How to Assemble a Book Launch Team
And expand the size of your crowd.
Success in book marketing is really about empowering people and making it easy for them to contribute to your word of mouth. More on that here.
This is where your pre-launch team comes in.
A book launch team is made up of 50-100 people, or ambassadors, who agree to preorder your book, share it with their own networks, and contribute creative skills to the campaign. This will take your book book launch to the next level by getting people who support you to share it with their own followers and networks. That’s how viral promotion starts.
*Remember, the idea is to expand your reach, and therefore book preorders, beyond your immediate network and into your extended network.
Start forming your book launch team 2–4 weeks before your book campaign launches. Once complete, this team of book ambassadors will help you gain traction in preorders.
It may help to think of the first 100 people to preorder your book as your book launch team.
Here’s a good video invitation (example) to share with your friends and colleagues: youtube.com/watch?v=juE_Akil6UY
Step 1: Create your list
Everyone has a database. You have a Gmail or Outlook account with hundreds, maybe thousands, of email contacts. You have a LinkedIn network.
If you have a list of email subscribers pick out some close contacts.
Download these into an Excel spreadsheet, clean up the list so names are correct and then add family and friends who are not already on the list. Save as a CSV.
Step 2: Import CSV into Invites
Once your book campaign is approved by Publishizer, you have access to import the CSV of email contacts into your Invites.
You can also pull your Gmail contacts directly into Invites from the Publishizer platform. We’re tricky like that ❤
Now, you can Invite this entire list to be a part of your book launch team.
Know that not everyone will respond right away so follow up with people until you build a solid team. We’ve seen teams up to 100.
Step 3: Incentivize them to share
Your goal is get this book in more people’s hands and land a nice publishing deal. People want to help you do that. That’s the goal.
Don’t ask them to help you increase your book sales. That’s the what, not the why. Why should they help you? Where’s their benefit?
- Give them some cool perks — like a couple free books. One for them and one for their friend. Sign and personalized them. Give them acknowledgement in the book when it’s printed. Give them VIP access to your book launch party — which means you can make that as special as you want. Brad Szollose created a VIP group to a famous cocktail venue in Manhattan. This was part of his book launch party. He made these ambassadors feel like they were a part of creating the book and his entire publishing process. It was something bigger than themselves.
- Ask them to share it with their networks — on their social media, their email lists, in their community groups. And then give them some of the same cool perks described above. Ask if any of the ambassadors on your book launch team have services they want to provide to people who preorder your book. Filipa Larangeira asked a friend to offer her Adwords consulting services for everyone who preordered at least 3 copies.
- Don’t be afraid to go big. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. And that’s never been more true than when it comes to book sales. Ask them to create a list of 50–100 people they think will buy, and then have them reach out. They can pass along your signed copies, your VIP launch party or a discount on a coaching service.
Step 4: Send continuous updates
You as the author have complete control over your campaign and your perks, and with this control comes a lot of power.
Continuously send your launch team updates on perks and campaign progress (via the Invites). Do this for your readers also.
- Pass the discount. Want to give everyone on your book launch team 5% of each book they sell. Give it to them. Remember, your preorder campaign is a means to an end. More on that here. Want to give potential clients or people a discount on your services if they buy 10 books? Give it to them. Whatever is going to increase book sales. They’ll thank you for the discount and maybe become a full client later on. Encourage your book launch team to offer the same thing to the people they ask to preorder.
- Get creative. Your campaign is limited only by how creative you and your launch team makes it. Joan Gelfand split her $1,200 investment (and 50 copies of her book) into 12 buyers. This brought a large buy to her campaign and required less direct selling on her part.
- Maintain the momentum. Part of this is not letting up on momentum. Surprise them with a new bonus to add or an update from a publisher or campaign progress. Give them exact email text to copy and send to their own networks. Lack of momentum equals unmotivated ambassadors, and your campaign will not reach it’s potential.
If you want help assembling a book launch team, schedule a chat with me here.
Apply here for our next batch of authors in a book accelerator program.