One of the most overlooked book marketing strategies is adequately preparing for your book launch.
I know it’s tempting to give yourself some time to breath after the blood, sweat and tears you put in to getting the book ready for publication, but you really have to plan out your book marketing as well if you want the book to take off – and you want to avoid wasting precious time and losing out on those new release sales.
So first, download our free book marketing planner if you haven’t already. It’s really a great way to stay organized.
Then I want you to review the book launch cheat sheet I’ve outlined below.
For those of you who are thinking you’ll hold off because your book is already out – don’t fall into that trap of delaying your authorship education!
Having this knowledge and keeping these details on your radar for your next book will be invaluable, so start preparing yourself for a successful book launch today, whether your next release is next month, or next year. (If you’d like to know more about the best time to launch your book, read this.)
5-6 Months Out from Your Book Launch
- What’s your launch plan? Don’t wait till the last minute to create a solid launch plan to work from. (To learn more, read this article about when to start your book marketing.)
- Decide which magazines, media, bloggers or publications you’ll target and do that early! Get your list ready and begin your research.
- Want endorsements? While they aren’t mandatory, if you’re interested in seeking blurbs from others in the industry, start on this early. Of all of the things I do when it comes to a campaign, this is often the trickiest because people get busy, or misplace the books I sent them. It’s a long process. Accept that, and you’ll be fine.
- Interested in doing speaking? Pitch yourself as early as you can and mention you have a book coming out. It’s often more effective to pitch a speaker with a book because it’s an easy way to prove you have content people need.
- Finish up your cover design. Ensure it aligns with what’s topping the charts for the genre(s) you want to compete it – if the look is way off (even if you love it) – I suggest working with a designer to come up with something commercially sound. Covers sell.
- Don’t have any social media set up? Now is the time! And start peppering them with teasers, special announcements, and help them get to know you.
3-4 Months Out from Your Book Launch
- Make sure your website is ready to go and you’re creating blog content in advance.
- Pitching national magazines begins now, so do some smart research on which angles to use based on what’s happening in your industry, in our country as a whole, if you can align yourself with current events people care about you’re more likely to get picked up.
- Order your bookmarks, business cards, or any other collateral book marketing pieces you plan to use.
- Now might be a good time to refresh any branding on your social media sites, including header graphics, pinned posts, your about section, etc.
- If you want to do author events in bookstores, now would be a good time to start pitching them. If they’re local, walk in and introduce yourself.
- What about local groups and associations that tie into your topic or are popular with your reader market? Pitch them in this window as well.
2 Months Out from Your Book Launch
- Your website is live and active!
- National broadcast media is being pitched.
- Newspapers around the country are being pitched.
- Indie bookstores are being pitched.
- Library pitching happens now too so walk in and introduce yourself and get involved in events, spending time around people who work with books can be key.
- Distribution should be confirmed by now or started ASAP.
- If you have an email list, now is a good time to warm it up.
- If you don’t have one, create a basic landing page with a great giveaway offer or freebie to start collecting emails. A sample of the first few chapters, or a free worksheet, is perfect!
- Set up a giveaway on Goodreads for print copies.
- Claim your Bookbub profile and start making recommendations.
If your book is up for pre-order on Amazon, make sure you fine-tune your Amazon Author Central options.
1 Month Out from Your Book Launch
- Local media pitching begins.
- Planning a contest or special giveaway? If you are, it’s good to get this out there early.
- If you’re doing a cover reveal, this is a great time to share it with your networks.
- Blogger pitching starts now.
- How about that newsletter? Maybe it’s time for another update to check in with people who have signed up.
- Consider scheduling a Facebook Live event on launch day.
- Do your Amazon keyword and category research and get those included with your book.
- Here are 13 solid pre-order strategies for selling more books.
Ideas For Book Launch Week
- Social, social, social, focus on engagement, teasers, giveaways.
- Try out a BOGO offer, and a few other ways to keep engagement up.
- Post comments on any positive reviews that start coming in, let readers know you appreciate their feedback.
- Get active in your Goodreads groups to gain some name recognition within your target markets.
- Run some Bookbub ads that let you target popular authors in your genre.
- Check in with any media or bloggers you sent books to, stay on their radar.
- Schedule a discount eBook promotion to happen in a couple weeks to rev up hits to your Amazon.
- Start filling out the next couple months of our free book marketing planner so you feel confident you’re not leaving any opportunities on the table!
The ideas for your book launch week and that first month really are extensive.
We have so many great blog posts with free ideas, resources and tips for how to maximize on your DIY book promotion.
And of course I’m always happy to do coaching with you if you want to brainstorm some really unique and fantastic pre-book launch strategies or book marketing approaches that really dial in to your unique needs as a fiction author or business building goals as a non-fiction author.
And if you have a word of warning for new authors, please post in the comments the ONE thing you wish you would have been different with your last book launch, it’s amazing what we can learn from each other!