It’s an exciting time! Why? Because it’s July 1, which means next month Superfans gets published! With the exciting release of my new book coming up, I wanted to talk about the different book marketing strategies we’re using to promote Superfans. Some of them are strategies we’ve never tried before, and I can’t wait to share them with you today!
Learning from Our Last Book Launch—and Making It Better
As you may know, Superfans is my brand new book. A lot of you have already heard about it on the podcast. And if you pre-order it right now, you can also get the audiobook for free when the book comes out on August 13. This opportunity is going fast, and I want you to have a chance to get the audiobook for free.
Go ahead and grab your copy of Superfans with free audiobook right now.
Over the next month, you’re also going to hear a lot on the podcast about the way we’ve been marketing this book, along with interviews with some amazing experts who have helped me on my book writing journey, from Azul Terronez, my book coach, to Dave Chesson from Kindlepreneur, as well as other key members of the book-writing community. So make sure you subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already.
Today, I want to share a few things that we are doing that are lessons learned from the launch of my last business book, Will it Fly?, in February 2016.
It’s been more than three years since the Will It Fly? launch. That book went on to become a self-published Wall Street Journal Bestseller, which was just so mind blowing. I’m so thankful for all the support that helped us make that happen.
Now, three years on, we’re a little smarter and we have a bigger audience, so I’m hoping Superfans is going to be a bestseller too. But at the same time, that’s not the ultimate goal with Superfans. The goal is to get it into as many hands as possible—and hopefully the byproduct of that will be bestseller status, which will give the book more clout and help it get into even more hands.
I’ll get to the book marketing strategies we’re using to get Superfans in as many hands as possible in a second. But before we do that, I want to share a little about how this book came about, and who I wrote it for.
How Superfans Came About
Superfans came about as a result of a presentation I’ve been giving for a while. In fact, it’s probably my signature presentation, one that I’ve given at numerous conferences before. I spoke in front of 3,000 people in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World about this topic and I got a ton of great feedback. I still continue to get feedback about that presentation today.
That presentation grew out of a desire to share the story behind something that really helped me grow my business, more than anything else. And it’s something that continues to help my business grow.
What is that presentation, you ask?
It’s one based on the idea that you shouldn’t try to build a business to make the most money or get a higher search ranking, but to create as many superfans as possible. This was inspired by Kevin Kelly and his famous article “1,000 True Fans”, which is an amazing essay about how if you have just a thousand true fans each paying you $100 a year, there’s your six-figure business! You don’t need to shoot for the moon and create a blockbuster hit. You just need to inspire 1,000 people to come to your side.
Here’s a quote from his essay that explains the idea really well:
“Instead of trying to reach the narrow and unlikely peaks of platinum bestseller hits, blockbusters, and celebrity status, you can aim for direct connection with a thousand true fans. On your way, no matter how many fans you actually succeed in gaining, you’ll be surrounded not by faddish infatuation, but by genuine and true appreciation. It’s a much saner destiny to hope for. And you are much more likely to actually arrive there.”
You don’t need to change the world to build a business that serves people. If you can just create something that really speaks to a certain group of people and causes them to become superfans, you can do very well for yourself and make a very big impact on your income and on your life.
If you broke it down even further, that’s just one fan a day for less than three years!
And that’s exactly what I want to help people do with Superfans, because as great as Kevin Kelly’s article is, it’s not a how-to. Superfans is that missing piece—the how-to that teaches you how to find and cultivate those fans.
The Superfans Writing Process
I have all of you reading this article right now, the superfans of Team Flynn, to thank for the inspiration to write this book. For those of you who might not remember, I wrote this book last December:
Initially, I actually tried to do what a number of other authors do because it can save them time: hiring someone else to interview me and ghostwrite the book. For some people, this can work. But I tried it, and I wasn’t happy with the results. So I started from scratch in November 2018. I used the NaNoWriMo Challenge to write this book, which was supposed to take thirty days. It took me about fifty days, but it definitely gave me the spark to get it going. I kept track using an Excel sheet and shared it every day on social media. A lot of you out there followed me through that process and really inspired me to get the book done—and I thank you for that!
Who Did I Write Superfans For?
So who exactly is this book for? Superfans is aimed at anyone who wants to build a following of any kind, on any platform. That means it’s definitely for the solo YouTuber and the social media influencer. And it’s definitely for the blogger and the podcaster and the video creator.
But it’s also for those people who have ecommerce businesses and large corporations, who may have lost focus on the customer experience and want to refocus on that aspect of running their business.
When you become somebody’s favorite, you gain a competitive edge, and that’s exactly what this book is going to help you do. This is especially important in this fast-paced world, with constant changes in technology, and everyone seeking a new competitive advantage.
Part of the beauty of this strategy is that it’s also much easier than some of the things people tend to spend a lot of time and money on, like search engine optimization and paid advertising. When you build superfans, they’ll help you grow your business without you even asking, for free! They’re going to be there to buy your new products, read every single blog post, watch every single video, and listen to every podcast. They’re going to bring in not just new cold leads, but warm ones who are excited to learn from you. They’ll be there to support you, and to defend you from trolls and haters. They’ll be your customers for life.
With all that out of the way, I’d like to share the six big book marketing strategies we’ve been putting in place to help make Superfans a super success.
Book Marketing Strategy #1: Making a Big Pre-Order Push
I’m so thankful that the book is done and already available for pre-order, which brings us to the first Superfans book marketing strategy: a large pre-order.
We had a pre-order available for the hardcover edition of Will It Fly?, which we printed on demand through CreateSpace (now a part of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing). But we put it all together kind of last-minute, which wasn’t ideal.
The goal with Superfans, on the other hand, was to have it available for pre-order as soon as possible. And it was actually available for pre-order in May. We didn’t let anybody know until June once the pre-order bonus was figured out (which I’ll get to in just a second). But the idea was to have it available on Amazon for pre-order early on so that we could get as many people in early as possible. We did that because the more people who pre-order it, those pre-orders purchases will be considered “day one” purchases. And that really helps the book’s sales numbers. So we wanted to leave plenty of time for people to hear about the book and pre-purchase it.
So for Superfans, we used my podcast, email list, blog, and YouTube to tell people not only that the book was available, but also that we were offering a pre-order bonus for early buyers who purchased before the official release date of August 13.
And that brings us to book marketing strategy number 1.5 . . .
Book Marketing Strategy #1.5: Providing a Pre-Order Bonus!
In addition to opening up pre-orders of the physical book, we’re also providing a bonus incentive for acting early.
And the bonus this time around is going to be an audiobook version of Superfans.
A lot of people have used an audiobook as a bonus for collecting email addresses after people purchase a book. But we wanted to use the audiobook as a pre-release incentive, for a few reasons. The first is that an audiobook can be a high-value item. For instance, an audiobook on Audible can be anywhere between $15 and $30 depending on the length. There’s more value compared to something like a worksheet, and this can create more incentive to pre-order the physical book—because it’s the physical book that counts for the bestseller lists.
But whether you get the physical book or the Kindle book, you can get this bonus if you pre-order Superfans before August 13.
I recorded the Superfans audiobook at the end of May 2019. On launch week, it will be sent to people who pre-order the book and send us their receipt. (Click here to do that now!)
The idea with the audiobook is that not only is it an incentive to pre-order the physical book, but it’s actually one of the preferred ways people like to consume my content. I already have a podcast that gets tens of thousands of downloads every single episode, and audio is how a lot of people are used to hearing from me. So an audiobook was a natural option.
Book Marketing Strategy #2: Giving the Physical Book a Top-Notch Design
With the physical edition of Will It Fly?, we used print on demand, which limited the customization we could do with the book’s design. But we wanted the physical edition of Superfans to really stand out. We wanted to create something people would be excited to share with others. Will It Fly? was a decent physical book, but it felt like the minimum we could have done design-wise.
On the cover of Superfans is where our design focus first stands out. You’ll see right away that this book is not about readers or followers or subscribers or customers—it’s about superfans.
The interior of the book is gorgeous, too. Although we used black and white instead of color, the interior still features a lot of cool design elements that make it look great—and even a little easier to read.
Book Marketing Strategy #3: Recruiting a Book Launch Team
Something else that worked really well with Will It Fly? and that we’re doing again is having a launch team. In June, we started working with Daniel Decker, who managed our launch team for Will It Fly? and was kind enough to offer to help manage the Superfans launch team, and we are recruiting for our launch team starting today!
If you are interested in applying to be a part of the Superfans launch team, follow this link to sign up. We’ll be finalizing the full team within a week and everyone who is selected will hear from Daniel with more details about what’s involved and how to participate.
What exactly is a launch team? It’s essentially a group of people who help you promote the book at launch, and it doesn’t have to be very big. The Superfans launch team is probably going to be a couple hundred people. They’re all superfans who’ve gotten early access to the manuscript and can rally together to help support the book by writing reviews and getting people excited for the launch. In exchange, they’ll each get a copy of the book for free.
The big thing to be clear on here if you want to try this strategy yourself is that you cannot offer your book in exchange for a five-star review. You can offer the book and ask for an honest review, but you can’t force a person to review something in a way they don’t want to. With Will It Fly?, we didn’t ask everybody to leave a review, and some people did leave two- or three-star reviews—which is fine. But Will It Fly? did end up with mostly five-star reviews.
And with Superfans, I’m hopeful that because of the quality of the book and how helpful it’s going to be for a lot of people, most of the reviews will be five stars. I’m hugely passionate about the content in this book. It’s very tactical and very teachable—it’s a step-by-step guide on how to build your own superfans. And it’s something that’s never really been done before. I’m really excited because I tell a lot of great new stories in the book, too.
I’m very thankful for my launch team and all their help in making this book the success that I hope it will be. If you want to learn more, I interviewed Daniel in episode 198 of the SPI Podcast about the process of putting together the Will It Fly? launch team. There’s a lot of great stuff in there that will walk you through the process of building your own launch team. And here’s the link to sign up for the launch team one more time.
Book Marketing Strategy #4: Hosting a Virtual Book Tour
The next strategy I’m going to be putting into place for Superfans is a virtual book tour.
I watched my friend Ramit Sethi pull off his own successful book tour with the launch of the second edition of his book I Will Teach You to Be Rich. He actually went on a physical book tour in which he traveled to different bookstores, but I just don’t have the capacity to do a full physical book tour this summer.
That said, I’ll be traveling to London in August, and right when I come back, I’ll be heading to Podcast Movement in Orlando from August 13 through 16. Since August 13 is the Superfans release date, I’ll be having a book launch party at Podcast Movement! If you’d like a special coupon code, whether you’re a Power-Up Podcasting student or not, email me and I’ll send you the special code! Click here to get your Podcast Movement ticket and use the coupon code I’ll send to you via email!
I’m really excited to rally everybody for the launch of the book and sign some books in person, and I’d love to see you there!
The Podcast Movement launch party will be a lot of fun. But the rest of the book “tour” will be virtual. This means I’ll be talking about the book on a lot of podcasts, including my friends’ and colleagues’ shows, and even the podcasts of a number of people in my audience.
I’ve already booked quite a few podcasts for the tour already, and I’m excited to book even more between now and August 13. So if you have a podcast, I’d love to discuss how I might be able to come on your show. This isn’t something I do all the time, but I want to get Superfans in as many hands as possible and anything that any of you can do to support it, whether you have a podcast or not, will be so greatly appreciated.
Book Marketing Strategy #5: Sharing the Process
A strategy I’ve used to help grow my business and pull off successful launches of many kinds is simply talking about the process. Often, some of the best marketing is simply showing how you do what you do. Even this blog post alone is hopefully helpful in giving you an inside view of how we’re launching this book and how you might pull off something similar. I have a good feeling many of you will find value in it. And if you do, the best thank you would be pre-ordering Superfans so you can get your free copy of audiobook as well!
Book Marketing Strategy #6: Working with a New Publisher/Distributor
One more thing we’re doing that’s different from anything we’ve done before is instead of self-publishing, we’re using a company called NEWTYPE Publishing. NEWTYPE was recommended to us by a good friend, and this company is going to be helping with printing and distributing the book.
Why did we choose to work with NEWTYPE? Well, as NEWTYPE’s website says, “The problem is publishers don’t sell books, platforms do. NEWTYPE is writing a new chapter in publishing, one where authors win but aren’t alone.”
Essentially, NEWTYPE is helping us with a significant part of the whole printing and distribution process, while we get to keep the rights to the book. And that’s awesome.
Instead of print on demand, we are doing a full print run, using estimates based on previous book sales and other data to determine how many books to order. Then NEWTYPE handles distribution to bookstores and Amazon.
They have a Manhattan-based sales team that helps push the book to all major national book retailers, chain accounts, and more than 5,000 independent accounts. So they’re fighting for the book’s placement, which is awesome. They also move very quickly: whereas traditional publishers might take twelve to twenty-four months, with NEWTYPE you can get your book printed and distributed in about six months. NEWTYPE also offers a lot of things that can help you even if you don’t have a production team like I do—things like developmental editing, copy editing, proofreading, and cover design.
At the same time, it’s still our book, so the royalties are great, and we still have control over the entire process. NEWTYPE is also very open and transparent about their costs.
It’s been a really great relationship so far, and Ryan at NEWTYPE has been fantastic at helping us understand how it all works. We’re even having discussions about how to get Superfans into airports, which is something I didn’t even know was possible before with a self-published book. I’m really excited to see what happens as a result, and if you’re thinking of self-publishing your own book, definitely give NEWTYPE a look.
Finally, Thank You for Supporting Superfans!
Last but not least, I want to share my huge thanks with every member of Team Flynn who has helped support Superfans so far by picking up a pre-order copy. If you haven’t yet, make sure to do that before August 13 so you can get your copy of the audiobook delivered to you that week for free.
And big thanks to all my friends and other people who’ve been helping promote the book as well. I appreciate you so much!
If you’re as excited as I am about Superfans and you haven’t locked in your copy (plus audiobook) yet, then do that now. It’s going to be a super summer!