the official website of
Bob Nailor

Book Release Plans

My first self-published book was released to the fan-fare … well, actually no fan-fare whatsoever. It was a bust. I attempted to yell it from the mountain tops on its release date but when you live in the valley, it don't work. Oh, sure, I made a lot of Twitter tweets and even made a couple of Facebook posts about the release of my latest effort. I sold a few books — but not many. My marketing plan was just a wee bit skewed.

When I released my book "52 Weeks of Writing Tips" I had a friend who clued me in and the book sold, making its way to the #2 spot on Editing at To say I was ecstatic is an understatement. I was selling copies — not giving them away … I was making money!

Since that time I have learned a little more about doing a book release, especially for independent publishing. Here are some steps to help you in your next book release:

6 (SIX) months prior:
  1. Update your author's webpage. Make sure it is current and be sure to include a "Coming Soon" about the book. Also include the scheduled date of release.
  2. Update and make sure all titles you've written are attributed to you at different sites including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Facebook, Twitter, Smashwords, Google+, Shelfari, Goodreads and any other place that you have your books listed.
  3. If you have a cover, post it. If not, or unsure about which cover of multiple possibilities to use, at this time, get public interaction with a "vote" for the cover they like best. Including the reader in helping to make the final decision excites them. Of course, be sure to only offer up no more than four (4) possible covers.
  4. Start a blog if you don't have one. Write about things pertinent to you or about your book. Nobody wants to know where you shop or what you eat — unless that is what your book is about, then do that.

4 (FOUR) months prior:
  1. Join different groups, if not already a part of them. There are several groups on Amazon, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Facebook, to name a few. Find ones that interest you and share a possible connection with your new book. DON'T spam them that you have a new book being released.
  2. On your author web page and blog, upload an excerpt of the book to tease the readers. Be sure to comment on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites with the link to it.
  3. Continue to build your social media connections and don't just friend people, but interact (communicate/talk) with them.

3 (THREE) months prior:
  1. Locate readers to perform advanced reading so they can post a review. Get as many reviews as possible — at least five (5) reviews to start. Try to locate reviewers on Amazon with a notable following. Yes, your mom can review the book but it will appear as a "friend doing a favor" unless she has reviewed several other books.
  2. If you have finalized the book cover, post it. If you had a contest to assist in the decision, thank all the voters.
  3. Offer a free copy as a contest via your blog to those who visit your page.
  4. Continue to interact with your followers on social media.

1 (ONE) month prior:
  1. Find websites, blogs, and groups who will help you on the day of release to advertise your book. If you are selling your book for $.99 then don't bother those sites who offer "free" book links. Likewise, if you're offering your book free for premier day only, let them know it is a one day only deal. Note: Free books are great but they don't make you money.
  2. On your blog create an entry describing the book, giving tidbits and have an "Ask The Author" opportunity for the visitors to ask you questions. That means for one day you must keep very close watch on your blog and to interact with the public.
  3. Create an event about the release date in any social media that will allow it.
  4. Attempt to line up interviews for the release date or at least release week on as many other blogs as you can for the release date. Offer a free copy of the book on these different sites, or hold contests with other prizes if you want.
  5. Locate 'banner ad' sites that will allow you a small "Coming Soon" ad at a reasonable price to announce your release for the month.

Publication Week:
  1. Hype yourself on your blog, website and any social media sites that will allow it without looking like spam. Many of those groups you joined and socialized with for the last few months might allow a little "my book is releasing this week on xxx" but don't over do it.
  2. Those 'banner' pages, this would be the time update with a new ad of the release date.
  3. Make sure that all the sites you've contact are on line with your release date and that everything is ready to go.

Release Day:
  1. First, if you've used 'banner' pages, get those changed immediately to notify the people that today is the day!
  2. Make sure you interact on all the blogs (on the appropriate day) that interviewed you and be sure to answer questions or comments from the blog readers.
  3. DON'T keep track of your numbers on Amazon. It will drive you crazy. Okay, check it no more than 3 or 4 times during the day. You want to know if your book is skyrocketing into a note-worthy position that you can tweet or comment about. That is definitely a marketing strategy to your advantage.
  4. If giving away prizes at various blogs, make sure you get the proper information to get the prize to the winners.
  5. Enjoy the moment!

After the hoopla is over, take the time to review what worked and what flopped. If properly set up, your sales can skyrocket. It will be a very busy day and it might overwhelm you, but take a deep breath and keep focus.

I hope this helps you have a good release day.

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Elyse Salpeter
Really great blog post and you would think doing all these things would help us stand out from all the other "book launch noise." But who really knows. At the very least, you are doing all the right things and one day I believe it will all come together. Keep building your platform and getting books out. Find that niche. Good luck!
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Onisha Ellis
All good ideas. Launching a book is hard work. It seems the current trend is to launch a book at a deep discount. I wonder how Amazon's new policy of allowing Indie authors the pre-order option will affect sales.
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Lisa Jey Davis
UGH. OVERWHELMING. I'm only a few months away and I haven't done MOST of that stuff… OY. LOL!!!!
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Diane Rapp
This is a really great checklist for all authors! Thanks so much for keeping us on track while we madly try to market our work. You always have wonderful insight.
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Rebekah Lyn
Lots of great tips. The To Do list is every growing. I just hope I can remember everything for my next book.
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Good information. Most readers don't realize how much work goes into book publishing and promotion.
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