Preparing for A Successful Book Launch
I’m finished writing the text for my next book, A Sugary Frosting/A Memoir of A Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage. The book is now farmed out to a support group of readers drawn mostly from my mailing list. These readers are preparing to write a review on Amazon so that, when I launch the book, there will be a number of reviews to boost the book’s ranking on the Amazon algorithms. (Each reviewer will get a signed copy of the hard-cover book.) This is a game of quantity not of quality.
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These readers have also been finding recalcitrant errors in the text. These are mainly little grammar and spelling mistakes – often attributable to typos. I also hope, if there are any sequencing mistakes (that is having something in the memoir occur out of time order – and I don’t think this will be the case) these readers will alert me.
This is the stage where I instinctively want to say “work done!” I even want to say “work well done.” But, the work of bringing the book to the attention of its readers is far from done. The days when writers wrote and marketers marketed are over. Today, writers, whether published traditionally or independently, must be marketers. And so…
Below is a synopsis of what I am doing to promote the book so that its natural audience is aware of it. I will publish the first items on my list in this post and the next four in the post that will appear next week.
My Marketing Plan
1. More And More Reviews
Tops on my list is to hit the publication date (April 22) with a significant number of Amazon reviews. (I’m going to shoot for 50.) Everything I read warns me that reviews are essential to good ranking on Amazon. Good ranking (largely determined by reviews – if I am wrong let’s chat about this) puts a book ahead of other books with fewer reviews. So, to avail myself of this internal marketing advantage, I am looking for more and more reviews.
If you would be kind enough to write a review for A Sugary Frosting/A Memoir of A Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage, please go to the bottom of this article and click on my email. I will send you an e-copy of the book in exchange for a review written by the publication date (April 22) and submitted on that date. I will remind you periodically of how much time is left to read the book and write a review [***** :-)]. On April 20, I will remind you to submit the review to Amazon.com. (This is not a long book to read: 160 pages of text.) Once you send me a copy of your review, I will send you a signed hard-copy.
2. Announcing to Lists and Groups
I have been announcing the book to my e-newsletter list, to my Facebook friends to Twitter followers and to Google+connections. Now, I know this is passive, but every bit of outreach contains an offer to send an e-book in exchange for a review. And, I would hope some book buyers.
3. Keyword Phrases
I have been collecting the keyword phrases that might boost my book to a better position on Amazon. I am far from being an expert in this field and I am doing my best to choose the right keyword phrases (AKA long-tail key words). Time will tell if I have been successful.
4. Posts on The Memoir Writer’s Blog
Have also placed a number of posts on my blog that refer to the book. Posts on the blog are organized around keyword phrases that I hope the search engines will pick up. When members of the public put in certain keywords – for instance, “preacher’s kid” – my book will come up prominently. This book is also a slice of the New England story of the 1950s and 1960s. I have the phrase “New England studies” as a key phrase, and of course, “growing up in parsonage.” Writing about the list of my key phrases could go on but – you get the idea.
5. Blog Tour
I am organizing a blog tour to announce A Sugary Frosting/A Memoir of A Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage. This tour has two thrusts. The first is to bring the book to the attention of an audience that I would not otherwise have access to. A second thrust is to place the book more prominently on search engine [SE] radar. The posts allow me to create back links to the book on my own site – something SEs love. They also allow me to present the book to a reading public which is larger than my own contacts. Because these blog-tour posts will be archived, they will be available to SEs to pace on SE results for key phrases over a number of years. A Sugary Frosting/A Memoir of A Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage, like all my other books, must necessarily figure in prominently in my backlist. (If you have a blog that would be appropriate for me to appear on, please email me.)