Each novel has a release date that is announced on the website, blog, and social media pages a few weeks prior to release. I tell ppl when I start a new book/ series and do a cover reveal, so by the time I announce the release, they have been looking for it.
For serials, I give the readers a rough idea of when the next one will come out so I give myself enough time to write it. The cover is posted a few days prior to the release of the serial so everyone can see it and get excited. Then as soon as I get it back from editing I publish it.
What the heck is a book bomb? Define: Book Bomb=bombarded in this case with the hope that using multiple marketing channels, simultaneously, the book will be more visible for a short window. During that window you will get a higher influx of readers. More visibility=more sales. Generally speaking, that’s true. People can’t buy the book if they don’t know its there. A book bomb makes it very clear its there and how to get it.
RELEASE DAY MARKETING:
1. Blog Post – include links to all retailers, description, trailer (if I have one), release date, and cover. The blog’s RSS feed is a hub to connect/ send info to Author Central and Goodreads. Connect your accounts. You need a central hub for all data/ information.
2. Update Blog Widgets – add cover image to blog sidebar with link to book in Kindle Store.
3. Update Goodreads – make sure release date is in bold and change it to TODAY and sale price.
4. Add book to Author Central (on Amazon).
5. Add bold text, reviews, and the about the author section via Author Central.
6. Create mass email to get sent out on release day with links to ppl on the newsletter list.
7. Create social media images to be used as teasers on release day & week (hot link to book).
8. Post reminders on Twitter and Facebook that the book comes out tomorrow. Link to 1st chapter on blog if I posted a teaser.
9. Add cover to Pintrest. The reader demographic for romance novels is close to a direct overlap with Pinterest. If you’re not over there, you’re missing out.
10. Add other images that pertain to story idea or creation to Pinterest. (e.g. cool tunes for hot nights)
11. Update links to book on website. Make it easy to find/ buy your book. Remember that 30% of your audience disappears with each click.
12. Dispense ARCs
13. Check in with Beta Readers (if used).
14. Active my blogger base. These are bloggers that requested HM Ward info so they have content for their blogs.
15. Post links to books on Twitter and FB. Encourage sharing to help other fans see the book is out. FYI: Most posts by biz pages are NOT seen by fans unless they are running paid ads. It sucks, but it’s the future. Get used to it.
16. Send mass text messages to those who signed up. (New in 2015)
17. Contact Book Reviewers that requested personal reminders on release days.
18. Send notification on the HM Ward app to notify readers of new book. (Coming Feb. 2016)
19. Go out and take the day off so I don’t watch the computer all day.
Original post from 2011, updated in 2013:
Most of this stuff is free. The only thing that I pay for is the email service so I can track stuff. It is time consuming, but its worked well for me.
-Amazon stats over the past 5 years-
2011: A good release day will bump one of my new books up into the top 3,000. A ho-hum day will be around 10,000.
2013: A good release day will bump one of my new books up into the top 100. A ho-hum day will be around 200.
2015: A good release day will bump one of my new books up into the top 125. A ho-hum day will be around 200.
Pre-orders decrease visibility and initial ranking spike. I use them sparingly.
Holidays, school, weekends, etc all affect release days. I try to launch the book when people will be around. There is usually an uptick in sale the two weeks following launch day as reviews start to come in.
Changes in 2014:
In addition to the things above, I might take out a paid ad if it’s the first book in a series. I plan promotions to kick in when the anticipated sales slump starts. I was hospitalized during one of my novel releases (DAMAGED last April), and by the time I woke up, that novel was already in the top 100. A ho-hum release now will hit a rank of about 200 on release day. A highly anticipated book will hit the top 10. I have over 40 books, about 1/2 novels, 1/2 serials. Some are YA and some are NA.
THIS IS STILL THE SAME: The best piece of advice I can give someone trying to boost their sales is this: MAKE IT REALLY EASY TO BUY YOUR BOOK! Don’t make people go looking for it.
And if you are selling to women/ girls: MAKE IT PRETTY! I use picture links a lot too.
This is a hype piece for a book that came out recently. I use it on facebook & twitter. Sometimes it’ll will appear on the blog as well.
The most sales I had in a single week was just over 100K copies, and the title came in #2 on NYT, WSJ, and USA Today. Dan Brown beat me. I beat Jame Patterson. That title hit #1 on Amazon and held for about 1/2 a week at $3.99. Not too shabby. One week in 2013 I had 4 titles on USA Today’s bestseller list. I think that’s a record for me. There might have been 5 a while back, but I was too busy writing to notice. I gotta dig back through and check.
I still do all this stuff. It works. Anything that makes your books easier for ppl to find and buy is a plus. That’s what all this marketing stuff is about at it’s core – making it easier for readers to find & buy your books.
If this seems overwhelming, just remember that marketing=making your book more visible and easy to purchase. Start there and it’s less head spinning. I started with 1 facebook fan, too. It’s one fan at a time, 1 foot in front of the other kind of brand building that grabs readers and helps them stick around. It didn’t happen over night. This way takes time, but it works.
Rock on, Indie Peeps!