A new release is an exciting time for any author. After months of writing, planning, and prepping for release day, there are few things more exciting and anxiety inducing than release day. Even if you have sent out your ARCs, heard back from your beta readers, and see some early reviews flowing in, it is still a nerve-wracking time!
There are a lot of considerations when it comes to marketing, and this is not an exhaustive list. Be sure to always do what works best for you, your schedule, and your marketing style. Perhaps you are working with a professional publicist or freelance marketing experts, are totally new to this and taking care of it yourself, or are working with fellow authors to have a great new release campaign together. Whatever your marketing foray, here are some things to consider:
- Most books (in North America) release on Tuesdays. Consider ensuring that your new release is coming out on a Tuesday, as avid book-buyers and book news outlets are well-aware of this fact. However, you don’t have to follow those rules. If a certain new release day works for you, then stick with it!
- Keep a schedule. Schedule your workday, and make it all about marketing for two key weeks: the one before release day, and the one after release day. These are essential weeks for getting your book out there and in the hands of readers! Don’t be worried about letting writing fall by the wayside on these days – marketing your new release is important.
- Prep all your copy in advance. Make sure you have written out your Instagram captions, tweets, Facebook posts, newsletter blurbs, etc., beforehand! Don’t just copy and paste from one platform to another: write a new, short paragraph or few sentences for each. Keep thinks interesting, focused, and always include links to where readers can purchase your new book.
- Make the day of your release the day you post the most about it. Anywhere from 1-3 times a day during the last week or so of lead-up is totally appropriate, but save posting even more times a day for launch day!
- If you regularly post video content, don’t prepare all your videos in advance. Get on Instagram live or make a new TikTok the day of so you can capture the energy of your enthusiasm for this new release!
- Interact with your readers who are excitedly telling you they have grabbed a copy and are already reading. Share their reactions when appropriate, and like and comment if that’s in your wheelhouse. Make it known that you are as excited about their readership as you are about the release itself.
- Write a follow-up newsletter the week after launch. Thank everyone who has bought a copy so far, and remind those who haven’t that your new book is available now.
- Share advanced reviews or press your book has received on launch day. Thank the reviewers and writers for their time, and highlight quotes from their reviews or write-ups that stood out to you. Make it clear that people have already read and enjoyed your new release!
- If this is a new release in a series, link back to the series and talk about it, of course. Don’t assume everyone is familiar with your series – include an overview of the series in your new release posts, as well as the summary of the latest book, and make it clear that this is the next instalment. Invite new readers in – don’t accidentally make them feel left out.
- And, remind readers how much it means to you to receive their support. Their readership is what keeps you going – financially and in terms of your motivation and emotional investment. A genuine thank-you and a brief reminder about how much their support helps you as an individual goes a long way on release day!
If you are looking for more release day tips, here are some helpful words of advice from guest on previous posts and an excellent episode of the Kobo Writing Life podcast:
“Every book you release increases your reach and visibility, and is the best way to show readers that you’re serious about this. After all, no-one wants to read a book, love it and then find out the author never wrote anything else.” – Adam Croft, best-selling author
“I’m putting my readers first, which is what I should’ve done all along. If they want books on Fridays, I’ll give them books on Fridays. If they want release week contests that last two weeks rather than five days, I’ll give them that, too. After all, they’re the ones who keep me in business, and they need to be more important than my damned author ego or need for validation, which I can get every time I look at my sales dashboard or reader reviews.” – Marie Force, best-selling author
“I just feel like this thing about books need[ing] to be new or they need to have been released recently… it doesn’t make sense with books. It doesn’t. … I just feel like the way that we treat books, we keep them on our shelves and we’d pass them on to other people, and we have libraries and you know, anywhere where you’re traveling, hotels and stuff will have people’s books that they’ve left and you can like easily pick up a book that’s a few years old. … [At Kobo] we certainly don’t try and bury anyone’s backlist or anything like that. Even in our staff picks, you’ll see the titles that aren’t new. – Deandra Lalonde, Kobo Content Sales Lead (North America)
As always, happy writing – and, of course, happy marketing!