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How to Write and Publish an eBook

Lesson 14 of 16

How to Market Your Book

Tara McMullin

How to Write and Publish an eBook

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

14. How to Market Your Book

Lesson Info

How to Market Your Book

Welcome back to How to Write and Publish Your Ebook, but this is step five. This is the last piece of the puzzle and it's of course the piece that everyone always wants to know about, which is marketing. But before we get to marketing, I wanna review what we did back in step four which is selling and distribution. Because with Ebooks it's a little bit different, you wanna get yourself setup so that you can then figure out how you're gonna market. So that's why sales, distribution, publication, that's step four. Now we're gonna finally talk about marketing. But I wanna ask you guys first, give us the rundown how did you guys decide you're going to sell your book? What is the number one most important sales platform, distribution platform for your book, Stacy? For me it's Kindle, because I want the widest audience that I can find. Perfect. Shannon? What Stacy said. (laughing) Excellent, Lacy? Yep, Amazon. Okay, Brit? Amazon. (laughs) Okay. Oh my gosh, that was easy. T...

hat was very easy, you guys are such ringers. I love it. (laughing) All right, good news is there's other options other than Amazon. You can get your book selling on your own website of course, you can sell it through Barnes and Noble, you could sell it in the iBooks store through Apple, there's all sorts of options for you, but you gotta check out step four to find out what they are and how easy they are to set up. But Amazon makes a great choice for so many of you with your goal is widest distribution possible, nobody can beat them, right? So let's look at where we are now in the process. First and foremost, our very first step was to choose your topic and build an outline. We needed to make sure that your goals for publishing this book lined up with what your topic was. And we needed you to be able to create a road map so you could get this process underway as quickly and painlessly as possible. Which has sort of been our mantra here. Step number two was writing the book the fastest way possible, which as we've been saying is not to write the book at all, but instead to draw on all the content that you've been creating. Whether you've been in business a month or whether you've been in business a decade, you've got tons of content out there that you can draw on in the form of blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, workshops, webinars, it's all there. You can draw on that to write your book incredibly, incredibly fast. Then we talked about how to edit and format your book. Not just how to proofread it, but now to really look at it objectively, conceptually, to make sure that the book was saying exactly what you wanted it to say. So that it was answering the questions you wanted it to answer for your readers. And making sure that you were giving them the best experience possible. But of course the other part of the experience reader experience equation is formatting the book, making it easy to read. And so we talked about how to format your book for Kindle, some easy ways to format it to sell as a PDF. And looked at the technology that exists to be able to do that and that was so much easier than you were expecting, wasn't it? Totally. Yeah. Yeah, I thought so. Okay. (laughs) Step number four. What we just covered is how to distribute and publish your book. How to actually get it uploaded to somewhere that will take people's money for you and then send them the book that they just purchased. It's very simple, you got a bunch of different options. I showed off the platform that I use, which is called Sells xx. I also showed you just how easy it is to get started with the Kindle Direct Publishing option as well. Super phenomenal options, so easy. I'm really excited you guys have really chosen to focus on Amazon 'cause I think that's gonna be huge for all four of your businesses. And that leads us to our fifth and final step of this sprint and that's how to market your book. And really when I talk about how to market your book, I'm talking about how to get people reading your book. 'cause that's what we need people to do. We need them to read the book. That's how you make stuff happen in your business, you get people reading your book if you're going the book publishing route. And I hope at this point in step five that is the route that you've decided to go. But the truth is that nobody will read your book until you tell them it's available. No one will ready your book until you tell them it's available. Now, I know that I've said Amazon is this great place 'cause people can just stumble on your book, but if your strategy for book readers is to let people stumble on it, that is not much of a strategy. So we need to set the ball in motion, because your book could absolutely start rotting in Amazon netherworld, right? And we don't want that to happen. (laughing) We need to rise it up, lift it up, get people reading it, buying it, so that it raises up in the rankings so that Amazon helps you market it and helps you promote it. So that they see it as something that's really valuable for you to be selling or for them to be, I'm sorry, for something really valuable for people to be reading. That's the important part here. (chuckles) Selling is good too. And the way to do that is to tell people to go read your book. So we're gonna talk about three scalable ways to sell your book, to market your book really. Three scalable ways to sell and market your book. The first is through promotional partners. Promotional partners. So these are influencers, people that you can tap on the shoulder and say hey, if you could help me get the word out about this, I'd really appreciate it. We're gonna go much more in to depth on all three of these by the way. The second is with your inner-circle. You guys all have inner-circles. Your inner-circles are those customers and loyal fans who would spread the word about anything and everything that you do. We wanna enlist them, give them instructions, give them marching orders. Because they are very willing to help you out. And then the last piece, which I think I cannot get away from a CreativeLive class without talking about email marketing, but email marketing is our final step. And email marketing of course is huge for selling anything, but it's really huge for selling your books. It's such an easy, easy way to make sure the right people, the people who want to read your book first and foremost are actually finding out about it. So I've got a little step by step process that you can use to get those books sold. So first, let's revisit your proposal. Because as I mentioned in step number four, your proposal, that initial pre-writing you did way back in step one, is full of juicy marketing and sales ideas as well. So, I want you to be able to answer these questions by looking back at that pre-writing. First, who is the ideal reader? Marketing strategies always start with the customer, right? So we need to know who is your ideal reader. It might not actually be everyone on your email list. It might not be all of the promotional partners you could potentially tap. It might not even be all of your inner-circle, maybe this particular book is just for a segment of the people that you're connected to. So we need to make sure that we know exactly who that ideal reader is. Then I want you to be able to answer the question why should they read it? Why should they read it? And this really boils down to the problem that you're trying to solve with your book and the result that your readers would hope to attain. What's the problem you're solving with your book and what's the result that your readers would hope to attain? That's why they should read the book. All of that should be in that overview that you either wrote out our at least thought about thoroughly. (laughs) And third and finally, why is it different than what they've read before? 'cause here's the thing, book readers read books. Right? (laughs) They've already probably read a number of books on the topic that your book is on. That's a good thing. We want them to have different perspectives, we want them to have different information. And also if they've read other books in your space, it actually means they're more likely to read your book. This is a really, really good thing, but you wanna be able to answer the question for them. I know you've read these other books before, heres why this is different. Because they're really wondering how is this different than what I've read before? If you've read books by Seth Godin and Dan Pink and Malcolm Gladwell, well how is Charlie Gilkey's book any different? How is Sarah J. Bray's book any different? They could both answer those questions. I could answer those questions. Can you answer that question about the market that you're in? That's super duper important. And it's gonna be really key to how you outline your marketing strategy as well. Now remember, book marketing works on a referral system. And so the bookseller sisters here (laughs) can tell you all about that. My whole job basically was referral marketing when I was working at Borders, at least when I was working out on the floor. I also had to do a whole bunch of boring management stuff, but when I was working out on the floor putting books in people's hands, it was all about referrals. Sometimes those referrals came straight through me. I just read this book, if you liked that, you are going to love this book. Put it in their hand. You have made their day. It is the best feeling in the world, right? Sometimes the referral came because I read an amazing review in Publisher's Weekly, which was a totally guilty pleasure of mine. I could read that sucker cover to cover. I was probably the only person in America in (laughs) reading Publisher's Weekly cover to cover. So I'd read a really great review, I totally respected their reviews. I knew if they gave it a starred review, it was going to be a good book. And so that was one of the other ways that referred people. This was just written up in Publisher's Weekly, I haven't read it, but the review it looked so good. I think you should try this out. At least take a look at it. Put it in their hand, you've made their day. And of course then last way too is what my friends, or family, or co-workers have read. Because when you're a bookseller you get to talk about books a lot, which is great. Sometimes when you work at CreativeLive or come and work at CreativeLive, we also get to talk about books a lot. We just had a great book conversation the other day, I got several referrals. Anyhow, so I would say you know my manager Pete, he just read this, I don't read military history, he does however, he loves it, this book is exactly what he would say you should read. Sold, right? Books work on a referral system. And so that's why all of our marketing strategies really have to do with referrals. So if you've never marketed a book before, that's okay, because I bet you've gotten a referral, or asked for a referral, or received a referral, or given a referral for your services or for someone else's services. Which means you already kinda know how book marketing works. Good? All right, awesome. So let's dive into these three strategies a little bit further. First of all, promotional partners have clout. These are influencers. When they share your book, you get a credibility boost along with sales. That is huge. Because a lot of the additional exposure, even clients, even money, that you can get from publishing a book comes not just from people who have read your book, but just from people who've heard that you have a book. (laughs) It's kind of amazing. I mean ideally, right, I want people reading my books, I want them getting results, but at the same time I know I get followers and clients and new customers just because so and so recommended my book to them and they trust so and so. Maybe they don't want to read the book right then, maybe that's not the experience that they're looking for, but instead they're looking for a membership community or they're looking for a business coaching program or they're just looking to get more information delivered to them via email and so they become a subscriber. All of those actions spell out big results for my business. And they would spell out big results for your businesses as well. So that's why tapping into promotional partners can be so huge, because it's not just about the single referral to the book, but it's about this greater referral to who you are and what your business is all about. So I want you to start thinking about who your potential promotional partners could be. Who are your potential promotional partners? Well, let me give you some ideas. First of all, business owners with a similar audience and a different specialty. So Shannon probably doesn't want to go to another person who mentors on fundraising and say hey will you promote my book on fundraising? (laughs) Probably not the best idea. It could work, but at the same time like it's probably gonna be more effort than it's worth (laughs) to get them on the same page. However, there's probably other people out there who are experts in non-profit management. And an expert in non-profit management is gonna be an amazing promotional partner for you. Similar audience, different specialty. Makes sense. Stacy, even with you, like you and Breanne have a lot of, Breanne Dyck who is another learning strategist and also my operations manager, you guys have lots of overlap in terms of audience. But Breanne's really focused on operations management right now, you're really focused on learning strategy. There could actually be a really beautiful promotional partnership there, right? And you guys sell different things on the backend as well. So that could all work out well. Don't discount people in similar spaces. In fact, bump them up to the top of the list. Think about who has the same ideal reader as me, who has the same ideal reader as me? Media for which the audience is your ideal reader. So often we think about promotional partners in terms of people, business owners, but we also wanna think of them in terms of brands. So what brands, what media brands, might be a good promotional partner for you? CreativeLive is always a great promotional partner for me, but magazines could work too, Fast Company, Ink, Forbes, O, drawing a blank on magazines right now. (laughs) You guys can see what I read. Real simple, any of those magazines. Don't discount television. I think I mentioned Shawn Fink earlier whose a Quiet Power Strategy alum. We're local now to each other, she was on our local news outlet a couple of months ago doing an interview on television about her book. Like what? Yes. It's very easy to get on TV. Brigitte Lyons always talks about that. Brigitte Lyons has some great classes on CreativeLive as well for doing this particular thing. But yeah, you can pitch TV really easily and be on air in 48 hours or less sometimes. When you've got a book, that's an easy, easy deal for them. So think of media as your promotional partners as well. Thought leaders with different expertise. So again, if you've got kind of messages with similar values, but a different expertise, messages in similar industries, but a different expertise. You might not think of them specifically as business owners, you might just think of them as people you look up to, influencers. Those thought leaders can be key promotional partners for you as well. Even if all they're doing is just blurbing your book or sending you a review. Ideally we want them mailing their lists, right? (chuckles) We'll get to that. And then other authors. Again, think in terms of people who have the same ideal reader as you. These are people that while they may not talk about the business that they own, they may not even own a business, they may work for a media outlet, they might just freelance, but they're people who have lists, who have followings, and people who are connected to the people you wanna be connected to for your book. So business owners, media, thought leaders, and other authors. Those are the kinds of people and brands that you should be thinking about in terms of promotional partners. Now what are we actually gonna ask these people to do? This is really important. One, publish content related to your book and link it up. So they might publish their thoughts on retaining donors through gratitude practice. Or they might share a story of that in their own non-profit and then link up to your book. Hey, my friend Shannon just wrote this amazing book on this, so if you like this idea, if you wanna implement this in your own non-profit, you should check that book out. It's a great way to get people reading your book. Just ask them to share it on social media. I love when friends of mine who are doing cool stuff, specifically publishing books, just shoot me an email with a couple tweets or a couple Facebook posts or a graphic that all I have to do is copy and paste. 99% of the time I will copy, paste and promote it 'cause I'm excited about it. I hope you guys send me some tweets or some Facebook posts when you publish your books. I would like to promote it, that's good for me too, right? So ask those influencers, those promotional partners to share your book on social media. Ask them to co-host an event with you. Now that could be an in-person event like a book signing. (laughs) Do you guys know the Minimalists? The Minimalists are these two dudes that sold everything and have been going around talking about minimalism for like the last five, six years. They're very cool. Anyhow, they've done really well writing and self-publishing books. Like really well. (laughs) Anyhow, I was at South by Southwest with them, was this four years ago now? I think it was four years ago now. They were signing people's Kindles. I thought that is such a brilliant idea. They were doing a meetup all over the country, they were at the Austin stop, and not for everybody, a lot of it was just discussion and Q and A and getting a chance to hangout with these guys that you were reading on their blogs. But some people brought their Kindles for them to sign. I thought that was so cool. Right? And so you could totally co-host an event with a friend, do it in your own town, go on a book tour. Even if it's digital, you can still go on a book tour. But of course you can also do this digitally as well. You can co-host a webinar with them, you could co-host just a chat. Whatever it might be, but co-host an event with them. It's a great way to drum up some extra excitement, get people an idea of who you are before they actually go out and buy the book. Or just ask them to write a review on Amazon or a testimonial for your website. Essentially in the lingo it's blurbing a book. Actually blurbing goes on the back of the book, but still, this counts in the digital sphere I think. So write a review on Amazon or a testimonial for your website. If you go on someone's website, especially maybe an author that you're not familiar with and you see a blurb from an author you are familiar with and that you really love, what do you do? You buy the book. (laughs) Right? Like I love the Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman. I pay really special attention to anything Lev Grossman is blurbing. That's what I do. (laughs) There are some other authors like I'm like no, I will not buy that book because you blurbed it. So I've divided our homework for this particular step out into three pieces. You're gonna have three pieces of homework or three groups of homework based on each of these different techniques. So first I want you to identify three to five possible promotional partners. You have to start with a list. Now because we're doing this in a small timeframe or our goal is to get you to do this in a small timeframe, I only picked three to five. If you're working on a month, a three month plan, a six month plan, I want you to exponentially increase that list. So if you've got a month to work on this book, I want you to list at least 20 promotional partners. If you've got three months, I want you to list at least 60 promotional partners. If you're working on a six month plan, that book better be awesome and I want you to tell as many people about it as possible. So I want you to tell at least 120, 200 promotional partners about it. Make that list. That list is gold. Then I want you to draft a different email for each. Again, if you're working on a six month plan, hire someone to do this for you. (laughs) But I want you to draft a different email for each of those promotional partners 'cause I want them to feel as special as they are. And make one big ask in that email and one smaller ask in that email. So think about what would be the best thing they could possibly do for you. Maybe it's co-host an event with you. Co-host a webinar talking about your book allowing you to talk about maybe the three most important things from your book. That's big ask number one. Smaller ask, ask number two, is could you share this on your Facebook page? Very easy. Could you share this on Instagram? So one big ask, one smaller ask. Give them an either or both. (laughs) And just make it as easy for them to say yes as possible. If you're gonna ask them to co-host an event, say you'll do all the logistics. Once you agree on the date you'll write the copy, you'll set it up, all that stuff. Always, always, always when you're talking about promotional partners, media, any kind of influencers, your goal is to make it as easy for them as possible to do what you want them to do. Okay? Now, we've got your inner-circle. These are people who are closer to you, maybe they don't have as much clout, but what they lack in clout they make up for in vigor, (chuckles) passion, excitement. Your inner-circle is made up of loyal customers and advocates who speak for your ideal reader. These are people who represent your ideal reader, while your promotional partner are those leaders, the big wigs, the influencers. Your inner-circle are people that really match that description of exactly who you're trying to reach. So let's take a look at who's in your inner-circle. First of all your loyal customers. You guys have repeat customers? Yeah, they're in your inner-circle. Great, we've got that one down. Brand evangelists. These are people who may not actually ever buy from you. That's okay. Don't discount those people. Those are the people that will rise to the occasion whenever you have a book release, program release, event, whatever, you tap those people right now when it comes to your book. Can you guys think of some of those people? They haven't bought from you, but man, oh man will they talk about you and how wonderful you are and everything you do. Right? And then finally, friends who fit your ideal reader description. You guys probably have friends that are similar to your ideal readers, but don't actually pay attention to what you're doing because they're still confused about how you're making money on the internet. (laughing) Okay, those people can also be in your inner-circle as they're probably connected to people who are not so confused about how (laughs) you're making money on the internet. I find it's like one or two degrees of separation. You find somebody who doesn't get it, they're connected to people who do. It's fine, it's fine. Really. So loyal customers, brand evangelists, and friends who fit your ideal reader description. You guys got those people in mind? All right, here's what you're gonna ask them to do. First, ask them to read the book before the launch. I will be honest with you, your promotional partners will probably not read your book. They'll read the introduction, they'll look at the table of contents, they'll listen to a podcast interview that you gave because they're excited about the idea, but they've been asked to be promotional partners for 10 other books that same month. Some of them will read it and that is totally awesome, but most of them will not. That means you need to get your inner-circle reading the book before it's launched, because they're gonna be the main source for your reviews, which is point two. Write a review on launch day. Write a review on launch day. So read the book before launch, write a review on launch day. Now that has to do with Amazon. If they've read the book before launch day and you can get that review from them beforehand so you can get it out on your sales page, you can input it into the product description in Sells, that's gonna be really, really good. Share the book with their friends. They might not have a list of 20,000 people they can blast it out to, but guess what those 10 people, those five people, that one person, they say hey my friend just wrote this book, I'm so proud of her, I'm so proud of him, I really think this is the book that you need to read. Those people are gonna buy your book. And that's so, so, so important. And then ask them for a reader story. A reader story. What I mean by this is kind of like a review on steroids. It's a big case study. To kind of borrow from what Stacy's whole idea is, it's that training actually taking action and getting results, right? And what the story of that is. So Lacy, if you have someone in your inner-circle read the book before launch day, maybe they implement exactly what you've written about how to connect your content marketing to sales. They implement that, they make 20% more sales, they make 100% more sales than they have in the past, that's a reader story that you should be sharing. Okay? You guys got that for your inner-circle? All right, heres your homework for this group. I want you to draft an inner-circle email that outlines three to five specific actions they can take to support the book. Guess what, your inner-circle is willing to do more for you. (laughs) So you can ask them to do more. And these are kind of funny emails to write, because I will actually go in and format it more like a blog post. I'll put bold, I might even highlight some things like this is the most important thing, this is the deadline. Those kind of things. I'll bullet point actions I want them to take, I'll use italics to show them what to copy and paste. I will make it as easy to read and take action on as possible, 'cause those inner-circle folks, they might actually take action on three to five of the things that you ask them to take action on. So make it as easy as possible. Then I want you to identify and contact 15 to 20 people for your inner-circle. And this email you can either send individually or in a pinch you can send as a mass email. And this is a place where it's okay to use your regular email inbox to send to 15 to 20 people 'cause these are people that you should be having or have had conservations with. You're not gonna cold email people. These people would expect and be glad to open an email from you, right? So you don't need to set up a special list, there's none of that. This is just emailing to communicate, not emailing to sell. So keep it simple. All right? Again, 15 to 20 people if you're publishing your book this week, I hope you are. If you're publishing your book this month, make it 40 to 50. If you're publishing it six months from now, it should be like 200 people. Seriously, seriously. And that's something to be working towards over that six months as well. If you know you're gonna be publishing a book six months from now, that's gonna be your magnum opus, at least to this point. I want you to also be working towards the goal of finding 200 ideal readers who are so excited about your work that they're willing to share it with other people. Okay? So kind of take this plan that we're using now and actually kind of explode it out into the future. If you're working towards a bigger goal, if you're working on a longer project, I want you to take all these marketing goals and just make them bigger, because your work deserves even that much more support. But this marketing plan I've outlined here is a great place to start and the good news is just 'cause you do it once, doesn't mean you can't do it again. You can do it again, and again, and again, and again. And that's a big thing that people forget about marketing their books as well. We're so entrenched I think in online marketing with this launch model idea that it can only happen once a year. That is crap. (laughs) Book marketing happens all the time and you can be constantly asking people for help spreading word about your book. Conferences, which we've talked about a lot here, are a great example of that. If you connect with 20 new people at a conference, send them your book and ask them to share it with their friends. That's how book marketing happens over time. Earlier I said books are the ultimate long tail product. So make sure that even if this is a small launch for you, all my book launches are small launches, (laughs) even if this is a small launch for you, make sure you've got a plan for the long tail or at least make sure you've got it in mind. Otherwise this stuff is just gonna sit and languish on your website or on Amazon and that's no good. Questions about inner-circle marketing? You guys are so easy. (laughing) All right, let's talk about email marketing. I love email marketing. Which brings me back to the digital product starter kit that we put together, we got a great little offer for everybody. I think it's a free month, I should double check before I say something. Yeah, it's one month free of ConvertKit. So if you guys haven't tried ConvertKit yet, which was founded and developed by my friend Nathan Barry, you should definitely check it out. You can do some really cool stuff with that, especially with book marketing. It's email marketing designed for professional content creators, which is what you guys are, right? So I love it, we've got a month free for you. When you buy the class you get that digital product starter kit and that's got your one month free of ConvertKit in there. All right, so let's talk about how to actually market your book with email marketing. Email marketing helps you connect with all the people who might be immediately interested in your book, the people who already know, like, and trust you, the people who have asked to receive your emails in their inbox every week. All right? So let's look at some of the emails that you might wanna send to your audience. And also part of kind of the goodies that we've got for you when you purchase the class is a project plan for all of this. It pulls together all five steps and I've got it lined up when you should send what emails as well. I'll talk about that a little bit now, don't worry I'm not gonna hold out on anybody. (laughs) But that is something to look for as well. So here are some emails you might send to your audience. First, a teaser to let them know what's coming. If you're watching this live or whenever you're watching this, if today is the day that you've decided oh yeah Tara, I am doing this, I am writing this book, I want you to email your list about it. I don't care if you emailed them yesterday, I don't care if you've got your regularly scheduled email for tomorrow going out, whatever it is I want you to email them right now and let them know I'm writing this book, here's who it's for, here's why it's important to you, here's what you're gonna be able to do when you're done reading it, here's the date I'm releasing it. Go ahead, pick a date. It's very exciting. (laughing) 'cause you know what, if it doesn't come out on that date they'll forgive you. But that's the perfect teaser email. Be excited about that. Sarah was talking about that, just being open and honest and excited about the work that you're doing. That teaser email should be full of excitement and give them something to do, give them something to do. Whether it's share this with a friend or whether it's simply write that date down on your calendar and don't let me forget it. (laughing) That is a fine call to action. All right? You can send them a sample to wet their whistle. I had to look up whether it's W-E-T or W-H-E-T, it is W-E-T in this case. Whet your appetite is the other way. (laughs) So Amy will be proud of me for that. So you can send them a sample to wet their whistle. That might be the introduction to the book. It could be chapter four. Maybe there's just a really great section in chapter four that you wanna get people reading right now 'cause it just kinda typifies what you're trying to create with this book. Send it to them. Send them that free chapter. Traditionally published authors don't have that kind of freedom, they're limited into what they can share with their audience. I say send it to them, right? So send them that sample. Send them a launch date email or a release day email so they go buy it. Give them that call to action. And I should say for the previous email, if you set up a pre-order like Sarah was talking about, you can ask them to buy it in that email as well. So a launch date email so they go buy it. Say today's the day. This should be like those really simple, direct sales pitch emails that seriously the subject line is today's the day or books available, or go read it now, get it on Amazon, like those are your subject lines, right? (laughs) The body of the email is oh my gosh, I can't believe this day is finally here. I just pressed publish on blank. Here's the link, I'd love for you to go buy it. When you're done reading it please leave me a review. That's it. That's the email. That's your launch day email. Send them a follow-up email that says why you wrote it. This is another great place to kinda gather the people, bring them in close and explain to them exactly what you saw going on for them, their businesses, their lives, that led you to write that book. Then I want you to tell them how it's different. This is a whole nother email too, this is a whole other email. How it's different. Maybe you talk to them about some of the books that they've already read, books that you love, but that you've found there was a hole between. That was the hole you chose to fill. That's a fantastic email to write as a follow-up. And then I love sharing reader reviews in emails. Grab them off of Amazon, grab them from your emails, grab them off of social media. My thing with republishing reviews or testimonials is if someone posts it in a public place, it's fair game. If they post it privately, you need to ask for permission. That's it. So just look, is this 100% completely free and clear public, you can just copy and paste that. If it's behind any kind of wall or privacy barrier, ask. But those reader review emails are gold. You know it's social proof, it's someone else is reading this. Maybe you've been thinking about buying this, you didn't know if it would be any good, well so and so says it's fantastic. (laughs) So and so was able to accomplish this thing. That's really, really good. One trick that I like to do with these emails too is I love to put an actual quotation from the review in the subject line. Nothing'll get people opening emails like quotation in a subject line. 'cause it's a kind of different thing, they're not expecting to see that in their inbox. And then I'll make the bulk of that email the review. I'll say this person was so nice to leave this review on Amazon. Or maybe if it's somebody I know I'll explain the situation a little bit more. Copy and paste the review, sum it up, go buy it here. So you can basically use this list of bullet points to write out your email marketing plan. Send them a teaser right now. Send them a sample when you've got that sample ready to go. If you're working on a three month plan, that might be a month from now. That's okay. If you're working on a this week plan, that might be tomorrow. (laughs) Okay? Send them that launch day email. Let them know it's available. Follow-up with them the next day to explain why you wrote it. Follow-up the next day to explain why it's different and follow-up the next day with a reader review. That first week of having your book out in the market is so key, especially for you guys who are really focused on publishing on Amazon. Those first few days you wanna milk everything you can out of that. So, so, so important. All right, let's take a look at our homework for email marketing. Now I just listed I think what was that six or seven emails? I want you to plan at least three. I don't wanna overwhelm you with email marketing even if I happen to believe that people would love to receive those six emails from you, I know you guys don't always want to do that. (laughs) So one, plan at least three emails for your book launch. And then two, draft each email. Guys, I have something to tell you. There's a lot more writing to writing your book than writing your book. (laughing) So just like building a course or a program or even a one-to-one service that you're delivering, there's a lot of extra work that goes along with that. And so I want you to kind of include this email drafting in your process for creating this book, because if you don't, you won't do it and you won't be happy with the results. So make sure this is part of your plan. Please do not fail me here, okay? All right. So here are some other ways to spread the word about your book. Oh, that's very small. I hope I can read it. Create some great sharable graphics with quotes from the book. I hope everyone would remember to do this now, but it's super important. You can share them on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, wherever you like to consume your social graphics you should be sharing them too. And make them available for other people to share. One really great technique that you can do is use a Dropbox file, a public Dropbox file, put all your book marketing assets in there, just share the link to that file with the people that you want to be sharing. They can kind of grab and growl as they go or whatever suits them best. Pitch local news for a feature segment. I've actually talked about this quite a bit. Local news is your friend. Local news will get your book sold. Local news wants to feature you. They love local authors. Local news loves local authors. So that could be your local paper, it could be local TV, local radio, local magazine. Make a list of all of that if you're feeling very ambitious. (chuckles) Email a journalist at your local paper. Okay, this is kind of a given after the last one, but email a journalist at your local paper. Generally I don't recommend sending press releases, but if you know your paper is understaffed, which local paper isn't? Send a press release because they will probably just print it, right? Generally they are so excited about local authors that they will print what you send them. So you might wanna think about sending a press release. Offer interviews to bloggers and podcasters. You can actually pitch people to interview you. It feels a little weird (laughs) at first, but as a blogger and as a podcaster, I appreciate getting them. I wanna know when people are up to cool things, especially new books. Other people feel exactly the same way. Srini's got a podcast basically of all authors, he wants to know when there's a new book coming out. He can't keep up with all of it. That's it, don't everyone email Srini all at the same time please, I will get in so much trouble. But look in whatever niche you're in, look on iTunes, search through your Facebook feed. What are the bloggers that you haven't connected with recently? And guess what guys, it counts if they have 50 readers, or 50,000 readers, or 50 million readers, 50 readers will still get books sold. When I published the Art of Earning I would give interviews to anyone and everyone who moved. (laughs) So if you were doing anything on the internet and you wanted to interview me, sure. (laughs) I mean, you know within reason. (chuckles) But I was not picky, I was no picky. I have to be all pickier now, because my time is really precious and I could be at my computer getting interviewed all the time. Which is not to say that I'm super important, but that it could happen. But really when you're a first time author, when you're just starting off, when you're trying to hustle to move books book by book by book, take those interviews. Ask for those interviews. Both for bloggers and for podcasters. Host a webinar or a local event. We talked about co-hosting it earlier, you can do it by yourself. Totally. Advertise. Advertise. Everyone wants to know about Facebook advertising right now. You can advertise your book. There aren't a lot of products that are easily sold through something like Facebook, instead we often use Facebook advertising to warmup an audience to make a pitch to. But for books, people buy books through Facebook all the time. And I don't know exactly how it works, but there's some sort of ju-ju that goes on with Amazon and Facebook and all of this stuff where you can actually get Amazon basically retargeting for you. So you just need to get people to click over and then Amazon will pay to re-target the people who have clicked and looked at the book and remind them to buy it later. Right? So you really just need to get people clicking 'cause Amazon's running these massive re-targeting campaigns all the time. I know because again, I get advertised my book in the corner of my Facebook stream any time I go and check is there a new review or like where is it on the bestseller list and then it pops up in the corner again for awhile. So that's a really good option. And then speak at conferences or speak locally. This might be a great opportunity for you to just speak to your local Soroptimist Club, your local Lions Club, your local Chamber of Commerce. And it's also a great opportunity to speak at conferences. For those of you who have speaking as one of your goals, remember that the way most speakers get started is pitching themselves to conferences and that often means doing the workshops instead of the main stage and it often means paying to get there, sometime it means paying for your ticket. I don't highly recommend that, but sometimes it does. (chuckles) But you know, it can be really worth it to move some books. And the reason that I get paid well now to speak on the main stage is 'cause I was willing to hustle back then. It sold books, it got me more gigs, and it got me more clients. So that's something to really consider. Final thing I want you guys to consider, 'cause we are winding down if you can believe it, is what are your goals for your book? What are your goals for your book? And guys for this now I want you to think beyond even that why, that ultimate goal. You know you said speaking engagements, major media features, getting in front of brand new people. I want you to start thinking a little smaller scale or not smaller scale, a little more granularly. I want you to start thinking about the metrics. How many new people do you wanna get in front of? What types of media features do you want? When someone introduces you what is that message that they're going to share for you in that introduction? How much money do you wanna make? How many books do you wanna sell? How many reviews do you want on day one? How many testimonials are you gonna put on that sales page? How many free books are you gonna give away? What are your goals for your book? Guys, do you have any ideas? Specific things. Lacy, I'm gonna put you on the spot 'cause your goal-oriented. (laughing) What's one particular, specific goal you can give me today? You know I'm working really hard to grow my list. So I think if I could add another 2,500 people just from book, whether they bought it or just interested and came, I think that would be fabulous. Love it, love it. Another goal, specific goal? Shannon? Yeah, I'd like to have 10 positive reviews within the first let's say three days of it being released. That is very, very doable and I would really encourage you to double that to 20. Okay. (laughing) What Tara says, I got it. Yeah, I don't know if you know, but I'm kind of a little stickler for big goals. Okay. (laughing) Very scary, I like it. Plus you have a little bit more time than some other people. So we'll just, yeah. Stacy? Let's see, I would like five testimonials. Five testimonials. Yeah and like beefy testimonials. I love the idea of case study, like this is how I took these ideas and this is what I produced out of it. Maybe three case studies and to other, so total of five. Yeah, yeah. Brit? For me it's also growing my number of people and I think I'll just stick with what, that felt good the 2,500 people. Good. Just from the book. That would be great. And then I also feel really confident that I could be, I'm just gonna say one, but that I could definitely be on television locally. I feel really comfortable about it. Oh yeah, in the Portland market? Hello. (laughing) Yes, you can accomplish that. It's one goal, but it's a big-- Yes, it's really, really good. All right guys, thank you so much for sharing those goals 'cause I know you're gonna blow all of them out of the water. For you two with the list size goals, let me tell you and I haven't said this in a longtime and I used to say it all the time, nothing grew my list like publishing a book has grown my list. Not just from people buying it, but from people discovering me through the credibility I gained from publishing that book, from the interviews I did, from the speaking engagements that I've done. And it was fast and it was good. Good, good, people. This is huge. You guys are on kind of the tipping point of your businesses right now. Do you feel it? Do you feel it? You know if you got those 20 reviews on Amazon, you added those 2,500 people on your list, how would your business be different? How would your daily, daily basis be different? You are at a point where everything can change and just because of these five simple steps that we used to write and publish your book. First, we talked about choosing your topic, building your outline. Second, we talked about how to write your book the fastest way possible, which of course involved mining all that content you guys already have. Third, we talked about editing and formatting your book and making really intentional choices about what your goals were and how you're going to achieve them. Then we worked on getting it up, uploaded, distributed, ready to publish. And then finally we talked about how to market your book. Before we wrap up, I would love to find out from each of you one kind of unexpected thing that you learned over the course of these five steps. What's one unexpected thing that you learned? I know you expected to learn how to write and publish a book. (laughs) That's kind of how I got you here, but what was something that you didn't expect to learn about this whole process? Even if it was a particular form of technology, a particular way you could distribute your book. Stacy? Well for me I thought the hard part would be the publishing the book. Like I know how to write, but I have no idea how to publish. And what I really see out of this is like that's easy, that's just technical. You hit buttons, you upload things, that really is I can do that, that's technically within what I can do. So I'm like oh right, so the challenge, the hard part is the writing. The getting the ideas and communicate them effectively, but then the publishing part really is pretty straightforward and easy. And I did not know that. Yes, absolutely. Shannon? I think my unexpected or my ah-ha moment was when Srini talked about one habit of how he does it on a daily basis. So that was like okay, finding that time. But two, how he just said a lot of it's not good. (laughing) And that's okay because really the good stuff comes out of just the crawling through the mud. And I really appreciated that, hearing him say that. Because I don't have to do it right, you just slog through it and you'll get to your goal, you'll get to your diamond. Yes, exactly. (laughing) Lacy? I think the concept of the diamond resonated with me, because my brain, my world is like Game of Thrones. (laughing) Casts of thousands, epic. That's how I think. Are there dragons? Always, yeah. Always. Right, there'd be dragons. Et cetera, sorry. (laughing) Yeah, so like just remembering that it doesn't have to be 1,000 pages long, that it can be teaching one thing as Stacy says. And that's totally still valuable and valid and important. Yeah, Charlie talked about how sometimes those itty bitty books that we go back to over and over again, like you guys know, how often am I quoting Nilofer Merchant's 11 Rules for Creating Success? It's this big. I know. I know. It's like this. I read that book all the time. (laughing) All right, Brit? For me there's two big things. One was when we hot seated and I realized that not only do I have all the content that I need for writing the book, the Ebook, but I have all the content for that other website with the multi-experiential opportunity for people to have meditations and learn how to do all these things. I already have all the audio files, the video files, I don't have to create any of that either. It's all right there. And the other piece that is huge for me and it's this course, but it's also CreativeLive in general because I've done your other courses, is these are phenomenal courses and I really realized, you said something in the begging about thought leader not being a bad word and I just really realize and I'm owning that. That I am full on a thought leader in my industry and that comes out of sitting still long enough, whether I'm here or on my couch at six o'clock in the morning hitting play for a thirty or 45 minute class. I didn't mean for this to be a promotion for CreativeLive at all. (laughing) but it is because that has totally, the reason that I am sitting here now in this course is because of the other CreativeLive courses I've done and they just rock my freakin world. (laughing) Thank you, one. (laughing) Thank you one and two, so really what you've learned her today isn't like the process of writing a book, what you've learned is this new way to package your content into an extremely powerful experience for people who are not familiar with your work yet and desperately need to be familiar with it. Is there anything more powerful out there than that? No, we can talk about online courses and programs and services, and I love that stuff too, but books, man. Books. (laughing) Books. This is huge. This will change your life, it'll change your business. This five step process, it's really that simple. We just kept saying that over and over again, it's really this simple. What's not simple is that amazing transformation that's going to occur the moment you push publish, the moment you become a published author. Right? That's incredible. So guys out there watching, I wanna know when you become a published author. I hope you've enjoyed this course, I hope you've enjoyed this process. I hope that you see yourself also on the tipping point of your business how everything can change. So the moment you hit that publish button I want you to tweet me, I want you to send me a Facebook message, whatever it might be, however you're gonna get in touch with me, I want you to let me know when you hit that publish button. Send me a link to your book, I want to see it. Because my whole goal with this class has been to unleash a whole new movement of thought leaders, authors, thinkers, influencers, into this world with amazing, small, actionable books. I hope you're ready for that, I'm ready for that. You guys ready for that? Yes. Yeah. All right.

Class Description

Imagine opening your inbox to find new clients begging to work with you, opportunities to speak around the world, and members of media requesting interviews. That’s exactly what started happening when Tara Gentile began writing and publishing her ideas in small self-published books.

She went from hustling for work to having clients knocking down her door. She went from a small audience of fans to stepping on global stages. Writing and publishing a book—even a small one—can have that effect.

If you’ve been struggling to find the clients, credibility, and cash you really want from your business, writing and publishing a book can turn it all around.

It might sound daunting but after self-publishing 4 books, Tara has a simple process for turning your ideas into a book available for sale on Amazon or on your own website. You can become a published author and reap the benefits for your business in much less time than you think.

In this class, Tara's broken her process down into 5 easy steps:

  1. Choose your idea and create an outline
  2. Use what you’ve got to write your book fast
  3. Edit and format your book so you can distribute it on a number of platforms
  4. Publish your book on your own website or Amazon
  5. Market your book and get people reading it

Stop dreaming of becoming a published author someday and start making it happen.

As a bonus with purchase, you'll get The Digital Product Starter Kit that'll help you write, publish, market, and sell your eBook with maximum results. You'll get a free 30-day trial of ConvertKit's suite of email marketing tools, a free 90-day trial of the Pro Plan, 25% off upgrades on Pressbooks, one 15% off code for any purchase at Creative Market, and one-month free access to Tara Gentile's Quiet Power Strategy Group.  

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Digital Product Starter Kit

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



Such a brilliant course - perfect for my needs. Provides insight, inspiration and great wisdom. A great flow of topics to help us hit the road running. Is it okay to say the voice thing was difficult for me? 'Referral' ouch. But very worth sticking with, so packed with top-notch info and tips. Thanks to all the amazing guests! Thanks Tara, you're dynamite!!

Benjamin Smith

Thank you for sharing this information with us. It was fascinating to read. As an aspiring author, I often wondered "where to start, and how to publish an e-book." I think that this issue is of concern to almost every aspiring writer. I found your recommendations very useful. This is a great lesson that brings a lot of benefits. I will recommend it to my friends. I love when information is served briefly and accurately. Nothing superfluous only practical advice, point by point what to do to succeed. Thank you! All the best! Writer on

a Creativelive Student

Great!!! Thank you so much, Tara! I love how simple you make it looks like. I think that besides bringing the reality check about how blogging n the whole digital content are tied together you also did a kinda coaching! Lifting the spirit! Great pace to follow! Best wishes to you too. 💐