OK, so I don’t have facts to back up that statement. Find me a minimalist book launch that sold more than 1,687 copies at $27 each in 72 hours ($45,549 gross sales) and I’ll retract. ;)
I’ve done a lot of 5 figure launches in my time, but this one was the most successful. Not in personal profit (which I’m not revealing, but believe me, it wasn’t much, relatively speaking), but in every other respect. Mostly in straight up satisfaction. It was really fun, from start (when I began writing Luxury of Less) to finish (last Thursday at 10am). Even when things went a bit wonky and my site broke it was all good. :)
I got a lot of e-mails asking how I pulled this Minimalist Book Sale together. Besides “holy crap thank you for doing this!” type e-mails, the “how did you do this?!” e-mails were most common during those 72 hours last week. Actually, maybe “holy crap thank you how did you do this?!” was the most common. :)
Note: It was so fun I’m putting together another 72 hour sale for late November/early December in the business niche. Get on the notification list here.
There were a lot of factors involved in pulling this together. I’m going to do my best to explain them.
1) Education Is Important
If it wasn’t for my background in marketing I would never have thought of doing this sale.
And by “background in marketing” I don’t mean I went to business school. I actually know how to generate revenue. Find me an MBA who can say the same and I’ll give you a hi-five for finding the needle in a haystack. ;)
My business “school” was spending every waking hour of my life from ages 18-24 reading, thinking, and doing. Then, as you may have already read in The Luxury of Less, life got a little bit fucked up and I stopped caring. The point is, while most college students were drinking and smoking weed every night I was holed up reading life changing books. (I did my share of drinking as well, just not very often.)
Name a book on business or marketing and I have most likely read it. Especially if it was written prior to the year 2000. And especially if it was written before I was born. Name a business idea and I’ve probably tried it as well. eBay, content sites, info products, affiliate sites, pay per click, etc … along with a handful of offline business attempts. This is called “putting in work” which most people are just unwilling to do.
In the words of Detroit’s very own Trick Trick:
“Let’s work. You don’t work you don’t eat, I don’t wanna hear it’s hard on these streets motherfucker. Let’s work. If it’s money to get, get off your motherfucking ass and go get that shit. Let’s work. Live life on the grind, I ain’t trying to get yours, I’m just trying to get mine.”
It’s much easier to suck down quarter pounders and watch Lost than actually do something useful. Everett has been writing a lot about this lately so go check out his last ~10 articles.
This minimalist book sale is a variation of what is known as a fire sale in the direct marketing world. It’s used in tons of different ways. Offline direct marketers used to use fire sales to sell old stock or “gently used” stock (such as customer returns) at incredible discounts.
Everything about this sale can be learned from marketing classics such as The Robert Collier Letter Book (released in 1937). All I did was put it online.
If you’ve read my recommended books in the article 9 Essential Books For Bloggers and Freedom Seekers (or How To Save $50,000 On An MBA) then you already know this. If you haven’t read those books then … well … your loss. ;)
2) Mastermind Groups Are Important
In the book Think & Grow Rich Napoleon Hill writes extensively on the importance of mastermind groups. I’d spent the past 10 years trying to form one to no avail. Thanks to blogging I was put in a position to join a 4-person (including myself) mastermind group earlier this year that has helped me beyond belief.
I wanted to launch a $9.99 book, The Luxury of Less, with a bang instead of a thud. I had the idea for the sale, discussed it at a couple of mastermind group meetings (Skype conference calls) and achieved clarity of vision.
The most difficult part of the whole launch was writing the book. And that was only difficult because I’m one of those people who throws away 20,000 words and starts from scratch. :) But seriously, I love writing, so this wasn’t actually difficult. So let me rephrase: it was the most time consuming part of the launch.
3) Competition Is In Your Head
At Chris Guillebeau’s Book Tour in Ann Arbor a couple of weeks ago, a group of us were talking about how awesome the blogging community is. We all support each other (well, many of us do anyway) and competition really isn’t competition. This is known as expanding the pie. There is room for all of us. Yes, even you. You just have to be willing to take your slice. Don’t worry, feel free to take it, we’ll bake a bigger pie.
Yes, there are a lot of minimalist ebooks on the market. And there will be many more in the coming years. It’s all good. There is room for all of them.
4) Genius or Action?
A lot of people called me a genius during and after the launch. As long as I can remember I’ve also called myself a genius, but that doesn’t come from a place of cockiness. I say it because we’re all geniuses at something and sometimes we need to talk ourselves up a bit in our own heads. But I really think genius is misinterpreted (by myself and everyone else) as fearless action.
I tweeted last week: “The difference between genius and stupidity is action.” A real genius would’ve thought of a better word than “stupidity.” ;)
The point is, I’m not a genius any more than you’re a genius. I was simply willing to take action on an idea by asking a bunch of friends and acquaintances if they’d be interested in being part of something fun. And to be honest, I was actually a little bit afraid to send those e-mails because they could’ve been met with resistance. Then I remembered, fearless action. I also set sending the e-mails as an accountability goal with my mastermind group. I had no choice but to do it or face their wrath. :)
Going back to no competition: every single person I e-mailed wrote me back almost immediately with a “yes.” I didn’t get a single “no.” Everybody was happy to support the project.
To be completely honest, I personally didn’t really have to do much to make this sale a success. You made this happen by spreading the word on twitter and Facebook. Thank you sincerely for that (380 Facebook Likes!). And so did my partners in fun. Thank you again to Leo, Baker, Everett, Tammy, Joshua, Henri, Sam, Charley, Brett, David, Annie, and Meg for being so amazing.
5) The Real Secret To My Success and I Want You To Steal It.
I’ve failed more times than you.
That’s why I’ve succeeded more as well.
Your mission is simple.
Specific questions? Comment below and I’ll turn the answers into another article…