The book launch process can feel overwhelming, especially with so many moving parts plus time pressures and budget. According to publisher and author Tara Alemany, the key to squashing this overwhelm is prioritizing your goals.
Tara is an award-winning author, speaker, and founder of Emerald Lake Books, a hybrid publishing company just like us at Ingenium Books (we’re a friendly bunch!). Tara’s book, Publish with Purpose (April 2019), reveals the unique process developed by Emerald Lake Books to help their authors set and attain their own goals. Tara also recently launched a course for authors, which we’ll talk more about in the podcast.
She was a guest on The Empowered Author podcast. You can listen to the conversation by clicking below and read on for the gist of the chat.
Tara shares some practical and sound advice for authors who may be intimidated by the idea of their book launch.
1. Setting Goals and Prioritizing Them is Key
For many authors, writing the book is the fun part and marketing the book is the scary part. Or maybe the boring part. But setting and prioritizing goals for the book launch can make the process a lot smoother and less intimidating.
Setting goals for your book launch and prioritizing those goals makes it much easier to decide where to apply your time, energy, and budget. When presented with a marketing opportunity, ask yourself: Will this activity move me towards one of my three goals for my book launch? If it’s not an absolute Yes, then it’s a No, or perhaps a Not Right Now.
2. Releasing a Book and Launching a Book Are Two Different Things
Many authors operate under the assumption that release day and launch day for their book are the same. They’re not. They are two separate events and serve different purposes.
Release day is like a soft launch. Your book is out there, ready to be discovered — but before you officially launch your book, you need time to get reviews on your book. And book retailers need time to catalog your book.
Before expending time and energy driving traffic to your book, make sure your book is well-positioned to appeal to readers. Tara says reviews are social proof and recommends getting ten reviews on your book before making a concerted effort to drive traffic to your book.
Authors may also want to time their book launch with a holiday or event — have you written a Christmas book? Your publication date may have been in the summer or fall to get your book ready for holiday promotions, for example. But you can plan your marketing efforts for the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
3. Do One Thing Every Day to Promote Your Book
Taking a lead from Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the best thing an author can do for their success is to do one marketing activity every day. Perhaps that’s contacting a reviewer, submitting to a podcast, or reaching out to a book blogger. Daily activity boosts a book’s discoverability.
One of Tara’s favorite strategies for increasing discoverability and buzz about a book is entering the book into juried book awards.
4. Build Community and Leverage Other Audiences
While podcast appearances are a great way to leverage someone else’s audience, it’s not the only way. It’s important to connect with shoulder industries, Tara says. These are people who are in the same industry or niche but not necessarily a competitor.
Networking with publicists, editors, and other authors in your genre are great ways to expose a book to a complementary audience. Collaboration over competition is an important mindset for authors and others in the publishing industry.
5. Detailed Marketing Plan, Yea or Nay?
Developing marketing plans are a lot of work, and don’t always deliver great results for the amount of time spent on them. Tara admits to not developing detailed marketing plans, because it’s too easy to get into the weeds and not make any movement towards your goals. That’s our experience too, here at Ingenium Books.
Need Help with Your Book Launch?
Tara has recently launched a course called Book Launches Simplified. You can check it out here.
Over to You
What have you found that helps you think about and execute on your book launch? Or, what questions do you have about your launch that this post didn’t answer? We’d love to hear from you!