Retired Teacher’s Book Launch Soars with Record-Breaking 50 Books Sold on Opening Day

Children's Book Cover
To check books by author Fannie Lewis Barnes  on Amazon, Click here.
 Fannie Lewis Barnes

Fannie Lewis Barnes

Children's Book Author

Fannie Lewis Barnes, a talented poet and teacher, pursued a career in special education. She noticed difficulties in the reading curriculum and added activities to help her students. After retiring, Fannie followed her passion for writing. She published spiritual poems and wrote books aligned with Common Core Standards. Fannie has published eight short story books for children, promoting reading skills and joy. She believes in the power of reading and is grateful for her family’s support. Follow her on social media for updates.

Welcome to the exciting “Your Launch Story” blog series! We would love to know how many books you have successfully launched thus far in your writing career.

I have successfully launched eight (8) books for children thus far.

Could you share the journey that led to the concept and idea for your book/series? What inspired you to write it?

The journey that led me to the concept and idea for my book was to start with simple stories and repetitious words that will appeal to and be beneficial to the young readers.  The thing that inspired me to write was that before retiring as an educator, I saw a need for reading books that will enhance scholars reading skills while making it fun while learning to read as well as to learn other academic skills.

Building awareness and reaching the target audience is crucial during a book launch. What were some of the marketing and promotional activities you utilized to generate interest and attract readers? Were there any specific platforms or channels that you found particularly effective?

During the marketing and promotional campaign, I employed various strategies to enhance the visibility and distribution of my books.

‣ One effective approach was to reach out to venues and businesses that would be interested in selling my books. I contacted local stores and explored potential partnerships to showcase and offer my publications to customers. Additionally, I sought exposure through print media by securing write-ups in the local newspaper and neighboring areas, informing the public about my new releases.

‣ In an effort to expand the reach of my books, I reached out to major retailers such as Corporate Walmart, Target, and Books A Million. While my interaction with these companies did not yield the desired response, Books A Million did carry one of my books on their online store, providing some level of exposure.

‣ To engage with educational institutions, I donated copies of my books to daycares and schools. This allowed them to use and promote the books among their students and parents, fostering awareness and interest. Furthermore, I partnered with an organization dedicated to empowering young boys and girls, and they purchased a quantity of my books for their summer and after-school programs, benefiting the children involved. Additionally, elementary teachers have shown interest in my books and have purchased them for use in their classrooms, thereby introducing my work to a broader audience.

‣ Word of mouth has proven to be a valuable marketing tool. Leveraging the support of family members and friends, they have taken on the role of being my advocates, spreading the word about my books and generating publicity through their personal networks.

Overall, by targeting potential selling points, utilizing print media, engaging with educational institutions, and leveraging the power of personal connections, I have endeavored to maximize the visibility and impact of my books in the market.

Book cover design plays a crucial role in catching readers’ attention. Can you share the process you went through to create an eye-catching and relevant cover for your book? How important do you believe the cover design is for a successful launch?

I can provide you with general insights on the process of creating an eye-catching and relevant book cover, as well as the importance of cover design for a successful book launch.

‣ Since, I’m a retired teacher, I have a good understanding of the visual styles, colors, and design elements that resonate with my target audience. My experience in education gives me valuable insights into what appeals to young readers and what captures their attention.

‣ I also studied the market and analyze the covers of successful books in my genre. By identifying trends, common visual motifs, and effective design strategies, you can gain valuable insights into what has resonated with readers in similar genres.

‣ I hired one of the best illustrator and book designer in the trade, Gaurav Bhatnagar who is a professional illustrator and can translate your vision into a visually appealing design. I provided him with a clear brief and communicate my expectations.

The importance of cover design for a successful launch cannot be overstated. An eye-catching and relevant book cover acts as a powerful marketing tool, attracting readers and contributing to a successful launch.

Launch events and readings can be a great way to connect with readers and create buzz around your book. Did you organize any launch events or virtual readings? How did these events contribute to the success of your book launch?

‣ The most successful event I organized was for my first published book, which happened to be a Spiritual Poem Book (Volume I). To create a memorable experience, I rented a room in a Recreation Centre and decorated it appropriately. To generate buzz and awareness, I placed an article and write-up in the local newspaper, highlighting the details of the book signing event, including the date, time, and venue.

‣ During the event, I structured a short program to engage attendees. This program typically consisted of a prayer or blessing to set a spiritual tone, a warm welcome to all participants, and a fun game with prizes to create an enjoyable atmosphere. To ensure the smooth running of the event, I enlisted the help of supportive family and friends who took on specific responsibilities.

‣ As the event progressed, guests had the opportunity to purchase copies of my book. I personally signed each purchased book, allowing for a personal connection with the readers. I also took the time to engage in brief conversations with attendees, providing an intimate and personalized experience.

‣ Overall, the event was a success as it created an inviting and celebratory ambiance. By combining a well-decorated venue, engaging activities, and personal interactions, I was able to captivate the guests’ interest and generate book sales. The event provided an opportunity for readers to connect with my work on a deeper level and allowed me to express gratitude for their support.

In conclusion, the event for my Spiritual Poem Book (Volume I) proved to be a memorable and effective occasion, combining elements of celebration, connection, and appreciation for my readers. 

Social media and online presence are key components of a book launch strategy. What role did social media play in promoting your book? Which platforms did you find most effective for engaging with your audience?

‣ Social media played a role in promoting my book, albeit to a certain extent. I utilized platforms such as my Facebook page and our family page to raise awareness about my book and engage with potential readers. Additionally, I sought the expertise of a specialist who assists in getting publications listed for a wider audience.

‣ Through Facebook, I aimed to connect with my target audience and generate interest in my book. Sharing updates, insights, and engaging content on these platforms allowed me to interact with readers and build a community around my work.

‣ Furthermore, reaching out to a specialist who specializes in book promotion and listings was a strategic move to enhance the visibility of my book. Their expertise in navigating promotional opportunities and connecting with potential readers can be instrumental in expanding the reach and impact of my book.

‣ While social media platforms and the assistance of professionals can contribute to book promotion, it’s important to continuously evaluate and adjust strategies based on the results obtained. Every book and audience is unique, so it’s crucial to experiment, learn from the outcomes, and adapt tactics accordingly.

‣ By utilizing social media platforms and seeking specialized assistance, I proactively engaged in promotional activities to create awareness and connect with readers.

Timing can be crucial when launching a book. How did you determine the best time to release your book? Were there any external factors or considerations that influenced your decision?

I determined the best time to release my book was depending on the content, whether to have it released close to the time when school was about to begin (from summer break) or have a release date around a special occasion.  Some extended factors or considerations that influenced my decisions were that some school systems, households and/or organizations can benefit from the correct timing of my publications.

Collaboration and partnerships can greatly enhance a book launch. Did you collaborate with other authors, organizations, or professionals in related fields? How did these collaborations contribute to the success of your launch?

I established collaborations with various individuals and institutions to support the success of my book launch. Former co-workers, public libraries, and school libraries were among the collaborators who played a part in my book launches.

‣ While these collaborations contributed to the overall success of the launch, the number of books sold on the actual launch day was approximately 50. This figure takes into account the fact that some individuals had already purchased my books prior to the launch, while others made purchases both on and after the launch day.

‣ Among the collaborations, the most impactful one was with an organization that purchased a significant number of my books for their afterschool and summer programs. This collaboration proved to be highly effective in generating book sales and increasing exposure for my work.

‣ The support and involvement of these collaborators, including former co-workers, public libraries, school libraries, and the organization running the afterschool/summer program, were instrumental in driving the success of my book launch. Their contributions helped create awareness, fostered engagement, and resulted in meaningful sales.

Moving forward, I will continue to explore collaborations and partnerships to further promote my books and reach a wider audience.

As part of the “Your Launch Story” blog series, we aim to provide insights and lessons for aspiring authors. Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to authors who are planning their own book launch? Are there any key lessons or tips you learned along the way?

‣ The best advice for book launches is often a combination of various strategies that work together to achieve success. This can include pre-launch preparation, building an author platform, engaging with influencers and reviewers, implementing a comprehensive marketing and publicity plan, leveraging word-of-mouth recommendations, engaging with your audience, and continuously adapting your approach. By implementing these steps and finding the right combination of strategies, you increase your chances of a successful book launch that generates buzz, reaches your target audience, and builds long-term reader support.

Reflecting on your launch journey, what were some unexpected challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them? Are there any specific lessons you learned that you believe would be valuable for other authors to know?

Some of the unexpected challenges were not being able to follow through with events as planned.  One specific lesson that I learned is to get the book out to as many readers, parents, teachers, organizations, etc. by almost any means necessary as quickly and as often as possible.

Finally, looking beyond the launch, what are your plans to sustain the momentum and success of your book? Do you have any future projects in the pipeline, and how do you envision building on the achievements of your launch?

‣ My plans to sustain the momentum and success of my book(s) are to continue publicizing with newspaper articles, social media, organizations, and hopefully with businesses/venues.  My future projects are to continue with some of the manuscripts that I have already started on.  I would love to see my books in stores (bookstores, Walmart, Target, etc.)

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  1. Fannie Lewis Barnes

    This “Your Launch Story” blog series was/is a very great idea and tool where authors can help authors. I enjoyed the interview and it should prove to be an enhancer that will benefit writers in their journey of publication.
    I personally applaud Gaurav for his superb workings with and for writers in our growing process. His various ideas and contributions are very much appreciated and needed!
    I believe this will help writers/authors to understand and support each other in future endeavors.

    • Team ePublishingeXperts

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the “Your Launch Story” blog series! I’m glad to hear that you found it to be a great idea and a helpful tool for authors.


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