My four-years-in-the-making novel is finally ready to enter the gaping maw of eBook self-publishing, likely never to be heard from again.*
Last week I completed one final round of minor edits and proclaimed the damn thing finished. I’m not changing another word (barring undiscovered typos). Why did this take four years? Primarily because I pantsed it, as in wrote the damn thing by the seat of my pants without an outline, and without really having any idea where the story would take me. What I ended up with is a 400-page opus with three point-of-view characters, several other major characters and a cast of thousands (well, dozens of others, anyway). And what I think is a damn fun story of a sort that’s never been told before.
Now comes the more daunting task: figuring out how to sell it.
Next will be the technical part, uploading to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the other major book etailers, for both an eBook and print edition. I sent the manuscript off to Streetlight Graphics (which created the front and back covers) for the steampunk-themed formatting. They will soon send back ready-to-upload files in a variety of formats.
And this morning I found myself forking over $35 to the feds:
Now the book is mine! All mine!
Next comes my 10-step plan for fame and fortune:
- A soft launch on Amazon without advertising to ensure the eBook and print editions are merged to one page, and to send Advance Reader Copies to a handful of folks
- Creating a landing page at this site for the novel, with purchase links
- Finishing up a new short story to be used as a giveaway promotion
- Planning a small contest to solicit readers signing up for my mailing list
- Asking advance readers to post honest reviews in advance of hard launch
- Designing and placing web ads on baseball and steampunk websites
- Planning a Goodreads giveaway
- Scheduling some Facebook ads
- Telling my mom, so she can tell her Mah Jong group
- Launch the book by late April with a 48-hour sale price of 99cents to push it quickly up the Amazon charts.
Methinks #9 is probably the most important. More to come.
*I say this because recent estimates show 90,000 new books are self-published on Amazon each month. You do the math.