My first book launch was extremely successful. That’s because I spent months doing research. I was on YouTube, searching through Pinterest and downloading every freebie I could find. I didn’t use any professional marketers for social media. I wasn’t at a place where I could afford that. Everything I used, I had to either design or create myself. Here is everything you’ll need to make to have a successful first book launch, including the tools and resources I used to help many of my clients.
I’ve broken this post down into three main parts:
- Tech for authors – Don’t worry it’s not as scary as you may think!
- Social Content – These are all the graphic elements you’ll be posting on your social media sites to direct traffic towards where they can buy your book
- Email Marketing – Convert your social media followers and website visitors to prospects.
PSST! Pin that baby!
Tech for Authors.
First, let’s talk about the tech, after all, you will be doing an online book launch and if your tech isn’t setup correctly, everything else will be for nothing. Let’s break this section in half. Section 1 will be for the folks who are doing their first book launch with their own website. Section 2 will be for those who are launching on social networks and marketplaces like Amazon.
Selling Your Book on Your Own Website
There is considerably quite more to do when selling your book on your website, however I do recommend this option because of the flexibility, reliability and customization you’ll have at your finger tips 24/7. More specifically I suggest you start or create a WordPress Website. You can add buttons on your website and place them on the homepage and across your blog posts. You simply have more options and opportunities to sell. You can integrate other plugins and create upsells, which are add-ons or create special offers to go along with a customers original purchase. All of this takes time to create and setup but is well worth it in the end. Some plugins may even cost a little bit but again, you’ll be doing this first book launch the professional way, which will create more opportunities to generate more in sales. If you want to know all about how to setup an ecommerce WordPress Website take my course Learn Your WordPress Website.
Selling Your Book on Social Media or a Marketplace
If you want to sell your book on Facebook, they now have an option for you to make send folks to a shop page on Facbook or an offer page. If you have a company that will process your payments, like Paypal or Stripe you’ll be able to input information like your books cover, description and title along with the price.
Creating an Offer on Facebook
Step 1: Creating an Offer or Shop Button on Facebook
Step 2: Creating an Offer or Shop Button on Facebook
When you click on the shop button it will take you to the sales page. If you don’t have a website, your sales page may be simply something like a Paypal or Gumroad login or even just a redirect to your Amazon sales page to put the complete the transaction.
Tell your followers to hit the ‘Shop Now’ button under your cover photo.
The first one and quite arguable the easiest way to sell your book is through your own platforms. There, I’ve said it! I had to get that out before anything because, I see so many people frustrated with Amazon and other marketplaces who take a huge chunk of their profits during their first book launch. You absolutely do not have to have a website to sell your book, but I believe this is the best way to be in total control of your book launch process.
You don’t have to have a large social media following to have a successful first book launch. You do want to use social media to bring traffic to wherever you are selling your book. Your first post on social media actually shouldn’t be about your book at all. I bet that surprised you! Anytime you launch something, you want to first start with planting the seed. Do it in a way that sneaks in the idea about your books topic without your followers truly noticing you’re introducing something new to them. It might be a little weird if you were posting about one topic and then out of the blue said you are selling a book for something different. Post everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, depending on the platform to give your followers time to connect the topic and your offer to you. Don’t assume that because you posted once or even twice about your book that your followers now know that you are a published author. Think about the amount of time it took for you to write your book. Give that much effort and time towards your first book launch and you’ll see a greater return on your investment.
Here are some of the posts that I created for my first book launch:
Countdown – You gotta do the countdown! This builds up so much anticipation and excitement for your launch. Don’t do it too soon. I suggest 10-30 days. Make it fun and interesting.
Quotes – People love a good quote on Instagram. People will save and pin these on Pinterest or share them on their own Facebook page. Consequently, when they are saving or sharing your quote post, they will have a reminder whenever they swipe or scroll past it that you have a book coming out soon.
Photos – I love to post a good selfie. I started out as a makeup YouTuber and so I have a large following of makeup addicts and beauty enthusiasts who naturally flock to those types of posts. Post a selfie with your book. It establishes credibility and lets people know that you have created a real tangible thing that they can hold in their hands really soon.
Book Reviews – During my first book launch, I had a group of students, all who were in my target market, read the first chapter of my book. They were able to write up nice reviews and share what things they were hoping to get out of the book when it finally was released. My social media followers loved this campaign. Not only did I share the campaign across my feed, but the students also posted the book reviews on their page. This opened up my network and grew my social media following as well as my list super fast. I highly recommend doing Book Reviews in advance before the release of your book to the public. They really work and you’ll be using them over and over again!
I place priority on this platform because it’s the only one you have complete control over. You own your list! A great indication that visitors are interested in you and your content is the fact that they’ve signed up for your email list. So it’s important to sell to them until they buy!
You should create an email sequence of 7-15 emails that you’ll send to your list. Let me start by saying, what you say in these emails matters. If you are going to be sending a bunch of emails consecutively to people on your email list, you want it to be intentional. If you annoy them and you sound sleazy they might unfollow. We know that would be a big mistake because then they would miss out on all the awesome content you’ll create in the future. To prevent a mass of unsubscribers from your list you need to take the time to write compelling copy.
First time authors can make the mistake of sending sales emails that don’t give the reader enough information to make the purchase. Since you’re launching a book, I hope that you’ve already hooked your subscriber by way of your first chapter of your book or some relevant content. Purchasing the book will be a logical next step for them in their buyer journey.
Your email sequence should work hand-in-hand with your social media content to convert subscribers into buyers. My first book launch email sequence includes these three phases:
- Launch Day
Prelaunch emails are all the content that create anticipation and build up momentum for the launch. I’m telling success stories, sharing tips, maybe a few excerpts from the book and most importantly describing the transformation the information I’ve written will make on the subscriber’s life.
I send a few emails throughout the Launch Day to remind my subscribers that the day their life will change for the better has arrived. My focus is all about celebrating them and the success they are about to achieve now that they have access to a new perspective, new methods and a clear and easy action plan. All they have to do is say “yes!”
This next phase is probably the most challenging for authors who don’t like to sell. Post Launch emails are a lot like Pre-Launch emails because your copy is around telling stories and sharing tips, but the mood has shifted from building anticipation to creating a sense of urgency. Make a special offer to your list that includes add-ons with the book, like a live event or a webinar. Selling your book in tandem with a book signing or additional bonuses can really drive your sells up. If you want to keep the momentum going in your book launch, I suggest you never stop finding creative ways to upsell your book. Whatever you decide to do to wrap up your book launch, just don’t forget to send Post Launch emails. If you do, you’ll be leaving majority of your money on the table. As they say, the fortune is in the follow up!
Although it took me a great deal of time and patience to find and figure out all of this information for my first book launch. I’m glad I kept good notes and I’m happy to be passing them on to you. This information may be overwhelming for you at first, I’ve created a FREE online course to walk you through it from start to finish. Click here to start creating your successful first book launch.