This one is for the indie authors! Releasing your new book into the world is an exciting occasion. Here are some things you can do to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible – and help increase the odds of getting some sales.
Choose a great book cover. Eye-catching book covers attract more potential readers. It hints at your book’s mood/genre – and the quality of the story within. I can’t stress this enough – you don’t want to skimp on the book cover unless you’re a pro at designing them yourself.
Make sure your book is edited and formatted. I know it’s a no-brainer, but some people rush rush rush and forget to make sure their book is polished before the release. I admit that formatting doesn’t really bother me too much – if I love the story, a few formatting issues or typos won’t even make me blink, but for many readers, how the story looks on a page is a big deal. You can’t please everyone, but if you make sure it’s the best it can be before release, you’ll get less complaints about poor editing/formatting later.
Tell people about your book release a few weeks before it happens. Telling your followers that you’ll soon be releasing a book into the world is a great way to alert them that it’s happening. You can start to warm people up to the idea that you’ll be publishing your story – and allowing some time for preparation shows you’re putting careful thought into the release. Some anticipation is good for new books.
Ask some book bloggers to feature your book on their blog/pay for a blog tour service. I’ve talked to authors who have paid for a few book blog tours and they told me they were able to pay off their editing/book cover expenses within a few months because of it. It’s a great way to market your story, because book blogs have many book lovers following them. I’d say this is a great investment if you’re going to choose just one type of advertising for your book. Also, now’s the time to ask any of your writer/book blogger pals if they’ll share your book’s release.
Amazon ads. You could run an ad on the day of your book’s release to help give it more exposure.
Put your book on pre-order. Amazon KDP allows you to choose the “pre-order” option for your book. Doing this can be effective as it creates some hype around your book’s pending release. It can also make you feel better about your release day as you would have made a few pre-sales prior to the official publishing date. I also like it because you can have the official publishing date be a few days after you uploaded it on Kindle. It’s a win-win.
Offer ARC copies to book reviewers. Some authors will give free copies (ARC = advanced reader copies) of their books to book reviewers in exchange for an honest review. Book reviews are like gold to authors as it helps their algorithm on Amazon – and it feels nice knowing people are offering feedback on your work. Readers are also more likely to buy something that has reviews. This is something to consider prior to your release.
Host a giveaway. Doing a freebie on release day is a great way to boost morale with your readers – you could do a free signed copy of your paperback book, an Amazon gift card, etc. Nothing generates more interest than a giveaway, so if you can do one, I recommend it!
Share your book’s release on all the socials. On book release day, it’s totally okay to post about your new book a few times per day. People go on social media at different times, so be sure to post about it a few times and maximize the number of people who will see it.
Think of it as a “book release week” rather than just one day. Since indies often make low sales on the first day of release, I think it’s helpful to think of it as a book release week instead. Don’t put too much pressure on numbers especially on the first day of publication. The reality is it’s hard to get noticed in a market that is saturated with millions of new books, so the fact that you have people interested in reading it is pretty amazing. Your readership will also grow with every new book that you release.
Put your other books on sale. If you’ve published other books, you can run a free deal for one of them on your newest book’s release week. I tend to do this and put the rest on sale for only 99 cents. This helps increase sales overall and you’re also getting your name out there to more readers – some people are on a budget or they don’t want to take a chance on a newbie, but if they see a free special, they’ll give it a go. I’m all for anything that will entice more people to buy the books. 🙂
Don’t Check Your Sales Dashboard Every 20 Minutes. I admit I’ve been obsessive like this in the past, but I try to only check sales at the end of the day. In the end, it is what it is, and checking your numbers won’t make more sales appear. All you can do is try promote your book and realize you’re doing the best you can with what you have.
Celebrate! Be sure to set aside time to celebrate your amazing book release. Everyone celebrates in their own way so make sure you do something special for yourself, because you worked so hard to write that book. ❤