Launching a Book: As an author and publisher, here are my smart strategies.
You’ve been coming to this for a long time. You’ve spent months planning, writing, and editing your book. You’ve sent it to the printer with bated breath in anticipation of publication. And now you’re probably wondering, what’s next? Launching a book can be stressful and daunting. Especially if you haven’t done it before or haven’t seen others do it. There are so many things to think about when launching a new book. And then the question becomes: How do I keep that momentum going? How do I make sure that my audience stays with me for months after the book is released?
The good news is that there are several things you can do to keep the momentum going after the launch. Below I’ve outlined what some of these strategies might be and why they work. You may have other ideas too! There is no one strategy for success – experiment until you find what works best. Here’s what we recommend to keep your book business going even after launch.
Participate in podcasts
Podcasts are evergreen content, so you’ll get exposure not only as a guest, but for as long as that podcast episode exists. Podcasts are a great way to provide added value by offering something (free advertising, strategy session, etc.) to readers in exchange for them listening to your interview, buying a book, or possibly leaving a review.
Promotion in Facebook Groups
Facebook is a great place to find people interested in the topic of your book. Facebook groups tend to have very active members, and they often have a certain demographic, so you can be sure to hit your target audience. You can start interacting with the group without mentioning that it’s you or asking them for reviews, but simply by providing value and commenting on posts in that Facebook group. The key is not just to promote your book in all the groups, but to find niche groups where it can have the most impact. Niche groups are easier to find, and they attract an audience that wants your product.
Don’t forget about platforms like WhatsApp, Reddit, Quora and Linkedin, as many of these communities are niche groups with people from similar industries. They are very underutilized and not many authors know about them, but they are a goldmine for traffic and potential readers.
You can also create your own Facebook group and then grow it to a wider audience, but you have to be prepared for the responsibility of moderating the group and being able to provide value to the people who join your community.
Webinars provide another opportunity to gain attention and interaction with your readers. You’ll have an online platform where you can talk about what’s going on in your daily life, as well as give insight into your book, product or services. Webinars give you another opportunity to interact one-on-one with potential customers, which is very important when launching a product (or future book) because everyone wants individual attention from someone who understands what they need. You can host webinars on specific topics related to your passion, your author journey, or hold occasional live Q&A sessions throughout the year to give your readers more than one opportunity to interact with you.
Another way to build momentum after your book is to team up with another author who has the same target audience. You can also create an online group with other authors and collaborate on joint promotions, such as giveaways or discounts, that will help each author attract a new audience while promoting their individual brand. Creating an alliance with each other can be especially beneficial for authors because they share subscribers across platforms. Consider offering rewards to those who purchase from each author, so that people feel more interested in supporting all participants. Remember that collaboration, not competition, will help you expand your author reach.
Build a book launch team
One of the most effective ways to keep the momentum going after a book launch is to create a launch team. A launch team can be an invaluable resource for authors because it can consist solely of people who have bought and read their books, which means they are already invested in the book and share its message. Such support will also motivate you to go out on social media and share news about your new release with them, asking them to spread the word as much as possible. Alternatively, if you don’t like this idea because it seems like too much work or pressure, consider creating a group chat room (on platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram or Discord) where participants are allowed to post book-related material without expecting others to respond immediately. That way, everyone can participate in the conversation while getting some respite.
Hold a second launch
Think of it as the “grand opening” of your book that takes place while you continue to promote it. It’s a great way to attract new readers who haven’t yet had a chance to review your work. Don’t feel bad if the first attempt to promote your book wasn’t as successful as you had hoped. It’s not uncommon to run another “launch” or marketing campaign with new content or information that was written after your first book release. Authors may plan to relaunch their book during the holidays, when people are looking for fresh and new reading material either for themselves or as gifts for friends and family. Some authors publish a new or updated edition of their work to reach an even broader readership while generating income from it.
An example of a “relaunch” might be a promotional event held in honor of your book. It could be an evening with friends or family, wine and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a reading from the book, a story about the changes in your life since the book came out and how the book has impacted someone’s life. This will give you another moment of fame while inspiring others to write their own book. Everyone loves being a celebrity, and a published author just as much!
Use the book as a business development tool
Yes, you need books for more than just self-actualization. They can also be a great way to make a living or go into other lines of business. Giving away free materials such as workbooks, printables, templates, etc. based on your book will attract readers not only to your book, but also to your products. For example, if you have a book about fitness or weight loss, you can use it to promote your other physical services, such as personal training or nutrition coaching. The possibilities are endless. Remember that people want more than just one product from you, so don’t limit yourself to just one book.
Join book clubs
Surrounding yourself with a community of readers can be very rewarding on many levels, and book clubs are no exception. Book clubs give you another level of connection with your readers. It’s also easier than organizing an event or class because the club takes care of that part. Not only does it help you stay on top of your game by getting honest reviews and feedback from real readers, but it also helps your branding as an author.
If you manage to get reviews from bloggers or influencers who have a large readership, this can be the boost your book needs. Find people in your network on social media, offer them discounted or free copies of your book, and ask if they would agree to write an honest review for you. If you can’t get a review from people with more readers, do a little research and find bloggers with fewer readers who might be interested in reading your work. You can also use sites like Goodreads and BookBub to promote your books. This will help with marketing and give you a chance to connect with other readers.
Think outside the box
What are some creative ways for authors to market their books? They can participate in mystery shopping, invite readers to a business mastermind group, or hold live events.
The story of my recently published book series, Growth Hacking, is a success in itself. I wanted it to be different from all the other promotional campaigns we had done before, so after publishing the book, we trended the hashtag growth hacking (#GrowthHacking) on Twitter in India, which was one of the main markets for the book. I aimed for more creativity and personality by giving one copy not only to everyone who made a reply tweet, but also to my personal favorite animal: George the monkey. A video of him reading a business book with his adorable face went viral, which in turn provided us with tremendous publicity and sales.
The goal of all these ideas is to move forward and keep promoting what you’ve created. Promoting a book is not a one-step process. In fact, it’s more of a long-term strategy than anything else. The key to success is consistency and patience. Book marketing strategies are endless, so don’t feel that you have to do one thing all the time or that this something has to be big for people to notice your work. Start with something small today and build on your successes; eventually, you’ll see exponential growth as word spreads about your work and your book.