Well, I did it again—self-published the second book in my award-winning fantasy book series (you can find all of my books here on Amazon!), ordered paperbacks and uploaded the e-book version to Amazon, hosted a release party and signing, entered it in contests (and received the silver medal in Self-Publishing Review’s 2016 Awards so far!), navigated requests from dedicated readers in other countries who wanted to purchase signed copies, marketed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and my website, and I’m still not finished!
A book release is an ordeal rife with excitement and the possibility of technical difficulties (they will happen, so just go with it), but hopefully, my trial and error lessons will result in your success if you follow my six tips on what to remember!
1. It Can Take Up to Two Days for Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Program to Review and Publish Your E-book
Be aware of this when you’re announcing the release date, and if at all possible, set the book up for preorder on Amazon so that it’s all set to go on release day. Unfortunately, the caveat with preorders is that the amount ordered before the release won’t contribute to your release day numbers (which you want to be as high as possible from a marketing standpoint), but it’s better to ensure your book is available on the day it was promised instead of still in Amazon’s review process.
2. When You’re Shipping Signed Copies Anywhere (Especially Internationally), Use USPS’s Media Mail Option
It should cost around $3.00 USD in the U.S. and is by far the most inexpensive option for international shipping as well (around $10.00 USD for Canada and Europe based on my experience). Here’s USPS’s 2014 Media Mail Pricing Guide for reference.
3. When it Comes to Receiving Payment for Signed Books You Ship Out, Decide on Which Platforms You’ll Use Ahead of Time
I use PayPal’s “Friends and Family” option to receive payment, as it’s a program I’m very familiar with and is well-known internationally. Keep in mind that those who are paying with other currencies may have to pay a conversion fee based on the platform you use—you will want to mention that to your readers beforehand. Other easy money transfer options include Venmo and ClearxChange. And never give out your bank account information for a direct wire transfer unless you know and trust that individual.
4. Enter It into Contests as Soon After the Launch as Possible—the Distinction Will Set the Book Apart
Oftentimes contests provide marketing material, prizes, and additional badges that will help your marketing campaign and validate your book’s quality from the very beginning. Some of my favorite contests/distinctions geared toward self-published authors include:
5. Allow at least Three Weeks’ Time Between Ordering Your Paperbacks on Createspace and Their Arrival
Unless you want to pay a massive amount in shipping costs, allow at least three weeks between ordering your books and their arrival. My timeframe for the interior formatting and printing to the actual book release party was less than a month—and I realized quite quickly that I needed to order my completed books ASAP or I’d pay at least $50.00 more in rush shipping costs.
6. Squirrel Some Savings Away for all the Costs of Self-Publishing a Book
Some of these costs are editing, cover design, interior formatting, and actually ordering the paperback copies. For my book signing, I ordered 10 copies of the first book in my series and 40 of the second book—altogether with shipping that totaled over $300.00! You will make the money back (and hopefully a profit in the longer run), but it’s important to set aside a recommended $1,000-1,500 altogether for each book you launch so you don’t get blindsided by an extra cost later on.
There you have it; my tried and true tips on what not to forget when it comes to launching your self-published book. For any and all other questions regarding editing, ghostwriting, marketing, and self-publishing in general, contact the book experts at Midnight Publishing today! We’ve been trusted with over five million words since opening our doors, and we can’t wait to show you why.