You’re a Bestselling Author on Amazon! Now What?
As a direct publishing specialist, my most popular service is managed book launches. These launches are a whirlwind of activity and give my clients exciting results. A typical book launch runs two to three weeks and involves all sorts of interactive and engaging activities.
When a book launch ends, hundreds or thousands of eBook have been downloaded. Most fun of all, the title of “bestseller” is bestowed upon the author.
What to Do Before Your Launch
What you need to know is that book launches normally involve several days of book giveaways or at least deep discounts on your book, think 99 cents. The point is, a great launch does not equal much of a financial reward. It doesn’t even improve a book’s longterm sales rank on Amazon.
You might come out the other side with less than $1000 earned, an increase in visibility, and hopefully, some good reviews. The credibility of bestseller status is marketing gold, but the ROI is nearly zilch.
So, what should you do BEFORE you launch a book?
This beforehand preparation is perhaps the most important part of a lucrative career in self-publishing. I’m going to illustrate my point with something that happened to me before I became an author and before book marketing and direct publishing were my specialties.
I was a career writer, so not far off from what I do now. I ran a successful travel blog in the Caribbean. When I started my website, I wrote a story that went viral. It was totally unexpected. I hit publish and within three hours I got over 10,000 hits. Over a period of days, I got over 40,000 views before the traffic died off.
During these three days, I was beside myself researching like mad to find out how I could capitalize on this newfound interest in me and my blog. Problem was, trying to monetize something 10 hours into a 72-hour run is nearly impossible. I had no way to capture email addresses, no lead magnets, no products or services to offer, and no advertisers. I had no real business plan in place. I only had a vague idea that I wanted to showcase my travel writing to potentially charge for freelance writing. The results? Like a book launch without an underlying business strategy, I got 72 hours of excitement and a great portfolio piece with some very impressive stats, but no growth or profit.
Despite this unprepared start, a couple of years later, my blogging business began to provide a full-time income and allowed me to sail the Caribbean while writing and performing at resorts. So this anecdote has a happy ending.
Here’s the takeaway. You need to plan for how you are going to capture leads and what your message, brand, and products are before you launch.
Don’t get me wrong, your plan can be MORE books, but consider having related digital content, physical products, or services in place as well before you hit the “Promote My Book” button on Amazon.
If more books is your brand and your product line, then you need to have a concrete plan in place to write a lot, a longterm marketing strategy, and a good idea of a release schedule. And you still need to have a way to capture leads so you can tell your newfound audience when they can buy all of your new books.
Remember, no one becomes successful from ONE of anything. You can’t become a wealthy, famous artist by producing one painting. Same goes for being an author — the first book is just the beginning. So here’s to great beginnings! Now go write your business plan and make that bestseller title work for you.