Launching Your Print Book
Most authors enjoy holding a book launch so they can finally celebrate the end of all their hard work. It’s time to relax and enjoy the company of others and the kudos that comes with being a published author.
It’s also an opportunity to sell copies of your book. Guests are pleased to buy a copy and ask you to sign it. In terms of sales, these are the ‘easy’ ones, so it makes sense to hold a launch, if possible.
But a few authors would rather not hold a launch for various reasons. They may not like to be the centre of attention or the book’s likely readers may not be able to attend a launch. In that case, there are many other ways to promote your book.
A web site is mandatory. It’s the linchpin of any internet marketing push. Always add your URL to your e-mail signature going out on every email you send.
The Book Launch
If the release of your book ties in with a reunion, festival or annual celebration, this can present a goodopportunity for an official launch. However, make sure you allow sufficient time from the proposed delivery date of your book (usually four ro six weeks after completion of the production process), taking into account unforeseen hold-ups!
When planning a launch, consider the relevance of the venue (e.g. a heritage landmark for a local history book), expected attendance, catering and entertainment. Make sure there is room for signing and selling the book. A prominent personality to launch the book may give the event the added interest required to encourage media coverage.
Have plenty of sales flyers available so that guests can take them away. They may decide to place orders later if they don’t purchase a book at the launch itself. Having the author present to sign copies usually ensures plenty of sales on the day and it helps if you can offer a discounted price for books bought at the launch.
Marketing Your Book
This is one of the most difficult parts of self-publishing and should start as soon as you have a firm delivery date for your books. You can do it yourself, or hire a publicist.
Promotion for Self-Publishers
Compile a list of potential customers and their contact details. If your book is non-fiction, search the Internet for relevant organisations and individuals, and approach retail outlets selling products that complement your book’s subject matter.
As some bookshops do not stock self-published books, consider other places for potential sales. These can include:
• visitor information and local transport centres
• art galleries, historical societies and museums
• writers’ centres and festivals, reading groups
• local markets, gift and specialist shops
Other outlets that might agree to display brochures advertising your book include libraries, community centres, newsagents or places relevant to the book’s subject matter.
These are promotional aids that can be useful in promoting your book. They usually contain a photograph of the cover, excerpts from the book and/or information about the author and an ordering coupon. You can prepare these yourself or we can produce them for you – either in printed form (black only) or as a colour PDF file for emailing to potential customers.
A press release to newspapers, journals and appropriate publications costs little to send and can be the best advertisement for your book. It might result in a published book review, which is not only free, but can produce more sales than any ad.
You might consider contacting your local radio station with a press release and a copy of your book, particularly if the station broadcasts an arts program. Your local newspaper might also wish to do a piece on your book.
Many people buy books based on recommendations from friends or reviewers. So to get your book noticed, you should get it reviewed. Only approach the reviewers who you think will give you the most favourable reviews in the shortest time and, remember, when you send a copy of your book to a reviewer they are not obliged to return it and are under no obligation to review an unsolicited book.
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