One of the biggest fears all new authors have is: “What if nobody buys it?” It’s possible… but only if you don’t put any effort into marketing. What you need to do is to get people excited about your book, and more importantly, talking about it and sharing it. Here are a few proven ways to create buzz around your book before it’s published.
1. Announce It To Your Audience
The launch engine needs to be revved up a few months before your book hits the shelves (both physical and online). Even new coaches with very few clients and a tiny list can send out an email blast or newsletter, post a social media blurb, or use excerpts from the book to create a few guest blog posts. Include cover images, testimonials from advance readers, and a salient excerpt or two.
Don’t just announce your book one time! Plan ahead of time, and build excitement over the course of a few weeks or months. You can keep excitement high by offering bonuses for early bird or pre-purchase, incentives for reviews, signed copies, or free chapter downloads.
2. Host a Launch Party
Create local buzz by hosting a launch party. The party is just as much for you to celebrate publishing your book, as it is an opportunity to thank people involved in the book (like an editor or your spouse, for example) and a way for people to get excited enough to buy and recommend your book. Here are some tips for hosting a successful launch party.
Budget for the party.
Select a venue. Bookstores are ideal, because bookstore owners will be happy that you are bringing people into the store. Venues such as restaurants or other retail shops work too, if the restaurant/retail theme is somehow connected to your book. You can also host a launch party at your home, a friend’s home, or a private club.
Plan your logistics. Will you need a table? Bookmarks or other SWAG? Appetizers and drinks? Laptop? Projection screen? Sound system?
Promote it. Your venue may be willing to announce the party to their own audience but don’t rely on that. Promote your party by creating flyers to post around town; announcing it on social media; or writing a press release. Personally invite friends, family, co-workers, clients and social media contacts.
Make it fun! Don’t just do a reading. Include an audio-visual presentation to keep people entertained and engaged. Prizes and giveaways are always a hit!
Have a lot of books on hand! Make sure your launch party happens after you’ve received printed copies. Bring more than you think you’ll need to your launch party.
Make it a photo op. Hire a photographer or ask a talented friend to commemorate the event, including shots of you signing your books, doing a reading, and talking to people.
Sign your books. Think ahead of time what you’ll write, and jot down a few phrases you can repeat without having to think too much. Most people like to have the book addressed personally to them, so make sure you get the correct spelling of their names!
Get your guests’ contact info. You’ll want to stay in touch after the launch party so think of what value you can give them to entice them to give you their email address.
3. Put It Out There
For many authors, putting the word out there is one of the most uncomfortable ways to promote their book, but it’s essential and effective. Create a press kit including headshots, book blurbs, book cover art, testimonials and a few short excerpts to give out to any potential interviewers.
Interview opportunities: research podcasts, talk shows, and networking events where you could be interviewed, including local colleges and community organizations.
Boost your posts: paid Facebook ads that lead to your book launch page can generate quite a lot of traffic. This is especially great for new authors.
Free Kindle Days: If you publish on Kindle, Amazon runs a promotion called Free Kindle Days that can generate a lot of buzz.
Marketing Isn’t Easy… But It’s Necessary
Book marketing isn’t as simple listing it on Amazon and becoming an overnight sensation. However, these tips help you do some inexpensive yet effective marketing that will get your book out to a wide audience.