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By Lee Constantine, Head of Growth at Publishizer

An author platform is a few clicks away.

LinkedIn and Gmail (both personal and business) are perfect places to find contacts of people who are target readers for your book. Why?

Because you’re likely to write a book on your expertise. And it’s likely people you’re connected with on LinkedIn know you for that expertise. Same for those in your Gmail if you’re conducting business with them in some way. Even if they are personal contacts or an acquaintance they are likely to support you by buying your book.

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Step 1: Find LinkedIn Connections

Your LinkedIn displays a list of all your 1st degree Connections. Most professionals and people proactively networking have 500+. I have 2,629 last time I checked. Influencers have 10,000+.

Time to complete task: about a minute to discover.

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Step 2: Export LinkedIn Connections

LinkedIn also allows you to export every connection you have into a very nice .CSV with a bunch of their information, including their email address.

Don’t know how? Google it and go through the steps.

Time to complete task: about three minutes.

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Step 3: Find Gmail Contacts

Your Gmail of course holds all your contacts you’ve ever emailed or received an email from. Most people use Gmail; one for personal and one for business. I’ve had my company Gmail for only a couple years and have 14,242 contacts as of this post. Imagine if you had a Gmail for five years or more. Add on top of that your personal Gmail account.

In Gmail, change from Mail to Contacts tab and then click Export… to see your number.

Time to complete task: about a minute per Gmail account.

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Step 4: Export Gmail Contacts

Once you see your number simply click Export and you’ll have a .CSV of their name and email address. If you need help with this. Google it once again and go through the steps.

Time to complete task: about two minutes per Gmail account.

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What to do with these contacts

Now, you’re going to tell me that these are not book subscribers, which is true. But they are people you know, and who likely know you. Which makes them prime candidates to be your first readers.

This is not about abusing your list of contacts you’ve built over the years. It’s tactfully and personally reaching out to them to let them know you’ve written a book, and then starting a conversation about supporting your book launch.

Do the math.

Let’s conservatively say I only convert .05 of these 16,871 contacts into a book sale. Some emails will bounce and the rest just won’t be interested. That still gives me 843 copies sold.

I can write very personal emails that start a conversation first and convert even more than that. And if I’m running a campaign on Publishizer I know that one reader has potential to buy 10, 50 or 100 copies at once.

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How to send personal emails

I suggest software that allows you to quickly and easily send a large invite and then follow up 1-on-1 with people who are interested.

I suggest using Google Groups or Mailerlite. You can also use Mailchimp, Infusionsoft or many others.

  • Set up Mailerlite or Google Groups
  • Upload .CSVs into separate groups
  • Send email invitation to buy your book to separate groups
  • Use plain text emails with [merge tags]
  • Follow up personally in your Gmail account

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Subject: My new book on [topic] you might like

Hi [name],

My new book [title] is releasing for preorder on [date]. Would love to chat with you about it and see if it’s something you’d be interested in supporting.

Hope to catch up with you about it this week if you’re available.



PS. You can read a sample chapter at [link]

Quick tip: If your email is longer than this^ it’s too long.

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More resources

Get 1,000 New Book Subscribers in 25 Days

Book Launch and Follow Up Email Templates

15-Point Book Promotion Checklist

What Authors Say on Publishizer


PS. Read one more article on How to sell your book

The Shizzle

Musings on the future of traditional publishing

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