Your book launch is the most important part of your journey as an author. The process of writing your book might exhaust you – since it comes with editing, rewriting, and proofreading for indie authors – and you would most likely not pay equal attention for your book launch. After all, why can’t you just start talking about your book once everything is done?
But that’s where most authors go wrong. When you don’t build a marketing strategy early on, your book will not find its readers. Sharing a few posts on social media a couple of weeks before the launch date isn’t going to be effective. Your readers’ enthusiasm depends entirely upon your own willingness to step out of your comfort zone and forego convenience.
Learning what you did wrong after the failure of your book launch can hit hard and seem—frankly—counterproductive. Here are 5 mistakes you should avoid making when you plan your book launch strategy.
1. Starting Too Late
A month before your launch date is not the ideal time to start your book marketing campaign. That’s way too little time to find new readers and have them be excited about your upcoming book. Readers don’t often like experimenting on books by unknown authors. But by starting early, you can build your author brand and establish credibility.
“You should be thinking about marketing the book while you are writing. That means starting early, at least six to twelve months before your book launch,” says Ashley Bernardi, Founder of Nardi Media.
2. Ignoring Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The primary goal of using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to make sure your website comes up on the first page of Google search results. Amid billions of websites on Google, and millions of book listings on Amazon, being discovered by your target audience requires effort. Ignoring SEO because you don’t know the basics can cost you a lot in the long run, because readers would not be able to find your book easily.
Without keywords, hashtags, and inbound/outbound links to accompany your social media and blog posts, your book would basically be invisible.
3. Underestimating Your Own Connections
Sometimes, in our desperation to reach a global audience, we forget the ones who live in our backyard. Book marketing doesn’t begin and end with social media – it is not purely limited to blog posts and emails. Having your book shared around by influencers and other authors can be amazing, but that’s not the only way to find your audience.
Often, it’s the people who are nearest to us who are most excited to promote our work, and that’s not just family and friends. Remember to contact your local bookshop, library, and newspaper about your upcoming release. They’ll be happy to let their readers know about you and your work!
4. Not Engaging with Fans
Once you have a substantial following and sufficient excitement for your upcoming release, you cannot disappear off of social media or stop responding to your eager fans. In fact, that’s the easiest way to lose the credibility you have built for yourself from months of hard work.
You will have fans and bloggers share news about your book and help in every way they can – remember to respond to their enthusiasm. Interact with your followers by hosting small online events occasionally, like Q&A sessions, giveaways, etc.
Sharika Hafeez is a nerd, and she’s proud of it. Growing up, she fell in love with books and writing, and is currently following her undergraduate degree (for some mysterious reasons) in Physics. She likes procrastinating by watching the stars with a steaming cup of tea, composing poetry in her head.