How can you get a ‘rave’ response when you launch your next book?
Start Marketing Your Book Long Before It Appears On The Stage
The day your book launches is way too late to start your marketing program if you want to see a significant level of early sales. Ideally your ‘theater’ needs to be filled with an eagerly waiting crowd, long before your book fronts the footlights. But for first time authors this can quite rightly seem to be an impossible stretch.
Most authors dream of hitting a home run, as Colleen Hoover did earlier this year with her novel Hopeless. But the reality is this does not happen for the vast majority of writers, and so promotional activity needs to begin well in advance.
For example, Tim Ferris started marketing three years before he launched The 4 Hour Work Week by collecting bloggers, media and supporters, and stayed in touch with them right through.
Rebecca Skloot also began building her audience several years before launching her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Is it Too Late To Start?
If you did leave marketing your book until after launch, don’t worry – all is not lost. Not at all in fact! It simply means that it’ll take a little longer. And if it’s an eBook, you still have plenty of time to successfully market your book, because on Amazon, your book lasts forever, giving it time to find its audience. But do start today if you haven’t already.
The fact is, for the initial book in your series, you may not entirely ‘fill the theater’ prior to launch. But by the time your third book in your series comes around, you’ll not only have a fan base, but be well versed in all the theatrical tactics around launching a book.
This has also been my personal experience. I took a very long road and found out the hard way. But after taking many wrong turns, I finally got there, love every minute of it now, and am happy to share what I’ve discovered.
Don’t Plan To Be ‘In Store’, Plan To Be READ
For a moment, picture the dream of the aspiring author: A newly published novel on the bookstore shelves:
But… where is it? The reality is that the thrill of seeing your book ‘live’ in a store wears off very quickly.
Publishing is merely the beginning. What you really need is your books being read, because if your books have appeal, readers will want to spread the word. Your fans are ‘reader evangelists’ who’ll carry the flame for your books and drive the most powerful form of promotion – viral, word-of-mouth recommendation.
You’re A Rock Star To Your Readers, So Connect With Them
Readers have given you their commitment, you owe them yours.
So take time to communicate with them and reply if they ask questions or send praise. Why? Because if you keep on producing titles, and maintain contact, your readers will become your fans and ‘Word Of Mouth’ promoters for life.
Your fans value the fruits of your imagination far more than you may ever know. From your very first book, readers become invested in you. If your books are well written and have appeal, they’ll buy everything you write and feel they ‘own’ you. You certainly owe them your allegiance, because they’ve given you theirs.
Aim your communications at them, connect with them, and keep the fans you’ve already made constantly fascinated, engaged, and crowding into the ‘theater’ at the launch of your next book.
And the bottom line is… start today.
Note: This post is part 1 of a 3 part series on how to sell more books.
Part 2: How To Attract Readers By Creating A ‘Lighthouse’ Author Brand
Part 3: 7 Bestseller Marketing Strategies For Fiction Authors
I hope this was reassuring. Is your book published? Did you start your promotion late? (You are not alone.) Can you think of other mistakes writers make? Do leave a comment.
Article written by Jonathan Gunson
Author / CEO Bestseller Labs
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