From Author Marketing Experts:
Are you wondering how to launch a self published book in 2021? If you’re planning to release a new book in the next few months, that question should be at the top of your book promotion list.
Often, authors use one factor to determine the best time to launch a book: the manuscript is finally complete and they’ve sent it off for publication. They’ll launch “whenever it’s ready.”
But timing is important, so you’ll want to take some ownership of that date instead of leaving it up to others.
Understanding Traditional Publisher Timelines
Publishing a book and the associated timelines for launching it used to be pretty simple: new releases came out in Spring, in Summer, or in Fall/Winter. These days, books are slotted into the areas that fit them best, rather than being put into a season to fill the publisher’s book list for that particular time of year.
If you’ve ever worked with a traditional publisher, you probably know that they plan far in advance. Mostly this is due to all of the pre-work that they need to do for a title, especially in terms of possible bookstore consideration.
Typically, publishers select and confirm titles 12 to 18 months ahead of their actual street date.
But traditional publishers also want to meet consumer demands – which is why books appear relatively quickly when they’re focused on hot topics (politics, for example), unexpected events (such as the death of a celebrity), or trends.
Remember the prevalence of books on hygge, succulents, and the Caveman Diet that flooded the shelves a few months (or years) back?
Publishers call books like these “drop in” titles because they “drop into” their list of releases with little or no advance warning.
This background knowledge about publishing is useful if you’re considering how to launch a self published book. If your topic isn’t tied to the news cycle or lifestyle trends, you can easily research your competition from traditional publishers.
Let’s say that you find out that Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura, and Martha Beck are all publishing some sort of relationship/dating book in the same month you were planning to target major national media (national magazines and national broadcast media such as major morning shows or NPR) to launch your book.
What should you do? Well, I’d move my book launch to another month because big media is going to focus on big names. Better to give your book a less crowded playing field.
But if you aren’t targeting big media, I would honestly have no problem launching your book in the same month. Why? Because you aren’t competing for the same targets, and you just might benefit from the rising tide effect.
By this, I mean that the interest in the relationship market may surge with all of these hot titles coming out, so why not add yours as a possible choice for consumers?
How Can I Find Out What Books Are Launching and When?
That’s a great question and the easy answer is: read the trades. Publishers Weekly routinely offers advance publication information, and it’s a periodical you can find at many libraries.
Publishers Marketplace is a paid service that is super useful for those considering how to launch a self published book. For $25 a month you can sign up to get access to all sorts of publishing information and release dates. It’s well worth the money, even if you only use it for a month.
Link to the rest at Author Marketing Experts
As anyone who clicks through to the OP will discover, the unidentified author of the OP is someone who sells marketing assistance to authors.
There is nothing wrong with this way of making money and PG doesn’t recall (not the gold standard, but all PG has to work with) hearing or seeing anything negative about Author Marketing Experts.
However, as with a great many well-written online information pieces, this one provides some ideas, but not a complete solution or all the answers. PG wouldn’t have expected to do so. When he’s doing online research concerning a topic about which he doesn’t know very much about, he looks for a variety of pieces of information, sometimes clipping and saving various pieces into Evernote, Google Keep or a similar app so he builds a mini information repository.
Once he has made himself a bit knowledgeable about the topic, whatever it may be, if PG needs to hire someone to do something for him, he’s in a better position to know what he wants someone to do for a fee and what he thinks he can do for himself, in part because he has learned what some other people/organizations charge for this sort of thing.
Short Opinion Concerning Social Media Marketing
PG didn’t dig deeply enough into the Author Marketing Experts website to see whether or not they provide paid Social Media Marketing advice.
Some social media marketing consultants/services charge a great deal to help a newbie do social media marketing for a book (or anything else).
While PG has neve hired anyone to do this, he has heard some good and some bad stories about the experiences of others who venture into the social media marketing world with the help of others.
One alternative that PG doesn’t recall seeing anywhere that he thinks might be worth a try is to locate and hire one or more college students to help an author build a social media marketing platform and presence and to gain quality followers for the author’s various social media marketing accounts.
He suggests this for three primary reasons:
- As a rule, college students are willing to work on something that interests themwithout charging an arm and a leg for doing so. It’s way more fun than working in fast-food or the university bookstore.
- A great many college students are social media natives and have been active on a variety of major social media platforms for a long time (relatively speaking). They’re social media natives, the kind that PG sometimes observes in local restaurants sitting in a small group at a table, looking at their screens, thumb-typing madly and making occasional comments to their table-mates. A great many authors are not social media natives.
- The experience might be material for a student’s future resumé when it’s time to look for a job. “I created and managed the social media marketing program and platforms for a rising-star author. My strategy gained the author 250,000 new Instagram followers in the first six months and doubled monthly sales of her books during that same period.”