Think Like a Rock Star is now less than three months from hitting stores. So as you might guess, these last few months have been a crash course for me in how to effectively market a book and help it be successful.
Most of the information I’ve found and advice I’ve received from other authors has focused on The Launch. The idea is to sell as many copies of your book as possible into a small concentrated window, typically the week that your book comes out. You want to sell as many copies as possible during that launch week because typically those bestseller lists from sources like The New York Times and others reset each week. And focusing in sales on that one-week launch period might be the difference between forever being known as a published author, and being a New York Times Bestselling author. For the author, it’s a really huge deal.
So as you might expect, I’ve got a ton of stuff planned to help Think Like a Rock Star have as successful of a launch as possible. And over the next few weeks I will be asking for your help in seeing that successful launch take place.
But the thing about a book launch is that it’s mostly focused on what’s best for the author. As I was researching this, I realized there was a parallel to my book, in that really the launch is all about acquiring new customers. Getting as many new sales as possible so that it helps the book’s ability to hit all those bestseller lists and all that jazz. So in a way, if I strictly focused my book’s marketing on The Launch, I was really undermining one of the core lessons of Think Like A Rock Star.
Focus on New Customers or Existing Fans?
The thing that really separates rock stars from most brands is who they market to. While most companies focus on acquiring new customers, most rock stars focus on delighting their existing fans. Rock stars focus most of their time and energy on connecting with their existing customers, not their new ones.
This prompted me to rethink my marketing plan for this book a bit. There’s no doubt that The Launch is insanely huge to a book’s eventual success. But in my opinion, even more important than marketing to new customers is finding ways to support your existing readers.
So over the next few weeks while I prep for the book’s launch, I will also be launching some efforts to support the readers of this book. For example, starting within the next 7-10 days, I will be launching an email newsletter to compliment the book. This newsletter will also be a tool to help readers learn how their businesses can better connect with their fans. It will be an ongoing effort, and it will provide the most value to people after they buy the book. I also have a couple of other projects that I’m not ready to announce yet.
But for now, I am going to end this post by asking for your help. If you have or did buy Think Like a Rock Star, what could I offer you after your purchase to help support your brand’s efforts to better connect with its fans? Maybe a place where readers could connect and get advice from me and each other? Or what have other authors done for his/her readers that you really liked, that added value to you as a reader?
I saw where someone, I think it was Seth Godin, said that one of the best reasons to write a book was to start a conversation. That was really the driving force for me to write Think Like a Rock Star, I wanted to start a conversation about how companies can better understand who their fans are, and connect with them. Part of that conversation is finding ways to support the people that want to find ways to do just that for their companies.
What are your thoughts? What could I do as an author to create more value for you as a reader after you buy the book?
PS: I’ve started sending out copies of Think Like a Rock Star to a few colleagues and I recently got feedback on the book from Paper.li’s Community Manager, Kelly Hungerford. Here’s what Kelly thought: “Simple, jargon-free and true to Mack Collier’s authentic style, this book explains exactly why your brand need fans and not customers, and how you can turn your most enthusiastic ones into powerful brand advocates. Mack delivers his passion for brand advocacy, knowledge of customer-centric marketing and in-depth understanding of what makes the most devoted of fans tick in a language we can all relate to: rock stars and fans.
I love this this book for many reasons, but mostly because that for every “why” in this book, there is a “how” to back it up! The case studies, tips and social media advice are perfectly aligned with Mack’s underlying mission of helping brands understand the true value of their most passionate customers. It’s a must read for modern day marketers and I highly recommend you purchase two copies: one for you and one for your team.”
The idea of after-launch discussions really intrigues me. Indeed, now that you mention it and because I’ve read the book three times, I would love the opportunity to discuss in more detail application of ideas within the books with you as well as other people who have read the book.
Have you thought about a Think Like a Rock Star Community on Google after the launch?
I’m a member of a few communities on Google and the exchange and learning experience has been fantastic so far. Communities seem to be a great vehicle for initiating and keeping conversations going.
Perhaps this doesn’t scale and that’s why author’s don’t dive into an Communities, or haven’t yet, but for a reader and as a customer experience marketer it would be really useful.
Thanks for posting my review of the book. I’m gushing about TLARS to everyone who will listen. For me it’s become a Doing Business Right manifesto and I can’t really do without it. I can’t wait for my hard copy to arrive!
Mack Collier says
Hi Kelly, I want to have a least one group that’s public, and probably another that’s private for something I am announcing next month.
I was thinking of having both groups on Facebook, since I think that’s where more potential readers are. But I can see the SEO benefits of being on Plus.
Hmmm….for the rest of you, would you rather be involved in a public group on Facebook, or Plus?
And as for the group’s structure, that’s a good point on scale, my thinking was that the most value would come from readers interacting with each other, sharing their experiences and examples from their day-to-day work.
And I am finishing up copy-edits on the book now, and as I did that I added a few things here and there. The book is a lot ‘cleaner’ now versus the manuscript you saw.
And BTW, the newsletter and a couple of other things would probably start next month, so that would drive sales, but the people will already be there once the book comes out so the community will (hopefully) already be in place.
I just think the idea is to create continuous value for the readers and connect them to one another. I think that will help sustain WOM, and sales.
I like the idea of creating a community either on G+ or FB (although I personally prefer Google over FB for interest based networking and knowledge share).
The think I love about a Community is that you can set it up, but the community itself takes it from there. Depending on the time you have you can be more or less involved but we, the readers, can easily ask questions and generate conversation on our own around your book under the umbrella of Think Like a Rock Star.
I also love that communities allow for categories. So the conversation can be structured. I haven’t seen this in Groups, but I may have missed it.
Mack Collier says
Kelly I am not that familiar with the structure of Communities on Plus. I will spend some time with them this week and see how I like it. Thanks for the suggestion 😉
Linda Bernstein says
As you know, I am not a marketer, but I plan to read your book because I’m interested in how you think, and there’s always room for learning. I’m looking forward to it.
Mack Collier says
Thank you Linda. I hate reading business books in general, so I wrote it for people like me. Hopefully that will make it a more interesting read 😉
Jennifer Kent says
I think you do an amazing job of taking care of you readers, and I have no doubt that you will do the same for those who purchase you book! I love that you take the time to comment on our comments and that it is easy to have a conversation with you on Twitter.
As for possible ideas, your newsletter sounds interesting. I think that the Facebook group for book owners (where we can debate, comment on and get help implementing the different ideas and topics covered) is a fabulous idea. As a closed group it would have the exclusive appeal.
Something that might be fun would be a Pinterest Board where you could showcase your readers holding/reading your book wherever they live/travel/vacation too. You could have an email dedicated specifically for people to email photos to you. Then you could add them to the board with a comment. This would highlight your fans and be fun!
That is all that comes to mind off hand, but I am sure you have a ton of great ideas already. 🙂
Mack Collier says
Hi Jennifer! I sent your info to the publisher a couple of days ago FYI 😉 A Pinterest board sounds interesting, I may have to look into that, thanks for the great advice! Do you have a preference for Facebook Groups or Plus Communities? Am considering both…
Jennifer Kent says
Awesome, thanks. I can’t wait for it to arrive! I will be checking my mail box daily now 🙂
I am most familiar with Facebook Groups and am part of several communities. They can work really well if you can keep the conversation going. I have seen some groups fizzle from a lack of continued conversation, but that will be true of any platform.The biggest benefits could be the exclusivity of a closed group and the sheer number of people who are already using Facebook.
But Google has the benefit of hangouts. You could choose 8 lucky members of your Google Group each month (or however often) to have a live hangout with to discuss different aspects of the book. The great thing is that these recording are available after-the-fact in YouTube for other members of the group to watch or for you to re-purpose later on, on your blog or where ever you choose.
If you are having a hard time deciding what platform to choose, what if you were to ask your book community (in the first newsletter) which one they are more likely to join and participate in. List the different benefits/features of both and let them pick.