I can still remember the day…
It was mid-August, 2015. I had an event coming up on the 22nd where I’d be sharing my business journey with an audience of 400-500 people, and I wanted to make sure my book was available to take on stage and to sell afterwards.
The week before, six boxes arrived on my doorstep. I opened up one of them, just to make sure I’d been delivered the right book (for some reason I kept imagining that I was going to receive someone else’s books by mistake), did a little fist pump, and got back to work.
The 22nd came and went. I had my five minutes of fame on stage and sold my entire box of books (note to self: bring extras in future).
Then things returned to business as usual. I continued working with editing clients. I hired more staff. I launched our end-to-end publishing service. All the while, my book hummed along in the background – I sold a handful of copies every month, I gave away almost 1,000 over the course of 12 months, and it helped me get more, higher-paying clients.
But a little voice kept niggling in the back of my mind. I felt like I could have done more. While I was using my books and I was seeing results, the results weren’t as transformative as I’d hoped they would be. I’d been told that writing a book would change my life – at a minimum, I had hoped it would change my business.
But business remained steady. Yes, the book helped me close more clients. Yes, I got great feedback on the content. And yes, our rates climbed fairly quickly after I got published. However, the changes and improvements only trickled in, and I’d been hoping for a deluge.
What did I do wrong?
The mistake most entrepreneurs make when launching their books
When most entrepreneurs launch their books, they do one of two things:
- They throw a party with speeches, finger food and book sales (or ticket sales, where the book is included in the cost of the ticket).
- They open the box to check that they received the right book, and then get back to work (launch à la Jacqui).
The result of both of these approaches is the same – not much happens. Sure, a launch party might create a little bit of buzz, but within a week, everyone’s moved on with their lives and you’re left with a stack of boxes and no idea what to do with them.
In other words, the mistake that most entrepreneurs make is seeing their book launch as a single event or moment in time. The problem with this approach is that it’s over as soon as you’ve paid the caterers.
How successful authors launch their books
By contrast, the most successful book launches are a sequence of events or activities. Just look at some of your favourite authors when they have a new book coming out:
- They share news about the publishing process and launch months in advance.
- They solicit advanced reviews months before the book comes out.
- In the weeks before the launch, they will do interviews, readings, presentations and may be featured in traditional media.
- Some entrepreneurial authors might offer incentives for bulk buys or announce sharing competitions to create more buzz (like Tim Ferris in the launch of the Four Hour Body).
- There’s an official launch party – woo hoo!
- In the weeks following the launch, they will continue doing interviews, readings, presentations, and may be featured in traditional media.
As you can see, rather than the launch focusing on a single event or date, it’s a process that spans a good six months. When done well, this initial push then creates ongoing buzz for the book, and it means that if the author does any related marketing in future, they’ve built a captive audience to market to.
The problem when it comes to entrepreneurs, is that often we don’t have months to plan an in-depth launch strategy. Often, we don’t even know that we’ll be writing a book until a few months before it comes out!
So what can you do?
The benefits of relaunching your book
A launch is a powerful time. Everything is new and exciting. You have a reason to talk about and aggressively market your book (in fact, this is expected). And there’s more of a reason for other people to want to talk about your book, which is essential when it comes to getting in front of new audiences.
Just some of the benefits of launching your book include:
- Book sales! Doing an official book launch is a great way to sell books, whether it’s a physical event where you sell books (or include them in the ticket price), or whether it’s a virtual event where you promote your book’s sale page.
- Build brand awareness: Marketing your book is also an opportunity to market your business, as well as yourself. One of the reasons people should buy your book is because of your expertise in your industry – this comes from your years in business, the work you’ve done with your clients, your qualifications and more. Including this in your book launch materials is a great way to let potential clients know about who you are and the services you offer.
- Easy publicity: If you are running a local event, it’s fairly easy to get publicity in the local media. This is particularly true if you live in a regional area, but you could even look at your local paper if you’re in a larger city.
- Create materials for future marketing: Launching any product means you have to create a range of marketing materials. The good thing about these is that they can be used for future marketing campaigns.
- Take offline buzz online: If you do a physical launch event (or have a series of events like presentations, interviews, book signings, etc.), taking photos and videos, or even enlisting someone to live-tweet about the event, is a great way to spread the buzz beyond the event itself.
- Selling more of your products and services: By linking every event and piece of marketing (even your book!) back to your business, you will be sending more of your ideal clients towards your products and services. That traffic will ultimately lead to more sales.
Keep in mind that it is still important for your book to have ongoing value to your business – even with a successful launch, you still want it humming along in the background, you still want to be sending copies to influencers, and you still want to be using your book as a part of your sales process.
However, kicking the process off with a successful launch can build the momentum necessary to ensure your book leads to a stream of regular business growth, rather than the trickle I described earlier.
The problem is that, once you’re book has launched, you lose all of those opportunities.
Or do you?
This is where relaunching your book comes in.
A book relaunch is one way to recapture all of that initial excitement and to enjoy all of those benefits you may have missed the first time around. The best thing is that because you aren’t constricted by an initial deadline you may have set yourself in order to make sure you got the damn thing done the first time around, you can take some time to do it right.
A special announcement about Book Blueprint
Having discussed all of the above, I’m excited to share that I’m relaunching Book Blueprint!
I wrote Book Blueprint after seeing so many of our editing clients making the same mistakes when writing their books. They might have chosen the wrong book idea, their content was all over the place, they kept rambling or missing chunks of vital information, or they wrote in a way that made their book read like a text book.
What I realised was that there’s a lack of good writing advice out there for people who aren’t writers. Just look at a handful of books or blog posts or courses on writing, and some of what you’ll find includes:
- Write every day!
- Connect with your muse!
- Just get it out of your head, and then an editor will fix it.
While writing every day will help you get words out, what’s the point if you aren’t writing the right words in the right order?
While connecting with your muse and writing from an inspired place can be a beautiful, fulfilling place to be, muses are unreliable. Sure, you might write a great book, but you might not finish for another eight years (I don’t know about you, but I’m not that patient).
And yes, a good editor can turn a Word document from a brain dump into a publishable book, but it’s going to cost thousands of dollars and take dozens of hours of your time (and theirs). And the sad truth is that the book might still not be as good as it could have been if you started with the right fundamentals.
I set out to write a book that would give entrepreneurs a step-by-step framework to write an awesome book – even if they weren’t writers. In this framework I cover:
- How to nail a bestselling book idea with three simple tests.
- How to organise your mountain of knowledge in a way that’s both logical and persuasive, so your readers don’t just get value, but are more likely to convert into higher-paying clients.
- How chapters actually work, including three simple questions that will get all of your content out of your head and into your book.
By the end of the book you will have a foolproof blueprint – a skeleton that maps out your entire book, so that all you need to do to write it is fill in the gaps.
In other words, Book Blueprint is the key to writing a great book, fast.
You can pre-order your copy at grammarfactory.com/bookblueprint
Or, if you have an entrepreneurial audience who would love this framework, and want to review it on your blog, YouTube channel or podcast, contact us for an advanced review copy of the book.