Congratulations, it’s a book! You accomplished something rare and impressive just by completing your masterpiece, not to mention surviving blood-boiling revisions and the agony of the publishing process. Now, the book launch date has been set and—surprise!—you have more work to do!
Orchestrating a book launch sounds daunting, but people need your book. Take a long slow breath and relax into the creative process of promoting your release. While there is no one-size-fits-all promotion plan, there are certain essential tasks that both traditionally published authors and independent authors should do to ensure a fulfilling book launch.
How to Prepare for Your Book Launch in 7 Steps
Following, are a few basics to get you started.
Book Launch Step #1: Ready Your Website
Your author website is the online version of your professional office or storefront. It could also be your catalog, your bulletin board, or your yearbook. It should not be a cobweb-covered single page you set up years ago and haven’t touched since.
Unless you’re an avid blogger, the author website won’t be how readers discover you. Instead, it’s where they will come to learn more about you. Your web address should be the simplest form of your author name as possible and should be the link you share more than any other.
Before you create (or update) your author website, look at the websites of a few of the top authors in your genre. Decide what you like about them. Notice some of the elements the websites have in common. Choose a theme (the layout and look of a website) that reflects your brand.
Book Launch Step #2: Ready Your Social Media
While the social media landscape changes as quickly as highly-caffeinated developers can write code, the purpose and best practices of an author using social media for book promotion remain the same.
It might take setting up an account on each major social media site and experimenting to find out what works best for you and where your readers will connect with you. The important thing is that you maintain a consistent, professional presence and, of course, that you choose a platform you enjoy.
Book Launch Step #3: Build Your Media Connections
Many radio and television programs feature authors, as do newspapers and magazines. Often local media outlets are more accessible to new authors.
Build your dream team by creating a signup form and promoting it online. The promise of an early review copy of your book might be all it takes to get book lovers and bloggers to join your team.
If you like the sound of your own voice, consider starting a podcast and interviewing others in the field related to your book.
Book Launch Step #4: Perfect Your Product’s Appearance
If you’re traditionally published, your publisher should ensure your book has been professionally edited and formatted and has an eye-catching, genre-appropriate cover. If you’re independent, it’s up to you.
If you’re signed to a traditional publisher, they might write compelling copy for your book. They might not. If you are an indie author, you will have to write it yourself. Either way, take the time to perfect your book description.
Also, consider writing a reader’s guide or book club questions to include in the back of your book.
Book Launch Step #5: Create Your Media Kit
A media kit (also called a press kit) can be as simple as a document file containing your author bio, professional photo, book release information, book cover image, book description, sample Q&A, book excerpt, and endorsements.
You might not have all of the information available yet, but go ahead and start the document so you can add to it as you go.
Book Launch Step #6: Find Potential Reviewers
Book reviewers can be found in groups on social media, on Amazon by looking at the reviews of comparable titles, and on book sites such as Goodreads. You can search online for book bloggers in your genre who accept review submissions. Create a signup form for new reviewers. Promote it on your social media and send it to your email list.
Book Launch Step #7: Find Potential Endorsers
Books endorsed by popular authors in the same genre or influencers in a related field tend to sell better than those without endorsements. Who might you ask for an endorsement? If you don’t know the potential endorsers personally, email them individually.
Need More Help With Your Book Launch?
Resources such as The Writer’s Book Launch Journal can guide you through the marketing and promotional tasks every author should do to ensure a successful book launch.
Filled with checklists of essential tasks, an abundance of publicity suggestions, and questions to personalize your promotions, The Writer’s Book Launch Journal will lead you on the journey to a fun and fulfilling book launch.