September 14, 2021-We’re talking about continuing education for authors during September, and today I’ve got some tips to share with you about book launches. Be sure to listen to our podcast on Podbean every Tuesday and Thursday for additional content and tips; the app is always free to download and listen along.
The goal of a book launch is to celebrate the release of your book with your readers, customers, and target audience. You’ve made it, and your book has finally hit the market, but the real work is about to begin!
Your launch sets the tone for your series and will show your readers how awesome/fun/educational your books are. It’s essential to prepare thoroughly! Here are some tips to help with your book launch.
- Choose a date and time asap: Knowing when you’ll launch and working backward is the best way to get organized. You’ll need no more than 2 weeks before the date you’ve chosen to build buzz about your book launch. Anything sooner than that is too soon (and won’t allow people to save the date), and anything longer than that is too much time in between the buzz building and the actual event-this means that most people will have time to forget and book something else that day if you leave too many weeks from announcement to event.
- Over-invite: A huge key to a successful launch is to have as many attendees as possible. According to statistics, a third of those invited will attend. Use your Facebook friend list, social media contacts, and people you know to create your guest list and invite people to your event.
- Create buzz: Social media is an excellent way to create buzz for your book launch. Announce to your family, friends, acquaintances, and target market that you’ve got a brand-new book out and that they have the opportunity to celebrate with you. Direct people to your Facebook business page, where you share information about your series and post lots of photos, blog posts, status updates, and videos well before your official launch date. Let them know when and how they can attend, whether virtually or in person.
- Offer bonuses: Bonuses plain and simple draw people to your table. People love free stuff, whether it’s colouring sheets, word games, activities for kids, or stickers! Offering bonuses shows your customer that you care about them and that you’re invested in connecting with them. People often feel a need to reciprocate when they are given something for free, so this simple act of offering a bonus (without purchase) can have a massive impact on your sales. Plus, if you can draw kids to your table and engage them, chances are the parents will take a closer look at what you’re offering.
- Marketing is Queen: If cash is King, marketing is Queen! Be sure to bring things to hand out to people at your book launches, such as catalogues, business cards, bookmarks, brochures, infographics, and feature sheets. Sometimes people will go home and order your books online if they’re in a rush and just popping into the bookstore for a quick second, or they’ll want to do more research to see if your book is right for their child. Either way, they need to be able to find you and order your books. Your marketing should include where they can purchase your book, your social media, and how to contact you.
A huge pet peeve of mine is barriers to payment. It drives me crazy when vendors at shows only accept cash! The world is almost cashless, and you will miss out on a ton of sales if this is the only form of payment that you accept. Invest in a square reader or other type of payment processor. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your customers!
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