Sample Launch Plan: Later-in-Series

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Sample Book Launch Plan (2)

We’re deep in our blog series about sample launch plans depending on what type of book you’re releasing.

Today, we’ll cover a sample launch plan for your later-in-series book!

You can see the launch plan for a DEBUT RELEASE here and a 1ST-IN-SERIES or STANDALONE TITLE here. 

A later-in-series book is arguably one of the easiest types to launch, because you have the momentum of earlier books in the series, and existing readers who are eager for more of the same characters and setting. This type of book is also the easiest to launch at regular price!

Technically the launch plan we’ll discuss could be either a fiction novel or non-fiction series. We’ll look at the big picture goals and the details!

Book-Launch

This launch plan is timely for me because I recently released Book 4 in my Wyoming Mountain Tales series, A Mountain Christmas Romance.

Without further ado, let’s jump in!

Disclaimer: Every author and book are unique, and we all have different goals for our book releases and career paths. With that said, these are generally the important focus area for this particular type of launch.

The big picture:

It likely won’t take much to encourage readers to follow you through the books in a series as they already love the characters. The hard part is finding them again to tell them about the new release! That’s where the value of an email list comes in. 
  • Email List. Utilize the email list you’ve been growing since your debut, by sending at least these three emails to your list. Make sure you’re working to add new readers to your list, too, by having email list sign-ups everywhere you can think of – especially in the back matter of your eBook and on your website.
  • Launch Team. Try to add more numbers to your team with each launch, knowing that not everyone will review every book. Try to have at least 20-30 people (more is better) lined up to post reviews the first couple of weeks. Assume about 1/3 of the people you line up will actually post reviews. Give them ARCs early, if possible, and consider providing quotes and memes for them to share on social media.
  • Paid Advertising:
    • Advertising the previous book in the series: During the preorder phase of your new release, consider running a sale or promotion on the series book just before the new story. You’ll see an uptick in preorder sales!
    • Advertising the new release: I would recommend waiting until there are at least 15 Amazon reviews on the book with a 4.6 star rating or higher, then submit to ENT and/or Robin Reads. (Make sure you coordinate with your publisher). Once you have at least 25 reviews on the book and meet the pricing requirements, begin submitting to BookBub. It may take several months of submissions to be accepted, but persevere.

Other options: If you’ve tackled the list above and are ready for more, these are your next steps to boost that new release even higher!

  • Newsletter Swaps. This is something I’m seeing more and more, and I’m actually coordinating one now for my upcoming release. (If you write Christian fiction, I’d love to swap with you! Get details and sign up here.) Basically, other authors agree to share your book announcements with their email list, and you agree to share their book with your email list. It’s important to make sure you’re swapping with authors and books your readers will love!

 

The details:checklist-graphic

So what does this actually look like when you’re writing your task list? Here’s one example, but make sure you tailor it to fit you and your book!

            Email List:
  • When your book is available for preorder or sale, change the “New book” email in autoresponder welcome sequence to reflect this latest release.
  • Write and schedule the 3 emails to your list: (1) an email to send when the preorder is available, (2) an email that sends on release day, (3) an email that sends 2 – 4 weeks after release thanking them for the purchase and asking for reviews.
    Launch Team:
  • Determine how you’ll be sending ARC copies to your launch team (Will your publisher send paperbacks? Does your publisher use Netgalley? If you’re an indie, do you plan to use BookFunnel, Booksprout, Pronoun, or another service to distribute your ARC?)
  • At least a month before release, send the ARC to launch team members or get confirmation that your publisher has done so.
  • Create some memes for launch team members to share. These could be interesting quotes or your book cover with a hook and purchase info.
  • Create several Twitter and Facebook posts that launch team members can copy and post to their respective accounts. (Make sure you include a buy link for your book!) You might consider using a tool like sharelinkgenerator.com. On this website, you can create prewritten posts where people only need to click to post your message on any of the social media platforms you include. You can even add memes or other images for easy posting. People are more likely to share your message when you make it possible with only a click or two.
  • About two weeks before release, send social media memes and prewritten posts to your launch team.

On release day, send all the retailer links to your launch team where they should post reviews.

  Paid Advertising
  • During the preorder period, submit promos for the book immediately before the new release in the series order (e.g. if book #4 is the new release, submit book #3 for advertising). If you’re going for major pre-order sales, the king of promos would be to run the previous book in a BookBub Free Featured Deal. If you don’t want to (or can’t) go that big, you can always use the mid-size ad opportunities (like eReader News Today and Robin Reads).
  • If you plan to do any paid advertising of the new book during release week, schedule that in advance (check each website to see how far in advance is acceptable or required).
Newsletter Swaps:
  • Create a form where authors submit their info when they agree to swap book announcements. Google forms works well for this, or it could be a form on your website.
  • Create a file in Dropbox.com or another cloud folder where you can place all the things the authors will need to share your book with their readers. At minimum, they need you book cover file, links to retailer pages, and a blurb. It’s also nice to include a date range when you want the announcement to be sent, and several different graphic types.
  • Share the link to the sign-up form in all the appropriate author loops where you’ll find other authors with similar target readers.
  • Send the link for the Dropbox folder to the authors who signed up for your swap.
  • Collect book info from each of those authors and schedule their book announcement email to your email list.

So there you have it…a basic list of to-dos when preparing to launch a later-in-series book. This is by no means comprehensive, but is a good starting point! From here, make a schedule of what needs to be done and when, then try to get at least one item checked off each day. You’re off to a great start!

Now it’s your turn! What best practices have you found for launching a new book in an existing series? I’m sure you have stories of your own or another author’s launch!

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