Updated: Mar 14
My first book was a breeze. Partially, because I was so afraid of messing up that I over-prepared for every step of release. The other reason being, I had low expectations. Scorched Feathers was written in the height of the plague lockdown. It flew from me, writing itself and planning the second of the duology with ease. The hardest part was getting ARC readers, something I vowed to do better this time around.
Flash forward to this week, the release week for my second book. I procrastinated. I was so scared of doing a piss-poor job at ARC's that I did in fact do a piss-poor job. Let me elaborate:
I waited until 10 days before my release to even try to get a sign up going. This is not enough time.
The final manuscript was rushed, leading to errors that could have been easily avoided. For ex. there were two of the same chapter and during file conversion words got cut off and jumbled. I had paid for beta & alpha readers, editors and a proofreader and then tanked my own final draft.
Formatting. I bought Atticus only to find out that draft2digital doesn't like the files it outputs. This lead to scrambling and more hasty conversions.
There is another mess-up listed below.
But let me tell you what I did right:
Instead of trying sign up sites and goodreads for ARC readers (who take the book and run) I made a TikTok using a popular sound to ask for sign ups. This got me WAY more signups and engagement on my TikTok (which I've been growing with hopes to make it my main way of marketing.)
My website is on WIX, and creating a form was easy to do and easy to incorporate into my own website. This way: I get the traffic, people can easily see what else I've written, and if they like it they can subscribe to my newsletter or even buy my other book...which people did. (I love you guys!) Now my bestie Deb isn't the only person reading of my newsletter. (Love you DEB!)
By keeping most everything on my own sites I didn't pay for anything and got to keep a lot of the rewards (traffic) for myself but I had to do more work. I used Story Origin's free version to share my ARC through direct download. This kind of scared me, so I added a layer of protection by requiring that everyone be subscribed in order to use the link. Sounds scary, really I just gave it access to my mail chimp list. (ANOTHER MESS-UP: I forgot to add everyone to my mail chimp list before sending out the links. Ugh, why am I like this.)
WWIDD? AKA What would I do differently?:
I'd make sure that I had two weekends, 14 days min, of time for everyone to finish reading my book.
I like lists, they make me sane and on task. I will make a list of the order of operations for the next launch so I can do it all right the first time.
My final file, formatted and all, will be done WAY before the ARC push.
All of this being said, I'm going to push back my release for Fallen Divinity, Descent into Hell Book Two. I'm aiming for April 1st, this will give me two months to finish all the prep for release. If I have time to spare, I'll be releasing a collectors edition of the duology as well.
I'm living off of my savings right now while working to get my books to take off. It's scary and stressful. Doing most things myself is the only way I can do this, be an author, without going bankrupt. The fellow authors and bookworms I've met are what keep me sane.
As an introvert, it's hard to connect with people.
As an INTJ, I feel alien when I do.
But this little group of booknerds has made me feel at home.
Comment any questions, or let me know if you'd like some elaboration. Happy writing!