One Thing Authors Can Do to Set Up a Successful Book Launch
I know the entire book marketing process can feel overwhelming and oftentimes confusing - especially when it comes to launching your book.
And with the avalanche of opinions coming your way, I know it can be hard to narrow things down as you try to focus on how to best set up your launch.
In my experience, there is one strategy that I encourage every author to use when getting ready to launch their book. That is creating a pre-order incentive, which is a limited time, exclusive gift that an author offers readers for pre-ordering their book ahead of its release.
Offering a compelling pre-order incentive can help you in several ways:
It generates excitement about your book. Exclusive bonuses can enhance a reader’s experience with your book, and that added value makes the decision of purchasing your book a no-brainer.
It gives readers more reasons to talk about your new book. Readers love sharing a good find, so if you are offering something for free, they will want to tell their friends about your offer.
It helps boost your visibility on Amazon. When Amazon sees that people are interested in your book before it releases, they notice. And in return, they make it more visible. It’s kind of like moving your book to the front of their virtual store.
It’s great promotional content. By putting the focus on the free content that people will receive when they pre-order your book, it allows you to promote the free gift you’re offering as opposed to being a sales pitch. You can focus on what the reader will receive, rather than what you want to sell.
Here is how you can create a stress-free pre-order campaign in order to see a successful book launch. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated or expensive.
I wrote a blog post about the three phases of book marketing that applies to a successful pre-order campaign. They are the Attraction Phase, Promotional Phase, and the Follow-Up Phase.
Setting up your pre-order campaign actually starts well before your book is even done during the Attraction Phase which is, hands down, the most important phase. This is where you create connections and conversations with your audience ahead of time. When you announce your pre-order campaign (or even your book release) people will already be paying attention and interested in what you have to share.
This can take time, so starting as soon as possible is important.
But don’t feel like you need to have massive audience to see success. Adjust your expectations. If you only have a few dozen people following you, know that you might not sell 10,000 books the first week - and that’s totally fine!
I encourage authors to focus on creating digital download (or streaming) incentives to offer readers. When we include the production of products and the added cost of mailing them, it can become cost prohibitive.
Offering a digital download incentive allows readers to enjoy their free incentives right away. And that instant gratification will help build the anticipation and excitement for your book.
I’ve seen some authors offer one big incentive, like creating a series of video lessons. Or you could offer multiple incentives, like a collection of checklists, PDF downloads, and chapter excerpts from your upcoming book.
There are a few things to consider:
What could be a good companion for your book? If you’re writing a book on cooking for beginners, offering some free how-to videos or a PDF download of pantry staples would be an appealing bonus. If you’re a fiction writer, creating a character dossier or a short story leading up to your new book should also grab your readers’ attention.
Think about your ideal reader. What would they respond to? If you were in their shoes, what would get you excited?
What would actually enhance your reader’s experience? Don’t just offer a two chapter download and call it a day. That’s probably not going to get readers very excited. Think about ways your incentive could take their experience to a new level.
If you’re stuck on what to offer, I have come up with over 50 ideas to get your creative juices going. Click the download button to get your copy.
Making It Happen
There are several ways that you can present the pre-order offer to your readers.
I recommend having a form on your website (which can be created through MailChimp or your preferred email marketing service) where readers will provide their name, email address, and order number from where they purchased their book. When the information is received, they are automatically emailed a link to download or access their incentive(s).
Another option that I’ve seen authors do is to create a new email address (like email@example.com) and have readers forward you their order receipt so you can reply back with a link to the incentive(s).
The trick is to get their order number to show that they purchased the book and an email to send their incentive to. And that’s it!
Promote the incentive offer on your social media outlets and send an email campaign out to your newsletter subscribers. You can also share it with your family and friends to get things rolling. And I would suggest posting about your pre-order incentive, sharing the link with a variety of captions and images several times over the weeks leading up to your book’s release.
Offering your pre-order incentive about a month before the release of your book should give readers enough time to take advantage of your exclusive offer. And it gives you great marketing material to use to promote your book launch.