The 9-Step Publication Plan

My how things can change in a few days. Monday was a strange day. Due to circumstances at work, I ended up over-thinking a lot of things, some work-related, some book-related, and getting a little stressed.

Despite my wave of confidence last Friday, I’m pretty nervous about the entire publishing process.

I feel good about my book and my abilities to make it enjoyable for people aside from my friends, but publishing  the thing is an entirely different story.

The actual publication process is a completely foreign idea to me, and I just want to make sure I’m on the right track. So I’m laying out my publishing plan as it currently stands for all to point and laugh at see and provide boundless support.

I’m including pricing for some of these steps, because budgeting is part of publishing too. I don’t have the funds to do everything at once, so I need to space out my spending.

Stop me if I start talking crazy.

The 9-Step Publishing Plan

Step 1: Revise, revise, revise

I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. Whatever else I do in preparation for publishing, finishing the book needs to be my top priority. I’ve been pretty good about that recently, but today, my anxiety over everything else I have to do caught up with me.

And here we are.

Step 2: Barcodes and ISBNs

Since I’m self-publishing, I need to buy my own ISBNs. I realize that CreateSpace can also provide these things, but Jessie will also be publishing at a mysterious date yet to be determined, so we might as well spend the money and buy the pack of 10 ISBNs so we have them ready.

You need a separate ISBN for each version of a book you publish, by the way. That means I need one for print, and a separate one for Kindle, so splurging on 10 for a discounted rate doesn’t sound so crazy.

1 Barcode + 10 ISBNs = $320

Step 3: Book design for print and Kindle

I should probably start really looking into this, but I’m going to pay for book design services. I know I can learn how to format the manuscript myself at some point, but paying for it for my first book just leaves me with less to stress over. I’ve found a couple of services that charge $150-$250 for this, so I’m going for it.

What I really need to find out is how long it will take them to complete the manuscripts.

Step 4: Create CreateSpace and KDP accounts

I have a KDP account already, although I haven’t done anything with it. I’ll go through CreateSpace for their Amazon distribution. I realize that there are other services available, but CreateSpace seems like the most direct way to sell on Amazon. I’m not trying to be too complex my first go around.

Step 5: Amazon author page

This can be created through KDP (I think), but I need to set myself up as an author in order to sell books and collect royalties through Amazon. That’s about all I know about this step. More research is likely required to figure out how to make my author page as engaging as possible.

I’m pretty sure GoodReads requires you to actually have published a book in order to create an author page, so this will come. It’s just good to think about and plan for.

Step 6: ARC Reviews?

I understand what ARC reviews are for and why they’re important. I’m just not sure I want to do tham. Maybe it’s laziness, but I have too many questions. How long is a reasonable amount of time to give any ARC reviewers?

Step 7: Organize my blog tour

Again, this step does not appeal to me, but I should probably get my name out there a little bit. My main concern is that most of the book blogs I follow seem to all follow each other, so are we just preaching to the choir here?

Step 8: Pre-sale period with cover release

I’ve been debating how soon to release my cover recently, but I finally read a few articles today about it. Their conclusion: don’t release the cover until you’re ready to sell the book.

So I’ll release it to kick off the pre-sale period, likely a month or so before the publication date, which brings us to…

Step 9: Set a publication date

Ideally? Early May. But I’m being flexible for now to make sure I get steps one through eight in order first. I’m starting to think about pricing models too for the pre-sale, standard sale, and later sale periods. Obviously, I’ll be open to adjusting my pricing if I need to, but I like having a rough idea of where I will price my book.

Looking to the Horizon

I’ve had such notes written out on one of my many spreadsheets for months now, but it’s good to get it into a public forum. I’ll write about a few of these steps in more detail as I really dig into them.

Any pieces I’m missing? Do you think any of these steps are overrated, underrated, or properly rated?

Steve D

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