Last Updated Dec. 13, 2016

How to Sell Your First 1000 Copies of Your Book with Tim Grahl

BY Navid Moazzez

Do you want to sell your first 1000 copies of your first book?

Have you ever thought of publishing your first book, become a bestselling author and finally build your authority and get your message out there?

To learn how to sell your first 1000 copies of your own book, I interview Tim Grahl, the author of Your First 1000 copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book.

Listen Now – Interview With Tim Grahl

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More About This Show

The Lifestyle Architects is a podcast and web show that will help YOU design your life, build your business, and live your dream. It features the most inspiring and successful lifestyle entrepreneurs, thought leaders and other change makers in the world doing extraordinary things.

The show format is both a podcast and web show (YouTube).

In this episode, I interview Tim Grahl, who is the founder of Out:think, where he works with authors such as Daniel Pink, Ramit Sethi, Chip and Dan Heath, Pamela Slim, and many more, to help them build their platform, connect readers and sell more books. He is also the author of Your First 1000 Copies, which has sold more than 10,000 copies worldwide.

In Your First 1000 Copies, book marketing expert Tim Grahl walks you through how successful authors are using the online marketing tools to build their platform, connect with readers and sell more books.

A book has this special power of positioning you and putting you up as an expert in your field. Click to tweet!

Watch Now – Video Interview With Tim Grahl

(Click the play button and watch the video interview above)

If you want to watch this video on YouTube you can do so here.

How To Sell Your First 1000 Copies Of Your Book

Here are some things you'll discover in this show:

  • Tim Grahl's story and how he got to wrok with so many incredible big name authors early on in his career
  • How to approach and attract your anchor clients when you're first starting out
  • What impact writing a book can have on your business and brand – why should you consider writing a book in the first place?
  • Why building your audience before writing your book is important to build a bulletproof marketing platform
  • Common mistakes first-time authors make when they are publishing and marketing their book
  • The 3 part Connection System which help you move people from strangers to readers to fans
  • Outreach strategy – the attitude and the how-to
  • Different tips for developing relationships with influencers in your industry
  • How to utilize those influencers relationships to spread your books word
  • Why you must focus on the ‘marketing' and less on the ‘selling' of your book
  • How focusing on 1000 books being sold is a big, yet attainable goal
  • How to increase the number of book sales in the first week
  • And much, much, more!

Share your feedback in the comments section, read the detailed show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Building An Audience Before You Launch The Book

When Tim Grahl launched his book Your First 1000 Copies he had about 1800 people on his email list. 

Tim looks at the book itself as the way to build your audience. He sold the first 1000 copies of his book to his fan base (email list), but now over a year later, he has sold more than 10000 copies, and that’s because he used the book to promote. Not only that, his audience and email list has also grown from 1800 people when he first launched his book to over 7500 people. 

Here's what worked for Tim when it comes to building his audience:

  • Guest posting – You can read more about great guest blogging tips here.
  • Podcast interviews – being a guest on other podcasts is a fantastic way to promoting yourself and your book by sharing valuable information with another audience.
  • Write really good blog posts and emails that get shared – If you provide valuable content, people will share that with their friends and audience on social media which bring in new people.
  • Webinars for other people

Always remember, find what works for you, and keep experimenting and do more of the things where you see a great return on your time and money.

Publishing your own book will really help you to build your platform long into the future. Click to tweet!

Common Mistakes Authors Make

There’s a lot of common mistakes authors make. Here’s just a few:

1) Not thinking about marketing from the very beginning. They think that somebody else is going to take care of it, which just doesn't happen, even if you get a traditional publisher. 

Think about it this way instead: 

How can I build a platform so that books come out out of the platform and everybody who have followed me for all these years are going to buy the book?

In other words, you need to always be thinking about marketing, and how you can build your platform bigger. Then, we you release something, whether that’s a book or something else, it’s going to be more successful.

2) They are trying to be everywhere and use all the tools out there. There are Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, podcasting, blogging, etc., and 100 other different things you can be doing to promote your book. They all have their place, but you can’t do all all of them well.

Instead, pick 3 things that you can do really well. If you do those 3 things really well, it’ll be way better than just spreading yourself thin across every platform out there.

You have to start building an email list which is the most important thing you can do from the very beginning. From there, just find something that works and stick with it long enough until it’ll be successful.

The Connection System

Tim Grahl's book Your First 1000 Copies is kind of based on The Connection System.

Here's the 3 pieces:

Permission – The ability to communicate with people that gives their attention and drives action. And that's where you need an email list. Your email list is the most consistent way to communicate with people and get their attention.

Content – You actually need to be putting content out  to the world freely and widely. That can be in the form of blog posts, podcasts etc. You need people to be able to engage with your content to see if you're even a good fit for them.

Outreach – You need a way to move people from not knowing you exist to knowing you exist. You have to go out and introduce yourself to new people, and there's a lot of different ways to do that.

If an author solves each of the 3 problems above (Permission, Content and Outreach), you'll be able to not only sell more books, but it you're able to sell anything.

The first thing you have to do with outreach is to make sure that you have the right attitude about it. So many people get caught up that they have to sell their book, and they’re go out there pitching these people in promoting their book. It just doesn't work that well. You have to start by asking yourself “how can I help them get what they want out of life?” Long term, you will have a lot of people that want to help you too if you have this attitude and mindset about outreach.

If you really want to connect with an author, the best way to get their attention, is to review their book on your blog or even do a video review (not that many people do video reviews, so that's a great way to stand out and get noticed, even by big authors) of the book on Amazon. Then you can reach out to the author and tell them about it.

How approach and connect with influencers

It can feel a little bit intimating to reach out to big influential entrepreneurs or authors, especially when you’re just starting out.

Here’s a few tips on how to approach these people:

1) Most of this is done digitally. If you want something, just ask. People will say no if they don’t want to do it, or fi they don’t have the time. There’s no had in asking, it’s just one email. They can ignore the email, reply and say no problem.

This is just a quick overview, if you want the full scope, read The Recession Proof Graduate – it’s really good! The Recession Proof Graduate by Charlie Hoehn, walks you through this really simple process of learning how to pitch, doing a little bit of free work, and then turning that into paying clients.

Listen or watch the full interview with Tim Grahl and find out how he got to work with so many big name clients (like Ramit Sethi, Daniel Pink, Pamela Slim and many more), when he was first starting out.

2) Identify some things that you think you can help them do. People usually approach others with “if you need anything, I’ll do it for free”. 

Your First 1000 Copies Tim Grahl
Click the image to tweet this awesome quote by Tim Grahl!

The real value is not getting the work done, it’s knowing what’s needs to get done! Click to tweet!

That’s where you show your value. You look for those anchor clients, or whoever they are, whatever kind of work you’re doing, and you try to identify a problem, and say that you can help them fix it. 

Just by identifying the problem, you’re showing your actual value, because that’s what they need. They need to be able to see things that they don’t know how to see. 

This can apply to all kinds of industries, just by helping people identify problems that they don’t even know they have and then you can also offer the solution to the problem.

Definition Of Marketing

Tim Grahl’s definition of marketing:

1) Create long lasting connections with people – get them on an email list so that you can stay in contact with them long term.

2) Be relentlessly helpful. Try to constantly look for ways to add value to their lives, and that's what Tim tries to do with his email list. Every week he sends out something, and he tries to make it something helpful. For example, it can be a long blog post talking about how to set up an author website, how to deal with criticism. It usually comes from something he's learning.

Tim shares the truth:

If you look at people who are actually making a lot of money online, they're not spending a ton of time on social media.

Watch or listen to the show to find out why Tim Grahl doesn't spend much time on social media, and more details on how you can sell your first 1000 copies by promoting it to the book to your email list.

Further Reading And Resources On Book Marketing


Relevant Resources And Links Mentioned In This Episode

If you love listening to audio books, just like me, get your free audio book today, my gift to you for taking your time to watch and listen to this interview with Tim Grahl!

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Now It's Your Turn!

What do you think? Have you thought about writing your first book? Do you think you have what it takes to sell your first 1000 copies of your own book? Leave a thoughtful comment below sharing the MOST IMPORTANT insight you got! Be specific – tell a story, please. I’ll respond to every one.

If you enjoy this interview with Tim Grahl on How to Sell Your First 1000 Copies or know someone who might, please feel free to share it with them!

Stay inspired,


Author: Navid Moazzez
The Huffington Post says Navid Moazzez is the world's leading expert on producing profitable virtual summits. His students have generated 100,000's of email subscribers and millions of dollars in sales in the past 12 months alone. Navid's mission is to show you what is REALLY working to start and grow your profitable online business, wherever you’re starting.
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