Self-publishing means that most, if not all, responsibilities for publishing a book lie squarely on the author. Here’s my take on how I did with the release of my recent book The White Arrow.
I had a simple plan to share the release blog which you can view. Additionally, I planned to share tidbits on the blog post all day long and direct visitors to the ongoing (it’s still going) blog tour to register for the gift card giveaway (you still can today: Indie Wish List & Spunky N Sassy). Also, were links to a Facebook post and a Goodreads discussion where I also planned to post updates on various announcements and news. I even planned a few promos and had The Bow of Destiny on special for 99 cents. My email subscriber list received news about the release and I announced the event to friends on Goodreads. Finally, I scheduled a Thunderclap to announce the release of The White Arrow. I added a twist where visitors could go take a short quiz about the series to find out what character they were most like.
Most everything went off without a hitch. I made updates all day long and shared news about going to print with the series (hopefully beginning later this month with The Bow of Destiny). I’m low on funds so I shied away from spending on much of anything and just stuck with what was in my wheelhouse for my limited budget these days.
The quiz was well received so I plan to do more of these in the future.
What I’d Do Differently
I’d run the Thunderclap much earlier so that the announcement would go out in the morning. Because I was rushed, I hesitated to schedule the campaign until late in the game meaning I had much less time to get the necessary 100 supporters. Since the campaign neared the minimum for a free campaign, I was forced to set the time for the message back several hours until 4PM instead of noon. The campaign did get 106 supporters but the message was very late in the day. I’d prefer to have that sent out much sooner to get attention. At least it was sent and that’s a plus.
Also, I’d do more to invite individual people I know to the blog, Facebook or Goodreads venues. Many of my Thunderclap supporters ended up being friends so I should have invited them to the event as well and gotten them the chance to register for the giveaway. Silly me, I thought they would just come to the event but I should have been more direct with the invitation. Again, next time, I’ll send out more notices sooner than I did to friends.
What I’d Really Like To Do
I’d like to run a series of live event sessions via Hangouts which feeds into YouTube and can be embedded into social media like Facebook and Twitter. However, this requires some big planning and a fair number of visitors in order to get interaction. Next time, I’ll work on planning something this ambitious further in advance and make sure that I get visitors to the scheduled sessions so I can interact with people. This also gives me a chance to add videos to my YouTube channel.
Also, I might try using more PR, contacting appropriate media outlets and possibly hire a service to handle the plans. But for now, I remain low budget.
Overall, the release went well. The White Arrow has now sold several hundred copies and continues to sell well. With the series completed, I’ll continue work on other projects as well as adding print to the mix within the month – more news on this last item in the coming weeks. Maybe I’ll have time to put my big ideas to action on the print release!
Share your thoughts and ask your questions in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!