It’s been book launching season here in Sydney with a number of our clients in full-on launch mode. The main image is Christina Gerakiteys signing her book Celebrating Success one Failure at a time, which was launched in May.
I love a good book launch. After ALL the effort that’s gone in to the book it’s a great celebration and are real milestone. 80% of businesspeople say they want to write a book but roughly 1.5% ever do.
One of key elements we work on with our clients is helping them to leverage their book launch way before it happens – 3-4 months at least. It’s around this time that their book is in the final stages of production so there is a lot going on and it can feel overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be IF you have a clear pre-launch strategy and plan in place. Here are 7 steps you can take.
1. Finalise your book cover early to leverage visibility
Once you have your book cover you can start using it across your website, social media platforms (LinkedIn and Insta), blogs, PodCasts and more. Make sure you get a flat and 3D version in JPEG and png files.
2. Build a book marketing budget and plan
There are a lot of moving parts to marketing your business book and it’s easy to be sucked in to spending a lot of money and time if you are not clear on what you want to achieve, how you are going to do it and what it’s going to cost you. Having a plan and budget will help keep you focused and on track in terms of selecting what you need to spend your money and time on and what’s a nice to have but not required.
Most people focus on their book launch – which can be done cost-effectively or be a huge event, but there are significant costs for marketing before and after the event. These costs vary depending on whether you are going to learn as you go and do it all yourself or if you’re going to contract someone else to undertake various aspects of your marketing.
A book publicist, for example might cost anywhere between $7,000-$30,000. A full social media campaign can be DIY or in the tens of thousands. You need to understand what you can and want to do, the time you have, or not, and set your budget.
A book launch could be as cost effective as a virtual/online launch (and interestingly you might reach way more people and can ‘do’ multiple launch events) or $5,000-$10,000 and anywhere inbetween.
If your book is selling for say $40.00 you’ll need to sell a lot of books to cost recover at least and make money so it pays to plan ahead.
3. Create a landing page – or two or three – and leverage special pre-publication offers
You want to make it easy for people to pre-order your book and there’s no better simpler way than to promote a special pre-publication offer. The offer could be a % discount on the RRP, free postage, free download of the first chapter (if you are this far advanced), signed copies, a bundle with a previous book.
Another great upside to this is that you’ll capture the email of the person pre-ordering your book so you can then start building a deeper relationship with them.
It’s worth noting here that if you make your book available on Amazon or other platform you won’t capture the email address of who has ordered your book. If this is important to you, think twice about when or if you make your book available on Amazon.
4. Share your book production journey across ALL your social – this builds connection and visibility
There’s nothing worse than someone bombarding you with posts and promotions for their book in the few weeks before it comes out. It’s intrusive and, quite frankly, annoying. A way better way to create interest and awareness about your book is to share where you are at with getting it completed and published.
People LOVE commenting on cover designs, titles and sub titles, even the author photo you should use, so share it with your tribe and build your community.
If you have a content marketing plan integrate your book into it. If you don’t have a content marketing strategy and plan NOW is the time to create one using your book as a key part of it.
5. Build your book launch team– leverage your networks
Like most things in life, leveraging your book launch early requires a team of people. Who is on that team and their roles will vary depending on your business operations. If you have a marketing team they need to take the lead with this. If not, you might have a virtual, contract group who supports you. Both need to be briefed early and your plan built and then executed. If it’s just you, it’s even more important you have a clear plan of what’s coming up and what you can realistically do or not and afford.
6. Start looking at what’s topical in the media
While you should be across what’s happening in your specific sector, you need to be totally across it in the months before your book launch as this will provide HUGE opportunities for you to write, comment, share and post about what’s in the news AND link your upcoming book to it. This increases your visibility and increases your relevance and that of your book.
This also means that you need to be actively posting, blogging and engaging across all your social media channels, industry and other groups. Yes, it might seem a lot, especially as you’re at the pointy end of getting your book to the printing, but it’s vital that you are as engaged as you can be well before your book launch.
7. Secure endorsements for your book
Securing endorsements for your book is something you should be doing anyway. However, in terms of leveraging your book before it’s launched, endorsements provide you with THE PRIME way to extend your leverage and visibility.
Social media is all about SOCIAL PROOF, and in the book world social proof comes in the form of endorsements. Well before you launch your book you can be sharing posts, tiles, videos and more from the people who have endorsed your book. It’s effective, easy content to deliver and will expand your network.
In summary, you can leverage your book and secure book orders way before your book is launched if you have a plan, budget, know your target audience and where to spend your time and money, and focus on funnelling everyone to your website.
One of our clients sold 300 copies of her book before it was launched.
Another secured a bulk sale of 500 books before his book was launched as he linked it to a speaking engagement he was booked for.
If you want help with your business book marketing and sales contact us.
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