This Is How To Create A Pre-Launch Strategy For Your Book

Unsure how to market a book that doesn’t exist yet? Here’s how.

Rachel Thompson
Apr 12, 2019 · 10 min read

In a previous post, I discussed how to pre-market your book and create buzz. Many writers are tentative about this process: how can I market a book that doesn’t exist yet?

Oh, but you can, and today I’m going to share with you:

  1. Specific, practical ways to do exactly that,

I am linking to several ‘how-to’ articles so it’s on you to click on them, read them, and do the work. *This is by no means a complete list, and focuses more on the marketing to-do’s, than the publishing and book creationary to-do’s.

**I do include a few affiliate links in this post.

Let’s deconstruct.

Creating Buzz While You Are Writing Your Book

I don’t know about you, but I don’t churn books out every three months. It typically takes me about a year, sometimes two. This is the perfect time to do the following:

  • Build relationships with readers on social media. This means interact, ask questions, strategically follow readers (not only other writers). Time: Realistically, plan to spend 30–60 minutes daily. Maybe 2 hours if you get sucked into the rabbit hole of politics (I recommend you do not, purely from a focus perspective but of course, you do you).
How to Create Pre-Launch Buzz for Your Book Right Now by @BadRedheadMedia, publishing, writing, book marketing
How to Create Pre-Launch Buzz for Your Book Right Now by @BadRedheadMedia, publishing, writing, book marketing
Made in 3 minutes with PromoRepublic visual editor. Image credit: Unsplash.com
  • Schedule in articles of interest, quotes, visuals (as mentioned above), and other relevant content (Hootsuite, Buffer, or PromoRepublic are all viable options with free trials). Even the paid options for a single author are affordable and a tax deduction. Time: 15–20 minutes daily.

Total time: 2–3 hours/week.

I guarantee that those 30–60 minutes daily you say you don’t possibly have to spend on marketing, you are probably spending fooling around on Facebook or arguing with political trolls on Twitter. I know because I get notifications from authors asking ‘Why isn’t my book selling?’ or ‘How do I use Twitter?’ If they did the work, they’d know, and they’d be doing it already.

Creating Buzz Three to Six Months Before Book Release

Now is the time to do the following:

  • Create your book marketing plan. There are entire books written on this and I don’t have time to review that here. In fact, my own book, the BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge, breaks up book marketing into one month of daily assignments so it’s not so overwhelming. There’s no easy button here, but it’s not brain surgery. It’s work. Do it.

Total time: 1–3 hours/week.

Above all, keep in mind: we brand the author, not the book. Your author platform and social media need to reflect you, the author. If you only talk about your book constantly, people will think you’re a robot. We are three-dimensional humans with lives. As my son used to say, “Be a people.”

If you find yourself resistant to spending this time on yourself and your author platform and pre-marketing, ask yourself: why? Do you want to be that author who spend days, months, years, decades in some cases, who releases their book to rave reviews but no sales? Because it happens. Every day. And it’s crushing. Dream crushing. Soul crushing.

I pick authors up from their puddles, dust them off, and help them better prepare for their next release. I implore you: do the work now. You are worth it.

If you are truly dedicated to writing, one book won’t make or break you. And with the advent of digital, there’s no true ‘shelf-life’ of a book. Keep writing.

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Image for post
Photo by Karolina Zuraw on Unsplash

Creating Buzz The Month Before

If you haven’t already done so:

  • Commit to pre-selling your book on Amazon. Once you commit, you are stuck with your release date (or they ban you from any further pre-sells for one year), so be 100% sure you will make that release date.

Total Time: 1–3 hours/week.

Creating Buzz the Week Before

  • Reconnect with your ARC readers and remind them that your book releases in a week. Kindly ask them if they will be able to review your book upon release.

Total Time: 2–3 hours/week.

Creating Buzz on Release Date and The Week After

Rather than rehash all of the above, you basically need to go through ALL OF THE ABOVE as well as:

  • Drop your press release

Example: Broken Places by @RachelintheOC available now on #Amazon! https://geni.us/BrokenPlacesE #AwardWinning #Memoir

  • Do not, I repeat, do not randomly autoDM or PM or message people you do not know to purchase your book on social media. Every person in the social media world is not your ideal reader. #TruthBomb. Turn off any automated messages of this sort now and interact live — and by interact live, I don’t mean spam your book link as a welcome.

Set Realistic Sales Goals

If you aren’t marketing your book actively, interacting with readers, book bloggers, book reviewers, have no email marketing in place, haven’t built up your social media, aren’t blogging, haven’t optimized your posts and website, have no online presence, haven’t established your personal brand, pay for zero advertising…you get the gist — set low sales goals.

Which is what most authors do — nothing — yet still expect to sell a ton of books and sit on Oprah’s couch. With their first book and zero marketing.

Kinda crazy, right?

Setting realistic goals can help minimize overwhelm and frustration. A few ideas for newbie authors (regardless of how you are published):

  • Set a goal for the number of book sales per month — a realistic, REACHABLE number…say, a minimum 10 sales per month for the first three months. If that seems unreachable after the first month, reassess.

This is a pretty exhaustive post but again, it’s by no means the ‘be all and end all’ answer to everything because it’s on you to do the work (or hire someone to do it for you), and results vary by writer, market, reviews, genre, demographic, budget, author interaction…the list is endless.

Write because you love it and because you have a story to tell. Market because you want people to find your book and read it. Interact with readers because you’re human.

You got this.

Connect with Rachel on her business site at BadRedheadMedia.com, Twitter @BadRedheadMedia, Instagram, Facebook, and join her free weekly #BookMarketingChat on Twitter every Wednesday 6 pm pst/9 pm est (just use the hashtag to join).

Want an insider peek at her writing and other marketing projects? Join her street team!

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Rachel Thompson

Written by

Author, 6 books. Writer: The Every Day Novelist, PS I Love You, Ninja Writers Pub, Writing Coop. Assault survivor/advocate. Marketer http://BadRedheadMedia.com

The Every Day Novelist

An Experiment in Reading + Writing

Rachel Thompson

Written by

Author, 6 books. Writer: The Every Day Novelist, PS I Love You, Ninja Writers Pub, Writing Coop. Assault survivor/advocate. Marketer http://BadRedheadMedia.com

The Every Day Novelist

An Experiment in Reading + Writing

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