A question for ya: Marketing my book

Happy at work bookYesterday I finished the happy at work book, updating it according to all the great feedback you guys gave me. Thank you to everyone who read a chapter, and gave me their input. Today the book goes out to proofreading and then it’ll be done.

Now I have a question for ya: How do I market and sell the book?

Here’s what I’m currently thinking of doing:

  • The book will be available in pdf for $20 and on paper from lulu.com and amazon for $30.
  • I’ll give away 100 electronic copies of the book to the first 100 bloggers who sign up to ask for one. (Don’t sign up yet, there’ll be an official announcement later.)
  • I’ll contact all the bloggers that write about happiness at work or similar topics and offer them a free copy of the book as well as the chance to do an interview with me.
  • I’ll advertise the book in the sidebar here on the blog and at the end of every post.
  • I’ll be posting excerpts from the book as blogposts.
  • I’ll make the whole book available for free as html here on the blog.

What else can I do to make the book a huge hit? Write a comment!

17 thoughts on “A question for ya: Marketing my book”

  1. You know the surveys that are published from time to time, e.g. “The 200 best companies to work for in [country]”? Whenever you see one of these, offer 100 copies of your book for free to the company at the bottom of the list. Then track if they climb up the list the following year.

  2. Congratulations, Alex! What a wonderful, exciting accomplishment!!

    Think “virtual book tour” – here’s one fellow’s description of the process – it should give you a scad of ideas. Also, how about “virtual book signings” ? Not sure how that would work, but I bet you can make it up yourself!

    Play on!

  3. You could create an audio podcast or pdf podcast. Each subtitle or chapter would be a downloadable podcast . I would subscribe ! :-) Franfou salutatiion

  4. Lars: That’s a great idea! I could also offer a free copym of the book to the first X employees from unhappy companies that ask for one.

    Stressedmanager: Absolutely – this years best corporate christmas gift!

    Viji: Great idea, I will!

    Bernie:Virtual book tour – that’s a great idea! I’m doing that.

    Franfou: Ah, podcasts. Or maybe even some videos… I like it.

  5. If the “free book for a review” doesn’t work well I suggest ReviewMe which allows you to pay for a review. The cost is a little higher than the cost of emailing a book, but 1) it’s not much 2) they already have the inventory of willing bloggers to write about this stuff.

    Best luck!

  6. Alex,

    I love all the ideas everyone posted. Bob Fuller told me the best way he marketed his book was talking to the big companies — Yahoo, Google, HP, etc. Many of them bring in speakers as a part of a speaker’s series or a brown bag lunch talk. Perhaps you could contact the best companies to work for in Europe list and ask if you can come in a speak about your book. Often these companies will buy the book for their employees from you and you can also offer it for sale.

    Hope that helps! ;-)

  7. 1.)
    @Tim and Alex:
    You can enhance the idea, leaving the book, when someone has read it.
    Let the people write down their names into the book.
    For example on one certain page (at the beginning or end of the book)
    When that page is full with names, (lets say 20 names) the person who own that book then, can send it to you, and will get a new one.

    2.) Alex, I am interested in an interview with you, for my Job&Joy Blog, as well as for my Newsletter.

  8. Alex,

    I have a podcast called “twentyhood” and we have spoken about the working world several times. I would love to have you on an episode to promote your book. Write an email if interested.

  9. Make a PDF of the ENTIRE BOOK and make it available on your site to EVERYONE for FREE.

    If it is any good (and I’m sure it is) it will go viral and start spreading far and wide. The biggest fans will buy hard copies for themselves and their friends. The net result should be more sales than if you charged everyone to get a copy – hard or soft.

    Don’t believe me? Just ask Seth Godin.

  10. Tim: Great idea – that makes the paper book viral!

    Greggles: Thanks for the tip. I’ve been looking at reviewme – look pretty cool.

    Traci: Great idea – that’s an easy way to sell many books.

    Joerg: 1) Great idea. 2) Thanks – we’ll do that!

    Scott: You got it! Thanks!

    wendii: Great idea, I will!

    Janet: I’m surprised too – 37signals know how to do it. Thanks!

    Mike: That’s what I wanted to do originally, but I’m thinking that maybe people value the ebook more and take it more seriously if they’ve paid for it. i dunno – I want to do whatever give the book the most impact.

  11. some thoughts… maybe some are usable! :)

    1) sell the book on learnoutloud.com (2nd biggest online audiobook seller next to audible, but they sell all content drm-free).

    2) talk to the 800-CEO-READ guys and see if there’s a way to get your book written up on their blog.

    3) send copies to key influencers who blog — seth godin, noah kagan, bob sutton, guy kawasaki, slacker manager, mark hurst, future of work guys, etc.

    4) offer to sell copies at a heavy discount if they’re bought in groups of 10 (or something like that) and given away to co-workers… maybe only do this with galley copies to build buzz before it launches. maybe donate all these sales profits to charity.

    5) ask ppl to send in the thing they liked best from the book, and how they used it, and post em on your blog (even cooler if it’s videos from your readers!)

    6) ask readers to submit tips, stories, etc and update the PDF and/or HTML versions of the book–the book is still a living thing after you’ve published it!

    7) create a forum for people to come to to discuss the book & share stories about what works and doesn’t. print this url in the book and be super-active to encourage happy at work ppl.

    8) offer a 100% money back guarantee on any copy of the book sold (good marketing story!)

    9) buy google adwords for “work happiness” or something similar and send traffic to a landing page for the book.

    10) run a contest for the worst workplace stories, let users vote on the worst of the worst stories, and send the winner 10 copies to give to his or her co-workers. plus fly to their city and give them a hug :)

    and a bonus

    11) seed piratebay with a copy of the pdf named Britney_spears_naked.mpg :)


  12. My own book, The Devil’s Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch, is due out soon. To start getting exposure I have been posting commentaries to articles in big city newspapers, adding my url, http://www.democracypowernow.com, at the end.

    BTW, I’ve published a lot about bad workplaces and how to make them good ones. If you like I can send you some citations (e.g., The CEO Refresher).



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