Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Secrets to a Successful Book Launch

I have recently made the decision to self publish my book Animania. I am in the process of uploading the book to createspace and have started to put together a marketing plan for the book launch. As if by magic I came across an advert on facebook for a webinar on how to host a successful book launch by Joel Friedlander, talk about perfect timing! I shared the post and one of my fellow author buds suggested I write up a blog on what tips I pick up as they couldn't attend the webinar. So here I am to share my findings with you. I must admit at the end of the session I was a tad overwhelmed and came to the conclusion I really need to be doing this full time. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I am actually doing what they suggested albeit in a half hearted manner but at least I'm on the right track. Anyway here is what the session covered, I hope it helps some of you too, it was certainly an eye opener...

So the first thing that was covered was the 14 reasons that most book launches fail. I have picked the points that stood out to me the most, and thrown in a few of my own comments.

Why Most Books Fail

  • Refusal to Collaborate and Socialize
It is vitally important that you network your socks off way before your book is launched. You should engage with people throughout the whole development process. Their input will help you identify what matters most to them, the benefits they want your book to deliver etc. 

The more invested people are, the higher the value they will place on your work – because they helped create it. Encouraging a social, community-oriented mindset builds trust and and makes people feel that they are part of something special. 

Social media is a fantastic tool for this, so get out there and start networking, you won't look back. If you haven't signed up to twitter then you are missing out. I was dead against it to start with, but I cannot stress how valuable it is as a networking tool. The other sites facebook, pinterest, instagram etc are all great ways to connect too, but for me personally it was twitter that opened up a whole new world.

  • Rushing to Get It “Out There” 
It is very tempting to rush to get your book out there, but for a successful launch you need to do your research before and come up with a marketing plan that is achievable. Once you announce your launch date stick to it and allow for a bit of extra time for breathing space. There is nothing worse than getting a stress head on because unplanned events get in the way of your very tight schedule. So avoid that and give yourself some extra time to make everything run as smoothly as possible. Start your planning process early – ideally while you’re still writing or editing. 

Have your author website or book landing page ready and functional. Make sure it’s not only easy for people to buy your book, but easy for them to share the information with their friends.

  • Assuming Book Launches Are Only for Big Name Authors or People with Deep Pockets

A successful launch doesn’t require heaps of cash, a huge network or a secret handshake. If you have a well planned launch, with clear goals and objectives you expect to achieve, your launch may be dramatically more effective and fruitful than a well-financed but unfocused one.

Putting together a book is no easy task, why shouldn't you celebrate all of the hard work you have undertaken. You have every right to be proud of what you have accomplished so share this with everyone. It doesn't need to be something fancy just a gesture to give yourself a little pat on the back and a chance to celebrate with all the people that have supported you throughout the process. 

  • Enveloped in an Author Identity Crisis
You need to get to know yourself, self-knowledge is a very powerful tool, and knowing who you are, what you’re about, and why you do what you do can provide a significant and compelling way to break through the noise.

Spend some time getting to know yourself and the reasons you write what you write. 
Infuse your personality and message into every piece of content you share, and your uniqueness will give you your competitive edge. When you discover and build on what makes you different, you eliminate your competition.

  • Being The Lone Wolf
It takes a village. 

The most successful authors have used the power of the group to increase their sales. This all boils down to networking again. When you start networking and building friendships with people you will naturally start to collaborate with like minded individuals. This key group of supporters will be the basis of your success. 
To gain the support you must be willing to help others too, it is a two way game. If you support others and build friendships then they will want to help you in return. Reach out and start making connections early so that relationships have time to develop, and clever ideas for joint ventures during your launch can be fleshed out. There are loads of ways you can collaborate with others such as blog tours, interviews, guest blog features etc

Many people claim that they can't possibly do this as they are born introverts. Well I hold my hand up to being the dreaded i word and from what I have learn't over the years in this industry is that most creatives are. If you really want to be a success you have to try and overcome this, it is hard and it takes time, but the more you network and start meeting like minded people the more your confidence will grow. There are many things that still freak me out, but I am willing to step out of my comfort zone because I have to.... and you know what, I am actually enjoying it. Don't be afraid to reach out to people, you will find that the majority of people out there are more than happy to strike up a friendship and if not, no biggy, not everyone will get you so don't take it personally if some people have their guard up.

  • Failure to Ride the Wave
It’s tempting to take a much needed break after all the excitement – and you should take time to celebrate. You’ve just launched your book to the world!
But having a plan in place to leverage your launch momentum, to follow up with new opportunities and to analyze and measure the results of your launch, is critical.
Don’t be tempted to pull back. Use the energy and buzz you’ve generated to open even more doors.
Note what worked well, what didn’t, and take the time to personally thank everyone who contributed to, or supported your launch in some way. Their help was no doubt indispensable.

To see all 14 tips you can view their blog here.... 

The next part of the session was based on the 6 essential elements of a flawless book launch

The Six Essential Elements of a Flawless 
Book Launch

  • Define Your Launch Objectives

Try to get a bird's eye view of your launch and it's relation to your overall career path. What do you want to accomplish?

  • Get Clear on Your Message and Positioning
Master your message, what do you want to say, who do you want to say it to. Get to know yourself. When you connect to your purpose and can articulate clearly on what you have to offer, your ideal audience will respond. Focus on you passions, strengths and goals, discover who you are and what you are trying to do. Outline your unique values and clarify what makes you unique and different. Your story is what people will connect to on an emotional level. One of the best strategies to quickly establish credibility and to get known and differentiate yourself is to share our why. So attach your launch to a bigger story and give people a reason to care.

  • Take Inventory
Use all of your assets to their full potential. Your author website/blog, social media, email lists etc. Often it is your early adopters that are the best supporters so reach out to them and get them involved in your book launch. It's not the tools but the implementation that matters, if you use these assets to their full potential you can be sure to have a successful book launch. 

  • Make Them an Offer They Can't Refuse
A hard truth but people don't care about your book, they care about what your book can do for them. Focus on launch content that will add value and not that solely pushes your book.

  • Gather Your "A" team
As mentioned before, you really need to network and collaborate with people throughout the entire process. Gone are the days of the introverted writer, connections are critical and incorporating networking in your launch strategy is a must. To survive you have to have a shift in mindset, you need to have the approach of what can I do for them rather than how can they help me.

Once you have a team of "super supporters" include them in your launch strategy and give them extra special attention and care. Help them tell the story, create resources, pre written blog posts, images, videos, quotes... whatever you can to get your team excited. Create an insiders list and give them advance copies of your book. Get feedback on content and encourage them to get invested in your project. 

  • The Launch Plan
Your launch plan is your blue print to your entire book launch. It combines the task involved and the sequence of events for the launch. It should include the tools you use (implemented in the right way), the tasks completed, day by day plans before launch. 

Your plan needs to include what you need to do, when you need to do it and how you will get it 

I have condensed all of this down for you to give you a rough idea of what was said. Their were loads of other tips but these key points stood out to me the most. 

Have you launched a book? What worked / didn't work for you? Maybe you have some tips that you could share in the comments section.