They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I’m here to tell you that a book about Rome wasn’t either! It takes more than just raw talent and passion to launch your book. You need a plan.
Do you have a plan for your book launch?
One of the hardest things for some creative spirits out there is the launch planning process. When I talk about this challenge, I always think of my friend Deandra. The raw material for a great launch was all there for her – a great book, a gorgeous cover and she was passionate about getting this book to the people who needed it. But she didn’t have a launch strategy. It was overwhelming, and she found herself throwing her hands up and thinking, “Well, if the book is good, people will find it.”
Over coffee one afternoon, we had some real talk: it’s not about doing everything. It’s about doing the RIGHT things. And it’s also about knowing how MANY right things you need to do to meet your goals.
Sorry, but there’s going to be MATH with this! You are finally going to have a chance to use your high school algebra!
It's time to set some goals for your book launch.
It starts with your goals. Sit down and ask yourself, HOW MANY BOOKS DO YOU WANT TO SELL?
I bet a bunch of you reading are hesitating when I ask the question. You want to be “reasonable,” and you want to give the “right” answer. You might be embarrassed that your goal is too big, or maybe too small.
But sit with the question and really think about it.
Once you’ve set your goal, know that the only way to get there is with a real, concrete, actionable, metrics-based strategy for your book launch (and beyond). Without a Big 5 publishing marketing machine behind you, be honest about what you can reasonably dedicate to this effort, in time, money or a combination of the two. This might change your goal.
Next, you have to do the math.
Once you’ve established your goal for sales, you need to figure out how to get there. Start with your email list: look at your total list number and your typical open rate. That’s your real average audience for each email. Only a small percentage of the people who open and read each email are going to make a purchase – likely somewhere between 1 to 10%, depending on how engaged your audience is. What does that number look like right now? And how many people would you need to get on your mailing list to reach your goal?
This is just one piece of your launch prep calculation, though – you also have social media (a much lower conversion rate for purchase) to plan, an ad budget to set, and publicity to organize. Your launch planning is like a tree with many branches, all supported by reasonable, concrete goal setting.
Are you ready to smash your book launch?
When Deandra and I planned each branch of her launch using real metrics that reflected what she knew about her audience, we found so many opportunities to grow. And because we had our chat a few months before her book was released, we were able to figure out practical strategies to grow her audience and reach her goals. She actually ended up blowing right past her initial goal, thanks to strategic thinking, good old fashioned math and follow-through.
So what’s your book launch goals? What does success look like for you?