One of the biggest ongoing challenges for indie authors is keeping up with the ever-changing world of marketing – ad sites change, algorithms change, what worked last year (or last month) is no longer effective. It’s a frustrating reality of the publishing world, but once you’ve decided to embrace the job, you need to keep up, so here is yet another post on launch strategies – what’s working well at the moment.
This may not work by next year, so is ‘of the moment’, hot news from the mega-successful author/publishers who shared their current process at 20BooksEdinburgh. Some aspects seem to be evergreen, others are current best practice.
Successful Launch Strategies – 2019
- Teasing – target readers’ emotions – let them know what feeling they can expect from the book
- Tropes – let readers know what tropes they can expect to find inside the covers
- Social media – one month before release: posts, snippets, videos, livestream
- Snippets – start at the first page and build up, so readers are already part way into the book
- Newsletter swaps
- Facebook live – read bits aloud
- Rapid release works best – definitely within 28 days, but at the moment every 2 weeks is optimal (60K word books)
- For KU – try releasing books 1, 2 and 3 in a single volume (not presented as a box set, but as a single book) – improves read-through by getting them hooked. The goal is to avoid losing readers between books 1 & 2
- Decide if your goal is bank or rank – releasing at 99c may give you rank, but full price is better for bank.
- When? Keep an eye out on top sellers in your genre – 2 options are (1) avoid big name release dates, or (2) go on the same day to try to piggy back off their interested readers.
- For longer books, release book #1, then a month later release the audio book (these work best at about 12 hours long). After 2 months release book #2
- Pre-orders – around 3 weeks works best – Amazon emails notification of release to your followers after 2 weeks
- Which day? Set your pre-order for the last day of the month, so payment comes in sooner. Fridays are a good day, though Tuesdays and Thursdays are good for getting rankings. Be consistent.
Build up your base supporters – Facebook Groups and an engaged email list.
Research * Study * Test * Engage
Any other things you’ve found work well? We all want to know!