When scuba diving in the ocean, you’re always told to go with a buddy. When hiking in the woods, you’re told to go with a buddy. Even combat troops deploy into battle with a wingman, a shipmate, or a buddy. The “buddy system” is a technique where two people are paired together to create mutual safety in a hazardous situation. Each person helps protect the other from danger, maintain progress, and mutually reach their goal.
I would argue that launching a new book is a hazardous situation. Authors jeopardize a lot of time and money to create something they hope people will buy and read. Statistically, most books never recoup the publisher’s advance, and most books fail to create a living for the author. Publishing a book involves a lot of risk. I’ve sat on the phone numerous times with authors who tearfully admitted to losing $25,000 – $50,000 on self-publishing scams, lame publicists, unethical publishers, and poorly-timed book launches. Working with books can be a dangerous business.
One reason why so many books fail to succeed is because the author launched a new book by itself. They didn’t use the buddy system. Thus, a book goes out into the world lacking the necessary support and protection. But, how do you create a buddy system for your book?
If you’re a first-time novelist, don’t launch your first book until after you write the prequel novella or the sequel story. Finish both books first, then launch the two works together in tandem. Pairing two books together affords you greater flexibility to attract readers, build your author email list, and generate steady income. For example, using the buddy system enables you to:
1. Offer the prequel novella for free to build your author email list and market your first novel (result = more email subscribers).
2. Market the prequel to keep readers of your first book engaged while working on your next novel (result = continuous reader engagement).
3. Use the sequel to keep readers engaged and pay you more money while working on the third book in a series (result = increased income at a steadier rate).
Note how the richest, most successful novelists create a huge series of books that all go together. Think J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” series, or Agatha Christie’s “Hercule Poirot” mysteries. If you like one book, there’s dozens of related titles to buy. All of the books in the author’s series work like buddies that support each other.
If you write non-fiction, you should also launch a book using the buddy system. Create spin-off resources that complement the main book. Then, launch everything together as a suite of products that go together. For example,
1. Offer “lost chapters” or bonus material for free to build your author email list and market your first book (result = more email subscribers).
2. Develop and sell an “action guide” that helps readers apply your book’s material (result = extra income without much extra work).
2. Create a webinar series or video curriculum based on your book and sell at a higher price point (result = lucrative revenue and reach people who don’t read books).
4. Like a novelist, write a series of non-fiction books that go together, such as the “Dummies” books by Wiley or the “Killing” series by Bill O’ Reilly.
Does it require more time and patience to launch books using the buddy system? Yes, just like it requires more time and patience to scuba dive or hike with a buddy. But, it is much safer and ultimately more rewarding when the pair takes time to succeed together.
Never go scuba diving by yourself. It’s dangerous. Never trek into the deep woods or go into battle alone. It’s dangerous. Launching a new book is dangerous business. You could lose a lot of time and money. Don’t go it alone. Give your book a buddy.
P.S. – Need help creating a buddy system for your books? My Book Marketing Master Class teaches authors how to create spin-off resources and develop lucrative new sources of revenue. When you take the Master Class, it’s one-to-one personal instruction where you get all of my expertise and secrets applied directly to your books and author career. I’ll be your buddy and help you become a Master Book Marketer to reach more readers and make more income from your books. Call me at 770-887-1462 or email me to get started.