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Ep 053: “Book Launch Ideas”

Welcome to the 53rd episode of The Author Hangout, a podcast designed to help authors, especially self-published and indie authors, with marketing their books and improving their author platform. Authors struggle with various aspects of marketing and we are here to help!

“The launch of your book is an event and it should be treated like an event.”– Chris Ducker

Book Launch Ideas

In this episode, we were joined by entrepreneur and best-selling author Chris Ducker. He shares many insights, including tips for building a team to help you, and some great book launch tips and ideas.

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Intro

Author, speaker, entrepreneur and virtual CEO, he went from living the typical entrepreneur life of 14-hour days 6 days a week, little time with his family to now averaging 6-hour workdays, Fridays off and spending lots of time with his wife and 3 awesome children. As a content creator and blogger, he’s been featured in entrepreneur Forbes Inc., The Huffington Post and more. As a virtual staffing expert, he shared his experience in his #1 Amazon best selling 562 5-star review book Virtual Freedom. Please welcome Chris Ducker.

How did you become an author and publish your first book?

Here’s Chris’ journey to becoming an author:

“Well I’ve always been a big book head even since when I was a kid, I always had my head in a book, I always liked reading, writing, doing a lot of creative writing in my teens and when I became an entrepreneur and started learning all this stuff, it became a goal, quite frankly, of mine to write a book and to help people. But obviously I’m not just going to write another business book, it doesn’t work that way so I have to go through some challenges and the burnout and all that sort of stuff and learn how to delegate properly and build teams and build businesses based on all of those formulas and tactics and everything and then I started blogging. This was the incubus for me. January 2010 I started blogging and by the end of 2012, so we are talking a good couple of years of blogging here, I built a speaking platform for myself, I had started podcasting, I was blogging a couple times a week, good community of people and then boom, the book offer comes in from a publisher in the U.S. and I didn’t go with that initial offer but it made me think very seriously about going back to that goal of someday writing a book and so I was introduced to a literary agent and I obviously went the traditional publishing route with Virtual Freedom but there’s nothing wrong with the self publishing route at all. I want to state that very clearly. But I was blessed to have the offer so I teamed up with an agent, we put together a good quality proposal, I had designer, a graphic designer actually put it together real nice, it wasn’t just a simple word document, and she pitched it to 16 different publishing houses in the U.S. and we got four offers.”

What is your most recent book or project?

They look at Chris’ book, Virtual Freedom, which talks about outsourcing and building a team:

“The big thing was I built a team around me to help me to do it. Now obviously I was blessed because I already had a team in place so there was certain people working for me already, I had a graphics guy, I had a social media VA, I had a developer so I was just taking off one project and say, “Right for the next 6 months you’re going to live and breath Virtual Freedom. By the time, you are going to hate those two words by the time you’re done. You’re going to despise the things.” And we did everything from creating a new podcast and launch it to help promote the book and there was a whole bunch of stuff so that was it, that’s really truly what it was. I used the team around me to help me market the book and let me tell you something and anybody tuning will know this as well as your avatar Sue there. Writing a book is one thing but marketing it, whole different animal. Much harder, much, much harder. However we are blessed to be in the time that we are as authors because we have things like blogs and social media and YouTube and podcast and all these other great digital media that we can utilize to be able to market our books and ourselves as the authors of those books and so as long as you appreciate that and understand and utilize that, you can actually do very, very well. I mean if you think from a non-fiction perspective, 97% of all business books sell less than a 1,000 copies in their lifetime, in their lifetime. So if you can do 1,001, you are ahead of the curve, you know what I mean and that one just comes down to consistent marketing. It really comes down to consistent marketing once you’ve launched your book that’s it. That’s not the end of it. You’ve go to continue to market it and so that’s what I did.”

They also went on to talk about how he used a mini (or nano) podcast to help promote his book:

“A nano podcast is a podcast that is launched entirely for the sake of promoting something in a short space of time. So we knew going into creating the Virtual Freedom podcast that there was going to be 25 episodes, they were going to be no more than 10 minutes apart and they were going to answer one question or handle one topic in each episode. So very concise, very actionable and very easy to digest over either a short or a long period of time. I recorded all 25 episodes in 2 days, I handed off those raw recordings to my audio VA who then went ahead and edited them with intro and outro bumpers, tacking them, uploading them to servers and then my general VA took over and published those as of when she was told to do so… We had so many people buy the book off the back of the podcast. So that was just one thing that we did that’s very different. We went in and we killed it with that.”

He shared this one last little tidbit about launching your book that we don’t want you to miss:

“The launch of your book is an event and it should be treated like an event right? So we did several things on the launch.”

This is key… many authors launch their books to silence, and it can hard to want to start marketing when no one is buying your book. Instead, take some time to create a big event focused around your book launch, and you can really sell a lot more books that way.

What marketing tactics are really working well for you?

Here’s what Chris has to say:

“Okay so there are simple things that you can do that a lot of people miss out. So little simple things like mentioning your book in your Twitter profile or bio, people read those things. When they start following you, they want to know what you’re all about if they don’t know already. Little things like that, having a direct link to your Amazon page in your email signature, having a book only, a book specific page on your blog. So if you go to http://www.chrisducker.com/book/, you’ll see one page about Virtual Freedom where not only can they obviously see a nice big cover of the book, but they can read some of those blurbs, they can see that there are 600+ reviews, they can click through immediately and buy the book rather, they can see a video of me talking about why I wrote the book, they’ve got links to the podcast on there and a whole lot of other stuff. So I absolutely suggest that your listeners go over to http://www.chrisducker.com/book/ and have a look at that page. If you don’t have a dedicated specific page on your blog and you’re linking to it everywhere, there’s a problem there. You need to address that problem immediately because if you think about a logically, if you don’t tell people about your book, nobody will. Plain and simple and you look at guys like Donald Trump. Yes he’s a little bit of a media circus but at the end of the day, the guy is what he is and if you watch interviews with him regards to I’m not even going to talk about presidential stuff but, you look at interviews with the guy, he is telling you why he’s so great. “I built this building here and I went through 18 months of negotiations and I won because I was prepared and I’m a rich man and I build and I employ tens of thousands of people.” Tell people how good you are, tell people about what you do and they will actually end up falling in love with you or at least get in to the point of respecting you and wanting to know more about you.”

They also had a GREAT discussion about getting reviews, and you don’t want to miss that, so be sure to listen to the podcast.

If you started over today, what 3 things would you tell yourself to help you sell more books?

“Okay first thing’s first, I would get an editor. I know a lot of self-publish authors don’t do that and it screws the content of the book up. You’ve got to get an outside editor to check, that should actually be the biggest expense in self-publishing before you actually start marketing, that’s a whole different expense but in the actual creation of your book, get someone to edit and actually almost probably two editors so you’ll have a developmental editor first to help you develop the content of the book further maybe to cut out crap and put in some really, really good additional content based on this then the other and then a second editor maybe an inline editor that will work on things like paraphrasing and grammar, punctuation that sort of type of thin. Even though I went the traditional route with Virtual Freedom, I actually hired an editor first to go through my book before I submitted my manuscript to the publisher and knowing full well that they were then going to have their editor go through it as well but I actually had a complimentary type of email back from the editor saying “This is one of the strongest first manuscripts we’ve ever had from a business book” because I had already gone through that process. That’s the first thing is to make sure that you get someone to edit your book for you for sure.”

He also has a great second tip, but you’ll need to listen to the podcast. He finishes it with this:

“Thirdly, genuinely, genuinely sit down properly and devise a launch plan. This is not an email out to your email list and a few tweets that is classes a launch plan. This thing should be a 90-day plan, 30 days before launch getting people excited and buzzing about it and then 60 days post launch in terms of keeping your foot on the gas pedal and genuinely put a great, great amount of time on putting that launch plan together and then just write it out man, just enjoy it. It’s another event and should be treated like one.”

WOW…. great stuff!

How can people connect with you?

“Everything I do is on my online home http://www.chrisducker.com my blog is there, my podcast is there, everything else that you could possibly want to get from me is there except for a free copy of my book, you’ve got to buy the book if you want that.”

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