This article will answer this question in detail by explaining what a launch is, how to prepare it, what are the fundamental phases you need to foresee and the main aspects to keep under control to make a launch that generates excellent results.
Let’s start with the basics right away, as always.
What is a book launch?
A launch is not an announcement, post, email or any other written, photographic or video content in which you declare to the world that you have published a book and invite you to purchase it. Launch is a process . The difference is profound and substantial, in particular between those who self-publish at an amateur level and those who do it professionally.
Declaring that a launch is a process basically means that the launch cannot be reduced to the announcement of the publication, but is the result of a set of initiatives and activities that must occur in order for it to take place. To give you an image, the announcement is the tip of the iceberg, the launch is the iceberg in its entirety .
The most important question you should ask yourself now is not what are the stages of this process, but why is the launch a process and not an event?
The launch is a process in that your target must be prepared to welcome the news of the publication of your book, must be involved in this path and must not only suffer the news once and without distinction.
If we consider the launch a process, we put ourselves in a position to ensure that each phase of the launch serves exclusively to prepare your audience to welcome this news. Only in this way does the launch produce sales results, because your readers will be looking forward to getting their hands on your book and will not be bothered by your insistence on sending them the purchase link.
Properly preparing a launch transforms the news of the release from an insignificant event to an exclusive event . It’s like the difference between the lines outside the Apple stores for the launch of the new iPhone and the release of the latest Xiaomi in the windows of electronics stores along with hundreds of other phones.
To achieve these results, therefore, you must first radically change your beliefs about what it means to launch a book. Once your perspective has changed, you can learn more about the main stages of a launch. Let’s begin.
The fundamental phases of a launch
Regardless of the choices you make, in educational marketing there are at least 4 fundamental phases to correctly launch a product on the market, and they are:
- Pre-Pre Launch
The reason why all these phases exist and not simply the launch, is quite simple but fundamental: the readers who will arrive at the launch phase will be exclusively those readers who are part of your target and are loyal.
In other words, the steps are necessary to filter the audience and emotionally prepare them for the announcement . Only in this way will your chances of success be exponential.
The alternative is to announce a piece of news to a very heterogeneous audience (made up of people who are interested and who are not interested in the book) and not absolutely ready to buy.
So the steps are key to preparing the right audience to welcome the news of your book’s release and maximize your sales results .
Furthermore, during the phases, a relationship of trust will be established such that your potential readers will trust what you tell them and when the time comes to buy the book they will not have to think about it anymore and will make the purchase automatically.
Now let’s go into the details of the individual phases to understand what their works are and what you should do in each of them:
This phase is dedicated to the first contact and the establishment of the relationship. Your aim is to intercept your readers’ needs and emotions , sharing value with them.
Any shared free content should always be connected to the theme or content of your book without speaking openly about launch and publication.
You have to entertain , offer advice , any form of sharing that is perceived as value and above all free. Your body in this phase must listen, collect data and stimulate the audience.
The Pre-Launch is the phase of hype , suspense and emotional load . In this phase you can share contents or in general the value connected to your book (an extract, a reading, etc.) inviting people to subscribe to your newsletter to be informed of the book’s release.
Readers must be able to sign up for a waiting list in exchange for a concrete benefit : a discount, a signed copy, etc. Your purpose at this stage is to attract attention and promise a reward to those who join your waitlist.
This is the crucial moment. The launch has a variable duration and does not end in a single day .
In this phase you have to collect all the work done in the pre-pre-launch and pre-launch phases by giving your readers the possibility to order or pre-order your book with the advantage promised in the pre-launch phase.
Readers will be able to pre-order or order directly on Youcanprint or Amazon or, if provided, even on your site via a dedicated landing page.
It is important that the email communications in this phase, which opens and closes in a precise and short time window, are constant and serve to create in the reader a sense of urgency , scarcity , and loss of opportunity. This will only increase the reader’s need and instinct to buy your book, without having to think much about it.
If in the pre-pre-launch the tones were in advance, but in any case calm and calm, and in the pre-launch you pushed your readers to action with the subscription, to the download, etc., but, as you enter the heart of the launch the tones increase and become pressing as well as the communication and the frequency with which it is sent.
The launch is your show , your highlight, the place where you unleash all your resources and your identity to achieve success: sell as many books as possible.
During the launch phase you will also share enthusiastic feedback from early buyers, send to action and leverage, as I said a few lines ago, on scarcity and urgency.
If the launch is the finale of a movie , the post-launch is the credits and extra content that you find at the hidden end . It is important that your work and the value you offer to your readers does not end at launch, as unfortunately most self-publishers do.
In the post-launch, the tones must be much more relaxed, the frequency of emails lower and you will have to cultivate the relationship with those who bought your book .
You can also take advantage of the post launch to ask those who didn’t buy your book the reason that held them back and this data will be invaluable to improve your future launches or your own book.
The post launch is also essential to be able to dictate cross-selling and upselling techniques . These techniques are very useful for increasing the value of each individual customer by offering them to buy other similar products (cross-selling, for example your other books) or offering an added value on the product already sold at a higher cost (upselling, think for such as a call with you, a signed copy, a dinner, etc.).
Covering and carrying out all the steps correctly is essential, as marketing is just that: cultivating relationships with people and turning them into long-term customers .
Building a relationship of trust and mutual value is the basis for any successful marketing campaign, even that of your book. If you think you can announce on Facebook or Instagram that you have published your latest book and sell thousands of copies, then you are programmed to fail only to blame the platform that published you, for the fact that in Italy you do not read like in others. countries, who made you the cover, etc.
The first step to being successful as a self-publisher is taking responsibility for the relationship with the reader . Buying a book is just the latest action in a relationship that begins much earlier between the reader and the author.
Become a master at creating and nurturing relationships and your books will be best-sellers without the slightest effort.
Duration of the launch and its phases
The question you may be asking yourself now is: how long does a book launch last?
Obviously there is no right answer, as each launch depends on many factors: it is up to you, the content, the genre , if it is the first book or not, if you have already made some launches or not. In any case, I can advise you on what in my opinion are the minimum durations of the phases of a launch to obtain excellent results. Here they are in detail:
- Pre-Pre Launch : at least 30 days before launch
- Pre-Launch : 7 days before launch
- Launch : 3 days
- Post-Launch : 30 days after launch
A launch therefore must last at least 60 days if you intend to do it like a pro and want to get results.
The most orthodox and professional marketers would tell you that a good launch starts a year earlier and by this they mean that to build trusting relationships with customers before you can sell them anything you need to work hard, every day, for a very long period. : one year in fact.
Now that you know all of this, I’m sure you’ll understand why your latest book didn’t sell much or why many were telling you that they didn’t care or spam. Don’t worry, it’s normal, all self publishers have gone through this phase. But think about what you now know and what you can do with this knowledge.
From today you can start trading with a professional self publisher and build your next launch like a true marketer. Start building a relationship with your audience today, there are millions of readers who want to connect with you.