Every author I know finds launches scary. I’ve never met a writer yet, traditional or indie that hits send/upload/publish who doesn’t crap themselves and wonder whether people are going to love it/hate it/trash them/hunt them down with a shotgun. Me, I’m kinda worried that I’ll have a scary fan, ala Misery by Stephen King. That would be just my luck.
Still – every book, it’s like you’re a new author again. So I thought I’d share some of the stuff I’ve done, in no particular order, for my release, and, if you don’t mind, dear reader, get your input and find out what you do.
There’s lots of stuff you need to do before you get to this last week, so I’m not going to cover them. You should always check the lead time on blogs and other places that you need to post to. As places like POI and ENT don’t take books until they have a certain number of reviews, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get to list there for launch, but if you can manage it, you should probably do so.
If you’re doing a launch, you really should email bloggers and blogs you like. We get lots of requests on 2mi, to take interviews and guest posts, which we don’t do, but other sites do. Check the guidelines and ask!
(there are some great lists on groups like The Indie Exchange and The Indie Author Group). You might be able to get some coverage for your release, or book in later for a guest post.
I recommend setting up a calendar – me, I keep one at http://icloud.com, but only because I can keep it and edit it on my phone and it shows up in my sidebar at Author Interrupted. You can do the same at Google with a login. Make sure you follow any instructions that these bloggers send – I recommend storing them in a separate email folder and dealing with them one after the other.
After the launch, keeping the momentum up is difficult. You’ve got to go back to writing (because you can’t be a one hit wonder), promote and keep the momentum going on the first/second/millionth book. You’ve got to plan in other words. Get some blog posts in, promote your book, look for guest blogging opportunities, and start working towards the advertising ‘rules’ on the big blogs that indies use.
But remember too – you’re not just your book. Interact, give back and support others. It’s important to make sure you’re keeping your friends and making more in the community. Or you’ll alienate those wanting to help you.
We’ve talked about sock puppet reviews already. We also talked pen names, which a lot of people are mixing up. but it’s important to reiterate the one major thing about cheating. Your reputation will NEVER repair from that – people may or may not care, but it will follow you, to the end of your writing days. And while honesty is the best policy (and you should tell before you’re exposed), contrition isn’t enough in the world of viral sharing.
Your mantra should be ‘don’t cheat’.
Soon, your book will be ‘olds’ not ‘news’ and you can get back into what you need to – but while it’s ‘new’, roll with it. Find unique and interesting ways to promote. Find your readership zen. And find your happy place. It’s YOUR book. Make the promotion your own too.
This week, Kai is launching Glass Block….she hopes.