Surviving a book release

(or How to Not Drive your Family Crazy during a book release)

Book releases can be exciting. I’m told it’s a similar feeling to giving birth, sometimes similarly physically painful surrounded by feelings of euphoria.

It can also be stressful.

It never fails that the EDJ will become absolutely hectic or I will get sick the week of a book release. I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of a way to make it not only less stressful, but also a way to market the new book without bombarding everyone’s newsfeed on release day. Also, I tend to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to happen to release a book. These steps have helped alleviate that feeling somewhat.

Here are my tips to surviving a book release.

1) Set a realistic deadline and stick to it: This means edits, cover art, or just writing the damn thing. Stick to your schedule. That means you should add in some wiggle room when real like inevitably intrudes.

2) Pinterest: Call it what you want. Time suck, the devil in disguise, what have you. If you have a Pinterest account, create an board for the book you’re working on. Not only will it help those of us who are visual writers, it’s another way to immerse the readers into the story and get them excited ahead of time. I don’t have it linked to any other social media account at the moment because not everyone wants to know that I’m looking at furniture designs that hide a litterbox or that I’m trying to find a new way to organize my closet/kitchen/life. But once complete, it’s a good link to add to the back of the book if the reader is curious about what inspired the book.

3) Grabbing snippets along the way: I’ve found this one the most useful. While I’m editing, if a sentence grabs me, I copy it and put it into a new document. I’ll try to grab at least six or seven. These become my teaser snippets for Facebook or Twitter promos that I can add to the buy link posts.

4) Grabbing excerpts along the way: Process for #2 also applies to excerpts. Have a blog tour you want to schedule? If you’ve already grabbed these during edits, you can make each post a bit unique.

5) Schedule, schedule, schedule: About three weeks out, I will start scheduling posts on my Facebook fan page. I also need to re-download HootSuite so I can schedule Twitter posts.  These are my lifesavers. I get so overwhelmed and burned out trying to remember to post about the book on this day, add the link here, here, and there. For these posts, the meat of it is already there. If I want to add a link to the post, I can just update it and viola! Done.

6) Make a list: I have a 70-pg spiral notebook that contains what I do for each release. From formatting -including fonts, margins, and past issues – to what pages the buy links need to be added to. I’m in this alone, so there’s no one to delegate this work to. It all falls on me, which is why I panic and get so overwhelmed. Even with the list, I sometimes forget something until after the fact. But the list has helped alleviate some of the worry that I’m going to forget something absolutely vital. I really need to type it all in and make a printed “publishing bible” for myself. Then update it whenever technology changes or my needs change.

7) Have fun! Releasing a book should be fun. Readers finally get to read what we’ve been working on for months, sometimes years. This is vital for me because I absolutely HATE marketing. I suck at it…but I know this about myself which is why #2, #3, #4, and #5 on this list are essential for me. It helps make it more fun and I don’t feel like I’m harassing my readers/followers and it doesn’t completely overwhelm me.

What strategies do you use when marketing a new book or your business?

Melanie

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