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What is a virtual book launch and why would an author have one?

3/26/2014

A Fair Exchange - Release date PromoNext week I have my fifth book coming out and like all of my books at the time of launching it will only be available as an e-book.

When I launched my first novel I did have a grand fantasy of holding a book launch – you know in a book shop, surrounded by friends and relatives all drinking champagne. The truth is you can’t do that with an indie published e-book.

Another truth, at least in Australia, is that publishers don’t really hold book launches for their authors. If they have them they organise them themselves. So the fantasy isn’t real for a lot of authors these days.

Instead I usually hold a virtual book launch.

So what is a virtual book launch?

A virtual book launch is an online event – usually held on Facebook. Authors invite readers, friends, relatives, reviewers to attend the event. so you R.S.V.P just like you would for any Facebook event.

Different authors then do different things at their launches. Some show photos of people who resemble their characters, some host loads of give aways, some just talk about the book.

Why have a virtual book launch? (If I’m invited what am I supposed to do?)

Authors hold a virtual book launch for the same reason they’d hold one in the real world. It’s a way to let people know your book is out and it’s a way to celebrate. Let’s face it whether the book is made of paper or hangs in the ether the process of writing it and getting it finished and out into the universe is the same. It’s lots of hard work and when the work is done the author wants to celebrate.

There’s another reason and it has to do with sales and algorithms. If you say you’re attending someone’s book launch they want two things. They want you to post and say congratulations but they also want you to buy their book. Let’s pretend I’m going to sell 100 books next week (I just chose that number randomly). In a perfect world I’d sell 30 odd books every day for three days, the algorithm which helps you find a book on Amazon, iBooks or where ever you buy your books works best that way. 100 books in one day is great (and no author would complain about that) but for visibility it’s better that they are staggered. By having a book launch the author is hoping lots of the people they invite will but the book that week.

Now, just because you go to my book launch or anyone else’s doesn’t mean you HAVE to buy the book, it’s always obligation free, I’m just telling you why the author holds them and what their hopes are.

This is the link to my virtual book launch next week. Please stop by.

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