When you’re selling a book, you need to be selling it months and years in advance.
In fact, I am right now actively selling the #AskGaryVee book.
Let me explain.
I’m putting out content, building an audience and gaining a lot of new fans. You may be shocked by how many people discovered me through the #AskGaryVee Show. Many people comment saying they are only two or three weeks in to knowing who I am. And that’s awesome. That means the show is doing exactly what I want it to do. The show is getting virality, bringing people in, thus creating a scenario where I’m bringing value upfront. I’m not charging for the show, I’m not asking for anything, I’m just building leverage.
But then something happens. In early 2016, I launch the #AskGaryVee book, made up of questions from the show (stay tuned ;) ). You might say, “people who have watched the whole show don’t really need to buy the book, right?” Wrong. Why? Because they’ve been part of it. They’ve consumed it for free, and now the value I provided will be what pushes them to do something in return for me by buying the book. See? (Plus, the book is going to have a lot of other exclusive content, so, you’re going to want it even if you’ve seen the show. Just FYI.).
And that is the biggest part of promoting and selling a book. You need to provide value upfront before you can ask anyone to buy something from you. Give first and receive.
Let me get into some tactics for you all to achieve that value.
One-on-one marketing. A hugely common mistake that book promoters will do is send out a bulk email. It usually says this: “Hey guys. I never do this but I have a book coming out next week and it would mean the world to me if you pre-ordered a copy.” Sound familiar? You’ve probably received an email like this at least once in your lifetime. Why do people do it? Because they want to be efficient. They want to scale. Guess what I did differently? Before my book came out, I went to Connecticut with my family and all I did for a week was write emails. One by one by one by one I wrote emails to people. Literally. Thousands of emails personally tailored.
Assess the market of exposure. That year for me, August of 2013, podcasting was really starting to take off. And so I wanted to focus on that, since I knew that was where my audience was focusing their time. I went and did a ton of interviews with all the emerging podcast people because I knew that was the arbitrage. And what I mean by arbitrage is this: a place where you can get bigger return on your investment than other places based on its exposure. So while three years ago I would have wanted to be in the HuffPost guest blogging, that year was the year of the podcast. Things will continue to shift. You need to figure out where the market is shifting.
Bottom line: you need to stay tactical. You need to scale the unscalable. You’ve got to get to somebody’s emotions so that the intent goes from their heart to their brain to their wallet. Heart -> brain -> wallet.
That’s the way I think about selling books. Bring value for free, show people it’s worth it, and they will absolutely pay for it. BUT never forget that the first step is the heart. Always.
Good news: that heart brain wallet thing is a t-shirt. ☺ You’re welcome.