Last week’s launch of Frank Sonnenberg’s great new book, Follow Your Conscience, brings our 2014 launch calendar to a close. This year we launched 17 books, bringing the total number of book launches we’ve launched to 40.
We’ll soon unveil our book list for 2015 — there are some exciting titles from fantastic authors. We’re excited for each launch and for a few others in the works that aren’t official yet.
With launches booked nearly every week through February and March (8 total), we anticipate a busy start to the year. In fact, I promised my team that I won’t commit to any book launches unless they are scheduled to launch after April 12.
There is one main reason why we can only sign books launching after April 12: to be most effective, we need about 3-4 months to prepare. The more time we have to build a foundation, momentum, and excitement for a launch, the more likely we are to achieve the results our clients desire.
Much of our process depends upon getting books into the hands of influencers who will share books with their networks. Influencers need time to read and review books. Ideally, we get books into people’s mailboxes a month or more before the launch, depending on the time of year. During the holidays or summer months, we like to give people even more time.
We also need time to assist our clients in gathering and creating content for their book launches. One of our goals is to make books ubiquitous during our authors’ launch weeks. We want it to seem like our clients’ books are everywhere. To do this, we often schedule several guest posts, articles, and interviews during one week. Writing those posts and articles? It takes time.
One additional reason we are declining book launches in the first quarter of 2015 is that we much prefer each book to have a unique launch week. We want to focus our attention on one book at a time and we want our blogger network to be able to focus on one book at a time. While we have launched two books in a week (this year: The Culture Engine by Chris Edmonds shared a week with Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work and What Does by Susan Fowler), we all felt a little crazy at the end of that week. Both books are doing extremely well, though. We have two books in one week during the first week of February in 2015, but their audiences are different, and we’re already proactively planning for how to meet the two-book-in-a-week challenge. My strategy includes lots of caffeine.
My preference is that any author begin thinking about marketing their book even before writing it. It’s best to build your network before you need it when you can connect, share, relate, and give, without any expectations or agenda.
If you can’t begin marketing before writing, give yourself as much time as possible. By all means, give your publicity firm the time they need to adequately prepare.
The only exception? You’re a rock star. This year we happily joined a book launch only about a month prior to the launch. The only way it worked is because the author, Alexandra Watkins, is a superb marketer. She had been preparing from the day she signed her book contract with gazillions of creative marketing strategies. As a result, we supported her in the launch of Hello, My Name is Awesome, with much less lead time than we are used to.
Wondering about the other books we launched this year? Here are the rest:
Leading Valiantly in Healthcare by Catherine Robinson-Walker
Tell me something! Which of the books we launched in 2014 did you most enjoy?
Note: I’d love to talk to you about a book launch after April 12, 2015… send me a note!
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.