Wednesday, June 14, 2017

3 Ideas for a Successful Book Launch by Kristen Hogrefe

A myriad of writing resources talk about honing the craft, but fewer address how to prepare for a book launch. No matter our publishing path, the industry expects us writers to play a leading role in spreading the word about our books.

If you’re looking for some ideas to help launch your book, consider these.

#1: Involve the reader

Why should readers care? We first ask this question when we start writing our book. Our characters must have strong motivations, and conflict must drive the plot. Otherwise, our readers won’t have a reason to care.

We also need to ask this question when we’re preparing to release our book for sale. Maybe readers will love the story, but they first have to be interested in it. One way to help spread the word is to give our audiences a chance to participate in the release. Here are some ideas to encourage interest:

  • Invite them to vote on their favorite cover version. Share previews of a few designs, and give readers a say.
  • Create a contest. For The Revisionary, I challenged my students to design the fictitious flag of my dystopian society. I then welcomed the whole school and my blog readers to vote for their favorite design.
  • Host a virtual book launch party and invite your friends and readers. Ask trivia questions about your book, and do random drawings to give away prizes.
  • Ask your readers to leave an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads.

#2: Run with a pack.

I like to run, but I enjoy running so much more when I’m with someone else. A friend helps motivate me to go farther (and perhaps faster) than I usually would.

The same is true of writing. We can go much farther with people who support us, cheer for us, and grit their teeth along with us.

If you publish with a traditional house, you’ll have a built-in support team. Regardless, the more people on your team, the stronger your launch will be.

One way to build your own team is through writing critique groups. If you’re part of an organization like Word Weavers or the American Christian Fiction Writers, take advantage of critique groups that allow you to both give and receive feedback. As you develop these relationships, you will likely connect with other writers in your genre who might consider being advance readers and share the word about your book with their own friends.

Be ready to return the favor when it’s someone else’s turn!

#3: Leave the results in God’s hands.

In I Corinthians 3, Paul reminds his readers that though they may work hard to spread the gospel, ultimately God gives the increase.

I think the same is true when we commit our writing projects to God’s care. We do our part and ask others to help, but ultimately, God is the one who handles the outcome.

Big or small, the results are in His hands. May our prayer be: Dear Lord, take our stories and do with them what you will.


Do you have any tips to add for launching a book into the marketplace?


Kristen Hogrefe is an author, speaker, and English teacher. She also serves as a mentor for Word Weavers International and works with the teens in her church’s youth group. Her new release, The Revisionary (Write Integrity Press), is the first book in her YA trilogy The Rogues. The novel is a dystopia of a different kind—one where characters look back to their civilization’s heritage for hope and wisdom to move forward. You can find Kristen outdoors in the Florida sunshine or online at

The Revisionary

A Revisionary rewrites the rules. A Rogue breaks them. Which one is she?

Nineteen-year-old Portia Abernathy accepts her Revisionary draft to the Crystal Globe with one goal: earn a Dome seat so she can amend the satellite rules and rescue her brother. Her plan derails when Head Gage Eliab brands her as a suspect in a campus Rogue attack, and in her quest to clear her name, she questions if the vigilante Brotherhood responsible might not be the real villain.

Her shifting loyalties pit her against Luther Danforth, her Court Citizen ally who believes in reform, not revolution. Joining the Brotherhood makes a future with him impossible—and Portia must decide if it’s better to rewrite the rules or to break them.