Today I thought I’d start by sharing a few takeaways around doing a Kindle launch.
First off, this isn’t my first rodeo, and if you want to check out my other articles regarding launching on Kindle here they are:
What I wanted to cover today is more around what your goal is for writing and publishing a book.
Look, there are a lot of really great reasons to have a book. If you are a business owner, there is nothing that sets up your credibility like having authored a book. (And, it pains me to say it, but having been involved with those collaborative books where everyone provides a chapter, it’s just not the same for your credibility than handing a prospect an autographed copy of YOUR book. Not to mention handing YOUR book to radio/podcast/television hosts.)
Obviously if you’re a writer you’ve probably always dreamed about having your own book. I know for myself when my physical book arrived in the mail, I was nearly giddy with excitement that day. My inner child was gleefully dancing around — and I didn’t get that at all when I just published the Kindle version alone.
BUT if you are relying on your book alone to sustain you financially, well anything is possible and there are always those miracle stories folks can point too, but the vast majority of the time, having just one book isn’t going to make much of a dent in your regular income.
So, below are a couple of questions to consider when you’re getting ready to publish/launch your book:
* Does your book tie into your business, so it has a natural back end you can upsell folks into? If it does, then following a lot of the conventional “how to launch your book on Kindle” makes the most sense.
In a nutshell, what you do is you enroll your book in KDP Select and give it away for 1-5 days and promote the heck out of it. You actually WILL make some sales after your book moves from free to paid (probably not a lot, but there will be something) plus you’ll have a book sitting there on Amazon when people search for it.
I also suggest publishing your book on CreateSpace, which is an Amazon company, so you have a physical book. Quite honestly, CreateSpace makes it super easy to have a physical book — which again can really help you from a marketing standpoint — and it won’t cost you anything you didn’t already spend creating the Kindle except a design for the spine and back cover and an ISBN number if you decide to get your own (which you don’t have to, CreateSpace WILL give you a free one if you want to go that route, but definitely research it first).
Years ago, when I had friends self-publishing their fiction, it was absolutely outrageous the fees these self-publishing companies charged on top of a getting a royalty. Now, in their defense, the technology wasn’t there that exists today so printing was a lot more expensive, plus the vast majority of self-published fiction authors would sell an average of 15 books back then, so they had to make their money somewhere, but still. Now, with print on demand and the Internet, it’s a lot easier and cheaper for a self-published author to create and sell their books, so I would highly encourage you to take that extra step to have a physical book to use in your marketing.
* Do you want your book to be your “back end” and sell thousands and thousands of copies?
Ah — that’s a bit trickier.
What I discovered with this latest launch is because I now have a little back end of books (3 Kindle reports and 2 Love-Based Copy books) that while I was giving the one book away for free, people were buying the other books. AND they bought the physical book of the one I was giving away for free. So, while it’s still not “I’m going to go buy a boat!” money, it’s actually starting to become a bit more respectable.
Another tip if you want to increase your book royalties — create a series. When you promote one book in the series, people naturally will check out the others in the series. (My “Love-Based Copy” books are a part of the “Love-Based Business” series — I’m now working on the 3rd volume, which is “Love-Based Online Marketing.”) Again, if you have a series then giving away one of the books makes good promotional sense.
Now, if you know you only have one book in you — or maybe there’s a couple more books but it’s going to be a few years before you sit down to do any writing — and that book isn’t a smooth transition to an upsell in your business, you may want to launch it a different way. Perhaps you try the Kindle Countdown, which discounts your book for a period of time. Or maybe you offer a bonus with every book sold. Or maybe you give a portion of sales away (or an entire book) to charity. You may not get as much buzz as you would with a free book, but you’ll still generate momentum as you sell books.© Copyright 2015 Michele Pariza Wacek (Michele PW)