Congratulations! You’re getting ready to publish your book. You’ve been so busy getting it ready, and you’ve realized you’re not sure what to do for your launch. You want it to be spectacular so that you SELL books. I’ve got 10 tips to help you do just that .
Word-of-mouth. That is, organic recommendations from friends or friends of friends. You can get this going by making friends with fellow fans of your genre. Join fan reading groups. Participate. Make recommendations of books that you like. Review their books. Then when you’re ready to release your book, ask them to review your book with an advanced reader’s copy or ARC. Since they are fans, their reviews will count more in the bookseller’s algorithms than if they were just friends and family who have general reading habits.
Get book blogger reviews. Their entire content is about recommending books. People who read those blogs want to read a book and want a book recommendation. Make a list of book bloggers who review books in your genre or review indie books. To find book bloggers, search on social media sites using keywords like “book blogger,” “bookworm,” “bookdragon,” and “book hangover.” Look at their content. Then message them to see if they will give an honest review for an advanced reader copy, which is a free copy of your book before it officially comes out. If they say yes, send a copy and follow up weekly.
Get quotes from betas, book bloggers, and your advanced readers. Ask for favorite lines, scenes, characters, or what they love about the book. Ask what other books they would compare it to, or to whom they would recommend it. Depending on the platform, you can turn these quotes into fun teasers or graphics.
Make sure your blurbs are good. Your back cover blurb, your sales blurb on bookseller sites, etc. Have them beta read. Test them on social media. Post different versions. See which ones get more responses. Get a copywriter to write it.
Make sure your cover is enticing. It should use the conventions of your genre, give a teaser about what’s going to happen in your book, and incorporate intriguing visuals. Do not design the cover yourself unless you have the proper qualifications (i.e. it’s your day job, you have a graphic design degree, etc.) The cover will be the first thing readers associate with your book, so it should look as professional as possible.
Make sure your book is well edited. Nothing will kill your word-of-mouth traction more than a poorly edited book. Whether that means typos or structural problems. You’ve read something with a bunch of typos. It’s annoying. If there are continuity problems, your readers will not only put your book down, they’ll tell their friends not to bother.
Use free or low-cost tactics. The average number of units sold in an indie book’s lifetime is 250. Use that when creating a budget. This budget is to keep you from overspending in the beginning and to be mindful of how you are spending your money.
Create a book production budget that includes marketing costs. I’ll be writing a series of posts on this and doing a webinar to show you how to do it.
Make a plan for post launch promotions to extend the life of the book. This includes infrequent sales, book readings, and other tactics. I’ll be writing soon about tactics you can use. There’s no reason your book can’t sell the above average of 250 units.
Promote your old books with your new ones. Granted, this is for when you have written more than one book. But you have a lot to say, so I just know you’re going to write lots of books. There’s a reason that books traditionally published have a page with all of the books listed. If you like the current one, then you might want to read others. When you’re promoting your new books, include promotion of your previous books. Run periodic promotions listing all of your books. You can even have them on sale with the release of your new book.
You’re writing this book to make sales. This may be a side gig or one part of your business plan for a career as a creative entrepreneur. These tips will help you extend the life of your book and optimize your sales. Congratulations! You’re on your way to being a published author and creative entrepreneur!!!! Wait, how do I become a … what … creative entrepreneur? You commit to yourself and your art as a career. I’ll be writing more about that and the technical stuff.
If you want to know more about marketing, check out my marketing website michelleraabmarketing.com.
Edited and Updated February 3, 2021
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