How to have a successful book launch

Jurgen Appelo checklistIndie authors have so many things to do when launching a book. For a successful book launch, and to help you keep on track (and from going crazy), use these checklists.

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.

Book Prep

  • 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:

–  Write Better Headlines
–  Advanced Marketing Institute Headline Analyzer

  • 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  from “Where Writers Win.” 

  • 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.

Social Media

  • 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.


About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

Adventurer and Author, I was born in Hartford Connecticut and now live in Sarasota, Florida.