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Book Launch Basics: What you need to do before you publish

Book Launch Basics: What you need to do before you publish

retro typewriter and text the end - Publish your book

So you’ve finished your book and you’re ready to publish! You’ve done something that lots of people talk about and seldom do, but don’t celebrate too much. You still have work to do.  Here’s the thing about publishing a book: sales don’t just happen. You must market your work of art before you publish, and that starts with a launch

Start Early

The biggest mistake you can make when considering your book launch is waiting too long. The day you send your book to print is way too late. The best book launches start weeks or even months before your book hits the shelves.

Think about it. There are dozens of moving parts to coordinate, and leaving them until the last minute is a recipe for disaster. Instead, give you and your team plenty of time, and you’ll enjoy a profitable, stress-free book launch. Team? Yes, start by inviting people who you think might read your book to be part of your launch team. Don’t shove a cozy mystery on someone who only reads highbrow literature – it’s cruel and unusual punishment on them and a waste of your time as you’ll probably never get a review from them. And the same goes if you’re a highbrow literature writer – your friend who reads Debbie Macomber will have no interest in your magnum opus!

Outsource

DO NOT DIY it. You have enough on your plate, just trying to get the book ready for publication, so let someone else handle the launch details if possible. Use a VA who can step in and help coordinate the rest of the team – yes, shameless publicizing for myself I know. If you can’t afford a VA start putting your task list together and get them scheduled:

  • Landing page creation: Consider giving away the first chapter of your book before publication to build a buzz (and build your mailing list)
  • Social media outreach: Teasers are perfect for getting the word out about your upcoming book. Don’t be afraid to “leak” your book cover, create social graphics with quotes, and share your enthusiasm with your tribe.
  • Reviewer outreach: Getting reviews on the listing is critical to your book’s success, so now is the time to reach out to beta readers with a review copy, so they have time to read it before you go live. Don’t be lazy and just ask your friends – there are Facebook groups e.g. Booksgosocial, Skywriters, Goodreads even, where you can swap reviews – Givers gain.
  • Interview scheduling: One of the best ways to get the word out about your upcoming book is to make the rounds of podcasts, blogs, and live events. After all, you can claim expert status now.
  • Blog and email: Don’t neglect your existing audience leading up to launch day. Be sure to let them know about your upcoming book by blogging about it and keeping them updated on progress through email.

 Enjoy the Process

This is by far the most important thing you can do during your book launch. Enthusiasm is contagious, and the more fun you’re having with it, the better the buzz you’ll build. Plan to step outside your comfort zone a bit, too, to really get others talking.

  • Facebook events: If ever there were a good reason to schedule a Facebook event, a book launch is it. Use Facebook Live on the day your book launches so you can share your thoughts with your fans.
  • Book trailers: A book trailer is well worth the effort. Just like a movie trailer, these short commercial style videos are great for getting the word out about your book. You don’t have to go to a lot of expense or trouble – a PowerPoint video or presentation will do perfectly well. Here’s an example of a cozy mystery book trailer. See? It doesn’t have to be difficult.
  • Host a book signing: If you live in or near a large city, or already have a large following, consider hosting a live event. A reading, some hors d’oeuvres, and a few signed books are all it takes, and your fans will love it.

Of course, you don’t have to go to the trouble of launching your book formally at all. But if you do, you’ll enjoy a much better start to your new publishing career. Not only that but done right, book launches are great fun. That’s something you certainly deserve after all your hard work.

 

From Blog to Book

From Blog to Book

 

Writer's tools

What holds most would-be authors back from publishing? It’s not a lack of writing talent. It’s not a lack of knowledge. And it’s definitely not a lack of desire.

 

If you ask most people why they haven’t finished their book, they’ll tell you they don’t have time.  We’re all busy people. You have clients to serve, a business to run, a family to care for. Not only that, but you’re spending time creating new training courses, marketing on social media, managing your team…the list is nearly endless.

When would you have time to write an entire book?

You’ve Probably Already Written It

It’s true. If you have a blog, and you’ve been maintaining it for more than a few months, then you very likely have already written all the content your book needs. All that remains is to organise and give it a light edit.

 

If you don’t have a blog (why not?), or your blog is young, blogging your book is even easier, since you can plan your content around your book topic.

 

Here’s how it works. Think of your blog categories as sections, and each blog post as a chapter. You can loosely organise your book by sorting all your blog posts by category, then listing them in a logical order. Your book may only contain a single category, or it might contain several. The choice is yours.

 

Remove self-serving, time sensitive, curated, or other content that doesn’t fit into a book. Remove the calls to action. It won’t make sense to promote your paid programs—or worse, affiliate offers—within a book.

 

What you’re left with is a rough draft of a book. All that remains is a few passes with your editor who you will have engaged for:

 

  1. Flow: Books should follow a logical path from one chapter to the next, so you’ll likely have to add or edit the beginnings and endings of your posts.
  2. Spelling, grammar and punctuation: Don’t skip this part. In fact, get someone else to do it. It’s too difficult to spot our own mistakes, and book readers are less forgiving than blog readers.
  3. Content: Enlist the help of a few friends or colleagues who you trust to share their honest opinion with you. Ask them to read through and note any content that is confusing, or that could be explained in greater detail.

That’s it! Revise, and you’re ready to publish.

 

Think no one will read a book that’s repurposed from your blog? Think again. Bloggers have used this method to write books for years, and some of them are spectacularly successful. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net fame wrote and published his wildly popular blogging guide based entirely on content he’d already published on his blog. He found that even though the content was freely available, people bought the book because they wanted the convenience of having it organised for them in one document.

 

I follow C.S. Lakin on Live, Write, Thrive – my go-to writers’ blog. She had an excellent series of blog posts called the Four Pillars of Writing – not only did I buy the book she created from those but I’ve also signed up to do her course based on the same topic.

 

Even fiction writers have discovered the power of blogging a book. Andy Weir, the author of “The Martian,” first published his book one chapter at a time on a blog. Hugh Howey, the sci-fi author also does this.

 

Don’t continue to let excuses hold you back from publishing your book. Use the content you’ve already written, or strategically plan your blog to turn it into a book, but either way, get publishing!

 

 

The Authority of the Published Author

The Authority of the Published Author

Your social media presence represents your brand. Your blog attracts and engages with new audiences. Your email list keeps you connected with fans and followers.

Each tool in your marketing toolkit has a job to do, but the one with the greatest authority by far is your published book. 

Your name on the cover of a book is the one thing that can take your business from somewhat successful to rock star status.

As an Author, You’re an Instant Expert

Pay attention to the “experts” you see interviewed on morning news shows, talk shows, and on radio and podcasts. Notice anything?

They’re almost always introduced as “The author of…”

There’s a reason for that. Those who have the expertise to dig deep into a subject so they can explain it in a way that others will understand, undoubtedly know their stuff. Books don’t just skim the surface of a subject. They follow paths and make new connections and explore unknown corners.

via GIPHY

If you’ve written a book, you have almost certainly earned your “expert” status.

Writers Are Committed and Driven

Not only are authors seen as the experts in their field, but they’ve proven themselves to be more committed than most. There is an enormous amount of time and energy and frustration involved in writing 150 to 300 pages of content about the same subject. Not only that, but those pages must flow in a logical order, make sense out of difficult to grasp concepts, and be engaging too.

That’s a tall order, and for those who pull it off, the respect is well deserved. When your book is published, you deserve to walk a bit taller and hold your head a bit straighter. But even if you don’t, others will see you through new eyes, simply because you’ve written a book.

Books Offer a “Foot in the Door” When Nothing Else Will

When it comes to publicity—be it in the form of interviews, speaking engagements, Joint Venture invitations, or just more traffic to your website—you really can’t do better than a book. Books open doors that no other content marketing tool can.

Books get you noticed by top-tier influencers in your niche.

Books make you a more memorable speaker.

With all the advantages that come with having written a book, what’s holding you back? No matter what your niche or who your market is, there’s room on the shelf for your unique insights. You owe it to your audience, and to your business to get that book published.