Build a Speaking Career from a Book

How to Build a Speaking Career from Your Book

Publishing your book may feel like crossing the finish line. But when you want to publish a book to build something bigger as a business owner or a thought leader, launch day is just the start of the race. A common goal for authors is to turn a book into a speak career.

Becoming a speaker can change your career trajectory, increase your income, and make your name known. And it can all start with your book.

If you’re wondering how to build a speaking career from your book, stick around! This article is for you.

Why Build a Speaking Career With Your Book

Speaking engagements are worth the butterflies and stage fright you might face at the thought of standing in front of a big audience.

They’re an effective way to make more money, sell more books, and boost your reach and influence as an author and thought leader.

But landing those first speaking gigs that create a foundation for your future as a speaker can be challenging, especially if you’re not known well within your industry or are just new to speaking on your subject matter.

I said challenging, not impossible. To help you out, I asked our wonderful book marketing manager, Sarah Bean, for her top tips and tricks for landing opportunities as a new speaker.

So let’s get right into it; we have a speaking career to build, after all.

7 Tips On Building A Speaking Career Out of Your Book

Tip#1: Find Out Who You’re Addressing and How to Help

If you’ve never spoken before, you need first to figure out who you’re addressing and how you can help them.

Whether business owners who need to level up their company growth or parents looking for solutions to problem teens, know who your audience is and how listening to you and buying your book will solve their problems.

Be specific and know that there are organizations out there for pretty much everything.

Tip#2: Build Your Unique Topic and Brand

Once you’ve figured out your value proposition and your audience, create one or two topics or abstracts that directly help that audience.

You’d want to make sure to be able to adapt those topics on the fly for different audiences.

Right from your talk title, you want buyers to know who you’re addressing and what they can take away from it.

Practice those topics and prepare well in advance when an opportunity comes knocking.

To give you an idea, one of my standard talks is “Five Tips to Write a Book that Sells.”

I cover fundamental principles in every talk I give on that subject. But this week, I gave that talk to a group of entrepreneurs. So I adapted it to be “Five Tips to Write a Book that Grows Your Business.”

A lot of the same material goes into it, but I changed the examples and drove the points towards business benefits versus selling books.

Tip#3: Have Your Materials Ready

Perhaps the most vital material you’ll need is a speaker’s reel. Even unpaid engagements will ask for this if you don’t have a reputation as a speaker already.

They want to put somebody who will entertain and educate their audience, so they’ll definitely check up on you.

You’ll be asked for samples before they invest in you for their event. So put together a video, a reel, or a speaker one-pager at a minimum that shares your topics.

Your speaker reel is ideally a combination of different talks you’ve given, showing the audience engaged and clapping and laughing.

But if you’ve only given one talk, that will have to do. Maybe you showcase the whole thing or just take a clip for your reel.

In the future, you want to collect as many videotaped talks as possible to create a robust speaker’s reel.

Next, create a speaker’s one-sheet that showcases the topics you can talk about. You’d also want to create a list of past client engagements to showcase your expertise.

I would ideally ask for recommendation letters from some of the key talks you’ve given, so I can include those as referrals in your speaker’s package.

You also want to create adaptable abstracts in advance with three to five audience takeaways. And lastly, remember to make sure your materials are on-brand for you to stand out from the competition.

Tip#4: If You’re Brand New, Start Small and Local

That $25,000 keynote opportunity doesn’t usually magically come along just because you’ve published a book. You have to build up to it. Besides, it’s better to move up gradually.

When I started speaking, I went from my first talk being in front of an audience of, I think, about 12 people at a local meetup to an audience of 600 people on a large stage in Toronto, Canada.

I was so nervous; I didn’t even remember the talk. So I suggest you practice your material as a comedian would.

Go to, you know, the equivalent of an “open mic” and test your material on small live audiences. For me, those are usually local meetups or local association education sessions.

Doing that can organically lead to bigger opportunities anyway while you get more comfortable with your material.

And those local events can actually sell a lot of books while garnering you and your book with local support.

Tip#5: Don’t Say No Just Because There’s No Paycheck

When we watched the Super Bowl halftime show this year with all our favorite artists from the ’90s, my husband commented on how much they must have been paid.

I said, “If I were them, I would do it for free.” Think about how much people pay for a Super Bowl commercial. And these people are getting massive exposure in that halftime show.

For many of them, it’s the best advertising they could ask for.

Well, I did a little research. It turns out they do it for free, and they do it because it’s massive exposure to a vast audience.

In their case, decades-old songs get a new life, but for an artist, it’s also a feather in your cap to be invited to do a halftime show.

So as a speaker, don’t turn your nose up just because something’s free. Some free events have enormous value when they’re the right event for you and for reaching your audience.

Before you say no, let’s look at what factors might make you want to say yes:

  • It might be your first chance to speak directly to your target audience.
  • The organization hosting the event might open up new channels for you.
  • You could use footage of that talk to improve your speaker’s reel.
  • You’ll also have a chance to sell books and drive a lot of traffic to your website.

These are all good enough reasons to do a free talk. Sometimes those are even bigger results than getting a speaker’s fee when you can’t even promote your stuff or your book at all.

Tip#6: Keep In Mind: One Speaking Gig Leads to Another

If you bring your best self and deliver value, whether paid or free, one speaking gig almost always leads to another. Never discount an audience as not big enough to be prepared.

There may be somebody in the audience who’ll want you to speak for their company. Or they may want to buy a copy of your book for everybody in their organization.

Something you say may resonate with someone enough that they’d become a new client or refer you to a whole bunch of new people.

I’ve been a speaker at events with thousands of people in the audience, only to have 20 people in my breakout room for a talk.

That can feel demotivating if you just look at the empty seats. But I usually encourage people until they move forward, so I feel like they’re a good group together.

And then, I deliver massive value to the folks there because I believe that every person showed up there for me. I’m going to show up for them and give them value.

Who knows? They might become clients, buy my book, or tell somebody else about my book or business.

You can also focus on finding one person that you can really help that day. Focus on cultivating those relationships and take advantage of the opportunity to get in front of that audience.

If you’re allowed, invite them to download your reader magnet so that you get their email address. Now you can start building a long-term relationship with them.

And if you’re allowed as well, you could have books to sell or even give away during the event.

When you’ve finished speaking, make sure to network with the organization, the team, and the audience. Don’t forget to send thank-yous. You’ll never know what connections you could make.

Tip#7: Skip The Cold Calls and Start With Your Network

If you’re struggling to find a speaking opportunity, skip the cold call and start with your network.

I started by speaking at the groups I was already a part of. Within your industry, you may have all the warm leads you need.

So start with a list of your own contacts, your network, your organization’s past or current clients, or just look at the groups you’re active in, and they might be able to introduce you to people looking for speakers for their audience.

By reaching out to these friendly contacts and seeing how you can help them with your content, you’ll probably find yourself on stages pretty quickly.

My Three Essentials to Building a Speaking Career

Now, there is no easy or fast button, but if I were to tell you the three most important things to building a speaking career from a book, it would be:

  1. Be prepared, have a talk ready to go on short notice, and test that material live before you go big.
  2. Be okay with free when it’s a good fit.
  3. Get your speaker’s reel and references ready as quickly as possible. Without those, it’s tough to land giant paid speaking gigs.

A book helps you open doors that put you on stage. It gives you another way to monetize your time on stage and develop deeper relationships with audiences. But it won’t happen with one talk.

Build on each talk and keep going, and looking back two years later, you’ll likely find yourself with a paid speaking career.

Were you looking for more marketing tips the #noboringbooks way? You should watch this video right here on preparing for a book signing because many of your speaking gigs will also be book signing events.

Did you enjoy this article? Here are a couple more to help you grow your audience and business as an author:

Looking to write a book to grow your business? Download my free workbook “How to Write A Business Book” to learn how to set up a plan to achieving your book business goals.

 

 

Content Marketing for Authors

How to Sell More Books with Content Marketing

Selling a book is a long game. It’s all about staying in the market and consistently doing things to find readers day after day.

One of the best ways to do that is through content marketing. So if you’re wondering what content marketing is and how to use it as an author, well, I have some great news. This article is for you.

What is Content Marketing?

Let’s get down to basics. One of the things I do a lot as an author and a business owner is content marketing. So what is content marketing?

If you watch and enjoy our videos on YouTube, you can bet you’re seeing a great example of content marketing in action. My entire YouTube channel is content marketing, like this video right here:

All the blog posts here at the Book Launchers website are content marketing. My free downloads, like this one, “How to Write a Business Book,” are part of my content marketing.

All the live streams I do, yep, content marketing. My biweekly email newsletter, “The Launch Letter,” you got it, more content marketing.

Content marketing is any value content you create that has a long life. Your audience will find it on search engines, and it sends people to you.

Content takes on many forms. It could be imagery, written texts, videos, in-person content, or audio.

What’s So Important about Content Marketing for Authors?

Every nonfiction author should be doing content marketing. Here’s why:

  • It establishes your credibility as an author
  • It lets you build a loyal audience
  • You get to reduce the cost of your advertising
  • It drives traffic organically to your website (no ad spend necessary)
  • You’ll have more PR opportunities.
  • All this leads to more book sales and business growth.

Need I say more? Now that you know why you should spend time in content marketing, let’s dive deep into how you can do it as an author. Here are six tips on using content marketing to skyrocket your book sales.

Six Content Marketing Tips to Sell More Books

 

Tip#1: Create High-Value Reader Magnets

Now, the first and most important thing you should create is at least one high-value reader magnet. I’ll link to a video on that at the end, so you’ve got some help and support in creating one.

That reader magnet needs to be set up on an opt-in page so you can collect email addresses and begin building a relationship with people interested in your content.

For example, this link takes you to a simple download page to get the “Business Book” download. Now that’s a great example of a reader magnet.

What you do beyond your reader magnet, well, it’s pretty much up to you.

Tip#2: Pick a Format That Appeals to You and Your Audience

If you’re starting completely new, my suggestion would be to tap into places that already have an existing audience versus setting up a blog on your website and having to drive traffic to that blog.

You don’t have to wait for the search engines to deem you worthy.

Indeed, the content marketing options are endless, and I know book marketing can already feel overwhelming.

So rather than give you a gigantic list of all the things you can do, I’d just have you pick one that appeals to you even a little.

Imagine someone said you could only create one type of content for a year. What’s that content? Will it be audio, written, live stream, imagery, or video? For me, it’s video.

Video content helps my business. It sells books, and it makes me feel good because I’m helping people. Ultimately, I enjoy creating video content for you.

This format is a creative outlet for me. I can teach stuff I’ve learned, which I love to do. And apparently, I enjoy talking where nobody talks back to me.

Now, think about what content kind of gives you that feeling. Once you know that, decide on your platform.

Tip#3: Choose One Platform that Supports Your Format and Get Good at It

You have endless options when choosing a platform. Your platform could be a website, LinkedIn, TikTok, or YouTube.

All I’m asking is for you to commit to one type of content and then commit to a regular content creation schedule no matter what.

You may have noticed that I’ve posted videos every Tuesday and Friday for four years. I don’t miss a day unless it’s during my summer break, where I take a five-week break from posting new content for my mental sanity.

I keep to this commitment by batching content. I usually shoot between six to 10 videos in a day, which takes about three days of prep.

But it’s all batched, so I’ve got a bunch of videos. If I get sick or traveling, a video always comes out every Tuesday and Friday.

So to recap, choose one format for now, then set a schedule, and commit to sticking to that for one year.

Tip#4: Brainstorm Content Your Audience Will Love

Now, brainstorm all the things your book audience will want to hear (or read). Remember that lovely ideal reader we’ve talked about so many times? Brainstorm all the things they’ll find valuable.

And this can come straight from your book. For example, if you look at my book “Self-Publish and Succeed,” you’ll notice correlations between that book’s content and my YouTube videos.

I have a section about copyright pages in the book, and I pretty much took that content word for word and turned it into a video for the YouTube channel.

I’ve also taken excerpts from the book and published them on various websites and in other people’s newsletters. I usually just add some intro comments or closing remarks when I do that.

In every piece of content you create, make sure you have a call to action. You want to send people to that all-important reader magnet you’ve created.

Tip#5: Always Find Ways to Repurpose Content

Now, here’s where content marketing gets fun. You can always repurpose content.

For me, repurposing happens in many ways. Like I said, the videos get turned into articles, the articles get turned into social media posts, and so on.

Other people also use the videos on their blogs. In my biweekly newsletter, I reference some content or pull from the scripts of a video for the material. The list goes on.

Just because you put that content into the world once in one format, you don’t have to stop there.

Use it as audiovisual clips, snippets, and words wherever you can. Very few people will ever see it in all the places or ways. And even if they do, they’re probably going to be okay with it.

Your audience who’ve already seen your repurposed content just might not spend as much time on that content. But usually, you’re reaching different people with different formats.

Tips#6: Use Paid Ads to Drive Reach and Awareness

Now that you’ve got your content into the world, you can finally spend money on ads if you want to. Paid ads that get sent to content tend to cost less than if you’re sending to a buy.

These ads also build a much stronger audience, which leads to book sales, brand awareness, and business growth.

I’ve stopped donating money to Big Blue with only one campaign exception that did perform for me until Facebook abruptly shut it down.

I have not been able to make Facebook ads profitable, but I have had success with Google ads on YouTube, leveraging all the amazing content I have on YouTube.

But I didn’t start with ads. I started with content, and once that content was performing, I invested in ads.

Bonus Tip: Consistent Effort is Key to Content Marketing Success

If you feel that all this content marketing is work, it is, and it’s work you have to do consistently to get results.

Now, there are some companies out there that you can hire to help you, but one action will rarely lead to thousands of sales.

It’s consistent effort over time that leads to your own version of YouTube besties, book sales, clients, and more. That’s why I said pick something you enjoy and stick with it.

You won’t find me hanging out on our social media channels or writing big, long articles for magazines or other places. I can do those things, but I prefer not to. It’s not as fun for me.

As Book Launchers grows, other people on my team are taking on some of those tasks. But for me, you’ll find me hanging out right here on YouTube. So go ahead, say hi on one of the videos, and I’ll prove it to you.

And when you do say hi, let me know where I can find some of your great content.

 

 

Looking for a professional team that will help you self-publish? Set up a call with Book Launchers today!

Let’s take your book from concept to copies in your valuable readers’ hands.

Influencer Outreach for Book Promotion

How to Do Influencer Outreach for Your Book Promotion

Influencer outreach for your book promotion is crucial in the book launch and post-launch process. The trick here is knowing what influencers to reach out to and what to say to get your desired results.

Part of the work we do at Book Launchers for our authors is we create a marketing roadmap for their book launch. We also have a researcher on the team who does influencer research to help with the workload.

A marketing roadmap is your strategic launch plan which gets updated every quarter. It includes a list of potential influencers that can help you with your book promotional efforts. They might be people who would be an excellent fit for endorsements, a foreword, or sharing your message with their audience.

We provide a lot of support around what to do with these influencers. Still, it’s usually up to the authors to contact them because it’s rarely as effective for a third party to do the outreach on your behalf UNLESS that third party already has a relationship with that influencer.

Get The Right Mindset for Your Influencer Outreach

So what should you do? First, you’ll need to do a mindset check to ensure that you have the right mindset going into this outreach. Rather than approaching this feeling needy, approach it knowing that your reader needs you to do this work, so they can uncover your essential book and unlock the knowledge you’re sharing.

Always initiate outreach with the mindset of building a long-term relationship, where you will add value and ask for something so minimal it’s easy for the other person to say yes. So with that in mind, here are eight tips for doing an influencer outreach that’s likely to get a yes.

These aren’t steps per se, but I would try to do them in order most of the time.

Tip#1 – Make it Natural When Grabbing Attention

Get the influencer’s attention, but do so in a natural way. Your first inclination might be to send an email. Yes, you can easily do that, but it might be better to get them to notice you in some other way.

Let me give you an example from my YouTube bestie, Steven Seril.

He recently gave out awards for his top contributors. One of which, of course, is yours truly. Thanks, Steven! But long before he did this award, he was a regular commenter on my YouTube videos.

I pay attention to YouTube comments, so go ahead and say hello because I’ll probably reply to you.

He was a cheery, encouraging voice adding value to my videos and the comments of others. So when he connected with me on Twitter, I connected back. He said he wanted pictures of people in dinosaur costumes with his book.

So I bought his book and got my son, Jackson, to pose, holding it in a dinosaur costume. He didn’t even ask me directly. I just did it to support someone who’d been such a great supporter of me.

So what can you do to get the influencer’s attention first? Well, I’ve done this in many other ways. One is going to an event where they’re speaking and getting an introduction to them through a mutual connection.

I’ve also used their advice and posted the results on social media with a thank you. Being a regular supporter, implementer, and commenter willing to showcase the benefits of following their advice can be of tremendous value to many influencers.

That’s friction-free connecting, and I highly recommend it.

Tip#2 – Make The Influencer Feel Valued

At some point, you’ll probably need to send an email. But what should that email look like? Let’s first take a look at some examples of what your email SHOULD NOT look like:

“Can I send you my book for you to read and write a review?”
“Will you please retweet this to your audience?”
“My book is relevant to your audience. Will you share it with them?”
“Our companies have a lot of synergies. Can we chat to discuss how we can help each other?”

I get emails like these all the time. I can’t tell you how many emails like these your niche influencer gets, but I’m sure it’s a lot.

Also, this gets annoying because they’re always getting a ton of messages. I’m not even a big name, and I get five to ten of those requests a day in my email, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

So if you’re at this step and you’re now hitting someone’s inbox or DMS, your approach should not be to ask for a link, share, or review.

It would be best if you asked them to contribute to something. You can ask for some advice or some other light connection. For example, I got invited to speak at two different summits last week.

One made it clear my participation was contingent on me sharing a solo email with my audience about my participation. That was an instant turnoff because I didn’t want to do that.

I treasure all of you who read “The Launch Letter.” I probably would’ve shared a link in a newsletter, but I wasn’t going to send a solo email.

Also, saying that on the initial outreach just made it feel they only wanted my participation for my audience, not for my content.

The other one who invited me went like this, “I see your two videos per week, and I just love them. I had to ask if you would participate in this upcoming summit. We have other experts like X and Y,” I actually know X and have a ton of respect for him. They then added, “And we’d love to have The Book Broad participate too.”

That worked for me. I said yes, even though the timeline was tight. They showed me they had checked out my content, which was why they were reaching out. They didn’t ask me for anything but to be an expert on a panel at this summit, which is easy for me to do. They’ve also established credibility by naming one person I know and respect in the industry.

So think about what you can ask for that’ll get an easy yes. It’s usually something that makes the person feel valued, not used.

Tip#3 – Avoid Mass Emails!

Influencer email outreach is not a numbers game. It would be best if you were a sniper, not a torpedo. I say this even when you’re just asking for Amazon reviews, which is a smaller ask than what you do in influencer outreach.

If you’re asking someone with an audience of 100,000 people of your ideal readers, you definitely should not be throwing them on an email blast while making an ask.

Personalized emails could get you a ton of results. So, start digging into what the influencer is all about, so you can craft a customized email, starting with the subject line.

Also, a successful outreach takes time. Tips one and two are not quick and easy wins. They work, but easy they are not.

Tip#4 – Send Something Meaningful to the Influencer

Robert Workman was a client of ours who successfully got his books into airport bookstores using a somewhat unconventional approach. After a sales call to carry his book, his follow-up was sending a box of cookies. Yep, It worked!

His book was carried in nearly a dozen airport bookstores. You can see an oldie but goody video about that here.

Kevin White is also doing a video with us about how sending a package in the mail, which included a letter and his book, raised six figures for his nonprofit group. Make sure you’ve subscribed to our channel so you catch that one when it comes out.

You can ship your book around with a letter, but doing a little extra something can get more attention. Maybe a unique T-shirt or something else with your book. Not swag necessarily, but something your influencer would care about.

We had a guest expert on a call for our clients who talked about making the most out of your podcast interviews. She sent me a box of tea afterward.

If you know the person loves something, take that into account. It shows you’re personalizing that outreach, which will be far more meaningful to that person.

Tip#5 – Get Introduced Through a Connection

I’ve talked about this before but knowing someone who knows someone is an excellent way to get in. Dale Roberts, who runs Self-Publishing with Dale, an awesome channel, connects me with many amazing people in the publishing industry. He’s a rockstar of connections.

If I need to meet someone, I ask him if he knows them, and he almost always does. I have a few other friends that are like that, great connectors. So I always ask around if I want to meet somebody, which often leads to me getting a warm intro.

Getting a warm intro will make it easier to ask for exactly what you want or need. I used to feel silly or awkward asking people like Dale for an introduction, but I don’t anymore.

I focus on delivering value and building strong relationships. And I treat everyone with respect and kindness. And if I can’t help, I try to find someone who can.

If you do the same, you should feel good about asking for help because you’ll be the one to line up when someone asks you.

So how do you know if someone has connections you might be interested in meeting? LinkedIn and Facebook will tell you, or you can just email some of your friends and ask. You can also use some online tools, but most are paid services. If you can, I find that asking works really well.

Tip#6 – Deliver Massive Value to Others Frequently

Easy Graphics made a video for my book “Self-Publish & Succeed.” It was a super cool video, and it got my attention because of how incredibly generous that action was. If you do something unique and kind, and you can be helpful, you’ll probably get a lot more yeses.

Deliver value to others frequently, and you’ll find influencer outreach so much easier. Think of others and offer support if you can.

For example, suppose you know someone, and they say, “I’m doing X in my business,” and you happen to come across someone you know in that space. You can say, “Hey, you mentioned you were doing this, and I happen to know this person who’s also in this space, and they might be a good connection for you. Would you like me to connect the two of you?”

You put in the work to listen and see how you can help. You then follow up with a generous, thoughtful offer to assist them. Now they’ll know who you are and will often ask how they can return the favor. Voila, you’ve got an easy, easy opening.

Tip#7 – Always Find A Way You Can Help

Eavesdrop on your influencers to see if there’s any way you can provide. Most influencers are on social media and do live streams or podcasts. Seeing their content can give you clues about how you can help or connect with them.

Please don’t tweet someone and say, “How can I help you?” They don’t know you, and they might not want to share where they need help with you. I mean, who likes asking for help? So they are probably going to ignore you.

Listen and pay attention. I made a friend with influencer coach Deb Kuhl because I heard her speak at an event. She said, “You should never have lunch alone.” You’d be surprised that speakers don’t get asked to go for lunch when they speak at an event. Most people just assume they’re busy or too important.

So when I heard she was speaking at another event I was going to be at, I started tweeting her about things I’d learned from her, which I was putting into action. As the event approached, I reminded her of what she said and asked her to go for lunch. She said, “Yes,” and it turned into a beautiful friendship. She’s also been an incredible supporter too.

Super bonus: if you’re paying attention, you might spot something your influencer talks about that isn’t getting their usual level of traction. Whether it’s a video, a product, an idea, or a picture, if you’re the one that posts, shares, writes a testimonial, or does something else of value to support that thing, you’ll be noticed.

Tip#8 – Do Something that Highlights Their Work

Throwing back to Steven again, he’s launched this series of Outstanding Creator Awards. He gave me the first award, and now I’m promoting it, wearing the awesome medal on this video.

The same can work if you do an article series, a video series, a podcast series, or a book full of expert interviews. Not everyone you ask will say yes, but some will. You’ll be building some strong bonds with some people who are influencers in their space. However, this takes some work, which is why it’s effective. Most people won’t do this kind of work, making it easier for you to stand out.

If you need to email your influencer, please start off showcasing something they’ve recently done that you respect and appreciate. Then, get to the point fast. Be kind and try to deliver more value than you are asking for.

Now, I’m curious, what is work for you when it comes to influencer outreach? Let’s chat about it in the comments below.

 

Okay, so this is the video with Robert Workman on getting your book into airport bookstores. His outreach is clever!

 

This one over here is the latest and greatest from the channel because outreach is all about staying on top of the latest and greatest.

 

If you’re in this stage of your self-publishing journey and you’d like someone who knows what they’re doing at your side, why not set up a consult call with us to see how we can help!

How to Set Up an Ebook Sale on Amazon

How to Sell More Books with an E-Book Sale on Amazon

An e-book sale on amazon could be the exact solution you need to sell more books and give your book a much needed boost.

If you’re part of Amazon’s Kindle Select Program, you’re eligible to run a free ebook giveaway and a Kindle Countdown Deal where you place discounts on your ebook for a limited time.

But even if you’re not in those programs, you can still do a successful Amazon book promotion with a couple of extra steps. If you’re wondering how to do that, this article is absolutely for you.

How to run an e-book sale with KDP Select

Authors enrolled in KDP Select can promote their book with a free book promotion or a Kindle Countdown Deal once every three months. It’s great timing because it’s common for sales to need a pick me up every 90 days or so. And, continuously generating sales is a good thing for Amazon’s algorithm. It shows them that your book is still relevant and selling so they should be sending traffic your way.

For up to five days, you can give away free copies of your ebook. Of course, when you’re giving away your book, you’re not making any profit from it. Free book promotion is, well, obviously, free.

But, this trade-off can be worth it for traffic and reviews.

A Free E-Book can Also Boost Traffic For Your Other Books

A free book can be an excellent strategy for introducing your readers to your book ecosystem (your collection of published books). It works well for fiction authors. They give away the first in a series for free to hook the readers into buying the rest.

For non-fiction, reviews are the main reason we do it. Think about it; if you’re experiencing a recent dip in sales, reviews can turn that around by providing social proof.

A free giveaway may not put money in your pocket while it’s happening. But, if those free readers post a review, you are boosting your potential for money-making opportunities in more ways than one.

What To Consider Before Doing Free Book Promotions

I’m not really a big fan of giving non-fiction books away for free. Before you run a free giveaway promotion for your non-fiction book, consider these:

People Seldom Value Free Stuff

In many non-fiction books, like my book, “Self-Publish and Succeed,” you’re gaining tons of knowledge, strategies, and resources equivalent to thousands of dollars of advice and mistake avoidance.

That’s high value. But as soon as you make it free, you run the risk of devaluing it in the eyes of your readers. Remember, people rarely associate quality with things they don’t pay for, which leads to my second reason.

Non-Fiction Doesn’t Get Fully Consumed by All

I’m not a huge fan of free non-fiction books because they often don’t get read through. Maybe you give away 100 books, and possibly five read it. Well, I’d rather sell 20 books and have ten people read them.

Free Book Giveaways Often Don’t Attract The Right Readers

Now, this might sound counterintuitive but hear me out. In non-fiction, you’re rarely trying to get readers into your book ecosystem. Fiction authors often have a series of books and a free book that is easily read and is really enticing leads the reader to NEED to buy the next book in the series. That usually isn’t the case for non-fiction. You might have more books for them to read, which can be a consideration, but usually, a reader wants a problem solved and won’t pick up the next book in your series immediately.

If you’ve written non-fiction, chances are, you’re also drawing readers in to check out your business, product, or service. You might be hoping that they’ll reach out and hire you to do something beyond just reading your book.

Well, free doesn’t equal commitment, which gives you a slight chance of getting all these beautiful things you hoped would happen.

Still, there’s no stopping you from opting for these Amazon ebook deals if it makes sense for you and your strategy. Read on to find out how you can successfully do one.

Tips to Doing a Successful Kindle Countdown Deal to Sell More E-Books

A Kindle Countdown Deal starts your sale price low and increases it slowly over a set number of days until it returns to its regular price. Your sale can last from five to seven days, and you can set your pricing in whatever increments you want. So it’s really more of a count-up deal.

This video on Kindle Select E-Book Sales gives you some visual support:

Stick to Five-Day Sales to Run an E-Book Sale

On average, we see the best results with five-day sales. They tend to have the best traction; they’re shorter, so you won’t get that one-day sale hit that Amazon doesn’t like. The deal could also get missed if it only lasted one day. By running it for five days, more readers will see it.

On the flip side, if you run a sale that’s too long, it can also not work in your favor either. So five days is kind of a sweet spot.

Use An Ideal E-Book Pricing Strategy

Pricing your book takes consideration. Our five-day sales always start at $0.99 and increase a dollar each day. Now you don’t have to start at $0.99. You can drop your price to 0.57, 0.24, or even $0.13. But a $0.99 price tag tends to grab the most attention and the most sales. It’s just what people most commonly see.

We also run the $0.99 promos for clients that aren’t in Kindle Select. We just manually set the price down to $0.99 and run the paid promos.

Kindle Countdown deals include these two little features that help get readers to buy:

The first is the placement of a promotional price. You’ll see this right next to the regular price, showing readers how much they’re saving.

The other is the slightly anxiety-inducing countdown clock, letting them know how much time is left until the price raises to put the pressure on.

You don’t get these features if you’re not in Kindle Select.

Amazon also features countdown deals on a dedicated page. Readers can browse the books on sale that week and find new books to try without a financial commitment. So you’re not simply potentially upping your sales. You’re upping your discoverability too.

Okay, so that’s the logistics of setting the price. Now you have to promote it.

Tease The E-Book Sale On Email and Social Media

You’re going to want to promote your sale through social media, your email list, and your website. Now time and time again, I’ve said email list is one of your most valuable tools as an author.

Need tips on building a great website? This video is what you need:

You can also tease the upcoming sale at the end of one of your newsletters or social media posts. A week or so before the sale, promote it by sharing the reason behind it – why you’re celebrating and why you’ll have the special offer. Don’t forget to Include specifics like the beginning date and the price.

Of course, you’ll need to announce it on the day of the sale and make sure to send out another reminder the day before it ends. It never hurts to share a few posts to your Facebook or Instagram story.

Use eBook Promotional Sites to Run an E-Book Sale

Now, aside from your promotion, you should be doing other things to gain traffic. What we do is purchase ad space from ebook promotional sites. We test many different sites for our clients, but we consistently use Bargain Booksy and Fussy Librarian, which have reasonable rates and sizable audiences.

We also commonly use Buck Books, Riffle Books, and Good Kindles. Bargain Booksy and Fussy Librarian consistently returned the best sales results.

This page from Kindlepreneur shows a gigantic list of ebook sites you can test. But, a lot of them are only well-suited for fiction. We non-fiction authors do have some limitations.

eBook promotional sites work by sending daily newsletters to readers advertising that day’s ebook sales. Ad space ranges from $20 to $110, but variances are based on what packages you choose.

Usually, we purchase three to five ads for a five-day sale, spreading them out throughout that promotion. Sure, this costs you money, but you’re potentially reaching a whole new audience that specifically signed up for emails to find new things to read.

Word of warning, though, these promo sites can fill up quickly. So it’s beneficial to plan your sale dates well in advance.

At Book Launchers, we purchase space three to four weeks in advance for our authors and longer during holiday seasons. These sites have limited space available, and some have an approval process before running your ad.

How to Run Your eBook Sale

Now that you’ve picked your dates, purchased your ads, and got your promotions lined up, you’re ready to run your sale. Well, here’s what you do.

First, go to the marketing tab in your Amazon author account.

In the run-up price promotion, select “Kindle Countdown Deals” and click “Create a Kindle Countdown Deal.”

If you have multiple books, select the one you’re going to promote and click continue.

Enter your selections for marketplace, date and time, number of price increments, and starting price.

After you hit continue, you’ll see a table pop-up. Edit the price increments and start times you’d like, and then finish up by clicking Add Promotion.

What If I’m Not On KDP Select?

If you’re not in Kindle Select, you’ll have to do what I do and set a reminder to drop your price the day before your promotion starts. Go in and do it, and then put another reminder to raise your price when your promotional period is over. We don’t get that cool countdown, nor do we get that promo price notice, but we get to sell our books wherever we want, and we haven’t given Amazon all the power. So there are trade-offs, right?

All right, something to keep in mind before you rush over to Amazon to run your promotion. Once you schedule your Kindle Countdown, you won’t be able to edit or stop it within 24 hours of its starting time throughout the whole deal.

Also, Amazon doesn’t allow you to change your book price 30 days before and 14 days after the promotion. Surprising? There are more surprising facts about Amazon you need to know as an author.

And if you still haven’t heard about A+ content on Amazon, well, you definitely need to watch this video right here.
Did you enjoy this article? Here are a few more on successfully marketing your non-fiction:
A Book Launch Marketing Plan – Epic Guide Blog Post
An Epic Guide to YouTube Video Marketing for Authors

Want next-level sales on Amazon or any major outlets? Book a call with us to learn more about how we can help.

The Ultimate Guide to Get Your Book into Libraries

There are a lot of benefits to getting your book into libraries. Apart from a good boost in your audience reach, having your book held by a reputable library signifies authority and credibility in the eyes of your potential readers. It is also just a good feeling for an author to know that your book is a resource for library-goers.

But, how do you get your book into libraries? What are the steps to take?

You probably won’t have the time to go door-to-door to every library you can find – so is there a way to get access to libraries all over the US and beyond?

Luckily, online library catalogs allow you to get your book in front of millions of people. When it comes to global library databases, WorldCat by far takes the lead.

All About WorldCat

Don’t know what WorldCat is?

Imagine you could visit a library anywhere in the world and browse its bookshelves. Or even better, imagine that your readers can find your book in that library along with nearly 16,000 other libraries worldwide!

How is that possible?

Despite its name, worldcat.org is not a website for an international feline. Although, I bet that would be an epic website.

It’s the world’s most comprehensive database of library collections.

When I say comprehensive, I mean comprehensive. Check out these numbers. WorldCat includes 15,637 libraries in 207 countries. Plus, it contains over 512 million bibliographic records in 483 languages. That represents over 3 billion physical and digital library assets.

And the number of users accessing all of this? Over 100 million people. With WorldCat, you can search for books, videos, music, and any other physical items you can check out on your local library. Getting on WorldCat isn’t that difficult either. All you have to do is get your book carried by an OCLC-member library. That could be that local library a few blocks away, or any other library in their database.

How WorldCat Helps You Get Your Book into Libraries

Think of WorldCat as Google Search, crafted explicitly for bookworms. The database also can help you discover new digital contact, like downloadable audiobooks. It doesn’t just search your library either. It explores the itemized collection of many libraries at once to help you locate what you’re looking for nearby.

When you find a book or something else that you’d like to read, you can either join a waiting list, reserve it, check it out or even have it shipped directly to you.

This catalog is even perfect for helping you out on research. Let’s say you’re on the hunt for a specific topic for one of your books. WorldCat can help you find research articles or digital items that can be directly viewed or downloaded right from their database.

WorldCat even has historical documents and photos, such as local newspaper articles and digital versions of rare items unavailable to the public.

It’s a high value research resource. But do you want to know the most incredible part? WorldCat also works like a library-based kind of Goodreads.

WorldCat.org users can add content, such as notes, table of contents, ratings, and critiques to their listings.

So, you’re not only discovering catalogs of libraries near and far, but you also see community-contributed content for the material or topic you’re searching for.

WorldCat helps you find exactly where the book is available and if other readers think it’s worth checking out in the first place, all in one search.

Once you find what you need, you can add items cataloged in WorldCat to your personalized lists, and there’s no limit. You can make as many lists as you want for your profile.

That’s right; there’s no stopping you from going crazy with one or more of your beloved genres.

Using WorldCat can also simplify sourcing your references.

WorldCat records include a link that says, “Cite this item,” and it will give you bibliographic citations in five different styles: APA, Chicago, MLA, Harvard, and Turabian.

Just click the link, copy whichever style of citation you need, and paste it right into your document. You can also generate citations for an entire list of items. Come to think of it, those high school research papers would have been so much easier if I had this back then.

Now you can see why WorldCat and all of its excellent features can benefit you and your book. A record of your book has the potential to connect to tens of thousands of libraries and millions of WorldCat users throughout the world.

How to Get Your Book Listed in WorldCat’s Catalog

So now, I know you’re wondering, “How do I get my book into this beautiful resource to reach all those readers?” Well, as I’ve said, you’re going to have to have an OCLC member institution that carries a copy of your book in their catalog.

Once your book is available in a library, check WorldCat to confirm if the listing is accurate.

So bottom line, your first step in getting your book listed in WorldCat is to get some library listings of your book. If you’re unsure whether or not your local library is a member, there’s a registry search right on the WorldCat’s website where you can check.

Once the library purchases your book, they’ll be able to catalog it into their database, create a record for it, and then upload your record right into WorldCat for users to discover.

So chances are, if you find your book in WorldCat, it’s in at least one library. But if it’s not there, well, you’re going to need your library to carry your book in the first place.

I got you covered there with this video because it’s all about getting your book into the local library.

How Do I Get My Book Into Local Libraries?

Library shelf spaces are all important these days. To help you out, here’s the step-by-step process for getting successful library outreaches.

  1. Find the Location of Libraries Nearby. Try to find at least five libraries near where you live. If you’re wondering how to find them, just turn the location services on your smartphone and do a quick Google search using phrases like “libraries near me.” Make a list and be sure to include the websites of each library since you’ll be gathering some more information about them.
  2. Become Familiar with Each Library. Check out what the libraries on your list are up to. See the type of events or programs they host. Chances are, the libraries near you will have robust and varied programming. Local libraries can differ and may focus on different themes and programs. Learn the kinds of programming the libraries near you regularly put out. What themes do they often use? Figure out the ones that might be a good fit for your book.
  3. Approach The Libraries. When doing your pitch to a library, you can recommend how your talk, panel, reading, or event might tie to, improve, or complement their current programs.
  4. Highlight your local promotional tactics. Are you going to use posters, your network groups, email lists, socials, or all of the above? The library always likes to have help getting people in the door. Then, follow through with those promotions.

If you have multiple libraries in your area, why not get creative? If you know other authors nearby, ask them to collaborate with you for an event series you pitch to the local libraries. Having another author at your side could be just what you need to get that audience boost.

Libraries do all sorts of activities to attract more visitors, like hosting event workshops for their membership base. You can always use that to your advantage to get your book in the library and even gain more authority.

Get Your Book Listed Through Member Requestions

Unlike Amazon, where friends or family can’t do much to help you, libraries won’t care if the person requesting your book is someone you know. And, one of the best ways to get a library to carry your book, outside of library events, is to have members requesting your book.

They focus entirely on serving their membership base. So, friends and family can happily request your book without a hitch.

Ultimately, you want to get your book listed in as many libraries as you can through member requests. It doesn’t always work but it often does, so keep trying.

Once a few regions begin carrying your book, either through requests, events, or both you can start looking into WorldCat.org’s database to ensure everything is accurate and spick and span.

Summary on Getting Your Book into Libraries

Getting your book published is just the beginning. After all that hard work you did for your book, you’d want to ensure that as much of your target audience finds it.

If you can manage to get your book listed in the catalog powerhouse that is WorldCat, expect a visibility boost to follow. One thing is for sure; you’ll be one step closer to earning that bestseller status.

All of this is different than the Library of Congress … so let’s touch on that quickly.

If you manage to get your book into the Library of Congress, you’re likely to see library listings without all of the above efforts.

That’s a bonus but another bonus of getting that Library of Congress listing is that you’ll automatically get a PCIP or CIP data for your book.

This data becomes valuable to libraries when you or a library member approaches them. The PCIP, or the Publisher’s Catalog in Publication, is a cataloging block created by a trade cataloger.

Its primary purpose is to help librarians catalog books faster, making them a little bit happier while providing better service to library users. It also makes a book appear more professional.

To the untrained eye it kind of looks like a four-year-old typing on a laptop, but it is meaningful data to the library.

You’ll find the CIP data printed on a book’s copyright page. It includes:

  • The author’s full name
  • Subject headings
  • Dewey decimal classification numbers
  • BISAC codes (we’ve talked about those before)
  • And publisher information

Ultimately, this is all about getting your book on the right shelf in the right section, which is why it’s so crucial for libraries.

Libraries can carry your book without a CIP, but it’s sure is helpful. If you plan to make library listings part of your overall book promotion plan, I highly recommend creating this data block if you don’t get that LOC listing.

But, when submitting to the Library of Congress, it’s worth noting that it accepts only a quarter, or maybe even less, of the books submitted to them.

It’s worth a try. But, not being listed there doesn’t mean you won’t get library shelf space.

Phew – there’s so much more we could cover, but maybe it’s just easier to schedule a call to chat with me about how we can help you write, publish, and distribute a great book libraries will want to put on their shelves? You can do that here: www.booklaunchers.com/apply

How to Market Your Book With Author Newsletter Swaps

An author newsletter swap can double or triple your audience in an instant. A newsletter swap is free, easy, and gives you a chance to simultaneously broaden your audience, author network, and your subscriber list.

Author newsletter swaps are an excellent book marketing strategy for authors with email newsletter lists of any size.

How Does an Author Newsletter Swap Work?

Your single most important valuable book marketing tool is an email newsletter list. But, it turns out, other authors’ newsletters can be just as helpful. Swaps are a simple type of mutual marketing that can really pay off.

This video discusses the value of a newsletter vs a blog. It’s worth a watch too:

For an author newsletter swap to work, all it takes is a newsletter and a willingness to promote other authors in exchange for them promoting you. To put it simply, you pair up with another author and agree to include the link to each other’s book, reader magnet, or website in the next newsletter.

You should each include:

  • the book’s cover image along with blurbs,
  • an author bio, and
  • a clear call to action to check you and your book out.

When to Do An Author Newsletter Swap

Newsletter swaps are the most effective if you have at least a few hundred subscribers.

The more subscribers you have, the more swapping opportunities are available to you. But having a small subscriber base shouldn’t scare you away from engaging with other authors to do a swap. There isn’t a financial cost associated with a swap. So really, you’re not risking anything by having a minimal fan base.

The worst you might experience is a little bit of rejection, which might sting, but you’ll go on. Now, first, you have to find folks to swap with.

How to Find Authors For a Newsletter Swap

There are a few ways to find authors for a swap. If you already have an author network, you can ask those who write similar books if they would be interested.

Going to events like 20 Books to 50K is a great place to meet other like-minded authors. Hopefully, I’ll see you there in 2022. We’re going to have a big Book Launchers community meet-up, so if you do register shoot me an email to let me know!

Social media is another excellent place to find newsletter friends, especially in professional groups like LinkedIn or Facebook. You can even check out Goodreads or Reddit to see if similar authors would like to swap.

Of course, the authors you choose for a swap with must share the same or similar genre as your book. A fantasy lover most likely isn’t going to jump at the opportunity to promote or buy a finance book or a how-to business guide. To swap most effectively, stick with authors with the same readers that you have.

Self-Publishing with Dale and I have had great success with swaps because we share a lot of similar people in our audience. Find someone that has a slightly different approach to the same genre and make friends!

Turn to Book Marketing Websites

You can also use sites specially made for this type of networking, like StoryOrigin and BookFunnel. Sites like these do the hard work when it comes to connecting you with the right author for your swap.

StoryOrigin offers a ton of useful features for an author looking to up their newsletter game, most notably, the ability to connect with other authors to swap mentions in upcoming newsletters and group promos. This is where you team up with multiple authors to promote your books on a single landing page. Teamwork makes the dream work, right? Golden Knights. Yeah.

Another site you can leverage is BookFunnel, which is similar to StoryOrigin. It gives you a toolbox of custom landing pages, ebook and audiobook delivery, and direct email integration.

The difference is that BookFunnel is a paid subscription plan. Still, even their most basic beginner author plan gets you a one-to-one author swap organization, along with group promos and a ton of other pretty sweet features.

How to Do a Successful Author Newsletter Swap

Once you find authors to swap with, simply exchange the info you’ll both need. They’ll provide you with their link, a picture, a reader magnet, and you should provide them with yours.

When sending links to authors to promote your work in their newsletters, consider what exactly you want to share. Do you like to send a link to your website directly? Or perhaps your opt-in page to entice potential readers to get your lead magnet so you can build a relationship. Maybe you want to go straight for the sale and send them to your book’s product page on Amazon.

Most of the time, I’m a fan of reader magnet promotion. But if I’m having a 99 cent sale or doing some other promotion during the swap, I would send them straight to the book sales page to make the most of that promotional event.

Final Tip: Always Include Notable Information

Be sure to include a brief blurb about your book and a short author bio. If you have accolades like awards, be sure to include those, or if you have a really juicy editorial review or an endorsement, you can highlight a line from that too.

Here’s a good example:

Self-Published and Succeed: The No Boring Books Way to Writing a Non-Fiction Book that Sells is a complete course of DIY instructions for aspiring non-fiction authors wanting to be commercially successful in their efforts.” – Midwest Book Review

That’s just a snippet from a more extensive review. You wouldn’t want to include a big long review for these kinds of swaps.

Finally, before sending your materials to your newfound swap friend, check to ensure that your links work. Let me say that again. Check to make sure the links work and your pictures are in the correct format before sending them to the author.

Make Yourself Easy to Promote

You have one chance to make an impression on the subscribers you’re appealing to. So make it count. You also want to make it easy for your friend to promote you.

Plan the timing of your newsletter swap, and make sure you include everything you’ve agreed upon with your swap partner. Then, send it out in the hopes that both of you reach a wider audience and gain more subscribers and readers.

Of course, I think this goes without saying, but let’s say it anyway, just in case, follow through on your side of the swap with enthusiasm. Don’t get disheartened if you gain and lose some subscribers while participating in a swap.

Sometimes potential readers don’t enjoy your work like they thought they might. You won’t please everyone.

Final Words

There are times when you need a little help from your friends to get ahead in the publishing game. Readers are always on the lookout for new writers and books to follow, which is why Author swaps remain a powerful way to reach out to new people and grow your reader base.

Of course, you can’t do an author swap if you don’t have a newsletter. So I’ve covered the basics for you in this video right here.

Creating a money-making book that delivers a meaningful impact may be daunting on your own. If you’re looking for a complete essential guide to writing a non-fiction book that provides value, one that readers will surely love, why not grab your copy today of Self-Publish and Succeed: The ‘No Boring Books’ Way to Write a Non-Fiction Book That Sells.