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Virtual Book Launch Checklist

Updated: Oct 8, 2022



When launching our book, it is essential to make sure everything is perfect, this could be the difference between your book becoming a best-seller and selling hundreds of copies or being lucky to get 10 sales on launch day.

When launching a book, especially as a self-published author we need to remember everyone is competing with each other to reach that number one spot whether that's in a category on amazon or reaching a New York Times Bestseller. So making sure we take our time and don’t rush our launch is vital for its success. As an Indie Author, you have to remember you are also competing against authors who are working with a publisher and they too will have a checklist and the funds to invest in each book's launch. This means your investment and belief in your own books are imperative to its positive result!


1. Preparing your manuscript

Many authors that have finished their book rush or don’t put as much effect into this part of the process as the actual writing of the story. There are so many components to ensuring your manuscript is up to the standard expected by readers. DO NOT rush this process. Give yourself enough time to ensure your manuscript really is the best it can be and set a deadline that you know is achievable if that means adding a few weeks to ensure it has the care and attention it needs then so be it your readers will be grateful for it. As a reader, if a novel has numerous editing errors or holes within the story I won’t even finish it and this is highly likely to reflect in its review.

EDITING IS ESSENTIAL

Investing in having your editing is essential but I understand there are so many expenses to releasing a novel. There are a number of tools you can now use to assist you in your editing, a personal favourite of my own for blog posts is Grammarly and although its main use is for blog features like this it really can give you a great insight into simple mistakes that you make throughout your writing. There is also a tool called Prowriting Aid which again is a great writing aid and one I am very likely to consider myself.


SOURCE : PROWRITING AID

If you do invest in an editor you will not regret it, but again finding the perfect editor for your style that will also give your book attention to detail is vital. We have created a blog post previously “What Editing Style is Right for My Manuscript” which will give you a great insight into the different edits your book can go through.


BETA READERS & PROOFREADERS

A number of authors look at having beta readers that will read through their novel before it gets sent to editors, these will help to pick up plot holes in your story if something doesn’t quite work or the reader doesn’t quite connect with something. Both beta readers and proof-readers really help in excelling your story. Having that reader insight before your novel releases is GOLD! Some authors have a team of betas and a proof-reader that they send through a few chapters at a time and help the author take their story on a journey. Even for blog posts, I invest in a proof-reader, she helps pick up any edits that are wrong with spelling or punctuation but also if my writing isn’t resonating or making much sense.

 

2. Book Cover Design

Over all the years in which I have been a book cover designer, I have heard so much advice on saving money by creating your own book cover, which is great, providing you know how to use photoshop or photo editing software. If you do know your way around photoshop then definitely save some money by creating your own, however, if you don’t then please invest in a book cover designer! The saying “Never judge a book by its cover” is not true, almost every reader will pick up a book based on how it looks. If a cover looks amateur the reader will think well the context must be too! Do yourself a favour and invest, it doesn’t have to break the bank, but get a professional to give your book the cover that it truly deserves. There is no point in putting in all that hard work on the writing and the editing to then let it down with its cover.

There are so many affordable options out there in book cover design, the premade industry is huge at the moment in the book cover world! This is where a cover is already made and you purchase it as seen, the designer then includes your title, tagline, blurb, and author name. Take a look at our blog post “Top Tips on Cover Design” to see some vital points that you need to consider.

 

3. Book Description

So a reader has come across your amazing cover on amazon and their next point of call is your description, if your description doesn’t excite them they will quickly move on. This is an enormous stumbling block for many authors, so don’t think that you are alone! Your ultimate aim for this is to hook your potential readers, your description needs to captivate and excite them to need to know what happens in your novel!

Don’t just summarise your story, if you do what's the point of them reading it they already know what's going to happen right? If you really are struggling, consider using leading questions and engaging them with wanting to find the answer in the story! Once you have written your description, call upon your beta readers and proof-reader again, find out if it draws them in, and if not why what's it missing!

The writing community is an awesome place and everyone I have met over the years really is out to help you!


 

4. Amazon Keywords

A lot of authors don’t quite understand the importance of Keyword research and honestly until I started creating my own blog I didn’t either! Authors come across keywords on amazon and just fill in the seven keywords with what they think their book relates to without truly considering its importance. You are allowed 7 keywords for both your e-book and paperback product, once released you can add a further 10 keywords. Making use of these is essential! The keywords you select are there to help with the Amazon search feature, if you haven’t done any research you could be targeting the completely wrong audience. A tool that is highly rated among the author world is Publisher Rocket, this tool allows you to search real-time data with what keywords or keyword phrases are currently trending amongst readers, it also gives you the ability to check your competitors. It is a tool that I would highly recommend using.


COMPETITION ANALYZER - SOURCE : PUBLISHER ROCKET
KEYWORD SEARCH - SOURCE : PUBLISHER ROCKET
CATEGORY SEARCH - SOURCE : PUBLISHER ROCKET
 

5. A LAUNCH PLAN

If you are used to being an author that just wings your launch it's time to stop and turn that around! If you have followed the last four steps you really have put in a lot of time and dedication so don’t stop now. You need to create the perfect launch plan for your book and it sometimes is a case of trial and error with what works.

Things to consider in your launch plan.

  • Short-term launch plan - What you are going to do on day one of release, and then during the first two weeks of release.

  • Long-term launch plan - How will you then consistently market your book? What's your long-term plan?

  • Will you run promotional blog tours?

  • What type of social media posts will you share?

  • How will you engage with your audience?

  • Will you do a live read on your social media, to begin drawing in your audience?

  • Will you do guest blog appearances after the release of your novel?

  • Will you participate in takeovers on other blogs or social media channels?

  • Will you use social media advertising, bookbub, or amazon advertising?

  • Could you ask friends and family to like and share posts as they see them on social media?

  • Are you likely to offer a freebie during the release? You could put book one as free for a duration or as a sale price?

  • Considering your launch date, are there any other big sellers releasing on the same day? For Example, if you are in the same genre as Jodi Ellen Malpas you really want to try and avoid releasing on the same day as you're effectively already competing against a bestseller!

  • Will you hold a Live Facebook event on release day?

Creating this plan is all about giving your book the best possible chance on release day you can! The best advice I can give is to open your diary and start planning what type of things you want to incorporate in your launch plan on certain days. Get a notepad and list all of your plans and how you intend to facilitate them.

I really hope that this has given you a starting point for the things you need to consider before, during, and after releasing your novel.


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