The time to engage your audience is well before your book comes out.

Think, for a moment, of your book as a person — let’s say a baby being born. The birth day (or launch) will be much more successful if everyone participating already knows the parents, and has been friends with them for awhile. They know the baby’s name, and how the baby got its name. They’ve been hearing stories about how the parents met, and morning sickness, and who will be staying home with junior and for how long.

Your book, too, needs a friendly community to be born into. It needs to be welcomed by readers who know a little about you, and why you wrote the book, and why you named it what you named it, and how you decided on the cover design, and who your characters are.

Here are some ideas for getting your audience engaged with your book before it’s published:

  1. Involve them in the cover design.
  2. Give them a sneak peek at the final cover design.
  3. Blog in character.
  4. Ask them to read and blurb your book.
  5. Write about your book’s topic, either on your blog or as a guest blogger, and engage readers in conversations about the topic in the “comments” section of your posts.
  6. Check out some crowdfunded books, and borrow their strategies for engaging readers.

This is the end of the suggested activities for 6-8 months pre-launch. Now it’s on to planning your author events.