Dina’s Four Quadrant Living will be published tomorrow, Wednesday, September 25.
I was fortunate enough to watch her preparations for tomorrow’s Amazon.com book launch.
Once again, I saw how planning and attention to detail are keys to author book marketing that works and selling more books.
7 Steps to a successful book launch
Here are 7 of the steps that Dina took to ensure the successful launch of her book on Amazon.com.
As you’ll see below, these book launch preparations will not only launch her book to success, but they’ll also play a big role in reinforcing Dina’s personal brand.
1. Book cover, spine, and back cover
The starting point for successful book marketing involves choosing precisely the right text and graphics for the front and back covers of a book, along with the lettering on the spine. (The spine is only part of a book that is visible when a book is placed in a bookshelf.)
Clarity, hierarchy, consistency, and flexibility play major roles in a successful book cover.
- Clarity requires simplicity, achieved by eliminating distractions, so that the book covers can telegraph their message at a glance. This requires carefully editing text to the minimum, so that the copy that remains can be as large as possible.
- Hierarchy. Clarity also involves creating an obvious hierarchy of message importance, so that readers can immediately separate the various message elements, i.e., author name, book title, subtitle, prepublication expert testimonials, and the relevance of those providing quotes.
- Consistency. Some emphasis techniques, like reversing the author’s name, i.e., placing the author’s name against a black background, not only separate the author’s name from the title, but also become part of the book’s identity. For example, the author’s reversed name also appears on the spine of the book cover in the illustration to the right.
- Flexibility. Although, right from the space, space was reserved on the front and back covers for expert testimonials and quotes, the front and back covers had to be redesigned to accommodate quotes that came in at the last minute. Hint: make sure your cover designer will accommodate you if last-minute design changes are needed!
2.Obtaining pre-publication reviews and testimonials
Author marketing success, especially a first-time author’s success, depends upon obtaining testimonials from experts and previously-published authors in their field. The more popular the author, the more valuable their quotes and testimonials will be.
Obtaining testimonials takes time, perseverance, and a certain amount of resilience when dealing with negative responses–or no responses at all. However, persistence pays off. In Dina’s case, her efforts resulted in a Foreword from Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute 2014 (whose books have sold over 10 million copies) as well as numerous enthusiastic quotes from other bestselling authors she invited to comment.
3. Using incentives to build book sales during launch promotion
There’s more to launching a book on Amazon than writing and editing. To succeed, authors must launch their book and become a category bestseller within a 24-hour period. The best way to do this is to prepare a set of bonus incentives to reward those who order a book during the so-called Amazon Book Launch.
In Dina’s case, long before other aspects of her book launch were prepared, Dina prepared several incentives for clients, friends, and experts in her field to offer those who purchased in her launch period. Dina’s incentives are described on a special landing page she created for her book.
4. Landing page count-down clock
One of the highlights of Dina’s book launch landing page is the countdown clock which emphasizes the importance of ordering her book on Wednesday, September 25, 2013.
Countdown clocks are also ideal for all types of book promotions and author brand building, including upcoming events like interviews, presentations, teleseminars, webinars, and book signings.
A search on Google for free countdown timers will lead to several websites where you can add an urgent reminder to your blog or website.
5. Photographs show personal side of author brand building
As you can see from the photograph at the top of this post, standing next to a framed poster showing the front cover of her book, Dina Colman is a true believer in the communicating power of photographs.
Another opportunity to add personality to your brand is to show a photograph of the arrival of the first shipment of your printed books. This is the type of impromptu photograph that becomes more and more important as the years go by (and the books mount up).
6. Amazon author page
Another book marketing and promotion tool that also contributes to an author’s personal brand building is creating an Author Page at Amazon.com as soon as possible. Dina’s author page went live last week.
It always surprises me how often author’s either don’t create an author page, or fail to take maximum benefit of it. There’s no cost involved. You can create an author page as soon as your publisher verifies your book is on its way.
Many are unaware of the blogging capabilities of their Amazon author page. You can not only run an RSS feed from your personal blog, so every blog post will be replicated on your author page, but you can also add posts specifically for Amazon.
You can also add your Twitter feed to your author page, create an upcoming events calendar, and host discussions about your book on your author page.
7. The most important book marketing tool of all
The best way for any author to obtain pre-publication expert testimonials and post-publication favorable reader reviews, of course, is to write a good book.
Quality ideas, organization, and painstaking editing are the differentiators that–ultimately–separate “evergreen” books–books that sell for decades–from flash-in-the-pan books that die soon after publication.
Message and writing quality are also the magnets that generate enthusiastic expert endorsements. Unless your book is First Class in both ideas and execution, few “experts” will want to associate their name with your book.
What’s your biggest takeaway from Dina’s book marketing?
Which of the 7 book marketing best practices resonates with you? Are there any ideas you’re going to use promoting your next book? Four Quadrant Living is a book that I’m proud to have endorsed on Amazon. And I’m proud to be associated with its publication tomorrow. If you’re looking for a realistic, actionable approach to enjoying greater balance in your life, or if you’re concerned about your family’s health history, you’ll likely to like Dina’s book. Explore Dina’s Four Quadrant Living website and share your comments and questions about book marketing, below.