This week's Creativity Matters features a guest blog from Dylan Scott Miller, founder of DSM Story Forge and a good friend of Inkling Creative Strategies! Please enjoy his insights on how to launch and market a book.
If you plan on writing and publishing a book someday, then you are going to need some rock-solid book launch ideas! However, there are more than a few books being published every day.
The competition can be high, and you need to stand out from the rest of the crowd! You need some unique book launch ideas!
When it comes to book marketing, there is a lot you can do with little-to-no money. All it takes is a little bit of gumption, a splash or elbow grease, and a whole heaping of creativity. And I believe you have plenty of creativity brewing in you 😉.
The timing of your book marketing is going to be critical as well, so we are going to offer up some powerful, unique book launch ideas for your pre-launch, launch, and post-launch marketing cycles. We will give one powerhouse unique book launch idea for each stage of the marketing cycle to jumpstart your book marketing strategy.
Why You Need Unique Book Launch Ideas
You are going to have to market your book. Even if you go down the traditionally published route, most publishers don’t do a ton of marketing for their writers. They will drop ads, maybe get you involved in some fairs or events, but the rest is completely up to the writer (or their PR team).
Most books launch and then see a huge drop off after the first week. Then, in 6-8 months, when people get around to actually reading your book, you might see another spike.
The lifecycle of a book, though, can be sustained depending on the marketing efforts of those involved, including YOU. Which is amazing news!!!
YOU get to have a part in making your book a success. All you need are some great launch ideas to get the ball rolling.
We are going to break down how anyone, writing any kind of book, can take advantage of these book marketing strategies at the various stages of their marketing cycle to stand out and generate tons of interest in your book. Let’s start with the pre-launch marketing cycle.
Pre-Launch Book Marketing Ideas
The term “pre-launch” can truly be any part of the process before the book is officially published…
For our purposes, we are going to call this the phase in which the finalized manuscript is ready and you are now preparing to get everything in order for the earliest stages of publication.
Picture it: you are staring at what is your final manuscript, you’ve got a KDP account set up, you have ISBN #s prepped, and you are ready to start telling the world that you are going to publish a book!
Now, this can be one of the most fun marketing stages because you can do a lot of things to announce the book that will garner attention in unique ways that others probably aren’t. We are going to give some book launch ideas for three different genres so that you can visualize what this could look like for you specifically.
Simply, you find a place where you want people to walk around and read bits and pieces of your book or soon-to-be-published works in an interactive event. Preferably, this would be in a public space where random people can also jump in and experience the story stroll.
The key factor here: pick an environment that is important for your book.
The goal here is to associate a particular environment with your book, even if you don’t have a book cover to show off, a printed version in hand, etc. Here is how you could do it for three different genres:
Romance: choose a place similar to a scene in which two characters meet and post snippets of dialogue between the two along the designated walking path.
Memoir: find a location that is similar to or directly relevant to a scene from your book and scatter paragraphs that take place in that location throughout the walking path.
Space Opera: create or find a space that has open views to the stars, do the story stroll at night, and spread descriptions of planets and ships and races and cultures along your walking path.
With a little bit of creativity and ingenuity, you can find the perfect place to introduce your book to the world by inviting friends and family to an event where they are simply going to just read and walk. No strings attached other than just experiencing your writing.
It’s a beautiful way to introduce your book to the world, no matter the genre, without needing to worry about a huge cost or expense. Just make sure to find a way to connect potential readers with you so that you can let them know when the book is published!
When your book is ready for launch, then we need to think of some more unique book launch ideas to help you stand out from the competition!
Day-Of and Week-Of Book Launch Ideas
The day has finally arrived! Your book is now published!
First off, congratulations!!!
Second, you need to be doing a ton of marketing the day of and first week of publication. So here is one book launch idea to get you started off on the right foot: the book trailer.
The book trailer is one that has grown in popularity over the years, but has so much potential if you can plan ahead and do it well.
What’s the deal with a stereotypical movie trailer? All the best parts are in the trailer, right???
Well, there is a reason for that…it works!
People will complain that the best parts of the movie are in the trailer but still want to see the movie because they want to see those scenes in context.
And what do all book lovers know? The books are better than the movies!
Here’s how you could create a book trailer that would rock the socks off people to clamber for your book for any genre:
High fantasy: build a cosplay of the main character and have someone film you (or someone who you think matches the main character) simply reading some of your favorite lines or acting out very brief scenes from the book!
Professional/technical: film a parody of how life would be without the concepts in your book, then cut to how things will be so much better by following and implementing concepts in your book.
Poetry: create a different scene for each line of poetry from one specific poem, having each scene and line overlap in a round until the poem finishes, then cut to one final scene of you (or someone else) reciting the poem with a minimalistic background.
If you don’t love video (like me), then that’s okay. I promise you there is someone out there who would love to be filmed on your behalf! Humans are visual creatures, video content is on the rise…stop fighting it and lean in with your own book trailer!
Pro tip: if you are following trends and have a presence on TikTok, then creating and uploading a trailer on that platform has potential for huge success.
What do you do after that first week, though?
Post-Launch Book Marketing Ideas
The post-launch season will be the most exhausting and exhilarating for you. You are coming off the labor of creating a piece of artwork and getting it out into the world. You’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into it.
The temptation is to rest and recuperate.
But, plan ahead and organize your post-launch book marketing sooner rather than later. This is the time you can truly shine and keep your book moving forward.
Also, it’s one of the most fun because you get to spend a lot of time choosing exactly what you want to do. Personally, I think teaching a class is one of the coolest options for book launch ideas in the post-launch marketing cycle.
Teach a Class at the Local Level
Whether it is at your local library, your local church, or even your local county office, once you have published a book you gain authority as an expert on that topic…even if you don’t exactly feel like one.
The best part: most of the time, even when you don’t get paid to actually teach the class, these places will let you share your book and make sales just because it lends credibility to why you are offering the class.
Here are some ideas of the type of classes you could teach and where:
Spirituality: teach at your local church, mosque, temple, etc. on one of the specific topics within your book or offer a class that functions as a sort of study group for the topics of the book.
Cyberpunk/Steampunk: reach out to your local library to offer to teach a class on world-building, character development, etc. for your specific genre.
Business/Finance: get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce and ask about offering a free class that covers one or more of the concepts within your book.
Teaching a class can be intimidating, but you already have the source material written. All you have to do is talk about it, throw some slide decks together, and maybe do some printouts for notes/homework.
The goal is that people will associate that concept with your book and you. Which means that when someone they know comes across the same or similar issue, they will likely recommend your book or your classes.
Word of mouth is the most powerful and effective marketing strategy, so even offering classes for free can go a long way to helping you get more sales in the long run.
Use These Book Launch Ideas for Your Book Marketing
There you have it! Unique book launch ideas that will definitely help you stand out while others just press “publish” and hope for the best or rest on their laurels. Meanwhile, you will be creating experiences for people to connect with your and your book in special, memorable ways.
If the marketing side of being published is wildly intimidating for you, then I would love for you to sign up for The Story Forge Newsletter. This newsletter exists to help you nail down the marketing and process of publishing so that you can put your mind at ease and focus on the creative work of writing the best book possible!
Also . . . want to learn more about the writing process and creating a dynamic story? Check out Inkling Creative Strategies’s Ultimate Writing Project Workbook.
It contains dozens of writing prompts, tips, templates, and more for creating stories and characters, and it’s FREE.
About Our Guest Author
Dylan Scott Miller is the founder of DSM Story Forge where he provides content marketing strategies and services for clients. He is also publishing his own books, journals, games, and more in addition to helping others self-publish their books. If you don’t find him typing away at a computer you will find him with his family, playing Pokemon, or watching Star Wars!