Well, I’ve had about a week to collect myself and focus on the business side of publishing a novel. Now, I’d like to discuss how I am planning the pre-release and release phases of my novel from a marketing perspective.
Whether or not this turns out to be the right way to market a soon-to-be and newly published novel remains to be seen, but I like my plan and I’m sticking to it.
Planning A New Book Release
I’m not what anyone would consider an “expert” in the book publishing department, but I firmly believe that having an actual publication date in mind is critical to planning your book release…
So that’s step one. Pick a date to publish. Easy.
Once I have a publication date set, I can figure out my pre-release date: 30 days before publication, or just an even month. This gives me a full 30 days to really garner interest in my novel before anyone reads it.
This pre-release phase will consist of most of my initial promotional efforts, and comes with a big fat reveal:
My book cover! What better way to get other people excited about my book than to show off my shiny new cover?
I’ll update the banners of our websites with the cover, post it on social media, and write about it, too. This is honestly the part I’m most excited about.
Once the cover is out, I’ll tell people about the pre-sale of my book. I’m going to offer a discounted price (to be determined) for the ebook version of my novel all the way until publication date. This will help me gauge the actual interest in my novel.
As I’ve discussed before in this series, I also want to grow my audience, so pay-per-click campaigns will help me bring attention to our sites and my book from places outside of the blogosphere.
I’ll use Taboola to promote specific pages on my website, with my book cover as the primary image. I can run a PPC campaign at around $0.15 per click. With an initial budget of $200, that’s about 1,300 clicks, or 1,300 new visitors to our websites who may be interested in reading my book.
I’ll write about my PPC campaigns in greater detail once they’re up and running, but here’s the basic approach I’ll use:
- Choose 2-4 articles from our websites of varying topics, all centered around my book. Not all visitors will want to read marketing articles, for instance, so I can use my character bios or ‘Creativity Sessions’ to draw in people interested in those topics.
- Segment my campaigns based on region. With Taboola, I can run a ‘national’ campaign, as well as a more localized one, targeted to users in Maryland, DC, Virginia, and Delaware. I’ll explain why in a sec.
- Control my daily click limits so that my campaigns are spread out over a couple of weeks each. This will help me ensure that a wide variety of people see my posts and visit our sites.
- Consider using GoodReads PPC service. I’ve heard anecdotally that GoodReads is a bit pricey for PPC campaigns ($.50 per click or more), but who better to market my book to than actual readers?
Once the release date hits, the ebook price will go up a bit from the initial pre-release pricing, and the print version will be available at a standard price! I’m open to playing with the pricing structure over time. I just need to figure out what works on my own.
Then, I’ll have a launch party right around Baltimore. My locally-targeted PPC campaigns will help me get the word out to people in this region who may be interested.
I need to pick a venue (and make sure they’ll actually let me hang out there for a day) and then invite a bunch of my friends. I’m thinking a coffee shop may be a good location. I’m just not familiar with coffee shops in my neighborhood. Somewhere in the city might be better, with more day-to-day foot traffic, but we’ll see.
The Marketing Doesn’t Stop
After my book is released and the launch party is over, I won’t just stop promoting myself. I’ll continue running PPC campaigns to bring more eyes to our platforms and putting myself out there to meet readers more directly.
My post-release plan is very much in the works, and it will likely depend on how well my pre-release and release phases go. I may feel the need to let the dust settle a bit before really jumping back into marketing, but I’m okay with that.
I’ll have other stories to write.