Back in the day of traditional publishing, a successful book launch was essential for an author. The publicity surrounding the launch of a book would not be funded by the publishing company again if the initial launch flopped. Books that were not sold within a period of time would be bundled and discarded.
With the rise of self-publishing, and print-on-demand services, the question of what to do with unsold books is no longer an issue. Book files can slumber peacefully in the Amazon cloud until they are awakened and downloaded. Although book launches are still great marketing strategies, authors have shifted their attention to year-round publicity and the production of new works rather than putting all their eggs in one basket in a lavish book launch.
Some authors hope that the added noteriarty generated in a book launch will propel their book to the best seller list on Amazon, which in turn ensures Amazon will do more to promote the book, leading to even more book sales. A book launch certainly can do that, but chances are low. So don’t get too discouraged if your book doesn’t skyrocket to the top during your book launch. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
By definition, a book launch is the combined activities surrounding the release date of your book. Most of these activities will center around marketing and can occur before or after the official day the book is available to the public.
Before your book is out there, you might do some interviews, podcasts or guest posts on other sites. While the topics discussed may not be directly related to your book, odds are that you’ll have ample time to mention and encourage readers or listeners to be on the lookout for your new tome.
Starting the hype on your own author website and social media should also be parts of the pre-release book launch activities. Add a countdown graphic. Talk about how excited you are. Mix in a few testimonials from Beta readers. Make your readers want to get their hands on your book the moment it is ready.
Host a book party! Hang out with your friends with signed author copies of your books and celebrate your accomplishment. It’s not every day that you publish a book! Consider a themed party. Have guests come as characters in your novel. Make sure to get plenty of pictures that you will then use in your next post on your author website and upload to social media.
If you aren’t able to host a live book party, then consider a virtual one. Go live on Facebook at a specific time. Let fans know you’ll be available to answer questions. Offer book giveaways for those who drop by or share your information.
The period after your book has been released is no time to rest on your laurels. Get busy marketing. Do more interviews, podcasts and guest blogger posts. Set up a Countdown Deal or Free Book giveaway and let EVERYONE know about it.
Begin to create an author brand. What genres will you be known for? What can readers expect from your future books? What is the next book about? This is the time to start generating interest for your following publication. Set up an option for pre-orders or release day notifications.
Consider a book signing tour to keep the momentum going. Of course, since you are self-publishing, then you’ll need to foot the bill for this yourself, so it may not be practical.
A better alternative might be to ask local libraries if they’d like to have a copy of your book for their shelves. Announce your book’s library inclusion from the rooftops of social media.
Keep adding interesting and relevant information to your author’s website, interspersed with reminders that your book is available for purchase. Get busy on that next release and repeat the cycle.
Assignment: Plan your book launch activities.