The first 1006 copies

As of this morning, July 11 2013, exactly two weeks after the launch, 1006 copies of Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book have been sold.  For a majority of the past two weeks it has been ranked #1 in the paid Kindle Marketing category.  It also reached #13 in the Business & Investing category for all formats.

Today I want to share the behind-the-scenes on how I launched Your First 1000 Copies.

My premise in Your First 1000 Copies is two-fold:

  1. Selling 1000 copies is an important threshold.  Most books sell about 250 copies – traditionally published books included – because this is about the number of people we are connected to.  Friends, family, colleagues, etc.  Once you break 1000 copies, you’ve reached outside of your direct network and done something bigger.  This also means your next thousand copies are easier to sell.
  2. If you have direct connection to your readers, selling your first 1000 copies is pretty straight forward.

So how did it work for me?  These are the questions I’ve been asked since the launch:

How many email subscribers do you need to sell 1000 copies?

I started the book campaign with 1869 subscribers to my email list.  I launched the book only to the email list.  I did no other outreach or promotion.  While a couple people ended up doing blog posts about the book, this was not due to my outreach efforts.  It was a result of people buying the book.

About 400 sales came directly through the email list.  It’s hard to know exact numbers, but that’s my best guess based on my analytics.  The other sales came from two places: 1) readers promoting via social media, email and blogs and 2) getting into Amazon’s system of recommended books.

Why didn’t I do an outreach campaign (blog tour, podcast interviews, etc)?

This is two-fold.  The main reason is because I didn’t want to.  I have long-term plans with this book and there’s no reason I have to pack all promotion into one week.  I have a fulltime job and didn’t want work for my clients to suffer while launching the book.

The other reason is to focus on the email list.  For all of my clients we do outreach and email list campaigns at the same time and it’s always hard to tease out which sales came from where.  In my own campaign, I wanted to see the impact of the email list alone.

What super-secret tactic did I use for my own book?

I was asked this several times.  The truth is, book launches are pretty straight forward.  I sent out emails to my subscribers introducing them to the book and it’s ideas and then I asked them to buy.  It’s that simple.  Also, I don’t hold back ideas and tactics when I launch for my clients… that’d be pretty wrong.

How many copies did you sell of print versus digital?

I priced the digital edition at $3.99 and the print edition at $9.99 (which Amazon marked down to $8.99).  Of the 1006 copies sold, 99 of them were in print.  This 1 out of 10 number has held pretty steady for the entire two weeks.  I believe the print version of the book would have sold more if the digital and print were priced the same at $9.99, but my overall sales would have been lower.  The $3.99 price point really encourages impulse buys.

What did I learn through my launch?

I had a client really press me about what “surprised” me with the launch and the truth is… nothing.  What I learned is that what I put in the book works.  The Connection System works.  If you build your Permission list and send great Content, book sales will naturally follow.

Do you have any questions?

Do you have a question about how I launched Your First 1000 Copies?  If so, leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer all of them.

[Note: This was originally an email to the Out:think Insider’s list and has been reposted here several months later]

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