Monday, 20 March 2017
The After Process: Release Day: Just the Beginning
RELEASE DAY: JUST THE BEGINNING
So you've written your book, you've gone through the beta reader process, the editing process, the final proof. You've done all that and now it's uploaded and you're just waiting for the magic release day. That's when the fun begins, right? You just have to sit back and let the book fly off the shelves because that's all the hard work done. You wrote a book! And now it's been published! Awesome right? Yeah, it is, but after release day the work doesn't slow down, if anything it piles on harder. Welcome to my five tips for the days leading up to and after your release.
#1 - PROMOTION STARTS BEFORE THE RELEASE
I know it may seem like the hard work is done with the writing and editing being finished, but one thing you really have to remember is: If no one knows you as an author, or that you've released a new book, how are they gonna know to buy it? Promotion starts way before you get to the release date. The release date isn't where it ends either. It goes on and on for the rest of your career. It's a long drawn out process and it's never ending. People have to know your brand, have to know your style of writing and they have to stay informed. Whether that's by word of mouth, or doing promotion through paid blog tours and press releases, you need to find what works for you and what keeps the interest going leading up to, and after your release. If you do pre-order then make sure everyone has that link as soon as possible. If you do a cover reveal, make sure you add your book to Goodreads as soon as you can. If you plan to do a release day event, again, make sure you have that build up starting as soon as you can. Same with a launch team and/or doing ARCs. You want to be lining up things before that day arrives so that when it does you have all your ducks in a row and your readers ready to buy your book.
#2 - AUTHOR FRIENDS ARE A PRIORITY
Now I've talked before many times about how you need to make connections for things to really work in the indie world. Yes, it is possible to not engage with other authors (indie or otherwise) and succeed, but it really does help you get a leg up to do so. Whether that's by joining Facebook groups, or Goodreads communities or following people on Twitter or Tumblr. All of these are good ways to make connections with other authors. Either ones in your genre or not because in the run up to release, and the following days, weeks and months, these author friends are going to be the ones helping you as you help them. That's one thing you have to be clear on. It has to be both give and take. No one wants to be taken for granted and no one wants the friendship and the help to only go one way. There are so many Facebook groups I'm a member of, that I only know about because of those connections I made years back, and they have very much helped me with releases and with my writing and publishing journey.
#3 - SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS ATTRACT DIFFERENT PEOPLE
You're probably already aware of this. Some people will prefer instagram, others are ardent Facebook people, and so on. The idea is that you need to find what works for you, but also what works for your readers. If you're writing YA, then you're gonna want to be on platforms like Twitter and Tumblr that attract that demographic. However, there's always going to be other platforms you can use to attract readers who are in your demographic but don't follow the normal flow. My advice would be that things like having an Instagram, and a youtube channel are not bad ideas. What you want to be doing is not only making yourself known, but telling people what you have to offer. If that means being active on all social media sites, then that's what you need to do. It feels impossible, but there are ways to work them to your advantage, which leads to my next point.
#4 - YOU CAN'T BE EVERYWHERE AT ONCE.
Point three is a valid point, but at the same time, you are one person and you are only human. Even if you have a PA, that's still only two people and you can't do everything. That's why things like scheduling tweets and Facebook posts exist. I know, I know, you're on a budget (isn't everyone?) and you can't afford to pay a fee to schedule tweets. I have some good news for you. There are free platforms. The one I use? Tweetdeck. You can schedule as many tweets as your heart desires and it's all free. Same with Facebook, there's a function there for you to schedule posts. And the same with sites like Tumblr. You can set up a queue that will post for you. Now what about sites that don't have that option? Well there are sites like IFTT that allow you to set up certain cross-posting things. Like say you schedule a video to be posted, but you want it also to go to Facebook. They have an option for that. Same with instagram posts going to your Facebook page. And so on. All of which is free. You may have to tweak with the recipes so that they work for you, but it's a good thing to remember that you can't do everything and be everywhere at the same time. You need sleep, and that's an important thing to remember.
And finally, #5 - DON'T FORGET TO REST
It might seem like a moot point, but it's not. The lead up to release day is packed full of things to do, people to see, interviews to right and deadlines to meet. There's the thrill that this book you worked so hard on is finally going to be picked up by readers and that's a bit of a high in itself, but you gotta have some downtime. No matter how healthy and strong you are, you need to take some time off. Even if it's only half an hour here and there. If you push yourself too much then you'll burnout and that's never fun. Yes, it's important to get the word out, but not at the expense of your health.
So there you go, my five tips for what you can do on the lead up to, and following, your release day. As always, these are tips that have worked for me, and are based on my experiences. Of course your mileage may vary. But good luck and Happy Release Day!
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