Don’t make these 3 book launch mistakes on social media

I’m seeing a lot of authors killing it with their book launch on social media.

They understand how social media works and they use it effectively.

For example, they know that each social media site has its own personality, so they don’t share the same content across all networks. Each post is tweaked according to the social media platform’s unique needs.

I’m also seeing a lot of book launch mistakes on social media.

This can turn into a real issue for authors making several of them because it can kill their connections quickly.

Here are the three I’m seeing most often, along with suggestions for turning them around.

1. Every single thing you post on every single platform is about your book.

Every. Single. Thing.

I’m interested in your new book. Really, I am. I am all about books and your books in particular.

But I’m connected to you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and all I’m seeing from you is how excited you are that your book will soon be published/is being published today/was just published.

People will tolerate that for a few days, but three weeks of nothing but new book posts is pretty intense.

At first, we might think, “Oh, that’s interesting! I’ll have to check it out.” As we see more and more posts, we start to think, “Is that all you’ve got going on these days?” Eventually, we disconnect from you because of the constant repetition.

During your book launch period, share some of the content you usually share, too, so you’re not a one trick pony.

Maddie Daws, the pen name of best-selling author Sandi Kahn Shelton, is an example of somebody who has this figured out. Her Instagram account has a nice mix of book and everyday life content as she approaches the launch of a book that is part of Amazon’s May “First Reads” program for Prime subscribers.

book launch mistakes 3

2. You’re doing what everyone else is doing.

Classic example: The “OMG My First Case of Books Arrived” video post. One I saw recently went on for at least five minutes. That was four minutes and 30 seconds too long.

If you’re doing it because you’re certain that your network truly can’t wait to see you cut open a box of books, then go for it.

But if you’re doing it because everyone else is doing it, don’t. Try something different to capture interest and attention.

Start by asking yourself: “What does my audience need to know about this book?” or “What about this book will excite my readers?”

3. You aren’t helping us help you.

We want to help you let the world know about your wonderful new book, but we’re all pressed for time, ya know?

So, when you ask, “Can you help me spread the word about my book?,” give us the tools we need to do that.

Please provide:

  • A short book description so we can describe it accurately
  • Sample tweets and Facebook posts
  • A few social media graphics we can share
  • A link to your book on your preferred retail site or to your list of purchase site options on your website

When my friend Monica Bhide asked me to support her new book, Read. Write. Reflect., she also provided a social media graphic with a pre-publication blurb I had written (see below). This made it easy for me to promote her book on the social networks where I’m active — all I had to do was add some text that reinforced my testimonial, grab an Amazon link, and post with the image.

book launch mistakes 2

The more you help us help you, the more we can do to support you.

Everything in moderation

To help keep your network engaged, learn what works on the various platforms you’re using and create custom content on each so there’s less overlap (and network burnout). Then, create a mix of everyday life and book launch posts so what you share isn’t such a dramatic change from your routine when you don’t have a new book.

Finally, remember that everything doesn’t have to happen during the small window of time surrounding publication date. You should be promoting your book as long as it’s available for sale. If you burn out your audience during the launch, you’ll have many fewer connections to promote to later, when it’s just as important.

What’s the one thing you’ve done on social media during a book launch that you think has had the greatest impact?

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  1. Excellent post. Love the part about the 4 1/2 minutes too long on the box opening video. 🙂

    There is an art to online launches and part of the art is doing them. It never ceases to amaze me when an author says, “I want to write a book that sells itself. I don’t like to market and don’t want to.”

    There’s the extreme on both sides of the coin.

    1. Thanks, Kathleen! I think that “I just want to write” approach (and believe me, I understand it!) is fueled by those who tell authors that the best book marketing is the next book you write. Yes, one book can support the other (and the other, and the other), but if nobody knows about any of them, nobody is reading them. And don’t we all write so that our work gets read?

      Thanks for stopping by!


    1. Thanks, Joy! It can be hard to get the right balance when you’re so excited about a new book, but just being aware of the need for it is a good first step, right?


  2. Sandy,

    I chuckled at the warning about the l-o-n-g box opening video. I’m guilty of having my son take a gazillion shots of me unboxing the first shipment of my 2015 book. Fortunately, they were still shots and I only used one of them. Whew!

  3. Hi Sandra,

    I understand making graphics for people to post to FB and twitter, etc. I plan to make one for each of my books and put it on the individual book’s page, but what do you suggest as far as making sample tweets and posts for books? Could you please give an example?

    1. Alison, you want to think in terms of what you want your friends to say about your book. Imagine yourself sharing the news about a friend’s book — what would you write? That might help you figure out what you want others to share about yours. As an example, here’s what I tweeted about Monica Bhide’s book — the one in the image in this post. Monica didn’t write this for me because she knew I had read the book, but she could have — it’s the sort of tweet/post you want to provide to your supporters:

      #Writers & other #creatives will LOVE @mbhide’s new book, “Read. Write. Reflect.” Part workbook, part spiritual guide, it will lead you to the next level. amzn.to/2rKPRMn #mustread

      There are lots of ways to do this — it depends on the book.


  4. Oh, ok. That makes a lot of sense. Sorry, I should have asked this in the first comment. Once I write the sample fb or twitter post, do I put something like “If you’d like to share about my book on FB, here’s a…(what do I say here? “…sample” “…readymade post” or something else?) Or is there a better “tagline” or heading to put above the readymade post on my book’s page?

    Thanks in Advance

    1. There are no rules about this, but what most people do is send a detailed email requesting support and listing the things people can do to help. One of several options presented can be: “Spread the word on social media.” Under that heading, include one sample each for the social platforms you know your friends use. Typically, that’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram but that might not be the case for you. Also, attach the images and say you’ve attached them so people notice them.


  5. Hi Sandra!

    I’m Monica Bhide’s Author Assistant and created the graphic that you shared in the post above. Your site has been a huge resource for me as I navigated my way to into the world of supporting authors and you have no idea how excited I was to see my work featured in this post! You totally made me day! 🙂

    Thank you for all the great info that you’re constant sharing!

    1. Stephanie, thanks so much for introducing yourself here! I’m so glad to e-meet the talent behind Monica’s wonderful graphics. And I’m so pleased that my site has been helpful to you! You’ve made my day now, too!

      Thank you!


  6. Good points all, Sandra. Book launch is exhilarting and exhausting. I differentiate content on platforms and share related insights from my life outside authoring…sometimes too much on the latter because I grow weary following fellow creaives who only post about their books. I fret new followers may not realize I write!. As mentioned earlier, there’s a tricky balance!

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