A year ago, I was gearing up for the release of “A Symphony of Cicadas.” And the anticipation to actually publish the book was killing me. In fact, my patience was so thin, I published it a week before the date I announced it would be released.
Here was my official announcement. Isn’t that newbie author just adorable (and so naive)?
The truth was, there was no reason for me to wait that extra week. Besides my friends and family, no one else really knew anything about my book at all, or that this really awesome story was about to be revealed to the world. I don’t fault myself, I just didn’t know how to get the word out there.
A year later, and I’m still learning that process. However, this past year I’ve had a few new ways to market my book come to my attention. And because of this, I have actually created a list of things to do from now until the day the book publishes. With a lot of determination (and a little luck), my book should be properly launched by the time March 15th gets here.
For those of you who are curious about my timeline (or if you’re an author looking for an example of what another author might be doing as they prepare for their book release), here’s my proposed calendar for the next month or so. I hope I don’t take too much of the mystique out of my process by divulging all this, lol! The dates are when I’d like each task to be done by. As you can see, I’m early with my blogging schedule. 🙂 (Note: this list will likely change as I remember other things I’ve forgotten to add)
Forever Thirteen to-do list
Feb 1 – Redesign newsletter
Feb 3 – Blog – How to Launch a Book
Feb 3 – Write Feb 6 newsletter
Feb 3 – Finalize cover
Feb 3 – Finalize back
Feb 5 – Upload to Goodreads
Feb 5 – Create Goodreads giveaway
Feb 8 – Create postcards
Feb 9 – Press Release
Feb 9 – Blog
Feb 10 – Write Feb 13 newsletter
Feb 10 – Write acknowledgements, about the author
Feb 14 – Buy $20 Starbucks card
Feb 15 – Re-format edited book
Feb 15 – Order ARCs (advance reader copies) for beta readers, contest winners
Feb 15 – Create ePub, Mobi files of book
Feb 15 – Upload to Amazon, iTunes, B&N, Kobo
Feb 15 – Advance readers?
Feb 15 – Book blog tour (proposed March 24-28)
Feb 16 – Blog
Feb 17 – Write Feb 20 newsletter
Feb 17 – Create blog book page
Feb 23 – Blog
Feb 24 – Write Feb 27 newsletter
Feb 25 – Create blog banner
Feb 25 – Create FB banner
Mar 2 – Blog
Mar 3 – Pick Rafflecopter winner, send out ARC
Mar 3 – Write Mar 6 newsletter
Mar 9 – Contact local bookstore about release party
Mar 9 – Blog
Mar 10 – Write Mar 13 newsletter (reminder about release day, links to sneak peeks)
Mar 10 – Write Mar 15 newsletter (release day!)
Mar 15 – Publish day!
Mar 15 – Add to Amazon FB store
Mar 15 – Announce on FB, Twitter, blog
Mar 16 – Relish in the glory of another published novel. You did it! 🙂
Mar 22 – Blog – Announce blog tour stops
Mar 24-28 – Reblog tour
April – Bookstore release party
P.S. If you’re an author, and there are things you’ve done that you swear by as you prepare for your book’s release, please help an author out (me and anyone reading this) by leaving your tips in the comments. Thank you!
5 thoughts on “How to launch a book”
I once made a blog post announcing the release of my first book – a crime novel I was particularly excited about but hadn’t finished – three months from the time of posting. That novel is still sitting on the shelf, unpublished. After frantic editing, I decided it wasn’t ready and wouldn’t be in the immediate future, and moved on.
What I’ve learned from this is not to announce a release until your book is done, and perhaps devote that extra time to marketing-related things like cover art and getting the word out. Setting aside time to buy and consume coffee is also important.
As someone who has just started writing and is a long ways a way from even considering a “Forever Thirteen to-do list”, this is very helpful (and daunting). Enjoy March 16 (the “Relish in the glory of another published novel. You did it!”) — you’ll definitely deserve it! Thanks for sharing what you learned. It is very appreciated. All the best…
Don’t be daunted! But do pay attention to what other authors are doing so that you have an idea when it’s your turn. And remember two things – one thing at a time, and writing always comes first. Good luck!
An ambitious to-do list! It’s always good to hear how other authors plan for this. Congrats on your book! 🙂
Of course, I’m already behind, lol. The cover is being more difficult than I anticipated. But once that’s done, I can fly through the next few steps. :-). I actually love looking to see what other authors are doing. It helps me to know whether I’m on the right track or not, and what else I could be doing.