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!
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The Incredible Book Launch Strategy with Darren Wearmouth
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.
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.
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 5 – Book 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 6 – Kindle Fire Department. Really great service. Advertise your own book every 2 months, large audience.
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.
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