My book is scheduled to arrive from the printer next week... when should I schedule my release date?
Getting ready to launch your independently published book is exciting. You'll want to rush. But, there's no more important time to your marketing plan than the lead up to the official launch. There are reasons that big publishers start their marketing push long before the book is scheduled to become available to retailers and customers. Watch any big author's launch, and you'll see them do things like this:
- write a great launch-day post for your website
- Have a plan to generate pre-orders for your book
- Write guest posts for any blog that will have you
- Consider giveaways (books, other things, whatever can create excitement with your audience)
Do this well, and you can improve your ranking on Amazon, perhaps list first in several categories, and created some buzz for your book. How does that help ? Well, as a result of the buzz and the preorders, book sellers will be more likely to a) stock it, and b) stock it in larger numbers.
More importantly, your readership will be primed for the release — they'll been waiting for it. When they finally receive their pre-order (or go to a store to buy it), they will likely rush to read it. They'll tell their friends about it.
The model can (and should, I think) scale down. Maybe you only have 100 readers waiting for your book. What a great opportunity to get them talking! You could send out "early release" copies to them. People like an exclusive. You could ask those of them who have any sort of platform (blog, reading group, church library) to write / distribute a review. You can get positive feedback for your own website. You can build your Amazon preorders, so that Amazon will stock your book in greater numbers. Make a marketing plan. Make it for 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks. Talk about your book. Build the anticipation you can where you can. Then launch your book! Most authors have been waiting for years to launch their book to the public. Another month or two of waiting now won't hurt — especially if you use it well!