With my blogged book edited and designed and ready for printing, the forewords and blurbs all in, and everything basically in the hands of the publisher, you might think I’m just sitting around twiddling my thumbs. Not.
I am gearing up for the busiest period in the life of my book yet. March and April represent my big pre-promotion months. I’ll be doing all the planning for the “big launch,” which happens in May. The book will finally be ready for shipping in late April, which means I’ll actually have them in my hands for the first time when I go to Southern California to speak at the end of that month. The three-to-six month period beginning May 1 serves as my window for promoting the book, with the first three months representing an opportunity to make the biggest push.
What will I be doing? Right now I’m going through the Writer’s Digest Books list of pre-release activities. These include things like:
- Creating a business card with the cover of my book on one side
- Creating a book launch event
- Introducing myself to a local independent bookseller and to local libraries
- Preparing a press release
I’m also going through the promotion plan I created in my book proposal, which included pre-publication items and post publication items. I’ve also been increasing awareness of the book and driving presales with my 4-part “Blog Your Way to a Book Deal” teleclass.
I’m also reading Dana Lynn Smith’s book How to Get Your Book Reviewed: Sell More Books with Reviews, Testimonials and Endorsements. And I’m gearing up to send out the latest PDF galley of the book to reviewers.
Plus, I’m beginning to put into place the post publication launch pieces. For instance, I am:
- Taking a blog tour course offered by John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books: For Authors and Publishers. As part of this course, I’ve begun to set up my blog tour, which I hope will include 20-30 “stops” with what John calls SuperStar bloggers. This will take place in May. In June, I am planning what John calls a BlogPalooza, much like what I do during Write Nonfiction in November. I will bring in superb guest bloggers during that month to drive traffic to my blog.
- Planning a radio tour for the month of June (and possibly May).
- Developing events for an actually launch day at the end of April, which will include a teleseminars, a book giveaway, a coaching session giveaway, and some other things.
- Looking for speaking engagements during the six months after the launch of the book and, actually for a whole year after the book is published.
- Updating my websites, social networks and blogs so the book can be sold easily from there.
Additionally, Writer’s Digest has a post-publication to-do list:
- Take a signed copy to the local library.
- Contact the press for features.
- Contact local book stores wherever I go.
If this sounds like a lot of work, well…It doesn’t just sound it, it is. I’ll be honest; I’m struggling to get all of this done and to keep up with my blogs (4 of them) and my client work. Forget about getting much other writing done or working on the other book proposals my agent would like on her desk (yesterday).
How will I get it all done? I can’t keep staying up until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. I’m about to hire an intern to help, and I’m looking at spending some of my advance for a virtual assistant instead. (That might be a better use of the money than almost anything else, including some of the items on my promotion plan.)
I have a long to-do list, and I’m chunking away at it day by day. That’s the best I can do.
If any of you have launched a book and have other ideas for how to successfully get one off the ground—or to manage the time needed to do so, I’d love to hear them (and I’m sure my readers would, too). Please leave me a comment.