One of the questions I hear again and again is: How do I launch a book? There are tons of great resources on the topic of book launching, so my hope here is to provide resources and a simple book launch framework.
Writers all struggle with different parts of the craft. Some struggle with the start, while others get stuck in the middle, and many find editing to be a challenge. But one shared struggle for most writers I talk with is the actual book launch.
Book launching brings to mind the idea of marketing and promotion and publishing, whether you are working alongside a traditional publisher or you are an indie author. I’m going to share a simple book launch formula here geared more towards indie authors. But if you are working with a traditional publisher, these principles can still work for you! You simply might have other help or confines to work within.
LISTEN TO EPISODE 140 – A SIMPLE BOOK LAUNCH FRAMEWORK
I’m calling this a framework not a formula or a step-by-step guide because I like the loose structure of a framework. I definitely am a do-what-works-for-you person, so within a larger structural framework, you have freedom to try many different strategies. This is meant to help you understand the bigger umbrella of a book launch so that you can shift the smaller, moving pieces in ways that work for you and your book.
A SIMPLE BOOK LAUNCH FRAMEWORK
When I say “simple,” what I mean really is that I’m breaking this down into the simplest overarching things you need for a launch. I’ll be following up in detail with later posts, but for now, the goal is to avoid overwhelm. SIMPLE. Got it? Let’s go.
Three Stages of Your Launch Timeline
1. Pre-launch – writing the book, editing, proofing, formatting, cover design, platform-building
2. Launch – three kinds of promo (more on that next week). Telling your audience, having others tell their audiences, and then paying people to tell people
3. Post-launch – keeping your book afloat, more evergreen strategies on your site, guest posting, AMS ads, continuing to do the launch-type promo paying or emailing, etc
That doesn’t sound so bad…right? Let’s take each piece and break it down a bit more. Again, this is about the framework, so I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on how to do a lot of these things. Before you get to the details, I want you to have the mindset.
Goal: Prepare the product, building your platform
Actions: In this section of your launch, you’ll be preparing your product. You’ll write and polish your book, get the editing and proofing, formatting, and cover. All the things you need to be ready for launch.
You’ll also be building your platform so that you have an audience to launch TO. I would primarily recommend growing your email list or a Facebook group. But if you have engagement on a social platform (people like, comment, click through, share), then definitely utilize that!
Goal: Get the message out about your book, make sales
Actions: This is the most obvious section, but there are many ways to handle the actual launch! I’m trying a slow launch method where I don’t really make a big deal about my book until it’s been out for a few days, then I stagger promotional efforts to keep a steady rise. You might go for a big explosion on one day.
The big thing to note is that there are only three basic kinds of promotion: you telling your audience, getting other people to tell their audience, and paid promotions and advertisements.
Goal: Keep your book from gathering digital dust
Actions: Books typically don’t just sell and keep selling. You have to continue to drive traffic. This can look like continued ads, writing blog posts related to your book and linking in the blog posts (you also have to then promote the blog posts!), setting up other paid promotions, reminding your readers, and other actions that you did in the launch stage.
If you’re using Kindle Select, you get a free promo or Kindle Countdown every 90 days. Now that I have a backlist of books, I try to set up one extra promo a month, in addition to launching a new book. So I’m doing all three of these levels every month. THAT MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU. I write rapidly. Find the balance, but don’t forget to give your books love after they launch. Usually they will not keep selling if you don’t.
I hope that you are finishing this post feeling a sense of peace. Book launching (or just launching!) doesn’t HAVE to be overwhelming. Yes, there are lots of little details within this big framework. But understanding the overarching ideas and the big picture can help you see just how doable this is! You’ve got this.
We’ll keep moving forward in this series, going a little bit deeper each time. Next up: more on promotions!
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