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Done correctly, adding affiliates to a book launch can double, triple, or even 5X your book sales. If you know how to do it properly. How do you run a book launch with affiliates? That’s what this episode is all about.

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NEW EPISODE: “Lessons Learned from a Multi-Million Dollar Affiliate Launch” Listen here now!

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Affiliate Marketing for Authors Training

Behind the Scenes of the Real Artists Don’t Starve Book Launch

Your First 100 Affiliates Report

Affiliate Recruiting Swipe Files

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Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy

How to Find Affiliates for a Book Launch (or Any Launch)

The Affiliate Donut

What & How to Communicate to Your Affiliates

How to Use Leaderboards to Find Affiliates

How to Onboard Affiliates the Right Way

How to Sell Without Sounding Like a Used Car Salesman

How to Run an Affiliate Book Launch

Done correctly, adding affiliates to a book launch can double, triple, or even five X your book sales if you know how to do it properly. So how do you run a book launch with affiliates? Well, that’s what this episode is all about.

So in the last episode, I talked about finding affiliates for your book launch. If you missed that episode, make sure you go back and listen to it. Because I shared one specific strategy.

Most of what I shared in that episode applies to book launches, product launches, service launches, whatever, anything launches, really. But there’s one specific thing that I shared that really in particular applies to book launches. You want to make sure you go listen to that.

Today we’re going to talk about the actual book launch, the timeline, the specifics about what to do with your affiliates. Now, in that last episode, real quick, I did mention a couple of resources that I want to point out because they’re relevant to this episode as well.

We’ve got our affiliate marketing for authors training. So if you go to mattmcwilliams.com/authors, I’ve got some training there all about what we’re talking about over this series because it’s a four-part series on book launches as it pertains to affiliates.

I’m in book launch mode. I’m a year out from my book launch, but I’m already thinking about all the stuff that goes to that, which is kind of one of the messages here.

I want you to get this stuff long before you need it. Also talked about Your First 100 Affiliates Report, Madamclaims Make sure you go grab that so you can recruit those affiliates.

In the last episode, I really focus on the finding affiliates part. I want to focus today on what to do once you’ve got them because somebody says yes. Now, what do we do? Right? And a lot of what I’m sharing comes from my own experiences. I think I’ve run 16 book launches, affiliate book launches. If it’s not 16, it’s pretty darn close.

But I remember the very first one that I ever ran. Like, I’d run product launches. I’ve kind of been in that world. I run some big affiliate programs like Shutterfly and Adidas, along with my own programs. And a guy named Jeff Goins came to me and said, can you help me with affiliates on my book launch? And I’m like, I never thought about that.

This is almost ten years ago, like affiliates for a book launch. Okay, that kind of makes sense, but I’ve never even thought about that. And he came to me and he said after we’ve been working together for a couple of weeks and he’s like, hey, we’re like eight weeks out from the launch, and I need to tell my publisher, pretty big publisher.

I need to tell them how many books I’m going to sell. And I said, well, based on the numbers that I’m seeing and what

I expect to be able to do for you and help you, I’m like, Tell them 15,000.

He’s like, I cannot tell them 15,000.

I’m like, Why not?

And he’s like, dude, my last book sold 3500.

I’m like, okay, well, you’re a little bit bigger.

That will get you to 5000.

He’s like, yeah, I was thinking like six or 7000.

Like, no, you’re going to get to 5000.

You’re going to go from 3500 to 5000 on your own.

I think we can triple that with affiliates.

In fact, I know we can.

We can triple that with affiliates.

He’s like, there’s no way I can tell them 15,000.

And I finally just kind of said, you’re going to tell them 15,000, or I’m not going to work with you.

I’m so confident in that that I do not want you to go to them and tell them seven or even ten. And then we’re blowing through that.

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Affiliate Recruiting Email Template

Well, long story short is we ended up doing 22,000 preorders, and we’ll talk about why preorders are so important here in a little bit, but we end up doing 22,000 preorders with more book sales down the road. And from there, we went on to run book launches for Brian Tracy, Lewis Howes’s number two bestseller. I think every book we’ve ever done, almost all of them have been at least like number one in their category on Amazon.

We’ve had half a dozen Wall Street Journal bestsellers and a couple of New York Times and just like crazy, right? And so we have a proven track record of this. And I feel like we’ve learned a lot of stuff over the years.

Now, last time I shared how you want to number one, these are relevant to actually, once you get the affiliates, you got to set up a back end offer.

We talked about that in the last episode, so I won’t go into that here. How you want to drive traffic to an opt in page, how you want to upsell and pay a solid Commission. And you want to make your cookies long.

Now, ideally, you want to recruit your affiliates at least six months out. So we’re going to use that as a guideline here, right. For what you’ll do leading up to the launch.

The big thing just mentally is you want to treat it like a product launch. You want to treat it like a product launch. We’re looking at this and going, okay, we got to get on people’s calendars. So all that has to do with the recruiting side.

But then what do we want to do? We want to keep them engaged.

I’ve talked about this. I talked about this when I talk about onboarding affiliates and how to keep your affiliates warm, how to use communication, calendar, and things like that.

It’s a little bit different for books because typically there’s only one call to action for a book.

Go by the book.

Go buy the book.

Go by the book.

Claim the bonuses.

Claim the bonuses.

Claim the bonuses.

Those are the calls to action.

So there are not a lot of moving parts, just one call to action typically.

But starting out before you even recruit your first affiliate, one of the things that I want you to do is get clear on your number one purpose.

Is your number one purpose sales? I want to make as much money as possible in the back end.

We talked about that in the last episode. I want this to be a million-dollar book launch. Is it to kind of have the book be like a lead magnet and a low price but still paid lead magnet? Is it to have a best seller? Is it something else right?

What is the number one purpose of your book? And you need to get clear on that because it does drive a little bit of what you do in terms of how you structure your launch.

I won’t go into all the details in that. But if it’s to hit the best seller, then that rules out typically that you want to do a free plus shipping offer. For example, as we talked about in the last episode, you don’t want to do that because they are typically kind of frown upon those. It’s not impossible with that. It’s just that they don’t typically like those as much as they do a paid offer.

So how you set up your funnel is going to be different. Are you focused on back-end sales? Well, then you want to convert as many people into buying the book as possible?

Absolutely. But if you’re more focused on the back-end sales, then you might lower the price of the book because you’re just focused on getting them to the next step and the next step.

The next step. If it’s to maximize royalties on the book, well, then you price the book as high as possible, within reason. Hardback would probably be 22,95, something like that.

Paperback would probably be in the $16 range, something like that. What is it? Also, it helps when you’re talking about back in sales. If they hit the best seller.

Well, then offering the audiobook as an upsell definitely increases the odds that you’re going to hit the bestseller list. Because if you sell 10,000 books but you convince 4000 to also get the audiobook, that has an impact on the bestseller list. Is it to possibly sweeten the pot more for multiple orders?

Hey, if you buy ten books, then you get this 50 books, you get this.

That increases the odds that somebody will buy ten or 50 books. So you got to get Crystal clear on your number one purpose. And the big thing is you got to focus on pre-orders.

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Recommended affiliate programs

All right. The reason why we want to focus on pre-orders is all those pre-orders count to those first-week sales, which typically again, doesn’t matter if you don’t really care about hitting a bestseller list, but most people would prefer to hit the bestseller list rather than not.

And so if you get 15,000 pre-orders, that’s 15,000 pre-orders that go to your first week’s sales. That’s 15,000 in a week, even if you collected them over the course of eight weeks. And so you stand a much better chance of hitting a bestseller list with 15,000 pre-orders than you do if you tried.

If you only got 5000 orders the week off and then 5000 the next week and 5000 the next week, the same number of orders over the case of three weeks, but you’re not going to hit the bestseller list with only 5000 orders in a week.

So if the launch date is August 1, Then the pre-order push would really start post-July 4. Yeah, you could have people selling the book before that, of course, but really after July 4 is going to be the big pre-order push.

So you want to focus on this? Basically, I would pick the first Tuesday after July 4. I’m not looking at the calendar for when this is airing in 2022, But let’s just say that July 8, then July 8 is when we’re going to start the push.

That’s when we want to start. Affiliates emailing doing things like Facebook live. We want to have a podcast airing from basically July 8 through the launch date of August 1. And you want to think of launch day, August 1, help people think, oh, my book launched today. Yay.

No, that’s cart close day. That’s cart close day. I joke like the day after your book launches client. I go on vacation. I busted my b*** for the six to eight weeks before this. Worked hard for six to eight months before that. But I really busted it for those last six or so weeks. I’m going on vacation the next day.

Why?

Because the truth is told, I do care. But you’re probably not going to sell a whole lot of books on August 2 and there’s not much I’m going to do to move the needle and that’s not what we care
about.

We want to help you hit your goal of reaching the bestseller list. We’re going to work to get all those orders in from July 8 through August 1. So if the promo starts after July 4, we’re starting this timeline in January, right? So number one, in January. As soon as people sign up, I want to get affiliates a copy of the book.

In fact, I usually get them at least the rough copy of the book, the unedited, or like a middle of the editing process book for review before they even sign up.

Hey, go review this copy of the book, see what you think.

But now I want to get them as soon as possible, a physical copy of the book, an audiobook. If there’s going to be one of those, I want to get them everything that they need in terms of the book itself. I want to start scheduling podcasts.

My book comes out in January of 2023. Turn Your Passions Into Profits. I’ve already got podcasts scheduled to record in August of this year, to release after Christmas in January of 2023.

So as far in advance as possible, we want to get on these people’s schedules. So if you’re running somebody else’s book launch, you’re running your own, whatever it is you’re running. One for somebody you work for.

Schedule those things as far in advance as possible and then communicate with them as you would like. We recommend a launch.

So six months out until about one month out, we want to communicate twice a month, once via email, once in a partner Facebook group. If you don’t have a Facebook group for your book launch affiliates, you should have one, by the way.

So I’ll do something, you know, early in the month of January that’s focused on like maybe scheduling things like that, letting them know, reminding them, giving them a copy of the book.

Then I’ll do something in the second half of the month in the Facebook group. And I’ll just kind of alternate email Facebook group once a month, each of those as we get to about four to six weeks out from our target date of basically post July 4.

So in this particular case, I think I said July 8, June 1, I’m going to start to ramp up the communication again, just standard communication for a launch.

So I’m going to start to give them things like behind-the-scenes access. I’m going to unbox the book for them. I’m going to share the concepts in the book. Maybe I want to read a few things, maybe tell them a story about how this chapter came to be, or give them some of that behind-the-scenes editing access.

Like right now I’m going through some of the big editings in the book. I can give them, even though we’re eleven months out. But I could give them some of that like, hey, this section here originally started like this and then it developed into this and yadda, yadda, right.

I’m going to constantly hammer home those important dates. July 8, July 8, July 8, July 8. Make sure they are clear about the push for preorders, that this is not starting promoting August 1. That’s the book launch date. It’s all about pre-orders.

I’m going to teach them why it’s about pre-orders, why it’s about pre-orders over and over.

So there’s no confusion on the dates. I’m going to create promo plans for them now. It’s only one offer, and that’s the book, right?

They’re not mentioning the back-end stuff on the front end. So you got to help them understand the timing of the promotion.

So we want that first email to go out ten to 15 days before August 1. So we really want people to start promoting middle of July.

Hey, if you want to start promoting July 8, that’s great. We want that second email to go out around July 24, 25th, about a week out. We want a final email on the final day. We want to tell them, hey, if you’re really intense, then mail even more, right?

You’re going to mail the day before the deadline. You’re going to mail two to three times on the final day in the push here.

Just so you know, the push for that August 1 deadline, whatever your deadline is, your launch date is to claim the pre-order bonuses. Can you still get the book on August 2? Of course, you’re just not going to get the bonuses.

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So you want to craft a plan that involves email and social media, live interviews, podcasts like being willing to go on as many podcasts and lives as possible.

I recommend this is something that I decided on early on that what I want to do is once we finish the book, in the sense of we’ve gone through the developmental edit, I’m not worried about copy editing, whether or not there needs to be a semicolon here or something like that, I’m not worried about that.

But once the book is done and the content is done and I know for a fact that everything that is in the book that I wanted in the book is in there, and I know what’s not in there, for example.

So my original manuscript for Turn Your Passions into Profits, for example, is 117,000 words. The publisher wants it at 75,000. Between us will get it down to about 78, and they’ll just have to deal with that.

So I need to know what’s not in it, what’s going to be in the audiobook, which will have the longer version, what’s going to be in the audiobook that’s not in the physical book. And so I need to know those things.

So once I’ve done that, then what I want to do is I want to start doing some small podcasts. Podcasts.

I don’t care how many listeners you have ten listeners.

And I want that host to ask me questions, and I’m going to talk about the concepts in the book and develop those concepts. And I’m going to do ten to 20 of those small podcasts.

I’m going to talk about them on my podcast, develop those concepts. Right? And the stories make sure I got there’s a lot of new material in my book, for example.

So it’s not stuff I’ve talked about before, and I really don’t have it all nailed down.

I developed some concepts. For example, I developed these eight archetypes of types of leaders. Like, I remember the hesitant hero and the master maestro and the revolutionary rebel.

But honestly, I can’t remember all eight right now. I developed them for the book, so I don’t even remember them all. Well, if somebody asked me right now, what are the eight archetypes of a leader leading your platform. Right?

Blogger, podcast, or whatever. I don’t even remember all eight, so I got to work through those. So I want to do these small podcasts six, seven months out. And then as we get closer, I’ll start doing bigger podcasts. But I’ll develop my material just like a comedian does. Right?

They do their show in front of 20 people, 30 people, 50 people. They do it 100 times before they ever go and do a Netflix special.

So we want to craft that plan for them. We want to do that plan with the affiliates like here’s when you need to schedule the interview and when it needs to release and things like that. We want to announce contests and prizes if there are going to be any.

What kinds of contests you’re going to do? Are they focused on book sales? Are they focused on bulk sales? Whatever we want to do that not focus on the back end.

So we want to do different contests. Like every 100 books, you get this much money.

If you do 100 book sales or ten book sales and you’re entered to win $1,000. If you do 25 book sales, you’re entered into you get into the Mastermind, things like that, right.

We want to teach them. We want to help them with how to promote. We want to train them. So we want to do some training on how to train affiliates.

Just keep constantly giving them updates. Right?

Get a good endorsement, share that with them. If you get Big Media, share it with them.

Like, if you’re going to be on Good Morning America, share that with them because they want to be a part of something that’s featured on Big Media.

Start the Facebook group, as I mentioned, ask if they need anything. Ask them months in advance.

Hey, what do you need to promote this book? I need this, this, and this.

BOOM..! Got it.

The thing is if you ask your affiliates that three, four, five months out, then if they come up with something wild, you and your team have time to create it versus if you ask them just two days before it’s like, oh, shoot, we don’t have time to create that. Ask for referrals send them an email asking for referrals like hey, do you know anybody who might be a good fit to promote this book?

Make sure you send a copy of the book I mentioned earlier. I mean just you can have 500 affiliates it will cost you less than $2,000 to mail every one of them a copy of the book. If you send it via media mail if you get a little fancy send it to them in like a box nicer box it might cost you like $7 a pop. You can create a swipe copy that’s another thing you have to do. You have to create swipe copy for various audiences for the book. So identify those three or four audiences right?

I remember for Jeff Goins years ago with the book I mentioned earlier The Art of Work I think it was like we had an audience of current entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, faith-based and I think it was like stay at home moms I think it was the fourth one and we had this book that was geared we had the same book but we had four different kinds of paths four different almost like four different avatars for the book. That’s important to make sure you have different versions of the swipe copy for your affiliates.

A few other little notes as you get ready for your launch to make sure you test the sales funnel out early don’t wait till the last minute get it done early, test it early and often test all kinds of scenarios if they buy the book and then go this way if they take this offer but don’t take this one if they don’t take this one but do take that one what happens if they bypass it?

Does everything work right?

Follow up, follow up, follow up, follow up.

We talked about this last time.

Collect their email address first before it goes to the buy page if at all possible, and then follow up if they don’t buy the book.

Follow up, follow up, follow up, follow up.

Claim their bonuses.

Follow up, follow up, follow up, follow up.

They don’t take an upsell.

Follow up, follow up.

This is a product launch. And remember, your affiliates only get paid on sales of the upsells.

Maybe you could do it. Maybe you could set up where they get a buck or two on the book. But usually there’s not a lot of money there.

So if they buy the book but don’t take any of the upsells, follow up with them.

Follow up with them before they get the book. Follow up with them a couple of weeks after they would have gotten a book.

Hey, how’s the book going?

Do you want this?

Are you finding it hard to read the book?

So go grab the audiobook and all that goes through your affiliates

and then make sure you encourage your affiliates to help with upsells.

All right. So this is something you got to make sure you get your Privacy stuff in order here. And I’m not a legal expert, so I just rely on our legal experts to do that.

But make sure, if at all possible, that you share those who bought the book or claim the bonuses with your affiliates so they can help with the upsells. That email coming from them will go a long way. So they can send a couple of have an email sequence, hey, send this to everybody who didn’t purchase the upsells.

They’re going to make a lot of money off those, and they’re only sending it to, say, 100 people.

So it’s not sending over their whole list or anything like that. So that’s what you need to be doing during the launch.

I know it’s a lot of different things kind of bounced around a little bit, but I just wanted you to get a really good idea of what it looks like.

Once you got the affiliates. What those timelines and specifics look like about what to do with your affiliates. It’s super important.

This is why Jeff Coins did 22,000 versus, say, 5000 or 6000. This is kind of the secret sauce here.

So I gave you the playbook to make sure you actually follow it, make sure you come back for the next episode. It’s a good one going a little bit different here.

So you’ve written the book. How do you make a little bit more money from the book?

I’m going to show you how to use affiliate marketing in a book.

How do you insert some affiliate marketing in the book to make a book that you might only make two $3 a copy in royalties?

How do you make 350, 450 a book? What I’m teaching in the next episode just to be clear is not how do you make an extra million dollars from a book?

If you sell half a million copies you could make an extra million dollars. But I’m thinking if you sell 100 copies how do you make an extra 20 or $25,000 from the book? It’s totally possible.

We’ve helped our clients do numbers very similar to that. When they sold 20, 25,000 copies they made an extra $50 to $75,000 just by implementing what I’ll teach you in the next episode so come back for that. I’ll see you then.

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