Please join me on a journey to the stars via a book launch. This is my contribution to:
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond
Countdown to Launch
Wait! You need a pre-flight checklist. We’re counting down—months in advance if possible. :-O
10. Read the Smashwords Style Guide. It’s free. Make a habit of writing using styles. Turn on show formatting and correct problems such as dumb quotes as you write to save time and money later.
9. Join writers’ groups like IWSG, World Literary Café, and find writers in your genre. Critique and/or beta read for each other to save money on content editing later. If you want your books to do well, give support and tough love. Use the sandwich technique: praise where due, helpful criticism, praise.
8. Form an author co-operative like the Indelibles (YA/adult) or the Emblazoners (MG). Cross-promote to share the marketing load. Search for new members until you have a good fit because all must do their parts in time, expertise, and money.
7. Choose an online marketing platform with e-commerce and build it together. If you want to keep your profits, don’t use Blogger. Instead, use WordPress or a free site like Weebly that doesn’t have reposting rights. Look professional. Buy your own domain so your site doesn’t include the provider’s name.
6. Make a posting schedule. Google has a calendar you can share to see everyone’s planned posts. Do giveaways. Promote literacy. Invite other authors to guest post. Network on blogs and social media.
5. If you want to get book reviews, give them. Join Goodreads. Rate as many books as you remember reading. Be honest and helpful reviewing new releases. Again, use the sandwich method.
4. Finished writing? Hire an editor. Please. I find hundreds of errors in most indie books—missing and misused words, logic flaws, you name it—compared to fewer than 20 in professionally edited books. The Chicago Manual of Style says 20 should be twenty. OK should be okay. Whatever style you use, an editor will make it consistent.
3. Design your eBook with online sales in mind. If you can’t afford pricey software, buy an inexpensive Word template from The Book Designer. Also try Fiverr or eLance, including for interior illustrations and covers. Most important, your cover should be eye-catching and readable in thumbnail size because that’s what people see on Amazon.
2. Prepare publicity. Make an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) in multiple e-reader formats using free Calibre software. Check each and fix problems. Make a media kit including praise from other authors. Provide html to entice busy book bloggers.
1. With ARC and media kit in hand, arrange a blog tour to get reviews before the official launch date. Do guest posts and interviews. Don’t be afraid. You’re the expert on your book.
0. What did I miss? Panic. No, don’t. Read everyone else’s ideas to fill your tank. Then blast off. Upload to Amazon or Smashwords. Throw a launch party locally and online. The sky is no longer the limit.