Don’t stop with the book launch

An author recently posted in an online group about her frustration with the timing related to her book launch activities.

She had pitched an essay about her book’s topic to a major (MAJOR!) daily newspaper hoping that the essay would be published when her book was released. The publication held on to the essay, finally publishing it — gulp — 15 months after the book’s publication date.

Woe is she, the author lamented. “It won’t help the book,” she wrote.

I beg to differ.

In my response, I told her, “It will help it now just as much as it would have if the article appeared the week your book was published. As long as the book is available for purchase, you should be promoting it and publicity like this should be a big piece of that effort.

Book marketing doesn’t end with the book launch

The author’s reaction to this significant book publicity success — responding sadly with “If only!” instead of clapping her hands together with glee — points out a common misconception among authors and many professional book marketers.

Most think that book marketing ends with the launch.

They’re wrong.

And if you’re smart enough to realize that and keep promoting your book as long as it’s available for purchase, you’ll be rewarded with ongoing sales.

Readers don’t look at publication dates

Here’s why: Readers don’t care when your book was published. All they care about is that the book is good.

With fiction, they want a good story. That story is just as entertaining today as it will be five years from now. There’s no expiration date on quality fiction — just ask Beverly Cleary who, at 101, is seeing six of her Henry Huggins books being reissued with special new features next month. The first in the series, Henry Huggins, was published in 1950.

With nonfiction, readers want information. If the content is useful and relevant, it doesn’t have to be new. Case in point: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is on Amazon Charts as one of the 20 most sold and read books last week.

And while a nonfiction book’s content has the potential to become outdated more quickly, you can easily update it and release a new edition.

Stayin’ alive

Stumped about what you can possibly do after the book launch to keep your book visible? You can repeat nearly all of the tactics you used before and during the launch. Just a few of the many options you can continue with include:

What have you been doing already? Do it again!

And keep doing it. Don’t stop promoting your book because the launch is over.

Your book deserves your attention as long as people can buy it. Support it so people discover, buy, read, and recommend it.

What have you done since your book launch to promote you latest book? Please tell us in a comment. 

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  1. Thanks for putting this message out, Sandy! I have had two books that brought in money year after year after year – for more than 20 years. I simply mentioned them in my bio whenever I had the opportunity while pursuing other projects, published articles of interest to their ideal readers and made the books as timeless in content as could be in the first place.

    Marcia Yudkin

  2. Great advice Sandra. My book launch was two weeks ago and I’m still in PR mode – two book reviews for Goodreads, etc. lined up, have an author blog and website updated regularly. Other thing I’m doing you didn’t mention is promoting my book through the branches of the city’s public library system (Toronto has 100 library branches) either on my own through their author proposal submission or directly to the library branch if I have a connection to the librarian there. Also similar through and with Crime Writers’ of Canada which I belong to.

    Can’t stress enough how librarians like to help authors and not just getting their books into the library. Do a reading/presentation and you can sell books there too.
    author of the Beyond mystery series

    1. Ohmygosh, Sharon, there’s SO MUCH authors can be doing that I didn’t mention! (I didn’t want to turn a blog post into a book marketing course.) Yes, working with librarians is a smart choice. I’m glad you’re putting effort into that.

      I’ll note, though, that two weeks after pub date puts you still in launch mode. This article is more about months, even years, after your publication date. I hope you’ll keep promoting your book long into the future and that this article inspires you to do so.

      Thanks for the great tip!



    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Ian, and for taking the time to comment. I appreciate both.


  3. My first book on similar subject as my new one–WWII– is experiencing a revival as I mention it often w/ the new one & am selling it as a package deal w/ discount.

  4. This is heartening to read. I’d like to think that the publication date doesn’t matter as much as the content. I released my first book at the end of August, and have yet to really promote it outside of my social media circles. Since it’s a memoir, I felt I needed to let the dust it kicked up settle a bit (two empty threats of lawsuits from family members didn’t help).

  5. Good to know – the PR I sent to a local newspaper before my book launch for Beyond Faith last month may not be dead in the water. Thanks Sandra for all your great ideas – especially like your pointer in the link about non-social medial PR of creating a holiday related to your book – might be good in the dead of winter when everyone is fed up with winter.
    And I did an art and lit show yesterday and sold more books than anticipated (copies of all three – so for those with more than one book published, listen to Sandra – keep on promoting. Proof here in the er, selling. Even paying a small commission to the club doesn’t bother me now.

  6. Great post Sandra

    I use a car analogy for the same subject, If you fill a car with gas and run it until empty,without adding more gas, it’s going to stop.
    Selling books is all about marketing continuously.

    Warm regards


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