Book Launching Woes

Book launching should be more fun than it is. After all, the story we’ve worked so hard on for so long is finally going to find readers.

I talked about my book launch on YouTube before I started. Check it out if you want to know what the planned launch looked like.

My plan? In short, do everything according to the launch methods I’d learned in Novel Academy and from Tim Grahl, who is famous for helping authors launch bestsellers.

Who doesn’t want their book to be a bestseller?

What Went According to Plan

Most of the things I had written down while planning the launch in January were delayed by a month or six weeks because I pushed back the release date.

Still, I invited people from my reader list and social media following to join the launch team on schedule.
Everything for the launch team went off like clockwork.

Sadly, of the fifteen people who signed up, only eight joined the FB group where I was dropping most of the content. Since I made a PDF that included some of the graphics and attached a few graphics to the weekly emails, these people still had access to the information they needed to share.

I decided ahead of time not to have a release party, so that reduced some of the pressure. Believe me, I was carrying enough to rival Atlas already.

What Didn’t Happen

A successful book launch is about reach and exposure. That’s why getting as many authors in your genre or book reviewers talking about your book to their audience is the ideal way to sell a ton of books at launch.

And I really intended to contact at least ten people. Instead, I reached out to a few influencers. So many less than I intended that I’m embarrassed to admit the number here.

The main “excuse” I gave myself for this was: “I didn’t have a copy of the book to send along with my email request.” After all, how can they endorse something they haven’t read? Without reading it, they wouldn’t know if it was right for their audience.

I’m certain the launch would have reached more readers if I’d had even five influencers who planned to share my book with their list.

I only sent one email to my email list of readers each month rather than one per week in the three weeks leading up to the launch. Mostly this was because MailChimp recently changed the number of mailings I could send on the free plan, and I didn’t want to be charged.

I didn’t try to run any ads. My plan was to run a Facebook campaign during the week before the launch when the book was on sale and then Amazon ads once I raised the price up.

But I didn’t have the mental bandwidth to deal with ads.

In the End

I hired a promotion company to help me launch the book.

My goals were simple:

  • Garner twenty reviews
  • Sell 200 copies of the eBook

At this time, I can’t say whether my goals were met. The data isn’t in yet.

What I can say is that I’m glad the book is launched. I’m thankful I don’t have to think about promoting it every day.

Most of all, I’m happy to get back to writing stories. That’s what I love. If my deepest wish was granted, I’d never have to think about launching a book again because I’d have a professional handling it.

Have you ever been on a launch team? What is your experience with launching a book?

What do you think? Add to the discussion here.