Starting a new and successful book from scratch and marketing it - all as a test and lesson
|(Photo: Thomas Leuthard)
Books tend to get a life of their own. They can get quite insistent about getting out and being able to live that life with others. So much, they tend to crowd out other thought and actions.
The trick is to finish up earlier projects as best you can in order to not get distracted later by bits and pieces of these old projects which trip you up and make you stumble.
In short, clear your decks for action.
The inspiration for this was getting fed up with what we are being handed on the news. A "good news day" for the major networks and news magazines, papers, websites - is really filled with gawd-awful situations you wouldn't want to have happen to a stranger's dog.
Bad news simply depresses your quality of life, makes it less worth living.
To do something about this is best done when you reach for the stars and try for that brass ring which is almost out of reach.
The solution to bad news, to my mind, is to push for world peace.
I had all the tools I needed to accomplish this, having spent the last few years forging what I needed, sharpening them, and lining them up on the figurative walls of my workshop to be ready as needed.
How to start.As I said, you have to wrap other projects up. I have that set of 100 books which simply need to be pressed out to a few more distributors (Amazon is done as its own test, Google Play is wrapped up, Kobo is in progress, and Itunes/Nook still have to be started.) But I don't want these nagging me later, so I'll push these all through during the research phase of this next book.
First, you want to see what's been done in this area, and whether this is possible.
I've already done some marketing research with Market Samurai in this area, so know that inspirational and motivational works are searched for.
Looking up the keywords in this area will give me more a taste of what people are looking for in their content.
Searching on Amazon will point out what books are selling best, what phrases they are using, what authors, the looks of covers, etc.
Also, searching on Google Trends will tell me the weight of phrases and also what popular trends are going where.
Market research, demographics - there are more tools than these to use, but these will get the ball rollling. Let you know if/when I pick up any others.
The structureIt's much like other book series I've done. (See Secrets to the Law of Attraction and it's series.)
The idea is to compile a book from essays of other books, then publish that main book as well as re-publishing all the excerpted ones. But we'll do it backwards this time, based on what we've learned over the past few years...
In this case, learning from what's gone before will improve things. One point of marketing is to have the product ready when you've stoked up the demand.
The overall idea is to build a book from 30 other books, giving a 30-day lesson plan to follow. This gives you a new essay every day, from a different author. The idea behind that is that it takes a month of work to change any habit. This book is to help people develop the habit of peace.
That then gives me 30 books in addition to the one I'm editing together.
In this case, I'm going to re-publish that book as hardcopy and ebook as I select the essay from it. Hardcopy proofing can be a several-week process, so it needs to be done right away. Some of these books I've published before, but not a tradepaperback, so the content is ready. It may serve me well to do the publishing action of getting the proofs started and then come back to find the essays within those books I need.
As each hardcopy book is ready, I then publish that ebook and promote that book's landing page with PDF and video, as well as social signal syndication via Synnd. Each book then gets rudimentary promotion as I go, as opposed to having 30 books to labor through.
Market Samurai will also help by finding additional and related content, as well as ping-back blogs for some immediate link-love.
The video and PDF are embedded on the landing page. Both of these are also syndicated to other video and doc-sharing sites.
Additional essays are excerpted from the book as well, and these Synnd.
Built in social interactionWith this book, the idea is also to have a built-in social networking function. Interestingly, Napoleon Hill said, "You can't get without giving." The idea then is to make the book itself inexpensive (.99 on Amazon) so people can simply gift it to others. By asking them to gift it even before they've read it, it's starting a "chain letter" sort of idea which will tend to exponentially expand. Nice social experiment.
The hash tag as the title - and domain.Another integrated scene is to have the book title become the hash tag - so it becomes known that way.
I'll also be sending out tweets via Synnd with a link and hashtag to new quotes. These quotes can simply be gotten by looking up "[author] quotes" and building lists of these to go out on a daily basis.
Also, the book title becomes the domain name - this marketing is done on a new site. It gets its own G+ page to show social acceptance and integrate Google searches into the promotion. Every post will be auto-updated to that G+ page.
All this is just to prime the pump. The key workhorse will be the quality of the book itself - which will depend on my editing.
List building from the get-go.The other advantage of publishing the sourced books first is to get list-building occurring. As people check out that landing page and the (hopefully) daily quotes, they'll be invited to subscribe via opt-in form to get these in their in box.
By the time I get all these books published, I'll be well on my way to doing an actual launch on the book itself. Having a list will make that possible. The goal is to make it an "overnight Amazon bestseller" by building demand.
This will move over into a list which is for the book itself, an ecourse which helps people get more peace into their own life as well as passing it along to others. 30 days of lessons.
In turn, that then goes into another list, which is a year study of books (averaging one book every two weeks) so that they can devote themselves to study and self-improvement by studying classic self-help works.
Again, we are after world peace. All the tools are there, all the people are there - they only have to be trained to use the tools and then given the encouragement to use them toward a goal.
Production schedule is tightAs mentioned, this requires the discipline of having all the other projects wrapped up, not just put on hold. There can't be any distractions. As I'm publishing content daily as well as pushing books through.
So it may be a smart move to get all these books into the proofing queue and then wrap up any other publishing cycles I have going. Editing the book and amassing quotes can be done as I start releasing the books themselves. Interestingly, a way to do this would be to blog the book itself - releasing an essay every work day, which also promotes the landing page for that book. Additional essays could be scheduled to appear on that blog.
The daily schedule would be getting the quotes out (looking for something which would delay them, like Buffer) and then creating that book's landing page and setting the Synnd campaigns going.
Probably want to include daily and weekly analytics reviews.
The missing membershipOne point I haven't covered is building a membership to invite this list to. One great idea which Copyblogger worked up is having an ecourse they opt-in to and then a surprise free membership they joined as part of it - filled with all sorts of great ebooks and stuff they might also be interested in.
This then eventually gets into a paid membership, that velvet rope area, where they can have access to discounted book offers and access to materials which aren't easily available to anyone else. As well, posts to this area would be more tuned to that crowd's tastes.
Memberships themselves are a research job I've not completed. I do have a Rainmaker platform reserved, but not built out - so this is ready to go.
I'll implement this just before or as part of the launch itself.
Those two days on the weekend will be used for book editing as well as any research I'm still needing.
A 7-week launch window.Yes, that's what it turns out to be - 30 books at 5 days/week. The final week is for the book launch itself.
I'll be blogging here as I go, to give you the notes of what I've discovered.
During these first 6 weeks, I should line up J-V partners to promote this as well. Mostly, this is known as an "internal" launch, which is to prove the value of the product as I build it. But know that affiliates will be offered a part in this - which could be lucrative if they get a slice of people gifting 10 books away to others.
(Oh - if someone gifts you, you reciprocate by gifting 10 more. Should be quite interesting. And there is the great point of the affiliates gifting their entire list in order to get them going on the flow. I'll have a certain amount of iTunes vouchers to hand out...)
That whole launch scene should be fascinating. Factually, it's a test of indie publishing and lends well to promotion and Press Releases - how many people do you know who publish that many books in that amount of time?