With all the buzz about establishing yourself as a thought leader and the long-term value of that effort, many agency owners have written or are thinking about writing a book to demonstrate their expertise. There is assumed esteem that comes from being a published author, whether you self-publish or choose to work with a hybrid or traditional publisher.
No matter how your book comes to life unless you’re James Patterson, the promotion of your book is pretty much going to be on you. Odds are you didn’t write the book to make millions of dollars, but instead to use the book to build your position as a thought leader, open up opportunities to speak, or be sought out as an expert by the media. Some agency leaders write a book merely to be used as a three-dimensional business card!
No matter what your end game, you have to get your book noticed before you can enjoy the benefits of going through the hard work of writing it.
Here are some ideas on how to launch and promote your book. Ideally, you’ll have time to plan for all of this before your book comes out. But many of these tactics can be effective, no matter how long ago your book was first published.
Build your audience before you need it: Depending on the subject matter of your book, start creating relationships with potential readers before the book is out. Focus on growing your social reach on the channels that you typically use and where you think your core audience is hanging out.
You’re also going to want to build up an email list of people who are interested in your book’s topic. Hopefully, you are already curating, sharing or writing shorter pieces on the same subject. Start releasing an e-newsletter that is packed with value for your audience and promote it on your social channels.
In all cases, the key here to provide value from the get-go, so your connections are hungry for more.
Create some buzz: Before your book launches, send out review copies to fifty or so people who will read it and write an Amazon review within the first few hours (ideally) or days after the launch. You should also create a list of journalists who cover the same topic and send them review copies as well.
Another way to create some buzz is to record a video series (bite-sized tips from the books) and publish a new one every week/month on your social channels. Be sure you transcribe the videos so you can caption them because most videos are watched with the sound turned off. Create a YouTube channel for your company if you don’t have one and publish them there as well.
Plan the launch: Once you know when the book will be available, plan on doing a formal launch. Your goal is to email your list, ask them to all buy the book on the same day so you can spike to a best seller ranking on Amazon. Be very prescriptive, sharing the purchase link and the exact date/time you’d like them to buy the book. Many authors offer perks (free webinar, bonus materials, etc.) to people who purchase on the designated day.
Email that same list about three days after official launch date to check if they bought the book and ask for a review if they did.
Do a book tour: You don’t have to travel to conduct a book tour. Identify twenty-five podcasts on that share your same audience and send them a galley of the book, offering to be a guest. There are also a ton of business radio stations looking for great guests. You can secure those bookings on your own or hire a PR freelancer to book the appearances for you.
I know how much work goes into writing a book. Unfortunately – that’s just the start. Fortunately, the ROI is worth the effort.