How To Market A Book Launch Lessons Learned And Print Edition Available

This blog is all about sharing our experiences so we can learn from each other, so here’s a post about the launch of ‘How To Market A Book,’ my most recent non-fiction release, and how it became a #1 bestseller.

how to market a book 3dIt’s also now available in print, and I am really thrilled with it. Ridiculously pleased … and so glad I returned to printing my books. You can buy the print version here on Amazon. You can also check out the Premium Audio Q&A program, still only $47, here.

Thanks to Jane Dixon Smith for the interior design and Derek Murphy from Creativindie for the book cover.

My Launch Process

As I outline in the book itself, I don’t really believe in the spike launch anymore.

There is no shelf life on a book now, as there used to be in print stores, so for me the launch is just an announcement the book is available. Then it’s about long-term sales.

market book no 1 bestsellerIn saying that, launch is a great time to try and hit the various bestseller lists, and ‘How To Market A Book’ became a #1 Amazon Bestseller on the day I announced it – thanks to you!

Yes, it was on a small category list, but hey, you gotta love the orange banner with #1 Bestseller on it!

Bestseller in Entrepreneurship

Bestseller in Small Business and Entrepreneurship

How did I do this? Well, it’s all explained in the book of course :) but here’s an outline.

1) For non-fiction authors, write a book for the audience you already have

This blog is 4.5 years old and I have been learning about marketing in public since I started. You guys are all authors who have joined the journey with me, so writing a book about a niche topic I have been blogging on makes a lot of sense. The title comes from keyword optimization which you can read about here.

2) Build an email list, then launch the book at a short-term special price and tell your list about it

I started building an email list as soon as I started the blog so it is a decent size these days. After the book became available on Amazon and Kobo, I sent an email out with the links and told people that the pricing of

Next to the iconic Strunk & White :)

Next to the iconic Strunk & White :)

$2.99 would only be available a short time, and then would go up to $4.99. This gave people the incentive to buy the book immediately and the book hit the bestseller charts. I raised the price a week later, as generally non-fiction books can sustain a higher price.

3) Space your initial marketing out to optimize your rankings

The first spike should be followed up with more, and David Gaughran in his book, ‘Let’s Get Visible’ explains that a multi-day sustained spike is what you need for the algorithms to really kick in. So I did the email to my list on the Saturday, then a blog post went up, then I started on social media sites and then I did a limited number of guest posts.

I don’t really recommend guest blogging for fiction though – it really only works well for targeted blogs that address the same audience.

Featured Guest Articles – ranging from 3 days later to over a month later

MarketBookcom300613Jane Friedman – How to sell more books by optimizing your metadata

David Gaughran – 5 Book Marketing myths you need to forget

Women Unlimited – How to make your business book a #1 bestseller

Jeff Goins, Writer – 3 Ways Fiction Marketing Differs From Non-Fiction

Joel Friedlander – 5 Successful marketing tips for fiction writers

Ether for Authors Review from Porter Anderson

Ben Galley review from James Minter

Killer Book Marketing – interview and review – You can also watch this video interview below.

Do you have any questions about non-fiction book launches? Or any questions about my launch in particular? Please do leave a comment below.

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  1. says

    Great post Joanna, and a really clear and concise outline of how to launch a non-fiction title. I learned some of this by trial and error during my first non-fiction book launch, and I’m already looking forward to my next launch where I can put it all into practice in a more “systematic” way. I think your advice about there being “no shelf-life to a book now” is a key learning point for us indie authors. It takes some of the pressure off, and it also reminds us to stay motivated in promoting our work beyond the initial flurry of launch day.

    Congratulations on the success of ‘How To Market A Book’ by the way – well deserved!

    • says

      Thanks Brian – and we’ll look forward to your article coming in the next few weeks on the blog!
      The ‘no shelf life’ thing is critical as it helps you modulate the ups and downs of the emotional sales roller-coaster. This book can earn for your lifetime and 70 years beyond – that’s pretty exciting!

  2. says

    Hey Joanna,
    I was wondering how exactly you filled your email list – was it mainly readers of your blog and friends or genereally people to talked to in publishing, writing etc?

    Good luck with your book, and thanks for the article.
    Nico @ Leaf ♦ Pub

    • says

      Hi Nico, for this non-fiction site, I have been giving away the Author 2.0 Blueprint for free for over 3 years – it’s a 53 page ebook so very useful. I attract traffic through everything I talk about ! Blogging, social etc. For my fiction site, it’s mainly through the call to action at the end of my books – so fiction readers – and right now the list is much smaller as I only started it this year.

  3. says

    Hi Joanna,
    Once again you’re posts have come at the right time. I have just launched my own debut ebook under my pen name A H Gray and I am having a lot of success so far thanks to your articles. I have been following your blog since you were about halfway through writing Pentecost (I have enjoyed all three of your books), and its always been a thrill to see another authors journey of starting out as well as learning from you and the authors you interview. So THANKYOU. I also bought how to market a book and loved it too.

    I may not yet be selling at the top of the charts just yet (or ever) but I’m proud that it is at least getting noticed and enjoyed by people. And I think that has to be the goal of authors and writers, not the money or fame. I’m excited and proud that there is a little piece of me out there that may live on long after I’m gone!

    • says

      Thanks so much for your support Bradie and I’m so glad you’ve found the site helpful. I agree with you on longevity and legacy in terms of our books. I’m looking forward to a long life writing first though!

  4. says

    Hi Joanna, great post, and I’ve just clicked through to several of the guest posts you’ve linked to here – the “metadata” and “marketing myths” posts are outstanding.

    I really appreciate the way you share your experiences so generously. I’ve learned a lot from you in the past couple of years.

    Will your paperback be available on Book Depository in the future? (Shipping to the Antipodes from Amazon is huge, but free on BookDep — but you probably remember that. 😉 ) I like a paperback for reference books, but might have to go the ebook after all… All the best for your flourishing publishing career.

  5. says

    Joanna, I bought your book as a result of receiving your “Special Pricing” email. I’ve been following the steps you outline, and now I have my own AWeber account for my website-blog. With exactly one non-friend/relative subscriber, but I’ve started, LOL!

    Just going through the steps you’ve so helpfully outlined.

    Also started replying to blog posts (another step you mention). I’ve given up my days of read-it-and-run. I used to think that writers wouldn’t want to be bothered with reading comments, but now I’ve started leaving them.

    • says

      Fantastic that you have got started Katy – the list grows over time – over a long time usually – but even 100 people can help you with a launch, and you’ll be surprised how fast the time goes by and the list will grow ..

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