As an author and publisher, here are my smart strategies.
It's been a long time coming. You've spent months planning, writing and editing your book to perfection. You've sent it off to the printer with bated breath in anticipation of being published. And now you're probably wondering what next? Launching a book can be stressful and scary. Especially if you haven't done it before, or haven't seen anyone else do it. There are so many things to think about when launching a new book. And then the question becomes: How do I keep that momentum going? How do I make sure my audience is engaged with me for months after the launch?
The good news is that there are a few things you can do to keep the momentum going after your launch. Below, I've highlighted what some of these strategies might be and why they work. You may have come up with other ideas as well! There's no one strategy for success — go ahead and experiment until you find what works best. Here's what we recommend in order to keep your book business growing post-launch.
Get on podcasts
Podcasts are evergreen content, so not only will you get exposure when you go on them as a guest but also for as long as that podcast episode exists. Podcasts are a great way to provide additional value by offering something (a freebie, a strategy session, etc.) to the readers in exchange for their listening to your interview, buying the book or perhaps leaving a review.
Promote on Facebook groups
Facebook is a great place to find people who are interested in your book topic. Facebook groups usually have very active members and are often specific demographics so you can be sure you're reaching your target audience.You can start engaging with the group without mentioning it's you or asking them for reviews but just by providing value and commenting on posts within that Facebook group. The key is not just promoting your book in all groups but finding niche groups where it can have the most impact. Niche groups are easier to find, and they attract the audience who needs your product.
Do not forget platforms like WhatsApp, Reddit, Quora and Linkedin as many of these communities are niche groups with people in similar industries. They are very underutilized and not many authors know about them, but they are a goldmine of traffic and potential readers.
You can also start your own Facebook group and then grow it to a larger audience, but you need to be prepared for the responsibility of moderating the group, as well as being able to provide value for people who are joining your community.
Webinars provide another opportunity for exposure and engagement with your readers. You'll have an online platform where you can talk about what's going on in your day-to-day life as well as provide insight into your book, product or services. Webinars give you another opportunity to talk one-on-one with potential customers which is important when launching a product (or future book) as everyone wants personalized attention from someone who understands what they need. You can host webinars about certain topics related to your passion, your journey as an author or do periodic live Q&A sessions throughout the year so your readers get more than one opportunity to connect with you.
Another way to build momentum after your book release is by teaming up with another author who has the same target audience. You can also form an online group with other authors and collaborate on joint promotions, such as free giveaways or discounts, that will help each author reach new audiences while still promoting their individual brands. It can be especially beneficial for authors to form an alliance with one another as they share followers across multiple platforms. Consider offering rewards to those who purchase from each author so people feel more invested in supporting all involved. Remember that collaboration, and not competition, will help you scale as an author.
Build a book launch team
One of the most effective ways to keep momentum after launching your book is by forming a launch team. A launch team can be an invaluable resource for authors as they can be comprised entirely of people who have bought and read their books, which means they’re already invested in the book and resonate with its message. This kind of support will also motivate you to get out there on social media and share updates about your newest release with these followers while asking them to spread the word when possible. Alternatively, if this idea doesn’t appeal to you because it feels like too much work or pressure, consider establishing a group chat (on platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram or Discord) where members are allowed to post content related to the book without any expectation that others must respond immediately. In this way, everyone gets to be a part of the conversation while being afforded some breathing room.
Do a second launch
Think of this as the “grand reopening” for your book that is happening while you are still promoting it. It's a great way to engage with new readers who haven't had time to check out your work yet. Don't be discouraged if the first push for your book wasn't as successful as you had hoped. It's not uncommon to do another “launch” or marketing campaign with some new content or information that was written after your book's initital release. Authors may plan a relaunch of their book during the holidays, when people are looking for fresh and new reading material either for themselves or as a gift for their friends and family. Some authors publish a new or updated edition of their work so they can reach an even wider readership and generate income from it at the same time.
An example of a “relaunch” could be a promotional event that is held in honor of your book. This can include an evening with friends or family, wine and hors d'oeuvres, followed by readings from the book, sharing about changes in your life since the release and how the book impacted someone else's life. This gives you an opportunity to have another moment of fame while inspiring others to write their own book. Everyone likes to be a celebrity and a published author is nothing less!
Use book as tool to grow business
Yes, books are not just for personal fulfillment. They can also be great ways to make a living or branch out into other avenues of business. Giving away freebies such as workbooks, printables, templates, etc. based on your book will get readers not only excited about your book but also your products. For example, if you have a book on fitness or weight loss, then you can use it to promote your other physical services such as personal training sessions or nutrition coaching. The possibilities are endless. Remember that people want more than just one product from you so don't limit yourself with just one book.
Join book clubs
Surrounding yourself with a community of readers can be very beneficial on many levels and book clubs are no exception. Book clubs give you another level to connect with your readers. It's also easier than hosting an event or class because the club takes care of that part for you. It will not only help you stay on top of your game by getting honest reviews and feedback from real readers, but it will also help with your branding as an author.
If you are able to get reviews from bloggers or influencers who have a large following, that could be just the boost your book needs. Find people in your network on social media, offer them discounted or free copies of your book and ask them if they would be willing to write an honest review for you. If you are not able to get reviews from people who have a large following, do some research and find bloggers with smaller followings that may be interested in reading your work. You can also use sites like Goodreads and BookBub to promote your books. It'll help with marketing and give you a place to connect with other readers.
Think outside the box ideas
What are some creative ways for authors to market their books? They can take part in mystery shopping, invite the reader to a business mastermind group or do live streams.
The story behind my recently published The Growth Hacking Book Series is a success in itself. I wanted it to be different than any other promotional campaign we had ever done before, and so after publishing the book, we did a Twitter trend for hashtag growth hacking (#GrowthHacking) on Twitter India, which was one of the main markets for the book. I aimed for more creativity and personality by gifting one copy each not just to everyone who retweeted back but also my personal favorite animal: George – the Monkey. The video of him reading a business book with his adorable face went viral and this in turn got us huge visibility and sales.
The goal for all these ideas is to keep moving forward and continuing to promote what you've created. Promoting a book is not an overnight process. In fact, it’s more of a long-term strategy than anything else. The key to success is consistency and patience. Book marketing strategies are endless, so don't feel like you have to do one thing all the time or that it has to be big in order for people to notice your work. Start with something small today and keep building on your successes from there; eventually you'll see exponential growth as word spreads about your work and your book.