Authors sell books, and books sell best when they launch well. As a book launch manager, I work with authors at all stages of the process. In my experience, the difference between books that launch well and those that have trouble gaining momentum is the time and effort the author invests in laying the foundation for the launch.
Whether you just finished your manuscript or your book still lives in your head, there are a few simple actions you can take right now to make the most of your future book launch. It all comes down to brand, subscribers, and social media.
Build your brand
Your brand is what identifies you and how people perceive you. Though a brand can change over time, now is the time to think about who you want to attract and what you want them to think of you.
A few things to consider on branding:
- Audience – You can’t appeal to everyone. Be specific in deciding who you want to read what you write.
- Logos, graphics, colors, and style – These elements help to evoke emotion in your audience. It pays to define them now and ensure they complement one another.
- Website – If your site needs tweaks or a full-scale redesign, now is the time. Trust me.
- Headshot – A recent headshot that makes you feel like a million bucks is worth its weight in gold.
Build and nurture your email list
I cannot stress enough the importance of an email list. Tim Grahl, author of Book Launch Blueprint, says email is nearly 100 times more effective than social media in selling an author’s book. And in my experience, he’s right.
A few things to consider when it comes to your email list:
- Subscriptions should be easy – Make sure your website visitors have a visible, convenient place to join your email list.
- Freebies should be valuable – Offer a quality download that appeals to your audience and motivates them to share your site with others.
- Subscriptions should establish a relationship – Don’t neglect your email list. Nurture and engage your subscribers. Whether you write weekly or monthly, be consistent. You’re building trust.
Build your social media platform
Just because email is king, doesn’t mean social media isn’t queen. You need multiple channels to discover and connect with potential readers.
A few things to consider for social media:
- Go pro – If you haven’t already, now is the time to create a professional public author/speaker page.
- Know your audience – You don’t need to be on every social media channel, just the ones your audience favors. Discover which social media channels are right for you with this cheat sheet.
- Be consistent – You don’t have to post 10 times a day (actually, please don’t) but post daily, or at least a few times a week.
- Refer to your website – Social media accounts don’t sell books. Remember what I said before? Email sells books. Use social media to lead people back to your website so they can subscribe to your email list (and get that great freebie mentioned above).
When it comes to a book launch, there are many moving parts. It’s never too early to lay the foundation for a successful book launch. Use these tips to start today, and you’ll save yourself stress in the future.
Brooke Martinez specializes in book launches–from strategy consultations to implementation and full launch management. Connect with her at strategicinfluencegroup.com.