This is not an exhaustive list of everything you might do for a book launch. It focuses primarily on what you can do using social media. There may be other things you need to do if you are having a book launch party, need additional publicity such as getting on radio, TV, in newspapers. I can recommend a great publicist for traditional publicity. Her name is Joanne McCall and you can learn more at her website.
Book Launch Planning
Have on hand:
- a digital copy of your book
- your photo
- a high resolution digital version of your book cover
- your bio
- copies of all your existing physical marketing collateral
- links to all your online accounts
Expand Your Audience of Potential Readers
One way to do this is to cross-promote on all your social platforms. On Facebook post a message periodically inviting your Facebook fans to follow you on Twitter, Instagram, etc. On Twitter post a weekly message inviting your Twitter followers to connect with you on LinkedIn. On LinkedIn periodically post a link to your Pinterest boards and invite your connections to follow them. Examples:
“Follow my Pinterest board here: https://www.pinterest.com/sueawesome/social-media-tips-for-nonfiction-authors/”
“For more detailed information about me and what I do, like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AusomaSocialMediaMarketingforNonfictionAuthors/”
“Are you on LinkedIn? Send me a request to connect: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suecanfield/”
“Let’s connect on Twitter! https://twitter.com/sueawesome”
“Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suecanfieldausoma/”
6 Months Before Launch
- Hire a book launch specialist if you can
- Setup a book page on your website if you don’t yet have one. It should include:
- expected release date
- list of other books you’ve written
- links to your Amazon page, Goodreads and all social media accounts
- link sign up for your newsletter
- a pitch to ask readers to post a review of your book wherever they purchased it (Amazon, Goodreads, etc.)
- Set up Twitter if you don’t yet have an account. Tweet relevant tips from your book and retweet relevant content from others. Follow relevant profiles to expand your audience.
4 Months Before Launch
- Set up your Facebook Author page if you don’t have one yet. Start posting about your upcoming book launch.
- Setup an email list if you haven’t yet. I recommend using MailChimp.
- Reach out to bloggers who interview authors to plan a virtual book tour the week the book launches.
- Write articles to post to your blog weekly, or more often, related to your book’s topic. Some of these could be re-worked to use as guest posts for the bloggers who interview authors. Your bio paragraph can include information about the book. You could even submit these articles to online article submission sites.
- Contact podcasters for interviews.
- Request book endorsements
- Create photo memes (images to be shared on social media). Each social media platform displays photos best when they are sized correctly for that platform. These sizes change periodically. You can learn more about photo memes and download an image size guide here.
- Setup a Pinterest board for your book and add all created Photo Memes.
- Setup Instagram if you haven’t yet. Add all photo memes.
- Consider doing a book trailer and posting on YouTube. This can be video of you talking about the book or it can use images and graphics with voice over. You want it to tell the reader why this book benefits them. Here are some examples of book trailers Joel has done. https://youtu.be/DHWyi5drV64 https://youtu.be/2gLSiwKoFgs https://youtu.be/sIHJpRFdIGg https://youtu.be/dA8JeVL3Vck
2 Months Before Launch
- Setup your Amazon Author Central account if you don’t yet have one.
- Post book cover image all over social media.
- Create bookmarks and/or postcards around the book for your book launch party.
- Create a hashtag specific to your book for use in social media messages. (i.e. my client, a retail consultant, is using #fivelawsofretail for his book, The Five Laws of Retail)
- Reach out to a small group of people to be beta readers who will post a book review on Amazon on book launch day.
1 Month Before Launch
- Update LinkedIn Publications Section
- Let your email list know when the book will be released and ask them to share the announcement with their networks. See an example here of how one author leveraged her email list for her book launch.
- Write a blog post about your book launch and include a short excerpt from your book.
- Set up Google Alerts and monitor mention of your name, book, and topic.
- Give away a sample chapter to new email subscribers to help build your list.
- Share relevant links related to your topic. Mention how your book will address that topic.
- Write copy about the book that your audience can share on their social media platforms on launch day. Send it out to your list with sample tweets and Facebook messages they can share with their audience. (Example of one of my client’s books for Facebook: “If you’re a mom, you’re worried about your daughter. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the question remains: How do we protect our daughters? By tackling the subject of sexual assault head-on, The Way of the Warrior Mama offers a roadmap to navigating one of the most treacherous parts of the journey from girlhood to womanhood. Learn more about the book: http://ow.ly/Irv130kGeVM” and for Twitter: How do we protect our daughters? By tackling the subject of sexual assault head-on, The Way of the Warrior Mama offers a roadmap to navigating one of the most treacherous parts of the journey from girlhood to womanhood. Learn more about the book: http://ow.ly/Irv130kGeVM”
- Your blog – schedule a promotional announcement the day of the launch.
- Your newsletter list – schedule a book launch announcement the day of the launch.
- Facebook Author page – post 3 unique posts, morning, midday, evening.
- Twitter – post 12 unique tweets – 1 every two hours. All can be scheduled ahead using a tool like Hootsuite. If you don’t use a tool to schedule ahead, then you can post those 12 tweets closer together, but no more than 2 in one hour. Be sure to use the specific hashtag you created for your book in your tweets. Monitor your account on launch day for any likes, retweets, mentions, comments. Be sure to respond to any comments and thank anyone who retweets and shares your posts.
- LinkedIn – post 3 unique posts, morning, midday, evening.
- Instagram – post 3 unique posts, morning, midday, evening.
- Pinterest – pin 2 unique images relevant to your book.
- Consider running a giveaway on Goodreads.
- Remind your beta readers to post their review on Amazon.
- Interact with your audience. Respond to comments and questions. Encourage your audience to ask questions.
- Have fun! Celebrate!
The Day After
Celebrate! Relax! Don’t stress if things didn’t go quite as planned. Book marketing is an ongoing task. As long as your book is for sale, you’ll want to continue marketing it. So make plans to do that. But not today. Today – breathe! Enjoy the day!
Learn more about our Social Media Book Launch Support packages.
Download this checklist as a PDF.