What is a Soft Launch Exactly and Should You Do One?

by | Jun 8, 2023 | Podcast for Authors

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Most of us have heard the term ‘soft launch’ before, whether in the publishing industry or for another product or company launch.

But what is a soft launch really? And how does it work in the publishing industry?

It’s often thought of as a way to dip your toe into the market without overcommitting, or a way to get started while also buying you some time before you really start marketing and promotion. In theory those sound like great ideas! But in the modern world of publishing you can’t buy time once your book is up on retail sites like Amazon. The second your book goes up and is visible to potential buyers the clock starts ticking…

Our goal for this episode is to chat about the origins of the soft launch, and what they are and aren’t, especially in today’s publishing market. We’ll also give you tips for running a successful soft launch if you think you’re ready for it!

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  1. Russi Kisiel

    What about launching on Amazon without announcing it, so that Amazon’s algorithm can start working? And then two to three days later, announce to half your email list and then the next day the other half. Then having paid promo and FB ads stacked to increase the sales and tickling the Amazon algorithm to encourage them to show your book more, especially in the first 30 days?

    • Penny Sansevieri

      Russi we definitely support the stacking strategy, but always keep in mind, nothing happens overnight. So intentionally holding off on outreach rarely benefits more than simply hitting the ground running. However, strategies that are worth holding off on sometimes include those that will be stronger once the book starts gaining momentum and generating reader reviews, so efforts like speaker pitching, author event pitching, bookstore and library pitching, etc. will be much more appealing once the book has proven it’s earned a place in the market.

    • Penny Sansevieri

      Russi sure, you can try that – I’ve never seperated out a mailing list like you’re suggesting but I guess it would also depend on how your list is vetted and what your open rate is.

  2. Mary Ann Carman

    I hadn’t ever think about a soft launch, but might do it with my email groups before launching it on Amazon. Thanks for the great idea.

    • Penny Sansevieri

      Absolutely Mary Ann, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know how it goes, we love hearing success stories and tips from different perspectives!



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