Monday 4 October 2021

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Planning Releases


I've talked before about planning a release (piece found here) but I thought that since I've now finished all my releases until October 2022, I would give you an inside look at how I, as an indie author, plan my releases way in advance. It's something I've been doing for a while, and something I'm happy to talk about because I feel like a lot of the information is spread over the internet in different places, so why not add my two cents and keep it all here on my blog.

As some of you will know, I have written almost 40 books, but I only have 19 published, and while I usually publish two a year I did one this year and will do one next year too. I have got a sticky note on my computer desktop that has all the deadlines for every book I've written and not yet published. I update it when I finish a book, and I'm pretty sure that at this point I've got releases planned until 2028, though I could be wrong there.

Part of this is just my organisation and planning side popping up to the surface and another part of it is about forward planning. If I know that I have a deadline coming up, and it's right there staring me in the face, then I know I need to get my butt in gear and start getting things ready to move onto the next step. I'm someone who loves to know what's on my plate for the coming month/year/decade and planning my releases that ahead of time allows me to adjust my workload for when things need to be done.

This is also good when it comes to booking things, like an editor, or a cover designer. I know when I need to have my book finished revisions wise, I know when I plan to do my cover reveal and with that I know when I need to meet certain deadlines to be able to pull those things off. It helps me keep my stress levels down, and then I know that I'm not going to be running around last minute and find myself with problems that I could have avoided.

So what deadlines do I set myself? Glad you asked because I'm gonna go through them with you now!

#1 REVISION START DATE: This is so that I know when my plate is gonna be clear enough for me to start that cycle of revisions. My finished books usually take a good couple of years or so to come up on the cycle for revisions. So far the time from book idea to published is about seven years, so that just gives you some idea of when and where.

#2 EDITING DEADLINES: This is the date that I have to have the book off to that first round of edits. It also includes things like when line edits have to be done, when proof reading will be done, and again this seems like an obvious one because without those deadlines, I might end up letting things slide.

#3 COVER REVEAL DEADLINES: I do all my cover reveals on my Authortube channel, and so I need to know when that video will both be recorded and go live. I need to order bits and pieces, and I, of course, need the final cover. So it's another way to chase people up when it comes to the work they do for me.

#4 UPLOAD LIMIT DEADLINE: If you don't know, when you self-publish and put a book on pre-order, you have a deadline usually about three days before the release date to have uploaded your final manuscript. You can't do it after that point, so it's good to keep a track of things.

#5 COUNTDOWN START: If you're been following me for a while, you know that I generally count down the last seven days before release day, and so I need to know when that first post is needed so that I can make all the graphics and the like. Leaving this to the last minute is never a good idea in my opinion.

#6 RELEASE DATE: I like to have an idea of when the book is coming out, even if I don't have an actual date in mine, but by the time the list gets crossed down to this level, I usually know when it's coming out, so this is just a reminder to me, and it keeps it in an easy to see place.

#7 ARC RELEASE DATE: I generally do ARC copies and this is always a good thing to keep track of. I know when to start promoting for ARCs and when to plan to send them out, knowing that I want the book to be proof read and formatted before I do so.

And I think that's about it, those are my ways of keeping on top of all the upcoming releases I have and what I do with them. Releasing a book is hard work, and I'm just trying to make it as easy on myself a physically possible.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments below.

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