Friday, February 25, 2011

A 'Best Sellers' Post Script

One day after the launch of my book MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, I am still overwhelmed and oh-so-grateful for the 'surprise' of actually reaching best seller status. Yes, MAN-EATER reached #12 (to the best of my knowledge - it may have been higher) in the 'Romance-Contemporary' category at Amazon.ca/ - the sister subsidiary to Amazon.com in Canada. This was especially exciting since I had neglected to change my categories there to the narrower ones I had chosen at Amazon.com. 'Romance-contemporary' is actually a pretty broad category with 42,404 books listed.

In the end I can chalk up the success of the launch to several key factors:

1. Follow the 'rules' for book launches as listed within the 'John 3:16 Marketing Network' guidelines to the maximum degree that you are able. There are several excellent documents outlining exactly how to host a successful launch, written by people who actually know what they are talking about. And it works!

2. Stay organized. You will soon discover that your book launch 'to do' list, along with the plethora of correspondence, will bury you if you don't take steps to maintain an orderly system of tracking what you are doing. I created more than one separate 'folder' in my email account to manage all the correspondence, and I also created a separate word document where I could keep track of those offering to blog, give e-gifts, or just tweet. In the end I had 57 people willing to help me in some way and there would have been no way for me to stay organized had I not taken these steps to stay organized.

3. Prepare well in advance. I started preparing for my launch a good six weeks before the actual date. There are so many things to do, from changing browse categories at amazon, to creating a landing page, to contacting potential supporters individually - that you will quickly lose your sanity (and some hair?!) if you leave it until the last minute. Just a note on the 'contacting individually' ... this is a key factor, in my mind. An initial group contact is fine in the beginning, but I can't expect everyone to take the same amount of interest in MY launch that I am taking. We are all busy people and not everyone is going to remember to post or get around to reading every group email. You will be much more successful if you take 'ownership' of your own launch by doing most of the leg work.

4. Prayer. In the end, all my hard work and valiant effort is only as good as my trust in God. Ultimately, He is in control of my 'rising and sleeping'; my 'going in and coming out'. Whether you actually attain best selling status or not, rest assured, God is on your side if you are putting your trust in Him. The experience you will gain and the connections you will make are well worth all the effort.

I wish everyone many blessings as they continue to walk with HIM and as they move forward toward their goals. The Marketing Network is a wonderfully supportive place for Christian authors to work together and I pray that it will continue to grow as God sees fit.

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