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Successful Book Launch

Preparing for A Successful Book Launch

Note: This is the 3rd article in a series of 4 on the writing process of A Sugary Frosting published in 2016. 

Post 1: I Finish A Sugary Frosting: Notes on the Memoir Writing Process

Post 2: Mechanics of Writing a Memoir: It’s not all Inspiration

Post 3: Preparing for A Successful Book Launch

Post 4: Better Book Production is Possible

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. What follows is a synopsis of what I am doing to promote the book so that its natural audience is aware of it.

In 2016, I finished writing the text for my next book, A Sugary Frosting/A Memoir of A Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage. The book was farmed out to a support group of readers drawn mostly from my mailing list. These readers wrote reviews on Amazon so that, when I launched the book, there would be a number of reviews to boost the book’s ranking on the Amazon algorithms. (Each reviewer received a signed copy of the hard-cover book.) This was a game of quantity not of quality.

These readers had also been finding recalcitrant errors in the text. These are mainly little grammar and spelling mistakes – often attributable to typos. I also hoped, if there are any sequencing mistakes (that is having something in the memoir occur out of time order – and I didn’t think this was the case) these readers would alert me.

This was the stage where I instinctively wanted to say “work done!” I even wanted to say “work well done.” But, the work of bringing the book to the attention of its readers was 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 did to promote the book so that its natural audience was aware of it. I published the first items on my list in this post and the next four in the post that appeared the next week.

My Marketing Plan

1. More And More Book Reviews

Tops on my list was to hit the publication date (April 22) with a significant number of Amazon book reviews. (I was shooting for 50.) Everything had I read warned 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 was 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.

2. Announcing to Lists and Groups

I had 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 for some book buyers.

3. Keyword Phrases

I had 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, but I did my best choosing the right keyword phrases (AKA long-tail keywords). Time will tell if I have been successful.

4. Posts on The Memoir Writer’s Blog

I had 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 hoped the search engines would pick up. When members of the public put in certain keywords – for instance, “preacher’s kid” – my book would come up prominently. This book was also a slice of the New England story of the 1950s and 1960s. I had the phrase “New England studies” as a key phrase, and of course, “growing up in a parsonage.” Writing about the list of my key phrases could go on but – you get the idea.

5. Blog Tour

I organized a blog tour to announce A Sugary Frosting/A Memoir of A Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage. This tour had two thrusts. The first was to bring the book to the attention of an audience that I would not otherwise have access to. A second thrust was to place the book more prominently on search engine [SE] radar. The posts allowed me to create backlinks to the book on my own site – something SEs love. They also allowed me to present the book to a reading public which is larger than my own contacts. Because these blog-tour posts would be archived, they are 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 at [email protected] )

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