Publishing – thru a Publisher or Indie – the CHECK LIST

I guest blogged on I JUST WANNA SIT HERE AND READ Jan 21, 2012 and wanted to share what I’d written here.

The checklist a writer needs to know and do

If you are reading this, the first I need to do is congratulate on you on reaching the point of publication.  Writing is a long, hard process from the dreaming of the story to molding it, editing it, perfecting it, editing it, changing a few things to make it smoother, editing it, adding some foreshadowing and co-relation to things you didn’t initially see, and editing it (did I mention the editing part?)  ☺   So… Congratulations on reaching this part of the amazing journey.
However, it isn’t done yet.  There is a small checklist of things you need to know and do before you are published. Some of them you are probably already doing, others you might not have a clue about.
My YA Fantasy debut novel just recently was released and I’m still learning the process. There are a few things I know now that I wish I knew before. Here are a few words of advice.
Half a year before your publication date:
Start your social networking  (it’s never too early)
– Have a website (if you can’t afford one or don’t want to fork money over for a professional one, go to a “free” site like yolasite.com ) Have one set up so it’s ready to go when you need it!
– Have Facebook and create a “fan” page or a Facebook page for your main character
– Twitter – either your own, or one for one of your main characters (or shoot – do two for your two main characters and have them converse together ☺
– Blog – or start one
– Make a Book Trailer (that’s a whole other blog topic on its own!)
Advertisement
– Once your cover is finalized get little adverts to post or hand out or simply available.  My book is YA so I had bookmarks, postcards, flyers, magnets, calendars, pens, t-shirts, mugs, decals made up.   Everybody loves free stuff.    I use vista.com – they have loads of free items and great deals flying around constantly.  I used business cards to make little book marks and adverts with the cover of the book, a link to my website and where the book is available.
Three to one month prior:
Your publisher will be doing this as well, but it is very important you do the leg work as well – start contacting blogs to ask if they are interested in doing a review for your book.  Let them know the release date so they can work to get it done in time for the release.  Reviews on Amazon, Barnes & noble, Goodreads, etc… are all helpful and it helps spread the word of your book. Once people start to see and hear, they’ll look you up (where your website comes in handy☺ and your blog, and all your other social networking that’s already all in place).
ARCs are important and will get the word out on the street about your book before it’s released.
It is REALLY important.
Set up a blog tour for after the books release. This includes reviews but also author interviews, or guest blogs (you can write a few blog ideas while you are waiting and expand on them when you go to visit a blog.  Plan some to coincide with some key dates (for example, this blog I’m writing here today is up the same day I have a large book signing in my hometown, at one of our local bookstores).  People who purchase your book, or stop by your table to pick up those hand little post cards or bookmarks have the opportunity to look you up on Google or Yahoo, or your website and see the links.
Plan some giveaways for your blog tours – a paperback, an eBook, a coffee mug, bookmarks or whatever else you can think of.  Again, people love free stuff (I know I do!)
Schedule a party or book signing for your books release. Make it relevant to the story.
Talk with your publicist regarding their plans for book signings but make the effort to contact local stores and cities around you.  Don’t just email, go in and talk to them – give them a face to the name and you’ll be surprised, most stores are really supportive of their local authors.
Send information about your book (like a little media page that covers the information of your book, a back-flap summary and short author biography) and send to local school librarians.  Also include some book reviews that have already been done.
Contact papers, radios and set up a good press release.
Have fun as the day and time draws closer.  And if you don’t have huge sales on the release day… keep plugging your book – it can turn out like wild fire and spread like crazy! In a super-fantastic way!!

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~ by wanitajump on January 30, 2012.

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