Week 1 – Brain dump and research


Book Marketing, Books Link

sneek_peek_30_days_to_sellI had not planned it, but when telling a mate, Niall Larkin, about the new book I was working on, he quickly gave me a kick in the bum by tweeting and sharing this pic of the cover. Word was out and there was not a thing I could do about it. Niall linked me to the 37signals.com post on launching a product (go ahead and read it, then come back here).  We are now officially in stage 1. The tease.
My original plan was that the book would be ready when its ready. I expected sometime close to Christmas. However I read Tim Ferris’ post on the best and worst time to release a book. November to Christmas is terrible because all the publishers release then and chase the press to write reviews and articles.  This means it will be harder to get my book written about and promote it. I could wait until after Christmas And I am far too impatient to sit on a finished book for a few months. So I decide to pump up the release schedule to September. That’s just 60 days away. In the words of Sam Becket, “O boy”.

Step 1 – the marketing plan.

Which consists of spewing every idea under the sun onto the page as a big to-do list. This is a brain storm session of about an hour and a half. In my case it was done over breakfast in my local coffee shop. Everything goes down here no matter how far fetched or unreasonable it is. Getting the book tattooed on my back and running through conferences naked, yep its on the list!
Later I can go through and start editing but if you start editing your thoughts at the start you are stopping some of the good ideas that follow. With a master list in place I then start some research. I know I am not the first person to market a book, so let’s find some smart people who have done it before and learn from them.

For this I simply googled and quickly scanned for articles, blog posts and forum discussions that looked interesting. I also love Quora.com for research like this as the topics get really focused and edited replies. If it looked good I would save it to Pocket (getpocket.com) to read in more detail later. I will share the good ones I found later.

Then with my master list to hand I start reading and adding to the marketing list any good ideas I find.

With that all done I need to look at the book launch date, break it up into weeks (10) and drop some items from the master list into each week that I believe I can achieve. Now I know from experience I always overestimate my time and underestimate how long each activity takes. That’s OK, this is a rough plan and will act as a driver so you push yourself to get more done than you would without a plan.
When choosing what marketing to do try and pick out the activities you think will give you the biggest wins, with the least effort and the shortest amount of time. Put those first in the list because I guarantee you won’t get to the end of your list.

The original marketing list


Release date :February 2013? Can we do sooner? Summer to November is bad time.

Break below into:
Teaser - a few months before
Preview - a few weeks
Launch -

  • Relaunch Ben - audience building
  • Add sample chapter download - audience building
  • Add subscribe pop up - audience building
  • Put ads on ben
  • Put ads now on LinkedIn,
  • Facebook and
  • Google offering sample chapter. - audience building.
  • Follow loads on twitter - tweepi - audience building
  • Set up search alerts for people mentioning my keywords in other note,
  • Add weekly email news blog post to the site - Seo, retention
  • Start commenting on others sites - so the feel obliged to listen and do the same.
  • Add awards to site, invite judges, interview award winners - build credibility, Seo links, and evangelists.
  • Set up prelaunch page on amazon - capture sales for launch day
  • Set up own pre launch page,
  • offer kick starter type deals. If you preorder x Copies you get y bonus.
  • Contests? - audience building
  • Write guest posts
  • Tatoo book on my back and run around conferences naked...
  • Send out press releases to local papers, online writer and media sites.. Top business & marketing magazines, papers, sites. Forbes, wired, WSJ,
  • Get early reviews from great names.
  • Do a pre launch 'book blog tour' - audience building .
  • Offer a few copies of the book to give away in competitions and the first chapter free in co reg deal on these sites. - incentive to write about the book and audience building.
  • Find big email lists/membership sites for co registration deals.
  • Do a book trailer
  • Submit book presentation to major conferences. - use this to test ideas early, build audience and credibility.
  • Sell first on amazon kindle select until you get 2 free book days.
  • Seed book on many free book sites for the free days to increase exposure.
  • Sell through daily deals sites like mighty deals, appsumo and huddle buy.
  • Five 1 minute videos explaining different aspects of the book and subject. - fade in to title, 'on start up for metrics, aaargh', fade to me, aaargh is... I got fascinated with activation and how companies were doing it...
  • Add author profile to http://www.goodreads.com/ and Amazon central
  • Post on pats first kindle book.
  • Break down sample chapters to 'small reports' and offer singly.
  • Get companies in the book to push it to their networks. Send them free copies to share or give away in comps?
  • Share book sample on growth hacker on hacker news.
  • Start Quora discussion on activation campaigns,
  • Inthebook
  • bonus code and link to download 2 bonus chapters - audience building for next book.
  • Sample and offer to but 50 monster ideas.
  • Ad for Ben
  • Ad for email course.

If you enjoyed this, please share it with your network!


Alan O'Rourke

Bafta nominated designer of over 10 years, Alan O’Rourke is Product Marketing Manager at WhatClinic.com, founder of email newsletter service Toddle.com and runs the number one email showcase site Beautiful-email-newsletters.com


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