Sunday, January 19, 2020

Why It's Never Too Late To Promote

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

As an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing, I've worked with many different authors on launching and promoting their books. As a reader, I've been on a number of launch teams, received, read and reviewed advance reader copies (ARCs) of many books. As a writer, I've taken classes on launch plans, seen the checklists from others and much more. While I've written more than 60 books for traditional publishers, it's been a few years since I launched a new book.

Last spring, I finished my manuscript for 10 Publishing Myths, gathered a foreword from New York Times bestselling author and long-time friend Jerry B. Jenkins and endorsements from 18 authors, editors, agents and publicity experts. The Morgan James team designed a beautiful cover and I had some advanced copies to take to a couple of conferences. While everything looked to be moving forward, suddenly there were some glitches.

First as a part of the process, Morgan James showed my cover to the sales team. Normally they get little feedback but in my case, the sales team suggested changes. It was a good thing in some ways to have their engagement and interest.  The feedback changed some significant details on my book cover. 

I took my book to a couple of conferences and sold a few advanced copies. One reader asked if I would like some feedback. I responded yes I'd love your feedback. It turned out she was a proofreader and sent a lengthy list of over 50 errors (missing words, wrong words, typos, etc.). Grateful for such detailed feedback, I worked through each suggestion and made all these changes before it released to the bookstores (print and ebook).

Also I worked with Misty Taggart from Trailer to the Stars on a one-minute book trailer and I ordered business cards with my first cover. Yet now my book trailer and business cards needed to be changed for everything to match and work properly. Also I built my book website but the clock has continued moving and my December 17th  launch date arrived--and I was not ready and only did a small percentage of my launch plans.
I've learned several lessons from this experience:

1. It is never too late to promote or tell others about your book. If you missed launching your book, begin today to tell others. 

2. Take the long view of your book and make a personal commitment to continually look for new ways to tell others about your book. There are over 4,500 new books published every day (includes the self-published books). The book trailer for my Billy Graham biography has been viewed over 11,000 times in the last five years.  

3. Your passion for your book and topic will last much longer than anyone else. Understand that you will drive the promotion and continued sales of your own work—no matter how you have published.

4. Ask others to help you in the promotion process. Ask others but in your asking make it easy for them to say yes. Just look at this page I wrote and prepared for my new book, 1o Publishing Myths. This page has links to the exact pages on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble where I need reviews. Also I included a link to a two page PDF where they can fill in the blanks and write their review. Also this promotion page includes several ClickToTweet posts they can share about the book on social media (whether they have read my book or not).

5. Create an interesting and inviting giveaway with your book. When I was gathering endorsements for 10 Publishing Myths, Alice Crider told me I was missing the 11th Publishing Myth. I listened and decided to write this chapter. It is designed exactly like the rest of my book but not inside the book. You can get it right away at this link. What type of inviting giveaway can you create for your book?

No matter what happens with the launch of your book my simple advice is: keep moving forward.

What glitches or challenges have you found in launching a book? Let me know in the comments below.


Discover Five Reasons Why It is Never Too Late to Promote from a prolific author and editor. (ClickToTweet)

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