Book Launch Checklist (Short Version)
There are actually two lists here. One for the author with zero platform releasing their first book. The other for an author with a platform releasing book 2 or later. This post is part of much longer report on successfully lunching a book. I’ll put a link the entire article at the end. Without further ado. Here are the things you’ll need to launch your first book:
The first book in your series
It should be professionally edited and have a great cover.
A short story or other free giveaway
A web domain
A home on the internet where you can post blogs and announce new books.
Mail Chimp account (Free for the first 2k email addresses)
Facebook author page
People are going to pan your work. That’s life. Even Jesus had his detractors.
To be clear: I only had numbers 1 and 7 when I launched Noble Man. If you have all seven in place, you’ll be way ahead of the crowd. Ahead of me and the very least.
ONE MONTH FROM LAUNCH
- Write half a dozen blogs for your website.
- Friend people on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t bother pushing a book you haven’t published. It’s tacky and pointless. Just make some friends so when your readers go to your Facebook page they see you have friends.
- Join FB writer groups like Guerilla Publishing and SPF Community. Hang out. Be a part of the group. Make a few friends.
- Set up your mailing list and auto responders.
Note: The only thing I had was a Facebook page. No web site. No blog. I didn’t even know what twitter was or how it worked. These things aren’t necessary, especially when you are starting out. But they help.
TWO WEEKS TO LAUNCH
- Contact a few of the author friends you made in those Facebook groups and ask if they would be willing to read and review your book. You need to give them enough time to actually read the book so don’t wait until the day before launch. Don’t be pushy and don’t be offended if people don’t respond.
- Line up some early reviewers. The hierarchy of early reviewers is:
Authors in your Genre you friended on FB.
Friends who enjoy the genre you write.
Siblings who like your genre.
Siblings in general.
Mom and Dad.
If Mom and Dad are the best you can do, then take reviews were you can get them, but start at the top of that pyramid and work your way down. You’ll be glad you did.
- Put the book up on Amazon and enroll in KDP Select. Set the price point at 0.99.
- Email your early reviewers if you have them. Let them know the book is up and kindly ask them to review.
- Social Media blast. Post a link to your book’s sales page and a cover image on Facebook and Twitter. Let everyone know that you are proud of yourself because you worked really hard and the job is finally done. People like to engage celebratory posts which means people will like and share and get more eyeballs on your book = more potential buyers.
- Use fiverr.com to buy gigs to boost and share both your FB and twitter posts announcing your book. Spend no more than $50. This will not result in many sales, but it will drive some traffic.
- Post a series of AMS ads targeting best sellers in your genre. Spend $5 a day on each.
- Go out for a fancy dinner. Drink a glass of wine. Congratulate yourself. Seriously. You accomplished something most people only dream of. It’s a monumental undertaking to write, edit and publish a book. You deserve a little celebration.
LAUNCH DAY +7
- Schedule KDP Select free giveaway. Schedule your free days for the weekends. You’ll get a quick boost in rank and the sales will continue into the week.
- Social Media blast. Create FB and twitter posts letting the world know that your book will be free for a few days.
- Use fiverr.com and purchase gigs to boost your FB and twitter posts. Spend no more than $50.
- Book Bub promo.
- Spread your free promos throughout the 90 enrollment period and repeat steps 13 through 16 until you run out of free days. Remember; at this stage of the game, you are focused on getting reviews. I’ve got an article on how to get more reviews here! Check it out.
THE SECOND BOOK
Fast forward six months to a year from now. You should have the second book ready to publish. Hopefully you’ve got between 20 to 50 reviews on book one.
TWO WEEKS TO LAUNCH
- Reach out to your most engaged readers, or the authors who helped previously, and offer an early review copy. Be sure these individuals know that the book is coming out in two weeks and you’re trying to line up reviews.
- Set up a free giveaway of your first book to coincide with the launch of book two.
- Line up a Book Bub promo for book 1 on launch day if at all possible. (That’s right, you are advertising book 1, not book 2!)
- Write blog post announcing the release of book 2. Share it on Facebook and pin a tweet to your twitter page.
- Use Fiverr.com to boost and share those blog, FB and Twitter posts on launch day. Note: you want all this promotion to come together on launch day. Set these up in advance so that you Book Bub and Fiverr.com gigs all happen on the same day to really skyrocket your downloads of book one.
- Send a letter to you mailing list, letting them know the release date. Tease the cover and ask them to share. If you’ve got something free to give away include it. A character bio, another short story, an interview with your main character would all work great.
- Put the book up on Amazon and enroll in KDP Select. Set the price point at 2.99.
- Email your early reviewers. Let them know the book is up and kindly ask them to review.
- Social Media blast. Post a link to your book’s sales page and a cover image on Facebook and Twitter. Let people know it is available.
- Amazon ads. Renew and refresh your AMS ads targeting best sellers in your genre. Spend $5 a day on each.
- Email Amazon and ask them to create a “books in this series” section on your sales pages.
- Congratulate yourself. The second one will feel more like business because you are starting to learn the ropes and become familiar with the process, but it’s no less a feat than the original. You deserve a little celebration.
- Pay it forward. Share this with other authors you know. I’m a huge believer in this principle. The help you give out comes back to you in spades.
- Head over to Literary Rebel, or my Facebook page, and let me know how this worked. Did you follow it to the letter? Did you adjust some of the strategies? Did you figure out something that I missed which really boosted your sales? I’d love to hear from you.
This is an excerpt from a much longer essay on launching a book. I go more in depth and give my reasoning behind the tactics listed here, plus I reveal some of the mistakes I made as well as mistakes I see other authors making. If you’d like the full report, simply click here and enter you email. I’ll send the entire report directly to your inbox.