How to Host Your Own Virtual Book Launch

Book launches might be looking a little different these days, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be fun, exciting, and a great way to introduce your book to world and ultimately sell copies!

The landscape of virtual book launches has developed quickly, and there are now plenty of examples of successful events to prove that if the show must go on(line), it can still be an engaging and effective marketing tool. If you’re planning to launch your book virtually, here are a few things to consider that can help you make your big day everything you’ve dreamed of. 

Do your research and choose the right platform
The best place to start when it comes to building a vision for what you want your launch to look like is to find examples of other virtual book launches that you love. Do some research and spend a bit of time observing other events, this will give you the chance to get a sense of what definitely works and what you think falls flat.

You’ll also get some insight into the capabilities of the different hosting platforms, which will allow you to make a decision about which one is most appropriate for your launch. Keep in mind that it is best to use a platform you already have some familiarity with, this will help you avoid any technical issues or hiccups. 

Set a date and send out the invites
Once you’ve decided where you want to host your event (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, etc.), you need to set a date and start bringing it to life. Your date can coincide with the release or may also be picked strategically in order to align with a relevant occasion or event. If there isn’t an applicable hook that relates to a specific date, simply choose a day and time that you think will work well for the largest number of your potential audience.

Once you’ve got the date sorted, you can create an event on Facebook or through your newsletter service that includes details of the launch and a bit of enticing information about you and the book. Be aware that you want to give people about a month’s notice, so be sure to leave yourself enough time while resisting the urge to send out the invites too early. 

Promote, promote, promote
Now that you’ve got the invitation ready and the event page prepared, it is time to share the good news! After you’ve invited all the relevant people who know you, (friends, fans, your email subscribers) and the influencers in your area, you can broaden your promotional efforts to hopefully attract some new interest. You should share the event on all your social media channels, including any professional or interest groups you belong to.

It is also advisable to make use of your network and extend a friendly ask any bloggers, authors, or experts that have accepted your invitation to promote it on their channels. If you have the resources, consider investing a bit in paid advertising to publicize the event more broadly. If money is tight, you can also get more visibility by finding relevant blogs on which to do a guest post where you can include a link to the event. 

Companies offering book launch services
Below is a list of companies who offer virtual book launch services.

Launch My Book
They offer services in three categories: Branding & Messaging, Influencer Campaigns, and Niche Publicity. Branding & Messaging involves defining the target audience and crafting a compelling message with which to approach them, Influencer Campaigns is mostly about research and contacting the right people, and Niche Publicity is focused on getting targeted interviews. 

Book Launchers
They accept a limited number of books for marketing services and writers need to apply to determin whether or not their book is eligible. 

SpiffingCovers
They offer a book/sales promotion video creation service which includes a professionally produced video advert with music, a professional voice over and the book cover. The promotional advert can then be used on a Youtube channel or shared on Facebook, Twitter and your other social media. 

Social Media 55
They offer a book launch marketing strategy that includes a wide range of elements (depending on the package you select), such as optimization, digital services, social media service, and niche specific options.

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