Before you write, it’s good to know that there will come a point when you feel your book is finished. You’ve written, rewritten, edited, proofed, had it edited and had it proofed. You name it, you’ve done it. Most people at this stage are anxious to send it off to a printer and get it out to their awaiting fans.
Not so fast…
If you want to give your book the best chance for success, switch gears and schedule your launch and publication date for 4 to 6 months in the future. During that time, you…
1. Print and purchase 200 to 300 books to use for pre-publication publicity. You’ll send these out to reviewers on-line, for magazines, and newspapers. Accompany each with a press release specifically asking for a review in paper form, electronically on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and every other strategic point you can list.
2. Schedule your blog tour. Hopefully, while writing the book you made note of blogs that seemed to cater to potential readers for your book. Ask these blogs if you can do a guest post for them during the week of the launch of your book. Use this lead time to write several blog posts that will work for these spots. Make each of them unique and make each of them more than a sales pitch. Give the readers something, a story or advice that will make you memorable.
3. Set up a book signing tour. It can cover as much geographical area as you have time for. Of course, contact book stores, but remember that the topic of your book might lend itself to doing book signings in other retail locations. For example, if you have written a book about golf, you might more easily sell it in a sports store than in a book store. Or if you’ve written a cook book or a novel about a cook, you can as easily sell it in a kitchen shop or gourmet shop as in a book store. Be creative.
4. Once you have your book signing schedule set, contact the papers. Send out press releases to them. Be sure to give them an idea for a feature story. Tell them something unique — a little back story — about you and how you came to write the book so they will volunteer to do a feature article about you rather than just a book review. Writers at papers love it when you practically write the article for them, so make your press release a good one.
5. Prepare your marketing materials (posters, book marks, etc) and your blog or website. Be sure all are ready to go by the time of your launch.
If you take this extra time to gather reviews and get your appearances on line and off line scheduled, you will find that your book will start selling out of the gate and be much more likely to keep on selling.
If you have a great idea for launching a book, please share it.