This is without a doubt, one of the most neglected parts of the self publishing process. Authors are often caught up in the production process of their book, without giving a thought to their book marketing plan and promotions to follow, that actually lead to book SALES.
For an effective launch that creates momentum for your author platform and book sales, make sure you implement these things in your pre-launch phase, at least six months before official launch. A pre-release book marketing plan can be extensive, but I’ve culled the list down to 7 key things you should implement during your pre-launch phase.
1. Have your WordPress author website up and ready to go
Be sure it features your book, author bio, professional photo of you, reviews and testimonials. Get this up early to start creating pre-launch buzz and available for reviewers, bloggers and readers to visit.
2. Make sure you have an audience in mind for your book
Your marketing efforts and resources need to be targeted at them. You should know your audience off the top of your head and some key ways you’ll reach them and the tools you’ll use to do it.
3. Get a professional book cover design
It’s at the heart of your entire book marketing campaign. It’s the first thing that represents you and your story to others and makes the all important first impression. It’s on your website, flyers, media sheets, posters, news releases, blogs, the list goes on. Don’t skimp on this.
4. Use your Social Media channels
Once you have decided which will be the most effective social media tools for you and your type of book, start building your network of contacts and followers. It’s an even better idea to start this while you are in the writing stage.
5. Send out free copies to acquire reviews and testimonials
This aspect is often neglected and the result is a book that has no social proof, which is almost a type currency with online business and marketing. As human beings we are naturally risk adverse and potential readers like to know that others have previously read and enjoyed the book. Aim for many, but just a few is a good start. You’ll receive more as time goes on.
6. Organise a blog tour or guest post round robin
This is without a doubt a game changer for most books. Form an action plan to get in front of other peoples audiences that are also your target market. Try and get appearances on about 20 or more sites, including blogs and reviewers. Plan for a giveaway or competition and leverage your author platform channels such as Facebook, Twitter and your email list to bolster your tour. Giveaway a couple of signed copies of your book, offering either an eBook version or print copy. Goodreads and Librarything are also great options for launch giveaways during this phase.
7. Plan ahead and lock in your book launch date
If you have planned correctly you would have worked your way back from the launch date and worked out what time-frame you have to implement pre-launch strategies in lead up to the big day. Just remember to allow for the shipping of your print books and be sure your online listings are ready to go. Otherwise you’ll be in a real pickle!
Then … HUSTLE! Continue the execution of your post-launch book marketing plan. You have got one right?
Don’t just aim for the stars, hustle and smash them!