You're ready to write your book. Awesome! That's a huge step.
But if you want to get your book published the RIGHT way to make a difference for your business… there are some things to set up first. And this is whether you choose to self-publish OR go the traditional publishing route.
In this episode, we're covering how to grow your audience WHILE writing and publishing your book … and generate sales along the way.
Want help building your personalized plan for your book launch? Let's talk!
Alyson Lex 0:01
Before we get started, there's a quick caveat. There are two ways to publish your book, either self publishing, doing it yourself from something like Kindle, or through a publisher or a publishing house. The thing is, either one of these is going to require that you have an audience before your book is published. These days, publishers want to know that you have an audience to market your book to, it's actually a big misconception that those big publishing houses are going to help you market your book, they're not going to do that, unless you're john Grisham or Tom, at Tom Clancy or any of those other big name writers that make millions off of their books. Any agent who tells you otherwise is not being transparent with you. Alright, so in this episode, we're going to talk about a few ways you can grow your audience before you launch a book, and how you can do it while helping to propel your book launch even further, to make it more successful, I'm so excited about this, because there's some good stuff in here
Unknown Speaker 1:07
I am to
Alyson Lex 1:09
the first thing that you want to do is just really understand how important building your audiences, the more people that follow you, the more people will buy your book. And there's something really important here as well.
Jennie Wright 1:29
There's a lot of important stuff here. But building your audience is really essential. It's going to help connect you to your potential ideal reader. But it's also going to help connect you to possible clients, depending on how you actually serve your people, right. So your audience build out that you're doing isn't necessarily just around your book, this is something really important to consider. It's not just around your book, it's around your brand. Your book might be about underwater basket weaving, as people like to joke about, but you are your brand. And the audience should be revolving around you not just as necessarily the topic, or the subject of the book.
Alyson Lex 2:09
Right, exactly. You're not building an audience around that the underwater basket weaving book, you're building an audience around the under water basket weaving, that's hard to say, underwater basket weaving expert.
Jennie Wright 2:22
Listen, for somebody who can say a children's book The way you do at the speed that you do it. And I know this to be true, go out to go to Allison's Facebook profile, and you'll see it you go back to sometime in April. But if somebody can speak that quickly, that is not a bad word for you,
Unknown Speaker 2:38
you can do it.
Alyson Lex 2:40
You know, Fox on socks, it's hard. Okay. So the first thing that you're going to do is look for where the audience for you might be hanging out. All right, let's pull this into a personal example. I'm a copywriter, I might write a book about sales pages, or email funnels or landing pages, I'm not going to go look for an audience that just wants to know about landing pages, I'm going to build an audience that wants to learn copy, you see the distinction. So your book might be a really narrow subset of your full expertise and fully what you teach, your audience is going to be for the full thing. And a subset of that audience is going to want to buy your book. So where are they hanging out, build that audience, using social media, using some of the organic promotion methods that we've talked about on this podcast, and we'll link a bunch of episodes in the show notes for your future, reading, listening purposes. Okay, but then begin to create content, using the topics in your book, to get that audience to begin to self identify,
Jennie Wright 3:56
there's a lot there that you can do with the creating content. And this sometimes can feel a little bit, it feels a little weird to authors, because they really do get in behind their book, they really think that the book is the thing when the thing is actually them and who they are and what they do. So it might feel a little odd in the beginning to sort of create this content. And we totally understand that you can start small and do things that feel more comfortable. But eventually we do want you to sort of build out your audience with this content, right? So creating that list of people who when the book comes out, or when you launch your program, product or service, they'll be ready to work with you. That is getting ready that's building that audience. And also then I know from very specific experience with other people, and a couple clients, that publishing houses, publishers, etc. Want you to have this done. They'll actually it'll help broker you a bigger deal. If you have already started to do this work. I was speaking to a publisher friend of mine several months ago, and he told me He said that if he has two authors, and they've both written books about the same topic, but one has an audience of 10,000 on social media, and the other one has an audience of 2000, on social media, that they'll look more favorably at the person that the 10,000, because they've already established an audience, we can already sort of establish the fact that there might be some book sales there, right. And there might be some ancillary sales that could come from that. So this is no, I'm not saying those numbers is arbitrary. Those are just numbers. You don't have to necessarily focus on them. But those are things that we want you to take a look at.
Alyson Lex 5:34
What you can also do is use this content to create that list of people who will be ready to work with you. And we're going to talk about how to do that in a minute. As you're writing, you'll see which content is going to resonate the most with your audience, you can actually choose what to include your in your book that way. Right? So this does not have to be I've written a book I'm waiting to publish Now what this can be, I want to write a book this year. What do I need to be doing alongside it? And what's going to happen is as you set yourself apart, as you begin to build that following as you provide that value, you're going to begin landing sales before your books even finished, before it's published, before it's launched. And then of course, after. Okay, so create the content. Let's, let's go back and pretend I'm writing. Jenny and I are writing a book together about high converting high converting. Lead converting.
Jennie Wright 6:32
Yeah, converting funnels. Let's do it. Okay, yeah.
Alyson Lex 6:35
Universalist build funnels, right. Let's pretend that we're doing that Jenny wants to take off the pretend part. But let's pretend we're doing that. So we're going to begin to drip out little tips, little pieces, little chunks of content, we might say, hey, the best converting funnel we've ever done for our list builder event. This is why it worked as a blog post, and then syndicate that over for social. And again, we have episodes that talk about that. Well, people who react to that are likely going to be interested in the book about high converting list build funnels. Alright. Also, we're now engaging our audience through the journey of creating our book. And you can actually do it even more by saying, Hey, I'm writing a book on this. I love this topic so much. I'm writing a book on this, get their opinions, ask them, ask for their feedback. share some of your wins, just finished chapter two. Here's an excerpt. drip out bits and pieces of that content. Share the cover design.
Jennie Wright 7:47
Yes. What car do you like better? I've just gotten two versions back from, you know, my designer. Yes. Which one? Do you guys like?
Alyson Lex 7:55
I see those all the time. And they always have so many votes. Oh, yeah. Yeah, or you
Jennie Wright 8:02
don't. It's just to create some really good engagement.
Alyson Lex 8:05
Exactly. It builds that relationship, it builds that familiarity. So then, let's say we do that, let's say we we asked for this opinion on the cover. If somebody votes for cover a and I'd select cover a and then I publish with cover a and they see it in their newsfeed, they're gonna say, Hey, I help pick that it builds a little bit of ownership. You can ask for quotes for testimonials from your clients, Hey, can I quote you in my book? Oh,
Jennie Wright 8:36
you could even ask people, you could do a beta. And you could say I'm looking for five people to read my book.
And to give me some feedback, like a to create a testimonial for it for the book. And I'll include it in the book, or I'll include it on the, you know, on the website for the book.
Alyson Lex 8:54
Why not? There are there are so many ways that you can engage your people in the process of creating your book. And what it does, and Jenny's talked about this is it begins to build that buzz. You're not in promo yet. You're not launched yet. You might not even be published yet. But if you look at oh my gosh, all the way back, I think episode seven. We talked about the promo storm, which Jennie doesn't really like that name. You have to love the concept. I love the concept is amazing. Jennie doesn't like the name. I love the name. But I have a thing for thunderstorms. So this is the build up. And in that episode, we talk about how the build up is, what two to three weeks long. But that's an accelerated timeline. Maybe for your book. It's the entire time you're writing which it could take a year. Or if you're me, it could take five years to write your first book because I can't figure out what to write about Even though Jennie I know he's going to land on this high converting list build funnels idea.
Jennie Wright 9:58
Oh, it's going to happen. There'll be an outline.
Unknown Speaker 10:00
Jennie Wright 10:02
we were talking about like doing a completely separate different book, but you know, this will be the one that'll will actually get done.
Alyson Lex 10:08
Right. So, but I mean, just think about how exciting that is to have people rooting for you and pulling for you. By the time you launch, you now have a street team, people who are supportive, who will engage, who will buy, who will review, and do all of the things that really are part of a successful book launch
Jennie Wright 10:35
100% these are the things that can make a difference. And it also, it's great to be involved in have a community, which leads into how we can sort of serve that community as well. Because while you're cultivating that community, and while you're building that community out, we want to make sure that they're receiving some support, we also want to make sure that we're pulling people from social media into our email marketing list at the same time, so that we can engage them there. This is an important number, it's not just the vanity metrics on Instagram that we need to think about is the list build that we also need to qualify. So take a look at creating resources that people can actually use, that can support your brand, not necessarily just the book, but the brand as well. Right. So that might be lead magnets that are going to help you grow your list whilst you're building your community. I love making a quiz
Unknown Speaker 11:25
that will help people
Jennie Wright 11:26
self identify and segment themselves so you can easily connect and serve them later on. You can make as small as like four segments that you can understand what your people need and what they want. You know what kind of information they're looking for, which would be good. I also love checklists. So depending on the industry that you're in, it might make sense that you have a checklist in your business. And that checklist might assist in people being able to do something on their own before the book is even out. Right? What a great opportunity for them to sort of start to on their journey. And then the book can be the next step in that journey. Perhaps that might be a good thing, too.
Alyson Lex 12:04
Yeah, I like checklists, I like cheat sheets, right? Hey, I've given you this want this huge concept. And now I'm going to create a cheat sheet that is just kind of a one shot spot for you to remember that concept. You can do a video training a series a webinar, right if they if they want to go really in depth on a specific topic. And by the way, if your book has 10 chapters, you now have 10 webinars
Unknown Speaker 12:29
just as a heads up. Okay, we can talk about I can talk about that all day long.
Alyson Lex 12:34
The other thing that you can do to create a resource is to create a small product. So not even necessarily free, but a paid small product around some of the book content. And that'll actually help you monetize. So you drive them to a lead magnet, they opt in you say hey, do you want XYZ for 37 bucks, maybe it would be, you know, the challenge planning, swipe file or whatever, for this list build book that apparently has been born here on the podcast, I really got to stop saying stuff
Jennie Wright 13:07
out loud, awesome that you do because it's just it's so good.
Alyson Lex 13:12
Because Jenny jumps on it and then makes me do it. So I really need to stop saying things out loud. But we could say, Alright, let's put it into action. Again, pretend book. I promise this is not planned. This book, the outline for this book doesn't exist. We're not, you know, trying to build buzz. But high converting list build funnel. a freebie that we could offer might be a quiz on which kind of list build is right for you. Right, just a quick quiz. And so it drops them into segments and they now they know which part of the book they want to read. And maybe a small product would be a tiny offer, or a tiny product for each of those results. Hey challenges the best for you. Here is your challenge starter kit. Hey, here's your summit starter kit. Hey, here's your video series starter kit. I really hope Jenny's taking notes, although this is obviously being recorded. But then now, not only am I segmenting my audience, not only am I giving them resources to help them interact with my content. I'm monetizing my book. Before I've written a word. Now I can take all the content that I'm putting out there to support this lead magnet traffic and turn it into my book. There's actually someone that I lightly follow on social that did all of these blog style posts in Facebook groups in order to generate traffic for her own stuff. She took them and put them in a book. The content already existed.
Jennie Wright 14:50
I remember when you told me that I was like what a brilliant idea.
Alyson Lex 14:53
And I think she Yeah, she sold it for like five bucks. But she built herself a list of buyers and now she's doing very, very well. So there are a lot of different ways to leverage your book beyond the printed bound version. Alright, so how can we get started? There are we've got episodes again, we'll put them in the show notes on how to grow your list, how to do all that stuff. But it really all boils down to a few things. Utilize social media, find out where your people are hanging out, and start connecting with them. If they're on Facebook, interacting groups, if they're on LinkedIn, start interacting in comments, and DMS, optimize your profiles, start showing up. Be consistent about it. That's the big key there is consistency. You can't show up today. not show up tomorrow and expect that the day after tomorrow, people are going to pay you.
Jennie Wright 15:56
Yes, or do things one time and expect all like all of the things to happen, there's not going to be a ticker tape parade with you showing up once. That only happens after you show up consistently over a very long time. The next thing that really makes sense with this that Alison was just leading into, and I think this is great as a podcast to her. We love podcasters I actually got this, this isn't even my idea. I got this from Allison Allison showed me how to do this. And it has really transformed my business. I've mentioned this on a previous podcast episode as well, that the podcast tour changed my business. By doing a podcast Tour, which is technically showing up on or trying to get yourself booked on 20 to 25 or 30 episodes, that would be a really good podcast tour, that you can actually get your name out there and start connecting with your audience before anything happens. So this is before and around your book launch. Now I just want to I just want to preface this one thing.
Unknown Speaker 16:54
When people are launching their book,
Jennie Wright 16:56
they turn into sharks in Chung infested water, they just go for every single podcast that they can get on. They don't care if it's you know how to self soothe your child podcast to the you know, whatever, whatever podcast, they don't care, they just try and get on all of them thinking that exposure is exposure and all exposure is good. But you need to be showing up for your right audience. Why would you spend your time and Allison's like giving me like Yes, in the background right now? Like, why would you show up on a podcast or even apply to a podcast and spend your time applying to a podcast that doesn't have your ideal client in it. That doesn't speak to your true audience that doesn't connect to the subject matter or the topic that you're going to talk about either in the future or now. And it doesn't serve you Right, so why waste that time. So instead of being the shark in the chum filled waters, I want you to be incredibly specific with your podcast tour, I want you to look at only the podcasts that play into your niche. That's it. So when you're doing this, there's a lot of tools out there that are gonna help you research is your friend go and get a Google Sheet and start looking at the podcast go on Apple podcasts or Spotify or wherever you look at your podcasts and start looking for podcasts in your niche. Allison and I did this and we have spreadsheets for it. Actually, I'm not gonna lie Allison did this, and then shared it with me. And then I added a few but 99% of them are all stuff that Allison did and I know she had somebody at one point like trying to help her with this. And like did some podcasts but for the most part, it's it's it's Allison at four o'clock in the morning. Totally creeping out on podcasts. Let's just be honest. So there's a couple tools out there that are gonna make this simple. We love pot it dotnet pot It is a great resource for connecting to potential podcasts. If you have a podcast it's also a great way to get guests. But we love pot it I've booked so many interviews off the pot it so is Allison, I believe right now it has like a 58% acceptance rate, which is really, really good. Really, really good. So take a look at pata dotnet. The other one that we want you to look at is a service called one sheet dot Pro. One Sheet dot Pro is where you can create what we call a one sheet speaker one sheet. And this basically is a bit rough outlines who you are what you do, what are you going to talk about the key things that you're able to speak about with confidence. What shows you may have not been you know, may have been on the past and things like that it gives some examples right. It might even have some testimonials. I know with my one sheet Pro, I have a testimonial. I asked Allison for testimonial she still has given it to me so maybe she'll do that by the time this is published. Maybe we'll see. And I'm not sure of her ability. I'm sure after how many episodes together she's not sure I'm a good podcaster or podcast guest so check it out those two right now off the top of my head are the great ones. There's others out there that I think are also really good. So those are gonna be something to check out as well.
Alyson Lex 19:58
Hmm, yeah, there's stuff like And I hate the name of this, but it's matchmaker.fm. So, it sounds like such a dating site like Sirius. I know, I remember signing up for it. And I actually called my husband in the room. And I was like, hon, I just want to show you what this site is in case you see emails, or because we have access to everything for each other. In case you see anything, you're not concerned, he thought that was really funny. There's Radio guestlist, there are a ton, there are also interview booking agencies that you can utilize, I want to just encourage you to be a little picky with them. Okay, so we get a lot of pitches, here at System to THRIVE. And I can tell you with absolute certainty that the majority of the pitches are not awesome. They're not niched, they're not well written, they're not well researched. So if you're going to use a booking assistant, or a booking agency, have it be someone that you can train yourself, or an agency that really focuses on putting you in the best light to the podcasters. Because we get real judgy on these pitches sometimes guys, okay. With, with with reason, with reason, with very good reason, with total
Jennie Wright 21:16
reason, because we're getting pitched stuff, we're getting pitched, you know, somebody who's completely outside of our niche that thinks, or this booking agent thinks that they'd be a good fit. They obviously have no idea what we do. We've had, I mean, we're very business oriented, and we've had people being pitched to us that are, you know, metaphysical transformational coaches, that's just not a fit for our podcast,
Unknown Speaker 21:39
great topic, not a fit for the podcast, right?
Jennie Wright 21:43
We've had all sorts of types being pitched to us. And it's just, it's not the right fit. So you know, and we have a process. And the process is very clear, it's stated very clearly on our website. So if they're getting our email addresses off the website, which they are, and they're connecting with us to try and get on the podcast, they would have seen that there was a process, but because they circumvent the process, and they just go straight for the email. It's almost an automatic No, we actually just spoke to somebody this week, that was just interesting enough for us to have a conversation, we fell in love with her instantly, and she's gonna be on the podcast, but that is like very few and far between.
Unknown Speaker 22:17
Not gonna lie. The neck, right, I'm
Alyson Lex 22:19
gonna, I'm gonna kick Jenny off of her soapbox. I want to make sure that we really talk about the fact that this tour is not just about saying, Hey, I have a book. Okay, this is an opportunity for you to generate content, it's an opportunity for you to get in front of new audiences. And it's an opportunity for you to build relationship with podcasters, which we'll come back in just a minute. leverage this. Alright, I take each podcast appearance that I've been on, I get it transcribed, and I have my person create social posts out of that. I can turn them into blog posts, and I have its content generation, I promote the heck out of it to my audience, because it says to my audience, Hey there, I'm awesome. I've got stuff that you should hear and other people think so to access social proof. So don't just go on there and be like, hey, I want to tell you all about my book, chapter one is about blah, blah, blah, chapter. No, no, no, one, nobody's going to publish that episode. And two, nobody's going to listen to that episode, and three, nobody's going to follow you because of that episode. deliver a ton of value, give some stuff away from for free, people will come find you.
What we also want to look at is building JV style relationships. Who has an audience that's a perfect fit for you, that you can do a training with? Or for? Who can you connect with to leverage their lists to help build yours? Right? Remember, I talked about building relationship with podcast hosts, they would be amazing resources to get this started, show up deliver a ton of value for their audience. And then at the end of the recording, when everybody you know, the recording button has been on hit, and you're saying your nice things to each other. Say, Hey, how would you feel if I did a special training on this for your audience? Do you have a group that that you want to training for? leverage that calm that connection? Okay, these are collaborative people, people who serve the same people that you serve, but maybe in a different way.
Jennie Wright 24:41
Collaboration has been?
Unknown Speaker 24:42
Jennie Wright 24:45
Collaboration has been such a big boost for a lot of people's businesses. And we tend to jump off the phone or jump off the call or jump off the chat too quickly. Before just asking a simple question. This is out of nervousness. I know this is out of, I can't ask a question like this, this person is probably going to say no. You know, and yes, some people do say no, but what's the worst that's going to happen? What's the worst they can say? Yeah, no, is totally is totally okay. It's totally fine. So I think I think it's a really great opportunity to do that. And one of the things that I actually see people do, and it's something that I recommend that you do, is asking people who earn adjacent topics to support and help you do that. As an example, I was just promoting. I know, this is a little outside of a book launch, but I was promoting a summit. And I had somebody who was an adjacent market. And she was on one of my clubhouses. And Allison's like, dude, reach out to her, ask her, she'll promote your summit. And I'm like, She's like, just ask. So I did. Because I've been I've been getting, you know, I've been giving a platform for this person to speak on my weekly clubhouses. I mean, it's just an ask. It's, I mean, there's nothing wrong with it. So I did ask. And quite honestly, for about 48 hours, that person didn't respond. So I thought I ticked them off. But then they didn't. They're like, Oh, I'm so sorry. I meant to respond. Yeah, totally. No problem, I'd happy to be happy to, I'd love to, it's totally My pleasure, send me information. And I'll do it today. And I was like, Wow. So this person actually, you know, helped promote something that had nothing to do with their business, they weren't going to get anything from it necessarily, except for provide very good content, because I provide good content to their audience. And they did it. So just, you know, get out there and kind of do it. Allison, and I have a couple of takeaways from today's episode, that we want to share with you that I think, and also things are going to be very, very helpful for you. These are things that, you know, throughout the episode we've sort of talked about and I think that you can pull out, I'll take the first two, Allison's gonna grab the last two. So number one is we want you to build a community around you, and what you do, versus just the book itself, the book is great, and you will talk about it completely an overly and tons of times when it actually comes out. But in the process of building your community, people want to get to know you, as Alyson says people buy from people. And that's what you need to focus on. So get them to get to know you. And it's going to be an easier sell in the future. documenting your process, you would think that nobody would give, you know, to flippy flops for whatever it is that you're doing. But they actually do, right. So people actually care about the process that you're doing. Because it again, it helps them dear them to you as a person. So start documenting your process, talk about what you do, involve them in the cover design, if you want involve them in little things, bits and pieces here and there. So they feel like they're part of it, it's going to help them connect with you on a deeper level.
Alyson Lex 27:44
Yeah, it's going to create that engagement with your audience, which is going to be a priority for you. So takeaway three is engagement is king. We want to get those people interacting with you, we want to get that relationship built with you. And to do that, we're going to get again, get them involved, get them involved with you figure out how they want to receive their information and give it to them in that way. A lot of people love video. Some people don't, I'm not a video fan. So is your audience video fans are no if they are and you're just doing text posts, then you're missing an opportunity. So create that engagement in the way that's going to be the best for them to receive it. And takeaway number four is this entire thing, all of it from A to Z. And every step in between is about more than just, Hey, I have a book. And this is a mistake I see a lot of authors make. Everything becomes about the book, instead of about the value inside the cover. It's about just the book itself instead of the value on the pages. So if you create real value for people, both in your book, and in everything that you do to build your audience, you're going to have more than just a bunch of book buyers. And actually, I think that that is takeaway number five that I just thought of. We're not just creating a list of book buyers. We're creating a list of buyer buyers, product buyers, program buyers, coaching buyers, people that want to work with you more in depth. Because isn't that the whole reason we're writing this book in the first place?
Unknown Speaker 29:40
Allison, I was so good. Yeah,
Jennie Wright 29:43
I fully agree with you. I think that fifth takeaway was the thing. We're not just creating, you know, a list of book buyers. It's more than that. Did you know that Alyson I support authors. Did you know that Alyson and I help authors Get everything that we just talked about happening. Do you know that we support authors with creating lead magnets? And talking about community? Did you also know that we can connect authors with the services and the people that help do the bits that Allison and I don't necessarily do. But we can definitely refer you out. This is stuff that Allison and I work on together with our clients. If you're writing a book, or you're planning on writing a book, or if you have written a book, and you're just trying to figure out how to get more community, I think that would be really, really good. Come and check us out System to thrive.com. Find us and we can see if we can help you. I just want to mention, thanks so much for everybody for listening to today's episode. I think this has been really good. I'm excited for you. If you've written a book. I'm excited for you to build out that community. And we'll be back again soon answering another big question.