When traditionally published author Mia P. Manansala launched her latest title, Murder and Mamon, she knew that taking an active role in the launch could only increase her visibility. Readers want to personally connect with authors they love — even if your publisher is running fabulous promotions, it’s important to engage with fans yourself. So while Mia’s publisher and publicist worked behind the scenes on marketing, advertising, and pitching her for media opportunities to promote her new book, Mia was on the front lines spreading the word about these efforts as widely as possible.
Not every author has the same resources to support their book launches, but by sharing what Mia did to boost her publisher’s efforts, we hope to spark ideas for your own new release marketing!
1. Set goals and expectations
Mia hired Get Red PR as her outside publicity team, which supplements her publisher’s efforts while helping her strategize what she can do on her own. But even the most experienced publicists can’t control the effects of their (and your) efforts! Mia recommends keeping your expectations realistic.
Knowing what you want to achieve and understanding which of those goals are attainable vs. a “Big Reach” (we’re not all going to be chosen for major book clubs or network TV shows) can help you frame the situation properly in your head.
Inspired by other authors’ social media and newsletter marketing, Mia planned a variety of marketing tactics to promote her new release with one clear goal in mind.
My biggest goal is essentially brand recognition and just getting the word out there about my books.
2. Branded her social media profiles
One of the first things many authors do once they have a new book cover is update their social media profile headers. If you use the space strategically, this can be a great branding opportunity and a way to set the tone for a book.
Mia used both the header space and bio on her Facebook, Twitter/X, and Instagram pages to announce her new book. She added a catchy quote, the other books in her series, and the new release date to start building awareness of the upcoming launch.
3. Commissioned preorder art
Mia’s publisher ran a preorder campaign to start building buzz for her new book, and like many authors who use incentives to drive preorders, Mia offered art prints to get people excited about preordering. “Plus, it let me support a fellow Filipino creative,” she said.
In this post, she shared some background about how the art portrays the story and mood of Murder and Mamon, and she tagged the artist’s profiles to credit their beautiful work!
4. Asked fans to follow her on BookBub
Mia took her new release as an opportunity to promote her BookBub Author Profile, knowing that the more followers she has on BookBub, the more exposure she would get to new readers who use the site. Plus, anyone following her would receive a dedicated New Release Alert.
Two months before release, Mia posted her cover on Facebook and Instagram with a clear call to action, letting her audience know why they should follow her in the caption.
5. Shared early reviews and reader quotes
To help drive visibility for her publisher’s preorder campaign, Mia shared the link along with exciting early trade reviews: an excellent strategy for convincing readers that the book is worth grabbing before anyone else!
Mia also reposts reader reviews. In this one she posted during her new book’s promotional period, she made sure to note she got the reader’s permission to share their post.
6. Took fans behind the scenes of her WIP
For additional exposure for her series, Mia even shared a preview of her work in progress! We love how this serves as a reminder that books five and six are already on their way.
7. Spread the word about her Featured Deal
Discounting the first book in a series is a tried and true method for increasing sales of other books in the series. Mia’s publisher ran a Featured Deal promotion on book one, Arsenic and Adobo, for a month starting three weeks before the launch of book four. Mia posted on both Facebook and Instagram to boost visibility for the deal with a fun caption driving people to BookBub to download the deal — and to follow her for new release updates!
Excitingly, the promotion helped the book rank number #1 in Amazon’s Asian American Literature list, and Mia posted again to share the result for even more visibility.
8. Promoted giveaways of her new release
Mia also boosted the giveaways her publisher ran for her new book. She posted simple but effective announcements including everything her audience needs to know to enter.
9. Explained the value of preorders
With only two weeks to go until launch, Mia posted an engaging graphic with a call to “Preorder Now!” to create urgency for the preorder. We love how she made the request meaningful by adding a caption educating her audience on how preordering supports authors — this message got great engagement on Instagram.
10. Shared an unboxing video
Posting an unboxing video is a powerful way to announce a book launch because it gives you and your fans a chance to share in your excitement! A few days before launch, Mia posted a “last minute” unboxing video as a final push for preorders, and talked a little about what the book is about as if talking to a friend.
View this post on Instagram
11. Connected with fans at in-person events
As well as sharing her packed tour schedule, Mia posted about each event individually, making sure to tag each venue to catch relevant readers. On Facebook, she used eye-catching images branded with her book and author headshot with info on what fans will get out of attending.
On Instagram, she posted photos for a personal touch, using lots of relevant hashtags to get the word out as widely as possible. Her release day post thanked fans for showing up and reminded them of upcoming events.
I schedule lots of events since I think it’s really special meeting readers face to face and having a chance to interact with them.
12. Branded her new release newsletter
Mia’s consistent branding and repeated promotion throughout the lead-up to release helped ensure her book launch announcement would be recognizable, and sometimes readers need to see a book several times before deciding to buy. The personal message in her launch day newsletter makes us excited to dive into the latest adventure, and the call to action “Purchase Murder and Mamon Today!” creates some extra urgency.
13. Made gifts to give away at launch parties
For another personal yet inexpensive touch to encourage event attendance and book sales, Mia made a bunch of friendship bracelets related to her series to give away at the launch parties she held the weekend after release.
Friendship bracelets are really popular now. And I had a reader give me friendship bracelets they made in return! It was so sweet!
14. Reviewed similar books on BookBub.com
Posting Recommendations on BookBub.com isn’t just a fun way to engage with the BookBub community and help readers discover books they’ll love — it can also increase your visibility on the platform. To keep the momentum going after release week, Mia recommended several books in her genre, both to stay top of mind with her followers and to get in front of relevant readers who don’t follow her yet.
Her Recommendations appeared in her followers’ Social Feed…
…and in the Reviews section of the book’s page, giving Mia the chance to grow her audience.
I am absolutely awful at tracking books I’ve read, but I’m trying to get better at it since it’s so important to review books and spread the word about authors you love. Right now, the easiest way for me to do that is to take the blurb I’ve already written for a book and post it as a review. I’ve already done the work of reading the book and writing the blurb, so I love being able to repurpose it to boost a great book!
Mia was able to drive lots of engagement with her new book by starting with a clear focus, posting consistently, and taking the time to interact with fans. She found creative ways to boost her following, preorders, and event attendance through social media, all to achieve her goal of more exposure. And she used every one of her publisher’s promotions as an opportunity to strengthen her brand and connect with fans on a personal level. We think this launch is a fantastic example of the many ways you can amplify your publisher’s marketing campaigns!
Mia’s advice for coordinating plans with your publisher?
Communication, communication, communication. So many problems in publishing can be attributed to how opaque the industry is, so making sure you communicate with your team about your efforts so that you’re not accidentally stepping on toes is crucial.
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