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Virgin Author Ch 7 Catch & Release: Planning Your Big Day Before, During, & After

Chapter Seven:

Catch & Release:

Planning Your Big Day Before,

During, & After

Remember back during the early days of writing – or hell, even reading this book, when story ideas would flash like lightning in your mind. You’d get the urge, and writing was the only way to alleviate it? You’d stroke those keys for hours. Maybe scribble one scene out… then another and another. What a rush. So now that you’re so close to finishing try and stay focused, ok? It’s still not enough that you wrote a book. I’m sorry, but it’s not. Have you ever scrolled through the new releases on Amazon or Smashwords? There’s A LOT of other hot singles in your area just waiting to get picked up and used. So for Gods' sake show a little decency, will you? First off, pick a release date. As previously mentioned, Autumn is typically the best time to release a book. Barring that, it’s late Spring (people want their summer vacation reads). DO NOT publish after National Novel Writing Month (so, don’t pick a date late Dec or Jan especially), or after Camp NaNoWriMo (ergo, don’t pick a date in August). Yes, there are always exceptions to the rules. Should you try to be one? No, probably not. Here’s why: If you’re trying to give your special little book the absolute best chance it has to reach as many other people as possible, you need to put yourself in a strategic mindset. Have fun with it – get in your Zen. Channel your inner spirit. Then, pick a date. Try and think from a reader/shopper perspective. And while you’re at it, scope out a few bookshops you actually go to. Talk to writers guild members and find out if anyone has any pre-existing connections with them. Find out when these bookstores are usually the busiest, then, pick a date. (I like Black Friday. *DIBBS). Schedule your time with the owner. See if there’s a consignment deal you can apply for on their website or just ask about it, too.

Consignment, in case you’re unfamiliar with the term, means they sell your book and you guys split up the profit. (It’s usually something like 40/60). Consignment is important because above and beyond your initial release, you’re trying to grow your network of connections in the writing industry. You want people to know you and vice-versa. Other people liking what you got makes the author’s world go round. Get it? You want at least the successful appearance at each release (whether it’s a brick and mortar location or somewhere online) because you want to get asked back. You want to grow your reputation. You want to be able to have stores regularly carry your books, and unless you have a massive sales force behind you, the only one who’s gonna convince the bookstore owner to give you some of their valuable shelf space is You.

Does this mean you have to like… you know… actually talk to people? Professionally? Why yes. Yes it does. Hey, don’t look at me that way. You’re the one who wanted to be a writer, remember? Suck it up, sunshine. Selling yourself on the street and online is your life now. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it, too. If you still absolutely rebel against the notion of setting up signings and consignment deals, I’d be happy to help you out. Head on over to or just DM me and ask about it. Ok. So. You’ve identified a few places you want to have your release at. You’ve picked your date. It’s still three months or so out. You’re golden. Now, if you’re going the indie route, set up your pre-orders online. Have a contest on your author social media for advance readers so they can help generate that sweet sweet publicity buzz for you. I mean, why do all the work yourself? Sometimes, other people can make things twice as fun. Do slinky cover reveals. Instagram or live record opening your very first box of books for everyone to see. Basically, find ways to share your genuine excitement with your people. Every day, writers become authors. Every day, people release their books out into the wide world. What can help give you an edge over and above the rest is whether you’re actually, genuinely excited about your book and can communicate it