Blog to Book Project — Six-Month Book Launch Timeline

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After you’ve finished your book, done extensive proofreading, had another set of eyes look at it for editing issues, and check your formatting, you should organize your book launch. In this chapter, you’ll find a six-month book launch (six months before and six months after), but you can adapt the timing and suggested marketing to fit your needs.

Before your book launch, you should have your Author Website, Facebook Author Page, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts already set up and be sharing interesting non-launch information regularly. If not, time to get on the stick about it. Continue sharing value-filled content during the entire launch period, with sporadic promotional posts.

Six Months Before Launch

  • Post a cover reveal across your social media sites.
  • Conversely, if you haven’t decided on a final cover design yet, you can poll your followers. Ask them which design do they prefer and why.

Five Months Before Launch

  • Add your book blurb to your Author Website and share it on your social media channels.
  • If you’ve already uploaded your manuscript to the publishing platform of your choice, make it available for pre-order.

Four Months Before Launch

  • Spark some interest in your newsletter.
  • Offer an incentive for readers to opt-in. You could send them a sample chapter, a character description quiz, a useful checklist based on your upcoming book’s topic, set up a challenge for your readers, or offer exclusive content in the form of a webinar or audio file.
  • Make sure to include a reference to your soon-to-be-released book someplace in the newsletter and on the opt-in page.
  • Share the opt-in lead magnet on your social media networks.

Three Months Before Launch

  • Update your author profiles on all your social media platforms. Include information about pre-ordering your book.
  • Continue providing content through your newsletter and Author Website.
  • Share a glimpse of your author’s life while you were writing the book.
  • Talk about the inspiration behind the book.

Two Months Before Launch

  • Create some marketing images. Use images from your book or your book cover. Add quotes from the book, author quotes, or testimonials from others if you have them.
  • Remember to provide a way for readers to pre-order your book as you post them on social media.
  • Send out the call for ARC (Advanced Review Copy) readers. Get your book into their hands as soon as possible.
  • Contact Book Bloggers to see if they would be interested in an ARC to review on their blogs.

One Month Before Launch

  • Create some countdown social posts using Canva. One month, one week, x days until the launch.
  • Share your book trailer.
  • Post an excerpt or first chapter on your Author Website. Generate some anticipation.
  • Create a Pinterest board about the book. Think outside the box here. If you are writing historical fiction, pin relevant facts, locations, even period furniture. If your book is non-fiction, pin articles you used in your research.
  • Begin your book blog tour.

Launch Day

  • Send out a launch day newsletter.
  • Post “Launching Today” posts across your social media networks.
  • Update your social media headers to highlight your book.
  • Email your ARC and Beta readers letting them know the book is ready for verified reviews.
  • Hold a launch party. Broadcast snippets live or share them afterward.
  • Post public thank you for event coordinators and share pictures of you and your book enjoying the party.

One Month After Launch

  • Continue your book blog tour.
  • Contact other authors to do some cross-promoting.
  • Keep posting to your Author Website.
  • Set up a live Q & A session on Facebook or Twitter.

Two Months After Launch

  • Take your book on the road.
  • Do book signings at local bookstores.
  • Talk to libraries about getting your book on the shelf.

Three Months After Launch

Four Months After Launch

  • Publically thank readers who provide feedback or leave a review.
  • Find an organization that relates to your book topic and see if it would be interested in having you speak at an upcoming event.

Five Months After Launch

  • Make recommended reading lists on Goodreads or your Author Website that include your book.
  • Keep publishing engaging content on your Author Website.

Six Months After Launch

  • Release the print or audio version of your book. Use the new format to do another mini-launch.
  • Start generating interest in your next book.

You might not want to include all of these suggestions, but the more publicity there is about your book, the more likely you’ll sell some copies of it. So try to complete as many as possible, as often as possible without being spammy.

Assignment: Plan your book launch.

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Blog to Book Project — Book Launch

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. 

Pre-release

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.

Release Day

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. 

Post-release 

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.