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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.