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A virtual event allows you to invite the world to your book launch

For the next 7 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge.

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Day 22 writing prompt:

Describe your first book signing – real or imagined.

Visions of grandeur danced in my head. The real thing – well, let’s say it was more down to earth. There were about 30 people at my “official” book launch – most good friends and family. I sold a couple dozen books and had a great conversation that ranged from spirituality to politics to political correctness – all topics covered in 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women. But it’s the virtual launch that was actually the more exciting event.

We did it via webinar using the GoToMeeting.com service. A few months prior to the launch (I recommend giving yourself 6 months at minimum), I put feelers out to a number of friends and colleagues to ask who had a digital product they were willing to offer on behalf of my launch (much like I did with the daily giveaways for the Author Blog Challenge). The goal was to create a win-win situation by pooling mailing lists to (a) give my colleagues greater exposure for their products and (b) vastly expand the event invitation list beyond those people on my list alone.

Of the 40 or so invitations I sent out to participate, I had about a dozen takers. I received donations of free consultations, eBooks, and online courses, all of which I discerned would be of interest and use to my audience:  college-educated women, ages 30 to 70, who were interested in personal grown and self-development.

Therese and Laura

I also extended invitations to several of the same people to participate as featured guests during the virtual launch. On the day of the event, my good friend Therese Skelly – life/business coach extraordinaire – acted as my emcee. We ran a PowerPoint presentation in the background with photos of Therese and my guests, Loretta Love Huff and Robin Damsky. It also contained pictures associated with several questions from the book. During the webinar, Therese interviewed me about the same topics I addressed in my live signing:

I, in turn, interviewed my guests about their responses to the book and how they saw it benefitting themselves and their clients. Afterward, the “attendees” were invited to ask questions of me and my guests. Then we did a pitch and sold more books! We made a recording of the whole thing, snippets of which I have and will continue to use for various marketing purposes.

The great thing about a virtual launch is that people from anywhere can attend. And if they have kids, pets, elderly parents, needy SOs, or are hermits, they’re more likely to visit your virtual launch because they don’t have to go anywhere!

Virtual Launch Success Tips

  • Start REALLY far in advance … like a minimum of 6 months.
  • Make a list of the people you know who might have something to offer.
  • Make it easy for them to participate by writing Tweets, Facebook posts, and emails that they can send to their list.
  • Realize that if you’ll have more than two guests participating on the virtual launch, schedules can get difficult to coordinate.
  • Plan a rehearsal in advance of the event with all the guest participants.
  • Promote, promote, promote!

Happy launching!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out!

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