Building pre-release buzz is critical to launching a successful book! Here’s how I do it.
(Note: I currently release 4 titles a year and treat them all the same. Some authors who release more frequently may not.)
(Another Note! Yes, I have a PR company and they manage much of this for me. But the reason I am sharing this with you is so you can DIY as much as possible. I had to do it myself for years.)
Step 1: A promotional signup goes out to bloggers inviting them to participate in four separate things: Cover Reveal, Release Blitz, Bookstagram Blitz, Blog Tour. (This is something my PR company does for me, but if you have your own list of bloggers, you can do this. Use a Google form and organize your responses carefully. For examples, visit the Social Butterfly PR website Promotional Events Sign Ups page.)
Step 2: I reveal my covers and blurbs two weeks before release WITH a preorder link. I think two weeks is enough for good buzz and will keep the title/cover fresh in reader minds. (I put a note in my calendar to set up a preorder link for ebook one weeks ahead of cover reveal. It usually takes one day to go live, and I say nothing about it. If people find it, good for them.)
Step 3: My cover designer puts the following cover files in a Dropbox for me about 3-4 weeks before reveal:
- Ebook versions for Amazon, Barnes & Noble (although I don’t use it), Smashwords (don’t even know what that is LOL), and a “web” quality file.
- ARC version for ebook
- Print wrap (later I will need this in PDF once I tell her how many pages the paperback turned out to be… sometimes I don’t know exactly yet)
- Audio cover (I produce my own audio)
- Title page PNG and JPG
- Title PNG
- “3D” hardcover book
Step 4: My PR company puts the following graphics in a Dropbox for me about 1-2 weeks before reveal:
- Countdown graphics (2 weeks, 10 days, 5 days, 3 days, 1 day)
- 6-8 Teasers (Usually about 5 of these have two versions: Preorder Now and Available Now)
- Banners for Facebook: Profile, Group, Page (If you want to get fancy, you can do Preorder Now Banners–put release date on them–and swap with Available Now banners at release)
- Cover Reveal graphic for Facebook/Blogs and one for Instagram
- Currently Reading graphic
- ARC and Paperback Giveaway graphics
Step 5: I look at my calendar and put in all the “obvious” promo activities on each date so I know when I’ll post each graphic. Cover reveal and countdown graphics are the obvious ones. Then I divide up the Preorder Now teasers and note on the calendar which ones I’ll share on what day. I will share them in my reader group, and my PA will post them in other places and ask my ARC team to post as well (she runs my ARC team in its own Facebook Group). I try to have something to post every single day between cover reveal and release.
For example, this week (cover reveal week) looks like this:
- Sunday: reveal cover early in Harlots
- Monday (actual reveal day): ARC Giveaway
- Tuesday: Teaser 3 (Preorder version) with snippet, SEND NEWSLETTER
- Wednesday: Reveal audio cover and narrators
- Thursday: Teaser 4 (PV)
- Friday: 10 Day graphic with link to chapter 1 on website
- Saturday: Teaser 5 (PV)
Step 6: Other tasks on my list this week (once cover is revealed)…
- Put the book on my website with preorder link
- Format ARCs and make sure all ARC team members are in compliance (PA handles this).
- ARCs go out to my Harlots team about 10-12 days before release along with Currently Reading graphic. (My PR company handles ARC signups for bloggers, vets them, sends the ARC and graphic.)
- Set up the Bonus Scene subscriber sequence within ConvertKit (email service) and put link in back of ARC
- Update the back matter of the previous book I released to put chapter one and the preorder link in the back (this will have to be updated after release to say AVAILABLE NOW instead of PREORDER NOW)
- Create an Onboarding sequence and automation within ConvertKit for new subscribers who clicked the bonus scene link
- Update the Onboarding sequence for the previous book to send readers to new release (this will also have to be updated after release to say AVAILABLE NOW instead of PREORDER NOW)
That’s it! I make sure I am active in my reader group during this time and try to have fun!