How to Publish a Book: the ‘Big Splash’ Method
If you’ve watched or read any sort of advice on self-publishing a book, you’ve probably come across people saying the same thing:
Launching a book should be a slow process. Cover reveals, interviews, giveaways — all that stuff — should be done before the book is released during a lengthy pre-order period, usually about 3–4 months long.
And this process works for some authors. It’s most effective when you have an established audience who are already invested in the book — say you’ve already released book one in the series and it did well, getting you a few fans. A slow release for the second book makes sense because those who read the first book will be hyped, sharing your promo material and enthusiastically backing the pre-order, while newcomers, their curiosities piqued, will go and buy the first book in preparation. You’ll be getting pre-orders and a boost in sales for the original book — win!
But if you’re launching a new series or a standalone, I think the ‘big splash’ is the best method — and it’s the one I just used for my latest release, Eyes on the Blue Star. Let me tell you why.
You Only Get One Shot
These two universal truths drive the big splash theory. One: You only get one first impression. Every person only gets to see your book for the first time once — and that is the best time to get them to take action. Two: People are much more likely to do something if it results in an immediate reward.
Take this for an example: the cover reveal. You can only do your cover reveal once — because once it’s done the cover is known to the world. The cover reveal is a great opportunity to get eyeballs on your book because people like to share cover reveals and revel in the general hype. But you, as the author, need more than that. You need to harness that hype and funnel it into something that benefits you, and the thing that benefits you the most is a book sale.
Say you see a cover reveal and you really like the look of the book. You decide to check it out, so you go to the author’s social media profile… where you find no book sale links at all. You’re a bit sad, but you shrug and move on, and the book is forgotten. The author gets no sale.