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The Career Author Podcast: Episode 101 – Lean Launch vs. Fat Launch

Lean Launch vs. Fat Launch is a tactic that every author should consider before publishing a title. Overesourcing a launch, using ads, taking advantage of a series can all be optimized to maximize exposure on the sales platforms. On the other hand, lean launch is a single release designed to test a market or demand without committing long-term.

There is no right way to launch and Fat isn’t better than Lean or vice versa. It’s all about deciding what’s best given what you want to accomplish.

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • The difference between Fat and Lean launches
  • The advantages of each
  • Examples of each
  • Why projects fail when the launch approach isn’t intentional

Also, discover a cool health tip courtesy of Dr. Gundry on the James Altucher Show.

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

Leave us a comment: Do you plan to lean launch or fat launch your next project? Why?

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Podcast sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://writinglife.kobobooks.com 

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Links:

Branding for Fiction Authors by Dianna Gunn – https://gum.co/VECHZ 

Dr. Steven Gundry on the James Altucher Show – https://jamesaltucher.com/podcast/508-dr-steven-gundry/ 

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14 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 101 – Lean Launch vs. Fat Launch

  • Happy Thanksgiving guys. Love your way today J. I enjoy cooking so that bit is easy for me.
    I am uncomfortable about a fat launch even though I know one can get a sales spike. Is the spike based on the quality of the product or the quality of the marketing? One is selling stuff, like Willy Loman.
    Consider some high selling Indie writers today; do people ask them for advice on how to write better stories? Or do they ask them how to play the system?
    Don’t get me wrong, I get it that one has to pay bills and therefore one should try to maximise one’s assets but one rarely hears people talking about the quality of their writing vis-a-vis maximising their assets.
    As someone who couldn’t sell a bucket of water to a mother whose pram is on fire (ignoring the ethics of the scenario 😮) I feel more comfortable with the idea of lean launches.
    I tried a fat launch, or more of a middle age spread launch, releasing 3 books at 28 day intervals but I appear to have invented the combo launch; a fat launch with lean launch results 🙂
    Great show and topic today guys. I vote for more discussion on this.

    • Ha! The combo launch 😉

      Their has to be SOME kind of launch so it is a perplexing problem. Unfortunately, you can have the highest quality product in the world but that won’t matter if nobody knows about it.

  • Happy Thanksgiving guys.
    I am thinking of doing each one though it depends on the project. I want to build-up three novels for one project, do a rapid release. With another one, I want to try a lean launch. Both sci-fi space opera stories. I also want to try a novella every eighteen days or so, though that does mean I need to get at least the first five to ten in some kind of shape and have them ready to go every eighteen days…We will see how they go.

  • So, is there such a thing as having too much info? After all the reading and listening and thinking and evidence, I’m still undecided on the best to launch and whether to go wide or exclusive. I reckon I might not figure it out until I am ready with a product to launch and then pick one method and see what happens. Perhaps as with most things, I need to do it to better understand it and get a decent handle on it.

    • I think the best would be to try one and see how it goes. If you do a fat launch and you don’t get what you want, go fof the skinny. Though, fat launch does mean much more prep.

    • Yes! Welcome to the internet, LOL!

      Just keep asking yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with the launch. Write the answer on a post-it note, stick it on your monitor.

      • Wait, J, are you saying that the internet could b wrong? Or that there could be conflicting information online? *gasp* The horror! Hahaha…

        And, I need to do that. At least stick the note to the wall over my desk where my laptop is 😛

  • I plan to do a lean launch. I’m a new author, and I’m not writing to market. I’ve written a trilogy and all three books are mostly ready to go, so once I launch the first one, I won’t have to wait long before the next two will be released. I also have several two other books, short stories, and a novella that are all either done or in the works, so once I get started publishing, I shouldn’t have any major lulls, at least not for a while.

  • I think my question is if you are a new author and you are only generating one book a year and you don’t know if you are writing to market or not, should you lean launch then? Otherwise there is a bit of opportunity risk in doing a fat launch.

    Also maybe there is a middle launch like a Plump Launch where you just launch the first two books and see how it goes?

  • I just wanted to say that I got to smugly use the line, “Fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does” last night. The context: my husband was eating cake, and I was eating breadsticks…so…you know, still processed and not healthy.

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