In 2014, I launched a book. A lot of work went into writing the book and I learned a lot. Even more work went into promoting the book launch. Little did I know that even though I had a publisher, the responsibility for promotion to launch the book was all mine. I am so glad I didn’t rely on the publisher to get the word out because the book climbed to #36 on Amazon for Women & Business which was one of the proudest moments of my life….until I gave birth 3 months later 🙂
Since I prepared for this book launch myself and planned it ahead, I wanted to share with you some of the secrets behind what made it so successful. Keep in mind that my staff at the time was myself and a virtual assistant in the Philippines. That’s it. No big PR team. No interns. Not even an assistant in my own country that could help with phone calls. It was me. Also, I did not do this book launch full time. I still had a part-time job and I was 6 months pregnant during my launch party. (I couldn’t even celebrate with champagne…bummer).
Overall, the launch took about 6 months to plan and execute. That might sound like a lot but how long are you spending writing the book. Why would you spend so long writing your book and then have no one read it? I did over 15 speaking events during that time and countless interviews and blog posts.
I was determined to get my book out to as many people as possible because to be honest, at the time it was my very best writing I had ever done to date. It had been reviewed countless times by editors (and my mom) and I knew it could change every woman’s life that read it. So I put everything into launching the book and here’s everything I learned:
Here are the 5 steps to a successful book launch:
1) Build Excitement
Get feedback from people who are excited for you. Survey them. Let them pick the cover. Give them sneak peeks to get them excited. Start a free private Facebook group and start getting them excited about the book. What I realized was that people who had followed me for so long were thrilled to support this next step in my journey. I blogged the day that I signed the contract with the publisher and let them in on my journey to become an author. That day we had over 100 comments on social media and on our site. It was extremely encouraging and I knew I had the support I needed to make my dream a reality.
2) Gather a Book Launch Team
You will have to market yourself no matter what. If you get a publisher, you will have to market yourself. That’s why you definitely want to take control of your marketing by gathering a book launch team.
The best time time investment I made when I published my book was gathering together a group of readers, friends and family members for a book launch team to help get the word out.
I put together an application form in survey monkey and emailed every woman I knew. I was shocked to have 75 applications apply to be on my book launch team! I offered them a digital copy of the book, a special one hour group Q&A phone session with me, and all my free bonuses from the launch in exchange for an Amazon review and spreading the word to their friends and colleagues about the book.
Later, I did a post featuring all the members of the book launch team on CCG too. You can read about my book launch team members here.
3) Add Bonuses
I created book bonuses for people who purchased the book or joined my book launch team. I created a book club kit so that readers could go through the book with their co-workers and friends. I also gave a bonus with my productivity and time management guide for female leaders, 3 recorded interviews with leadership experts, a live Classy Career Girl Book Club Virtual Party with me AND the 6th chapter of my book that included everything that didn’t fit in the final, published version.
Make this good and people will buy for the bonuses, not the book.
[RELATED: 10 Things I Learned Writing My Book]
4) Create an Online Media Kit
This is one page on your website. Here’s my example of my online media kit.
This is a one stop shop for bloggers, your book launch team and even your publisher to grab your bio, photos and information about the book on your website. Make it easy and only have this one page that you update through the launch and then send people back to it.
5) Secure Endorsements
Secure endorsements and a writer for the Foreword. Reach out to everyone you know who could write an endorsement for you. This is not a time to be timid. Just do it. You will get no’s. People are busy. Who cares. Delete the email and move on to the people who want to support your dreams and goals.
Here’s an example email:
Hi (first name),
It was so great to see you at the (name of event) last month. Hopefully I will see you at upcoming events over the year. Make sure you mark your calendar for the February CWI event because it is all about working with men! (Make this personal).
As we discussed, I have a new book out in February called, The Professional Woman’s Guide to Managing Men, (Amazon link: http://bit.ly/managingmenbook) published by ImPackt Publishing. Because I admire you, your career path and your advice so much, I am reaching out to you for your endorsement.
Emily Bennington, author of Who Say’s It’s a Man’s World: The Girl’s Guide to Corporate Domination, has this to say about my book, “If you want to lead big, you have to know how to lead men – and that ain’t easy. Good thing you found this book because in these pages you will learn how to earn respect by focusing on what matters, leveraging your strengths, and being professional without being a robot in heels. You also have the benefit of a guide as sharp as Anna. Indeed, as we watch the number of women leaders slowly but steadily rise and stand on remarkable platforms of accomplishment in business, we owe a collective hat tip to women like her and books like this.”
My new book is a practical step-by-step guidebook for professional women to successfully learn how to work with and manage men at work. It covers the most effective ways to communicate with men and takes the reader through exercises to help her conquer perfectionism. The reader will also learn how to assert and promote herself and establish trust and respect with the men that she works with. I have attached the preface for your review and I am happy to provide you with the entire digital book as well. Just let me know and I can get you the download instructions ASAP.
What am I looking for: A brief 2-3 sentence endorsement by January 10th would be fabulous. Please reach out if you have any questions and thanks so much for your time!
So are you ready to launch? What step are you taking first?
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