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How to Market a Book (Hint: It Starts Before You Write!)

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Over the past few years, I’ve collected a lot of knowledge about book marketing. Some of it has been based on my own experiences and the mistakes I’ve made, and some from the amazing guests I’ve had on my podcast. In this post, I wanted to create a directory of all the book marketing (and writing and publishing) knowledge here on SPI so that when you sit down to write your own book, you’ll have a head start.

And a big thank you to everyone who supported the launch of my new book, Superfans, last week! It was a massive success. I’m so thankful for the launch team, and everyone on #TeamFlynn who not only purchased the book, but also posted about it on social and shared it with their friends, family, and followers. I appreciate you!

The blog posts and podcast episodes below are organized according to a few general categories—but there’s a lot of overlap. I hope you find them helpful!

Writing Tips and Strategies

How to Write a Book: The Secret to a Super-Fast First Draft

Learn the tools and techniques I use to write 36,000 words in two weeks, save time, and achieve up to 180 words per minute. I also cover strategies to keep you moving forward, so you can write your book quickly without getting stuck.

AP 0167: I’m Writing a Book. Where Do I Start?

Getting started writing a book can be intimidating enough. Before the first edition of my book Let Go came out, I started another book, which I never finished. Here are my tips and strategies for helping you get through that initial resistance to writing.

SPI 197: Behind the Scenes of Writing Will It Fly?

If the idea of writing your own book is still daunting, it might be helpful to go behind the scenes and learn how someone else did it. In this podcast episode, I walk you through my decision-making process about the marketing, promotion, creation, and launch of Will It Fly?. I also clear up some of the mystery and worry that comes with starting something new.

How to Write a Bestselling Book (5 Tips from a Self Published Wall Street Journal Bestseller)

Want to write your own bestseller? As a self-published Wall Street Journal bestselling author (of Will It Fly?), I have a lot of strategies to share with you based on my own experience. Although it was a struggle, writing this book was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. With the right book writing strategies in place, I’m hopeful you'll have an easier time than I did, and your book will get in the hands of everyone who needs it!

How To Open & Start Your Book (10 Bestseller Examples)

When it comes to creating an appealing book experience, you’ve got to hook the reader in from the start. And the great part is, you can learn a lot from what’s already out there! I take you on a tour inside the opening pages of ten bestsellers to learn how different authors start their books and grab their readers.

General Book Publishing and Marketing Advice

How to Publish a Book in 2020: Step-by-Step

These are my top fourteen tips for writing, marketing, and publishing a book, from finding your purpose for writing, to brainstorming the content, to creating an effective writing schedule, to what kinds of editors you need to hire. I’ve done it all and learned from it, and I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

SPI 079: Time Travel and Book Marketing with Jeff Goins—Strategies to Help You Sell More Books and Spread Your Word

Way back in 2013, my good friend and bestselling author Jeff Goins gave me some marketing advice for my then-upcoming book, Let Go. Two months later, I sat down with Jeff again to see how well I did implementing his strategies. This podcast episode is for people who are writing books or may want to eventually become authors. But it’s also for anyone who wants to sell anything they’ve put a lot of work into and know will benefit their audience.

SPI 199: The Marketing Effort Behind Will It Fly?

I sit down with the members of Team SPI who were instrumental in the production and marketing of my book Will It Fly?. We talk about all the different pieces that come together to create a successful book launch, from managing the production schedule, to building and executing a successful marketing strategy, and even some of the awesome software tools we used to orchestrate a successful launch for this book.

Book Publishing Tips with Honorée Corder – SPI TV, Ep. 40

Authorpreneur Honorée Corder has an incredible wealth of experience writing books, turning those books into sustainable income, and working with inspirational authors like Hal Elrod. In this episode of SPI TV, she shares how to uncover the book within you, how to promote it, and why you shouldn’t stop at just one book.

SPI 124: Your Author Empire—Pick a Niche and Publish for Profit with Steve Scott

Steve Scott has created a book publishing empire. He was also one of the most active and helpful members of the Facebook group for my book Let Go. Since starting his book publishing empire, Steve has published dozens of books and earns a healthy five figures per month from them! I talk to Steve to learn exactly how he’s built his empire, and tips and strategies we can all use to win in the Amazon Kindle market without spamming.

9 UNCOMMON Book Marketing & Promotion Tips (That I've Used to Become a Bestseller)

You’ve written a book—or you want to—and you want to know how to sell as many copies of it as possible? Then spend ten minutes learning the nine tips I’ve used to turn my books into bestsellers, including my self-published Wall Street Journal Bestseller, Will It Fly?.

SPI 380: 5 Hard Truths About Writing and Publishing Books

How many books can you realistically write in one year? Why do you want to write a book? How much money can you expect to make from your book? These are some of the crucial questions you must answer before you sit down and start writing.

SPI 381: Self-Publishing versus Traditional Publishing

Self-publishing has come a long way since the days when you were just some weirdo trying to sell PDF downloads. But at the same time, working with a traditional publisher still has a lot of benefits. So how do you decide which route to go?

SPI 382: The Surprising Truth about How One (Self-Published) Author Sold Millions of Books

Most self-published authors will tell you that their first month’s sales numbers are far and away their best ones. Then things slow down month by month until all that’s left is a trickle. But Hal Elrod’s story is different. Here’s how he turned around the traditional wisdom about what self-publishers should expect from book sales long after launch day.

Selling and Marketing Your Book on Amazon

SPI 378: Amazon Book Marketing—Everything You Need to Know with Dave Chesson from Kindlepreneur

Dave Chesson teaches people how to sell more books on Amazon. He helped me with my launch for Will It Fly?, which became a Wall Street Journal bestseller, and I think he can help you, too. In this podcast episode, we talk keywords, reviews, your sales page, and everything else that goes into getting your book in front of as many people as possible on Amazon.

SPI 338: Selling a Book? Overlooking This Page Could Kill Sales—Book Marketing with Bryan Cohen

When it comes to selling your book on Amazon, your sales page does most of the heavy lifting. How do you set up a great sales page? Where do most authors fall flat when it comes to titles and subtitles? How do you design the perfect book cover? In this podcast episode, Bryan Cohen and I dive deep on book marketing, giving you the knowledge you need to create convincing Amazon sales pages that sell more books.

AP 0939: How Do I Engage with People Who Buy My Book on Amazon?

When you’re selling your book, there can be huge benefit in staying in touch with your readers, both pre-sale and post-sale. And to do that, you need to know who’s buying, and how to contact them. But how can you make this happen on Amazon, where you don’t have easy access to your buyers’ email addresses? I share some strategies and workarounds in this episode of AskPat.

Writing and Publishing an Ebook

The #1 Tip for Starting an Ebook Is…

We all have an urge to dive right into writing, but all too often after the first few pages—we get stuck. Want a great method for avoiding this dilemma? Start with your outline! Creating an outline first has several benefits—perhaps the biggest one being that it gives you a visual roadmap for success right in front of your eyes.

Ebooks the Smart Way: A Complete Guide to Publishing, Marketing and Automating a Killer Ebook

Over the past decade-plus, I’ve learned a great deal about the process of creating and selling ebooks. Ebooks the Smart Way is my no-nonsense guide that’ll teach you everything from content planning and formatting to pricing your ebook and launching it out into the world. It’s my way of giving back for all of the wonderful things—in both life and business—that have come from writing my very first ebook.

SPI 075: Six-Figure Earnings with Ebooks (Not on Amazon) and a Pricing Structure That Works with Nathan Barry

Nathan Barry is the founder of ConvertKit, my email platform of choice. Before ConvertKit, Nathan was a self-publishing rockstar. With an email list of under 1,000 people, he successfully launched his first ebook, The App Design Handbook, and made over $12,000 on the first day. In SPI Podcast episode 075, I talk to Nathan about his three-tier book pricing structure, and why he sells his books on his own site rather than on Amazon.

Succeeding with Social Media and Launch Teams

Behind the Scenes of the Will It Fly? Social Media Strategy

In this blog post, Team SPI member Non Wels shares the details of the coordinated, multi-platform social media effort we used to promote the Will It Fly? launch. He talks about how we built our strategy, what worked, and how it worked.

I’m Running an Experiment—and I Need Your Help…

When I chose to self publish Will It Fly?, I was told that it would be nearly impossible to get onto the shelves at physical bookstores. I took that as a challenge, and I ran an experiment to see if I could overcome it. Guess what? It worked. Here’s how I did it.

SPI 198: Building a Book Launch “Street Team” (Plus Pre-Order)

Daniel Decker is a master at building community. He’s managed book launch teams for authors like Michael Hyatt and Lewis Howes and taken the success of their books to new heights. In this podcast episode, Daniel walks you through how to build launch team, how to keep them engaged, and what you should be doing in the weeks leading up to your big launch.

My Best Tip: Bring Your Audience Along for the Ride

If you’re sensing a thread in some of the strategies and tips I’ve shared in this post, it’s that marketing your book doesn’t begin after you make the final edit on your draft. Effective book marketing starts before you even begin writing. That’s why my favorite strategy is to include your audience in the entire book creation, publishing, and marketing process. (There’s a reason it’s the first tip in my “9 Uncommon Tips” video above.)

So before you’ve written a single word or finalized the idea for your book—as soon as you make the decision to start writing one—let your audience in on it. By including them, you’ll make them curious and excited about the book and ultimately invested in its success. Share the journey with them!

Thank you all again for being there for me together as we launched Superfans! Here’s to you and your book writing, marketing, and publishing success, too!

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Pat Flynn, Khareem Sudlow