How to Have a Successful Book Launch in 7 Steps
Are you an author? Do you need to get prepared for their launch, but you feel like self-doubt and worry are conspiring against you and sabotaging your success? Do you have questions about a book launch, or maybe you need some tools to help you? Well, look no further because this article will give you the steps you need, without you having to become a publicist. Best of all, these seven goodies will put you on the fast-track to book launch success right now.
Step #1: Use the B-word: Budget!
I know, I know. I said the b-word. But a budget is significant when developing any kind of event (even a virtual event). Here's how you budget. Make a list of all the things you will need for the event.
Prizes and other promotional materials
Possible rental of Venue
Depending on your budget, your book launch doesn't have to be expensive or fancy to be successful. Look at the needs of what you want to do, and you make the decisions on what you want to spend. A simple, well-thought-out launch can be effective without being too costly. I have kept mine at below $100.
Step #2: Virtual or Live Event; You Decide
Most people think that to launch your book; you have to host a big social event—that you need to have a big party planned. But that's not true. With life circumstances as of late, we have been asked to have social distance. How do you launch your book for a Live or a virtual event? You look at the pros and cons of both and weigh the costs. This decision is powered by the needs and demands of the customers. Since we are doing so many things with social distance, and you have so many options to go live (Zoom, BeLive, YardStream, etc.), go for what is right for you.
Step #3: Venues for Virtual Launch
Venue for a virtual launch? Yes. It is essential to think about where you will be hosting this event, even if it is virtual. For example, I have nine children at home (yes, I really have nine children). With a house full of love, noise, pets, and Live happening, what are some options for me: public library, clubhouse, back yard, garage, a studio, a bedroom? The answer is yes to any of these places.
For us, we will be hosting this in my garage studio with the door locked and the children in my room watching a new movie. (Yes, electronic babysitting for 1 hour--don't judge). Think about where you have a quiet space, some great lighting, good sound, and where your internet is secure. Find that place and make it work.
Step #4: PRESALES: Are You Prepared?
We talked about this last week. Here is the summary from that article:
As with any Secret, these will change and adapt over time. But, from my direct, day-to-day Presales experience, smart Authors—regardless of your current situation—will take heed and apply them immediately. Let's review
PREP! That means to set your presale and sale price is set, and that your distribution for all the online and brick and mortar stores are ready.
Presales help to drive data.
Rush and Results. Rush is sometimes essential, but remember, you want to get the best results that you can, so plan and take action to do that.
Presale to your early readers at the discount price. This drives and supports sales, and that's what you want!
If you are an author with multiple books, presales on your newest book will help to drive sales of your other book (as long as you have them connected to your Author Central Account.
Presales help to prevent shortage on your launch day! WOOT!
Presales are the ultimate promoter. Like Chellie Phillips says, "promote, promote, promote!"
Step #5: Tick-Tock! What happens next.
This step comes next because it is crucial to know what you will be doing through the event. Don't leave it up to chance! Plan for your win by doing the following:
My publisher calls it a "tick-tock," and others call it a "run sheet." It is a rough timeline of how you want the evening to proceed. Some people follow it down to the minute, and others don't. However, it is useful to have a general idea of the evening's time frames on hand.
Here's a rough example of what your run sheet might look like:
6:00: Event starts. Welcome guests.
6:03: Ask where people are from
6:05: Thank everyone for coming
6:06: Topics, plan, get everyone pumped for the Event
6:07: Most engaged and more shares person gets prizes
6:10: Emcee is asking questions and Answers
6:15: First prize
6:16: Emcee is asking questions and Answers
6:20: Second Prize
6:21: Emcee is asking questions and Answers
6:27: Third Prize
6:28 Emcee is asking questions and Answers
A schedule, even if it's not strictly adhered to, will ensure the event progresses smoothly and that you fit in everything you want to accomplish.
Step #6: Speakers and Emcee is ready
If you are having a duel host, speakers, etc., please make sure that they are prepared, they know the topics, they have practiced the material ahead of time, they are ready to answer questions, and they feel comfortable with the formate. The key to any of these is to practice.
Here are some of the critical things to include when speaking:
Thank you's. Remember to thank:
The attendees for coming to your virtual or Live book launch
If you are at a venue or have sponsors make sure they are mentioned
If you had a book launch team
Family and friends for their support
Thank the journey or experience that brought you to the place you are today.
Step #7 Promotions on Social Media
Social media is a vast, important, and mostly free place to spread your message. Why not do the same building up to your launch day? Would you like to sell more books and have more views than people you could reach out to in a Live event? Then Social Media is the most crucial step you can take.
There is no better way to sell books and get people excited about it then by word of mouth. And, when word of mouth is on a media platform that can reach thousands, why not go for it? My publisher, Kary Oberbrunner, with his publishing company Author Academy Elite coaches his authors to put together a launch team. This team can help you spread the word on many social media platforms and is a powerful support tool for your base.
Promoting your book happens 4-6 months before you are going to have your launch party. To summarize, Kary Oberbrunner also says that writing a book is like having a baby. You want to make sure that everyone knows the 9-month process/journey is happening so that they can experience it with you. Then with the big Launch day comes, your tribe, your supporters, and others are ready to hear your message. It is real power in action.
Make sure you have photos, share-ables, hashtags, and links all ready to go and that they work for the word to really get out and be successful. Since I am a writer and a blogger, I will be following up with a blog post, including a brief recap and images of the night for those that might not have been able to make it.
Overall, these seven book launch steps will put some real power in your corner as an author. But don't forget, there's a lot more to book launch success, especially if you want to get prepared for their launch. So don't let this article be the end of your journey, but rather the beginning of your quest for more knowledge. Tune in each week to my blog for more writing tips and supports.
By the way, my launch for my book Out of Darkness is on Sunday! You can grab this new Presales for Out of Darkness today! You can get it here: https://www.amazon.com/Out-Darkness-Find-Fuel-Light/dp/1647461359