Currently, the world has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, making it hard for people to gather in-person to share their common interests. However, this challenge has not stopped authors from interacting online. Do you need to introduce your new book to people through social media? We provide a guide to help you plan a successful virtual book launch, thus kickstarting your book marketing process.
How To Do A Virtual Book Launch: Pre Launch Steps
To have a successful event, proper planning before the day is crucial. Here are the steps to consider before the launch.
Set a date, time, and venue that works for all your audience
Getting to know the availability of your audience is essential. Otherwise, you
might end up getting disappointed by the turnout on launch day. You need to set up a date and time that will suit everyone. A good example is that most people are less busy on weekends, so it’s most suitable to invite them on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
Create a sign-up attendance invite form
An invite will allow you to approximate the numbers in attendance. There are online tools that aid in creating invites. A good invite is one which more than ninety percent of those that accepted the invite attended. You can also share this invite on social media to maximize your virtual launch attendance.
Select the best online platform
Selecting a platform that your audience uses allows you to centralize your marketing efforts and save time while at it. You may decide to go live on Facebook, Instagram, use Zoom, or any other social media platform. Also, try and maximize the use of advertising tools available on most platforms.
Get an event planning team
Planning a whole event alone might be almost impossible because, at some point, you might make some mistakes. Get help from those close to you to make the planning easier, or choose a professional team depending on the amount of work required. This team would include emcees, technicians, and committees among others.
Plan the staging
Though a virtual event, you will still need to keep the book message in the minds of your target attendees. It would be great to display a banner behind your seat.
In addition, if you have an emcee for the event, you can also choose for them a background that reminds viewers of your book. Depending on the genre and tone of your book, you or your emcee could also wear merchandise such as T-shirts you have designed for marketing purposes.
Send out event reminders
A lot happens, especially on social media, where new information is coming up by the second. It helps to keep your virtual launch on the minds of your followers or invites by posting constant reminders on your page daily, starting a week before the event. Reminders help the attendees to keep track of the upcoming event.
Follow up on your invites
You can send follow-up messages to your invites to create a rapport with them. Ensure that you send follow-up messages or other vital information concerning the event a few days and hours before. Book lovers who did not put the event in calendars will still attend if reminded.
Get an emcee
An anchor will run your audience through the event programs in your event schedule. You may decide to hire a professional, but you can also save a lot of money if have a friend willing to give a helping hand. Being an emcee requires anchoring skills and the ability to keep your audience engaged and interested in your launch.
Test your equipment
Ensure you have all your equipment, like computers, tripods, cameras, etc. Run a sound check beforehand to ensure they are all in good working condition. These tests will ensure the event sails smoothly.
Preparing for Your Reading
The reading is essential in a book launch. It requires preparation ahead of time as it is the one that gives people the entice to your book. Good reading plays a more prominent role in marketing because people will find it worth sharing. If you plan to hold a text-based launch on your blog, you could record an audio file or video file and share it with people to listen and watch at their leisure.
Choose your tech
Decide how you will host your tech and how comfortable you are in front of the camera. Most streaming platforms work well if you are confident in your tech abilities.
One of them is Zoom, an easy and free-to-use meeting platform, or Twitter, Facebook, etc. But, since this is a professional virtual book launch, choose a high-resolution camera and a noise-canceling microphone so you can communicate properly. Also, success relies on having a stable internet connection.
Open a session for questions
Prepare to take questions after your book reading. This session requires you to have confidence, and if the viewers aren’t asking the questions you hope them to, you can take a step forward and ask them yourself!
Should You Have Guest Appearances?
You can invite special guests to your book launch. High-profile guests also play an essential role in the marketing of the book. You can also consider inviting your mentors or other accomplished authors in your chosen book genre. If you want to spice things up, you can even hire a musician to keep your audience entertained during the launch.
Top Tips for a Successful Virtual Book Launch
Every author’s dream is to have their book fly off the shelves in sales. One way to achieve this dream is to kickstart the marketing of your book with a creative online launch. Your launch strategy should make your book discoverable to new readers. Here are some tips to make your launch and after-launch sales successful.
Launch your book with a price promotion
A price promotion capitalizes on discounting your book for a short time. For essence, you may set the actual book price at $40 but at the launch, sell it at $30. Reducing the cost at the launch comes with two main advantages:
- Attracting new readers. If you are new or unknown to the world of publishing, a price promotion for your book will do good for you during your launch. New readers are known to take chances of unknown authors if the book is highly discounted.
- Making the book discoverable. The ultimate goal of a launch is to give your book a high level of visibility while it is still new. You can place your book in high populated reader zones and e-commerce platforms such as Amazon. The more copies you sell, the more your book will be featured on top charts.
Have reader reviews ready to go
Getting reviews from other readers sets a good path for others to get your book. They convince and help book lovers buy your book, but only if intrigued by the story and other book features. If you have a book website, make sure to have a reader review section, and also capitalize on reviews from other places such as Amazon and social media.
Announce your book launch
Is it worth it if the book is published and no one knows about it? Absolutely no. You need to use all platforms to announce the launch of your book. Here are a few launch ideas to help you do that.
- Design unique and eye-catching social media posts. Use a free designing tool like Canva or consider hiring a professional designer to create social media posts about your new book. The post should be eye-catching, displaying every detail of the launch.
- Run a giveaway for your subscribers. As an aspiring career author, one of the best ways to show gratitude to your subscribers is to run a giveaway where selected winners get a chance of winning free copies of your book.
- Cross-promote your launch with other authors. Joining forces with other authors is a great way to create buzz for your book. Let your fellow authors know about your newly published book. Take over each other’s social media accounts giving followers day-to-day updates of your books. You can also conduct live sessions on social media with fellow authors in which you interview each other about the book.
- Host a book launch party for your book. You can join hands with a local book store and hold a book launch party when the time comes. Include your family and friends, distribute flyers all over the neighborhood and reach out to local news outlets to see if they are willing to feature you. At each event, you can introduce a Q&A session where you allow readers to inquire more about your new book.
- Use ads to promote your book launch. Promotion ads might be one of the best ways to let people know about your book launch. You can ensure that the ads you are paying for can reach out to people mostly to buy your book. A perfect example of a marketing service is Amazon ads. Amazon only charges you based on the number of people who viewed your ad, not just for impression compared to other platforms such as Facebook or Bookhub.
- Schedule features on book promotion sites. Once you have many customers on your marketing site like Amazon, a good rank is highly guaranteed. Therefore you can apply for a book hub promo deal which is considered a jackpot by upcoming authors regardless of whether you meet the minimum or maximum requirements. Currently, Bookhub is by far the most effective promo site.
- Create a booking checklist. Because you want to ensure a smooth launch process, be sure to include a booking checklist. This checklist helps you identify your target market, analyze the competition and determine your market reach. After analyzing your market and having ideas for your new launch, you announce your book launch and gain new readers!
Virtual book launch event ideas
Thanks to social media, you can launch your book from the comfort of your study room using the following platforms:
Zoom has recently risen to become a popular way to meet colleagues, friends, and families virtually. You can use Zoom to replace person-to-person events where book lovers can view the webinar live in the Zoom software or watch it later via a link.
You can launch your book live from your Facebook page or from an events page (where one is required to collect the RSVPs ahead of time). Facebook also provides streaming software options for YouTube.
This format from Instagram live allows simple split-screen live broadcasting so you can engage with your followers. You can announce the event ahead of time on your main Instagram feed, and all the participating followers receive the notification when the live stream begins.
Another popular platform for you to host virtual book launch events is YouTube. You can go live on your YouTube account or use streaming platforms like Streaming Yard or Be.Live to create a split-screen for a more engaging virtual launch.
Videos are an easy and efficient way for authors to celebrate their book launches. Although it prevents you from interacting with followers in real-time, you can later upload it on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and any other platforms supporting video content.
Twitter Spaces and Chats
Twitter spaces is another trending forum to host your virtual book launch. This live forum is open to your followers, and other Twitter users can join your Space at any point during your session. On Twitter chat, the author tweets the question to answer, using a hashtag so that participants can easily follow up the conversation.
I hope I have now provided you with some insight on how to do a virtual book launch! Launching a book no longer has to cost an arm and a leg, as you can always do so online using any or all of the available social media platforms. Take advantage of all the available tools to allow the event’s simultaneous running on all social media platforms.