Guest Post: Daniela McVicker on 7 Crucial Mistakes Authors Make When Launching a Book
Daniela McVicker is a contributor to TopWritersReview. She has a master's degree in English Literature, and she is truly passionate about learning foreign languages and teaching. Daniela works with the students helping them to reveal the writing talent and find their one true calling.
Writing a book is a whole lot of work. It demands passion, a great idea and a lot of dedication. But one of the most difficult things they have to do once their book is ready is to launch it, and launch it good. The pre-launch period is highly important and, writers, although they might not be exquisite marketers, should pat extra attention to some details during this time. Here are the most important.
#1. Proofreading and editing
No matter how good and correctly you think your book is written, there will always be some things that slip your attention. Proofreading and editing are the end of your book’s publication cycle. Just before your book is sent to printing, you have to hand it to a top editing services agency that can take a better look at it. Generally, your publisher will hand it to a team of professionals, but if you want to take care of everything yourself, you have to do your own research. For printed books, your editor will also look for awkwardly split words at the end of the line or for wrong formatting. Your book should look clean and polished once it reaches the market.
In case you want to publish an eBook, you still have to take care of this step. Regardless, you want your book to be as correct and error-free as possible. Your book should look clean and polished once it reaches the market, no matter the medium where you publish it.
Apart from proofreading services, look into developmental editing, line editing, and copy-editing services. These editing services focus on editing the text, the structure of your sentences and fixing logical faults in your text. They are valuable services since you will most likely be subjective when editing your own text. But fear not, the tone and style of your book will be preserved entirely.
#2. You don’t have a great website
Now, that your book is ready to publish, you must take good care of the pre-launch marketing part. And your website plays a huge role in this matter.
Most authors are happy with a trivial website with boring information. But creating a boring website, with a boring author profile won’t help you to sell books. In fact, it will keep potential readers away from your book. Would you buy an author’s book with a similar website? If they’re unable to showcase their writing skills, imagination and creativity on their website, readers will live with the assumption your book is the same: boring, bland, and overall bad. Here are two mistakes that count the most:
It’s boring beyond repair;
It’s a weird mixture of information and blocks of text that don’t back you up as an excellent author.
Fix these issues before even thinking about launching your book.
#3. Your website lacks reader-focused content
When fixing your website, you will be tempted to emphasize your persona and achievements. However, this is a costly mistake most book authors make before launching their creations.
Generally, fiction authors have a more difficult time finding topics to approach in their content. If you write about applicable matters, you can always offer advice. When writing fiction, this gets trickier.
Before changing your website content, try to answer the following questions.
Who is your target audience/readers?
What characters do you usually write?
Does your audience overlap with your characters to some degree?
What topics, sensitive or not, you like to approach in your writing?
Once you have clear answers to all these questions, you’ll find content topics that cross the fiction barrier in a matter of hours.
You could also change your approach a little. For instance, as a professional writer, you can offer valuable writing advice to your audience. Whatever you do, try to focus on your audience in your website content, not on your persona. This gets really old, really fast.
#4. You think social media is the best outlet to raise awareness
Although social media marketing is a powerful tool to get the word out there about your book, it shouldn’t be the only tool you use.
Social media outlets will help you identify your audience and boost engagement rates. But truth be told, people look at a lot of things when they scroll social media feeds. This makes the prospect of using such tools to sell your book unlikely.
For instance, your regular Facebook user has somewhere around 300 friends or contacts. A small percentage of them have over 500 friends. And as Facebook has recently changed its’ algorithm to make posts appear on a shy 2.5% follower base’s feed, you are in trouble if you rely exclusively on social media outlets to raise awareness in your pre-launch time slot.
#5. You don’t use email marketing enough
Try stirring the waters with an email marketing campaign’s hep. Once potential readers open that link, your official website will be flooded with visitors, your pre-order links will start to register sales and you make your audience curious. Sounds like a recipe to success, doesn’t it?
But, make sure you tackle this part with care. Thanks to the retail industry, people think they will only be flooded with boring newsletters if they sign up to be updated on your book. And so, they just won’t subscribe. Try to be as creative as possible in the process. Think about organizing a giveaway or a contest. This will help you engage with your audience and keep them engaged until you officially launch your book.
#6. The book launch event is poorly organized
Generally, writers don’t particularly enjoy social events. And this is why they postpone the organizational part of their launch party until the last moment. Well, just don’t. Start by picking a date and venue, and notify your audience through email. Reach out to your family and friends and let them know about the date and venue if you already chose one. Organize a giveaway and maybe talk to your local library to stock on signed copies of your book previously to the official launch.
Make sure you have some extra copies of your book and that you bring them with you at the venue on the launch day. In case the ones there are sold, you have some backup copies.
#7. You stop all your marketing efforts once you launch your book
Marketing a book should never stop as soon as you officially launch it. Make sure you get involved in local activities, visit schools, talk about your book in conferences, write some guest blog posts on profile website. Whatever you do, don’t stop marketing your book soon after the launch.
Although, in theory, launching a book is never that hard as some make it look, you still have to take care of a lot of small details before doing so. Proofreading, editing, and marketing are the cornerstones, here.