Posted by Justine Solomons on 12 November 2020, in Byte Experts, News
This month in our Byte Experts series, we hear from author Marc Cox on how to launch a book in a pandemic.
As every first time author knows, there is nothing that quite matches the excitement and trepidation of one’s own book being out there and available to buy. This after all is the moment of truth. Will people read it? Will anybody buy it? What will people say?
It is the closest I have come to the feeling that a creative team must have when they present their ideas for an advertising campaign. Or how a painter must feel when they have their first exhibition. Part of your soul is on display.
My own book, The Business Case for Love, first appeared as an e-book on the 4th April 2020. A couple of weeks later my own copies of the hardback arrived and it became available on Amazon. I was all set. Here we go!
Except for one thing. We were in lockdown.
Unlike, lockdown 2, this was when the UK has been put into the deep freeze. Nobody dared move (except for their daily walk) with the constant refrain of ‘Stay Home. Protect The NHS. Save Lives’ ringing in our ears.
My dreams of a book launch were shattered, so what to do instead to get the word out, and try to gain some momentum? Here are my five tips for launching your book in Lockdown 2.
Create your own book launch.
My adult children plus daughter-in-law were staying with us, having fled London during the first wave of the great toilet roll shortage, so along with my wife, Karen, we created our own garden book launch. Which at least had the benefit of saving me well over the thousand pounds I was thinking of spending!
Using the photos of said author proudly holding his book, I started to promote The Business Case for Love on social media. LinkedIn (this was a business book, after all), Twitter and Instagram.
Once launched, the hard work begins.
Once launched, do not sit back and think ‘job done’. This needs to be a weekly activity and I have found there is absolutely no substitute for the slog of sitting there and sending a personal message to each and everyone of my contact list.
Keeping the message fresh is a must
To begin with this was essentially photos of me holding the book with different poses and backgrounds. I had actively encouraged people to contact me with what they thought of the book and quite soon, people started to send back comments and I even got my first 5*star review on Amazon. I would use these comments and reviews to refresh my posts.
Reach out beyond your core audience
Fellow authors want to support you. During the teeth of Lockdown 1, established authors, notably David Nichols of Us and Starter for Ten fame, were offering help. David ran a weekly twitter book launch for all first time authors and after I had messaged him, he included mine in early May.
My publisher, Palgrave MacMillan, is ultimately owned by the German company, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and they had decided to run a series of weekly live video sessions for their entire workforce of 15,000 or so employees worldwide featuring a range of authors to talk about their subject in the light of Covid-19 and I was thrilled to be one of the authors chosen.
One thing really does lead to another
Out of the blue, but as a direct consequence of my LinkedIn messaging, I was approached by a lady based in India who was intrigued by my book and was keen to do a You Tube video interview.
By this time, the world had discovered Zoom, and this first interview led to a series of live discussions based on some of the themes I have written about, with people from all around India. My Indian ‘Fan Club’ was born.
I also recorded a yet to be released podcast by a fellow author who lives in California. Plus I will send the occasional copy to business journalists when he or she has written an article which resonates with aspects of my book.
So my message to anybody who has their book launched in lockdown 2 is to think of promoting it as a full time job. Keep refreshing the message and one thing really does led to another.
In my case, my most recent news is that my publisher has submitted my book for the 2021 CMI Management Book of the Year.
Not surprisingly, this became the subject of my latest posts.
London born, Marc is the founder of The Company Spirit and originator of the philosophy and approach called the ‘Business Case for Love’. Embraced by CEOs and Leadership Teams across the globe, who are looking for a different approach to creating an authentic company culture, the Business Case for Love works because it meets the needs and wants of today’s employees and customers.
A way of thinking forged from his own personal and business experiences. First, in advertising as a ‘suit’ for BBDO, then onto marketing when hired to modernise the image of BHS. These experiences changed the way Marc thought and led to the seeds of what he believes in and shares with his clients on a daily basis.
Finally, Marc worked as a partner in a brand consultancy before realising that his true passion lay in people and helping them love what they do.
Marc’s first book ‘The Business Case For Love-How Companies Get Bragged About Today’ was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2020 and is available to buy from the publishers here.