Episode # 07 – The Incredible Book Launch Strategy with Darren Wearmouth

In Business, Launching, Marketing, Pricing by Simon Whistler14 Comments

book launch with Darren Wearmouth

In this episode I talk to Darren Wearmouth who, along with his brother Marcus, wrote the new novel First Activation. This is the brothers first book and we talk about how they took it from a standing start to over 1000 sales in the first week and to be the #1 Horror book in the UK, all through an incredible well put together book launch. He shares, in detail, his “7 day launch strategy.” This interview has tons of actionable info so be sure to check out the show notes!

Like what I’m up to?

If you do why not join my weekly newsletter? You’ll get exclusive content you won’t find on the site and I’ll send you my free report showing you 5 free writing tools you can use to improve your writing today!

The Incredible Book Launch Strategy with Darren Wearmouth

Links:

First Activation

Amazon Profile

The Wearmouth Brothers’ website Website

Show notes:

TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE! (Click to view, right click to save)

Coauthoring 

Darren writes a chapter, its reviewed, changes are made, until it is right. This original writing is very much a draft and his coauthor adds a great deal – hence an author, not an editor.

Together they were stronger, they both shared an interest in the book’s genre and were able to bounce ideas off each other.

Creative differences were sometimes there when they wanted the book to take different directions. Being close to your co-author and sharing interests is important.

Publishing

Darren considered small press as an option. Investigated a publisher that gave them an offer and eventually realized it just wasn’t worth it. He says you shouldn’t instantly accept an offer, do your research. What are they actually going to do for you? Darren thought that he could do a more effective book launch himself… and he did.

What they were offering Darren was basically what he could do himself, they were just a middleman. No regrets about going self published.

7 Day Book Launch Strategy

This graph outlines Darren’s books ranking over the initial 5 days. It will help you see how effective the different strategies outlined in the podcast (and below) were.

All services are linked, just click to go through to that site. 

Rank-graph

book launch graph

Pre-launch – decent cover, interesting book description. Made sure the book was a nice package. Initially decided on a pricing strategy of 99 pence and 99 cents to get exposure and get people to enjoy the book. Initial price is a special offer.

Day 0 – Targeting advertisers that would work with them. Darren found these by reading the experiences of other indie authors. He had a targeting plan and spoke to all the advertisers they wanted to use for their book launch in advance. He made personal contact with the people who do Kindle promotion on these sites and asked their advice, they were very helpful.

Day 1 – Family and friends go and buy the book. Really great response from personal networks. Bought a week long advertising banner with eReader News Today. Decided Facebook/Adwords/GoodReads probably not as useful. Didn’t make money back from eReader News Today, but got lots of clicks and exposure. 

Day 2 – Advertising on Pixel Scroll and Flurry of Words. Very friendly people. Was to capitalize on early momentum.

Day 3 – Kindle Nation Daily advert – very approachable site. Excellent access to different adverts available and how effective they all are, went for a $99 ad. Statistically very good results. This is where the ranking really jumped up to near the top 1000. This big ad made the difference (see graph note).

Day 4 – Started to get feedback. Did an Ebook Booster book launch promotion – promotes your book to 25 sites which makes advertising in many affordable places very easy, $40 all done for you. Kindle Nation Daily advert continues to be effective.

Day 5Book Blast – promotes ebooks on promotion to an email list. Jason who runs the service was very helpful and easy to work with. Well worth while.

Day 6Kindle Fire Department. Really great service. Advertise your own book every 2 months, large audience.

Mentions:

Lots mentioned above, but these also came up:

Kboards – Mentioned many times throughout the show about pricing and a lot else. If you reading the show notes you’re probably on Kboards, if not, you should be.

Harry DeWulf – exceptional editor. He really bought into the story – some of the plot elements were down to him. “Way above and beyond” (Darren’s words).

Joe Nobody (links to our interview with him). Persuaded him to self publish – asked ‘why would you give away that royalty money?’

NovelRank.com – tracks ranking in the US/UK and Canada. Very handy for tracking a book launch.

Rachel @ Literate Designs – excellent book cover designer, didn’t stop until Darren was happy.

Follow Darren:

Twitter

Facebook

Untitled-1

Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

Listening Options:

iTunes

RSS Feed

Right click here for a direct MP3 download

Simon WhistlerEpisode # 07 – The Incredible Book Launch Strategy with Darren Wearmouth
  • Fantastic podcast, guys! Lots of actionable info here. And congratulations, Darren, on your early success with First Activation — well earned from the sounds of it.

    • Hey Brad. Thanks for the comment, this was definitely one of the episodes with the most actionable information in it!

  • Pingback: Episode # 12 - Effective Editing with Harry Dewulf | Rocking Self Publishing()

  • Desmond X Torres

    Awww rats. Look, I don’t DO podcasts, okay? Spending that valuable time when you can read the stuff. Yeah. Except now I DO DO podcasts. Well, one, anyway. 🙂

    What a great episode, Simon. I PM’d Darren on Kboards on a thread we were both a part of, and he sent me here (I had already been a subscriber, but hadn’t listened to an episode yet.)

    Spent… no, INVESTED an hour listening to this podcast. I”m going to catch all of the other ones as they come up. Thank you so much for doing this, the sound quality is great and your questions broadened the scope of Darren’s contribution. It was like an English accented Gian Gomeshi on CBC radio!

    • SimonRSP

      Nice – I’m glad the show was good enough to pull you into the world of podcasting! I hope you continue to see the time spent each week as an investment ;). Gomeshi is a great interviewer – thank you for the comparison!

  • Pingback: Episode # 22 - The Pros and Cons of Small Press with Colin F Barnes | Rocking Self Publishing()

  • Pingback: Episode # 33 - Hybrid Deals and Online Events with Tim Long | Rocking Self Publishing()

  • Just wanted to say thank you Simon. I’ve been listening to your podcasts now for a couple months on the way to work, and back home. Going through some of them for the third time now. It’s great stuff and I really appreciate the effort you put in, and great questions you ask.

    I’ve gotten a lot from them and I hope all your work creates a great success for you.

    • SimonRSP

      Third time, awesome. Always good to hear that people are listening to the back episodes 🙂

  • Great info. One advice: Simon, can you please post the podcast transcript?

  • iron_mountain

    Hey Simon,
    Would you say that the strategy here still holds water now 3 years later? Or have the self publishing/marketing sands since shifted? Maybe that’s an unfair question in which case just ignore it! I am relistening to these 6 starter episodes having pretty much exhausted your back list. Thanks for all the shows man. There’s a lot of SP shows out there but when it comes to the crunch, you really bring the interviewing chops to the table. I like the questions you ask. I always enjoy listening. So thank you.

    • SimonRSP

      Hey Iron Mountain. Great question. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to this episode, but I do remember much of it, and have talked about it with other guests on RSP enough times to weight in.

      I think that the overall strategy discuss in the episode is valid, although the smaller details are probably a bit dated. Specifically what I mean here, is that doing something to drive sales on Amazon over several days is a good idea, and it seems to be that that is still how the algorithm works (mid-2016). Amazon want to see steady sales over a consistent period, rather than a huge spike. So having a BoobBub is great, but that alone is not going to drive the stickiness that people want in those Amazon charts.

      There are also a lot of other things that authors are now using, that can plug into this overall strategy of getting the attention of Amazon’s algorithm. Some of the most popular being an email newsletter and Facebook advertising. Using these to drive sales on specific days can be a great addition (or replacement for) some of the promo sites that Darren mentions in the episode. (It’s also worth researching which of these are still effective, and if there are new ones that can drives sales).

      So, in short, yes, I think overall what Darren did (consistent sales over a period to get sticky in Amazon’s charts) is a good idea, although the method of getting that stickiness has changed somewhat.

      I hope that helps.

      • iron_mountain

        That’s a really good answer and it makes total sense. I’m a bit slow at learning some of the finer points here and that helped me rrealise something. I wish it were all so much simpler, but it’s so not! So I guess we just have to interface with how it is and that is that.
        I’m going to go ahead and assume Boobbub is a typo there, more’s the pity. We can dream.

  • iron_mountain

    Excellent show notes by the way. Angela rocks, and I love her blog too – she’s a born comedian.