To those in America, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you have a long list of things you are thankful for. I most certainly do. I try to remember every day, no matter how bad the day before was, has the opportunity for me to improve.

Next, I am published. Nothing like driving through Chicago traffic (it’s not as bad as they say as long as it’s not morning, night, or Sunday after a holiday), and you get a phone call telling you the book’s live. Two weeks before what they told you it would be.

“But Paul, that’s great!”

“But human being, you don’t get what goes into marketing!”

Today I’m going to tell you what goes into marketing before the book releases.

First, after you hand in a finished manuscript, you will need to do the cover art. Often you have the option, especially with a vanity press, to use some stock photos, or to supply your own. I appreciate the starving artist, so I often help someone out, especially people just getting into art. Simply because they’re $200 instead of $1000. I can sort of afford one of those.

There is also font to think about. You will need to note internal font (I really like minion, but garamond is pretty solid as well), external font (I literally just told them something that looks like the Aladdin title), and don’t forget to mention what scene breaks look like. While the industry standard (or what I’ve been exposed to) is to leave a space, #, space, for the publisher I used it means keep the hashtag. Awkward. Usually they have some sort of glyph bible to go off.

Depending on how you do self publishing depends on how much layout you have to worry about. Fortunately I worried about none of it.

At this point I also highly suggest you have a platform, some teasers, and you’re looking into events. The platform is something as simple as WordPress. Get your name out there, get people interested. Understand that audience does not equate to sales. I have over 600 followers. If I get 20 sales through my WordPress, not a bad day.

On the flip side, people who read my book and like it will likely look to my WordPress. Now my WordPress is my way to keep a hooked reader coming back, since it will likely be 18 months before another novel, with a few short stories here and there.

Teasers make people interested. You have a cover release. You show the synopsis. Talk about your inspirations. Make sure to be quick to interact with your audience. If they feel they’re getting to know you, they’re more likely to want to read what you write. They feel a connection.

As for events, everything I’ve seen says this is the most important part of sales within the first six months. I will talk about events more on a later post.

This is a good precursor to preparing yourself for the news your book is live. Hopefully you have a more solid date so you can prepare for it, but either way, when you have a plan, you can enact it when required.

Next time I will talk about what happens after the book goes live! Most of this will be what I’m planning, as well as information gleaned by those already published, since I just got published yesterday.

2 thoughts on “Self Publishing II: Before Launch

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