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Book Launch Success Stories – Using Existing Audiences to Launch Big

How one author used LinkedIn to hit #1 in 9 countries with her first book




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Book Launch Success Stories – How to Use Existing Audiences to Launch Big

I’m always on the lookout for interesting stories about authors who have run a successful book launch using unusual strategies.

And today, I’ve got a great example from Gabriela Casineanu

Like many authors, Gabriela didn’t have much of a budget with her first book. But she understood how powerful it is to have an audience ready and waiting for your book to hit the shelves.

But without any budget for advertising, how could she build a large enough audience ahead of her first book launch to make a real impact?

In this post, Gabriela will show you how she used existing audiences on social media site LinkedIn to build buzz and excitement ahead of her launch. And how this helped her hit the #1 spot in her categories in 9 countries.

And these strategies can be adapted to use with any social media platform you like – just take the principles and apply them in your own business (eg, if you write fiction, you can use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or other sites equally well).


How LinkedIn helped my 1st book become an Amazon bestseller in 9 countries

by Gabriela Casineanu

“What would I do with rest of my life if I can’t speak anymore?” I asked myself on a scorching summer’s day in 2016. I was going through a burnout that left me without a voice for almost four months.

“Write an introverts’ guide for job search!” the little voice in my head answered back.

Where did this come from? I had never thought of writing anything like that! Yet, it made sense. By that time I had accumulated over ten years experience in coaching and employment counseling (which actually was what got me into the burnout in the first place).

Suddenly, I felt free.

What has this to do with LinkedIn and my author journey?

Well, I did write that book—which started my writing career. This first book (Introverts: Leverage Your Strengths for an Effective Job Search) made me an International bestselling author in 9 countries: Canada, US, UK, France, Italy, Spain, India, Australia, and Mexico.

I enjoyed watching it climb the Amazon ranks, getting the bestseller orange banner, and being listed above bestselling books for introverts and job search (like Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and What Colour Is Your Parachute by Richard N. Bolles). It’s a self-published book that reached #96 in all Free Kindle Store during the book launch, with 2740 downloads in 36 hours!

I got hooked! Four more books followed in the next 5.5 months, three of them also reached the #1 on Amazon. It was quite a journey.



“Ok, great, but when will you start talking about LinkedIn?”

LinkedIn was instrumental in making my first book an international bestseller. Over the years I built my LinkedIn network up to 2800+ connections. So I used it to leverage the book promotion without hiring a PR or marketing specialist, nor paying big bucks to promote the book. At that time I had an email list of fewer than 100 people (not even targeted to the book’s audience), and I spent only $110 during the book launch on websites for book promotions which — I found out after — were mainly for erotica books.

Imagine how attractive my non-fiction was to these readers…

Now let me share the strategies I used with Linkedin before, during and after the launch of Introverts: Leverage Your Strengths for an Effective Job Search which hit #1 in its categories on Amazon (and got the coveted bestseller orange banner) in 9 countries.

With no experience in self-publishing, not even in writing books, I decided to approach this book as a product. This way I could at least leverage my expertise in electronics engineering, business, and social media for business growth. No need to throw out my background when I embarked on a new journey, right?

Here’s how I promoted my first book using LinkedIn.





To be honest, I wanted to attract a traditional publisher, but it didn’t work out. But the experience of writing the book proposal (with all the research involved) was beneficial. It helped me to clarify my book idea and identify the target audience, define how to position the book against competition, and what promotional strategies I could use for this book.

LinkedIn came out top of my list as a marketing tool. My idea: leverage all the first-degree connections I already had on Linkedin and their networks. And use the Linkedin groups’ potential to spread the word about my upcoming book by engaging their members and gaining their trust.

Product Design

In my case, this was about the book content, title, and cover.


While I had two beta-testers who received the book chapter by chapter while I was still writing it, LinkedIn was helpful in finding other beta-testers too. I received excellent comments and feedback from them.


I came up with a draft title and created four more titles using Then I posted a poll in the LinkedIn group Social Media Marketing. I received over 1000 responses within a month (first 100+ in 48 hours), which gave me more options and perspectives to consider. I made a list of those who answered, and were interested in reading my book (as beta-testers or directly from Amazon).

I also captured the names of the influencers who were willing to share it, including the president of a women’s network in Australia, and an experienced therapist who wanted to share the book with her clients and network.

Although I loved the title suggested by a PR specialist from the UK, I chose not to use it this time. But I might approach her later; she has excellent ideas. The responses also helped validate some of my assumptions and revealed new niches for my book (for example: parents of students who will soon enter the job market, and recruiters).

Book Cover

I used LinkedIn for the book cover as well. I posted four draft mockups in a status update, and people voted and commented. Along with the votes received from my Facebook profile, I had a better idea of others’ preferences. Many of them were not my ideal clients or knowledgeable about what makes a good Amazon book cover, so I double checked with my intuition (my inner guidance) before finalizing my cover draft. Their feedback was useful though; it broadened my perspective – similar to the “validation” process I used for the title as well.



Create buzz to spark curiosity and build momentum

Besides the outcomes shared above, I also posted status updates on LinkedIn about my writing process (not the book content) to build momentum and gather email addresses. I added a link to a landing page, for a free download of two chapters. These were also helpful in getting my connections used to the idea of publishing a book. They didn’t know me as a writer, but they were curious about the outcomes, and started to follow my new author journey.

While I have a blog for my business, it doesn’t have many followers. But I posted updates and articles there as well, mainly to share the links to blog posts in the monthly newsletter and my LinkedIn updates. Since I’m a professional coach, I wanted to keep sharing my experiences from a coaching perspective, although I was focused full-time on writing the book and researching information on self-publishing.

Gather feedback from different “stakeholders” to improve the product

Being my first book, I was curious to see how my writing style and book content were perceived. The input received from the beta-testers (some found on LinkedIn) boosted my confidence.

Some of them fitted the definition of my ideal reader, while others (career coaches, recruiters) were experts in related fields. Introverts’ opinions was precious, and many others contributed with great ideas.



Rely on early feedback to build credibility (even before the product launch)

With the positive feedback received from the beta-testers, I created visual quotes (image+text) and posted them as status updates on LinkedIn from time to time, to build credibility and trust while I was still writing it.

I also posted these updates on Instagram and Facebook (which go automatically on Twitter) but I didn’t get much traction on these platforms. As a visual person, posting on Instagram and Linkedin during the writing breaks was quite relaxing. It took me ten months to finish this book (writing 7-8 hours a day), so these pauses were helpful.

Gather a group of supporters to help your product launch

As an introvert, I realized earlier in the process that I didn’t build enough momentum to build a list of engaged fans who could boost my book launch. While I understood the power of being part of a “tribe” or creating your own, I was too busy focusing on my writing. So I chose to go with another option: I joined an existing tribe of people going in the same direction – a group of authors.

I learned a lot from them about the self-publishing process, but I also helped them (even authors can benefit from coaching and my expertise in other fields).

I found out only later that LinkedIn has also groups for authors and book marketing — I’ve added that to my already long “To do” list.




Do not rely only on traditional methods, think outside the box

In my case, I wanted to use “out of the box” strategies for my book promotion, since writing full-time for ten months (without any income) didn’t give me much choice. So I came up with promotional strategies specific to my book content. After all, LinkedIn is a networking platform for professionals, and many of them are my target readers for this book.

Have a good strategy to increase the product visibility

I chose LinkedIn as my main promotional strategy during the book launch, to leverage the power of the connections I already had and other LinkedIn features (search, articles, private messaging, groups, etc.). Here’s how it breaks down:

Reach out to influencers

I considered Linkedin “influencers” those with at least 500 connections. I started with the influencers who already knew me more than a simple LinkedIn connection, like the Manager of an Employment Centre I’ve met several times in person throughout the years.

The book title was clear enough to understand what the book is about, so he quickly recognized it would be a great fit for their introverted clients (and others). The extroverts can also benefit from 90% of this book’s content.

Be flexible

Soon after the book was published and had a few reviews, I start sending direct messages to my 1st degree LinkedIn connections who corresponded to my definition of “influencer”. I enjoyed watching the book climbing higher and higher on both Amazon Canada and the US, until it reached #96 in the free charts on the Kindle store.

After switching to paid, the book got the bestselling orange banner in Canada two days afterwards – on Canada Day! At that point I changed my approach, reaching out to my direct connections from the US (influencers or not). Sending direct messages took a lot of time, but it was worth it. Two days later, the book received the bestseller orange banner in the US as well. It reached #1 in job hunting categories in seven other countries too.

Build credibility with newer information

I took screenshots very often and shared them as status updates on LinkedIn and through direct messages to my 1st degree LinkedIn connections — to show how the rank went up, when it reached #1, the bestseller status, in which countries was #1, and how many times it was downloaded each day.

To build more credibility, I also added screenshots when the book ranked higher or #1 above popular bestsellers (Quiet and What Colour Is Your Parachute were my benchmarks). I also reached out to the connections who commented on my title poll on Linkedin, adding Amazon screenshots with my book as a bestseller and ranking higher than other well-known bestsellers.



One of the influencers I approached, a US recruiter, was not only willing to share my book with her 10.000 email list but also offered to narrate the audiobook based on the book content (for 50/50 royalties via ACX). I didn’t consider putting together an audiobook so fast, but I didn’t want to pass that opportunity either.

Since I’m in Canada, I found it quite beneficial to have someone else promoting the audiobook in the US, especially with her large following in my target audience. I accepted. So LinkedIn also opens up new opportunities!

Have a Win-Win attitude

I wanted my strategy to be part of a long journey, not to be just a hit and run. So I worked on creating a pleasant experience that made people willing to help (without being pushy). I approached them with a WIIFM attitude (What’s In It For Me, meaning Them). Instead of requesting to promote the book of a first-time author, I asked if they’d be willing to spread the word about this book … so together we can help more job seekers find meaningful employment. In other words: Let’s partner for a great cause!

This approach helps them project a better image because they align themselves with a useful purpose. Adding the screenshots with #1 on Amazon, the bestseller banner and ranking above well known bestsellers built trust – and encouraged them to promote something valuable. As you can notice from the results, it worked!



Rely on human behavior

People love to associate themselves with other successful people and businesses. That was another the reason why I shared so many screenshots. People began to see me as someone successful (even if it was my first book), and they started commenting and sharing my posts. It was quite funny noticing acquaintances I hadn’t spoken with in a long time were sharing my posts saying “Check out this bestseller of my friend Gabriela.” I’ll take it!

Develop profitable collaborations

You probably know that placing a book in proper Amazon categories helps to get more downloads, affecting the Amazon rank positively and leading to more exposure. That’s another of my (not so) secret ingredient for this book’s launch, besides my promotional efforts via LinkedIn. Sheri ( found useful categories, which ensured both short and long-term visibility for this book.

Priceless for an already busy first-time author who didn’t have time to learn how to find the right book categories. I used Sheri’s services for my next books as well, with great success.




Product promotion is a marathon, not a sprint. So the book promotion shouldn’t end after the book launch either.

Linkedin Profile Updates

Through this feature, Linkedin notifies your connections every time you update your profile banner or a section (it you have this feature ON).

After the successful book launch, I changed my LinkedIn profile banner with one reflecting my new book, the bestseller status, and the 5-stars reviews average.

I also added a new position to my profile as “International Bestselling Author,” adding in the description the Amazon link and the book trailer. As expected, LinkedIn notified my connections about my profile changes. Many sent me private messages of congratulation for the new job. 🙂 I replied to each of them mentioning that’s not a new job, I just wanted to highlight that I’m now an international bestselling author.

I also asked if they would be willing to share this book with their networks (and shared some screenshots). Each time I published a new book, I updated the description for the “International Bestselling Author.” LinkedIn let my connections know about my new book(s), bringing more eyes to my previous books as well.



Linkedin Articles

When I get questions directly from readers via email, I also write a Linkedin article with my answer to their question. If you didn’t know, the LinkedIn articles accept hashtags and can show up in Internet searches outside LinkedIn. Plus, they are part of a separate section of your LinkedIn profile, so they are easily accessible when someone visits your profile (unlike the status updates).

Status updates

While the LinkedIn status updates increase your visibility as an author, I wanted to highlight them separately because they also help in building credibility and trust.

I’m promoting my book(s) both online and offline (through workshops and presentations on topics related to my books). I found that posting status updates on LinkedIn — highlighting what’s happening offline as well — helped in time to build more credibility and trust, in addition to making more followers like and comment on my posts. This was my first book signing at Indigo, the main book chain in Canada.

People enjoy following how an author’s journey unfolds, so any updates revealing what’s going on behind the scenes are appreciated (leading to more sales and followers). Wouldn’t you consider following the journey of someone who is busy, in a good way? Or buying this author’s book if you’re interested in its content?

Just make sure that not all your posts promote your books or yourself. Giving them a fun twist helps, while increasing awareness about the books indirectly! 🙂

LinkedIn groups

I also talked about my book in LinkedIn groups and reached out to their members when I had something new to share (like a temporary book promotion). One thing I plan to do more is sharing my Linkedin articles and blog posts in groups, with links to my blog, website or Amazon links.

There are all kind of groups on LinkedIn, why not leverage what already exists?




Did this blog post make you more curious about how to tap into LinkedIn’s potential, no matter your books’ genre?

Free video: Linkedin for Authors

Watch me navigate the newer LinkedIn website, showing you how to use the LinkedIn features and strategies you’ve learned from here, and much more.

This platform can be a useful tool for authors and book promotion, to build trust, increase visibility, make new connections, and get useful information to help you achieve your goals.

Whether you like it or not, you are an entrepreneur! Your books are your products. Readers won’t buy them if they don’t even know they exist or they’re not credible enough.


Gabriela Casineanu is a four times Amazon bestselling author, Thoughts Designer and Professional Coach. She’s looking forward to build a better world by tapping into introvert’s power. Gabriela also enjoys helping upcoming authors to overcome inner blockages, and design out of the box marketing strategies specific to their book content.

You can learn more about her work at


Share in the comments below: Which of these tips are you going to use? If you’re a fiction author, how will you take these ideas and apply them to other platforms? Leave a comment!

  1. Ken Haedrich says:

    Nick and Gabriela – Thanks for publishing this; it’s quite inspirational and instructive. I don’t know if it’s beginners luck (in the ebook realm) or what, but my first self-published cookbook – PIE ZERO TO PIE HERO – has stayed in the #1 position for pie books on Amazon virtually since the time I released it 3 weeks ago, and in the top 10 for all Kindle cookbooks too. I’m not a member of your paid program, Nick – yet – but I’ve managed to glean quite a bit of helpful information from your ebooks and blog, and applied those lessons where I could. I have a super, professionally produced cover; a catchy title and descriptive subtitle; solid content; and I chose my categories and keywords carefully. It probably doesn’t hurt that I’ve also published 15 books with traditional publishers, so I have a name in this space, but I believe that unless I’d done some of these other things right, the name wouldn’t help a whole heckuva lot. Thanks to both of you for the good work. Ken Haedrich

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Thanks, Ken! Congrats!
      I really appreciate your feedback … especially coming from a 15 times traditionally published author. I wasn’t so “lucky” to get a publisher for this 1st book, but I’m happy that it finds its way into the world … step by step (my to-do list for this book is still quite big). 🙂
      Regarding Nick’s program, I’m blown away by his strategies for authors! I wish I knew about his program while I was writing and launching that 1st book – it would definitively help it gain more traction, and accelerate my author journey. In my opinion, Nick’s program is a must-have for any author, but especially for those who have more books already published or waiting in the pipeline. Nick’s strategies help them better leverage each other so we can focus more on writing.

      1. Ken Haedrich says:

        Thanks for the feedback, Gabriela. I really like Nick’s personality, and he clearly knows his stuff, so I’ll get into the program soon I suspect. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Wishing you continued success with Introverts and your future projects. Ken

        1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

          Thanks, Ken! All the best to you too! 🙂

  2. Tom Gose says:

    This was a very unique approach that I would not have thought of. It opens a world of possibilities. Its a great, insightful article. Thank you for sharing the tips!

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Oh, great to hear that you found it unique and insightful, Tom! I can’t wait to hear about the world of opportunities this article opened up for you. Would you mind keeping me posted?

  3. Jenna says:

    This is really interesting for non-fiction. I think it would be extremely difficult for those who write under a pen name (as many romance authors do, myself included), and wouldn’t work nearly as well for people with less extensive social networks.

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Thanks, Jenna. I was expecting a comment like yours. 🙂
      First of all, dismissing from the beginning the concepts laid out in this article … could block you from brainstorm ideas on how you can implement some of them in your situation!
      Are you open to brainstorming with me on on how someone who writes under a pen name (or who doesn’t have a big social media network) can use some of this strategies?
      (This is an open invitation to anyone else reading this comment)

      I’ll start:
      • Create social media profiles for the pen name on whatever platform you think your potential readers might hang out. As Nick mentioned, for fiction books maybe Facebook, Instagram and Twitter might work better. You want more people to find about the books written under that pen name, right?
      • For introverts (like me), using social media under a pen name would be even more freeing! Because it’s not about me anymore. It’s about helping an author I care about, and the books I love (otherwise I wouldn’t write them). That’s gold for an introvert: we get motivation from inside, and we can get quite passionate about something we believe in – if we don’t need to talk about us (the real person behind the pen name). 🙂
      • Start sharing your pen author’s journey (not the content of your books)! And, if you use hashtags for writers and your book topic, you’ll start getting followers. People like to follow stories that unfold in real time (getting an insider’s view). Since I’m visual, I love Instagram. I used this strategy there as well, before, during and after my book launch – although I didn’t focus too much on this for my book topic. One day I posted an image: “That moment when you arrive at Starbucks to edit your book, and you forgot your wallet at home.” (which was true!) This way I indirectly let people know I write a book, getting them interested in following what else is happening. If I’d choose Instagram as my main social media profile for that book, I would use more hashtags and follow people interested in similar books, or feature this kind of books and already have a huge following. When I’ll be at the launch phase, I’ll reach out to them via PM, asking if they’d be interested in reviewing the book, or mentioned it in their posts … of course, I’ll comment on their posts here and there- and mention/ share some of their post (most people on social media want an engaged following). Same for Facebook. They’ll recognize my name when I reach out with a request for my upcoming book since I already build a connection. Instagram and Twitter don’t even need acceptance to follow and interact with someone! So you can grow a following much faster than through Linkedin.
      * Look at writing and publishing a book as a journey. Whenever you take a break, reach out to your phone and post something, or follow someone (Twitter, Instagram) – many people follow back or at least visit your profile/ see your posts. Done daily, even 5 minutes a day, it accumulates in time.
      • Don’t compare yourself with others, just with how far you’ve gone from … a week/ month/ year ago!
      • Follow people who are ahead of you in your niche, to get some ideas and get inspired by what’s possible if you continue.
      • Take an inventory of the people you already know and ask if they’re willing to connect their profile with your pen name.
      • Join Facebook groups for authors, we tend to help and support each other on the journey.
      • Talk on the pen name’s social media profiles about any little wins, foggy days, a new comment from a beta reader, a chapter finished, ask for feedback of a specific topic (cover, title), ask questions … making that part of your journey keeps you connected with the world, besides getting feedback and ideas. Getting attention and a little support feed our moral, helping us staying motivated and becoming more resilient in our author journey.
      • Be perseverant! Find a reason for that! For me – as an introvert – social media is my way of socializing on my terms. It’s a way of staying connected with people when I’m too immersed in writing. Writing could be a lonely journey, especially if those close to you, (family/ friends/ colleagues) don’t know, don’t trust, or don’t like what you do. That was my case when I start writing – so I turned toward strangers! And by doing that, I allowed them to feel valued when I asked for help (which made them feel good) – and I made some great friends of like-minded people.
      • Believe that opportunities will open up, you don’t have to know it all from the beginning, or have a large network already. You’re getting better in time, and that’s part of the journey. I didn’t get my network overnight. 🙂
      But if you don’t even start, or discard any idea because you’re not where someone else is … you’re just shooting yourself in the foot … so to speak. 🙂

      Linkedin was my social media choice for this book, but when I published my 1st photo-coaching book, I didn’t turn toward Linkedin to help it become a bestseller.
      I love to customize my approach to the book content and the primary and secondary audiences I want for this book. And in that process, I look for opportunities to leverage online and offline strategies. But that could be a totally different article. 🙂
      If you’d like to continue brainstorming with us here, please let your creative juice flowing in this direction too. If you write fiction, you’re definitely very creative… why not applying your creativity in other areas as well? 🙂

  4. Folkert O.J. van der Meulen Bosma says:

    Do you think this approach will also work for a small language marked such as the Dutch market?
    I konow that there is a high percentage of people having a LinkedIn account ik the Netherlands.

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Before answering, Fokert, I’d be curious about your book topic:
      a) Is it specific to that market?
      b) Is it valuable to many more readers (internationally as well)?
      I do believe that this approach works if it’s about the overall strategy I used: to compare my book launch with getting a new product on the market and find ways to make this process more effective by using the social media platform most appropriate for my book topic.
      Regarding the options mentioned above:
      1) I would use a combination of the appropriate social media platform for the book topic (LinekdIn for non-fiction, for example) in combination with other ways (online and offline) which are more specific to that market. In which case I would leverage the local connections I already have as well and the fact I could reach out more easily (Meetup groups, for example, or local influencers). The Forward of my book was written by a local recruiter – which gave credibility to my book content for job seekers. Getting the Amazon bestseller is a numbers game: if you can get more readers download your book then your competitors in the same category, with consistent sales in the amount of time set by Amazon – your book gets the bestseller banner or stays on top… bringing more eyes on it. If it’s a smaller market, I would count on both online and offline strategies to get the attention of the potential readers in that specific market.
      2) My approach will work for local and international markets because your book has more potential readers interested in your book… making it clim the Amazon rank.

  5. Folkert O.J. van der Meulen Bosma says:

    Oops: my reply contains typing errors. Here comes the right one!

    Do you think this approach will also work for a small language market such as the Dutch market?
    I know that there is a high percentage of people having a LinkedIn account in the Netherlands.

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Oups, I misunderstood your question Folkert. 🙂
      For a small language market, I would still use this process, but I’ll reach out to more social media platforms when I can find speakers of that language. Plus, I’ll throw some offline strategies into the mix, to make sure I can reach more of the local readers. Like doing presentations on the topic of the upcoming book to an organization that has clients who could be the ideal readers. So the reach goes beyond the audience since the organization will promote it to all their clients (not only those present).
      For online: there are many Facebook groups ethnic/ language specific (outside your country). These days immigrants are all over the world and they like to stay connected with others who speak the same language. I’ll join those groups and comment here and there … and when the time comes I’ll ask the group organizer if I can post something that indirectly mentions my new book. If I’m already known in the group, the admin will probably accept. You might even find international such groups that allow promotions.

  6. Patricia Tiegs says:

    Wow, Gabriella, you are one creative lady! Many thanks to you and Nick (in my experience his “stuff” is always a winner) for publishing this article. It provides clarity, detail and motivation which are all greatly appreciated elements for would-be authors out here in the wilderness with only half-written books on our hard drives. I can see that I will need to create my website sooner rather than later in order to apply some of the lessons in your fine article. My target audience is quite substantial and I have found that they access Facebook and Instagram in the 60-75% brackets daily while other platforms fall into the single digits. So it’s obvious where my own attention to promotion and marketing will need to be concentrated.
    Love the fact that you did find ways to use your own existing audience so successfully. (Eureka moment! Thank you). Will try to follow in your footsteps over the next few months to see if getting anywhere near your level of success is possible for my own non-fiction tome. Even a moderate level of success would be livin’ the dream!!!
    Cheers and best wishes to you from a Sassy Septuagenarian.

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Thanks, Patricia! 🙂 I really appreciate your feedback! Glad to head the impact my article had on you. Use your Eureka moment to brainstorm further. You certainly have a lot of connections so far. Probably not all will be supportive, but even a few can take you further on your journey.
      Keep up the great work, the world needs your book too! 🙂
      Let’s connect on Linkedin if you want.

  7. Lucy Appadoo says:

    This is a great article. I’ve been ignoring the marketing for my non-fiction books, and have been focused more on my fiction books. I am a part of Linked In so will focus on promoting my non-fiction books on that site. Thank you.

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      You’re welcome, Lucy!
      I relate to your struggle since I have books in two separate niches as well. But I take the one step at a time approach. 🙂
      Let’s connect on LinkedIn if you want.

  8. Matt White says:

    I can see where this would work for the audience at hand, a book about job seeking with a network of job seekers, but most fiction reader groups I’ve found frown upon self promotion at the risk of it becoming an ever-increasing roar of attention seekers. I’ve leveraged my other social connections for launches and I can barely break the 100k bestsellers. Maybe my friends are defective?

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Matt, can you please read my answer to Jenna? It addresses some of your concerns.
      Self-promotion doesn’t have to be only “buy my book”. Actually, that turns out a lot of people. You can also share about your author journey, people love to follow how a real story unfolds. I gave some examples in that response.

  9. Nathaniel Wyckoff says:

    On a much smaller scale, I’m preparing to launch a book in about 10 days. At first sent out a series of 4 emails to my current list. It’s still a small list by Nick’s standards, around 600-650 subscribers. The emails told my hero’s journey of writing and getting my series up to where it is right now. The 4th email was a call to action, offering review copies to those who would read the book ahead of time and then post a review on Launch Day. I got a few responses. Then I reached out to another network. It’s a Google group for writers, with about 1000 members. In about 2 days, I’ve picked up about 5 more advance reviewers.

    It’s a smaller scale, yet another pre-existing audience that’s willing to help.

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      I totally agree with your approach, Nathaniel. I found the Google groups just recently, There are many ways to approach social media, and better results if you use it more strategically (80/20 rule): what could increase the chances of getting better results with the amount of time I have, for my book topic. I leverage my time and existing connections to get more traction.
      Good luck with your book launch!

  10. Horace Williams Jr says:

    Thank you Nick and Gabriella. I was so excited to read this article. I have been focusing on growing my LinkedIn audience. My connections have quadrupled the past few months. Thank you for the insightful details you’ve shared. I write in a competitive genre, (Christian non-fiction) My current book has risen to #2 in the prayer category on multiple occasions. I’ve just begun writing my next book and I lplan to utilize the strategies you both have recommended. Thanks again for sharing. Have a fantastic weekend and God bless.

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      That’s great news, Horace! Keep building on what you already have.
      Good luck with your new book!

  11. Gregg Elliott says:

    Thanks Gabriela so much! I have a pretty decent network on LinkedIn (though not as big as yours was!) and I intend to use ALL your strategies. The book I’m working on could be put into the job search category, it’s about all the trends toward self-employment and what it takes to succeed. My first book will focus on mid-career switchers and the next one will focus on starters. Great stuff!!

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      You’re welcome, Gregg! Glad to hear that you’ll apply these strategies too.
      Let’s connect on LinkedIn. We could even do shared book promotions with other authors of job search/ career books after you publish your book(s).

  12. Dan says:

    Hey Nick
    Great article, but …. I’m feeling slightly baited and switched!
    While this is beautifully written, it talks about how to market ‘problem solving’ books, not fiction, unlike the suggestion in your email that that it somehow relates.
    Fact is, ne’er the twain shall meet. They are completely different disciplines.
    I used to work in ‘Internet Marketing’ which uses the ‘audience finding’ tactics Gabriela Casineanu describes. But for the most part they’re not applicable to fiction. Because the audience is looking for entertainment, not a solution to a problem, they don’t put their hands up and identify themselves the same way solution seekers do. So it requires the very different, fiction-audience-building tactics as outlined in your ‘First 10,000 Readers’ course.
    Please Sir, if you’re widening your audience to encompass the non-fiction niche, my request is to indicate in your emails which niche the articles are aimed at please. (Internet Marketing or Fiction.)

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Hi Dan,
      I’m not Nick … but I hope you don’t mind adding my 2 cents to your comment. 🙂
      If you check my answer to Jenna (see above), there are ways of finding online readers of fictions books as well. Actually, I stumbled quite often on such profiles when using Instagram and Twitter, They often suggest similar profiles you might want to follow. Using hashtags also helps. Following authors in your niche, and following their followers (some follow back), etc.
      The concept behind my approach was to go to the platform that’s most appropriate for my book audience and focus on building momentum by sharing my writing journey (asking for an opinion about my cover and title, for example). This opened up new opportunities … so I build the whole process step by step… without knowing all the details of what I’ll do and how.
      There are many people who like to read books, and even review them. Goodreads is a way to find them. Looking at Amazon top reviewers list is another. Many top reviewers also have their own blog/ website where they share their reviews. If you approach them, and they post a review to an upcoming or recently published book, their followers will notice. According to Amazon rules, they should do it for free and leave an honest review.
      There are many other ways to get followers and engage with people through social media .., if you’re open to going beyond “this approach doesn’t work for my fiction books”.

    2. Nick Stephenson says:

      Dan – this can 100% be used for fiction. Obviously you will have to adapt it, just like I said. We have 2 sessions in the 10k Readers course where one children’s author did pretty much the same as this using instagram. It’s very easy to write something off that’s not exactly related to your field, but you’ll find plenty of inspiration if you take what works in one market and apply it to yours, and put your own spin on it.

  13. Bernard Hampson says:

    Hi Nick
    I live and write in Thailand in A place called Laem Mae Phim Near Rayong. Not far from Ban Phe and the island of Koh Sumet. If you are in the area give me a shout I would love to show a fellow Brit around. My book is called Consequences and I have a second book Repercussions in editing. I write under the name of Sam Boyd.
    Have a good time in beautiful Thailand
    Bernard Hampson

  14. Marlena Corcoran says:

    Great ideas, Gabriela! My favorite is the tip about choosing the right categories on amazon. Congratulations on your success!

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Thanks, Marlena! 🙂 That’s a big one!
      I’m using Sheri’s services since, although that makes me lazy … postponing to learn how to find the best categories myself. Which is an even better strategy long term, in my opinion (to be able to tweak the categories of my books in time, according to where the book market is at that moment).

  15. EEVI says:

    Wonderful and creative ideas, Gabriela. And I love, love, love your CTA!!! Congratulations on all your amazing success!

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Thanks, Eevi! 🙂 I have to go back to see what my CTA was.

  16. Barry Walton says:

    This article ROCKS and thank you, thank you, thank you for offering these resources my friend. Big dream here to see my first book get up, walk, and then run. This stuff helps a lot in that process.

    Enjoy Thailand and getting kicked around.
    – Barry

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Gald to hear it helped, Barry, I wish you a smooth book launch process!

  17. Shearin says:

    Great article, Gabriela! Thank you for sharing your experience and insight with us. My husband and I are working on our first children’s chapter book in a series based off of our character, Joy Sun Bear. We have a small following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. When doing our first launch, do you suggest we reach out to family and friends to help us when book is free then reach out to social media following when paid? I also know some great bloggers I can ask to review our book. Do I ask them to do an honest review of book in exchange for free ebook? Any other tips and suggestions for helping us out with our children’s book to build our brand is much appreciated! Thank you! 🙂

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Hi Shearin,
      I consider the book marketing as a marathon, not just a sprint (during the book launch). Because I want it to perform well even after launch. That’s why I like so much Nick’s strategies: having a perma free, for example, is a great strategy to make people discover book series like yours. I didn’t know about perma free when I launched my 1st book.
      But even if I knew – looking from a marathon’s perspective – I prefer to reach as many people I can during the book launch because I want to have numbers and bestseller banner to rely on when I promote the book after (it builds credibility and trust faster than me talking about the book content). The book I talked about in this article had over 2800 downloads in 36 hours during the book launch, reached #96 in top free on Amazon and got 2 orange bestseller banners, besides #1 in 9 countries – this social proof is powerful! Plus, promoting it for free to anyone anywhere (including social media) created 2800+ ambassadors for this book – who might spread the word if they like it (additional free promotion!!!!). I couldn’t get all these by keeping the free days’ promotion only in my circle of friends/ family members. I don’t know how big is your circle (friends, family), but even if it is big – why not push the numbers up by bringing extra eyes on your book(s), especially at the time when you can leverage Amazon’s features like “Top free books”? People like free books and they probably check this section often. After the book launch, many books go down the rank and are not easy to find anymore (unless you keep promoting them one way or another).
      If it was about my circle of friends and family, I would probably have 1-3 downloads maximum – because they too waited to see the social proof first (it was my 1st one, they didn’t know what to expect, and they were not even curious because they were not interested in this topic).
      In summary: I would reach out to anyone I can (close circle, social media, blogs, etc.) to get the word out at the beginning and continue to do it after. There are many more people in the world I can reach out later with my “marathon” marketing approach. I prefer to think there is abundance in the world, not scarcity.
      For other suggestions specific to children books, I’ll invite Eevi to share some – she’s the author of the article posted on Nick’s blog a few days ago:

  18. Sherry Rector says:

    Thanks for the goldmine of information, Gabriella. I have both fiction and non-fiction works in progress and appreciate your post and all of your responses to everyone’s comments. I recently retired and was getting annoyed with LinkedIn for sending me job postings all the time, since I had no desire to jump back into the 9-5 rat race, so I just unsubscribed to their newsletter and deleted the app from my phone (LOL). Sigh. NOW I see how I can put it to use. 🙂
    Nick – Thanks for posting this great article. I always enjoy your blogs and appreciate the value they add to my development as a self-publishing author.
    Hope you both have a great week!

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Thanks, Sherry! 🙂 Your comment makes me talk about my big picture strategy for book launch/ marketing: social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin…) are just platforms with features. What’s the most important:
      – understand the features of each of them, to see which one could be the most useful to your book topic/ genre
      – set an objective
      – design a strategy mix that helps you achieve that objective by leveraging the most the existing features of that platform
      – define how you can integrate those strategies with other platforms for better results.
      If someone looks at LinkedIn only as a job search tool, s/he misses to see how else that platform can be used to achieve her/ his objective (could be book promotion, build credibility and trust as an author, build a business, etc.)
      Too often people get stuck in seeing only the features of a platform, missing the important part: the strategies that can be implemented to get the most of that platform to reach their objective. In my opinion, this is why Nick mentioned that my strategies can be applied to other social media platforms, no matter the book genre.

      1. Sherry Rector says:

        It definitely looks like I’ve been taking a very narrow view of social media. Thanks for opening up my tunnel vision, Gabriela. I will keep all of your advice in mind.

  19. Patricia Wooster says:

    I love this approach of using LinkedIn for nonfiction books. I’m curious if you
    Used free ebook days as part as your launch strategy. I keep hearing mixed opinions on whether a nonfiction book she be launched for free/heavily discounted/countdown deals. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      HI Patricia, I used the free days for my non-fiction book – I wanted to get traction and momentum before I make it a paid book. The fact that it was free made it get 2800+ downloads, and it got the first orange bestseller banner right after I switched to paid.
      But like anything else, this is a choice. 🙂

  20. Petrps says:

    Great post Gabriela! I didn’t realize you could use LinkedIn to help research and promote your book. I do have good size network connections in that platform. Adding screenshot on the status bar to show book updates on Amazon is genius and I will be doing it now. Thanks for sharing your lessons and tips

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Thanks, Petrps! 🙂 Did you take advantage of adding a new “job” to your LinkedIn profile as “Author” or “Bestselling author”? Add your books in the job description before you save it … and watch people congratulating you for the new “job”! Because LinkedIn will let them know that you have a new one, while your books will benefit from the increased visibility provided by this LinkedIn feature. 🙂
      And with each new book, you’ll update the “job description” so LinkedIn has something new to say to your followers.
      ~ Gabriela

      1. Petros says:

        Thanks Gabriela! I just updated my Linkedin profile 🙂 Feels good adding best selling author along with my other job titles.Its definitely a good way to put my book in my networks radar!

  21. tom behr says:

    Hi Gabriela
    It’s been a while (too long!) since we talked. I’ve been driving hard to get my World War II spy novel Doppelganger finished so I can start on the self-help “Happiness Project” I discussed with you. (Doppelganger IS finished now. I’m sending the manuscript to my copy editor so he can find all the typos I’ve looked at for months and missed :-). So I’m finally getting back to my emails and found your wonderful article. Terrific ideas! I really love your bold creativity. Let’s find a time to connect in the next week or so if that works for you. All the best, Tom

    1. Gabriela Casineanu says:

      Thanks, Tom! Yeah, I cannot stop my creativity to spread out to the other things I’m doing. 🙂
      Congrats on finishing your Doppelganger IS! I hope you’ve got a better understanding of my social media strategies for the book launch and promotion. Did you check my other answers in response to the comments posted here? I’ve added more info and a high-level strategy that apply to fiction as well.
      Feel free to reach out. I’m done with my two latest books (written in three months). In recovery now, after intense brain use. 🙂
      All the best, Gabriela

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