First develop your media-kit. Include a book synopsis, author’s bio, press releases, interview questions, photos sized and formatted for online and print, cover letters for reviewers, etc. You can do these on your own, but I purchased templates from Joan Stewart that simplified the process. As a bonus, using these templates helped me focus and clarify who I am as an author.
The following lists are grouped by topic, not sequence. Complete the activities before launching the book. I recommend creating the Webpage and social media early to help create a buzz about the book and develop a customer data base.
- Decide who your customers are, and then write a good book.
- Build marketing into the book with key words in subtitles, chapter headings, and book description.
- Write an exciting first chapter, one that will hook the reader. Many online book sellers, offer a “look inside the book.” Make sure that what the potential reader sees grabs his or her attention.
- Use a professional editor.
- Create a powerful title, one with emotional appeal or that tells the reader (and SEO search engines) what the book is about. Two tools to help you develop captivating titles are:
- Create a professional-looking book cover. Make sure the book cover title and byline are legible on the book icon. (For more on information on creating appealing book covers, see Creating a book cover that screams “Pick me up.”)
- Select the best category for your book. Remember that your book ranking on Amazon and other online book sellers depends on the category. Choose wisely. (See Selecting Browse Categories.)
- Keywords help readers find your book, so select them carefully.
- Price you book in line with other books in the genre.
- Upload your book to various on-line booksellers. (Top 10 online book stores). This may require creating books in different formats and having different ISBNs and front matter.
- Build a Website for you as author. At minimum, include information about you and your books, your media kit, contact information, and an email signup form. I use WordPress software and MailChimp.
- Build websites for each of your books, and/or create a landing page for each book. I found booklaunch to be a great landing and promotional page.
- Create a book trailer. They help you sell books. (See Book Promotion—Book Trailers.)
“They can infuse a website with excitement and action, be shared on YouTube and other social media, etc.” says
- If you already have a Website, be sure to integrate your books’ websites to it. With the launch of my second book, I changed my Websites’ theme and created coordinating headers to give a unified look and feel. To keep SEO happy, I linked each Website to the others, removing repeated information. Take time to rethink each page and give each a unified appearance.
- Create an Authors Page on Facebook and a fan page for each of your books. See To engage readers, use a Facebook Profile—Not a Page
- Create a page on Google+. See Creating a Google Plus Page For Your Brand Or Product
- Use Pinterest. (See Why Pinterest is important to indie authors.) Create a Pinterest board for your book or book topic. I have 16 boards around the topic of my first book and three for my second book. I consider Pinterest an integral part of my marketing plan.
- Twitter. I don’t recommend having a Twitter account for each book. I started out that way, but soon found it was too time-consuming. Instead, create an account for you as author, and then tweet about each book from it. I use the Twitter Post Template on Canva to create pictorial tweets, which are retweeted more often than tweets without images.
Building Pre-Launch Excitement
- Blog about the upcoming book on your Webpage.
- Create excitement about the book on social media. Get people involved in the book development. Ask them their opinion. Let them vote on a cover picture, a character’s name, or whatever you think will help create a stir about the book.
- Several months before the release, identify authorities in your genre, and then ask them to write a testimonial for the book. How to get testimonials for your self-published book.
- Offer your followers a chance to be beta readers and book reviewers.
- Create a virtual blog book tour. Find blogs that are relevant to the topic of the book, and then write an original piece for that blog. Schedule the post to be within a week to 10-day period around the book’s release date. This will help create publicity and help promote the book. How To Book A Successful Blog Tour.
- Two to three weeks before the launch, send out press releases to the press, bloggers, and podcasters.
- Send emails about the launch date and use social medial to publicize the date.
- Share your excitement with everyone and ask them to share the excitement.
After you’ve launched the book, start scheduling these twenty-six to-do items for your next book.
How did your last launch go? Did it include most of the steps? Did I miss any that you consider crucial? Leave a comment.