Lessons learned from a magazine launch – use them in your book promotions

I haven’t been blogging much about book marketing recently, mostly because my head has been consumed with the launch of The Write Life Magazine. Here’s a few updates from our launch this week, which surprisingly enough does have a lot of book marketing and promotional lessons in there. I hope you can use them!

1. Monday –

ipad-mini_made-by-mds-cover001Wake up early and see the magazine is available everywhere it is supposed to be (Apple app store, Amazon app store, Google Play etc). Huzzah! I blast out my usual Magic Monday Tips email, and mention the magazine in the little intro I always write. I send out some links on social media too. We aren’t officially launching until tomorrow though, so I don’t do too much else.

2. Tuesday –

– Send out our Press Release to local media. I have also uploaded it to a few free Press Release sites previously and scheduled them for today (here’s a list of 50 free places to send a press release via the lovely girls at Duolit). Crickets so far on that end, but the magazine is still getting a lot of buzz on Twitter.

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 1.02.20 PM

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 2.31.07 PM

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 3.11.29 PM


I will follow up with press next week when our video is ready. I always recommended following up with press a week or so later. In my experience, they’re often too slammed to read every email, but follow up emails can work to grab their attention at a different time.

– I also send out email to list of people who had signed up to be notified on launch day. I started this list way back in March, and had a nice bunch of people sign up over the course of 6 weeks (especially after I wrote articles for Forbes and Catherine, Caffeinated. Guest posting on sites bigger than your own is very important to growing your audience and reach). I highly recommend setting up a squeeze page and starting an email list before the launch of your book, and getting people excited BEFORE it’s out.

Here’s how you can use Mailchimp to start a list.
And here’s how to grow that list.

– Send out email to our 15 contributors who do a great job of sharing on their social media. 

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 9.37.42 AM

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 1.02.58 PM

– At some point today we notice some problems with the Kindle app – some people can’t buy the magazine after downloading the app. It’s all quite complicated and no one can work out if it’s a problem with the app or with Amazon’s app store. Super stressful! We work (and are still working) with Amazon to get the issue resolved.

I admit to being pretty (ok very) freaked out on Tuesday about what I perceived to be a pretty big problem. Luckily I married a calm, patient man in Brandon who reminds me that when working with software launches (especially across 11 different devices!!) these things do happen. I have done more than 50 eBook launches, so I know this deep down, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy pill to swallow, knowing that people are having a frustrating time trying to buy the magazine and failing. I have a cup of coffee and remind myself this is a long term plan and “this too shall pass” :)

3. Wednesday –

In unrelated news, a blogpost by our author Kathy Lynn Harris blows up on Facebook (we published her first book ‘Blue Straggler‘). At around 5pm when we are leaving the office to get to dinner at a friend’s place, Kathy posts on FB that the post has got 10,000 views in the last few hours. Crikey!

We add a ‘Bottom of every post’ plugin to the blog to encourage people to sign up for Kathy’s newsletters – all that traffic is great but you want them to come back. (If you have a self-hosted WordPress site, make sure you do this too – you can see mine at the end of this post). By the time we come back from dinner at around 11pm, the post has had 32,000+ views and still going strong. Lesson – Facebook shares are powerful!

Unfortunately, Google Analytics is unable to break down WHO shared or posted the article on Facebook, but we’re guessing it must have been some big player that caused it to go viral. What we do know is that many people read the post on their mobile device (62 %).

Lessons learned here: it’s a good thing we pay for fast and reliable hosting through Media Temple so that the site could handle all that traffic, and thank goodness her site is mobile friendly. Many sites/ blogs still are not, but it’s not even optional anymore, it’s imperative. Anyway, go and read Kathy’s post and try not to tear up. 

4. Thursday –

The video we shot to promote the magazine is ready! Our team of videographers, Two Frame Films are absolute superstars. In less than one week they cut the footage from a 12 hour shoot to this 1 minute 34 second vid. They made the music themselves, added quotes, color corrected… a gazillion other technical processes that pass over my head I’m sure. Basically, they’re the bomb and if you’re in the Seattle area you should hire them! I can’t say enough good things about them. Anyway, here’s the vid:

Who knows what Friday will bring. I’ll keep you updated on all things magazine, as well as everything else happening with 30 Day Books. I’ve just wrapped up a Skillshare Class ’21 Fun and Effective Ways to Market and Promote Your Book’ which is now available for anyone to take at any time. Check it out here.

Also, if you want to check out The Write Life Magazine, you can read it on your: iPhone/ iPad, Android phone or tablet, Nook HD, or Kindle Fire.