Launching a book can be overwhelming. You want to give your book its best chance at success, and to do that, you're going to need to promote it.
In this previous post, I share a checklist of things that a debut author should do prior to launch. In this post, I'm going to talk specifically about marketing your book, and some things it's useful to have ready in the lead up to your launch.
I like to create what I call 'A Promo Pack'. I save a folder on my computer dedicated to marketing the particular book, and I fill it with the items listed below.
This helps me stay organized, and gives me a bunch of post/graphics/scenes/copy that I can easily pull out when I need to share something about my book.
Here are the 7 social media posts / elements I include in my promo pack:
1. the elevator pitch
When we’re pitching to agents or publishers, we think a lot about what our elevator pitch will be. But sometimes we forget the most important person we’re selling our book to: the reader!
Prior to book launch, it’s worth coming up with a couple of snappy one-liners you can use to promote your book. Keep it short, something that will fit into a tweet, and whenever you’re sharing a promo graphic, or telling people about your book, you can whip it out to hook your ideal reader!
Some things to think about when coming up with your snappy elevator pitch:
Comp titles (i.e. what popular books / tv shows / author styles can your book be compared to?)
What is your logline? (i.e. What is your story about? What are the stakes?)
What is your hook?
What is unique / niche about your book?
What kind of book is it? What tropes are you using?
Quite often I’ll come up with lines I can use for each of these elements and interchange how I display them.
When I’m posting about my book, Devils Inc., for example, I’ll create a pitch from these one-liners:
The awkward moment when you exchange your soul for free Wi-Fi. . . (hooky one-liner)
When Rachel accidentally signs away her soul to the Devil, she must join forces with a snarky Angel and a morally dubious Bad Omen to stop the Apocalypse. (logline)
Perfect for fans of Lucifer and Supernatural. (Comp titles)
I also use these elements to make up my copy for any Facebook ads I’m posting:
2. Book cover mockups
You’ll need some images of your book to share prior to launch / add to your website.
I always use this website to create simple book mockups so I can share images of the paperback and ebook versions of my book. There are other websites that you can use to create mockups (or if you’re a photoshop pro you can do it yourself), but I like the simplicity of this one.
3. Simple promo posts
I like to include a few simple graphics in my promo pack that show my book cover on a simple background.
These can later be used for Facebook ads, or as generic social media posts you can post from time to time to raise awareness about your book.
As an indie author, I use posts like this for my Facebook ads, and it’s led to good click rates.
4. Book quotes and extracts
Something that often drives me into buying a book, is reading a short extract from the book, some funny banter between characters, or a powerful quote. So it’s a good idea to prepare some quote art, and some short extracts from your book that you can share.
During your last round of edits / final proof read, I highly recommend opening a new word document and saving it as something like ‘[book title] marketing document’. Then, as you’re going through your manuscript, copy and paste any powerful quotes / short scenes that you think readers would like. Use ‘headers’ to give them titles so you can easily find them again.
When you have your document full of scenes and quotes, you can use Canva to create some quote art, or short snippets that you’re going to share on social media.
5. Character aesthetics
Character Aesthetics are a great way to introduce readers to your characters and the tone of your book.
Canva is a great free website you can use to make your own aesthetics. Choose the Instagram Post size, then search for ‘grid’. It’ll give you a selection of grids you can use for your aesthetics that you can fill with images related to your character. TheStocks.im is a great place for finding free public domain images if there’s nothing on Canva that takes your fancy.
I’ll then follow the aesthetic with a quote/extract from my book (which I can get from my marketing document). I’ll quite often give a little intro to the character too.
Example of a character aesthetic for A Circus of Ink:
6. Review posts
If I have any positive reviews / comments from early readers, I’ll add these to my marketing document. I’ll then create a few posts using Canva that I can share. I also tend to add some of them to my website in the details about the book (like I did here for A Circus of Ink).
7. Photos of the book
If you have a hard copy of your book, it’s worth having a few nice pictures of it that you can share in the run up / during launch.
This pic of Cupid's Match was taken by my publisher, but I bring it out to share every now and again because it's a good one:
I wrote down some more fun ways to promote your book on Instagram here!
Are there any marketing elements that you like to get ready prior to your book launch? Let me know in the comments!
LAUREN PALPHREYMAN is a writer based in London. She is the author of Cupid's Match, Devils Inc., and A Circus of Ink. She writes books full of magic and romance, and her serial fiction has accumulated over 70 million views online. Find her on Instagram @LaurenPalphreyman and on Twitter @LEPalphreyman.
In a world where stories are forbidden, Elle has a dangerous power: Creation. That's why tattooed soldier Jay is sent by the gods to kill her. . .
A Dark Adult Fantasy Romance
Get your copy of A Circus of Ink here.