With the final post in this three-part series, Ben De Rienzo and the Booklaunch.io Team dive into the murky waters of the “post-launch” phase of your book launch plan, clarifying what you can do to keep the momentum rolling.
Launching your book is an exciting experience.
You’ve been working hard for months, possibly years, in the lead up to this moment. Your manuscript has been edited several times. Your promotional opportunities have been lined up. Your book launch page has been created. And your marketplace listings are ready.
Then the big day comes. Bam!—your book is out into the world. Now what?
Recent trends show that successful authors don’t stop their effort at launch day. In some cases, authors increase their level of effort post-launch.
Because momentum is everything when it comes to fueling book sales and growing an author career.
A big launch day does provide the main thrust to get your book off the launch pad. However, without additional “rocket boosters”, your book (and career) may not climb as high as you hope.
Keep your book, platform, and career soaring ever-higher with the following tried-and-true strategies.
1. Keep Your Promises
Chances are you made a number of promises to your readers during the pre-launch phase of your book project. Maybe you offered bundle options, each with several bonuses. For instance, perhaps you promised to hold a private web-based Q&A with readers who purchased at least five copies. Follow through on that pledge. Organize and execute your online Q&A when you said you would.
Or, if you promised exclusive content like bonus chapters or swag like t-shirts, make sure those happen. There’s nothing more corrosive to the author-reader relationship than failing to deliver on campaign promises.
2. Engage, Fast and Furiously
If you’ve done a strong job preparing for your big launch, then your readers will be buzzing about it. Participate in that buzz.
Join the Twitter conversation using whatever book hashtag you’ve promoted. Leave thoughtful comments on those blogs that generously published a launch day book review. Host a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) for those readers clamouring for more behind-the-scenes details.
Throughout all the engagement channels, strive to offer more value, not just sell books. Reciprocity from you (e.g. more value) begets reciprocity from them (e.g. direct and indirect book sales).
3. Go On Tour
Book tours remain a best practice for elevating reader engagement, growing your reader base, and unearthing unexpected business opportunities.
Think online tours first and branch out from there. In the online space, a “tour” could be private Google Hangouts with a variety of professionals in your market with relevant fan bases.
In the offline space, focus first on your local community. Community colleges, book stores, coffee shops, web meetups, and the like are prime venues for authors who have a compelling book and possess an entrepreneurial spirit.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here; learn from other successful authors conducting tours, like Jeremiah Gardner.
4. Solicit Big(ger) League Promo Opportunities
One big boon of organizing a sizeable book launch is that the resulting buzz can lead to even bigger buzz.
Once your book is out there and getting talked about, capture all that attention and use it as part of a pitch to higher profile sites, networks, and individuals.
Such initial momentum is the credibility you need to make a strong pitch to an industry leader for expanded coverage of your book (and your personal backstory).
Note: Your backstory is often far more attractive to bigger name sites; so be sure not to reveal everything to lower-tier sites in the initial launch phase. Hold a few juicy nuggets back in the hope that you can land a big feature with a major league site.
5. Write a ‘What You Learned’ Epic Essay
If you examine the likes of Timothy Ferriss and Ryan Holiday, you’ll notice that such high-caliber authors share a ton of transparency post-launch.
They’ll write long, detailed essays that reveal how they planned their book launch campaign, what went well and what didn’t, how they overcame unexpected hurdles, why they did (or didn’t) market their book in a certain way, how much they spent on book production and promotion, etc.
Fans enjoy all this transparency because it further humanizes the author. Further, to the sub-set of fans that want to follow in their footsteps, this type of content is gold. Big media sites like Medium.com love these articles too, and are are likely to help promote them.
And, of course, there is positive Google juice to be gained.
6. Keep Asking For Amazon Reviews
Let’s not forget about the all-important Amazon review.
You probably asked your readers to leave an Amazon review about your book on launch day. If you didn’t—oops.
Amazon reviews are really, truly, super-duper important to your book’s chances of achieving “escape velocity”—that near-magical moment when positive buzz begins to perpetuate more positive buzz automatically, lifting your book higher and higher in the rankings.
You need to continually stoke this fire by consistently asking for Amazon reviews.
You’ll feel like a broken record.
Overcome that hesitation and keep asking—in your email newsletters, on social media, within your offline networks. If you’re still hesitate, consider this: Amazon reviews not only provide “discoverability” value immediately at launch; they provide credibility well into the future on an ongoing and exponential basis.
7. Network With More Authors
Does your business model revolve entirely around book sales?
Probably not. You likely offer consulting services, coaching programs, online courses, keynote presentations, software products, or something else that generates revenue for your business.
If you’re a fiction author, you probably sell book-related swag, extended story material, how-to storytelling products, and/or premium access into a community of like-minded fiction writers.
Networking with fellow authors is a magnificent way to promote these services and products. Your book serves as the low-friction reason to network with such authors for mutual gain.
Building Your Author Empire
Do take stock of what you’ve achieved at this point—a successful book launch! That victory deserves recognition and celebration. Bravo! Go you! Way to crush it! You’re awesome!
Now is not the time to get too comfortable, however. Your launch has given you great potential. Lean forward and keep going to harness it.
Author empires aren’t built from launches alone. They’re built from using launches as a gateway into the types of reader engagement and business relationships that generate real results and growth for your career.
That concludes our series on book launch landing pages, but if you missed a post in the series, check them out here: