After a couple months of working behind the scenes on Get Paid For Your Pad, the inaugural title published by Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press, on August 26-28 we launched an Amazon Bestseller Campaign and I'm thrilled by the results!
Get Paid For Your Pad is the definitive book for Airbnb hosts by Jasper Ribbers & Huzefa Kapadia. You may remember Jasper from Lifestyle Entrepreneur, where I wrote about his journey from quitting his corporate job, launching a travel blog and visiting over 50 countries funded by his Amsterdam apartment.
Here are some of the lists we charted on:
Get Paid For Your Pad - #1 Travel book on Amazon
#1 Real Estate Investment book on Amazon
The Blueprint Behind a Bestseller
We began planning the launch and building momentum behind-the-scenes even while the book was going through the final rounds of revisions. Our plan was to launch the book initially as a Kindle book on Amazon and then eventually as a physical softcover book later. Big shout out to Tyler Wagner, bestselling author of Conference Crushing, who had valuable insight each step of the way. My good friend Navid interviewed Tyler about his strategy and created an epic (free) guide you can use: How to Go From No Book Idea to Bestseller in 3 Months
For the Kindle launch, Amazon has a program for authors and publishers called KDP Select that allows you to set your book as a Free download for a limited period of time (up to 5 days of free giveaway every 90 days). The way it works on Amazon now is that you can move up the charts for every download during the free promotional period. Then when the book switches back to a paid book, it remains in the charts and thereby has a chance to reach a broader audience.
The book launch essentially consisted of us emailing our lists and announcing the free download, having promotional partners agree to do the same, and running some Facebook ads during the launch window.
The Specific Actions We Took:
* I announced the upcoming launch to my list and offering some free prizes for everyone to go to this Facebook post and say "I'm IN" to download the free book on launch day. Then I boosted the post with $5.00 on the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Facebook page and as you can see it got a lot of engagement; 162 likes and 140 comments
* Jasper mailed out to his list from people who follow his blog The Traveling Dutchman
* We had done a small pre-launch to give away sample chapters of the book and a free email training series on Airbnb hosting at www.GetPaidForYourPad.com and we mailed that list too
* Set up a few Facebook ads to drive traffic to the Amazon page for Get Paid For Your Pad while it was set to a free download
* Had a few promotional partners mail out and announce the launch on their social media accounts with the link to download free on Kindle
* Set up a private Facebook group called Get Paid For Your Pad - BOOK LAUNCH and invited everyone in so we could share updates on bestseller lists, announcements about the launch and give content members could share with their friends.
That is the majority of the actions we took to prepare for and execute on the launch itself. It's important to remember that this launch is part of a broader strategy for Get Paid For Your Pad, which is to become the definitive resource for Airbnb hosts and offer additional products and services to them down the road.
This is the way to actually make money from a book, even if you're giving it away for free on the front-end!
How the Book Launch Unfolded and Some Stats:
With our combined efforts of mailing out, announcing the free book on our social media and driving some traffic with around $100 of FB ads, we rocketed to the #1 spot on some smaller Amazon best seller lists within hours of the launch.
Total Downloads in Free Period: 1,716
#1 Travel book on Amazon
#1 Real Estate Investment book
#1 Bed & Breakfast category
#2 Business & Investing category overall
#194 in All Kindle store
Here is a chart of the download activity during the Free promotional period:
After The Promotion - Building a Book-Based Brand & Business
We left the book available for free download two full days plus a few morning hours on Aug 28 before switching it back to a paid book. But we didn't raise the price back up to $9.97 right away, instead we made the book $0.99 for about 2 days.
This allowed us to make the most of our time on the best-seller charts with a deeply-discounted book. Since the original price was $9.97 and we made a few pre-sales to friends and family before setting it for free, the price discount looks even greater as it shows up like:
$9.97 => Now only $0.99!
It's also important to note that when you sell on Amazon it's their customer, meaning you don't get the name and email address. Since it is very important to build a list in any business, and especially so for a free book promotion where you'll ultimately offer additional back-end products and services, here is what we did:
Free Audio Book Giveaway as a List Builder - We included a promotional page in the book just after the cover that says "Download Audio Book For Free" and then has a big image of the book with headphones on and another call-to-action link that says "Click Here to Download"
You can see what it looks like here, just click on Look Inside and scroll down to the second page. Notice how you can click-through and get the audio book for free even if you don't buy the book!
We saw about 5-7% conversion rate from people who downloaded the Kindle version who opted-in to download the audio book.
If someone just gets the audio book for free, great! Now we're in touch via email and they are getting great Airbnb training. But most people eventually get the Kindle book as well since there are so many illustrations, helpful pictures and checklists.
Concluding Thoughts and Building YOUR Book-Based Brand
Overall I estimate that more than 70% of the downloads for Get Paid For Your Pad were "organic" in the sense that people discovered the book on Amazon after we placed in a few charting categories. I figure that from my mail-outs and Jasper reaching out to his list, plus some friends and family sharing the link we got maybe 400 or so downloads. So the remaining 1,200+ came from people finding it organically through browsing the Travel sections, or Real Estate Investing, or Bed & Breakfast, or, for a time, even the Business section.
That's a pretty good multiple of about 3x. If our own promotions accounted for 400 or so downloads, then the multipler is 3x to have those promotions focus on an Amazon Kindle launch...instead of, say, just directing people to your own domain to download a PDF.
Plus the book sales and visibility are just Step One when you're focused on establishing a Book-Based Brand and Business. Looking at your book as an overwhelmingly compelling introduction to who you are and what products and services you provide. Books can make a BIG impact, and that builds massive good will with readers, not to mention establishes you as the most credible person they know on the topic (I mean you wrote a BESTSELLER on the topic, geez!)
So with this launch I am pleased to launch Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press in earnest and am already in talks with a number of authors who want the same level of personal consultation and marketing campaign design that we bring to the table. In fact, my vision is to have Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press be an ever-growing platform for author entrepreneurs to reinvent themselves and build new brands through publishing books on their glory stories and strategies
Want to be the next best-selling author published and promoted by Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press? Write me here and tell me your idea!
To your success,
Founder of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press
Publisher of Get Paid For Your Pad