You've written a book- HURRAY! Now what? Chances are you've written it so that other people can read it, right? With that being said, the next step is publication. But before you've even launched your book there are things you could be doing to help ensure that you have a successful debut.
Why You Should Start Early
We've all heard the expression the early bird gets the worm. In the case of book launches, nothing could be more true. Setting the stage for your launch is not only smart, it's vital for it to be a success. The more buzz you can generate before the big day the more likely you'll sell more books. Simple as that. While you can build this excitement up 3 months in advance, it's even better if you start 12 months before instead. Think about your plan carefully and give yourself plenty of time and you'll be flabbergasted by the results.
Here are 5 things you should be doing on social media before your book launch.
1. Focus on quality not quantity
One of the biggest myths when it comes to publishing is that you need tons of followers on social media in order to sell books. I'm here to tell you today that it's not true. You don't need to be Insta-famous or have gone viral in order to succeed. Instead it's about loyalty, not numbers. If you have 100 loyal followers who truly love and support your work, it's far better than 10,000 followers who don't know you and don't care what you're doing. Those 10,000 won't buy your book when it comes out, but those 100 will. For max effectiveness, you need about 1,000 loyal supporters to make the most of your launch. These people will help to spread the word which is instrumental to a successful experience. Moral of the story: Always aim for smaller numbers but more personal connections.
2. Plan your media strategy ahead of time
Preparation. Preparation. Preparation. I can't stress enough how important this is. You can't dive into a launch and not think about how you'll get the word out and how you'll promote without a media plan. Well, you can, but you won't see the results you want. You'll wind up with an inconsistent spread of information spearheaded by mismatched posts and sloppy media announcements. Worse yet, you'll probably overlook key media outlets such as local newspapers and writing blogs.
Consider these while building your media plan:
Define your ideal audience
Find your marketing message
Craft your news hooks
Professional author pictures
Professional book cover
Consistent color scheme/fonts
Build your media package
Scripts for all videos/possible interviews
Your website/email list
*Note: Before you ever start contacting media outlets such as local magazines, newspapers, blogs, news channels, Influencers, reviewers, bookstores, etc. Make sure you have a solid media package ready to be handed over upon request.
3. Set a budget
The most important thing to plan prior to your launch is your budget. Launches do require some money (for promotional freebies, author headshots, copies of media packages, book cover design, etc) but it can quickly add up if you don't account for where exactly your money is going during. When making your expense spreadsheet consider these:
Promotional Freebies (merchandise like t-shirts, bookmarks, notebooks, etc)
Book cover design work
Copies of media packages (printing)
Any professional help (meaning PR, marketing, agents, etc)
Free hard copies of your book (you can use Ebooks for reviewers and publications that accept them)
4. Ask for recommendations beforehand
Remember all those beta readers who read your work in the earlier stages? Now it's time to reach out and ask them for help once again. Ask other authors you know and trust to read your book and give you an endorsement. The great part about the writing community is that everyone is supportive and happy to help. You should have no trouble getting people on board to help you. Once you have these recommendations use them wisely on your social media and in your media package.
5. Organize your launch week
You know me, I'm all about organization. It's my belief that the more organized you are, the more smoothly things will flow the day of and I haven't been proven wrong yet! Make sure you utilize all the tools at your disposal to help you plan your launch week. Things will be so exciting and hectic during this week that you don't want to leave anything to chance...or memory. Consider batching your social media posts with services like Planoly and Later. Write down your full weekly strategy in your Google calendar (or in my case, a physical agenda). Use colored pens and highlighters to ensure that you don't miss any important announcements or follow-ups. The more you know your plan, the better things will go overall.
Launching a book? Don't sweat it! With these 5 tips you'll be in excellent shape for your book's debut. From organization, to setting a budget, to planning your strategy, we've got you covered. Remember, with good management, you don't need good luck.
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