Book launches are a great way to connect with your audience and encourage engagement. It is also a great way to build your brand, introduce your product or service, and make new connections. So how to launch a book? Here are some tips for planning a successful book launch.
Your book has been completed. It’s gone through the writing process, editing, and publishing process. Whether you are self-publishing or going the traditional route, everything now comes down to a successful book launch.
There are many things you can and should do before your book launches to promote the book and attract prospective readers. This article will walk you through some of the important steps that will hopefully lead to a very successful book launch. Be sure to make a book launch checklist for yourself while reading this article so that you can retain the advice and suggestions given.
Before Your Launch Date
As mentioned earlier, there is a lot to do before your actual book launch. You don’t just finish the book, get it published, and expect to sell books simply because it got published and is online or on a shelf somewhere.
Potential readers need to know that the book exists. You can’t leave it to chance that new readers will simply discover your book at their local bookstore and buy it in droves. It’s tedious work, but it doesn’t translate well to an audience if you aren’t the biggest promoter of your work.
Confidence in your book and the willingness to devote yourself to the best book launch you can orchestrate can take you from being an author that sells a modest number of books and is known locally to an author who sells a lot of books and is known nationally, or even worldwide.
Everything hinges on your ability to stand by your work and your skillset and get other people, potential customers, to believe in you as well. The following things are steps you should take or at least consider before you launch your book.
Choose A Launch Date
A successful book launch takes planning. Most authors start to plan the launch of their upcoming book six months or more before the actual launch. Nailing down a date for your book launch will help you to coordinate plans and put together strategies to boost sales, promote your book, and plan a launch week that will draw in as many new readers as possible.
It also gives you time to process feedback about your book by those who are able to read it early and notice small mistakes, inconsistencies, and other issues that you can fix before your book officially goes to print.
If you are publishing with a publishing house, you may not get to decide the date of your book launch, but knowing that date is imperative long before launch day arrives. Even with a traditional publisher, you still need to put in work to promote your book. You can’t and shouldn’t expect the publishing house to do it all for you.
Book Launch Checklist
Make a checklist of everything you need to do ahead of the book launch so that your book launch plan is airtight. A successful book launch is dependent on a good plan that is well executed. Taking notes and making a checklist based on this article may help you eventually successfully launch your book.
Brainstorm ideas, ask other authors you know for suggestions and strategies. Regardless of whether you’re self-published or traditionally published, you still need to promote the book and prepare for the book launch. You don’t want to be an author who either stays obscure and unread or comes across as arrogant and lazy. You’ve put in the work to write the book, so keep the momentum going. A checklist is going to help.
To effectively monitor your launching activities, here is a launch checklist:
Six Months before the Book Launch
- Promote your book through a newsletter sent to your subscribers.
- Include the details of the release of your book in your professional profile.
- Share your book cover on social media platforms so that the audience knows about the upcoming release of your book. This also serves as a strategy to encourage preorders.
- Include the synopsis of your book on your social media posts or website.
Three Months before the Book Launch
- Capture images of your book on appealing backgrounds so you can use them within your marketing.
- Create quote cards featuring some lines from your book or from your interviews related to the book’s release. Insert preorder links in the cards you designed.
- Offer advanced reader copies (ARCs). This strategy allows you to gather reviews for the book before its launch. Share the valuable reviews you get.
- Post interesting free content related to the book, so your audience can become eager to checkout your book.
One Month before the Book Launch
- Share the backstory of your book.
- Create a video that serves as a trailer of what your book offers.
- Post a countdown on your website or social media for the release of your book, this will increase your audience’s excitement.
The Day of the Book Launch
- Email your subscribers announcing that the book is already on the market.
- Change your website’s or social media page’s cover photos to feature the book you have just released.
- Create a post expressing your gratefulness about having your book officially out in the market and having readers who support your work.
The Soft Launch
A soft launch means launching a book before the release date to a select few or a specific group of people. If you are self-publishing through a service like Amazon Kindle, you should plan this event before you hit publish. There are enormous benefits to this, such as gaining positive reviews that will help prop up your book, endorsements by authors and other people of note, more awareness of your book, and better promotion due to increased familiarity of both you as the author and your book.
Who should you offer your book to before the official launch? And how should you go about the art of the “launch before the launch?” These questions and more will be answered below.
Blogs are increasing in popularity, and they are all over the internet. They are more personal and casual than a stuffy news story or review, and they make the reader feel as though they can relate to or invest in the blogger because the blogger often presents himself as a “real person.” Readers feel like they are more than potential customers. They feel like they know you on a more personal level. They feel like an acquaintance or friend.
If you have a blog (as a new author, you should), and you have followers, you should make a post announcing a launch before the release of your book. Invite your followers to purchase your book during a special promotion on a select date or select week, or duration of your choosing. You can give discounts or price promotions on these dates, as well.
Self-published authors should absolutely take advantage of any early sales they can get through these methods because they don’t usually have a marketing team to help them with a book promotion campaign.
Stressing to the readers of your blog that you are an independent author and don’t have the significant backing that some traditional publishing houses can provide can amp up the support you get from your followers, as well. Because a blog is such a casual and personal type of writing, your followers may feel more inclined to help someone who is doing the work on their own.
While we’re talking about blogs, it’s also a good idea to search for bloggers who are interested in books, or who are writers, or who have large followings. Offer them a complimentary book if they will provide an editorial review of your book on their blog.
These free reviews can benefit you and the blogger because if they give you a review, and it’s a good one, you can and should share the link to their blog page so that potential readers can read the review. This gets the blogger more traffic and the chance for more followers. So, it’s mutually beneficial.
This also counts as networking, and when you network well, you reach people you typically wouldn’t by sticking with your normal social circle. Seek out bloggers who differ from you to cover more demographics and get more attention to your book.
Every author should have a website. This is a great way to network, draw in prospective readers, and promote yourself and your career. There is a lot you can do to promote your book on your website. Feel free to employ any of the following suggestions when getting ready to launch your new release.
You want your website to be engaging and personal in some ways so that you can attract not just your target audience to your site but also other readers who may be on the fence about you and your work. Shining a spotlight on your new book can help you to get those readers.
Dedicate Space for Your Book
Having a landing page on your website, especially if you are an indie author, will help you to get your book noticed by the public. This means that you have a page on your website that is totally dedicated to your new book. A landing page puts all of the attention onto the one new book rather than putting it at the bottom of your regular page or somewhere between blurbs and features that you write.
Your landing page should have a large photo of your book, with emphasis on the book cover, so that readers can identify it when it comes out officially. You can also include any early reviews that you get on the page dedicated to your new book.
Book sales can start early on your website. Plug your book launch and give the date for it, but let your followers pre-order and pre-purchase your book via your author website. Collect email addresses from the people who visit your site and bait them into giving this information with something like a book giveaway.
This way, you have a mailing list and can send emails to them with each new book promotion you run. This can also help your sales.
Social Media Platforms
Social media posts can help you in a major way. Having a strong social media presence will help both you and your book become recognizable. Before your book is officially released, make sure that you create and share social media posts about your book.
Announce any upcoming book promotion or book tour that you have and share links to your website, book trailer, reviews, and any other information that will get your book noticed by your target audience.
Indie authors can benefit greatly from social media platform advertising because social media reaches an endless amount of people. Join groups for new authors, lovers of the genre you write in, and any other group that will relate to your book and gets you noticed on social media.
Tease a Giveaway
On various forms of social media, offer a free book that will be given to a name drawn from those who help you boost book sales by sharing your posts, following your pages, and tagging someone else in their own posts.
People love to get free things, and as long as the guidelines and requirements of being eligible for a giveaway aren’t too demanding or involved, most people will do what is asked for the chance to get something free.
Asking people to share your posts and tag a friend to be eligible for a free book, when you’re probably giving tons of free books out anyway, is free promotion and can get you new readers. Social media can help you immensely to have a successful launch, if you promote enough.
Pay for Ads
Another good idea when using social media is to invest in yourself and pay for Facebook ads for your book. Facebook will then circulate an ad for your upcoming book that will reach more people than you could on your own. While no one likes spending money to make money, look at it as an investment in yourself.
Friends and Family
Ask your friends and family to talk about your book, share your book information and contact information with anyone that may be interested in either reviewing your upcoming book or purchasing it. Pooling resources with your support system is a great way to make launching a book less terrifying and nerve-wracking.
Above, it was mentioned that paying for ads on Facebook is a good idea to get your book noticed by more people. It may be a good idea to pay for ads on more than social media, though. Paid advertising can be your friend because you can reach people both online and offline. Older people who may not use the internet will still see your book promotion poster hanging in a shop window.
Listing your new book on book promotion sites (sometimes paid, sometimes free) can help a self-publishing author get noticed by more readers, as well. If you are self-published, Amazon ads can help you prior to launch day to reach a larger demographic. Written Word Media is a newsletter that posts book promotions that you can take advantage of as well.
Giving away copies of your book can help you prepare for launch day because you can select who gets to read your book ahead of the launch. Contacting reviewers, such as other authors, newspapers, and influencers, can get your book the reviews it needs to lend social proof to readers, especially if you are a new author.
Having reviews available for potential consumers to read before the book is officially out will lend legitimacy to your book. The author and their friends, coworkers, and family members telling people that the book is great is terrific, and it does help. Still, reviews from a better-known author or publication will make consumers take your book more seriously.
It’s wonderful that your mom likes your book and tells people in her sewing circle that her son or daughter wrote a masterpiece. When John Grisham writes a review that you’re an up-and-coming heavy hitter, that’s a whole new level of weight given to your book, and people take more notice.
Call up your local news stations, radio stations, and newspapers, and ask if they would be interested in featuring you and/or your soon-to-be-released book on air or in print. Interviews and plugging your book on a morning news show will reach a lot of people, as will having a review or feature in the local paper.
Answering questions about the content of your book, as well as addressing things like the release date, launch price, positive reviews you’ve received, will perk up the ears of people in your area who might want to support a local author.
By the time launch week rolls around, you should have several things done already. You should have plugged your book until even you are sick of it. You should have given copies away to anyone who will review it and give it credibility. You should have quietly launched the book to your followers.
You should have talked about your book to the point where you’re talking about it in your sleep, and your spouse or closest friends are tired of hearing about it. You should have several reviews ready to lend your book more credibility and give it an allure that it might have lacked just from looking at the cover. If you have done all of those things, it’s time for launch week.
The Book Launch Party
A book launch party is where you officially celebrate the publication and release of the book that you have talked about nonstop for the past several months. Book a venue such as a local bookstore or small center, and invite the people who helped you advertise, the people who helped you get the book written in the first place, the people closest to you, and a selection of fans and readers.
If you want to include the general public, you can post an event online, print posters, run an ad in the newspaper, and ask the local library and/or bookstore to keep and hand out fliers about the party to its patrons. The more people in attendance, the better your chances are of selling your book.
Your launch party is where your book finally and officially gets to shine. Do a book signing for anyone who purchases a book at the book launch party, and thank everyone who comes. Set your launch price lower than the regular price that it will be after its official release day, and make sure that the attendees know that this is a special price. This will make people more inclined to buy now, if they know that the price will go up in the future.
While there is still work to be done, and you can’t ever really stop trying to sell your book, your launch party is your opportunity and your chance to celebrate. Celebrate yourself, your journey, your book, and those who supported you and helped you to get where you are.
This should be a good time for everyone in attendance, especially the author. Be proud of the work you’ve done, the book you’ve written, and the support you’ve gained along the way.
Keep Promoting Even After Launch
Your book launch came and went. Now what? You have to keep going. It’s exhausting, and it’s tedious, but endless promotion is what is going to help keep you relevant as a writer and what will keep your bookselling. You don’t want your book to be a one-hit-wonder, so you need to become as well known as possible. You do this by continuing to promote your book, even after your book launch has occurred.
The role of any writer includes having to multitask well. Even when you are working on your next book, you have to keep promoting the book that has been released. What good does a promotion or plug along the lines of, “From the author who brought you The Surge, comes a new story of suspense that is sure to enthrall you” if you didn’t mention your book (we’re calling The Surge as an example) after it launched, and the momentum for that novel dried up and blew away like a tumbleweed?
Your next book is going to lean heavily on the success of your last book, and just like in any other career field, having success prior to what you are doing now will help to propel your current work further.
This is why promotion for your past work has to continue, even when you are working on something new. Don’t sell your new project short because you dropped the ball on your last project and stopped promoting it after its launch.