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Book:  Your First 1000 Copies

Author:  Tim Grahl

Purchase:  PrinteBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Grahl, T. (2020). Your first 1000 copies : the step-by-step guide to marketing your book. Egremont MA: Story Grid Publishing.

Three Big Takeaways:

  • My definition of marketing is: The act of building long-lasting connections with people and then a focus on being relentlessly helpful and adding value to their lives. If you do those two things over a big enough scale and a long enough timeline, you will find success. Every author who has successfully built their platform and is selling a lot of books is doing those two things. (pg. 5)

  • I've never come across a situation where sharing too much hurts the author. Sharing content freely and widely allows more and more people to be exposed to your work. The benefits from sharing our content wide and far can be tremendous. The authors who give away the most valuable content build their following the fastest. Making our content widely and freely available is the most consistent, surefire way of drawing attention to and building engagement with our platform. (pg. 78)

  • One of the most powerful activities every author should be doing to establish and grow their writing career is to become friends with other authors in their space. One of my favorite things about the publishing world is how collaborative it is. Authors tend to want to help each other succeed and understand they aren't in competition with each other. When I started out, I tried to meet as many authors as I could who were riding in my genre or a related one. I didn't care if they were successful or not. In fact, I tried to connect with the ones who weren't successful yet, but whose writing I respected. I knew they were more likely to return my email or phone call. (pg. 109)

Other Key Ideas:

  • Even if we get a traditional publisher for our book, which is becoming harder and harder to do, they require us to do our own marketing. In fact, we will need a giant section of our book proposal to cover what we are going to do for marketing. More than one author has told me that when they sat down with the publisher, they were asked about their marketing platform before they were asked about the book they wanted to publish. (pg. 3)

  • Every time you want to get people to sign up for your email list you have to ask yourself “what's in it for the reader?” You need to give your people a promise to send them something right away when they join your email list. “Sign up and I will immediately send you this list,” or “Sign up and I will immediately send you the action-packed first three chapters to my new book.” (pg. 30)

  • Derek Sivers shares what he is reading. He is a self-proclaimed learning addict. Reading loads of books is one of the main ways he learns. When he reads a new book, he takes lots of notes. Over time he has published more than a hundred in-depth book reviews that share the insights he learned while reading. His book notes archive is a treasure trove of fantastic content that attracts lots of new visitors to his website and has been a big reason he's email list has grown to well over 100,000 subscribers. He was already creating valuable content for himself. And since he's not the only person on the planet to enjoy learning by reading books, that content is valuable to others. (pg. 56)

  • The book Rework consists of an edited collection of blog posts with the authors’ best advice on how to run a business. The authors use their blog to share their journey with fans. They leverage that asset to create a new one - the book - which serves as an adventure for people discovering their ideas for the first time. And what do you think happens after these new readers finish reading the book? They start reading the blog for more content. (pg. 56)

  • Let's not forget the universal impulse of fans to over-consume what they love. Being a fan of reading myself, I'll discover authors I like and then dive deep into all their content. For example, I'll search every podcast episode they've ever been interviewed on. I'll read all of their books. I'll read all of their blog posts. I'll subscribe to their social media feed and join their email list. (pg. 59)

  • When you are invited to join an influencers platform, I recommend setting up a Media Kit. This can be as simple as a page on your website. The goal is to put everything an influencer could possibly need in one place for them to access. This includes your head shots, book cover images, bio, book description, and contact details. (pg. 101)

  • Imagine five years from now you're about to start writing your next book. Maybe it's the third book in a series of business books you're writing. Before you write the first word, you already know you're going to sell 10,000 books in the first 3 months. You know this because you have an email list of over 20,000 fans you built up. You've also connected with dozens of influencers that you know will help promote your next book. You know this because the previous book you published sold 10,000 copies in the first year, and you're set up to have much more success with the next one because your platform has grown so much. (pg. 140)