Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Launch Your First Book in 2022

What have I learned about launching that first book? 

My first book, A River of Stones, was originally published in 2002. I was beyond excited. But there was a problem. I had no idea what to do next. Through trial and error - mostly error, I learned what to do.

Get the Book at Amazon

Here's what I wish I'd known:

1. Get a website/blog going at least six months before your book is launched. This gives you some well-needed time to gather a few followers. One year before is even better! A website is good, but a blog on your website that changes 3-5 times a week is better!

2. Write down some places that might be interested in doing a book signing or book talk. Conferences are great too! Since this is your first book, you'll really have to sell it! I would have a packet together - just a few things in a paper folder - that you can hand out to interested parties. Include picture of cover, bio, synopsis, author photo, and a letter introducing yourself and what you are interested in doing for them. Look outside the box. Yes, do some book store signings, but conisder the theme of your book and don't be afraid to venture to retail stores, craft events, hair salons, library events, and so on. Need more ideas? Find them in my book here. Get these events set up a few months before your book comes out.

3. Consider a book launch party. I had one of these at my house which was a success, but I did not venture out online. Do some searching and connect with other writers and bloggers to connect your book launch with theirs. Make sure you do a book giveway! When you offer a gift card of say, $25 along with the winning of a book, you increase your entries.

4. Talk it up! Once you have a book cover for your book, make some postcards like this and carry them with you. "What do you do for a living?" someone may ask. Hand them a card. You're in line at the grocery store or bank. You get talking. Hand them a card. You have a terrific meal at a restaurant. Leave a card for the waitress. Keep these cards handy for book signings and book talks. They are a great freebie.

5. Keep a pulse on social media. When you post on your blog, make sure the news gets out to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so forth. When you have a contest, are scheduled to speak somewhere, have a book signing.... make sure you let your followers know. 

6. Once your book is out there, ask your followers online if they'd like to receive your monthly newsletter. Every time you have an event, have a clipboard ready where readers can sign up to receive it. Keep the newsletter short with information not otherwise found on your website. 

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