My Book is Sold Out: A Social Media Tale

BellaMike Bellafiore's (Bella's) Blogs5 Comments

My book One Good Trade is sold out. This took three weeks. A rush reprint will be underway soon. Save a few exceptions, it is now only available on the Kindle. I was told, “This has never happened before with a trading book.” This is a social media tale.

I considered hiring a PR firm to rep my book before release, pitching all things traditional media. One charismatic and powerful NYC book agent explained to me that my project would only be worth her time if I became a star TV Talking Head. When she learned I wasn’t the one from our firm regularly on CNBC suddenly she had to take another call. I left thinking- isn’t it better to be the co-founder of the firm that placed the paid traditional media contributor in this coveted slot? And is traditional media even the best path for me and my book? Another PR flak who reps trading legends sent me a proposal that screamed Dude you aint a big shot so I only will offer to take your money and do nothing for you. Well that was a mistake. Two other options were considered and tabled for after Labor Day.

One Good Trade opened and immediately found #5 on Amazon’s Finance Leaderboard. Actually I didn’t even know it was available for sale until I received an email from a blog reader. I certainly didn’t know Amazon had a Leaderboard. And then the Influencers entered the room. An Influencer is someone who can move their audience to act or purchase. @Stevenplace ran a book contest that spiked our overall Amazon to the this thing is for real category. @abnormalreturns, the biggest new traffic generator, did his thing and drove sales. @alphatrends and his 20k loyal followers read and heard Brian’s numerous endorsements. @martinkronicle @traderinterview showed their muscle broadcasting one on one interviews. @aiki14 @annemarietrades @ragheehorner @afraidtotrade kept the momentum moving forward with praise of value for the reader. @crosshairstrader @thereformedbroker @weeklyTA penned book reviews causing Amazon to search for more stock. The StockTwits community tweeted and retweeted everything. The StockTwits stream, named by Time Magazine as one of the Top 50 websites in 2010, tweeted and RTd the generous reviews. The Influencers moved people to buy One Good Trade and now it is sold out.

The firm I co-founded, with my best friend, SMB, has been blogging for two years. Today, a significant audience of traders visits SMB blog daily. We built this audience by sharing, giving, sharing some more, and then giving some more. We embraced social media by developing a partnership with StockTwits (HT @Jbedya), where both parties are invested in each other. We have cultivated lasting connections with Influencers, many top trading and investing bloggers. I have not stepped foot on a TV studio, and in a day when hardcover is not supposed to move, my book is sold out?

But is any of this really a surprise? Let’s take two examples of book promotion. Writer A participates in traditional media, is placed in front of a large audience (most of whom are not that interested or not listening), and an ego receives a very large stroking. But then a potential purchaser leaves the traditional media medium and goes about their day. Later they might sit at their computer and ask, “What was the name of that book I wanted to read from traditional media?” Why did I want to buy that book?

Writer B embraces social media. Writer B places their book in front of a smaller audience, but one very willing to buy, many of whom already have a relationship with the writer’s work through the blogosphere. Further Writer B’s book is placed in front of this highly interested audience with a link you can just click to purchase. With social media, the internet and the blogosphere, Writer B can put his book right in front of you with a link to purchase. The friends of Writer B then share this same link with their highly interested followers (see @ThisIsSethsBlog for the power of this). The Influencers put Trader B’s book right in front of their audience with a link to purchase. How can Writer A compete with Writer B? How can traditional media compete with the Influencers placing product right in front of the consumer with a link to purchase?

Now none of this works if your book is not awesome. Traders’ Library recently included One Good Trade on a short list of “recently published and will most likely become time honored classics.” One Good Trade enjoys a five star Amazon review rating as I write. I found this tweet today:

@smbcapital I only praised your book , it’s a great book and a very important one. When are u going to publish the next book ? :D)

Moreover I receive multiple daily emails proclaiming One Good Trade has substantially helped their trading. Also, the book was published by Wiley, the place where most of the best trading authors publish, whose team made every page better.

Ironically our plan was to push One Good Trade after Labor Day. Now there are numerous social media events that we will reschedule until after the book is reprinted. We will let you know when we know when the reprint will be available. Until then it is just the Kindle. But for future authors I hope my experience offers an idea path for your success. Share your genius and start broadcasting. Why can’t you create a tale like mine?

Now I wonder what would happen if traditional media embraced social media and then a Writer C combined the tactics of Writer A and Writer B? What a remarkable tale that would be.

Mike Bellafiore
Author, One Good Trade: Inside the Highly Competitive World of Proprietary Trading

5 Comments on “My Book is Sold Out: A Social Media Tale”

  1. Hi Mike,

    Let me start by saying that if your book wasn’t really worth it, it wouldn’t have been sold out so quickly. Although I still haven’t got the chance to read my copy of the book (for reasons unrelated to this discussion). Now many will ask how do I go about praising a book I haven’t even read yet. It’s simple, because I heard about it from the “social media”, a source I trust far more than any form of “traditional media”. To me, “traditional media” is about paid advertisment and marketing, which makes me question its credibility in the product it is promoting. Social media and the blogosphere on the other hand have established a more trustworthy relationship with its followers. When I hear about the book from a known and established trader or blog writer, I’m sold immediately.
    Personally, I think you did good by avoiding the “commercialization” of your book. Once you have established a solid base of readers with quality reviews from other professionals, you can go about marketing it to the bigger masses using the more “traditional” techniques.


  2. The only reason why I know of this book and my friends don’t is that I have heard about this book on Twitter so many times!

  3. It was grand watching you do your alternative media thang these past weeks. Kudos, sweetheart!

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