You can find the original post here:
After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?
I actually never “launched” my first book, Stellar Fusion. I did with my others but was too nervous to call attention to myself with the first. I wanted to figure out the publishing system, learn how everything worked before I started running ads and setting up an email list.
Now, my launch starts firing up long before publication. I send out Advanced Review Copies of the book to my subscribers. A few weeks later, I set up an ARC giveaway on Prolific Works (for all stand-alone books). This seems to work well. I give out several hundred copies for free and usually get a few reviews. It would likely be more effective if I was a little more patient! I get too excited to put my book out there and start working on the next!
After that, what was your next step?
I usually run a couple of ads and utilize my KDP Select free days sometime soon after the release to get the book attention on Amazon. If I can, I try to figure out who posts reviews and thank them via email. I also send out a thank you to my subscribers who picked up the ARC and a reminder that they can post their reviews. (This one is hard for me because I feel bad asking. I remind myself that they got a copy of my very hard work for free. Clicking on stars isn’t torture. It’s okay to ask.)
Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release?
I always add links to images of the book, usually including a quote, something (hopefully) enticing. I also add them to my book rotator gif, which I post on social media. Moving pictures/gifs are more eye-catching and definitely draw more attention.
Did you ever consider using a PR agency to help you promote your book or did you prefer the DIY route?
I took a PR class, because DIY is how I do basically everything. I could set up press releases, but don’t because I can’t remember the last time I encountered an announcement about someone’s book that wasn’t posted on social media or on a talk show. And (let’s be realistic) heaven knows I’ll never be on a talk show.
Was finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that?
Absolutely, and ARC copies are the best way I’ve found to get reviews, specifically through people I have one on one contact with whether digital or in person. I love Prolific Works for handing out mass amounts of copies. Those reviews usually show up on Goodreads. I’ve tried other social media giveaway programs, even with paperbacks and they just don’t work as well as a site for free ebooks. Those visiting Prolific Works know they want books to read, so it’s just a matter of being appealing and getting into some of the group giveaways for related genres.
What are your views on social media for marketing your book?
It’s great for getting likes, meeting fans, connecting with other writers, and for personal validation, but not for sales. I might get one or two sales from a paid ad, but usually end up giving away an ARC to someone that messages me. It’s not really cost effective to run SM ads in my mind. But having a presence in multiple places is important for people to know you’re legit and to find out more about you. So in a different way it’s useful.
What social media has worked best for you?
Twitter is best for meeting other writers and connecting with critique partners and beta readers. Goodreads is essential for getting your books in front of the eyes of readers. Facebook has lots of groups you can get involved in, but sales are limited. Instagram is great for likes of book covers and for doing visual research, like Pinterest. So I guess I can’t say any of them are the best, just that each has its perks. I am most active on Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
Did you revamp your author’s page at Amazon in any way to prepare for the launch?
I always make sure my pre-order books are listed and that my info is up to date so when readers check out my page they can see everything I have and everything coming up.
Did you have other books you offered for free in order to help sell your present book?
I set up free book giveaways in related categories. So say I’m running an ad for free copies of my first book: Stellar Fusion, I’ll also make the other scifi books free (permitting my Select enrollments line up). That way, readers can get all the good stuff they’re interested in at once.
Did you set up book signings and, if so, how did that work for you?
I didn’t set up book signings because I heard they weren’t a great use of time or money (due to traveling). I did, however, do a holiday arts and crafts show and signed a few copies there and afterward. Sold out of one of my books! So I suppose it’s the crowd that makes the difference.
Did you create a book trailer?
I didn’t, but Dorothy from Pump Up Your Book did! You can view it here:
Did you time your book launch around a certain holiday?
I like to publish romance in the spring, scifi in October, and Christmas/childrens in fall/winter. But, to me, a book is a living thing that sometimes demands something else. It’s ready when it’s ready.
What was the best money you ever spent on your book launch?
Pump Up Your Book and Written Word Media have been the best investments by far. Great for blog exposure and ads with ROI, respectively.
Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?
- Give yourself a few months between when the book is finished and when you plan to publish so you can use that time to set up Advanced Review Copies, ads, book tours, etc. I know it’s hard to wait, but it will serve you better in the long run to kick off your launch with reviews and a plan.
- Get an email list started and a website. The more people willing to support you when you publish means more network chatter and therefore more exposure.
- Good book covers and blurbs are crucial. Sell your customers in 2-3 seconds or lose them forever.
- Don’t give up on your book if you don’t get sales day one. Marketing is an ongoing thing. Hang in there!
Thanks for reading!