You’ve been preparing for this moment for many months: A book release is here, and you feel nervous, excited, terrified, and hopeful all at the same time. But, a book release isn’t the time to wait; it’s the time to act.
During a book launch period, your marketing efforts should reach their peak. The more you do to hype up your new story and interest readers, the better. It’s time to use your most hard-hitting marketing tactics. And if you aren’t sure what to do, we prepared 10 creative book release marketing ideas to generate all the buzz needed.
Encourage your readers to promote your book
Why not include marketing in your book and instruct your readers to do a book promotion for you?
For example, in his book “Will It Fly”, Patt Flynn showed readers how they could assemble a paper plane and asked them to share the photos or video of the results on social media under the hashtag #willitfly. A lot of people jumped the opportunity to feel like kids again and share photos of them having fun with paper planes.
— Jenny Dawid (@JennyDawid) June 20, 2018
The in-book marketing approach works best for nonfiction as it’s easy to include without ruining the flow of the story.
Do a virtual book tour
A traditional book tour is a mechanism with a lot of moving parts. You need to find a venue, negotiate with owners, cover road expenses, prepare a press kit, and invest a lot of time.
Instead, you can do a virtual book tour that requires only your time and a working computer. Besides, people are more likely to visit a virtual tour as they can do it while staying home.
On a virtual book tour, you can present a book, chat with the audience, and even sign books and send them to your readers later.
You can conduct your virtual book tour on
- Instagram Live
- YouTube Live
- Facebook Live
- Zoom Webinar
- Twitch Livestream
- Twitter Spaces
Also, you can team up with other authors, indie bookstores, editors, or different virtual events to boost your tours.
For example, C Pam Zhang, the author of How Much of These Hills is Gold, did massive virtual book tours in cooperation with different events and industry personalities.
Do a book launch in a museum (or another relevant place)
Cole Williams wrote a book for kids, Dr. Brainchild and Radar: A Popcorn Discovery, about a young scientist. One of the local museums, which was often visited by kids, agreed to host Williams’s book launch. The event was a success, and the museum even started selling the book in its gift shop.
You can find a relevant local place your target audience visits, and try organizing your book launch event there. It will spread the word about your book through your city or town and give access to a wider audience.
Create a video essay on a hot topic
The exciting career of a bestselling author, Xiran Jay Zhao, had its happy accidents. One of them is a resounding success of her video review, in which she obliterated cultural insensitivities and inaccuracies of Disney’s live-action Mulan adaptation. The video kickstarted her YouTube career and provided a solid platform for a book launch.
Now, great ideas are often born from happy accidents. You can use Xiran Jay Zhao’s experience to your benefit: If you have a knack for video-making and essays, make a video on a hot topic that is relevant to the themes of your book. Video essays are a popular medium that can help you reach your target audience.
Make a read-aloud video
Imagine your favorite author reads to you their new book. That’s a dream come true for many readers.
Make this dream a reality and celebrate the release of your new book by recording or streaming a read-aloud of your first chapter. You will hook the readers into the book and give them a nice little present.
That’s what Bethany Atazadeh did during the release day of her book, Secrets to Selling Books on Social Media.
Do a spoiler QnA stream or event
Brandon Sanderson, who’s (in)famous for his complex and interesting worldbuilding, loves to answer eager readers who want to know more about their favorite imaginary worlds. So, it’s not strange that he often celebrates new books with spoiler QnA events, during which people can ask him questions that weren’t answered in the books.
If you write a series, you can organize such a spoiler QnA event to bring more attention to your new book launch. Your readers will be happy to learn more about your previous books and what you left behind the curtains of worldbuilding.
Stream a conversation with a fellow author or editor
Listening to a professional who passionately discusses their work and art is always engrossing and insightful. But, listening to a dialogue between two peers is even more awesome.
That’s why hosting a talk between authors to celebrate a book launch is quite a popular format. For example, J. Courtney Sullivan talked about her book Friends and Strangers with the novelist Lily King. Another example is authors Brit Bennett and Megha Majumdar discussing their new hit novels.
There are a few ways you can approach the conversation:
- Chat with a fellow author about your work, challenges, and life
- Discuss with your editor the editing process and how you both gave the shape to the new book
- Answer questions from the audience
- Discuss certain chapters from your books
Release merchandise for a book launch
Tiffany D. Jackson released a set of gorgeous earrings to complement the launch of the book Grown.
Maggie Stiefvater released mesmerizing taro cards inspired by her Raven Cycle series.
You can use author merchandise to attract more attention to your book release as well.
Record video testimonials from early readers
Customer testimonials are among the most effective marketing tools (you rarely buy something online without good reviews). So, if you have loyal beta readers or early readers, ask them to record a little video where they share their thoughts and feelings on your story. Then, you can compile their reviews into a single video and launch it along with a book release. It will help persuade other people to buy your book.
Organize a special giveaway
People like to gamble at least a little (especially if the risks aren’t high). You can use it to your advantage and organize a giveaway among people who bought your book.
It’s important to give away a unique or valuable item. The prize shouldn’t be expensive but should have some weight to it: a unique edition of the book, your hand-written manuscript, one-in-a-kind merchandise, etc.
Or you can make a special discount. For example, when Roseanne A. Brown released A Song of Wrath and Ruin, readers could buy two books for the price of one.
Collaborate with a musician to create an album
Nothing complements reading a book better than a proper soundtrack. Usually, to enhance their reading experience, people search for music with proper vibes themselves. Why not help them and team up with a musician to create a concept music album to listen to while reading your latest story?
The collaboration will benefit both of you and give you access to a wider audience. Besides, such a unique release can attract the attention of media and other authors, who’ll be happy to spread the word.
Jenna Moreci — a best-selling author and Youtuber — believes that a combo of book promotions is required to keep things interesting. Combining different marketing approaches is essential during the book release too. She also notes that authors “shouldn’t be afraid to try new tactics amid the ones that have been working well for you. If the new staff fails, it’s a learning experience.” So, we wish you plenty of successful experiments and an amazing book release!
Have any questions about book marketing? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!