- Should I re-watch that training video on BookBub ads?
- Finally figure out Instagram Reels?
- Or write a blog post?
If you have a book launch coming up, here are seven approaches to help get your day in order.
1. Be a Good Friend to Yourself
Plain and simple, this has become my number one priority. This is what I recommend to my clients (and anyone who will listen)! Although it’s great to have big book launch goals, remember to be kind to yourself along the way. You’re doing your best, and your best is really great!
Action: I took a few minutes to stare at the wall and breathe deeply before diving into my workday. Also, I reminded myself that I am loved. There’s nothing I need to do in order to be loved, cared for and supported.
2. Contemplate Your Potential Readers, Deeply
You’re doing something incredible: writing and launching a book that only you can write; on top of that, other people are going to enjoy your work and benefit from it!
Action: Spend lots of time thinking about who your readers are, where they hang out, and all the ways they will benefit from your book. How will their lives be better after they read your book? What will they feel as they read your book?
It would be impossible to spend too much time thinking about your readers. I recommend dedicating an entire notebook to your readers!
In many cases of nonfiction books, your potential readers are also your potential clients, and their concerns and priorities are critical when communicating and forming relationships with them.
Take it even farther: send them happiness and joy! Why not? In Buddhism, this practice is called Metta Bhavana – active friendliness toward (yourself and) others. Imagine your readers and think: “May they be happy. May they be peaceful and wise and successful.”
3. Revisit (or Start!) Your Book Launch and Marketing Plan
Go back to your book launch and marketing plan and review it in order to assess your priorities.
If you haven’t started a book marketing plan for your upcoming book, here are two baby steps you can do now! These are steps from the Book Sales & Marketing section of my upcoming book Almost Done Writing: Now What? A Guided Workbook for Self-Publishing Authors (Nonfiction).
“2-Step Action Plan: Start Swiftly and Joyfully
Here are 2 tiny baby steps you can do right now to help you get into the right mindset to sell your books. These actions are like seeds, and they will start working for you now – no matter where you are in the writing process.
Action 1) Make a folder on your computer called BOOK_MARKETING_PLAN
Action 2) Inside that, create a document called: DELIGHTFUL_IDEAS
Every time you think of an idea that could potentially help you get your book in front of your readers, put it on the list. But here’s the secret: only put ideas on your list that feel delightful! Everyone’s list will be different. Don’t avoid taking any particular action just because it’s outside of your comfort zone, but don’t stress yourself too much.”
In other words, build joy right into your book launch and marketing plan.
4. What is THE ONE THING You Can Do Now?
I learned this principle (“the one thing”) from a book by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papsan called The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. Ask yourself: what is the most important task I need to do now to move forward with my current goal?
See what comes to you.
And notice whether it feels exciting and interesting.
Action: For me, this question helped me clarify what I wanted to do. I got a sudden burst of enthusiasm to write a helpful and engaging blog post (which you’re reading!) about planning a successful book launch in order to help my potential readers and share some of the ideas in my book.
5. Get Super Productive
Ask yourself: what is the most interesting and efficient way to get my work done?
For example, have you ever tried the Pomodoro Technique? Set a timer for 25 minutes and see how much more productive you are under a time constraint!
Action: My favourite productivity tool is a website called FocusMate which matches you up (online) with another human for 50 minute chunks of time (I am not affiliated with this company but I rave about this tool because it works so well for me). It’s a timed work session with accountability built in: at the beginning of the session simply tell each other what you want to accomplish. Then, when the time’s up, a little bell rings and you check in to find out how it went.
6. Remember: If it Feels Like Torture, It’s Just Not Right
Action: Double check with yourself that you’re not torturing yourself by doing book launch activities you think you should do. Don’t “should” on yourself, as a wise coach named Heather Maxwell taught me. If something isn’t working for you, there’s no shame in pivoting. However: don’t stop doing anything just because it’s challenging! Sometimes the most beneficial things we can do are scary.
7. You Probably Will Bite off More Than You Can Chew
Especially when you’re knee deep developing your marketing skillset to get your book in front of more readers, it’s practically inevitable that you’ll bite off more than you can chew. Don’t worry about it.
You probably know in theory that it’s better not to try to do everything, but you’re bravely trying new things! And some of them are likely taking more time than you originally imagined.
Action: My original book launch and marketing plan for my book had quite a lot of things on it. Even though I’m on track, it is entirely possible I may have bitten off more than I could chew! It’s ok. I can pare back a little.
Here again are my top 7 tips to making sure you have a wonderful launch to your book! I’d love to hear how this goes for you!
- Be a good friend to yourself
- Consider your readers, deeply
- Revisit your book marketing plan, often
- Ask yourself: what one thing can I do now?
- Find ways that work for you to get moving!
- Make sure you’re not torturing yourself
- Just do your best, even when you’re trying to do too much
None of these approaches to book launch planning and promotion are difficult, but some involve inner work. If you try them, you may just end up enjoying your book promotion efforts (in which case you may just sell a whole lot more books)!
Andrea Schmidt is an award-winning nonfiction book designer and author of upcoming Almost Done Writing: Now What? A Guided Workbook for Self-Publishers (Nonfiction) which launches July 13, 2021. She loves exclamation marks and coffee. In her spare time, she bakes bread and plays disc golf in the woods. Here’s the Universal Book Link for her upcoming book!