Now that my editor has my book and is working on her first run-through, I’m left with a little time to contemplate my publishing plans. Like most people who head down the path of becoming an Indie Publisher, where to start can be a really big question!
I’ve been browsing blogs, websites, and forums about how to get my book launched, and one thing has become really clear… I should have started yesterday. Marketing a novel doesn’t start when the book is ready for purchase, it starts way before that.
In some ways, I have been doing some unofficial pre-launch marketing. I’ve been talking to people about the book. I’ve been blogging and posting some stuff on social media. So, it’s not like I am at absolute zero, but I want this to be a successful start to a long-term obsession, and I needed to get organized. I certainly don’t want to be one of those annoying authors who release their book in one place and then constantly whine because it’s not selling.
Pre-Launch Marketing Goals
First, I needed to specifically state what it is that I want to accomplish with my pre-launch marketing. Being more focused on the mechanics of getting the book complete, I really needed to identify some tangible items that I could accomplish before I launch. In a total Homer Simpson “D’oh!” moment, I realized my first goal, and quickly settled on two more.
1. Create some pre-launch SALES!
2. Grow my social media presence as an author
3. Create some buzz around The Betrayal of Ka
For some experienced Indie Publishers, one thing might seem to be missing… pre-launch reviews. I have decided to trim the time from the completion of editing/revisions to the actual launch date. I will try to get a few very early reviews, but they are likely to happen in tandem or shortly after the launch.
Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty Prep Work
I hopped in Evernote, and began listing all the tasks that needed to be accomplished to execute any pre-launch marketing activities. They ended up breaking down into four categories. Below are the categories and some of the specific tasks.
There were a number of things that I need to have completed so that I could actually begin to do some pre-launch marketing activities.
- Get a Book Cover designed ASAP!!!!!
- Build the “About Shea” statement
- Rework the “Blurb” once again
- Decide on the actual launch date – September 1st – 15th?
Sales Channel Preparation
I’ve already decided that I am starting with selling eBooks via KDP Select and paperbacks via CreateSpace. Using KDP Select means that I am exclusively on Amazon for 90-days for ebooks. It will be both a test and honestly, there are only so many hours in the day. This makes it easy. CreateSpace seemed an easy decision, until I started digging. I’ll need an Amazon Advantage account to do presales of paperback. My research also led me to decide that I need another distributor for outside of the Amazon ecosphere.
- Purchase my ISBNs from Brokker
- Register for KDP Select
- Register with Amazon’s CreateSpace
- Do not use Expanded Distribution
- Plan to use my own ISBN
- Register for an Amazon Advantage Account – Allows me to do presales of paperback
- Register for an IngramSpark Account – Non-Amazon, paperback distribution
Social Media Preparation
Geez, I am about to have a published book, shouldn’t I say that I am an author on my social media profiles? There are also a few sites where I need to be…
- Setup my Goodreads Author Page
- Setup as an author on LibraryThing
- Add Goodreads link to “Get Connected” page on SheaOliver.com
- Update Facebook Profile / Create The Transprophetics FB Page
- Update LinkedIn Profile
- Update Twitter Profile
- Update Instagram Profile
- Update Google+ Profile
I’m a little ahead of the curve, because I already have a website. It’s a little daunting to think about breaking off with a website specifically for the book series, but I may eventually. For now, I’ll be using my current website as my “home.” I may build a mini-site to house a little bit of info for the books, but for now, it’s all about leveraging what I already have in place.
- Create a project page on SheaOliver.com for The Betrayal of Ka
- Get a sample page setup with the first couple of chapters of the book.
- Setup email address capture forms on both pages
Over the next week, I’ll roll in earnest on getting all these infrastructure items into place. By themselves, they might create a tiny bit of buzz, more likely a fleeting flutter.
So what EXACTLY are the activities that I need to do, once my infrastructure is in place, to start driving toward my goals?
I know that I don’t want to just flap my arms and announce, “I have a book coming!!!” That’ll garish me a great big, “Oh boy, congrats!” and that’s about it. I need to have something that enables me to “talk” and “interact” with people online and offline without being a totally annoying twit… It has to be something fun, interesting, something that people will want to know about, and something that has the potential to go beyond just me and my efforts.
I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I WANT TO DO!
In my next blog post, I’ll be sharing what my pre-launch marketing plan is actually coalescing around…