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7 Essentials for Your Book Launch

7 essentials for your book launch PinterestCongratulations, 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?

Writers Book Launch JournalResources 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.

Wordplayers, tell me your opinion! What is the greatest challenge you see yourself facing with your next book launch? Tell me in the comments!

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About Keely Brooke Keith | @keely_keith

Keely Brooke Keith is the author of The Land Uncharted (Edenbrooke Press) and Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media). Her novels are known for blending genres in unconventional ways. Keely also creates resources for writers, including The Writer’s Book Launch Guide and The Writer’s Purpose Journal. When she isn’t writing, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Keely, her husband, and their daughter live on a hilltop south of Nashville, Tennessee.

Comments

  1. Thank you for this! I’m hoping to publish one or two of my books this year (I wrote them last year). This is VERY helpful!

  2. A very helpful article from a very helpful book.

  3. This is great information. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Excellent tips–I especially like that your site is where people go to find out more about you (ie: no longer is it critical for novel writers to blog multiple times per week, as it was 5 years ago), and I like the advice to plug into various social media sites and see what works best for you. Helpful post!

  5. Such helpful tips! I’ve been putting off the media kit for a long time, and this was a good reminder to make sure I get it done. Thanks for the information!

  6. Ms. Albina says:

    Thank you for the article. I am hoping to publish a novella this year.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Keely!

  8. Great stuff, Keely!

  9. Thank you for a great article!! I will share it with my writers group next month.

  10. Heather S. says:

    My biggest trouble will be social media platform/marketing. Although I’m nowhere near done with my book I have spent time trying to ready myself for when the time does comes. This post is very helpful in figuring out what I need and when.

    Thank you. You’ve helped me so much in my journey to becoming a writer who writes and hopefully one day published. I would not be where I am now without your books and timely advice.

  11. I don’t yet have a book ready to be published, but this is fantastic for future reference!

  12. This is great information and very helpful!

  13. If you wait until after you publish to set up your website and online presence, then you’re hurting yourself. Your writing self ought to have an interface with the online public at least a few months before launching your first book.

    Furthermore, possessing a strong and popular online presence can make you more noticeable to publishers to begin with. Keep in mind, however, that becoming an internet celebrity takes so much work that you may not have time for writing, so maybe you don’t want to have THAT MUCH of an online presence. A moderate showing in the digital realm should suffice.

  14. Thanks for the great article. Writing sure seems to be 10% writing / 90% networking & marketing doesn’t it? 🙂

  15. You and your fellow authors are invaluable to a person who wants the best book possible.

  16. Thanks for this valuable information. It’s nice to know that in doing some things right and still have goals to add to improve.
    I’ll look into the writers book launch journal to get even more ideas 🙂
    It’ll also be valuable for new to learn what to do after a launch.
    Regards,

  17. Awesome article, Keely! I am definitely bookmarking this for future reference. I neglected a couple of important things in my first book launch, so I’m happy to find any helpful resources on the subject.

  18. Kate Johnston says:

    Not quite ready to publish, but I like to tinker with all of these things as I go along: updating sites and double-checking links, and freshening content where appropriate. Plus, it’s fun to do *this* kind of housekeeping. A good break from writing but still pertinent to the overall quest! I like how you laid out the tips here. Thank you for the helpful advice!

  19. Kate Johnston says:

    Oh I thought you should know one of the links in your article isn’t working. It’s the one directing your readers to “websites of a few of the top authors of your genre.” 🙂

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says:

      Hmm, that’s weird. It works for me now. Maybe their site was temporarily down. Anyone else having trouble with it?

  20. I’m launching my debut speculative fiction novel online this weekend! Holding the event online is a little challenging (I’m using a dedicated wordpress site – https://resistancedividedelementsbooklaunch.wordpress.com/), so my publisher and I have worked hard to develop some great events to interest and engage readers – including a cocktail hour (using a free ‘cocktail companion guide’ to my book) and a behind the scenes look at the design and development of the books cover art. Now to get the word out and attract some attendees!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Marketing ourselves and our books is never-ending. Judith Briles looks at creating a sell sheet to help people get to know you and your work, while Keely Brooke Keith lists 7 essentials for your book launch. […]

  2. […] This post is a useful summary of what to do when you are getting ready for a book launch. […]

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