How to Launch a Bestselling Book

Ever since my book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, hit the bestseller lists, I have been asked how I did it. Aspiring authors want to know what they can do to enhance their chances of success.

A Rocket Launches from Cape Canavera - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/jcarillet, Image #17082802

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/jcarillet

I spoke on this topic yesterday in New York City under the title, “My Bestseller Launch Formula: How I Mobilized My Tribe to Drive My Book onto the Bestsellers List.” It was well-received, so I thought I would share the highlights here.

As you may know, Thomas Nelson published my book on May 22 of this year. In the first week after the publication, it hit all three major bestseller lists, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

I took seven actions to make this happen. First three disclaimers:

  • I can’t promise this will work for you. While I characterize this as a “formula,” I refer to it as my formula. This is what worked for me. Hopefully, you can personalize what I have done and build on it.
  • This assumes you have a wow product. As I say in my Platform keynote speech (quoting from David Ogilvy), “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.” Your book must meet a felt need, be well-written, and have the potential to reach a large enough segment of the population.
  • This doesn’t include what the publisher did. In Chapter 8 of the book, I exhort my readers to accept personal responsibility for the success or failure of their product launch. This is especially true in book publishing. This list only includes the items I had control of.

Okay, with that out of the way, here are the seven actions I took:

  1. I set a specific goal. On December 16, 2011, as part of my annual goal-setting exercise, I wrote this: “Get Platform on the New York Times list by May 30, 2012.” I was notified on that exact day that the book had hit the New York Times “Hardcover Advice” list.

    Not every goal I write down comes true, of course. But the act of writing a specific goal—with a due date—set in motion several things, especially in my own thinking and actions. Don’t overlook this step. It is essential.

  2. I assumed personal responsibility. I wasn’t expecting the publishing company to make me famous or make my book successful. I’ve been in this business a long time, and that’s not how it works. If you expect this, you will be disappointed.

    I assumed the role of Chief Marketing Officer for this project. Why? Three reasons:

    • No one knows the product better than I do.
    • No one can be a better spokesperson than I am.
    • No one has more at stake than I do.
  3. I engaged my tribe early. Most of the chapters in the book started as blog posts. (Yes, you can blog a book. See Nina Amir’s book, How to Blog a Book.) I read each of the comments on those posts and used them as an opportunity to clarify my thinking and address specific concerns.

    I then solicited their input on the subtitle and copy line and then again on the jacket cover. This was enormously helpful. Not only did it make the final product better, it created ownership in the outcome.

  4. I secured endorsements. Frankly, this was the scary part. Whenever you ask for an endorsement, it is risky. People might say “No.” I don’t like rejection any better than anyone else.

    But, despite my fear, I made a target list of thirty potential endorsers. I first went to the one I thought was most likely to endorse the book. He gave me a fabulous endorsement.

    Then I included his endorsement in my next e-mail and rolled it out to the next four prospects. Then I rolled it out to the final twenty-five people.

    I ended up getting twenty-seven of the thirty I asked, including Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Dave Ramsey, John Maxwell, and Tim Sanders. (The list is here, on the right-hand sidebar.)

  5. I formed a launch team. Daniel Decker, who helped manage the launch, came up with this idea. About three weeks before the official pub date, I wrote an invitation on my blog. I invited people to apply to join the team. I offered them five benefits:
    • An electronic edition of the book in advance of publication.
    • Access to me—and the other team members—via a private Facebook group.
    • A free half-hour teleseminar with me prior to the launch. (It actually lasted an hour.)
    • A thank-you link (i.e., “back link”) on my blog.
    • A 25% discount on my soon-to-be-released Get Published audio course.

    I asked them for three commitments:

    • Write a short review on Amazon or another e-tailer site—good, bad, or ugly.
    • Help spread the word about the book on their existing platform, especially during the week of May 21st.
    • Share ideas and brainstorm additional ways we might further expose the message to an even greater audience.

    I ended up with seventy-six reviews on Amazon, before the pub date. They averaged 4.8 stars out of five. (That’s still the average with 197 reviews as of today.)

    This provided social proof to the thousands of prospects who visited that page during launch week. As research continues to show, people are much more likely to believe a peer recommendation over an advertisement.

    If I had to do this over again, I would have done it earlier than I did. I would recommend four weeks before the pub date.

    Regardless, 786 people applied to become members of the team. We randomly selected 100 people. Why didn’t we let everyone in? Because we wanted to create the sense that this was an elite group with special privileges—and responsibilities.

  6. I focused the promotion. The bestseller lists measure sales for a seven-day period. The book that sells the most through the channels and stores they poll, takes the number one slot. The book that sells the second most, takes the second slot, and so on. Each week, the list resets, starting from zero.

    What this means is that selling ten thousand copies in one week is very different than selling the same amount over two weeks. Assuming you sell five thousand copies in each of the first two weeks, you have essentially cut your chances of hitting the bestseller list in half.

    I literally asked people not to buy the book until the week of May 21. I promised that I would make it worth their while if they waited. (I didn’t focus on Amazon pre-orders because they release the books when they have them to ship, often well in advance of the pub date.)

    Thankfully, I only had forty-seven sales through Amazon before the pub date. This was exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want to waste those sales when they wouldn’t count toward the bestsellers list.

    I also asked bloggers and podcasters, big and small, to review the book during this first week. I had hundreds participate. Not everyone could do it that first week, but most did. Here’s a list of reviews. (We probably missed some.)

  7. I created a can’t-say-no offer. My goal was to move as many books through the cash register that first week of publication. So I created a massive incentive to get people to take action then.

    The offer was simple: Buy Platform from any retailer (online or off), e-mail me the receipt, and I’ll send you seven free bonuses worth $375.98. I teased this for several weeks before the pub date, encouraging people to wait.

    I offered seven bonuses:

    • “Platform Video Jumpstart” (a six-session video series)
    • “Why Now Is the Best Time Ever to Be an Author” (a one-session video)
    • “How to Write a Winning Book Proposal” (a two-session audio set)
    • Writing a Winning Non-Fiction Book Proposal (an e-book)
    • Writing a Winning Fiction Book Proposal (another e-book)
    • All the digital editions of Platform (including the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and PDF formats)
    • Audio edition of Platform (unabridged)

    As a result, I sold at least 11,000 books during that first week. (I may have sold more; this is just how many emailed their receipt.)

    Interestingly, we did not verify whether or not the e-mails contained a receipt. It was just too much hassle. However, in spot-checking the file after the fact, we could not find a single instance in which someone tried to cheat the system.

Some authors don’t think it is worth this kind of effort to get their book on the bestseller lists. That might be the right decision for them, but I think they are the exception.

Most authors will benefit from hitting the bestseller lists, just as I have. The issue is not whether the bestseller lists are accurate (they aren’t) or whether they are fair (they’re not). The question is whether or not the additional visibility creates sufficient value for the author.

From my perspective, hitting the bestseller lists had five benefits:

  • It credentialed me as an expert (or at least a perceived expert).
  • It raised the visibility of the book with retailers, resulting in more orders, and thus spreading the message.
  • It resulted in more media interest and more interview requests.
  • It provided more speaking inquiries and enabled me to secure higher fees.
  • It continues to open doors.

If you are writing a book or plan to write a book, it’s my hope that my launch formula will be helpful to you. I have no doubt that you can improve on it. But it at least gives you some ideas for getting started.

Questions: What would having a bestselling book make possible for you? What ideas do you have for making this launch formula even more effective? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Want to launch your own blog or upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress blog? It’s easier than you think! Watch my free, twenty-minute screencast. I show you exactly how to do it, step-by-step. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Click here to get started.

Watch my free screencast

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Thanks, Philipp. Tim’s article was very helpful.

    I agree on building your tribe long before you need it. This is where it comes in handy!

    • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/ Daniel Decker

       I was just talking to another member of the Platform Launch Team yesterday about this very point (building the tribe early). We talked about Jeff Goins too and his success, which also stems from having built and engaged his tribe in a dynamic way. Engagement really matters.

      • Jim Martin

        Daniel, thanks for your comment.  Your role in the process that Michael described was so important.  Thanks for the reminder about the importance of engagement with our tribe.

        • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/ Daniel Decker

           Thanks Jim

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        You did an amazing  job on Michael’s book launch, Daniel. You brought credibility and experience. As crazy as that first week was, having someone like you who has been through the experience before, calmed the nerves and helped us focus on getting the word out. I don’t think many people know how crazy the weeks surrounding a book launch are. Things happen real fast. Being prepared is key!

        • http://www.philippknoll.com/ Philipp Knoll

          Dear John, Jim and Daniel,

          Would you mind letting me and probably some others in on your involvement in Michael’s launch? From the comments above I’m getting the picture that you played important roles, too.

          Thanks!

          • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/ Daniel Decker

             Hi Philipp. I helped coordinate Michael’s book launch which included, among other things, creating the launch team that Michael mentioned in the post. Jim and John were two of the 100 members of the launch team.

          • http://www.katybags.com/ victoria

            That is good.From the comments above I’m getting the picture that you played important roles.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        Thanks, Daniel. It helps having friends like you and people like Mike who pave the way. I copied this formula (with his permission) as much as I could with my launch.

  • http://joannamuses.com/ Joanna

    I think the can’t say no offer strategy is a really good one. I rarely buy new release, full price books. Instead I usually wait a while to see the book on sale somewhere. However, for Platform and a few other books the offers have been enough to overcome the desire to possibly save a few dollars by waiting and to get me to buy. Apart from being a good value proposition, the extra resources make you feel more like the author is genuinely committed to producing something helpful for their readers. 

    As for the question of what a best selling book would make possible, I think it would add a perspective I think is often lacking to a topic of conversation that matters to me. I’ve been writing on the experience my friends and I have of being Christian single people. It has tended to frustrate me that the Christian single experience is often not represented in print or other mediums as many of us experience it in all its absurdity, frustratingness and humor.  When it is represented, it is often in the context of trying to “fix” it through getting married or mastering contentment. I think being able to have more stories of the Christian single life (whether mine or others) being widely read could generate more and better conversations about the topic in the Christian community. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      The cool thing about the can’t-say-no-offer, is that Amazon had the book on sale for less than $15.00. Most other retailers followed suit, so my readers got the best of both worlds—the book on sale, plus the bonuses.

      I can certainly see how having a bestseller would be helpful to the conversation you want to lead. Awesome!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       I felt the same, Joanna. Getting all those add-ons made me feel like we were getting a resource library rather than one book. Not just meeting a single need, but multiple needs.

  • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

    Hi Michael,

    I love #6. Knowing the exact timing of what will be credited towards a bestseller is critical. (A “true” bestseller and not a fabricated #1 on Amazon in an almost non-existent category.) :)

    Also, your list of benefits should be taped to the computer of all authors. The benefits of a bestseller will create far more income than the actual book sales for most of us.

    Blessings!
    Paul

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Paul. I loved being with you in New York at the very event I mentioned. I especially enjoyed YOUR presentation. Thanks.

      • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

        Thank you. The event and venue were fantastic. You opened the eyes of everyone in the room. Loved it!!! :) 

        I’ll be sending you a few thoughts on what we discussed at INC. just so there’s a summary –  and a couple more ideas as well.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Great, Paul. I’ll look for it. You really stimulated my thinking!

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

           Paul, what was the subject of your presentation?

          • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

            Hi Michele,

            I didn’t SCORRE it – but if I had it would be something like…

            “Every Entrepreneur Can Operate A Successful Subscription Site By Using Two Simple Laws.”

            1. The Law of Forgettable Pricing

            2. The Law of Recurring Need

            Michael probably liked the presentation because I made him laugh a lot – he doesn’t remember a thing I covered. :))))) jk

            Peace,
            P

          • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

            I just love laws! You were funny, authentic, and very helpful!

          • http://www.philippknoll.com/ Philipp Knoll

            The comments above make me believe that I’ve really missed THE thing not being there. Paul, do you have your presentation on your blog or can you make it publicly accessible in any other form? I guess, just like many others here, I’d love to take a look.

          • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

            Nice SCORRE. Wish I could’ve heard it.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    What would having a best-selling book make possible for me? I could live alone again. No roommates. No relatives. Just paradise. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Sounds like it would be life changing for you.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

        Indeed. Although, granted, any source of income would be, whether bestselling author or gas station attendant. (Unless you’re Stephen King, the actual take-home pay might be the same.)

  • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

    Michael, I have to say a huge thank you.

    Ever since I heard you at NRB in February, I’ve been working to build my platform– following your blog’s advice as well as its mature form expressed in your bestselling book.

    I blogged for a few years once a week on blogger, but I’ve since moved to Standard Theme, posted 4x a week, and engaged social media. As a result, my unique readers have gone from 300 to 2400 in only 6 months. They continue to grow.

    Thank you for being so generous. Hope to say thanks in person one day.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You’re welcome. That is a HUGE increase, Wayne. Congratulations!

    • http://www.philippknoll.com/ Philipp Knoll

      WOW, Wayne. This is really big! Congrats – and you just got yourself a new subscriber (RSS for now).

      • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

        Hey, thanks, Philipp! I hope you enjoy it. I appreciate your comments scattered hereabouts. Esp. Tim’s link.

        • http://www.philippknoll.com/ Philipp Knoll

          Welcome! Looking forward to your updates in my reader. Michael and Tim are the two top recourses on publishing for me at this moment.

  • http://John.do John Saddington

    wow. bookmarking. done.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Well said. ;)

  • http://www.growing4life.net/ Leslie A

    If I could think of one word to describe my hesitation to write a book it is this: FEAR.  Fear of pouring my heart and soul into something and having it rejected.  I am not a fearful person but for some reason, when it comes to this writing thing, blogging feels so much safer than actually tackling a book.  One of these days, I may work up the courage (already have the idea!) and so I will definitely be book-marking this blog post.  So thanks… in advance ;)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I struggle with fear too, especially when taking on something important. I usually take this as a sign I MUST do it. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear; it is the willingness to move ahead even when you are afraid.

      • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

         I have achieved more by moving through my fear than by doing anything else in my life. Blogging a book and then publishing that book traditionally has made me face my fears head on more than any other thing I have ever done–and it has brought me the most reward and the most opportunity as well.

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Great story, Nina!!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Leslie,
      At least you are aware of the fear! Many times we wrestle with fear and we sabotage our success without even being aware—at some level. Knowing and addressing your fear is a great beginning!

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    @mhyatt:disqus Um, wow. I am (rare occurrence) speechless.

    This is literally a $1,000,000 (or more) post.

    Nothing to add other than Thank You Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Ha! Thats’ what my wife said. “I can’t believe you are giving this away for free.”

      I am hoping to create a course around this, so it is really just the outline.

      Glad it is helpful!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Good idea. Sign me up for the first order…

        No really, please do so.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Matt,
      That is EXACTLY what I was thinking~ It actually gave me a good kick in the pants! The more I read Michael’s stuff the more I realize how I have NO excuses in giving it my very best!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams


        I have NO excuses in giving it my very best!”

        Dang. Curse you and your guilt trips Barry. Just kidding :)

    • Jim Martin

      Matt, you said it well.  Michael has been very generous.

  • http://www.wevival.com/ Jason Stambaugh

    You crushed it. 

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Michael, you did a terrific job on the book launch. The team was engaged and ready to give their all to help you become successful. That’s a sign of great influence!

    I think having a best selling book could help move me into the next stage of life. It would give me confidence and let me know that people want to hear what I’m saying.

  • Pingback: Becoming a Bestselling Author | Paul Evans | Personal and Professional Achievement()

  • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/ Daniel Decker

    Excellent recap and I’m proud to have been a part of such a great launch! 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       You did a great job, Daniel!

      • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/ Daniel Decker

         Thanks

    • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

      Daniel – you were key in making this happen.  Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication.  We couldn’t have done it without you.

      • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/ Daniel Decker

         : ) No i in Team. It was certainly a combined team win!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Daniel, you did an excellent job. Loved watching you thrive in what is clearly one of your strongest skill sets. Thanks for sharing your gift with us!

      • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/ Daniel Decker

         Thanks Michele!

  • http://www.daviddrury.com/ David Drury

    Thanks for letting us behind the scenes on this, Michael.
    You are a generous writer, and have been rewarded in turn with a generous following.

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    Not only is this a great launch plan for publishing, most, if not all of the steps can be translated to other medium launches as well: Podcasts, Blogs, etc. In other words, other pieces to the Platform. :)

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Erik—very true!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great point, Erik. Thanks.

    • Jim Martin

      Erik, good point.  I was thinking about this earlier.  I am glad you expressed it in a comment.

  • sethgodin

    I’m glad you wrote this book, Michael, and saddened that you had to jump through so many hoops in order to show up on an easily gamed, obviously suspect bestseller list. For authors who hope to follow in your footsteps, it’s so much more direct to focus on the book and on the readers and ignore a list that’s now (due to people without your ethics) clearly meaningless.

    Pleasing the Times is time-consuming, distracting and ultimately degrades the rest of what you do. My two cents, anyway.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Seth. I certainly respect you and your opinion. However, I’m afraid I must disagree. As I said in the post, “the issue is not whether the bestseller lists are accurate (they aren’t) or whether they are fair (they’re not). The question is whether or not the additional visibility creates sufficient value for the author.” For me the answer is “yes,” though, as I noted, not every author will agree.
      By the way, I didn’t ever feel like I was jumping through hoops or that it was distracting. I felt totally engaged with my audience and had a blast doing it.
      Again, I appreciate all you do. You have had a huge positive impact on me, and I recommend your books (literally) everywhere I go.

      • sethgodin

         I hope I didn’t offend! Getting your tribe to buy 11,000 copies in a week is a stupendous achievement. The way you connected and energized your readers is incredible.

        My only point is that you don’t need the Times to tell you how great the book is or how connected the tribe is.

        My friend did a similar launch, but for political reasons, the Times didn’t pick her. I don’t think the result is the point, the journey is.

        Well done, Michael.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Not at all, Seth. I love the debate!

          By the way, I was in NYC Wednesday. After a brief interaction with a street cop whom I had asked for directions, I thought of the difference between New Yorkers and Southerners. When in New York, assume every insult is a compliment. When in the south, assume every compliment is an insult.
          Me? I’m originally from the midwest. ;-)

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Seth,
      Just curious—are you saying the list is “meaningless” because it lacks credibility, or do you think the benefits of being on the list are meaningless? Both?

      Thanks.

      • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

        I think, based on Seth’s last comment, he was saying Michael wrote a great book, period! It was great. and his tribe was super engaged, no matter if the Times said so or not.

  • http://www.karyoberbrunner.com/ Kary Oberbrunner

    Hi Michael. Thanks for the “formula.” Please help me with one question. There seems to be some ambiguity about the ACTUAL release date. I know my publisher has identified the date of my next book as “Feb. 2013.” There are shipping dates. A release date on Amazon of Feb. 1, etc. It seems a bit “fuzzy” to me. Since dates are so important in this formula, what date are we actually all using here? Thanks ahead of time for your feedback.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Publishers eventually establish a specific date. Usually a Tuesday. The sooner you know this the better. Thanks.

      • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/ Daniel Decker

        I’ll tag on to Michael’s response…

         

        There is usually the “publication date” which
        is often referred to as the official “on sale” date. Using Amazon as the
        example, Amazon may list your book with an on sale date of Feb 1 BUT that does
        not necessarily mean that is when sales start. Often what happens is that a
        publisher lists a publication date but then ships books to retailers early IF
        books become available sooner (which in almost all cases they do). Retailers
        typically start selling the books when they receive them.

         

        So, continuing with the Amazon example… if your
        listed pub date is Feb 1 and Amazon receives the books 1-2 weeks earlier from
        the publisher THEN Amazon will most likely start fulfilling orders earlier than
        that Feb 1 listed date.

         

        Amazon reports their sales to Bookscan, etc.
        (lists) when books ship and the credit card is charged. Big box retailers are
        similar (reporting sales basically when the transaction occurs). List reporting
        happens weekly for sales in a given week.

         

        The issue arise when someone is trying to do a
        concentrated sales effort, like Michael did, for a particular week (window of
        time – usually publication week). If your goal is to drive sales during the
        week of publication and Amazon ships any pre-orders prior to pub date then
        those sales aren’t counting towards your concentrated week 1 push.

         

        Does that make sense?

         

        The antidote to this is two basic options. 1)
        Some publishers are able to put a hard sale date on a book with Amazon (rarely
        with other retailers) so that books do not ship / count until pub date regardless
        of the receipt date of book by Amazon. This seems to be increasingly harder to
        accomplish and typically publishers will only even push it for A-list authors.
        2) You can do a strategy like Michael did and get WAY out in front of it and
        encourage your tribe to not buy the book until a certain time that you dictate.

         

        Hope that helps.

        • http://www.higherlevelgroup.com/ Daniel Decker

           Copied and pasted my reply from Word. Sorry for weird formatting. : )

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Great question, Kary.

  • Gael Buesnel

    Michael I am glad you did “give this away free”, with apologies to your wife. Great outline. I have finished my 2nd novel after the first was brilliant but a stunning financial dud. I personifed the issues related to dealing with Alzheimers, even for Christians. I am trying to get some kind of blurb or forward from an association dealing with that terrible disease. At the national level, for $25,000 in the first year they might read it but do not guarantee a blurb. I tried on the local level, they are bound by national rules. No one is able, interested to help me. I offer 10% of the profits to whomever has a knowledge base and would read and then write a paragraph or two.  Even a sentence of two. I have a publisher interested. Any suggestions for endorsements???

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This is all about building an investing in relationships. This is the hard work you must do months and even years before you publish a book. Read Chapter 14 of Platform about Endorsements. Thanks.

      • Gael Buesnel

        Thanks Michael – I will, have not gotten there yet.

    • Jennifer Graham

      Do you know about Dr. Robertson McQuilkin in Columbia, South Carolina? He was the president of Columbia International University (formerly Columbia Bible College) when his wife was diagnosed. To both consternation and admiration, he later quit his job to care for his wife himself, believing the whole “in sickness and in health” thing to be true. You might want to contact him for a forward or blurb. His wife has since passed, and he has remarried, but he has written about his experience and remains an amazing example of love through Alzheimers. you can find his story via google. good luck with your book. jennifer graham

  • http://www.ymimexico.org/ Dennis

    I totally forgot that “How to Write a Winning Book Proposal” was part of the bonus content. I was about to buy it, and I already had it! Thanks for this list and all the bonuses when Platform first came out.

  • http://www.wiredadvisor.com/about Stephanie Sammons

    Hi Michael, love your book, your thought leadership insights, and especially am enjoying your podcast. In fact, you have inspired me to again embrace leadership as I was so burned out and jaded about it from my years in the corporate world of finance. I didn’t see leaders behaving like leaders any longer and it was quite discouraging. Thank  you for restoring my faith and getting me excited about it again!

    Anyway, I’ve been contemplating doing a book for awhile now as my own platform continues to grow, and have narrowed down my subject matter. Would love your thoughts on whether or not you believe that a book is critical for online and offline credibility today. Sometimes I feel that this is the missing piece in my program. 

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I do believe a book is critical. Nothing credentials you more than a book. Not a Ph.D. Not experience. Not an important position. A book is the most critical. (By the way, I’m not saying those other items are not important. I’m just saying a book is the most important.)

      • http://www.wiredadvisor.com/about Stephanie Sammons

        Thanks Michael. It’s going on the to-do list!

  • Pingback: A Proven Way to Get Your Book on the Bestseller List | Daniel Decker()

  • http://twitter.com/PhinehasK Phinehas Kinuthia

    Michael Hyatt, I must say that you have been a great
    encouragement to me. The timeliness of the topics you cover and the relevance cannot
    be overstated. You are really listening to the need in the market place. Your
    book platform is definitely a wow product and you offer more than I expected.
    It has been a guide for me as I create a platform for my upcoming book. You
    mentioned about getting endorsement. How do you go about communicating value to
    your endorsers, or getting them to even consider endorsing you especially if
    they don’t have a relationship with you? I note because of your background as
    Thomas Nelson CEO, and your previous success and achievement or relationship
    with great friends like John Maxwell. It might not be as difficult as for
    someone starting from the bottom as an aspiring author as myself. This has been
    a great challenge to me, I believe my book “From Dreaming to Becoming” has a
    great value, and the sales from the book will also support education in East
    Africa for a scholarship foundation, but I don’t know how to go about securing
    great endorsement. Can you please consider helping me or pointing me in the
    right direction?

    @PhinehasK

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      First, I’d start by reading chapter 14 on endorsements in Platform. It sounds like you have already read that. Then begin intentionally building relationships with people you’d like endorsements from. Start by being generous. Blog about their content, tweet it, comment on their blog, etc. This takes time. I don’t know of any shortcuts.

      • http://twitter.com/PhinehasK Phinehas Kinuthia

        Thanks for taking your time to reply, I appreciate your help and I will begin to build these relationships.  

  • http://www.michaelgholmes.com/ Mike Holmes

    Now today is a special day! The same day you wrote this mindblowlingly awesome post which is definitely being bookmarked…Jeff Goins writes this awesome post 
    of building a small army http://goinswriter.com/small-army/. SO I get to dissect both these great posts.

    Thanks you for sharing Michael

    • Jim Martin

      Mike, like you, I also read Jeff’s post today.  Reading both of these posts within minutes of one another has been very help.  

      This post by Michael was immediately put in my Evernote.  Very helpful!

  • http://www.livebeyondawesome.com/ Jen McDonough

    Well another huge Thank You on offering up your wisdom and advice Michael!!

    I will be referencing back to this blog an referring it out to others quite a bit.

    Besides many of the great things you suggested above, I am going to mimic Dan Miller’s Wisdom Meets Passion book launch ( http://igg.me/p/191428) on Indiegogo (I will probably try KickStarter).
    I learned a lot watching how Dan offered creative mix and match packages in all different price ranges. After seeing this I realized I have a lot of creative packages I could do as well.

    I loved how you both made people feel engaged in the process which makes it festive for everyone. Dan’s team also announced a few days after the Indiegogo launch started that fun prizes such as signed books would be given out to the top referrers. Well that just made it all the more engagin as Indiegogo has a dashboard that lets people see how many referral clicks and sales were generated off of the clicks.

    Seeing the both of you lead the way is like a never ending college to greatness.

    Many thanks!
    Live beyond awesome!
    Jen
    Twitter: @TheJenMcDonough

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Gail and I attended Dan’s book launch party here in Nashville last night. We had a blast. He is SUCH a great guy.

      • http://www.livebeyondawesome.com/ Jen McDonough

        Oh how cool is that?! I knew of a few people going last night and was so excited for Dan and his family as well as for those attending. One of my friends even brought his tennis shoes hoping you might extend an offer to run today. I most likely would have too had the chance ever came up, however I would have not been much of a conversationalist as I would have been concentrating on not trying to sound like I was going into cardiac arrest – us slower Ironman triathletes gotta keep some pride when around true runners.

  • Bruce Cross

    All I can say is that this blog, which I have only followed since May or so, is an increasing opportunity to mine ongoing veins of gold!   Very, very helpful as I am moving towards my own goal of formalizing a consistent blog and authoring a book….THANK YOU!!! 

    • http://www.wevival.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      Glad to hear it Bruce! Keep up the good work.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Bruce. I am so glad.

      • Oluwafemi Balogun7

        Hello Brother Micheal. You are the talk of the town.LoL. I am originally from Africa,Nigeria.Icame here as a young boy from a humble home,I struggled,but yet determined to do something positive with my life.I’d BA in philosophy State University of NewYork .I wrote an inspirational poetry(christian inspired) it is called “From my soul to life and the society I LOve”.Available in Amazon.com.This book need reviews.As I am called by God, I now serve as a missonary.If you choose to brother, You can contact me at  oluwafemi.balogun7@mailcom.   Iwill appreciate your advice.

  • http://PracticeThis.com/ Alik Levin

    This looks like prescriptive formula – very specific and actionable. Thank you for sharing this.

  • 48DaysDan

    Michael – I love the content and the conversation here.  The challenges and opportunities for authors these days and terrifying and exhilarating.  I love being in the game.  Thank so much to you and Gail for attending my book release party last night.  It was great to have your support and encouragement – in addition to your gracious endorsement for the book.

    Throwing a party like that is not something I’ve seen many authors do – but I’m confident that having those movers and shakers in a room will make a difference.  Funny I had probably 5-6 people ask me if my publisher wrote the check for the evening of food, fun and giveaways.  And the answer is I never even raised the questions – I just knew it was something we wanted to do – and I wrote the check.  Then I asked my publisher to emcee the evening and also bring the entire marketing team.  I’m confident the investment will give me “top of mind” positioning and an extra incentive of excitement when those players are making contacts for interviews and sales for my book.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You were very smart to do this, Dan. It was a great party and a terrific way to launch the book! Gail and I so appreciated being invited.

    • http://twitter.com/Angietolpin Angie Tolpin

       Such a smart idea- how was the success of your book launch?

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

     Which one or two tips do you plan to implement first, June?

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    Excellent post, Michael! What stands out to me most about the entire launch process is how it was clearly a team effort from beginning to end. Although you owned the process, you also recognized the need for partnership and collaboration. You focused on giving generously to the extent that people wanted to be a part of what was happening. At no time was it about using people, but, instead it was about adding value and meeting real needs.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You were such a huge part of helping me succeed, Michele. Thanks for your role and your generous heart!

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        My pleasure!

  • http://www.jonathanavilaoficial.com/ Jonathan Avila

    Good Post Michael…. I will apply all this to my C.D launch.  I have a question in regards to addressing and building your tribe…. I speak in spanish and I’m in ministry.. most of my work is in spanish…. but I noticed more and more people I served to are bi-lingual or opting to not speak spanish… 
    Should I concentrate on blogging just in spanish, or should I do both english and spanish? what’s your advice on this issue…. Could having both english and spanish posts help or hurt my building of my tribe?

    Have a good day!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I think it could help to have them in both, but only if the translation is impeccable. Personally, I would pick the dominant language and focus on that. The other one could easily be a distraction. Thanks.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Having had the privilege of being on your book launch team, I can attest what a wild ride it was. I was truly one of the best learning experiences of my life. Launching a book successfully is not a simple proposition. The key word is TEAM. Having a hundred people with different blogs, websites, and social media connections all focused on one date and one product is very effective. The multiplication factor is enormous. 

    In the case of your book, I think a large part of your success was having a great team leader. Daniel Decker did a great job conducting the orchestra of independent voices and having the right tools in place to get the word out. An effective and prepared team leader builds credibility, adds focus, and frees the author to concentrate on connecting with their tribe. 

    I spent last night at a book signing by a new author from a small publisher in the traditional book store setting. While it was a great experience, it is not an effective way to promote books. Having a dozen people buy your book in the store , is hardly worth your gas to get to and from the event.  An online tribe is so much more efficient.

    Good luck on your product launch. I can’t wait to see your new offerings!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. Daniel was indeed fabulous. In fact, he was so good that I have hired him to run my Get Published product launch!
      Thanks for all you did to help, too.

  • http://www.crazyaboutchurch.com/ Charles Specht

    I was on Platform’s pre-launch team and I can’t even begin to list the ways in which I personally benefited. 

    From the article above, Michael obviously gained and benefited from the pre-launch community he built. But I also think that the members of the launch team were impacted greatly as well. It is amazing what a sense of community will do, even if that community is virtual.I hope to achieve even a small percentage of this success when my book comes out in March 2013.

  • http://lukerumley.com/ Luke Rumley

    I definitely felt that I was part of the tribe, as I listened to the Podcasts and read the blog. Funny, all I did was buy the audio-book and tell a few friends. But I was engaged in the process due to these efforts.

  • Pingback: Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, August 23 & 24, 2012 « cochisewriters()

  • ProfessorGerdes

    I am late to the game. Can I still buy the book and get the 7 other free offers?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      No, I’m afraid not. That was a limited-time offer.

  • http://www.lukegoldstein.com/ Luke Goldstein

    Thanks, Michael. That was an incredibly informative post and I gained some new bits of knowledge that I will begin pulling together in my own upcoming book launch. Your mention of a launch team and gearing up a large group of people to all help out in that first week is incredibly useful. 

  • http://twitter.com/toddlollar Todd Lollar

    This incredibly helpful as I’m writing my first book to be published.  I hope to finally meet you in person, @mhyatt:disqus 

  • http://www.facebook.com/blackscholars Leonard A Wilson Jr

    I just recently published a book through CreateSpace titled My Flexibility Manifesto, now available on Amazon via Kindle or paperback.  I love the strategy you used.  I wish I had done that beforehand.  But there is nothing stopping me from doing so now.  In fact, I know that by making the best sellers’ list, my future releases will receive anticipation, my credibility will build as an author, and speaking opportunities will arise.  My passion is writing and teaching.  I thank you for educating me on creative marketing in the world of publishing.  Thanks again.

    –Leonard Wilson, author of My Flexibility Manifesto

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Thanks for sharing your experience here.  I think the first part for me is writing the book (or solidifying the idea for the book).  It’s inspiring to see what is possible.

    It looks like Jeff Goins used a very similar strategy with his new book, Wrecked.  I’ve enjoyed seeing how his launch strategy worked to propel his book to a big opening month.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, indeed. Jeff is a friend and was part of my launch team.

  • toddwheatland

    Michael this is excellent, and so generous of you to share. Your book is outstanding for the same reason – it doesn’t sugar-coat the amount of work involved, but makes it clear that that a plan consistently applied can work. Just great.

  • Liz

    Wish I had known this much earlier. I’m a new author, Amazing Stories of Life After Death, that was released July 3, 2012.

    I have so much to learn!

  • Pingback: Wordpreneur Reader 08.24.2012 | Wordpreneur()

  • http://www.Thinke.org Matt Brown

    Thanks for sharing, very helpful!

  • cherylpickett

    This is definitely an extremely helpful post. However, since it relates to hitting the national best seller lists, what about the vast majority of authors who are not published by one of the major houses?  What about even those who are published by a pay to publish company like Westbow or similar? I assume the Times etc. won’t even consider those so they need to shoot for something else.

    As someone else said, this strategy could be used for other types of launches so I also hope you cover that in your upcoming course as well.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It really isn’t about whether or not you are published by a national house. It’s about whether you can get broad retail distribution. The Times doesn’t look at the publisher but at what is selling at the cash register. Thanks.

  • http://SourcesOfInsight.com/ JD Meier

    That is a beautiful write up.

    I especially like the recipe of building the tribe of raving fans, but also creating a specific launch team, and offering incentives.

    I also like the concentrated and focused effort with a work-back schedule from the publish date.

    I also like the fact that you are clear that the bestseller list isn’t accurate or fair, but creates benefits for the author that can enjoy over a lifetime.

    I do plan to re-launch my book. It’s the kind of book that when people read it, they tell others. I plan to change the cover to better reflect the message of the book.  It will be clear and compelling, and stand out with style (actually, think minimal + black ink art + clean.) 

    I didn’t do any marketing or any launch plan when I launched it.  I undervalued the impact that a focused marketing effort would or could make.  I thought Oprah would stumble across it, but not yet ;)

    This time around, I think I will test how well creating a launch team can amplify the impact.  I also wonder how much impact having the right endorsements makes in the grand scheme of things.  

  • Chris Bryant, MBA, RFC

    What was your process in securing the endorsements for your book?  Chris@BryantWealthManagement.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I cover it in detail in Chapter 14 of my book, Platform. Thanks.

      • Chris Bryant, MBA, RFC

        Thanks!

  • Carmenerichards

    Thank you for the post Michael. I am an aspiring author, and even though it is true about (my formula) what works for one doesn’t work for everyone, your method is well thought out with good planning, and helpful timeline. I am motivated to set big, hairy goals and work to attain them. I also love your generosity with the tribe you have built.

    Having a book on the best sellers list would provide me with greater opportunities for speaking and teaching about how God is at work in our lives, to do us good, to provide us with a future and a hope, long before we even know Him or what He is doing. That would be amazing.

  • Cathy

    This was so interesting to read from a brand-building perspective. Thank you for sharing this with us. I look forward to reading the book.

  • http://gpfarah.com/ Gregg Peter Farah

    Michael, I was one of the folks who reaped the benefits of ‘waiting to buy.’ Brilliant idea. And this post gets me excited to think of the possibilities as I prepare for a book launch in January. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/renepower Rene Power

    Hi Michael,
     I’ve been following your excellent blog for a while but never commented on the site before. Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for your time, trouble, commitment and investment. This post in particular is so on the money and so well timed for me it’s untrue. 

    I think you have a year or two (!) on me but you’re doing what I hope to be doing in a few years time. 

    Thanks again

  • Winston Melvin

    I am seeking a literary agent. I would like to publish my biography, but i want 51% of gross proceeds to be applied  specific to making a postive difference in our American Veteran population. I still have no H.S. Diploma or GED. I was published im conjunction with my support of Leishmania research for the Department of Blood Research, while at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and even completed a year of Law School while on active duty, until a neck injury, and resultant medication made classes impractical. (I was never overseas), my duties and volunteer activities included WRAIR, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Bethesda National Naval Medical Center, Annapolis Blood Drive, West Point Annual week long Blood Drive, support of the Expert Field Medical Badge testing, support of the Army 10 miler and more. I lost 6 years of my life to prescribed pain medications for chronic pain, last November, I made the decision to taper off all opiates, narcotics, anti-depressant, stimulant and many others.  Using my background in Psychology and substance abuse counseling, and experience as a medical researcher; i have been defining and using a form of self directed pain management that utilizes sms SIT (social media specific Social Interaction Therapy), focused streams of thought, diversification of thought & aHA (aquired Hypersensory Awareness) as my predominant tools to manage pain. I have received Certificate of Achievement(s) from North Atlantic Regional Medical Command, Certificate of Appreciation from the ARMY 10 MIlER,  The Good Conduct Medal, The ARMY Commendation Medal, among other awards. have completed a B.S. in Psychology from CSU, B.A. in Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences with a specialization in Chemistry from USF, Honors from USF 97-98, Health Science Certification from GWU and other academic accompishments. Some other activities have included participation in the Junior Enlisted Council, Hegemon or teacher for the Omicron Tau chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon, personal assistance and relocation of new military recruits, Red Cross Blood Drive Donor, volunteer phlebotomist for multiple blood drives, fundraising activities for the American Cancer Society, volunteerism at the Roosevelt Institute at Warm Springs, Ga., tutoring for elementary school children in both Florida and Geaorgia, recognition for over 140 hours of volunteer service at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and more. I was allowed to bypass 5th, 11th, and 12th grades to start college at 15 years of age . If someone would be willing to make my story become a reality, my intention is to utilize a majority(51%) of gross proceeds to continue making a postive difference in our veteran military population, and if possible utilize any net profits for the benefit of improving the lives of my family and myself. For every success, i have had multiple failures. My law school admissions letters were proofread by multiple people, one was the Dean of Admissions for the Judge Advocate General School of Law (i did not know him and was not applying to JAG) and also the Education Editor of the Washington Post (another stranger, who helped because i asked). I am 41 and still deal with chronic pain and struggle with sleep among other things, but i am doing it without narcotics, opiates, anti-depressant or stimulant medication (among many other medications i discontinued). I have a paper trail that covers most of my life, most of my notes, most of my books, and more. I utilize photography as a diversive & distractive technique for self directed pain management and have close to 10,000 (i believe) photos in public albums on my facebook page (the overwhelming bulk of which i took this suumer in an attempt at rehabilatation of my mind and body). I have been following rates of veteran suicides seeing numbers ranging from 18 to 32 senseless deaths a day, i decided to pursue developing my biography or even auto-biography if there is someone who is willing to collaborate and also interested in providing some benefit to our veteran population (for active literary collaboration relative to making this an auto-biography, i am willing to share a portion of my net profits and give you credit for contibution. There are MANY more interesting aspects to my life, i hopefully listed enough for you to know i am sincere. My number is 850-867-3216, this is an impromptu teaser with Some items of interest. If you would like to volunteer to help make this aspiration a reality, i agree to acknowledge your contibution to developing this literary work for the Greater Good and expanding awareness of veteran and active duty population suicides. If you can’t volunteer, but you know someone who Maybe can or you know a literary agent or someone who might be interested in collaboration, publishing, marketing… etc. Please forward this text and my phone number. I have photos of most of my awards and accomplishments in a photo album “self portrait” on my facebook page (if you wish to see it, you will need to send me a friend request for it to be visible). Thank You, Willam Winston Melvin II  former SPC Melvin, William W II WRAIR, Division of Miltary Casualty Research, Dept. of Blood Research. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE TOGETHER :)

  • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

    I think a best-selling book would be a significant step to reaching a dream job.

    Thank you for going first and sharing the experience along the way. I believe you’ve figured out the best strategy for launching a book. It’s been great to see other authors like Jeff Goins model your approach successfully.

  • Avatarpoint

    A great amount of information, very much appreciated.

  • Tim Wuebker

    Hi Michael!  I loved Platform, read it twice, and bought a copy for my friend, Brook.  I linked to it on my webpage.  

    Thank you for this post.  I will do my best to implement it!  

    Here is my novel:

    http://www.amazon.com/2029-ebook/dp/B008W31EZ2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1345595971&sr=8-2&keywords=2029Welcome to America in 2029…A depression economy. A delayed presidential election. A series of terrorist attacks. And a president who will do anything to win.2029 is a gripping political thriller portrayed through the lens of a single family, the Thatchers. Ryan is a Marine who was discharged for saving the wrong lives. Heather is a medical student who subverts her country’s new population policies and steals off to the woods to have her birth control implants illegally removed. Breanna and Mark–both at the top of their class–may lose their college scholarships. Their father, James, works in what may soon be illegal–a second job. Their mother, Julie, is being followed.As Ryan’s clandestine activities draw the wrath of the authorities, each family member faces a stark choice. But what does a good citizen do when compromise is no longer an option?
    Gripping and provocative, 2029 is more than an action-packed thrill ride. It is an eerily prophetic novel that will stay with you long after the final moment of suspense.

    Author Bio: Tim Wuebker teaches in greater Kansas City. He has worked with over 2,000 students, ages 14-62, from every continent, facilitated 11 kinds of college English classes, and taught six kinds of high school math. He also runs marathons and writes novels.

  • http://www.diroski.com/ Gemma D Lou

    Hey Michael!

    Nice! You were incredibly busy. And you only gave yourself 5 months. Sounds like a long time but I’m sure you were busy doing a tonne of other stuff at the same time, so it mustn’t have been an easy feet by any standards.

    Plus deadlines have a way of speeding us up. I know some say goal setting doesn’t work, but like how you did it, when you’ve got that one goal in mind, and you make it your aim to achieve it, that’s when you take giant leaps right. So that’s awesome. And it’s cool how your aim wasn’t necessarily to earn x amount by x date, because you could have done that, but your goal was even more of an exciting goal, a “can it be done” type of goal, to be on the New York Best Seller list. Not everyone can say they’ve been on that list before, but you have. Nice!!
    Plus, I can imagine it’s scary reading a book. A blog post can be taken down before more folks read it. A book cannot be unshipped and unshelved. It’s already out there. So it’s brilliant how you brought your goal to life. A very enjoyable article, full of ideas.

  • http://www.erniezelinski.com/Bio-and-Contact.html Ernie Zelinski

    A great article, from which I can learn a lot, even though I have a had a measure of success as an author and even though I have learned a lot from some of the best in the business such as Brendon Burchard and Rick Frishman. 

    I will definitely purchase a copy of your book.

    I like your use of the quote, “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.” by David Ogilvy in stressing the fact that one must have a great book.

    Unfortunately, this important point will escape most writers because most think they have written the next “War and Peace”.

    In the same vein, the quotation by this writer and ex-publishing executive applies:

    “Even the most careful and expensive marketing plans cannot sell people a book they don’t want to read.”— Michael Korda

    I would like to offer some blockbuster idea for making your launch formula even more effective.  Aside from your having had managed to get a photo of Barack Obama or Bill Gates holding a copy or your book published on the cover of Time and Business Week magazines, I can’t really think of anything else.

    Ernie Zelinski

    International Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Prosperity Life Coach

    Author of “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free”

    (Over 165,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)

    and “The Joy of Not Working”

    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Ernie. I love the Michael Korda quote. So true.

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    Gold. Pure gold.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      So true, Jeff!  

      By the way, I’ve loved following your launch, and launch experimentation, with Wrecked.  You are a gifted writer and many of us are learning from your golden nuggets as you share the process, too!

  • http://www.dwaynes--world.blogspot.com Dwayne Morris

    Wow! This is GOLD!!!  I’m working on my first book. While I don’t have a tribe as large as Michael’s, I believe the principles will transfer smoothly.  I’m just grateful for your generosity in sharing this content!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Kbuuk Kbuuk

    What a fantastic post, can’t wait to pass it on! Our platform is focused on helping independent authors achieve success as well. Glad I saw this in my LinkedIn newsletter.

    I think something that is missing from here, and maybe it’s featured in more detail in the book, or somewhere else I haven’t looked is how to find your tribe, and what building a tribe really means. I read something about it in Chris Guillebeau’s book, and then I’ve also been following Gary V. for some time now and I think some of the concepts I’ve learned from them carry over. I also believe that given the right tools, hard work, and perseverance there are no limits to the success one can achieve. I also love that you referenced good ol’ D. Ogilvy. I’m a personal fan of the hiring giants quote. 

    Peace, Love, and Literature,
    H

    http://kbuuk.com/welcome

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Chris and Gary’s books are excellent. I talk about it in Platform as well. Of course, Seth Godin talks about it at length and with his usual keen insight in Tribes.

  • http://www.susanslotkis.com/ Susan

    Thank you for the helpful hints.   The article inspires me to be more strategic and better organized in rounding up my tribe into a win-win action plan.  I’m the author of a  book, Foundations of Interior Design, published by Fairchild in 2006.  The second edition is due out in December 2012.   Conceived as a college level interior design text, it has been bought and favorably reviewed by others on Amazon, etc.   I have always believed in the book’s potential for a wider audience and greater sales.  Time to take greater responsibility for that!

    Are there any ideas out there that may be helpful to to adapt the strategy for authors of texts?  Advice is greatly appreciated.  Thanks.  

  • Pingback: Jason Alba (al – buh)» Blog Archive » How To Sell More Books()

  • Gaspard782

    Selling a best-selling book would allow me to get my message out to thousands of people and feel successful as a researcher and author.

  • http://twitter.com/jay_gilbert Jay Gilbert

    This

  • Lucy McCarraher

    Very useful post. I’ve linked to it from the Rethink Press Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rethink-Press-Limited/170755143007307?ref=hl . Please come and like us there for more helpful links and updates for Indie (and all) authors.

  • Pingback: Part 2. The Importance of Platform: Fiction | Lamplight & Ink()

  • http://elisafreschi.blogspot.com/ elisa freschi

    Thank you very much for sharing this with your readers. Taking into account this post together with the one about focusing on one’s strengths, here is a problem which I have not been able to solve yet:
    How to promote one’s book (or any other intellectual product) if one is really not able to “sell” oneself? Whenever I have to promote a collective project (e.g., a conference I co-organize), I can focus on THE product, but I feel shy and really can’t bear having to sell “MY” product.
    (Background: I work in the academia, and in a very specialised area, thus I do not aim at selling copies of my books or articles, but rather at opening discussions and broadening the approach of colleagues from my field and related ones.)

  • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

    My book, which you mention (How to Blog a Book), has been on the Amazon bestseller list (anywhere from #3 to #100) in three categories for 16 weeks. That fact has made a huge difference in my authority (credibility and expert status) online and off. It has brought in more business, more followers on social networks, more media gigs, more opportunities, and has increased my publishers interest in publishing a second book of mine. Not to mention the fact that I now have more ability to approach other publishers with my ideas.

    I achieved this not only by producing a good book, but by doing many of the things mentioned in this post. I set a smaller goal–to sell more than the average number of copies and make it to the Amazon bestseller list. To accomplish this, of course, I blogged the book, which engaged my audience and built platform. Early on–before this book–I took responsibility for my platform building and promotion in general, knowing this was the only way I would land a traditional publishing deal (or successfully self-publish) a book. (I spend a huge amount of time every day building platform in a variety of ways, especially via social media.) I landed 15 testimonials for the book (no, not as many as Michael…), some of which appeared in the book and some also on Amazon, plus I continue to garner reviews. (Most of the reviews are different than the testimonials.) I built a team by creating a virtual book tour; that tour was how Michael heard about me–a blog post featuring an excerpt from my book on Jane Friedman’s blog caught his eye the day we met in NYC and, I think, one on Joel Friedlander’s blog possibly caught his eye on another day at the very beginning of my tour. I also put a lot of effort into getting two forewords for the book by people well known in both industries my book navigates, publishing and blogging. I continue to promote actively all the time.

    My book may need a second printing by December. Not bad. The publisher is pretty happy. So am I.

    This post is full of great advice, which I will follow next time–and maybe sell more books and hit the NYT bestseller list.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for commenting here, Nina. I recommend your book every time I speak on Platform.

  • T.D. Hart

    A friend just posted this link, and now I’m considering what color roses to send to thank her! Great info, wonderful spirit of service and optimism. I’ll be visiting frequently!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Glad you’re here, T.D.! Be sure to check out past blogs for everything from Leadership, to Publishing, to Social Media and Productivity!

      If you have questions, be sure to comment and you’ll usually hear back quickly from Michael or one of the Community Leaders.

      Have fun!

  • Jbthomasauthor

    Would this work for YA fiction authors?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Honestly, I don’t know. I think most of the principles are not genre-specific.

  • http://twitter.com/BobbiSheahan Bobbi Sheahan

    This is terrific.  I am an author and editor, and I am sharing this with everyone I know!

  • http://twitter.com/BobbiSheahan Bobbi Sheahan

    This is terrific!  I am an author and editor, and I’m going to forward this to everyone I know!

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Thanks for your comment. I see what you mean.

    But how do you think I got those relationships? It wasn’t because I hung out on Twitter and Facebook ten hours a day. I had a very demanding job and a large family. I had to squeeze blogging and social media into my already busy life.
    No, it’s because I started building those relationships years ago. I tried to be generous with those people, helping them in small ways (as my own platform grew) with their projects. Over time, I built credibility and relational equity.
    Jeff Goins did the same thing. He took almost the exact formula I describe here and used it with his new book. He has only been blogging seriously for a few years. No one knew him two years ago. (That’s about when he reached out to me and asked if he could buy me coffee.)
    You may not be able to do this to the extent I describe; I don’t know. But I do know this: if you think you can’t, you can’t.

  • Jessica Ann

    What about a children’s book?  I like the endorsements idea.  Is there a “New York Times Best seller” for children’s books?  So far my book is endorsed by the biggest man in the industry:  The Lord Jesus Christ :)  If someone takes the time, God Bless you in advance:  jessicaannbooks@gmail.com.  Hey my uncle wrote a book recently on the New York times best seller list, and it was on there cause it was such a good book about a subject everyone was and is interested in :) !  Now that is a concept :) !  

    But Thank You Thank You Michael for all your help, this one, the agents, list, etc.  I like how open you are to helping people.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry, Jessica Ann, but I don’t have much experience with children’s books.

      • Jessica

        Oh well, thanks again for the reply.

  • Pingback: 31 August 2012: There’s no magic formula for ebook success « Red Button Publishing()

  • Pingback: 8/31/12: The Writing Edge for Business Writers » Wally Bock's Zero Draft()

  • Pingback: Favorite Articles & Posts of August 2012 | Matt McWilliams | Failing Forward()

  • Pingback: Friday Features #21 - Yesenia Vargas()

  • Pingback: How to Easily Set 90 Day Blogging Goals()

  • Pingback: Introducing the GetNoticed! WordPress Theme | Michael Hyatt()

  • Vera Hatem

    I have a great idea of a book and need direct help. I know it will be a great helpful book and impact many lives. I know you must have heard this before, but I know in my heart that it will be a great book.
    Can you Please help?
    By the way, congrats on your success and hard work!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You might check my Consulting page.

  • Pingback: Writer Unboxed » Buy My Book! Buy My Book! Buy My Book! (the value of repetition)()

  • Dvorah Lansky

    Wow! This is one of the most enjoyable blog posts and most informative overview if a book launch I’ve ever read!

    The suggestion to put out the call for volunteers is brilliant! I’m off to purchase the book and prepare for my upcoming launch. Much thanks!

  • Deborah H. Bateman

    Michael, thanks for sharing your tips. It sounds like you put in a lot of effort to get this book on the Best Seller list and it paid off for you. Blessings, Deborah H. Bateman-author

  • C. Wilson

    I hate to be the only nay-sayer here, but, at some point, one of the posts below mentions that they are “2 members of the 100-member team.” My “team” consists of 3: Me, Myself and I. I also have found that, while reviews (honest, unpaid, positive) are helpful, my ability to influence WHEN they run is non-existent. This post, rather than giving me the smile on my lips and song in my heart that all the other readers seem to have gotten from it has left me feeling absolutely overwhelmed with the recognition that I don’t HAVE a “team” of 100 and never will have such resources available to me.

    Nor do I think I have a “tribe.” I belong to at least 8 separate writing groups, do Facebook and “Tweet,” and I received some positive feedback from new readers just today, telling me how much they enjoy ALL my books, but I tried to master ConstantConnect (to form a tribe) and, as someone who learned to type on a manual typewriter in 1962, I am very glad I was only committed to that particular form of Hell on Earth for a free 30-day trial period. I would NEED a team of 100 to offset my ignorance of nearly everything being discussed in this article.

    While I understand that a book published by a major house has 100 people ready to promote it, books that are either self-published or published by  small, independent houses, as mine have been, do not have the kind(s) of resources this plan requires. And I am NOT a push-over or a person unwilling to work hard. I taught school for 33 years (at junior high school through college levels) and lived to tell about it, plus I have founded 2 (successful) businesses from scratch. But the technical know-how, manpower and ideas within this article are beyond my grasp, I fear, and that has definitely depressed the hell out of me here on Saturday night, October 6th, 2012.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m so sorry for that. I don’t know what else to say.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Luke-Havard-Coaching/100002853088685 Luke Havard Coaching

    Micheal, WOW! I’m stunned, this post really is a blessing. I’m sure this is an edited version of the speech you gave, but you could charge thousands for this blog post. I’ve seen other experts speak who charged thousands and the content was mediocre in comparison! Thank you, I really value your years of experience, not that you need my approval, but you’re the real deal.

    Best regards from the UK,

    Luke

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Luke. I am planning to do a course built around this.

  • Prof. David Pecoraro

    Michael – thanks for putting together your thoughts on this complex topic so succinctly!  Prof. David Pecoraro

  • Rebecca Towers

    I’m getting ready to have my first romance novel launched and it’s called The Color of Love.  I’m looking forward for it to hit New Yorks Time Best seller list.  I have started joining blogs and trying to tell everyone about the book.  One day I’ll be able to join you the best sellers list. 

  • http://twitter.com/Angietolpin Angie Tolpin

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this post!
    I am excited to work hard on developing a Launch team formula of my own… I read this post just as I am 8-9 weeks out of my book being published!
    It’s not too late- I am so thankful!

    Any new tips or suggestions since you wrote this in August?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      No, I am planning to use this basic strategy with a new book next year.

  • http://twitter.com/Angietolpin Angie Tolpin

    Now that it has been a while since you posted this- do you have any other suggestions on benefits to add based on technology advances? Or Requirements to add based on social media momentum? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Not really. I think it went amazingly well.

  • Keithcarcone

    just knowing and having a complete strtagy will bring you to the top i really can fel it   trust your gut instinks   beieve  in yourself   please help me bringthe public my book and my ideas cause they are real strong and needed

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Thanks for your comment. I think I will answer this in a blog post. All the best.

  • http://www.gevezechat.net/ Chat

    very nice publish, i definitely love this website, keep on it.

  • WS

    With a tight budget at hand, you think I can start off with e-book publishing?

    • http://www.MorrisMatters.com/ Dwayne Morris

      This is my plan. Check out Jeff Goins’ podcast on how to publish to Amazon on the Kindle platform.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        Jeff’s work is excellent!

  • http://www.MorrisMatters.com/ Dwayne Morris

    Tom, I get your point, but you DO have an audience and within that audience, there are some “Rockstars” who others respect and value. You just need to figure out who they are. One strategy is to look through your FB friends and identify any that have a large following (say 1K+) and ask them to leverage their influence on your behalf. Michael is on a whole nuth’a level. In essence, he applied the same strategy that I mentioned here. It just so happens his circle is a little larger than ours…but he had to start with what he had. 

  • Mungo

    Most of the fiction best sellers succeed with large fonts, lots of white space and short words.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Can you provide some examples? I don’t think I have noticed that. Thanks.

  • Jana A Gunter

    I am currently working on a book and, since I am writing about a subject so deeply personal…to the point of embarassing, I am planning to use a pen name. So my question is, in such a situation, how would I be able to go about following your above advise, particularly regarding the tribe. I want to keep it private.
    This is a genuine question..any help/advice would be appreciated!

    • Jana A Gunter

      Sorry for the misspelling!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This is really tough. I honestly don’t have an answer. I think it can work, but you may need a different strategy.

      • Evelina Mannarino

        I love the honest answer!

        Good luck to Jana:)

        Evelina Mannarino
        Author of “Profits In Real Estate Profits”

        • Evelina Mannarino

          Well I’m an idiot:) I don’t even know the name of my own book!

          Good luck to myself,

          Evelina Mannarino
          Author of “Profits In Real Estate Rentals”

  • June Jewell

    Hi Michael – I am writing a business book for professional services firms and have a chapter on marketing that could really use the “kick” of your advice. Could you give me a short quote about how thought leadership in an industry can help to launch a business? I would be forever grateful. My book is due to be published in the next couple months. Warm regards, June Jewell

  • http://josephjyoung.com/about Joseph J.Young

    You spelled it out clearly especially the effort into the pre-launch of the book and asking people not to buy the book. Patience and vision are key to any amount of success. Couple it with the wisdom of God and you have a win most people do not find.

  • http://twitter.com/JoelBoggess Joel Boggess

    Easy-to-understand and very practical. Thank you Michael. 

    The book release for “Finding your Voice” is coming up later this year. Your advice is perfect for what we’re trying to do. 

  • Evelina Mannarino

    I sure wish I read this article before! I just published my book, “Profits In Real Estate Rentals” and starting to learn how to promote it now. Looks like I will have to write another book and try for that best seller list!
    Thanks Michael!

    Evelina Mannarino

  • Pingback: Become a Writer » Book Marketing Resources()

  • Pingback: 10 social media myths for writers | Molly Flatt()

  • Carolina Ordonez

    OMG! this is exactly what I was looking for, I’ll use some of these strategies to launch my book in July 2013, I’m eternally grateful and will recommend you from now on. Gracias!!! C

  • Pingback: Can you blog your book? Should you? | Lisa Rivero()

  • Pingback: What Does It Take to Launch a Book? | Creative Content Coaching()

  • http://www.findingyourvoiceradio.com/ Joel Boggess

    Hi Mike,

    As always, very much appreciative.

    Your insights and wisdom is value-packed for us! My second book, “Finding your Voice” will be released Nov 5 and we are putting together the pieces for a big showing in Nov. We are taking your words to heart and the BIG lists.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Joel. I’m glad it’s helpful.

      • http://www.findingyourvoiceradio.com/ Joel Boggess

        WWHD – What would Hyatt do? :-)

  • http://www.VictoryChristianCoaching.com/ Marianne Clements

    What do you recommend we offer if we don’t have a lot of products already developed?

    Thanks,
    Marianne

  • christianah

    Thanks for this wonderful article. It came at a time I was looking for ideas to market my just published books for children and parents on a very important subject – Child Sexual Abuse. Vey helpful!

  • Cynthia Bernardo

    This is just a wonderful strategy. Thanks, I will keep this in mind when I launch my poetry book. It is really hard work but it pays well. In any undertaking, there is a masterplan, slow, rigorous and target-oriented. Congratulations. Cynthia
    Abegail Bernardo—author of Poems from the Heart at Dawn. Could I get you to review my book, it is in Amazon

  • Joan Y. Edwards

    Dear Michael,
    It sounds like you thought things out in a logical manner and you gave rewards both tangible and intangible to people who endorsed your book and those who purchased a copy! Congratulations!

  • Rafter

    Michael, How does an unknown author get an endorsement from some one with clout? superbaghanger.com

  • Clay Mize

    Hey Michael, I am not sure how you do as much as you do, but it is pretty amazing. I am getting some valuable things from you about launching my new first ever book. Thanks, Clay

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Clay. Best.

  • John Volinsky

    I’m working with my pastor (Ray Johnston, Bayside Church) on his new book with Thomas Nelson called HQ Hope Quotient that will be releasing in May. We are working with all of our church networks to get the word out. This blog has been very helpful Mike.

  • JDandJ

    Such a great post with some brilliant ideas on how to launch your new book, it also worth checking out some ideas from http://www.jdandj.com/#/blog/4573279613 too, the blog has some tips and hints to make your book sell well too.

    Josh

  • bellybuster

    Just finished my book, Belly Bustin’ TIps You Can Use on ANY Diet, and know my launch will be so much better because I read your book! Thank you 10x over!!!!