How I got to 250 orders in 10 days

Created over 2 years ago by Tal M. Klein with 7 comments
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Imlnct1j Jamison Stone · Author · edited about 2 years ago · 2 likes
Reminds me of the 5 Ps of Success – Proper- Planning- Prevents- Poor- Performance. OR “One who fails to plan, plans to fail.”
Tal bio Tal M. Klein · Author · edited over 1 year ago · 21 likes
I’m writing a follow-up to this, but likely won’t be done until after the contest. The short of it is that I think I’ve simplified the Inkshares marketing strategy into the four P’s:

Perseverance: You will have good days, bad days. Treat marketing your project as you do writer’s block. 

Positivity: Be positive. All the time. If you’re not positive, fake it. Yes, people like Morrissey have made a career out of being sad saps, but they are the minority. It’s crucial that you believe and understand that you can create luck. It’s a fact. Doubt is the enemy of luck.

Personality: Who are you? Can I believe in you? Are you someone I’d want to hang out with? Also, when reaching out to old friends, what do they remember fondly about you? You are selling your book but you’re equally selling your own personal brand. Do people want to be associated with your brand? The answer should always be yes, but defining your brand is up to you.

Persistence: Make a plan. Don’t make the plan too rigid, but ensure that it encapsulates how you reach your goal. You need to sell 750 books. What is your plan for getting there? Who is going to help you? Can you anticipate pratfalls? What resources are your disposal now/later?
Dead dog screen size Erin Butler · Author · added over 2 years ago
Sound advice - and exactly what I’m worst at!  I am _horrible_ at advertising or promoting myself in any way.  It’s unfortunate for my locksmith shop but kinda hilarious given I had a radio show for four years and am regularly on stage in theatre productions...

Ah, well: at least I’m designing a cover for it.  One out of six ain’t bad, right?
10492145 10152537787574467 5636434093663626414 n Ricardo Henriquez · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
Great Advice Tal. Something I learned during my campaign is that you are selling yourself as much as you are selling your book. If your book gets publish, readers and fans of your book will come, but if you only try to sell your book to people who will read it, you are limiting your chances of hitting your funding goal. People pre-ordering just because they like you is totally ok. I serve on my town’s Art Commission with a bunch of lovely older ladies that will never read my book, but they love me and they all got multiple copies.
Tal bio Tal M. Klein · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
That’s very poignant, Joni. Yes, any time you can make the ask more personal your conversion ratio will be much higher. But don’t get into a rambling email where the ask is obfuscated  by the "hi how are ya’s"
15230176 Joni Dee · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 4 likes
Perfect advice Tal - may I also add that the personal approach is very important. 
I learned the hard way. I.E. that if you have list of mates that you used to play basketball with every week for a while, or even guys from uni that you used to be very close with.  If u send a general email you’ll get 0-2 orders.. if u approach each in a personal email, the success ratio is much highe, close to 100% if these are real friends.

I haven’t reached Quill in ten days, took me a month+ but just a small bit i found out the hard way :)

thanks for the below Tal! 
Tal bio Tal M. Klein · Author · edited about 2 months ago · 37 likes
So I’ve gotten a ton of messages about how I got The Punch Escrow to "Quill" in 10 days. Hopefully this is useful to some of you. I think it basically boils down to: Treat it like a job. It’s your job to get your book sold. If you believe in what you’ve got, if you think you know the audience you wrote it for will love it, then invest your time, energy, and money in your project.

1. Get lucky. Luck is something you need to succeed. Luck is something you can actually control. If you don’t believe me, do the research. Having a lucky attitude makes a huge difference. 

2. Move quickly! I learned this through a couple decades in marketing. When it comes to contests, creating a distance between you and anyone behind you pays back huge dividends. Once you’ve established yourself as the frontrunner, you gain the benefit of being perceived as the favored incumbent. It pays to burn through all of your promotional energy early. If you manage to grasp first place, trust me, you will find a second wind. If you don’t, then you’ll have a pretty good perspective of your likelihood of winning and you can make the call on how much energy to reinvest based on that analysis.

3. I steadfastly followed the advice given by previous Inkshares contests winners. I hustled really really hard and harassed everyone I knew through multiple channels: Texts, twitter, FB, WhatsApp, Snapchat, even LinkedIn. I would say personal contacts accounted for over 50% of the pre-ordered books. I injected a sense of urgency by explaining the contest, the timeline, and the ask: "I’m in a contest to publish my first book. If sci fi is your thing, you’re going to love it. Especially if you like hard sci fi, like The Martian. I need to get 250 pre-orders to get it published. Please click here to pre-order it."

4. Engage engage engage!  Every single time someone bought my book I acknowledge and thank them. It makes them feel good and it encourages them to engage back with you and help promote the project. They’re part of the team now.

5. Get to know your fellow authors. Inkshares is an AMAZING community of readers and authors. I have yet to have a negative interaction with anyone here. I’ve joined three Syndicates and have interacted with countless authors. Everyone here has something valuable to pass on to you. It’s worth listening.

6. Promote and Invest! Remember when I said treat your book like your job? Well, you should also treat is like an investment. There’s a flywheel effect when people see you investing in your own work. It makes them feel like you really believe in it. I’ve been creating a ton of world-building content, videos, as well as taking advantage of every interview opportunity, promoted tweets, Facebook boosts, and such. If publishing this book is your dream, invest in making your dream come true. 

So, these are the six steps I followed. Hopefully it’s useful to you. If you have more specific questions about those or the book itself, I’m at your service.