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Thursday, 18 August 2016 07:15

My Self-publishing Timeline

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When I decided to go the Indie route, my first step was to do months of research. Using the information I gathered (and being an avid list-maker!) I wrote out a publishing timeline for myself – all the steps I would need to take, in order, to reach my goal of producing my first self-published book.

Now - only halfway through my journey - I’ve already revised my list a dozen times. And that’s okay - I’m working to get it right for next time.  I’m sure there are more revisions to come, but just so you know I haven’t been goofing off this last month, I’ve decided to post my current timeline.

For anyone thinking of self-publishing a novel, feel free to copy it. Yours will almost certainly be different but it’s a starting point you can refine how you like.

For anyone who’s already been down the self-publishing path, I invite your comments on anything you think I could’ve done differently or that I left out. And for any interested readers, this will give you some idea of what authors go through to produce a novel without the support of a traditional publisher.

Once I reach the end of this process and have finished revising, I'll post a free download of my complete timeline with explanations of what each step is and why I made the choices I did. Until then, here’s how things stand at the moment:

Phase 1: Editing/Feedback (2-3 months)
_____    finish final draft of manuscript            
_____    submit manuscript to editor                 
_____    give manuscript to beta readers            

Phase 2: Product Preparation (to do while ms is with editor and beta readers)
Book Exterior
_____    decide book title and subtitle
_____    select/design front cover image
_____    write shout line (or use editorial review quote)
_____    write back cover copy
_____    select back cover background (design back cover using InDesign)
For Amazon
_____    write book description for Amazon website (approx 500 words)
_____    set 5 book key words
_____    decide book category
_____    decide print and ebook prices
_____    choose my publisher name
_____    purchase ISBNs from Bowkers/MyIndentifiers
_____    create CreateSpace and KDP accounts
_____    create Createspace project file and enter all preliminaries (above items)
_____    write author bio for book interior and Author Central
_____    write acknowledgements
_____    create end-of-book sample of my next book (and its release date)
_____    create a page with cover and blurb for each previous book
Goodreads
_____  add new book to Goodreads website (cover and blurb but no ISBN)
_____  do a cover reveal via General Updates and/or GR blog
_____  schedule a Giveaway of my previous book  
_____  announce giveaway on Status Updates and GR blog
_____  add giveaway widget to Welcome page of my website
_____  shelve books, join groups, engage with readers
_____  upload free ‘sneak preview’ excerpt from new book
_____  announce ‘sneak preview’ on GR blog/general updates
Other
_____  announce upcoming release on Facebook (cover reveal)
_____  get new author photo taken
_____  prepare list of blog reviewers to send ARCs to
_____  create and start using new email signature (new book cover and release date)
_____  announce on Facebook ‘sneak preview’ available on GR  
_____  editor returns edits  

Phase 3: ARC Preparation (3 wks)
_____  revise manuscript as per editor and beta reader feedback (2 wks)
_____  format book interior (CreateSpace, Wordpress, Bookdesign, Vellum)
_____  upload completed interior template to CreateSpace by: _____________
_____  once you have book dimensions, design backcover and spine
_____  upload complete book file to CreateSpace (allow 24-48 hrs for approval)
_____  once approved, order proof copy
_____  in the meantime, proof read book via CS on-line proofing; make corrections
_____  once interior has been proof read, submit e-ARCs to reviewers (see list below)
_____  once proof copy arrives, check cover and make final changes on CS
_____  once approved, order copies for launch and Goodreads pre-release giveaway
_____  create e-book through Kindle Direct
_____  create pre-order link on Amazon
_____  ARCs complete and ready to submit for review by: ________
               add 3 months to above date to get release date: ___________

Phase 4: Reviews/Pre-release Promotion (10-12 wks)
send e-ARCs for author endorsements
_____  submit ARC to Publishers Weekly                
_____  submit ARC to Best Thrillers                     
_____  run a giveaway on Library Thing        
_____  submit to Goddess Fish blog tour              
send e-ARC to pre-selected blogger/reviewers:
Goodreads
_____  commence Goodreads Giveaway of ___ ARCs
_____  initiate Goodreads paid advertizing campaign for giveaway
_____  update author profile on Goodreads (new author photo and bio)
Website
_____  update Welcome page with new release cover and blurb  
_____  install new Goodreads Giveaway Widget
_____  create free-sample link to Amazon
_____  create pre-order link  
_____  blog about new release (the story behind the story, interesting notes about the setting, things I learned researching the book, food recipes from the area, etc)
Facebook
_____  announce Goodreads Giveaway of new release
_____  add Goodreads review widget
_____  post good editorial reviews
_____  announce launch date
Other
_____  update Amazon Author Central page
_____  winners of Goodreads Giveaway selected on ____ – send out prizes
_____  commence 2nd Goodreads Giveaway  
_____  organize author talks, signings, book tour (libraries, book clubs)
_____  order book marks
_____  organize launch
_____  contact local paper to announce book launch
_____  post good reviews on website as they come in
_____  add editorial reviews to Amazon book listing via Author Central dashboard
_____  add editorial reviews to Goodreads book listing
_____  winners of Goodreads 2nd Giveaway announced – send out ARCs
_____  write launch speech
_____  write author talk speechPhase 5: Release Promotion
_____  (change shout line on book cover to a quote from editorial review)
_____   release book for sale on Amazon
_____  announce Goodreads Launch Giveaway of ___ signed copies (week of launch)
_____  local book launch ______________________
_____  winners of Goodreads Launch Giveaways chosen – send out prizes
_____  answer ‘ask the author’ questions on Goodreads
_____  submit new-release title to writers groups I belong to
_____  announce/post schedule of book tour on website and Facebook
_____  continue to add good reviews to website pagePhase 6: Post-release
_____  enter book in any awards
_____  announce any nominations/wins on Facebook, website, Goodreads, Amazon

Other Branding/Platform Building Options
    plan a workshop to present
    write an article for a writers group newsletter
    write guest blog for friends, contacts, writers groups I belong to
    post a Utube video interview on my website, FB and Goodreads

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