Avant garde, laissez faire—both phrases that pretty much mean let things go as they will. That shouldn’t ever apply to a book launch. We, the author, need to approach a book launch as we have every other aspect of book production—with a serious eye to the audience.
What does this mean?
Your book launch should be planned and set up as diligently as you wrote and edited your book or choose your cover art.
The first thing you should do is decide how you want your book launched, both on social media and through traditional methods. Will you do a Facebook event, a Twitter blast, a blog post, or any combination thereof?
Once you make this decision, you need to set up the events. Ask other authors and even librarians to help you with the launch event. Remember to tag on both Facebook and Twitter to those people and/or organizations. If you’ve contacted librarians, ask about becoming involved with their reading programs, especially those that will directly benefit your book.
Once your release day arrives, all of your social media posts should be ready to load to the sites, except the links, which you should have within a few hours of your book being uploaded. Get the news out. Make sure those who promised to help are doing that. If they don’t, make a note not to use them again instead of sending out an angry demand for an explanation.
On launch day, the urge to manage every single moment of your book’s arrival in the world is strong, but you must learn the hardest lesson yet. Once you’ve done your posts, let them sink in and grab people’s attention. Don’t start putting up more posts immediately that might be construed as spam. Start on another book, take a run around town, schedule a trip with the kids to the zoo, anything to get your mind off the fact that the world hasn’t instantly noticed your book. Once you’re back in front of your computer, check out the events. If they need a nudge or two at this point, do it. You might even offer a special type of swag associated with your book—a necklace, pens with your name and the book’s title on them, or any type of giveaway item that will let people recognize who you are.
As the day ends, many long hours after it started, you should take a deep breath and check your sales venues to see if there were any sales. If there were, yeah! Success! If there weren’t, you can still count your release launch as a success if you had a large number of people seeing your book. Remember, readers sometimes take a bit longer to warm up to a new author. You never know if you’re the person they’ll go back to at a later date because of your launch.