Updated: Jun 3
When I made the decision to put my book Innocence Taken on Amazon, I studied a lot of information on book launches. What I found out, changed how I approached my book launch as a new author.
Most book launches, are geared toward authors with an already well-established following. And when I say well-established I mean: 50,000 Twitter followers, a gazillion Facebook followers, and at least 10,000 email subscribers. You need this many followers because only 1% will support you by ordering your book.
You may be wondering why the hell you should even bother with a book launch if you don’t have the followers. One very simple reason: As a new unknown author, you’re going to leverage this book launch to sell your other books. That’s it. That is the purpose of this book launch. The first book you publish is your lead magnet for every other book you write. This is where having a business plan that goes beyond the book launch will come in handy. (A post about that to come later.)
First, before you go any farther in this process, you need to have a website or a blog. This is a step you can’t skip. If you don’t feel comfortable doing a blog, at least create an author website. (You can check out Tim Grahl’s guide to building an author website for instruction on how to accomplish this.)
It is imperative that you have somewhere for readers to get more information about your books, get free downloads, short stories, or an eBook that will help get them to sign up for your email list.
This is the first part of the launch. Your goal is to build interest and excitement in your book release. You should be doing this a several months before your book release. You’re going to start off slow and ramp up as you get closer to your release date.
Start a Facebook group. Get all your family and friends, friends of friends, co-workers, church members, anyone and everyone to join. However, you need to be specific about what you need from your group members.
Explain to them, that you need them to buy your book on the day of release (or pre-order if you choose to do that) and review your book on Amazon. This is imperative. You will
Put up sample chapters in the group as well as on your website. (If you don’t have a website, stop now and get one.)
Put teasers on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. Use Canva to make graphics. You want to build the hype.
Create an author account on Goodreads. Put up a few chapters on Goodreads. Answer questions on Goodreads. Get involved in groups that will help give you exposure.
Engage your Facebook group. Set up a question and answer session. Your goal is to get them involved in your success. Get them interested in your book and make them a huge part of the launch.
Cover reveal. You can release your cover slowly, maybe as puzzle pieces, or you can reveal it to your Facebook group and get feedback on it. Maybe you put up three different version and let the group vote on the best one. Again, you are building up excitement and interest in your book.
During this time, you are going to tap into the followers that you do have. If anyone in your circle is an industry leader in writing, you’re going to ask if they might consider reading your book and reviewing it.
Do not ask the famous cat lady that follows you. You want a well-known writer or blogger who reviews books. Or if they can’t review your book, maybe they can read it and offer a blurb about it that you can use. (Hopefully, all this time on Facebook and Twitter you have built relationships with your followers, whom you can now ask for help.) If you don't have a follower you can ask, search out industry leaders that you respect. Most have information on their websites on how to reach them.
There is a fine line you will need to straddle. You're building up hype for your book, but you can’t make it all about your book. Keep engaging your followers and re-tweeting their content as well as tweeting fresh content of your own. Remember on social media it isn’t all about you. Find that happy medium that allows for self-promotion.
This book launch is geared for the long haul. You’re going to need to think past that release date. It will take some time to get traction. Having other books ready to publish will help in gaining that traction. Please don’t get discouraged. Be patient and persistent. Remind yourself that this is a work in progress.
My next post in this book launch series will deal with setting your book up on Amazon, Createspace, whether or not to use Kindle Unlimited and the importance of having the second book done before your first book comes out.
BE FEARLESS AND GO WRITE.
I write crime fiction horror, thriller, and paranormal novels. My time in the Coast Guard and my degree in Forensic Chemistry helps me create fantastic stories.
If I'm not writing, I am binge watching Netflix and probably drinking whiskey.