Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book

Author: Tim Grahl

Length: Compact, quick read but bonus content available online

If there were a theme to Tim Grahl’s book, Your First 1000 Copies, it might be “There is No Easy Button.” Either that or, “Slow and Steady Wins the Day.”


This marketing guru breaks down the Connection System he has refined to launch NYT bestsellers such as Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit), Daniel Pink (To Sell is Human), and Hugh Howie (Wool).

So you’ve written your book and all you have to do is press the PUBLISH button and wait for royalty checks to roll in, right? Unfortunately it doesn’t usually work that way. Lots of thoughtful and systematic groundwork was laid for those NYT launches, probably nearly a year before the book was ever published.

So the Grahl lays out the step by step work authors need to do to in order grow their sales. He calls it the “Connection System” which is:

  • Permission
  • Content
  • Outreach
  • Sell

His writing style is direct, which I really appreciate. He gives concrete examples to demonstrate the principles he discusses. He concludes each chapter with a bullet point review list of concepts covered.

For example, in his discussion of getting permission from readers to contact them, he highlights the importance of building the email subscriber list. He tells you to give the reader a strong offer. Saying “Sign Up Here For Updates” is too generic to engage people.

When he worked with client Jean Chatzky of Money Rules, they modified her offer to “Jean tells you what the week’s headlines mean for YOUR wallet.” Powerful, personal, and very effective. Her subscriber volume that year jumped up 332% from the prior year.

Everything laid out in the book is logical and consistent with common sense. Grahl’s anecdotal experience in social media also validates a personal suspicion of mine – in the battle of Twitter versus the Email list, Twitter underperforms every time.

This book was published in 2013. In Internet terms, it is ancient and yet the system laid out here still rings true. If you visit his website, he delivers his video updates to walk you through the Connection System.

Rating: 5 stars