Your book is finally done after months (even years) of hard work.
That’s a huge accomplishment–one you should be proud of.
But the hard work has only just begun.
Now, it’s time to launch your book to the world.
This requires just as much planning and research as the actual writing. And if you mess this up, the book you poured your heart and soul into won’t sell (no matter how amazing your content is).
The average nonfiction book only sells around 250 copies throughout its lifetime.
And that simply isn’t an option for you.
That’s why it’s so important to create a rock-solid book launch plan–one backed by proven strategies.
And that’s exactly what I’ll show you how to do based on my decades of experience helping authors write and launch books that grow their business.
How to Launch a Book: The Ultimate Book Launch Checklist
One important note: this book launch checklist assumes you’ve already defined your target audience and know where they hang out online (what blogs they read, podcasts they listen to, etc).
This is called “specific media”, and it’s a critical part of a successful book launch.
If you only pursue general media outlets like TV, radio, or non-specific news sites, you likely won’t drive the sales numbers you’re hoping for.
I’ve spoken on podcasts where there are only a few thousand listeners but it’s such a niche podcast, that I make more money or gain more clients than I do from a national radio or television spot.
You need to know your target audience well before you move any further.
Step 1. Pick the right book cover and title
Whether they admit it or not, most people DO judge a book by its cover.
That’s why your cover and title are very important. Spend time making sure they speak directly to your target readers.
The more general and vague you are with your title and your cover, the less likely you are to reach your target audience. Study other covers and competitor titles in your genre to get a sense of what’s popular and what the “look” is in your market.
Make sure you take the time to research the most popular kinds of book covers in your industry or field. Look for popular or award-winning covers on Google search and study the books on your own shelves. Which ones piqued your interest and compelled you to purchase them? Consider which ones you didn’t like. This can help you figure out what to avoid when creating your own book cover.
Do the same with your title. Think about some of the titles that have grabbed your attention. What intrigued you about them? Brainstorm several potential titles and imagine people saying them. Do they work?
Step 2: Create your book launch plan
Your book launch plan is your roadmap.
It shows you where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and how long it’ll take.
And without a well-thought-out plan, there’s little chance you’ll see the sales numbers you’re hoping for.
That’s why it’s critical to think through the book launch strategies you intend to use, how long they take to implement, and what role they’ll play in the bigger picture of your book launch.
For instance, let’s say you want to launch your book in 60 days.
To pull this off, you’ll need to determine all the book launch strategies you plan on using and map out how long each will take over your target 2 month period.
Specifically, you’ll need to know how long it’ll take to:
- Land podcast interviews (which can sometimes take weeks, if not months to coordinate)
- Create all the marketing materials you’ll need (emails, social posts, blog posts, and more)
- Coordinate promotions with other blogs
- Create and launch ads on social media and on Amazon
- And more
Without this level of planning, you’ll either:
- Rush your book launch–causing the quality of your marketing to suffer
- Gloss over critical details that can shut down opportunities altogether
There isn’t an exact science here because your timeline and strategies will determine the perfect book launch plan for you.
Just remember to think through the specific steps and details you’ll need to pull off each phase of your book launch.
Treat this like launching an entirely new business.
You spent a ton of time writing your book, so it deserves the most well-thought-out launch plan possible.
Step 3: Polish your website and a book landing page
Make sure your website is polished and includes all of the standard features and pages readers expect–like an about page, social media links, and a contact page.
You should also create separate landing pages for each of your books. A well-crafted landing page is an excellent way to help readers find out more about your book and how it can help them.
Landing pages are valuable for all authors and can help them sell and market their books more effectively. If your lead magnet is an ebook, your book landing page will direct visitors to a signup form that collects email addresses. If you’re selling a book, your book landing page will entice readers to click the large “Buy” button.
For a high-converting book landing page, make sure you:
- Include an irresistible book description
- Make sure it’s not text-heavy
- Include book reviews
- Offer a ‘look inside’
Starting a blog on your website is another excellent option. You can generate interest in your approaching book launch by using your blog. Blogging also helps in the growth of your email list. Begin collecting email addresses as soon as possible so that you may alert the email subscribers of your approaching launch.
Most importantly, you want to take time to understand the ins and outs of a book funnel. It’s a complete game-changer and can help you sell services to your readers, not just your book.
At Best Seller Publishing, I’m introducing folks who have never heard of us to our business by providing a free copy of my best-selling book. They could buy it for $24.95, or they could pay us $7.95 to mail it to them. My goal is to pull more clients into Best Seller Publishing’s done-for-you services rather than merely sell books.
And that’s precisely what we’ve done. This book funnel has sold tens of thousands of copies of Publish. Promote. Profit. and has generated millions of dollars in revenue.
My goal is to begin with a small purchase so they can learn more about our business and see if we will be a good fit. This also helps build trust in our service and business. In the same funnel, customers will also be prompted to have a consultative sales call with a member of our team to go over specifics and answer any questions they may have so that we can hopefully close the sale.
This method is used in a wide range of businesses, from software sales to coaching and consulting services. There’s no reason why it couldn’t work for your industry or business, as long as you have a strong, high-value backend product you can offer.
Step 4. Use Amazon to promote your book
Amazon can drive people to your site, and it can be a partner that helps you sell your book.
Getting quality Amazon reviews on your book is a great promotion tool, and it’s one of the best ways to get more readers to buy your book.
Here are some ways you can collect some quality reviews for your book:
- Request reviews from those who’ve purchased your book; most readers would happily review if asked. Amazon will automatically contact your customers, asking for a review after purchasing. But you can still send one more review request by clicking the “Request a Review” button on Amazon.
- If you have an email list, use your autoresponder to help you request reviews from customers who have bought your book. Use an auto responder system to set reminders.
- Request reviews for your book at the end of your book. Since most good reviewers tend to read to the end, it’s usually best to include a short, direct review request near the back of the book.
Another way you can use Amazon to promote your book is through sponsored ads. Amazon book ads are the ads you encounter when looking through books on Amazon. The system usually provides you with a list of sponsored books that are relevant to your search. This can be a great way to target your readers on arguably the most popular book purchasing platform. That’s because Amazon’s sponsored advertising has a high conversion rate.
We don’t make any money from Amazon advertisements at Best Seller Publishing, yet I sell $1,000 to $1,500 worth of my books online through Amazon advertising every month.
Why would I do this if I was not getting paid? Because I’m not going to lose any money. I’m putting dozens, if not hundreds, of copies of my book into people’s hands without spending a dollar.
This is because the people who purchase my book will then come to my email list or community, read my material, opt in, and, perhaps, become customers in the future. When advertising on Amazon, it’s important to think long-term.
Step 5: Use other people’s platforms to promote your book
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: If content is king, then platform is queen. I’ve been in the book industry for over a decade now, and I would say that when it comes to launching a book, there is one big mistake most authors make, and it can prove to be costly.
Most book publishers will tell authors that the most important thing for marketing a book is having a platform and using that to leverage readers. They’re advised by publishers to advertise their books using their own platform. Not only is it difficult to acquire a big following on social media, email, etc., but it also takes time and sometimes money to do so. Most people get this wrong when it comes to a book launch.
When I published my books, I didn’t have any platform, but my books became number one bestsellers on Amazon, best-selling books on Barnes and Noble, and the Wall Street Journal, and other platforms too.
The reason for my success? I didn’t use my own platform. Instead, I used other people’s platforms to advertise my book. These individuals had platforms that were relevant to my industry and they were interested in my content, so I used their platforms to reach my target audience.
You don’t have to do it all yourself. Sometimes all you have to do is pay a small fee to use other people’s blogs or podcasts to market your book. It can be a great return on investment. Especially if the platform is a popular one that your target audience is likely to use.
Reach out to bloggers, particularly book bloggers in your chosen genre, a few months before your book’s launch. They may review your book or do an interview with you.
Some blogs may accept a guest article in exchange for a blurb about your upcoming book. Accept the offer if you believe your target audience will read the guest article.
In addition, look for podcasts that cater to your target demographic and then contact the presenter to request an interview. Plan the interview to coincide with the release of your book. It’s fine even if the interview takes place after the book is released. Arrange as many interviews, guest blogs, and book reviews as you can in the months preceding your book’s release. When it comes to promoting your book, remember that there is no such thing as overexposure.
At Best Seller Publishing, we help authors advertise their books on over 60 sites. This includes different websites, running social media campaigns, and using other people’s blogs, podcasts, etc.
Step 6: Collaborate with other writers to promote your launch
While traditional publishing may appear to be wrapped in an ivy-gated mystery, the self-publishing community is open to everybody. Look around writing forums and critique groups where you may connect with other authors on their own publishing paths.
Aside from moral support, teaming forces with another author in the same genre to cross-promote each other is a terrific way to generate attention for your work! They can simply notify their email list about your new publication while they showcase your book to their subscribers.
Another thing is to consider your target audience and ask yourself where they get their media. Is there a portion of a local radio show that they could listen to? What about blogs they might read daily or professional association newsletters?
Begin by identifying radio and television stations, newsletters and newspapers, trade magazines, and podcasts that cater to your main audience. Once you have found media platforms in your field or industry, search through their platforms for articles and episodes that are relevant to you and your book. Look for the name and contact information of the content producer or writer. Their email addresses and contact information can usually be found in their biographies and on their websites.
Reach out and inform the content creators and hosts of these media outlets about your book. In your email or call, tell them how their readers, listeners, or viewers can benefit from reading your book. The trick is to find individuals and platforms who will be interested in promoting your book’s content!
Need help with your book launch?
Launching a book the right way is hard and takes a ton of time, but it pays off.
Your book deserves a rock-solid book launch plan and so do the readers you wrote it for.
250 lifetime sales won’t cut it for you.
And it doesn’t have to.
Thinking through your launch like an entire business plan and using other peoples’ platforms will help you sell as many books as humanly possible.
At Best Seller Publishing, we will help you effectively launch and market that book you have been wanting to publish! We help all kinds of aspiring writers to write, publish, and promote their work.
We have clients on TV every week, and we also have clients in some kind of media every day. This includes radio, podcasts, blogs, print, etc., and frequently more than one! Our publicist will work with you to develop your media hook, one sheet, and media pitch before pitching you to media outlets around the country.
Most importantly, unlike other public relations agencies, we guarantee our results! We put our money where our mouth is and guarantee a certain number of PR placements. Our promise to you is that if you do not achieve best-seller status in various categories, we will reimburse you in full!
If you want to implement everything mentioned in this post as well as our whole marketing strategy for your book launch, contact us today to learn how we can help you become an industry leader in your field.