Well, the polishing touches have been put on your book: the grammar is spotless and you’ve worked out all the kinks. It’s going to press within the month. Time to sit back, breathe a sigh of relief, and relax for a while, right? …Well, not exactly. Your job isn’t over just because the writing process is! There’s a lot you can be doing between now and the release date to make sure your book comes into a world that’s ready for it.
Pre-Sale Sign-Ups and “Reserve Your Copy” Campaigns
Offering your book for pre-order is a great way to get your momentum started early, so that it will gain speed up until (and through) the day of release. Pre-selling books creates anticipation among your readers and gets them talking about your work. That way, your book will come out among an excited buzz of conversation instead of to dead silence. Hype doesn’t create itself, though, so make sure to get the ball rolling yourself. Here are a few methods of doing that.
Blogging and Social Media
Start blogging and posting about your upcoming book at least a few months before it comes out—and maybe even during the process. Don’t over-share so many details that by the time it actually comes out, people feel like they’ve already read it, but don’t be too stingy either. You should try to create a fine balance, where you tease readers into wanting to know more. Post some short excerpts (just a page or two, not an entire chapter), especially ones with exciting action or drama (but no pivotal scenes that will ruin a surprise when the book comes out). Start a countdown a month before the release date. And, of course, let readers know about your pre-sale and give them links to the websites where they can order the books.
Contact Media Sources For Reviews
What’s better than good reviews to get you added to pre-order lists? Not a whole lot! Be intentional and energetic about sending out your book to reputable media reviewers from newspapers, magazines, and online sources. If you can get a few sentences to put on the back of your book, good. A blog post, great. A blurb in the newspaper’s media section or magazine sidebar? Amazing. But you won’t get any of these if you don’t try, so send out those emails! Many book reviewers only review books before they’ve been released, so now is the time to contact them.
Offer A Special Pre-Release Price
Saving money is always a huge draw. Give your readers some incentive to pre-order by offering a special early bird discount! Make sure you discuss printing and initial retailing costs with your publisher so you don’t price it ridiculously low and lose out on profits. Generally a discount of 15% to 25% will be enough of a hook to draw in the coupon-clippers among your fan base.
Brochures and Flyers
Yep, old-fashioned methods still have some juice in them. Once you have your book cover designed, put together some colorful, interest-generating paper advertising and head to libraries, bookstores, and cafes to let people know about your great book that’s “Coming Soon!” Include a link to your website or blog so interested readers can find you and learn more.
Selling your book before you’ve even held a hard copy in your hand may sound a little strange, but time has tested it and proven that it’s a great method for generating publicity and extra sales. An Internet presence is a big part of selling your book in today’s market, so make sure you’re active online. It can be hard work, but it all becomes worth it when you spot your name on bestseller lists!