Congratulations! If you're reading this, you're probably at the point in your author career where you're ready to launch your book into the universe (or second, third, etc. as the case may be). That's a momentous occasion so feel proud of yourself for getting this far! Chances are you've looked into how to host a proper book launch before, but no matter how many times you publish, one thing remains the same: You want to give your book the best possible introduction to readers that you possibly can.
How do you build publicity for your book launch?
This is the question we'll be answering today in this post. Getting the attention of would-be readers and spreading the word about your launch will determine how successful your launch will be. A book launch has three main purposes: 1) To sell your book, 2) To raise awareness for your brand, and 3) To entice readers to join your mailing list.
It's important to think about your launch with these three intentions in mind. It will dictate how you go about your launch and influences the decisions you'll make along the way. Ideally, you should plan your book launch in advance.
How early should I plan my book launch?
It's never too early to begin planning. In theory you can begin as early as you want, but realistically giving yourself two to three weeks before your intended launch will work. This way you have time to identify your strategy, reach out to the appropriate people, and time to craft your social media schedule and marketing materials.
10 ways to generate buzz:
Enable New Release Alerts: Look for alert options on retailer and promotional sites. Some places like BookBub, and FictionDB have built-in alert systems for authors, meaning that followers will automatically be alerted to your new releases. You'll want to double-check each of your author pages on various sites and find out in advance whether or not this automatic feature is built-in or not. Places like Amazon technically have an alert system, but it requires enabling by the reader. Goodreads does not have an alert system. It really depends on the website. Knowing who does and who doesn't helps you as the author know how much manual promoting you need to do to get the word out on each individual website.
Run Ad Campaigns: Ad campaigns are a smart, but more expensive way to spread the word about your launch. The temptation to shy away from Ads during your first book launch may be overwhelming, especially if you've never done one before or are worried about keeping to your budget. Here's the thing: You can set how much Ad revenue you use. Meaning that you're not going to overspend if you first designate your Ad budget and then use the built-in parameters to keep you on track. Trust us, it sounds more complicated than the reality. Most social media sites have advertising options available (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), and most people have heard of Amazon Ads. You could easily overlook this step, but you shouldn't and here's why: Ads reach millions of potential buyers. Even one Ad can bring higher numbers to your overall sales. This means that you're losing out on sales opportunities should you skip it. It's worth at least considering it in the beginning of planning your launch strategy.
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Brand Homepage For New Releases: One thing that often gets overlooked is using every space available to raise awareness for your book. Your author website's homepage, your social media banners and bios, your author newsletter, emails to your mailing list, any video or visuals you use, blog and social media posts, the list goes on. You can get pretty creative with how you want to bring your new release into your brand design. Pulling colors or design elements from your book's cover, images from your character art- the options are endless. Consider using a blurb rather than a synopsis in your banners and include a sign-up option for your mailing list (pop-ups work well). Need some examples to get you started? Check out 9 Stunning Book Landing Pages Tips to Create Your Own by Victoria Taylor.
Provide Links To Your Newest Release: Another small detail that is easy to overlook is placing your links anywhere and everywhere links can be used. Take the list above and copy and repeat. Anywhere you can realistically mention your link, use it. To keep track it helps to make a list of all the possible places beforehand and to check them off as you apply it. Make sure you keep the list though so that you can remember to change everything back once the next thing comes.
The Testaments: A Novel (The Handmaid's Tale)
A New York Times bestselling modern masterpiece that "reminds us of the power of truth in the face of evil” (People)—and can be read on its own or as a sequel to Margaret Atwood’s classic, The Handmaid’s Tale.
“Atwood’s powers are on full display” (Los Angeles Times) inthis deeply compelling Booker Prize-winning novel, now updated with additional content that explores the historical sources, ideas, and material that inspired Atwood.
More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.
Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third: Aunt Lydia. Her complex past and uncertain future unfold in surprising and pivotal ways.
With The Testaments, Margaret Atwood opens up the innermost workings of Gilead, as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.
Click the image to learn more.
Add A Free Ebook Teaser To Retailer Sites: What better way to entice readers to buy then by letting them read a free teaser before they purchase. By giving them a taste and ending the section on a cliffhanger you'll compel readers to buy so that they know what happens next. Begin by uploading the sample as its own Ebook. Make sure it has a separate product page and make it clear in both title and description that it's only a sample. Provide one or two chapters and on the last page provide the link to purchase the actual book.
Upload A PDF Sample To Your Website: Uploading a sampler to your author website is another smart way you can entice readers into buying. Contrary to how it may feel, you don't have to worry about it getting out once you enable your readers to download the PDF. Like the sampler on your retailer sites, you only need to release the first two chapters. It's designed to be spread around and honestly, the more people who see it, the better! Don't forget to include your link to the full copy on the last page again.
Add An Excerpt To Wattpad: If you're unfamiliar with Wattpad, it's a social platform for authors and readers backed by millions of readers. Writers can share their stories for free and fans can rate and leave feedback. Plenty of writers have been discovered here and likewise many Bestselling authors share excerpts of their books and link them to their sales pages. It's a great opportunity to get feedback and reviews without having to push too hard. So rise to the occasion and give it a try! See what Ashleigh Gardner, Head of Content at Wattpad has to say: How To Use Wattpad As An Author With Ashleigh Gardner.
Create Free Swag: We've discussed this before, but free gifts never hurt anybody, including authors looking to entice new readers. The trick here is to be creative. Keep in mind that there are thousands of other writers out there doing the same sorts of giveaways. You've got to come up with a unique twist that makes yours stand out so it attracts the amount of attention that you're looking for. Bookmarks may be a given, but have you thought about pulling an object from your story and using that instead? Mixing higher value items with lesser value ones also keeps things interesting. Make sure that whatever you use makes sense and relates in some way to your story. Check out these ideas from Jane Friedman, one of our favorite writers: How to Use Swag to Support Your Book Marketing.
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Sell Themed Merchandise: Help build up your fan base early by creating some awesome fan merchandise like those mentioned here: Book Merch Ideas For Authors. Use your character art, book catch phrases, quotes, and custom designs to "wow" your readers and entice them into sporting some free advertising for you. Custom t-shirts, coffee mugs, Ereader covers, jewelry, framed art, and bags always go over well. Not only is it fun, but it's also a neat way to spread the word about your book without having to outwardly push for it.
Submit Your Book As An Award Contender: Contrary to popular belief, awards don't give themselves away. If you want to be recognized, you have to submit your work for review. No joke. That's the big secret. If you've self-published and new to the world of literary wonder, you may not be aware that this is an option, let alone how to approach it. Don't worry! Like pretty much everything else in this day and age, a simple Google search for places to submit your book for awards turns up long lists of places and due dates. Think about it. An hour a day working towards submitting your book to a few of these places could lead to a big pay-off down the road. Start here: Places to Submit Your Book for Awards.
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