With more books being published electronically, a host of new words has entered our everyday vocabulary, and with them, some interesting challenges! How does an author generate buzz about a newly published e-book and gain sales, aside from notifying all her friends and relatives?
Traditional book launches were a great occasion to introduce a book, enjoy a glass of vino, and schmooze with like-minded people.
Some enterprising authors and publishers have come up with the cyber-launch as a way of building interest and generating sales.
Cheryl Kaye Tardif*, publisher and acquisitions editor of Imajin Books, explains the concept of the cyber-launch party:
A cyber launch party is an online party or book launch. It can be held on a website, blog, Facebook or Twitter. It’s a way for authors to celebrate their new release by inviting friends, fans and readers to an online event, rather than sitting at a table in a bookstore and waiting for customers to drop by, though many authors do both.
Tardif explains the underlying concept:
It’s far easier to sell more books at an online event than a physical signing, because you can reach more people in a shorter time. The author’s goals should be the 3 E’s: Educate, Entertain and (provide) Escapism, just like their book’s goals. With an online cyber party, authors want to make it exciting and fun for their guests, while celebrating their own success with the new book. The focus should be more on fun than sales, although sales will happen if you throw a good party.
An online cyber party works like a regular party in many ways. The author sends out invites to everyone she’s connected with via Facebook, Twitter etc. She can ask those friends to invite their friends. The more viral this goes, the more successful the launch will be. The author will want to give incentives to her guests — prizes, rewards. Rafflecopter is an excellent tool to use in conjunction with a cyber-party. Cover reveals, back text reveals, review blurb reveals—all of these can be used to create excitement and a cyber-party needs excitement.
Madame Madeleine Harris-Callway, who directed and ran the cyber-launch party for Thirteen, agrees. She thinks it’s a great way to create a buzz and to build a profile for the new book. She enjoyed the many fun and interesting conversations she had with people on-line and felt that it helped to generate sales.
Both Harris-Callway and Tardif caution that anyone contemplating a cyber-launch party needs to plan meticulously and well-ahead to optimize the effectiveness of the event. Harris-Callway also points out that it is exhausting sitting at a computer for so many hours. It’s probably a good idea to have someone spell you off from time to time. It is however, a one-time event for the book. The author must engage in sustained marketing in order to maintain the momentum.
*Cheryl Tardif, publisher at Imajin Books, is best known as Cheryl Kaye Tardif, an international bestselling author of 12 ebooks and 9 paperbacks, including her #1 bestseller, CHILDREN OF THE FOG. She currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta.