Whether you are a first time author, or have a few books in the marketplace already, the time when you are likely to sell the most copies of your book is on the day of its launch. So how can you make sure it is going to be a success? The key is to get the word out, and there are a lot of ways to do it.... With the help of early adopters, by securing influential endorsements, through word-of-mouth, and with the help of marketing and publicity.
#1 Early Adopters
A good place to start is by building a team of early adopters. Your core promoters can be friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers, book reviewers, etc.
Offer several people you know and think will like your book a free copy, and ask them to tell their friends about it if they like it, and also to post a review on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Goodreads.com, and any other places they frequent online and think may generate interest. A good rule of thumb is to pick out a minimum of 20 people. Just think of how wide reaching their influence will be if all 20 of them read your book, like it, and tell their friends to buy it when it comes out.
NOTE: In order for this strategy to work, you may want to have Advance Review Copies (ARCs) printed up, or when books become available do a soft launch with the official launch date being a month or two after the book becomes available. This will give you time to get attention for the title.
#2 Influential endorsements.
Another easy way to “give your book legs” on the day it comes out is to secure influential endorsements early enough in the process to have the person’s testimonial printed on the cover. So how do you do that?
If you have a personal contact who has access to the influencer you want to endorse the book, ask that person for help first. If you do not have a personal connection who can help, another strategy is to track down the person’s contact information, then pick up the phone, or send an email or a letter through U.S. Mail, asking the person you want to endorse your book if they will consider offering a review.
Some may say no, some may not respond at all, but imagine how great you will feel if an influential person does respond and says he or she is willing to take a look at your book and consider offering an endorsement. As they say, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
#3 Word of Mouth
Speaking of which, don’t forget the power of word of mouth. Let everyone you know that you have a new book coming out soon, and sure would appreciate it if they could help spread the word. If you ask everyone on your launch party invite list to help out by telling 10 of their friends about your upcoming book, imagine how many copies you may have pre-sold by the time the launch date arrives. People want to help. All you have to do is ask.
#4 Marketing & Publicity
And of course don’t forget marketing and publicity to generate attention for your book from people you don’t know. If you’re putting on a private launch party, you don’t necessarily want to promote the fact that you will be at the country club on Friday night. So, how about getting a public event set up the same week at a bookstore, and enlisting the help of a PR firm like RMA Publicity to drive traffic to that event. You may also want to purchase advertising in the local news media to increase awareness about the event.
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