Saturday, May 21, 2011

What is a Book Launch Anyway—and Slowly, Please, I am New at All of This, Part 4 of 6, John 3:16 Marketing Network

What is a Book Launch Anyway—and Slowly, Please, I am New at All of This
Part Four
John 3:16 Marketing Network

By Lorilyn Roberts

A few years ago at the Florida Christian Writers Conference, I took Randy Ingermanson’s marketing class. If you ever have an opportunity to do so, take advantage of it because he is thorough, honest, and entertaining. Now that’s not something you can say about most physicists! At the time he was working on one of his many books and made the comment that his goal was to hit number one on Amazon when it was released.

Of course, being the newbie that I was, I didn’t know exactly what he meant, but it sure sounded impressive. I had no idea how one would even begin to accomplish such a feat.

I have found many authors are pretty much like me when I took that marketing class. And while they may be on Facebook, they don’t know how to use it very well (or how to make a fan page). Most groan when you mention Twitter, struggle with uploading a .jpeg, don’t know how to resize one (you’ve seen those monstrosities that take up a whole blog page), don’t know how to use widgets—the first time I heard the word, I thought it was a wizard—or make a video, use an URL shortener, or follow someone’s blog (where is the button), or the importance of even having followers.

Authors know how to do one thing—they know how to write. That is what they are passionate about. I would also rather write than do marketing. I would pay someone to do it—except I am too poor. But I don’t want to take my baby (my book) that I gave birth to and present it to another writer’s conference and have no one look at it.

When an agent and an editor told me to “Come back and see me when you have a thousand on your opt-in list (I had twenty-six at the time), my thought was, you just wait. I was challenged to do something that two people at the conference made me feel like I couldn’t do, and I wanted to prove them wrong.

I set about doing all the things writers do to begin marketing when they don’t know what they are doing—except I had just taken Randy’s marketing class, which ran for four days, and I learned A LOT.

And then the reality set in. Have you ever tried to get a thousand followers on an email opt-in list? Even though it’s easier now than before with the growth of Facebook and Twitter, it still takes time and effort.

Recently I went into the hospital to have an outpatient procedure done (one of those rites of passage when you turn fifty). The pre-op stuff was a lot less fun than the actual procedure itself, but unless I did the pre-op, the doctor wouldn’t have been able to see what he was looking for. It’s the same with a book launch. You must do all the steps I have talked about up to this point in order to have a successful launch.

One of my goals with the John 3:16 Marketing Network has been to help authors who come into the network who can’t do the above things. I am surprised at the number of authors who join who are still using a 54K dial-up modem. An author will be at a huge disadvantage if she doesn’t upgrade to something faster. I can’t imagine being handicapped to that degree and being successful at marketing, though anything is possible. But I would recommend a person have a cable modem or a fast connection, much faster than dial-up.

I was told when I took a class, “How to Launch a Best-Seller,” that people would be more than willing to help. That has not been true for me. Most people never respond to my emails unless they know me personally. Getting reviews is not always easy (many don’t know how when you ask them or are too intimidated to post anything on Amazon). Getting someone to read my book is hard (authors who like to read books and write reviews are already overcommitted, including myself). I have sent several copies of my book to people and never heard back from them. Sometimes I think those are the books that show up later on Amazon for a bargain price that you don’t get a cut of. I found it to be a lot harder to get partners than I ever thought it would be.

That is when the idea of the John 3:16 Marketing Network was born. If we had authors who were willing to come together and help each other, who understood the process and cared about others in the network, it would be a dream come true not only for me but for others as well. There are far too many authors like me with good books waiting to be read and no way to effectively market them.

Out of my need for a way, God laid it on my heart to form the John 3:16 Marketing Network for Christian authors. I thought about what impact we could have, changing the landscape of book marketing and publishing with sheer numbers and personal commitment, pushing Christian books higher in sales to best-seller status, and impacting what kids and adults read with a Christian worldview.

That leads to the question, “What is a book launch anyway?” A book launch is a 24-hour event. You tell everybody in your little world (or big world) about your incredible, awesome, one-of-a-kind book, and then you get all of those people to tell everybody in their little world (or big world) about your incredible, awesome, one-of-a-kind book—and, as a result of the amazing world of mass media, everybody will hear about your book, and able to receive all the unique, one-time free e-gifts that will be offered if  he buys your book on “launch day.” The other key factor is all the sales must go to one specific location; i.e., Amazon. The book sales over that period will surge, enabling you to hit best-seller status in one or more categories. Again, to incentivize people to buy your book on your launch day, you offer free e-gifts that are immediately downloadable; but only on launch day. Then the e-gifts go away.

We have over 125 authors as of this writing in the John 3:16 Marketing Network. Some are beginners and some are pros, but we are all Christians. We are individuals blessed with the passion for writing.  We help each other with book launches, blog postings, book reviews, following each other on social networking sites, and on and on.

I am reminded of Hebrews 12:1 from the New Testament in the Bible: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the AUTHOR and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

One of our members, Amanda Stephan, is preparing some tutorials for the John 3:16 Marketing Network which will be available Tuesday night during the Facebook Event to be held on the John 3:16 Marketing Network page, 8-9pm EST (the tutorials are listed toward the end of this article).

We have marketing gurus who offer free advice on the forum. And I guarantee you, if there is some marketing opportunity out there that you have a question about; i.e., is it worth the money? Is this a good publishing company to use? Is this business venture a waste of my time? With the numbers we have now, somebody will know the answer, and the best answer is usually from someone who personally knows or has experience dealing with whatever it is you are asking about.

When the big day arrives, what happens? Your partners will send out Facebook and Twitter announcements. Those with big opt-in lists will announce your book to their subscribers. Some of your partners (friends) will feature you on their blog, host an interview by you or post some of your articles. Hopefully glowing reviews on Amazon and other sites will entice the public to push that “buy” button; and, you will have some fabulous bonus gifts for your buyers—free downloadable e-gifts available right after the buyer receives his confirmation email—available nowhere else!

What is a good launch? At the John 3:16 Marketing Network, we look at rankings. If we hit best-seller status in a category, we are thrilled. If our rankings get pretty low in terms of book sales, we are happy.

It’s important to note. Whether you reach best-seller status or not, you are gaining exposure. Others are tweeting, Facebooking, and sharing your book with their social networking contacts. It’s all about exposure. Oftentimes, people have to hear a name many times before it starts to register, “I need to watch that movie,” or “I need to buy that book.” We tell our authors not to get discouraged if you don’t sell as many books as you had hoped. Remember, it’s all about process, not outcome.

From Wednesday, May 18th through Tuesday, May 24th, we are hosting a membership launch featuring some of our members in a blog tour. Our Facebook party will include many events which you won’t want to miss. Mark your calendar—Tuesday, May 24, 8-9pm EST, when you will have an opportunity to win eight free books. During that hour, we will have members online to answer your questions, and we will be offering tutorials on how to do some technical operations for internet marketing. These tutorials/tips will include:

1.      How to upload a .jpeg to Facebook/blog
2.      How to resize a .jpeg and load it Facebook/blog
3.      How to copy and paste widgets on websites
4.      How to set up a twitter account.

The information will be useful whether you apply to the John 3:16 Marketing Network or not.

In addition to an opportunity to win a minimum of eight free books, on Tuesday, May 24th, if you submit an application to join the John 3:16 Marketing Network , you will be able to download free e-gifts

For more information on the John 3:16 Marketing Network and to submit an application, please visit my website at Lorilyn Roberts.

Again, Tuesday, May 24, will be the membership launch day. If you summit your application on Tuesday, May 24th, you will be able to download free e-gifts offered by some of our authors.

Today on our Blog Tour we will meet Elaine Marie Cooper.

Elaine Marie Cooper grew up in Massachusetts but now lives in the Midwest with her husband Steve, her three dogs and one cat. She has two married sons and triplet grandbabies, who are often referred to (by her) as “the most beautiful grandbabies in the world.” Elaine’s only daughter Bethany passed away in 2003 from a brain tumor.

A retired registered nurse, Elaine has been a magazine freelance writer for many years, and is a regular contributor to a blog on the Midwest called The Barn Door ( and a blog on Christian living called Reflections In Hindsight (
She is also the author of “The Road to Deer Run” and has just completed the sequel "The Promise of Deer Run" which should be available by fall.

Elaine’s debut book, The Road to Deer Run, received the following awards:
Honorable Mention in the Romance category at the 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival Awards
Finalist in the Religious Fiction category at the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Winner "Best Romantic Moment" in the Clash of the Titles contest, February 2011


The Author Jeopardy Question to win Elaine’s book, The Road to Deer Run  during the Facebook Party on Tuesday, May 24, 8-9pm EST, will come from our discussion below:

Question: Who has been the most influential person in helping you to achieve your dream as a successful author?

I would have to say my husband Steve has most influenced me as a writer. I have been interested in writing since I was a child, penning poems and prose and lyrics for songs. When I was a stay-at-home Mom with three little ones, I began creating poems about the craziness of motherhood.

Steve worked at a newspaper at the time and decided to ask if one of the sketch artists could illustrate the four-liners. One of the editors there saw my writing and asked Steve if I'd be interested in trying some feature freelancing. I was thrilled beyond words! Steve coached me on a few key points and once I got the drift, I took off writing. Soon I was given two feature columns a week. Just to prove I could do more on my own, I went to another newspaper and offered to freelance for them as well. I was soon interviewing, arranging for photo shoots, and typing my fingers off.

When we moved for Steve's job to Iowa, most of my writing went on hiatus. I worked at a hospital part time and went to nursing school to get my RN. For several years my pen lay dormant, until I went part time as a nurse and started freelancing again, this time for magazines.

Steve really became my cheerleader when I decided to write my first novel. Even after a long day at work, he would come home and edit my chapters as I went. He has been my supporter, coach, and wonderful friend through many hours of editing. While I give God the credit for any talent I may have, my mentor in technique has been my husband and I count him as my greatest earthly blessing.

Don’t forget, during our Author Jeopardy Game, you will have an opportunity to win      Tuesday night, The Road to Deer Run, May 24, 8-9pm EST during our Facebook party at

Monday we will be featuring, Why Should I join the John 3:16 Marketing Network, Part Five, from the John 3:16 Marketing Network. Our guest author will be Lynn Dove  hosted by Elisa Maria Crites (on her website).

If you missed the previous postings on this blog tour, here are the links, topics, and highlighted authors:

Wednesday, May 18
Location: Lorilyn Roberts
Featured Author: Jay Miller
Featured Book: Sal and Sally
Featured Author: Sherrill Cannon
Featured Book:  The Magic Word
Featured Article: Are There Secret Formulas or Short Cuts for Making the Best-Seller List on Amazon-Part One of Six on the John 3:16 Marketing Network

Thursday, May 19
Location: Paulette Harper
Featured Author: Dr. Ray W. Lincoln
Featured Book: Innerkinetics™
Featured ArticleWhat it Takes to Have a Winning Team - Part Two of Six, John 3:16 Marketing Network

Friday, May 20
Location: JD Holiday
Featured Author: Dr. Robert McGinnis
Featured Book: Paradise is Where You Find it

Featured Article: Roaches That Eat Your Best-Seller Dreams - Part Three of Six on the John 3:16 Marketing Network 

All the posts in this series can also viewed at


  1. You are doing such a good job with promoting the network and the authors within it. thank you for all your hard work!

  2. Thanks Tracy, let's hope those who would want to join hear about the network.

  3. Great article and interview Lorilyn.

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