by Sherrie Wilkolaski

The anticipation around launching a book for an author is like the night before Christmas, or the first day of school.  You’ve been working towards the big day, getting your book prepared for publication. After numerous edits, selecting a final cover design an author wonders will the big day ever arrive.  You’ve made sure you have the book in all available formats from eBook to print to audio, and your marketing team and book publicist are standing by.

Here are 5 things you can to do ensure your book launch is a success:

  1. Set the publishing date.  Know what your book publication launch date is and work with that target date in mind.  It will ensure you’re on track with your pre-publishing tasks, like editing and will give you time to map out your marketing and PR plan.  Ideally, you should know this date 4-6 months in advance.
  2. Have a marketing plan.  I’m sure I sound like a broken record on this point, but I will continue to shout it from the rooftops.  You must have a marketing plan in place.  This simple task will keep you on point.  If you’re not a marketing guru, use a book marketing expert to help you pull this together.  It will save you time and money in the long run.  Your marketing should start at least three months before the book launch date and continue on for at least six months after the launch date.
  3. Set book sales goals.  Most books sell an average of 500 books over their lifetime, so if you’re looking to really sell your book, having goals in place that are tied to your marketing plan, you can make it happen. Base your book sales plan on the amount of time you have to invest in promoting and selling your book.  Marketing support does make all of the difference, but you also need to be committed to your sales follow through.  If your goal is to sell 500 books your first year, then break it down by the amount of time you have to give to the books sales or better yet, break it down by month.  500 books / 12 months = 41.66 books or 42 books per month.  Then break that down by week and you’re looking at 10-12 books a week.  That doesn’t seem so bad.  Monitor your sales weekly and adjust your sales and marketing efforts accordingly based on your sales growth.  If you find you’re able to sell more than your goal, get more aggressive with your marketing and promotion to sell more when you know the market is interested.
  4. Create a solid product.  You can have a well thought out marketing plan and book sales goals in place, however if your book is not the best product it can be, it will all be for nothing.  Publish like a professional and you will have an edge over your competition.  From book concept to editing, formatting and cover design.  Don’t rush this piece.
  5. Be committed to your own success.  This is the most important piece to your book launch success, being in the right frame of mind.  If you don’t believe in your own success, then who will.  As the author, you are an extension of your book product, so enjoy what you’ve created.  You’ve taken a blank page and turned it into something of interest.  Be proud of your work and don’t be shy to get out there and tell the world about it.

Launching a book takes planning and preparation, when that day comes, that is when the real fun begins, so enjoy it!  Best of luck to you.

Do you have a book getting ready to launch?  Tell us about it…

Sherrie Wilkolaski is a public relations and book marketing expert for independent authors and traditional publishers. Her unique balance of real-world experience as a best-selling author and her insider knowledge into the mechanics of the publishing process has allowed her to help thousands of authors successfully translate their creations into published works of art. A former Director of Publishing Services at Lulu and Director of radio show, “The Publishing Insiders.” Currently, she is a columnist for Press Pass and a variety of other publishing sites. She is a consultant and publishing services broker for a variety of small to mid-sized publishers, including Infinity Publishing. In December 2011, she launched a traditional publishing house, with modern-day twist, Pressque Publishing with partner Ellie Maas Davis. She is the author of best-selling book, “How to Start a Wedding Planning Business” and the “Cookies and Cocktails” series.  She has several books coming out in the new year and will also be launching her radio program, PubSmart.  IFWTWA board member and treasurer.

Feature image courtesy of arte_ram, other image provided courtesy of jaylopez