Happy Launch Day!
It’s always an exciting Tuesday when we’re launching a new book, and today that is twice as true.
Since early on in the publishing process, I knew Dream Training had the potential to be special. Very special.
Colin Gilmartin, the author transcended difficult circumstances in his own upbringing and had become a nationally-ranked soccer coach. But it wasn’t just his soccer skills that the kids loved.
During soccer practices, Colin would integrate some of the teachings and lessons from such personal development pioneers as Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie…and the kids would keep doing better and better.
Which obviously made him look great to their parents!
From the cover design to the content, Dream Training: A Practical Guide for Today’s Youth to Achieve Their Dreams delivers.
Now you can get a FREE copy of Dream Training today only – because that’s what we do for the Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press community: Hook you up!
Get a Free Copy of Dream Training by Colin Gilmartin <= Today only
By downloading a copy and starting to read Dream Training, you’re helping Colin’s author dreams come true. Please share this with anyone who has children that could use some inspiration.
Colin’s personal mission, which we’re working on now, is to distribute a copy of Dream Training to every inner-city child in New Orleans, and even help them understand how to read and use the book.
To that extent we are talking with sponsors and local businesses in New Orleans to help improve the literacy rate and life outcomes of their at-risk youth.
That is the deeper mission of Dream Training and I hope you’ll support in your own way by grabbing your free copy today
Get a Free Copy of Dream Training by Colin Gilmartin <= Today only
And if you would like to be the next LE Press author, check out: www.LifestyleEntrepreneursPress.com
To your success,
After a couple months of working behind the scenes on Get Paid For Your Pad, the inaugural title published by Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press, on August 26-28 we launched an Amazon Bestseller Campaign and I’m thrilled by the results!
Get Paid For Your Pad is the definitive book for Airbnb hosts by Jasper Ribbers & Huzefa Kapadia. You may remember Jasper from Lifestyle Entrepreneur, where I wrote about his journey from quitting his corporate job, launching a travel blog and visiting over 50 countries funded by his Amsterdam apartment.
Here are some of the lists we charted on:
Get Paid For Your Pad – #1 Travel book on Amazon
#1 Real Estate Investment book on Amazon
The Blueprint Behind a Bestseller
We began planning the launch and building momentum behind-the-scenes even while the book was going through the final rounds of revisions. Our plan was to launch the book initially as a Kindle book on Amazon and then eventually as a physical softcover book later. Big shout out to Tyler Wagner, bestselling author of Conference Crushing, who had valuable insight each step of the way. My good friend Navid interviewed Tyler about his strategy and created an epic (free) guide you can use: How to Go From No Book Idea to Bestseller in 3 Months
For the Kindle launch, Amazon has a program for authors and publishers called KDP Select that allows you to set your book as a Free download for a limited period of time (up to 5 days of free giveaway every 90 days). The way it works on Amazon now is that you can move up the charts for every download during the free promotional period. Then when the book switches back to a paid book, it remains in the charts and thereby has a chance to reach a broader audience.
The book launch essentially consisted of us emailing our lists and announcing the free download, having promotional partners agree to do the same, and running some Facebook ads during the launch window.
The Specific Actions We Took:
* I announced the upcoming launch to my list and offering some free prizes for everyone to go to this Facebook post and say “I’m IN” to download the free book on launch day. Then I boosted the post with $5.00 on the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Facebook page and as you can see it got a lot of engagement; 162 likes and 140 comments
* Jasper mailed out to his list from people who follow his blog The Traveling Dutchman
* We had done a small pre-launch to give away sample chapters of the book and a free email training series on Airbnb hosting at www.GetPaidForYourPad.com and we mailed that list too
* Set up a few Facebook ads to drive traffic to the Amazon page for Get Paid For Your Pad while it was set to a free download
* Had a few promotional partners mail out and announce the launch on their social media accounts with the link to download free on Kindle
* Set up a private Facebook group called Get Paid For Your Pad – BOOK LAUNCH and invited everyone in so we could share updates on bestseller lists, announcements about the launch and give content members could share with their friends.
That is the majority of the actions we took to prepare for and execute on the launch itself. It’s important to remember that this launch is part of a broader strategy for Get Paid For Your Pad, which is to become the definitive resource for Airbnb hosts and offer additional products and services to them down the road.
This is the way to actually make money from a book, even if you’re giving it away for free on the front-end!
How the Book Launch Unfolded and Some Stats:
With our combined efforts of mailing out, announcing the free book on our social media and driving some traffic with around $100 of FB ads, we rocketed to the #1 spot on some smaller Amazon best seller lists within hours of the launch.
Total Downloads in Free Period: 1,716
#1 Travel book on Amazon
#1 Real Estate Investment book
#1 Bed & Breakfast category
#2 Business & Investing category overall
#194 in All Kindle store
Here is a chart of the download activity during the Free promotional period:
After The Promotion – Building a Book-Based Brand & Business
We left the book available for free download two full days plus a few morning hours on Aug 28 before switching it back to a paid book. But we didn’t raise the price back up to $9.97 right away, instead we made the book $0.99 for about 2 days.
This allowed us to make the most of our time on the best-seller charts with a deeply-discounted book. Since the original price was $9.97 and we made a few pre-sales to friends and family before setting it for free, the price discount looks even greater as it shows up like:
$9.97 => Now only $0.99!
It’s also important to note that when you sell on Amazon it’s their customer, meaning you don’t get the name and email address. Since it is very important to build a list in any business, and especially so for a free book promotion where you’ll ultimately offer additional back-end products and services, here is what we did:
Free Audio Book Giveaway as a List Builder – We included a promotional page in the book just after the cover that says “Download Audio Book For Free” and then has a big image of the book with headphones on and another call-to-action link that says “Click Here to Download”
You can see what it looks like here, just click on Look Inside and scroll down to the second page. Notice how you can click-through and get the audio book for free even if you don’t buy the book!
We saw about 5-7% conversion rate from people who downloaded the Kindle version who opted-in to download the audio book.
If someone just gets the audio book for free, great! Now we’re in touch via email and they are getting great Airbnb training. But most people eventually get the Kindle book as well since there are so many illustrations, helpful pictures and checklists.
Concluding Thoughts and Building YOUR Book-Based Brand
Overall I estimate that more than 70% of the downloads for Get Paid For Your Pad were “organic” in the sense that people discovered the book on Amazon after we placed in a few charting categories. I figure that from my mail-outs and Jasper reaching out to his list, plus some friends and family sharing the link we got maybe 400 or so downloads. So the remaining 1,200+ came from people finding it organically through browsing the Travel sections, or Real Estate Investing, or Bed & Breakfast, or, for a time, even the Business section.
That’s a pretty good multiple of about 3x. If our own promotions accounted for 400 or so downloads, then the multipler is 3x to have those promotions focus on an Amazon Kindle launch…instead of, say, just directing people to your own domain to download a PDF.
Plus the book sales and visibility are just Step One when you’re focused on establishing a Book-Based Brand and Business. Looking at your book as an overwhelmingly compelling introduction to who you are and what products and services you provide. Books can make a BIG impact, and that builds massive good will with readers, not to mention establishes you as the most credible person they know on the topic (I mean you wrote a BESTSELLER on the topic, geez!)
So with this launch I am pleased to launch Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press in earnest and am already in talks with a number of authors who want the same level of personal consultation and marketing campaign design that we bring to the table. In fact, my vision is to have Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press be an ever-growing platform for author entrepreneurs to reinvent themselves and build new brands through publishing books on their glory stories and strategies
Want to be the next best-selling author published and promoted by Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press? Write me here and tell me your idea!
To your success,
Founder of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press
Publisher of Get Paid For Your Pad
Connect on Facebook – Twitter – LinkedIn
Hey Lifestyle Entrepreneurs,
Hope you’re having a productive, exciting day so far…and if you’re not, why not start now?
I want to share a few behind-the-scenes views into the ever-unfolding Lifestyle Entrepreneur book launch. I say ever-unfolding because, even though the majority of people who will ever see Lifestyle Entrepreneur will see this version that’s coming out now, I think of it as v3.0 of the book that I started writing nearly four years ago in Shanghai.
Lifestyle Entrepreneur Across The Years
Even though the first book was called The Entrepreneurs Guidebook, it did include a number of the core concepts that made it all the way to today’s version (like a Vision-MAP and The Operations Model). Plus that eBook is what got me an introduction to my Asian publishers Kanyin Books.
Working with my editor at Kanyin (Carol Lin) was a huge learning experience, as she got me thinking about eye-catching chapter titles and re-writing parts of the book to include stories from my own business history. The re-writes took about 5-6 months, but it wasn’t just “re-writing” the book as much as it was morphing it from a China-USA trade focused book to a more overarching theme of being a “lifestyle entrepreneur”.
But the effort was worth it, and the partnership with Kanyin was exciting as it unfolded over 4 trips to Malaysia and Singapore, filming the book launch video and ultimately seeing it rise up the charts to #2 business bestseller!
Bringing It Back Home – From Asia to USA
In a sweet twist of irony, the first book that became Lifestyle Entrepreneur was focused on China-USA trade, but by the time the book actually came out in USA the journey was reversed from Asia >> USA.
All along it was my goal to have some success with the Asia book launch and use that to leverage into getting a great publishing deal with a US publisher. And not just any publisher, I had one particular publisher in mind; Morgan James Publishing who had released Brendon Burchard’s book The Millionaire Messenger.
So I showed up at a conference that the Morgan James team puts on called Author 101 University with a stack of books and proceeded to approach, pitch and get a preliminary “thumbs up” from their president, publisher and senior acquisitions editor
Admittedly, it was easier to pitch myself as a potential Morgan James author with a book in-hand that already had a proven sales history. But that was exactly the point of putting in the work beforehand with the Asia launch…to not have it be the first time I’m dealing with publishers when releasing the book in US and beyond.
Signing Two Publishing Deals in Two Years.
My strategy to work with Morgan James was to talk to their main decision makers 1-on-1 and get them excited about Lifestyle Entrepreneur. After talking with them at Author 101, and each of them saying “that seems like just the kind of books we like to publish,” I brought them together and said “Please do!” 🙂
I’ve heard countless stories from authors saying “Oh, I was rejected 23 times in a row by publishers” – but my experience has been really pitching two publishers…and signing two publishing deals.
Why is that?
Well, I’d say for one, in both cases I had a finished book ready-to-go; I had already done the heavy lifting and proved that I was going to bring my message out to the world one way or another. Many of the rejection stories I heard center around submitting book proposals (as, in not a complete manuscript with a sales track record).
Takeaway for Aspiring Authors: If you’re passionate about an idea for a book – WRITE ONE! You don’t need a publishers approval or anyone else’s permission to put pen to paper. These days, you have an outlet for your book through programs like Kindle Direct Publishing, eBooks, selling informational/training books on ClickBank and more. So it’s no longer the case that a publisher is gatekeeper to the distribution channels where readers buy books.
The Benefits of Working With a Publisher vs. Self Publishing
Even though it is entirely possible to self-publish a book nowadays, I still prefer working with a publisher because I enjoy being part of a team. Ultimately, signing with a publisher means joining a roster of authors, some in your genre writing similar things as you, and others in different varied fields. These are all potential allies and friends for book reviews, cross-promotions, and future book projects.
Plus, I like the fact that my publishers take care of just about all the details not directly related to writing and promoting a book. Sure, it’s possible to learn about all the publishing platforms out there, join their service, format your book for each platforms tech specs, and integrate sales stats from a variety of sources – BUT – I’m much happier to spend all that time on getting the word out about my book.
So from that perspective, I enjoy partnering with a publisher, and have no illusion about the fact that publisher or not, the author always has the ultimate responsibility to promote his or her book.
Re-Writing and Editing Lifestyle Entrepreneur for US.
After signing with Morgan James, I decided to re-write and improve Lifestyle Entrepreneur again and get it *just right* for the release I always envisioned back when I started writing my eBook in Shanghai years before.
The main change was shifting it from a semi-autobiographical book, featuring my life and business experiences as the majority of case studies, to looking at “being a lifestyle entrepreneur” as an identity that anyone can assume and make their own.
To that extent, I interviewed seven other inspirational entrepreneurs who have kick-ass lifestyles and 6-or-7 figure businesses that they run amidst extensive international travel.
Then I worked those interviews in throughout the book as features, or “Lifestyle Entrepreneurs In-Focus” as it’s titled in the book. This is to give readers a number of examples of what’s possible and let them self-select which ones resonate most with their goals, dreams and life experience.
Then I included a new Discover Your Identity exercise and framework, and re-wrote the Prologue to be current and representative of the most recent year of travel and business adventures.
With the content up-to-date, I turned my attention to the overall look and feel; The cover design and interior layout.
Crowdsourcing Design Work for Authors
In my experience, the writing of a book is my primary creative contribution. I think a lot of first-time authors shoot themselves in the foot by thinking they have to do everything in the process, including the most important thing – designing the book cover.
I had a vision for how the cover could look – with a crest, sort of like you’d see on a prestigious university, but with images representative of being a lifestyle entrepreneur; an airplane, a globe. So I sketched out a rough image with pencil and paper and launched a contest on 99designs!
You can check out the progression of designs on the completed contest here, and you should be able to click on “design brief” and see the original instructions I gave to the designers.
99designs is great for projects like this where you want to actually see the design ideas of many designers up front, instead of like on Elance where you review bids, award a job and then start to see actual designs. Each has their place, but 99designs is cool because you also have a historical record of progress (*and can share it in blog posts!)
Coming Up in Part 2
At this point we’ve followed the progress of Lifestyle Entrepreneur from it’s humble beginnings being written on an iPad in coffee shops and skyrises in Shanghai, through to an initial launch in Asia and now being reborn for a full US and global release.
In the next post, I’ll write about finalizing the book as a “finished product”, and then building a book launch strategy (actual multiple strategies) and shifting gears from “writing and creating” mode, to marketing and selling the book and being the face and voice for it’s message.
Let me know your experience of writing and publishing (or wanting to write and publish) below!
How to Skyrocket Engagement, Build Massive Goodwill and Be a Superhero on Your Next Launch
Here is an excerpt from a topic I’ve spoken about on the Author Speaker Coach Superhero Summit with Marisa Murgatroyd and a host of other awesome entrepreneurs
Here is the aftermath from that summit: http://www.ascsuperherosummit.com/store
30-Second Summary: I’ll be previewing the presentation thatI delivered in November on the Author Speaker Coach Superhero Summit which is titled:
Best Seller Campaign Blueprint:
10 Easy Steps to Being a #1 Best Selling Amazon Author
Tonight on the Live Hangout I’ll be talking about this strategy: It basically involves mailing out to your list announcing a pre-launch and exclusive contest, with the call-to-action being going to a Facebook post and commenting “I’m IN!” – Then forming a private Facebook Launch Group and adding them in as well and allowing members to invite others. Then launch communication is carried out through the group so everyone sees every message (unlike Facebook page posts, or even email).
5-Minute Overview on how to Skyrocket Engagement on Your Next Launch
- Announce Launch to List Around 7-10 days beforehand. Give them a taste of what you have in store; free book, a contest, a live Hangout with Q&A…let them know what’s coming and “light the fuse”
- Once you have written the email announcing the launch, copy and paste the majority of it to a Facebook Page post.
- Once you’ve published the post, click upper-right hand arrow and select “embed post” then grab the unique post URL from the embed code and paste it in your email.
- Have a super low-investment call-to-action to indicate their interest – a show of hands: “Just comment on this post saying “I’m IN!” to be a part of this launch and see it unfold from the inside out.
- Reply to each comment on the Facebook Page. You can do this quickly just show gratitude and make sure to tag their name so they are notified that they were mentioned in a comment by You.
- Optional to add each of them as friends and/or send them a message from your Page
- Create a private Facebook Group for the Launch. Invite everyone in who liked/commented on the Page post
- Mail out again 3-4 days before the launch inviting your list directly into the private Facebook group
Resulting Effect: Skyrocket Engagement
Now you have a core team of people who have expressed interest in your launch. At the least they are involved to get a free, or discounted copy of your book, though many of these people will be your most vocal advocates during the Launch.
Just as not everyone sees, reads and takes action immediately from every email you send, and now more than ever Facebook page posts don’t reach even a fraction of your total audience (even if boosted!) – A private Facebook group’s notifications are seen in each members Newsfeed and notifications.
See you there!