The bad news is that I learned the hard way. I wanted my book to arrive on the scene with triumphant fanfare… not an “Oh, Crap!”
With this in mind, I’d like to offer myself up to others, particularly other newbies, as an example of what not to do. First and foremost, my advice would begin with some sage wisdom: “Have a well-thought-out action plan for publishing and promoting.” Don’t ask me what that might be, because I obviously don't know!
Below are the publishing and promoting steps I have taken, A.k.a. Things you should avoid:1. Wait to decide when to publish book one until book two is complete, so it can follow closely on the heels of book one. Then panic because you signed up for an author signing, and you have nothing to sell, so scrap the original plan and go for publishing book one.
2. Contact a cover designer and begin the process. Send out “cover reveal” teasers on social media.3. Set up account with CreateSpace and begin your print book project. Continually find spelling, POV, and dialogue issues in your file that need corrected, thus having to go back to the beginning of the process. Every. Single. Time.
4. Set up vendor/publisher accounts with digital sources: Amazon, Nookpress, Kobo, iBooks, to name a few. Don’t have corporate EIN number handy. Or checking account and routing number readily available. And do all this after business hours or on the weekend so the vendor is delayed in verifying you.5. Turn word file into a digital file with navigational hyperlinks. Find another spelling error. Learn that “small caps” don’t translate in Nook. Grab paper copy of book from trashcan to find all instances of “small caps” and convert to “all caps.” Find more errors.
6. Receive final Cover files from artist. Squeee! Then send out one more “reveal soon” teaser on Facebook.7. Finalize ebook details with Amazon and hit “save and continue” button. Read the pop-up on screen: “Congratulations, your book is now on pre-sell. You have one week to send us the final files.”
8. OMIGAWD! YOU’RE BOOK IS NOW OFFICIALLY OUT THERE AND YOU HAVEN’T EVEN DONE A COVER REVEAL! GET ON FACEBOOK AND THROW OUT YOUR COVER FILE! POST AGAIN WITH THE BLURB! DON’T INCLUDE THE AMAZON LINK FOR ANYONE TO BUY YOUR BOOK BECAUSE YOUR HEART IS POUNDING AND YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW YOUR OWN NAME RIGHT NOW!9. Send an email to all your friends, family, and distant acquaintances. Ha-ha-ha… here’s the funny thing about me that you didn’t know: I write romance and just published a book and need help promoting it. Hear crickets chirp from all those friends, family, and distant acquaintances you’ve been ignoring for months because you’ve been so hell-bent on publishing a book.
10. Go back to the other digital venues, frantic to know if they have accepted you. Hear more crickets chirping.11. Thank FB friend who posted your Amazon link for you. Figure it out and add it yourself.
12. Apply for Amazon Affiliates, because everyone tells you not to throw away free money. Add the link to your website. Buy lots of stuff using the link.13. Add Amazon buy links to your website for your book. Forget to notate which other digital venues are at what point of vendor acceptance; check them constantly rather than wait for confirmation. Add buy links for others as you receive confirmation. Contemplate making an audio book.
14. Get an email saying you’ve been declined as an Amazon Affiliate because your website has little to no information. So much for free money. Make a note to add more content to website.15. Forget to add the buy links and your website links and information about your new book to the signature line on your email. Make a note to remember. Forget again.
16. Also forget to send your book cover file to the Word Wranglers web-diva so it can be included at the top of the screen with the others. Write a blog about your mishaps. Read note to update your email signature. Go make swag for the author signing instead.
Which brings us up to today! See, publishing a book is soooo easy… especially if you take my advice, and DON’T take my advice. But, again, the good news in all of this is that my book is out (and it’s got a really hot cover)!
Update 3/4/16: One more botched step... 17. blog on Word Wranglers about your book. Forget to include buy links! (So I've added them below)