How to Recover from a Launch Disaster
By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
How do you recover from a book launch disaster? Over 4,500 new books are published every day. As someone who has been in publishing for years, I understand without the author's active role, little happens.
In recent years, I've watched authors launch books and participate in their launch teams. I've gotten advance reading copies of the book, read it then posted my reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes & Noble. I've taken online courses on launching books. As an acquisitions editor for a New York publisher, Morgan James Publishing, I've watched many other authors launch their books. Like many things in publishing, I've found not everything will go according to your plans.
While I've written more than 60 books, I haven't published a new book in several years. My newest book, 10 Publishing Myths released to the bookstores on December 17th. Last year, I asked New York Times bestselling author, Jerry B. Jenkins to write my foreword. Also I gathered 18 endorsements from other bestselling authors, publishers, editors, literary agents and publicity experts.
When editor and writing coach Alice Crider sent her endorsement, she told me I was missing the 11th publishing myth: “If I send my book to Oprah, she will book me on her show.” I laughed then I decided to write this chapter and have it designed exactly like the rest of the book. You can get it immediately at this link.
Plans were moving forward. The cover was designed and went to the sales team. Often they never respond but for my book, they suggested some changes to my cover. Simultaneously I worked with a former Hollywood screenwriter to create a one-minute book trailer (watch it here) and printed business cards (with my first book cover).
Months ago, I had Advanced Reader Copies. took them to a couple of writers' conferences and sold a few books. A reader emailed asking if I wanted feedback. I said of course. This reader turned out to be a proofreader and sent a detailed email with over 50 typos, missing words, wrong words and other errors. I fixed everything—thankfully before the print or ebooks were released in the bookstores.
My book launch didn't happen as planned. Maybe your published book isn't selling as you expected. I've got good news: it is never too late to promote your book.
Here's some things you can do for your book—no matter when it releases:
1. Do what you can every day to tell more people about your book. It doesn't have to be a lot but be consistent in your efforts.
2. Gather your own resources and use them. They can be simple like use your email list, write a blog, write a guest blog posts, or ask friends to read and review your book.
3. Make your own promotion page. For 10 Publishing Myths, I created a page to help others promote my book. Look at the diversity and see if you can do something similar.
4. Make an excellent and short book trailer. People need to hear about your book over and over before they buy it. A good good trailer helps in this effort. Follow this link to see my one-minute trailer.
Your passion for your topic and book will carry beyond a launch date. You can continue no matter what happens—part of being a writer is to have such persistence and perseverance. In spite of any glitches along the way, you can keep going.
Have you had a similar experience? Or even different with a book launch? Let me know in the comments below.
How do you recover from a Launch Disaster? Get ideas and resources from a prolific author and editor, @terrywhalin. #writingtip #pubtip (ClickToTweet)