SPI 079: Time Travel and Book Marketing with Jeff Goins—Strategies to Help You Sell More Books and Spread Your Word

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In this session of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, I get to do something I’ve always wanted to do:

Time Travel.

Let me explain. :)

My good friend, Jeff Goins – a popular Amazon best-selling author, award-winning blogger and speaker who writes at GoinsWriter.com – joins me for what is essentially two sessions in one.

We talk all about book marketing and promotion, but the cool thing is that the first half of this episode was recorded back in April of 2013, which gave me time to implement the strategies that Jeff shared on the show to help promote my book, Let Go.

The second half of the show was recorded exactly 2 months later after I took action based off of Jeff’s advice, and Jeff critiques what I did right and what I should have done instead. I did make some mistakes that Jeff talks about that will hopefully be a great learning experience for you as much as it was for me too.

I had a lot of fun with this one, and after re-listening to it while editing last night, I’m inspired to get back into book writing soon with better direction and experience under my belt.

This session is not just for people who are writing books or those who may eventually want to become authors—it’s for anyone who wants to sell anything that they’ve put a lot of work into and know will help benefit their audience.

More specifically, in this session you’ll find out about:

  • The power of a “launch group” or “launch team”, how to form one, and how I initially underutilized mine.
  • Strategies to get more reviews on Amazon (even before it goes live) and why social proof is a MUST.
  • How I went from 40 reviews to over 200 reviews on Amazon in a very short time period.
  • Why it’s important to know that Amazon is the largest “paid” search engine in the world.
  • How to give away copies of your book to the right people, and what else you can ask your tribe to do for you.
  • How Amazon’s Bestseller List works, and how you can climb your way to the top.
  • An old business author trick to get on the best-seller list, which utilizes scarcity.
  • How raising the price of your book can benefit you as an author.
  • Why creating an “event” around your book can help you get more sales.
  • Everything I did right after implementing Jeff’s strategies.
  • Everything I did wrong, including one crucial mistake that drastically affected my overall sales numbers.
  • How a book can be more than just a book, but an entire business instead.
  • Things that Jeff is doing right now to market his new book, The In-Between.
  • Plus much more!

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Session Include:

Right click here to download the mp3 file to your desktop.

Thank you Jeff!

Jeff was incredibly gracious with sharing his knowledge with us! Thank you, Jeff, for all of your help and also for agreeing to come on and do two separate recordings so we could get the time travel effect here, which was awesome! If you have 3 seconds, click on the link below to give a shout out to Jeff on Twitter!

Click here to thank Jeff on Twitter!

Leave Me a Voicemail!

Every once and a while, I’ll be recording podcast episodes that are completely driven and made up of questions asked by you, so if you have any questions you’d like potentially answered on the show, simply record a voicemail over on my Speakpipe Page.

Help Out the Show!

And lastly, if you haven’t done so already I would love if you took a minute to leave a quick rating and honest review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below! It would be extremely helpful for the show and I’m aiming for 1000 5-star ratings before the end of the year! We are currently at 981 5-star ratings, so we’re almost there!

Thank you in advance!

Thank you for listening, and I hope you enjoyed this episode. Please let us know what you think in the comment section below. Cheers!


Click Here to Download the Transcript for Session 79 (PDF)

  • Shamir

    Hey Pat,
    You haven’t still set up that landing page with SPIPodcast.com directing to your iTunes podcasts. I keep checking it once every day 😛

    • Rui santos

      Ahah that’s funny as I’ve checked myself 3/4 times for the past few days.

      Now lets listen to another awesome podcast!

  • http://www.onlinebusinessgeeks.com Alex B.

    Hey Pat!

    Looking forward to listening to this one, for sure! Jeff is a fantastic guy, and certainly has a lot of wonderful ideas to share. His newest book “The In-between” was a real winner, too!

    I have been having quite a bit of success the past few months on Kindle, so I look forward to hearing what tips Jeff has to offer, and implementing them right away!

    All the best,

    • http://www.shadeofinfo.com/the-very-best-money-making-method-beginners-guide-to-information-products/ Andrew M. Warner @ ShadeofInfo.com

      Hey Alex, good to hear you have success with Kindle. Do you find it easier to sell on Kindle than just straight off a website?

    • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Alex!

  • http://www.BKC.name Bernard Clive

    Thank you Pat for the tonnes of valuable information. Jeff, is amazing. I’m looking forward to implementing some of the strategies.

    • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

      I appreciate that, Bernard. Thanks for listening!

  • http://www.untetheredincome.com Allen Underwood

    Can’t wait to listen Pat – I’m currently in the middle of your podcast where you just released your July numbers and talking to John from eonfire.com…and all I can say is WOW. I’ve been following you since you launched your first podcast (found you on iTunes) and have been blown away by your progress, growth and your dedication and willingness to give. Congrats man and thank you for all you do. To this day, you’re still the one person I follow in terms of blog/podcast/etc.

  • http://www.shadeofinfo.com/the-very-best-money-making-method-beginners-guide-to-information-products/ Andrew M. Warner @ ShadeofInfo.com

    Hey Pat,

    This was an excellent interview with Jeff Goins. Some things I never actually knew about Amazon book publishing that I really took notes for. And I remember hearing in a previous interview about Kindle book publishing that having reviews are super key to have success when selling on Kindle. And all that was said is completely true because I never bothered to look at certain books if it doesn’t have reviews. So that was a very good strategy that Jeff gave to get reviews.

    I’m trying out your process of being everywhere and just recently started podcasting but I’m literally itching to come out with something on kindle because I do have alot of reports/products etc. that I wrote. But I guess I’ll stick with the format that I’m on right now and not try to do EVERYTHING. But listening to podcasts like this makes it tough because it’s so motivational. And also, it’s better to have a good platform before coming out with a book otherwise people won’t bother.

    Lastly, the “Let Go” day concept was really interesting. I wonder if that concept could be used for ANY type of Kindle book or if it’s much more useful for books like Let Go. But I guess you can create an event for any type of product launch really if you’re creative. And that word of mouth strategy/study groups would be something to test .. I have no doubt that it would work.

    Anyway, like always, great podcast.

    Looking forward to more in the future.

    • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

      Glad it helped, Andrew.

  • http://thecyberdream.com/ Alvin Chadwick

    Great article, thanks for sharing! :)

  • http://theproductpromoter.com/ Vince @ The Product Promoter

    Pat, I’m really starting to dig your podcasts! They started off a little dry for me, but I understand you want to keep it PC and that I can respect. The more current ones keep getting better and better. Thanks for all the FREE information that you provide, truly a good person. Faith in humanity = Restored!

  • http://www.workingonafullhouse.com Brian

    Another excellent interview.

    I just wanted to drop by and say “thanks again”.

  • Andrea Kelly

    Wow, what an epic podcast!
    This was so full of excellent advice and interesting ways of thinking about book publishing.
    I loved it and I haven’t even written a book!
    Thank you as always for such high quality, transparent and actionable content.

  • http://www.trixhub.com Abhay

    Thanks Pat.
    Great Article

  • http://703m.blogspot.com Joe Moratai

    Blogging may be the best way to hone our writing skills before starting to write the book, thank you for the advice, Pat?

  • http://alex-ding.com/ Alex

    Hey Pat,

    I’ve been enjoying your site for a little over a year now. Your site rock! I followed your step-to-step guide for setting up a Facebook fan page.

    I’ve just added your site to one of my main pages, Kick-Ass Sites:


    Keep up the good work!

  • http://smallbusiness-ideas-for-women.blogspot.com/ zeny

    I am glad to read this post, Yes, hopefully I can learn a lot

  • http://www.expertsenterprise.com Hugh Culver

    This is great. I’m loving what Jeff is sharing and the split recording idea. I have already a good list of ideas. Fav so far is the reminder of the gift offer if you send in receipt. Time to go get more reviews on my book!

  • http://www.liveworktravelusa.com Dan

    I loved to listen in to Jeff reviewing your book launch campaign.
    It would be AWESOME if you, Pat, could review some of your readers blogs on the podcast, giving feedback and advice. It would not only be extremely helpful for the blog owner, but also for other listeners that run small sites to see what you like and what you would change based on a real life example.


  • http://www.nickykay.com Nick Kizirnis

    It was great to hear Jeff Goin’s recommendations and see how you applied those to “Let Go” … Jeff inspired me to think about how to handle the re-release of an album I just put out. The record came out in January and then my drummer took off for the rest of the year to travel with another band (it was a great opportunity, no hard feelings at all). He’ll be back during the holidays and I was thinking of bringing the album out again, but I’ve already gotten local press and played a record release show. Jeff inspired me and made me think of several things I could do … thanks Pat!

  • Norman

    it’s getting to where my willingness to search through all of the texts in your podcast for the download link isn’t worth my time. not when there are thousands of podcasts that put it right at the top of the post. hiding the download link increases the chances that people will read the text exactly zero percent.

  • http://www.rieder-enterprises.com/passives-einkommen/ Passives Einkommen

    Thanks for another good podcast – appreciate it !

  • http://control-email.com Kwin Peterson

    Great content and incredibly timely — I’m going to release my first ebook on Wednesday. Thanks to Jeff (who I just started following), and Pat (for Ebooks The Smart Way).

  • http://scratchanddenthq.com Dain


    This is a great podcast. As an inspiring writer who is looking to get my works published through Amazon, this interview has been a great help. Thanks a bunch! Keep up the great posts and podcasts!

  • Ryan

    Hey Pat,

    I just wanted to say you rock!

    No strings, links, or plugs attached!

  • http://ACEproductivity.com Timothy Moser

    Cool stuff. I’m not at a place to publish a book right now, but this really got me thinking. I found it particularly amazing that Jeff Goins was able to use his 100-person book launch group to create such an impact. This is definitely an episode to return to later.

  • http://www.mathfilefoldergames.com/ Justin Holladay

    Awesome podcast!! I learn something new every time I listen (or re-listen) to your podcasts. Thanks!!

    Quick question, do you this book marketing launch strategy would work with iOS apps or would you need to modify it?

  • Ron

    Hey Pat,

    As usual, great interview, and I thought I’d chime in with my two cents on what’s been working for me as a self-publisher.

    Here it is in a nutshell:
    1. Write and publish a multitude of extremely useful books in a single niche that cross promote each other, and…
    2. Market those books using sales advertising and SEO copywriting techniques.

    The whole idea of having a platform as an author is beaten to death, especially in Internet Marketing circles. Granted, having one can be advantageous if properly used, sometimes it’s just not a necessity depending on what your short-term and long-term business goals are.

    For example, I’ve been publishing books on Amazon for about a year now, and fortunately I’ve been able to build up a modest monthly income from my efforts. It could be argued that I could vastly increase the amount of money I make with a platform, but that time invested would divert me away from what has been working for me, which is writing and releasing new books almost monthly. In my humble opinion, I think different business models work for different types of entrepreneurs. I enjoy researching, working with ideas, and synthesizing those ideas into valuable knowledge for a target audience more than promoting a platform or “author name” to build up authority. Writing a multitude of extremely useful books in a single niche and applying what I’ve learned over the years to selling those books (SEO Copywriting), has accounted for the majority of my success. I think this is the 80/20 principle at work here.

    In all honesty, the best alternative to having my own platform at this point would be to leverage other people’s audience through guest posting and leave a link to my book on Amazon. It seems like a better use of my time if I wanted to expand my reach as an author.

    Also, if your goals are strictly to be as hands off as possible while providing a ton of value, you can publish books successfully without a platform so long as you focus on a single niche and produce a multitude of books that cross promote each other. If your goals are to establish yourself as a authority with an engaged audience, then a platform might prove very useful to your efforts. I only mention this so that others in the audience can make informed decisions about building their businesses. I don’t think everyone is interested in being in the spotlight, at least, this has been my experience.

    Of course, at the end of the day, these are just my humble opinions. If you see this Pat (or anyone else with some experience in this industry), I’d love to get your input and discuss.


    • http://www.shadeofinfo.com/the-very-best-money-making-method-beginners-guide-to-information-products-part-2/ Andrew M. Warner @ ShadeofInfo.com

      Hey Ron,

      You said that you’re publishing on Amazon for a year now. I’m assuming that’s working out for you or you wouldn’t be doing it. Quick question, do you think it’s better to build up a large following before trying to sell on Amazon?

      I’ve wanted to do stuff on Amazon for a while now but I hear people say that you should build up a large enough following first before trying to sell on there. What are your thoughts?

      • Ron

        I can only speak from my experience. So with that said, I think it all depends on your end goal. Numerous authors can attest to the fact that you can sell books on Amazon without a following. Granted, having a following makes things a whole lot easier when it comes to generating sales, word of mouth, getting reviews, etc. But not having a following shouldn’t stop anyone who has superior value to give in their books. Also keep in mind that without a following you have less control over what happens. If Amazon shuts down, u still have your audience and you can direct them to the new gun in town (iBooks maybe?). These are all things to keep in mind.

        In short, a following works for some people, but others can sell books without one. An engaged audience (notice I said engaged) like Pat’s will surely make your Amazon books sell like hot cakes, but without an audience you’re going to have to hustle in other ways.

        • http://www.shadeofinfo.com Andrew M. Warner @ ShadeofInfo.com

          What you said makes sense. Hey, thanks alot for your response Ron.

  • http://www.problogexperts.com/making-money/the-ultimate-guide-to-make-money-blogging/ Osman

    Thanks for the great podcast Pat! I’m thinking about launching a book campaign very soon and these tips will come in handy.


  • http://www.eventchecklist.net Arwin

    Another great show Pat. I think there is more from sharing information and it seems creating Amazon books is this time trend. I was too thinking of creating one and hopefully apply everything I learned from this podcast.



  • http://www.ricardoequips.com/ Ricardo Butler

    After listening to this and all the goodies, the first thing I wanted to so was say sorry for not posting a review after I got the book. So I went on a head and did that. Way to go and let go Pat!

  • KyleG1461

    Really enjoyed this episode guys. Well done. Will definitely go back and listen again to make notes!

  • http://projectpassive.com Freddie Mixell

    Jeff, Pat great stuff! I’m very inspired by the information you shared. I’m going to try to implement a launch group for the launch of my blog http://projectpassive.com

  • http://www.prosperitytrack.com James Peters


    What a great format and interview. Way to put yourself out there with a critique of your launch. That surely takes some gusto! As a first time author, I really appreciated the detailed examples and mapping of a successful launch. Not just great tips, but amazing information. I loved the before and after format (I grew up with Back to the Future, so I can appreciate the reference too!). Unfortunately, I didn’t do half as much as I should have done with the launch of my book. http://amzn.to/15TCrMU

    I have been working non-stop on book marketing since listening to this podcast.

    You are an amazing information and insight sharer. I look forward to each blog, interview and podcast! Great work as always.

  • http://reviewsmartphoneterbaru.blogspot.com/ Sukman

    Writing is easy but sale is dificult

  • http://www.Moneyahoy.com Derek – MoneyAhoy.com

    Wow – sounds like a great podcast. I can’t wait to check it out.

    It’s great to see how you employed some of these strategies with Let Go.

  • http://findsomemoney.com/ Shobir

    Can’t wait for this podcast, I really want to use some of the strategies on my website. Sales is the side I have difficulties with. Hopefully I’ll learn something valuable.

  • http://www.thefiscallyfit.com fiscally fit

    great podcast. I think people really discount the dedication this stuff really takes. the time that you need to input is a gimme but you have to really live a breath this. You have to work it into your everyday life… not just something you do in ADDITION to your everyday life

  • http://storiesmadepowerful.com/ Arlen Miller

    What a delightful and instructive listen. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks so much to Pat and Jeff. Thanks for being real. Real answers. Real issues. Real success. Thank you!

  • http://www.fulldisclosurefitness.com Jay Scott

    This is a great Podcast. I wrote my book in 2011 and haven’t promoted it at all. I’m going to follow these strategies to release my book (slightly revised) at the beginning of 2014. Massive amounts of information in this one!

    Thanks Pat!


    • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

      Thanks for listening, Jay! Hope it helps!

  • http://www.TheChristianBusinessCoach.com Sonya Ramsey

    Hi Pat,

    I’ve been a listener for over a year now. This was in my top 5 favorites of your episodes. My book is being launched very soon so the timing of this podcast is perfect.

    I absolutely loved Jeff’s advice. I just bought both books and am looking forward to giving reviews.

    Many thanks to both you and Jeff.



  • Judy

    a) This is a really useful and informative podcast.

    b) You guys work very well together – this whole topic of these kinds of best practices would be a great ebook of its own, a great print book, a great audiobook – it needs some work to go over all the various elements and distill the main points of each idea that is mentioned. Why don’t the two of you create a product like this and then use the practices you mention to get it out there?

    I think an ebook you two write together will be more powerful than one you write separately, on all sorts of levels.

    This isn’t a “do it yesterday” kind of project, because every day that passes gives each of you more tried and true experience that can go into it.

    c) Jeff – VERY IMPORTANT to practice saying “this is great, and if you do x, y & z next time, it will enhance this great thing” – for each and every point. Please do not (either of you) allow yourselves to continue the habit of saying to yourselves or to anyone else: “what you should have done”. Ever. Embed the “what you can do next time” or “what you can do to enhance effort ABC” in the flow of “you did this great, and if you add such & such, it might be even better”.

    My 2 cents.

  • asli parker

    good post.here is a another post for making money http://goo.gl/BxRYoE

  • http://www.spiderorbit.com/ Deepak

    Hey dear Thanks for discussion. you shared nice post for marketing that will increase sales of books. Some strategy points are excellent and should follow.

  • http://ernestdempsey.net Ernest Dempsey

    Hey Pat!
    Just listened to the Jeff Goins podcast. Loved the Back to the Future theme, and also got a lot of great info from it.

    I am a self-published fiction author and have been pursuing that in my spare time for a few years. It was only in the last year that things really started to pick up for me with book sales and I thought I would share some tidbits with you that are in addition to what you and Jeff discussed. Some of it is contradictory to what you guys talked about, so please don’t take it as me insulting you. :)

    I heard you guys both referring to how getting reviews increases your Amazon sales rank. This is a common misconception. The only thing that improves your sales rank, on any list, is sales. Period. If you think that getting more reviews will boost you up the charts, you have been misguided.

    Reviews are important but only as a form of social proof. While more reviews generally means you have made more sales, you will see a vague correlation to the number of reviews and increased sales rank, but that is not a direct relationship. In other words, reviews help you get more sales, but do not tick the algorithm by themselves.

    In regards to your plateau of sales, you can give your sales a boost, both when you launch your next book (looking forward to it), and to your current offering by using a very simple strategy I will highlight in a moment.

    In March of this year, Amazon changed their algorithm again, and this time it crushed the people who were giving away their books for free as a means of stimulating their referral engine. But another purpose of it was to prevent people from gaming the system by organizing “book bombs.” This is when an author would get hundreds of their fans to all buy a book on the same day, or run an ad, or otherwise create a one-off sales spike that would propel their book up the best seller lists.

    How the new system works now and how to use it to your benefit:
    What the new algorithm does is rewards a quick boost of sales, but it also punishes the spike just as quickly if it falls off the next day. So, if you sell 100 books on Monday, but only 3 on Tuesday, you may shoot up the rankings quickly, but by Thursday you will be off the charts again. To prevent this, use a four day launch/promo strategy.

    Day 1 When you release your new book, make the product available then send an email to your list, letting them know the book is available. I also suggest offering it as a discount. I call this the “friendship” or “vip” pricing model. If your book is 4.99 make it 2.99 for only four days. Then back to full price. And tell your list that is the deal.
    Day 2, send out the message to your Facebook group, again with the discount message.
    Day 3, Tweet it, LinkedIn it, and Google+ it.
    Day 4, run an ad on BookBlast or FK Books and Tips (if you have a certain number of reviews) or maybe on Book Bub. Some of these places have rules regarding running ads and if you aren’t eligible, try scheduling a guest post or an interview with another blogger. You’re great at that stuff. :)

    What happens is that, just as the algorithm punishes quick, unsustained spikes, it rewards longer-term sales runs. By engineering your promotion this way, you will stay on the charts longer and gain extremely valuable exposure, giving your book a chance to be seen by people who would have never found it otherwise.
    It’s all about visibility in the book world. And the more people who see and buy your book, the more your message can reach. And that is what writing is all about, like you and Jeff said. :)

    Remember that Amazon’s goal will always be to keep giving their customers exactly what they want, so they will never stand still and will continue to change and evolve. This means what works today may not work next month. But for now, this strategy seems like it might have some staying power for the foreseeable future.

    • http://http//www.theprofitjam.com Rishit Shah

      Good written Ernest!

  • http://www.v-pillsgold.web.tr/penis-buyutuculer.html büyütücüler

    good job. regards.

  • http://www.emeroy.com/blog Emeroy

    This podcast had so much good content I literally stopped everything I was doing to reprocess what I was working on.

    I’ve been in the process in implementing the 200 outreach, and now that I hear the whole launch group idea I’ve been trying to figure a way to combine both ideas together.

    Great stuff as always, pat.

    Btw, just got a hold of Let Go on snippet, about to start reading it riiiiiiggghhtttt….. Now.

  • http://bestpressurecookerdeals.com/best-pressure-canner-reviews-deals-and-buying-guides/ John

    Hey Alex, good to hear you have success with Kindle. Do you find it easier to sell on Kindle than just straight off a website?

  • http://h http://www.kingged.com

    I am pretty sure that the writers will be in love with this article and so am I. LOL! I thank you for sharing a lillte bit of you in this post and for giving us knowledge on how to sell books and how to spread it to the world. That is a dream for every writer.

    The audio you provided is very helpful! Really glad I have found this. Thanks again!

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social networking site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

  • http://guitarrasinlimites.com/teoria-musical/una-guia-facil-para-entender-los-intervalos-musicales/ Felipe

    I think this is the best episode so far! I am amazed, pure quality Pat! I enjoyed every second of it.

  • http://www.katiedavis.com/ Katie Davis

    As a huge fan of you both, this episode was a gigantic treat. I listened TWICE, taking notes both times. AWESOME episode, thank you so much. One question: I want to follow your advice, Jeff, on offering a gift with purchase, but is there an easy way to automate the process? Do I need to manually accept hundreds of receipts? (See my positive thinking in action?!) Thanks again, to both of you. And since you both have little kids, and this is an e-picture book, I plan to send you a copy as a thank you when it’s done. I need to show my appreciation – I already have almost 100 people signed up for my Launch Team!

  • http://marknoldy.com/ Mark Noldy

    What Jeff says is so true about book-reading urgency. I downloaded “In Between” from Amazon the first week, and haven’t started. Actually part of the way through “Let Go” and half a dozen other great books. Wish I was a faster reader!

  • Cassel

    I just listened to the show today, and I have a couple of questions.
    1- would all those tips and strategies work with a technical ebook? I have only one and it is 101 tips to work faster with a particular graphic program. Not sure how to make much of a buzz about that (I am looking at my 2nd ebook (101 more tips).
    2- what about the KDP Select program? What do you see as the pros and cons of that program?

  • http://www.heartspoken.com/ Elizabeth H. Cottrell

    Just listened to this terrific podcast while traveling. Jeff’s “You Are A Writer” piece really inspired me when I first read it. Your interview with Jeff was jam packed with great tips which I’ve jotted down to remember when I get my book ready to publish. You’re always so great about sharing your mistakes as well as your successes, Pat, and it helps us all learn. I’ve just read about a new platform called Thunderclap.it that many authors are using effectively for book launch campaigns. Shelley Hitz did a great review of it on The Future of Ink blog today.