I’m so excited to celebrate nine years with y’all! As you paddle furiously from unpubbed island to the shores of success, one of the important supplies you’ll need is a bit of marketing savvy to help make the most of your experiences in Published Land. I’m in the midst of releasing a new book myself, so this topic has been forefront in my mind! (If you’d like to check it out, A Pony Express Romance is available for pre-order and scheduled to release Dec. 27, 2016).
To grow those skills (and in keeping with the theme of “9”), let’s talk about nine critical steps to successfully marketing your new release!
Note: Sometimes marketing can be a bit overwhelming, so if that’s the raft you’re rowing, I’m going to make it easier for you. I’ll put an asterisk beside the steps that are absolutely critical. The others you can pick and choose what you want to do.
So let’s get started!
1. Announce the Book to Your Email List*:
When these folks signed up for your email list, you probably promised they would be the first to know about new releases, so keep that promise! Announce the new release to your email list first. If your book is available for pre-order, you’ll want to send a total of three emails to your list: one when the pre-order starts, another on release day, and the third a couple weeks after release. In this last email, thank them for the purchase, let them know you hope they enjoy the story and ask them to leave a review. Here is a blog post where I cover these emails in more detail.
2. Post the Book*:
We’re not talking social media yet. In step two, you want to make sure that book is added on all the websites where readers are looking. Add the book cover, blurb, and buy links to your author website. Make sure you have an Amazon Author Page and your new book is linked to it (no, this doesn’t happen automatically). The same with Bookbub. (You do have a Bookbub Author Page, right?) Add the book to Goodreads, ACFW’s Fiction Finder, etc. And if you have any indie published books, make sure you add links to the new book in the back matter of your existing inventory.
3. Prep your Launch Team*:
Send advance reader copies to them a couple months before release, if possible. I also like to send out the links where they should post reviews as soon as those are live. You can send out the Goodreads link right away, then send out the other links when the review option is live (usually on release day).
4. Announce on Social Media*:
Now is the time to share with the world! Make sure you include the buy links so people can get in on the fun.
5. Schedule Blog Tour:
If you plan to do interviews or guests posts on blogs, you’ll want to schedule these several months in advance. Guest blogging can be time-consuming, so make sure you choose blogs geared toward your target reader.
6. Submit for Critical Reviews:
This is another step that needs to begin early, often four to six months before release. If you’re traditionally published, your publisher will likely handle this piece for you. However, indies get to do the legwork on their own. Some of the bigger review sites include Booklife, RT Reviews, and Kirkus Reviews.
7. Schedule Paid Ads:
Again, if you’re traditionally published, you’ll want to discuss this with the publisher’s marketing team to make sure you’re clear about what they’re doing and what they’re willing to pay for. My favorite paid ads for pre-orders are Facebook Ads. After release, I submit for a feature with EreaderNewsToday.com as soon as the book has ten reviews. Then when the book hits 25 reviews or more, I start requesting a feature with Bookbub.com. There are lots of other ad sites out there—some more effective than others—but these are my personal favorites.
8. Schedule any Appearances or Parties:
If you plan to host a release party, either in person or on social media, or book signings, now’s the time to get them lined up!
9. Document Each Step and the Results*:
Even if you think there’s no way you could possibly forget the details of this launch, I promise you will! Create a document (in Excel, Word, a spiral-bound notebook—anything!) and write down EVERYTHING you did to market this new release. Then record the results of each activity. What step had a lot of impact, either in book sales or recognition? What was a waste of time or money? What do you wish you’d done differently? Record it all! This is called a post-mortem and will be so helpful to you next time!
Although the marketing possibilities are endless, these are the core focus areas. And as you gain experience releasing new books, you’ll find some of these bring you more value than others. So let’s hear from you! What are your favorite ways to market a new book release? And readers, how do you typically find out about new releases from favorite or new authors?
Join the conversation for a chance to win the first three books in my Mountain Dreams Series. (Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.)
I’m giving these away so you don’t have to wait until the end of December for my new release, A Pony Express Romance, but you can take a peek at it here!
Additionally, I have a free Book Launch Marketing Checklist that you can download here.
Misty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance and is the author of the Mountain Dreams Series and the Texas Rancher Trilogy.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Misty has worked over a decade in the corporate world, focusing her efforts in project management, business leadership, and marketing, and now loves to apply those same skills in her writing life. spends treasured days with her husband and two daughters. In the midst of it all, her husband and daughters keep her both grounded and crazy.
Misty loves to connect through her website, marketing blog for authors, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
After growing up as an orphan, Josiah English wants nothing more than to have his own ranch and raise Arabian horses. Riding for the Pony Express seems like the ticket to his dream. And when he meets the stationmaster’s beautiful sister, it seems he may be within reach of the happy life he craves.
Mara Reid is thrilled to finally meet the man of her dreams, and the fact that they both want to raise horses in the Sweetwater River valley seems like confirmation straight from God.
But when the Express shuts down and Mara's family home is in peril, the danger looming over Mara's life may not be half as destructive as that threatening her heart.