Did you miss Part I: Writing? If so, check it out here.
While the manuscript was with the editor, and then with the designer, I kicked marketing into gear. I signed up for Angela Ford’s How to Plan a Book Launch course since this is something I haven’t done before. (I have published two other books, both traditionally and both more than 10 years ago, which meant my publisher handled marketing and promo, not to mention 10 years is a lifetime when it comes to marketing and promo.) From working in the publishing world for about 20 years, I felt pretty confident that I knew the basics, but I didn’t want to forget to do something obvious. (How embarrassing would that be?!)
To put together my plan, I started with the budget. I didn’t mind spending money but I wanted to be strategic about it since I see the book as a long-term source of income. Sure, there will be more sales during the initial launch than will drip in (aside from during future periods of promo), but this is a marathon in my mind, not a sprint. I’ll highlight a couple things I did here.
I started with Facebook ads. My wonderful VA handled the testing of two different Facebook ads so that we could use the better-performing ad during launch. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in the results. Because it’s so hard to know what the issue was (the book? The image in the ad? Who knows?), I’m not going to drive myself batty trying to figure it out.
I also have a book sales page, which will remain active so that visitors to my website can learn about the book. It includes a look at the table of contents, reviews, a link to purchase, and more. The more detailed you can make this page, the better, in my opinion. I also have my photo, my bio, and information about the book.
For “free’ advertising, I did a countdown on social media with a cute countdown graphic coupled with pull quotes from the book text. These were well received and I would do them again.
All the while, I was lining up launch ambassadors, folks who would help me share the news of the launch with their own audiences. In the end, I had 43 people who had at some point offered to share the news of the book when the launch came. To make their “job” easier (always important when someone is doing you a favor!), I created copy and graphics that they could use and asked them to share it on whichever medium(s) they preferred. Some people used my copy, some added to it, and some created their own. I am 100% confident the book would not have launched as strongly without these ladies and their generosity.
Launch day itself was, as you know if you’ve ever launched a course or product before, exhausting and a blur. I had A LOT of support from my launch ambassadors, from my friends, and from the creative community in general. (In fact, it was a bit overwhelming and my husband could not understand why I ended the day in happy tears!) My only snafu, honestly, was an issue with Amazon that caused the paperback to not be available on launch day (even though it was there the day before!), but in the grand scheme of things, so what? The book still launched, most people bought an ebook rather than waiting for a paperback, and now the book is out there in the world. At the end of the day, I’m calling the day a success.
Have you ever launched a book? What’s your best book launch tip? I’m taking notes. You never know, I might write another book someday.