Justin Mares talked about "Selling 40,000 Copies of your Self-Published Book (how I did it)".
He co-authored Traction, a book based on the idea that most start-ups fail because they don't get traction. How did they go about it? They did one-hour interviews on marketing and getting traction with founders and co-founders of several start-up companies. They had good relationships, which helped greatly in lining them up. BTW, the first person they interviewed was Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, which made it much easier to get the other interviews.
Justin's biggest mistakes? Hiring a copy editor who wasn't really into their topic, so he ended up having to be his own editor. And only writing when he felt inspired. It took him four months to write a chapter. A no, no! He quoted someone who once said: "I write only when I'm inspired and that's at 9:00 a.m. every morning." [Fabulous!] This experience disciplined him and he started handing in one chapter a week to his co-author who he felt accountable to, which really helped him get going.
After Justin finished editing the book, they had an excellent idea: contact about fifty people from their mailing list (who knew what they were writing about) asking them to edit the book in exchange for a signed copy. About thirty of them sent back fabulous edits, which made the book so much better. In case you don't have a big list, you can try sending it to friends or people you know who are interested in your topic.
How did they prepare for pre-launch? They built their email list, leveraged lists for everything possible, reached out to their PLNs, prepared YT videos, and got some podcast interviews and guest posts. Their aim was to have everything hit within a two-week period so that people saw it more and more. Another strategy that worked really well was running a promotion to their email list the day the book came out. And they also put together a bunch of bonuses.
They were on the top 10 Amazon books within an hour. And sold close to 2.000 copies in the first week. For Justin this shows the power of writing a good book. And a good launch gives you a good chance at long-term success and of people spreading the word for a long time. BTW, the book is being relaunched next October.
Biggest lesson learned from this whole process: feeling happy and impressed with how powerful a book can be to make connections with awesome people. [The human touch that I love!] Relationships were formed and they created something valuable that other people appreciate.
Tips for someone considering writing a first book: build an email list in advance if you can and check out if there are people interested in what you're writing about.
Justin, thank you for such a great webinar!
[At this point I'll make a personal comment. As a retired teacher-just-turned-senior citizen, I'm really impressed that I'm learning so much from a young generation of risk-takers full of passion, enthusiasm and know-how. They're very nice, natural and easygoing people who share their experiences with pleasure, both the positive ones and the mistakes along the way.
After listening to Justin, I really feel like writing about my own writing experiences and my great relationship with the publisher of my two print books.]