How to do a Book Launch, 12 Steps Plus 1

Today's my big day!!! Well, yes, it is my birthday (I'm a whopping 38 now), but the bigger news is that it's launch day for my new book, Sick & Tired! I've been preparing for this for weeks, maybe months, and did a lot of research on how to do a great book launch. The following is my compiled list of what I personally chose to do, out of the many ideas from Michael Hyatt, my publisher (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) and other sources of expertise.

For you, if you're doing your very first launch, don't feel you need to do everything. My list is what I chose out of the many, many ideas out there. You choose what works for you, and what you can afford as far as time and money. Don't feel pressured to do everything. God is ultimately in charge of how your book does, so if He's only given you a small amount of time and/or money, then He will provide through a small launch.

Hopefully this will help you have a resource of ideas to choose from when it's your turn.

Ready? Set? Let's go!

1. Pull 15-30 quotes from your book and post 1 each day for the weeks leading up to your launch (FB and Twitter). I'm paying for a few weeks of so I can pre-schedule, have posts rotate on a pre-determined time frame, and post to multiple accounts without me having to remember to do it every day.

2. Send out an e-mail newsletter with an excerpt. I finally got around to figuring out MailChimp. It was worth it-now I don't get spammed, and my newsletter has cool formatting and photos. (If you want to see some samples ideas, sign up for the newsletter at and you'll get one every month. =))

3. Do a blog tour--I'm trying to start scheduling for that and boy, it's a doozie of a project to do on your own. I'm not sure if it's going to be worth it. (Update--I ended up letting this one go. It was too stressful and time-consuming. I have a few people that are going to post something near launch day, and am leaving it at that.)

4. Plan a big push for the launch date and ask people to wait to order it until that exact day. Then do some kind of giveaway or promotion so they'll want to order it that exact day (more likely to get on the bestseller list that way). I'm telling people if they order it that date and send me an e-mail letting me know, they'll get entered in a drawing for a giveaway.

5. Some people do a big launch party, but I don't see that as being effective for me in actually selling books to people who wouldn't have bought them already. Doing a book presentation at a library or church is usually quite effective, because once people listen to you, they feel they know you, and everybody wants to have a book by someone they know. =) However, for people who live locally, I don't want them to have to pay shipping, so to accomplish the same purpose without a heap of time and expense, I'm just planning to go to our local TCBY one evening, and will let everyone know that if they want to pick up books, I'll be there between such-and-such a time. (With my health right now, a big party isn't feasible, but this way I get some sugar-free ice cream, and no bad feelings if not that many people show up!)

6. Pray!

7. Pray some more! =)

8. Make a book trailer. does short ones for free. You just insert a couple pictures or blocks of text into a chosen theme and they do the rest. You can post this on your website, FB, etc. I highly recommend it. Makes you look like you know what you're doing, even if you don't. =) You can watch mine below.

9. Send out PDF copies to people in advance and ask them to read and send you a review via e-mail. Keep those e-mails, and on the day the book goes live, send them back, asking the people to post their reviews on amazon (I'm hoping this will be more effective then just reminding them to post a review and they don't get around to it because it takes time to write one on the spot). If they posted the review on the specified day, they get a free gift as a thank you.

10. They say that 20% of your marketing efforts end up with 80% of the results. The trick is to find that 20% and run with it, and let the 80% go. If you have people who have stuck with you and supported you, focus on them, asking them to help you spread the word, or just appreciating what they've already done. Mark down the marketing things that were successful and which ones tanked, so you're ready for the next time.

11. Let people know they can do video reviews on amazon. That's a major attention getter. I've only seen it done on one book, but it really stood out to me.

12. Make some kind of product that goes with your book that you can use as a giveaway, or to sell along with your book when you speak or whatever. (I made tote bags to give away. I also did a small companion book that's FREE today on Kindle Laughter for the Sick & Tired, as a free advertisement for Sick & Tired. Hopefully people will like it so much they want more!)

Whew, well, are you excited or overwhelmed? I find the list daunting to say the least, but that's why I've been working on this for weeks, a little here and there, so it's fun rather than stressful.

Now it's your turn. If you have questions, opinions, or ideas to add, have at it!

Oh, one more idea. I found out about Rafflecopter, a way to do a giveaway to reward people for spreading the word about your book. I'm going to add that here and see how successful it is. Click on any of the options and it puts your name in a certain number of times toward a giveaway. Cool, huh? Here goes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Giving this a try to see how the Rafflecopter thing works. Can you tell I'm not good at new technology! =)

    One of my most annoying symptoms is nausea. I hate nausea. It's worse than pain in my opinion. Okay, you're next! =)

  2. Nicely written! Happy Birthday and Happy Launch!

  3. KImberly--Are you reading my mind? This is GOLDEN to me right now. I'm in the middle of launching my own pre-book stuff. I'm super excited. I'm going to print this and follow. Thank you, thank you!

    1. I'm glad this will help. I wished I'd had something this succinct for mine--I guess I will next time, won't I? =) Happy launch!

  4. This is so helpful. I'm launching Friday! I've done everything but a newsletter and a blog tour, and you've given me a few more ideas! Thanks! Jody

  5. Great! Congrats on your upcoming launch, too!

  6. Thanks for this -- my print business book comes out in 2 weeks and I'm in a final frenzy. I've done many of these, but not #1! Getting on that NOW.

  7. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips Kimberly. I have just published my 7th book and I have yet to seriously attempt the whole pre-launch build up. Happy to say my books are selling, but I owe that to blogging and platform building for 2 years before I published the first book. Still, I'd really love to add a powerful "launch" strategy to my arsenal, so you've inspired me.

    1. Congratulations on your books being out and selling. That's wonderful!

  8. Loved this post. Congratulations on your book and I'll be praying for blessings to abound.

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