You‘ve spent months or even years writing your book, which is why it’s heartbreaking for some authors who don’t get many sales. If that’s you, don’t worry, it’s not your book that’s letting you down, it’s probably the marketing. Marketing might seem like an unknown subject to you, but you may find that it’s not so difficult to grasp - especially when it comes to your book launch. This 12 month plan is segmented in to time frames which are 6-12 months before the launch, 4-6 months before the launch and 1-3 months before the launch.
6 - 12 Months before your Book Release
Sort your Social Media
Research which social media platforms you’d like to market your book on and, if you haven’t already, create author accounts with them. I suggest having a Facebook and a Twitter account if you’re not sure where to start. Make sure you have a professional looking profile picture and a well-written bio which clearly states what genre(s) you write for.
Networking is important when launching your book because if you’ve got no one to read your book, then what’s the point? As a start, join writing community groups - I have personally found #WritingCommunity on Twitter to be extremely helpful. One thing you must remember is to market for READERS not AUTHORS. I’ve seen a lot of authors who have many connections with other authors but they still don’t get the sales they want and that’s because other authors are focusing on their own launch and 9/10 won’t purchase your book, however targeted readers will.
Create your Author Website
Another must-have is an author website, it’s where readers will go to purchase your book and where they can find information about you as an author. You can find easy website builders online, such as Wix.com, who also have templates so if you’re not tech-savvy it won’t be difficult to use. On your website it’s good to include a Home page, About Me page, Contact page, Blog, countdown to your book launch and an email signup form - which brings me on to my next point...
Build an Email Subscriber list
This is vital to your book launch. By building an email subscriber list, you’ll be able to retain customers and prompt them to interact with your book launch. Email campaigns are extremely effective and easy to build. I would recommend using Mailchimp, which not only allows you to create stunning emails but it also provides you with detailed analytics such as open rate and sent rate.
Start a Blog or Podcast
You want to give readers a reason to visit your site, and most importantly stay on your site. How do we do this? By giving them a chance to read/hear latest news, advice, helpful tips or just get to know you better.
4 - 6 Months before your Book Release
Create teasers for your social media
Teasers are graphics which can be shared on social media, and are more noticeable and visibly appealing that a usual photo post. Here’s an example:
A teaser should clearly state your book cover, a title or rhetorical question, a rounded and information on when your book will be out or if it’s available to pre-order.
Create a book trailer an upload to YouTube
A book trailer is equally as important as book teasers are, and videos are generally better perceived than photos. You can create your book trailer on PowerPoint or use a video editing app.
Write a press release
You want to get your book covered by the press and this needs to be well-planned in advance. Begin by gathering the email addresses of all local newspapers and radio stations. Then, open up a Word document and begin by writing your press release. Make sure you include your book synopsis, author bio, where readers will be able to buy your book from and contact details.
Develop a media kit
A media kit is what you’ll use to send to contacts such as local newspapers and radio stations. It will be either a ZIP file or a PowerPoint which includes; a professional author bio, a high resolution image of yourself, book cover and synopsis, basic book information including retail price and ISBN number, list of previous books and contact information.
1 - 3 Months before your Book Release
Send out your media kit and press release
Now is the time to start sending out your media kit and press release to the contacts you have gathered. Try to stagger you’re appointments so that they’re not all at once.
A great way to increase your exposure if by guest blogging on other author blogs and online book clubs. By doing this, you’re reaching readers that are completely unknown to you, you can also promote your article on your social media which will build trust between you and the reader.
Promote a pre-order sale
If you’re happy to allow pre-orders, stretch this even further into a promotion and slash the price for anyone who pre-orders in advance. You could give 50% off for example, which will encourage more readers to pre-order and ultimately guarantee you sales.
Set money aside for paid advertisements
The easiest and quickest way to increase exposure to your website and book is through paid advertisements on social media. I find Facebook, Twitter and Instagram the most effective and just £2 can give you a reach of 2,000 people, imagine what £10 would give you!