“People are in such a hurry to launch their product or business that they seldom look at marketing from a bird’s eye view and they don’t create a systematic plan.” ~ Dave Ramsey, Brainy Quotes
Marketing, a necessary task many writers feel ill-equipped to achieve, is often viewed by writers as a burden. And yet, if one wants to sell their books in the current publishing environment, taking responsibility for marketing your own book to your defined target audience is imperative.
I am happy to welcome Dorit Sasson back to discuss why a book launch is an important part of your author platform. She speaks from her own successful experience of launching her memoir this year and is offering a free teleseminar on 3 Easy Steps to Get the Online Fans You Need to Launch Your Book on December 6, 7 and 11.
Dorit Sasson is the founder of Giving Voice to Your Courage podcast and website. She supports heart-centered business owners and authors build visibility and increase engagement with their platforms. Her groundbreaking memoir Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces was a finalist for the USA Best Books Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards and Santa Fe Literary Awards and is also a widely read handbook on how to become more courageous in life.
Welcome back, Dorit!
Why Bother Doing a Book Launch?
You write a book. You try your luck getting it published. You come up with a robust marketing plan that shows evidence of reaching your target audience. And eventually, comes the day to launch your book.
Let’s face it: planning for that special day can be terribly overwhelming. Not to mention stressful. So much from the setup to the outreach. And while a book launch seems to be a no-brainer, it causes major anxiety. All of a sudden, the spotlight (and pressure) is all on them. How should I present my book? What parts of my book should I read if anything? What kinds of marketing materials should I bring to such an event? And the questions go on and on…
As one who has gone through the complicated and daunting process of both traditional and hybrid publishing route as well as overseeing the entire crowdfunding process for my memoir by getting 100 supporters in 45 days, I have experienced first-hand that high wave of emotion of what it feels like to release my book to the world. But in retrospect, that special day was more of a disappointment. The lack of attendees wasn’t at all representative of my growing following online. And although I had spread the word locally to close friends, almost everyone in that audience was new.
I also did the event at a local library, which wasn’t terribly commercial like doing a book launch at a bookstore. Some of the attendees mentioned they’d check the book out as soon as it entered the library system! I had also scheduled back-to back events on release day which depleted me of the much needed energy I needed for an evening book launch event.
Had I given some thought to the “why” behind launching my book, I would have stayed motivated and focused on the launch without getting unnecessarily stressed. I probably wouldn’t have fretted over the low turnout or even get turned-off by some of the questions. Read on for why launching a book really and truly matters.
You get to stand behind your book’s message
There’s nothing like a book launch to validate your message. (Click to Tweet)
You’re not just releasing the physical form of what you’ve manifested all those months, but you’re bearing witness to the emotional energy embedded in your book’s message. This energy can indeed be transformational – by that I mean, you’re talking about your book in a way that goes beyond the “writer hat.”
Not that you don’t have an opportunity to stand behind your book’s message at any book event, but.. a book launch officially validates your purpose. (Click to Tweet)
Why is your book important? Why is it necessary reading material in today’s age? How can it validate the good work you’re already doing to help build your author platform?
You get to rekindle old friendships and ramp up book sales
Even if you now live far away from where you originally grew up, consider launching your book in your hometown, which can lead to surprising results. Marianne Canedo Bohr, author of the memoir Gap Year Girl which documents her travel year abroad and I recently chatted on my podcast Giving Voice to Your Courage, about the courage it took to just pick up and leave.
She mentioned afterwards that she had a highly successful book launch event where the bookstore did some amazing publicity and her friends showed up by the dozens and brought their family and friends. She even contacted the local paper to tell them about the “native daughter comes home” story, which ran as a two page spread with photos about the book and event. The event was terrific for sales and now she is back in touch with so many old friends.
Bottom line: Word of mouth is extremely powerful. It can sell anything and especially, books.
You get to validate your work as an author by talking up your book
At your book launch, you aren’t just validating your book’s message, but yourself as the author, which is incredibly important for diversifying your work. In today’s digital day and age, the key to succeeding as an author means being able to get out there and speak about your book. Gone are the days when you could just stay home and write!
Patricia Fry author of Talk Up Your Book encourages speakers to look for opportunities to build this special kind of muscle. She says to “present your programs in safe zones (friendly territory), among family members, at your local Toastmasters club meeting, before your writer’s group, in front of your fellow business or civic club members. These are good opportunities for you to work the bus out of your presentations.”
After all, the course to speak is the courage to succeed.
Although you may feel insecure about being in the spotlight during your launch and prefer to just stay reticent, that special day can actually impact your career as an author in positive ways you never even thought possible.
Onwards to your book launch!
If you’ve enjoyed this article, I actually created a free course on how to build an engaging platform for launching your book. Click here and you can get it absolutely free.
Thank you, Dorit for your wise words gleaned from your own successful launch of your memoir, Accidental Soldier. From my own personal experience launching my memoir, I learned to enjoy the process rather than feel intimidated by it. Meeting readers face-to-face is my favorite part. Your upcoming teleseminar will provide writers who feel reluctant to market with the necessary tools to launch their books and writing careers.
We’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below~
November 2016 Newsletter-Updates, Memoir Musings and Max Moments:
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“7th Blogaversary Reflections”