Launch your book like an author by creating a writing-based strategy that starts an organic conversation with your readers, getting them excited about your book leading up to launch and BEYOND!
Two frequently asked questions I receive from authors are – when should I start prepping for my book launch and what should I do first?
Fair warning, the answer I’m about to lay out for you in this blog post as an author is likely different than what you might get from a marketer.
This is because, for the most part, marketers are focused on assembling the right pitch, the one that will result in sales, especially in the short-term (#1 bestseller and all that). There is nothing at all wrong with this, especially since many authors specifically hire marketers with the end goal of becoming a #1 bestselling author.
But then what? Does a book become less valuable and transformative after it hits #1, the party streamers are cleared away, and the author and their readers move on with life?
If it’s a high quality book, a book should not lose its value after launch day. In fact, for a thoroughly developed, well-written, truly compelling book, “launch day” should only be the beginning of the conversation between author and reader. And if that conversation is strong enough, it should blossom into a relationship. That is the power and purpose of a well-written book.
Beyond the marketing pitch, how can an author achieve this mission of connecting their readers so deeply with their book for the long term?
Authors communicate through conversations, beginning with the one we have with readers through the words in our books. We are language centered creatures with finely tuned internal BS radars about the authenticity and truth of our words. So, while marketing pitches designed around special offers, freebies, and clever ways of saying “buy my book!” might work on launch day, it’s highly unlikely they will last for the life of the book (which should be a lifetime, if done well).
How can authors launch their books in a way that feels authentic, “non-icky,” and builds a long-term relationship with readers?
Here’s my two-step approach.
Step 1: Brand Bank
A Brand Bank (one of my author inventions) takes the most compelling content from your book (and ideas that didn’t make it into your book) and converts it into easily digestible, shareable content for your social media, blog posts, videos, and all the other “content satellites” you’ll be using to naturally attract people to your book. It translates the language of your book into an organic, easy to follow, evergreen conversation with your readers. It’s evergreen because, depending on how much content you decide to “deposit” into your Brand Bank, you can use, rework, and adapt it for years, regularly making content deposits and withdrawals.
BONUS Launch Purpose: Created approximately 6 months before your book’s launch, you can also use your Brand Bank to take care of early, the plethora of writing tasks typically required of an author around launch. (Unless you love to procrastinate – in that case, by all means wait until the hectic weeks leading up to launch to add these tasks to your to-do list!)
- Back Cover/Jacket Copy
- Website Copy
- Book Opt-In Copy
- Press Releases
- Your Bio
- Media Talking Points
- (And often SO much more depending on your publisher and launch plan!)
Rather than waiting to be asked for these items, write them as you’re creating your Brand Bank to save yourself time, avoid a mess of 11th hour hastily thrown together writing tasks, and ensure that everything matches the style & structure of your book. Deposit this content into your Brand Bank now, where you’ll be able to quickly and easily find it for your publisher, marketer, publicist, website person, and other members of your launch team.
Step 2: 6 Month Editorial Strategy
Another one of my author inventions, a 6 Month Editorial Strategy takes the content and messaging ideas in your Brand Bank, and determines what you’re going to say, where you’re going to say it (content satellites like your social media networks, blog, videos, podcasts, media articles, etc.), and in what sequence. The goal is to create a strategic 6 month flow of content that leads your readers right up to launch day, and has them on the edges of their seats, eager to buy your book!
Planning 6 months of messaging at once, also gives you a big picture of how the conversation with your readers will go, allows you to space out your calls to action (“pitches”), and check for any inconsistencies, repetition, or messaging gaps.
The natural, slow-building conversation I’ve laid out here, is in stark contrast to what many authors do. They wait FAR too long to start talking about their book, and then, often only weeks before, launch a sudden and jarring “buy my book” campaign via email and social media, leading much of their audience to ask – “Who are you, where did you come from, and why should I suddenly care about your book?”
I recommend 6 months as the ideal amount of ramp up to your book launch, to start a slow building, natural (non-sales-y) conversation with your readers.
The best news of all is that “launching like a marketer” and “launching like an author” are not either/or conversations!
Hiring a marketer, like one who specializes in bestseller campaigns, is a highly effective way of reaching your initial goal of becoming a #1 bestselling author. The two step strategy I’ve laid out here, is the perfect complement to that type of campaign.
What I’ve done here is given you a way, as an author, to create a thoughtfully developed, rock solid foundation with your readers. Creating a Brand Bank and a 6 Month Editorial Strategy is intended to spark a long-term conversation, a strategy infinitely more profitable than beginning and ending your sales efforts around 1 single day in the lives of your readers.
Here’s my FREE guide walking you through the basics of creating your own Brand Bank!
Here’s another great resource for authors launching books, my 10 Day Content Challenge workbook – packed with value, freebies, and templates to help you create content to make your book launch a success.
And as always, feel free to Contact Me for additional help with the 2-part strategy laid out in this blog post, designed to help you create a compelling, long-term conversation with readers about your quite awesome book!