My Publishing Journey: The Home Straight

I’m embarking into the unknown world of self-publishing my first book, In The End, which follows the lives of Logan and his group of friends as civilisation falls apart around them. Here I document my honest journey, describing what I find as I research and try my hand, steering this way and that with my WordPress friend’s for guidance. I’ll repost each time I have any major update or when I learn something new, useful or uncover important information in the hope that those who follow me in their own journey can learn from my experiences.

I have a publication date! The edit is done and it may be the home straight to publication, but there’s plenty of hard word ahead.

If you’re already following along then you’ll see the updates in blue, unless you’re reading this through the WordPress reader.

Publication Date – 30th November 2018

Advert ITE1 Nov


Steps One to Three

I’ve archived the Writing, Author Platform Building and Editing parts of the process as we concentrate on getting the book in front of peoples eyes!

You can read about these steps, along with any updates here.


Step Four

The Publishing Process

This section is all about figuring out where the hell and how the hell I’m going to get the work published. I’ve already decided I’ll self-publish. I decided long ago I won’t be even trying to go the traditional route with its long lead times and giving away control even if the lottery of a process ends with me as the winner. [Okay, so I might be wavering a little on this! And yes I play the lotto each week too!]

After all my research these are the key decisions to make:

  • Publishing format: Paperback or E-book – I decided both. I want to hold it in my hands, even if I’m the only one who ever does!
  • Outlets:
    • Amazon – CreateSpace or KDP
      • CreateSpace is the original service from Amazon for generating E-books and print on demand paperbacks. It is somewhat a legacy service and will be fully replaced by KDP.
      • Kindle Direct Publishing – KDP – This is the latest Amazon service for E-book and print-on-demand publishing. It has many advantages for those authors in the UK who wish to get low cost proof paperbacks because they ship from the UK, whereas CreateSpace ship from the US. CreateSpace still has more features, but even since I’ve been writing these posts more and more of the CreateSpace features are being added to KDP. I’ve chosen to use KDP.
      • In August 2018 it was revealed that CreateSpace and KDP were to become one service under the KDP name. Those authors using CreateSpace will not be losing any features under KDP and Chris McMullen goes into more detail about the change in this through article on his blog.
    • SmashWords
      • Publish you e-book to tens of e-book outlets via this service (except Amazon), plus it is itself a popular online shop. Some author prefer this service to Amazon as it is less strict or controlling with content, including censorship.
    • Other Outlets
      • IngramSpark – The major advantage of using this self publishing service is the ability to offer wholesale discounts which are attractive to bookseller. You can use IngramSpark alongside KDP, as long as you’re not register for KDP’s Expanded Distribution Programme. You can find more information about the difference between IngramSpark and KDP here, but the article comes from IngramSpark so beware of any bias.
    • Kindle Select / Kindle Unlimited– When deciding which avenue to take, it is important to decide if you are going to enrol in Kindle Select in order to make your E-book available to the Kindle Unlimited Audience. Kindle Unlimited is Amazon’s lending library where users pay a subscription and can read as many books as they want. The author gets paid a fee per page. The amount per page is dependant on the value of the Kindle Select Global Fund. The catch is, and there’s always a catch, in joining Kindle Select you are providing the E-book for sale only in Amazon’s outlets. This only effects the E-books, but you can’t even offer it for free or otherwise on your own website. You sign up for limited periods and you can always withdraw from the programme. Following comments from other authors I know people often make money on the Kindle Unlimited programme, despite not selling many books.
    • Found this great article about the pro’s and con’s of using Kindle Select / Unlimited and how one author puts his books on the programme for 3 months of the year and always sees a spike in sales.
    • For Aug 2018, Amazon paid $0.00449 per page read by a Kindle Unlimited user. To put this in context for my 280 pages, that’s $1.25 / £0.95 per book read which is down 5p from June 2018. Credit to Chris McMullan again.
  • Book title: Does it fit the content? Does it provoke a reaction in the potential buyers mind? Is there another book in the market place in the genre and title?
  • Strap line: Same for the above.
  • Blurb: The few paragraphs which site on the back cover of the book and act as your description on the e-retailer’s shelves. This was a daunting task!! Amazon recommend around 150 words which are easy to scan. Following some advice and coaching I’ve updated the blurb to add a call to action at the end and you can find the update at the bottom of the post. Feel free to let me know what you think! I’ve since made another minor tweak, but it’s still basically the same.
  • Elevator Pitch: It needs some work but I have something in the bag and I wrote about it the crisis which forced me to put down some hard work here.
    • In my interview with Andrew C Piazza he told me his Elevator Pitch and I thought it fit the bill perfectly. Short and simple but it catches your attention and sums up the book really well. I’m still to find my perfect pitch.
  • Keywords & Categories: Come up with Keywords and Categories so people can find it when it’s sitting on the virtual shelves. Choose the category first as you don’t want to repeat the words in your categories.
    • Categories: Research other books of the same genre. You can only pick two.
      • I’ve looked at a few books I think my work is most like and you can see how well they are ranked against each category. I was surprised at what I found!
      • It’s going to be difficult to make a choice. A lot of the popular books with Zombie’s or any of the other paranormal type creatures are sitting where you would expect.
      • I’m leaning towards:
        • Fiction > Science Fiction > Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
        • Fiction > Thrillers > Supernatural
    • Keywords: Amazon is basically a search engine after all. The more I research about keywords the more I can see how much of a tricky decision it is. You want to make your book stand out from the crowd, unique even, but still you want to appear in popular searches and high up the ranking. My first thoughts were Zombie, Apocalypse, Survival, End of the World and Dystopian, but rather than keywords, I should be looking at phrases. There are loads of tools out there, at a cost, which will help you select your keywords. The keywords should be based on:
      • What people actually type when they’re looking for books
        • Test your keyword ideas and see what Amazon search auto completes and combines with other words. Do the same in google.
        • Here’s what I got:
          • Zom= Zombie Apocalypse / Zombie Science Fiction / Zombie Fiction / Zombie Survival Guide
          • Surv– How to survive the end of the world / survivors
          • Apoca– Post Apocalyptic Fiction / Apocalypse Culture / Apocalyptic Fiction
          • These are pretty crowded spaces. More research to be done here.
      • What they will be will to pay money for
      • Where the returned list is not too crowded, i.e. you’ll appear at the top.
    • I’ve been told you can actually have up to ten categories for Kindle books, you just have to email customer support to get them added to your listing and on the customer facing page it will show the top three categories you are listed in.
  • Dedication: Who the book is for? Another tricky decision.
    • I wrote this for Sarah so that’s who I should put here right? I need to include my wife, a no brainer. A double dedication will sort this out, but then I can’t leave my Mum out? I managed to get this done and I’m really happy with the result, but you’ll have to wait for release to see what I’ve written!
  • Acknowledgements: Who helped me along the way?
    • I have to make sure I mention those who gave their input, and maybe a few of those who didn’t! I’m happy with what I’ve come up with.
  • Disclaimer: Normally inside the first page is a disclaimer identifying the manuscript as fiction. It’s not in the Amazon template and I only thought of this out of chance. I’ve tried to see what the law is around this but I haven’t come up with any solid basis. However as most of the books I’ve read have this in, and I’ve scanned the numerous books on my shelves and all have some version so I think I would be foolish not to include it. Here’s the wording I’ve plagiarised.
    • This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
  • Credits: Another area I originally missed out. I plan to credit James for the cover work so I want to do this properly, so the following will be added to the inside first page along with the disclaimer. It also brings out an interesting aspect. I commissioned and paid for the cover, but unless we agree specifically and in writing, James retains the copyright to the work. I’m not a lawyer, this is based on research conducted in the UK. This means that although James retains the copyright to the image, there is an implied licence for me to use it for the cover of my book. If I chose to use it elsewhere and in a different form I would need to ask his permission. I have no issues with this and will not seek the copyright from him. I wrote to James and received written confirmation of my licence to use the image for book cover and any marketing I see fit, plus confirming he can use the image but not for the same uses as he has licensed the work to me for.
  • Copyright Notice: Then of course, I need to credit myself and let everyone know I’m asserting my rights!
    • Copyright © GJ Stevens 2018
    • The moral right of GJ Stevens to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1998.
    • All rights reserved.
    • Copyright under the Berne Convention
  • ASIN: Amazon Standard Identification Number
    • Automatically assigned to every product sold on Amazon, unique to each marketplace.
  • ISBN: You can either pay hundreds for an ISBN range (you can’t buy just one) and use it across all outlets, or use the free ones from each outlet but they’ll be different. I chose to use the ones from the provider, in my case Amazon. How exciting!
  • Rear Pages Content: Figure out what i’m going to put in the back end of the book. Options include:
    • A call to action for Season Two – It’s in.
    • Short Biography – Now I’ve written a biog for this site and interviews etc, I may include it in the book. TBC.
    • A link to my WordPress pages / Facebook – It’s in.
  • Back page cover image: Until I started going through the dry run of the KDP publishing process I hadn’t thought of a back cover, but it turns out you need to supply the entire sleeve, including the spine, as one image, in a PDF document. Seems obvious now, but it wasn’t something I thought about. KDP provides the exact measurements for the trim size I’ve chosen so I had to send it back to my artist friend to work it up. A tip of his was to print out the finished product and wrap it around of book of similar trim size to get a better feel for how it will look. Wow I’m pleased with what he’s done!
  • A new tip I’ve only just learnt, don’t finalise the cover jacket until you have completed the edit because changing the number of pages changes the spine size. This is common sense really but I had to learn the hard way!
  • Price on Back Cover: All books you buy on the shelves in a physical store have a price on the back cover, but generally it bears no relation to the price you pay at the checkout. I hadn’t included one yet, mainly because I don’t see it ever selling a physical store. However, if I do plan to sell any physical copies it makes sense to have the price on the back, rather than make it up on the spot! New version of the back cover. It’s been justified and updated with the new blurb.44475070_2207053966207521_3947682094485864448_n
  • Style Guidelines: Some outlets, like SmashWords, provide style guides which you need to stick to. This includes how to space the text, which characters to use for speech etc.
  • Look and Feel of the Text: Research and make all those little decisions about how the book will look, like chapters, fonts, size etc.
  • Trim: How big is the paperback going to be. The advice seems to be to stick closely to industry norms if you ever want to see your book on a bookstore shelf, albeit your local friendly store. I chose 5×8 inches.

For the KDP process, download the MS Word template from KDP and copy and past the work in. You’ll need to format the text in you font and size, add in chapter numbers, choose justification and page numbers. With mine it mostly went okay and is great to see the work in a format which is recognisable as a real book! Little things were a pain and needed quite a bit of research to get right, like page numbering and getting the page numbering to start from 1 on the first chapter. But it’s done now.

  • Pricing (Paperback):
    • With the cover uploaded and the proof approved (you can either check it online or download the proof to look at offline), I haven’t properly checked it yet as this is just a dry run, Amazon tells me the cost of printing each copy will be £3.58 on amazon.co.uk and $4.31 on amazon.com.
    • This cost is effected by the paper choice, the number of pages (determined again by font and font size and spacing used etc), colour choice, if any etc. The printing cost is then used to determine the minimum sales price.
    • The minimum list price for this book is £5.97, this is based on a royalty of 60% of the difference between the minimum list price and the cost of printing. If you set your sale price here you won’t earn any royalties.
    • This part is a bit confusing, but the tool guides you through. In order to get a royalty of £1 per book I would need to have a list price of £7.64. This also factors in any VAT or sales tax which Amazon handles for you.
    • My figures show in GBP because I chose the UK as my primary territory, but it also shows the prices for other territories too, in their own currency. You can independently alter each territory’s pricing.
    • I’ve chosen £8.99 to go on the back of the book, so I can vary my pricing online between £8.99 and £5.97, should I choose. At £8.99, the royalty would be £1.82 per book.
    • Author Copies – I just found you can order author copies, costing you only the printing cost. I previously thought about setting the price to the minimum and buying that way, but it looks like that’s not necessary.
  • Pricing (Kindle):
    • I’ve not done so much research here but I think we’ll be looking at a price around the £3.99 / $3.99 range
  • Author Copy Proofs:
    • Now here is where you can order Author Copy proofs and where you’ll find the dreaded publish button!! We won’t be doing the latter yet. You can order up to 5 proof copies at a time and they charge you only the printing cost!
    • I’ve submitted a proof request, the proof will be minus your ISBN and have a watermarked front cover. Within four hours I had an email with a link to add the book to my Amazon basket, then I just checked out, paying £7 of P&P on top. Shame it won’t let me use my Prime Membership to get it free. Although it’s likely the text inside will change following the edit, I’ve ordered one anyway so I can check all the other aspects. I can make as many changes as I want later on and before I press the publish button! Another exciting time!
    • Note if you’re outside of the US and using CreateSpace instead of KDP, your proof copies will be charged for international shipping and you’ll have to wait a whole lot longer.
    • Got the proof copy through and it looks amazing and already there are things I want to change.
      • Finish– I went for a matte finish and it feels slightly velvet to the touch, I’ll have to look at the options again. The gloss finish doesn’t alter the price so for the next proof run I’ll try it.
      • Cover– The cover needs some adjusting. Part of my name is darker than I like so that needs to change.
      • Blank Pages –I haven’t left the right blank pages between the sections
      • Spacing –Some spacing breaks need to be changed
      • Chapter Number –I’ve justified all the chapter numbers to the left, which looks great on the left hand side but not on the right. They almost seem to be swallowed in the spine. Will have to review and perhaps centre them all.
      • Page Numbers –The page numbers are bold, which looked fine on paper but stand out far to much when in the paperback. Plus I noticed the page numbering continued to the back call to action page. Inserted a new section break, unchecked the ‘Link to previous sections’ on both the odd and even pages numbers, then deleted them.
      • Straight Quotes– In the copy process from Scrivener, all the quotes have been converted to straight quotes and the jar my vision on the printed page. I need to figure out how to update these automatically to Smart Quotes without having to do it manually. It turned out to be easier than I thought. All I needed to do was make sure the option Tools>AutoCorrect, “Straight Quotes” with “Smart Quotes” was selected, then find and replace all, double quote for double quote and the straight quotes were replaced with smart quotes. Phew!
    • Once the copy editing is done I will review the changes and then need to order a final proof.

Step Five

Marketing

Continue to build the community and market the book, it doesn’t matter that it’s not ready to publish or doesn’t have a publish date yet.

Whilst on holiday I read ‘Writing Without Rules’ by Jeff Somers. Jeff is a successful author of many books and describes his unconventional take on the process of writing and releasing a successful work of fiction. In the last few chapters he describes many of the marketing efforts I’ve outlined below but with his great insight into how this directly effects individual books sales, or rather doesn’t, instead creating an overall brand to generally boost sales as a whole. This book was brought to my attention through one of my author interviews and for me it’s a read I recommend to all of you as an entertaining insight into the process of a full-time successful writer.

Measuring success –It’s a question I’ve been asking in my recent interviews and I thought it good to turn it in on myself. Writing is a hobby, an all-encompassing passionate hobby which seems driven by some unseen being sitting on my shoulder, but a hobby nonetheless. That said I still want to measure my success. My key measure would be people’s enjoyment and I think reviews would be my main measure. I need to think on before I publish.

From the author interview process, I’m amazed at how many authors don’t have a marketing campaign in mind and just write the book and hope it will be such a great literary work it will find it’s own way. In my opinion it might happen that way, but I want to give my work the best chance to flourish.

So far my marketing strategy consists of:

  • Amazon Product Page: Preparing a Amazon product / home page for the book
    • Write a biography. Keep it short and make it interesting. Also the place to put in contact information like website and Twitter details.
    • Authorcentral.amazon.com is the place to do this.
      • It looks like you have to have released your book in order to start creating the page, but there’s lost of resources available to prepare for that time.
  • Author Biography: For the first I’ve been asked for my author bio and it’s something I know I’ve need to to do but I’ve been putting off for a long time. It’s maybe something to do with my introvert self that I don’t like shouting, or even explaining about me as a person. I’ve managed to pluck up the fortitude and I’ve prepared the bio which you can view here if you’re that way inclined!
  • Author Photo – I’ve also now taken the decision use my real image on my various platforms and sites. This was partly because the image I was using was from a free image site and another author was using the image as their book cover, so I didn’t want to be confused with that other author. I’ve got shades on, so I’m still holding a little back!
  • Paid Advertising:
    • Different Types, but your job is still the same. The ad needs to get you noticed and get the person seeing it to go to your marketplace (i.e. your Amazon product page). It is then up to your setup on the marketplace to convert it into a sale.
      • Static advertising
        • Pay your flat fee for an advert to be placed. Much like a traditional advert in the paper. It doesn’t matter who views the ad.
      • Cost per click
        • The ad placement is usually free. You only pay when someone clicks the link to go through to your market place page to buy the book, or whatever destination you set.
    • I have no experience at paid advertising, so I’m looking into the following. If anyone has any experience in these areas it would be great if you can get in touch for a separate blog post. I get conflicting advice from the authors I’ve interviewed but I think the advice that most made sense was from Carla, but since speaking with her I have had more incite from my interview with Andrew C Piazza who has had much more success with both AMS and Facebook advertising. I think it likely I will at least dip my toe here.
    • Amazon Marketing Services
      • These are a collection of paid services within the Amazon site. There are several services available within this category including but we’ll of that in more detail at some other time.
    • Facebook Advertising
      • Advice from Andrew C Piazza is as follows
        • Keep testing and try not to lose your patience
        • The ads costs can swing wildly day by day (for him it varied between 15 cents to 35 cents in just 5 days)
        • Track your results to make sure you’re not losing money
    • Google Adwords
    • Bookbub
    • Third party sites
  • Social Media Release Week Event: Contact all my personal and author page Facebook followers, friends not on social media, Twitter followers, WordPress follower and anyone who’ll listen to let them know the book is out and at a release week low, probably about £7, putting a compelling bit of text out there to get them to buy the book and more importantly, write a review. I have had others do this to me, people starting new businesses etc and I’ve been happy to help. If I can get good sales figures in the first week it’ll help get the book into the charts and hopefully build momentum.
  • Social Media Book Giveaways –Run competitions for copies of the book for follows, retweets and comments
  • Blogging & Website: World building and about the process. The planned refresh and revamp to a more professional and clean appearance has been completed. Feel free to let me know what you think. This week I changed a blog setting to deliver only an excerpt of each post in the notification email, requiring the follower to click into the website. This will allow me to get a bit more of a measure of how many of my followers are actually reading my posts and not just following for the right reason. If this little step is annoying, I’m sorry. Please feel free to tell me your preference in the comments.
  • Blog Tours: Had to look this one up! This one is post release.
  • Guest Blogs: Cultivate relationships with other bloggers and see if you can get guest slots on their blogs. Anyone?
  • Author Interviews: I’m going to be interviewing other writers and authors for more blog material and hopefully pull together some more advice for other people on this journey.
  • Content Marketing: Offering content to other platforms free of charge, with your name and web address at the bottom.
  • Twitter
    • I’ve published a more extensive post on Twitter for those who are new to the platform or want to know more, plus given some detail about how I use it and my plans. You can read the post here.
  • Social Media Marketing Collateral – Here I list all of the types of marketing collateral / materials I’ve considered for boosting engagement and catching people’s eyes.
    • Teaser Trailer: This idea is taken directly from when I interviewed Connie Spanhake. I commissioned a low cost trailer from my artist friend who produced the artwork from the cover. You can see the first versions here. Below I’ve added an insight into what was involved.
      • Script
        • I adapted the blurb from the back of the book, chopping up the sentences and refining it down and changing the order to form the script. I’ve worked and reworked this a few times now and the new versions will be available soon.
      • Design
        • Background
          • James came up with the background straight away and I played with the colours to what we ended up with.
        • Font
          • Again James came up with this and I loved it straight away so no change was needed here.
        • Music
          • James started with a suggestion and gave me access to the music library for me to choose. I was going to go with this, but in the end I agreed with his first choice and its what we ended up using. I purchased the commercial licence, which was low cost and the right thing to do. I want to be paid for my work so why shouldn’t they.
        • The call to action
          • We agreed to use the same call to action at the end as was being produced for the adverts in order to keep consistency, so we paused to get that completed, results below.
      • With the draft of the vid finished I was pleased with the outcome, but also knew it would be too long (at well over a minute) for most uses, so decided to repeat the whole process again, rewriting the script to be shorter and punchier, but keeping a consistent background etc so they would work well together. I’m very happy with the results, but let me know any comments you have. I’ll keep the long version for the website, for those who didn’t get enough from the short version.
    • Animated Book Cover: Another recommendation from one of my interviews. This is a very low cost service provided by @JoeStalksBeck on Twitter. [The account seems inactive now, I hope it wasn’t something I said!] You can see the result here. I’ll be playing around with the best presentation but it might help catch the eye on social media.
    • Series of Banner Ads: For social media and the book landing page. The series will count down from pre-release, to ready to pre-order the kindle edition, then a count to publication day and finally out now. Here’s the first to come off the production line
    • 43070558_1858864617524380_119428463382757376_n
  • Social Media Headers
  • Prepare social media posts
    • Always use images to illustrate the posts for greater engagement
  • Business Cards – See below
  • Blog about it and build a Season One landing page to compel people to click the link to the book’s page on Amazon.
  • Write Season Three and release on WordPress as I did with Season One and Two.
  • Find a way to get people to provide reviews of the published book
    • Bloggers / Reviewers
      • Check out what their requirements are, genre, copies etc
    • Professional reviewers
      • There are lots of websites out there, easy to find on twitter, the will find you! The services cost anywhere between $10 and $50. Most will not publish their review if they it would be considered bad. What I’m not talking about is paying for 5 star reviews (you can do that too). These services will provide honest reviews. I hope I won’t need to use these services, instead I hope to get reviews organically with my strategy, but only time will tell.
  • Print and send out author copies for review. It would seem a lot of reviewers will only accept paperbacks for review.
  • Write Short Stories
  • Promotions
    • Giveaways
    • $0.99 promotions
    • Paid Ads
    • Host AMAs (AMAFeed / Reddit)
    • Email for interviewers from book podcasters / book sites / reviewers
    • Promo sites (there’s so many of them)
    • Local newspapers
  • Other sites to look into for marketing
    • Reddit
  • So what about those not on social media?
    • Book signings
      • But people need to have a reason to come
    • Local book stores
      • Your local book store may have a section for local authors. The smaller, independent book stores are more likely to have a section. Unfortunately independent book stores in the UK are a dying breed. If you’re in the UK you can use the Booksellers Association’s search feature to find a store near you. https://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch
    • Local newspaper articles
    • Local radio
      • This would need a might more confidence on my part!
    • Local fairs and community events
      • Reserve a table as a vendor and take a load of books along for signing and selling
    • Promotional Material
      • T Shirts
      • Mugs
      • Bookmarks – This is the only one I’m giving serious consideration to. These are useful to readers and a great reminder.
      • I could consider setting up a POD service for any promo material I want on the fly, but I can’t really see myself using this.
    • Paid local advertising
      • This would most likely be well out of my price range
    • Google Adwords
      • A very controllable way of using your budget
    • Amazon Reviews and the Amazon internal marketing should also fall under this category
    • Daily Deal Sites who advertise special offers on books
      • Book Hippo
      • KindofBook
    • Sending out review copies or just free copies to media outlets, especially those in my local area seems like a great idea.

Other decisions to make:

  • Audiobook version?

Business Cards

I’ve had these low cost business cards printed as simple low volume marketing idea. One side shows the cover of the book and the other side shows the blurb and my site address. I can either hand these out when anyone asks me about my work, or I can strategically leave them in locations where I travel.

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I previously had simple cards made up with the web address on one side and the first and last paragraph of the first chapter on. They worked really well and my friends would take great delight in handing them out and placing them in prominent locations on their travels. I think these will work even better and with the cost of internet based print companies I was astounded by the low cost.


Step Six A – Pre-Release [Revised scheduled]

I had to revise the schedule because I wanted to release the book a month before Christmas or thereabouts. It’s not ideal but a reasonable trade off I think.

2 Weeks Prior to Release (Around 13th November)

  • Set the Kindle version of the book on pre-order at £0.99 / $0.99
  • Enrol in Kindle Select / Unlimited. Not sure if this needs to be done here or at post release.
  • Take down the book from these blog pages (done) and replace with a landing page so people can head to amazon and pre-order. I’ve put a temporary landing page up for now.
  • Start friends and family promotion for pre-order
    • Contact all friends, family, personal and author page facebook followers by messenger with a plea to purchase and leave a review, or at the very least share my content on to their friends. I will be contacting them direct. If I burn a few bridges because they don’t want to help then where’s the loss!
    • My Facebook share of the release date news went really well and had numerous responses to say sales would be on their way.
  • Contact everyone who has said they would buy the book and see if they meant it!
  • Set up any third party site promotion for pre-ordering at the special price
    • Bargin Booksy (US)
      • Include the book in an email to over 110,000 subscribers.
      • Cost is by genre – Thriller = $55
      • Find out if book can be pre-order or released
    • EReader News Today (US)
      • Only available for release versions (needs ASIN from Amazon)
      • Looks like it might not accept unreviewed (i.e. new books / new authors)
      • Cost is by genre and price – Thriller @ $0.99 = $50
    • KindofBook (UK/US)
      • Only available for release versions (needs ASIN)
      • Free to list the book but not guaranteed it will be included
      • Can pay up to £300 to ensure book is included using their complicated charging structure
    • Early Bird Books
      • This may be a list selected only by the site as I cannot see where to submit work as an author
    • Book Bub (UK/US)
      • This is more for advertising and established authors (you need 1,000 followers on the site to have them raise pre-order alerts to their lists)
    • Books Go Social (bgsauthors.com)
      • Around $50 dollars for a three month marketing campaign across social media and email
    • circleofbooks.com
    • If anyone has got any more suggestions of sites, please let me know in the comments
  • Issue the PRE ORDER NOW version of the teaser trailer
  • Start social media & blog based advertising of pre order availability
  • Add pre-release information to all blog posts
  • Partake in author interviews or other guest blogs (If I can wangle some invites)
    • I’ve already participated in three so far and you can read them on the links below
    • I’ve found a load of sites which will you can request interview to be undertake. You can go to their websites, fill out a form and they’ll use that information to generate an interview. I’ll be looking into these in the coming weeks.
  • Produce updates on my Author Interview series to find out how things are going with the authors I’ve interviewed
  • Publish even more great interviews (I’ve got some really great ones coming up)

2 Days Prior to Release

  • Set the paperback to release. The timings of how long it takes to be available are not clear so it may not be available on the kindle release date

Step Six B – Post Release

Release Day

  • Claim my Author Profile Pages on Amazon and set up (has to be done after the book is on sale)
  • Monitor pre-release sales and make any changes to pre-release pricing
  • Post a blog page announcing the release and availability to purchase, repeating on a daily basis for one week. Advertise on social media channels.
  • Issue a press release
    • TO DO – Where should this go to and what should it contain.
    • There are sites which can issue the release, some paid and some free of charge. More research required here.
  • Purchase author copies, maybe twenty at first
  • Run any competitions
  • Continue to update these ‘My Publishing Journey’ posts, but archive all of the publishing content and concentrate on the post publishing journey.
  • Claim and set up a Goodreads page
    • TO DO – Research what is required here.

One Week After Release

  • Send out the review copies to those I’ve targeted in Step 5
  • Release a follow up post to illicit responses to all my followers to find out it they have bought the book and if not to find out why. I’m really interested in the answers, even though the response rate will be low. I’ll suggest some options for reply in the comments.
    • I’ve bought it
    • I’m going to buy it, honest
    • I’ll buy it when it’s on offer
    • I don’t like the genre
    • I love the blogging content you produce but the book just isn’t for me
    • I think you’re an idiot but I follow your blog anyway
    • I was never going to buy your book, I’m only follow you in the hope that you’d follow me back
    • Some other reason why I’m not going to buy the book no matter how much you market or keep asking
    • I would buy it if you did x differently
    • I’m not going to reply so you’ll never know!

Long After Release

  • Continue to promote with author interviews. I’ve got an excellent interview lined up for Feb 2019 with a ‘proper’ published lined up for the release of their new book. I can’t tell you who it is until I’ve got it in the can, but this is very exciting.
  • Update this blog to be about the marketing of the work only and think of some more blogging ideas.

Other Post Release promotion

  • There are lots of site where you can enter your book for competitions for promotions. Here are a few I’ve found
    • Author Shout – Cover Wars
      • A few service where you submit you cover to the site, promoting it to your followers and then people can vote to pick the best cover. The prize is inclusion in the site’s promotions for a week. http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/
    • https://allauthor.com/submit-book-cover/
      • Another site where you can submit your cover for free and users can vote. You win membership and promotion again.

Step Seven 

Distribution

Some interesting aspects I’ve found out from commenters, one in particular, which have led to more research and this whole new step in the process:

  • British Library: By law (last updated in 2003) a copy of every new UK publication must be submitted to the British Library within one month of publication. I always wonder what that part in the front of UK books was all about. I’m not sure what the punishment is, but you can read on more using the link below.
  • https://www.bl.uk/aboutus/legaldeposit/printedpubs/depositprintedpubs/deposit.html
  • CIP – The Cataloguing in Publishing Programme: 
    • The CIP Programme serves publishers and libraries: for publishers, the programme is a bridge to the library book buying market; for libraries, it is an alerting service enabling them to identify titles of interest to their user communities.[Taken from the British Library Website] 
    • You’ll often find the following note on the inside cover of a book
      • A CIP record for this title is available form the British Library
    • The CIP record is administrated by BDSLive and on their website you can find out about how to provide the data and then you must include the following statement on the left inside cover (Verso, is the word, apparently)
    • British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
      A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
    • http://www.bl.uk/bibliographic/cip.html
  • Local Library – Gift Copies and occasionally pop in and see if it’s being being read. If people like it they may keep an eye out for your future work.
  • Public Lending Right – Get paid when people borrow your book from the libray –  https://www.bl.uk/plr/about-us#
  • Neilson BookData – Need to look into this.
  • EAN Number – This is mentioned a lot, but I don’t need one.
  • Amazon’s own in house traditional publishing houses. If your work is any good you might just get scouted!
  • Other legal issues

In parallel with all the above I’ll be doing the same for Season Two and writing Season Three. I’ve made a decision not to start working on Season Three until the book is released and I can put all my energy back in to writing again. I’m writing short stories to keep the itchy fiction fingers at bay and as a good promo material.

In The End is being released as a stand alone book and not as Season One because I think that can put people off, but I might be wrong. So far Season One and Two have been written in the same setting and only link up at the end. With Season Three yet to be written, although the ideas are bubbling up in my mind, I need to make sure I keep each work as a stand alone novel if I’m going to publish book one in this way. More thinking to do and I guess I should start coming up with a title for what I’ve been calling Season Two.

If I’ve made some massive misjudgement, missed out any step or you just have some advice, then please let me know in the comments.

Other resources


The Blurb!

COULD YOU SURVIVE THE END OF CIVILISATION?

What if you woke to find the electricity off, the internet down and the streets deserted? What if you were forced to run for your life, no longer top of the food chain? What if the government had no interest in keeping you alive? Those around every corner were intent on hunting you down, but you’d found a reason to struggle on, a new meaning to this life?

Meet Logan. That’s me. The first to believe the world had changed forever. The first to urge our friends to run. The first to kill, but not the first victim. I was the first to see for myself as nature twisted before my eyes. With death surrounding, getting ever closer, they looked to me for answers.

Can Logan overcome his fears and find what it takes to get them all to safety, or will it be the end for humanity?

In The End is the debut novel from GJ Stevens, a compelling apocalyptic thriller that will leave you breathless, immersing you in their fight for survival.

GJ Stevens

I am a Writer. I am many other things too, but I love to write. On 30th November 2018 I release my debut novel, In The End, a compelling apocalyptic thriller that will leave you breathless, immersing you in a fight for survival. Available for pre-order now!

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