I’ve been a planner since way back. I didn’t need to take the Myers-Briggs to know that I have a strong preference towards data-based decisions and am very time-oriented. I experience a high level of stress when I leave the house without my watch on. I am constantly thinking about how to best utilize my time and maintaining an efficient schedule.
Yes, I’m that person.
So it may surprise you a bit to know that I fell into my book launch schedule more than I actually planned it. I think that is because I recognized that there were a lot of things that I didn’t know, and if I set my expectations too high and some went off the rails unexpectedly, I’d be in trouble.
I had to strike a balance between planning and being able to remain nimble. Here’s where I landed on the things that I identified as “necessities” in the plan and how it worked out.
- Timeline: I decided to bring Edge of Shadows “>Edge of Shadows still hasn’t been accepted into Smashwords Premium Catalog which is a requirement to get it distributed to B&N, Sony, and Kobo among others. And once it’s accepted, it can take up to another week to before it’s submitted as Smashwords only distributes to those outlets once a week. I definitely need to take this into consideration before I publish my next novel.
- Gathering the Troops: By far the biggest complaints I’ve seen on the self-publishing front from readers are either a) lack of editing or b) poor cover design. I knew I was going to have to invest some cash and hire these out. So I had to make some decisions fast. Outcome: I posted for an editor on eLance the day I made the decision to publish, and selected my editor, Christine LaPorte from the 40+ bids that came in. I found Scarlett Rugers through the Nano site and she was running a scary good promotion on cover design that I snapped up. Both delivered on time with no problem.
- Sounding the Horn: Book promotion is supposed to start well ahead of the actual live date of the book. I had this site up and running, but it wasn’t current. I had a Facebook page set-up, but I didn’t even have 25 fans yet to be able to customize my URL. I had let my Twitter handle languish in favor of my other one given my most recent area of interest. I knew this was by far the area that needed the most work. Outcome: I’ve been spending a lot of time here, and will continue to do so to grow my fan base. This is mission critical, so there’s no other way. What I need to do though is be very careful not to let my book promotion take away from my writing time.
You don’t have to have a complete business plan drafted to self-publish a book. But I do think that you do have to have realistic expectations of what you can do with the time and money you have available. It is your job and your reputation that you are putting on the line, so it’s worth the time to slow down and flesh a couple of the finer details out.
Has this ever happened to you? One day you woke up and said to yourself, “Self- I want to publish a book.”
You could have many reasons behind that simple desire. Maybe you’ve had a story brewing deep down in your gut for what seems like ages. Maybe something happened to you in your life that you always wanted to put down in writing so that it would be remembered forever. Perhaps you simply wish to leave something of yourself behind forever.
Whatever your motivation, it all starts with that simple expression of intention that you sent out to the universe.
I was 12 when I declared that I wanted to be an author. I could give you my laundry list of excuses why it hasn’t happened yet, but it doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t take the necessary action to make that dream a reality until recently.
Oh, I wrote a book. I’ve written two novels in fact and I have three more in varying states of completion. But what you discover is that the actual writing of the book is only about 40% of your overall journey to getting your work into the hands of any reader.
After that, you enter this confusing realm of book publishing and it is very easy to get good and stuck right there. In fact, that’s where I’ve been for the last three years or so. But not for much long.
Next week I’m launching my first novel, jetheriot)