Good question. I have heard so many variations of the answer to this question that it’s mind boggling. Depending on the way you publish your book, that is going to determine some of how you launch. However, there are a few good practices that work in just about any scenario, so let’s focus on those:
There are different types of launches. One can be the launch date of when your book actually goes on sale. That can be on Amazon, other online retailers, the chains and independent bookstores. This is the day that all those pre-orders you’ve been racking up are actually going to process. Woo hoo!
Another kind of book launch is one you create and throw for yourself and your book. Think of it as your own birthday party — a birthday party for your book. It’s your day and it’s all about you and you get to design your launch any way you want to. After all, writing a book and getting it published is a BIG DEAL!
This kind of launch acts like a line in the sand. It says, “NOW!” Now we are ready to go. All the things that needed to be done to get ready for publication date have been completed, including gathering industry trade reviews, media reviews, all the pre-publication publicity, marketing tasks, distribution, etc., and now it’s time to celebrate.
It’s time for sales and all the “off the book page” media to begin to happen. You get to invite your friends, family, business associates and readers of all kinds to come and celebrate you. Naturally, you’ll have the book on sale there, and you’ll want to encourage people to pick one up for a friend. Be sure and create a hashtag for social media pictures and posts, have a speech ready, and you might even create a backdrop that has your book title all over it so that attendees can take pictures of themselves and other party goers in front of it.
Your party doesn’t have to be fancy (although fancy is good too!), but it should say “you” all over it. Any gather with good food, good drink, and good people is bound to be fun.
Whatever kind of launch you decide to have, here are some tips that will help make it successful:
- Email your contacts in advance of your book’s publication date to let them know what day they can expect to purchase, or that they can pre-order (give them the online link for doing so in this message). Be sure and ask that if they love your book to please leave an Amazon review for you.
- Create some fun swag for giveaways, both online and at on-the-ground-events, including your book launch. Swag can be posters, t-shirts, stickers, bookmarks, etc. It’s amazing how much readers love getting freebies, and it’s also good advertising and marketing for your book!
- Pick social media platforms you enjoy working with. As I’ve said in numerous Savvy Sunday News reports before, do what you love to do. If you love taking photos, for example, then Instagram may be best for you. If you are a big Facebook fan, then use FB. Focus your social media efforts on using your preferred platform(s) and put out content that consists of a blend of personal posts, book and literary posts, and information about your own book. Make it interesting — not too salesy.
- Write at least one or two blog posts a week and be sure your book title is listed in either the post or your signature at the bottom. This is helpful for SEO.
- Network at events. Connect with fellow authors for cross-promotion on social media and possible future joint-panel events. Be sure and ask them what works for them in terms of book promotion and see if any of their tactics are new to you (and then use them).
- Attend other literary events and author signings in your area or when traveling to show support for local venues and fellow authors. You never know where a new connection could lead.
Every author and book are unique and require special attention to give them the best shot at succeeding in the marketplace. How you launch your book should reflect who you are and what you love to do and give you lots of energy for moving forward with your book’s promotion. Hopefully these tips will help you with that.
To your success!
P.S. Well, it’s bound to happen sometimes. Last week I had a pretty significant typo in my newsletter. Thanks so much to those of you who took the time to write and let me know that Hanukkah began on December 2nd not the 12th. I actually knew that. I even have Rabbi Daniel Cohen as one of my wonderful clients, but somehow that extra digit made its way into my newsletter! Darn it. Well, as I said, it can happen to any one of us, and the best thing to do is correct it and move on. Thank you so much for your patience!
P.P.S. Tis the season!! Guess what?! I have gifts! In fact, I’ve got something special for five of my trusty Savvy Sunday Pros. But in order to be eligible, you have to sign up for the Savvy Sunday News. You can do that here.