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[ecourse] bestseller book launch – day 3 of 8

launch your book to bestseller

– day 3 –

 

The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence

 

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bestseller book launch day 3Hey, welcome back to day 3!

I am PUMPED for today’s lesson.

Why?

Because today is when we really get into the heart of a bestselling book launch…

And that begins and ends with the book launch sequence.

The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence

The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence is the PRECISE step-by-step sequence for launching a bestselling book (clever name, right?).

Download The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence (google doc)

The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence:

  • is responsible for launching multiple books to bestseller
  • has resulted in tens of thousands of books sold on day one
  • has created new streams of passive income for authors
  • and has even helped multiple authors become thought-leaders in their industry

I use this exact sequence to publish books through my publishing company, Insurgent Publishing, and I’ve used the same sequence to launch my own books to 5-figures in profit during launch week.

It’s also the heart and soul of my new training platform: PublishersEmpire.com (more on this later).

Bottom line:

This sequence is the difference between launching your book with a massive bang and the majority of books that land with a whimper.

The 14 steps to The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence

I’m going to briefly outline the 14 steps here, then dive into the first few steps today. The rest we’ll cover over the next several lessons of this free course.

Here’s what they are:

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

A lot of stuff, I know, but don’t get overwhelmed!

I recommend bookmarking this page so you can come back to it whenever you need to for your next book launch.

For today’s lesson, we’re going to focus on the first 5 steps of The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence (and in subsequent lessons we’ll cover the rest).

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Create a Book Launch Sequence Working Document

This is your CORE document. Consider it a hub for everything book launch related.

This is the single document everyone working on your book launch project will come to in order to get the information they need. This includes linking to everything relevant to your book launch: from book contents like the cover and interior document, the marketing and sales copy, social media images for promotion, and more.

How to Create Your Book Launch Sequence Working Document

Hackpad

hackpad_working_documentThis is my personal favorite collaborative working document software. Hackpad is beautiful, simple and has great checklist technology built right in.

Cons

  • The major issue with Hackpad is that content added to hackpad can show up on Google open graph search. This shouldn’t be an issue for most people, but if you’d prefer more privacy, you may want to select another program.
  • Hackpad can become unmanageable with multiple hackpad documents to access

Google Docs

Google Docs is another cloud-based, easy-to-use program that’s completely free. While Hackpad is the more aesthetically pleasing of the two, Google Docs is powerful in that it works together with Google Drive (where I like to keep all my writing documents), Google Sheets, and other Google programs (meaning they all work nice together). Highly recommend Google Docs if you have a decent and consistent internet connection.

Cons

  • Very slow on mobile or phone. Seems to work fine on a fast computer but if you’re hoping to write on the go, it’s not recommended
  • Doesn’t always have the best offline to online backup. While Google Docs now allows offline writing, I’ve encountered issues with syncing on several occasions, which is why I generally save additional copies in Word format to my desktop

Trello

Trello is a free project management tool online. It’s not built for books, but can be used as a “hub” for your book launch.

Cons

  • Not designed for extensive reading (the layout is better suited for short bits of information with links to more in-depth content)

Evernote

Like Trello, this isn’t a program necessarily designed for books, but it works great. It allows multiple people to share a notebook, so you, your editor, your publisher, etc. can follow along as you create, package, and market your book

Cons

  • Costs money for more premium features (although it probably isn’t necessary to upgrade for most authors or publishers using just the basic features)

Step 2: Identify Key Players

Next, we want to identify all key players in our book launch. You can pull the majority of this directly from your Book Marketing Canvas.

Get a Free Copy of The Book Marketing Canvas

Key Roles to Identify:

  1. Author
  2. Editor
  3. Publisher
  4. Marketing and Launch Consultant
  5. Designer
  6. Ambassador Leader

And anything else that is important to your book launch.

What’s the importance of listing all these names?

So you know who is responsible for what.

If you’re doing it all yourself, you should put your name down in each area (that way you know you’re responsible for every part of your book launch).

Step 3: Set Your Launch Date

Next, it’s time to set your launch date (also known as ship date). This may be the most important single line of text you write.

Why You Need a Launch Date

  1. When you set a launch date, you commit to putting your work out into the world. No more hiding. It’s going to happen.
  2. When you set a launch date, it forces you to stop wasting time and start doing the work that matters. No more procrastination – just work.
  3. When you set a launch date, you start producing to the best of your abilities, both in speed and quality.

And finally, when you set a launch date, it helps you refine and develop the rest of your book launch sequence, meaning the date itself is a REQUIREMENT to build out a proper book launch sequence.

Step 4: Clarify Your Goal

In order to properly focus your efforts and create the best results for your book, you need to have defined, measurable, and reachable goals.

There are 3 fundamental goals of any book being published:

  1. Reach
  2. Impact
  3. Revenue

Here’s how they differ:

Reach

What is Reach?

Reach is defined as number of people who read your book.

How do we measure Reach?

At the moment, the easiest and best way to measure this is through total downloads and/or sales (whether through Kindle, Barnes and Noble, or your own platform)

One of the best ways to increase the Reach of your book launch is through a platform like Amazon where it’s not unrealistic to get 10,000 downloads during launch week (we’ll cover specific launch strategies in a future lesson).

Why is Reach important?

Reach is important because spreading an idea is important, and you can’t do that without readers. Also, in many cases, the farther a book spreads, the more impact and revenue you will generate as a side product.

Who should focus on Reach?

It’s never a bad idea to focus on Reach.

Whether you’re just starting to build your authors or publishers platform, or you have multiple books under your belt, Reach is always a worthwhile goal. The benefit to Reach as a goal is that it will indirectly improve revenue and impact.

For Dan Norris’ The 7 Day Startup, we focused on Reach. In the process, Dan made it to bestseller in Amazon and continues to sell 50+ books a day, generating thousands in additional revenue per month. Not only did Dan get the book in the hands of over 15,000 readers in the first couple months, but he made quite a bit of revenue as well.

This side effect (Reach leading to Revenue) is not uncommon.

Had we focused on Impact or Revenue, our strategy may have changed and this might not have been the case.

As a rule-of-thumb, if you have no audience (no subscriber list through your blog or otherwise), it’s best to focus on reach. This will ensure your work gets seen by as many people as possible, and it will give you the greatest chance for success in the long run.

Impact

What is Impact?

Impact is the degree to which your book makes a difference in the life of the reader.

How do we measure Impact?

Because Impact is a bit of an elusive concept, it can be difficult to measure. That said, there is a correlation between Impact and people wanting to hear more from the author.

The way we measure Impact is based on the total number of people who subscribe to your email list (whether to receive bonuses, content upgrades, or simply to be a part of your newsletter).

Why is Impact important?

Impact is important because if a reader signs up to your email newsletter either to get access to your book or to get the content upgrade you promise within the book itself, you now have permission to start a conversation. This can produce the greatest change over time and therefore the greatest impact.

Who should focus on Impact?

  1. Established authors looking to grow their revenue through sales of other books, products, or services.
  2. New authors looking to grow their platform.

Revenue

What is Revenue?

Revenue is defined as total money generated from your book.

How do we measure Revenue?

What’s important to realize about this is that it does NOT necessarily mean most sales. The fastest way to increase sales is to lower the price of your book, but that’s not great for revenue.

On the contrary, many of the books I’ve published that have sold the fewest copies have made the most money over time. Why?

Because we monetized them in other ways, by adding bonuses and charging a premium. And this is just one strategy you can use.

It’s possible to monetize your writing through sponsorships, cross-promotions, affiliate sales and much more.

Therefore, the best way to measure revenue is to track all income you make from the book, not just book sales.

Why is Revenue Important?

The goal of the writer is to tell a story.

The goal of the publisher is to spread these stories and make a profit doing so (in order to continue spreading stories and paying great authors to create more great stories to spread).

Bottom line: without revenue, you’re not a publisher.

Who should focus on Revenue?

Established authors.

While revenue is essential to maintain your writing / publishing career, it would be a bad idea to focus on revenue right out of the gate. More often than not, the most successful authors and publishers make revenue over the long term, letting their first book (or two) act as an audience builder (Reach + Impact), with future books looking to maximize revenue.

Step 5: Centralize all Materials for Your Book

While The Book Launch Sequence Working Document allows us to create a ‘hub’ for all our work, we still need to place all our files into an accessible place (this is especially true if you’re working with anyone other than yourself).

example_book_launch_folder

Here’s the way I recommend creating one (however you can use your own programs and software as you see fit):

How to Create a Centralized Location for All Your Book Materials and Content

  1. Create a free Google Drive folder
  2. Share the folder with key people. This includes the author, editor, designer, marketing consultant, etc. – anyone involved in your book launch
  3. Place all files in this folder so there is a central place to grab any information one person in the group may need. This cuts down on emails and loss of information that can happen with a group project (emailing everything back and forth and lots of one-on-one conversations creates double work and may end up with people being confused or losing track of the book progress)

Folders That You May Want to Include:

  1. Book Files
    • Cover
    • Interior
    • Final PDF / Kindle formatted files
  2. Marketing
    • Sales copy
    • Website copy
    • Marketing swipe file (to reach out to influencers, ambassadors, etc.)
  3. Social Media Promotion
    • Click to tweets
    • Sharable images

Your Turn: Homework Assignment!

Alright, now that we’ve wrapped up the first 5 steps of The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence, it’s time to take some action.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download a copy of The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence Working Document (google docs link)
  2. Fill out the following information: Key Players, Launch Date, and Goal
  3. Share your Launch Date and Goal below in the comments!

The most important thing I’ve learned since starting my publishing company is this: nothing great happens in a vacuum. Use the comments section below to start getting clarity on your book goals. I promise you’ll get a lot of support from all the other authors and publishers going through this course right now.

 

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62 comments

  • As a new author, and I’m sure I’m not alone, my head is spinning with all the collective information one tries to gather about how to go about writing, marketing, and publishing your first book; regardless of genre. The learning curve for new authors is huge and for me, I want to do the best I can in giving my book a fighting chance of success – not just throw one out there. I am currently in the editing phase of my book and planning to have a launch next week.

    • Debra, great stuff.

      The best advise I can give right now is – don’t stress. This course is like a firehose of information. There’s a lot of tactical stuff I share because I want it to be actionable, but the bigger picture ‘strategic’ vision (which I also hit on) is the most important.

      If you’re going through this course, then you’re on the right track.

      My suggestion to you would be don’t launch your book just yet.

      If you’re just finishing up with editing, you ought to give yourself a few weeks for marketing and promotional purposes if you’re doing everything yourself.

      Too many authors rush their launch immediately after finishing their books and I feel that’s a mistake.

      Let me know what else you’re struggling with and I’m happy to give more specific input.

    • Launch date 23 Jun 2015 (kindle launch; I accidentally launched the print book when I hit the “approve” button …!)
      Goals: Finish your course and get better – much better – at marketing my books. Start writing the next book.

  • Launch date – still tossing up between 3 or 15 June. Book launch is related to selling places in an online program that starts on 1 August so unsure to leave 6 or 8 weeks for that conversion to happen.

    GOALS
    Reach: Amazon downloads. Looking for high reach.

    Revenue: Revenue goals are around sign ups to associated wellness program rather than actual book sales. Book will be free until the beginning of the wellness program. Sales of book after this. Looking for reach and impact rather than direct revenue from book sales.

    Impact: Number of people signing up to online and offline wellness program, number of email subscribers to my blog, downloads of book bonuses, social media numbers

    • Emma, a lot going on here!

      I would recommend getting very specific on the goal of the overarching sales funnel you’re creating (which sounds like selling wellness programs). Since the book is a part of this overarching sales funnel, the goal with the book is probably either reach (total downloads) or impact (total subscribers to your blog).

      Of course, there is crossover between reach and impact, but it helps to really focus on one or the other.

      I would also dig deep and consider how you’re going to integrate a Call-to-Action to get people to come back to your website to sign up (so you can sell your program).

      I recommend either ‘bonuses’ or ‘content upgrades’…I’ll teach more about those in the live webinar I’ll be sharing after this free course is finished 🙂

  • Hey Tom,

    Really loving your resources (I think I’ve opted in like a gazillion times because I just can’t pass on any of your info).

    I’m currently in the writing phase for my book “A Brief History of Love in Comics.” I’m a Licensed Marriage Therapist, social skills coach and a huge nerd. I figured, why not combine these since my target population loves reading theory about their favorite heroes.

    What really scares me is the fact that I only have a 7 person list (just started my website 2 months ago), and struggle with my social media presence. From your lessons I am ramping up to reach out to a few podcasts in the comic book and relationship coach niches to get the word started!

    Thanks a ton!

    • Awesome Kelsey!

      Yes, you have an incredible opportunity to leverage MULTIPLE audiences because your book bridges so many:
      1. relationship websites / platforms
      2. marriage-specific websites / platforms
      3. comic book websites / platforms
      4. literature / fiction (a bit of a stretch but worth it since it’s such an interesting subject matter)

      Thanks for following along and for your support Kelsey, means a lot to me.

      Let me know if I can help with anything!

  • So, my book “Cheap Books: How Cheap Books For Kindle Are Revolutionizing How We Read” is in the writing phase already. My goal is for the book to have 10,000 downloads within the week of its launch (reach), income is not applicable (the book is purely a lead generation tool), and the impact is I would like a 10% conversion rate, that is, I would like 1,000 people to subscribe to dollarbooks.net after they read the book.

    • George, good stuff.

      Question – where did you come up with the 10% conversion rate?

      Do you have anything to backup that that’s possible?

      Or is this an ‘in an ideal world’ kind of thing?

      Cause I can tellyou from experience, even the best books intended as lead generators have a hard time converting over 3% in most cases.

      Just FYI as you consider total numbers and impact (and may require you to focus on getting MORE than 10,000 downloads week one).

      That said – still very possible ;D

      • Yeah 10% is pie in the sky, I know, and 3%would actually be pretty good.

        But, ya gotta go big or go home.

        I’ll just have to aim for 30K downloads, that’s all…

  • Tom the great info continues!

    My original Launch Date is/was June 1, 2015. I may change it after going through the Book Launch Sequence completely in order to fit in more promotions before launch. I was on a friend’s launch team and we did stuff for about 60 days and he had a pretty successful launch. Is there an average time-frame you typically see work well for a launch?

    My goal is Reach. I want to reach 1 person, then 10, then 100, then 1,000, then 10,000, then 100,000+. That’s the first time I’ve said that. That kinda freaked me out for a second… Yeah I really think I could reach 100,000+ people with a book I didn’t even plan on writing.

    • Conrad, that’s great.

      Re: average time…

      I’ve been a part of or led Launch Teams / Ambassador Groups 30 – 60 days out…and as short as 2 weeks (The 7 Day Startup was rushed).

      I would recommend about 30 days. Much longer and people might lose interest. 30 days *feels* right.

      Very cool – love that you’ve committed to reach. Looking forward to your thoughts on the rest of the course as you go through it….I find that biggest launches always have a focus on reach. Will be cool to see what you do with this 🙂

  • My launch date is a bit fluid (I’m at the early stage), lets say 26th of May (second anniversary of publishing my 1st book 😀 )

    The goal
    Reach cubed

  • Launch date: June 1.
    Writing is roughly 40% complete and I plan on having it completed around the end of the month. I’ve been getting editing done as I go, which means a month should be plenty for rewriting scenes and get final proofing done. And I want plenty of time for post-launch promotions before the baby comes in early July.

    Goal: I’ve struggled with this one. I started writing this story 20 years ago, so my primary goal is simply to finish it! Reach and income are nice, but I guess my goal out of your choices would be impact. But it’s more the impact that others have on me. I want social proof in the form of positive reviews that this has been worth my time and money. So, I’ll put my goal as 50 4 & 5 star reviews.

  • Our launch date is June 4th and our goal is reach. 10,000 downloads in the first week, with a view to increasing impact as well (but our main focus is on reach).

    Loving what you’re sharing Tom!

  • I originally set my deadline to be April 30th. But after reading this post, it looks like I’ve got a lot of work ahead and need to push my launch date back a little. I’ll aim for May 22nd for now =) I need to work on renovating my site, which takes a lot of my time too!

    Goal: I will definitely focus on REACH as I am just starting out; and I aim to get 10,000+ downloaded on Amazon during the first week. A secondary goal will be IMPACT. If 3%is a very good conversion rate, I hope 1% being my goal is not too greedy ;D

    I’ve got a question for Tom: I will be out of town from May 31 and June 28 (I know, such a long time). And (I may be jumping a few steps ahead) I guess we will have to do some post-launch follow-ups? Any thoughts on how I can communicate with my audience in the month when I will be away (perhaps you will cover that in later session?)

    Thanks a lot!!

  • I have been led by this course to set up a real timeline. Rough but real. I’m sure I will modify it. I need a goal. I don’t feel any longer that I have all the time in the world. My goal is January 15, 2016. I believe the election year will be very stressful for people of faith. Never do we see the disconnect between word and deed as dramatically as during presidential campaigns. My own lifestyle sets some constraints on my work during the coming months, and it would be easy to lose track and quit making progress altogether. I don’t want that to happen. I want this book in the hands of the first paying reader on January 15, 2016.

    At first, I thought that date was a long way off. Then I took some time to work through the entire document. It is a lot of work, and it involves connecting with a lot of people. I am naturally a loner, but nobody undertakes a project like this alone. I took time to rough out a timeline that takes into account some realities in the form of obligations already accepted. Some may be crunched in the interest of getting this book launched, but the other obligations are important, too. I want to keep my existing commitments while I get my book done. January 15, 2016, is the big day.

    I read the goal analysis twice to be sure. IMPACT is most important for me. Unless each reader experiences the value of the principles, the book is worthless. I want every reader to find in this book something that makes his or her life better. I want to share with every reader what God has taught me about living strong and happy in a most depressing cultural milieu.
    I plan a 30-day launch schedule. I’ll distribute books for review at the beginning of that schedule, and aim to have the reviews on blogs, Goodreads, and wherever else people can post them prior to launch day. At the moment, Amazon is being hateful about reviews prior to the release date.

    I hope that the impact on the initial readers will lead to a broad word-of-mouth reach. I am planning the best and broadest social media campaign I can do. I will work hard and pray to recruit people to help me, but I already know that a book like this must be powerful enough to evoke reviews and endorsements that tell people it is a must-read. I must work for impact, and count on the impact to generate the reach. I would like some revenue, so I can write other books and do other projects that will help people, but that is not the reason I am writing. I write, because I think people need help. I hope my book will help every reader.

  • I thought I was behind the eight-ball until I read your responses to the comments I made in the first two lessons. Thank you for your insights. Now this lesson:

    My launch date is May 5, 2015 and my goal is to Reach as many people as I can. I can’t even imagine 10,000 downloads!!!!.

    I already have two books in my series . The first book did okay but the second didn’t. Now I know why. Reach and Impact. I just don’t know how to engage the masses, if that makes sense.

    I’m now in the final edit of my third book “A Grand Mexico Tour”….(the May 5th launch date coincides with Cinco de Mayo.) I have announced on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn that the new book is coming soon but I haven’t established a following. The majority of my books have been bought by strangers.

    Now I’m totally overwhelmed reading the Book Launch Template. How will I accomplish everything?

    • Sharon – this is great!

      Don’t stress – take it one step at a time and you’ll knock this out of the park…but if you need more help or support, or more direct guidance, shoot me an email and let’s talk ;D

  • I do not have a launch date set for my next two poetry books. One is illustrated with photographs by my daughter. The second is illustrated with her ink drawings. Do you ever suggest having a launch with more than one book?

    I also have a third book I’m working on.

  • Launch date is April 20th, 2017.

    Reach: Well, there are 200,000 junior officers, cadets and midshipmen in the Department of Defense. I think 10%is a lofty, but worthwhile goal.

    Impact: This is probably my bread and butter. Selling 20,000 of my first book, to a very narrow audience is a hard sell, but building a significantly smaller following would be great for marketing premium online courses later. Quantifying it will be tough, until I start building an email list.

    Revenue: Well, after Amazon takes their cut, assuming I sell an astonishing 20,000 copies we’re talking what $100,000?

    • I’d recommend you try focusing hyper specific…hyper local, like USMA, or USNA, or specific ROTC programs…those kids are ready to learn and need the help.

      • My experience is with USAFA and I could probably work through the association of graduates, but I’ll be relocating to central Florida so I’d be geographically close to a number of bases, plus Embry Riddle and a few other ROTC detachments.

  • Book: Inward Facing Collaboration (target audience – artists, creatives), co-authoring with another artist
    Launch date: September 1, 2015
    Goals:
    Reach – neither of us have much more than 30 people on our email list, so we’re probably looking at an Amazon launch and since you say 10,000 is “normal” we’ll go for that (we have no idea! it seems like a lot!)
    Impact: 500 new subscribers, 1000 FB members on launch day
    Revenue: neither of us have a good gauge of this; theoretically it should be tied to number of sales we expect x price of book and we haven’t even talked about price of book yet.

    Question: I think the goals are meant to be high level, yes? Or are we meant to be itemizing and delving into specifics (like how much revenue we expect)? My take on what you mean to happen here is to set down your desires (without necessarily getting into specifics) – just figure out what you want so that the rest of the decision making has a touchstone. Is this accurate?

    • 10,000 is NOT normal, but it’s doable. It takes a good book, a well designed cover and pitch (description), and a lot of hustle (connecting and asking for shares)…oh, and the majority were free giveaways at first, which compounds the results.

      Definitely doable though, especially for creatives ;D

  • My launch date and goals are still a little up in the air. My children’s book is in the process of being reviewed by grade school teachers and I have just begun working with the illustrator. I am looking at a launch date in mid-late summer.

    My tentative goal is 500 sold books (paperback& eBook) in the first two weeks. I constantly flip flop on whether that is too bold or too passive.

    • depends on your current audience. 500 sold (paid) is pretty tough unless you have a few thousand blog subscribers (or equivalent)…but worth setting as a goal – you may be able to hustle sales through influencers, blogs, podcasts, etc. (see the latter lessons in this series to find out how).

  • One of the most influential books I’ve ever received was given to me as a high school graduation gift. There is something about graduations that make me want to aspire to be more.

    In keeping with that theme, I’m setting my launch date for April 29, 2016. Hopefully some graduate who grew up without a father will get it for a gift, and the practical tools in it will help them to fulfill their potential.

    My launch goal will focus on Reach. While I have some great resources that can be used to further my Impact and grow Revenue; my primary goal is for this message to get to as many people as possible.

    I’m not sure yet if I want to settle on a specific number for that Reach goal. There are over 20 million people in the U.S. alone that grew up fatherless. I have no idea what a first-time author should expect in relation to that demographic so I’d just be pulling a number out of the air if I gave one.

    I think I’d rather develop a solid launch plan, spend the next 10 months writing and building my platform, work my butt off to execute the launch plan, and when the dust settles be stoked for what I accomplished… And then go back to work. Yeah, that sounds good. ;D

  • Great stuff, filling out the preliminary info in the doc. Always helps to put this stuff down in writing.

    My launch date is Aug 23rd. My goal is 5k downloads, 50 new email list subscribers, and recouping my ~$400 investment (193 sales at normal price, or increased Amazon Affiliate sales). We’ll see how it goes!

  • Awesome info! I’m definately aiming for reach as I have a virtually non-existant email list at the moment. My book will be used as a lead generator for my online programs.
    Thanks again for sharing all of this. I love how actionable it all is!!

  • My release date for my short story collection is December 12, 2015.

    I get to wear all the hats when it comes to publishing. The only thing I’m contracting out is adding font to the cover I painted.

    My goal is reach. I don’t know if you remember, but I want to give a free book to anyone who wants one because the books that were shared with me meant so much. And I’ve read that it’s a good way to level the playing field as well, at least in terms of debut authors being at a disadvantage. Presumably, if I’ve written a good book, some of the people who download it and read it will like it.

    I was planning on releasing on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, and B&N. Paperback through CreateSpace, but I’m doing my own imprint (Flying Phoenix Press).

    My long-term goal is a thousand downloads per month, with a profit of $2/per book.

    I’ve read that it’s wise to reach as many people as possible on your first book, and no books are downloaded as widely as free ones.

    After that, I’ve got eight novels written, six of them in various stages of editing. Currently, what I’m offering for signing up for my email list is a free short story every month. I was going to try my hand at making an audiobook of my short story collection, so I could offer that as well for joining my email list at that time. I believe that’s what you mean by impact.

    I hope to release six novels in the coming year, which if my understanding is correct, should be enough to keep my newfound fans happy and attract new ones.

    I’m not really certain how to work the whole impact to revenue conversion. I was planning on offering books for $2.99, unless it’s wiser to offer $3.99 and put them on sale. I still don’t really know what the best course is there.

    I continue to write short stories, so in time I will have new collections. Is it wise to offer them for free as well, or should I charge $.99? Or $2.99? I’ve read some people actually sell better at the higher price. I anticipate my collections will be in the 15-22k range. (My first is slightly above 20k.)

    I’ve spent a lot of time building friends on Twitter, on Absolute Write (the online critique group I belong to), and through my blog. I’ve done 14 author interviews (about to add a 15th) and five book reviews (about to be six). I was going to dedicate my collection to those on Absolute Write who helped critique it and gave me other help. I’ve also got a group of beta friends who already like my book and would certainly help me promote it, at least to the point of retweeting me on Twitter and such.

    Hmm…other than that, there are people at both my banks and my church who are interested in getting my book, possibly because I’ve told them it’s free. And a couple checkers at the grocery store.

    And the local newspaper has told me they’d like to do an interview when it comes out.

    Twitter has 2200+ followers, blog has 62, email list has 25, and I’ve posted eighty four blogs since I started in June.

    I’m also part of a trade published anthology which is coming out on October 30th, so I’ll be an author that already has one physical book and ebook out when I release this December.

    And that’s it. That’s all I’ve got.

    It has seriously kicked my butt getting this far. I work at this every spare minute I have. Some days I get up and work literally all day until I go back to bed. I don’t think I can work any harder at it.

    Thanks for offering to help.

    Cathleen

  • Tom, does it make a difference if you stagger your launch dates depending on format?

    I originally wanted my launch date for both ebook & print to be November 23 so I’d have time to order print copies for an author event in early December. That’s no longer possible now, but I could still have the Kindle version ready to go by Nov. 23 (or 30, to give myself some breathing room). But if I won’t have print copies for the event, does it even matter if the print version is ready at a different time than the Kindle version?

    Goal:
    Definitely reach. This is my first book and I have only 4 subscribers on my email list. I have some ideas to leverage Facebook groups and extended family, but that’s about it so far.

    Loving all the info, thanks so much for sharing!

  • OK, Tom, here goes.

    “The Freelancers Guide To Difficult Clients” will launch on 22 March, 2016.

    The goal is Revenue! Honestly, even after reading this, I’m not sure why the goal would ever not be Revenue; I can’t feed my kids with Reach or Impact.

    That said, Tom, if getting to Revenue means passing through Impact first, well…so be it.

    I have about 500 people on my mailing list, and I understand I’ll need a lot more. Driving enough traffic and providing a compelling enough lead magnet to build my list have always been difficult for me. I’m hoping the rest of the course will get into that.

  • My key players are myself, my editor and designer (right now). My launch date is May 1, 2016 and my goal is to reach 10,000 readers in the first month.

    • that’s a big goal Amy…how big is your platform right now? most books don’t sell 100 in a year – 1,000 in a year is pretty good, 10,000 is great. 10k in a month is VERY rare – so you need to have the right resources behind it…

  • My launch date for my second book, The Secret Key of Mim, in my Charlie Kadabra Last of the Magicians series is next week on January 15, 2016. I would like to get through this course and fine tune my marketing efforts before launch. Marketing hasn’t been my strong area but every day I learn more and become better. Thank you, Tom, for providing this course. I love the writing and publishing process but feel deep frustration in the marketing area. I shall overcome my frustrations and become a world class marketer!!

  • The Pandora Principle is going to be my third book. My launch date is April 1st and my goal is more reach.

    Currently my key players are my editors, my cover designer who is also a semi-marketing consultant, and myself.

  • Hi Tom. Thank you for doing all this. I don’t know how to commit to a launch date. I’m overwhelmed as to marketing, and I am struggling with coming up with my key people. My book is a fantasy novel, and if the right pieces are in place, I believe the book will be big. Since I’m unsure of the time-scope of my project, I will put the launch date as November 1st, 2016. I am so thankful for your continued help.

  • Hi, Tom,

    Since my novel, “Nobody’s Savior” is in the copyedit/proofreading stage and I’m working with a new editor, I’m a bit unsure when she’ll be done. I’ve asked but she hasn’t given me a solid ETA. So my launch date is tentative, but I’m shooting for May 1, 2016.

    Reach: This is my second novel, and my first sold about 350 copies so far; I have 300+ page likes on my book’s Facebook page, and 132 users on my blog (Blog.BillPercyBooks.com). So for Reach I’m setting a goal of 500 downloads/print sales.

    Revenue: I’m thinking of this as side effect, not goal. I’m retired and not in need of income (except to offset my investment in the books).

    Impact: Of the seventy or so readers of the first novel (“Climbing the Coliseum”) I’ve talked personally with, all have said they “can’t wait” for the next book. These folks are all book clubs who’ve read the book and discussed it and then invited me to speak with them. I assume that those who spoke up are serious, so I think the writing, in the psychological mystery genre, whose theme is the struggles of ordinary people grappling with extraordinary issues, has solid impact. My goal is to give a good, entertaining read, raise some goosebumps, and get people to love the main characters. So far, so good on that.

    I appreciate the amount of information you’ve provided us, Tom. Good work!

    Bill

  • 1. Goals: Launch = Amazon bestseller in category (Self-help?); Impact = Lessen feelings of isolation, depression and overwhelm post-trail; Revenue = not sure, this feels like I’d just be stabbing at an arbitrary number
    2. Launch Date: This is difficult. It feels scary, but comfortable to say a Kindle release of June 1. However, there is a huge Trail Festival mid-May… should I try to have print books to sell there? Or… should I use the Fest to capture more names to send out when I launch June 1? Many of those folks will be “on trail” so they won’t be thinking of post-trail until late fall, so I was thinking of a relaunch December 1 for this year’s hikers. The Festival does draw many, many previous year’s hikers.

  • Launch: My birthday, March 31, 2016

    My goals: I will have my 1st book (that I have written in Finnish) translated in English. My publisher said he has already been considering it so let´s hope they will take care of it. If not, I get it translated myself.

    I must stop freaking out and worrying about money. Yes, I am almost in an impossible situation and running out of funds, but how am I going to get out if I keep clinging on to hopelessness? I am a flaming meditation teacher and should know better!

    I need to focus on writing because that is my mission in life. I know it in my bones.

    I have 2 other scripts on my computer and after the launch of the Nr 2, I will start working on them.

    I need to find an editor for the book I am writing now – any ideas, Tom?

  • Download a copy of The Bestseller Book Launch Sequence Working Document (google docs link)
    DONE

    Fill out the following information: Key Players, Launch Date, and Goal

    Dan Baldwin, Writing Coach, Chris O’Byrne, Edit and Formatting

    Share your Launch Date and Goal below in the comments!

    1000 Units in year one. Plus 50K in training program license fees and services.

  • Cookbook author here again, my book Fast & Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes: A Cookbook for Busy People will launch in July so I’m working on filling out the awesome launch sequence (thank you for such a great template!!)

    Launch date: July 19th, 2016
    Goals: Launch as an Amazon best seller and reach!

  • Hi Tom
    thank you for your brilliant resources which I found via Dan Norris. I am planning to launch on 25th June 2016 with a physical event planned in my home town of Adelaide. I am a blogger with 66,500 followers on Facebook, 17,500 on Instagram, 10,500 on Pinterest, 3700 on Twitter, 4500 on my email list and around 30,000 blog readers each month. I have started a pre launch sign up process and am already gettting excitement around the book launch in my community and gathering Ambassadors who I will get to work on promo once the book has been through edit (currently in process) and design – expect to be ready to go to test print by 3rd May. I also have a free 21 day programme for my readers which ties into the book – the book is Healthy Planet, Healthy People, Healthy Home: create a sustainable home you love – and the programme is 21 days to a more sustainable home. That launches on 23rd May with the idea to get 700 subscribe (currently on 550) and then funnel them to the book launch too. I am self publishing and the book is going to be around 300 – 350 pages with lots of photos as well. I have some high profile contributors to the book which should help with promo and sales. I have a pre launch sign up page here http://recycledinteriors.org/healthy-planet-healthy-people-healthy-home-pre-launch-book-sign-up/
    My current plan is based on revenue as I have quite a large reach and hope I can get more with other influencers on board as well who will be sharing the book launch. I am aiming to sell the hard copy book at $49.95 RRP and $39.95 for 4 weeks for the pre launch sales period – kicking off on 25th May – launch date. I will also load to Amazon on 25th June for the e book launch and aiming for that to be $19.95 but unsure if e books sell for that and would like advice please? I will sell both hard copy and e book on my own store as well. I plan to negotiate with some local book stores and relevant stores such as interior stores here, to stock some books on commission as a test as well. I have a plan for outreach to get on podcasts, radio, blogs, press etc I have a goal of 1000 book sales in the first month – 5000 total sales in the first year (hard copy and e book combined) does this all sound reasonable?

  • For now, I’ve set the launch date for Farmer Helen for 4/19/2017.

    My goals: to reach as many educators and parents interested in local foods and healthy eating as we can, and to show aspiring authors and illustrators how we do it along the way.

  • Goal is definitely reach – this will be my third book and the first two had wimpy starts I want to get a broader reach for this book and pull the first two (it is a series of 4) along too. I had originally planned to launch in time for it to be a Christmas gift but have decided to wait so I can get all my launch ducks in a row and get this one right. Current date, 2/1/17.

  • Getting ready to launch my book on March 1st. The book will take about 2 1/2 hours to read. How far ahead of the launch date do I send the digital version to my Ambassador Team? I want it fresh in their minds to submit Amazon reviews a few days after launch. Thanks!

  • Launch date is May 26, 2017. I’m focusing on reach for the reasons you enumerated. I’m still taking the first steps toward trying to establish and build my author platform and have no subscriber list through my website to speak of yet. Getting my work seen by as many people as possible is obviously my greatest chance for success in the long run.

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