There are so many things to consider when planning your book launch timeline. But do you know that you can break it down into 3 simple steps?
In today’s training, I’m going to share with you a key tip when planning a book launch timeline.
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Three Phases in Planning a Book Launch
My husband and I have a publishing company and we’ve published over 50 books. So over the years, we’ve done a ton of book launches. That is why I want to share with you a key tip and a strategy to use when you’re planning your book launch timeline.
I cannot say that this is the exact method and time that is going to work best for you. This is because there are a lot of things that go into this. But I want you to sit down and write down these three categories.
Phase 1: Pre-Launch. This means those things that you need to do before your book launch.
Phase 2: Launch. These are things that you need to do during the launch.
Phase 3: Post-Launch. These are things that you will do after the book launch.
This is very simple yet many authors don’t do this. You will then have to brain dump and think of all the things you need to do. Write them under the categories they fall in.
So your timeline will involve things like this. Now, everyone is different, so this isn’t a comprehensive book launch list. Your list will depend on these factors;
– Type of book launch event you will do
– Your timing
– How long your book launch will be
– How you are publishing your book
– And some more variables.
If you’re an Author Audience Academy member, we can brainstorm this inside our private Facebook group. So for my book launch, here are some things that I added to the categories.
Phase 1: Pre-Launch
What are the things that you will consider on pre-launch?
The first thing I did was go through my Post-Publication Checklist. This is a checklist that I recommend you use when planning your book launch. That’s available inside Author Audience Academy. But you could also create your own post-publication checklist.
What are the things you need to do right after you publish a book? Make sure everything is ready.
For example, you want to make sure to customize your book description. I usually go into Author Central to add my book then I customize my book description. If I have endorsements I add that too. That’s one of the things on my post-publication checklist.
There’s a ton of other stuff I have on that checklist, but it’s too much to go through in this specific training. I recommend having your own post-publication checklist. If you’re an Author Audience Academy member, that’s available for you in the Publish Module in your member area.
Another thing you can do pre-launch is building buzz. I like to say Bubble. This is where you are going to talk about what’s going on and how your book is going. I have previous training about this on my blog. So if you’re interested just search for Buzz or Bubble on my blog. You will find the seven ways to do this that I recommend here.
You can also start gathering your book launch team during pre-launch. So if you’re doing a bigger launch, you’ll want to have a book launch team. This is what I did for my Broken Crayons Still Color book launch.
So you will have to start gathering people, who want to be part of your book launch team. You will also have to start gathering different things for them that they can share once the book is ready. These are the promo materials, bonuses, prizes, and all those things. You can prepare those before the launch.
I created a Google Document for my book launch team for this specific launch. And then, I shared that link inside my private Facebook group for Author Audience Academy. That was how I set up mine. It worked really well. My book launch team could then just go in there, get images, and whatever they need for their blog post to share.
You can also do that by creating a page on your website; whatever way you want to do it. It’s helpful to have all that promo material created. You don’t have to create a ton of stuff, but whatever you create can then be used ongoing.
I had my VA go through my book and pull out a bunch of quotes. Then I had her take those quotes and create quote graphics on Canva. I had a little background created with my 3D images of my book, and she went through and completed it. I think we had over 40 different quote graphics.
You could have a volunteer or someone else do this for you. And you don’t have to do 40! But I can use all those quote graphics plus the quotes themselves to promote my book. I can do it ongoing because they’re quotes from me that I wrote in my book.
So I’m going to schedule the quotes maybe once a week and be able to have them repeat every year. So every year, one of these quotes will be posted, once a week. This will continually promote my book. So it’s just a great thing to do. So when you’re preparing your book launch promotional material think about those things too.
I had a few graphics and a few things that were just specifically for the book launch. They talked about what kind of book launch bonuses you could get.
Another thing you can do pre-launch is to start gathering reviews, endorsements, and those sorts of things. You can send out an advanced review copy of your book and have people start reading it. Then have them be ready to post their reviews the day your book goes live. That’s one way that you can do it.
Those are just a few things that you can start doing on Phase 1: Pre-Launch. As I mentioned above, you can add or exclude things based on the type of launch you are doing.
During the launch, you will have to think of how you are going to deliver your book launch bonuses and prizes. What are you going to do? This is when you figure out questions like;
– What’s going to be involved if you’re going to have bonuses?
– How are you going to deliver your prizes if you’re hosting a contest?
– How’s that going to work?
– Are you going to have somebody helping you?
I recommend that you try to automate as many things as you can. For my basic digital book launch bonus, it’s all automated through an email autoresponder system. This is for my current book launch.
When someone buys multiple copies of the book, like 10, 20 or 30, they will get prizes like physical gifts. Once they email me their receipt, I have a canned response.
A canned response means that I have an email template that I can just copy and paste. Then I send out the response to them and take care of the prize.
Something else you can do is posting your promotional material. You can do that by scheduling different posts. You can schedule blog posts, YouTube videos, and social media posts. You can also schedule emails to your subscriber lists and do it in batches of time.
I love to batch my time. When I can focus on working on my podcast, it really helps me get a ton of work done in that specific thing. It will help you get in the flow and get in the mood for what you need to do. So instead of scheduling every single day of your launch, schedule in a chunk of time instead. Then you can have all your posts scheduling done.
See if that works for you. If it doing a little bit every day works for you, that’s fine too.
I also recommend that you track your results. So you want to get screenshots. For example, when my book became number 1 on Kindle for Christian Counseling, I took some screenshots of that. This is some social proof.
It is number 1 in the hot new release for its category, so get some screenshots. Track your sales, your results, and those types of things. However, be careful to not be obsessed with tracking your rankings and sales. That can cause your emotions to go up and down. Track these things to see what’s working and what’s not and what you can improve.
Phase 3: Post Launch
I was praying one day and I was feeling overwhelmed about my book launch. Then I feel that God was telling me, “Hey, there’s pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. You don’t have to do everything during your launch.”
Sure, that’s going to be the biggest boost of sales. But this particular book, Broken Crayons Still Color, is a book that I will continue to promote on an ongoing basis.
There were a lot of things that I wanted to get done by the launch. But it just wasn’t feasible or practical for me to try and get that done. So, it took a lot of pressure off to think, “OK, I can work on some of these things later.”
There are things that you have to continue to promote your book. Part of this for me was setting up the whole system that I teach in Author Audience Academy. I called it the Author Automation System.
We will start this in January where we’re going to be doing a 90-day accountability group. I have my members voting on what it is they want and so far everyone has voted on that. We’re going to have an Author Automation Blueprint Webinar where I’m will walk you through how to set it up. It’s a system that will help you market your book on autopilot, set it and forget it.
There are certain things in that system that I wanted to be done on my book launch, but it was just too much. So I thought, “OK, I can wait on this particular part of it. I’ll get these other things done, and then I’ll do these things post launch. This could be for ongoing promotion and ongoing sales.”
Don’t feel like you have to do everything now. I think sometimes we stress ourselves out too much. So that was something that was really freeing for me to be able to see.
During post-launch, you want to follow up with everyone that you need to. Make sure that you’ve delivered all the bonuses that you promised and sent all your “thank you” notes.
Another thing you have to take care of post-launch is the web page for your book. What I typically do for a launch is I use the same page that I will use ongoing to promote the book. For my Broken Crayons Still Color launch, the web page is BrokenCrayonsBook.com/Go. But if you end up on that page after my launch ends, what you’ll see is just a sales page for my book. I removed the special bonuses and other things that were just for the launch.
This is so that after the launch when you go to my book page, it won’t be a dead page. You also have to change it so it will not have expired promotions. That way it keeps all the shares and will continue to promote the book.
We’ve done the same with our author books and other books in the past, and it’s a great strategy.
Another thing you need to consider is your marketing. What are you going to do for your ongoing marketing?
I’m a speaker and so that really comes easily for me. So, for now, I’m working on the interview blitz. I’m reaching out to a ton of people and had done interviews this week.
It’s going to be an ongoing thing even after my book launch. I’m also working on getting that system in place. And that’s what I want you to do.
I want you to sit down and decide your pre-launch, launch, and post-launch activities. Do a little brain dump and decide what needs to be in each of those phases? The timing is going to be different for each of you as your book launch events are going to be different.
I’m so excited to be doing more training for you again. My Broken Crayons book is already out and my new podcast is done. If you haven’t checked out my new podcast yet, it’s at Broken Crayons Still Color. You can check it out on iTunes, just search for it. You can also check out my new book at BrokenCrayonsBook.com/Go.
I appreciate all of you that have purchased copies. Thank you so much!
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