The Blitz

Book Launch Plan and Checklist

Your working on a fabulous book and now you have to design a book launch! I DO?! Yes. Yes, you do. You are super excited and can’t wait for the world to read your book. Readers will fall in line and buy them by the thousands. Right? Only if you market your brand. Market myself?…

Your working on a fabulous book and now you have to design a book launch!

I DO?!

Yes. Yes, you do.

You are super excited and can’t wait for the world to read your book.

Readers will fall in line and buy them by the thousands.


Only if you market your brand.

Market myself?  But I’m a writer, you say, not a publicist.

In today’s publishing world you have to be the CEO, CFO and yes, CIO for yourself.

You are a small business.  

You are a cottage industry.

Publishers want to know you have an idea how to market yourself.

If you’re indie publishing, you have no choice. You need to start marketing.

But it doesn’t have to take up all your time and it doesn’t have to feel like work.

The below gives you lots of options. You do not have to do everything. Pick what works for you and create your plan.

Start Six Months out.

Yep, start a book launch at least six.

  • Write your back copy blurb
    • Post the blurb to your website and your social media
    • Send the blurb to your email list
  • Write your “Coming Soon” line
    • New book coming Fall 2020
    • Add this to all your bios (web, press kit, social media, etc)
  •  Set up your preorders
    • Amazon lets you set up preorders a year out
    • Preorders count toward your first day numbers, increasing the ranking of the book
    • Advertise these on your email list, social and in ads
  • Traditionally published authors should do a cover reveal
  • Indie authors should commission at least four book covers and ask their readers which they like
    • Send an email with the four covers
    • Post them on social

Three months out

  • Design your giveaway for an advanced reader copy (use BookFunnel, Goodreads or social)
  • Design your print materials (bookmarks and other swag) using VistaPrint or another outlet
    • Get these printed for giveaways
  • Design companion materials
    • Is your main character a police officer? Design a case file.
    • Is your main character a baker? Design the recipe cards
    • Is your main character on a quest? Design the map.
    • Is there a significant object like a ring, a necklace, a sword, a vase? Have some commissioned or made by a local artist for a giveaway.
  • Design preorder ads on Bookbub, Facebook or Amazon
  • Apply for a Bookbub Deal (and keep doing this until you get one)

Two months out

  • Start blogging the book. Interview the characters. Release cut scenes.
  • Start a podcast tour. Contact any podcasters who talk books and small businesses and pitch yourself as a possible guest (they ALWAYS need guests)
  • Design your digital visuals using Canva or Bookbrush 
    • Post visuals on Instagram, Instagram Stories, Twitter and other social
  • Pitch Bookstagrammers on Instagram. These are the old book bloggers. Take advantage and pitch them your book.
  • Create a book trailer using Animoto or Vimeo
  • Set up a Zoom room or Google Meets. This way anyone can join on the day of. Have them register so you can keep their email addresses for thank you notes and freebies.

One month out

  • Pitch the local press.
    • Call to make sure they got the release.  Email the launch flyer to followup.
    • Call back to confirm.  Anything more is creepy stalker territory. Aaron Ritchey calls this the Call-Send-Call method.
  • Start reviewing other author’s books.
    • They just might do the same for you.  Write an honest review.
    • But if you can’t say something nice ….  maybe just review a different book.  Revenge can be a bitch.
  • Create a Pinterest Board and load it up with items that reflect the book
  • Schedule your week of events:
    • Podcasts, FB Lives, Instagram Lives, Tweet Chats
    • A friend interviews you on Zoom
    • Group discussion on the book
    • Media interviews
  • Location Logistics
    • Secure the location for the launch
    • Pick the menu
    • Order decorations
    • Send invite to local friends and readers
    • Pick which section of the book you’ll read (if you read anything)
    • Decide on freebies/giveaways/gift bags
    • Schedule a photographer (yes, this can be your brother with his iPhone. It’s for social & web photos. Consider a professional so you can use some of the shots in a press kit, but not necessary)
  • Design and schedule countdown emails. One a week for three weeks.
    • Week One – invitation to the launch, include the virtual link
    • Week Two – contest time! Free books for those who can answer the following questions (or something like that).
    • Week Three – where to find you this next week: podcasts, FB Group Takeovers, Instagram Lives, etc….
  • Launch ads – Bookbub, Facebook, Amazon or other newsletter blasts (BookGorilla, Kindle Nation Daily, etc…)

One Week Out

one week out

  • Email the list every day for the last five days. Do not ask them to preorder the book. Tell them what you are doing and how excited you are for launch week.
    • Day One – Monday Mania! I got the print editions!
    • Day Two – Taco Tuesday! Tacos with the crew to celebrate launch week.
    • Day Three – What do you know Wednesday?! I’m on a podcast today.
    • Day Four – The Day Before!! I can’t even sleep and I’m so excited.
    • Day Five – It’s Launch Day!! Join us virtually. Giveaways every ten minutes.
  • Offer freebies for each comment or share
  • Confirm with the location and a photographer
  • Pick up the decorations
  • Practice your reading (do this!)
  • If virtual, look for an online game you can play with participants (try TriviaMaker)

Day Of Launch

  • Update all social and web content with “Available Now” instead of “Coming Soon”
  • Email your list that it’s launch day!
  • Get to the venue early
  • Set up decorations and freebies
  • If it’s completely virtual, make sure your background is not white. It needs to be a bold, vibrant background with good lighting.
  • Don’t wear busy attire. Solid works better on camera and doesn’t distract.
  • Have your freebies ready to go. Whether these are virtual PDFs you can send right away or physical products you need to mail, have them ready.
    • Get email addresses for those who attend.
  • Screen shot the virtual

Week after launch

  • Write thank you notes to all who attended in person, to the venue and any helpers
  • Send email thank you notes to anyone who attended online
  • Track your ads and tweak as needed
  • Schedule more podcast interviews
  • Update social with photos of launch

One month after book launch and beyond

  • Start sharing reviews
  • Pitch to book clubs
  • Pitch to writers conferences
  • Utilize holidays to keep marketing your book
  • Join group giveaways (look at BookFunnel)
  • Keep running ads
  • Keep writing next book!


Congratulations! on your book and Cheers! to a very successful book launch!

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