I'M Michelle Hughes

Romance Author . Publishing Coach . Publisher

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Checklist Before Release Day


1.  Have you lined up 20 (50 is better) ARC (Advanced Released Copy) Reviewers that will publish their reviews on release day (or pre-release reviews on goodreads prior)?  Do those reviewers have enough time to read your book prior to the release?

2. Have you booked your virtual blog tour?  These are sometimes booked months in advance.

3. Have you researched categories that give you a fighting chance to become a top 100 book?  Unless you’ve got a huge following already sticking your book in the most popular categories won’t give you the leverage you need to get Amazon working for you (ie hot new release).

4. Have you had your manuscript edited and a professional book cover in place?

5. Do you have your mailing list set up and are you ready to push send for the day of release to announce it to all your readers?

If you haven’t done these steps, STOP!  Let’s get you ready to go.  So we’re going to go a little out of order here but after writing your book, you need to invest the time and money and have it edited and find a great cover, unless you’re very comfortable doing it yourself.  Researching editors and cover artist is a very important part of self-publishing so give yourself time to look over those options and look at reviews they’ve received.

A virtual blog tour is something else I consider essential in releasing a new book.  These tours need to be reviewed and see how books are doing on the charts after they’ve been on tour.  It’s a time consuming task but you’ll be happy you researched instead of wasting time on a blog tour company that isn’t getting you in front of the readers you’re reaching out to.

ARC Reviewers.  This is sometimes a bitter pill because no matter how great you think your line-up of reviewers are, some of them won’t leave a review after giving their word.  Be prepared for this.  Where to find reviewers?  There are plenty of groups on goodreads that offer what they call R2R programs (read to review) a little research and you can find those.  To put this in perspective I sent out 50 ARC’S to bloggers and readers and 20 of them actually posted reviews.

Categories.  I’m going to stick with Amazon on this because I’m not well versed in other book retailers.  Find a category where the top 100 bestseller is less than 40,000 for a chance to get your book highlighted as a hot new release.  Putting your romance book under the category contemporary romance, or even new adult romance means your book has to be ranked under 1,000 (meaning one of the top 1,000 books selling) to have a chance.  There are alternative categories.  Do a little research and see which category will work for your book.

Mailing List.  If you don’t have one go get a free one at Mail Chimp.  Even if you only have five people on it to start out, you can build by adding a link to your mailing list on your blog, twitter, facebook page, and especially at the end of every book you write.  You should already have all those social media outlets in place so don’t forget the all-important mailing list.  It’s the fastest way to get in touch with your readers now, and for future book releases.

One more thing that shouldn't be ignored!  Make sure you have your Amazon author page set up!

Michelle Hughes is an international bestselling author of romance. She has currently self-published 30 books on her own and one with Kindle Press. Discover more about Michelle by visiting Tears of Crimson


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Michelle Hughes
Verbena, Alabama