Typically, my advice to other writers comes in the form of, “Listen to what I am saying and learn from my mistakes.”
I understand it is not always that easy. Sometimes, we are stubborn and think we have a better way, but before we try to waste creative juices doing our own thing, why not test an established method? If it doesn’t work, then we know not to use it again but if it does work, then all we have to do is tweak it to our specific needs.
As of today, I have published 18+ books as an author. All of the books I have published, have failed to properly launch…until now. They failed to launch because:
- Even though I knew they were good stories, I didn’t believe people would want to buy them. Mainly because I wasn’t anybody special. (Self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and a plethora of other fears paralyzed me.)
- I didn’t know how to market. (Then, once I did get some confidence, I had to say something that made me uncomfortable, “I don’t know.”)
With my new book So Help Me God: Invoking Hope and Igniting Faith Through Your Testimony, I wanted to be sure I gave it a chance and properly launched it into the hands of readers. So, I did what most of us have the hardest time doing. I asked for help. Despite working in writing and publishing for over 15 years, I had to admit, I had no clue how to successfully launch a book and I had done little to research it.
So, I asked my author coach, Shana Danielle, how she launched her book. She had some amazing advice so I put the information to use.
After I spoke with her, I narrowed the book launch down to two simple things. A book launch is about:
- Building hype about the new release.
- Allowing your friends and family behind the curtain.
When I first put my books on Amazon, I thought, “This is amazing, so many people are going to be able to purchase my book.”
Have you watched the new movie, Flamin’ Hot about the janitor who creates the now world famous Flamin’ Hot recipe for Frito Lay? One moral I took away from this story is: If nobody knows that your amazing product is out there, nobody is going to buy it, no matter how good it is. Flamin’ Hot Doritos, Cheetos and all the rest of the O’s were almost not a thing due to lack of marketing. Don’t let this happen to your book.
Teddyfly Publishing has launched two new books this year, one without a proper launch and one with a proper launch. The book without a proper launch sold three copies in the preorder launch, the book with the proper launch sold 20 copies in the first week of the launch. Numbers don’t lie.
Proper planning produces profit!
So, what advice do I have for authors who want to properly launch their book?
- Establish a list of friends and family to join your journey.
Don’t overthink the list it doesn’t have to be long. I wrote out a list of 26 people to join my launch team. Most, about 50%, were excited to join the team. Of the remaining people on the list, some didn’t want to join the team but instead preordered the book, others said they were not interested at all and some have not replied so I need to follow up one more time.
- Don’t Quit before You Try
After receiving my coach’s advice, I almost got into my head and quit before I even started. I began to think that I didn’t like people “pushing their products” on me so why would my friends and family members what to buy a product? Here’s the thing, ultimately, they are not purchasing a book. Whether they join the launch team or simply preorder, your friends and family members have been given an opportunity to invest in your dream and vision. You believe in it so they want to believe in it with you. Don’t cheat them out of that opportunity. Set aside what you think they will think and give it a shot.
- Bring Them on the Journey
Don’t just blast your launch team with email after email about your book, invite them on your journey. Make the messages you send out to your launch team personal. Tell them why you wrote it but don’t give them a novel in each email. Keep it simple.
- Map it All Out
Decide when your book’s official release date will be and map out a schedule to accommodate that date. For me, I decided to start the launch eight weeks before the release date and send out an email every Monday to my launch team.
For further questions about how to map out your journey to launch, reach out to us on the contact page.