In an attempt to prep for the launch of my upcoming book, I’ve been doing research about book launches and marketing. There is a ton of stuff out there, so I thought it could be helpful to outline some resources for other writers.
I started looking into a lot of these sources once I had an offer for my book, but I think I would have benefitted from exploring a lot of them when I was earlier in the process, so even if you are just at the querying or platform building stage, I would recommend checking some of these out.
My book is being traditionally published, so these sources have been useful/relevant to my situation, but I think a lot of the resources are useful for both traditional and self-published books. And if you are self-publishing, there are tons of podcasts, experts, and resources out there focused specifically on that.
Below are some of the resources I’ve found helpful so far.
There are a lot of writing-related podcasts and I’m still discovering new ones, but these are some of the ones I’ve found most useful:
- Pub Crawl Podcast: I started listening to this podcast after I had gotten my book offer, but they cover a lot of stages of traditional book publishing from querying an agent through after publication, so looking for episodes relevant to your current publishing stage would be helpful. A lot of podcasts out there are focused on self-publishing (although there is still useful crossover info to be found in some of those!) but I appreciate that this one is focused on traditional publishing. The hosts have experience on the publisher/agent and author side of publishing and cover a lot of helpful info. Just a few of the episodes I found helpful included the one on publishing contracts and clauses, publishing success, and this one on the process projects go through to become a book.
- Book Launch Show: I listened to most, if not all, of the episodes of this podcast by book launch expert Tim Grahl. He covers some of the basics of book launches and marketing and then works with an individual author to help her through selling more books. I got a lot of good useful info about book marketing and launches from listening. A couple episode highlights include this one describing different kinds of launches and this one talking about social media and selling books.
- #AmWriting: I’m a longtime listener of this podcast and have found a lot of the info they’ve covered about publishing and books useful. I appreciate the honesty of the hosts about their ups and downs throughout their careers. I’ve found episodes like this recent one where KJ Dell’Antonia talked about her book release (and its selection for Reese Witherspoon’s book club) and some of the past episodes like this one on getting on podcasts interesting.
- The Creative Shift: My agent sent me links to some episodes of this show that she thought may be relevant/useful. They were, and I’ve since listened to several more episodes. Host Dan Blank interviews creatives about their process and backstories to their success. I started with the three-part episodes following Leigh Stein through the launch of her book. The first one is here.
Some books related too book publishing that I’ve found useful include:
- Courtney Maum’s Before and After the Book Deal. A solid overview of what to expect leading up to and after a book deal. I found it helpful as a roadmap for what to expect and I’ve gone back to it a few times to look up some things as they have come up in my publishing journey.
- Ryan Holiday’s Perennial Seller. In talking with author friends and following discussions in writer groups, it feels like much of the conversation around book releases focus on the launch but not the long game. So, I appreciated Holiday’s look at what makes things consistently sell over time.
- Tim Grahl’s Your First 1000 Copies. I listened to much of Grahl’s Book Launch podcast before reading this and they both cover some of the same ground, but this was a quick read and I found it helpful to reinforce some of his ideas. He uses two authors as examples throughout it (one traditionally published and one self-published) and it was interesting to see how they applied the ideas.
- Jane Friedman’s The Business of Being a Writer. Friedman covers a lot of ground in this book that touches on different aspects of a writing career, including book publishing. I found it insightful about publishing a book as well as other aspects of a writing career.
- Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work. I bought this after seeing another writer post about it on Instagram and felt like it had some good ideas about getting your work out there as a writer that has some applications to book launches and platform building. I also bought two more of his books, so I guess I am becoming a Kleon evangelist.
I’ve also attended some webinars relevant to book marketing that I’ve found useful (yes, some of these names will look familiar from what I’ve mentioned above. They are catching me in their marketing funnel! And now I know what a marketing funnel is!). I appreciate that webinars have the benefit of allowing you to ask personalized questions and sometimes give you an opportunity to network with other writers.
- Jane Friedman: Friedman offers several webinars throughout the year on different publishing topics. I attended her “Author Platform: Build Your Foundation for Career Success” webinar. She gave helpful tips and then also answered a ton of Q&A questions (the ones she couldn’t get to by the time we ran out of time, she emailed answers out to after the event). She has a wealth of knowledge in the industry, so it’s not surprising that I found this one useful.
- Courtney Maum: Maum also hosts classes and webinars on different book publishing topics. I attended a virtual webinar called, “Ready, Set, Debut: How to Weather the Debut Publishing Experience with Good Humor and Grace,” which had some good useful info debut publishing.
Virtual Writing Groups:
- Writer’s Bridge: The Writer’s Bridge is a free bi-weekly call hosted by writers Allison K. Williams and Ashleigh Renard focused on platform building for writers. They typically cover some aspect of platform building and allow a little bit of time for the group to go into small breakout rooms to network with other writers. As an introvert, getting thrown into a randomly assigned breakout room with strangers made me a little nervous at first, but I’ve actually really appreciated being able to quickly connect with other writers (some who I know from social media or Facebook groups). And since I’m working from home and not always seeing a ton of people, I’m welcoming the new connections.
- First 9000 Copies Book Coaching Group: This is a group led by book launch coach Sue Campbell. It offers lots of good resources and a weekly call centered around different topics where participants can also ask questions. It’s a new group that I recently started participating in, but I’ve found it to be a helpful overview of a lot of different topics and like the hive-mind approach to learning from a coach and different authors. After a trial period, this one does have a monthly cost associated with it (outlined in the link).
- Kate McKean’s Newsletter: Agent Kate McKean writes a newsletter that covers a lot of aspects of agenting and book publishing. There is a cost to view some of the posts, but I’ve found the information in these useful to answer questions I didn’t even realize I had.
- Jane Friedman: Friedman may win the award for most mentions in this post, but that is because her insights are really useful! She writes a couple of different newsletters that I enjoy and her website is also a wealth of information.
That’s it for now. I’ll try to come back and update this post with additional resources as I find them. Feel free to include any other useful resources you recommend in the comments below.
*Disclosure: I’ve only recommended books and resources I’ve used myself and enjoyed, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission for purchases.