Stephen King. John Grisham. Ken Follett. Tim Ferriss.
What do all these authors have in common?
For one, they’re all extremely successful and have sold millions of copies of their books over the years. Everything they release now seems to turn into a bestseller, right?
They also worked extremely hard with their first book launches and came up with unique ways to activate large audiences to get them sharing & talking about their books before they officially launched.
As you know, the road to reaching this level of esteem, as an author is not exactly a smooth journey paved right out in front of you. There are tons of potholes, roadblocks, and steep hills that all must be navigated in order to successfully launch your book into stardom.
Unfortunately, the path to a successful book launch doesn't come with guardrails to keep you safe and on track. Many authors fall off the proven route to success long before their book even launches, and we’re going to help you avoid exactly that.
There is no winning formula that works for everyone. However, with these 6 essentials to successfully launching your book, you’ll be starting in the right direction.
1. Define Your Target Audience
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many authors fail to truly understand whom they’re writing to when they sit down to plan out the content in their books.
Who’s going to buy (or download) your book once it’s released? This is an extremely important question that needs to be answered long before you actually set out to launch your book to the public.
If you’ve already completed your book, that’s ok. However, this step is most valuable in the planning stages of writing your book. You’ll need to take a hard look at how to position your messaging in a way that appeals to a demographic that’s willing to purchase your content.
Creating a buyer persona can be a daunting task, but the benefits of doing this activity far outweigh the time spent. Check out this highly detailed, step-by-step guide on how to create your unique buyer personas.
2. Incentivize Your Core Audience Before the Launch
Strategize on how you can activate your most loyal fan base. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your email list, or blog (hopefully all of these channels), your goal is to generate buzz around your book before it launches and to secure presales, or at minimum a prelaunch interest list.
Look for ways to help other people get what they want first.
3. Strategic Partnerships
Do you have any connections to other authors or businesses that share your same target audience? Most authors and businesses actively seek useful recommendations to share with their audience to keep them engaged, happy, and successful.
If your book genuinely provides value, tells an incredible story, or captivates readers within a certain demographic, you have a strong case for activating partners to help you spread the word about your upcoming book.
You’re looking for opportunities to get your upcoming book into the email inboxes of potential qualified buyers. Some partners will offer to do this free of charge because they love your content, yet most will want to be compensated through referral payouts. Learn more about referral marketing here (via Marketin-Schools.org).
4. Do a Giveaway
One great tactic is to bundle a presale of your book with a free value-added offer for all those who purchase your book before it launches.
Combining your book with access to a free online workshop covering more topics in your area of expertise is an emerging trend in the eLearning space that has been driving much more value around a book launch. Using related free downloads, tools, or behind-the-scenes material can work wonders as well.
Doing giveaways to your most loyal fan base on social media can also have an incredible, viral component.
5. Blog About It
It’s great to post to your own blog and write some posts that build up the hype around your upcoming book, but unless you have a massive audience of readers and subscribers, this alone will not secure your success.
Where does your audience spend time online? The Huffington Post? The Christian Monitor? MindBodyGreen?
Once you know your audience as we covered above, you can successfully target the publications that you will want to get featured on. If your content is great for the audience of the publications you target, there’s an inherent incentive for the journalists to get you on board.
There’s an art to becoming a contributor on well-known publications, and you definitely don't want to cold email a journalist bluntly asking that they publish something for you. Follow this 6-Step Guide to Becoming a Contributing Author (via eHow.com)
6. Engage Influencers
Build a list of experts in the field your book is in. Do any of these experts have regular podcasts, webinars, blog posts, or other audience engagement tools? Chances are, they’re constantly looking for interesting guests to share with their audience.
It’s a mutually beneficial relationship if you can provide awesome content for an influencer to share with their audience, and in turn you’ll gain exposure to a new group of potential buyers.
Most influencers will also have large social followings and can help drive buzz & traffic around your book launch as well. It’s all about properly incentivizing them, and making it a win-win for them to want to share your genuinely great content.
Obviously, there is A LOT that goes into every step along the path to writing, editing, designing, and successfully launching a book today. You want to work with someone who knows what they’re doing (and has successfully done this before).
One of the major benefits of Lucid Books is their experience in helping authors launch smart with their unique Partnership Publishing model. Learn more right here today.
I’m Ryan Robinson. I’m an entrepreneur and writer. Learn how I wrote a 96 page eBook and dominate my Organic Search results on all of my top keywords today (click here).