I’m busily preparing for a book launch next month, and the process is a complete whirlwind. But I’ve gradually learned a few tips and tricks to manage it all. Here are my suggestions for how to launch a new book and keep from feeling overwhelmed:
- Keep a calendar
I have a calendar designated just for promotional tasks, and it helps keep me organized. I write down the dates of everything—guests posts and interviews, social media events like Twitter chats, in-person events, giveaways, school visits, etc. Seeing all the dates in one place helps me prioritize tasks and avoid scheduling conflicts.
- Have a marketing plan
There are so many potential marketing strategies and ideas that it can feel overwhelming. I’d suggest making a plan several months before launch outlining what you’re going to do. List your priorities and tasks for each month (or even each week) and know what you’re going to need to do ahead of time. Having a plan and sticking to it will make everything seem less overwhelming.
- Make local contacts
I highly recommend stopping by your local library and dropping off an advance copy of your book, if you have one, or some promotional materials (bookmarks, postcards, fliers, etc.). Librarians will likely be thrilled to meet a local author! And don’t forget about local bookstores, too. Even if you’re hosting a launch event at one store, remember to email the others to let them know about the release and ask if you can come by and sign stock of your book the week it’s released. Also, if you’re a children’s author, reach out to local schools about doing author visits.
- Order swag
If you haven’t ordered promotional items yet, now’s the time! You’ll likely want some bookmarks or other items on hand before, during, and after release week. (For advice on which promotional items to order, see this post. For more on how to use these items for promotion, see this post.)
- Consider group events
If there are other authors in your area who write in a similar genre, try reaching out to them to plan a joint event. Teaming up can bring in a bigger crowd—and also be more fun than going solo!
- Send press releases
Send out press releases to your local media outlets, your university’s alumni magazine, etc. Make a list of all the outlets you’d like to approach ahead of time, so you’re not scrambling in the weeks before. Give them solid reasons why your book is relevant for their station/channel. Remember to be professional and polite.
Despite all the pressure and likely setbacks, remember that a book’s publication is an achievement to be celebrated! Don’t lose sight of the reason for all this stress—you did it! You’re published! Be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
What do you think? Have any questions about book launches or suggestions for other authors? Let me know in the comments!
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