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Launch Checklist

My husband challenged me to compile the complete kitchen sink marketing checklist for launches – including everything I’m not managing right now. What else would you put in here? What do you do? What is your timeline for a release?


  • Series:Ā  at least 1 month out, set up first in series on promo email lists

  • Series: set up 5-day first-in series 99 cent run on KDP

  • ARC in mobi and PDF out to reviewers

  • ARC in print out to major publications (3 mo. prior)

  • Get banner from Cover artist for release & for promo ads

  • Research keywords & categories

  • Write blurb

  • Write one-liner hook for AMS ads

  • Interview Questions

  • Write & schedule Guest posts for other blogs, including MGC

  • Blog & Promo email: Cover Reveal, Blurb test, Release Date

  • Upload book and set preorder

  • Blog: First Chapter teaser

  • Link to teaser blog on FB

  • Preorder Blog Post – include links to all retailers, description, release date, and cover.

  • Bookmarks, Postcards, other swag

  • Update Blog Widgets – add cover image to blog sidebar with link to book in Kindle Store. (If pre-order, put up right away.)

  • Upload print book, get proof copy

  • Goodreads: upload book. Cover, blurb, release date

  • Add book to author central.

  • Add bold text, reviews, and the about the author section via Author Central.

  • If doing author newsletter swaps, set them up now.

  • Create mass email to get sent out on release day with links to ppl on the newsletter list.

  • Create social media ad images to be used as teasers on release day & week (hot link to book).

  • Post reminders on blog and Facebook that the book comes out tomorrow. Link to 1st chapt on blog if I posted a teaser.

  • Update link to book on website.

  • Dispense ARCs

  • Check in with Beta Readers (if used)

  • Upload book to KDP


  • Send out release email / promo on first in series to mailing list

  • Post links to books on blog, website, and FB

  • Update FB header w/ Banner image

  • Post MGC announcement (afternoon weekday post)

  • Change various tabs on Website (Books, Widget, publishing schedule post)

  • Email reminders to ARC recipients to leave reviews on launch day

  • Update Goodreads – make sure release date is in bold and change it to TODAY and sale price.

  • Send copies of book to Library of Congress & Copyright

  • Go out and take the day off so I don’t watch the computer all day.


  • If not linked in pre-order, use Author Central to link Print, Ebook, and series

  • Blog post follow-up on release

  • Thank ARC readers via email / mail swag to ARC & Beta readers

  • Once 5 reviews are in, start AMS ad campaign

  • Upload print copy changes

  • Donate proof copy to local library

  • Blog post celebrating success with readers (hitting lists, hitting major kindle store ranking, getting award)

  • Participate in multi-author promotions
  • Recommend other books to readers they may like, to keep engagement

  • Strategically promote a book during a specific season, or run season-specific promotions (ie, summer reading list)
  • Write the next book
  1. That’s a pretty exhaustive list O_O

    April 21, 2019
    • Hey, I noted it includes everything I’m not doing!

      April 21, 2019
  2. Draven #

    now we just need detailed instructions on how to get Larry to book bomb us and we’re fine.

    April 21, 2019
    • BobtheRegisterredFool #

      No such instructions exist.

      April 21, 2019
      • Brett Baker #

        He has to like your book?

        April 21, 2019
        • Draven #

          well, he also apparently has also get a pre-press copy, often

          April 21, 2019
        • BobtheRegisterredFool #

          The number of slots is necessarily limited, his mental resources for even evaluating stuff are sharply limited, and the stuff people have shown him that he likes is already enough for a huge waiting list.

          Any list of instructions would be on par with ‘cheap ways to win the lottery without going to jail’. Not reliable or realistic enough to bother with.

          Building your own brand and knowing your own marketing is much harder in theory. It is something that can be done, even if not as easily or with as good an RoI as one could dream.

          More high profile authors book bombing awesome stuff? Making that happen is still more practical than relying on a process to get Larry to book bomb one.

          April 24, 2019
    • Stanley Miller #

      As close to a Book Bomb checklist as you are going to find:

      April 21, 2019
  3. I got tired just reading it.

    April 21, 2019
  4. OMG! *Crawls into introvert cocoon, to hide*

    April 21, 2019
  5. thomas Monaghan #

    I’ve been waiting for the 2 Cochrane books in paper almost a year.

    April 21, 2019
  6. OldNFO #

    Yep, exhaustive but it WORKS! šŸ™‚

    April 21, 2019
  7. Oof! That makes me tired thinking about it. šŸ™‚ Which is exactly why we need this kind of checklist. Thanks, Dorothy.

    April 21, 2019
  8. Step zero, (which I haven’t accomplished yet )…finish writing the **** book.

    April 21, 2019
    • Nice to know I’m not alone. šŸ™‚

      Just keep plodding along, We’ll get there some day.

      April 22, 2019
    • Careful, though, the ideas are coming for you. I’ve got about 13 of the suckers chasing me in workable ‘just need to finish it’ draft form and I’m finally starting to get them DONE.

      April 24, 2019
  9. William Denton #

    Goodness, now I know why I don’t want to be an author. I knew there was a “Bunch of business stuff” involved, but, ouch. I will no longer twit my authors about their next book. bill

    On Sat, Apr 20, 2019 at 11:00 PM Mad Genius Club wrote:

    > Dorothy Grant posted: “My husband challenged me to compile the complete > kitchen sink marketing checklist for launches – including everything I’m > not managing right now. What else would you put in here? What do you do? > What is your timeline for a release? MARKETING PRIOR TO REL” >

    April 21, 2019
  10. mrsizer #

    Do series auto-link? It’s really nice to have the “next book” link at the end. There seem to be two sorts: See in store and Open. The latter only seems to work if you buy the series as a collection and they do not seem to auto-link (just finished book 7 of 8 and every other book had an Open button for the next; I had to go to Amazon to find the title of book 8).

    So, I would add: Be sure the “next in series” links work.

    April 22, 2019

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