Preparing Your Book for Launch
I’ve been torn between traditional publishing and self-publishing for quite some time. They both offer their own significant pros and cons. So it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but although I had a New York agent interested in my second novel, Mists of Bayou Rhyne, I
have chosen to self-publish. What does this mean to a writer? It means I have to take off my writing hat and put on my marketing one. It means I won’t have anyone in my corner cheering me on through book signings, appearances, readings, blog tours, launch parties, let alone help with book design and editing. All of this is on me, now.
Is Everything in Place?
It’s crucial to know when your book is ready for release.
- Professional formatting and editing
- Professional book cover design and thumbnail *
- Prepare a bio
- Prepare back cover copy
- Prepare front copy (inside book)
- Prepare copyright information
- Buy your ISBNs
- Apply to the Library of Congress for approval
- e-Book format check *
- Set up profiles on Createspace, KDP, BN.com, and Smashwords
- Set up your Author Profile for use on Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Facebook
- Buy links
*Book cover design – I didn’t cut corners here; I hired an artist friend of mine to create the cover. Mists of Bayou Rhyne is set, you guessed it, in the bayou. I want the cover to have the inclusive eeriness and charm of the bayou with a hint of the spiritual element. Though I searched, I found nothing in images that came close to what I wanted; hence the artist.
Of note about book covers – this is one of the most important areas of completing a novel. I highly recommend that you DO NOT cut corners here. The book cover is the gateway to the novel’s soul. A bad book cover will kill your story without a fair fight. You might have written an award worthy novel, but if the reader can’t get into the cover, most won’t consider looking inside to see how good the story is. The cover is a piece of art all on its own. It deserves the respect it warrants. DO IT RIGHT.
*e-Book formatting – If this is not your thing, buy a book or hire someone to do it for you. This must be done right. If a reader tries to download your novel and has difficulty getting it on their device, they may feel all sorts of things from being slighted, angered, frustrated, and even ripped off. Their review may reflect more on the poor quality of the download instead of the great quality of your writing.
Website design – make sure you have a website and that it reflects the feeling of your books. You want to stand out here. If you already have a website, be sure to update it to include the new novel.
Blog tour – reach out to bloggers and set up several where you can either be interviewed or guest post to promote your new launch.
Other things to have ready:
- Author bio/profile
- Author photo
- Book description/blurbs
- Buy links
- Tweets – prepared in advance
- Amazon info package
With the above in place, now I’m ready to prepare for my book launch. Come back next week for part 2 of Preparing Your Book for Launch where we’ll look at a sample plan and discuss in detail the important steps to a successful book launch.
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I wish you all the best with your scribblings.