Friday, June 8, 2012


We spend months writing our novel, editing our novel, talking to everyone we know about our novel, even go as far as a tweet or two or a couple Facebook status' about how many words you completed that day on your novel.

And the time comes. . .

Either you have a publisher that publishes your novel OR you are the publisher. You put a tweet out and make your status on Facebook "happy book birthday" or "it's launch day of my novel." Then. . .silence. You are on to the next one.

What happened? For MONTHS you talked about this book, you boosted about the word count you achieved or we cried with you when your muse wouldn't cooperate. Those were the fun times of saying you had a novel, but when it came time for it to be published and purchased, how did you exactly get it out into the public??

It doesn't matter what journey of publication you find yourself on, you still have to market your novel. Most publishing companies don't even have a marketing department anymore that will set up  book signings, send you your author swag, or pat you on the back anymore. All self published authors have to do their own marketing during a book launch.

So put on your marketing hat and use these sure-fire tips to help launch the best on-line book release party!!

1) When you start writing your novel, start talking about it all over. I mean ALL OVER. Post pictures on Pinterest of your characters, or things that remind you of your story. Talk about your progress on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, the bus stop, anywhere someone will listen.

2) Set your release date in stone! If you are with a traditional publisher, they set your date for you. But self published authors have the option to decide when to release their novels. I suggest you release your book baby on Tuesday. Tuesday is when  all traditional novels are released and you want the same respect for your novel as a traditionally published novel.

With that said, you want your self published novel available in all ebook stores that you can. This means that you have to upload your novel days before your release date to make sure your novel is available the day you say it's going to be available.

I always upload to Createspace a week earlier because you have to get a proof copy of the print or check it out on-line. I also upload to PubIt four days before my release date because it takes them a few days to get it published. I publish on Smashwords the day before the release day and publish on KDP (Amazon) three days before.

I want to make sure my book is available in all forms on the day I say it's going to be.

3) Two months before your release day, set up a blog tour. If your book has a theme, google blogs with that theme. You will be surprised how many blogs are out there. They might not be book blogs, but who cares! You want to reach readers and if you target the market (what better way then hitting the theme of your novel) those blog followers will want to purchase your book! They are invested in the theme of your book and will want to read your book.

My novel, Carpe Bead 'em, has a beading theme. I looked up blogs that had anything to do with beading. It was GREAT! I had a blog tour just for beading enthusiasts. Carpe Bead 'em hit Amazon's Movers and Shakers list in the first couple of weeks of release and made it to number one! I know it was due to blogging on those targeted blogs because they emailed me. They celebrated with me.

You also want to hit reader centric blogs. Those can also be googled. I always ask Melissa at Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries, and More or Dru's Book Musings because both of these sites target mystery readers. I also hit a few reader centric blogs that aren't mystery, but some of the followers could be mystery readers or willing to read a mystery. And I hit a few writer blogs. I make sure I have at least ten guest blogs during the first two weeks of my release day. If you need more help finding someone to host you, ask your groups on Facebook. There are so many authors/readers willing to host you, but you have to ask!

I suggest putting together a press kit that has your author photo, short bio, book list, and all your links in a PDF, as well as a nicely written note about how much you would love to do a guest interview, guest post, or what ever. Offer a ARC (advanced reading copy) of your book, even if it's in the last stages of editing. Be sure to let them know that it's in the final stages of editing, but they will get the point of the novel.

Be sure to keep a list of blogs you queried and mark on your calendar the date of your guest post. GET YOUR GUEST BLOG TO THEM A WEEK EARLY!!

4) Make a STREET TEAM!! I have been promoting this street team idea for a couple months ago and I'm telling you that it's so much fun!! I invited a few readers and it's expanded to over 250 members. It's a place where my readers love to gather and we talk about everything from books to the weather.

Just like you, I post when I have good writing days or bad writing days. My readers are there for me. They see what it takes for an author to get a novel completed and all the hard work that we do to get a book into their hands. On the flip side, I'm still in awe how they spend a second of their day invested in one of my books. My STREET TEAM is where I give back to them!

Now that Amazon and Barnes and Noble have made it so easy to gift a book, I hold a give away of other author's books, my swag, gift cards, or even a kind word. Recently I hosted a contest where I asked my Street Team to help me name a character. I gave the characteristics and told them I would mention them in my next novel. Simple. Free. Easy! I had over 47 comments! And got some great names!!!

On release day, I will politely ask my STREET TEAM members to post a link to my book and where their friends can buy it. That is all I ask of them.

5) Have a virtual release day party!!! It doesn't matter if you are an introvert or extrovert PR PERSONALITY~it's an on-line party and you get to hide behind your computer!

I made a Facebook event page on my STREET TEAM page for an all day event of fun! I went to all the Facebook writer groups that I belong to and asked them if any of them want to donate one of your ebooks to my release day. The response was unbelievable!!! I had over fifty authors donate an ebook to my release day!

(This is one of my STREET TEAM TOTES. EASY and FUN! I got the bags at the Family Dollar for $1!!! I made my STREET TEAM LOGO and printed it on iron on paper! Easy! And fun!! These are going to be given away on release day!!)

Not only is it a win for my readers, it's a win for authors for new readers to discover them! I'm able to give a book away every twenty minutes on release day! PLUS I'm going to be giving away a few copies of my own novel as well.

And I've talked it up all over Facebook and Twitter! I belong to a tweet team and the only tweet I have been using is JUNE 12 the release of A CHARMING CRIME (add facebook link) prizes every twenty minutes!! And I have a couple others that are being tweeted, but you get the idea.

These are just a few things that I do and that have been successful for me. What about you? Do you have any great tips to a successful release day?

BTW. . . my new release is next Tuesday, June 12 for A CHARMING CRIME!! Come on over and join my STREET TEAM if you'd like to participate in winning some GREAT novels!!


  1. Great info Tonya! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Excellent piece. This article came at the right time, sigh. Marketing is the hardest hat to wear. You made important suggestions and I will definately impliment them into my marketing strategy. You made my day.

    1. Great Mila! Let me know how it works out for you.

  3. As always, great info, Tonya. Also very timely for me. Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

    1. Your so welcome! Let me know if you use any of these strategies.

  4. Thanks Tonya. So helpful. :)

  5. I'm about to publish (finishing the final draft of the cover) "A Mage's Power" and I'm glad I read this before I did. I hadn't heard of 'street team' or thought of the lag time between upload and available. Thanks to you, my launch day is going to be better.

    1. Good luck, Brian! Let me know when you release your book and I can send out a few tweets!

  6. Great idea about posting to non-reading blogs. Love the idea of a launch party and giving back to readers.

    Good luck on the new release!

  7. Great info. I really stink at marketing and this is so super helpful!

  8. Great article thanks for posting and sharing your tips. I'm not at the publishing stage yet but when I get there I will be pulling this article up for guidance. I love how authors share their knowledge. Thank you !

  9. Tonya! This is really great advice! Thank you for sharing.

    How is your Street Team different from an author page?

    Have a great day!

  10. Definitely looking to remember all this when I release my book!

  11. I'm definitely going to keep all this in mind when I'm releasing my first book. I do have a question for you though. You mentioned that you release your books through all different mechanisms (KDP, Smashwords, CreateSpace, etc.) Are there rules within the contracts you have with each of them that they need some sort of exclusivity? For instance, does Amazon hold exclusive rights to your book for a specific amount of time before you can publish on Smashwords?

  12. Wonderful line-up of tips. Thanks! Saving this to Evernote.

  13. Thank you so much for this comprehensive list of tips. They are all very helpful to someone who is just about to publish a first novel and included things like the niche blog tour that I had never even considered.

  14. Excellent tips! Gift bags are a cool idea. These will really leave an impression with your guests, and they'll have something to remember the party and your book by. Thanks! Feel free to visit my web page Book A Party

  15. Fantastic article. I have just set the date of my next release in stone (1st self pub) and I have set up a blog tour which I will start to invite people on next month and I have just shared the link to my cover reveal. I am also currently working on prizes.

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