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.
My solution was to ask my developmental editor, Leah Campbell, for advice. Leah is a published author, so she was able to fill me in on what I needed to do.
- 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.)
So I did everything she suggested, and shortly after uploading my book to CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, voila. My book became a best seller within a few weeks.
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.