By Martin Cavannagh
It’s the biggest event on any author’s calendar: the day their book launches. And if you happen to be a self-publishing author, it should also be your busiest.
A book’s launch can very much set the tone for any success to come. You want there to be as much noise as possible so that you get as many people buying your book and leaving a review in the first week. There are literally dozens of things you can do to market your book—but in this post, we’ll show six of the most important things you can do on launch day.
1. Activate your street team
To be realistic, this should have been done in the weeks leading up to the launch. Your street team (the people you know and a select few readers who you’ve asked to support your launch) should be ready to jump into action on launch day. Get them to leave a review of your book on Amazon and post about it on social media.
Send a reminder to your street team on launch day. Make things easy for them and give them a few pre-written tweets and status updates, so they don’t have to worry about what to write.
2. Notify your subscribers… slowly
By the time your launch, you will have (ideally) built a decent-sized mailing list of interested readers. Don’t forget to let them know when the book has come out, so they can go and snatch up a copy.
However, if you have more than a few thousand subscribers, you might want to think about a drip campaign. That’s where you notify your ‘fans’ in increments, or day-by-day over the first week. That way, instead of seeing a jumbo sales spike on Day One that peters out quickly, you can create a sustained wave of sales over the course of several days.
Amazon’s ranking algorithm tends to ignore short sales spikes from their longer-lasting rankings. Your drip campaign is one way you can get around this.
3. Get other authors to help you
Here’s a way to instantly triple the number of readers you can reach: work with authors on a cross-promotional partnership. The key is to find fellow authors who write similar books (whose fans, therefore, are likely to enjoy your books) and agree to support each others’ launches. And if you have roughly the same number of followers and subscribers, all the better: everyone can benefit equally from this deal.
So find two or three other authors and gang up. On launch day, they’ll send a newsletter to their subscribers and blast out the news through their social media channels. Amplification achieved!
4. Make sure your Goodreads profile is perfected
If you don’t have a Goodreads author profile, stop reading right now and set one up. As the world’s largest social network for readers, it’s the place where millions of folks go to discover books. So go, make sure you’ve completed your profile, and ‘claim’ your book. You can thank us later!
5. Drop in on a podcast
Podcasts are one of the fastest-growing mediums in the States. An estimated 57 million people listen to podcasts each month.
Again, another thing that you’ll need to plan a few weeks in advance. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but a lot of people are into podcasts these days. And even if you’re not a New York Times bestselling author, there will be opportunities for you to reach an audience through this great medium.
The trick is to find a show whose interests overlap with the subject of your book. If you’ve written a novel about an American backpacker in Eastern Europe, you can search for an expat podcast based in Kiev. If you’re releasing a how-to guide on using power tools, you can bet there are DIY podcasts out there who would love to have you as a guest.
6. Set up your Facebook ads
Social media sites such as LinkedIn can offer a great platform for your book. But there’s one social media king that can’t be beat in book marketing: Facebook.
If it’s good enough to sway an election, then you know it can help you sell more books. Despite the recent dings to its reputation, Facebook advertising is still the most potent ad platform available to authors. Get familiar with the platform in the weeks leading up to your launch, then on day one, start delivering your finely tuned ad copy (along with an image of your beautiful book cover) to highly-targeted groups of readers.
These are the six of the most important boosts that your book will need. Follow these tips and you’ll have that much bigger of a chance of seeing your book soar on launch day.
Martin Cavannagh is a writer and a member of the team at Reedsy. The world’s largest marketplace of experienced publishing professionals, Reedsy has helped thousands of authors create great books work with the help of top editors, marketers, and book designers.