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Your initial book launch is when you first start to promote your book. It usually includes several layers of promotions to maximize the amount of sales you can get right away.
The initial book launch is often the most important part of your marketing plan, especially if your cookbook is being sold on Amazon. A strong initial launch gets you out of the gate with a higher Amazon Sales Rank, placing you further up the search results and potentially getting you into the Amazon newsletter as well as showing up on the "People Who Bought This Also Bought" section of many complimentary products. All of this snowballs into higher long term sales on Amazon, plus more promotion within Amazon itself.
Before you launch your cookbook, there are several tasks you need to accomplish. Many of these are best done as soon as you get started on your book. Building up your newsletter is a key to a successful launch. Priming your readers with content similar to that from your upcoming book also builds interest.
One of the keys to having a good launch and extended success on Amazon is through garnering good reviews. There are many ways to do this out of the gate, as early Amazon reviews will greatly help your launch maintain its momentum. Make sure you line up people to provide Amazon reviews for your book before your launch date.
Finding blogs to write about your book is also a task that needs to be done ahead of time. These articles help build up interest and expose you to new audiences.
If possible, your book launch should be timed to occur when your cookbook goes on sale on Amazon. This allows you to climb up the Amazon Cookbook Hot Releases and get even more visibility. This initial push will have long lasting impact on the external promotion of your book.
You can tweak the time the book goes on sale when you add it to CreateSpace or another company by changing the "Publish Date" or "Publication Date" field to sometime in the future. This allows you to get your book up but not have it be released until later.
A great way to entice users to purchase your book early on is through promotions. We will often offer a discount on our others books, or a unique PDF file with special recipes in it for people that order the book in the first week it is on sale. We just have them email us the receipt from Amazon and then send them the file.
Offering a week-long discount is a great way to get people to make the decision to purchase your book. Even though you leave some money on the table in the short term, the boost to your Amazon Sales Rank will allow you to make more in the long run.
Leading up to your book launch it can be a good idea to start posting a steady stream of free content from your cookbook on your blog. This will not only build anticipation but add to your newsletter list and provide great examples of what your book will be covering.
Working with other blogs is a great way to drive traffic. You can offer the blogs things like free copies of your cookbook to give to their readers or guest posts based on your cookbook. Having these articles all come out at the same time allows you to maximize your exposure during your initial launch, leading to higher brand recognition and more potential buyers.
As your book launch nears, talking about it in newsletter promotions is a great way to drive interest. It can range from teasing it several weeks ahead of time to a full, advertising based newsletter on the day of the launch.