How to Launch Your Book: Bump Up Sales with the Best Book Launch Ever
Are you ready to have the best book launch ever? Shayla Raquel—editor, marketer, and publishing mentor—guides you through her one-of-a-kind plan to launch Amazon bestsellers for her indie authors. You'll learn how:
to build a launch team
to use social media as a lifeline to your readers
to pitch to influencers and book bloggers
to use your email list and preorder incentives to increase sales
to plan an out-of-the-park online launch party
to tell the world about your book without feeling salesy
to stay on top of things after the launch
and a few more marketing strategies!
So are you ready to have the best book launch ever?
This podcast is part of London Book Fair Self-Publishing Advice Conference (SPACon), an online author conference that showcases the best self-publishing advice and education for authors across the world — harnessing the global reach of the Alliance of Independent Authors’ network. Our self-publishing conference features well-known indie authors and advisors, for 24 sessions over 24-hours, in a one-day extravaganza of self-publishing expertise straight to your email inbox.
Listen to Self-Publishing Advice Conference Highlight
Subscribe to our Ask ALLi podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Player.FM, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or via our RSS feed:
Watch the Self-Publishing Advice Conference Highlight
Read the Transcript
Shayla Raquel: Hey everybody, my name is Shayla Raquel, and I’m so excited to get to talk to you about your book launch. I’ve entitled this bump up sales with the best book launch ever and truly this will be the best book launch you’ve ever had. If you’ve never launched a book before or if you’ve already launched a few, I believe that this course will be unbelievably helpful to you. I do just want to give a quick disclaimer that this video that I’m doing for you is based off of my course, the best book launch ever. You can find it on my website, but we can learn more about that later. For now, just understand that this will be an overview of the course and you can always ask me questions later, so let’s go ahead and find out what you’re going to learn.
You will be learning about launch prep. In other words, before you ever even start getting ready for your book launch, we need to go over a few things to make sure that you’re prepared. Then you’ll be building a launch team when I helped launch books and when other authors out there do themselves, one of the really big focuses is using a book launch team will learn all about that and how to get that set up. Next, we’ll be learning how to pitch to influencers and book bloggers. This is going to be such a gold mine for you, especially if maybe you don’t have a huge platform. You can still use influencers and bloggers to help get your book out to everybody. Next, it’ll be telling the world, so we’ll be covering your email lists, your, social media, thunder clap, the pre-order bonuses, all sorts of great stuff to make sure that everybody possible will learn about your book.
Next will be planning your book launch party. This is really, really fun and I’m excited to talk about this. It’s only for one night, but it’s a great way to up your social media likes, get more subscribers, get more people buying your book, and plus it’s just really fun. Next, we’ll do release day. I have everything planned for you guys to help you understand what release day will be like for you, and then we’ll end with posts launch. This is where we’ll talk about what on earth do I do next? where do I start? I mean, I’ve done all this other work. Do I keep pitching a book bloggers? Do I keep trying to sell my book? Yes. The answer is yes. We’ll learn all about that. Let’s go ahead and dig in. We’re actually going to talk about the pre launch checklist.
You guys are welcome to take notes or screenshot some of these. Whatever is most helpful to you. The pre-launch checklist goes as follows:
Did you write the best book you possibly could? Now, all the marketing and the world won’t save you if you don’t have a very good book, right? So you want to make sure that you are producing the best book you possibly can. Next, has your book been professionally? It said, unfortunately, I do not have all of the time in the world to tell you how important it is to ensure that your book is professionally edited, but I will tell you this, if you have a professional editor, you just increased your chances of selling more books and selling more books. From you know when you have other books that you’ve written in the future, you just increase your chances of selling those as well because when people read a professionally edited book. They can tell that you care about them as a reader, that you care about quality, that you care about, insuring your best words are put out there, so definitely, definitely don’t skip on that. Is your book cover professional?
To the right., here you can see this gorgeous cover of hope of ages past. This was produced for author Bruce Gardner by Monica Haynes. Monica Haynes is a wonderful cover designer and she produces through her company The Thatchery. You have to make sure you have a beautiful cover if you don’t. Oh, you guys, I mean you’re wasting a lot of time here. That cover is actually a huge marketing tool. I’m sure on the self-pub world you’ve seen a lot of really cringe worthy book covers that does not need to happen to you. OK, invest into your cover because you are investing in yourself when you do that. I do recommend Monica Haynes of The Thatchery for fiction covers. and I definitely recommend Melinda Martin. You can find both of them online. Melinda Martin primarily focuses on non-fiction book covers, but you can google them and find them.
Is the formatting professional? Now, some people actually handled the formatting on their own. This means that when your book is all edited, everything’s ready to go. It goes through interior formatting for e-book and print. If it’s not professional, it can be kind of embarrassing when all the lines are messed up and spacing is messed up and you can just tell when it’s been really sloppily done. So make sure that you get that taken care of.
Do you have a user-friendly website? Do you have a website at all? Some of you who are watching this maybe or kind of biting your nails a little bit because you don’t have a website yet. We’ll get it started. Now is your time. You’re watching this and maybe your months and months out before you launch your book. Now’s your time to go get your professional website set-up. I also want to make sure it’s very clear as you understand that your website should be mobile friendly.
Over 80 percent of Internet users are on their smartphones, right? So if they go to your website and your website isn’t mobile friendly, they’re going to back out and guess what? Google doesn’t like that. They’ll penalize you for it. So make sure that you have a really great author website. I love Squarespace and I love, some of the really professional templates I’ve seen through WordPress. WordPress is free, but Squarespace has a yearly or monthly fee. However, it’s so user friendly, especially if you’re not very good at coding. Next, do you have a platform you can call this, your tribe, your community, whatever you’re most comfortable with. What I mean to say is, do you already have a following of people who are interested in your writing or perhaps you have one from when you first started your first book. You know, may maybe now you’re launching your third, fourth one, whatever it may be.
Having a platform will help you. This could mean that you have a lot of Facebook author, page followers or that you have like a, I don’t know, maybe 5,000 Twitter followers. Maybe your social media isn’t that great, but you have this amazing email us with a really high open rate. No matter what, you’ll want to make sure that you can use your platform during this entire launch. It’s going to be really important and you’ll learn why soon do you have at least three months to execute the launch. Hey, I’m sure that people have launched books much, much sooner than that, but in the Times that I’ve been doing this, I’ve found that three months is a really great time to get everything done. Before launch. Do you feel that you could bring in about a hundred and 50 to 250 people to help launch the book? You can probably guesstimate this pretty well. Judging by how many Facebook friends you have, how many email subscribers you have, Facebook author page. If you admin a group Instagram, Twitter, I mean the sky’s the limit so you can pretty well gauge what you’re going to have in terms of a launch team just by looking at your platform.
Let’s move on to our very first lesson. This will be book launch prep. So we had to do the pre stuff first and now we’re going to dig in to a few things that you want to have prepared before you start digging into building a launch team. OK, so let’s make sure we get these things straight. First, you need to have a Facebook author page, in case you’re confused. If you are on Facebook and you have a personal profile where people can friend request you, that’s great! But you want to make sure that you have an author page where people can like your page. This will allow you to run Facebook advertisements. It will allow you to have people like your page and you don’t want to be friends with you know people you’ve never met, but they want to follow you. This is going to be really huge when your book comes out because people will want to tag your author page, you can do events through your author page. There’s so many things you can do. So I’d love for you guys have that set up.
Twitter would be great. one of the big reasons to have Twitter is during this whole launch process, you will be using Thunderclap, which we will talk about later and Thunderclap utilizes Twitter quite a lot to help get the word about your book out there, so it’d be nice for you to have it, but it’s not the biggest priority in the world, but it would be nice for you now.
Instagram is personally my favorite social media platform. I love the ROI on there. I love how clutter free it is. I love that it’s very visually appealing. I also love that I have found the vast majority of book bloggers on Instagram. We’ll talk about that later. If you are already starting to freak out a little bit because I’m talking so much about social media, don’t freak out.
Social media is your lifeline to your readers. OK? Without it, you’re not going to have the opportunity to reach all these amazing people who are, head over heels in love with you and you’re writing. Next is an email list. This is quite vital, in fact, for running a successful launch. No, you will not be sales-y. You will not use slick marketing tactics. You will not drive them crazy. I realized that there are authors who do this and I do not, at all recommend it. I want you to continue creating valuable, entertaining, interesting, informative emails for your subscribers, but throughout this launch will also be talking to them about your book. OK, next is a media kit. A media kit is just something that it would be great for you to have it on your website, so that’s just one click away for book bloggers and influencers, or if you ever want to be interviewed on a local talk show hosts, show or anything like that, this would be great to have.
It’s just saving you an extra step. A media kit would include a short bio, long bio, the summary of your book. Any social media links at all would be on there. It would include your nice author bio photo, really clean looking photo of you. It might also include some images of your book, anything like that, just anything that they can have all at a glance to use. Next, you’ll want to come up with a Hashtag for your book. When David, Mike, author of Dishonor. When he published his book, he just did Hashtag Dishonor book. When fantasy author had her trim launched her. She just did Hashtag Wing bound, wing bound is the name of her book. This hashtag will come in handy when you’re using your launch team and your own platform to get the word out about your book because people can follow that Hashtag to learn more about your book and, keep track of you, and you can keep track of all the people who are using that Hashtag so that you can follow them and thank them.
It’s just a really great option for, you know, kind of its own search engine, really. Next, you’ll want to have a pdf. well really I’d love for you to have pdf mobi and Epub of your book, but at, at the absolutely. It’s just a pdf. This means that you will be giving away advanced reader copies. You may also know them as arcs of your book to your launch team. OK, and you’ll also be giving it to book bloggers. What? you want me to give away my book for free? Yes, but don’t worry. There’s a really, really wonderful reason for that. You will be using this to, get people to read your book before your book is ever released. Then what they’ll do is they’ll be writing endorsements and reviews and all sorts of great stuff about your book before launch, during and after. So this is going to be quite pivotal.
If you need help understanding how to turn your, professionally edited writing to go book into Mobi for Kendall or Epub for Ibooks, feel free to contact me and I can introduce you to formatters who can help. Next is Amazon author central. You might have noticed when you’re on Amazon and you look at a book, if you scroll down, it’ll say bio and a nice little picture of the author. That’s because they have an Amazon author Central Account. It is free and so you can set that up in no time, just google it and you can set it up so that when your book comes out, it’ll be linked with your Amazon author central account. Next, as a pre-order date, I’d love for you to start pre-orders on a minimum of four weeks before your release date. Then you’ll need to have an actual release date, so make sure that you figured that out.
Tuesday as a really great day to release your book. I’m not a huge fan of having it released on Friday because it’s the weekend and people are busy. Fix the boo-boos. Here’s what I mean. Take a look at everything revolving around your website, email lists, all that stuff. Do you have automated email setup? Do you have a really nice bio and all of your social media? Do you have, you know, do you have links everywhere for people to check out your, you know, maybe you have kind of like a pre-order sales type page on your actual website? Maybe you need to make sure that your website is mobile friendly. Perhaps you did a mobile friendly test and found out, oh no, some of my pages aren’t loading. Go through and find out what’s wrong. Figure that out and make sure that you’ve got everything fixed. OK, I hope that that helps. Kind of give you an overview of what we’ll be doing in terms of book launch prep.
Go on to lesson two, building your launch team. This is really, really exciting. You guys. This is your opportunity to bring together a group of people who are so excited to help you launch your book and get it out there into the world. So who’s part of the launch team? Well, I mean kind of everyone, you know, for the most part, this can be family members, your friends, your colleagues, acquaintances. It can be people that actually maybe you’re not friends with, but perhaps you’ve met them in on the line somehow. Facebook groups or Twitter and they love reading fantasy and that’s what your book is, right? So you can start with all the people you know, make sure that you, if you feel in your gut that somebody is not an avid reader or they’re not an avid reader of let’s say fantasy, then don’t bother inviting them.
It’s OK. You really want to make sure that you have quality bought a book launch team members, so make sure that you focus in on that. You will be asking them to join your launch team and I will show you a template to use. So let’s move on to how do I create a launch team?
My biggest recommendation to you is to create a Facebook group. So that’s very easy to do. You can get that set up in just one minute. The reason I prefer Facebook group is because your launch team has to have a place to hang out, right? They need to have a place where they can learn all this stuff about your book for the next three months. So the Facebook group is probably the best option for you. I’ve seen other people try to utilize just an email list, actually kind of like a sub list to make sure that people learn about, but I just haven’t seen good ROI with that. So I do recommend a Facebook group full of members that will actually be excited about your book and we’ll help.
Where do you find them? Everywhere. Honestly, this can be your Facebook friends list. If you already admin groups, you can ask within those. If you’re an author groups or let’s say that you wrote self like a self-help book for business owners. If you’re in a bunch of business type Facebook groups, you can post it in there and asked people to join your launch team. You can ask on Twitter, Instagram, your email list. LinkedIn, anywhere you want is great as long as you’re doing something to get launch team members and they’re like I said, it’d be nice if at a minimum you could shoot for 150 to 250. In in fact, let’s move into that. So if you are trying to figure out how many you could actually get, try to shoot for like 10 to 15 percent of your biggest platforms. Let’s say you have 3000 email subscribers, which is amazing.
Then maybe shoot for having 300 launch team members. If you have a thousand Facebook friends, maybe shoot for somewhere around a hundred and fifty members. The cool thing is you’ll probably go over that, but that’s kind of a good rule of thumb. So let me give you an idea of what to say to people to ask them to join your launch team. This is just a little template that I’ve used for authors and you can tweak this however you want. The important thing is that it’s short and sweet. So you’ll say something like, you know, Hey, Rebecca, how are you? I hope all is well. As you probably know, my book comes out in October and I’m forming a book launch team to help me make it a huge success. Would you like to join the team? It’s a Facebook group and basically a launch team member is there to encourage the author attend the online Book Launch Party and win prizes, tell others about the book, and if their budget allows by the ninety-nine-cent eBook on launch day, of course there’ll be print too, but the eBook will be super cheap anyway, I’d love to see you there and then give them the group link.
It’s pretty short and sweet. It tells them what the launch team is all about. You. You can just send this through Facebook messenger. You can email this. I have seen the people are more apt to join if you actually message them, so keep that in mind.
Next, let’s talk about customizing your actual Facebook group. So you’ll want to add a group description. Here’s an example of what mine would look like. Welcome to the book launch team for Shayla or kills a suicide tree, releasing on October 17th, 20. As a launch team member, you have early access to the novel launch team. Members are encouraged to read and review the book, tell their friends about it, attend the online book, Launch Party and win prizes, and if your budget allows, purchase the book for ninety nine cents only. Stay ultimately a launch team is here to support Shayla and help her make a big splash on launch day. Your admins are Shayla and Mindy. It’s kind of nice to say who the admins are. I recommend obviously you’d be the admin and then whenever they’re really close friend, it’s nice to have that, so just kind of do a simple group description.
This will change once you have a pre order Amazon link, you’ll put that in here. You’ll say like pre-order on Amazon now. You’ll put that in there, so you’ll tweak this as you go along. Add a pinned post, this will probably be a little bit longer. You’ll welcome them to the group. You’ll tell them who you are. Tell them about the book. What is the book about, how will it help them if it’s not non-fiction, and how will it entertain them. Specifically tell the launch team what you’d like them to do to support you as well. You want to give some specifics, so obviously find the book reviewing the book. They get to read it before anybody else you know, maybe you kind of have a really big Twitter campaign or something so you’d like for them to get involved in that. Finally, tell them your personal goals.
This is when you can have a lot of fun to tell them like, I want Tony Robbins to endorse my book. That’s my big, huge goal and I know that maybe just maybe I can make it happen. Tell them what those goals are. Next, add a cover photo. This is so easy to do and it’s free. You can use canva. Just go to canva.com to create your cover photo here. Let me go give you guys a couple of examples. So when Paul Zone re, re launched, actually his originally self-published book, quarter-life calling. He did this really nice cover photo and it’s clean and beautiful and it tells me the launch date as well as where I can buy the book. Really great.
When Heather Trim officially had hers available, she went ahead and did this cover photo which has the 3D hardcover look, looks great, also shows where the book will be available. So make sure you get a cover photo on there and you can do something kind of like coming soon or releasing on October 17th.
Make sure that you engage with this launch team. This is a really big deal. This is exciting, so you know, keep them excited by updating them on the number of members in the group. Oh my goodness. We reached a hundred or 250 may. If you’re excited, they’re going to be excited. Next, go ahead and ask, are there any podcasters or bloggers in the group who would like to interview me about the book? Ask Them. You can also create graphics to use in the group to pique their interest. You can them things to do throughout the whole three months, which will be obviously reading the book, supporting via Thunderclap and the launch party twitting about the book I’m having some fun with.
Maybe you want to do like an Instagram giveaway for some bookmarks. You can always have plenty of things for them to do. Go live. You can go live through Facebook, live in your group and talk to them. Heather Trem, who did Wing Bound, did an excellent job of this. she didn’t necessarily go live. She prerecorded hers, but she had videos all the time and I thought that they were really wonderful because it gave people a chance to see her and get to know her better. Pull the audience, ask some fun questions, ask them where they’re from. If you wrote a historical fiction novel, ask them what they know about the 1920’s era, what they’d like to know, tell them what inspired you to write the book or how you came up with your characters. The point is to engage them and make this a really fun place.
It’s not just all about buying my book. It should be about getting to know you and this amazing world that you’ve created.
Next, we’re going to add into lesson three, which is pitching to influencers and book bloggers. I love talking about this. So this is going to be really fun. So let’s go ahead and dig in. What’s an influencer? An influencer is an individual who has a big impact on a niche. So Pat Flynn is a good example. He’s a notable, notable influencer in the entrepreneur and podcaster niche, best known for smart passive income. People really tend to gravitate toward him because he’s an expert in his field, right? And he happens to have a very large following. Now, if you are doing a non-fiction business type book, I don’t know that I have plan will endorse it, but it gives you that idea of who an influencer is.
So, your next goal during, during this course is to make a list of influencers, OK, who can endorse your book, read it, and review it, interview on their podcasts, give a shout out on their blog email list or social media. Any, any of those are great. Any of those count as an endorsement. OK? So you’ll want to go ahead and start your list. You can start with the big dogs and then some of the, maybe a few did a book about, let’s say you did self-help for cancer patients. Then you can go ahead and write a list of people who wrote in that genre as well, some notable authors and pitch to them. Honestly, have as much fun as you want with this. This is, there’s really no wrong way to do it.
Let’s go ahead and learn a few things. So why do you need influencers? Why? Well, to reach a bigger audience, if you don’t have a really big platform, this is your way to reach an audience that you wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise. This is all about visibility, so this is a wonderful way for people that you’ve never met, people who are not in your book launch team. To be able to hear about this book and learn about it and added to their Amazon Wishlist. Well, where do you find them? Start with who you already know. OK, so do you already know any influencers at all? These can be all others are industry experts or anybody at all who might have a voice of opinion in the type of book that you’ve written. Then you can go ahead and figure out, do I actually have a mutual friend and that influencer? Or do I know somebody who knows Kirk Cameron or do I know somebody who knows Gary Vaynerchuk? Do I know somebody who knows x, Y, z? Go ahead and add those to the list. Finally, you’ll write a cold call list. No, don’t worry. You don’t have to call anybody. But what you’ll be doing is you’ll be figuring out, OK, I don’t know, I’ve never talked to this person before. I don’t have any mutual friends, but I do really, really love them and I’ve been following them on social media forever and I’d love for them to write an endorsement. So you can go ahead and make this really long list of people that you’d love to have. Typically when I do book launches for people are less very quickly hits 100 options so that that will not be difficult. What does it influence or get out of this?
Remember, these guys are already, they’ve kind of got to made already, so you have to be able to do something that would benefit the influencer. Do you have a course on writing nonfiction books that you could offer to his subscribers for free? OK, that’s a pretty good incentive for him to read and review your book. Think of some giveaways that would work for the influencer and his audience. You’re going to have to really think this through hard, especially when you’re pitching to the big wigs, so try to figure out how you can benefit them. When should you start pitching? I mean three months. If you can go ahead and get those arcs ready in time. That’s like I said, that was way back on book prep, like book launch prep. If you can get that ready to go, then you can go ahead and start pitching to people.
Remember they need time to read and review your book. How do I pitch to them? Well, I’ve actually got a couple of examples for you. This one is actually going to be in first person, so this is as if you already know an influencer and you can email them yourself. You can read it here, but I just give a quick little introduction. How are the grand kids and then I go into, as you know, my book releases on October 17th. Your sci-fi novels have been a huge inspiration to me and I’d be overjoyed if you consider writing a brief endorsement for it. PDF is attached also, by the way, when you guys do the pdf and epub, mobi stuff, you can use what’s called book funnel. Feel free to google. That book funnel allows you to have this really snazzy little link and they just click it and then they’ll have all these options.
They can click download mobi download, epub download, pdf. That is so convenient, so I definitely recommend that. And then I just, you know, thank them and say when I’d like to have the endorsement. This is very short and sweet. This next one would be written as if a publicist is writing it for the author. I do find that most of the time having a publicist writing these emails to influencers and as we’ll talk about soon, have a better chance of getting yeses. So you know you can either hire a publicist or if you want to use a certain template, you can have one of your friends do this for you. Here it’s going to be, you know, I’m writing on behalf of my author Heather Trim who just released her latest novel and by the way these would have links so Wing Bound there would have the Amazon link so they can click it.
I do say how Heather knows Lauren in this instance, and then I asked could you rate and review it? I give them the book funnel link and I offered to cross promote. There would be a summary in here as well, and then I give them links for her website media kit and good reads. All those would have hyperlinks and then a recent and brief review or endorsement would be great just to kind of seal the deal and then I finalize with you’d like to review and have a specific date in mind to publish it. Let me know and I’ll share, share, share. So you’ll want to make sure that you’re really kind of keeping track of all the people that you’re emailing. I always go into Google docs and I just create a little table or whatever they call it and I use that to keep track of everything. So those are just kind of some brief ideas of what to do when you’re pitching to influencers.
Here’s some do’s and don’ts. Do give them plenty of time to say yes or no. OK, it’s OK, don’t reply right then and there and give them time. Do write up to five to 10 endorsements for their use. This is specifically going to work a lot better for people who are in the non-fiction realm. So if you already have endorsements written up for them, that’s very convenient. Remember, people are very busy. Don’t be pushy, don’t drive them nuts. Did you get my email? Did you get me email? That is going to resolve the yes. Don’t get your feelings hurt when not. If, when they say no, it’s nothing personal, they just say no. So be OK with that. Do be-brief. It’s very easy to get really, really along with these. So try to keep things short and sweet and always practice good grammar and spelling. Go back through it, double check it, read it out loud, make sure it’s very clear and concise and that there are no misspellings.
I hope that that’s been pretty clear so far and in blue answer is we’re going to move into book bloggers, which would be different than actually pitching to influencers. This is going to kind of have a different perspective. So let’s move on. A book blogger is someone who will read your book and E-book or print form and write an honest review on their blog. And social media. Most book bloggers do this for free because they love reading, but there are some book bloggers who will do it for a fee because they’ve accumulated thousands and thousands of followers. They definitely deserve that fee and I’m fine with that, but right now, if your budget is tight, just focus on the book who don’t charge. OK, let’s go ahead and do a few things about book bloggers.
Why should you pitch to them? Well, it’s completely free. Like I said, if you choose book bloggers who don’t have, don’t charge you, so that’s cool how you’re using as your time.
It’s an outstanding way to get better visibility by using their book as community. How great is it that you’ve got these people who already, you know, they already read Sci-fi an your book is Sci Fi and they love it and they review it all the time. They talk about all the time. That’s our whole thing. Well then that means that anybody who follows them love Sci-fi too, so you get to have an opportunity to be a part of that community and have some better visibility for your book. So these book bloggers, readers trust them, so they will click that Amazon order button without hardly any coercion, so definitely consider the fact that there are way more pros than cons that I can even think of when pitching the book bloggers. You’ll find them on Instagram that’s listed first. The majority of book bloggers that I’ve found on Instagram and they’re under the Hashtag, Hashtag book blogger, Hashtag bookstagram, hashtag books to grammar.
If you wrote a book that was just for mothers, like when Kim Fredrickson wrote, give your kids a break. We looked under hashtag mommy blogger, so definitely start with that. Then Facebook author groups, you can post in there and ask if anybody is interested in reviewing your site by book and reads this book, review blogs list. All you have to do is google that and it’ll pop up. Reedsy is wonderful. You’ve got a lot of really great resources, but they actually have a website dedicated to filtering, finding book bloggers within your genre and whether or not they accept self-published books, it is the best tool ever. So make sure you go ahead and bookmark that. When should you start pitching? Well, the best time is about, two months before your book releases. Two months is a pretty good amount of time for most book blog or some of them will say that they need you to send it in a lot sooner.
So, make sure that you, figure out what would work best for you on that. they definitely do not want to feel rushed. So make sure that you give them enough time. OK, that’s important as well. And then how on earth do you pitch to them? Well, let’s go ahead and head in and see what we got. Here’s an example that I did for Kim Frederickson of give your kids a break. Again, I acted as her publicist, so this isn’t her pitching, you know herself, but you can see that I kind of followed the same format I did for Heather, although I did use a good chunk of my time here to talk about what caused her to write this book and how she really wanted to show compassion when it comes to parenting and it talks about her terminal illness and now is kind of a legacy for her, so this kind of pause a little bit different of an angle.
I also mentioned at the end that she has already received yeses from Tricia Grier, lace and Lou and the glorious monologue into another mommy bloggers. That’s a really great way to peak their interest as well. I also use hyperlinks here to their Instagram pages so that the people I pitched to could click it and see, oh wow, they have thousands of followers. I think I’m more apt to give her yes. So great job there you guys. I hope that that helps you. I have a wonderful resource. On my blog, it’s shaylaraquel.com/blog/bookbloggershowto. It’s all one word. It will teach you everything you need to know about pitching to book bloggers.
Let’s go ahead and move on to lesson number four, which is telling the world. I know you guys are really excited about this. You want to tell the whole world about your book, so we’re going to be covering your email list, some other social media platforms. We’re going to be setting up. Thunderclap will be talking about your pre-order incentive, which is your Freebie, so let’s go ahead and dig in and have some fun.
First is email. Remember I said that email is definitely going to be very imperative when launching your book, so for those of you who already have an email list, I’m really just kind of talking to you guys right now. For those of you who don’t have one, I would have to do kind of an entirely separate course and so if you guys have questions on how to get started with an email list, please email me.
I’m happy to send you my resources to help set you on the right track, but for those of you who are already sending out value driven emails and you’ve kind of got the gist of what to do when you are talking about your book and it’s time to start getting the ball rolling with that, be sure to kind of space out your e-mails. since you already have kind of a platform in this area, you should be pretty in tune already with what your audience prefers in terms of email. If you email them once every two weeks then great, stick to that. Whatever is working for your audience, that’s the best option. But I just want to say sometimes people, sometimes authors or attempted to add way more emails to their schedule because their book is coming out so they want to have an email a day or sometimes I’ve seen several emails a day and it is drives me crazy as a reader and so I do not recommend doing that.
Next, tell them about your books, release and other details. So you’ll want to keep your subscribers updated. Still stick to the regular, regularly scheduled program. You can still do things as normal, but make sure that you tell them exciting news about the book or tell them about your goals. Show them the book cover. Any early views is the pre order button is up. All that stuff is great. You can add that into your emails. I would also like to see this in your automated email. OK, that would be great. So if you have automated emails that go out the second, somebody subscribed, make sure you’ve got information in there about your book. Keep it short and sweet. I know it’s your book, so you want to write thousands of words describing how important it is and just one email, but nobody wants to read all that.
So, try to keep it short and sweet for your audience and again, stick to what you’ve been doing this whole time so that they don’t unsubscribe. Don’t make every email about the book. I know I keep saying the same old thing, but make sure that you stick to the regular scheduled program, with an added bonus of book updates. OK, that’s kind of how you have to look at it. If subscribers feel like the only thing you ever talk about is the book, then that means you aren’t providing value and they will unsubscribe and I don’t want that for you guys. So make sure that you are really doing the best you can to keep them interested and engaged. Involve them. I’ve seen others give their subscribers the exclusive opportunity to be named as a character and their novel. they’ve offered free webinars for those who review the advanced reader copies they’ve asked their subscribers to get involved in choosing one of three book cover options.
You can have fun with this and involve them as well. I hope that that helps you with an overview of what to do with email and your book launch. Feel free to ask me questions. Next is social media again, I could spend an entire hour on each platform. I’m not kidding. It would be very easy for me to do that. I love social media, but I want to give you an overview. With thousands and thousands of bookstagrammers, it’s no wonder Instagram is a haven for authors, plus they have like a hundred eight, excuse me, 800,000,000 active users, so when it comes to launching your book, you’re going to want to hit this one hard. I really tried to tell others to use Instagram as the behind the scenes of your life as an author. This can be where you write pictures of you at Starbucks working on your book or the launch pictures of your bookmarks and coffee mugs and stickers and posters.
It can be you just out and about taking a break, doing a walk in the park because you’re getting writer’s block. It can be anything. The point is that it is uniquely you. This goes back to author branding and being your unique authentic self, so make sure that you do that on every social media platform, but definitely Instagram as well. Twitter is definitely. It’s taken a bit of a pivot in terms of how they put things out there. Right now we’ve noticed that Twitter is all about news. That’s what’s going to happen. If you want to find out the latest news is going to be on Twitter, so you’ll have to really, if you’re already very familiar with how Twitter works, and this probably won’t be a big issue for you, but it does help to have Twitter because so many people will be tweeting about your book during launch week, so you’ll want to have it for reaching out to influencers that’ll come in handy.
Setting up Thunderclap and reaching another target market. LinkedIn is very surprising to me, as both nonfiction and a fiction author, I’ve found that LinkedIn groups kind of like Facebook groups have been amazing visibility and engagement. Anytime I put a blog post out, anytime that one is released, I drop it into a bunch of authors and publishing type LinkedIn groups and I have a lot of hits on that blog post. You can do the same for your book or maybe you wrote, maybe have an interview out about you in the book, anything like that. LinkedIn is a great place to go.
Finally, Pinterest. Your goal here is to allow your readers a glimpse into the life, again behind the writer. You know, so this would be a great place to talk about settings and what inspirations characters, if you have any types of, I don’t know, let’s say with M.L Gardner, when she wrote the 1929 series, she talks a lot about the Great Depression era recipes and so Pinterest is perfect for that because she can create a board called Great Depression era recipes, so have a lot of fun with those. Pinterest is an excellent tool so you can also have a lot of fun with it when it comes to launching your book and using it as a tool to pin a post about your book or anything like that. It’s great.
Let’s move on to the Freebie. This is what you will be offering as an incentive to get people to pre order your book. Once the pre order time is up, no more freebies. OK, so it has a limited time on it. This freebie can be anything on this list. Feel free to take a screenshot. It can be a checklist or a case study. It could be a live Webinar, it could be a workbook to go with your self-help book, a Free eBook, maybe you publish some other books, so they can get the free eBook from you. Maybe they can. You could actually mail them some bookmarks and stickers in anything. Just make sure you come up with a really enticing incentives so that they’re more apt to pre-order instead of waiting around until launch day.
Next is Thunderclap. Thunderclap is a crowd speaking platform used to donate social reach rather than money. When you have a book coming out, social media reach will be a huge help. I love the Thunderclap because it’s free. They do offer a paid options, but the free one is amazing, so you can learn how to get all that set up. If you go to my YouTube and look for you can’t go to YouTube and type in Shayla Raquel Thunderclap and it’ll come up or you can use this link, but I teach you how to use Thunderclap and I go through why it’s important, but basically what happens is you get a Thunderclap link after you’ve created everything and you give it to your launch team and anybody else and you ask them to support you on Thunderclap. They’ll go to it and they’ll click support via Facebook support via Twitter and when they do on launch day, that tweet or Facebook post will automatically go out without them having to do anything.
And it obviously it’ll be talking about buying your book. So, it’s really a wonderful tool. you’ll want to use the Amazon link as well. Great tool and it’s for free!
Alright! You guys. Let’s move on to lesson five. This is so great. This is when we get to talk about planning a launch party. So you’ve been working really hard and you’re probably getting kind of exhausted thinking about all this preparation, but this is a really great time to plan your launch party. Come up with some giveaways, all that fun stuff so that everybody who’s worked so hard in the book launch team can have the opportunity to have some fun and play some games and win some prizes. So let’s go ahead and get a quick count two for setting up your Facebook event. If you have your author Facebook page, you’ll want to go ahead and sign into that area and usually on the left-hand side you’ll see events, click events, and then click create events.
Create an event, excuse me, and this will pop up. They’ll ask you to first put a cover photo in here, so you’ll want to create something that in canvas that you can use here, and then you’ll name your launch party. It’s usually going to be the title of your book and then the location. Right now it says Shayla or cal, but I would. I typically change that to say something like right here on the Facebook event because when this space Facebook launch party takes place, it will be in the actual event. That way it keeps everything in one place and it doesn’t clutter up the Facebook launch team group and then as you scroll through, you can put in your description of what the Facebook party will be about, the time and all that great stuff. It’s so easy, only take you a few minutes to set up, so make sure you get that ready. I recommend doing it on the night of your actual launch day. That’s a great day to do it.
But before you party, we want to make sure that you already have some giveaways planned so there’s really no point in doing this if you’re not offering something for them because you’re going to be prompting them to do things and I do have a Facebook launch party template to follow is very in depth. Again, that’s available in my best book launch ever course, but for this, when you’re asking, forgive, when you’re doing giveaways, you’ll go ahead and want to set that up way beforehand, so you can be kind of calling in some favors from some author friends or whatever your giveaway as can be, Starbucks cards, Amazon gift cards, Barnes and noble gift cards. It can be, oh, all sorts of stuff. It can be bookmarks, so it could be I’m giving an eBook, copy away, print copies, signed hardback copies, signed print copy, anything.
So, make sure that you have your giveaways planned. Then what you’ll want to do is start inviting people to the party, so you can do that in the upper right-hand corner of the event page. I do have a video for this as well, available YouTube. So you’ll invite your friends and you’ll make sure that you go through all the people that you know who would like to come. And then you’ll go ahead and drop that event link and your launch team group to ensure that everyone else has the opportunity to join in on the fun. Feel free to put it on your Facebook author page, email lists, all that, the more the merrier because you’re going to be prompting them to do stuff in order to win a giveaway. So let’s say that you’re offering your signed paperback copy of your book and that’s one of the big prizes.
Then you’re going to tell them something like, go to my Instagram account, follow me on Instagram like my first three photos, and then finally tag one friend under my most recent photo, which would probably be of your book for Release Day and tell them about the book. They have to do something that will help you in order to get the giveaway and then be sure to plan out your party’s content ahead of time. Again, you could use that template that I have. Allow at least 10 minutes for each post during the party so people have enough time to comment in play. So if your party starts at seven, you’ll go ahead and introduce yourself. Unless which I totally prefer that somebody else host this party for you, like a spouse, friend, family member. So in this case, they would introduce you and tell people how the party works and then it 7:10 they’d go ahead and start with contest number one, 7:20 contest number two and so on.
So, make sure that every prompt somehow helps you get the word out about your book. Again, that template will help you include a photo for every single post. I’ve done all sorts of stuff. I prefer having photos of the author and photos of the book and all that great stuff number each contest so people can keep up with them and then close the contest at a certain time that evening, usually by midnight or sooner. That way you don’t have people coming in the next day to try to play. I hope that that gives you a good overview of how to do a launch party. Again, it’s just a really fun way to kind of thank everybody for helping you launch this book these last three months and then also offering some giveaways, getting you know, another push on social media and Amazon for your book.
Next is lesson six, release day. It’s time to release your book. Pretty exciting, right? So you, you should be ready to release your book by now. You should have influencers lined up who had been endorsing the book bloggers who have been already blogging about it, or we’ll be blogging about it during launch week, pumped up launch team who’s just dying to get their reviews out there and a beautiful book ready to reach new readers. So you should have everything ready to go by release day. Let’s go ahead and learn about what a released they actually look like. These are just a few things to keep in mind throughout the day that we’re going to go over. OK? So in the morning, make sure everything is correct on your website and Amazon double check the description, bio the buttons. Just make sure everything’s working.
Send out your release date, email. Again, there are templates available for this in the course, but basically you’ll be saying, you know, today’s the big day. I’m so excited. Will you please help me make a big splash? Here’s what you can do. You’ll be asking them to purchase the book and tell them, you know, if your budget doesn’t allow, will you please tell somebody else about the book who might like it? Then you’ll be updating your cover photos on social media to say, now available. You really want to get rid of any type of pre-order language throughout website, social media, email lists, all that. You’ll be posting that announcement in the launch team with a reminder to review the book. This will be kind of a somewhat long reminder, but it will be pinned to the top if possible, and you will be telling them something.
I mean, in big caps, it should say like I’m now available or today’s the big day or something. And then you’ll tell them what they need to do, which is, to buy the book if they haven’t already pre-ordered it. If their budget doesn’t allow for them to ask somebody else to consider purchasing it, to write a review for the book. And then to continue helping spread the word. And then finally to come to the launch party in the evening. Post the big news on all social media. And website as well. Don’t forget to do that. Send reminders and thank you to influencers or reviewers. this is just a good way to make sure that they know that you’re grateful for what they did. Monitor your stats on Amazon. Make sure you’re paying attention to hot new release and the best sellers list within your categories.
Make sure that Thunderclap went out. originally Thunderclap, allowed us to use hashtags, but now they stopped, so it’s going to be a little bit harder to check on that, but you should get an email from Thunderclap that says it went out. Closely monitor, Amazon rankings. I know I said that I’m going to go with monitoring your stats, so that’s a little bit redundant, but also in terms of stats, I do want to say pay attention to your reviews. Like how many Amazon reviews do you have? How many good reads reviews do you have? Check your sales on Amazon KTP, how many books have you sold? All that is important, so pay close attention to it, but you’re all. My goal is to keep sales going. OK? So make sure that you continue to keep that going, make sure that I’m actually in the afternoon and then that way I don’t get ahead of myself and the afternoon.
Again, to closely monitor Amazon rankings. You only doing this throughout the whole day until your eyes bleed. Tag, and this is the important thing. Tag your launch team members on the main post. Remember we talked about that announcement post. Everyone in your launch team needs to see this. What I usually do the day before is I go under members and I make sure all members are shown and I copy. I highlight and copy that entire post, that entire list, and I go into Microsoft word and I post it and it’s a mess, but that’s OK. All I need are the names. Then throughout the day, all tag about 15 to 20 people on the post every couple of hours until I’m done. You cannot tag every single member in one fell swoop. If you do, you’ll get thrown into Facebook jail for tagging to many people, so make sure that you stagger it throughout the whole day.
Answer emails, messages, social media comments, don’t ignore all that. This is your big day, so make sure that you’re answering everything, and you know, some people, it’s possible somebody might have an issue and they need help with purchasing your book, or maybe people are tagging you all over the place and telling you, congrats on launch, day them. Prep for the launch party, make sure everything looks good on your template so that you’re ready to go. Make sure the host is ready to go. Continue monitoring and asking for Amazon and good reads reviews, so don’t forget, I mean all these cells are really important, but you also want to get those reviews on there. Try to hit a goal of 20 or 25 during launch day or launch week contact. Anyone who blogged about the book to tell them today is release day. Ask them to copy and paste their blog review onto Amazon and good reads.
That’ll be really helpful in getting you more reviews as well in the evening. Closely Monitor Amazon rankings. How far have you come? You know where you way down in the hundreds for bestseller and now your numbers three and coming of age or fantasy or something. Take a look at it. Let me know. I mean, I think it’s exciting. If you guys are launching a book, I’d love to know how you guys did with your Amazon rankings. It’s very exciting. Give the day stats to your team and fans. Let everybody know, hey, did you get on the hot new release? Did you get on best sellers? What happened? Attend the launch party. Again, I’d love for somebody to host those so you can sit back, relax and have some fun and have somebody just geek out about how great you are. Say thank you via Facebook live. You can do this on your actual author page, but I would love for you to specifically do it in your launch team if possible as well, just to tell them thank you for everything that you’ve done and here’s what you can still do. Continue. monitoring and asking for reviews. OK, keep doing that. How many reviews here yet? It’s 9:00 PM at night. How many do you have? Have you reached your goal? How many more you need keep pushing for that search your Hashtag that you created from the very beginning and reply to those who are kind enough to use it and maybe they did Instagram photos of your book because they got it ahead of everybody and they use your Hashtag. Go check that Hashtag and thank them.
Finally, we’re going to head into lesson seven. Post launch. They can’t believe it’s already here. The most important advice I can give you is to keep promoting. Just because the launch is over doesn’t mean you stop promoting. There’s this high that you get during the launch and you’re so busy that you can’t think straight than suddenly purchases drought and it’s quiet in. Keep promoting. Get your book on some blogs, get it into the hands of more influencers and bloggers. Get it on Instagram. Definitely do a book promotion via bookbub. Anything that you can think of, keep pushing because you’re in this for the long game. OK, so make sure that you keep pushing.
Here’s a post launch. Check a checklist for you. Update the automated emails that you have in your email list with the Amazon link to the book if you haven’t already, but just make sure that pre-order talk has gone and then also add any praise for the book and stats. Go ahead and talk about the fact that you know you’ve already released it because originally your wording would probably be more about it’s going to release, so make sure that it’s all about the fact that it’s released. It was a number three hot releases and we’re doing whatever it may be. Updates your email signature if necessary with, of course, the link back to your book. So, it could be something like best-selling, author of wing bound. do the same with all social media bios. Send out an email campaign with the stats and latest news about your book success.
You’ll want to thank everybody who was involved in again, this is also a great opportunity to throw in one more freebie. Anybody on your email list or a launch team, you can go ahead and do one more freebie for them if you want, as just an extra special thank you. Go through the launch party event and personally message or email those who attended to thank them and to ensure they got their giveaways. Makes sure you get those to them the next day after launch. OK, update your pen posts on social media before they’re all about probably pre-order content and stuff. Maybe during launch day you change that wording, but probably update your pinned posts with like a really stellar endorsement, something brave, and maybe an amazing stat about being number three best seller, whatever it may be. Go ahead and make sure that’s updated. Pitch yourself to more blogs and podcasts for reviews and interviews.
Don’t give up on that. Keep it going because now you have something to use. Now you can say, you can tell them about your stats and so on and so forth and the reviews, and there’ll be even more apt to say us. Do a thank you video for the launch team members. I said that before, but I just really want to push that, that you take the time to thank them and show your face and show them how excited you are for everything that they’ve done for you. Consider some local book signings. I highly recommend indie bound.org, Indie is I-n-d-i-e. You can type in your zip code and find independent bookstores all around you and then you can go ask them about book signings. Change the name of your Facebook group so that it’s not all about the book launch team anymore.
So, for example, back when Aurora Gregory and David Petley published their nonfiction book on public speaking, it was called the Get Picked Book Launch Team. Well, after the book launch was done in 2016, I think, well, what were they supposed to do now? Just close the group. No Way. You’ve got all these people in there who love you and the book, so you want to change it. She changed it to the Get Picked Resource Group, which is amazing because now people who need help getting public speaker come into that group to get great tips and tricks and meeting Aurora and David and, Oh, what do you know by the book? So it’s definitely a good idea to do that.
Just some final thoughts for you guys. Marketing isn’t all about buy my book. If you pay attention to how smart author’s word things, you’ll notice they never really ask people to buy their book. For example, instead of saying to their followers, check out my new book I just released. They use smart marketing tactics and they say, without so many people reading this book and sharing its message with others, there’s no way we would’ve had number three best seller. Do you see how that did say anything about buying it but it gay people a reason to want to see what all the hubbub was about? I mean that’s. That’s pretty cool and it’s more authentic that way because that is really exciting to see that type of stat and it’s not boring. Also, marketing isn’t about being salesy. Again, we talked about email or you’ve seen a lot of authors just drive people crazy.
I don’t want you guys to do that. I want you to be your authentic self and just talk to your subscribers and your followers and all that stuff. Just talk to them like you would talk to a friend. I will say marketing is an art. I personally had a to tweak my stuff for the longest time until I got it down, but truly it is about being your quirky, authentic self without ever really saying, buy this. You say it, but you never really say it that way. You persuade readers to buy through clever wording to avoid being salesy and in fact, I don’t even really necessarily like the word clever, but basically you say things that don’t make them feel like you’re constantly selling, selling, selling. So let me give you an example.
One of my authors said, can’t get over what mouseketeer Jennifer Mckeil said about my book. She’s writing one of her own and it it’s so much to me to know the Mosaic of Grace touched her heart. They’ll, where in there did James Prescott tell me to buy that book, but that alone made me think what she actually endorses. That is so cool. Now I’m interested. So just make sure that when you’re marketing your book, you really think things through a little bit and you just be yourself. Don’t be salesy. OK, I hope that that helps.
I do want to just quickly say I offer a free pre-publishing checklist in pdf, Mobi and Iba. Why? Excuse me, Epub format. You can find it at shaylaraquel.com/prepublishingchecklist or you can just go to my website and it’s all over the place. Again, it is free. It has been one of the most helpful tools I have ever created, if not the most, helpful tool I’ve ever created. If you are new to sell publishing, if you want to do things better with this book than you did the last one, you’re going to love this checklist. It’s full of so many helpful resources, but I also quite literally give you a checklist for everything you need to do and I do touch on marketing quite a lot in this as well.
Finally, please feel free to follow me. I’d love for you to talk to me and ask me questions. don’t be shy. Don’t. Again, this is just an overview, so maybe you had some questions about email or maybe you had some questions about the freebie, a Freebie. Just go to my contact page on the website and send me an email. If you would like to know where I’ll be speaking next, please click the speaking option on my website and you can see those places and links. Finally, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as pretty much every other social media platform, but those are my top three faves.
Finally, I just want to say thank you. You guys have no idea how exciting it is for me to be able to talk to you about one of my favorite topics in the world. I love book marketing. I love launching books. I love authors. It has been my dream since I was a kid to work with authors, so it’s very exciting for me to be able to offer some quick advice to help you get your book on the right track when launching. Again, please feel free to ask me any questions. I’m happy to help you. I hope you guys have a wonderful day and thank you again for watching!