Launching a book is serious business. If you’ve ever launched a course or product, you know this. A book is no different. I asked some of my friends in the creative entrepreneur and writing communities what they wish they’d known before launching their first book. Here’s what they had to say:
Build a tribe of people both on your list but also ask for launch ambassadors to spread the word. Email your people who will hopefully buy but also get in front of their people. Get in front of other people.
~ Jess Freeman
Author of SEO 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to how I Worked to Get on the First Page of Google with Squarespace and Wordpress
Pad your timeline. PAD. YOUR. TIMELINE. Sometimes proof books get lost in the mail, sometimes Amazon's servers lose your manuscript once you upload it. It's crucial to leave extra wiggle room in your launch time line so that you don't tell the world about your book only to discover that the proof isn't approved and the Kindle version isn't ready to launch.
~ Dannie Fountain
Author of The Side Hustle Gal, The Bucketlist Babe, and One Honest Woman (coming soon!)
Be careful or hesitant about hiring people who say they will do everything for you (editing, designing, etc.) It usually takes a team of people, not just one person, to make a great book. When hiring, learn exactly what you are paying for and the expectations of what you are paying for. Also, be clear about the different kind of edits.
~ Jessica Vaughn
Author of Know Your Worth and A Worthy Wife
Focus on the long-term goal. When you’re launching something it’s easy to get too focused on the immediate/short-term goal. And as the launch day approaches it easy to start feeling extra pressure around this goal, but instead focus on the long-term vision. Focus on how this launch is supporting the work you have already created and how it’s building on that work. Focus on how this launch is getting you closer to your long-term goal and the vision you desire for your brand.
Author of EntrepreFriendships
To round out the awesome advice provided here, here are my top two launch tips:
Get organized. Your launch plan should begin WELL before publication day. As with any launch, there will be dozens of details to attend to, so organization will be key. Launch isn’t the time to learn a new system, in my opinion, so use whatever you’re comfortable with (handwritten checklists, Excel spreadsheets, Trello or Asana, etc.).
Remember that book marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Of course you want your book to sell well right out of the gate, but remember that the book is out there forever, so you’ll have plenty of time to try things (ads, giveaways, blog tours, etc.). An editing colleague gave me this advice as a rule of thumb, and I’ve followed, is to make one big marketing push each month or each quarter but to do one small marketing task each and every day, whether that’s emailing someone about a book review or an interview, replying to readers’ questions on your Facebook page — SOMETHING. This will help with visibility but it will also keep you in the habit of talking about/marketing your book.
If you’ve launched a book, do you have anything to add to this list? Something tells me there will be a “Part 2” to this post one day!