Writing a book? Time to plan your launch. Like now. Not after you’re done writing. Trust me. There are things I’m going to tell you today that you’ll thank me for later. Live and learn writers. Live and learn.
And here they are — the 7 tips I know now that I wish I knew back then (in 2012 when I self-published my first memoir).
- Start building your platform the day you decide you’re going to write a book. That means an email list. You can read about AWeber (the one I use) HERE. Aweber has been good to me, and yes, this is an affiliate link. I resisted this for so long. If I’d gotten over my fear of “bothering” people back then, I’d have three times the list today, and probably a couple more book sales. Do it. Today. Your platform also includes your social media presence. Create an author or business page. Start building likes. Create a free Facebook group. Start collecting fans. Do these things. There’s a lot of great info on the how-to of these things out there. But if you have questions, see my bio below!
- Identify your target market or ideal reader and be unapologetically specific about who that is. Again, if I’d done this early, I’d have both a bigger launch team (although 120 this go-around is nothing to laugh at) and more book sales. If you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody. The more specific you get the easier it is to market your book and launch it to the people meant to read your message. Marie Forleo has some awesome resources for learning about your ideal client.
- Write an awesome book. Sounds stupid right? But, you might gasp at the number of people whose books I read that have not been professionally edited. I don’t care how good a writer you are, you need a professional editor. Editing isn’t the are to skimp on. Fork it over for this and you’ll have a book that you’re proud of and that others rave about.
- You need more help than you think. A book launch team is a must! So start mingling with others who’ve been there, done that and do that early on! You’ll need design help, and cover art help, and writing, publishing and marketing help. Join the Facebook groups. Start to get to know people. Support them. Have them wanting to support you. You do this with a team, not alone. Learn what you can. Invest in yourself and programs that will help you in the areas you need help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to influencers and New York Times best-selling authors. Ask your questions. Be persistent about learning. And start building your book launch team ahead of time (a month or two or more).
- Get organized. Leading a book launch team of over 100 souls has challenged even my type-A, ultra-organized, multi-tasking skills. Make sure you have systems in place to help you stay organized; special email folders, a dedicated email list, a paper folder clearly marked, scheduled time on your calendar for marketing and promotion, and even an assistant to delegate tasks to. Keep track of everything. Write everything down. And later on when you’re breathing again, you might even have enough information to write your own blog about launching a book!
- Get and stay brave. When you begin organizing and recruiting your launch team you’re going to have to slide out of your comfort zone and ask people for more help than you’re used to. If people say they will do something for you, and lets say they forget, you have to be willing to follow up — help them stay accountable. And you might even have to ask people to buy your book. [gasp]. News flash, the only way you’ll sell books is to market your book. Get ready for people who will knock you about how “sales-y” you’re being. (I had to). And you might come up with some witty comebacks, like, “Oh, ahem…are you writing a book?”
- You need reviews on release day. And after that. And more after that. I saved “reviews” for last because I want you to remember this. When you’ve assembled your team and they all tell you they’re willing to both read your advanced copy ahead of time and review it on Amazon, you may need to remind them, and hold them to it. Getting several reviews on release day will help your book sales. It will help your marketing. It will start your book journey off on the right foot. Look for book and author groups and clubs that exchange reviews. Ask for reviews. Ask. Ask. Ask. What’s the worst that can happen? They say no? Just say, “Next!” And move along with your badass self.
- Don’t be afraid of technology. Everything is figure-outable.
- Your mom’s review doesn’t count.
- Your BFF’s might though.
- Authors are a special group of humans, and generally want to help. Ask.
- Stay positive, on-purpose and unapologetically you. The energy you do this with matters.
- Hire a coach for your book. I wish I had back then. You’ll get where you want to go faster.
- Get over the doubt and fear. As an author you’ve chosen to play bigger and share your story. The inner critic will waste your precious time with thoughts that paralyze you. Practice awareness and shut that voice down faster.
- Go for progress, not perfection.
- Surround yourself with people who support you and weed out the ones who are negative. It’s hard enough to do this, let alone do it while people are telling you why it won’t work.
- Blogging can be an excellent way to build your platform for the book.
- Guest blogging is even better.
- Have fun! If it’s not fun, you shouldn’t be doing it!
Ready to help me with my launch?
Here are a few things you can do to help a girl out:
1. If you’re willing to share posts from my Facebook page: literally ANY shares with a note how you found me would be greatly appreciated. My Facebook page is Brave Healer by Laura Di Franco, MPT
and Twitter is www.twitter.com/livehealtkd (hearts and retweets greatly appreciated!
2. If you want to see what’s going on in my actual launch group — go HERE and join! Writers/authors — definitely join — I’m giving a gift afterward of a step by step playbook of my launch details!
3. If you’re wiling to purchase a pre-ordered copy of Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey, you can do that HERE. ($10)
4. And if you’re willing to go to Amazon to write a review for it on June 1st, well, you’ve just become my new favortie admirer.
Thank you very much for reading. And if you decide to help out — send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know! Got launch questions? You can send them too!
Laura Di Franco, MPT is the owner of Brave Healer Productions. She’s a published poet and author, inspirational speaker, holistic physical therapist and third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. Praised as “our favorite class” by The Writer’s Center, her brave, intuitive writing and healing workshops are the reason she was born. She helps healers get their badass, authentic voice published in order to heal the world with their words. Her new book, Brave Healing; a Guide for Your Journey is due out June 1st! www.BraveHealer.com is where you can grab a free 30-minute call with her to learn how your story will heal the world.