Launchpad: Tips for a Successful Book Launch
6. Involve your audience.
We run user-generated promotions. We had a book come out this fall called “Visions of Paradise.” We asked National Geographic photographers, “Where is heaven on Earth?” and the book is [a collection of] their photographic responses. So we invited consumers in an online contest to submit their images. The winners receive a customized copy of the book, with their photo as the cover image. This really helps brand awareness.
7. Time the launch for maximum impact.
We launched a book about the Hubble Telescope and timed it with the Hubble’s last servicing mission, the 400th anniversary of the telescope and the 50th anniversary of NASA. Timing is everything. When people see the online ad campaign, they can download images of the telescope for their desktops.
8. Run radio giveaways.
We work with radio stations in top media markets to give away 25 copies of the book we’re promoting. The on-air personality, who is liked and trusted by listeners, reads our advertisement. Plus, if the personality likes our book, he or she may go on talking about it. It’s a great way to reach millions of consumers, and the free book really gets their attention.
9. Explore social networks.
We’re exploring different ways to use these sites. We created a Facebook page for our book “In God’s Name,” which deals with the nature of faith around the world. People are often surprised at the different types of communities that pop up on these sites, and we were able to target several very robust, faith-based groups.
TIPS FROM …
Jeffrey Yamaguchi, associate director of online marketing, The Doubleday Publishing Group
10. Maximize your reach with mass mailings.
There’s a bazillion unique things going on online, so it’s difficult to stand out. It helps to have a strong arsenal of things you can pull the lever on—such as a good mailing list; your publisher’s newsletter list; and an author list, from the publisher or the author—and contact all these people in one fell swoop.