Every author aspires to have a perfect book launch. However, the problem for most authors is that there’s always a lot going on around the time you launch your book. Maybe you’re planning a book launch party, some local signings, or even a big virtual event. But, there are a few key elements specifically related to your Amazon launch that shouldn’t be overlooked. With that in mind, let’s dig further into their ecosystem to better understand how to plan a successful book launch on Amazon.
When you first launch your book on Amazon, there’s an inertia that kicks in, almost organically, for any new release title. It can be short—very short in some cases—but quite powerful. The length of your new release boost on Amazon depends on a few things, including your genre and how many books are launching at the same time as yours. Today, we're going to address the factors that you can weave into your book launch strategy, an important piece of your overall marketing plan. While they won’t necessarily take a lot of effort on your part, these strategies can have a big impact on your overall Amazon exposure and sales.
This is something I don’t recommend for all authors. If this is your first book, and you have no real author platform, I’d skip it. Why? Because a pre-order is a great tool if you’re really ready to hit the ground running when your book launches. Meaning if you do a pre-order and launch your book, but it takes a month or months to get reviews, it can actually really hurt your exposure on Amazon. The system is geared to pushing books that are selling right out of the gate. So, if you decide to do a pre-order, don’t do a long one. Two weeks or a month at the most, and be prepared to hit the ground running when your launch date arrives.
Make sure your book description is sharp, focused, and impactful. Don’t cram your entire description into one, unreadable paragraph. Make sure your description has lots of white space, because we scan, we don’t read. Attention spans have shrunk from 20 minutes to an astonishing 8 seconds. So remember, you don’t have a lot of time to get readers interested in your book. Lead with a strong headline—don’t bury your most important point at the bottom of the book description, because a reader may not get that far. This is something to keep in mind for your existing titles as well as for any new book launches.
If your book is up for pre-order, you’ll want to populate it with reviews quickly. And by quickly, I mean within the first week of the book going live. Sometimes authors complain that reviews get pulled when they go live too fast (meaning within 24 hours of the book launch), but I haven’t seen that as a consistent problem. I’ve had books that have gone live and almost immediately start garnering reviews. Rarely have they gotten pulled, but I know it does happen to a few authors, so proceed with caution.
Another piece to a successful book launch is your pricing, and I recommend getting a bit creative with this. Generally, I like to start a new book launch off with a slight pricing discount for the ebook or print book (though it’s often easier to do this with the print book). Starting a book off at $2 below your standard pricing is a good way to boost early exposure for the book. If you do this discounting on your ebook in particular, you could also boost it with ebook promos—I would plan to do at least one of these at the three-week mark of your book launch!
Amazon Keywords & Categories
While this may seem counterintuitive, I’m going to suggest that you hold off doing keywords and categories right when the book launches on Amazon. Why? Because you gain a certain amount of momentum for a book as it’s in the ‘new release’ arena. This can last for up to a month, as I mentioned previously. What I’d suggest doing is adding keywords that include the term “new release romance” (or whatever your genre is) and then removing them after three weeks and adding in your final keywords, as well as adjusting your categories. I know a lot of authors who do this right at the launch, but I like holding off on that strategy until the momentum from the new release begins to diminish. This helps to give the book another boost after the initial momentum starts to fade.
I’d recommend starting Amazon ads at book launch, if you can, and I’d suggest running these with a ‘new release’ in the body copy of the ad. You can change it up once the book is “technically” no longer a new release. Readers like new and fresh, so take advantage of that by putting this in your ads.
Spreading Out Your Book Editions
One of the final options to extend the new release buzz is to separate out your release of editions of your book. For example, you may decide to release your ebook first, with your paperback, hardcover, and audio following in later intervals. Each new edition of your book is a new book release, and spacing them out can help you gain new momentum each time a new edition launches on Amazon.
A lot of elements can play into the longevity of your exposure on Amazon and the boost you get there, but remember that Amazon isn't the only place where you'll need a book launch strategy. It's important to make sure you're thinking about all of your readers, and promoting your new title wherever people buy books. With IngramSpark's global distribution, your book is made available to libraries, chain stores, independent bookstores, and online retailers such as Apple and Kobo. To ensure that you have a successful library and bookstore release, those channels need their own unique launch strategies, which you can read more about in the following posts:
- Marketing Your Book to Bookstores
- How I Got My Indie Book on Barnes & Noble Shelves
- How Indie Authors Can Get Their Books Into Libraries
By incorporating some of these elements into your book launch, you’ll be able to maximize the new release momentum and be one step closer to the successful book launch you deserve!