Thursday, July 9, 2009

Best-Selling Author . . . Wannabe? : : : : : : : : : : Lynn Serafinn Can Show You How

She calls herself a Personal Transformation Coach. But Lynn Serafinn can help you do more than transform personally, life-changing as that may be.

She can help you transform professionally -- by showing you how she became a well-promoted, best-selling author. Here’s the big-picture overview:

Stage One: Pre-Launch

Using largely online tools, Serafinn wisely constructed a far-reaching and supportive author platform -- well before her book launched in April of this year.

(Your “author platform” is your existing audience: the number of people who already know you and want to buy your book. Media contacts who know and will feature you are an integral part of your platform, as well.)

Stage Two: Launch

Serafinn used social media to find twenty-two joint venture partners, with whom she created an Amazon bestseller campaign on the day her self-published book launched -- both in England, where she lives, and in the United States, where she was born.

Stage Three: Post-Launch

She implemented creative ongoing strategies for promoting her book and her business.

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Now that you know the overall strategy Serafinn used -- a near-perfect model of savvy book promotion -- here are the specifics for all three stages:

When she began writing her book in the spring of 2007, Serafinn soon made it a point to educate herself about self-publishing and book promotion -- by taking every seminar she could fit into her schedule.

The upshot? She realized that a well-orchestrated campaign was essential, if her book was to attract the attention of vast numbers of readers who didn’t yet know she existed.

::: Stage One // Pre-Launch:

Building a Pre-Publication Platform

A year before her book -- The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self -- appeared, Serafinn chronicled her book-writing progress in the online newsletter for her coaching business. Readers responded so enthusiastically to her book diary that it built “buzz,” word-of-mouth excitement about her upcoming release.

Eight months prior to publication, Serafinn created a free article series which attracted hundreds of new people to her mailing list. Once signed up, they also got her newsletter -- with its book updates in each issue. Many of these new subscribers bought the book when it came out, because they’d become fans through her free offerings. (Meanwhile, the article series became the basis for Serafinn’s second book, coming out later this year.)

Next, she created multiple venues for a growing audience of potential readers to interact with her -- for the most part, on line -- because she knew that relationship-building was key:

· Becoming active in groups and forums that targeted her mind-body-spirit + coaching market on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Ning, she also joined Twitter, following and being followed by people in the same niche.

· Ramping up her social media activity even further, she started her own groups on Facebook and Ning, wisely christening both with the title of her book, “Garden of the Soul”:

· Months before launch, she created a blogsite for her book:

· Around the same time, she created her own Internet radio show -- “Lynn Serafinn’s Garden of the Soul” -- built around her book’s content: She invited many of the mind-body-spirit professionals she’d met on social media sites to be guests on her show.

· Leaving no online media “unturned,” Serafinn next created sensuous promotional book videos -- book trailers -- in which she used her own well-trained voice to read selections from her book (a professional musician earlier in her career, she presented her work with consummate skill and a charming English accent):

· She hired a publicist to help coordinate a virtual blog tour with fifteen blog stops, as well as pre-launch interviews on six Internet radio shows.

· Finally, she created a simple but buzz-building Twitter contest, offering a free book to the lucky person who sent the winning tweet.

::: Stage Two // Launch:

Amazon Bestseller Campaign

Three months before her book’s launch date, Serafinn found twenty-two joint venture partners -- all business owners in the mind-body-spirit world -- through her social media sites.

In April, she and her partners coordinated three separate email “blasts” to their respective mailing lists, offering free bonuses from each one ( -- with the purchase of Serafinn’s book on

Serafinn’s campaign was wildly successful. Within hours of her book launch on April 7, Garden of the Soul was a bestseller on Amazon’s UK and American sites (number 89 for all books, in every category, in both countries).

::: Stage Three // Post-Launch:

Promoting Her Book to Promote Her Business

Some might be forgiven for assuming that a book’s promotion ends the minute it enters the marketplace -- when, in fact, what went before merely represents the beginning. Why is that?

Promoting an expertise book is itself a vehicle for promoting the service business that gave rise to it. In other words, the book’s value (from a marketing perspective) lies in its unique ability to attract buyers for everything else an author provides: services, workshops, other info-products.

As a result, Serafinn is now managing an ever-growing constellation of promotional strategies and activities, upcoming events, and future plans. Here are her main efforts, post-launch:

· After creating an online media kit for her book’s blogsite, she began using a press release service (offered by her self-publisher) to attract radio interviews, articles in newspapers and magazines, book reviews, and requests by magazines and blogs for her bylined articles.

· At the same time, she began doing a lot of public speaking -- at libraries, mind-body-spirit fairs, and through chapters of her organization for holistic practitioners, the Global Wellness Circle (, as well as for International Women’s Day, and other special interest groups.

· In her future are plans for a week in-residence at the One World Festival in west England, where she’ll present workshops on the principles of her book. She’s also planning one-woman shows that combine performance and coaching.

These public engagements attract people who not only buy her book, they sign up for her coaching services, weekend workshops, and longer retreats, as well.

But there’s one other plan Serafinn is ready to unveil: a retreat, later this year, aimed at helping would-be authors use her book’s teachings to become “the hero of your own life.”

For if it’s true, as the aphorism says, that “You teach what you need to learn,” then Serafinn might agree that it applies to her, too. Because -- and though it’s beyond the scope of this post -- she most assuredly has learned to be the hero of her own life.

To discover why this is so, please read Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. You can buy a copy, or contact the author about book promotion strategies, at her book's blogsite:


  1. This is an awesome post for authors. Her YouTube page is also very well made. I do wish that there was an easy way for us to read an extract of the book from within this blog post itself. One suggestion is for her to use BookBuzzr ( this would allow fans and friends to share her book-widget on their blogs and facebook profiles.

    Vikram Narayan
    Free, Online Book-Marketing Technology for Authors

  2. Vikram -- Thanks so much for your comment! Lynn does,I believe, have BookBuzzr on her book blog:

    Interested readers can see the excerpt there.

    Best to you, Laurel

  3. Hi Laurel/Vikram.
    I do have an account with BookBuzzr and uploaded my book, but I cannot get the widget to work. Any ideas?

    You can see excerpts of it on "Search Inside" on Amazon and also on the Authonomy website.

    Thanks so much for the great blog post, Laurel. I hope it inspires many people to come work with you to become published authors.

    Warm wishes,
    Lynn Serafinn
    Personal Transformation Coach at Create-a-Life
    Author of Amazon bestseller The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self.

  4. Thanks so much, Lynn, for your wonderful story of book promotion. I hope it inspires many authors to turn to your example, and that you will be encouraged to offer your strategies to authors more formally.

    Best to you,

  5. Congratulations! I applaud you! As a publishing insider, I can tell you this is all so true. Good Luck!
    PJ Campbell
    101 Author Tips: Creating A Successful Book Campaign

  6. Very inspiring to hear Lynn's brilliant marketing plan. It sounds a bit overwhelming but it is just one phase at a time. Right?Thank you so much for sharing your very successful strategy with us.
    I will be back!

  7. I agree with Laurel's comment, this is a wonderful story of book promotion. I'm taking notes...