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If you're thinking...”Really? She's telling me just to ask people to buy my book?” Yeah, I am. And it's a mistake I made so many times: just kind of expecting the world to care that I had a book.
Here's the thing. No one cares. No one cares about my book. No one cares about your book. What they care about is what that book can do for them. So you’ve got to approach it like that—when you're writing your book, you approach it in your book description, you approach it in how you talk about the book on social media, in newsletters to your friends, everywhere.
The number one strategy is to have a sales page for your book. (See the link section below for an example of one I did for my most recent book.) Most people will create a basic web page that just shows the book cover and description. And really that’s just serving the author. You need to serve the reader, show them why they should part with their hard-earned money for your book.
I also highly recommend making the book 99 cents when you first launch it and gathering an Advanced Reader Team, which is to say, a group of people who agree to read your book ahead of time and then write and then copy and paste a review a few days before the book is officially released on Amazon. The ideal scenario is you get a couple of hundred people to join the group; I realize that's a lot but just know that probably half the people who say yes will flake. Still, I recommend you set up a BookFunnel.com account for 20 bucks a year, upload your book there and send your ART members a link. If you can outsource this and have someone else run your Advanced Reader Team, that's ideal. But either you or someone else wiil send them a series of emails. Down below is a link to my PDF that breaks down exactly what you should say to them.
The reason you want to keep it 99 cents for your Advanced Reader Team is that you don’t want to say, “Hey, buy my book—it's 10 dollars—and do this review.” And even when it's 99 cents, know that you’re going to have to follow up with them. You might have to follow up a couple of times. I'll tell you, with people who flaked on mine, I followed up a couple of times and they all wrote back “Sorry, this thing happened, but now I'm going to do it.” And they did.
At Launch Pad and for all my books, we just keep the books at 99 cents and then we change it once the book is out. You can also leave it at 99 cents for a longer and then D.M. your Instagram followers, your Facebook friends, your LinkedIn connections. People think, “Oh I'm just going to post about having this book and people will go buy it.” Not really. How about you do a copy-paste—or again you outsource and you have someone else write something like, “Hey my book is out. It's 99 cents for a couple of days. I would mean so much to me if you went and got it.”
I’ll be honest, when I'm sending out those "please buy my book" emails, I kind of go, “I'm not going to send it to him. I'm not going to send it to her. She's not going to be into this.” So you don't have to send it to everyone, but send it to almost everyone you know. It's amazing how people have to be asked to do something that we think is super, super obvious.
If you have a newsletter list, absolutely send a newsletter about it. But why not send multiple newsletters about it? Don't worry about bombarding your list—although again, make it about them or about something newsy to do with your book.
You can send three emails but don’t just say, “Hey, I have a book out.” No. Maybe you're going to tell them, “Hey, it's a number one bestseller. Hey, I'm going to be on Good Morning America. Hey, I really think this passage is relevant for you.” And then when you post about it on social media, again think about what is useful for them. Take sections of the book, take anything that's scandalous or interesting or will catch someone's eye and just keep sharing those things and linking to the book.
Put a link to the book in your signature for your emails, put it as a pinned tweet, put it at the top of your Facebook page, put it wherever you can and keep talking about it. You can create cards that have a link to it. You can carry around copies.
The statistic is that somebody has to hear about your book seven times before they buy it. So one media appearance isn't going to do it. You constantly hawking your book is what's going to do it. And if you're thinking, “I'm sorry, I'm just not a self-promoter. This makes me uncomfortable,” look at it like this: First of all, writing is only half the job; if no one buys your book, you did a journal. So this is part of the job.
And if you feel like it's obnoxious, I kind of think of it as the opposite of obnoxious, because if you have information that can help people and you are not sharing it with them, you are doing them a disservice. You are here to leave the world with a message. And there's a lot of noise out there. There's a lot of competition out there. So in order for you to get it out there, you're going to have to hawk it more than you are comfortable hawking it.
Remember if you have any questions you would like me to answer, please DM me on Instagram @annabdavid.
"If you have information that can help people and you are not sharing it with them, you are doing them a disservice. You are here to leave the world with a message. And there's a lot of noise out there. There's a lot of competition out there. So in order for you to get it out there, you're going to have to hawk it more than you are comfortable hawking it."
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