10 Steps for an Effective Book Launch by Laurel Osterkamp
Let’s welcome back Laurel Osterkamp as she shares with us “10 Steps for an Effective Book Launch.” Enjoy!
My novel, Beautiful Little Furies, is released on 12/21/23. As I write this post, that’s twenty days away. So it’s crunch time, and I’m preoccupied with creating an effective book launch.
I thought I’d share my strategies with you today.
1. Start with a solid foundation
This one is pretty obvious.
Make sure you have a well-written and edited book, a professional book cover design, and a compelling book blurb.
These elements are the first things that potential readers will see, and they can make or break their decision to purchase your book.
2. Build Your Author Platform And Create A Launch Page
As an author, you are your own brand, so connect with your target audience and promote your book.
This includes having a professional author website, active social media presence, and a mailing list.
I know it can be daunting to get started, and if you need help on building a mailing list, check out my previous Writer’s Fun Zone post, 5 Concrete Steps to Build Your Mailing List.
As for a launch page, this is like a home base for your upcoming release. As an example, here’s my launch page for Beautiful Little Furies.
3. Create A Buzz With Pre-Orders
This is easier said than done.
Most readers will wait until release day to buy a book. But you can ask family and friends to pre-order, and that will help with Amazon algorithms.
For Beautiful Little Furies, I’ve been experimenting with Amazon ads. I’m running one ad, spending less than a dollar a day, hoping only to get a lot of impressions rather than actual sales.
My thinking? Readers will see my book and grow curious.
Then, when it’s actually available, they’ll click through and buy it. I’ll let you know how well that experiment works.
4. Hit Up People You Know
Reach out to your family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances and ask them to support your book launch by purchasing and sharing it with people they know.
Collaborate with other authors in your genre to cross-promote each other’s books.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support — you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to lend a hand.
This is a great way to connect with your audience, share your book’s message, and generate buzz.
You can host a live Q&A session, read excerpts from your book, and even offer giveaways.
I’m a little unsure about this one myself; what if I hold a live event, and only a couple of people come? That would be so awkward, right?
But Instagram lets you practice going live, so I will practice and see how it goes. Then on the day of my launch, I’ll offer giveaways and other incentives to build interest.
6. Partner With Bloggers And Influencers
For the release of Favorite Daughters, I hired a blog tour company whose name I won’t mention, and it was a disaster. Almost no one posted when they said they would, and the person in charge was MIA.
This time around I was more careful in selecting a tour host, and so far she’s been great.
If you already have a lot of connections with bloggers, Bookstagrammers, and/or BookTokers, you’re probably fine putting together a tour on your own.
But if you’re like me, you’ll want to hire someone.
Just make sure you check out other books that your potential tour host has promoted, and determine whether or not they’re a good fit.
7. Offer Bonus Material
Post excerpts, playlists, book trailers, and anything else you can think of on your website, and then promote it on social media.
I made a playlist on Spotify, and then I blogged about it, including advice for authors on how to create their own novel’s playlist.
8. BookBub New Releases For Less
They’re pricey, but often worth it.
My sales for Favorite Daughters took off when it was featured on BookBub, and that got the algorithms working for me.
Afterwards, for several months, I enjoyed sales that I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise.
9. Facebook, BookBub, and Amazon Ads
There is a ton of advice, courses, and full-length books written on how to create effective ads on each of these three sites. It’s definitely an artform, and I’ve had a mixed bag of success.
They’re all a huge time suck and an even bigger money suck, but if you get one good ad working for you, the benefits can be huge.
10. Book Reviews
I saved this for last because it’s arguably the most important. Book reviews play a crucial role in a book’s success, but getting them is a challenge. Services like NetGalley and Hidden Gems can help and I recommend trying both.
This time around, I’ve also tried something new. Since I’ve been building my mailing list, with Beautiful Little Furies, I sent an email to all my subscribers, asking if they’re interested in receiving an ARC, with the expectation that they’ll write a review. 56 people signed up!
On December 21st (release day) I will send each reader an email with a direct link for writing a review (here’s a video on how to create such a link). Also, I suggest using BookFunnel for sending out your ARC.
It’s easy, their basic account is cheap and all you need, and then you don’t have to worry about sending attachments that are too large or that will scare away readers.
So, that’s all I’ve got. If you’re in the same boat as me (and most likely, some of you are. Aren’t something like 1,000 books a day released on Amazon?)
I wish you success with your book launch. And, if you’ve sold a lot of books using a strategy that I didn’t include in this post, please share!!
About the Author
Laurel Osterkamp is from Minneapolis, where she teaches and writes like it’s going out of style. Her short fiction has been featured in Abandon Journal, Idle Ink, Tangled Locks Literary Journal, Bright Flash Literary Journal, and The Metawoker, among other places. Her novel Favorite Daughters was released last year by Black Rose Writing, and her new novel, Beautiful Little Furies, will be released in December.
Website – https://laurellit.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurelosterkamp
BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/laurel-osterkamp
Instagram: Laurel Osterkamp (@laurel_osterkamp) • Instagram photos and videos