Secrets of Successful Book Launches with Howard VanEs

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In this webinar, as part of my Conversations with Frances series, I interviewed Howard VanEs about successful book launches. A master at selling books, Howard shared some of his best strategies.

Here are some notes from our conversation:

Launch Your Book into the World

A book launch is a series of several events in a limited time period.

Focusing on a book launch is important because it’s a time to celebrate. Writing a book is a long  process. Now it’s time to recognize your achievement in the real world. As writers we work with intangible products. A launch births those projects into the real world.

[clickToTweet tweet=”A launch births your book into the real world via @CaballoFrances” quote=”A launch births your book into the real world “]

At that time you’re probably never going to be more excited and because you’re so excited, you’re going to want to market your book.

Media and online sources prefer news. The preference is for new information. Your book will only be new once.

Marketing works best when you’re focused, especially on Amazon. The first 30 days are important on Amazon. It’s a great period to get your reviews. You’re going to need at least 10 reviews during those first 30 days. Amazon wants to see activity on their sales pages. You also want social proof to encourage sales. Over time, you want to get 2 reviews a month.

For your book launch, focus on Amazon, the number one online book retailer.

Successful Book Launches

It’s important to focus on a time frame for your launch. Howard likes a 30-day launch.

Here are some components:

  1. You want reviews on Amazon.
  2. Start your social media marketing well before your launch.
  3. Send press releases to local and regional newspapers and online media.
  4. Send a message to your email list. He recommends MailChimp.
  5. Conduct free giveaways through the KDP Select giveaway program. Use all five days of the giveaway period. You’ll drive your rankings high if you do it right and you’ll get your book in the hands of a lot of readers. You need to give away 15,000 books for the giveaway to be effective. Market your book for a few weeks, then do the giveaway, then do another week of strong marketing.
  6. Line up speaking engagements.
  7. Create webinars and teleseminars.
  8. Invest in pay-per-click advertising such as Google or Facebook.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Focus on getting 10 reviews within the first 30 days of your book launch ” quote=”Focus on getting 10 reviews within the first 30 days of your book launch “]

Book Launch Goals

  1. Plan your launch early.
  2. Sell as many books as possible within the first 30 to 90 days.
  3. Have a marketing plan and then work it. Get help with your marketing plan if you need to.

Common Book Launch Mistakes

  1. When you don’t have a plan.
  2. When you don’t do anything or little to market your book.
  3. When you don’t ask for help.

Next up for my webinar series in June will be Nina Amir, who will show you how to turn your blog into a book production machine, and then Helen Sedwick, who will speak about protecting your rights and your wallet and provide an overview of copyright laws.

Frances CaballoThe author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

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