Whether a new title is put out by a publishing house or is self-published, marketing experts advise that the work done months in advance of one’s release date is critical to a successful launch.
In addition to the burden of getting the book in shape in terms of content, the cover and the like, authors are asked these days to play a major role in advance marketing. These steps include building up following of friends, family and people who have expressed an interest in one’s previous titles, establishing a social media presence, and identifying potential reviewers.
In preparation for launching my sixth novel, Inauguration Day, on November 1, I offered advanced reading copies (ARCs) to a number of people I hoped would read the book and post a review in social media sites as well as on Amazon on launch day.
With the help of a publicist, I also distributed a press release two months in advance of the impending release of Inauguration Day to a select list of media contacts and outlets. A follow-up release is scheduled a week before the release announcing a primary release day event—a Facebook Launch Party.
Traditional publishers often schedule live events with their best-known authors, but for those of us in the indie publishing world, we have to use social media to “go live.”
I chose Facebook because it will give me an opportunity to post information about the book and conduct a series of author-interview-contests to generate excitement about the new title.
At set times between one and three p.m. (EST) on Wednesday November 1st, I’ll be interviewing author friends on Facebook and giving away copies of their books to people who can answer questions about my previous novels. I’ll also be giving away copies of Inauguration Day in between the interviews.
I’m asking the people who requested ARCs to post reviews on Amazon and social media on the first and to post comments on Facebook during the “launch party.” My goal is to generate sufficient release day sales and reviews to earn the book a high ranking in the political thriller category.
Stimulating launch day sales and reviews is just the beginning of what authors need to do to help get their new titles into the hands of readers. Writing a good book is only half the job. Given how competitive the book-publishing universe has become, authors who fail to understand the need to see themselves as marketers will likely fall short of their readership goals.