50-Day Book Launch Checklist
Your book is live in 50 days. Here’s what you need to do.
Hopefully, ahem, it’s written already or at least you’re in the final stages of editing. Or, who knows, maybe you’re about to jump into NaNoWriMo and you’re going to write it, edit it, publish it, and market it in 50 days — you wouldn’t be the first!
There are 50 days until Oct. 17, 2017, when Every Single Day launches. Here are 50 days’ worth of tasks leading up the launch day. Ready?
I’m going to be using this over the next 50 days myself, so I’ll update, add, and edit this list. If you have more ideas, please let me know in the comments.
What I’d really like would be to know which of the activities below provide the most bang for the buck. If #23 takes me 6 hours and gets me 2 new mailing list subscribers, OK. But then if #42 takes me half an hour and gets me an interview on a podcast which results in 27 pre-orders of the book, I just learned what to do more of — and less of.
Ready? Yeah, either am I. But like the book says: Every Single Day. Just a step at a time. Here, I’ll guide you along so you don’t fall off the cliff.
[X] Create mailing list for book launch. DONE: As of this writing, it’s at least alive, but it hasn’t opened its eyes and can’t walk. Here’s one of the first landing pages.
- [X] Build a landing page for book launch mailing list. DONE: A new mini Book Sales Page for Every Single Day.
- [X] Find a new market for your book. Sure, there’s Amazon, there’s Apple, Kobo, but what else? What about other countries? Is your book set in another country? Might your wife’s brother translate into Spanish for you? Get creative. DONE: Kobo Netherlands is now offering Kobo Plus (like Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited) where Dutch subscribers can get unlimited books for a monthly subscription. More reason to be on Kobo and in The Netherlands. For more: Status of the E-Book Market in The Netherlands: Somewhere between outdoor furniture and a rubber duckie.
- [X] Create Facebook Event (the book launch date, for example) on your FB author page. DONE: Created one on my new German Amazon Author Page. I’ll also create one for the US and UK versions.
[X] Update FB header image with new book cover. DONE: added new cover to the collection of covers.
-  Create a landing page on your author website. You do have an author website already, right?
-  Create Book Sales Page: we (Angela & Bradley) have created a complete course to help you build an awesome Book Sales Page.
-  Create a giveaway e.g. a free chapter, an audio segment, an interview, an extra chapter, a deleted scene, etc.
-  Ad stacking, book (2 to 3) promotion sites in advance
-  Book newsletter swaps
-  Book blog tour
- [X] Build shareables page of social media. DONE: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!
-  Gather your book launch team (or Advance Review Team)
- [x] Create Facebook page as author. Bradley Charbonneau Author
[X] Create Facebook group for fans, supporters, readers, etc. DONE: This was one of those “simple, but not easy” tasks as it was simple to set up, but it’s going to be work to get the team together, post regularly, keep them active and engaged.
-  Become active on Goodreads (create profile, read, review, and comment on other books, preferably in your genre)
-  Start an Ad Campaign to drive traffic to the book sales page and giveaway (and your email list)
-  Run Ads on Bookbub to drive traffic to your Amazon Sales Page
-  Write a (blog) post about your topic or a character or something related to the book — but not a sales pitch!
-  Create teaser graphics to post on social media – this should include a quote from the book as well as the book cover
-  Ask for influencer endorsements. Find people, preferably in your genre, who could write a blurb or give you a quote about your book.
-  Ad stacking, book (2 to 3) promotion sites in advance
-  Release a sample of the book 10% or less on Instafreebie and join group promos to grow your email list
-  Join a Facebook group geared towards self-publishing. Examples: Guerrilla Publishing,
A month until launch!
-  Post a teaser on Wattpad. Maybe the first chapter or just a tantalizing section that might entice readers.
-  Guest post on other blogs. Before your book was about to be published, you might not have had a compelling reason for others to have you post on their sites. Now that you have a book coming out, you could/should have more reason for them to want you to guest post.
-  Create a media kit. Author photo, downloadable cover, example blurbs, etc.
-  Ask for shares. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Take some of your best shareable material, post it so it’s easy to share and just plain ask people to share it. It’s amazing how far a simple ask will go.
-  Create a book trailer. Have an iPad or iPhone? There are some great templates. Just go with it. Get creative. If it’s terrible, you can joke about how terrible it is. Here’s an example my son did (when he was 11 years old) using some photos, some video, and an iPad: The Secret of Kite Hill Book Trailer.
-  Author Q&A. Interview, ahem, yourself. Ask yourself questions and answer them. Either on a post or on audio. The audio might be even more fun … with different voices.
-  Create a Book Sales Page (PDF version). Similar to a Book Sales Page that is on your website, this is a PDF-formatted version that you could print out and hand out to real humans in person. Scary, I know. Even if you never print it out, it’s a good exercise to build.
Three weeks and counting!
-  Go Live on Facebook. Take 5 minutes and record yourself. Maybe take a reader question. If you don’t have a reader question, make one up and answer it. (This one intimidates me, which is why I think I should probably do it.)
-  Set up a freebie and/or discount day(s) on InstaFreebie, Book Gorilla, or the like.
-  Set up ads on LinkedIn. (I write this as I’ve never done it, but willing to give it a try.)
-  Get ads running on Google Adwords.
-  Launch together with other authors. OK, it might be a little late, but are there any other authors launching (around) when you are? Team up!
-  More bonus content. You’ve received some reviews, you’ve been immersed on your book for the past few weeks (or months or years … ), do you have some surprising new content that you could create?
-  Back of the Book Matter. Do you have a link to your mailing list/website at the back of the book? Or maybe the beginning of the book? At least somewhere? Double check. This is important. What could you offer them for clicking the link? In fact, why should they click the link?
Two weeks out!
-  Mention the mentions. Have you mentioned or quoted people in your book? Do they know? Remind them. Maybe they’ll help promote the book that they’re, kind of, a part of.
-  Ask people to review your book. Sure, this point might be mentioned elsewhere in the 50 points here, but it’s that important. Want more help with this? Here’s Tim Grahl: How to Launch with 25+ Amazon Reviews
-  Tell a stranger about your book. I just made this one up, but it sounds like a good idea, right? Talking to someone in the supermarket? Maybe even walking the dog in the woods. “Hey, nice dog. So, I wrote a book that’s coming out in two weeks that changed my life. Would you want to hear about it? I’ll time myself, starting now, and I won’t take more than one minute of your time? Would that be OK?” What do you have to lose?
-  Share your story. Why did you write this book? Make it personal. Share that. People have heard about what the book is about, but what’s the story behind the story?
-  Share social proof. Got some reviews? Maybe a few blurbs? Lots of followers on your FB author page? Share any “numbers” you have. If you don’t have tons, make light of the situation, “Join the DOZENS and DOZENS of other fans who are probably sleeping outside of Amazon awaiting the “Every Single Day” book launch day. 🙂
-  Upload the final version of your book to Amazon. Amazon needs your final version something like 3 days out. Make it more than 3 just so you’re sure it’s up there and ready to go on launch day.
-  Post beta reader reviews to website. Remember those reviews you got beforehand? Post them in your book’s description area.
One Week to Go!
-  Send reminder to ARC team about reviews
-  Guarantee. You know how you feel “safe” when you buy something that has a No Questions Asked Guarantee? Could you make something up about your book? Sure, it’s probably hard to get someone their $2.99 back on Amazon (of course, they could ask … but you really don’t want them to), but what if you offered something to those who weren’t satisfied? A bonus? A special? A quick phone chat?
-  Release a chapter on audio. Just record a chapter or part of a chapter and get it out there. It’s a different medium and might garner some new interest. Don’t worry about expensive microphones and those egg carton walls, just record a few minutes.
-  Just a few more days! I’d take this day and recap the plan for the coming days, catch up on any tasks you may have missed and have a glass of wine — or a cup of tea. Your choice.
-  Remind gently. Just a few more days, people! Remember what you swore allegiance to just a few short months ago? Dipped your fingernail in blood and signed your life over to me? No, sorry, that was another book. This one your people probably just signed up for your mailing list. Just a gentle reminder that Launch Day is around the corner.
-  Plan the week ahead. Double check everything. How’s the description on Amazon? Could you add a new testimonial? Do you have any news to share? Maybe just a blog post or tweet or Facebook post about the news (testimonial, blurb, interview, etc.).
-  Launch Day is tomorrow! Today is a little odd because you’d actually rather have people buy your book over a period of time than pre-order. So although you’d love to spread the big news, don’t email anyone as they might be confused (and/or completely fed up with you by now … ) and they might just click pre-order when you’d rather have them buy tomorrow. Get a good night’s sleep and dream of fans screaming your name and tearing down the barricades to get an autographed copy.
It’s book launch day!
-  Send reminder to ARC team asking for reviews
-  Email your email list about the new release
-  Blast everyone on social media telling them about the release
-  Celebrate! You did it!
-  Start an Ad Campaign on AMS to drive traffic to your new release
-  Using the Kindle app (even better on Kobo, but that’s once you’re beyond just Amazon), highlight and share passages from your book onto Twitter or Facebook.
-  Start writing the follow-up book … 😉
-  ASK friends and family for reviews. Just plain ask.
Want even more Book Launch Checklists?
- A step-by-step book launch checklist (premarketing to make your book a bestseller) by Derek Murphy of CreativIndie. Here’s a short, rough prelaunch checklist to publishing a bestseller.
- Book Launch Checklist and Timeline (PDF) from The Book Designer. The purpose of this checklist is to assemble in one place a list of many of the most common tasks authors take on when they run a book launch.
- Planning Your Book Launch: The Ultimate Checklist from Hectorpreneur. What was supposed to be a simple article about launching your book, turned into a ginormous (2,478 word) checklist that required a table of contents.
- Book Marketing 101 – The Definitive Checklist from Tim Grahl at Book Launch. After years of helping authors build their platforms, and then use those platforms to launch top bestsellers, I’ve put together this checklist of proven book marketing methods to help you create your book marketing plan.
- The Ultimate Indie Author Book Pre-Launch Checklist from Fix My Story. When you’re getting ready to launch a new book, doesn’t it feel overwhelming to think about all the steps you need to make sure are done first? Sometimes, you can’t help but wonder if you’re missing a step or three. Well, in this article, I’ve created a checklist of everything you should do to get your book ready to launch and make a splash.