The release of a book, and managing book release deadlines, are topics which I have considered a lot over the past few months. The accompanying questions of when to release the book, where it will appear, how, why, and, for whom, are items which I believe many authors may have a dilemma, and fret over. I will utilize my newest book release, THE GRANDMOTHER’S MESSAGE, as an example of how I went about managing these questions.
THE BOOK’S RELEASE, ON WHICH WEBSITES, AND, THE RATIONALE FOR THIS
THE GRANDMOTHER’S MESSAGE was released on 28 June, 2013, and firstly appeared on Smashwords, then Amazon, and, subsequently, on Smashwords’ distribution partners such as Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Sony. I wanted to have the book in as many places as possible as readers might have a preference between different websites. Limiting the book to only a single or few websites, from past experience, deprives other readers who may simply not have access to certain websites, due to geographical reasons, or other factors.
PREPARATION OF STORY AND PERSONAL OBJECTIVES
I began planning the story from December of 2012, and, by February of 2013, had completed the first draft. I found that by having a breakdown of the events in the story, it gave me a structure to work with, and, I could build the story from this point. As I did not want to waver, and sought to give myself sufficient time to deliver the story by mid-year, I had initially set a release date of June 2013. I found by having a deadline set, that it gave me something to work towards. In addition to this, I also have a personal aim this year to release two books, and having one completed gives confidence to continue with the next one.
SELECTING AN APPROPRIATE RELEASE DATE, AND OTHER DETAILS SUCH AS TWITTER AND BLOG
In May 2013, I looked at my calendar, and, as I was on track with my writing, sought to select a release date, which I did. Even though I now had a release date of 28 June 2013, I continued working on the book right up until the final few days. It is funny how you can find errors right up until the end in a manuscript that are not as evident in the early stages. It did help, though, to have a few beta readers, who also assisted with spotting errors, and certain details in the story which needed attention.
It was also useful to utilize my blog, and twitter, to make readers aware of the book’s upcoming release. Readers were aware months in advance from twitter that my book was on its way, and it was very heartening that the book teasers received many retweets, thanks to wonderful fellow tweeters.
CONVERSION INTO BOTH SMASHWORDS AND AMAZON FORMATS
When I was satisfied that the book was just right, I began to convert it into the Smashwords format, and, then, the Amazon format, a few days before uploading. As the vast majority of the work had been completed, all I now really had to do was this. I find that generally it is easier this way, as, from past experience, one helps the other, but, it is always good to follow the instructions which each book site has; then a lot of problems can be avoided, and help make a smoother transition.
SYNOPSIS AND KEYWORDS PREPARATION IN ADVANCE
It is also good to have the synopsis, and keywords which one will use on the websites, composed months before the book’s release, as once this is done, it is just a matter of typing these in, or, slightly changing these to suit one’s needs. Apart from this, starting these details months in advance will give the writer time to refine their concepts of the story, and fine tune certain details, instead of having to rack one’s mind at the last minute, giving further stress.
The bottom line for me was that having a realistic, and manageable, time frame to complete the project was paramount, taking into account life itself, how much time one has to write, and leaving some time for those unexpected incidents. And now, it is over to you for your thoughts on managing book release deadlines in the most beneficial manner possible, and what you think of my suggestions.