AskPat 46 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? This is Pat Flynn and welcome to Episode 46 of AskPat. I'm here to help answer your online business questions five days a week.
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Today's question is from John and it's about Kindle book strategies. Before I answer this question and actually show the question to you, the strategies here don't just apply to Kindle books but for all types of things that you might be launching. John asks specifically about Kindle books, so let's get to the question right now.
John Shea: Hey Pat, it's John Shea from the Voices of Marketing podcast. You can find me over at VoicesOfMarketing.com. Just wanted to ask a quick question. I know when you released your book, Let Go, you did really well, particularly on Amazon. You have lots of reviews and ratings, people leaving videos. What I wanted to ask is, I'm launching a Kindle book, myself: I wanted to know, what are a few tips that you might be able to share that would really help people to launch their first Kindle book? What are some tactics, things that they might be able to do that are really going to get maximum exposure for that Kindle book? All right, talk to you later, thanks.
Pat Flynn: John, thank you so much for your question and congratulations to you and your book, or your upcoming book. I really hope that these—or, I know that these tips are going to help you if you aren't implementing these already. Like I said at the beginning to those of you listening out there, this doesn't just apply to Kindle books. It could be for traditional books, it could be for things other than books as well. These are strategies that are going to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to launching something. John, I'll specifically mention the Kindle book here in my answer; I have a number of different tips.
First one and most important one, I think, and this is something that I used when I launched my book Let Go, was having an industrial group. This is a group of people—it doesn't have to be very long. I have an audience of over 100,000 people but I had an ambassador group of about 200. These are selected people who volunteer, from my audience, to really take this book that I was launching and do whatever they could to promote it because they had gotten value from me or I had been able to help them in some way shape or form in the past. These people were more than happy to go above and beyond just the normal audience members to promote Let Go, my book. To do this, you might want to build an email list of just ambassadors. Ask people in your audience, “Hey, if you'd like to help me take this book and this message that I'm sharing in this book to the next level, I'm looking for 100 to 200 dedicated people who're going to be there to help me write reviews, to help spread the word and just help me promote this book.” You're going to get a number of people will do that for you.
With these ambassadors, you want to also give them something back in return. For me, it was the audio version of Let Go among a few other things, bonuses and things like that, that weren't available to anybody else. I launched my book, I asked my ambassadors, again via email, to write reviews for me, to spread word of the book through social media and things like that. That was really, really important. A small group of ambassadors can really start a chain of viral qualities for you and your book, which is great. That's one of the reasons why I was able to climb to number one in Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Amazon.com for my book, Let's Go. Another thing you want to do before you launch a book is to get your audience involved, your entire audience involved, if possible. There are a number of ways to do this.
The way I did it was, I started a Facebook group and just said, “Hey, I'm going to be writing my first book. Come on and follow me on my journey. I don't know what's going to happen but whatever the case may be, it's going to be a learning experience for you because I'm going to share bits and pieces along the way.” You know what, people love to know what's going on inside of your business. If you're an author and people know you for writing great blog posts, people are going to want to understand your writing process to create a book, I think because they're going to feel like they're involved because you're going to be asking them for feedback … “What do you guys think of the name of this chapter?” It doesn't even have to be very big as far as what you're getting your audience involved with. It could be the cover of the book. “Would you like A or B?” That is a great way to get people on social media and people in your audience involved and feel like they are a part of what you're creating here. When you do that, when you launch your book, it's going to be that much more impactful. Be creative, think of creative ways to get your audience involved, big or small, to help push your book forward. Another thing you do is you could do certain promos and bonuses, for example, if people buy your book on the day it launches or maybe a bundle of those books, you can give them something else in return, like free access to a webinar or something like that. You could ask your audience to send you the receipt and in exchange you'll contact them or you'll have an assistant contact them and they'll get them on the webinar where they can directly ask you questions and things like that. Some sort of value added beyond just the, “Hey, if you pay money, you'll get my book.” You want to give them something else in return. It doesn't have to be a webinar or anything live, even. It could be a bonus. It could be a bonus chapter or a bonus audio file or a video that goes along with the book. Just something additional that will get people who are on the edge of buying the book or who are just like, “Oh, I'm not sure I should get it.” It might push them forward. Again, that's another thing you can add on top of those things I previously mentioned. Another thing you could do is you should treat the day that your book comes out like an event. Like there's a big event around it; you want to create an event around it. People like getting those additional, almost like a bonus, if you will, access to you. If you are launching a book, perhaps you want to schedule ahead of time a one to two hour slot where you can get on a Google Hangout with your audience and maybe bring special guests on who will help spread the word virally.
The nice thing about this is it's free, it's accessible to everybody and, every once in a while on that live stream, you can ask your audience, “Hey, promote this on Twitter or promote this on Facebook.” You can do giveaways. I know a lot of authors have done this before. Lewis Howes and Jonathan Fields, they do these book launch parties, I guess you can call them. During them, every fifteen minutes, they give away a gift card, or maybe they give away one of the books for free. It's a great way to, again, spread your message. Couple of things they do, specifically in those parties, is, “Hey, this. Use this specific hashtag and we will randomly select one of the people who uses the hashtag and they'll get a free something.” Gift card or a book or something. That's a great way to spread, virally, what's going on that day and to introduce people who you wouldn't ever have gotten in front of because you're using the power of social media. Also just people seeing your face and being able to talk and interact directly with the author, you're using that to your advantage. Again, treat the date of your launch like an event. You really want to build buzz for it. You want to create some sort of way to bring people together and interact with, not only you, but with each other. Create that sense of community. The more you see people getting involved and buying things and the more other people see that, that's more social proof and people are going to want to participate and share and help you out as well.
Last thing I will let you know, especially for Kindle, is you want to ask for reviews. You're going to get reviews from your address, it is because you're going to let them know ahead of time. Also, you've given away so much in your book, you want to be able to get something in return. At least a review. The reviews go a long way on Amazon, as well. Ask for an honest one, of course. Hopefully your book is going to be a great quality where it would obviously deserve a five-star review. Just ask, too many people don't ask. I think I didn't ask enough. That was one of the things that Jeff Gowen said to me when I launch my book, is I didn't ask enough. I didn't even email enough. That's another thing. You have something special; your message that you want to share. You'd be doing your audience a disservice if you didn't do whatever it took to get the word out there. If you have an email list already, which I hope you do, you can tap into that email list a number of times. Maybe a few people will get upset if you do it too many times. Obviously, you want to use common sense and not bombard them every hour of every day for the first week. You have an opportunity to tap into your audience there and get sales but also ask for reviews and things like that.
Hopefully that helps you, John. Good luck with the launch of your book. Thank you so much for your question. Again, if any of you out there listening have a question that you'd like the answered on the show, head on over to AskPat.com and you can also win a teeshirt. I've been seeing a couple of teeshirts in the wild, actually, on social media and on Facebook and Twitter. It's been so cool to see the ocean out of there and I hope to give away many, many more over time, here. Hopefully you can win one, too.
As a reminder, I wanted to let you know about FreshBooks. If you go to GetFreshBooks.com and put in the referral “Ask Pat” you get that sixty-day extended free trial for the number one accounting business software out there that'll help you organize your finances. Super important. Something I wish I did sooner because I was doing everything by spreadsheet and it was just a mess. FreshBooks.com will help you organize all of that. Invoices, all of that good stuff. Again, GetFreshBooks.com. Referral podcast is “Ask Pat”.
As always, I'm going to end with a quote here for you. That quote is from me, actually, it's a Pat Flynn original. Here it is: “In order to sell more books, you have to change more lives. In order to change more lives, you have to sell more books.” Think about that. Anyway, thanks so much and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Peace.
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