Publishing and Self-Publishing: Next Steps
NOTE: This is the second in a series of occasional posts on my ongoing adventures and misadventures in self-publishing. Had I known what I’m posting here and will post in occasional future pieces on publishing, this journey would have been a far less rocky road! (Our regular programming will resume shortly.)
Regardless of whether you are planning to self-publish or are getting published by a traditional publisher, these are a few things it would be good for you to do before – preferably long before – your books are published.
1. Influencers. Gather together the names, addresses, and email addresses of the influencers you know so you can send them review copies of your book a) to create blurbs for your book and b) so they can review the book shortly before it goes live. Influencers include anyone who has a following, such as book reviewers, bloggers, other writers, or people who are fans of your writing and who connect and network well. (I think of these people as “connectors,” and many of us have people who are skilled at that in our lives.)
2. Minions. Gather together the names and email addresses of your “minions” (friends, fans of your writing, helpful family members) so you can find out if they want to be on board your launch team. The launch team will receive pre-release versions of the book so they can leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads as soon as the book is launched, and they will share info about your book among the people they know. They may also do other promotional tasks, such as ordering the book from their local libraries to induce the libraries to buy copies.
3. Everybody. Gather together the names and email addresses of everybody you know so they can be informed of upcoming launches, sales, events, etc. They might also buy books, leave reviews, order from their libraries, etc.
4. Buy Your First 1000 Copies by Tim Grahl and read it. Of all the book launch and book promotion stuff I’ve read in the past year, it’s the simplest, clearest, and also most generally applicable map of the process I’ve encountered. Grahl’s book will give you his ideas on how and when to use the lists of names in items 1, 2, and 3 above.
None of these tasks should take a big chunk of your time, and they are all best done months before the book actually comes out.
If you already have a previous book published, you should also:
5. Amazon. Join Amazon Author Central and set up your Author Page. While logged into your Amazon account, search for one of your books, click on your author name, and you should be directed to your existing Author Page. There, you should find a link for claiming the page as yours and updating the book information and author bio. If you don’t yet have a book on Amazon, you will have to wait until the book’s pre-release period to do this.
6. Goodreads. Join Goodreads and apply to be a Goodreads Author. The Goodreads process is similar to that on Amazon (who owns Goodreads) if you already have a book on Goodreads. If you don’t have a book listed there, you can add your book and then claim the author page once the book is in its pre-release period.
Becoming familiar with the structure and functions of the author pages as early in the process as you can will make it much easier to clean up the inevitable errors in your book descriptions, author bio, and other fields, and to format the pages so they are most inviting to future readers.
David J. Bookbinder
P.S. There’s a new review of Paths to Wholeness on the site “Reader’s Favorite”: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/paths-to-wholeness
52 (more) Flower Mandalas: An Adult Coloring Book for Inspiration and Stress Relief
52 Flower Mandalas: An Adult Coloring Book for Inspiration and Stress Relief
Paths to Wholeness: Selections (free eBook)