Prep yo’ self: the book launch

So I’ve been busy for the past two weeks working on preparing for my next book launch. You night time writing warriors know how that goes right? You have these couple of hours available in the evening – hours sometimes taken up by doing other stuff that can make you money, children that refuse to go to bed, marketing, marketing, and more marketing, writing that short story that you promised for that one blog three months ago and then forgot about in the interim. And somewhere in there, you are trying to work on your next novel. Life gets busy, and it gets crazy, especially if you’re an indie author that has to bust your bunnies to market. 2-3

And what do I have to show for it? Well, a speaking engagement in March, a book blog tour at the end of February that coincides with my new release date, ARCs that are en route to my home, promises made to send books out to workshop hosts, to write a short story for an anthology, and to produce a newsletter. If that seems like a ton of work, it is – and that isn’t counting my professional life (which also must be completed in those few hours because there’s no time during the day), or the occasional art piece that I have to create or I’ll just get depressed.

But I wanted to share with you some of my strategy that I’ve decided on to tackle the dreaded exciting book launch. After reading a lot of different posts and paying attention to all the different commentary in the writing group I’m in (Clean Indie Reads – if you aren’t there, and you are a clean indie author, you’re missing out) on what works for marketing a book, I’ve extrapolated A PLAN (imagine that said in my best King Julian of Madagascar voice). Keep in mind this plan is the budget friendly version because I am on a shoe string budget, not only with time, but with money as well. If you have more flexibility than I do, I would imagine you could do a lot more than this.


  • Commit to being crazy busy for the 4-6 weeks leading up to release day and the two weeks after.
  • Create a book trailer that you can share on youtube, with bloggers, and on twitter and Facebook.
  • Set up a blog tour with book bloggers and fellow authors – contact other authors who blog, offer to do an exchange of sharing
  • Research ways to make your book blurb outstanding, including but not limited to amazon stalking other authors who write books similar to yours (“Fans of so and so will appreciate this…”)
  • Prepare ARC copies and have them shipped out (keep in mind, there’s waiting while it’s shipped, so get this done asap!)
  • Layer the release for the same time as a giveaway/free days of another one of your novels
  • Set up your book for preorder and plan on selling it cheap for those that are willing to get it ahead of time
  • Space out interest in your new release by contacting the local library to set up a reading event some time after the release
  • Host a launch party (this is the most expensive part) where you do a giveaway every hour or half hour, depending on how long the party is. I’ll be offering some amazon giftcards, free .mobis of the book, a book bag, and one grand prize that includes not only signed soft copies of my book, but also several others from fellow Clean Indie Read authors.
  • Buy a promotion spot from a well known book site (which one is yet to be decided), even if it’s just a single day promo
  • Ask for help from friends and family to spread the word, especially on the day of the release. Writing groups that are all about community are super helpful for this, just make sure you reciprocate in kind. Set up a thunderclap for a massive twitter announcement, ask your author peeps to sign up for it.
  • Plan on twitter bombing. It’s not fun, but it kind of is, because the challenge is to come up with a series of different tweets that you will post throughout the week of your launch. Funny, ironic, snarky, scary, and provocative are good ways to get people to click your link. Research the appropriate hashtags that get the most eyeballs. Include graphics – use some mojo with and or to come up with simple pics that include your book, a pithy line, or a provocative quote. It’s exhausting, because it’s work, but the more you can get people to share, the better.
  • Be available for all those people who were kind enough to support you and help you in this book launch. Answer their emails, inquiries, and interact with old and new fans. Be thankful.
  • Take a break and be glad you now have some time freed up to write on your WIP. 🙂

Whew! I just took an hour of my precious time to write this. What was I thinking?!!! Oh, that’s right, I was sharing the love with all my fellow indie author peeps. Have you found a strategy that was killer for your book launch? Share in the comments!

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