Is your book ready for launch?
You’re finally done writing your book and have it published. So, what’s next? You would want to let your readers know so they can get their copies of it, right? This article will show you how to launch a book and ultimately become a best-selling author.
As you browse around Amazon’s website, you’ll find that it’s filled with thousands of titles from self-published authors you’ve never heard of. With only a few copies sold and little to no reviews, this grim reality might dampen a first-time author’s dream of ever publishing their book.
But don’t be discouraged. If your book offers great value to its readers, then you have every shot at making it to the Amazon Editors’ Best Book or New York Times Best Sellers list.
Do you know what makes these best-selling authors successful? Aside from writing high-quality content, they capitalize on launching the heck out of their book. So, it’s not only about being a great writer, but you also need to have a well-thought-out book launch strategy to spread the word out in every way possible.
Book promotion is the difference between lackluster book sales to earning a spot in the best-selling category. Here are some practical tips you can follow to successfully launch a book.
How to launch a book?
Before starting your book promotion plan, decide on a release date for your book. In this way, you’ll have a goal and timeline to work your strategies towards.
Additionally, it’s important to plan at least six months to a year before publishing the book. If you can, schedule a launch date a few months from now or whenever you plan on starting. Doing so provides you enough time to check all your book launch to-do lists. You don’t have to feel pressed for time because you’re prepared every step of the way.
Keep in mind that if you are self-publishing, the book launch happens as soon as the publication process is done. Similarly, if you’re publishing through Amazon or other self-publishing companies, it takes roughly 24 hours to publish it on various sites. This means that the launch date follows the day after.
Stick to a budget
When planning a book promotion, it’s important to set a budget. You may not have loads of cash to throw a book launch party, so this is an essential step you shouldn’t ignore.
Take note, the book launch shouldn’t cost you an arm or leg for it to be memorable. Your budget will depend entirely on how much you’re willing to spend. Again, a well-organized launch can still be successful without spending a fortune.
If you already have an amount you’re willing to spend, it’s time to budget for the book launch. You can allocate the cost for promotional materials (prizes, graphic designs, etc.), venue, decorations, food and drinks, and printed copies of the book to have on hand. Don’t go overboard with the planning process. Always monitor your expenses so you don’t go over the budget.
Offer Price Promotion
Essentially, a price promotion is a self-publishing strategy that offers discounts on books for a short period. Launching a book through a price promotion allows visibility to a wider audience. Once you sell more copies over time, there’s a good chance you may take a spot in BookBub’s or Amazon’s Bestselling list. Most readers flock to these lists for recommendations on great books to read.
Additionally, discounting the price attracts new readers. If you’re a newbie author, then you likely don’t have followers yet. Hence, a discounted book encourages them to give it a try.
Encourage reader reviews
Another proven strategy to effectively launch a book is through word of mouth. Reviews give you an insight into what your readers think and feel about your book. As customers, we tend to ask other people’s opinions before buying a certain product.
This is no different from buying a book. A compelling review is just as effective at convincing would-be readers to give it a chance. With reasonable pricing and reader reviews in tandem, this is a great way to pre-launch. While not necessary, having at least 20 positive reviews is enough to boost your validation as a writer.
Where can you get pre-launch reviews?
- Book review sites – Reach out to these sites for a possible review collaboration: Bustle, The Guardian Books blog, Reedsy, and Book Riot. Many of them accept Advanced Reader Copy (ARC), which is a book not released to the public but published specifically for reviews. ARCs are sent out to other authors, bloggers, and influencers in exchange for a genuine review.
- Existing fans – If you already have a loyal following on social media, your website, and an email list, then why not offer them a free ARC of your book? Existing followers make the best reviewers as they are already familiar with your work.
Promote the book launch
While this is obvious, this needs to be said because you can’t make a sale if no one has heard about it. The following are some steps to get your book launch rolling.
- Build a website – Create an author website that showcases who you are, what you do and the books you write. A website usually includes an About page, contact, blog, reviews page, as well as a sales page where they can buy the book. When writing a blog, make sure to collect email addresses so you can inform subscribers of your upcoming launch.
- Social media – In this digital age, many serious readers are on their favorite social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the top places to have an authentic and engaging conversation with your followers. Each of these platforms has its way of attracting traffic to your posts, so make sure to experiment and see what works.
- Blogs and podcasts – Tap other book bloggers for possible interviews or book reviews. Additionally, there are tons of podcast shows to collaborate with. They can host an episode where they interview about your book launch.
Host a launch party
You can host a book launch party virtually through live streaming the event or in a brick-and-mortar venue. Again, make sure to schedule your launch party a day after publishing the book (e.g., on Amazon, other self-publishing sites)
For virtual parties, you can host it on your website or live streaming sites like Facebook Live. If you want an in-person party, then contact your local bookstore, cafes, libraries, or conference halls ahead of time. You might want to do some giveaways, offer prizes, Q&A sessions, and book signing at the event.
Is your book ready for the big launch?
In summary, launching a book entails hard work, creativity, and yes—money; for it to be successful. You can’t simply have it published and let fate takes its natural course. You need to promote it. Whether you’re self-publishing or working with a publisher, you have a major role in promoting the book.
Thus, it’s a must to have a concrete plan. This allows you enough time to gather all the resources needed before the launch. By following the steps outlined here, you can expect an outstanding launch that lets your book stand out in the market.
While book launching can be overwhelming for first-time authors, it becomes easier when an expert shows you the ropes. Matt DeCoursey is a startup investor and author of best-selling books such as Million Dollar Bedroom. He will teach you how to become a successful self-publishing author in no time.
Let Matt and his marketing team at Full Scale prepare you for the next book promotion. Get your FREE consultation today.