Argh! How the heck am I meant to manage my first book launch when I've never done it before?
This was the thought that went through my head when I wrote my first (failed) book back in late 2013.
I used a few other words at the time to describe the frustration I was feeling, I'm sure you can use your imagination to figure out what I screamed out loud!
This is where I failed. I had no idea what I should be doing, or when I should be doing it, let alone the best way to even launch my book.
The best thing that I found that worked on my next launch, was to plan and map it all out — then review afterward to make sure that your next book launch is even more successful.
This post is going to be broken up into three different sections.
This is how you go about making sure that you succeed at your first book launch.
Table of Contents
We are going to look at these three key areas of your first book launch:
- the launch and
By focusing on these three areas, you'll ensure your first book launch is a huge success!
Simple Steps for a Successful First Book Launch
Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, download the 90-day book launch plan template. This is the exact template we'll be following throughout the blog post, so make sure you grab it here: (link)
For your first book launch to be a success, you need to plan it out. This means at least 3 months before your actual launch date, you'll need to start thinking about what you're going to do.
Unfortunately, this is where most authors fail.
Most authors focus on writing their book. Which is completely understandable. After all, there's no book launch without a finished book, right.
But if you don't take a step back, put your author biz hat on, your book won't reach the readers it needs to impact.
How can you share your message, your story, your knowledge if people don't know it exists?
That's why you NEED to have a plan.
As a minimum, when I'm working with my coaching clients, we work on a 3-month timeline for a book launch.
Often though, I'll encourage them to extend that out to four or five months out. The more time you have to prepare for your book launch, the better it will go.
Here's what you need to think about in your pre-launch (the 2+ months leading up to your book launch):
- Reaching out to podcasts to get interviewed
- Reaching out to guest post on relevant blogs and news outlets
- Writing and outlining your own blogs launch content including the emails you'll send out to your own list
- Deciding on the free gift you'll give away to get new readers to join your email list
- Creating the freebie (checklist, ebook, video, email course, PDF etc)
- Building a launch team
- Determining keywords and categories for your book
- Choosing a book title
- Getting a book cover designed
- Setting up your book funnel
- Picking a book launch strategy (free or $0.99)
- Writing a quality book description for your Amazon sales page
- Choosing a book cover
- Formatting your interior files for ebook and paperback
- Providing a review copy of the book to your launch team and/or influencers
- Uploading your books to all the platforms you're going to sell it on
- Submitting your book to promotional sites (if that's what you plan to do)
- Setting up your Author Central profile
- Creating social media images and scheduling your social media messaging
Phew! I know it's a lot, but that's exactly why you need to plan it out in advance.
Trying to fit this into 4 weeks or less before your book launch won't give it it's best foot forward.
If you want your first book launch to be an amazing success, you'll plan it out!
Your launch week is fairly straightforward, provided you've followed a pre-launch and planned in advance.
Your launch week should focus on interacting with your potential readers and followers. Let them know about the process behind your book and how people can get their hands on it!
Here's what your book launch week might look like:
- Sharing emails with your launch team so that they can share your book and leave reviews
- Sharing social media images every day
- Sharing your launch content from your blog every day, making sure to link directly to your sales page on Amazon (or whatever platform you're using)
- Sharing any podcast interviews that went live during your launch week
- Sharing any guest blog posts that went live during your launch week (and beyond)
- Reminding people that your book price is about to increase on the last day of your launch
You might also choose to take advantage of live video on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope.
You can automate a lot of the sharing using various tools like Buffer, CoSchedule, Smarter Queue etc.
If you use an email marketing platform like ConvertKit, you can also automate your emails to your launch team and your list.
This leaves you to focus on doing the live videos and taking screenshots of your book rising through the ranks!
The goal is to become a #1 bestseller.
You will do this IF you've done all the planning in the pre-launch months.
Oh, and don't forget to BREATHE during your book launch week! You got this.
Once the launch is over, it's time to regroup and review your launch.
I like to do this within a week of the launch finishing so that everything is fresh.
To make the most of your post-launch, make sure that you're capturing the following information during your launch:
- Amazon Best Seller Rank
- Category Rank
- Hot New Releases
- Your sales during your launch week
- Your reviews during launch week
- Any paid advertisements you did (the dates they were scheduled and whether they made a difference in your sales)
Here's what you'll want to think about as you review your launch:
- What generated the most sales?
- How many reviews did you get? Do you need more (you always need more!)?
- What reviews highlighted what readers didn't like? Review and make changes to your book if needed
- Which platform where readers most engaged in?
- Paid promos –> which ones worked best?
- What changes for next launch will you need to make?
By going through this process, you'll be able to tweak a few things for your next launch to make it even better.
Don't forget to grab the book launch plan template below. This will help cement this all in and you can add it to your own calendar to make sure you don't miss any of the steps outlined.