pre-order

Unlock the Power of BookBub’s Free Tools

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• happy unlock the power•

BookBub.com is best known for their Featured Deals. The ones that have skyrocketed more than one writing career and aided their fair share of bestseller campaigns.

But aside from the (admittedly pricey) Featured Deals, Bookbub offers other beneficial opportunities for book promotion. Some of them are even free!

Before we start:

Make sure you’ve done the following…  Read the rest of this entry »

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3 Critical Emails for Your Book Launch

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You’ve built an email list, now what? Every author interacts with their list differently, based on their own personality. Some like to do a quarterly newsletter, filled with memes and recipes and book tidbits. Others prefer to only send mail around a new book release. Critical Emails for your Book Launch

In my opinion, neither way is wrong, as long as you don’t neglect the three critical emails you owe your list around every book launch. Yes, that’s right, I said owe. After all, readers joined your email list because they want to hear about your new books, right?

So what are those three emails for which your readers expectantly wait?

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Launch Marketing Checklist

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Are you releasing a new book into the world? I talk with so many authors in this position, who are drowning in book marketing advice and just want a simple step-by-step list of what to do to launch the new book properly.

In response to this, I created a simple checklist for a new book launch with “required tasks” (such as adding the book to your Amazon Author Profile) marked separately from “optional tasks” (like a blog tour).

Feel free to use and share it with other authors preparing to launch their latest book baby!

Free Checklist

The (3) Essential Parts of a Book Launch Postmortem

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In the world of Project Management, a postmortem is a special meeting where the project list-clipart-dT8Rd9ATeteam reconvenes after everything is complete. We talk through what went right on the project and the parts we’ve all tried to forget. It’s a “lessons learned” session; a review so we’ll all actually learn those lessons and (hopefully) not make the same mistakes on the next project. It’s easy for these meetings to become finger-pointing sessions, but a good project manager will work to make the meeting a “safe zone.” A place where results can be assessed honestly.

A book launch is, in itself, a project. A short-term undertaking with start and finish dates. So I love the idea of holding my own private postmortem for each book launch. As I work to make each launch more successful than the last, I can focus on areas that yield strong results and ditch the efforts that were a waste. Also, this gives me a good pulse on how book marketing is evolving.

So let’s take a look at the (3) essential parts of a good postmortem, and I’ll use my recent launch as an example. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Proven Strategies for Marketing a New Fiction Book Release

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I’ve been quiet on this blog over the past few months, as my life has taken a turn for the busy! With two new book releases and the birth of my third daughter, prioritizing has become a necessity.

But I’ve also taken the opportunity to spend focused time learning from some of the top teachers in the world of book marketing – experts like Mark Dawson (of Facebook Ads for Authors fame), Tim Grahl (teaches a fantastic course called Launch a Bestseller), and Nick Stephenson (Your First 10,000 Readers).TheLadyandtheMountainCall

I applied many of the approaches I learned to my latest release (The Lady and the Mountain Call), and released the book with over 3,700 preorders. While not enough to reach the NY Times Bestseller list, these did give the book a nice kick-start as my baby entered the world. This was book 5 in my Mountain Dreams Series, and was available for preorder purchase on all the major sales platforms for just under 90 days (the most allowed by Amazon).

When I sat down to hold my launch post-mortem, the results were quite interesting! Over the next few weeks, I’ll share my data and observations about how each of my strategies worked, with the numbers to support each. Not sure what a post-mortem is? We’ll talk about that, too!

So stay tuned!

But before then, let me share a quick overview of the three main strategies that have proven successful for marketing a new fiction release.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of the Amazon Review ~ and how to get more of them!

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So we hear all the time word of mouth is what sells books, right?

The Amazon review is one of the most powerful word-of-mouth tools you’ll ever encounter. Is your book well-researched? Your readers will appreciate that and mention it in their reviews. Did you forget to tie up loose ends in your story line? You’ll be called out on it, I guarantee. Potential readers often look at the reviews to see if they’re willing to spend precious money and time to read your story. Hone your craft Review sampleand write the best story possible, and your reviews will reflect it.

How many reviews do you need? Many writers say it seems there’s something “magical” about reaching twenty-five. After that, they seem to come so much easier and quicker. The more reviews you have with a four- or five-star rating, the more comfortable a potential reader will be taking a chance on your book.

So let’s take an extra minute to talk through methods for garnering reviews. Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of Pre-order

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As we talk through all things marketing, I’d like to share a strategy that I’ve found to be wonderfully effective in gaining early sales and reviews. Using Pre-orders!

I’m a huge fan of releasing ebooks for pre-order before the official release date, although I realize there are a wide range of opinions on the topic. The concerns I’ve heard about using pre-orders say the authors either 1) don’t see the need (will wait and release the book when it’s ready) or 2) don’t feel comfortable with the commitment.

I didn’t take college Psychology classes past the 101 level, so I’m not qualified to address commitment issues. What I do want to discuss, though, are the pros and cons of releasing books for pre-order weeks or months before the actual release date. When is pre-order a FANTASTIC tool, and when you should stay away? pre

First, let me call out a few details that will be helpful during our discussion today. I believe the larger trad-pub houses can negotiate some of these requirements with Amazon, but for the rest of us, this is how it works.

  • You’re allowed to release a title for pre-order up to 90 days before the actual release date. At any time during the pre-order period, you can move the release date up (make it June 15th instead of June 30th, but you may NOT push it out (make it July 5th instead of June 30th).
  • When readers purchase a pre-order book, they are given a price guarantee. If the price drops at any time during the pre-order period, they are charged the lesser price. This means if you lower your pre-order price half way through the period, ALL pre-order sales will be sold at that lesser price.
  • You are required to submit the basic book information before you can make the pre-order live. Amazon requires you to upload a manuscript file, but you tell them whether it’s the final draft or not. Interestingly, whether you say it’s the final draft or not, you are allowed to upload a new draft at any time until about 3 days before the official release date.
  • The pre-orders all dump into your KDP Reports (and into Amazon’s system as actual sales) on the evening BEFORE your release. This is very important to one of the Pros we’ll talk about shortly!

Now, let’s talk through the reasons why pre-order is fantastic!

  1. Increase sales graphSales! It allows you to sell copies of your book while you’re still finishing up the final writing and editing details. Many of these sales are very likely some that you wouldn’t see otherwise!
  2. Reviews! When your pre-orders turn into sales on your release date and all those buyers are notified your book is now on their Kindle, hopefully they begin to read your book! If you’ve put a nice page in your back matter asking the reader to post a review, many of them will! This helps so much with getting those reviews early after your release date. My most recent release, The Lady and the Mountain Doctor, was up for pre-order for 81 days and sold 3,765 pre-order copies during that time. That resulted in 31 reviews during the first two weeks. That doesn’t sound like a lot of reviews based on the number of sales, but most of you probably know how hard it is to get those first 25 or so reviews.
  3. Early Reviews! Most authors have lamented the fact that reviews can’t be posted on Amazon.com until the book is officially released. I’ve developed a bit of a loop-hole to help with this. While the ebook is available for pre-order with the strict release date I’ve chosen, I release my paperback version a couple days before. That way, my launch team and early reviewers can click “Paperback” and leave their review, but all my ebook sales can stick to the release date I’ve chosen.
  4. Bestseller lists! This won’t apply to everyone, but if you’re planning a strategy to hit one of the bestseller lists (like USA Today), pre-orders are an absolute must. Keep in mind, though, that the sales all register the day BEFORE your release date.

And now the cons…

  1. Commitment… When you set a pre-order date with Amazon, you cannot push that date out without being chained and shackled inside Amazon Pre-order Prison for one full year. (I’ve been told it’s a real place.) The “better safe than sorry” method is a good one when planning the official release date for your pre-orders.
  2. Cover art… For most people, cover art is one of the last steps in the pre-publishing process. If you use pre-orders, you’ll need to rearrange the order of your process a little. I’ve actually started creating my cover art fairly early in my writing process, partly due to my use of pre-order for the full 90 days. It’s had a pleasant side effect that I can also make sure my character and location descriptions in the story match what I’ve chosen for the cover. Win-win!

To recap, pre-order might be a great option for you if…

  • You can decently stick to a deadline, even if you’re a procrastinator.

    now deadline written on blackboard
    now deadline written on blackboard
  • Or, if you’re pretty close to the end of your pre-publishing process.
  • You want to increase your number of reviews within the first few weeks of releasing.
  • You’re working to sell enough books to boost your title onto a bestseller list.

You will need to be careful with the pre-order strategy and plan effectively if…

  • You can’t meet a deadline to save your soul.
  • You have a specific reason the cover art can’t be created earlier in the process.

 

So now, tell me your experiences! Have you used pre-orders to garner early sales and reviews? Was it successful? What challenges did you face?

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