As we approach the release of Invisible (pre-order here) I thought that it would be a good idea for me to run through what I use as a publishing checklist. There are so many different tasks that need to get done when it comes to publishing, and sometimes it's extremely easy to forget something and only remember it at the last moment which then leads to more stress and anxiety during a time when both are in abundance.
For those wondering, Invisible will be my 21st release, so I've done this a few times before! I also only write young adult, though I do so over a variety of genres, and while there will be some things here that might only matter with YA books, there are others that won't be on it for certain genres and the like because I just don't have the experience with them.
STEP ONE: PROFESSIONAL EDIT DONE
This seems like a no-brainer, but you'd be amazed by the amount of people who think that you can lightly, or heavily, edit your own work yourself and then it's all done. That's not how it works. You need a professional edit. It's costly yes, it takes time, yes, but you will thank yourself later down the line for doing it right.
STEP TWO: COVER DESIGNED (& REVEALED)
Now if you're just starting out and don't have much of a following, you might choose to not do a cover reveal, which is perfectly fine. But I do do them, so that's why it's included here. You also want to make sure that you have a professional cover. If you can do that yourself because you have the skills to pull it off, so be it. But if you can't, then hire someone. Again, it can be costly, but it is very much worth it.
STEP THREE: PROMOTION STARTED [COVER REVEAL, PRE-ORDER ANNOUNCED, SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS, ETC]
I'm of the belief that you can never start doing this too early. I've been talking about Invisible for a very long time, months before I started the lead up to release. Now obviously, at some point, it kicks into high gear like it has for me now because the cover reveal and pre-order have been announced. I'm making sure to not overwhelm my audience but also let them know it's around and it's coming and all of that. How you go about doing this, is completely up to you and depends on your genre, your target audience and a whole bunch of other things.
STEP FOUR: FILES UPLOADED
Now I can only talk about indie because I've never done the trad pub route. If you are indie, you'll know that you can do an assest-less pre-order on most of the sites. Amazon and others will allow you to add your manuscript at a later date, and that is great because it means you can have your pre-order up before you finish the professional edit. The problem comes when you don't remember to actually upload it, or upload the wrong one. Amazon has a three day window before release when you can't make any changes, and if you've not uploaded something, they'll cancel it and ding you, and if you've uploaded the wrong one, your readers are in for a not nice surprise and you have a mess on your hands.
STEP FIVE: ARCS & OTHER LAST MINUTE THINGS
I always try to give my ARC readers at least a month to read through the book. Some authors do it differently, but for me that's always worked. It also allows for a longer ARC period and that can give you more of a chance to get readers interested. Obviously there are always going to be some who just don't follow through, and that's normal, but if you're happy to, nudge them around release day.
And that's it, that's my publishing checklist with a few bits and pieces that go along the way. I'll also make sure the paperback is up before release for two reasons. One I don't use Ingram and therefore can't do a paperback pre-order, and two, it allows ARC readers to leave their reviews before release day. Another reason is just that I can't make the paperback cover and interior until after I'm completely done with edits, and those usually occur closer to release day. It's just my way of doing things, and it might, and probably is, different for others!
Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!
Monday, 28 August 2023
Publishing Checklist - The After Process