In this week’s episode, I’m discussing the difference between book launching and evergreen marketing. Knowing the difference between the two can drastically improve your book marketing strategy.
>> The four key things a launch strategy does to help you as an author.
>> How urgency and scarcity play into book launches to generate more income.
>> A case study: why Animal Crossing New Horizons caught on like wildfire and sold 13 million copies in the first six weeks (and how you can apply this to your book launches)
I want to start with a definition to clarify each of the topics we’ll be talking about today:
- Evergreen marketing is when something is relevant for a long period of time. Therefore, it can be purchased at any time (usually without urgency or scarcity surrounding it).
- A launch is when you group your marketing efforts towards a single result, and usually does involve urgency and scarcity.
So which one is better for book marketing?
The thing is that you actually need to use both in your strategy, but there’s a process to both of them.
Let’s start with launch strategy.
Launches are powerful because they do four key things:
💰 Revenue – because you need income to go full-time in authorship.
🗣 Expert Positioning – because you need credibility to sell more books.
💥 Impact – because selling a ton of books at once reaches more readers than selling a few here and there.
📈 Audience Growth – because without an audience, you have no one to sell to.
As such, they are an essential tool for bringing in book sales—but you only have one shot at launching your book. Re-releasing is a thing, but the goal is to not have to re-release your book. So it’s important to get it right.
Now let’s talk about urgency and scarcity.
When people have the option to purchase any time, there’s nothing driving them to take action immediately. They’ll wait for the last possible moment to do so, and there’s quite a bit of sales psychology that goes into this.
I’m going to quickly explore this a bit with you.
1) When things go public, people are more likely to follow trends. Just look at Animal Crossing during the Covid-19 event. Animal Crossing, New Horizons caught on like wildfire. It sold over 13 million copies in the first six weeks. Everyone was playing it, showing off their islands, creating more and more hype around it. People wanted to know more and be part of it.
When books launch, the first 8 weeks is the most important time for sales for this exact same reason. Building enough hype prior to the launch is what will help it sell once it’s available, but the hype will only last for so long. When people see others reading a book, talking about it, buying it, they want to be part of that. But people will only take these actions if hype has been built prior to release day.
2) When making a purchase (especially big ones), people tend to revert to fear based thinking because their ego takes over. The ego prevents us from taking action viewed as rash or risky to protect us—it exists because we used to rely on survival instincts. So when making a purchase, we tend to hesitate and question if it’s the right decision until we talk ourselves out of it, even if nothing will be impacted by that purchase.
As a result, people will wait until the last minute to purchase a book AND they will question whether to purchase the book unless there is something driving us to do so sooner.
Things that drive us to purchase sooner include hype, scarcity and urgency.
So what happens is… if there is limited time or limited availability, it forces us to decide if we truly want the product on an emotional, gut feeling level. If we do, that guides us to purchase now and not later.
That’s where limited editions or limited time pre-order bonuses can work in your favour.
However, there is also hype—which encourages buyers to take action at a specific time to follow the trend. Either way, these things always work best when paired with a launch.
Now let’s compare launching to evergreen marketing.
To refresh your memory, evergreen is when something is relevant and available long-term.
Evergreen comes into play after the launch of your book, and because it’s available forever, there’s no urgency or scarcity. So evergreen marketing strategy exists to keep your book selling past the launch period.
The mistake most new authors make is not having a launch strategy, and diving headfirst into evergreen marketing. But on top of this, they’re still not implementing an evergreen strategy—they’re simply throwing marketing tactics out there hoping something will stick.
Effective evergreen strategies have a clear, measurable goal. Now that your book is available forever, you want to look at what you can put in place to automate your book sales and reduce your manual marketing work.
Some examples include email marketing funnels, running ads, leveraging publicity and content marketing. When done right, this can continue to attract readership to your book, warm them up, and close the sale with minimal effort.
However, evergreen marketing is far easier when it rides the wave of a successful launch strategy—you’re essentially doing the bulk of the work prior to release, so that you already have a solid foundation for your evergreen efforts.
And that’s the difference between evergreen and launch strategy. Which one have you been using most up until now?
Hope you found this episode valuable and I’d love it is you tag me on Instagram with your biggest takeaway! My handle is @paganatpaperback.
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