers 1-2 weeks lead time to read the book. This will give them ample time to read (or at least skim) the book, which will allow them to honestly share it with their audience.

If you’re on a time crunch, I still recommend sharing a free copy with both groups before launch day, even if it’s only a few days in advance (for Dan Norris’ The 7 Day Startup, we didn’t have the book finalized until the week before…it wasn’t ideal, but it worked out fine in the end).

#1. Email your ambassadors a free copy of the book

For ambassadors, I recommend sharing a link to the book that is hosted on Amazon S3 (or an equivalent hosting platform).

That way you can track downloads with something like S3Stat.com (which is what we did for The 7 Day Startup).

Alternatively, you could use LeadPages Leadbox + Lead Magnet delivery feature to capture emails and deliver the book (this might be redundant, but would allow you to track every download, which is helpful).

Also let your ambassadors know when the book officially launches, and to have their review ready to go! Don’t leave a review reminder to the last minute (the day of launch). Instead, let it be know to your ambassadors – who signed up to read, review, and share your book – that you expect a review day one.

Here’s some “swipe copy” you can use for your ambassdors:

* * *

Hey guys, just wanted to let you know NAME-OF-BOOK launches DATE-HERE.

Here’s a free copy of the book (please keep this a secret!!): [link here]

Can you please:

1. read

2. write a review (so it’s ready to go on launch day)

Really appreciate all your support thus far, guys. Let me know if I can help out with anything, or if you guys need anything to help with promoting, marketing, and/or sharing the book.


* * *

#2.  Share your free book with influencers

There are generally two types of influencers:

  1. Infuencers you know
  2. Influencers you don’t know

How to Approach Influencers You Know

Keep the email simple, short, and to the point.

Add a ClicktoTweet (more on how to do this below) to make it painlessly easy to share your book. Influencers are busy people – don’t make them work to support you.

How to Approach Influencers You DON’T Know

First, I don’t recommend cold emailing influencers and asking them to share your book. There is a 99.9% chance you’ll be ignored.

Instead, you want to start months before your book launches, and always lead with GIVING.

Step 1. List out every influencer who has an audience you’d like to reach. If you’ve been working in your industry for a while, this should be an easy list to compile (just think about all the people other people talk about in your niche or industry).

Use this tracker to list out and track every person.

Step 2. Join their email lists and follow them on social media (Twitter, FB, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.).

Step 3. Respond to their newsletter emails and offer your services (sharing, promoting, or otherwise doing something small but useful for them).

Step 4. Reach out on social media – engage personally and in a helpful manner.

Step 5. Continue engaging is an unobtrusive manner, continue to offer help and support, promote these influencers to your list or on your social networks…

Step 6. Now you can send them an email about your book, and let them know you’d like to share a copy with them. Don’t send it until they say yes. If they don’t respond, follow up. A simple email that says “hey, just checking in to see if you got this” is more than enough to remind a busy person to get back to you.

Case Study: The 7 Day Startup

When it came to The 7 Day Startup, we had Dan reach out to every influencer on the list personally and let them know about his new book that would be coming out in a few days, with an offer to share the free book with them. For those people Dan knew well, we shared the book in the email.

For others, we asked if they would like a free copy (otherwise it comes off presumptuous).

In either case, the emails were low pressure and allowed the influencer to choose not to take action.

Here’s an example of an email we sent to certain influencers. I’ve changed and modified it a bit so you can use it for your own purposes.


* * *

Hey *NAME*, how’s it going? Just wanted to let you know my new book is going to be coming out shortly, NAME-OF-BOOK-HERE, and it will be [free? / discounted? / bonus incentive?] for a few days.

Here’s a link to a free copy (please keep this link private): [link to free copy]

I would love your feedback if you get the chance. 

And if it resonates with you, a share would go a LONG way.

(no pressure though) 

Also, I’m putting together a huge list of free resources here [link your resources section here]. Thought your audience might get some value out of that.

Thanks so much and let me know if I can help you with anything.


* * *

As you build your Influencer Circle you’ll realize you know some influencers better than others.

Those you know better you can be more direct with (I need help spreading the word – please share), but for those you don’t know quite so well, it helps to approach these conversations more politely and get their buy in before you send the free book (I have a new book I think you’ll love – it releases next week but I’d love to give you a free advance copy. Let me know if you’d like one!).

Bonus Points: In some cases, offering a signed copy or physical print of the book will go a long way, creating a much bigger impact. In very rare cases, where the influencer is quite hard to reach but you believe would enjoy your book, finding his contact information and mailing a signed hardcopy and personal note could go a long way (although there are certainly no guarantees).

Step 13: Final Prep and Pre-Launch Marketing

Before you reach your launch date, you’ll want to make sure all marketing and promotional wheels are in motion.

What to do BEFORE Launch

  1. Confirm everything is finalized and ready for distribution
  2. Confirm the majority or all of your copy is created (to notify ambassadors, your main email list, influencers, etc. about the launch)
  3. Confirm you’re not missing something (because we’re almost always missing something).

Here are a few steps to make sure you cover all your bases:

#1. Confirm all files and distribution channels are ready to go

If you’re going the Amazon route, it’s so important everything is ready at LEAST 24 hours out from launch. Amazon’s system takes a while to update when you have new changes.

If you’re going the KDP route, it takes a MINIMUM of 24 hours advance notice to create a free promotion or countdown deal (exclusive to KDP select enrolled books…meaning – you must keep your book exclusively on the Amazon platform for at least 90 days)

#2. Create ALL promotional material for the first few days of the launch and preschedule where appropriate

When the launch happens, your job is to lead the movement. This means building awareness of the release and creating energy and excitement around it. The more excited people are, the more willing they will be to download, review, and share.

For The 7 Day Startup, because we were doing a 5 day free giveaway promotion, we knew we needed 5 days worth of content. While we didn’t write out every email and social media message before we started, we did create key milestones and times that would trigger certain emails.

For example, I would recommend having an email for your newsletter and social media posts (on all platforms) ready for:

  1. when your book hits #1 in its category
  2. when your book hits 1,000 sales
  3. when your book breaks top 100 in Amazon
  4. second to last day of promo / discount / incentive
  5. last day of promo / discount / incentive

When your book launches, you want to be everywhere. That’s where it helps to have multiple platforms (blog, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ etc.) sharing content in multiple mediums and formats (text, images / graphics, videos, etc.).

How to Create Promotional Text

For text, creating ClicktoTweets out of quotes is an easy, effective way to spread the message.

Here’s exactly how you can do it:

Go to Bitly.com to shorten the link to your book – either the splash page or directly to Amazon or whatever platform you’re using.



(Bonus: this is also great for tracking purposes, so you should definitely use it)

Next, go to Clicktotweet.com


Create a ClicktoTweet message that is generic enough that anyone could share, but also encourages people to click through (notice the clear Call-to-Action at the end: “Get it!”).

Also make sure you tag yourself in the message (alternatively, hashtags work fine in a situation like this):\.

Example of what a ClicktoTweet might look like…


Here are some more examples of ClicktoTweets I created for this free course.

Feel free to test them out (and get bonus cool points in the process);

Wow, on day 7 of @tmorkes new book launch course and my mind is melted. Check it out! http://bit.ly/1NKiuwe [CLICK TO TWEET]

Almost finished with @tmorkes course: “LAUNCH YOUR BOOK TO BESTSELLER”- best publishing training online! Check it out http://bit.ly/1NKiuwe [CLICK TO TWEET]

Wow, that @tmorkes guy is so handsome and smart. I wish he was my friend! [You’re really awesome if you CLICK TO TWEET this one]

Creating Promotional Graphics

For graphics, I recommend something like Canva.com if you’re not a Photoshop whiz or don’t have a full-time artist on staff. The best part: Canva.com comes with templates for all your social media needs.


Using something like Canva, you can quickly and easily create a full social media “press kit” – including images and marketing copy to be used on various platforms.

Wrapping Up

Today we talked about:

  1. How and why the Army conducts Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB)…and how to apply it to your book launch
  2. How to get your book distribution channels ready
  3. How to reach out to ambassadors and influencers so your major marketing effort is prepped before launch day
  4. Several hacks for creating compelling marketing material (graphics, ClicktoTweets, and more)
  5. Examples of email and social media swipe copy you can use for your own launch

And now you are ready for the big day: LAUNCH DAY!

Next lesson, we’re going to cover all the things you need to do launch day (and launch week) to skyrocket your book to #1 in Amazon (and keep it there for the weeks and months to follow).

But first…


HOMEWORK!!!!! (will only take 12 seconds)

Don’t worry, today is easy (and should take you approximately 12 seconds to do).

In the comments below, answer the following two questions:

  1. What distribution channels are you using? Amazon? Createspace? Apple? Google Play? Gumroad?
  2. Why did you choose this channel?

Oh, and if you’re not sure of the above, let me know. I am happy to talk through the pros and cons of the various distribution channels out there (as well as help you figure out alternative distribution channels not covered today).

This free course is your oyster, so take advantage!

See you in the comments…




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  • Will use Amazon and Createspace. I already have a headstart on these. May use Gumroad for book bundled with extras/tools.

    Why Amazon? Simple. They sell more books than anyone else.

  • Hey Tom, I recently published my first Amazon book and I can certainly say the launch was far more challenging than writing the book itself! Do you know of any outsourcing services that manage the entire launch process for authors? I would love to hand this over to someone for my next book! Thanks!

    • Natalie, that is often the case.

      I provide this service through Insurgent Publishing. I’ll send you an email and we can talk to see if it makes sense to work together.

      In the meantime, if you have a book you’re getting ready to launch, I would still recommend building your early notification list, your ambassador group, etc.

    • Just depends. I have an in-depth video tutorial on everything ISBN inside PublishersEmpire.com, but as a short answer – depends what your goals are.

      There’s no need to buy your own ISBN…but it may be the right thing to do in number of circumstances (you publish other peoples work, you want to credit your publishing company in Amazon, etc.)

  • For launch, I’m planning on limiting myself to Amazon & CreateSpace because Amazon requires exclusivity for KDP Select and free days can be a good promotion tool when paired with free book lists. CreateSpace because (I forget if you mentioned this) it gives something for Amazon to compare the ebook price to and make it seem like a deal. Also, I’ll need physical copies for the next part.
    Barnes & Noble stores will sometimes feature local authors, so I’m going to be reaching out to stores within a 30 mile area (5 for me from Cheyenne to Boulder) and see if I can work out a deal. I’m going to begin reaching out to store managers once I’m done with the draft.
    Along with B&N stores, there is one independent bookstore (not counting the used books places) here in Fort Collins and I’m sure there are a couple in Boulder. I’ll also gift a copy to my local library, which has a shelf right in the lobby for Colorado authors.
    After the 90 days is up for Select, I plan on going everywhere. B&N, Kobo, Play Books, Smashwords, iTunes (through Smashwords), and other distribution channels available through Smashwords.

    • I’d be really curious about your results reaching out to (1) physical book stores and (2) expanding distro to B and N.

      Based on personal experience, the former is hard and time consuming (therefore ROI is limited) and the latter doesn’t sell many books…but MAY negatively impact Amazon sales, and therefore Amazon rank, etc.

      There’s no one right answer – would love your feedback and experience when you get there though ;D

      • Well, I’ll try the B&N and indie in town first. If I get any traction, I’ll expand outward. If not, I wasted an hour or two. In a previous lesson, you talked about trying marketing channels that the competition isn’t thinking about.

        My figuring is that not everybody reads on Kindle. I only got my Kindle Fire two years ago because I was in the market for a budget tablet and it was one of the cheaper ones. Before that, I had a Sony Reader and bought from a few different stores. If the Sony was still my primary device, I’d probably buy mostly from Smashwords these days.

  • I plan to launch on Amazon (CreateSpace and KDP) because that’s what I’m familiar with, what my audience is most familiar with, and will probably be the most beneficial for my goal of REACH.

    I am contemplating offering a more in-depth package/training through Gumroad.

    Thanks again Tom!

    • I like it.

      I’ve had great success with tiered packages using Gumroad.com….since you’re going the nonfiction route and building your brand, that could be a very compelling route for you.

  • Launching on Kindle and Createspace, because you get a large reach… will then look to expand into other markets once the book is ‘proved’ on Amazon!

  • I understand the value of using other platforms, but is there a reason why you wouldn’t just use your own site and paypal or stipe with WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads instead of Gumroad?

    • No good reason to not use that.

      In fact, you’ll end up with more revenue in your pocket that way as Gumroad has a 5% charge…


      I recommend Gumroad because it is painlessly easy to setup and use (you could literally start selling in minutes).

      As opposed to setting up an Authorize.net gateway and then hooking up a shopping cart and digital delivery system…etc.

      But you’re right – if you can do that and it’s easy for you, you should (I suppose w/ the Gumroad recommendation I’m speaking to people who want to easily sell books, like me…I’m incredibly lazy)

  • Obviously Amazon & CreateSpace but I’m also going to expand by offering it via:
    1. Audible (huge potential and 25 free promo codes = great opportunity to distribute the audiobook) — I’ll have one of my voice artists in our company do the recording
    2. iBooks — Although this has not been authenticated, Apple says they’re adding a million iBooks users a month. I outlined a lot of this and my thoughts on the importance of iBooks in my book iBooks Author (and how to actually get your book published on iBooks), but I think its too big to pass up.
    I’ll end up putting it in iBooks AFTER I do a Kindle Direct Publishing Select 90 day period so I can do a free promo.

    • Very interesting.

      Audible is a great idea and HIGHLY recommend it if you have the time / resources to make it happen (which it sounds like you do).

      iBooks is very interesting to me, but I haven’t leveraged the platform yet. Will try soon though. Definitely interested in your results.

      • Tom,

        Yeah, Audible is pretty awesome and I’ve had some very reasonable sales through it. I think that audio growth is huge (note the explosion of podcasting over the last 2-3 yrs) and Audible is well positioned to take advantage of this.

        If you need your book(s) recorded, I’m happy to help and I’m also happy to send you a copy of both my books (“Recording Audiobooks” and “iBooks Author”) for free–just emailed you about course feedback about an hour ago.


  • I published a Kindle book in 2009, so I will definitely focus on Amazon. I never did put it in paperback or do anything worthwhile about publicizing it. I will probably make it free during the launch of Thrive! For Thrive! I will release both Kindle and CreateSpace editions at the same time. I already have an author page, but it needs some work.
    I am trying to think about premiums for the launch week. I want the book to open people to the idea of finding inspiration, hope and encouragement on my site, and I want the book to be used in group studies, retreats and webinars. Is there such a thing as the landing page integrating beyond the simple book sale to additional products at premium prices during the launch?

      • What exactly do you mean Katherine? Using a book sales page to drive sales of other products / services?

        Absolutely…you just want to build that into the backend (the THANK YOU page after someone buys your book).

        This is a great way to generate multiple sales and recurring revenue from your book (by automating the sales funnel).

  • Hi Tom–

    I’m using Amazon and CreateSpace. They seemed like the path of least resistance, plus I already have something published on Kindle.

    Thank you so much!


  • I will be using CreateSpace as well as Amazon. I have used both of these for five books now. I have also gone through B&N and was not aware it may affect sales with Amazon. I had not heard about gumroad but am interested in finding out more. I would also like to eventually have my books on audio.

    The reason I go with Amazon/CreateSpace? It’s what I learned through the TribeWriter course. How valuable would it be for me to sell through my own site?

    • I prefer to sell through my platform for a number of reasons. #1 I control the user experience and #2 more revenue (Amazon takes 30 – 65% of profit…that’s a lot of money – and you don’t even get your readers contact information to follow up with them).

  • I’m using createspace and kindle. Chose these because they seem to make the most sense; seem to be the most logical choices after doing research about best way to get my books out there. I started with kindle, then finally created a print copy in createspace platform. Initially, I had a challenge formatting the createspace print version, but stayed with it and found out it’s not that difficult.

  • Since my goal is to maximize my REACH, I will plan to go with Amazon, KDP, & Create Space.

    I’ll have to check out Gumroad as well. The idea of Amazon taking such a lot percentage is not that exciting lol!

  • Hai Tom, Your amazing. ! Thanks your inspiring and i enjoy Every step. I am very New in this Field and ready for advice and any help.

  • I’m still wrestling with this one. Definitely kindle, create space and Gumroad. Almost definitely kobo and iBook. Probably not B&N as I would need to go through a third party, but probably offer nook format through Gumroad. Maybe pdf from website too.

    • Yeah…I always default to the most important platforms (80/20 rule), which is usually why I go w/ Amazon and Gumroad (revenue and impact for the latter).

  • Great stuff as always! You mentioned using leadpages to deliver the advance reader copies. I actually wound up using Gumroad and set it PWYW. In the email I said to put “0” for the price but several people actually paid for it.

    I followed up and they all said they knew I worked hard and wanted to pay me for it.

    Also like Leadpages I was able to capture the emails of the ARC group and then follow up with them for reviews after the book launch was over.

    Love what you doing and this course is great!

  • I’ll be using Amazon and Create Space but South Africa is a very traditional market and people still prefer books in print so I’ll have to consider printing small volumes and selling directly. I’m definitely going audio as well.

  • “What distribution channels are you using? Amazon? Createspace? Apple? Google Play? Gumroad?”

    I’m definitely using Gumroad. That’s where I sold my last book.

    I’d *like* to use Amazon for the traffic and visibility, the same way Dan Norris did with the 7-Day Startup, but I’m not sure how that works with also selling on Gumroad. Also, I’m just not very familiar with using Amazon in that way, I’ll definitely need guidance.

    I’d also like to use CreateSpace so I can offer a physical options, but again…not sure how that works with also selling on Gumroad, and not familiar with using CreateSpace to best effect.

    “Why did you choose this channel?”

    Gumroad, because I’m already selling books there, it’s familiar, it’s easy and it’s cheap.

    Amazon, because its so big that it has its own gravity!

    Tom, if you have any guidance to offer regarding using Amazon to drive the book to higher sales, I’m all ears. I already read your account of helping Dan Norris do it, anything else you have on the topic would be great.

  • Tom,
    thanks for another great lesson in successfully launching a book.

    I totally agree with you on needing to build relationships with your influencers well in advance. I’ve read somewhere it takes 3-6 months.I don’t know how true this is, but definitely it’s one of those things that’s ‘not built in a day’.

    A similar thing: I love the idea of having ‘editorial reviews’, but how do you get about collecting some? Have I missed this point in an earlier post?

  • I’m curious:

    I’m a fiction author. How do I pick which influencers to build relationships with? Obviously, they should be in genres similar to my own with the audience my work will connect with. But how do I pick people who aren’t completely out of my league… which is pretty much everyone (I’m near ground zero right now).

    I won’t be releasing anything big for another year, but I’m trying to get far ahead so that I actually have a good foot to launch on.

    • Start helping EVERYONE you can in the self-publishing space. Share their work on social media, leave reviews on itunes, etc. – if you can be helpful, most people will repay you when the time comes. Give first, ask second.

  • Awesome training, Tom. The best I’ve seen by far.

    I’m using Gumroad for sales and CreateSpace for printing. I’m considering offering the eBook through KDP for the exposure, however. Just discovered KDP. I like the idea of PWIW on Gumroad for digital as well…

    Finally, I bit the bullet and spent $125 for my own isbn….now I can distribute through B&N and bring my kids down to see it on the shelf????

  • In the comments below, answer the following two questions:

    What distribution channels are you using? Amazon? Createspace? Apple? Google Play? Gumroad?

    All of the above…Gumroad was new to me. Also using IngramSpark.

    Why did you choose this channel? Advice from you and others like my sister who is a self publisher of several books.

  • Thanks for the info, very useful…some things I haven’t thought about. QUESTION: (FOR EVERYONE REALLY): Have you found the KDP Select to be worth it? To be exclusive to amazon for 90 days? Has anyone tested not doing that? I’m curious because I’ve always done it and considering not doing it.

  • Hi Tom. Thanks for the great course. Can I ask you how you did it – what is the platform you used? This is the best online course I have ever taken!

    I am going to try Amazon for my next self-published book. And I am going to apply all your advice 🙂

    • thanks Katie!

      the platform I used? can you be more specific? as in, for this course? i use NewRainmaker (by copyblogger). hope that helps 🙂

      • Thanks Tom. I mean the platform you build your course on. Because I really like it. I particularly like this discussion forum, the way it is at the end of the lesson. I am not familiar with with Rainmaker. Must go and check.



  • I am planning to use KDP and CreateSpace.
    Why? Well known platform, visibility, and their sheer numbers.
    My goal is to expand into offering a package along with the book, so I definitely want to include Gumroad in the future.

    Fabulous 7 days of training Tom.
    Thanks again!

  • I’ve already published the Kindle version on KDP and intend publishing the paperback on Createspace because these two together are formidable!

    But I’d like to try out Insurgent Publishing for the Big Daddy in the series I’m writing.

  • I will be publishing a print version first, since my book is very visual–not only is it filled with my artwork, but it is also designed to be used as a workbook and coloring book/doodle sketchbook, not *just* text content.

    That said, I also plan to make an eBook version, and an Audible/audiobook version, with an invitation inside to download a free printable companion workbook by opting in at a special page on my site.

    I plan to publish the print version first, to minimize the other versions competing for sales during launch week. My understanding is that Amazon uses separate stats for print and Kindle versions, so my thinking is that by launching the print book first (which is the “canon” version), I’ll maximize my chances by getting high rankings for that version. Then I’d launch the Kindle version down the road.

    I’d be very interested in your thoughts on this! Do you think this is a sound strategy?

    Meanwhile, I’ll make an audio version part of the bonus packages that buyers can get if they purchase during launch week.

    (Is 5 days a good timeline for offering launch bonuses?)

    After launch week is over, I’ll offer a multimedia pack option on my website, which will ultimately include all digital and audio versions.

    If I can figure out an inexpensive and passive way to fulfill print orders as part of a multimedia pack purchase on my site, I will do that (or perhaps the best solution would be to offer print buyers a multimedia upgrade on the “extras” page I will set up behind an optin wall, which will be printed multiple places inside the book. I’d be interested in your thoughts!)

    Rather than Gumroad, I’ll probably use my Rainmaker site to sell and deliver the downloadable goodies.

    One more question: if I do launch a Kindle version separately down the road, how much time would you suggest waiting between launching the print version and launching the Kindle version?

    Thanks! The info you’ve shared in this free course is stellar. ????

  • Since we are publishing a children’s book, printing hard copies is essential. The digital-only (or “digital-mainly”) format which works great for most adult books would pretty much guarantee very limited exposure in the children’s book world, where schools and libraries are the biggest markets. I need to do more research into distribution options. Obviously the primary one is Amazon. Beyond that, Ingram and Baker & Taylor would be great. And beyond those three heavyweights, there are all the smaller wholesalers who specialize in the school and library markets (Follett, Brodart, Mackin, etc). Getting listed by those wholesalers might be tough as a first-time publisher. That’s why I need time to get all my ducks in a row!

    I have been thinking a lot about how to tweak the lessons you’ve been giving to fit our situation. Sometimes it’s tempting to think, “Argh, all these pointers are perfect for somebody publishing a business or self-help book, but I’m dealing with a completely different animal!” But I keep reminding myself that actually, 80% of what you’re saying is completely relevant for us — the main thing is to have a meticulous marketing plan that takes full advantage of everything that can be done online.

    The biggest hurdle for us is the up-front capital we will require to print the books. It’s not going to be cheap, and we don’t have the funds for it. So we have to figure out some sort of crowd-funding initiative. After I finish this course, that’s the next thing I’ll be investigating.

  • I’ll have a print and eBook version of my book. Since it’s design heavy I’ll be selling the print version on Amazon and my website. I’ll sell the eBook version on my website, delivered through eJunkie. There will also be a print/eBook bundle for sale on my website.

  • Another great post – thanks for the really useful info. I recently was part of someone else’s Launch Team and he used DropBox to send the free digital version. I know I won’t be able to track downloads, but given that DropBox is free, is there a good reason to pay for Amazon or Lead Pages? Where does the download data fit in?

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