Book Launch: Every Which Way but Right!

StillDancing.cover5

When it comes to marketing, I sometimes feel like I’m doing things every which way but right! And when it comes to that all important book launch, I’ve got the market on doing it the wrong way.

Marketing experts stress the importance of a well-planned book launch. It starts well before you have your finished product in hand, even before you put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard)! You need to be building your platform, engaging social media and developing an email list all the while trying to garner those creative juices into a cohesive story complete with a compelling plot and fascinating characters.

Last week I attended a webinar on “Secrets of a Flawless Book Launch.” The webinar listed six steps for a successful book launch:

  1. Define your launch objectives – be specific
  2. Be clear on your message and positioning
  3. Take inventory
  4. Make an offer they can’t refuse
  5. Gather you’re A Team
  6. Have a Launch Plan

With this in mind, I went over whether I was ready to launch my latest book, Still Dancing.

  1. In terms of objective, I have no big expectations. I want to get the sequel out to my book, Dancing on a High Wire, in the hope of drawing attention to the first book and gain interest for the third book which I intend to write for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I have no illusions about best seller. If I were to sell five copies on my launch date I would be ecstatic. I’m more of a slow and steady person than a big splash.
  2. I struggle with message. My interests are broad based and I write both fiction and non-fiction which can be problematic. A year and a half of blogging and promoting my books at different craft shows has helped me be clearer about my audience. I’ve been developing my elevator pitch not just for individual books, but my writing as a whole. Hard to sum up your life’s work in one sentence but often that’s all the time you get before your perspective buyer moves on to the next booth. Am I well positioned to make this launch? About as well as I can be at this point in time. Will a later time be better? Don’t know.
  3. Inventory – I have my website with landing page and an email sign-up. I have my facebook page and Twitter account. I’ve informed my readers about this book since I started writing it last November. I’ve engaged their support through the beta read phase and proofing phase and with a Kindle Scout campaign. I am ready to roll using my small platform. Since I use print on demand (POD) I don’t have to worry about whether I have sufficient inventory available.
  4. My offer? I’m giving away my first book in the series, Dancing on a High Wire, on Thursday and Friday of this week as an enticement to read the sequel.
  5. My A Team consists of a small group of supporters who have helped me through the editing and proofing process. I’ll be contacting them for reviews as soon as my book is live on Amazon. It includes but not limited to: Ken Wyatt, Ruth Sullivan, Dee Cogburn, Joanne McLaughlin, Jeri Delambo and Barb Socie. If I could get them all together for a picture I would but they live in different parts of the country. Maybe I’ll photo-shop a picture of them using their facebook pics if I learn how to use photo-shop!
  6. Plan – I’ve yet to do a launch party. My books come out like a whisper in the hurricane that is the thousands of books published each day. That’s okay with me. My birthday gift to myself is to publish this book. There are few material things in this life that I need or want but I get great satisfaction from finished books. Then I’m ready to move on to my next one. It’s time. I’ll celebrate with birthday strawberry shortcake, and then move on.

Happy Birthday to me! Still Dancing will be available tomorrow, June 26.

What do you think about my launch plans? Any suggestions for what I might do better? What has been your experience with book launches?

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