Welcome to the 45th 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!
“I had this inkling of hope that, you know what, I may not be the best writer but I can still become the bestseller. So my team and I put in a ton of work to figure out how we can launch and market my book well and become a bestseller.”– Austin Netzley
Book Launches and Free Promotions
In this episode, we interviewed bestselling author Austin Netzley. We discussed how to do a great book launch, why free promotions work so well and how to run a success free book promotion.
Listen to the Show / Podcast
- FREE: The Ultimate Author Checklist for Online Book Marketing
- Epic Launch – Austin’s book launch service & training
He’s an author, engineer, entrepreneur and investor who retired at the age of 27 after paying off more than $80,000 in debt in less than 3 years. Besides launching the YoPro Wealth Blog and Podcast to share his secrets with others, he wrote, Make Money, Live Wealthy, a popular book that has made it to the #1 position on bestseller list an impressive 27 times. Here to share his insights is the founder of ONE Pursuit Investments and Epic Book Launch, Austin Netzley. Austin, thanks for joining me on the Author Hangout.
How did you become an author and publish your first book?
He has a really interesting story:
“I started the podcast as I was “retired” and leaving the corporate world. After about interview 10, I realized that everybody’s message, everybody’s story was really the same. They were the same progression or steps on their way to building massive wealth, so I was like, “I’ve got a book here” and I knew the power of books. Books have changed my life a few years earlier and started to help me build wealth in the way that I had finally wanted to. I knew the power, I knew it was such a great step to get me my career and my opportunities to where I wanted to go next. It was just a perfect combination so as I was travelling around, I compiled all the lessons and put them together. Had all the podcasts transcribed, turned that into a book and as I was leading up to the book launch, I had this quote from Robert Kiyosaki in my head. It said “bestseller and not best writer”. With that in mind, engineer as you said, I had this inkling of hope that, you know what, I may not be the best writer but I can still become the bestseller. So my team and I put in a ton of work to figure out how we can launch and market my book well and become a bestseller. Because we knew that if we did it right there would be so many great opportunities that would open up from that end. And boy, we were right. We went on to have some big success, and as they say, “the rest is history”.”
What is your most recent book or project?
Austin then talked a bit more about his latest project helping authors to launch their books:
The most recent project is Epic Launch… we had a lot of success with my book and we had…it’s now had over 56,000 sales and downloads. It’s been out now, I’m not sure, 6 months now or maybe 5 months. We had the majority of those right away. We made a big splash. We started to get hundreds of questions in entrepreneuring and it was like, “you know what, we’re doing something here we have another opportunity for another business” we found that there’s such a need for authors to learn how to market their books well. We do that for people. It’s a “done-for-you” service. We have the training but we focus on the “done-for-you” service. What I found was success breeds success so what we try to do is create a big splash and squeeze so much effort and strategy and effort into a small window and we get past this tipping point. If you do, it opens up all these opportunities for JV’s, for media, or sales of a product or whatever book sales of other kinds and it really just puts you on the map overnight. So what we do is take off all the pressure on authors. Let them do what they’re great at, whether it’s business or whether it’s writing books and we do all the marketing for them.
Shawn and Austin also talked a bit more about what kind of launch services Austin does provide, and how those book launches work. Even if you can’t afford their services, they talked about some of the steps they take with each book that you can apply to your own books. Don’t miss this part!
Here’s how you can learn more about Austin’s book launch services:
“You can go to http://epic-launch.com/ that’s E-P-I-C dash launch.com. You can see some of the results that we have there. We helped make one author over $23,000 in royalties in the first month which is better than most New York Times bestsellers make. We had my book, which is to be honest with you, it wasn’t the best written book as I said, we just learned how to market it really well, and it stayed at #1 for 98 days. We’ve made every single book that we’ve launched over a 20x international bestseller. And again, doing it in a big way and trying to get to that point where it’s basically going to carry on. It’s not going to die down if you get it into the hands of enough people.”
Why does doing a free promotion work so well?
One of the tips Austin threw out was about using a free promotion to just get your book into the hands of readers. Here is what he had to say about it:
“Most people are kind of…it’s hard for them to swallow that pill unless they’ve done it before just because they know how much effort they’ve put into writing that book, they want to capitalize on it right away but you’ve got to think big picture and what’s the kind of thing that will make it last.”
He then talked about why it works:
“At first I didn’t plan to make money off my book. I just wanted to get it out there and open up some opportunities but what we found is that we got my book into the hands of so many people that once it went paid…first of all we had so many success stories to share…by sharing, “Oh my gosh, this book’s been downloaded 40,000 times” then everyone wants to download it then right? And the second thing was, months and months later the book was being talked about in between people and the price was….we kept raising my price from $2.99 to $5.99 to $9.99 and the book was still selling and the only reason that that happened was because so many people had it at the beginning. We offered it for free and did such a big social media promotion and when it’s free, it’s very, very easy to promote because you’re not necessarily asking people to do anything. You’re giving them something right? So it’s very easy to market it that way.”
If you want to do a free promotion, you’re going to need to tell all of the different sites that feature free ebooks about it. Our eBook Submission Tool allows you to submit your free promo details to 30+ sites in just minutes. Learn more about it here.
If you started over today, what 3 things would you tell yourself to help you sell more books?
Austin had this to say:
“The first one, we talked briefly about, is to have a clear vision for what you want your book to accomplish. Take some time up front to really map out what that looks like because things don’t happen just by chance 99.99% of the time. But if you are committed to what you want to accomplish then you can definitely make it into a reality.
The other thing is I would say, to start ahead of time. A lot of people put their book out there and then start to market and start to look for different ways that they can do something. Don’t do that. I would lead ahead of time. I would usually start marketing our books about 4 weeks ahead of time and by doing so we build some buzz, we build some anticipation, pull a lot of people in from the sidelines that would otherwise not buy the book by doing some different things. Just leading up to the launch is a really good thing.
The other thing I would say is, ask questions. Find mentors. Find people who have had success and ask them. One thing that we did well was, I talked with, I would say, 35 #1 bestselling authors and that’s self-published and traditional published authors to figure out what really worked for them, what didn’t work and put all those things into practice. Now we are kind of students of the game so we really know what works. There’s a lot of paid advertising that you can do out there as far as marketing books. What we found was maybe one of those that will work well, which is very, very unfortunate. So be careful where you spend your money. That would be another thing that I wish somebody had shown us the data because it would have saved us thousands of dollars for sure.”
How can people connect with you?
“If you guys are interested in seeing the training or the done-for-you service or the results that we’ve had, you can go to http://epic-launch.com/ because we’ve got a lot of cool things coming up. We’ve got a book club that’s also one of our subsidiary brands. We’re really trying to explode the training because it’s so needed and if you can differentiate yourself in today’s environment you can open up a world of opportunities. We’re still at the fore front of Kindle and all the opportunities that Amazon provides so I really encourage people to take it seriously, take their launch seriously and learn what works and do it right the first time because it will really make an impact.”
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Get caught up on the other episodes of The Author Hangout that you may have missed:
- Ep 145: “Million Dollar Book Business”
- Ep 144: “Network Net Worth”
- Ep 143: “Learning to Hack Learning”
- Ep 142: “Making Of The Perfect Optin”
- Ep 141: “Coaching Breeds Author Success”
- Ep 140: “Gumroad for Authors”
- Ep 138: “Goal Setting Check-in”
- Ep 137: “Relying On Others”
- Ep 136: “Honest Conversations on Book Marketing”
- Ep 135: “Recognition of Hard Work”
- Ep 133: “Making Money Fast?”
- Ep 132: “Book Marketing & Book Launches”
- Ep 129: “Author Answers: Using KDP Select or Not”
- Ep 126: “Media Interviews & Book Marketing”
- Ep 124: “Goal Setting for Authors”
- Ep 121: “Authors Answers: DIY Blog Tours”
- Ep 119: “Author Answers: Choosing Comparison Titles”
- Ep 115: “Author Answers: Best Marketing Activities”
- Ep 113: “Writing Faster, Marketing Smarter”
- Ep 111: “Building Book Launch Teams”
- Ep 110: “Book Launches and Distribution”
- Ep 107: “NaNoWriMo, Writing, and Marketing”
- Ep 104: “Connect With Other Authors”
- Ep 099: “Maximizing Book Promotions”
- Ep 097: “Kindle in Motion & More”
- Ep 086 – How To Create an Irresistible Opt-In Incentive