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What I Wish I Knew Before Launching my Debut

Not only does this make me both excited and scared out of my mind, but I can't believe a little over a year ago, I signed a contract, and my publisher encouraged me to create a launching plan.

A launching plan, for those not yet familiar, mean an author has to pull together all her resources possible, so when the book releases, it can reach as many readers as possible. This can involve blog tours, book trailers, author interviews, book signings, etc.

Although my publishing company offered helpful newsletters for their authors, and I had some author friends to observe, I mostly navigated this part of the journey on my own.

I picked up a great deal along the way, but I could've saved time if I knew some of these things going into the 12 months leading up to the release:

Build your platform before you get the contract

When LPC contracted Blaze, I had about 2,000 followers.

Although that may sound like a great start, in the publishing world, that's almost nothing. Only a small percentage of followers actually purchase products, so 2,000 wouldn't cut it. Let's say, for instance, only 1% actually purchased. That would mean just 20 people would buy the book.

I managed to get it near 20K by the release, while juggling school and seven jobs. Even though that still doesn't mean much in publishing, it helps a lot, but I wish I would've built it sooner.

Ask other authors how they did book launches

The other day, the fantastic Michelle Medlock Adams posted about what an author needs to do for a book launch.

She provided great info, but because I launch tomorrow, I couldn't use the advice for this book. Ask around and see what wisdom other writers can provide. It can save you hours of time figuring it out yourself.

Connect with influencers

I discovered this one a little late. Although I did connect with a few who plan to post about Blaze tomorrow, I could've reached out to more had I known the efficacy of this. See if an influencer will be willing to post about you on their Instagram story or include a blurb about your book in their newsletter.

Reach out to other authors who are launching

Odds are, someone else shares your release date, or releases in the same month.

Find authors at your publishing house or in your genre who release the same month you do, and host a giveaway or party together. I found out about another author releasing in June, and we coordinated a fun Facebook party on the 22nd of June.

Although it takes a lot of trial and error, and I had to learn along the way, I still can't wait to release tomorrow. The publishing company has graciously blessed me with this opportunity to share this story, and whether it reaches 100 readers or 1,000, I can't wait to launch.

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