book launch

Marketing to Readers: A Book Launch Review

On January 2, I released the second book in my children’s series about a pug named Zelda. The launch of The Adventures of Zelda: A Second Saga was very successful and so I wanted to talk a little about what went right and what I could improve for the next book launch. But before I talk about any of the book launch, I wanted to thank you, my readers, for making this launch successful. You bought books and spread the word about Zelda and I am so thankful for your help. I hope you enjoyed the Zelda books!

What Went Right

The Pug Love - Prior to the release of the second Zelda book, I contacted a few pug celebrities and asked for their help in promoting the books. As a thank you, I sent them copies of the first or second Zelda book. Their social media presence was a tremendous boost in getting the word out to new people about The Adventures of Zelda.

The Social Media Blitz - During launch week, I hit social media hard with promotion. Facebook and Twitter are my primary social media networks so most of the activity was there. I tried to tie the promotion with fun pictures and facts about the book and Zelda. I also used a Facebook event on launch day to spread the word about the launch and post updates. I think the push went well and people generally enjoyed the posts because I posted creative content instead of telling them to buy my book every hour.

The Launch Page - I carefully crafted the launch page with information about the book, a fun picture of Zelda and the book, along with links to read the first chapter of the first book for free. It was a quick and easy look into the book for new readers.

The Zelda Photo Shoot - I took some pictures of Zelda (and Peach) with copies of the paperback books. Zelda was great- she is a photogenic dog. (Peach not so much). People love pictures of pugs and it was a big hit.

What to Improve

Book Launch Party - Originally, I planned to do a local book launch party at Sweetie Fry (the ice cream / french fry shop where I work). The launch party was going to be a couple hours and along with the opportunity for people to buy books and have them signed by me, I also was planning on doing a couple giveaways. I thought it would be fun and a great way for to engage with readers. However, my schedule ended up imploding on me and I couldn’t find a good time that worked with basketball. So I tabled the idea with the plan to do it for the next book release.

Marketing to Moms - Since the Zelda series is a children’s book, I wanted to find a good method to market to moms and families. I researched a few family sites and children’s book sites, but nothing fit in my time frame, budget and goals. Granted I didn’t spend enough time exploring this area. Future ideas include connecting with local schools, libraries, and book stores.

Reviews - My goal was to have five reviews up by launch day on Amazon by sending out some advance review copies. I completely failed at this one. I only have four as we sit right now. I didn’t get the books out in time or contact enough people to review my book which brings me to the last point. (PS If you read either Zelda book, I'd love your honest review at Amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes & Noble.)

Better Planning / More Time - I could improve the book launch if I planned better and gave myself enough time to set up promotions, reviews, and more. I wanted to get the book launched in early January because that time of year is great for book sales. People have Christmas money to spend and are loading up their kindles. But by pushing the deadline, I was strapped for time with Christmas and the holidays to get everything done in time.

Overall, I am happy with the launch. I sold almost as many first Zelda books as the second which means I have new readers and fans. Hopefully they enjoy the first book to pick up more in the series. I am really thankful for those that helped promote the launch and everyone who bought books the first week to push Zelda up the Amazon charts. It’s exciting to watch. And as always, I am learning more and more about this business and how to find new readers and make them happy with a good book.