Unveiling the Book Launch Journey: Insights and Reflections from Children’s Book Author Tamera Foley

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Tamera Foley, Ph.D.

Tamera Foley, Ph.D.

Children's Book Author

Dr. Tamera Foley, children’s book author and mental health advocate, supports traumatized children. Her “Cassie’s book series” tackles social-emotional learning, fear, and anxiety.  Dr. Foley is a resource for educators, parents, and children, promoting coping and resilience. 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 two books in my writing career.

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

‣ I was inspired by reading books at a young age, going to my neighborhood library, and dreaming of writing a children’s book.

‣ I write children’s books to improve the literacy of children. I want children to read stories they can relate to from a child’s perspective.

‣ I teach Social-emotional Learning to begin or continue conversations with children about their feelings. I want children to be comfortable with expressing their emotions.

The launch of a book is a significant milestone for any author. Can you describe the steps you took to plan and execute a successful launch for your book? Were there any unique or unconventional strategies you employed?

I hired an expert in the field as I did not have any experience launching.

I made a list of over 50 people that supported me and my message.

I kept my supporters updated on the process and if there were any changes. We chose a date six months before the launch.

I ordered a copy of the book to review prior to the launch.

I submitted information about myself and submitted so that a press release could be written and sent globally to news sources.

I prepared short videos about why I write, shared a peek into the book, and accepted interviews about the upcoming book. I teased the book on social media.

I also met via Zoom with my supporters to explain the process on Launch Day, answer questions and ensured they watched their phones and emails.

I also reminded them of the time frame and the importance of purchasing the ebook during that time.

We had frames made for the supporters to place on their pages and a script for them to utilize to share the book with their communities.

The first date of the launch was delayed because Amazon would not change categories in time for the launch.

On Launch Day, I had an interview with the expert and emailed and texted my supporters, reminding them of the time and asking if they had any questions.

I was available all day and dedicated my day to the launch.

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?

Email marketing, facebook, press release

Interviews, podcasts, live every day up to the launch, asking people to share with their community, giving your supporters a script so they had everything at their fingertips.

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 hired a wonderful illustrator and we utilized vibrant covers. I also vetted the cover through a couple of author learning groups to get their opinion and they asked questions and gave helpful suggestions. I believe the cover is very important as that is the first thing the reader sees to determine if they will open the book. The cover gives you insight about the story.

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?

I had virtual readings but not on Launch Day. Both of my launches were during the height of COVID so I only do things virtually.

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?

I utilized social media daily but also had a big email marketing campaign. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Reviews and endorsements often play a significant role in attracting readers. How did you approach gathering reviews for your book? Did you reach out to influencers or engage with early readers to generate buzz?

I asked all of my supporters, former colleagues, had my family reach out to people who they knew purchased the book.

‣ I also sent emails and did many reminders.

‣ I did not reach out to any influencers.

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?

The expert I hired did all of the research and the book was launched before school began. We also looked to see who was mainly celebrities that were launching on the day.

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?

My supporters were well connected and rounded. I did collaborate with the small group of authors that I met with monthly meets.
The supporters and the author group were very helpful and supported the launch and my journey.

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?

‣ Plan and prepare.

‣ Do your research.

‣ Follow your plan.

‣ Collaborate with those who have launched successfully.

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?

A valuable lesson learned was the need for adaptability when faced with unforeseen challenges, such as unexpected issues with the Amazon KDP platform that could potentially delay the launch.

We wisely chose to postpone the public announcement, ensuring that all technical aspects were resolved for an optimal launch experience.

This flexibility proved crucial in maintaining the best possible conditions for moving forward.

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?

‣ I continue to keep my book in front of readers, added lesson plans and other promotional materials to support the book.

‣ I also do interviews, podcasts, answer HARO inquiries, talk to schools, businesses, and others who have not purchased the book.

‣ I keep my websites updated. I also have an award for one of my books and I use the reviews to keep the book in front of people.

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