We’ve been talking about ways to host a virtual book launch! (CLICK HERE to read part one!)
I know, you never wanted to be someone who uses the words “virtual” and “book” in the same breath, but here we all are…
The truth is, a few new skills never hurt anyone and, in fact, can only strengthen you as an author. So add these strategies to your launch plan, and have fun with it. After all, you get to introduce your book in new ways!
Most experts will tell you to collaborate with other creators or influencers in your niche. For example, you can find book reviewers on Instagram and Facebook by using the tag #bookstagrammer along with other relevant tags for your genre like #romancebookstagrammer , #chicklitreviews , #christianbookstagram , #fantasybookreviewer , etc. That’s good advice!
But many of those content creators have a big waiting list, and what if you just don’t have enough time before your book launch?
Don’t overlook other businesses or organizations who have a large reach. Remember, these groups are trying to operate in the same challenging conditions as you are, and you may be able to help one another.
Consider partnering for an event or fundraiser. Reach out to local (or even non-local–remember, this is virtual; you won’t have to drive home in the dark!) businesses and see if they’re interested in co-hosting a book launch event. Think of some creative ideas that involve your book, and use those ideas as inspiration.
For example, my novel, Waiting for Jacob, is set in my hometown, so residents are often curious to see how I’ve portrayed our shared community. I can approach local shops with a “Home for the Holidays Open House” theme, an event to help locals get ready for the holidays by giving them an entertaining chance to get their shopping done. I give a short talk about the process of writing about our town, give an opportunity to buy a signed copy of my book, the co-host gets a percentage of each sale, and I meet new readers who will sign up for my email list. I’m also bringing attention to the host’s products or services. The host may want to curate a collection that relates to the book. Win-win.
And don’t forget charities that are near to your values. Offer to speak (virtually or in-person with the option for the recording to be posted on social media) about a topic related to your book. You could even speak of your own journey to become an author, and simply mention your book and sales pages at the end of your talk. Negotiate mutual rewards. You can be a fundraiser, advocate, and author, all at once! That’s a win-win-win!
Post Live Book Reviews
All you need to do is find a well-spoken and willing reviewer who will allow you to record a video interview. Depending upon the type of book you’re launching, the format could look something like this:
- Have a different reviewer discuss the setting, characters, and action.
- Keep each interview to about five minutes.
- No spoilers!
Promote the videos on your own social media profiles, and have the interviewees promote them to their own platforms. Offer giveaways for sharing, commenting, and following, but be sure to look up the rules for hosting giveaways online. (Those terms and services get updated ALL THE TIME, so give them a glance before you go live with your offers.)
Don’t Forget Local Media Channels
Local tv and radio stations are also facing the challenges of creating daily content in a post-pandemic world. And producers are looking for interesting authors just like *you*!
Put together a clean, polished press release, along with a media kit that includes a professional headshot and your bio. (CLICK HERE to read my article about how to make a nice author’s media kit.)
Practice by rehearsing the answers to the most common questions: “What made you want to write this book?”, “How did you come up with the idea?”, “How do you hope this book will connect with readers?”, and maybe most importantly, “Where can people find your book?” Keep your answers entertaining but clear and to the point. Always focus on the reader rather than just talking about yourself.
Though it can be a struggle during uncertain times, you CAN find and connect with your audience. But you have to be willing to go where they are, even if that means traveling through a phone, computer, or tv…
NOW YOU: Have you tried other virtual launch strategies? Tell us about them!
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