How to Growth Hack Your Book

The goal was to make my new book, 2046, an Amazon best seller just based on pre-orders, and here’s how it’s been going so far.

Some backstory

If you’ve followed me, or read any of my Medium posts, you know that up until recently I had an agent for the book projects I’ve been working on. We decided to go our separate ways, and I thought to myself, as a marketer, why couldn’t I market my own book? As long as the content was good, would it be possible to take a piece of content, and create virality around it to become a best seller?

I was up for the task.

The book

It’s called 2046, and it’s a science fiction thriller that involves time travel and government interference. A much more elaborate description is here:

It was a passion project of mine, and for $2.99, I wanted to test the waters to see what this book, and my marketing skills, could do.


I knew nothing about self publishing, so I Googled it all. All of it, and believe me, there’s a lot….over 9 million results in fact.

Here’s where I started:

I wanted to self publish on Amazon, knowing that friends of mine had done it and from a royalty perspective, it’s the best bang for your buck.

I did research on different Amazon options and royalty rates (35% vs 70%). It can get tricky, but here’s a very boiled down version. Amazon has KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) that gives you wider distribution, but smaller royalties, or you can YOLO promote (your own channels) and you get larger royalties. Makes sense.

I decided to have my book up for pre-order. I wanted the hype to be REAL, and to build some momentum going into the book launch on April 3rd. It was a Tuesday morning, my heart was pounding, and I was ready to press the button.

When I opened the gates for pre-order

I felt a huge sigh of relief. Four months of writing (even more if you count this was my third book in two yeasrs) and I was finally going to see how well my little book would do in the world.

The marketing strategy:

  • Facebook (family, friends, those that would buy it because they care about me and want to support me)
  • Instagram (one of the largest author platforms, it’s one of the best places to generate buzz via hashtags and pictures about your work)
  • Twitter (I have a decent following, so using hashtags and Tweeting vigorously, I made some decent dents)
  • DMs (I reached out personally to close friends, followers and influencers in the writing space)
  • LinkedIn (Lots of support here from friends, former colleagues and second connections interested in the whole Children’s Best Selling book thing)
  • ProductHunt (posted in the science books section, tried to build buzz and upvotes in the PH community, cross posting on Twitter)
  • Ads (At a small scale, running Twitter and Facebook ads based on interests and demographics)

The results….so far

In the first 48 hours, I’ve built up enough buzz and pre-orders to get my book to:

#2 on the Amazon Hot New Releases for Children’s Time Travel

#6 on the Amazon Hot New Releases for Children’s Science Fiction

#7 on the Amazon Best Seller List for Children’s Time Travel

Want to help?

Go grab a copy and get me to #1. I’ll be forever in your debt ❤

Product Marketing at LinkedIn. Ex Twitter, Notarize, Voysis (acquired by Apple), Boston Globe. Alum: HKS, NYU, UMass Lowell. Runs on ☕️ and Celtics 🏀

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