Before you self-publish your book, it’s important to have a launch plan ready to go. This might include a publicized book launch event, a contest, social media blitzes, and more. At Self-Publishing Relief, our marketing experts know there’s a less common tactic that can also support your book’s release: a soft launch. Here’s how to soft launch your self-published book and boost your sales.
How To Soft Launch Your Book
What is a soft launch? A soft launch is a special window of opportunity where you release your book to a select audience before the fully publicized publication date when it will be available to everyone. Unlike your big, flashy, hooray, check out my newly published book launch, a soft launch is a quiet, almost secret, affair.
For example: Send advance proof copies to a launch team of readers. This launch team would agree to post reviews when the book was officially published. Any additional support, such as talking the book up on their social media, would also be welcome. You can reach out to interested friends, colleagues, and specific social media followers. Be sure to include people who will write book reviews as well as those who will generate interest in your book via their social media accounts. These early readers will help increase your marketing reach when you officially launch your book.
You can also quietly publish your book, make it available for purchase, and let only certain readers know they have exclusive early access: your newsletter subscribers, social media followers, book reviewers, and others.
Benefits Of A Soft Launch
One of the biggest advantages of a soft launch is the support it provides for your overall marketing efforts. A soft launch allows you to gather “evidence” that your book has been read and enjoyed by members of your target audience. Getting early reader reviews and reactions will help generate positive buzz around your book. Book reviews and word of mouth offer some of the most effective opportunities to build sales—just look at how these books went viral simply because people talked about them on TikTok!
The reader reviews and reactions from the soft launch should be included in your big marketing push on your official release day. A new book that can already boast rave reviews and blurbs will do much better in search rankings than a book with no available reviews or reactions. And your audience is much more likely to purchase a book that has positive feedback from other readers.
A soft launch also gives you a heads-up to any potential problems. Even with professional help, mistakes can happen. With a soft launch to a small audience, you can catch and correct mistakes before the book is available to the general public. Having twenty or fifty pairs of eyes on your book makes it much more likely that any issues missed during publication preparations will be spotted. You’ll also have the opportunity to recheck all of the online details related to selling your self-published book: For example, is your book listed in the correct genre? You don’t want to discover your thriller novel listed under poetry. Your soft launch is the time to fix these things and avoid any embarrassment.
Prepare A Soft Launch For Your Self-Published Book
There are several ways to set up a soft launch and gather a group of people who will read and respond to your book before it’s released to the public:
- Send digital ARCs or proof copies to your soft launch readers, and hold off on publishing your book until you’ve received everyone’s feedback. Once you have their ratings/reviews, use this input to drive your marketing efforts.
- Publish your book but hold off on your big marketing push while your soft launch team reads and reviews.
- Ask your advance readers to also talk up your book on social media, and have them provide the release date information for their audience.
- Include blurbs and reviews from your soft launch readers in your media kit for when you reach out to book bloggers, journalists, or podcasters.
Having a soft launch for your self-published book will help you avoid any embarrassing errors and boost its sales potential. When you’re trying to handle the entire self-publishing process all on your own, it’s easy for mistakes and missteps to happen. If you have a manuscript that you’re ready to self-publish, the experts at Self-Publishing Relief can help you navigate the entire process so that you’ll have a book you’ll be proud to put your name on. Learn more about our services, and schedule your free consultation call today!
Questions: Which elements of a soft launch would you find most helpful?