I can't begin to tell you how many times we hear something like this at Booklaunch:
"I love Booklaunch, but my book isn't ready yet. I'll come back and build a page when my book is ready."
Our response is usually something like "WAIT! It's never too early to start marketing your book." So we decided to take a few minutes to explain the three major reasons to start marketing your book today:
1. The more time the better
If you were opening a restaurant, you would never wait until opening night to start telling people about it. The same should apply to your book. Most businesses start their marketing months in advance. And, rightfully so. According to the Principle of
Effective Frequency, it takes people seven or more experiences with your brand or product before the message sinks in. This means you need to get your book in front of a potential reader multiple times before they are ready to make a purchase.
Many authors wait until the last minute to start marketing their book. Luckily, you're reading this, and hopefully your launch is in the future. If so, you're on the right track. Buy yourself some time, don't rush it. Your book launch should be like a massive tidal wave, slowly building out at sea, with interest, buzz, and readership, growing as the day gets closer and finally crashing on the scene with the full force of months of marketing.
2. Get people engaged
There is nothing harder than a cold start. Now that you've got some time before your launch, let's get people engaged so when the day comes they are as excited as you are for your book. Two incredibly effective ways to do this are with Email and Social Media.
Start collecting email signups from your book's sales page. Create a drip campaign that leads up to your book launch. Depending on how far out your launch is, you should be sending emails every 1-2 weeks that include some sneak peeks or other interesting content to stoke the reader's interest.
Pick 2-3 social media platforms that you know you can manage and stay active on. Be sure to include easy ways for people to share from your book sales page and then engage with them. Start conversations with people and get to know your readers.
The best outcome is that you have direct access to communicate with hundreds or thousands of raving fans through email or social media on launch day. But for most authors, even a dozen raving fans is better than none. So start building those fans today.
3. Take pre-orders
There is nothing better than making money before you've even finished writing your book. Many authors miss out on the opportunity to sell before their book is done. If someone is ready to buy your book, why stop them? Give them an easy option to pre-order. Even if your book isn't on one of the big name stores like Amazon or Barnes and Noble yet, you can still do this through services like PayHip, GumRoad, or even Paypal. Setup a section on your book sales page that explains your pre-order process, when you expect to release your book ("Fall 2016"), and give them a link to buy it now. The last thing you want to do is leave money on the table.
All in all, it truly is never too early to start marketing your book. A successful book launch takes time and lots of hard work. Set yourself and your book up for success by starting TODAY. The last thing you want to do is wait too long and launch to the sound of crickets.
A few notes:
Temporary Covers and Content are OK - If you are months away from your book being complete, don't let cover design or a missing description slow you down. Create a temporary cover, write some usable placeholder copy and start marketing. Update it later when you can focus on optimization.
Validate your book concept - If you've had a great book idea for years but have never been able to finish writing it, simply put together a book sales page, market it, and see if people are interested. If they're not, move on. No harm, no foul. You never know, you may have hundreds of people sign up to be notified or share your idea. That might be just the incentive you need to finish that book.
Don't give up - Marketing takes time and effort. Consistency is key. Take every opportunity to talk about your book, share it with people, gather interest, and develop raving fans. While some books catch like a wildfire, other great successes are built one reader at a time. Stick with it and don't give up.