Yesterday, I hired an editor to get State of Grace ready for mass consumption. I am a pretty good editor myself, but no one edits themselves well. I’ll be delivering the manuscript today.
So the process feels like it’s moving forward. But there is still a lot to do. I’ve made a checklist. I’m not sure if these are in a particular order.
- Redesign my website: JohnPhythyon.com has been moldering for several years. It’s time to get it refreshed, aimed at promoting my e-book publishing career, and capable of promoting e-commerce. This might be the most important thing I have to do, especially while the book is getting edited and I can’t do much else with it.
- Establish a Facebook fan page: I’m active on Facebook, but I’ll need a fan page eventually, so I’m not spamming my friends constantly with updates on my business and so people I don’t know can find me more easily. Plus, it’ll give me an opportunity to develop an interactive community focused on my work.
- Design a cover: I haven’t decided whether to hire an artist or purchase royalty-free artwork from an online site for this. Partly, this decision will be made based on whether I can find something I like on the royalty-free sites and how much that costs versus hiring an artist. This is probably the second-most important thing I need to be doing right now, so the cover will be ready to go when the book is.
- Upload a sample chapter to the website: Once the book (or at least the first chapter) and my website are ready to go, I need to get a sample out there, so I can start building some interest. If I can figure out how to do it, tying this to a pre-order would be a good idea.
- Establish author profiles at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and Goodreads: The first three are important to get the book sold through those services and make it easier for potential customers to know more about me. Goodreads will help me promote the work more. This is part of the most daunting task of all: building a platform.
- Write an “about the author” blurb for the back of the book: While this isn’t as high a priority as some of the other things on this list, it needs to be done before I can publish the book.
- Write a marketing description: Obviously, I’ll need to draw on my background as a marketing professional to write some punchy copy designed to make people want to look inside and/or buy it.
- Code the book for Smashwords, AZW, and B&N: I still haven’t made up my mind if I should hire a professional to do this for me, but Michael Jasper is writing an excellent blog series on how to do it yourself, which is causing me to lean in that direction.
- Solicit reviews: I plan on following the JA Konrath model of offering free copies of the book to those who promise reviews. To make that happen, I’ll need to solicit via Twitter, my blog, the Facebook fan page, and possibly Goodreads.
That’s a lot to get done in a short amount of time. I’m shooting to have the book available in time for Christmas. My editor thinks we can have the book ready for coding in about a month (assuming, of course, a major rewrite isn’t necessary). That means I’ve got about a month to get a lot of this done.
And, of course, it hasn’t escaped me that I need to be writing another book as soon as possible, so I’ll be able to follow up on whatever success State of Grace finds.
Still, it all looks doable if I put my head down and focus. There’s a lot to be done, but I believe I can accomplish it in time for the holidays.
Did I miss something? Got any advice or thoughts? Please leave a comment. I’m interested in other perspectives.