The Pre-Release Checklist

FalseGuilt_FrontCover_Blog 44Last December, I wrote up a checklist of things to do for the upcoming release of False Guilt. The checklist has evolved through the first weeks of 2015 and I thought I would share a summary for other self-published authors.

But, first, a snippet of False Guilt: the opening and closing paragraphs of chapter 1.

“Tell me this,” the man across from Paul Tews said. “What the hell is wrong with my son?”

Fifteen minutes earlier, moving a tray along a railing in front of a Greek fast-food place, Paul had heard his name. He’d been flattered that the President of Pan Canadian Securities asked to join him for lunch. Now he understood why. His question was a fair one.

. . .

“When [Art] was in L.A.,” [Art’s father] said, “the requests for money came faster and faster. For a long time, I sent him whatever he wanted. Then I made a few calls and figured things out. After that, I stuck to a monthly allowance, even if he complained, and then, when he came back last November, I cut him off and told him to get a job. And I told him if he keeps using cocaine I’ll write him out of my will.”

Paul’s face flushed and he looked away. “If it makes you feel any better, I know he tried reducing it recently.” He shot a hesitant glance across the table. “Anyway, he’s a brilliant guy. I meant it when I said he’ll get things working for him.”

“I don’t see him going to law school,” Art’s father said, snorting. “And he’s a failed actor as far as I can tell. I mean, right now, he pours people coffee for a living.”

Paul was at a loss. The lunchtime din suffused the pause in their conversation. Finally, Art’s father said, “Sometimes, Paul, sometimes I ask myself which one of us will die first.”

Another fair question, Paul thought.

And here’s the summary of my pre-release checklist for a self-published book.

Eight to twelve weeks before release date:

  1. Approach candidates for release reviews.
  2. Settle on print and eBook distribution platforms.
  3. Editor and author complete final manuscript proof.
  4. Draft marketing plan, including blogging and social media strategies.
  5. Assign cover design and interior design.

Four weeks before:

  1. Get print and eBook ISBNs.
  2. Obtain release reviews, and choose excerpts for back cover.
  3. Finalize cover and interior designs.
  4. Complete last front-to-back review and have final fixes made.
  5. Obtain necessary files for print and eBook distribution.
  6. Refine marketing plan, including developing updates for website and online profiles.

Two weeks before:

  1. Begin implementing blogging and social media strategies.
  2. Upload files to print-on-demand site; approve online and hard copy proofs as available.

Release:

  1. Upload eBook platform files and approve POD publication.
  2. Post release reviews on distribution site(s) and website.
  3. Implement other website changes and changes to online profiles.
  4. Announce release on blog and social media.
  5. Email interested readers and ask for reviews.
  6. Add book to Goodreads and/or similar sites.

I’ve actually broken down these steps further using a calendar.

I only wish I’d been this thoughtful on the release of The Case for Killing!

False Guilt will be out later this month.

Copyright ©2015 Peter Fritze

Where to buy The Case for Killing.

Follow me on Twitter @PFritze.

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