It’s good to know the right people.
About a year ago, a co-worker of mine called me to tell me that one of our former colleagues, a rep from one of our suppliers, was going to be in a nearby town and that I should go to dinner with them. The colleague had recently quit his Fortune 500 company job to pursue various entrepreneurial channels. This made me nervous.
“Is he going to try to sell me Amway?”
On a Thursday night, I drove 80 miles to a inland Florida town whose fast-food restaurant ratio is matched only by the number of golf cart driving seniors, and a lack of golf courses. We were supposed to eat “the nicest steak restaurant in town.” Except, “Manny’s” had a two hour wait. So… we ended up at Sonny’s BBQ. Nothing against Sonny’s, but I don’t need to drive 80 miles to eat at Sonny’s.
At this dinner, our newly unemployed, un-housed, free spirited friend did not try to sell me Amway, or anything else. I was rather offended (not really). The truth is, he’s just a nice guy and wanted to keep in touch. Now… here’s where it gets interesting. While my co-worker (god bless him) was explaining his intricate and obsessive compulsive system of notebooks that he uses to manage his accounts (hi Jim), I told Austin that I was publishing a book. Furthermore, I told him he should write a book about what he was doing, and publish it himself.
Now… he may never admit this… he may say he’d already had the idea… but I think I sparked the idea.
Of course, while I was still editing my book, he went to Vietnam and Thailand, wrote his book, published it, and went #1 in 27 different categories within two days. He’s so good at marketing eBooks that he did someone else’s and hit another home run. And thus, The Epic Book Launch was born. He’s got like a million clients, a waiting list, and a guy who follows him around, strictly to keep lint off his shorts (made that last part up, but can’t be sure it isn’t true.)
I got lucky. Before this concept took off, Austin agreed to test his methods on a fiction book… MINE… for a percentage of the proceeds. I quickly did the math and realized that getting 100% of practically nothing is not as good as sharing something.
Get to the Point
So, yesterday was part one of my Epic Launch. Web pages were up, Social Media readied, people were prepped to share the good news of The Grandfather Clock, available for FREE.
At 7:30am, I sent a bunch of emails, posted on my blog, and hit my social media points. The launch team then unleashed the torrent of promotions (I don’t even really know), and applied what can only be described as “magic.”
- At 9am I had 40 downloads. Easily my best day ever, but… not exactly noteworthy.
- At 11am, 650 people had downloaded it. Whoa. I don’t know 650 people.
- Noon, 1,250. Cool, I thought. I started telling my wife.
Somewhere, mid afternoon, something caught. There had been a goal (which I thought was a pipe-dream) of hitting 10,000 downloads. That milestone was passed at dinnertime.
Surely it would eventually slow down. And it did. but not before over 16,000 people had downloaded my book. I sat at #1 on several categories and was the #3 FREE Book in all of Kindle-land. I stopped getting updates at about 11:30pm.
So… SORRY… it’s not FREE anymore.
Late this afternoon, the price of my book went to (a still ridiculously low) 99 cents. All of my rankings on the “FREE” list evaporated and I stepped in to the reality of selling my work again. In less than 4 hours, I’ve sold more books than I had sold since November. More significantly, More than 17,000 people have my book on their Kindle.
Phase 2 of the Launch is to carry the momentum into paying customers, and serious readers (people who read a lot). I’ve got 20 Free books in my Kindle account that I’ve never opened. I get it. If I pay for a book, even 99 cents, I’m going to at least start reading it.
As of this moment, 9:30pm, March 19, I am ranked #63 on the paid list of Adventure Fiction. #79 is Cormack McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. Yes, he’s sold approximately 30 million more books than me, but today we’re on the same list. I probably haven’t earned enough money today to afford a dinner out, but it’s very gratifying to know that so many people have the opportunity to read my book.
Stay tuned for more. The next couple of days should be pretty interesting. Many thanks to Austin Netzley and Joe Schaffer. Austin has an awesome blog and podcast at YoProWealth. If you self publish, check out Epic Book Launch. And if you’re hungry, Sonny’s has great brisket.