Even with the introduction of pre-order publishing across the board, I still think a book’s release day is a really big deal. A song and dance needs to be made on the day your book goes live. You really want as many people to buy your book on the day of release as possible. Your rankings have a better chance of soaring in that first week than at any other time. I mean, yes, you can do a sale later on in the book’s life and pay for advertising – that’s actually a really smart move, but release day rankings are a sweet spot that should be taken advantage of.
So – how do we get the world buying, or noticing, your book on its release day? While there are many different techniques out there, here are a few I’ve used:
1. Ask a blog tour company (or your publicist) to organize a Release Day Blitz. This is when a number of bloggers on the tour company lists sign up to feature your book on their blog on either release day or during release week. (Of course, you can set up your own blog tour, but it is a lot of work.) This is a great way to get mass exposure. I was lucky enough to score 100 blogger sign ups for my release of Fever and it really made a difference. I’ve never before had such high release day sales for a book.
2. Run a Share the Post Giveaway. I do this through my newsletter, asking people to sign up for a one-off newsletter. By signing up they get the chance to win an e-copy of the book I’m releasing. On release day, I email them a special newsletter, which includes the eBook winners and more importantly, a link to a Facebook Post on my author page, highlighting my new release. All they have to do is follow the link, then share the post on their FB page and they are entered into an Amazon Gift Card drawer. At the end of release week, Random.org picks a winner. Again, this is a great way to get mass exposure and it only costs you the price of a gift card and a few eBooks.
3. Hold a Release Party on Facebook. You know the best thing about release parties? Everyone who joins will get notifications each time you post on the event page. Rather than posting on your author page and getting minimal views, meaning loads of people are not seeing your post, with a release party, they get a specific notification, which means the chances of your posts being seen are that much higher. With a release party, I always set it up about three to four weeks before the book is due out. That way I can post weekly in the build-up and run giveaways, getting as many people to join as possible. On release day, or the day after release, I’ll host a two-hour party, filled with giveaways, teasers from the book, purchase links and basically have a big on-line celebration. Luckily, there are no huge costs involved with this, depending on what you choose to giveaway, of course, and it gets buzz going about your book.
4. Run a release day giveaway. I do this through Rafflecopter and I tend to make the prize pretty substantial – gift cards, swag, signed paperbacks, eBooks (Remember not to include your new release in the giveaway – that’s the book you want people to buy). If this is your debut novel, ask other authors to donate to your cause so you can get a decent prize pack together. As long as you have one FREE entry to qualify for the giveaway, it’s then okay for you to make one or two of your entries – PURCHASE A COPY OF MY NEW RELEASE. Make that entry worth 10 points and include your book’s purchase link. Once they’ve purchased your book, they copy and paste their proof-of-purchase into the entry slot and voila – you have a sale. You may not sell a ton this way, but every sale works towards your ranking and that’s what you’re trying to boost during release week. The higher you get, the better chance you have of staying there for a few weeks. And we all know, the higher the ranking, the more exposure your book will get.
5. Let your newsletter subscribers know. Send out a newsletter on release day giving your subscribers all the above information. These emails go straight to their inboxes. This is probably one of your best forms of free exposure. Make the most of this and give them two or three opportunities to purchase your new release within the one e-mail. Remember, people usually need to see something multiple times before acting on it.
6. Pay for some advertising. Not all advertising sites let you promote new releases, but some do. If you’re organized, you can set up a one- or two-week run of ads for your new release. This works really well if you’re doing a 99 cent release sale. Remember, it’s all about the buzz and exposure in those first few weeks of release.
Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about cover reveals and how the buzz for your book does need to start before your big release day. If you’ve put in the time and tickled people’s fancies, then by the time release day comes, they’ll be desperate for your book. Whet their appetites and have them itching to click that BUY NOW button on the day your book is out…and then make sure the day your book does come out, they ALL know about it.
Do you have any success stories from your release days? What has worked well for you when launching a book?