Anytime I launch a new series or a new book, it’s nerve-wracking and I often feel like I’m missing pieces of my promotional strategy. When I went to launch Dreamer’s Throne, I thought to myself, “Why don’t I have a checklist for this?” It would make it so much easier if there was just a list of things that I knew I needed to do beforehand to prep for the release. This is actually my third series, and every time I release a new series, I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing because I’ve never taken the time to organize what I know into a solid checklist or framework. So, I decided to make one.
What is the first item that should be on our checklist? Well, that should be “finish the book.” One of the things that I’ve realized about marketing, and about self-publishing, and even about traditional publishing, is that often we get so excited about finally having a published book, and getting it out there, and seeing people read it, and getting reviews, that we forget the most important part, which is finishing the book well. The number one most important thing on our checklist has to be “finish the book.”
Next, I think it’s helpful to make a list of PLACE we want to promote. A lot of people default to saying, “I’m just going to promote everywhere.” But I think that that’s the wrong approach to take. Different platforms are going to have different audiences, and you’re going to get a different result for the time you invest in that platform. As we’re trying to figure out where we’re going to promote our new series or our new book, we want to pick the places that are going to have the best impact.
If you have absolutely no Twitter presence, then promoting on Twitter probably isn’t going to be a good use of your time. If, like me, you have no presence on TikTok, then it’s questionable whether or not promoting on TikTok is going to be good for you. If, on the other hand, you’ve invested a lot of time into TikTok, you understand how it works, then promoting on that social media site is a fantastic idea. On top of social media, there are a number of other things you can do. You can take out ads on Facebook, you can take out ads on Amazon, you can take out ads on BookBub or one of the million promotional sites.
After we’ve made a list of all of the places we’re going to promote, I would suggest going through and making a list of all of the PEOPLE you are going to ask to give you shoutouts. One of the best kept secrets about being an author is that you can sell a lot of books through other author recommendations. If you can get another author who’s in your same genre and has an audience of their own to shout you out, you’re going to get a huge return on that investment.
The second part of our checklist will be all of the names of people we will ask for shoutouts, and whatever contact information you’re going to be using to contact them. I also find it helpful to list whether or not they have agreed to share or promote your story when it comes out.
Once we have these two lists; a list of all of the places you’re going to promote, and then all of the people who you’re going to ask to promote, we’ll go over that list once more and add times to it. Identify when you are going to do each of these things, when you’re going to ask people, and when you’re going to promote on these social media platforms.
This is a really important component of this whole process. One of the mistakes that I have made over and over again is not starting early enough. Instead of starting a few months early and getting things sort of revved up before my series comes out, in the past I’ve waited too long and have been forced to rush at the end. Anytime you can give yourself plenty of runway, not only will you be less stressed about what it is you’re doing, but you’ll also see a better result.
Now that we know when we’re going to be promoting these posts, and when we’re going to be asking people for shoutouts, I would recommend going back through our list one more time and identifying any asset that we are going to need in order to carry out the promotion. This is going to be any copy, any images, any gifts or promotional boxes you need. We want to identify all of that stuff before we start.
There is nothing worse than getting to the day when you’re supposed to be posting something on Facebook and realizing that you don’t have the assets in order to do it. After you’ve gone back through your list and you’ve identified each thing that you need, add a time to that as well.
At the end of all of this, you should end up with three lists. You’re going to have a list of where and when you’re going to post, you’re going to have a list of who you are going to ask to promote your book, and when you are going to ask them, and you will have a list of all of the assets you need in order to complete the items on the first two lists, along with when you are going to have those assets. These three lists form your master checklist. As you do each item, you can check it off the list and you won’t have to worry about it when it comes time for your book to launch.
As a bonus, I like to create a fourth piece to this puzzle, a timeline of everything I’m going to do based on the dates and the times that I’ve already identified.
To make this whole process easier, you’ll find a link below to a cheat sheet that I put together that shows you an example of my checklist that you can follow along with when you’re making yours.
YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/0WSPUwFom7g
Thanks for reading and watching.
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