What Is the Best Way to Launch My Book?

UPDATED 10/31/2014

There are more experts on the web offering answers to this question than I can count, and I have no intention of adding my name to the list.

So instead of pretending that I have the magical answers to this question, I’ve decided to highlight launching advice from two bestselling authors to help you get a more comprehensive answer to the launch question.

The list begins with tips from former Thomas Nelson Publishing company CEO Michael Hyatt and then incorporates tips from guerrilla book marketing guru Guy Kawasaki.

Why trust Hyatt and Kawasaki?

In “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” Michael Hyatt focuses on building an online platform that allows people who are interested in your message to learn about you and follow you.

The ultimate goal is for them to become promoters of your message who are simply motivated by how much they enjoy your message or by how much it helps them.

This is why people with platforms tend to have long-lasting careers and sales. For example, Hyatt is an international bestselling author with well over 100,000 openly documented followers. His book explains how he did it.

In “APE: How to Publish a Book,” Guy Kawasaki and his co-author Shawn Welch describe the entire book writing, publishing and promoting process. Their simple process takes advantage of free resources.

I also appreciate that their book “APE” is a bestseller that attributes its own success to the very “APE” process it shares within its pages.

What do Hyatt & Kawasaki say about book launching?

Hyatt’s book offers step-by-step instructions for preparing a platform, building the home base for the platform and expanding your platform reach.

Kawasaki’s book focuses on introducing the self-publishing tools that authors have access to online and offering a strategy for using them to effectively write, publish and launch your book.

When used together, these tips offer great comprehensive tools for spreading the word about your book.

Your Book Launch Tips from Hyatt:

Start with a book that makes people say “Wow!” 

Prepare to Launch 

  • Set goals
  • Create an elevator pitch (a 30-second explanation of your book’s message)
  • Setup branding tools
    • Professional email address
    • Professional email signature
    • Business cards
    • Website/Blog
    • Social media profiles
  • Assemble your pit crew (Please note that I’ve customized this list for authors because Hyatt’s original list is generalized for any industry. For further explanations, please read this earlier post.) 
    • Administrative team (an assistant, a bookkeeper & an attorney)
    • Marketing team (a literary agent, marketing professionals, graphic designers & typesetters, event planners, printers/POD distributors and/or sound engineers)
    • Sales team members (distributors, publicists, and sales reps)
  • Get raving endorsements 
  • Get a great head shot (this is a photo that focuses on your face)
  • Develop an online media kit
    • Headline
    • Navigation
    • Contact information
    • Product Information like sales copy, product specs, product formats, product photos, product trailers, full bio, head shots and product endorsements
    • Promotion information like live appearances and media appearances
    • Interviewer resources like Bio talking points, product summary, list of interview topics and angles, sample interview questions
    • Fan resources
    • Media reactions or reviews

Build home base

  • Focus online because it’s cheaper and quicker than starting with offline options
  • Build a blog
  • Develop landing pages
  • Build a speaking page

Expand your reach 

  • Generate more blog traffic
  • Build subscriber list using social media
  • Prepare for traditional media

Engage your tribe

  • Get more comments
  • Monitor your brand
Your book launch tips from Kawasaki:

Think about how people are most likely to discover your book:

  • Through recommendations from family and friends,
  • Through mentions in blogs and websites,
  • Through Google searches, and
  • Amazon and other online reseller recommendations.

After they find your book on Amazon, they will look up your star ratings and reviews. So your job is to make sure you have great reviews within 48 hours of self-publishing your book to Amazon through Createspace.

Here are Kawasaki’s tips for ethically getting reviews:

  • Use your email address, email newsletter list (aka mailing list) and social media acquaintances to offer a PDF copy to anyone who promises to write a review.
  • Make review writing easy by providing your author bio, author pic, book cover, book specs (page count, ISBN & price), book blurbs and foreign rights holder information on your site or blog-Hyatt refers to this as your “media kit.”
  • Optimize your title by using the same keywords people are likely to use in an online search.
  • Optimize your listing by using Author Central.
  • Sign up for HARO (Help A Reporter Out) at Helpareporter.com to find out about journalists who need to interview people with experiences like yours. This brings you free publicity!
  • Do something fun like giving away stickers, hosting a contest related to your book, creating book-related quizzes, or offering wallpaper of your book cover.

Final Thoughts

Kawasaki’s tips recommend quick and simple actions that when used repeatedly can lead to increased book sales. These tips feature free actions that can be executed by almost anyone willing to take the time to learn. These are also great tips for creating passive income from your book sales. Although his tips don’t say “platform,” he focuses on how to borrow Amazon’s free tools to build your book’s online “platform.”

Hyatt’s tips focus more on building a branded business infrastructure and team to promote your book’s message. This approach is a more hands-on-approach that requires more collaboration with experts-but what would you expect from someone who spent his career building a publishing company that promotes the work of individual authors?

Both authors have found success with their models. And their tips are not mutually exclusive.

It’s ultimately up to you to decide how to launch your book, but the tips above should help you understand the world of possibilities. Feel free to adapt the tips to suit your own needs.

I highly recommend reading both books for more information.

Question: Which book launching tip surprised you the most?

Photo by: NASA/Jerry Cannon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products or services I have mentioned.

Danielle Fetherson

Danielle helps aspiring authors become published authors. She believes that everyone has at least one book on the inside of them that can make a positive impact on someone else's life. If you have been thinking about writing a book, learn how to start your book today with the free resources at DanielleFetherson.com.

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