Writing Tip: Virtual Book Launches
One thing newly published authors often don't do--making me wonder if they know about theme--are virtual book launches. I'm not talking about doing it virtually only because of the pandemic. Before the pandemic, lots of publishers or authors had them. In fact, not having one could leave you at a disadvantage in spreading the word and/or gaining sales. I often sell a nice chunk in one day to mostly friends, family, and some fans during these launches. The important part of the book launch is that these groups of people share and spread the info. In turn, many people they know will also learn about your book.
Sales and exposure are key, so how do you do a book launch online? Facebook has been a friendly venue for me. I was instructed to have my first book launch by my former publisher for an anthology. We made it a great group effort with lots of people popping in all day since it was an anthology of novellas by 8 authors. I asked fellow, more experienced, authors what to put in a book launch. They were all too happy to help and we attended each other's timeframes. If was a fun experience. For my first full-length novel, I did it myself getting more confident. This publisher did not do a giveaway, however, which I learned later is key in getting people to come. Despite not having a giveaway, it was my first "real" book so my friends and family were very supportive and attended. Nowadays, my new publisher throws them for me, making it much easier on my end. Regardless, having the experience of doing it myself made me learn how most indie authors must do to promote.
So what goes into a book launch? It can vary, but the ones I've attended and had myself had these key components (not in any particular order):
- about the author
- book synopsis
- 1-3 intriguing short excerpts from the book
- 1-2 games to play for a chance to win a free book
- Live reading of book (part or a full chapter)
- lots of visuals and pictures
- (if budget allows) other prizes or fellow author's novels to giveaway
Hope this overview helps. Some additional tips to make you virtual book launch memorable should also be incorporated. Shoot me some questions if you want me to get into more detail with any part of a launch.