Posted on 12/15/2021 at 09:00 AM by Guest Author

If a client has a new book coming out, you must make sure you’re prepared to promote it. Discover the basics of how to develop a book launch marketing plan.

Table of Contents 

Why a Book Launch Marketing Plan Is Essential 

As a publishing professional, you know how important it is to get the word out about a client’s upcoming book.

The more interest you can get in the early stages, the higher the chances of the title being a success. And that means you need to put time and effort into developing a book launch marketing plan.   

It may seem obvious, but creating a plan beforehand can make all the difference in the world. 

Here’s why...

It helps you keep all the necessary tasks organized. 

There's no shortage of tasks to complete when promoting a new book.

Moreover, you need to tackle the right ones in the right order. Otherwise, you could wind up overlooking something critical.

Fortunately, keeping tasks organized becomes much simpler when you have a plan in place. Plus, you’ll be less likely to feel overwhelmed by everything there is to do.

It makes it easier to stay within the allocated budget. 

Chances are that each author you work with has a strict budget in place for their marketing. In that case, you should strive to make the most of it.

Creating a book launch marketing plan lets you map out the campaign piece by piece and determine the total cost.

Having a list of the collateral you need to create and the ad placements you must purchase makes managing the budget a lot easier.   

It shows where you may have gaps in your approach.

There are countless tactics you can use to promote a new book — so many, in fact, that it’s just not feasible to apply them all to every campaign.

However, you also want to avoid missing out on an opportunity to leverage a particular channel or resource. When you have a plan for marketing a new title, you can review it to determine whether there are any gaps in your approach.   

When to Start Developing a Plan

Ideally, you should start developing a plan for promoting your client’s book as soon as you set a date for its release.

The earlier you get to work, the better. After all, there’s a lot to do, and you can use all the time you can get.

Plus, even if a title won’t be available for months, you should still begin promoting it beforehand to generate buzz and get some preorders.

What Key Factors to Consider

As mentioned previously, the tactics and resources you use to execute your client’s book launch marketing plan will vary based on several factors. That’s why it’s crucial to do research ahead of time.

Before you begin drafting the plan, take a deep dive into the following and use the findings to shape your approach. 

Budget – The last thing you want to do is waste your client’s marketing dollars or run out at a crucial point. So, review the budget and determine how much you can afford to spend on things like collateral, paid advertising, etc.

Once you set a number for each part of your client’s campaign, you can work on finding the most effective yet affordable options. 

Target audience – Chances are you already researched the target audience for your client’s book when they signed on with you. However, you should revisit your own data and information from outside sources prior to the launch.

Make sure you’ve pinpointed the ideal reader and learned as much about them as possible, including demographics, buying behavior, and so forth. That way, you can ensure the marketing plan takes all of this into account. 

Season – The time of year your client’s book is set to go public is also important. You can use it to your advantage by tying the title to the season.

Look at what holidays, activities, and events are relevant around that time. You can then apply this information to the collateral you create, using additional channels to distribute content and generate interest.

Channels – Based on your client’s budget and target audience, you can then choose which channels to take advantage of when promoting their book. Examples may include social media, paid ads, PR, podcasts, events, guest posting, etc.

Once you’ve pinned down which channels will be the most effective, you can work them into your client’s book launch marketing plan accordingly. 

Collateral – Another thing to do is review existing collateral and determine what additional collateral you need. That way, you can compile all these assets and make sure they’re ready to go in advance.

For starters, there’s everything required or recommended for the book’s sales page (e.g., cover image, description, early reviews, book trailer).

Then there are things such as landing page, email list, email copy, social media posts, graphics, ad copy, media kit, and blogs.  

How to Organize the Plan for Best Results

If you have a fair amount of experience promoting soon-to-be-released titles, you may have your own way of doing things. However, if you’re relatively new to the industry, you may be without a framework.

In either case, you should map out your client’s book launch marketing plan by stages. In addition to making the entire campaign significantly more manageable, doing so often yields the best results. 

Some authors and publishing professionals organize and label these stages in different ways. Author Barbara Linn Probst, for example, takes a three-tiered approach — marathon, sprint, and pounce.

But for the sake of simplicity, we’ve described them below as pre-launch, launch day, and post-launch. Note that the corresponding task lists are not exhaustive.

1) Pre-Launch

As the name suggests, the pre-launch stage consists of everything you do to help promote your client’s book before it launches. This may vary depending on your client’s existing platform and overall objectives.

Ultimately, this is the time at which you set the foundation for success.  

What Tasks Are Typically Involved:

  • Create a landing page for the latest book on your website and your client’s website.

  • Ensure your client’s author profile on Amazon and other retailers is up to date.

  • Set up paid promotions with reputable sites to go out once the book is live.

  • Reveal the book’s title and/or cover on social media to generate buzz.

  • Encourage readers to subscribe to the email list to stay up to date.

  • Reach out to other authors and influencers to secure early reviews. 

  • Start a countdown to launch day on social media. 

  • Coordinate guest posts for your client on relevant sites. 

  • Between countdown posts, provide shareable content on social media.

2) Launch Day

When launch day arrives, you and your client will be pretty busy. However, if you’ve put in most of the work ahead of time, it should all go smoothly.

Having built up sufficient buzz for the title in the previous stage, this part of the book launch marketing plan should focus on driving readers to get the book.

What Tasks Are Typically Involved:

  • Make sure the book is live on retail sites and the pricing is correct.

  • Update your website and your client’s website to reflect the book’s availability. 

  • Email subscribers to let them know the book has been released. 

  • Set up paid ads on the appropriate platforms.

  • Host a virtual book launch event.

  • Have your client do a live Q&A or reading on social media.

  • Update header images on social media pages to show that the book is now available.

  • Post on social media thanking readers and others for their support.

  • Share upcoming appearances, events, and other happenings surrounding the book.

3) Post-Launch

Don’t assume the work is done once your client’s book has been released to the public. You need to keep up the momentum in the weeks and months after the book has gone live to increase sales.

That’s why the post-launch phase is such an essential part of your client’s book launch marketing plan.

What Tasks Are Typically Involved:

  • Send follow-up emails to subscribers with reviews. 

  • Begin sharing rave reader and editorial reviews on social media.

  • Update the book’s sales page with reviews, using both text and graphics.

  • Set up interviews for your client on relevant podcasts. 

  • Schedule book tours and signings.

  • Sign up your client for upcoming festivals and other events.

  • Adjust pricing and run another paid promotion.

  • Send targeted emails to those who haven’t bought/downloaded the book.

  • Continue posting and sharing topic-related content.

Takeaway

With a book launch marketing plan in place, you can position your client’s new title for success.

So, don’t underestimate the importance of doing the legwork ahead of time, mapping out the plan, and using all the resources at your disposal to see it through.

Use the tips provided here for guidance and get to work on building a solid plan for your client’s book!

(Want to reach thousands of potential readers on launch day? Set up a free-ebook promotion with The Fussy Librarian!) 

Categories: Behind the scenes

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