Friday, September 07, 2012

When do Promotions Begin?

Book promotion is a marathon, not a sprint. But there are certain things that need to happen before the book’s release. Too often self-published authors rush their books to the market, leaving no time for early marketing. Officially promotions begin with the first word and filling a need. But once the book is into production, you need to give yourself time to properly promote it. Build up your audience! Give your book the best chance possible.

Here’s a pre-release checklist:

4-8 months
Book should be completing the editing phase and/or entering production at this point
Compose book synopsis
Prepare cover art
Select book reviewers
Set release date

3-5 months
Review copies prepared
Prepare sell sheet and review copy material
Star contacting reviewers
Debut the cover art
Book trailer in production
3-4 months
Review copies out to reviewers
Goodreads giveaways
Schedule virtual book tour
Gather media contacts
Debut book trailer

1-2 months
Gather reviews and follow-up on others
Final copy of book approved and reviews added
Promo materials printed (bookmarks, postcards, etc.)
Press release prepared
Schedule physical appearances & media interviews

1 month or less
Prepare Ebook
Promo materials to bookstores and libraries
All virtual tour posts and interviews completed
Announcement of tour and release
Information to online book sellers and genre websites
Press release ready to send

Much of this depends on your budget and book’s medium. And it doesn’t even begin to cover all of the aspects, which also include building an online platform long before the release date. But it outlines the basics and gives you a place to start.You worked hard on that book - do everything you can to ensure its success.

If you live in North Carolina, I offer seminars on book promotion, and my book, How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now, will be out early next year. Or just leave me a comment with your question!

Now, your Friday photo…

The dancing lights at Enchanted Forest, just outside of Salem, OR.


Nick Wilford said...

Wow, stunning photo. Are these like the Northern Lights?

So many avenues for promotion. It's a massive task especially when you're doing it on your own, but you're right, we owe it to our work to give it the best shot we can!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a lot that needs to be done.
Cool photo!

Stina said...

This seems more in line with traditional publishing. When most writers decide to self publish, they hit the fast forward button to maximum speed. I think I much prefer your schedule, Diane. Plus, then it won't seem to your potential readers that you skipped the critical steps that will make sure the final product is as polished as possible. If someone announces that they've decided to self pub their book and it's due out next week, I wonder just how polished is it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Nick, so much effort went into writing the book, it deserves the best chance possible. And those are dancing fountain lights.

Stina, you said it so well! I see that happen all the time. An author tosses a book out there and THEN starts to promote it. The promotions should've begun months sooner.

Karen, I went there every year as a child. My father used to work with the owner.

Hart Johnson said...

Great checklist. I think this is one of the reasons I don't self-publish. I don't have the patience to pace myself, but a publisher forces it.

Matthew MacNish said...

Promotion makes my head hurt.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Great advice, Diane. Especially looking for reviewers well in advance because most of them have full schedules. I'm currently reading stories due out in November and December.

Love the photo!


Isis Rushdan said...

This is so timely for me. My release is Jan. Although my publisher will do a lot for me, I know I need to do even more. Thanks :)!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo, D! So sharp for a night photo and that is not easy to do! Publishing books does look like a complicated process but you make it look easy by breaking it down into manageble steps.

Johanna Garth said...

Thanks for posting this concise outline. I really need to start thinking about promotion for book #2.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Really helpful list, Diane! I want to save this. Am RTing.

Jai Joshi said...

So much great advice here, Diane. I always rely on your for advice in book promotion.


LD Masterson said...

I'm saving this list. Thanks for the good advice.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I think I have copied more lists from your blog than any other source.

Ciara said...

I'm tired just reading, let alone doing all this. :) Great list, though.

Lubaina E. said...

Thankyou for the list!
I am writing my own novel these days but I don't know when will it finish, so uptil then I'm just saving the list :)

Aliza said...

Wow,that was really helpful,following you now :)

Cheers xox

Donna Shields said...

Love the photo and the list. Thanks :) I'm going to use this from now on. (It'll keep me on the straight and narrow!)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sia, I know some need a 4-6 month window.

Isis, I hope it helps you.

Thank you, Lynn.

Thank you, Karen.

Susan, thank you. That means a lot to me.

randi lee said...

Awesome advice. Thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Diane! Great advice. I'll bookmark the checklist for future reference.

Unknown said...

This is great stuff to know. Some of that stuff is taken care of my publisher though. Should I be sending out arcs even if my publisher does? What if it's an e file only? Would there be software issues for arcs? My email is Thank you!

Bish Denham said...

This is excellent! It helps to set a time-line and goals.