A successful book launch takes an incredible amount of effort. Angela Lauria, founder of The Author Incubator and author of several books, including The Difference: 10 Steps to Writing a Book That Matters, has developed a strategic book launch plan for aspiring authors.
Lauria might not have done six figures in book sales when she released The Difference in 2015, but the book helped her make new connections and reach her business revenue goal of $100,000. She now uses her formula to help authors deploy successful launches.
Writing a book is a great way to help position yourself as a thought leader within your industry. If you are currently writing a book or considering it in the future, check out Lauria's four-step formula below.
1. Establish an outcome
When you write a book, you are sharing an idea or story with your audience. But, what happens after someone finishes reading your book? You need to clearly define what you want someone to do once they complete your book.
“For me, I wanted to create a product that people would want after reading my book. If they resonated with my book, the next step would be to buy my product,” explains Lauria.
Once you have your book idea and outcome, you need to create a product or service that is offered after the book is purchased or downloaded. Every book author has an ideal outcome -- myself included. I’m currently writing a tell-all online marketing book, with the end goal of attracting more high-caliber clients.
2. Don’t use your list
Most people will tell you it’s important to build an audience that you can introduce your book to -- and then offer your end solution or product. But, according to Lauria, that’s not the best option.
“Your list is just a holding place for non-buyers,” she says.
If you were to build a robust email marketing list of 5,000 or even 10,000 contacts, what would they all have in common after 30 days? Typically, either they no longer have the problem you help solve or they will procrastinate too much to use your solution.
Lauria says, “After 30 days, the people on your list are the ones we know are least likely to buy from you."
The best way to have a successful book launch? “Use the book-writing process to discover where your biggest audience can be found and then invite that targeted audience to grab a copy,” advises Lauria.
3. Create a reader magnet
When Lauria wrote The Difference: 10 Steps to Writing a Book That Matters, she learned where to find her ideal audience. For her, this mostly consited of people who frequented life coaching-oriented Facebook groups and conferences.
While she was writing the book, she shared her journey and invited people who wanted to learn more to register for her lead magnet, a four-part video series titled, Can I Write a Book that Makes a Difference?
If you can capture the attention of potential customers and get them to “pay” with an email address before a book is finished, then there is a good chance you can get them to purchase your book once it launches.
“If you can’t give your reader magnet away before your book is finished, you definitely won’t be able to leverage your book to sell your product or service after it’s done,” explains Lauria.
4. Capitalize on free downloads
Lauria says one of the biggest mistakes new authors make is trying to sell books. “Selling books causes you to miss 99 percent of the revenue potential. On launch day, offer your book for free in exchange for their email address. The real value is in your end product or service. Let’s just assume it has a $1,000 purchase price. You only need to convert 100 readers into paying customers in order to hit that $100,000 launch goal."
During her book launch, Lauria gave away 1,500 electronic copies of her book for free. And, some authors in her program have given up more than 20,000 electronic copies. The key to large launch revenue numbers is not book sales -- it’s in converting book buyers into customers for the product or service you identify in point number one above.
People who download your book for free are people that trust and know you. This is an easy way to engage them and move them onto the next step, which is buying your product or service.
Why is this better than trying to sell your book for profit? Lauria answers, “Most authors with traditional publishers make about $1 per book sold. A $100,000 book launch would require 100,000 copies sold. That takes a lot of work, a lot of marketing dollars and a large, established audience. But, if you use your book to find 20 people with the problem you solve and then sell those people a $5,000 program, you can have a $100,000 book launch without a huge marketing budget and pre-established audience."