So you’ve written your great novel and you’re ready to now start marketing it, right? Well, according to the book launch expert, Tim Grahl, who launched successful authors like Hugh Howie and Charles Duhigg to the NYT Bestseller lists, the best time to start is probably more like 9 months to a year before publication day!

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Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book

Author: Tim Grahl

Length: Compact, quick read but bonus content available online

If there were a theme to Tim Grahl’s book, Your First 1000 Copies, it might be “There is No Easy Button.” Either that or, “Slow and Steady Wins the Day.”

There is no easy button.

This marketing guru breaks down the Connection System he has refined to launch NYT bestsellers such as Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit), Daniel Pink (To Sell is Human), and Hugh Howie (Wool).

So you’ve written your book and all you have to do is press the PUBLISH button and wait for royalty checks to roll in, right? Unfortunately it doesn’t usually work that way. Lots of thoughtful and systematic groundwork was laid for those NYT launches, probably nearly a year before the book was ever published.

So the Grahl lays out the step by step work authors need to do to in order grow their sales. He calls it the “Connection System” which is:

  • Permission
  • Content
  • Outreach
  • Sell

His writing style is direct, which I really appreciate. He gives concrete examples to demonstrate the principles he discusses. He concludes each chapter with a bullet point review list of concepts covered.

For example, in his discussion of getting permission from readers to contact them, he highlights the importance of building the email subscriber list. He tells you to give the reader a strong offer. Saying “Sign Up Here For Updates” is too generic to engage people.

When he worked with client Jean Chatzky of Money Rules, they modified her offer to “Jean tells you what the week’s headlines mean for YOUR wallet.” Powerful, personal, and very effective. Her subscriber volume that year jumped up 332% from the prior year.

Everything laid out in the book is logical and consistent with common sense. Grahl’s anecdotal experience in social media also validates a personal suspicion of mine – in the battle of Twitter versus the Email list, Twitter underperforms every time.

This book was published in 2013. In Internet terms, it is ancient and yet the system laid out here still rings true. If you visit his website, he delivers his video updates to walk you through the Connection System.

The key takeaway from this launch process is that every step is something concrete but requires time and effort.  The spreadsheet he provides is a good reminder to track followups and personal thank yous.  No magic wand, just polite asks, courtesy reminders and regular follow-ups to gather those reviews and get the launch engine primed.

No magic wand, just polite asks, courtesy reminders and regular follow-ups to gather those book reviews and get the launch engine primed.

Rating: 5 stars

 

UPDATE: Tim has a new podcast out.  Check out Book Launch Show here!