This is my second time around launching an indie book, and I think I’m an expert at getting the attention of the people I know and selling 5 copies. Check. Now I want to do better. I figured that all of you want to do better too, so I’m going to share my research in how to improve my launch of The Lustre over my tentative and virtually silent release of The Disenchanted Pet.
My new technique for transmitting my nuggets of knowledge-y goodness to you is to take my notes right here in an “Add New Post” form. If I don’t, I lose track of some of the nuggets and then I’m sad for you, not seeing them.
So: Launching an Indie book:
Mirika Cornelius (awesome name–writing it in my names collection!) has some nuggets in her article at http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-Four-Ways-to-Sell-a-Self-Published-Book-Fast&id=2242012
- Throw a Book Release Party. Due to my and my friends complete inability to handle anything outside the kids and family, and the lameness of our parties to anyone but a parent, this may have to happen virtually instead of physically. I have to think about how to do this.
- Attend Book Festivals. I didn’t know those existed! I am going to have to look into this too. I don’t think it will happen soon. Maybe when Corbin starts school.
- The other two were a media announcement and a speaking engagement. I don’t think either of these is going to happen. I wouldn’t know where to start. This isn’t Podunk, Iowa, folks. I live in Seattle, a huge city filled with talented people. I don’t see myself getting past the receptionist.
Get Published TV has a five minute video at http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Host-a-Virtual-Book-Launch-180050902 That suggests a webinar virtual launch through a site like gotomeetings.com. You can get all the benefit of a launch party but without the expenses. The webinar is usually recordable and with some sites they could be free. Essentially this is what he said in the video, with some elaboration about phone launches (huh?). The virtual launch is a great idea for international audiences. If you want to watch the whole video, start at 1:45 on the progress bar unless you want to hear all about the new microphone.
Now I will rant for a moment about web videos. They are popular, I know. But I don’t like them. I can learn what they say in moments by reading an article. Somehow many of the video hosts manage to talk for 10 minutes about three sentences of content. That’s why I always look for the article. Frequently articles ramble too, but you can skim those more quickly than a video and not miss important content. Rant over.
Susan C. Daffron had my favorite article on http://www.thebookconsultant.com/LPMArticle.asp?ID=207 She was against the webinar and especially the Amazon Bestseller Campaigns, which she feels are dishonest. Her plan is this:
- Pick a date and plan some bonuses (items to give as promotions like free copies).
- Contact people to review and endorse your book. Free copies are the norm.
- Ask for bonuses from your reviewers/endorsers. This publicity goes to them too.
- Create a bonus “page” where you can direct people who buy the book to get the promotions.
- Ask endorsers to share your launch info.
- Launch your book through your contacts, on your site, and through social media on the launch date
After I read this article I focused on the “virtual book launch” for my search.
Of course, I found something interesting and off-topic http://jeejeebhoy.ca/2007/11/28/how-to-autograph-your-book/
Ok, now I’ll get back to the point.
A confusing post, but with some good ideas was http://speaking-book-marketing.chailit.com/how-to-plan-a-virtual-book-launch-party.html. I won’t say anything about what was wrong. (Shaking my head.)
What I got from it was to create a party site, promote it with an evite (good idea) and launch on date in this order: Press release, Twitter, Facebook, newsletters, e-mail, ask the forum to pass it on.
“Party favors” suggested are: music, video, interview by author, book interview guests, gifts, contest for prizes, book excerpts, chats with the author, guest books, book reviews.
Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor has an exhaustive timeline for Published authors. http://jenniferswriting.blogspot.com/2011/08/timeline-for-book-launch-campaigns.html I copied the last month into my One Note for future reference.
That is all for now. I have to let this simmer for a bit. I’ll post my actual plan when I work it out. I was looking for a checklist of do’s and don’ts, but didn’t find anything like it. Any suggestions?
The Virtual Launch Party Analysis
I would say that this party was a great success!
The biggest success was in blog views. I recieved 170 the first day, 133 the second and, 127 on the third day. Normally I get between15 and 50 views when I post something. I also got 18 spam posts! (Hehe it stinks but it also shows that even spammers were paying attention.) I had 31 total likes on posts.
The most popular posts were:
My book sales were great too. I sold 4 print books and 3 Kindle books. These aren’t fantastic numbers but it is way more than I sold during my diminutive release of The Disenchanted Pet. The Black and White print cover won out with 2 sales versus one each of the red and slate.
I gained 4 blog followers for a total of 101 and 5 new twitter followers. I had one new Goodreads buddy (Thanks Maria!) , but nobody tried LibraryThing.
Maria Tatham was the hands-down participant winner and I need to think of a great gift for her to thank her for being so involved!
Was it worth the work? Absolutely. It was a lot of work with little return but also great to connect with so many people and try something completely new.
What results did you see participants, on your site? I’d love for you to post them in replies!