05 Oct 108. Ask for Help to Make Your Book a Success
If you don’t feel comfortable asking for help, you’re definitely not the only one.
But there are people in your life who would love to help you make your book a success.
They just have no idea how to do it.
In this episode, you’ll find out how to ask your network for help, and exactly what to ask for so the people who know and care about you can help you sell more books and spread your message.
Mentioned in This Episode
Hey there and welcome to Nothing but the Words. I’m your Book Coach Candice L. Davis. I hope your week and your writing—you are writing, correct—are both going really, really well.
This morning, I had an opportunity to do an IG live interview with one of my coaching clients, Bree Carroll.
And we talked about the types of events authors can do to get more momentum with their books.
You can check it out on her Instagram profile, just look under her reels at B, as in boy, Carroll events, two R’s, two L’s at B Carroll events (@bcarrollevents). And you can find that in the show notes as well at CandiceLDavis.com/108.
Talking with Bree this morning got me thinking about some super simple ways you can get more eyes on your book.
And if you haven’t finished writing your book yet, it doesn’t matter, you need to start thinking about these things in advance. You need to start planning these things in advance.
Now, yes, you should definitely use events and social media and conventional media and other marketing strategies to get more eyes on your book—to spread the word about your book, and to get your message out there before you even launch. But you should also start closer to home.
I’m going to tell you how you can ask your friends and your family and your colleagues to support you—and if you have created an email list of people who follow you, for business reasons or brand reasons or influence or reasons, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Even if you haven’t, start creating a list, right? Of the groups you’re in and the people you know, so that you can ask them for these things.
Now, I’m going to talk about what you can ask for, but the key thing here is not to get overly invested in the asking.
Do not expect everyone to respond to your requests. Do not expect everyone to do what you ask—people have their own lives, right?
They have other things going on, they just may not be interested right now. And that’s okay. But so many people want to support you and your book dreams, they just have no idea how to do it.
So you’re going to tell them how to do it. And you’re going to tell them more than once.
People do have lives, my friend. They have other things going on. And while they want to support you, they might miss the email that you send, they might miss the post, or the DM or even the group chat. Or they might see it and forget about it. So you want to say it more than once.
Now promoting your book starts months before your book comes out.
Doesn’t matter how you’re publishing, you want to get ahead of your book launch, ahead of pre-sales with your promoting, and it’s going to go on for months or even years after you launch your book.
So starting with your inner circle: your networks, the organizations you belong to, the communities you’re in, can really help you get momentum on that promotion process. Let’s talk about how.
Reach out to your family and friends, different organizations and communities you belong to, in whatever way works best for them.
I have a huge extended family and we have an email list where you can send any announcements for the family.
So that would be the type of thing that I would use for this.
Of course, if your family isn’t that large, but maybe you belong to a large church, or maybe you teach in a school system, or maybe you teach at a college or university.
Think about those different networks, and of course, everything’s not appropriate to ask of everyone, but do what’s appropriate and communicate in the way that is best received by those people.
So the first thing you can ask people to do when you’re ramping up to your launch is to pre-order your book.
Pre-order sales— at least right now, for Amazon, I can’t speak to all the other lists—actually count as your first week’s book sales.
They actually count as your first day I believe of book sales and so that can really help your numbers on the chart.
And the more people who buy your book, the more likely Amazon is to show your book to other people searching for similar books.
So ask people to pre-order your book and get you ahead of the game there.
If you’re running a Kindle promotion—a lot of authors especially during the first week, maybe the first day of their launch—will run a Kindle ebook promotion.
They’ll put the ebook version of their book on sale for a day or a few days for just $2.99. Ask people to participate in that.
Ask them to buy. Why?
Because once again, this is an opportunity to get a spike in book sales.
So it could get you some ranking, right? So as you get ranking on different Amazon lists that encourages Amazon to show your book to more people and of course get you more sales.
Ask your people to leave a review for your book.
Reviews are super, super important.
Many people don’t buy anything without reading reviews these days.
I’ve gotten to the point where sometimes I don’t read reviews, because it’s just confusing, but the more reviews you have, the more likely people are to be encouraged to buy your book.
And they don’t have to all be five star reviews either. They can be three and four, and five star reviews.
If they’re all five star, it can look a little shady, especially if you’ve gotten to 1000 reviews, from my lips to God’s ears, people will be suspicious.
There was a time when buying reviews had become very common and it did make buyers suspicious.
So don’t worry about it if it’s not all five star reviews.
But ask people to leave a review for your book, it will help you to sell more books.
You can ask people to do a simple thing like post a picture of themselves with your book on social media and tag you in it.
That’s kind of a little testimonial for you, especially if they write something nice about it.
Ask people to tell a friend about your book.
If they know someone who would be interested in your story or in what you’re teaching or the value you’re providing, ask them to tell people.
Ask people to even give those friends a copy of your book.
I personally give books as gifts all the time. All the time.
One of my clients, well more than one, several of my clients when they’ve launched their books, the books have been so impactful to me, even in the coaching process and I’ve known so many people who could use it.
I’ve ordered five or ten copies of the book for people.
Ask friends and family to host a book discussion or a book club night.
Lots of people belong to book clubs, and you don’t even know it.
If your book is relevant, ask them to nominate your book for the book club or ask them to host a small group discussion of your book, then everyone in the group will buy your book.
These are just a few things, most of them cost very little money.
Even if people didn’t buy your book on Amazon, they can still leave a review on Amazon.
It has more value if they’re a verified purchaser from Amazon, but they could still leave a review.
So these things might take a couple of minutes, but most of them don’t cost very much anything at all.
Now, I have seen many people publish books, thinking their family’s gonna rush out and buy them and then, their family doesn’t.
In fact, their family is sitting back waiting for them to send them a free copy.
So don’t get overly invested in what people can do for you, right?
But do make the request and make it more than once and explain to them why it’s so important.
The average person does not know that having more reviews will get you more sales.
The average person has no idea how the Amazon algorithm works in terms of how it presents books to people who are searching for books.
In fact, none of us really know right, we’re just going based on what we see.
But we do know that if you sell more books, if you have more reviews, if you have more people looking at your book, Amazon is more likely to show it to more people.
So you do have to ask, people do not know how to support you, but so many people want to.
If it’s not your family, then reach out to other networks you belong to.
As soon as I get off here, I’m going out, I’m not going out.
As soon as I finish this recording, I’m going to log on to a small bookstore and order a copy of a book from a gentleman I’ve never met, but we know each other from Facebook, and we belong to a group that I care about together.
So in order to support him, I’m just gonna order a copy of his book.
And I’ll probably post and tag and I will probably leave a review.
It’s exciting for me to be able to support him.
Here’s the thing, though, and I want you to keep this in mind is the last thing I want you to know, as you’re thinking about who you can ask and how you can ask them.
Also think about the authors in your life.
I’m not talking about the big name authors who are already on bestseller lists and who are doing great.
I’m talking about the authors in your circle.
Maybe it’s someone you go to church with, maybe it’s someone you work with, maybe it’s a client, or you’re their client.
Have you done any of these things for them?
Have you supported the authors in your life, in the ways that you would love for the people around you to support you?
I am not saying it’s tit for tat just because you buy someone’s book doesn’t mean they’re gonna buy yours.
I am saying there’s a certain energy created in supporting people in the ways that you would like to be supported.
So when someone you know publishes a book, pre-order your copy.
Or buy it when they run their Kindle promotion.
If you can find anything nice to say at all, leave a review for the book.
If you like it, even a little bit, post a picture of yourself with the book and tag them in it.
Tell a friend about it. Give a copy of the book to a friend.
Now I’m not saying you need to promote stuff that you don’t believe in.
If you don’t necessarily love it, you can just buy it.
But if you believe in the book, be willing to host a book discussion for people or just give copies of the book to friends as gifts.
Do unto other authors as you would have people do unto you when you publish your book.
That’s all for this week’s episode, my friends. Thanks for listening to Nothing but the Words. I’m your Book Coach Candice L. Davis and I’ll see you next time.