FAQ: How to Become a Bestselling Author – Level 2
Here are all the questions asked by our Level 2 participants:
1. Q: I have a quick question regarding social media for book launches. Based on your experience, what would you recommend asking others to do for you?
1) drip social media posts on Twitter, FB, Linked In;
2) posts on launch day – and asking people to share your posts.
4) a combination.
Look forward to your reply.
A: All of the above. The “other” would be that on campaign day you also will spend the day thanking and tagging those who supported you. Gratitude goes a long way! 🙂
2. Q: After I choose a campaign date, you tell us to start contacting friends/family/colleagues etc. to ask them if they will post an e-mail or social media post on my campaign day? If my campaign date is still 6 months away, how will they know if they can do this so far in advance?
A: You will ask them if they’d talk about your book on their social media the day of the campaign. Tell them you’ll send them some draft ideas to give them an idea of what you want them to say and they’re free to post them as is, or edit as they wish.
If they say yes, you’re free to contact them just before the campaign and remind them and send them examples of what they’d say. How will they know if they can do this is far in advance? Tell them there’s lots of lee way as to when they can do it. You’d prefer it on a specific date for it to really help you, but if they’re a week or so off, you’d still appreciate it. Most people who love you will hit the date you give them. Facebook can be accessed from anywhere.
3. Q: Free gifts/offerings: I don’t understand this. Am I asking my friends and family if they want to promote themselves with that post on campaign day? I am thinking that if everyone wants to promote themselves that my posting for my book would become very confusing & messy. Can you please elaborate on this?
A: You don’t mention this part to your friends and family. Influence and promoting themselves is not relevant to them so they will think this is weird.
However, people who are speakers and trainers do want to promote their work. When you start approaching them (after you’ve asked friends), you’ll let them know that if they have a downloadable gift such as a free teleseminar or free eBook, that they are welcome to offer it with the campaign.
For example, if you go to my website www.wildfirews.com, you’ll see that I offer a free short on-line tutorial on “going epidemic”. Most people who have big reaches offer a number of products like this for free so that people get a chance to experience us before they ever decide to pay for training etc. Offering their on-line products as a bonus with the book becomes of means for them to extend their reach (influence) because your campaign will go out to a lot more people than just their following.
4. Q: Asking to have others list how many contacts they have, how do they know? If, for example, my cousin Vinny has 500 friends on Facebook – then I would list him at 500 contacts?
A: Yes. As you start approaching bigger and bigger Influencers (e.g. People who can reach 30,000 people or more at the press of a button), being able to tell them that your campaign is targeting a reach of 1 million people and that you’re currently at a reach of 250,000 people will mean something to them. This gives them an idea of how many new people might get access to their free educational products that you’ll let them offer with your campaign.
5. Q: I just finished putting my book on Amazon. It didn’t allow me to choose the detailed categories that were listed to the left when I was searching through bestsellers. There were much fewer category options on the “Add an item” page. I also didn’t offer another category option. Do I “Add another item”?
A: The “add a category section of the video” is a separate procedure from “adding and item”. You have to make a special request and it takes 4 to 6 weeks to work through the process. If you look at the video again, you’ll see the steps.
6. Q: Regarding the ISBN I have a few questions for you. I am in the process of creating my cover for my eBook version as well as the print version of my book and ISBN came up to put it on the back cover of the book. I am self publishing and I have not taken that step yet.
I did a google search on obtaining an ISBN in Canada and came up with a step by step process by Randolph Lalonde. The link is as follows:
He recommends going to the Canadian ISBN Service System at:
First question: Is this the process you suggest for getting an ISBN for my book?
Answer: You have the correct website. It’s pretty straight forward. They’ll give you a block of 10 to start with.
Second question: In Canada versus in the US for ISBN. Is there an advantage either way or do I have to do it in Canada as I live here?
Answer: Yes, if you are publishing the book in Canada you should get your ISBN here. Also, they’re free in Canada and in the US you have to pay. So you’d want to, regardless.
7. Q: I realized with my book – my message is about ‘you and the change within you’ not about ‘changing the people and situations around you’. I know I need work in the spark area – how do you take a concept that feels to me like it is more of an individual burning match and take it to more of a ‘group’ or fire out of control? Could you guide me a little more in the ‘fire out of control’ example above.
A: It’s a common problem authors have. They’re writing their message in the “everyone needs this” language (which is often true), but because they haven’t clearly defined an audience that would see themselves as having a problem that they solve, very few people ever end up buying the book. It’s somewhat akin to “preaching to the converted”.
My advice is that you think about who you most want to help. Then frame what you do, in the language of solving a problem for them. That audience will very likely come back and say “but this works for so many things and for so many people” and they’ll take the book to other audiences for you. But without that first audience, no one will ever hear of it. I spend a lot of time on this with my Level 1 students, because defining your audience and what problem you solve for them is really key to getting that first group of raving fans that will start your wildfire.
So for example, say your book “Quick Shifts, Initiate a shift within by recognizing the messages in every day life” could be relevant to people going through a major transition such as divorce or grieving. If you defined your primary audience as “people who’ve just suffered a major loss” then you could create your messaging in a language that would speak to those people and start creating alliances with people who specialize in that field (there are thousands). That’s just one example of how you might pick your audience, ultimately you have to decide.
8. Q: I received a printing quote from MCRL. Are those rates usually static or negotiable? I want to have a win-win, and get the best price that I can. Any suggestions?
A: I’ve never known them to negotiate on how they calculate the price. Having said that, if you’re working to a budget they can often suggest alternative approaches to get you within budget. E.g. Make the size of the book smaller or printing it on fewer pages etc.
9. Q: Do you have any experience attracting sponsors for your books/events? I’d like to partner with a company to sponsor my initiatives in exchange for prominent branding, targeted marketing to my audience, etc. It will help me get my children’s book into the hands of more children without doing it completely out of my own pocket. I’m interested in finding the right sponsor/partner within the next 2 weeks so I can submit my bulk printing order. Any recommendations?
A: My experience with book sponsors is that it’s a great deal of work for little gain. If you can find someone who knows and loves your work, I think it would be worth pitching the idea. Otherwise you’re trying to get someone who doesn’t know you to buy into the belief that you will sell a lot of books and give them great value. It’s generally a tough sell unless you’re already quite famous, so it’s not a tactic I ever recommend.
10. Q: I have found someone who was kind to offer to review my book for his newsletter and social media following. What is the right timing for that around my July 12th campaign?
A: July 12th. You want to have his newsletter and social media promotion falling on the day you launch in order to drive your numbers and broaden your reach.
11. Q: The question that has been plaguing me since I heard module 4 is about blogging: My book is about a true story that has already happened. I have just finished transcribing my journal and have discovered in the process that this will be creative non-fiction, and I will use my journal as the research, not AS the story (too boring!). How do I proceed with a blog given that this is all “old news”? Is it as simple as saying “I’m writing a book about my experiences, this is the writing journey, not THE journey?
A: Yes, it’s that simple.
12. Q: Yesterday I got my first order from Amazon.com (not sure if you will be covering this in the course) – they ordered 1 book to be sent to PA, USA (it cost me $23.00 to send it before next Monday). You talked about being in a place where they may do that – at this point how can I best work with what is about to transpire as far as more orders like that? Did they order 1 book to see if it does exist and wait to see how many books will be ordered?
A: This is typical for Amazon. Not sure of their motives as it is impossible to ever get Amazon Advantage on the phone.
13. Q: Would this be the time heading into my June 9th best selling campaign date to send in the request for stock order (or is it best to see what PA, USA does). I guess I’m wondering at this point how to best work with “what is about to happen” and financially be the most cost effective.
A: Every book is different. Some can be done print on demand cheaper than others. So the truth is you’ll have to make your best guestimate as to what your best option is. Unfortunately there’s no crystal ball on this one. I would ask Amazon to stock at least 100 of your book. They will likely say no, but it can’t hurt to try.
14. Q: I would love your insight on the process as you have been through it a number of times. I really am not sure of the ‘strategy’ in the beginning as far as what will serve me best. This feels new to me and I know as I move forward I can be more creative in my writing. I would love your insights with Hasmark Services.
A: I did sponsor a gift of my book for the Judy O’Beirn Deepak Chopra event. They have accepted and now I continue to receive all their campaign notices asking for gifts. I’m sure you must get them as well. Do you just note each one coming up and then offer them something when it feels right to you….or do you keep in the loop and provide different other things to get your name out. I make an assessment if it feels right for my audience and I jump on in those cases. Depending on how often you send your newsletter out, you should try and coordinate what you sign up for based on your normal cycle and what seems to be a fit.
15. Q: I don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a best selling campaign and I wondered if it’s a good idea to send social media info of the book launch prior the campaign date….just wondering what would be best.
Should I consider getting info like this together – to start to get the hype going???? Or is it best to focus on that one day…..right now I am sending details out to the people who will be offering bonus gifts, then I’m making a squeeze page.
A: This is a bit of a judgment call. Deepak Chopra’s campaign will be big enough that there is little risk that he won’t dominate the lists including New York Times. So him generating pre-traffic and pre-numbers solidifies what will happen campaign week. If your campaign is going out to a reach of several million this is a solid strategy. Also Deepak has built up enough relationship capital with people who are helping him that making this request does not feel inappropriate. Generally if you’re small and don’t have a huge relationship bank account built up with other Influencers asking them to mail twice would be considered a bit of an overstep.
With the Evolutionary Business Council I made a judgment call on this and made an ask for additional mailing for Charmaine Hammond with her book ‘On Toby’s Terms‘. Charmaine has been a huge “giver” in the industry for years and has built up massive relationship capital with other Influencers. Asking for a favor on her behalf for additional mailings feels good to people. Without that level of relationship built, it can land wrong.
When your campaign is in the less than a half million size, I’d suggest what Deepak is planning strategically will likely happen organically for you anyway. The test of your campaign will have a similar effect of this (pre-sales) and there will be people who cannot send out the week of your campaign but offer to send early / late.
16. Q: Teresa, could you help me to see the pages I have to watch for the categories and the best selling campaign. I tried finding the categories and it may still be new for my book….. (yup getting excited).
A: The truth is that there are a lot of inconsistencies with Amazon. Sometimes you can see the categories for your book. Sometimes they don’t start showing up until you’ve actually made the bestseller categories. Usually they would start appearing in your product detail section. That’s one of the reasons I encourage people to test their campaign. Because usually once there’s movement on your book, your categories start showing up.
But generally, if Amazon tells you your book is categories, most of the time you can trust that. (I’ve seen errors in about 5% of the cases).
17. Q: I’m hoping you can provide some more specific guidance. At the end of Module 1, you said that about 2000 books would be needed for a best seller campaign, but in Module 2, I think I recall the number was as little as 200. Any thoughts on the number of books needed for a campaign? I’m going for the following categories with the goal of making the list:
Business & Investing > Business Life > Motivation & Self Improvement
Business & Investing > Management & Leadership > Motivation
A: The reality is I can’t tell you how many books you will need to sell on campaign day. It depends on two many factors to accurately estimate: the size of your campaign, the time of year, the timeliness of your topic, how good the copy is on your emails going out to entice people to buy etc.
I’ve seen someone hit the bestseller list with as few as 200 books (i.e. they had to be the most books sold that day and it must have been a low sales day). That is rare, however, so I recommend you think of ordering about 2,000 books as that seems to be a number that has typically worked in past and not gotten people into trouble (i.e. sales coming in that they couldn’t fulfill).
18. Q: One needs to get all the sales on one day to push it to the Amazon best-seller status. But – if i give in Amazon 27th as a first date when the book is going to be sold, and if i encourage people to pre-order it – will it and, let’s say many do it, will it then be counted towards the sales of the 27th?
A: No one knows exactly what algorithm Amazon uses to calculate their book number, but it appears to include the parameters overall books sold x sold in the last week x sold in the last hour.
So yes the pre-sales are counting, just not as much as what’s in the last hour. It’s a good idea to have pre-sales so you can see if your copy is catching.
Things you need handled before then:
1. Make sure you’ve selected your book categories well (based on the numbers)
2. Make sure you have at least 10 to 15 5-star ratings for the book
3. In the pre-sales test your copy and make sure it’s catching (you won’t have time to fix it campaign day
19. Q: I would like to start blogging my book: do you have a sample or good example of contents to add to the blog or how to do it?
A: If you’re blogging a book that’s already written, you’d just put a short piece out every day. If you’re blogging a new book, than the ideas is to write the table of contents for your book and break each chapter down into the concepts you will cover. So for each chapter you might have 3 or 4 key concepts (or even just one if that fits better). Then each concept becomes a blog post. If you look at my blog www.influenceandsuccess.com you’ll see that many of my blog posts (the ones authored by me) are along a theme. Some of them will be eventually included in my book, based on the response they got.
20. Q: How to create a good newsletter? What are the basic content those must be included?
A: A good format for a newsletter is as follows:
1. A teaser to a recent blog article (i.e. half the article with a link to read more)
2. Upcoming events (yours and other influencers whom your working to get in relationship with)
3. Recommended reading (blogs / books of others influencers whom you are working to get into relationship with)
21. Q: How to reach to the competitive table for name search as you have shown for the word search of Povery at 2.25 minutes of the video how to set up blog.
A: If you google “Google Adwords keyword tool” you’ll find it.
Or go here https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS
22. Q: My question is should I open a separate account and then create book pages under that umbrella or I should have account under my name and have each book page under it.
A: The questions you need to ask yourself are as follows:
1. Do you have time / resources to effectively generate each page you create? If no, than stick to doing the number you can manage well
2. Does each page represent a distinct conversation or audience you want to engage with? It can be of benefit to have more that one page, but at some point multiple pages can feel ridiculous to your audience if they are all targeting the same group of people in the same conversation. I would recommend you chunk it in a way that there is the least overlap between how you would be engaging and who you would be engaging with. I.e. are their geographic or demographic or conversational differences between each page. For example I have Facebook pages for:
a) Teresa de Grosbois the speaker, where I engage with the audience of Wildfire Workshops, largely my students. There I post things relevant to word of mouth, including authenticity, living your passion, and word of mouth marketing (all part of the greater topic); and
b) The Evolutionary Business Council, where we celebrate the work of our members and highlight the conversation of success as a whole. There is overlap between the groups, but the engagement is different and therefore does not feel redundant.
23. Q: Should I have separate blog for each of my book or just one blog. Should I also create fan page on FB for each of my book or only blog or both?
A: For now I would create just one blog and just one Facebook page. If you find you can manage those really well and are growing a good following, then you can create separate sites. But it’s better to have on really well site than multiple that are not getting sufficient attention.
Aside from this however, you will need a website for each book that you’re doing a bestseller campaign on. We’ll be talking about that in the later modules so if you still have questions at that point, circle back.
24. Q: In your opinion, does the book has to be new release or it can be already released to get the bestseller statues? I am thing for my book, Yoga Beyond Asana.
A: It does not have to be a new release. At release time is the simplest time to get onto the bestseller lists but there is natural hype happening from those whom already know and love you. But that having said, you can run a campaign around your book at any time.
25. Q: How many gifts will I need for the best sellers campaign?
A: The gifts are a thank you to your campaign partners as well as to your readers. It’s a means for your partners to connect with your audience. The more partners the better. Therefore the more gifts the better.
26. Q: What kind of device or services do you use to record the live call?
A: I’ve used both Instant Teleseminar and GoToMeeting. They are both good. You can also use a free conference service. some of them have record – ability.
27. Q: Is there ever a reason not to publish a book? Let’s say you have a great book, marketing plan and viable platform but you worry the book will hurt business. For example, I remember hearing a speaker say she did not want to ever write a book because she makes more money selling her products on her website. Would a speaker inadvertently reduce the number of paid speaking events or clients she could coach or consult because she published a book that virtually explains everything she talks about or coaches on? Could you realistically sell more products in pieces then one book?
Can you clarify this statement: For example, I’m of the opinion that it’s not a good idea when you’re selling from the stage to sell anything else in the room at the same time (CD’s, Books etc). You may have more people buy, buy you make a lot less money.
I am not sure if I am understanding that …should I not sell a book or CD in the back of the room or should I only sell the book that pertains to what I am speaking on?
A: That’s a great question. Often debated amongst speakers. And there’s different schools of thought.
I think the idea is to be really intentional about where you would sell your book, more so than the question is whether or not it’s a good idea to have a book. For example, I’m of the opinion that it’s not a good idea when you’re selling from the stage to sell anything else in the room at the same time (CD’s, Books etc). You may have more people buy, buy you make a lot less money. I know lots of speakers who both adamantly agree with me on this, and adamantly disagree. So truthfully I think this is one where you just have to try a few different approaches and see what works for you individually and your audience.
I have never seen the situation where it was not helpful for a speaker to have a bestselling book though. The credential opens up a lot of doors for them and helps their audience open up to their teachings in a far more powerful way.
28. Q: Do you have any suggestions on building your Facebook Friends list without spamming? Not sure what the etiquette on this is…
A: I cover that a great deal in my advanced word of mouth course.
Your two best options that are easy and friendly.
1. Whenever you meet someone at a networking function and they offer their card, send them a friend request
2. Under the “find friends” section, let Facebook look at your address book and see who you already know on Facebook. There’s usually quite a few!
29. Q: I am wondering if there are some months to avoid or likewise some that stand out for setting the campaign date?
A: We deal with this question in the later modules. December is the toughest month, by a long shot (anything after US Thanks Giving). Generally the remaining months are all similar, though the summer months can be the slowest for book sales so a campaign mid-summer can often see rapid rise through the lists.
30. Q: I recall from my launch two years ago, early April wasn’t good for launches due to taxes. Is that correct? We are delayed at the printers for “true color” match so the launch is now going to be pushed to April instead of next week. Is the first week in April typically okay, or should we wait until after the 15th.
A: Not aware of April being a bad time due to taxes. First week of April is fine in my books.
31. Q: I am self-publishing through Balboa Press, in the package they said they would register me with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. Do I still need to set myself up and categorize, etc. I know you said it can take a few weeks to do this…
A: Yes you still need to figure out your categories and send them to Balboa to set up for you. Don’t assume they know how to pick good categories from a Bestseller standpoint. So you need to give direction in this regard.
32. Q: Do we add the gifts in our test launch?
A: Yes, run the test exactly as you would your full launch. It will show you anything that needs fixing.
33. Q: I have a Facebook page / account personally. I don’t use it. I have never taken the time to learn how. Guess I am going to have to now. Should I be linking all of my businesses to my personal page or should I be creating a Facebook page / account for all of my businesses and linking them back to my personal page? Or neither?
A: Your Facebook strategy will be based on what you want to generate energy around (i.e. what do you want to hold influence on) and how much time you have to invest. If you only have a small amount of time to invest, I would not create multiple pages, but invest in really doing one well. I’d create the page to represent what you want to hold influence on. It could be for your book, or your business which your book promotes, or simply a page for you, the personality. Any of these approaches will work, so I’d pick the one that serves your needs the best.
34. Q: I’m confused about what I am supposed to write about in my blog. My book about my showbiz adventures is really a memoir of sorts. I thought “blogging my book” meant putting chapters of the book online and getting feedback. My fiance thought I was just generating excitement about the book but not posting actual chapters. What is my content supposed to be?
A: Making sure that you are blogging and generating some conversation is more important than worrying about what you blog about. That having said your options would include (in order of which I’ve found to be most effective:
a) blog your book. I.e. YES post actual sections from your book. The people who love it on line will talk about it and buy it when it comes out (similarly, how many people go to the movie that have already read and loved the book?) If they love your blog, they’ll be excited to buy your book.
b) blog about anything that’s happening in your life right no
c) post guest blog articles of other authors you’re wanting to get into relationship with.
35. Q: I thought my domain name would be the title of the book (e.g. LongLegsTallTales.com). However, it sounds like I need to use popular Google adwords with low competition. The word “showgirl” got 301,000 hits and is low competition. Would something like “showgirladventures” or “lifeofashowgirl” or “showgirlacademy” or “showgirldrama” be good? I need to see if any of these are available, but I wanted to see if I was on the right track.
A: Yes, get the domain name that’s the name of your book. You’ll need that for the landing page for your book campaign. The Google Adwords represents research on what people are looking for. So based on what you discover there you have a few options:
a. if you can manage more than one website, you could use that one for your blog and the other for your book site.
b. Alternatively, if you just want one website, if you want it to be your book title than use the keyword search phrases that rank high in the content of your blog frequently.
The downside of using your book title as the only website you have is that when you come out with your second book, you have to start again and re-build traffic. So generally most people in the influence game have several websites. A primary one that they’ve chosen the name for based on research (including google ad words and what their clients want) and several others for each of their books or events etc.
36. Q: Why do we want to use Dreamhost along with WordPress when we can do a free blog on WordPress all by itself?
A: A free blog on WordPress is owned by WordPress. They can shut you down if they choose and you don’t own the traffic that you generate. So any following you build, you cannot take with you if you decide to change your setup. When you host your own blog, you are under control. So the following you build it owned by you, not by WordPress. It’s it generally better to go this route from the start. Many people when they’re starting out will change frequently what they’re doing as they are still finding what path really suits them.
An analogy to this would be creating a social media presence for the company you work for. When you leave the company, you can’t take what you’ve built with you. If you build it under your own name and on your own site, however, when you leave, it’s yours and they can’t ask you to leave it behind.
37. Q: Is it worth it to join Amazon Advantage if I’ve taken the print-on-demand route? I published with iUniverse.
A: If IUniverse is giving you your listing, you don’t need Advantage. Please ensure you have the ability to select your book categories carefully and work through that module in doing so though. If your categories are not set up properly it’s very difficult to run your campaign.
38. Q: Can you request a stock-up with Amazon if you’re doing print-on-demand?
A: If the print on demand is Amazon print on demand, it’s not necessary. If it’s through someone else than I would definitely do a stock up request.
39. Q: I’m working a couple of angles for marketing – one of which is the nurse-turned-author slant. RN magazine in the US is talking about doing a full article on me, and their readership is approximately 700,000 with another 350,000 on their Facebook page. I’m not counting my chickens, but if that happens, I’d like to give Amazon a heads up. Any thoughts?
A: Amazon generally doesn’t care. Just send them a stock up request. 🙂 I care however and would say “WOW! Awesome job! That’s great news!”
40. Q: What is the best day of the week to have the launch?
A: I’ve never seen any evidence to say one day of the week is better than another.
41. Q: Would you recommend having books to buy at the festival or try to get them to sign up on Amazon to buy if I have a computer there to do so?
A: This is a judgment call.
Benefits of hard cover available:
– The customer usually likes to see hard cover
– they may for better display
Benefits of not having hard cover
– getting customers to actually buy it a tougher prospect.
– the sales will count to your bestseller campaign
I’ve seldom seen people sell more than 50 books at a fair. So in any event, I would not print huge volumes just for the one event.
42. Q: As per Advantage, I was trying to fill in for EFT and it needs to be a cheque. By contacting them they agreed not to charge the $15 cheque processing fee.Is Create Space and Amazon Advantage the same? Do I need to set up on both?Sept 20 is my social media launch date and Sept 21 I am doing a Festival. Should I order books to sell at the festival or try to get them to buy from Amazon for my best seller campaign.
Would you suggest going with the mcrl for the large order?
A: Re the check That would be a question you’d have to ask Amazon. They change their policies all the time. But very few big companies are set up to handle a anything other than credit cards.Create space can do the Amazon listing for you in some cases. So you need to ask this question of them (they have different set ups depending which route you’re going). If they set it up for you, then you don’t need the Amazon Advantage account.Yes, I recommend MCRL for the larger order. They do good quality and are the cheapest for bulk I’ve found. It never hurts to get competing bids though.
43. Q: I am on the verge of release making a press release announcing the launch of my book. Do you have any suggestions at this point.
A: My suggest would be
1. If possible when you send out your press release piggy back on what’s already in the news. E.g. Calgary just had a massive storm and your book is about climate change. So make your press release about why we’re getting more and more severe storms and 3 things homeowners need to know about what’s coming in future.
2. pitch story ideas to on-line print sources – such as people who write for the Houghington Post. Just look at other examples of what they write and follow a similar format
3. I’ve attached a template for an email pitch to pitch a reporter below
44. Q: I’m doing module 1 again as I’m starting a new book. I have a question about audience: Can a book have more than one audience?
A: Bookstores want to be clear what section of the store you book does into. So the answer is yes, as long as you have a primary audience in mind that you’re prepared to declare.
For example, my book is primarily for entrepreneurs. So most of the examples speak to entrepreneurs. But I have a secondary audience with corporate leaders.
But they know it’s an entrepreneurial book, so they’re expecting examples that may not speak to them.
45. Q: As I’m scheduling appearances, is it ideal to have the bigger ones immediately after the book is available? Or should they be before the release, but provide people with a way to pre-order so I give them a way to take action in the heat of the moment?
A: There’s different schools of thought on this but I believe after is always safer. There’s a lot of risk that pre-orders might mess up. So I just do the smaller stuff for pre-orders so that I can test the system and the copy.
46. Q: Do you think a professionally done video for the sales page is the way to go?
A: If you have a high budget, maybe. If you are working on a fixed budget and have to make priority decisions then I would put a higher priority on professionally written copy and marketing support. I’d also spend money on support to help you manage the campaign first. There are many people with huge following who think informal videos are better at connecting with people. the most important thing about your video is who you’re being – are you relaxed and engaging. The video quality is a secondary issue. That having said, I’d do the best quality you can manage for the budget you’re working with. Having a friend help you film might be in order.
47. Q: My publisher gave me Sept. 1 for the day books will be available through Amazon. Already listed for pre-sale now. Because of Labor Day Holiday, they’ve suggested setting a day the following week. What is your suggestion for a specific date in September relative to the holiday and what day of the week is best?
A: I’d suggest the 7th or the 8th. The success of your campaign comes down to the support of others. People are tires and often have a back log the day after a long weekend. So they are less likely to go the extra mile for you in helping to create a party around your book.
48. Q: What word count for the description of a bonus gift do you suggest?
A: 100 words.
49. Q: Do you have any forms for collecting the info needed from bonus gift contributors? I figure there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel!
A: Sorry no have not created this.
50. Q: I’m thinking of hosting around the world “authorless” (I guess this is the industry word for it) booksignings where I would make a brief virtual appearance, but a certified RIM Facilitator would be conducting it in their local bookstore. I was thinking it would be the week before the launch, so as to count toward NY Times (just in case there’s serendipity). Is there a problem in taking amazon sales? The facilitators would also be sending out emails/social posts to support the amazon launch.
A: Love the idea for generating more energy. At the same time, Counting pre-sales toward you’re NYT rating can be a tricky game. Mostly because Amazon does not always play nice. Depending on your launch date, when the book switches from pre-sale to sale, where Amazon record the sales will affect whether they count. If you’re relying in pre-sales, I’d ensure your launch date is not the first of the month but a few days in.
I don’t actually recommend going for NYT as you’re biggest challenge will be competing against the folks who are buying their own books through Results Source.
51. Q: Any tips on how to price the book?
A: It depends what you’re wanting to achieve. If the book is a lead generation tool for you I’d price it as low as possible.
52. Q: I am planning on using Jeff Walker’s 3 email formula—where the first 2 short emails are informational and give gifts like a chapter, and the 3rd email is the launch day to buy. Given that I realized that a Sept. 7 or 8 launch day would mean the first 2 emails are over the Labor Day Holiday. So I’m thinking of moving it to the following week… maybe Sept. 14? What do you recommend?
A: Depends how important NYT is for you. It goes Calendar month for business books. As long as it’s not the priority then your thinking is sound. If NYT is your priority then I’d move your launch to October if this is an issue for you.
53. Q: What do I do? I’m not sure what else to do to keep momentum going to carry it to #1. Your recommendations?
A: There are four key things you can be doing
1. thanking people profusely on all your social media (and repeatedly in different forms) this drives a great deal of conversation and sales
2. Ask your closest friends for another push. I recommend that you wait on this one though as you can get better traction from this if you do it after the international listings come up.
3. pitch your local media (local profs hits number 1 bestseller is a news story in most markets and will often get you on the morning shows and talk shows.
4. keep working on getting radio spots so when the international listings go live you have coverage coming up.
54. Q: I wanted to ask when do you recommend posting the video on the book landing page? Right now it is a landing page with the preorder and website buttons. Over next few weeks, we’re adding a download of the first chapter and then an EQ quiz I made up? I have the videos ready and created one for the publisher that is a book trailer version without specific launch day details that we could put up anytime? When is the best time to let them see the gifts on the landing page, so they will know what they receive (on Sept. 7) when they submit their receipt. When do we begin and stop the gifts—what if some people don’t have time to download the gifts?
A: There’s a lot of different approaches to this and I’m afraid knowing the ideal approach would depend on your following and what their patterns tend to be. But in general, I’d suggest the video can go up anytime and would suggest having it up once the pre-sale link is available.
Also with respect to the gifts, you would typically pick out your top few as teasers. These would be from your most famous launch partners. They would be what you include in your landing page. Otherwise they get full access when they buy the book.
55. Q: To get bestseller status, does Amazon count daily sales or a cumulative period. If cumulative, how much time counts toward launch day. I want to offer bonuses for pre-orders, but don’t want to dilute my numbers toward bestseller on the launch day? How does that work?
A: Amazon keeps their Algorithm secret so no one knows the correct answer to this question except Amazon.
Based on studying there system though, their ranking appears to be a formula that includes “books sold overall X Books sold in last week X Books sold in last hour”. Pre-orders are a tricky game as it’s up to Amazon when they record them into the system. But in general they should count toward your overall and weekly quotient.
If you’re going for NYT as well, I’d make sure that the “go live” date is not the same day NYT turns over. As Amazon can cause your pre-sales to be counted into the period before. I’d include a buffer of a few days. Sept 7th is great launch day, I’d suggest include you push on Bonuses after the 1st but before the 7th.
56. Q: One of the points I feel a bit unsure about is the, “booksellers return program” – the business manager said that typically this is a great doorway to giving the various booksellers assurance for any unsold copies. I hadn’t heard about this term before but wanted to get some of your thoughts on whether this is a good feature to have so, in the very least the bookseller carries a few copies of my books.
A: This depends on whether or not you want bookstores to carry physical copies of your book. A lot of authors just focus on on-line sales and marketing to avoid having to worry about this cost. If you’re not worried about cost though and just want to get greater distribution of your book than this can be a good option. Expect it to cost you money in the long run but it will get greater distribution of your book. Booksellers are unlikely to bring your book in without it.
57. Q: In order to hit that amazon best sellers list, I believe it’s a combination of researching the categories but wanted to understand if there is a certain # amazon considers to be ideal to list a book in their bestsellers list. Is it 300 copies a month? A 1000 copies a week? Do you know of any ranges?
A: Amazon’s algorithm is kept confidential. But it appears to be something like – books sold overall x books in last week x books in last hour. So there is not a specific number needed. It is the most sold in that window of time.
58. Q: I am adjusting the book cover for the audio book now. What are the criteria for including a bestseller badge on the cover? Can I use the attached image on the cover? I have searched but have been unable to find any guidance.
A: I’m not aware of any guidance on this topic. I’d suggest you try and it and see if you get any issues arising. It’s easy to change later if there’s an issue.
59. Q: Since my book is written and published should I still have a date 4-6 months ahead of me for the campaign? (Anything else changes for a book published 2 years ago)
A: The more time you give yourself, the more successful (bigger) your campaign will be. The limiter in most cases is that a lot of radio shows, or lists have limited timeslots and they tend to be already booked up. E.g. most people with lists can only do one or two dedicated mailings a month. People with a radio show often only do 1 guest a week. So the more advance lead you give on your requests, the more likely others are to say yes to supporting you. That having said if you already have a lot of contacts with big lists and radio shows that are a yes to supporting you, you can make the timeframe shorter.
60. Q: Since my book is already under one category (self-growth) can I still add it under other categories at Amazon?
A: Yes. You email your publisher / or Amazon as the case may be and ask them to switch it. Re-do the module on choosing your categories when you do.
61. Q: I bought books from a few people at EBC/EBI they offered the ebook for a small price is that how I do it? I did not see a lot on this in this program. What makes so many people buy that day? I offer something inexpensive is that correct? I have a print and also a Kindle version of my book so far.
A: People buy because you have a few hundred people all talking about your book at the same time. Preferably on the same day. That having said, yes I’d highly recommend making the Kindle either free or very low cost. The free kindle actually promotes the other versions of your book (i.e. we sell a lot of Audible because our Kindle is free)
62. Q: Since I am relatively new, is it too early to ask for support for my book campaign from EBC/EBI members?
A: No, not too early, ask away. But start with the folks you have the strongest relationship with. Let me know if you’d like us to set up some intros to possible radio shows and podcasts. It’s a good idea to see if folks will pre-record for you and play on the launch date. There’s a link on the right menus on the website to submit an ask to the Newsletter. I’d get that in sometime this month.
63. Q: How do you know you are the best seller when you are in front of your computer that day? What is the ranking you should get to?
A: Anything in the top 100 of a specific category is on Amazon’s bestseller list.
64. Q: Did you download your book on Smashwords and separately on Kindle? Or did you download your Smashwords version of the eBook to Kindle?
A: The answer to this varies by the book. Each ebook converter may cause formatting issues when you use it. So see which gives you the best version. You may have to hire a formatter if none of them convert well. Once you have a good version, use that one everywhere.
65. Q: What is the difference between an Introduction and Forward?
A: A preface or foreword deals with the genesis, purpose, limitations, and scope of the book and may include acknowledgments of indebtedness; an introduction deals with the subject of the book, supplementing and introducing the text and indicating a point of view to be adopted by the reader. The introduction usually forms a part of the text [and the text numbering system]; the preface does not.
Do we add the gifts in our test launch?
I have a few questions:
1) I understand the sales copy and campaign format for non-fiction, but I’m having trouble wrapping my head around how to do this with/for fiction. I’m also finding it more difficult to envision who would be appropriate for gifting with a work of fiction. Outside of offering a draw for a free Kindle, I’m at a loss. Do you have some examples of fiction scenarios that I could look at?
2) I watched Shawne’s segment on media, and I’m not sure how I would “piggyback” off of news stories with a work of fiction. Any thoughts?
Regarding question 1 – it’s simply a process of enrollment. So how would you enroll someone in reading your book? That’s what the copy should say. So try writing some emails to your friends’ friends and ask people for feedback if they would have been enrolled.
Failing that, you could also hire a copy writer to help you.
Question 2 – a piggy back story is not about your book. It’s about anything. You’re essentially doing the media a favour so they get to know you. That way when you pitch your book, you’re not a stranger and they’re far more likely to cover your book. As it’s Sept, you could be pitching “back to school – helping your kids get excited about reading” or next month you could pitch “Thanks-giving dinner – the three keys to a great stuffing” or “local residents have Thanks-giving the old fashioned way – with a street party” .
The idea is like dating. Asking them to cover your book is like asking the media to be in a committed relationship with you. You need a few dates to happen first where they can see you’re OK on camera and decide they like you.
Hello are using WordPress for your blog platform?
I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my
own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog?
Any help would be really appreciated!
No, you don’t need any coding. Lots of free training on Youtube