SNM102: Four Keys to a Successful Book Launch

The effort that goes into writing a book is enormous.  Every time I put pen to paper I create something living.  I take my thoughts and turn them into a reality.

When that work is complete, I absolutely want people to read and enjoy my work.

Critical Steps to a Book Launch

There are two phases to the independent author process.  The first is creating your work.  Most people are so focused on the creative part of their brain that the process ends there for them.  But the second phase is just as critical, if not more so.

In phase two, you have to get your book into the hands of the masses.  You can write the greatest book in the world, but if nobody reads it, then it doesn't really benefit you.

Emily Dickenson died without making a penny from her poems and she was only famous when her family found over 1800 unfinished poems in her house.

Is that what you're hoping will happen to you?

As much as I want to achieve immortality, I want people to read my books now while I'm still around to enjoy their reviews and feedback.

The Logical Part of Your Brain


In the past, you could depend on a publisher to handle finding customers for your books.

But those days are in the past.

Traditional publishing houses are in a nosedive and most of them are fully supported by just a few big name authors.

Even if you get published, that is no guarantee that your publisher will put any effort into your book launch.

With the advent of digital books, the need for these publishers has disappeared.

You can now promote your book the way you want and remove the middleman from the equation.  But that does mean that you have to be a businessman as well as an author.

You have to treat your book like a business and leverage that asset until it becomes profitable.

It's Never Too Late

Even if you released your book a long time ago, you can go back and bring it back to life.

Wherever you are in the process, you can change and improve your situation.

The game isn't over until that final bell has wrong.

In my experience, the four parts of the book launch process that people mess up the most often….well you have to listen to today's episode to find out.

Show Notes:


Key Points:

  1. Start cover designs before you finish your book
  2. Formatting for paperback is critical
  3. Reviews are the lifeblood of a successful launch

Resources Mentioned:

Breaking Orbit

Serve No Master on Amazon

Most other links can be found in my TOOLBOX


Send in your questions to podcast [at] servenomaster [dot] com


Read Full Transcript

Keys to a successful book launch on today's episode is brought to you by Thrive team blazingly fast WordPress templates blog and bill to get more traffic more subscribers more clients and more customers to you to find out try things can turn your blog or website into a moneymaking work of art go to\drive teams are you tired of dealing with your boss do you feel underpaid and underappreciated if you want to make it online. Start living your retirement dreams now you come to the right place welcome to serve no master pod on how to open new revenue streams and make money while you sleep presented life from a tropical island in the South Pacific by best-selling author Jonathan Greene now your post helping a lot of people watch their books recently and a couple of critical keys to a successful book launch on today's episode recently I be helping more more people put together their book launches and I've noticed that consistently people get caught at a couple of key points and I want to help you overcome those stumbling blocks those barriers before they happen the mindset of most authors and this is something that happens over and over again we decide on a logically site this is the day I want my book to go live and once we have that date in mind it becomes this monster chasing us down the hallway I'm a big believer in saying those dates and Kring affixed Mowbray to release your books you'll get stuck constantly almost releasing almost releasing and pushing your date back over and over again I hate pushing back large states even for just my mind I'm totally with you there what happens is we only think about one aspect the book isn't done the book isn't that we do everything we can to get the book done and we finish writing a couple of days before that launch date and suddenly read all got a format this and so on launch day we struggle we get it formatted it's not perfect but it's okay but we release it or maybe it's it's were happy with how to format it would get that far and then we don't have all the other components ready work I'm stuck in this moment and were so busy jumping for other things that we miss some really key pieces I don't want that to happen you I want you to be very strategic success on Amazon success with anything online you have to be very methodical and very strategic you have to be very very careful each piece at least two weeks before you plan uploading about Amazon you have to start working undercover it will take at least a week and probably two weeks to get that design done when you hire someone to design your cover they know what they're doing every single person that I higher offers for triple the normal price to finish your cover in 24 hours the movie to the front of the line and they have this offer and it so successful for them because most people wait way way way too long they all my Best Buy books come out today that in order cover and you get stuck down a previous episode I talked all about exactly how to choose an amazing cover design amazing cover so that's already something I've covered what time I hear is being strategic I always design a cover for the book having started yet so as I was working on the cover for breaking orbit I began work on the cover for 20 candidate and while working on the 20 decay daybook I began work on the cover for the next book in the series this approach means I'm always had with my covers because I know for me sometimes it takes three weeks to get a cover design exactly what I often send it back for multiple revisions I usually hire three artists and I want to see each of the working compared thinking a different idea sometimes I really hate an idea the original cover for certain the last was totally different I changed it completely because I realized a couple of weeks before lunch that I hated it and having that time is very very critical so even they are caught up in writing your book and try to finish in their tons of writing contest draw about time frames and stuff it's very very very important for you to keep in mind you also you get that cover done because you can't release a book without a cover and the cover is more important than the content anyways he will not be the content till after they've purchased the book but they see the cover before they've done anything the covers of first and they said he was a don't judge a book by its cover but of its actual book it will be judged by its cover the second component is just as critical seat when you're designing the cover for paperback book you have to know how long the books can be so is this Catch-22 you caught it like it is on the paperback cover because I don't hundred pages the final book is going to be I will know that I finish and edit the book so we wait to do all the cover work until we finish the book edit the book because otherwise you can't really do anything we get stuck there in this work will get stuck I want to do is get the Kindle cover done the 2D cover just the front cover done early early on getting the spine and back cover done the payback version layer is really easy compared to the front cover back inside covers have to match the front towards the front on the rest it's not so hard to do I know that we heart artist daily sale for an extra 10 bucks a picture 20 bucks all do the paperback version as well but you don't want to do that don't get jump on that don't get excited by that believe you can message them later in the lady ordered at the same price anyways what you want to focus on right now is getting that front covered on once your book is written once your book is edited it's very important to formatted correctly I've tons of training tons of material on how to format and upload to Kindle and create space in my blog that I want to repeat myself over and over again what you need to format those correctly take that seriously if you launch a book and it's only available in Kindle format the longer it takes you to get the paperback format ready the more likely your book is to fail now there are books that are can only that succeed there are books that released the payback version 2 months later that succeed but there are in the minority I want to maximize the odds of your success please don't skip this step every single person finds that for many for Kindle such a hard once you figured out what you try to format for create space it takes whole day when I permit a book for Christmas by hand it takes me sometimes three or four hours of just sitting there with a Word document getting a perfect even when I format an export from scrivener to my Christmas format it still takes me a while it still takes a couple hours I do that way as well it's not easy to get perfect those little tweaks Omega and architectural mistakes and to attract the page number has to perfect formats for me what stuff on the left page of the right page all that stuff you really have to pay attention to for me for Christmas is not easy but it's critical right now about 40% of the money coming in from Amazon is coming in from grade space my paperbacks are pushing up right now paperback versions of for me are selling really really well so what you think about that if you were to make $10,000 a month by not having the create space version you knock yourself down the 6000 but that's not actually true there are people that will not buy the Kindle version of the book that is never paperback they look at the book to see others no paperback versions is in a real book and you lose another 10 to 20% yourself so now from $10,000 you knock yourself down to 4000 and I know you're can save your Somali knowledge astute later and did you get in the procrastination dance I'm just telling you you're hurting yourself if you don't have the payback first toolpusher conversion numbers down to pushed on the number of people who visit your page and then by any version of the book dramatically you lose about 50 to 60% your conversions which means Amazon will hate you when Amazon decides they don't like your book they will destroy you and Amazon algorithm is merciless Amazon is a friend it was either Ally Amazon is in the business of selling books you get one shot to demonstrate that your book is a good to be a success and when you blow that Amazon starts adding negative marks in the back into your bookcase arts and this is in the tier 1 but this is a tier 2 book after couple weeks will knock you down the tier 3 and tier 4 this is why you will notice some books that are failing you see that they don't do it then also very copies but the rank like 100,000 €200,000 the other books that are right like 5 million that means they sell maybe a copy year or maybe copy every three or four years Amazon hates those books and that's what pushes them to the very very bottom because they messed around with these key steps to get your cover done right here paperback version done right take it seriously it's just as important I can't reiterate how important it is for you take every step in this process seriously you absolutely need to have your cover done right you need to get your paperback version done right and yes once you have the paperback version you can then go back in order to get the full paper have to go back and forth and do those steps that's why you want to get everything done in advance your book should really be finished two weeks before you launch the next step that's critical is taking the review process seriously when your book goes live you launch it at night and sense following my very simple launch template you have one to two weeks to gather as many reviews as you can what I'm noticing is it even when I tell people how important it is most people strategy no matter what I say is to ask their friends or friends of friends for views now here's the problem with that Amazon is smarter than you Amazon is always checking to see if you are being naughty now if two people of two authors read each other's books and review each other's books randomly in general most of the time Amazon will delete those reviews Amazon assumes even if it's totally innocuous that it's not because so many people do review swaps the second problem is that Amazon tracks IP's and tracks Facebook activity if your Facebook friends with someone there's a very good chance the review of your book will disappear if your Facebook friend of a friend the review still might disappear so ask your friends asking your friends friends asking people that you know in your social worker for reviews more and more Amazon is fighting against us and this is something that other platforms having a problem with the same promise happening with IMDb which does movie rankings if you see an independent movie and you look at the ranking sometimes it'll have under a thousand reviews B like nine stars and that's a sign that the people who worked on the movie all left reviews now there's nothing wrong with that right people and the reason most people say I worked on this movie here's my thoughts I would have a problem with that but a lot of people are noticing that and it's affecting the trust tried to be so anytime I see less than a thousand views I don't believe there is a real we learn to mentally discount what we think of as fake reviews or pseudo-reviews or untrustworthy reviews in the same way Amazon these other systems are trying to catch them through their own mechanics the review part of the process is so critical every review get that's real the longer the reviews you get the more serious if you write the reviews are more successful your book will be just asking your fans for use that's fine okay it's a great baseline but I've other podcasts blog episodes have a blueprint I'm entire course right teach over 30 different ways of getting reviews go back to previous podcast absolute listen to about how to get reviews there's a reason I made that episode there's a reason I share's only different methods I don't type all my methods just to my training courses absolutely must approach us many people in as many different ways as possible to get reviews that's what separates books that shoot into the stratosphere from books that do okay for couple weeks and then disappear you have to get your systems in place and they have to be absolutely frosty they need to be perfect there's nothing more important to Amazon than getting reviews and they have to be recent Amazon is all about what if you done for me lately screwing around with that process and I understand the things that we get busy right were busy with life or busy with other things and were just so sudden that a book is out that we only think about getting it out there and selling copies in those things do not matter for the first couple weeks all the matters refers to the book is you have to fight and bleed to get more reviews any time you play around with it or don't take it very seriously your book will suffer and that's a really big problem if you wait more than a month to be serious about reviews it's probably too late in order to save a book once your books but not for more than a month and you haven't done this it's a whole different ballgame you have to go into a massive revitalization campaign which is about three times more work and cost a lot more money the first chance is your best chance to do really well if you don't take it seriously and come back later and you gotta do is can be a lot harder and I find it very painful very sad when people miss tiny steps that's why the book is suffering it does matter how tough a category is it doesn't matter how half the competition is ramming books other than the competition there's always an opportunity if you follow the steps correctly so once you go through the review process in this process is very important this process all your measuring is reviews don't worry about sales don't worry about tractions is not when I push for sales I don't want you to do that this is not the phase for that you first lunch or book focus on reviews and nothing else when he first loved your book don't tell anyone you know about it keep a secret because it's not really a proper launch a proper lodges we have a book deal you paid thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in advance that's one time a book Lodge were not doing that what you're trying to do what you want to do is get the word out there about your book at the right time so even if your book is live on Amazon for those first two weeks focus on getting out as many review copies you can send review copies to anyone will accept one some people will write you a review two days later some people never write your review and some people take six months or a year I just got a review from so a center for copy to six but to go and that's fine no problem for me that's why set up so many copies if you send out a thousand free copies to people that all say I'd want to do a review that's what you should do probably 5% of them will do a beautiful 50 solid reviews and that's really really valuable that's your baseline once you have that stack of reviews then you begin to think about the process of the full launch but unless your book has really solid reviews unless you have your multiple versions lesser covers amazing your books not ready for prime time skip any of those steps grounded in your step since getting it harder and harder Justice critical the fourth element that I want to talk about today is the book description for some reason after the cover the number one area that people phoning in authors phone and is in the book description and you can tell immediately I'll tell you right now my book descriptions aren't good enough I'm constantly redoing my constantly improving like Huxley tweaking HTML because they need me better and better and I believe my covers man-made scription scholars be better I'm really big believer in tweaking the copy kind of improving that I believe I really need to do some stuff to improve the descriptions of a few my book so many go through this week or next week and redo again and I redo my descriptions at least once a year now try to do every three months and keep improving and that's the mindset you have to have to stay at sea when you redo the whole description similar soluble before and didn't buy and a senior description you get a second bite at the apple why turn that down so what you want to do is be very very serious about your book description first of all it needs more the paragraph if you write a one paragraph description if you write just a couple of sentences in your strung together because when your book up there you can have to redo it Amazon is so generous to let you we do the Scriptures much as you want and you can redo it every couple hours you redo it he goes to their check process and three Fars B live on the website when I first launch of book 1 of the reasons that I want to tell you about is so that I can make these changes out feeling weird if you know your friends or look at the page changes description makes it feel like only party scene and I want to change in our lives my credibility these thoughts into your mind you want those there what you want to do is simply focus on getting the listing perfect the listing your page on Amazon is not a description is not a catalog page is a sales page I want you to think about when you think about a catalog think about that catalogued the giveaway and planes I forget what it's called it's the duty free demo duty-free catalog and M1 public sky sky scanners sky tracks I don't know I know I should probably but it's the airplane magazine that's filled with expensive stop at the airplane catalog now you look at that you think oh this catalog is curated it's a list of things that are really cool that is 100% wrong that is not how that catalog is put together people fight to get into that catalog they get one shot and based on their performance they get to stay in their other gone by the next month the only thing to go in there are things that sell and every page in their every word and is written and described to sell each product is not to inform the purpose of your Amazon sales pages not to informants not to describe it is to sell is copywriting and it is critical and when you're writing that description you always want to think so what this is a book about learning yoga so what this is about to allow you to learn yoga even if it's scary or even if you're in bad shape so what this is a book that will allow you to start losing weight and feeling attractive again so what this is about to let you see your shoes in this is a book that will let you start to feel like you're in control but are you tired of feeling like the fat candidates pay class in high school PE yes everyone is this book is here to help you cure that feeling and make that go away forever that's what I get to what I so what myself over and over and over again about a yoga book okay now you showed a lot of my example does lots of other examples we can do but that's what you really want to dip and not only do you need to write a really brilliant description you also need to format and that means using HTML I posted links about our right inscriptions before I can't express how important this is what people are deciding if they can write your book they read your book by your book they read the description wouldn't you have to be serious about the description you can't screw around with it so after you write an amazing description you have to also formatted well and I really recommend you just find a book it's formatted perfectly they think is formatted really really well and copied with a done copy their structure from there H1 and H2 headlight tabs all the way down to which word they both which were they tell which were the online get a feel for how they organize stuff you one use all of those elements to make your scripture look really really good and yes this is one thing you can wait until after you launch to do you have to take care of it right away why you get all those reviews constantly we rework and redo your description if you get stuck if you get Rosen by something else happening in your life and one of these steps isn't finished Juergen and noticed some really top stuff coming on the pipeline if you don't do these steps properly at the very beginning of releasing your book your book is probably gonna die it doesn't matter how much effort you put it if your book doesn't have enough reviews if your books and have a really solid description if your book doesn't have traction right out the gate going to the launch phase doesn't matter none of that will matter is nothing he can do I don't want that to happen to you so please take your book launch is seriously don't skip phases I know that we can get very distracted by life I know that it's always other things going on and some of the things I'm working on that's exactly what happens please don't let that happen to you because all that's can happen his disappointment effort of writing the book is about 1% of the deciding factor whether not the book succeeds the quality of the book is actually so unimportant I know it hurts to hear that it's a real long time to learn this lesson is the final lesson will share with you today when I first got into it online marketing and building stuff I was a product created people approach me to write books I'm still very heavily on that side of the market I can tell you right now that's always been my greatest weakness see the product doesn't matter if it doesn't sell the product is a relevant infomercial is everything traffic and conversion are 10 times more poor than product creation at least I've been working very hard for last two and half three years to get really good cop running a better better copywriting and it continued to get better traffic because there are more important and this applies to your book right now it is Medrad the best book in the world no one reads it and no one will read it until you do these other parts right until you get those reviews until you get those descriptions until you get to cover perfect all those pieces in cellulose of the format you have to get those done right so that people give and see your book to find out if it's good your book will get a chance otherwise most books they miss these four critical components and they fail even as her great books I know a lot of people that are better writers me about better books to me no one sees no one ever will because they don't take these parts seriously and so from the bottom my heart I beg you when you release your book be very serious about these pieces the more seriously you take these little pieces the more money your books will make when a book is properly lodged when you follow these steps even if you stop right at the end of this podcast ebbs and never do anything else if you get a great cover get multiple formats get some really good reviews to launch the book and write an amazing and beautiful description the book will sell for years you'll make money from it forever you'll make a lot we make a lot more than anyone else and that's really key that's really really what you want and some try to put you in that position please take your book launch seriously please take the preparation seriously yes I know it's your baby writing a book and releasing it's really important that's great but you wrote a book is what people read it I'm sorry to break the bad news but the book description to cover the content of that sales pages are more important than the book see you probably only in a get one review at every hundred readers anyways and so less you do these other pieces first to be lucky to generate 100 reviewers and nobody who doesn't know the author doesn't know the book sees a book one review for five stars it's two or three sentences this is a pretty good book I thought it was pretty sweet buy a book based on that we have to do better and I want you to succeed and that's why I'm sharing all this critical information and if you use these five key principles you understand executive share with you you can watch a very very successful book thank you for listening to this week's episode serve no master make sure you subscribe so you never miss another episode will be back tomorrow with more tips and tactics on how to restate that reference it over to serve no now for your chance to win a free copy of Jonathan's bestseller serve no master all you have to do is leave a five-star review of this podcast see you tomorrow thank you for listening to the serve no master podcast make sure to subscribe so that together we can achieve true freedom

Jonathan Green

Living the dream on a tropical island, Jonathan is the author of Serve No Master and the host of the Serve No Master Podcast.

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