5 top tips for a successful e-book launch by #1 bestselling Kindle author, Nicola May

Nicola May

SO…you’ve written a book! It’s perched precariously on a digital platform(s) ready to be released to the world. How exciting! BUT…now what? 

Without peeing on your fictional firework, at this precise moment in time, it is only exciting to you! Unless you already have a book/books out there in the market and have built a fan base already, then nobody knows that your masterpiece is ready for the taking.  It’s certainly not going to be spoon fed to your reading public by anyone else. It is now your job to start shouting about it and loud!

1.     Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

This is not so much a tip for a successful book launch, but for a successful book!

I sell my e-books solely through Amazon KDP. As a self-published author starting out, I think this is essential for success.  You have the options to do free promotions and other deals in order to get your book out there. You also can advertise via the Amazon platform. If you do well, then Amazon reward you with bonuses. You also have more chance of hitting chart positions rather than spreading yourself thinly across other platforms.  You also get paid for pages read in their unlimited programme, which accounts for additional revenue. You only need to sign up exclusively for Amazon for 3 months, so if it’s not working for you, can spread your net after that. There are lots of easy to understand tutorials to help you work through everything.

2.    Cover Reveal

It’s a great idea to get your cover out there before the main publishing day event and if on Amazon, make sure you have put your book up for pre-order first. You can then link to the book via the cover to start generating sales and start moving up those charts even before the book is out there to the world.

You have the choice of just shouting about it yourself or use somebody who arranges this sort of thing for a small fee. Somebody who does this for a living will have all the contacts in your genre so it will save you time and give you much better exposure. I would recommend the latter, as third-party PR really does help your marketing presence and exposure to people you would not have been able to reach yourself.

3.    Blog Tour

Bloggers are marketing gold for authors. You have a choice of finding a selection online and contacting them directly and ask if they will read, review or put a Q&A up. Or as above you use a third-party contact who will arrange all of this for you for a fee. I use Rachel’s Random Resources (@rararesources) and have always found the service exemplarily. I’d go so far as saying that the 50 strong blog tour that ran for The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay started its escalation to #1 bestseller status.

You need to get on the case with this at least three months before your publication date to ensure that the bloggers have enough time to read and review. You may also be asked some questions to answer or to write a blog post. My advice is to just do everything that is thrown your way.

4.    Marketing, marketing, marketing!

I’m lucky in the fact I have a marketing background so have been able to do a lot of my own promotion. I realise this isn’t the case for everybody so if you are not confident to run your own Twitter/Facebook/Instagram accounts and budget is limited, then look around for freelance marketeers who can put a plan together for you at the budget you can afford. As I said earlier a good marketing campaign is what will make or break your book sales.

What I’ve learnt along the way is that you can attend as many signings and events as you like but is it the online stuff that appeals to the masses and generates sales.

Easy first steps: 

-       Set up and be active on a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram account – look what other authors of your genre are saying. Which messages get most likes?

-       Look at Amazon advertising – again you can work to a budget or your choice. I have found more success just using .co.uk not .com.

-       Definitely set up an ‘author page’ on Facebook, that allows you to boost posts for as little a pound a day. This also links to your Instagram account. ALWAYS link to your book page so that you gain sales.

-       Allauthor.com – sign up to these guys. For just $59 a year, they produce great promotional graphics for you weekly! I use them all the time for my social media feeds.

-       BE BOLD – don’t worry about bombarding people with too many posts – if you use the Facebook boost button, you tailor that to a different audience to your general social media anyway. The more somebody sees your book flash up in their timeline, the more likely they are to buy it. Saying that don’t upset ‘the groups’ – I’m always getting banned 😉       

If you fancy you can download my short guide here for further hints and tips that will help you get started.

5.    Persistence over Resistance

To finish up, again not really a tip, but an ongoing writing mantra of mine:

Writers write. If you have a talent and your dream is to become a besteselling author, then never give up. Believe and you will get there. There is no rush. It took me twenty-three years and nine novels until I became Number 1 on the Amazon Kindle store.  Yes, it helps to have a page turner in your book arsenal, but I truly believe that persistence is the only difference between the authors that make it and the authors that don’t.

Nicola’s Cockleberry Bay series is out now and can be purchased here on Amazon.

You can find Nicola on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and her website is here.