EPISODE 71: Felicia Slattery – Systems and Strategies for Creating a Bestselling Book Out of Thin Air

Welcome to the How Did You Get Started Show with Felicia Slattery! We air live in the Talk 92.3 FM / AM 760 Studios in Knoxville, Tennessee each Saturday morning at 11:30 AM – Noon Eastern Time. If you’re interested in sponsoring the show, contact Felicia on her contact page here. You can call the studio with a question for Felicia or our guests at: 865-888-8255 and listen live from anywhere around the world right here:


This week I helped one of my clients reach bestseller status on Amazon.com for her new book. (YAY!)

Called a book launch, this process is largely unknown outside of the marketing, PR, and author world, but you’ve seen books being launched. It’s when book authors make a big splash with their books the day or week the book immediately comes out. For example, you’ll see celebrity authors doing the morning show rounds on national TV. (See? You know what I’m talking about!)

But what if an author is not a celebrity?

That’s what happened this week for my client. She is a researcher and an educator in a specialized field within psychology. She holds two Ph.D. degrees and is the founder of an institute with the mission and purpose being research and education. She’s also got next to no technical or internet-related knowledge (case in point: she wasn’t sure how to copy/paste a message I wrote for her to send out to her contacts via email, but she does know how to forward and remove details, so that’s what she did!).

So… how did a person, a brilliant visionary in her field with no knowledge of the internet, pull off becoming an Amazon bestseller?

She hired me. 😉

Now… wait. Before you snooty marketers in the know about what it takes to become a bestseller in a category on Amazon get all hoity-toity and say how it doesn’t matter, and it’s not like you make money from that, or it doesn’t even mean you sold thousands or even hundreds of books… yeah, I know. So did my client (after I told her).

In fact, I tried to dissuade her from doing a book launch. Here’s why:

  • The book is published by an academic press: we had ZERO control over details like the price of the book or the category of the book. Not to mention… book launches like these just *aren’t done.*
  • The book is priced around $48 – WAY higher than most mass market books, and certainly higher than books that usually benefit from a book launch.
  • She had NO EMAIL LIST. I mean… NONE. I created an email list for new subscribers to opt into as part of the launch (more on that on the show), but all she had were her contacts, a handful of business cards, and a few social media connections.

None of those things bode well for a successful book launch.

But here’s the thing…

We decided to go ahead with the book launch ANYWAY because we knew a few things would happen for sure. This is what I told her:

Academic books, especially those with higher price points, are rarely if ever “launched” in this way, so I have *no idea* how well this is going to go over, but I guarantee you I’ve done everything I know to do to make it hit best-seller status. Regardless of what happens, I know this:

  • Your publisher will be impressed with the marketing of the book
  • Your colleagues will take notice of the book and launch
  • You will get some subscribers to your list so we can market classes and so forth to them
  • Opportunities we can’t even imagine will arise!

You see, her book launch stood out in that stiff upper lip academic world precisely BECAUSE book launches like that are simply not done. And if standing out in a noisy market isn’t the purpose of good marketing, I don’t know what is!

So, while I’ll be talking about that today on the show, the most IMPORTANT part of the story and the success of the book is due to using PROVEN SYSTEMS and a STRATEGY that has literally NEVER failed.

You see, when you do the RIGHT work, FOCUSED in the RIGHT way to reach your goals, good things happen.

The lesson: do what you are in control of doing (all the pieces and parts we’ll we talking about on the show – I’m leaving nothing out), don’t worry about what you’re NOT in control of, and trust that the beaten path to success when followed, will lead you there, too, even if the destination is not exactly what you envisioned because it may, in fact, be better than that!

And okay… if you’re curious… here’s the book launch page we did. There you will see most of the pieces and parts we used to launch the book. Someday soon I’ll have my client as a guest, but right now she’s focused on created a course, prepping for upcoming speaking gigs, and writing her next TWO books, both under contract with a deadline fast approaching.