Are you wondering what to do now that your children’s book is ready to publish?
After all, it’s time to introduce your book to the world and you want to do it WELL.
Or are you already starting to panic about this ‘launching’ everyone keeps talking about?
The launch style for most of my books could best be described as ‘push publish and cross fingers’ and the truth is, it wasn’t the end of the world.
My ‘under the radar’ launch style might not have helped me all that much, but it also didn’t seem to hurt.
Then a few years went by, I matured *slightly* and developed this neat thing called ‘patience’. I’m not mature enough to wait for more marshmallows of course, but once I could see the crystal clear benefit of being patient in this situation, and properly planning my book launch, it got a whole lot easier.
There are many launch styles and ‘things you could do’ (cue hiding books around town) but the underlying goal will always be the same: generate as much activity on the book page as possible, for as long as possible.
Getting organic traffic to your page with a percentage who also buys will improve your book’s rank. The more days in a row this happens the better the rank will be – magic!
While there will always be more that you could do, I’m going to focus on the most common things that will work.
Prepare yourself: Ideally you’ll spend 2-3 months cultivating an audience prior to publishing, so that when you launch it will be to fans and cheerleaders. These magical people will buy your book and also share about it with others. (I KNOW, 2-3 months is FOREVER, but it’s worth it, trust me)
Remember that your main goal is to generate as much activity on the book page as possible over an extended period of time (aim for a week) not just on launch day. If you don’t already have an engaged, good sized audience (ie. more than your spouse, kids and bestie) you are going to have to make some new friends!
Note: many new authors count their author friends (network) as their engaged audience, and to a small extent they are. But these aren’t your super fans, these people are your network, and they serve a different purpose than fans. (more on your network later)
Let’s assume that there is no way you’ll be able to wait for 2-3 months – not for all the chips and dip in the universe.
Given your impatience (tsk tsk) let’s work with a one month lead time. (extend for longer if you can!)
If you only give yourself one month to work on your launch, let me just suggest that you stock up on your fav caffeine drink and easy snacks. (no cheesies! They’ll make the keyboard too icky)
- set-up your branding
- nail down the value you and your book add to the world
- identify your ideal buyer
- start creating & scheduling your social media posts
If you already have an email list you may indulge in one cheesy – well done!👏
- decide on what freebie you’ll offer
- hook up your optin form and of course
- sign up with an email provider if you need one ( I recommend Mailerlite – this is an affiliate link, but I don’t get $$ from them, I get fun bonus points. Also, I’m not recommending them because of their awesome affiliate program 😂)
- plan to set your ebook free the week prior to your physical book being available
- schedule a free ebook promo using ‘Fussy Librarian’ ($17)
Back to your author network:
Be a good friend to your network and they will return the favor! Share their new releases on your social media and to your newsletter where it’s appropriate. (Make sure to tag them!)
Ask your friends to share your posts, your book cover, etc., and ask them for reviews on your ebook. HOWEVER, don’t rely on your network for all of your reviews, and try to get at least as many from your ideal buyer. You can seriously mess with your also-boughts if you rely exclusively on your network for reviews.
Loads of novelists talk about the ‘Rapid release’ strategy. This is publishing one book ever 3-4 weeks, and using that new release ‘juice’ to propel all of them to a better ranking. The only children’s author I've know to do it was Mary Nhin, so I talked to her about it on the podcast a while back. Have a listen or if you prefer to watch, do that here on YouTube.
Week Three and Four
For the next two weeks you’ll be doing lots of intentional posting on social media.
(lost on the idea of ‘intentional’ posting? Think about joining the Content Marketing for Children’s Authors course)
- make daily posts that highlight your book’s value, share about your journey, share the progress you’re making, ask for input (but don’t plan to put all the advice to use)
- network with other authors
- seek out new ‘friends’ on social media (your ideal buyer)
- share about the optin you created in week 2 as often and in as many places without being weird 😜
- ask your author network to share your freebie
✔️ Wherever possible use a scheduler to make your life easier, which assumes that you have a business page on Facebook and/or a biz account on Instagram if you are hanging out with the cool cats and kitties over there.
✔️ Make sure to share your awesome freebie (remember from week two?) wherever is appropriate and as often as possible. Put it in all of your bios! Write to your growing email list once a week and share about your journey. Have any early reviews? Absolutely share those too!
Launch day & the next few days
- share the excitement of launch day on social and to your email list a few times! Be enthusiastic, share all the feelings!
- Give a shout out to friends, family etc whom you know purchased and/or reviewed. Share great reviews and abut how they touch you
- on day 2 or 3 run a free promo with Fussy Librarian (it costs $15 and has a great reach)
- ask for your author network to share your newly launched book with their audiences & email lists
Want a more thorough launch plan?
A few ideas for offline marketing:
- Create and mail a postcard to promote your book. Be sure to include your blog or website URL
- Mail a hard copy of your book’s media kit
- Submit your launch info to local newspaper/magazine listings Include a link to your book’s webpage and blog
Best of luck to you during your book launch!
Questions I didn’t cover? Let me know below!