Let’s recap the last two blogs—Book Marketing Myth: It’s Not for Me … Really … If not for you, then who? revealed why the author has got to be the lead, and driver of his or her book marketing success (or failure); Book Marketing Myth: Getting on a Major TV Show Will Sell Tons of Books and a Publicist Will Get Me On for Sure … probed into the myth that major TV will launch a thousand books.
Now it’s time to look at the book launch. Surely it won’t be a mere splish-splash …it’s going to be a tsunami of massive magnitude! Maybe, maybe not.
Books only have one window or time to launch. Not!
Maybe, most likely not. What a massive launch does is kick start a buzz possibility. Authors who have been out there for a while, those of use with the first out and mostly likely more on the way, know that it’s rarely one item—rather a series of events, activities, articles, appearances—those fuel sales. Wouldn’t we all love the grand launch
Authors fantasize: all my amazing thoughts and energy into the launch will bring in MASSIVE book sales … accolades … invitations for speaking gigs … TV—lots of it.The the today show, Ellen and The View will want me … my world will be soooooooo awesome …
As an author who started with traditional publishing in the 80s, my books launched (jeeze, we didn’t even use that phrase then) with a multi-city author tour. Media releases were created; cities identified; and TV, radio, print interviews were set up in each including book signings. We authors “were kept” as one might say. The publisher set it all up including air tickets, itinerary, escorts in each city to pick you up-get you to where you needed to be—in make sure you were fed. Basically, we were sent tickets, the itinerary and showed up. Supposedly, the publisher would push book stores to carry the book.
Exhausting, exciting … and sometimes disappointing. Oh, the interviews were the cat’s meow. And fun. Sometimes there were books in the stores, too often, not—I think that was my first wake up that the “system” wasn’t totally communicating in a trickle down matter—author is going to be in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver (all great book cities by the way)—doing massive media, speaking, make sure books are in stores, etc.—somehow didn’t get relayed.
Although … truth be told, there were many times there were no books in the cities I was in. It wasn’t until I had friends copy the Yellow Pages of the phone book of book stores of cities I was slated to be in and send them to me. What did I do? I sent a post card with the cover of my book on the front and a note on the other side from me saying I was going to be in town on a certain date doing media on my new book and I would love to drop by the store and sign books. It worked—books were order and I did drop by the stores to sign them. Plus, I would mention in all media interviews that the book was available at their local stores. Remember, most book sales are impulse buy. Even today’s Amazon Prime can’t beat it when I would say, “Call your favorite book store now to reserve your copy—the store has it.”
And then the wait … were there book sales? Maybe … maybe not. Back then, a book had about six weeks to make its mark. If it didn’t, the publisher’s attitude was, “Next …”
That was then; this is now. If you are traditionally publishing, maybe … maybe, your publishing will support you in this. But it’s a HUGE maybe and most likely not in the picture. Oh, you can do an Author Tour yourself—it’s a lot of work … and YOU most likely are the car driver (you could have someone doing it for you at each stop) to where you are speaking signing, etc.
Today, LOTs has changed. The mark with traditional publishing is a lot shorter—just a couple of weeks. That’s why they want authors to have huge social medial platforms—you dear author, will do most of the marketing work. You are telling your fans, your followers to “Go-Go-Go” and get the book.
Go-Go-GOOOOO is the beginning … it’s not the end. A Book Launch today should be thought of as a Rolling Launch. Here’s where you start.
- Build up a plan for a year to support your book. Sure—go for #1 on Amazon, why not. But what’s next.
- Get those blogs out; keep supporting your baby through all your social media channels.
- Get out there and chat it, you, the topic, what you solve, the intrigue … the whatever … and support your book so it can build the legs you envisioned in the first place.
- Think Momentum … better yet, Unstoppable Momentum. What can you do to add to the mix to keep you and your book on the train?
Don’t expect it to happen overnight. Its lottery odds if it does.
Think again. The savvy author thinks of the launch is a starting point. A beginning. It needs to be in the Book GamePlan.It’s not the end where one is expected to live happily ever after. At least, not yet.
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of AuthorU.org, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (Foreword IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35 was published in 2016: How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos. Get your copy now.
Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2017, the dates are June 22-24th. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow.
Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.
Author U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps, and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre-, during and post-publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.
If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday if you are an AuthorU.org GOLD member.