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Keepin’ It Alive: The Top 4 Secrets to Keep Book Sales High Post-Launch

One of the biggest misbeliefs I see in the publishing world is that you can push a book into the marketplace with an awesome launch plan… and then just call it done.

The reality? Marketing is never done.

It’s a massive mistake to push, push, push until release day, and then fold up your book marketing plan and move to on your next thing.

A book with strong sales has a strong marketer behind it every step of the way. In pre-launch. In launch. And in post-launch.

We often say that a good marketing campaign doesn’t just cause a massive spike in sales and then end. A good marketing campaign creates a sales heartbeat. It builds new marketing initiatives into the calendar for months after launch to continue advancing sales and raising product awareness.

And in many instances, this is where an author has to pick up the torch and carry it forward. A publisher will assist in marketing a book through its release date, but very few in-house marketing teams have the bandwidth to market it well through the post-launch months. They have many books coming down the pipeline right after yours, so it’s tough for yours to stay a top priority. It’s important that authors are aware of this and are ready to pick up the slack.

So, authors, listen up! Here are four secrets for keeping book sales high post-launch.

Continue to ask for influencer support.

Even after your book has released, go back to the people who committed to help you, but didn’t do so for one reason or another. Busy people often lack bandwidth. They probably wanted to help but missed the release day window (I see this happen all the time), so ask again! Be gracious and thoughtful in another request, telling them that the opportunity is not over.

Promote around the holidays and other hot calendar dates.

Proactively build out a calendar for the next twelve months that highlights any key dates to which you could link your book. I was just chatting with an author team yesterday about how to tie a new-ish book (released about three months ago) into graduation season. It’s a natural time to purchase gifts, and this book is a natural choice–but we have to be persuasive and clear in that message. Be highly strategic in identifying these key seasons/dates ahead of time and creating a mini-campaign around them. Design images, work with the publisher on a limited-time discount, draft a few related blog posts, etc.

Keep producing content around your book’s topic.

I know, I know, I always say it: content marketing is the name of the game. Be intentional to keep producing content on your blog, podcast, etc. that ties into the bigger theme of your book. The book doesn’t need to be your single focus, but let it be a key piece of your content strategy for months after release. It’s important for your blog or podcast to be value-heavy for your particular audience. Give them awesome information, and then link to the book. Subtly paint the book as the natural answer to the concern at hand, or a next step to continue the conversation.

Focus on one marketing activity per month.

It can be overwhelming to see so many marketing options out there and not know how to tackle all of them. The good news is, you don’t need to. I always advise authors to choose one initiative each month after launch. Put your focus toward one promotional tactic for 30 days, then mix it up. Here are some suggestions for what those tactics could be:

    • Do a giveaway campaign that strategically offers limited-time incentives for consumers to buy. Maybe folks buy a book and get entered to win a ticket to an upcoming conference. Or perhaps they get a special “July only” freebie with purchase. Whatever the offer is, play it up across your platforms. Enthusiasm and “limited time” go a long way.
    • Go after specific media opportunities that might not have come to fruition during launch. Most likely, if you worked with a publicist, there are some outlets you targeted that didn’t come to fruition. Spend a month pursuing them again. This will be especially productive if it’s a month with a theme/news item that ties into your book.
    • Hold a free webinar around content related to the book, and ensure that you make a sales pitch for the book at the end. Promote the free learning opportunity to your audience, and then offer them a special purchase deal at the end of the event. We just did this with a client, and a book that came out over six months ago sold an additional 2,000+ copies.

For the average author, the life of your book will be as long as the life of your marketing efforts. But be encouraged: smart, creative marketing can be sustainable and builds your long-term brand just as much as your book sales.

Smart, creative marketing can be sustainable and builds long-term brand just as much as book sales. Click To Tweet

Sometimes a book will build such word-of-mouth buzz that it experiences high sales organically and continuously for years. This is a very rare occurrence–and a dream for a publisher! But it’s not the norm. The majority of books you see succeeding in the marketplace have ongoing marketing campaigns behind them. So, take the opportunity to grab the torch and keep your book selling through strategic and creative tactics!

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  • Love it. So true.

  • Love it. So true.

  • I am in the planning stages of marketing a new book and this is so helpful! Thanks Chad! Taking notes…always!

  • I am in the planning stages of marketing a new book and this is so helpful! Thanks Chad! Taking notes…always!

  • Laurie Kehoe

    Thank you! Great advice. One thing I will say about my publisher, although they are not traditional, is they have a heavy marketing plan that will go beyond the release date. You have given great ideas though because I know a lot will be on our shoulders.