Skip to main content

Sell Your First 1000 Books

Lesson 14 of 18

Natural Selling

Tim Grahl

Sell Your First 1000 Books

Tim Grahl

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

14. Natural Selling


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 The Impact of Books Duration:25:28
3 Setting up the System Duration:15:39
6 How to Grow Your List Duration:24:59
10 Q & A w/ Tom and Tim Duration:18:00
11 Outreach: The Attitude Duration:1:09:21
12 Outreach: The How-to Duration:34:35
13 Outreach: The How-to Part 2 Duration:48:00
14 Natural Selling Duration:19:56
15 Interview with Hugh Howey Duration:48:20
16 Q&A w/ Hugh Howey Duration:52:16
17 Q&A w/ Hugh Howey Part 2 Duration:36:14
18 How to Launch Your Book Duration:57:14

Lesson Info

Natural Selling

I want to talk about the underlying cause of why we tend not to do this kind of stuff for white falls flat and we've talked about those authors that are like too much right? Like they're like by my book my book and they're just bothering everybody but what I want to do is focus on the authors like most of us and most of the authors I worked with that are a little more on the shy side, right? And I like to think of this again as a continuum of like over here authors that air terrified it would never tell anybody or invite anybody won't even invite you know their spouse to buy their book or read it I don't think you should make your spouse by your book on and then over here the people that are like, really annoying about it and like shout it from the rooftops and so most people are down here. Most of the authors I work with and interact with her down here and I want to kind of pull invite them to come a little further down that continue we're not ever going to get here you're never going...

to be this person, but we're going to invite you to come down a little further and the first way I do that is to invite you to be your own fan um I was talking with an author one time about a month before the book came out, it was like so you know what you're going to do when your book comes out he's like I might put a blogger post up I'm like, okay, you've got like an email list with like twelve thousand people on it he's like I don't know and I'm like why and he's like I just I don't want to bug people and I'm like you're you're not even a fan of your own book, you know, like, you know, if you showed no excitement about your own book, people think it's if you're not even excited, they're not going to get excited about it either. And so the number one thing is to be your own fan be okay with the fact that you've like your book that it's a good book that you've worked hard on it and you believe again, we're changing the world with this stuff, and so the more people that read my book, the better off this world is going to be if somebody asked me what book they should read about book marketing, I'm going to tell them they should read my book because I believe I've wrote a really good book on book marketing I'm not being stuck up, but I put the work in and I believe the best thing for them would be to be to read my book right so you want to be your own fan and get comfortable with that with the fact that you've done something great and you need to show that you believe that I met an author one time that somebody asked her to sign there the book they just bought the book and they wanted her to sign it and she felt embarrassed and won't do it and I'm like she's like I just I felt bad you know? I'm nobody you know what you know and I'm like not to this person you know think about you know, back to you know, some yesterday we talked about our favorite books like what if he got to like meet that person what if you got to hang out with that person like that's pretty cool right? And so you know, I had this whole thing I went through a couple of times with all there's about how like, you know, you're just you're just like brad pitt you know it's like well sure, I don't have the house or the wife or the many children or the money but in ways people do look at you that way like if you're an author and their fan of your work they've put you on a pedestal they're interested in you they're excited about meeting you there side about being a part of it and they want to see that you're excited to be a part of it too so, you know, think about and get comfortable with the fact that you've put working to this book, you put work into this, be a fan of your own work and be comfortable being a fan of your own work. The next thing is to actually invite them to buy the book, right? Um, again, so many times, authors aren't even comfortable asking people to buy their new book or to purchase the book, and so make sure that you were regularly inviting people to buy your book. You know, we talked about in the permission about the hold like drunk surfers thing, right? We're like people are surfing your website there, surfing the internet, they're seeing things in there kind of best painting percent of attention to it, so you want to make sure that you're regularly inviting people to buy, and I'm going to talk about a very particular way. We can automate this like we talked about with systems in just a minute, but you want to make sure you're giving people opportunities to buy the book, and you can do this in ways that isn't annoying. You know you can do this in a way that doesn't come across as if you're desperately trying to sell another copy of your book, you can do it in ways that are very natural, we're going to talk about those, but these things are important. Be a fan of your own work and get comfortable with the fact that you're going to invite people to buy and again, this is a this is any pushing thing we're inviting people to be a part of what they're already being a part of if we're building a line of communication with people, if we're sending out great content and for being relentlessly helpful on relentlessly entertaining it's okay, to invite them to be a part of that by buying the book and if you do it in that way, where it's an invitation, right? So when we invite somebody to say to something, if they can't make it that's okay, right? You know, whenever one time you know, we're having a party, a birthday party for one of our kids, way sent out invitations expecting, you know, a certain number of people to say no, and everybody ended up coming there too many people, right? But we expect some people are not going to take us up on our invitations and that's, okay? And so when we have this stance of, like, we're not pushing people to buy the book, we're not desperately looking for people to buy the book, but we're inviting them to be a part of. This process with us and part of that is purchasing the book it's, very natural and it's a stance you need to take of being your own fan and inviting people into your work and again in the last, um, in the last session today, we're gonna talk about how to launch the book, and I'll talk about how I do this, how I do this with my authors and how I did this myself, where you can do it over and over and over, but it doesn't feel like people are getting hit over the head with it. So how do we do this? So the first thing that's, very practical that you can do is tow wet their appetite, make sure that you're giving them stuff that gets them excited about the book, giving out away pieces of the book, giving away the most compelling piece of the looks like we talked about yesterday, give them stuff that, um, what's her appetite and leaves them wanting more right, and this can show up in lots of different ways. This is why, when you go to amazon, you can download a sample of a book. They know if you've read a sample of the book and you like here, more likely to buy right there, waiting your appetite, they're making you know, smart authors leave it right on a cliffhanger, so you've got to read that next paragraph c by the book, but you can do this in lots of ways. They're calle pern was launching a online course he was doing about blogging. So we did this webinar, so I signed up for the webinar and I was watching it. And for forty five minutes he walked us through this extremely helpful content about blogging. It was a blood template, like howto layout of blawg howto lay out the content so that people were reading and engage with it, and I'm taking notes. It was great stuff. I was really excited about it than at the end of it. He's like, by the way, I have this course. And this is one of the seven templates that I have available in this course, plus all of this other great stuff when you buy the course and I'm one dying to buy this now, because for forty five minutes, he's given away fantastic content, that's, super helpful on its own. But now I realize there are six more of these templates. I have to have them now, right? And so leave people wanting more. Make sure that when you give away content, you let people know that there's mohr that they can access when they buy the book when they when they actually pick up a copy of the book and we did this with dan pink with his lost last year in it he has in his book two cells human he has the six new pitches of the twenty first century right? So six new ways to pitch and so when we sent out the email we sent out we listed all six of them and gave nice long descriptions of three of them and let people know they can get maurine the book and all that all six of them are explained a detail in the book right helpful content super helpful content they learned about three of them but the rest of it's in the book right? We're getting very practical here, right? Um give away your most compelling stuff we talked about that repetition makes perfect, right? We want to make sure we don't just put up one blogger post that day the book comes out say, hey, I have a book if you want to buy, you could buy it and then like they never hear about the book again right? We want to make sure that everybody that comes into your platform automatically goes into a funnel where they can be offered your book so really great practical way to do this that you can use male chimp for like we talked about male chimp is auto responders so I have to stop and get technical here for a minute, so I apologized for that. So let me just explain what I mean by auto responders, so if you sign up for male chimp, you'll see there's two different types of emails, there's campaign e mails and there's auto responders. Um, sometimes these are called different things. Sometimes a campaign emails are called broadcast emails, sometimes they're called different things, but there's basically two types of emails, the first one, the campaign emails, they go out one time to everybody on your list, right? So if somebody signed up for your list yesterday and you send the campaign today, everybody, that person gets the email, anybody that signs up after that never sees that email goes out one time to everybody on your list, and then it doesn't go out any more. Auto responders are different. They automatically go out to people that sign up for your list, right? So if you set up in auto, responded to go out, when somebody signs up, they sign up and they get that order responder. And then three days later, they could get another one and three days later they could get another one I mentioned yesterday, if you go to my website out, think group dot com. You can sign up for a thirty day course that is an auto responders siri's, so when you sign up, you get the first email than a couple days later, you get another email than a few days later, you get another email and that automatically goes out when people signed up. So if I sign up today, I get the first email today in the next e mail in a couple days, but if somebody signs up in a week, they get the first email that day and if the next e mail a few days after that and I like to think of these in a certain way, I like to think of these is letting people get to know who you are because as you doom or outreach as you put content out and let it spread, people are going to be coming in from all kinds of places you can't assume they know who you are, and they know everything that you've done. I was talking with an author this week that writes for forbes, and a lot of times, people will get a link on facebook somewhere to one of his articles on forbes, click there and sign it for his email list. So all they know about that author is that he wrote this one article in forbes they don't know what he does, they don't know what he talks about, they don't know about all of his books that he has out, they don't know anything, and I'd like to think of it as like, if we're at a party and, you know, gerry and I were sitting there talking, we're talking about our favorite summer movie favorite summer movie and, you know, mine was I don't have a watch a lot of movies what's a good movie. Dan that's come out this summer, iron man three loved iron man three and I'm talking about how I love the iron man three and we're in the middle of this conversation and sasha, it walks up well, we just keep talking like he never he never showed up. No, we'll have it will say, oh, hey, sasha, we're talking about our favorite movie of the summer what was yours and kind of bring him into the car, get him up to speed on the conversation that's how I like to think of all the responders, I want to get them up to speed on who I am and what I do and what I talk about, right? So I want to send out a series of e mails that is great content that's introducing who I am so there's lots of different ways to do this, but I recommend at least sending three right? So the first e mail welcome to my list. I'm so glad you're here. Here's what you can expect if you were giving away a pdf right? If you're giving away the eleven ways to do this this is where you given the pdf say, hey here's, what you asked for and I have a link to it saying a couple of days, I'm going to send you another email tone you a little bit more about what I do right in the second e mail should be a little bit more about what you do. This is what I write about. This is the kind of work I do. This is what I love here's a few books that I've read and enjoyed and let them get to know who you are and then the third book make sure they know that your books are available on where they can buy them. Um, here's, my latest book, here's. What it's about here's where you can purchase it, here's a few blurbs about it, you know, basically rip off the content off your website and put it in an email and let them know about the book. By this point they've got to know you a little bit you provided some great compelling content when they signed up, so they're having good feelings about you they know a little bit more about who you are and they're going to be much more likely to buy your book and here's what's great, you know, at this point, if you put these in place that everybody that signs it for your list within a week, they know you have a book for sale and they've been offered the book, right? So when we're talking about what kind of system can we put in place where we automatically continue to sell books, this is that kind of system, right? This is that kind of system where we know that as we're doing outreach, everything else is taking care of once we have that bucket, if we have a website that has an email list sign up on every page has a pop up has something that is right there in front and center inviting people to be on the list, we're giving them a compelling reason. So we know that people coming to our site that a certain percentage of them are going to sign up for that email list, and then once they're on the email list, they're going to get a siri's of emails that introduce them to you and your work invites into my book all of that happens you set it up one time and all your job is is to start putting people in that bucket are you starting to see how systems work right once you've written those emails one time I wrote those auto responders awhile ago I haven't had to write them again everyone so I'll go back through and rip him out every update them but they go out without me doing anything they are up there they do it once I make sure everybody knows I have a book for sale and everything else I have to offer and I make sure I send a serious I make sure I send content that's really helpful too but this is a nice thing for you to relax because you know a lot of time to one of the things that people have problems without reach what we're talking about the last is there running around trying to get people to pay attention but they have nothing really to have them do right and that's why I talk about that email list like tattoo it on your forehead right? This is important get people on your email list and it becomes your one goal if I write a post over here if I doing is speaking of it here if I do this if I do this if I do this my one goal is to get them on the email list right and I know that if I send them to my website they're going to be offered my email list so all I have to do is continue to funnel people into my website get them on the email list and within a week they'll be offered my books we're starting to see how all this works together are you starting to see how you can start to relax with some of this stuff once it's set up all your job is is to get people to pay attention to it and so you're not just running around telling people to buy your book that's the other thing I really like the email list because it's a nice soft sell right? So I worked with a lot of people that do speaking event well they can't get up on stage and just hawk their book for forty five minutes, right? But they can say something like hey the slides for my presentation I'm happy to give him to you just go to this link right here and sign up for the email list and I'll automatically send you my slides it's a nice soft ask you're giving away something valuable people lots of speakers people you want the slides after the event and now you have them on an email list and you know within a couple of days they're going to know more about you know what you have to offer and are offering your books and you don't have to do anything it's all set up already. All right, so this is how it all starts coming together, and this is how you can start putting things together in a way where it all starts lining up. So all you have to do is put people in the bucket knowing that you're going to catch them breast quick question about the auto responders before we move on from them. Beauty of the lake from st pete says I was wondering if you can set up different auto respond. So what if someone signs up on my email list and gets the introductory emails that I send another series of content? Do they have to sign up again to get that? You can set it up all kinds of different ways, and this is where I recommending into how to use the tool, um, taking advantage of the great male chimps support a lot of times, I won't know how to do something with male champ. I'll try try to be doing something technical, a dump on support say, I'm trying to do this, and they'll just walk me, send me that articles and walk me through it, so there are lots of different ways that you can do this, so you can have separate list inside a male chimp that you mark it two different ways. You can also inside of a list you can have different groups that you mark it two different ways again, it's all in all in the knowledge base and that kind of thing, but yeah, and and you can do that different ways, and you can do that really strategic ways if you have different types of people that you're trying to talk to is working with an author who works a lot in the higher education room, and he has to specific groups of people that air his audience. He has high school students and their parents that air trying to find a good college, and he also has faculty of universities in there, but they're interested in very different content. So he set up to list in male champ, and he set up two different landing pages on his website. One was offering a pdf that the parents would be interested in, and a different one was offering a pdf that the faculty would be interested in, and when he was talking to those group of people, he would offer one of those two. So if he was speaking in front of a crowd of faculty of universities, he's, he'd send them toe one place, and he'd send him to other two different list, and he can mark it. He can do two sets of auto responders that go out so yes, absolutely you can do that kind of stuff again I'm looking at the fact that I know most authors don't have any of this stuff and so what I would love what I would love is for every author that's listening and watching this to go from not having an email list toe having a great compelling offer a few auto responders set up knowing that everybody coming into their platform is going to be all for their books before we wrap up with this I said this was going to be short right? This is pretty simple at this point we've got permission we've got our content we're doing our outreach all the cherry on top is finally saying hey buy my book and really simple way to do that is auto responders but it does come back to being comfortable being your own fan and again this is this is stuff that it's hard sometimes it's emotional sometimes these aren't just technical things we're dealing with we're dealing with like our own emotions in our own fears and I have felt the same fears and trust me I have worked with authors from brand new authors to multi new york times best selling authors that still are afraid when their next book comes out that they're finally going to be seen is the fraud that they've always been and everybody will hate them and send their books back and have a book burning right, like everybody has this fear. The fear never goes away, but it is helpful to get a loan, get a sheet of paper, talked to yourself about this, have a conversation with yourself about this, and start getting okay with the fact that you've got to be your own fan. And you've got be comfortable inviting people to be a part of what you're doing and inviting people to be in on it. So that's selling, right, it's. Simple it's, inviting people to be a part of what you're doing by inviting people to buy your book and works very naturally with everything you're doing, and again, when we talk about launching a book, I'm going to get very specific. When it comes time to launch a book, how you do that invitation over and over and over without driving people nuts.

Class Description

Self-publishing has turned authors and photographers into business owners. In this new era of publishing, you are your own startup and your book is your product. In this workshop, self-published author and book marketing expert Tim Grahl will teach you how to help your book find its audience.

Book sales depend not only on the quality of your work, but also on the strength of your marketing. You will learn how to develop a strategic outreach plan to engage your current audience and introduce yourself to the right new communities. Tim will also show you how to develop a reliable email list, use content to drive sales, and negotiate with publishers.

Whether you’re publishing a novel or a coffee table book of lush images, Tim will give you the marketing playbook your talent deserves.


Sonja Dewing

Loved it! A lot of great tips on what needs to be on your author page, even some helpful plugins for WordPress! Love the extras. Well worth it.

Mark Leruste

This was my very first Creativelive class and it was amazing! In short it's the course I wish I took before self-publishing my first book. It covers all the basics and highlights all the mistakes you're most likely to make as a first time author or a serial writer. Everything you need to know about selling and marketing your book is in here. I've been recommending it to everyone interested in writing a book! Thank you Tim Grahl for a brilliant course.

Rachelle Ramirez

I've had the blessing of training directly with Tim Grahl and this class pulls all the basics together. Master these techniques and you've leveled up as professional writer. Why write a book and not get it to its readers? These are the tools that not only sell your book but get readers interested in reading YOUR book when they a million other choices. Worth the money.