Day 20. The 30-Day Book Launch Challenge

Happy 2018! I hope that you all had a super holiday break.

Now back to work. Finalise the Soft Launch and Hard Launch Timetable for this book

DAY 20. Week Six. What has to be done by the end of this week?

  • Work on manuscript.
  • Lock down launch schedule.

Publishing. Finalise the Soft Launch and Hard Launch Timetable for this book.

Launch Schedule

Week Six. 01 January. Work on manuscript. Lock down launch schedule. Finalise book cover design for eBook. Create print book cover pdf.

Week Seven. 08 January. Story self-editing. Copyediting and proofreading. Format manuscript for Kindle eBook and Print.

Week Eight. 15th January. Book loaded onto KDP for PreOrder as eBook and Paperback book.  Optimise the book data and descriptions. Manuscript sent to Beta-Readers and editor.

Realistically should allow 7 working days for the new book details to load onto KDP as an eBook and be linked to the paperback version. Gives me time to check the book description and claim the book on Amazon Author Central as new author Sophie Brent.

Week Nine. 23rd January. Final [hopefully minor] updates to text made following feedback from Beta-Readers and editor and new final manuscript loaded onto KDP. Final print book created and loaded. Proof copy of print book ordered. Review ARC copies sent out to interested email list subscribers.

Week Ten. 30th January 2018. The target Soft Launch date.

The Pre-Launch Promotion Campaign switches to a Soft Launch Campaign. Then a Hard Launch Campaign.


Flickr/ SeanMacEntee

 What do I mean by the terms Soft Launch and Hard Launch?

For me, a Soft Launch is when the eBook goes live on Amazon and any other publishing platforms, but I only share the news about the launch with a selected group of readers.

The main objectives of a Soft Launch are:

  • To allow ARC readers to leave reviews of the book online or purchase a copy at 99cents during the soft launch period.
  • To optimise the book details and make sure that the print book and eBook are both aligned on the same page.
  • To add additional Editorial Reviews to the book page.
  • To assess how much organic interest there is in the book from readers searching in the online stores. This provides a baseline level of sales/visibility.

Some authors offer their book for free during a Soft Launch for 2 or 3 days so that readers can download a free review copy – but they only tell their review team about the pricing.  Amazon will then record the review as a ‘verified’ review, since the reader downloaded a copy from Amazon. Then they switch the book back to normal pricing.

If you launch your book on Kindle and register for the Kindle Select option, you are allowed to set a price of FREE for your book for a 5 day period during a 90 day window.

Most readers have a Kindle or Kindle app and can read Kindle books. So it is a simple option to get a free copy of your book into the hands of reviewers.

But – why not make it easy for your reviewers? Instead of making them go to Amazon and download the Kindle eBook, deliver it to them in any format they want.

I prefer to use BookFunnel or Instafreebie to deliver free review copies to my readers in different formats during the pre-order phase so that they have time to read the book before Soft Launch.

The Hard Launch is the full-on book launch marketing campaign where I will share the launch with the world and dive into paid advertising.

When do I go from Soft to Hard Launch? What are the triggers?

  1. Reviews. I would like to have at least 20 good Editorial and reader reviews for the book before making the commitment to move to the full launch campaign.

Readers need to be reassured that they are making a safe investment in your work, even though it is 99cents. Reader reviews provide that social proof that their time and energy will not be wasted.

  1. Time. I would like 20 reviews in the first 7 to 10 days.

The Amazon Hot New Releases List works over the first 30 days or so since the book launch date, so I don’t want to lose that momentum.  It would be great to see regular, consistent sales building up over that first month after release. So the goal is set. 20 good reviews during launch week. BEFORE I invest in paid advertising and full on promotion.

Now back to the writing! Have a good one.