Follow our guest blogger and author M.K. Williams as she writes the Marketing Your Audiobooks Series of blog posts
M.K. Williams is an author and independent publisher. She has written and published numerous books under her own name and helped several authors realize their dreams of publishing their books as well. After having learned the ins-and-outs of self-publishing and independent publishing she is now on a mission to help aspiring authors get the answers they need, avoid money-traps, and navigate the process of self-publishing their first book through her brand Author Your Ambition.
Launch day! It’s finally here. Much like your birthday or another holiday, you’ve been anticipating this day. What surprises would be waiting for you? Will all those promised sales be realized? Will the reviews start rolling in? Oh goodness, what if the book goes viral?
Whoa, slow down! Before we get to any of that you need to make sure you’ve done all of your launch day tasks. It is great to schedule your social media posts ahead of time. One thing I recommend not automating is checking in with your launch team. As I mentioned in the last post, the people who signed up to be your advanced readers and listeners are committing to your success. You can give them a couple of minutes of your time to express your gratitude. Here is a quick punch list of who to check in with and what to remind them of—after your heartfelt thank you, of course:
For anyone who already read or listened and posted a review to Goodreads, today is the day to remind them that they can copy and paste that same exact review to your retailers.
For anyone who responded that they were actively reading or listening and should finish by launch day, today is the day to ask them if they completed the book and remind them to leave a review.
For those on your launch team who were silent and never responded, today is the last day to reach out. Give them your polite reminder and ask for an honest review. Some people don’t reply because they feel guilty they didn’t get to the book yet, or perhaps they read it and didn’t like it. Remind this group that reviews are appreciated whenever they finish the book (next week, next month, later this year) and that even 3- and 4-star reviews can help. Here is what I have used in these messages in the past:
Even a solid 3-star "solid story, but not my preferred genre" type of review can be really helpful in guiding the right reader to the book (although 5-star reviews are what will make my day :) )
Give them permission, to be honest. After that, if you don’t hear anything back, make a note to not include them only our launch teams in the future and move on.
*For the advanced listeners, be sure to highlight your preferred audio retailers that you would like to have reviews on. While Amazon and Audible are on the top of everyone’s lists, having reviews on Audiobooks.com, Nook Audio, and Chirp can help as well.
After these personal messages are sent, try not to check your rankings all day. Some retailers update every hour, others are a bit slower. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to keep up.
This IS a great day to re-share any audio clips from the book that will highlight characters or any of the story points. Check in with your narrator and let them know it is launch day (tag them in any audio clips so they know the reshare.) Let your network of author colleagues know so they can help you celebrate this day. We authors always have more to do, stopping to celebrate is often overlooked.
One final thing that I do on my launch day is a thank you post on social media. I tag the members of my launch team (who are active on social media) and give them a thank you for helping out. Some are authors and appreciate the potential crossover from my audience, most are just everyday readers who like the feeling of being included.
You’ve done everything you can to give your audiobook the best chance in the market on launch day. Give yourself a break for a day or two and then start promoting again. You can share those wonderful reviews you’ve already received and encourage new listeners to purchase and review as well. This is a never-ending cycle, but with all the hard work you’ve put into creating and promoting your audiobook, hopefully, one that you find rewarding and enjoyable.
Today’s assignment: Plan your launch day celebration. It can be happy hour with your author friends, your favorite brownies for dessert, or a morning latte from your favorite coffee shop. Make it something special to commemorate this special day.