The first few books I published were very modest successes. That’s because they were done using an intuitive process. The books were first written, edited and formatted. An attractive book cover and compelling blurb were wrapped around the package. And only then did the marketing effort begin.
After some months, because of the keen interest in its subject matter, there were a couple of hundred sales. That was not bad, but it was not too great either.
But after studying how a formal product launch works and implementing the strategies in an expert program, the results were startling. The key difference from this new approach was that my book launch was now an event!
Marketing A Product Launch Starts Early
A book launch begins almost a year before the book is ready. Yes, that’s surprising for beginners to appreciate, but it takes a year to build anticipation and get potential buyers into the right frame of mind so they’ll rush to the bookstore and order a copy as soon as you launch.
So what should you do over that year?
Set the stage for the launch event that your book publication will be. In other words, turn writing a book into a special event that people will find exciting and look forward to.
Here are a few ideas to do this:
1. Give readers a peek behind the screen
Invite potential book buyers to sign up to your notification list – and drip news and information about how your book is getting along. Tell them about the trouble you face with a difficult character. Show them drafts that you later discarded – because they weren’t good enough. Let them see how a book creation process works.
2. Offer tidbits of your book
From time to time, you can share excerpts from your book or other product. The sample you offer should tantalize and tempt, without delivering all the value a finished product will provide. That way, people who have tasted a bite will eagerly await the entire dish!
3. Run contests
Since you have a long time to keep the buzz building, you can run a series of contests, giveaways, and trivia quizzes with your book or product as the prize. People can register for a chance to win by doing something like sharing a tweet on Twitter or posting a photo of your book cover on Facebook, which spreads word about your upcoming launch to a wider audience than you can reach by yourself.
4. Get them involved
You can ask followers of your blog or email list or social networks to help you co-create your product itself. For a book launch, you could seek their feedback to pick one of a set of 3 to 5 book covers. For a seasonal special deal, you could ask them what price would be best. For a bonus bundle, you can invite suggestions for what they would like the most.
5. Ramp up excitement close to your launch
When the impending launch is right around the corner, pick up the pace of your promotions. Post updates more frequently. Send out more emails. Keep whipping your crowd into a frenzy, so that they’ll be looking forward to grabbing your new product on launch day itself.
All of these are simple ways to turn your product launch into an event that builds excitement and generates more sales.