Posted on 08/18/2022 at 01:00 PM by Guest Author

Are you planning to release a book soon and need guidance? Learn how to launch a self-published book. Discover eight important steps to take to ensure success!

Table of Contents 

1. Develop a Book Launch Calendar 

If you’re just learning how to launch a self-published book, here’s a key piece of information to keep in mind: Timing is everything.  

It’s not just about choosing the appropriate date to launch your book (although that is important). It’s also about giving yourself ample time to prepare for the official release and everything that goes along with it.

If you don’t plan your launch properly, you’ll end up scrambling to complete last-minute tasks. Or worse, you’ll have to skip certain tasks due to a lack of time. 

That’s why the first and arguably the most critical step is to create a calendar. In doing so, you can stay on track, launch on time, and ensure you’ve covered all your bases. 

A good rule of thumb is to plan six months out. So, once you’ve selected your release date, give yourself at least that much time to promote your new title.

Work backward from your release date and outline all the tasks you need to complete to promote your book.

2. Define Your Target Audience 

Defining your target audience is crucial in figuring out how to launch your self-published book. 

Why?

It allows you to be more strategic in promoting your new title so that you can get the best results possible from your efforts. 

Ideally, you will have written your book with a specific audience in mind. After all, trying to write something that everyone will enjoy is virtually impossible. In fact, striving to write for everyone usually results in writing for no one... 

With that said, you need to take a deeper dive into your audience as you prepare to launch your book. So, answer the following questions:

  • What is your ideal reader’s age, location, gender, income, etc.?

  • What are their interests?

  • What genres do they like?

  • How do they read?

  • Where do they spend time online?

  • How do they buy books?

  • Where do they find recommendations?

This research may take a while, which is why you’ll be glad you gave yourself time before your release date! 

3. Make Sure Your Book Is Ready to Go 

You need to make sure your book is ready to go before the release date. Although there’s some debate about when to do this, it’s a good idea to finalize everything a few months ahead of time. That way, you can promote your new title with confidence. 

Plus, having your book ready early gives you additional time to create assets for your pre-release campaign using your book cover and more.

So, run through this brief checklist to ensure that you’ve addressed all key publishing tasks:

  • Your title has been finalized.

  • Your book has been edited and proofed.

  • You’ve chosen your publishing platform.

  • Your book has been formatted properly.

  • You’ve designed a solid book cover.

  • You’ve purchased an ISBN (optional for ebooks).

  • You’ve written a strong book blurb

  • You’ve finished your bio, dedication, and acknowledgments. 

  • You’ve chosen suitable categories for your listing. 

  • You’ve written a description that includes relevant keywords. 

You can also review this self-publishing checklist from Jane Friedman, which is a little more comprehensive. 

4. Create Your Marketing Collateral 

Creating marketing collateral to generate interest in your book is crucial. By sharing a variety of assets on different channels, you can increase the chances of readers taking notice. 

If you’re a self-published author — particularly a new one — you may be concerned about the amount of time and money you need to put into your marketing materials.

The good news is that if you wait until your book is complete, you can repurpose parts of it.

For example, you can feature your blurb in emails, use a scaled-down version of your blurb for ad copy, or design quote graphics for social posts. You can even pull out different pieces to create a book trailer.

When it comes to marketing collateral, the options are endless. So, work with what you have and always take your target audience into consideration.

5. Find Early Readers

A key piece of advice when it comes to how to launch a self-published book is this: Find early readers

These individuals can help build hype for the release of your book. Plus, they can provide you with book reviews that you can then use in your marketing collateral — some of them, anyway. 

Although you’ll no doubt want to count family members and friends among early readers, it’s best to look beyond those in your inner circle. 

Why?

On Amazon, for example, the goal is to provide shoppers with unbiased feedback, which means reviews from such individuals aren’t allowed.

They’re free to spread the word about your upcoming book on social media, but they’re unable to share their thoughts on your book’s sales page.

So, look for readers, bloggers, and influencers who may be interested in reading an advance copy of your book in exchange for a review.

Be respectful when making your request, and if they agree, send a courtesy reminder before your book is released to the public. 

6. Choose Your Retailer(s)/Distribution Platform(s) 

Prior to launching your book, you need to consider how and where you’re going to make your book available to readers. There are several options, particularly for ebook distribution, which can make the decision difficult.

However, the best course of action is to look at your target audience. 

Where are they located, and which stores/platforms are popular there?

Use these insights for guidance. For example, if you want to sell globally, make sure you’re not overlooking other options such as Apple, Kobo, or Google Play. 

Note: Once you’ve decided, make sure you have everything you need to set up your book’s sales page.

7. Set Up Your Goodreads Author Page 

It’s true that Goodreads has received a lot of criticism from authors in recent years.

However, it remains a popular place for readers to leave reviews, find recommendations, track the books they’ve read, and follow authors. So, it’s worth using Goodreads to your advantage

Here’s what to do…

Once you’re all set up, you can run giveaways, connect with readers, and more. 

8. Select Your Promotion Sites 

A frequent recommendation to those wanting to know how to launch a self-published book is to reduce the ebook’s price at first and promote it with an outside site.

Although you may be hesitant to do this, it can go a long way toward making your launch a success. 

First, lowering the price (or making it free) removes any objections potential readers may have to getting your book. If you’re a brand-new author, it can be difficult to overcome this. 

Next, it takes time to build up a reader base through organic means. By working with a book promotion site, you can put your book in front of an audience of avid readers.

Finally, using an outside resource like The Fussy Librarian gives you the opportunity to collect reviews, which you can then use to convince even more readers to get your book. 

Takeaway 

If you’re planning to release your first or latest title in the near future, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed.

Fortunately, the steps above should provide a fair overview of what to do. So, take this advice on how to launch a self-published book and put it to good use!

Looking for a book promotion site that will help you get more eyes on your new title? Schedule a free-ebook promo with The Fussy Librarian and put your ebook in front of our audience!

Categories: Behind the scenes

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