Writing a book typically takes longer than expected. What begins as a bright shiny idea must be pulled out of one’s soul, penned or typed onto paper and then edited and edited some more. Once a book is ready for publication, whether traditional or self-published, the author is exhausted and just wants to get the book out there.
Before you eagerly hit publish, here are 10 steps to 10x your book launch results.
1. Pause before hitting publish.
Birthing a book takes time, energy and intention. Creating a successful book launch takes the same. You don’t want to hurl your book into the world without a strategic plan: you want to give your book everything you can for it to thrive and reach readers.
2. Know the audience of your book.
Don’t be lazy with this. A book for everyone is a book for no one. It’s time to dig deep and discover WHO this book is for. Naming them is not enough. Find out where they spend time online, what they talk about, and memorize the language they use. Every piece of information you gain about your audience can help you in launching your book. You will learn the language to present and market your book in, the places to share and pay for ads, as well as why your audience will love your book and how to ensure the book description and key words take full advantage of this.
3. Define your successful launch.
Start with the end in mind, especially if you an emerging author. It takes time to build an audience and become known. Decide if you are going to focus on sales, email list building, or awareness with your book. Depending on your goals, the focus and structure of your launch plan will vary. Will your book help you build your email list and increase sales of books down the road? Are you hoping to gain sales through your already existing audience?
4. Pick your book launch methods.
There are many different ways to market and launch a book. Don’t try to do it all. Kim's PDF, 14 Ways to Leverage Your Book for More Sales lists 14 methods. Check it out here and decide which launch strategies you will focus on. It’s best to do a few methods well than try to cram all of them in.
5. Schedule your launch.
Based on your goals and the launch strategies you have chosen, pick a date that gives you enough time to build momentum and a launch team (see step #6). Think of giving yourself an adequate runway to take off. If your runway is too short, you will be scrambling to set things up and build momentum. If your runway is too long, you are procrastinating instead of getting your book into the world. I typically give myself 30 to 60 days to plan a launch, depending on my goals and strategies used.
6. Build a launch team.
No one likes to hear you brag. Building a launch team allows others to do your bragging for you. Look for people with similar audiences to you. Decide if you want to filter your launch team with certain requirements (i.e. at least 1,000 subscribers etc.). Brainstorm ways to serve them as they help you spread the word on your book: whether you use it as an incentive or as a thank you.
As you communicate with your launch team, be specific about how they can help you. Direct them to the exact posts you would like shared. Bonus points if you can give them email/twitter/Facebook swipe copy to use. Don’t be afraid to invite people personally to be a part of your launch team, especially if you have built a friendship with them.
This goes for your book, your blog posts, and your author interviews. Think about ways to engage and help your readers (PDF, checklists, stories). Instead of standing on the corner, yelling, “Buy my book!” Think about how your book serves your readers and then create content and giveaways that go along with your book as thank you gifts for those who buy. Review and share your book with others. Although we cannot pay or incentivize to receive reviews, we can encourage and invite people to leave a review.|
8. Use your book to engage.
Structure your book to build your momentum as a writer. Include a page that offers them a gift if they visit your website (or a specific landing page) and join your email list. Include where to find you and WHY they should connect with you (i.e. how you will help them) in your book. Your book can be more than a story you send with no strings attached into the world. Your book can be a business card, a conversation starter, a way to give them your email address to ask questions, and a doorway to your website and any other services you offer. Don’t be afraid to get creative.
9. Reflect and schedule your re-launch. To successfully launch, you need to have an end-date to the launch. We cannot run at full speed for days on end. Once you pass the finish line, take yourself out for coffee and reflect on how it went. Which strategies worked best? Which strategies were easiest for you? As you reflect, decide on when you want to market and re-launch your book. It could be in 90 days as a quarterly celebration, it could be on a day (like parents day) to encourage parents to connect with their kids (if you have a children’s book), or in a year on the book’s one year anniversary. Your book deserves more than one coming out party: find ways to continue celebrating and sharing your book throughout the year, at designated time.
10. Celebrate BIG.
As you launch your book, CELEBRATE every single step of the way. Screenshot the first review, personally tag and thank those who are helping you spread the word, create an online book launch party with events and giveaways…
Whether you book sells one copy or a thousand, whether you gain one review or hundreds…celebrate each and every win. If you are like most writers, there is MORE than one book inside of you. Allow your books and YOU to build momentum as a writer. This typically takes more than one book.
Deanne Welsh just launched her FREE BOOK for WRITERS: When God Calls A Writer brings courage, clarity and confidence to the writing journey. Simply sign up here and then check your inbox. Deanne is a business strategist for committed writers and the founder of Unstoppable Writers, a thriving Facebook Community catapulting one another to success and changing the world one word at a time. She grew up on ships sailing around the world and writes at www.DeanneWelsh.com