Chapter 3: Production
Get Your Fans Involved in the Process.
Engage your fans and set the groundwork for launch.
It’s time to make creative decisions like what to edit, which cover to use, and what the title of your book should be. Document that process and get your fans involved in key decisions, it will pay off on launch day.
1. Facebook Live Video
2. Poll Your Fans
Polls are an incredible way to better understand who your audience is and what they actually want. Try coming up with three or four different title options and see which performs the best in the communities that you are a part of. Doing so will lead to more informed decisions while simultaneously giving your potential readers some sense of ownership.
3. Split Test Your Creative
In a similar vein to polling, it’s a good idea to use advertising tools like Facebook as a way of testing titles and cover artwork in a much more public setting. Run an ad split-testing multiple title choices, the one with the most engagement wins. Doing this will give you a better idea of what the entire market is looking for.
4. Create Q&A Videos
Q&A is a fantastic format that people tend to gravitate towards because it provides specific context. Using Facebook Live, or even just regular video, try taking the time to collect a few questions about your topic or your book from your community and give thoughtful answers to them.
5. Create a Q&A Podcast
The beauty of video is that once you are finished with it you will also have perfectly good audio to work with. If you’ve done the Q&A video I would suggest that you pull the audio from those files and turn it into a podcast for some additional reach.
6. Create a Book Trailer
If you have the time and the dollars to spend, creating a book trailer can be a fantastic way to promote additional excitement for your book launch. The best book trailers focus on the main problem that the book intends to solve while not giving away too much information.
7. Create an Explainer Video
If you don’t have the dollars to get a professional book trailer done or if you just want to create more videos, consider getting in front of the camera and simply explaining what the book is about, what problem it solves, and who it’s for. It may not be fancy, but clearly explaining your book is never a bad thing.
8. Work With Your Book Launch Team
As you move into the pre-launch stage of your journey you will need to start recruiting people to be on your book launch team. These are the people who will be your biggest advocates. They’ll write your early reviews, they’ll introduce your book to their friends and audiences, and they’ll help you get the initial rankings that you’ll need to build a sustained machine. Reach out to the community you’ve built thus far in order to recruit.
9. Send Out Review Copies
Don’t wait until two weeks before the launch to send review copies to people who have the power to drive massive awareness. Your goal should be to send them review copies with more than enough time for them to go through it and formulate an actual opinion. Once your final draft is done look into sending them out immediately to get that process started.
10. Get Early Amazon Reviews
This is the same concept as above, send members of your book launch team early copies so that they can have honest reviews prepared for launch day.
11. Create a Media Kit
As you move into the pre-launch stage you are going to be doing quite a bit of “pitching”. Take the time in this stage to create a media kit that will save you time and energy in the long run while helping you to look a bit more polished when compared to other self-published authors.
12. Use HARO to Get Media Mentions
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) can be a fantastic tool for getting media mentions and getting featured on various websites. By signing up you’ll receive an email whenever a reporter is looking for something you may be able to weigh in on so it’s a fairly “passive” source of gaining additional exposure before the real push starts.
“Quick Win” Action Items:
- ✔ Get your fans engaged in the production of your book
- ✔ Interview the leaders in your field
- ✔ Start getting review commitments
- ✔ Set the groundwork for PR and media
During this stage, you should be focused on going deeper with the audience you’ve built. Use the production period of your book to start creating a demand for your launch within the community that has already shown interest in following you by sharing the process, getting them engaged with making decisions, and giving them context as to how your book solves their specific problem.