If you have followed me for a while, you know that I regularly talk about the long game of book marketing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I have seen so many authors treat it like a sprint and burn out — quickly. The investment of time, energy, and money can be overwhelming, and it is ongoing, so pacing yourself is critical. Book marketing experts talk about multiple phases of marketing, and most agree that there are three (called by different names, of course): pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.
When: 2–4 months leading up to publication
The pre-launch phase of your book is for setting the foundation for later marketing activities. Here are some tasks you should accomplish during this phase:
Make social media connections (think engagement).
Share content to build excitement for your book’s launch (a sample chapter, your cover, an early endorsement, etc.).
Build your email list.
Share early copies of the book with reviewers.
Recruit launch ambassadors.
The pre-launch phase of your book is for setting the foundation for later marketing activities. - @jodibrandon
When: Days surrounding launch date (up to two weeks)
The actual book launch is like the wedding day after months of planning, decision-making, and focusing on details. You’ve done foundational work in the pre-launch phase so that there’s momentum and excitement on launch day. Here are some ideas for launch-related tasks:
Share reviews on social media/email newsletter.
Talk up the book anywhere and everywhere — and have your launch ambassadors do the same.
Celebrate! (A book launch is more than just a party, but certainly a party, whether in-person or virtual, can certainly be PART of your launch strategy. And it should be. You worked your tail off and deserve a celebration.)
Talk up the book anywhere and everywhere — and have your launch ambassadors do the same. - @jodibrandon
When: 1–2 weeks+ after launch date
The idea now is to keep your book top of mind. Your book is out in the world now and surely you won’t put the same time, money, and energy into marketing as you did during the actual launch phase, but if you forget about marketing your book, you can bet people won’t buy it. (They won’t know it’s there or how it can help them.)
Most authors create a long-term strategy that involves daily or weekly outreach activities alongside a “bigger” activity monthly or quarterly (like a blog tour, for example). Sometimes those smaller, more frequent activities are task-based and sometimes it’s time-based. For example, I work with a client who’s spending 15 minutes per weekday on social media engagement as well as sending five podcast and five guest expert pitches monthly. That schedule and strategy may or may not work for you and your book.
Trial and error comes into play with all launch phases, but particularly post-launch. Every author-entrepreneur and every book are unique and require a custom marketing plan.
Book marketing requires an ongoing, long-term investment of time, effort, and, yes, money. Not all ideas are costly, of course, and book marketing on a shoestring budget is possible (though that’s a post for another day). Each phase is important in building your launch and marketing strategy.
Book marketing requires an ongoing, long-term investment of time, effort, and, yes, money." - @jodibrandon
Questions? Let me know in the comments!