We’re in a book launch break at Weaving Influence, with exciting launches planned this fall and one month free of book launches this summer. I’ve heard people say that you should never launch a book in a month that starts with “J,” but I tend to disagree. We successfully launched Managers as Mentors in June, and we’ve experienced great results with January launches, as well.

And one month off from launching books doesn’t feel like a slump or a slow down at all. We support many clients long after their books launch and since we are preparing and building a foundation for launches in August, September, and October.

Yesterday, I talked with an author whose book launches in October and he asked a very important question: Does having a launch promotion really make a difference?

My answer: absolutely yes!

Your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances will be critical in contributing to your book launch success. Your network will be most effective in contributing to your book promotion efforts if you provide specific requests for their participation, including clarity on what you’d like them to do and when you’d like them to do it.

The What. People need to know what you’d like them to do, beyond a general request to share your book with others. How would you like them to share? How often? With whom? The more specific the request, the more likely people will be to fulfill it. Also, the more personal the request, the more people will be likely to fill it. A group email will have some results, while a personal, individual email will have a greater effect. Once you have a request, provide tools to make it easy for people to share your book.

The most important “what” you can ask for is for your connections to buy your book. Consider this: if you sell around 300 books in any given week, you will rise to the top tier of sales on Amazon. If you asked everyone you know to buy a book, could you find 300 people to buy your book in one week?

The When. The When is essential. Have you ever said to someone “We should get together for dinner sometime?” Did you follow through? We are most likely to participate in events when we add them to our calendars and plan for a specific date and time. Consider this request, instead: “Let’s meet this Friday night for dinner.” When we schedule a Friday night dinner, we are likely to show up. With your book launch, people are likely to participate when you narrow your request to a specific window of time and follow up to remind them of the planned event, even if the event is not in-person.

Book launch weeks help you narrow the focus of your requests and make them specific, increasing the likelihood that people will show up and participate.

Tell me something! What specific requests have you made for your book launches? What questions do you have about marketing and promoting books?

photo credit Tracy Hunter