What to Do On Your Book Launch Day

Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Starting on a Shoestring 9781621532392

Well, today’s the day! My first solo-byline print book, The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Starting Your Business on a Shoestring, is out.

With a traditional print book, it’s a long road to this day.

This particular trail started about 18 months ago, when I got an email from a publisher looking for a new title in their “Dummies”-type small business guidebook series.

In April 2012, I turned in my draft. It’s definitely hard to wait such a long time to see 200+ pages of my writing see the light of day.

The past month, I’ve been devoting all the time I can to promoting the book. The book site is up. There’s a Twitter handle. I’ve got business cards, and a conference I’m just back from where I had a chance to talk it up.

Last week, books arrived in the warehouse. And today, the book is officially on sale.

As a busy mom of a couple of tweens with a freelance career and a blog and writer community to run…I’m as ready as I was able to get.

What I’ve learned about book marketing

I learned some hard lessons on my first print book, How They Started. I counted on my publisher to plug the book way too much, and the result was that sales were disappointing.

This time, I dove in and started cranking. One book review is already up, thanks to my efforts.

What are my takeaways from this round of book marketing? Here are the three highlights:

Learn

I’d say my big lesson is to subscribe to some book-marketing blogs, take trainings, and ask around my network for what to do. I got great referrals for guest post sites as well as new marketing tips I hadn’t thought of, like building a Wikipedia page.

And I only have those business cards because of an in-person training I took two weeks ago (had to order them on a rush!). Some book-marketing activities only take a minute or two to do, so the more techniques you know, the better your options.

Post

After writing madly for weeks, a blogstorm of at least a dozen guest posts should go down today, some of them on widely popular blogs, with more posts and podcasts going up through the rest of this week.

More requests for guest posts are still rolling in and I still have a list of a few big business sites that are wide-open for contributions that I plan to hit, so I expect there will be a steady stream of additional posts for the rest of this month.

Celebrate

I’m holding a launch party at the co-working place where I spend much of my summers. Making a cake that looks like my book cover! Just because I can, and it’ll be funny.

Shoestring Startup book cover on a cake

You thought I was joking? I wasn’t…behold the book-cover cake!

Also, I discovered that if we take some high-res pictures of the launch party, my local city lifestyle magazine will print them in the fall issue. Documenting the event gives you another marketing opportunity, so that’s just another good reason to have a launch party.

Instead of a boring book talk, I’ll be offering free business coaching on how to save money to attendees, in keeping with the book’s theme. I’m excited to break from the usual format and do something more freewheeling and hopefully useful to participants.

Most of all, I think it’s just time to take a day to let it sink in. I wrote a traditional book. All by myself. No one can ever take that away.

Tomorrow, I can start thinking about what’s next. Where does this new milestone lead me? What other marketing activities could I do in the coming weeks to keep momentum going?

Today, though, my whole plan is to smile and enjoy — and respond to commenters on guest posts.

How have you celebrated publication days? Leave a comment and share.

 

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44 comments on “What to Do On Your Book Launch Day
  1. MD Finley says:

    I will certainly buy the book as soon as possible! I look forward to a great read. I have self published one book and am almost ready to launch my second. Great to meet a fellow author!

  2. Emma Ramsay says:

    This is some very helpful advice. I think it is very common for people to under estimate what has to be done when launching a new book.

    I work for a PR company and we recently helped with a management consultancy book launch and managed to get a lot of publicity for them. If you would like to see what we did please visit our website: http://www.kelsopr.com/case-study-pr-business-book
    Emma Ramsay recently posted…Chambers legal directory help: getting it right this timeMy Profile

  3. Kayleen says:

    Love the ideas of creating a Wikipedia page. Could you write about how to do that? I also want to create book trailers for my books. Do you think it’s worth doing if a book has been out fora year? Thanks and congrats on your book.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I do have a book trailer which we got done just in time for opening day…and when I say we I of course mean my husband. 😉

      You can check mine out here: http://shoestringstartupguide.com/book-trailer

      The SEO of putting that on youtube with some key words I think is worth it at any point. YouTube is I believe the 2nd most-searched engine after Google…so worth getting found there.

      I’m just about to do the Wikipedia page shortly, so if there’s anything fascinating there I’ll post about it. I signed up to be a creator on there, but I gather it works better if the book is already out when you build the page, so I waited. Will try to get it done this week.

      Also they don’t want you doing your own page about yourself, so apparently I have to have my admin do that. I’m told it’s worth it for the SEO value just because Wikipedia is so busy, so I’m going to give it a try.

  4. Hi Carol,

    Great meeting you in Portland yesterday. And now an even bigger day.

    I hope you’re taking a victory lap for your book.

    Thank you for breakfast and great post research.

    David
    David Gillaspie recently posted…Carol Tice World DominationMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi David —

      Was a pleasure to meet you as well! I LOVE my subscriber meetups and have more planned.

      Send me a link if you post photos from it.

      Thanks for the good wishes!

  5. Mike says:

    Congrats on finishing the book – a success already!
    Mike recently posted…Can’t Stand Your Friend’s Kid??? But Too Scared to Speak Up??My Profile

  6. I’m excited for you and like the advice you shared here. I’ll pass it along to several friends who self-published this year. I’m sure the same promotional ideas will work for their situation as well.
    Virginia Allain recently posted…Any Authors on Squidoo?My Profile

  7. Joy says:

    Congratulations! I love your party and cake idea!

    I do something very non-traditional on ecourse and ebook launch days. I unplug and take my children to the local theme park. It has become our family tradition to celebrate launch day by energetically “soaring” and taking my physical body with me, far beyond where I think I can go. I had been afraid of heights, and I didn’t want this to put an energetic cap on my ability to soar ever higher, so I chose to vest presence in this way. Being offline on launch day allows the social media seeds to blossom without my direct “hovering” and I plug into the energy of joy and gratitude…returning on the 2nd day having opened myriad energetic doors.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Wow, Joy — I am fascinated!

      What if people have questions about your thing? Mine seem to have tons on launch day. I would feel so weird being unavailable and unresponsive when I’m trying to sell people something.

      But I sure love the idea of getting away from the launch hysteria. Do you have someone you delegate to field emails and calls or something? Curious how it works.

  8. Anita says:

    Congratulations, Carol. Truly a reason celebrate.
    I hope it’s a fun a memorable day.
    Anita recently posted…things we liked and didn’t like this weekMy Profile

  9. Tracy says:

    Carol,

    Congrats to you! I have subscribed to your blog for about a year now and always enjoy it. I wish you great success with your book. 🙂

  10. Sandra says:

    You’re one busy lady! Congratulations on the book, I’m sure it will be a wild success. And thank you for taking the time to share this post and your journey. You’re my shero 🙂

  11. Hi Carol,

    Congratulations! May you enjoy huge profits.

    To celebrate the publication of my book I invited friends and the press to a Book Release Brunch at local hotel. I spoke for about 20 minutes sharing what lead me to write my book and selected stories and advice from it.

    We gave away customized t-shirts, caps, notecards I had amassed over several months from free offers from VistaPrint to attendees sitting in “lucky” seats (the ones where we had taped raffle tickets underneath earlier that morning.)

    Of course I sold and signed books. I had the whole event videotaped, and on the advice of the videographer got some of the attendees to give videotaped testimonials.

    A local reporter attended and did a fantastic write-up with my face plastered on the cover of the neighborhood edition of the major newspaper in my county

    I expect to do something different for the launch of the next one, but haven’t decided what that’ll be yet, except for one thing. Following your lead, there will be a cake with my book cover on it. Cute idea!
    Flora Morris Brown recently posted…Comment on Everyday Happiness Cards by Choose Happiness Even If It’s Raining Crap and You Can’t See the Sun | Color Your Life HappyMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Who can resist the idea of a cake that looks like your book cover? I just think it’s so cute!

      I would be afraid no media would come to a press event, since I never used to go to any as a reporter. 😉 I’d be too scared to try that!

      You should always video book readings…I did one for the last book that’s still bouncing around YouTube. First thing my publisher asked me was if I had video of myself giving a book talk…presto! I did.

  12. Rohi Shetty says:

    Congratulations, Carol. I’ll be posting my review on Amazon and other sites later today. Thanks for being such an awesome inspiration.
    Rohi Shetty recently posted…Let Humor Accompany You Like The Shadow That Never LeavesMy Profile

  13. Jen Carl says:

    Hi, Carol! Wishing you the best with your new book! I can’t wait to read it and am ordering my copy now:)Thanks again for all your information here and through the Den. I have learned so much and have taken that information to make a full time living through freelancing and blogging. Many blessings to you and your family!
    Jen Carl recently posted…Summer Recipe Inspiration! Strawberries and Breyers – YUM! #ambassadorMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Thanks Jen — enjoy the book!

      If any of my blog readers ARE thinking about buying it, it’d be epic if you’d do it today so that Amazon thinks it’s a happening thing.

      Weird thing is when I looked it said it only has 9 copies left…I’m assuming they didn’t ‘stock’ many. So wouldn’t be hard to sell it out…let’s do it people!

  14. “As a busy mom of a couple of tweens with a freelance career and a blog and writer community to run…” – plus writing and launching and marketing a book. Honestly, how the heck do you do it??! 🙂 Seriously – I’m in awe.

    Congratulations on the book!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Not super-well, and slowly. 😉

      Obviously, if I had nothing else to do I could have done so much more book marketing…but I’m doing all I can within my reality.

      I don’t sleep a lot, which I’ve blogged about before. 6 hrs is about it for the nighttime for me, so that helps. And not that I try to do that. After 6 hrs…I just wake up and my head starts buzzing with ideas and what I want to do. And then I go do it. Often catch a 10-15 min mini-nap in the afternoon, and that’s about all I need.

      Oh yeah — and then there’s pursuits like TV. I didn’t watch a show for 2 years while I built this blog and the Den. People have plenty of free time if they just stop wasting it on stuff that doesn’t contribute to making this world better.

  15. Hi – loved this post of yours – especially the “celebrate” idea! I’m so happy to celebrate along with you about your book. Your successes inspire all of us!

    When my book came out last September, one of my friends who also happens to be a baker par excellence, made me a launch/book-signing party – it was a lot of fun!

    As in many of your blog posts, this one is very helpful. There is so much to do to market one’s book, and leaving it up to the publisher is not a good idea!!

    One question: How do I get my book on Wikipedia? I am wondering how that works?

    Enjoy the accolades – you deserve it!! Have a great day!

    Thanks so much and congrats again!!

    Miriam
    Miriam Hendeles recently posted…You Know You’re Being a Helicopter Grandparent When…My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      You become a Wikipedia contributor and build a page…I’ll be learning to do it in the next few days. Seems like you want to wait for the book to come out so you can build links to reviews and stuff to make it seem more legit and please the wikipedian overlords.

      • Miriam Hendeles says:

        Thanks Carol! I will follow thru on that shortly!

        Congratulations again to you on this momentous achievement of your book!
        Have fun on the day after launch day and each ensuing day!!

        Best wishes
        Miriam

  16. Terri says:

    Congratulations! I have yet to celebrate a book launch but hope to do so some one day. Enjoy the party. It’s definitely well-deserved.
    Terri recently posted…The Key to a Successful Work From Home Business: Leave HomeMy Profile

  17. Karen Finn says:

    Just wanted to send my congrats! Look forward to seeing the cake…

    Best of luck, Karen Finn
    Karen Finn recently posted…Does the UK have what it takes to be a global leader in regenerative medicine?My Profile

  18. Tom Bentley says:

    Carol, I love that you’re literally icing the cake for your celebration. Big congratulations! I didn’t mark the occasion of receiving my first author’s copies of a short-story collection (published by a small press) by doing anything of note, which was dull-witted of me.

    Next time, I’m going the cake route. Or brownies and bourbon.
    Tom Bentley recently posted…First-Chapter Fiddling: Yea or Nay?My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I think even if it’s a wine and cheese party for a half-dozen of your closest friends, there should be something.

      I’ll be giving out free business mentoring instead of doing a normal book talk, so I’m excited about that format…we’ll see who shows! The one thing I could have done better on the party is I didn’t ask for RSVPs so I actually have no idea how many people will be there…so we’ll see what happens. But those that do…will get cake!

  19. Carol,
    Wow! You’re icing a cake to look like your book cover. “Just because I can.”

    Well, I could never manage that. That’s more overwhelming to me than the thousands of other book marketing ideas I’ve read about.

    On a more serious note, congratulations on your book. It’s outstanding and my 5-star Amazon review has been submitted.

    -Diana

    • Carol Tice says:

      Diana, you just go to the grocery store bakery with a picture of the cover and they do it!

      Hope you weren’t thinking I’m standing here frosting a cake today…that’s my mom’s thing. No way I could figure that out!

      I have like 12 guest posts going up and have to respond to all the comments, and post my own one for Forbes, and on and on. I’ve tasked my hubby with bringing the party food and he got the cake ordered. Yes, he does rock.

  20. Chrissy says:

    Carol,
    Perfect timing! I am working on a book for a soon-to-be announced launch date. Thank you for these tips.

  21. Celebrating is very important. Don’t skimp on that step Carol! Congrats. 🙂
    Nick (Macheesmo) recently posted…Charred Shishito PeppersMy Profile

  22. Rob says:

    I’ve never launched a book, but attended the launch parties of two friends’ books. Great fun for everyone and exciting for the authors. Congratulations! I’m sure with your talents and following, the book will be a huge success.
    Rob recently posted…Writing in LonghandMy Profile

  23. Ahlam says:

    Carol,

    Congratulations on the book!

    Although I have yet to celebrate a book launch (but hey, you never know!), I wanted to congratulate you on yours. 🙂 It really is a well-written book full of tips business owners can implement immediately.

    Enjoy every second of it and keep inspiring writers here on this blog and with your own successes.
    Ahlam recently posted…Why You’re Frozen in Fear Instead of SoaringMy Profile

  24. Congratulations, Carol!

    Your book is awesome. I have a review ready and waiting from reading my pre-launch copy. Let me know where to post it.

    Sincerely,
    Danielle Olivia
    Danielle Olivia Tefft recently posted…Some Wise and Some Humorous Words from Heartbreak HouseMy Profile

    • Hi Again, Carol,

      My review is posted on Amazon. It is not as long as the first two reviews. But I’m a copywriter at heart – short and compelling is my motto for reviews.
      Again, congratulations and best of luck in your sales!
      Danielle Olivia Tefft recently posted…Some Wise and Some Humorous Words from Heartbreak HouseMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I saw — thanks so much for taking the time to read and review it!

      It IS mass insanity over here today I can definitely confirm…learning to put my book trailer on YouTube! Here it is folks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_NRRvOw88I

      My amazing husband made this for me while I was at World Domination Summit! I’m a lucky gal.

      • Carol,

        Your husband is brilliant. Can I borrow him? I have no idea how to do a book trailer.

        Here’s a question for all: I am releasing a picture book in a month. It is self-published. I was thinking of having a book release party at our local library where I volunteer and know everyone. People will ask who my publisher is, and it is awkward to say, ‘I’m an Indie author’ or ‘I self published on CreateSpace and Kindle.’ Advice?
        Stacie Morrell recently posted…To Cliche or Not To Cliche?My Profile

        • Carol Tice says:

          I just say — “I self-published this one.” Be proud!

          Hubby will be in touch about book trailers…you know I have NO idea how to make one either! We can outsource things and don’t have to know everything…