Revisiting My Book Release One Month Later

NINW coverSince the release of my book, Networking Is Not Working, on May 5, I’ve been on a crazy ride. A fun kind of crazy. I’ve been blessed with the support of friends and people from my network, and had many opportunities to promote the book. I sold 5,001 copies the first month, and while I didn’t have a specific sales goal in mind, I’m thrilled with this. As of today the book is still #1 in a few categories and was #1 in Marketing and Sales for books (not just Kindle) 30 days after the release. Pretty cool, eh?

I’m not sharing this to brag, but to express my gratitude for the support I received. The book would not have sustained the momentum it did had it not been for the early bump in sales and reviews—which is a testament to the importance of creating some good velocity around the release of a book.

I sold 512 units on Day 1 and a total of 1,004 by Day 4. This is about what I was expecting from my network, because I had focused on getting a strong start by sending around 300 personal emails in addition to my email list of 1,250 people. I also used a few unconventional strategies that helped a lot.

Then it got interesting. On Days 5 and 6, I sold 67 and 28 units respectively. It appeared the run was over and I would be able to return to my regularly scheduled life. However, the number shot up to 137 on Day 7. Later that day, a friend forwarded me an email he received from Amazon that featured my book as his top recommendation.

I cracked Amazon’s code! I’m not sure how—no one is—but I can say for certain that they give a lot of weight to early sales velocity and a large number of positive reviews (I had around 50, and 48 were 5-stars).

I started receiving more media opportunities (you can check out the full list here) and Amazon continued to promote my book. I sold at least 100 books a day over the next 24 days (and received 3 more emails like the one above from my friend). Keep in mind, I was only selling the book on Amazon which likely hurt my overall numbers, but helped me on their platform from a rankings/promotional standpoint.

It’s also been interesting to see the large discrepancy between Kindle books and their physical counterparts. Almost 4,200 of the 5,000 were Kindles, which surprised even me. It also made me feel even better about using the print-on-demand option from Createspace (as opposed to paying several thousand dollars to print hardcovers).

But again, it all goes back to my supporters. You did this. I might not have a huge network, but I am extremely grateful for all of the amazing people in my small part of the world. You not only supported me directly, but also indirectly, by helping to get my book in the hands of 4,000 people who would otherwise not be reading it.

If you have read my book, or are currently reading it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

6 Comments | Category Uncategorized | Tags:


  1. by Casey Slaughter Stanton on June 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Killer. Thanks for the update Derek. I’m releasing my first book in a few months and it’s reassuring to hear you had such like with CreateSpace. Good work!

  2. by Derek Coburn on June 10, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks Casey! Best of luck with your book!

  3. by Stu McLaren on June 10, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Great job man. That’s incredible that you continue to generate a good volume of sales each day. I’d love to connect with you down the road and review what worked with this launch and what you’d do differently.

  4. by Derek Coburn on June 16, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks so much, Stu! I’d love to help whenever you are ready!

  5. by Ella Oji-Adeyemi on October 22, 2014 at 3:53 am

    There is a saying that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Your book is right on time for me as I look for a more intimate way to grow relationships over the next six months. I appreciate the step-by-step approach you used which made it easy for me to develop my action plan. Thanks Derek.

  6. by Derek Coburn on October 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Ella! I am so glad you are enjoying the book and appreciate the feedback!

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