How to Sell Your Book: 5 Launch Secrets from a Pro Writer
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Launch Secrets for How to Sell Your Book

Wondering how to sell your book?

You’ve put in countless hours of writing to finish your book.

You put it through the sometimes-painful process of editing and rewriting. Then more editing.

Slap a cover on your book. List it on Amazon. And voilà, your book is selling like crazing and rising up the ranks. Right?

Ahem…Self-publishing isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.

As the author of more than 30 books, I can tell you with absolute confidence, it doesn’t work like that.

Finishing a book is a massive undertaking, and you should absolutely celebrate this win.

But you aren’t done yet.

If you want to actually sell your book—this book you poured your time and heart into—then the work has just begun.

A successful book launch is crucial to get your book into the hands of your readers.

Preparation is key. The more time you invest in planning your book launch, the more success you’ll have.

Here’s the thing…too many new authors scramble into action without a book launch plan. And then nobody buys. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Check out my best launch tips to help you sell more books.

Meet self-publishing pro C.S. Lakin

C.S. Lakin: How to Sell Your Book

C.S. Lakin

C. S. Lakin is the author of 20 novels.

She’s also an editor, award-winning blogger, and creator of the Writer’s Toolbox series for novelists.

She edits and critiques more than 200 manuscripts a year and teaches workshops and boot camps to help writers craft masterful novels.

So what’s the secret to how to sell your book? Great writing is a start. But it’s the work you put in to launch your book that can drive traffic, generate interest and lead to more sales.

Need help planning you book launch? Get started BEFORE you’re finished with your book. Here’s what I recommend:

1. Build an audience

If you don’t already have a website for your writing platform, you need to get one. It’s your brand’s presence online and your way of attracting future readers.

There are so many website-building options out there that you don’t need to worry about coding or design. Find a site builder that works for you like:

Pick one and go with it. Most are very affordable, too.

Not only will your book and author brand have an online home, you’ll also be able to build an email list, get more leads, and connect with potential buyers and fans.

You may think that this isn’t important. Isn’t it all about Twitter followers?

Think about it this way…

Email subscriptions are a direct line from you to your readers.

Try the free give-away offer

Think of a free giveaway to entice future readers to sign up. Maybe it’s a bonus chapter or prologue to your book. Not only is it something they can have for free right away, it’s something that will get them more curious to purchase your book in the future.

Email subscribers are readers you can stay in contact with and turn into fans.They’ll get to see everything you’re doing, not just for your book, but for the future as well.

Tip: Set this up sooner than later, and build your list as you’re working on your book.

2. Create a book-launch marketing calendar

Dig into all the details about how to sell your book, and it’s easy to become derailed with the to-do list.

Trying to keep it all in your head, or prioritize your task list? There’s just too many details to do it that way related to book marketing and:

  • Social media
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Blog posts and guest posts
  • Live events (virtual, or maybe in person after the coronavirus is over)
  • Networking, and more

Get ahead of the game

Plan your marketing calendar months out from your book launch. Everything you do as you plan your launch should be scheduled, organized, and in a checklist. For example:

  • What are you posting on Twitter and when? Instagram?
  • Where are you going to guest post? (More on that in a bit.)
  • When will emails promoting your book and presales start to your subscribers?
  • Who can give your book early reviews?
  • When will you get your draft uploaded to Amazon?
  • When will your book marketing begin?

The more organized you are about this, the better. Put it all your plans down on a calendar, and follow your plan.

3. Leverage social media…but keep it simple

Here’s what I do to plan my social media presence. Because who likes sitting in front of (your favorite social media platform) desperately trying to find something to post?

  • Write out future social media posts in a big doc.
  • Just sit down and plan out posts like you would an outline for a book.
  • Write as many as you can possibly think of. Try different words and phrases. See what feels right.

When you have a couple of pages, you won’t have to worry about what to say on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn, (at least until your book launches). It takes a huge weight off of your shoulders.

4. Build a book-launch team

Cue the movie montage music here.

You might think this is just for A-list authors. But it’s not. If you really want to level up how to sell your book, it’s worth it to build a team to help your launch.

Why? Your launch team is going to help promote your book. This team can be made up of:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Past and current clients
  • People in your network, and even
  • Some of the followers/fans you’ve gained along the way. (Another reason it’s so important to market your book long before it’s published.)

Here’s how it works:

  • They get an early copy of your book (e-file or print) and act as one last editor. Nothing like catching problems before you publish.
  • Your team starts promoting your book with early reviews to generate excitement. Now you’ll have promotion through their social media and websites, if they have them. And it’s always a plus to collaborate with other authors.
  • Your launch team will post early reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, which is important for ranking and drawing interest in your book.

This is key to start building credibility. You want to make sure anyone who finds your book online will know you’re a legitimate author with a worthy story to tell.

5. Write guest posts

This is smart promotional strategy for yourself that you should constantly try to take advantage of.

Not only does posting on other people’s websites get you out in front of new readers, it also boosts your Search Engine Optimization(SEO):

  • SEO is key to helping readers find your site.
  • By writing on other sites and linking back to your website, you boost the algorithm search engines used to rank your website.
  • The higher your ranking, the more visible (and visited) your website becomes.
  • You also develop a relationship with the other writers you guest post for. Some may even help promote your book. Get them on your launch team!

Launch secrets for how to sell your book

Writing a book and self publishing is a great way to build authority in your niche. But if you don’t know how to sell your book, it’s a lot harder to make that happen.

Fortunately, creating a plan to launch your book can help you connect with more readers ready to buy your book.

Have a book-launch tip or question? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

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4 comments on “How to Sell Your Book: 5 Launch Secrets from a Pro Writer

  1. Jim McCarthy on

    Great ideas and, in my case, the timing couldn’t be more appropriate. Especially like the idea of starting a marketing calendar so early in the manuscript development.

    Reply
    • C. S. Lakin on

      Hi Jim, glad the info is helpful. I have to put everything on a calendar or I will absolutely forget or stress. It’s nice to look at today’s date and see what needs to be done today.

      Reply

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