Tag Archives: book launch

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – July 2019

By Amy Collins

So many authors launch their first book (or second) before building a list of readers and fans and THEN start working on attracting readers. They labor under the false idea that they need a book FIRST and then they can start building their readership. I mean, how ELSE do you build a base of fans and readers until you have a book?

Well, Nicole Evelina, the author of The Guinevere’s Tale Trilogy did just that. While she was working on her first book she decided to start drawing readers into her online “web.” This self-published author is now so popular with readers that when she has a new book coming out, thousands of rabid fans crash into each other buying her newest release.

So I asked Nicole to share with me:

  • What were some of the early steps that she took and found successful to help draw and attract readers?
  • How did she get started BEFORE she had a book?

What She Did

The first thing she said was that she blogged frequently long before the first book was out.

She is a writer of historical fiction so, like many novelists, had a lot of research from which to draw for her blog. According to Evelina, only about 1% of the research that she does for any type of book actually ends up in the book because she doesn’t want to bore her readers with all the details and stuff that makes up the backstory and fills the characters personality and experiences.

So for her, a blog was a great outlet for that. And to this day, her most trafficked pages on her website are some of those early posts where she wrote about Celtic life. She wrote blogs about the 12 types of Celtic marriage and another about the weaponry that that the Celts would have used. Another blog covered the way the Celts would cook…

That helped attract people to her that who were interested in historical elements and readers. She found that those interested in what they used to call dark ages, now call early medieval history, were often also interested in Arthurian legend because that’s the time period where it’s set.

She also actively encouraged those readers and blog subscribers to join her online in social media. By doing that on twitter and Facebook, she was able to reach out to friends and connections of her current online buddies. Her reach grew a little each day.

What She Does Now


Just this week, I saw a post by Nicole where she said (in essence) “Hey folks, who’s got a blog, who’s got a newsletter, who can talk about my new book?” It was brilliant, she just ASKED! I watched a TON of people respond by saying YES.

Her book is now in the top 10 of historical fiction because these fans all jumped in and shared the posts, ads and recommendations she asked them to.

Because she has worked so hard to build a group of fans, she had a great response.

What We Should Do Now

We, too, can develop a team of readers who are willing to help us build our careers. This works for big-name authors and self-published authors alike…the key is ATTRACTION. There is no need to pound people over the head with a newsletter or offers to join a private fan group. It needs to be voluntary from readers. These readers/fans need to care about us and love us enough to want to support us.

Don’t be afraid of working this attraction angle…. I know every author out there has other authors that they love. If your favorite author asked you to read an early copy of their next book…. would you be willing to read it and post a review on, on a publication day or be willing to give it away on your blog, or share it on social media? Of course you would! So would your future fans. But they need to be ASKED.

We need to build our own team of fans and readers… even BEFORE our books are out. The reason this works for Nicole is because she is so genuine and real online. She spends 80% or more of her time online sharing truly personal items or asking folks about THEM. She genuinely wants to get to know people. I see her wishing folks happy birthday or offering condolences when somebody’s pet passes away… that’s a human connection, and it’s the stuff that builds fans. What does not work is pushing your book over and over.

You have heard me say this million times over: “Authors are not your competition. They’re your community.”

Join and build your community. If you do not enjoy social media, you have to figure out a way to build your community without it or learn to love it. And if you DO enjoy social media, you will enjoy a great deal of success. This is what it’s all about. Not hiding behind a typewriter or word processor. It’s about getting out there and being part of your community.

There you have it…. You CAN build your readership and fan base before you have a book. Honest. (And, you should!)

Source: thebookdesigner.com

Visit us at First Edition Design Publishing

How to Sell Books in Your Local Community

Often times when writers dream of becoming bestselling authors, we picture worldwide success, with our novels translated into dozens of different languages and adapted into major motion pictures. One of the most important things to keep in mind, though, is that learning how to sell books is a process that starts small and, usually, starts locally.

Your Book Marketing Depends on You

Learning how to sell books is an extremely important skill as an author.

If you are a traditionally published author, you may have a team of people who will help you with marketing, but even then, it is mostly up to you to sell your work. If you are a self-published author, it is completely left to you.

Selling locally is a great way to start because it gives you an in-person advantage. You can be far more personal with people than you can ever be online, which gives a greater sense of who you are and what your books are like.

4 Ways to Sell Books in Your Community

Not sure how to sell books to the people in your local community? Here are four things you can do to get started.

1. Set up an event at your local bookstore

As scary as it can be, you have to take the first step when it comes to promoting yourself. If you wait around for someone else to invite you to an event or ask you to do a signing, you may be waiting around forever.

Take the initiative to send an e-mail or walk into your local bookstore and ask if they would consider hosting a book signing or a presentation/Q&A.

Whatever event you have in mind, make sure you have a clear idea of what it will be so you can properly pitch it. Remember to always be polite and offer the suggestion in a way that will show the bookstore how it will benefit them, as well.

Especially if it is an indie bookstore, talk about how you can promote the location and urge your readers to purchase books through them. The event should be mutually beneficial.

2. Create promotional material

There are a variety of websites you can use to create catchy posters and business cards for a relatively inexpensive price. If you are not comfortable with doing the graphic design yourself, consider asking an artistic friend for some help (make sure you pay them for their time, return the favor however you can, or at least take them out for a cup of coffee afterwards).

Once you have said posters, go to your local library and coffee shop and ask if it would be all right to hang them on their community boards. Wherever you can, put one up.

It might be a good idea to include a QR code on the post that goes to your blog or someplace where readers can easily purchase your book.

Business cards are a must, as well. Make sure they have your name, headshot, and links to your website and social media pages. Whenever you meet someone new in your community, give them a business card. It’s a great and easy way to keep in touch with new friends and let them know about your books.

3. Go to events in your community

One of the best ways to get your community connected with your book is for you to connect with your community.

Whenever there is a local, bookish event, try to attend it (and take your business cards with you!). Authors love to chat with other writers and going to a signing or release party is a great way to start networking.

Others who are attending the event are likely to be big readers, too. Talk to them! Ask them what kinds of books they like, if they’re long-time or recent fans of the author hosting the event, and so on. Once you get into a conversation, you can mention your own book and maybe even swap contact information.

Events at bookstores are not the only ones you should attend, either. Go to classes at your local library or an open mic at a coffee shop. You never know who you’ll end up talking to or who might be interested in buying your book.

4. Write an elevator pitch

These are a must for any book. Any person advising you on how to sell books will eventually tell you to write an elevator pitch.

Simply put, an elevator pitch is, as the name suggests, a pitch for your book that you can relay in the time it would take to ride an elevator with someone. It should be short and snappy, no more than a few lines.

Not sure how to get started writing your elevator pitch? Condensing your book into a one- or two-line premise is a great place to start.

After you’ve written your pitch, rehearse it until you can repeat it in your sleep. This way, when you chat with a fellow reader/writer at an author signing and they ask the inevitable question, “What’s your book about?” you won’t have to stammer and desperately search for the right words.

Writing a glowing description of your book can take days and endless revisions. You don’t have to think of it on the spot.

With an in-person pitch, though, you have to think on your feet. If you’re like me and you don’t like coming up with something on the fly, it would be a good idea to write and revise an elevator pitch you can easily memorize and repeat with a smile.

For an example of what this should look like, here is a pitch I wrote recently for one of my novels:

Lila, an immortal witch, falls for Melody, a mortal witch hunter. The two end up on the run when the demon Angelique decides Lila would be the perfect addition to her team in the upcoming apocalyptic war against humanity.

The pitch should introduce your main character(s) and the antagonist/conflict.

How to Sell Books in Person

Selling books locally is a lot different from networking online, but it comes with several advantages. People are more likely to buy your product if they feel like they have connected with you on a personal level. Plus, getting to know your readers (or potential readers) is such an important part of being an author.

And remember, it isn’t a big deal if you don’t make a sale right away. Sometimes you make a friend first, and maybe later that friend will become a customer, and a long-time fan.

How do you promote your work in your community? Do you have any other tips for how to sell books in your local community, or strategies that have worked for you? Let us know in the comments.

By The Magic Violinist
Source: thewritepractice.com

Visit us at First Edition Design Publishing

How to Launch A Book In 3 Steps

First Edition Design Publishing

Another great guest post from Duolit!

The following is a guest post from Nick Thacker.

While any kind of launch – whether the launch of a book, a product, or something else entirely – usually involves many steps and lots of pieces, it can also be distilled down into its core components.

I’ve launched a few things over the past two years, including nonfiction books and products, and I am also in the middle of a fiction book launch. And while each of these launches were different in style, methodology, and subject matter, I’ve found that there were three basic elements that went into each one.


Let’s assume you’re launching a book. You’ll need to have a few things taken care of before you even begin planning your launch:

A great product (book). “You can’t polish a turd…” maybe you’ve heard that expression before. If not, I’m sure it makes enough sense that I don’t need to explain.
An audience. You don’t necessarily need a large audience, but at the very least you should have a good idea of who that audience is. Know what they’re interested in, know how they like to find new authors and books, and know how to reach them.
A goal. Want to make money? Want to break into the Amazon bestseller lists? Want to have something to show off to friends and family? These are all great goals, but without specifying that goal, you’re going to feel lost.
Got it?
Once you’ve nailed these prerequisites, you’re ready to launch a book – in three steps!

A quick note: I know you’re going to think that these “steps” really represent “phases” of multiple steps, and you’re right. Just understand that each of these phases can include as many steps and as much detail as you’d like (and are able to accomplish).

Step 1: Plan

“Fail to plan, plan to fail.” You must write out a marketing plan for your book – this should include at the bare minimum:

A timeline
A list of marketing/advertising/promotion venues
Your timeline can be as simple as, “by next month, I will have written x blog posts, spent x dollars on advertising, and hosted x book signings.”

Obviously the more detail you put in this timeline, the more use you’ll get out of it, but it doesn’t need to be ridiculous – things change, and nothing goes exactly to plan. Keep it simple and save the stress.

For the “venues list,” you’re just trying to get your ideas down on paper (or into a computer). By writing down your chosen advertising/marketing venues, you’re setting up a psychological “accountability partner,” and getting a feel for the logistical side of your launch.

Lastly, set goals.

Write them down – make sure you know exactly what those goals are. Don’t be vague. And don’t set hopes – ideals that are just results out of your control – set goals: actionable, measurable, check-off-able items that help you feel like you’re getting somewhere.

Step 2: Prepare

Once you’ve taken some personal “brain time,” move into the “action time.” This phase is when you’ll write, send, and schedule guest posts, interviews, Q&As, and any other marketing “collateral,” and when you’ll want to actually do the things on your Action Plan list from above.

It’s great to follow your timeline, but it’s really difficult to stick to the plan once things start rolling – give yourself ample time (more than expected) to knock out the to-do list you’ve set for yourself.

Step 3: Launch and Measure

This is it – the moment you’ve been waiting for!

It’s time to press “Go” on that launch!

…And when you realize that there’s no “Go” button, don’t freak out – the “launch” phase is just that: a phase.

It starts with the book launch (if you’ve set up a pre-order on Amazon, this date is the “publish” date), and the first order of business will be to tend to any comments you’ve received on those guest posts, respond to emails regarding any “pre-launch” giveaways/specials, and try to not go crazy during the (soon-to-be) busiest week of your life.

Plan some time to not think about the launch as well – it’s great for your sanity, relationships, and long-term health. Schedule downtime, relaxation, going to the movies, etc.

Most importantly, measure the results of your efforts. Use tracking software – Google Analytics, MailChimp’s reporting features, Amazon’s KDP Select Reports, or whatever – to keep tabs on how well your “launch campaign” is doing.

Don’t worry too much during this phase about tweaking and/or changing your plan mid-launch – just go with it, and let the measuring work for you. When all is said and done, you’ll have plenty of time to figure out what when on under the hood.

Rinse and repeat
Launching – anything – takes time, effort, and practice, and the first time you launch a book you’re going to do something wrong.

Actually, every time you launch something you’ll do something wrong – but that’s okay.

There’s no better way to learn than to make some mistakes and try it again. Scrutinize the results closely (remember that part about measuring?), and figure out what you can improve upon next time around. Figure out what really didn’t work, what took too much time for too little ROI, etc.

Above all, do it again. Launch another book, and then another. There’s no marketing quite like having a large backlist, and that’s the only type of marketing that you can actively pursue while you’re writing (‘cause it’s the same thing…).

Visit: www.firsteditiondesignpublishing.com

Ebook Publishing Design Edition First Graphic Aggregators Ebooks Publishers Distribution POD Designing Approved Aggregator How Services Academic Distributor Chapter Submission Professional Firsteditiondesignpublishing.com published book market