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Welcome to The Book Marketing Action Podcast with Becky Robinson! In this episode, Becky and Christy Kirk share their expertise in launching a book during a crisis. If you’re worried about your summer book launch, we hope this episode gives you the guidance and resources you need to move forward with confidence.
As the pandemic has progressed, our opinions have changed on pushing your launch date to the fall. If you have a June or summer launch, we encourage you to move forward with your launch instead of rescheduling for a later date. We’ve seen that books are still selling.
We are hoping September will be better, but we don’t know what the future holds. A book launch is not about the first two weeks—it’s a marathon—it’s about years of work.
Here are a couple of tactics that may be needed for a summer book launch during this pandemic:
- Focus on your ebook. Because Amazon is slower in shipping books right now, focus on the digital version of your book during your launch. Digital book sales are up right now; people may not want to buy a hard copy if they know it will take weeks for it to arrive at their door, whereas they will get the digital book instantly. Another reason to make the switch to your digital book is that Amazon ads are still working, and working very well.
- Drive traffic to your local bookstore. Pushing hard copy sales to your local and independent bookstores is also a great option. People not only get their copy of your book quicker than ordering it off of Amazon, but it also keeps your local bookstores in business during this time. This helps you as an author, as well as your independent bookstores, which we all want to still be around after the crisis is over.
If you’re debating whether or not to proceed with your book launch this summer due to the global crisis, we encourage you to move forward, because it’s possible this fall could be even more crowded with books which could make it harder for your book to stand out. Many of the big publishers have put off a lot of book launches until September, and by the time we get there, the news cycle related to the election in November will be heightened even more—so a business book or nonfiction book at that time may have a harder time being seen and heard.
You’ve spent years writing your book, and the world needs your wisdom. It’s a crazy world right now and we could use all the help we could get. Don’t delay sharing your brilliance with the world.
Action steps to take for your upcoming summer book launch:
- Commit to your summer book launch. If you’ve been on the fence about your summer book launch, begin to shift your thinking. Your launch is not just one week: create a long-term plan to keep your book in the conversation.
- Investigate bookshop.org. Drive sales to independent bookstores with a new website called bookshop.org. You’ll need to investigate and make sure your book can be listed there, but once you do, it’s a great resource to support your local bookstores.
- Drive sales to your ebook. When promoting your book on social media, drive your audience to your digital version. This is a great way for people to get your book faster.
In today’s podcast, we mention Glennon Doyle, author of New York Times bestseller, Untamed. Glennon posted on Instagram saying, “Indies are struggling hard during this crisis—many are on the verge of going out of business—and to know that your orders of UNTAMED are keeping community bookstores like Copper Dog Books alive makes my heart explode with gratitude.”
We also encourage you to read Brad Chase’s recent blog post on this topic. Brad, author of Strategy First, talks about the decision behind keeping his original launch date of June 16th and how he adapted to the tides.