Lessons Learned by Participating in an Amazon Bestseller Book Launch Campaign
What you can learn by saying “Yes” to a project, participating and taking notes…
I became an Amazon best-selling author last week.
It’s not really like being a New York Times Best Selling author, but it’s still kind of fun. I contributed to the book, Trust Your Heart: Building Relationships That Build Your Business, that was launched and promoted to bestseller status in multiple categories on Amazon even breaking into the Top 100 of all Amazon books and #1 in the day’s Movers & Shakers category.
That’s no small feat.
This book was Marnie Pehrson’s brain child. She’s the publisher and the owner of Ideamarketers.com.
Of course, I was delighted to be asked to contribute to the book. But I had no idea that I’d receive such an education in book launches. I was impressed how she drove the book launch to create the success that it experienced in both the print and Kindle editions.
In fact, I thought this would make a good case study from the perspective of a contributor and an online marketer. I learned a few outstanding reminders about the marketing process.
Below you’ll find the top 6 things I learned from Marnie’s launch.
- Simplicity – By using a private Facebook group to communicate with all 25 contributors, she kept it very simple and engaging. If the launch was too hard to understand, people would have dropped off and gotten lost!
- Focus – Launch day was focused on one day – May 24, 2012. That made it easy to keep everyone focused on mailing, tweeting, promoting on that day to drive as much sales as possible. Staying focused on one day made it easier to achieve the momentum.
- Communication – I can’t emphasize this enough. Communication was key. Every time I saw a post from the TYH private group, I had to look because Marnie was doing something worth noting and telling people about it. She kept us up to date with information needed to complete the project, suggesting ways to promote on launch day, providing creative promotional tools and engaging contributors in conversations to brain storm additional methods to promote.
- Cheerleading – Pumping enthusiasm about the book and the contributors became contagious. Marnie had seeded the private group with a few dedicated evangelists who carried the message proactively, releasing bits of information and teaser material over a period of time. And I’m happy to say that these folks who are actively involved in NAMS were some of the biggest cheerleaders: Adela Rubio, Ellen Britt, Lisa Rae Preston, Dvorah Lansky, and Felicia Slattery.
- Momentum – As launch day got closer, Marnie communicated more frequently with more focused and actionable content to drive more participation.
- Dedication – Some will always promote because they signed up to do just that and they follow through – that’s just the way some people are made. Others fall by the wayside. Of the 25 contributors, to the book, 19 were engaged in the private Facebook group in some way contributing to the conversation or ‘liking’ others’ posts. That’s a 76 percent participation – whether they promoted or not. It also doesn’t mean that those who didn’t participate in the Facebook group didn’t promote, but I didn’t have any way to gauge that. Marnie would, I’m sure.
As the old saying goes, timing is everything.
Below, I’ve laid out the launch timeline with key elements as I saw them through the Facebook group. This does not include the behind-the-scenes activities such as planning, editing, recruiting, printing the books, submission to Amazon, etc.
This is just the promotion effort as I saw it looking through the front window.
Feb. 21 – Invite from Marnie to write for the book.
It was great to get to know you at NAMS. Seeing how many wonderful relationships you’ve built I thought you’d be a perfect fit for my new book in the Trust Your Heart Series — “Trust Your Heart: Building Relationships that Build Your Business.” It’s scheduled for launch in May. I know it’s short notice, but I think you’d be a great addition to the book. Contributors include Kendall Summerhawk, Felicia Slattery, Lou Bortone, Shannon Cherry, Lisa Rae Preston, etc.
I’m looking for a 2,000 word chapter by March 2nd. The first half is just your story and the 2nd half is lessons you’ve learned. Details are at (submission site).
We took the 1st book in the series to Amazon Bestseller status in 2 categories and #1 Amazon Mover and Shaker and are planning another big launch for this one. There’s no charge to have your chapter in the book.
Details on promotion are on the submission guidelines found on that same page: (submission site)
Thanks for considering it!
This submission page contained the guidelines for the chapter, the editorial release and any other specifics about the project.
March 2 – Completed and sent my chapter.
March 3 – Chapter accepted. Marnie requested my bio for the book. Sent the bio. Launch is scheduled for the end of May.
April 24 – Marnie set up the Facebook group for the authors / contributors and added all contributors.
April 24 – Call for JV Database Submission. Bonus for all the buyers, and getting all the contributors to seed the dB.
April 25 – Printed books on order and promised to share with contributors when they arrive. Kindle version available pre-release.
May 8 – Logo created. Printed books mailed to contributors.
May 8 – Book cover distributed for the contributors to post on sites
May12 – Launch details mailed to everyone.
May 12 – Favorite quotes thread created where people post quotes from the chapters to use in the launch.
May 12 – Launch emails posted.
I revised the emails and scheduled them in my autoresponder broadcast system so they went out over the launch period.
May 16 – JV dB listings called out. Getting everyone to contribute.
May 22 – Marnie reminds everyone that we’re down to the last little bit. Reminds people to ask for help with emails, affiliate links, Facebook / Twitter posts, JV dB, and leaves phone number.
May 22 – Marnie produces video with Snow White, the TYH mascot.
May 24 – Launch Day. Continuous update all day about status on Amazon.
- 9 a.m – We’re #7 in Books for the Free Enterprise Category, #13 in Books for Customer Service, and #7 in Kindle Customer Service
- 9:50 a.m. – (Ellen Britt) We have hit #1 in the Business & Investing ~> Economics ~> Free Enterprise category on Amazon!! Congratulations to all returning and new Amazon best-selling authors. Thanks Marnie!
- 9:53 a.m. – WHOOHOO!!!!!!!! We’re #1 in Books for Free Enterprise, #7 in Books for Customer Service and #3 on Kindle for Customer Service! Thanks guys! We’re on a roll!
- 11:52 a.m. – We’re #2 on Kindle in Customer Service in the UK… cool!
- 1:06 p.m. – Snow celebrates #1 Amazon Bestseller
- 3:19 p.m. – Amazon Just Updated! Here’s the newest photo and stats! Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1 in Books > Business & Investing > Economics > Free Enterprise
- #1 in Books > Business & Investing > Industries & Professions > Customer Service
- #3 in Books > Business & Investing > Marketing & Sales
- 7:25 p.m. – In case anyone’s curious, here are the numbers so far. 297 people have requested the bonuses, 142 of the sales have been Kindle format. 145 people have emailed me to say they did the extra share to get the JV database. More people have actually shared. These are just the ones who emailed me for the extra bonus.
- 8:25 p.m. – 317 total, 148 kindles.
- 9:52 p.m. – 345 total so far, 157 of which are kindle
- 11:33 p.m. – (Kathleen Ann) #1 in Movers & Shakers
May 25 – (Lisa Rae Preston @ 2:36 a.m.) Broke into the top 100!
- 4:41 am – #84 Overall as of 5:36am ET
- 5:05 am – We’re up to 415, 199 of which are Kindle
- 7:54 am –Marnie: Love this quote from Seth Godin’s “Tribes:” “If your organization requires success before commitment, it will never have either.” Thank you all for committing!!!
- 7:56 am – Top 100 in ALL of Amazon plus #1 in two categories and #3 in one category
- 12:25 pm – Marnie Pehrson -I’ve officially closed down the bonuses on the home page, and put back up the signup for the Lou Bortone / Connie Ragen Green audio we had prelaunch. Here are a few stats. We show:
- - 411 people who requested bonuses after purchasing.
- - 208 of the book sales were Kindle
- - 31 of the 1st book (Ideas to Income) sold on Kindle
- - 210 people said they shared/liked the fan page to get the JV database listing.
- - Our highest overall Amazon Rank was 84
- - #1 Amazon Mover and Shaker
- - #1 in Free Enterprise Books
- - #1 in Customer Service Books
- - #1 in Customer Service Kindle
Did you find this timeline helpful? Do you think you could put together a collaborative book project that went to #1 on Amazon.com for a few days? Let’s hear from you in the comments below.