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Mindjet Dashboard Series: Book and eBook Launch Planner

To the surprise of many authors, the success of your book or eBook depends as much on the success of your marketing and promotional activities prior to your book’s publication, as it does on the quality of your writing and the value of the information you share.

The purpose of the Mindjet Book Launch Planner mind map is to provide you with a one-stop dashboard to help you plan, schedule, and monitor the successful launch of your book. You’ll find it an excellent companion to my previous Mindjet Dashboards, like the Book Planner, Competing Books Planner, and 2015 Editorial Planner. You can download it for free here.

My goal in sharing this map is to encourage you to begin marketing your book while you’re writing it. If you wait to start marketing your book until after you’ve finished writing it, you will seriously jeopardize its overall potential success.

Step 1: Pre-Publication

Book marketing is front-loaded; meaning, most of your marketing and promotional efforts should be completed long before the publication date.

While you’re writing and editing your book, here are some of the tasks you should be concentrating on:

  1. Key messages. As soon as possible, concentrate on a few critical marketing tasks, like preparing the text for the back cover of your book; creating one sheets (1-page, 2-sided formatted documents describing your book, used for printed and online distribution; and finally, media press releases. You should also prepare sample questions for interviewers to ask you.
  2. Setting up an Amazon launch campaign. The goal of an Amazon campaign is to sell 100 copies of your book in its category (or categories) during a 24-hour period. This involves identifying and contacting marketing partners and asking them to contribute bonuses for pre-publication orders, as well as placing orders for your book during the specified 24 hours.
  3. Preparing incentives. Marketing a successful nonfiction book involves preparing bonus materials to share with readers who purchase your book during the 24-hour book launch campaign. You can also mention the availability of these incentives when you’re being interviewed.
  4. Pre-publication testimonials. This involves networking and contacting experts and influencers in your field to provide pre-publication reviews or quotes, as well preparing a PDF containing your book’s table of contents and two sample chapters.

The above are just the tip of the iceberg. As you can see, there are numerous options available.

Use the Book Launch Planner to review your book marketing goals and options. Click the icon next to each topic to learn more about each tool. Then, select and prioritize the tools you’re going to use, using MindManager’s Task Icons. Finally, create a detailed book marketing calendar by adding Start Dates and Due Dates for each task.

Step 2: Launch Week

The week of your book launch, your primary marketing activities primarily involve fulfilling previous commitments, such as:

  • Virtual Book Tour. Instead of traveling to bookstores, as was a popular practice in previous years, your emphasis during launch week should be appearing on live teleseminar interviews to discuss and promote your book with experts in your field.
  • Social Media. During launch week, you should be promoting your interviews and incentives using social media, while inviting your marketing partners to use social media help you promote your book launch incentives. Offering ready-to-Tweet samples is a great way to encourage this.
  • Monitoring. During your Amazon promotion, you should be monitoring book sales and using a screen capture program, spreadsheet, or mind map to document your book’s success. You should also be tracking the performance of the comments and incentives driven by your launch week interviews.

The relationships and visibility that you create during your book launch provide the raw materials for years of marketing and promotion. Treat everyone who attends one of your events or interviews, or buys your book, as a qualified prospect for your future products and services.

Step 3: Post-Publication

Follow up your book launch with personalized thank you notes or calls to those who supported your launch — as well as those who purchased the book during it. This is especially true of those who contributed pre-publication testimonials. Additionally, you should consider:

  • Bonus materials. Continue to look for opportunities to create additional bonus materials and target them to your readers. These materials don’t have to be elaborate; they can be short audio recordings or videos, templates, one-page PDF case studies, glossaries, or tip sheets. The main idea is that they have “scarcity value,” and are promoted first (or only) to readers and supporters.
  • Segment your email list. Explore the tools your email host offers for segmenting your mailing list, so you can send special mailings to specific recipients, such as those who have purchased your book. Once you’ve done this, or password-protected special “reader-only” premium-content sections of your mailing list, you’ll have paved the way for intense relationship building.

Step 4: Ongoing Activities

Ideally, book marketing and reader relationship-building never ends. Always be on the lookout for new ways to maintain your visibility and show your appreciation to your supporters. Remember:

  • Each reader bonus or thank you is an investment in your future books and marketing your business to higher profits!
  • As you move forward, look for ways to leverage your first book into a second, or follow-up book. Many authors follow up their first book with a hands-on Workbook. Or, you can expand a popular chapter or section of your book into a book of its own.

For example, Jay Conrad Levinson leveraged his original Guerrilla Marketing into a series of over 100 books applying Guerrilla Marketing principles to specific industries and marketing tools.

In my case, I immediately followed my first bestseller, Looking Good in Print: A Guide to Basic Design for Desktop Publishing, into The Makeover Book: 100 Before and After Design Solutions for Desktop Publishing and Newsletters from the Desktop: Designing Effective Publications with Your Computer.

Contact me at Roger@PublishedandProfitable.com and I’ll send you two additional PDF worksheets containing additional ideas for planning your book launch! The will help you identify the tasks associated with each marketing approa