When I planned my book launch, I had dreams of a launch party, a book tour, author signings, and conventions. But all that quickly changed when COVID struck.
The original plan was to have the launch party at the BookBar (a local indie bookstore in Denver), attend BookCon in New York, and try to arrange author signings at various locations throughout the US. However, those dreams were unable to come to fruition. I only had about three months to start planning and thinking anew since all these ideas were now impossible to do. I had to be creative and find new ways to promote my book virtually.
Videos, virtual live events, and social media were the first ideas that came to mind. The best discovery through all this though was the concept of blog tours and bookstagram tours. These have been my saving grace.
Essentially, these tours mimic a book tour in that there are a certain number of tour hosts that feature and promote your book. Many of these tours offer participation to international hosts and readers, and this is something that I’ve incorporated into every tour so far because my book has such an international component to it. Typically, these tours end with a giveaway and reach readers worldwide, which has been a great benefit because I don't think this reach would have been possible otherwise.
Besides this, I’ve also been hosting live events on social media every month since The Genesis of Seven was released. These author talks range in topic, but they all relate to the book and get a decent audience. I’ve also used social media for advertising in addition to creating interesting content to keep readers engaged. I plan to roll out more social media content this month, and I'll admit it’s hard to maintain, but I’m finding that it’s definitely essential to stay active online.
One element of my original marketing plan that I was able to keep was the book trailer. In fact, this video has proven to be the most effective because it presents the book in a way that intrigues both dedicated readers and other people who happen to stumble upon it.
In general, self-publishing a book is no easy feat, and marketing is usually the hardest part of the process, but adding a pandemic into the mix has certainly been challenging. Everything is new and the best way to navigate through it has been to experiment to see what works and what doesn't.
If anything, this whole pandemic experience has certainly made me grow as a person because I've been pushing myself out of my comfort zone to engage viewers. In a way, launching my first book virtually has been beneficial because it has given me time to gain the confidence to talk about my book and has allowed me to build a fan base. I'm not so sure how big the turnout would have been for in-person events if no one knew about my book beforehand, but now that's certainly changed.
Overall, I must say that I've enjoyed my book launch so much! Seeing people's reactions to the book, getting reviews, and just putting a smile on readers' faces are some of the best moments throughout this whole journey. And in times like these spreading some happiness, joy, and escapism is truly what the world needs right now, and I'm glad The Genesis of Seven has been able to do that for some.
To conclude, I want to reassure everyone and let them know that once in-person events are allowed again, I will be going back to my original plans and be out on the road traveling to meet readers and amplifying this book even more to the world.
Take care and stay safe!