Launch Day, Launch Week, Launch Month
As a reader, it’s easiest to look forward to a launch day when a new book by a favorite author will be released. As an author, the “before” and “after” phases are much more blurred together. When is your book truly launched, after all? When it’s first posted to the store? When you tell readers about it? When you get the first review posted?
Once you get your publishing ball rolling, the day of the launch itself becomes less important. The week leading up to that day and the month leading up to that week are where you’ll see the most action. If you can tame those, then the actual publishing of your books will be much more of a background task.
Launch Month, Launch Week, Launch Day: What’s the difference?
There’s no fine line separating the stages of releasing a book. This is what I’ve come to after settling into a predictable release schedule. Your launch month should be spent on general setup and making sure you have access to everything you need, as well as distributing your book to reviewers. Your launch week, will be for executing your plans, finalizing promotions and collecting reviews. Then comes the big day: your actual launch day, which should be fun and relaxing if done right.
You’ll need to start setting up your launch up to a month beforehand, when you’re done drafting and only putting the final touches on editing your book. At this point, you’ll want to set a date on the actual release and mark up any other applicable days.
Reviewers are busy people and will likely need several weeks to read your book. Give them an ARC within two or three weeks of your release, and they should finish on time.
This is also a good time to set up and finalize your preorder.
Are preorders necessary?
Not everyone does them, but I find that having a preorder can help boost release day sales and give you a link to your book you can share with readers and advertisers. You should have a preorder ready about the same time you give review copies out. Keep in mind that you’ll still have a week or two to update, if you need to!
The more work you can do at this time, the better, and the less you’ll have to scramble around when the date draws near.
Many writers like to release their books several days before the official “launch day.” This gives reviewers a chance to post what they have and makes it much easier to set up promotions.
Spreading out your release like this gives you a good chance to make sure you have everything in order—links, reviews, sales, and anything else you’re planning.
By this point, your book should already be available to purchase. Don’t panic if you didn’t get many pre-order sales. Over the course of the week, your book will likely continue to climb the rankings.
If you’ve done all the work needed for your launch month and week, the day itself should be casual fun! Take a break from your hard work and celebrate before scoping out your next book.
Over the first few days of your book’s launch, it can be a good idea to check in from time to time and monitor your sales and rankings. You’ll get a good idea where your book stands when it’s fresh and how many people are finding it in the store.
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