As many of you know, I write fiction books, more specifically, fantasy novels with huge, long word counts and hundreds of pages in an imaginary land I like to pretend is quite real. This year, I plan on releasing not 1, not 2, but 3 books in my epic fantasy series. This calls for quite a bit of book launch planning which is the reason for this post today. When you’re planning three book launches, it makes sense that one will surpass them all, so here’s a look at the plan behind my book launch for the first book that will be released this year.
Step One: Set Your Goals
One of the first things I tell students in my course, How to Plan a Book Launch, to do is set your book launch goals and select your release date. It helps to write everything down in one place and tell other people, so they know how to encourage you and keep you accountable. From there they can always follow up to see if you’re successful.
Book Launch Goals
Raise sales of The Five Warriors
This book is doing well on Amazon and my goal is to see a nice bump in book sales, particularly ebook sales due to the launch of the second book in the series. Although both books can stand alone (was that a spoiler?) they cater to slightly different audiences.
Grow my email list
During the launch of The Five Warriors, I was able to grow my email list from 0 to over 800 subscribers. This year, I’d like to double my email list and have more fans to rave about Book 3 when it is available fall of 2017.
Get people excited about Book 3
The third book in the series is my masterpiece, it’s where I finally found my stride and wrote the book I REALLY wanted to write. It’s over 800 handwritten pages and I currently don’t have a digital copy of the entire book (yes, there’s a lot of typing in my future). However, it’s an epic tale that fans of The Five Warriors and The Blended Ones will eat up, especially since everyone’s favorite villain is back (oops, was that another spoiler?).
Sell 100 copies on April 20
While this number may seem low, my overall goal is to have consistent sales every day after launch, hopefully between 50-100 daily sales. This is quite a number to reach for and this is where guerrilla marketing comes into play. I’ll be doing something different with pricing and giveaways to help get there, so stay tuned.
Consistent ongoing sells
Since this is my second novel, I will continue to see consistent sales, but I’d like them to be higher. The spikes with The Five Warriors did not happen until a month or so after it launched. By the third month, I began to see consistent sales every day, I’d like to get to this point earlier with The Blended Ones.
Step Two – Set a Date
Book Release Date: April 20.
Step Three – Know Your Readers
I’m happy to report I’m skipping this step. Why? I’ve done so much research already this year, I feel like I have a good idea of where my readers hang out. Additionally, I’ve been expanding my knowledge base by reading books from marketing pros and taking courses, particularly on Ads.
Step Four – Set your Budget
My book launch budget for The Blended Ones is $1500. Depending on how you look at it that can seem like a lot of money or not enough at all. Here’s the breakdown.
While there are many different kinds of editing, I typically only work with a proofreader. My beta readers help me with character development and storyline issues. They also tell me what words I’m overusing and whether or not they were satisfied with the book. From there I revise, go through a few more drafts, and polish it up to send off for proofreading. You may notice in books you read that sometimes you find typos, honestly, there are always typos. I read my own books out loud and then send to a professional who will comb through it for all my many, many, typos and grammatical issues. I was willing to spend $1000 on this, which is $400 more than I spent on editing for The Five Warriors.
Obviously, the other $500 goes towards design. Instead of creating my own book covers I work with a professional cover designer which lets me stick to what I’m best at, writing and marketing. I also have bookmarks that go with each novel as well as a map of the world, so once again, I’m hiring a map illustrator. All designs will be revealed on my book series email list, so if you’re curious I encourage you to sign up here.
Step Five – Book Sales Page
Having a landing page as the central hub for your book marketing is critical. In fact, I’m such a fan of having a Book Sales Page, I just released my new course Book Sales Page that Sells Books. I collaborated with author and web designer, Bradley Charbonneau. He’s been writing every day for over 1500 days and he keeps a running list of what he’s written. Check it out here. Let me tell you, working with Bradley was the most fun I’ve had putting together a course!
There is even an exclusive community for students to share and chat about their book sales pages, and I’m using what I learned from creating the course to design one for The Blended Ones. Depending on when you read this post, it’s either in the works (sorry), or it’s finished (yay!).
Step Six – Pre-order/Pre-order bonuses
I messed up and thought I could release The Blended Ones last year. I made the paperback and ebook available for pre-order and then canceled it. Naturally, Amazon KDP did not like that and banned me from using the pre-order functionality for a year. The good news is, that year is almost up and I’ll have Book 3 available for pre-order.
To make up for my error, if you do order the ebook or paperback book during launch week, I’ll send you some bookmarks and a handwritten note. Details will be on the book sales page and as always, my email list will be the first to know [hint sign up here if you want to be the first to know].
Step Seven – Book Launch Team
This sounds terrible, but I am torn about creating a specific book launch team. I’ve been on several for both indie authors and well-known public figures. (Right now I’m waiting on my application for Tony Robbin’s book launch team to be accepted!) I’ve seen launches go well and not so well, and my plan is to have a team of people to share the book on social media, and the activities that will be happening. It’s going to be simple because, well, this is only the first of three book launches!
If you’re willing to share the book and join in the pre-book launch activities, fill out the application here.
There will be a variety of other book marketing activities, just to name a few:
- Instead of doing a ThunderClap It Campaign, I’ll have a mega giveaway with a super duper grand prize.
- Instead of blowing up social media, I’ll be running ads and doing some discounted book promotions to meet readers where they are at.
- Instead of a book launch party in Nashville, I’ll just be doing a virtual book launch party on Facebook.
Stay tuned, it’s going to be epic.
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What ideas are you using for your book launch?