I’ve heard some authors asking for a “checklist for publication”, so I’m pulling up two examples from high-selling indie authors. Standard caveats apply: these checklists are several years old, and the authors involved may do things differently now. They happen to be romance authors, so your genre may be different. They are not guarantors of success. You are not obligated to do every item on the checklist. Caveat Emptor; advice is only worth what you make of it, not what you pay for it.
1.) Elle Casey
1. Excerpts (4 or 5)
2. ARC in mobi and PDF
3. PROMO copy in mobi and PDF
4. Banner for book blast
5. Banner for book tour
6. Banner for FB promo ad
7. Interview questions
8. Guest posts
1. Front cover
2. Full wrap cover
4. Content warning
5. Upload to Goodreads
6. Put Goodreads link on Facebook for to-read.
7. Bookmarks, postcards, other swag
8. Contact former reviewers in same genre and offer ARC
9. ARC sendout
10. Book tour
11. Book blast
14. Upload to Amazon
15. Upload to B&N
16. Upload to Kobo
17. Upload to iTunes
18. Author Central update
19. Editorial reviews on Authorcentral
20. Announce on FB
21. Announce on Website
22. Send out newsletter alert. Include GR links for upcoming books.
23. Change various tabs on Website (Books, Widget, Catablog, publishing schedule post)
24. Email reminders to ARC recipients to leave reviews on launch day
25. Facebook promoted posts after 20 reviews and ranking
26. Maybe change price after 1 week or ranking kicks in high
27. Add book to Facebook Amazon store
2.) H.M. Ward
MARKETING PRIOR TO RELEASE DAY
1. Blog Post – include links to all retailers, description, trailer (if I made one), release date, and cover.
2. Update Blog Widgets – add cover image to blog sidebar with link to book in Kindle Store.
3. Update Goodreads – make sure release date is in bold and change it to TODAY and sale price.
4. Add book to author central.
5. Add bold text, reviews, and the about the author section via Author Central.
6. Create mass email to get sent out on release day with links to ppl on the newsletter list.
7. Create social media ad images to be used as teasers on release day & week (hot link to book).
8. Post reminders on Twitter and Facebook that the book comes out tomorrow. Link to 1st chapt on blog if I posted a teaser. (I do that for YA).
9. Add cover to Pintrest
10. Add other images that pertain to story idea or creation to Pintrest.
11. Update link to book on website.
12. Dispense ARCs
13. Check in with Beta Readers (if used)
14. Post links to books on Twitter and FB.
15. Contact Book Reviewers that requested personal reminders on release days.
16. Go out and take the day off so I don’t watch the computer all day.
***These are my notes from last August***
Most of this stuff is free. The only thing that I pay for is the email service so I can track stuff. It is time consuming, but its worked well for me. A good release day will bump one of my new books up into the top 3,000. A ho-hum day will be around 10,000. Holidays, school, weekends, etc all affect release days. I try to launch the book when people will be around. There is usually an uptick in sale the two weeks following launch day as reviews start to come in.
****THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS NOW****
In addition to the things above, I might take out a paid ad if it’s the first book in a series. I plan promotions to kick in when the anticipated sales slump starts. I was hospitalized during my last novel release, and by the time I woke up, that novel was already in the top 100. A ho-hum release now will hit a rank of about 800 on release day. A highly anticipated book will hit the top 50. One of the major shifts over the past year was that I started writing romance. The info above was for YA PNR. Last August I had 14 titles under my belt. As of now, I have 37. About 1/2 novels, 1/2 serials.
THIS IS STILL THE SAME: The best piece of advice I can give someone trying to boost their sales is this: MAKE IT REALLY EASY TO BUY YOUR BOOK! Don’t make people go looking for it.
And if you are selling to women/ girls: MAKE IT PRETTY! I use picture links a lot too.
I started that big fat list … with nothing. I didn’t even know how to use FB and my current twitter understanding is probably wonky. #iUseHasHtagsWrong. Lol. The key- pick one thing, learn how it works, and then learn another. Its one thing at a time, one day at a time. Every marketing effort is aimed at making it easier for readers to find my books. These things aren’t cutthroat-they are lines of communication that are open between the author and the reader. These things make it easier to connect with readers without ever leaving the house.
Pick one thing, learn it, and own it. Start there. It may seem like a drop in the bucket, but eventually that bucket fills up. More books=more communication=more readers=demand for more books and then the cycle repeats. Every new release pulls in more ppl. All the stuff on the list gives them an easy way to keep up with the author.
Speaking of newly released things, Peter Grant’s Brings the Lightning is now out in Audiobook! Check it out!
For a more modern day book, OldNFO put out the 4th book in his The Grey Man series (Partners). If you like westerns, you’ll like this series. Guns, Horses, Texas ranch life, drug smugglers, overseas operations… if L’amour were writing about the battles on the border now, we’d call it a western. I think JL calls it a thriller, though.
As it follows multiple generations of the ranch family, I recommend y’all start with the first in the series: The Grey Man: Vignettes