- Do your research. Find out if there is a market for your book. Define the target audience. When you start your book marketing, it will be much easier to create the right messaging when you have a clearly defined audience.
- Build your tribe. Your tribe of fans will follow you to see what’s next and refer their friends. Make it easy for people to join your tribe. Include a sign-up for your mailing list on your website in a prominent place. Add a note at the end of your book asking your readers to join your tribe – whether that’s signing up for your mailing list or following you on social media.
- Say yes to every media opportunity. Every opportunity is a step leading to bigger opportunities. Write articles, send out review copies, agree to podcast interviews.
Note: This was originally written for in-person book launch parties. Things have changed and I’ve updated with information in italics for a virtual book launch party.
Time to celebrate the launch of your book! It’s fun and exciting to host a party and invite your friends. This is a big accomplishment. Here are some things to consider to make this a successful book launch party.
Where will the party be? If you can arrange to have it somewhere that is likely to attract more readers, that would be ideal. Consider your local library or local bookstores.
Updated for virtual event: plan a Zoom or Facebook Live party and invite your friends, email list, and share it on social media.
Who is Invited?
The more the merrier! Of course you’re going to invite your family and friends. Don’t forget your business associates. If you’re having the party at a library or bookstore, prepare fliers to be posted at these locations at least a week in advance so the general public can attend. Then post it on social media so a larger audience is aware and invited to come.
Updated for virtual event: now you can invite everyone online!
Refreshments don’t need to be elaborate. But a few treats and drinks will keep people around longer which may mean they are more likely to purchase your book – or additional copies for friends.
Updated for virtual event: invite your attendees to a virtual refreshment. Perhaps post a photo of your favorite drink and invite them to do the same. You could have some fun engagement this way.
Books and Book Signing
Remember to bring enough books. It’s better to have too many than to run out. How will you sign the book? Decide that in advance. And if you’re going to write the buyer’s name, be sure to ask how to spell it.
Updated for virtual event: having physical books and signing them is not an option here. However, you might have some postcards or bookmarks made up, sign them, and run a contest. Winners get a signed postcard or bookmark sent to them.
Tell a story
Keep it brief. You might share a short story about the process of writing your book or about who you dedicated the book to. Remember to thank those who came to the party. Talk to your guests individually. If possible, try to speak to each person who attended to thank them for coming. They will appreciate your personal interest.
Updated for virtual event: here’s one thing that doesn’t change much. You’ll now be doing it on camera instead of in person.
Remember to send thank you notes to anyone who helped with the book launch party and to the venue if you held it at a library or bookstore. Focus on building relationships, rather than selling books, for the most successful book launch. Those relationships may lead to future book sales.
Updated for virtual event: thank everyone during the event who joins you for your virtual book party.
Now is the perfect opportunity to spend the time and effort to build a robust and attractive foundation for your author platform.
Your author platform is your online presence where you can attract a loyal following of people who want to buy your book, hire you as a consultant, and book you as a speaker.
Can you relate to any of the following scenarios?
- In the excitement of publishing your book, you didn’t have time to create a website, update your social media headers, establish a newsletter list. The book is published but you don’t have a platform to showcase your expertise and attract readers.
- You just released your second (or third) nonfiction book and need to update your Amazon Author page and social media headers but don’t have time.
- Everyone is saying you should post articles on LinkedIn and Medium.com and you need help posting your articles on these sites.
Does your author platform include the following?
- Website (including a media page) and blog
- Newsletter using an email tool like MailChimp
- Guest posts on other blogs
- Articles (posted to your blog, LinkedIn, and online sites like Medium and Thrive Global)
- Amazon Author page
- Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
At Ausoma, we know that your author platform is the foundation of your book marketing. That’s why we work with you to create a package of services specific to your needs and within your budget. Whether you need a new website, a Media Page added to your website, a newsletter, articles, an updated Amazon Author page, or any social media marketing, we can help!
Our complimentary 15-minute social media consultation is the best place to start. We’re happy to put you in touch with our happy clients!
Whether you are about to launch your book or are continuing your book marketing efforts long-term, you are looking for publicity opportunities. Don’t miss the publicity boat! One of the biggest mistakes we see authors make is timing.
When you are contacted by an interviewer or media person, respond promptly—immediately! If they ask for additional information, provide it as quickly as possible or at least let them know when they can expect it. Any delay in replying might mean that someone else will reply promptly and get the publicity opportunity you were hoping for. This applies to responding to HARO requests as well. Even though you reply within their deadline, they usually use the first replies received. Respond promptly.
Timing is important with press releases as well. Plan to send press releases out in plenty of time for the media to respond. If you post it too late or too close to the event you are promoting, you may have missed the boat.
Relationship marketing is used by many businesses. It focuses on customer retention and satisfaction. How can relationship marketing be used by nonfiction authors? First, let’s break down three aspects of relationship marketing.
- Customer retention
Businesses use relationship marketing to retain customers. As a nonfiction author, you want to retain your readers. We’ll discuss this in further detail in a bit.
- Customer satisfaction
Your customer is your reader. You want them to be satisfied with your product – your book – so they will tell others about it.
- Long-term customer
Keep them coming back for more – whether it’s for your next book or another service you offer.
Now we’ll discuss what those three aspects of relationship marketing mean to an author.
- Reader retention
How do you keep your readers coming back for more? As a nonfiction author, there are several ways you can do this. First, of course, is to be sure you’ve written something of real value. Then write another book, and another, and another is possible. Other ways you can keep them coming back is to create other products or services around your book. Perhaps you can create workbook around your book, host a webinar course, create a workshop. Put on your creativity cap and brainstorm ideas with a friend.
- Reader satisfaction
Those 5-star ratings at Amazon are a great indication of reader satisfaction. Encourage readers to leave reviews by mentioning at the end of your book. When you sell books in-person or mail a book out, include a sheet with tips on how to leave a review on Amazon. Don’t be afraid of negative feedback. It will happen. Don’t dwell on it; move on. Think like your reader and find out what they need so you can make the next book even better.
- Long-term customer, or reader
You don’t just want a reader to buy your book once and never come back. The goal is for them to become a long-term customer, or reader. They should want to buy future books, purchase more books as gifts for friends, or purchase another service you offer.
How can you build relationship marketing into your marketing plan? There are three steps:
- Make connections
LinkedIn is a great place to start making connections. First step, upload your contacts from your computer and start connecting. Search for and join groups related to your book’s topic. Connect with members of those groups. This is also a great place to connect with influencers in your industry, media persons, and others you may want to collaborate with.
- Build on those relationships
Don’t just connect; deepen those relationships. Invite your new connections to connect by phone and get to know one another. Listen to them, find out what their needs are, who their ideal client is. In turn they will do the same. I’ve done this consistently for a few years now and have made some great connections where we now refer prospects to one another.
- Collaborate with others
Once you’ve built those relationships, you’ll be in a much better position to collaborate with them. You may find another author whose book complements your own. Perhaps you can do a workshop together, or a virtual event (webinar), or refer to one another. Building relationships and collaborating encourages word of mouth – the best referral you could get.
Relationship marketing takes time and effort. It’s well worth it. It results in more readers because the readers you have will come back for more and tell others about you, your book, and your services.
For more great marketing tips from some of the world’s best marketers, check out this article at Insane Growth, particularly the social media marketing tip from Neal Schaffer.