I just sent my manuscript to my proofreader. I’ve no idea how extensive her changes will be, but I’m guessing it’ll take me at least a couple weeks to go through them.
Once I get my book back from the proofreader, I’m going to put the book up for pre-order on Amazon. The max pre-order duration is 90 days. Actually it’s more like 86 since you have to account for re-uploading the final manuscript.
Either way, ~90 days will give me plenty of time to revise, fiddle and dither. Once the pre-order’s been live for ~30 days, I’ll advance the launch and make the book available in early August. I’ll be launching into KDP Select / Kindle Unlimited.
The advantage to preordering is that the “also-boughts” begin to populate before the book’s actually available (Assuming people are browsing to it & pre-ordering.) Beyond that, the book and my forthcoming author page may also garner interest.
As a first-time author, my expectations are low. (But I’m hopeful!) My approach to the launch is basically “fire and forget” — no marketing and advertising beyond this blog and word of mouth. (I may run a bare bones ad budget of Amazon ads as an experiment.)
If I had more books (minimum 3), then advertising would make more financial / ROI sense since I could do things like create a box set, make the first book perma-free, discount the 2nd, etc. If things go as planned, though, I won’t have three books until September 2019.
That third book should complete the first story arc. My fourth book will be in the same Norse-inspired universe but will introduce new characters while most of those POVs in books 1-3 will have cameos. This is all assuming that my traction on books 1-3 increases over time. I’ve no idea if that’ll happen. If it doesn’t, then I’ll re-evaluate. But, I’ll be writing books 4-6 as a standalone (if related) series; BK4 will be a new entry point.
In the immediate term, I’ve a few things to do in preparation for my August launch:
- Revisit my blurbs & bio. I haven’t looked at those in months so I should be able to rip into ’em a bit more easily
- Figure out how to integrate a mailing list sign-up to this blog. I suspect it’s as easy as paying more money and clicking on stuff. I’ll probably use Mailchimp since it appears to be the most commonly used and its “Forever Free” plan will be more than sufficient for my needs. The most annoying part of the mailing list will be paying the USPS for a PO Box.
- Figure out how CreateSpace formatting works. I want physical books to be available for marketing purposes.
- Figure out how ebook formatting works. I’ve compiled multiple ebooks using both Scrivener and Word as the basis, but I’m assuming that I’ve missed something goofy (weird glitches, errors, etc.).
- Finalize my front matter
- Create my back matter — the call to action (leave a review and/or subscribe to my mailing list).
- Finalize the three chapters from BK2 that I’m including at the end of BK1. The sequence will go like this: BK1 ends > call to action > first three chapters of BK2 > 2nd call to action.
And then, of course, I need to keep moving forward on BK2 or I’ll never make my Jan 2018 deadline. Regardless, it’s good to have the end (of BK1) in sight.