Lessons From a Book Launch, Part 1

My eighth book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet (co-authored with Jay Conrad Levinson), was released just over a month ago, and I’ve been completely consumed with launch activities for several months leading up to the release.

Working with a major publisher for the first time in 18 years, I’m keenly aware of the publisher’s high expectations, and doing what I can to make waves. Here’s a bit of what I’ve done:

The partnership strategy

One of the most powerful marketing strategies I advocate in the book is to form alliances with others who are already reaching your key market. And taking my own advice, I put together several alliances in the project. First of all, I brought my co-author in: Jay Conrad Levinson, “the father of Guerrilla marketing,” is a marketing superstar with not only an extremely well-known brand but also a large and well-oiled marketing machine. From reading some of his other books, I had a feeling this concept of Green marketing would resonate with him. He was delighted to be part of this project. And that made it a much bigger book from the publisher’s point of view, and thus gave us considerably more leverage in negotiating a contract. Wiley has been great to work with, and I think part of the reason is that they see this as an important book. Oh yes, and when I asked them to do the book on recycled paper, they said, sure.

Next, I sought a charity partner for the launch. I brought in Green America, which is perfectly aligned with the philosophy of the book. It’s an organization that supports Green, local businesses.

And finally, I went out to my considerable network of bloggers, e-zine publishers, and such, and offered them the opportunity to benefit from promoting the launch: first, by submitting a bonus and getting exposure to everyone who registers as a buyer—resulting in a package of over $2600 worth of extra goodies that anyone who buys the book (no matter where they buy it) can get with a couple of clicks. And second, by launching a membership program in conjunction with the launch, and offering commissions on any sales of that program. So they had two incentives to participate, and these make it sweeter for  buyers of the book as well as for the marketing partners.

What are the results of these three partnerships? On my own, I have access to about 10-12,000 people (depending on how much overlap there is between my newsletter subscribers and my book buyers). Bringing Jay in added 84,000 people. Adding Green America added 94,000. And adding the bloggers/publishers reached another 800,000. So I went from the 10,000 people I could reach on my own to 988,000. In other words, I could reach almost a million people through partnerships. And those partners and their networks are spreading the word even further; as of February 23, exactly one month after the publication date,  hits on Google for “Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green” (exact match) were an extraordinary 1,140,000. I don’t think I’ve ever been involved with anything that got a million hits on Google before.

What did these partner campaigns cost me? Almost nothing. The only things I had to pay out were to cover a few hours of my assistant’s time to set up the infrastructure (less than $200), and the results-based payment to the charity partner. All the rest was just time and creativity.

Partnering was only one strategy in this launch. Tune in next month for more takeaways from this campaign.


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