Against All Odds / Man vs Nature / marketing / tech tips for writers

Reflections on Last Year’s Book Launch–and Natural Selection’s Trailer

I have launched each of my books with a virtual book launch via my blog. I really have no success with any other social media. Last year, I tried a few new things and learned a little watching the launches of colleagues:

  • I wanted to give back to those willing to support my writing. It is a big deal to me that you-all invite me into your blog and introduce me to your community. To that end, I included links to each participant’s blog (of course) but also their social media and their book. I wanted to help them market their books as they helped me with mine. This became complicated to manage and I’m not sure it was valuable to readers. This year, I’m going to limit the outreach to blogs and encourage readers to visit these blogs hopefully by focusing on articles I write (not just my book).
  • I tried to share the daily post on social media–Twitter, FB, Instagram–but I wasn’t consistent. I need to add a daily reminder for myself.
  • Preparation took a lot longer than expected. Spit shining my launch, the articles, social media, marketing materials, outlet updates, and more was busy! I kept a ToDo list that seemed never to run out. Sigh. I see the value to subbing out this work to professional blog tour folks, but then I’m afraid I’d lose the personal touch. Any thoughts? Have you tried that with success?
  • Some want to help but don’t understand how a virtual book tour works. Every year, I ponder creating a how-to video. Will this year be when I do that?
  • The way I set this blog tour up requires a blog. Lots of authors don’t do blogs. Any suggestions?
  • I offered topical articles on both writing in general and my prehistoric fiction specifically. These were popular. This year, I’ll do more of them.

Toward the end of August, I’ll put out a request for help (some of you have already offered so I will be in touch soon). Until then, here’s the book trailer. If you receive my newsletter, you have already seen it!


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Fall 2022.

101 thoughts on “Reflections on Last Year’s Book Launch–and Natural Selection’s Trailer

  1. Great trailer! I like the music and the way the type appears adding drama. It’s well paced other than I don’t have time to read the reviews at the end. But I know where to find them, so no worries there.
    Thanks for sharing some notes on your launch process. It’s so difficult to promote and write, but I agree there’s something wonderful in the ‘person touch’ when authors do their own promotion.
    The only notes I’ve gained on ‘best practices’ for blogging and virtual book launches come down to Time and Consistency with blog content and ‘being there’ for those who connect with you through your blog. Generosity and building of friendships and camaraderie seems to build the most stable platforms.
    After the foundation is there, the authors I see rise have a combination of a lot of books out, with more coming, and of course good quality writing, storytelling and products.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I gave up ages ago on blog tours except what I organise myself, as paying someone else didn’t seem to make enough difference to justify the expense. You are also able to better tailor it to blogs you know are a good fit for your readers, although I think I rarely sell books via this route to new readers, it’s more by way of announcing a new release to existing fans.
    Whichever way you do it, it’s time consuming. I’ve just given in and accepted that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great trailer Jacqui. Interesting to learn you found it easy on Canva. Seems the general consensus is many writers I know prefer doing the blog tour rounds. My only thing about that is keeping it fresh. I often see tons of bloggers, reblogging the same post many times. Also, having a varied list of blog hosts can be great – those that have different reading audiences gives more diversity for ‘buy that book’. Happy to share something for you on your new release. :_

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s very helpful to draw and share these conclusions, Jacqui. The trailer is great. I know you have laid it out before and shared a diagram, but I think it’s important for the reader to visualize where Natural Selection fits into the trilogy as well as the overall series Man Vs. Nature. I’m definitely interested in promoting your book with an article about the wanderlust gene. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve read about wanderlust for a long time. It’s nice to explain man’s travels with following food or climate change, but turns out, us humans are a little more complicated. Though the word might be esoteric. I’ll add you to the list and get back to you in a few weeks. Any time it fits your blog will be fine!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing!!.. with today’s technology there are many ways to communicate with others, just have to find the one that works for you… the most important thing is you continue to follow your dream in your heart and the reason you penned the words in your books…. all the best on following your dreams!.. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Jacqui, launching new books is tricky for Indie authors. It’s not easy to make an impression on the jetsam of social media. You could consider a Twitter blast and ask Twitter friends to share a picture announcement of your book every couple of hours for 24 hours or so. I have done that and it did generate a bit of interest. It could be done on Instagram too, but I haven’t tried that yet. I have done several book tours and I find them quite successful with gaining initial reviews, they haven’t generated many sales for me though as most book bloggers don’t interact much on their blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’d be happy to host you on my blog. I’m not sure if paying for virtual blog tours is successful, but I’m basing this on comments from authors who’ve tried it. You need at least 20-30 blogs prepared ahead of time, as I understand it. I’m not sure if you want to try BookFunnel. The annual fee is $150 US, but you get the opportunity to join with other authors, often if you wish, to offer one of yours books, or samples, for free to potential readers who are interested in your genre. One of these days, I’ll write a blog in detail.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think you do a great job with your marketing. Your book trailer is excellent. I wish I had the energy and know-how to do all that you do! I noticed on your newsletter that there isn’t a comment or like button, unless I missed it? Jill Weatherholt has an easy way to interact via her newsletter. Maybe something to consider going forward?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your blog tours are always so well organized and professional. You gave me some excellent advice and my one and only blog tour was quite successful. (Thanks!) This year I will be able to do an in-person book launch and have already booked visits to bookstores and libraries in Canada. I still prefer them. I may do a mini blog tour later as it was fun, although somewhat time-consuming.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would love to help if it works out; perhaps you’re still trying to figure this out in terms of your plan and timing. I’m already involved in a couple of other authors’ book launches in Sept., but please keep me in mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Wow, Jacqui, you’ve elicited a ton of helpful comments! Seems like blog tours are successful. I get emails from time to time asking to read and review a new book for someone’s tour. You know I’m always up for a first read and a review (and share on my blog). Best wishes—I’ll have to watch the trailer through another source. Looking forward to your launch!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Count me in for promo work! I’m probably in the minority here, but do you find a lot of the same bloggers visiting the tour to support you? I’m wondering how beneficial that is to sales and if it’s worth the amount of work entailed.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m not sure, but it does give a nice base of activity for a book launch and comments. Most of my books have at least several hundred comments–some many more. That’s many more than this blogging community so I assume it’s from all of us spreading the word on our SM for each other. I really have no idea, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. One thing I learned about book launches is that is best to have the book inside the rocket and not strapped on the outside anywhere near the engines – books get burned there. Also think about reentry devices: Parachutes and flotation devices. A good GPS transponder really helps in finding the book when in lands in the desert. Follow me for more great advice on rocketry … 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Marketing is rough! I love that you are constantly looking for ways to change what you do for the better. I personally always find useful guest posts that include the author’s links and books at the end always interesting, but I have never been the one writing the guest post so I do not know how successful that type of promotion is. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I have the most success with personal blog tours too. It is a lot of work. I try to help the authors that are supporying me too. I think the second big boost to a new release is the reviews on other blogs. I’m still looking for that third boost. If I haven’t offered I would love to host you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great trailer, Jacqui. I can’t wait to read the end of Lucy’s story and of course, I’ll read and share an early review. No need to ask! I can relate to the challenges with blog tours. I’m trying something different this year too. We can share notes! Lol. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is a fabulous book trailer, Jacqui! And I fully have intentions of reading the first two books in this series soon. Also, I would like to offer my blog site to you, Jacqui, to help launch book 3. Just let me know.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Congratuations on crossing the finish line with your latest creation. I would love to be part of your marketing campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Authors help authors get the word out and sell more books. Blog tours do work. I love your latest book trailer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Blogs are a lot of work so I get that many prefer FB or Twitter. Those don’t take a lot of preparation. For me, I don’t feel the sense of community in those SM that I do with a blog so–like with any good friendship–I don’t mind putting the work in.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I think going on a blog tour with a company that reaches other readers might spread the word about your book. It’s great when author friends help but many of the readers of these blogs are followers of all the blogs on an author-friend blog tour. I’d also recommend using a giveaway if you use a company blog tour to attrack more readers.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Reflections on Last Year’s Book Launch–and Natural Selection’s Trailer — – uwerolandgross

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