Are you a new author with a completed manuscript and you’re not sure what to do next?
That was me last spring after I’d completed my first novel.
- Create a cover, or hire a cover designer.
- Hire a line editor.
- Read through my book. Again. For the 80 billionth time.
- Figure out which print-on-demand service I wanted to use. (She suggested CreateSpace.)
- Format my book for paperback publication.
- Format my book for e-publication. (Or hire someone to do it.)
In reality, it took about four months to complete all of the above, and my work was still far from complete. Plus, I hadn’t even gotten to the most difficult aspect of self-publishing: marketing.
Slowly but surely, I learned new promotion strategies and came to realize that marketing a book is an ongoing job. I also realized something crucial. Marketing should begin months prior to publication. In light of this fact, I’ve done a lot more in preparation for my upcoming novel.
My Self-Publishing Timeline for Don’t Call Me Kit Kat
- Completed an outline of chapters and a descriptive list of characters.
- Booked Okay Creations to design the cover in February.
*I booked the cover designer extra-early to take advantage of a promotion she was running. Otherwise, I would have waited until November/December to make the appointment.
- Started writing the first draft.
- Set up my website/blog. (This should have been done much sooner!)
- Sent the first 30 percent to Leah.
- First blog post about Don’t Call Me Kit Kat.
- Re-named the book. (It was originally The Me I See, but people thought it sounded too self-helpish.)
- Added a Don’t Call Me Kit Kat page to my website.
- Sent the completed first draft to Leah.
- Revisions, revisions, revisions.
- Blurb was written.
- Set up my author Facebook page. (Up until then, I only had a page for CDR.)
- Cover design began.
- Found beta readers.
- Sent revisions to Leah.
- Added book to Goodreads.
- Scheduled cover reveal.
- Sent book to beta readers.
- Cover completed.
- Find ARC reviewers.
- Cover reveal.
- Post cover to all of my social media sites.
- Set up ARC giveaway on Goodreads.
- Set up a book blitz and review query through Xpresso Book Tours.
- Make changes based on beta reader feedback.
- Upload final draft to CreateSpace.
- Order ARCs and get them out to reviewers.
- Schedule a Facebook party for release day, and collect giveaway items.
- Make any final changes.
- Format for KDP upload.
- Upload to KDP.
- May 15 – Release Day!
- Continue to market, market, market! (Specifics to follow in another post.)
For more information about preparing a book for publication, check out the following posts from Jo Michaels and Cynthia over at Goodreads. Jo is extremely knowledgeable about self-publishing, so I also recommend that you subscribe to her blog if you’re a new author.