A book launch is, in many ways, like a rocket launch. It requires planning, scheduling, cooperation with a number of other people and timing. This blog post outlines 3 mistakes that authors are likely to make when launching their book. Make sure that you avoid them.
1. Not having a clear objective for the launch
The goal of a book launch is to get book reviews on Amazon, period.
It’s not about getting more sales or about getting press coverage or about making a profit on your book. It’s simply about getting more people to leave honest, unbiased feedback on Amazon. Once you have about 25 reviews (and mostly positive and genuine ones at that), your odds of success in the long term improve.
Do whatever it takes to get those reviews. If it means giving away your book on Amazon or GoodReads or Freado or your blog, do it. If it means buying a mailing list or advertising on a newsletter, do it. If it means buying reviews on Fiverr … DON’T DO IT. Your readers will see through it and your long term credibility will suffer.
2. Trying to do a peanut butter launch
I picked up this analogy from one of my favourite book marketers – Toni and Shannon. Think of yourself as a blob of peanut butter and the places that you’re trying to promote your launch as pieces of bread. The more pieces of bread you try to spread the peanut butter on, the less peanut butter each piece of bread will get. Carry this too far and you risk spreading yourself thin to the point of insignificance on each individual slice of bread.
Pick a few places – maybe your blog, your Facebook page and perhaps a forum or two where your target audience gathers in reasonably large numbers. Stay focused on these few places. Build up your reputation and credibility in these places. Resist the temptation to jump in and do a little bit here and a little bit there. In the long run, the focus will lead to people in these few places recognizing you and trusting you enough to read what you’ve written.
And when it comes to picking online places that matter for your book marketing, apply the 80/20 principle.
80% of your readers will come from 20% of your marketing avenues
3. Thinking of the launch as a one-time event
One of the problems with the word launch is that we tend to think of it as something that you do just once in the life of your book. Get a bunch of friends together in a room or at a bookstore, have an event and be done with it. Or do a book giveaway on your blog accompanied by a blog tour, a few tweets and some Facebook posts and be disappointed by the poor turnout.
As Adrian Slywotzky points out in his book ‘Demand – Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It’, launching a product is the equivalent of carrying out a series of assaults on the indifference of the marketplace.
Expect your readers to not care about your book the first time they hear about it.
And think of the launch as something that happens in stages (like the parts of a rocket that fall away as each milestone is reached.) In fact, think of the first full year of your book as the launch period for your book. Book marketing is not a sprint. It’s not even a marathon. It’s a series of sprints with a tremendous amount of preparation in between.
Don’t just have one online party. Have ten. Find occasions to celebrate your book and giveaway your book on these days with a fare amount of fanfare so that some of your readers will take the time to read your book and leave a review on Amazon.
Know of other ways to improve your odds of a successful launch? Chime in below.