Choosing the Date
My personal faith memoir, She Does Not Fear the Snow, launched September 6, 2013, the 5th anniversary of my wedding to husband, Butch.
Since the book deals with how I came to meet and marry him, it was an appropriate date for the launch.
I would recommend linking a book launch to a significant date. It gives you one more thing to talk about. I celebrated with a photo montage of our five years and a huge cake.
My marketing for my launch was to my local audience, here in Fredericton, NB, Canada, and to my potential Kindle audience, worldwide but primarily in the USA.
The first was a traditional campaign. It involved a bookstore signing and leading an evening service at my church, to which approximately 100 people came.
I announced these events through local press and radio and postcards, distributed to local churches. My church also promoted it.
I communicated repeatedly to Facebook and Linked In connections in the local area, posting short extracts from the book and photos of people my circles would recognise, holding a copy of the book.
I asked everyone to share the news and many did.
Wherever I was dealing with people who wouldn’t know what my book was about, I added a byline in my communications: A trail of miracles led her from a Jerusalem church to love in Atlantic Canada.
I also created a countdown Facebook tile that I posted on my own pages, groups I belonged to and my Linked In profile, as well as on Pinterest.
This tile counted down the days to launch and directed everyone to the book page, where a free sample chapter was available for download, along with my promo video.
I took some trouble over the video. Sitting, surrounded by snow, I summarize my story – (It was minus 20 degrees on the day of the shoot!) – with sweet piano music in the background.
I created additional tiles in respect of the book signing and the evening service I was leading and posted these in all media, splashed ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Today’, across them, in the run-up to these events.
About three weeks before the launch, I had a guest post on well-known Christian author, Mary de Muth’s blog (http://www.marydemuth.com/god-sent-me-a-crab-awesome-guest-post/). I sent everyone I knew to read it.
This post got good traction from her own audience and ended up with over 40 comments. Some of her readers spontaneously tweeted about it.
The Kindle Promo
My Kindle promo was over 3 free download days, Sept 6-8. I also created a tile about this and posted it widely, adding Today / Ends Tomorrow and Ends Midnight Pacific splashes, as the campaign unfolded.
I requested a listing for the Kindle promotion on every Christian and non-Christian book promotion site that I could find. In some cases, I made small ‘donations’ . Mostly, they were free.
I tweeted about each of these events as they were coming up and requested retweets, which many people did.
Personal Email List
I emailed my own personal email list, dividing it into local to Fredericton and non-local. The local people were told about the signing and evening service events, as well as the free Kindle promo.
The non-local people were only told about the Kindle.
I sought reviews from everyone who had already read the book, having made it available as a pdf on a closed Facebook site several months prior to the launch, to whom I invited readers. I also sought reviews from volunteer readers on writing sites and professional readers.
I have a blog, http://testimonytrain.com, a hub for honing and sharing our Christian testimonies. It’s brand new and has few followers at present. Nevertheless, the pages from my book I posted there, as well as testimonies of others, were mentioned on my Facebook page and in Linked In messages. Next time around, I know this blog will reach many people in its own right.
What has been the result of all this?
I had about 650 free downloads of the Kindle version and sold nearly 50 books during the weekend events.
This is very encouraging. Reviews will start to grow. The book will become established.
At this stage, it’s not about the sales but about the buzz.
I’m pleased and confident.
What would I do differently next time?
I’d get way more guest posts set up. I should have been on this three months ahead of time.
I’d have all my tiles prepared for my countdowns etc. three months ahead of launch date also.
I totally underestimated the amount of time required in engaging with others. Being prepared would have made this less hectic.
And I’d find some methods for working out what worked and what didn’t. This campaign was a battery of shots that has left me not knowing what worked best.
Bobbie Ann Cole is author of her faith memoir, She Does Not Fear the Snow. A trail of miracles led her from a Jerusalem church, where she wasn’t supposed to be, to meet and marry her Boaz in Atlantic Canada. Free sample chapter and promo video: www.shedoesnotfearthesnow.com. Bobbie, AKA The Testimony Lady, will help you write your testimony, too. Download her free workbook, Start Writing Your Christian Testimony: http://testimonytrain.com.
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Genre - Faith Memoir
Rating – PG
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