I’m taking self-promotion in a different direction on the blog today. The whole point in promoting is to have a successful launch so let’s look at how to make that happen. As a debut author and a recently released one at that, I have a lot to say about this topic. It’s been an utter whirlwind of excitement, sobering facts, and unknowns. But within this chaos, I found the best way to tackle it all and stay sane was to keep a calendar and lists ONLY for book launch-related tasks. What were those tasks? Here are just a few:
STAY CALM Going completely ape shit crazy won’t change the massive amount of work ahead of you OR make you sell more books. Go for a run, do some meditation, get drunk—for the love of all that’s holy, take the edge off.
WRITE A PRESS RELEASE with your bio, a short blurb, photos of you and your cover, as well as any blurbs or endorsements you may have gathered about the book. Some of us are lucky enough to have a publicist who may do it for us, some of us, not so much. But this handy document can be sent to any website, newspaper, or media outlet you decide to pitch to. You may also submit every time a blogger wants to interview you.
SPEAKING OF MEDIA, make a list of all outlets you’d like to approach. Gather the emails and phone numbers you need. Work through your list, press release in hand. Remember to be polite and give them solid reasons why your book is appropriate for their station/channel, etc. Again, if you have a publicist, you may want to talk with them about how you can split the work. If your publisher doesn’t assign you a publicist, there are many companies and freelancers out there who do a wonderful job as well.
SET UP A BLOG TOUR Too busy to call upon the same friends who always hook you up? There are many companies who do this for you. Set up one by genre to start, then an additional tour that hits any cross-over elements your book may touch upon. Remember to put your book in front of as many different audiences as possible that may be interested.
DESIGN PARAPHERNALIA like book marks or postcards—something you can sign. (People like that.) Keep them in your purse, your car, your computer bag. Give a stack to your mom to give out.
GIVEAWAYS Remember that Goodreads and LibraryThing prompt readers to add your book to their TO READ list when they enter a giveaway. On release day, those platforms email everyone on that list to announce the release. This is crucial to getting the word out.
REACH OUT TO BOOK CLUBS interested in hosting you. Sign up for ads at Bookmovement.com where there are 30,000+ bookclubs. Check Meetup.com. Offer to visit them. Remember that book clubbers love to TALK ABOUT BOOKS. They may become your biggest supporters. And whatever you do, don’t forget to bring the wine and cupcakes. Everyone likes cupcakes.