By lee Constantine
Why would you want to achieve these hacks?
Your preorder campaign is a means to end, and that end is to land a publishing deal. The more preorders you get, the more publishers will express interest. Plus, you must reach 250 minimum preorders to receive funds. Achieving some of these hacks provides relief and small wins to you. They are also the beginning of your influence, credibility and long term book sales.
Land a sponsor
“Time is better spent on pre-existing relationships and corporate sponsors for large preorders instead of marketing tactics that get individual sales.” — Neil Patel, author of Hustle.
If you can land one or two sponsors during your preorder campaign, you’ll be very likely to reach your minimum goal. How do you land a sponsor? The best way is to leverage pre-existing relationships. Who in your network or extended network has capacity to preorder large quantities of your book? By capacity, I mean community and funds. Sponsors often have a community of followers, viewers, members, guests, etc. who are very likely to become readers of your book. They see value in sharing your book with their community, and will often make a large preorder with some cool perks attached.
Let’s say your book is about leadership for tomorrow’s generation. Your target reader is young CEOs and even students. You pitch a business school Dean whom you got connect with from a colleague. He preorders 150 copies of your book to share with business students. You also include a speaking engagement with those business students at no extra charge. You also offer 1-to-1 mentoring for students who want to learn how to become a leader for tomorrow’s companies.
Get on an influencers email list
“Your differentiator is your hustle.” — Amy Jo Martin, author of Renegades Write The Rules
This is done similar to landing a sponsor. The best way is to leverage pre-existing relationships. Who in your network has a large following of potential readers? Ask for a shoutout in their email list. Write a blog for them about the book or share a sample chapter to get them interested. Ask the email list owner to give you a recommendation. This transfers their trust to you and you’ll obtain more preorders because of it. Also, make unique perks just for this list and sell them on it.
The idea is to get on as many email lists as possible for your preorder campaign. I would aim for up to 10. Outside or pre-existing relationship, you can pitch bloggers and influencers you find online. This takes research. Google bloggers and people who write about your topic. Find their email address and pitch them your book. Ask them if you can share a very relevant book idea with their readers, and that you’re giving away some awesome perks just for them.
Land a sample chapter in a major publication
“You have to sell books just like you have to sell yourself and your business. They go hand in hand.” — Dave Kerpen, author of The Art of People
This is done the same way as getting on an email list. Leverage pre-existing relationships or google relevant publications and specific writers who would be interested in your book. Again, this takes research. First, email them your short pitch and ask if they’d be interested in sharing an article. The article will be a sample chapter that’s very relevant to the readers of the publication. At the end of the article include a subtle link to your book campaign page.
Use Conspire to connect with an influencer
“If you don’t know your customer, you don’t know your product [book].” — Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last
Conspire and LinkedIn are great tools to get a bird’s eye view of your current network. They also show influencer who you could connect with and which people you know personally could make an introduction. If you have good reason to connect, an intro should be no problem. Good news is that you have a relevant product for that influencer’s following: your book. You also have a bunch of cool perks that you’ve crafted specifically for them. Ask if you can start by sharing a sample chapter/article with their following and of course include a link to your book at the end. Remember: Don’t sell. Provide value.
Get a RT from a major influencer
“I created a Trello board and listed everyone we knew. And then I ran through the list and pitched them various reward titles I believed were relevant specifically to them.” — Tendayi Viki, author of The Corporate Startup
Search your followers and people who have a large following and ask them to share or RT your book link. Multiple times. Create tweets and posts for them. Add an image you made on Canva. Also try followerwonk, which is a tool that allows you to search keywords and hashtags in Twitter bios. Search for terms directly related to your book and audience. Once it lists everyone interested in those words, filter by number of followers. Tweet at those who have the largest following and ask to share or RT your book link.
Better yet, once you have this person’s name put it into Conspire and see if there’ anyone you know who can make an introduction. Pitch them your book and ask if you can get in their email list, or if they want to sponsor directly.
Land your book ad or blog on an influencer blog
“It’s finding the first 10 to 20 people that really care about what you’re building.” — Brant Cooper, co-author of The Lean Brand
Same as major publication and influencer email list. Leverage pre-existing relationships and search the net for thought leaders on your book topic or a complementary topic that would make sense for them to share your book with their followers. Try different variations of pitches until one works. Ask them if you can send them a sample chapter/article that would be very relevant to their readers. Again the more the better. Try to get on at least 10 blogs, which means you should probably pitch more than 50 bloggers. Getting them published during your campaign with a link to your live campaign is best.
Land a podcast gig
“Selling in crowdfunding is all about being a good friend.” — Clara Pang, author of The Sun Sets Anywhere
Same as landing your book on a blog. Leverage pre-existing relationships and search the net for podcast on your book topic or a complementary topic that would make sense for them to share your book with their followers. Try to get on at least 5 podcasts, which means you should probably pitch more than 20 bloggers.
Share a sample chapter with your own email list
“If I have any advice to other authors, it’s to be nice to everybody you meet because some day you might want to sell them a book!” — Stu Krieger, author ofThat One Cigarette
This takes a bit more strategy since you have complete control over it. If you engage with your list often in a newsletter then integrate your book promotion or sample chapters. If you don’t engage often, let your list know a week or two before your campaign goes live and let them know they have access to cool perks before anyone else. Include a sample chapter for them to check out. Then on the day of launch, share the live link and refer them to the perk that you made for them. Then follow up over the next month with people who haven’t made a preorder and ask them personally to do so.
Boost a sample chapter on Facebook
“Crowdfunding validates your book idea before you write it and creates eager anticipation.” — Tom Morkes, author of Collaborate
A long-time effective strategy for getting more eyes on your writing. Post your first or your best chapter on Medium or your own blog. Include a link to your book campaign. Then paste the link in Facebook and boost the post, which gets your writing beyond your current network and in front of people most likely to be interested. Sample chapters are perfect to boost because it gives people a taste for your writing and then offers them a chance to read the entire book if they like it. Do one better and start a live streaming to your followers where you read the sample chapter and get real-time feedback. Plus, you can ask them to preorder face to face.