Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Avoid Common Writer Mistakes & Cassa Fire's Special

If only it were easy to WhiteOut our mistakes.
http://tinyurl.com/l348ctv

Since I've made every mistake a writer can, I thought I could speak to this issue with some authority.

I waited way too long to start thinking about publicity.


I thought my publisher would do it all. Please don't laugh. I was a mere child when I began.


I said, "If I can write a book, surely I can promote all by myself."


I thought my book was good enough I didn't need to worry about promoting it. (This isn't exactly what I thought, but close.)


I thought that the media would pick up my Tweets and my Blog Posts and my FB Post in no time flat.


I thought that if I did a few Tweets, a few Blog Posts, a few FB Posts, I could kick back and have a nap.


I thought once I had a publisher, I didn't have to think about finding another one.


Now that I'm a seasoned soldier in the book publishing business I can admit to all these mistakes and more. So what to do to avoid these?






7 to 12 months before launch



  • start lining  up your reviewers.
  • make a list of book fairs or events that are scheduled around your launch target. 
  • make a list of things you can count on your publisher to do for you and fill in the gaps yourself or hire a publicist. 
  • make sure your website is up to date.



6 months before launch



  • send announcements to newspapers, trade magazines, especially those with “up-coming publications” columns.
  • write press release, so you'll have it to send with your ARCs or galleys.
  • troll for blurbs
  • have a professional author photo taken
  • set up Google Alerts for both your author name and your book title



5 months before launch



  • update  your business cards
  • order bookmarks etc.
  • lay out a book tour for yourself. This can be in addition to what your publisher has done, or just what you want to do.



3-4 months before launch



  • have book trailer made.
  • write letters pitching your book to media.
  • check with local bookstores to see if they will carry your book.
  • create launch materials: interviews, giveaway ideas, activities for blogs.



2 months before launch



  • schedule your launch appearances: virtual or in person, using your launch materials.
  • memorize your tagline or pitch, so you can say it any time, anywhere.
  • recheck website and add your buylinks.



Just before the big DAY



  • confirm everything with everyone. 
  • schedule Tweets with buylinks for AM and PM daily. 




After the big DAY: do not stop promoting. 

This isn't a complete list of things to do, so I hope you'll add to it. I've gleaned these steps from other bloggers, my experience and reading what publicists have to say. 

ALEX CAVANAUGH'S BLOG
Here's a writer who know all of this stuff. Be sure to take advantage of this last day of his offer.  CassaFire is 99 cents at AMAZON and his publisher’s site. 

68 comments:

  1. Thanks for mentioning CassaFire's sale, Lee!
    Troll for blurbs - know the feeling. Yeah, you have to start months in advance and then keep rolling long after the release.

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  2. Lee, that is a perfect list. You have to prepare for promotions. I cringe when I see an author complete a book and then just toss it out there with no planning. Especially when it comes to reviews - you have to send the books out months in advance.

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    1. You know, Diane. So many do not. I really only had a small clue. Thanks for the great comment.

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  3. Great time table list! Should (or when) I need it, I'll be referring back to it.

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  4. This is just a fabulous post. I'm bookmarking it and sharing it. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom.

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    1. Thanks, Sheri. Hope it helps. Add to it as you discover more authors can do.

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  5. Great list. I hope you'll put a link on your blog so I can come back to it if I ever sign a contract. It's really helpful.

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    1. I'm doing that and if it don't work, call me. :-)

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  6. I think you have quite a good list there Lee. The business of writing is a whole lot more than writing the book. Not many publishers have a big budget for new authors and to be truthful, for established authors, so it's up to the author to do much of the work. Daunting task for sure.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. Indeed it is, Sia. So here's to those who know it, write well and continue in spite of all of the hurdles.

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  7. Eek, so much to do! I'm good at some angles, but I still haven't sent press releases to book stores...

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    1. I don't now why, but those scare the beejeebers out of me.

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  8. I was so naive, and I still am. I am very thick skulled and quite the dreamer. It could happen by magic. Pretty sure of it. I wished on a star and everything!

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    1. Never discount magic! I'm a firm believer in that.

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  9. Great list. I've managed to do some of them.

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  10. This is a perfect timeline. This one is for bookmarking. And look at the Ninja Captain making waves with this sale :-)

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    Replies
    1. Try this timeline out. Add to it. Call me! :-)

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  11. What an awesome list/time line. There is so much to do it would be impossible to pull it off alone, eh?

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    1. I think it wouldn't be worthwhile to pull it off alone. Why? Write. Publish. Move on.

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  12. Wow, Lee, thanks. This is an excellent timeline. I'm bookmarking this page!

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  13. That is so useful - thank you! I'm bookmarking the page, too!

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    Replies
    1. If you find something to add, come back and let us know!

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  14. Sounds like great advice. Hope I'll need to refer back to it someday ;)

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  15. I love your list and will be filing it away for when I need it. I bought Alex's kindle book.

    T

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    1. Alex will send you a bouquet of roses soon! Just kidding.

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  16. NIce tips. As a photographer I can learn a few things from this post.

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    1. Yes, you can probably link up with some authors who'll need you. Do you take pictures of people?

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  17. Wow! This is an awesome list. I had zero idea about most of this. I'm still such a writing newbie.

    And, hello to a fellow minion!

    Elsie
    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

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    Replies
    1. Then I'm glad I posted this and you found it!

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  18. Great tips, Lee. I did nothing 6 months before my release except work on promotion and marketing. It didn't help... Now I'm just trying to write the next one, but I must admit I'm disillusioned, which sucks my energy level. *sigh*

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    1. Hope you got my email. don't be disillusioned. Use what you learned this time out and write another book.

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  19. Wonderful post with excellent advice. Sharing!

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  20. Thank you for this post! I'm a beginner at blogging and publishing. I'd like to write an e-book for my crochet patterns. Would you have suggestions on how to begin? I'll keep following you.

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    1. My suggestion is to find as many books similar to yours as possible, then add your special twist. Also note who the publishers of those books are. That's the best I can do.

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  21. What a good reminder. I'm one of those writers who starts waaaaay too late with her marketing.

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  22. What an awesome task list! Though I'm sad the little publishing fairies won't take care of everything

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  23. Hey Lee,

    Yes, thankfully, your wait is over. The dude has arrived. Yay n'stuff.

    Such practical advice. Really awesome and most handy for the novices out there. Although, for a moment, I thought this was a launch in regards to some space mission. Yep, let's do launch.

    Shared the news, on all those fun social networks in regards to Alex. Very good of you to share the news about the ninja clone fellow. Yes, I have also taken the liberty of sharing your posting. My niceness has no limits.

    Your starstruckest fan,

    Gary :)

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    1. Greatly appreciate all that you do with the sharing stuff. Really. So important and I have no clones to help with that, so starstruckest fan have to pick up the slack.

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  24. I love all the support Alex is receiving.

    Thanks for sharing this information. I have a friend who just got her first book deal. I'm sending her this link.

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  25. I loved that you're sharing with your friend. Congrats to her.

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  26. Wow! That's a huge and detailed list . . . I might need to copy that out and try to work through it. I know I'm not that far along in marketing wisdom and experience.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not an expert by any means, but I do know you have to do the work.

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  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  28. Mostly I think it takes finding the right fans who want more books so want to help you out. Hard work eventually pays off, It's what makes luck. That's what I think.

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  29. It is incredibly daunting to think of all the things required to try to make the launch of a book a success! Thanks for the list - I'm bookmarking! :)

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  30. I can remember when I used to think that simply putting a post on the Internet or a Tweet was all it would take to get media/reviewer/reader notice and make me a best-selling author.

    I can remember that because it was this afternoon.

    These are great tips. The big thing to remember is that if you want to make money as a writer, it's a business, and like any business you have to drum up customers. But hearing tried-and-true ways to do that from writers who've had success is very helpful.

    Now, if you could just drop by to remind me tomorrow, because I feel like I re-learn this lesson every day... (and when you drop by, feel free to bring a pizza.)

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  31. Excellent advice. The work never stops. And yay for Alex! :)

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  32. Great advice! It's amazing how much work is involved. I learn more each day it seems. And I heard that Alex's sale was a brilliant success!

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    1. It is a lot of work. And once upon a time I thought writing a book was the only thing in this business that was hard to do.

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  33. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping in. Glad the information helped.

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  34. Great post. I'm still a ways from publication, but this is a good reminder of what comes next, and it's never too early to have a plan. Thanks for sharing!

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  35. Hi Lee,

    I would add using Talkwalker Alerts in addition to Google Alerts. It's free (www.Talkwalker.com) and it often picks up different items then Google.

    Yvonne

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