Book Launching And A Reflection On Social Media

Posted on June 17, 2015
Last week the incredible designer at Seedlings Design Studio finished the ebook cover for my novel, The Box Of Souls, and I LOVE it. It's not what I envisioned when we started -- I think she envisioned something else as well -- but after a few brainstorming emails, we agreed on the final design. She's pretty fantastic. To be able to put what I had in my head into her work -- that's real talent. Sometimes I don't even get what's in my own head!

I am done with editing. Done. I mean DONE. Except, of course, for the acknowledgments.

What does all this mean? It means it's time to start planning my book launch.

Needless to say, it's already making me nervous. I don't profess to be a social media guru, in any way whatsoever. In fact, I was the last of my close circle of friends to join facebook. It's too open. It's too exposed. People who I don't know, or people who I haven't necessarily spoken to in years will know all about me. I wasn't crazy about it. But, eventually I joined.

( Here's where the reflection starts. :-D )

I published my first novel, Distant Origins (formerly titled Dramani) three years ago. I can't believe it's been that long. Didn't even think about marketing the book. I kind of let it sit there, told a few friends about it, and then started my second novel, A Selfish Moment. Create my blog, and started participating in other blogs and social media groups. A Selfish Moment was published two years ago, with little marketing. But, with the help of some of my friends pushing the book with me, it did okay. Marketing still eluded me. Goodreads was an afterthought -- I created an account and participated for a while. I was just warming up, trying to find my grove with the social media universe.

Then, I started the first novel in the Family Relics series. I did a ton of reading. I read up on authors who published and promoted while I wrote the draft, first revision, nth revision, and final pre-pro-edited manuscript. Tried promoting A Selfish Moment with some success, but that dwindled because I wanted to really focus on Family Relics. I feel like I missed the boat on A Selfish Moment, but I was okay with that. I knew what I had to do. I had to learn the business of self publishing. I needed to learn social media promotions.

Being an introvert in real life doesn't help, and it's not like I'm using an alter ego. It's me out there. It's my face and my family and my life out here. My old colleagues will see me. My college classmates. People from my home town. My family. Everyone. Total exposure. Scary as fu**.

Little by little I eventually rolled out of my cocoon, and now I'm planning my first book launch. Two years ago I would never have thought I'd create public events on Facebook and Google, and post to the world how exciting and mystifying and emotional the publishing process is for me. I've made tons of friends online who understand the writer side of me better than anyone I know in person. I have only 1 personal writer friend, so finding the support online, with all the advice everyone shares... it's incredible. I love it. There is strength in unity, even in the virtual world.

( End of reflection. **sigh** )

So, in an effort to add to the pool of shared materials, I'm sharing my book launch to-do list for people who haven't a clue how to start (like me two years ago). It's my first real launch, my first humble attempt at promoting my book before the book is released. It's nerve-wrecking, exciting, nail-biting, and all that. A roller-coaster of emotions.

That's how I know it's going to be awesome!

What have I done so far, this week:
  • Create events in Facebook & Google+. Make them public. (Yikes!)
  • Create banner for the social media sites. (I mangled the cover - I think it came out pretty.)
  • Create a page on blog site dedicated to the book launch, with a teaser blurb, a signup email form, and links to Facebook and Google+ events. I didn't want to put the full blurb there because it was too bulky. 
  • Update Google+ & Facebook Events to link up to dedicated blog page. Make everything link to everything so it's easier for participants.
  • Update blog side bar to have link to dedicated page.
  • Push events on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. Start some buzz. (More like a soft hum...)
  • Monitor social media like a teenager. 
  • Bite nails down to the base.

Here's what I have left to do:
  • Finish book back blurb for cover designer, and other back cover elements.
  • Setup CreateSpace entry for book cover designer to do her magic.
  • Upload to KDP and setup Amazon pre-release product page.
  • Finalize CreateSpace formatting. (I'm doing this myself. This is not an easy task.)
  • Finalize Smashwords formatting for B&N & iBooks. (Different because of back matter.)
  • Look Into / Sign up for Kobo Life
  • Tentative: Finalize Kobo formatted files. (Haven't decided if I'm doing this separately.)
  • Plan my blog tour, (Already have a few bloggers in line, but not going crazy.)
  • Work with other bloggers to post non-book related entries/stories. (Just because I need to do something other than just push the book. After a while, it becomes noise.)
  • Look into Thunderclap, Book Bub, Book Gorilla, and other promo services.
  • Setup announcement emails for signups. 
  • Remember whatever I forgot.

I know the list will change as I go, but it's a start. 

Don't forget to sign up for the Box OF Souls book launch! There will be lots of announcements, crazy rantings, and bouncy balls.

That's right, I said bouncy balls.


  1. Woohoo! How exciting, and yet stressful. I find myself getting stressed reading your to-do list, and it's not even my launch! Good luck with everything. :D

    And the cover is gorgeous.

    1. For me, making the list is more stressful than following the list. At least I have completion points, things to check off and be done. When I sat down to make this list, I was all nerves and jitters. :-\

  2. How exciting that you're about to launch a book! I totally sympathise with the stress of it though, I'm about to do the same and I'm already a bundle of nerves. It's my first book so I'm working out what I should be doing -- reading through your list really helped actually, so thank you! :)

    1. You're very welcome, Celine! Glad it helped. :-D