Everything is coming along smoothly for you now. Your book is at the printer and your distributor is ready to distribute it. (This could be a POD doing both of these things) Unless of course, you've decided to only ebook it. If so, just disregard the things I write about print books.
It's time to prepare for your launch.
- Hopefully, you've been out there pounding the blogosphere for a variety of people to support you during your launch. You should have people sending out little teasers on their blogs, on twitter, goodreads and on facebook, including your book facebook page, all directing people to your blog where you are talking about launching your book. You are getting people talking. Start a buzz.
- I already talked about reviews and you should be following up on those.
- Set up a few blog tours.
- One could be a blast, where you hold a contest on your blog and have 10-15 bloggers direct people there on the same day.
- Another could be a longer tour, for a week or so, where people are giving away your book and doing author interviews. Always have them direct traffic to your blog somehow.
- Another might be a review blog tour, where people review your book, directing people to your blog and to purchase links.
- Collect prizes you can give away on these tours.
Be creative. Look outside the box.
Print and Ebook launch
Do all of the above and...
- Get posters made. Use Photoshop or some other photo manipulating program to create a poster that highlights your book launch. Make it simple. Only use necessary words. Less is more. I printed mine at Costco. A bargain for $3.50 If you don't have the skill for this. Use a service like Zazzle.com to create your poster. You will pay for their expertise, but it's better than not having any posters. They will run you around 10 bucks a piece. Less, if you order more. If you are launching from a store, ask the manager what you need on posters for the store. Sometimes, they let you hang your own if you have the store's name on it. Other times, they don't allow it at all. Sometimes, they make posters for you. You may not like them, but at least they tried.
- If you are YA, get the poster hung in schools on their news boards. Give some flyers with the same info to teachers. All students take English classes every year. Make a flyer the teacher can put up on or by their door. Not all schools will let you, but try.
- Hang flyers on community bulletin boards like the ones you see in grocery stores. Be bold. Ask businesses to help you spread the word.
- Take small flyers around your neighborhood. People want to support you, help them. Do this a few days before the launch. I did 1/4 sheets of paper.
- Work with the store that is launching your book. By the way, you should be in contact with them months in advance. They like to advertise in newsletters and need time to do that. Also, it takes them a minimum of 2 weeks to get your (and other authors'--if you invite others) books in the store. Get the store to give out flyers about 2 weeks in advance. Have them hang posters in the windows and make sure employees know who you are and when the launch is happening. Be nice and encourage them to promote you.
- Get your book into libraries- donate a few. As people start requesting them, they will order more.
- I like the party atmosphere, so I invited 10 other local authors to join me and we had contests and prize drawings. I had each author bring a prize to give away and told them to advertise, too. It was a party for sure! I was the third highest selling author at a signing at that Barnes and Noble, ever.
- Some like to do launches out of their home. That is perfectly acceptable, but you still should do everything I suggested here.
- If you are POD. Order however many books you think you will need. I got 200 and had a some left over. Most authors, however, do not sell that many. Most, according to B&N only sell around 30. It's a judgement call you'll have to make. How reliable are the people you invited? How much advertising did you do? Can you do more? Don't over-estimate, but I think under-estimating is a worse crime.
- Get food at your launch. It doesn't need to be big. Bite size treats are always a winner.
- Line up the people who will help with the launch. Friendly, fun people who like events like this. No one likes a grouchy-pants. Make sure they've read your book and can talk to customers about it. If you are in a store other than a bookstore, you need to have a cashier on top of the following list: someone handing out the books or at least getting you more books when you need them, people to help with treats, people to help with contests and drawings, people to just come and support you.(Lots of people milling about creates a buzz). I was surprised at how many people I needed to help me and I was at a bookstore.
- Make sure you have several good pens. I like pilots. They flow easily so that you don't get hand cramps. By the way, what are you going to write? How will you sign your name? Decide these things before you go.
- Some people print book marks to give away. These will run you 6-7 cents a piece if you order a lot. I like to hand out double sided cards instead. These only cost a bit over a penny each if you use Uprinting and order a lot. Either way, they better look professional. You decide. I did not give away either on launch night because people were already coming for me and I wasn't advertising. When I'm at Costco signing books, I give out a ton of cards because I'm peaking their interest.