10 Steps to a Successful Book Launch

Marketing, Tips

By Jori Hanna

Launching your book is a big accomplishment! Follow these 10 steps to get the most out of your book launch.

It’s official. Your book is going to print, and you have a launch date.

But now what? How do you market ahead of time? What do you talk about? Where do you talk? What do you do to get ahead and make the biggest pre-release splash possible?

There’s a lot to get done, but we’re here to help you have a successful book launch.

1. Write an email newsletter for your email subscribers to let them know the good news.

No matter if you have 5 or 5,000 followers, make sure these loyal members receive the news first. You can give them a little behind the scenes information about the book or what inspired you to write this book in particular. Make sure to include the cover and a graphic that contains all the relevant information they can share on their own social media. Don’t shy away from asking them to share it, or better yet, include a share button to make it easier for them.

Make sure you include links to the preorder sites so anyone interested can immediately preorder your book. Don’t forget to thank them for their support and their help spreading the word.

2. Post more often on your social media.

If you post once a week, until launch, post twice a week. If you post twice, post three times. Increase your activity with extremely shareable content. Always ask yourself if you would share the post if you saw it on your feed. This is the time and place to make your social media the hub for all of your followers so your excitement can shine through.

That said, don’t only post about your book. Write reviews on your blog or your social media of books that are similar to your book or that inspired your own writing. This will help you draw in that author’s audience.

Post videos of you talking about your novel, or the related novels you’ve read recently. Reach out to other authors in your genre with recent or similar releases and ask if they’d like to go live in a chat with you.

The intention behind this is to garner as large of a following as you can before your book releases. This will help you have the largest possible audience when the book is available for purchase.

3. Organize an online cover blast event.

Reach out to readers and reviewers of your genre and ask if they would be willing to post about your upcoming book and share the cover. The aim of this is to get people talking about the book and creating the first “touchpoint” for your audience. (This is important, because it takes an average of seven times for someone to see your book before they buy it. This cover blast event may be the first touchpoint for thousands of new readers who wouldn’t have known about you any other way.) If these influencers all post in the same week, anyone who follows them might see the post. And anyone who follows more than one of them may see your book in their feed two, three, maybe even four times. That’s enough to get anyone curious.

This event also establishes the relevant hashtags for both your author brand and your book’s brand. Any readers who choose to post about your book when they read it will have an easier time finding the right hashtags to use because the hashtags have an established position online.

4. Reach out to podcasters, bloggers, and YouTubers to request interviews.

Interviews create more authentic content for your fans, may increase your following, and will create interest in your book. Think outside the genre box for this one. Do reach out to people who talk about your genre, but also reach out to people who may have an interest in the book’s content. Whether that’s a radio show in the city the book is set in, or a podcast about one of the major themes in the book, there are plenty of places that may be interested in hosting you on their platform.

Then, when these links go live, post about them on your social media channels.

5. Submit your book for review with as many book reviewers as you can find.

There are hundreds of book bloggers who only post book reviews. By getting your book on their radar and getting a review in as many places as you can, you build clout for the book online, will have blurbs you can use for promotion, and the bloggers’ dedicated audiences will have heard about your book. This online clout will build on itself over time and allow future readers to Google your book and find multiple sites talking about it. The more people who talk about your book, the more readers will desire it.

6. Ask your friends and followers to request the book in their local library system.

Most libraries have a lending policy that shares within their district, but the more copies you can get of your book in libraries across the country the better. There are thousands of libraries at your reach, and they all have book budgets to spend. Acquisitions librarians really take to heart the requests of their patrons.

This is a great way to get in front of readers you would have no other way to reach, because it lets the book’s merit stand on its own. Covers are designed to help sell the book, and library patrons are experts at judging books by their covers. If your cover and title are attractive and on par for your genre, any library patron wandering the stacks or scrolling online for your genre may choose your book. The more library systems you’re in, the better, and your friends, family, and followers have a distinctive voice in what their library keeps on their shelves. The best part about this is that you don’t have to wait for the book to release; libraries can preorder a book just like any other reader.

7. Look into running a Facebook or Instagram ad.

Facebook and Instagram ads are a great way to get your content in front of people who don’t follow you who may be interested in you. By specifically targeting people like your followers, you increase the likelihood of reaching someone new. And anyone who hears about your book may be interested enough to buy it if you advertise effectively.

8. As soon as the book is on Goodreads, ask people to add it to their lists.

Goodreads is a wonderful way to increase the visibility of your book. You can leave a review as the author and give potential readers insight into your thoughts on the book, but you also have the benefit of the “To Read” button. Any time a Goodreads user adds a book as “To Read,” a post goes out to the feeds of their friends telling them what books they’re interested in. Goodreads also has a wide network of lists in “Listopia” where users can add books to lists with similar books, allowing you to add your romance novel to a list of other romance novels. Anyone looking for romance novels to read may find your book now or in the future.

9. Encourage your followers to preorder your book.

Preordering a book has a lot of wonderful benefits, including cheaper prices (usually), increased rankings in bookstores, occasional early delivery of preordered copies (sometimes even before the book is actually released), and reader buzz on release day.

10. Have a launch party.

Everyone loves a good party, and there are plenty of ways to do this virtually or in person. In fact, if you can, you should do both. In person, this party is fairly straightforward. You can reach out to your local bookstore or coffee shop and ask for a table for your books where you can sign and sell, have a reading, share good food with family and friends, and celebrate the work you’ve put in for the last few years to a decade, depending on how long you were working on your book. Virtually, you can go live with a reading, or a Q and A, or both. Some authors have shared their virtual book launch with other authors in their genre and had the party together. The best thing about being online is that you can invite all of your past readers or current followers and they can enjoy this event with you.

The most important part of a book launch is to approach it from both angles—in person and online. If you make sure your author website is up to date, your social media is active and engaging, and you’re putting yourself out there for various new audiences to find, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead.

Have you spent your life dreaming of your perfect book launch? Have you dreamt of setting up a table for a book signing in your local bookstore, but there’s only one thing missing—a published book?

We Want to Hear from You

If you have a book ready to be published, we’d love to take a look at your book and see how we may be able to work with you to bring your book to the world. Review our publishing options, and if you think we’d be a good fit for each other, we’d love to review your manuscript.

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