Setting Up an Online Book Launch

After posting my marketing for new authors I received several inquiries on how to set up an online book launch.

I was so excited to see how many new and aspiring authors there are and that you guys follow my page and work! Thank you so much! Here’s the very basic info on setting an online book launch on Facebook – but realize that you should tweak it to your style and your audience. (This is what makes marketing work!)

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Look at your calendar. Do you have a set release date for your book? (Ask your publisher or if you’re self-published, create one!)

If you’re self published and you’ve never released a book before, the way to figure out your release date depends on your team. How long will it take to get edits back (You need to have your book professionally edited and there are tons of ways to do this for low to no cost if you’re on a budget… but that’s for another post), how long for the layout to be completed, uploaded into your chosen distribution center, print, etc. If you’re going through CreateSpace, it can take about 6 weeks for editing, 3 weeks for interior layout, and overall about 2 months once you’ve submitted your work — sometimes longer depending on how many changes and how long it takes you to review the proof copies.

Then, after looking at your release date count back 90 days. This is when you launch your book launch campaign.

Let me repeat that… this is when you launch your book launch campaign. Not when you start preparing for it. Huge difference and you’ll see why!

Figure out what you’re including in your book launch.

Blog Tour– Are you going to be setting up a blog tour? If so, the host of a blog tour usually won’t schedule you out any sooner than 6 weeks. Why? It takes time to set up the schedule and the bloggers will need to send you their requests – which will either be a interviews, book reviews (which they’ll need PDF copies of your book), guest blog post, etc. This all takes time and a ton of organizing on their part. If you’re setting up your own tour, keep all this in mind as well and try to get everything done and out of the way with your bloggers so that when the time comes, you aren’t scrambling.

TIP: Generally, you want your blog tour the same week of your book release or within the month after that. No sooner since the readers won’t be able to purchase your book. 

Giveaways – If you’re doing giveaways, I would set it up to do giveaways the week leading up to the book release to create excitement. I like to do themed giveaways. For instance, for a horror book release, I’ll giveaway favorite horror movies, keychains, signed books (doesn’t even need to be your own – cross-promiting is a GOOD thing!), zombie statuettes, etc… I’ll even do 2-3 giveaways per day at different times per day. Why? People are online at various times and they lose interest pretty quickly. If all you’re doing is posting boring information about your release (Sorry, but until you have a huge audience of adoring fans, this is what this info is to them on book releases) then you’ll lose your views.

Try to create a spread sheet to keep it organized. I’ll pre-list my giveaways in order of what I’m doing and next to it write down the winners and their addresses. Make sure you adhere to the Facebook guidelines on giveaways and contests.

I try to make my giveaways fun. I include trivia (remember my theme?), scavenger hunts (whoever can figure out what the name of my first ever published book was… etc)

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Get creative! Blog tours and giveaways are just a few ways to create hype around a launch. What can you think of that’ll make it even more fun and exciting for people to participate in your launch? This way, your readers are always excited about your book launch besides the reason of your book being awesome.

Early Book Reviews – better known as ARCs (advance reader copy) or ARRs (advance reader review). You can create a sign up form on your site for your readers to sign up for an early copy (even if you’ve never published before, you can still do this) and say something like “I’m looking for 5 ARR’s for ________ – here’s the link to sign up on!” And I send them a physical copy of the book with a not for resale cover. (This may be a challenge if you’re self-published)

TIP: Your blog tour is a great way to get some reviews as well. If you have bloggers doing reviews ask if they’ll send you the reviews early so you can include it on your cover and launch.

Now you can start your launch campaign. PHEW!

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Set up an event on Facebook – 

Invite your friends and ask that they do the same! Promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, your blog, etc… Provide the link to your blog tour host in case they want to promote it as well.

The timeline below is a rough guideline 

90 Days Out 

Do your cover release and blurb.

Your cover is incredibly important!! I highly recommend Jason Vollario or Cover Crafter Both have fantastic prices and do incredible work! 

Between 90 and 60 days – 1. post teasers. (Quotes from the book, a paragraph, background info, music you listen to while writing) 2. Engage your audience – ask them questions relating to said genre.

60 days – Book Trailer release (you can create your own trailer on YouTube or get a fair priced and stunning trailer by a professional designer like Platinum Footage)

60-30 days – finalize all your giveaways, blog tours, etc – start making announcements about these events.

30 days – 15 days. Share links for blog tours, post any updates, where to pre-order your books, etc. Hopefully you have radio interviews, YouTube interviews, etc set up at at this time too.

7 days – start your giveaways!

1 day – Book launch! (Save your biggest giveaway for this day) and start posting each stop on the blog tour link

10 days post – ask that people post reviews (provide Goodreads and Amazon links every time you ask)

comment on all the blog stops, answer questions, etc

Don’t stop promoting! You should have some momentum on your book now, but don’t stop! Make sure to continue using what I shared in Marketing for New Authors!

If you have any questions  please post them in the comments!! I’ll answer as soon as I can!

UP NEXT: CHILDREN AT THE WINDOW TRAILER RELEASE!

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If you’d like to know more about my marketing, please pick up my book: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Sales and Marketing (Available wherever books are sold)

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