Off the Shelf: Book Launch Blueprint

This month I’m reviewing Book Launch Blueprint: The Step-by-Step Guide to a Bestselling Launch by Tim Grahl. Grab a copy if you haven’t already checked out this book. Wonderful read!

1. Do you agree with the author's premise that "the one component that separates the successful launches from all the others is this: In a successful launch, the author believes that buying their book is actually a good thing for people to do"?

Successful launches have lots of components, but I DO agree that an author’s belief in his or her book can make a difference. It’s often easy to spot inauthenticity. It’s important for an author to believe that the book will serve its readers, whether that purpose be education or entertainment. If the author genuinely has that belief, selling is easier and comes across as less “icky,” which is ultimately what we all (buyers AND sellers) want.

It's important for an author to believe that the book will serve its readers. (Tweet)

2. How have you created scarcity around a book launch? What have you seen others do that has worked well?

Using bonuses available only during a pre-order date is the most common thing I see. I would love to see some fresh ideas on this front!

3. Do you agree with the author's suggested time line of planning nine months out and actively marketing four weeks out from your release date?

This is a good guideline. Warming up your existing audience that a new release is coming with tidbits (excerpts, testimonials, etc.) works, and then you turn up the volume, so to speak, a few weeks before pub day. The more buzz you can create, the better, but obviously creating too much buzz too early isn’t a good thing, as it can fizzle out — leaving you and your readers exhausted before the book even gets released.

Launching anything, a book included, is an undertaking. (Tweet)

4. How do you make it easy for fans to share your book?

Thank them often. Showing your appreciation will make them want to support you and share your book. Make it as easy for them to do so as you can. Provide them with cover art, images to share on social media, text to accompany those images, pull quotes from the book, and a link to purchase the book, whether on Amazon, your website, or elsewhere.

5. Have you used influencers to expand the reach of your book?

This is not something I took advantage of but I certainly would plan to if I wrote another book! It makes perfect sense to take advantage of every opportunity you have.

I loved the author’s definitions of fan vs. influencer, where fans are people who will buy your book and influencers are people who will get other people — their crowd of followers — to buy your book.

Fans will buy your book; Influencers will get other people to buy your book. (Tweet)

6. What changed for you after you added the words "author of" to your bio?

Increased visibility! Response to the book has been great, and it’s gotten my name and expertise out there in the world of nonfiction book writing and publishing. I have always encouraged my writing and editing clients to put that phrase (“author of”) everywhere you possibly can, and I took my own advice.

I've always encouraged my writing and editing clients to put the phrase "author of" everywhere you can. (Tweet)

7. How do you define a "successful" book launch? Like the author says, "you can always find an author who has sold more books than you."

Success for me is not defined by a specific number of book sales. Don’t get me wrong: I had sales goals for launch day, launch month, and even this first year. But my goals for the book were more than just sales. My nonfiction book is an authority-builder and visibility-getter, and it has achieved both of those goals. I’ve been asked to guest blog for people, been invited on podcasts, and more. Another goal for me with my book is to use the book as a product with a low price point of entry to earn the know, like, trust factor that will allow them to return for other, higher-priced products/courses and services.