Let’s recap—Book Marketing Myth #1: It’s Not for Me … Really … If not for you, then who? Looked at why the author has got to be the lead, and driver of his or her book marketing success (or failure); Book Marketing Myth #2: Getting on a Major TV Show will Sell Tons of Books and a Publicist will Get Me On for Sure … probed into the myth that major TV will launch a thousand books. Both should be read at http://authoru.org/ under the Blog section.
Now it’s time to look at the third myth—the launch. Surely it won’t be a mere splish-splash …it’s going to be a tsunami of massive magnitude! Maybe, maybe not.
Books only have one window or time to launch. Not!
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Maybe, most likely not. What a massive launch does is kickstart a buzz possibility. Authors who have been out there for a while, those of use with the first out and mostly likely more on the way, know that it’s rarely one item—rather a series of events, activities, articles, appearances—that fuel sales. Wouldn’t we all love the grand launch … all my amazing thoughts and energy into the launch will bring in MASSIVE book sales … accolades … invitations for speaking gigs … the Today show and The View will want me … my world will be soooooooo awesome …
As an author who started with traditional publishing in the 80s, my books launched (jeeze, we didn’t even use that phrase then) with an author tour. Media releases were created; cities identified; and TV, radio, print interviews were set up in each including book signings. We authors “were kept” as one might say. The publisher set it all up including air tickets, itinerary, escorts in each city to pick you up-get you to where you needed to be—in make sure you were fed.
Exhausting, exciting … and often disappointing. Oh, the interviews were the cat’s meow. And fun. Sometimes there were books in the stores, too often, not—I think that was my first wake up that the “system” wasn’t totally communicating in a trickle down matter—author is going to be in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver (all great book cities by the way)—doing massive media, speaking, make sure books are in stores, etc.—somehow didn’t get relayed.
And then the wait … were there book sales? Maybe … maybe not. Back then, a book had about six weeks to make its mark. If it didn’t, the publisher’s attitude was, “Next …”
That was then; this is now. If you are traditionally publishing, maybe … maybe, your publishing will support you in this. But it’s a HUGE maybe and most likely not in the picture. Oh, you can do an Author Tour yourself—it’s a lot of work … and YOU must drive people (or have someone doing it for you at each stop) to where you are speaking signing, etc.
Today, LOTs has changed. The mark with traditional publishing is a lot shorter—just a couple of weeks. That’s why they want authors to have huge social medial platforms—you dear author, will do most of the marketing work. You are telling your fans, your followers to “Go-Go-Go” and get the book.
Go-Go-GOOOOO is the beginning … it’s not the end. Launch today should be thought of as a Rolling Launch. Here’s where you start. Build up a plan for a year to support your book. Sure—go for #1 on Amazon, why not. But what’s next. Get those blogs out; keep supporting your baby through all your social media channels. Get out there and chat it, you, the topic, what you solve, the intrigue … the whatever … and support your book so it can build the legs you envisioned in the first place. Don’t expect it to happen overnight. Its lottery odds if it does.
Think again. The savvy author thinks of the launch is a starting point. A beginning. It needs to be in the Book GamePlan.It’s not the end where one is expected to live happily ever after. At least, not yet.