Become a Better Writer · Marketing for Writers · Writer Community

Are You Ready to Go Viral?

by Sondi Warner (2)

–Sondi Warner, Writer/Blogger for Wrought Iron Reads


You already have everything you need to make your awesomely written, professionally edited book with a super fresh cover go viral.* You just need to know the number: Dunbar’s number, 150.

“[A] hundred and fifty, is the number of people we call casual friends—the people, say, you’d invite to a large party…The next step down, fifty, is the number of people we call close friends—perhaps the people you’d invite to a group dinner…Then there’s the circle of fifteen: the friends that you can turn to for sympathy when you need it, the ones you can confide in about most things. The most intimate Dunbar number, five, is your close support group. These are your best friends (and often family members).”

Make your list. Know your people.

Looking for friends.

Who are the 150 people you can email, DM, inbox, Snapchat, text message or talk to them face to face, asking them to read at least a portion of your new book? Give it to them for free. Encourage them to only read the whole book if it really grips them within the first few pages. (Make sure you’ve written a book that delivers that gripping start.) Ask them to post about the reading experience on their preferred social media site.

All 150 of your circle will not read your book. Most won’t even respond to your message. That’s okay.

You just need 50 close friends to talk about your book in the weeks leading up to going live. Know your people. They have no idea what you need unless you paint the picture, so ask them directly to post, share and spread the news about your upcoming book. Most will be glad to do this for you. You’re not hitting their pockets or taking up too much of their time.

Squad goals.

If you get 15 well-written, honest reviews from your super supportive inner circle on the very first day you launch your book, this will increase your visibility. You will have to ask for this. Your friends are too busy to keep track of exactly what day you plan to launch, so give them a heads up and shoot them a link to make it easier for them to reach the review platform.

Make sure to pair this with a limited time FREE offer of your book to reap the word of mouth benefits your 50 close friends sowed leading up to release. You and your close friends should put out the word the book is available for FREE.

Who’s in your number 5?

Now, ask your 5 closest friends to get your FREE book the day it goes live. That gives you 5 “Verified Buyers” who can review your book and have a greater likelihood of not getting their reviews lost in Amazon’s confusing review jungle. You might also see a huge jump into the Top 100, especially if your particular niche has few contenders (i.e., your book is in the Multicultural Time Traveler category.)

Those are the numbers, and now you know the people you need to reach to help you get your book off the ground. While your family and friends are not your customers, they are your supporters. Leverage that support to your advantage and be sure to show your appreciation. You might even consider adding an acknowledgments page to your book to thank your 150 personally.

Of course, if you want to reach as many readers as possible, then the strategies above can be combined with an intense marketing plan to make your 150 use their 150 to spread the word. Are you ready to go viral?

Mashable Explains Virality

*Highly viral books are well-written & professionally edited with high quality cover art.

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