In this post I’ll talk about my Kindle launch results from Feb. 16-17 2016
On January 18,2016 I was seriously deciding to write a book.
Because it’s always been a goal of mine to write a book before I was 30. (I turn 30 this year)
Because I was getting validation and encouragement to write one on video.
On January 25th, I seriously started writing.
I woke up around 5am to 6am, sometimes earlier, sometimes later and started writing.
I was guided by these two outlines.
10 FAQS and 5 Should-be FAQs
“If I met someone in a bar, what would I want them to take away from my video theory”
It started out very short, but I just kept adding to the outline. Soon enough it looked like this:
By February 8th I was done. More or less. I kept adding things and taking them away. And then I really felt like a writer when I wanted to scrap the whole thing one morning thinking it was no good at all.
When Jared Easley said he would write the foreword to my book, I timidly asked him to read the first draft. I knew it was full of grammar and spelling errors, but I believed my point could easily be made.
Then he said this:
“you’re a good writer”
Something that every writer wants to hear, but can’t truly believe.
I thanked him, but knew Jared is always too gratuitous to me. Nonetheless, I thanked the sentiment behind it and took it as a sign to keep going.
All the while I had been testing (painfully) which design and concept to go for.
Here were all the concepts:
1st round of designs. Man I loved that skillet and tried so hard to keep it.
Not too many people liked any of these. Although the first one, my husband liked the best.
2nd Round. Started to play with color and personal brand power.
A and B were real contenders in the voting results. But they were too close and it didn’t make me confident. For me it has to be instant and overwhelmingly obvious.
So I went back to Photoshop.
I went to my (personal) photographer (lol) I laugh because he always takes better photos of me than my husband “the professional”.
Finally, it came down to these two and the decision was to bank on my personal brand or try to reach more random people with a safer/ more generic design.
During this time I had to go through a bit of self-development to accept that I even had the right to put my face on my book.
I think if you’re building a personal brand you might go through some of the same thoughts I went through which were “who does this little Asian girl think she is putting her face and her name so big on the cover?”
That question is useless.
In the end it won’t matter what people who don’t know me think. I didn’t write the book for them. I wrote it for my audience and for myself.
Thus, I’ll put my face anywhere I please. Thank you very much.
Here’s what I’ve learned about standing steadfast to your personal brand.
If you’ve decided to go that route, then follow through. It wouldn’t make sense for me to put out a book like the second design because my face IS my brand.
That’s what a personal brand is. The question now becomes, “why wouldn’t I put my face on the book?”
I was later validated in multiple votes from my audience on why the former design fit best. I also ran ads on these designs and the results were significantly in favor of it. So that settled it and I moved on to the next step.
There are 65 images in my book and I had this vision to create something very artistic. In the end the “very artistic” part fell off and I opted for just taking great pictures and/ or showing great examples.
I batched all the images and placed them in the document. I used Pages.
Note: select ‘in-line with text’ as the arrangement for the photos so that they don’t move around and mess up the formatting.
You can also download templates for Kindle on CreateSpace for simple formatting.
So now I had this product that I could do so much with. Problem was I was indecisive and unorganized because I was impulsive.
I couldn’t help it. I felt like I just had to get it out there. It was itching at my brain so I told someone about it and let them read it. Then I told another.
I set up a landing page to try to collect a list of emails of people who might be interested in a .99 cents pre-sale.
Two big problems with that.
Don’t ever put finite numbers, dates, etc. on a landing page, because you really don’ know for sure if you can deliver.
I ended up gifting the book for free to a couple of people because the book ended up being so large I wasn’t allowed to sell it at .99 cents. I had to sell it at $1.99. And I really didn’t want to be on the hook for false advertising so I bought it and gave it away. A small price to pay, but totally unnecessary to deal with.
Note. A book can easily exceed the size requirement for a .99 cents sale if it has pictures. My book has 65 images in it. And that’s much less than I actually wanted.
Anyway, I was able to collect some emails with a half-assed pre-launch thanks to my book trailer.
I bought the domain thevideomarketerscookbook.com and had it point to my landing page. As always there was a problem with the forwarding and I most likely lost some buyers there. So be sure to do that a day before actually asking people to go there, just so you can work out any bugs.
I simply just started to share the book. It was available and people were loving the book trailer. It was around the evening of Feb. 16 and the book was slowly generating some buzz.
I talked to my book coach Marcos and asked “should I just go public?”
“sure if you want to, but you’re going to have to make up for lost time and hit it hard in the morning.” He said.
I said okay and then I was off. Emailing, messaging, texting all of my closest friends and family.
I collected 18 units.
I woke up the next morning and I continued to ask people to buy the book and leave a review if they could. I changed all my social banners to point to the book on Amazon.
I vlogged about it and told YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
For every comment, share, like or engagement, I was right there answering back and leaving comments and encouragement.
I collected 50 units and I was on the Best Sellers List. This screen shot was the best place the book has been at. It’s slowly fallen from this rank but I’m going to keep updating the book via KDP.com and tweak the SEO for Amazon in it’s categories and keywords.
I fantastic resource I want to point you to is my friend Dave Chesson. I should have asked him more about what to do in the back end of my book for Amazon.
Personally, during this time I was a wreck.
I was really losing my nerve because I wasn’t prepared or organized. Furthermore my plans for crowdfunding this book to be 10x better was seeming impossible.
When the dust settled, I hadn’t sold at least 100 books in a day, which by my book coaches standards wasn’t very reassuring.
Launching a Kickstarter campaign seemed pointless when I had asked people to buy at $1.99 and only sold under 100 units on launch day.Why would be people consider supporting the book for more than that? Feeling defeated I messaged my best mentors. They all have different styles of teaching, but it’s usually tough love that sees me though.
Little did I know, I was about to get some super duper tough love that day. I felt like I was shattered, BUT I knew how to put the pieces back together. That’s the secret. Anyone who is successful feels every bit of pain, struggle and defeat that the non-successful person feels.
The difference is that they know that there’s more, they trust the process of getting back up again. And then they just do it. There’s no music in the background, or inspiring b-roll in that moment. It’s not exciting, it’s boring and it’s not cool. At least it doesn’t feel cool. You just do it.
You move on.
So I moved on, and set out to do what I said I was going to do: Launch Kickstarter.
Crowdfunding a Real Book
So now I’m here ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help me fund the book I really want to create. As well as offer something more personal and heartfelt to the backers of my campaign that I wouldn’t normally be able to offer without the Kickstarter brand behind me.
- Since launching on Kickstarter, I’ve created an audiobook version
- Set up a online school for the The Video Marketers Cookbook Courses
- Gained 14 backers who have pledged $907 out of $2000
- Launched a Premium Private Mastermind that has eight members
At this time, I’ve been able to sell 5-8 books a day since the launch. And I’ve lined up a couple of interviews with creators who are willing to help me spread the word about my Kickstarter Campaign and book.
I didn’t sell a crazy amount of books or did I reach #1, but I am a Best Selling Author now and I’m gain some genuine relationships with my audience who are validating the book via reviews and leaving such thoughtful comments on my Facebook page and YouTube channel.
After three years of trying to figure out my place in the online world, I’ll say this.
I haven’t made it. There is no top of the peak to reach here. It’s just acting and giving from a place of love. I know that sounds cheesy and hell, but it’s true.
I tell you the numbers so you can see I’m being honest about what’s going on. But the content and the drive and the will to keep going is all from a place that I can’t show you on paper.
You just have to feel it. I hope you feel it.
I’ll be posting another article about my insights on Kickstarter soon.
Thanks for reading.
Check out the book for yourself!
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