“Power Stories” debuts at number 2 – and what you can learn from this


My book Power Stories debuted last week as number 2 in its category (business and management), just behind Richard Branson’s book.

I have to admit that I had no idea what to expect about the sales of the book so it’s been interesting (and very exciting) to watch it all unfold. I’m documenting everything – all my marketing strategies, ideas and media opportunities – and I’m happy to share my experience in case you want to launch a book one day.

I’ve already been approached by people to run workshops on it and will be including my findings so far in the upcoming half-day seminar “How to write a business book” on 16 November 2012.

More than just a number
The fact that it’s debuted at number 2 in its category does more than give me (and the publishers) a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. It can be turned into a marketing tool.

Let’s break it down:

1. Stating that it debuted as number 2 helps potential readers understand it’s a popular book. It might be something they want to read because others are reading it too.

2. Even though no amount of planning could have placed it just behind Richard Branson, this was a great result from a marketing point of view. Imagine if the author at number 1 was completely unknown.

“Debuted at number 2, just behind Joe Bloggs” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. If you want to come second to someone, you want that person to be recognisable and respected.

Are you using the milestones in your marketing?
You may not be selling a book, you may simply be getting more exposure for your business. But milestones and benchmarks help paint a picture of what your business is about. They reinforce your brand.

* We are soon to welcome our 13,000th student at the Sydney Writers’ Centre.
* Business Chicks is a community of 26,000 members.
* Facebook just hit 1 billion users.

But they don’t have to be big numbers. Think of miletones like the number of years you’ve been in business; awards you’ve won; whether your business is now 100% carbon neutral, and so on.

Use these measures to provide a context for your prospects and community. If you don’t, they may never have a real picture of what your business is about.

To compare or not to compare
Let’s face it. It’s human nature to compare things. We compare prices, the talent on reality shows, shoes and outcomes from our experiences. We do this because it helps us make sense of the world and gives us an understanding of why we like what we like.

If you have the opportunity to authentically measure your business against a benchmark in a positive way, don’t shy away from it. Own it. Be proud you got there.

About Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo is founder and national director of the Australian Writers' Centre, the country's leading centre for writing courses. She is a journalist, blogger and author. Her latest book is "Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business" (Wiley). Valerie is a keynote speaker, small business commentator, and investor and mentor to startups and businesses in Australia.
  • Sharon Vandermeer

    Really loved this book Valerie – great read and its not hard to believe the success you are experiencing with it.

    • valeriekhoo

      So pleased to hear that you’re enjoying the book Sharon. I hope you get a lot out of it!

  • patrick

    congratulations Valerie – championship effort!

    • valeriekhoo

      Thanks so much Patrick :)

  • http://twitter.com/Lovellyinc Emma Lovell

    This is awesome Valerie. It’s so great you are documenting the experience and sharing this with others so they too can take on the book writing journey. I also love your celebration of the milestones. Don’t have to be big, just set some goals and start kicking them!

    • valeriekhoo

      That’s right Emma. They don’t have to be big goals at all. And when I was writing the book, I would reward myself for every 1000 words written! Milestones help with motivation too.

  • Bianca Sengos

    Great energy makes great efforts look easy. Although, I can see great hard work is behind this book! Well done.

    • valeriekhoo

      Love that Bianca. Thank for your kind words. Great (and much appreciated) feedback is also very valued :)

  • http://twitter.com/brucestark Bruce Stark

    Congratulations on your book’s successful launch! It definitely deserves to be ranked at the top. I’ll be recommending your book as terrific resource for my trainees for the development of their own businesses!

    I had hoped to meet you at the ProBlogger Event but I had a prior work commitment on Saturday and there wasn’t enough time to track you down on Friday. Fortunately I’ve been able to attend your sessions “virtually” but missed out on connecting with you personally. I look forward to meeting you when our paths cross again!

    Thanks for all of your good work!


    • valeriekhoo

      Hey Bruce, we’ll have to make sure we connect at the next bloggy event!