Have you ever wondered what makes one good book a huge success while another, equally good book falls by the wayside? The simple answer is usually poor marketing, beginning with not having a strong launch. The successful launch of a book can be the catalyst for success or the lack thereof, the recipe for disaster.
Whether you’ve written the next great how-to guide or released your inner poet and turned out an inspiring new book of sonnets, if you don’t launch your book properly, it’s likely not to do as well as it could or as well as you might hope.
The key to a successful launch is in the planning. While it does take a lot of pre-planning to make your launch a success, there is a silver lining. Once you get through the pre-launch work, it can be used throughout the campaign so you don’t have to go back and do it again.
Pre-planning involves a well-developed plan that is thorough and detailed. When done properly, it will result in less stress and ensure a higher success rate. The following tips will be well worth your initial effort and set you up for a successful book launch.
Be Out There
Your marketing strategy should begin months in advance of your launch. So many make the mistake of waiting too long and the results will lead to not only loss of sales, but also loss of momentum in the book launch. That’s why when planning your launch have a countdown calendar and start outlining what needs to be done month by month. It truly works to keep things going in a positive direction.
Develop a Marketing Plan
When you write your material, it helps to be able to get multiple purposes out of it. For example, you can create a pitch that can be personalized for multiple uses by tweaking it for the audience and purpose. Think about your media kit, press releases, pitches, articles, web copy, newsletter, and autoresponder series.
Post on Social Media
Establish a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social communities where you can generate curiosity and share your enthusiasm for your book. And don’t just set them up, decide on a plan of action to keep them active.
Get Book Reviews
Start early by creating not only the pitch to send out to get reviews, but also the database to send to. Also, now is the time to call on those friends and associates who appreciate your work. Contact them to see if they might be interested in helping you out with an honest review. Request that they not only post it on Amazon, their site, etc., but also post it to their social media accounts. The more reviews, the more people will be talking about your book.
Set Up Blog Tours / Contests
Plan now if you want to do a book blog tour and how you plan on doing it. That pre-planning makes all the difference in the success of your launch.
Develop a Distribution Method
Who will you be distributing the above media to? Develop databases to pitch to keep in mind your specific target market including radio, TV, newspapers, and blog sites. Cision is a paid database system that can help tremendously.
Decide where you will be keeping all these databases. Consider online options such as Batchbook.
Nothing is more confusing than inconsistent messages. Pick a basic theme for your marketing campaign and stick with it. Your marketing materials should send your message loud and clear and be consistent. Keep it informative enough to let your audience know what your book is about and enticing enough to make your audience want to learn more.
It can be overwhelming when you plan a book launch, but done right can be one of the greatest accomplishments. Hopefully these tips will ensure smooth sailing and a launch that sets the standard for this book and any further books you might write.
Diana Ennen is the president of Virtual Word Publishing, specializing in PR and marketing, and author of VA the Series: Become a Highly Successful Sought After Virtual Assistant. She was NAIWE’s 2012 marketing expert.