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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Lessons from the Launch-Pad—Partnering

When I launched Steven George & The Dragon, I had little support from other writers or publishers. Personal friends forwarded information out to their contacts, but the total mailing still came in at only about 500 people. An astounding 10% sales rate showed that this was a truly high quality list, at least where my book is concerned. But what does it take to get broader exposure.

I was contacted after the launch by a company that does email promotion for new authors. They offered to email one million messages to “opt-in” readers for a mere $750. I had to go do the math. At net revenue of $5 per book, I would need 150 sales just to pay for the mailing. Shouldn’t I be able to expect at least a 0.015% return on that kind of promotion?

The truth is, probably not. A blind email, even to an opt-in list, might, indeed have tripled my one-day sales, but even then my book would be identified with mass mailing and not with targeted promotion to people who are interested in that type of book.

Then I ran into the concept of partner launches. This week I participated in and carefully observed the launch of Peggy McColl’s new book 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Marketing on the Internet. Over a hundred author partners participated in Peggy’s launch and the book reached international best seller status in its categories in 24 hours.

Granted, Peggy is a well-known author in self-help books, has the power of her sister’s Hasmark Services organization behind her, and works with a publisher whose “99 Things” series has several volumes of self-help books in the market. This isn’t her first bestseller. But the launch is still a great study in spreading the word about a new book to a highly targeted market via people who not only have mailing lists, but also are recognized and respected by their lists. Their recommendations count for something, so the readers are positioned to consider buying more favorably.

For some time, I have been advocating the development of a consortium of independent publishers that mutually promotes each others works. This is the closest to that ideal that I’ve seen in action. I’ll be joining several additional launches over the next two months as I move toward launch of my next book. If you are interested in joining me for my next launch, comment or message me and we’ll talk about what is to come.

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