“This is how we launch a book.” It’s easy to get so set in a way of doing things that you fail to notice whether your approach is still viable. Publishers have set book launch strategies they rely on to successfully and efficiently launch new titles. Regularly evaluating these processes can enable you to improve upon and tweak your book launch system to optimize it further. Consider, for example, these five elements of a successful book launch:
- Preplan. You should start your book launch months in advance of the actual release. The preplanning phase is when you develop your goals for a title, create a launch timeline, and determine your audience and marketing theme. Now is the time to ask questions and brainstorm ideas. Include a live launch event that starts things off, but include additional launch milestones for in-person, online, and other distribution vehicles. Develop concrete goals for each.
- Research buyer personas. As you’re asking questions, the answers should lead you to the buyer personas you’re trying to reach. Consider the relationships you’d like to build through each title launch: Who will be excited by this book and help spread the word for you? Where can you best reach them and how? What can you expect in terms of sales related to engaging your influencers?
- Develop compelling assets. As your marketing plan begins to take shape, start to create the assets you’ll need for launch: press releases, web content, social media posts, a media kit, and so on. These are the materials you’ll use to entice your audience into making their purchases, so their development goes hand in hand with the brainstorming and research you’re already doing. These assets need to be compelling.
- Get the word out. Next, put those assets to work for you. Send out press releases, populate your Facebook page with enticing content, tweet, blog, and so on. In the research phase, you determined where your audience surfs and posts as well as established a consistent marketing message you can feed to your target audience.
- Refine as you go. Use the statistics you gather as the launch unfolds to modify your messages and plan as necessary. Tweak and refocus efforts to best reach and respond to potential readers, and redistribute assets and allocate budget to make the most of your launch. Use an agile approach to continue to invest in what’s working and tweak or eliminate the things that don’t.
A book launch is an exciting time and the culmination of efforts from authors and publishers — or independent authors handling production and marketing on their own. Making it successful takes conscious planning and best practices that you must tune and optimize regularly.