Launching a book in today's crowded market is like trying to climb Mt. Everest with a blindfold. Seven of my YA and Kid Lit writerly friends stop by to reveal their proven strategies for launching books to help you make it to the top.
Whether you publish in digital or print, rely on social media, or target brick-and-mortar venues, these talented creatives share ideas to fill your book launch tool kit. Be sure to scroll to the end for a resource list with even more ideas from wise publishing folk.
Author and illustrator AJ Cosmo has published more than 30 children’s books and earned thousands of five-star reviews. Active on Twitter, social media and his local writers’ groups, AJ engages followers through his weekly newsletter, where he often offers limited free e-book downloads to subscribers.
It's no secret that reviews make or break a book.
Get people involved:
Get Day One reviews:
Hannah Heath, author of YA Christian fantasy, believes in the power of words and works to use them in ways to encourage and inspire her readers. Her debut novel, Skies of Dripping Gold, is a dystopian tale about a young man’s fight to save his sister’s life and rescue his own soul. Hannah is supreme at building her author platform months before publishing and attracting readers through her unique blog that combines reading and bookish recipes. (That's how I discovered her!)
Grow a following that will give your writing high praise simply because they think you’re an awesome person
Build a following early:
Create lots of promotional material:
Author, illustrator Lise Chase hit Amazon’s best-seller list in her genre with more than 1,000 downloads of one of her Adventures of Wally and Warren Series picture books. Three of her books ranked in Amazon's top 100 at the same time. Yep, her download numbers caught Amazon’s attention. She reaches such numbers by visiting local pre-school and elementary schools, reading her books and bringing literacy activities to children. During the past three years, Lise has read to more than 10,000 children in her home community.
It’s more about community to me.
Hold school readings, contests:
Use Amazon promotions:
Picture book author, illustrator and former educator Rosie Russell engages Facebook followers during book launches that are heavy on charm and socializing; light on selling.
She launched three different picture book series on a shoestring budget. Most important, Rosie established a loyal following by supporting her readers on social media.
Book launches give customers the perfect chance
Launches were so much fun,
Connect your launch to local themes, celebrations:
Create in-person local launches
Author, illustrator, mom, and professional photographer Carmela Dutra pens two sets of picture books for beginning readers, Lorenzo the Bear and Little Katie.
She uses her social network on Twitter and Facebook to introduce her books with launch parties and custom giveaways.
Finding what works best for your launch involves trial and error,
Promote early for author e-events:
Engage followers with a range of opportunities:
C.L. Murphy has been creating with and for kids, for years. She’s armed with crayons and not afraid to use or share them.
Her recent launch of the latest in her Lovable Lobo Series of picture books attracted more than 15,000 participants during its month-long blog tour.
Hold a book tour:
Leverage social media (NOT a buy-my-book approach):
LEARN MORE - A RESOURCE LIST
Find more ideas from the wise sources below. Can't wait to hear about your amazing launch. All the best!
How Book Launches Have Changed in the Digital Age
By Anne R. Allen
Oh yeah. Loving that concept of a soft launch! It eliminates the stress of doing EVERYTHING on ONE day. Find out how a soft launch might work for you.
Indie Authors: Book Promotion Tools and Tips
OK, it says, "Indie Authors," but this compilation helps trad-pub writers, too.
Free Book Promotions: Are They Worth It?
By Frances Caballo
Frances' insightful pros and cons of free e-book promo sites, including Kindle's Select program, point you in the right direction.
There are a gazillion sites that manage blog tours or launch-day promotions free or for a small fee.
I used many of the sources below to zoom my Sweet T and the North Wind e-book to the top of its Amazon category on launch week. Site owners are responsive and helpful, and their process did not break my budget or my nerves. I plan to contact them when launching my Sweet T and the Turtle Team in spring 2017.
Blog Tours/Book Blasts
Beach Bound Books
Stacie Theis supports children's book authors with blog tours, book blasts and more.
7 top eBook Blog Tour Sites
By Greg Strandberg
Greg lists services I know about but have not tried.
If you're an Indie in the Amazon universe, Dave Chesson lists 79 sites to promote your e-book.
SCBWI Book Blast
The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has a focused effort each fall for its members to market their stories and art. Members pay a small fee for this service that leverages large group marketing.
Promotional Newsletters, Services
I used Fussy Librarian and Riffle Select with great success. Caveat: you must have a certain number of positive reviews on Amazon in order to post, so read the requirements carefully before submitting, and start lining up those reviews!
IU promotes free and .$99 e-books in additional to monthly print books promotions. I have not used IU, but check out its advert policy to see if it suits your goals.
Before you go....
... What launch strategies might you consider?
... What techniques worked for you?
Please share your ideas in the comment section.
We'd love to hear what you think and appreciate tips you share with others on this writing road.
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