7 keys to a successful book launch

Posted April 28th @ 6:45 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

The 7 keys to a successful book launch for marketing your book while writing it, paving the way for your book’s long-term writing success.

It’s never too early to begin preparing to market and promote your book. A successful book launch creates a powerful momentum that will position your book, establish your brand, and lead to years of success.

Whether you’re working with a large publisher, or writing and publishing a book on your own, i.e., self-publishing, the 7 keys described below will give your book a lasting competitive edge.

And, best of all, you can fit the tasks into your busy planning and writing schedule, and work on the tasks, a little each week.

  1. Deadline. Time management plays a crucial role in publishing success. Deadlines are crucial; they convert intention into action! Don’t just schedule a desired publication date for your book. Keep your writing on schedule by creating deadlines for completing each chapter of your book. As always, short, frequent writing sessions are most conducive to keeping your book on schedule. It’s important to establish not only deadline for your book’s publication
  2. Media kit. As soon as you have finalized your book’s title and table of contents, add a press release announcing the publication of your book to your online media kit. An early press release will motivate you by making the impending publication of your book “official,” motivating you to keep on schedule. Preparing an early press release will also help you fine-tune your ability to concisely describe your book and help you test the search engine appeal of your title.
  3. Sample content. Although you’re probably going to be blogging about your book as you’re writing it, releasing sample chapters as they are available from your blog. But, as soon as possible, you should prepare a PDF which will contain not only a sample chapter, but also a table of contents and an overview of why you’re writing your book and how readers will benefit. This sample download should be frequently updated as cover artwork and pre-publication testimonials become available.
  4. Landing page. Get a head start preparing a landing page for your book, even if the page doesn’t immediately go live. Getting a head start preparing your book’s landing page will result in a better page. You’re going to need a landing page for downloading sample content as well as offering a pre-publication incentive for readers to order your book before its available. (You’ll be replacing this pre-publication promotion, of course, as your book’s launch approaches.) You also need a landing page to convince potential marketing partners to support your book launch.
  5. Cover quotes. Every book can benefit from pre-publication quotes and testimonials from experts in your field.  It’s never too early to identify and approach experts, like published authors, in your field. The earlier you start, the greater your success. Often, it takes several tries to get through to subject area experts in your field–but, the rewards of a well-known name endorsing your book on the cover can have a “Cinderella effect” on your book.
  6. Bonus content. One of the most important keys to a successful book launch is offering bonus content to readers who purchase your book on the day it’s published. Bonus content can take many forms, PDF’s, templates, audios, or videos that supplement the information in your book and help increase reader understanding of your topic. Electronic bonuses, i.e., files, don’t cost anything to distribute, but they do take time to plan, prepare, and post–which is why you should get started as soon as possible.
  7. Virtual tour. Until recently, travel to bookstore presentations and signings, often accompanied by local media interviews in distant cities, was a requirement for authors. Today, however, the need to travel has been replaced by virtual tours where authors are interviewed by bloggers with readers likely to be interested in your book. Not only are virtual tours easier on an author’s pocketbook and time, they are often far more effective, because they target those most likely to be interested in your book. Setting up a virtual tour takes time, which is why it’s best to start as early as possible.

The power of an early start

In the past, many authors were surprised to find that they were responsible for book marketing & promotion, even if their book was being published by a large trade publisher. Today, there’s more acceptance of the reality that authors are responsible for marketing and promoting their book.

Unfortunately, many authors still wait until it’s too late to start marketing and promoting their book. They wait until their book’s publication date is just a few weeks away…and, are disappointed to find it’s too late to do the job right.

Don’t let this happen to you. Prepare a book marketing plan as early as possible, and begin to prepare for your book launch as early as possible. None of the tasks above is particularly difficult, but each of the 7 keys requires time and attention. The earlier you start, the more predictable your success.  For more information, see 6 Ways to Promote Your Book While Writing It.

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