Chapter 4: Pre-Launch
Get Yourself Ready for a Kick-Ass Launch.
Organize your launch strategy and team.
In order to have a winning launch you first have to take the time to make a plan, get organized, and create systems. The book marketing ideas in this section will help.
1. Create Promotion Checklists
The easiest way to get someone to share your book with others is to make it as simple as possible for them to do so. This is where promotion checklists come into play. By creating a simple checklist for everyone on your launch team or in your support group to follow you will drastically increase the chances of them actually going through with their role in your launch.
2. Choose a “Review Period” for Your Launch
Amazon’s ranking algorithm is very similar to the ranking algorithm on other marketplace websites. This means that your book ranking during your launch will be determined in part by the amount of positive reviews you receive in a certain period of time. Your job is to identify a time period and organize your launch team or initial reviewers so that their reviews are published within that period. Doing so will maximize the initial exposure your book gets which will ultimately lead to more sales.
3. Identify Your Ideal Promotional Channels
Not every channel is going to be valuable to you. Your book marketing efforts may perform better on YouTube instead of Instagram. Take the time to figure out which platforms do work best for getting the word out and start to cut back on the others. By doing this you’ll have a much leaner system to work with for the actual book launch.
4. Secure Media Features
Since you sent review copies out to your media contacts early you should now have an idea of who will be willing to write a review and who won’t. Make sure to collect this information and decide on a date for the reviews to be published.
5. Add a Countdown Timer to Website
Now that you are approaching the actual launch date it’s a good idea to add a countdown timer to your existing landing page. This timer will add an additional sense of excitement for those who find the page and for those in your community who perhaps haven’t already signed up to be notified.
6. Run a “Giveaway” Contest
Contests and free stuff are always a good way to get people to spread the word about your book. Using a tool like vyper.io you should consider running a book giveaway contest in exchange for their social shares. Essentially, when someone enters the contest they will get additional entries if they share it on their social media platforms. An extra step you can take here is to partner with other authors in your space and create a “book bundle” that can be given as the prize. This will drive additional shares from the influencers and authors themselves.
7. Use Facebook Ads to Promote Landing Page
Starting to spend some money on promotion is a good idea when you are this close to the launch of the book. Facebook Ads are an ideal advertising solution because of how deep you can go as it relates to targeting. For example, using the email list you’ve already built you can create a “lookalike” audience and run ads for your book launch to them. This tactic will increase the engagement and conversions you get from the ads because the recipients will be people that are similar to your existing community.
8. Organize Book Signing Tour
There’s nothing like a good old fashioned book tour to engage your audience and meet new faces. Take the time to call local bookstores, libraries, and schools and ask if they can host you for the event. This tactic is much easier if you already have a decent sized audience built but is certainly doable regardless.
9. Pick Your Launch Date
This may not seem like an overly important piece of the puzzle but choosing your date for launch is definitely worth the attention. Ensuring that the date coincides with a time period that allows your potential readers to be active online (so family holidays may not be the best choice) will do wonders for potential conversations and hype around your book.
10. Organize Thunder Clap
Thunder Clap is a tool that allows you to coordinate a social post on multiple platforms with multiple people. Using it on your launch day could be a good way to ensure the message is broadcast to as many people as possible. Get your launch team to agree to the Thunder Clap and on launch day each of their accounts will broadcast the exact same message.
11. Submit Your Book to Promotion Sites
Book promotion sites are a great way to get your book in front of audiences who aren’t already searching for it or who regularly look for book curators to find their next read.
12. Collect Early Reviews for Landing Page
Social proof is one of the biggest drivers of sales online. By reaching out to your launch team and your community to get a few early reviews that can be published to the landing page you are setting yourself up to drive even more excitement around the launch.
13. Build Your Website
On launch day it will be a good idea to have a full website complete with a free sample chapter, information about you, and a contact page. Take the time during this stage to get that site created.
14. Organize Email Blasts
There are quite a few digital “book clubs” and newsletters online that could potentially get your book in front of thousands of readers. Take the time to email each of these and figure out what it will take to get them to support your launch. Landing a single one would be worth the effort.
15. Organize Speaking Tour
Writing a book has always been seen as a way to launch a speaking career, but speaking should also be viewed as an excellent way to promote a book. Start reaching out to small groups and communities that would have you speak and share the core topics and ideas behind your book on stage.
16. Give Your Book Away
This is a less obvious approach but sharing your book for free, or part of your book for free, on file-sharing sites has the potential to drive a massive amount of awareness around your brand. While it may not make sense from a short-term sales point of view it could lead to incredible long-term benefits as more and more people become aware of who you are and what you have written about.
“Quick Win” Action Items:
- ✔ Build buzz around your upcoming launch
- ✔ Get your launch team excited to promote
- ✔ Create assets to make promotion easy
- ✔ Double check to make sure everything is ready for launch day