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2 Month Blueprint for Self-publishing and Using Launch Teams

by Kathryn McMaster

Launching a self-published book takes time if you are to do it right. You need time to contact your book reviewers, your launch team, plan your pre-marketing strategies and your social media campaigns. You need time to fix any spelling, grammar or syntax errors that were found and listen to feedback from your launch team on any changes needed to be made to the story itself. So what should you be doing from one week to the next in order to be successful at self-publishing your books?

Month 1

Week 1

  • Join all the free promotion Facebook Groups. (See file section for a list of these.) I put this at the top of the list as the admin managers often take a long time to allow you in and you can advertise your books for free here.
  • Are you happy with the book cover?
  • Have you had the book thoroughly and professionally edited?
  • Have you had it formatted in the correct way? Do you have the chapters written in the front? Have you listed your website at the back linking to your email capture page? Have you thanked them for reading the book and ask them to leave a review?
  • Is it in an ePub or .mobi format? Does it look okay?
  • Make any late minute adjustments, if necessary.
  • Start on getting an author website created.
  • Set up a leadpage to capture emails of people who visit your website.
  • Sign up with a mass emailing company like MailChimp so that you can send out mass emails to your subscribers when you have a newsletter to send out etc.
  • Create an author Facebook page, and set it up as a business page, or fan page – which ever you prefer. Get someone to create a lovely author header image or do it yourself. Resources:
    Create an Amazing Facebook Cover in Canva
    Facebook Cover Maker
  • Set up a Twitter account, engage with people and promote posts.
  • Set up a Pinterest account and start collecting literary quotations, writing tips etc.
  • Set up a launch team. You do this by creating a closed group from your personal FB account. See files for details on Launch Teams.
  • Tell the Launch Team that they don’t need a Kindle eReader to read your book as you can send them a .pdf file. When it comes to reading ebooks they can download the Kindle eReader app. Tell them how to do this.
    KDP Tools and Resources
  • Look for book reviewers, contact them and offer them an advanced read copy (ARC). Attach just a couple of chapters in case they are not able to read the whole book at this stage.

Week 2

  • Connect with other authors and invite them to your launch team. Grow this to at least 50 – 75 people. You are aiming for a minimum of 25 reviews.
  • Ask the people already in your group for readers that they may know.
  • Contact your old school FB group mention that you are writing a book and ask if they would like to join your launch team.
  • Continue contacting influencers to read your manuscript for a review especially bloggers who are active on social media and who will help spread the word that the book is up for imminent release.
  • Release the book to your readers in your launch team to read. Know that they understand what they are expected to do so that they are able to fulfill their side of the bargain.
  • Ask your team to be prepared to tell their friends about your book once it has been published via their private FB pages.
  • Continue to use the various social media platforms to talk about your book and also make connections and friends. Promote other people’s books and posts. Be seen as an influencer.
  • Book a few paid slots for the days of your free promo using either FreeBooksy, BKNights and Bookmarketing Tools, or use them all. Book ahead as these slots often go very quickly.

Week 3

  • Keep contact with your Launch Team. Get feedback from them so that you can see if there are any major issues regarding the book. Have these people not just for read and reviews but also to be beta readers so they can point out errors that still exist and can still be changed.
  • Continue contacting influencers and bloggers to read your book.
  • Continue to use the various social media platforms to talk about your book and also make connections and friends, promotion other people’s books and posts.

Week 4

  • Hire someone to make a book trailer for you. Put it up on Youtube, Twitter, your author FB page, anywhere were you know that this will create interest and hype. Share it with your Launch Team and get them to share it with the friends.
  • Remind people that they have 5 weeks left to read your book. Thank those who have already given you feedback and who have finished reading it.
  • Keep the hype going within your team. If you have just had great feedback from an influencer, then share it with the group. Share with them your highs. Give them insight into your writing process. Perhaps you have had several covers made and you are still not sure which one to choose. Put them up and ask their advice. If you have drawn anything, or if you have photos of anything that gave you inspiration in writing the book, put these up and share these with them. This makes them feel special and involved.
  • Continue to use the various social media platforms to talk about your book and also make connections and friends, promotion other people’s books and posts.

Month 2

Week 1

You have 4 weeks to go. Time to really ramp up. To encourage those who still haven’t read your book offer them something. Offer them a signed copy of the paperback when it comes out or a free book of another title that you have written.

Continue contacting influencers and bloggers to read and review a copy of your book.

Continue to use the various social media platforms to talk about your book and also make connections and friends, promotion other people’s books and posts.

Week 2

Continue contacting influencers and bloggers to read and review a copy of your book.

Continue to use the various social media platforms to talk about your book and also make connections and friends, promotion other people’s books and posts.

Week 3

Set up your Amazon account if you don’t have one. This will include submitting your tax and bank account details.

Buy Kindle Spy* (15% discount via onestopfiction.com) and start researching your keywords and your categories. Do this really well. This is such an important factor of success. (See files for details).

Think about your book description. Start writing it out and polish this so that you have something you can be proud of. (See files for details).

Continue contacting influencers and bloggers to read and review a copy of your book.

Continue to use the various social media platforms to talk about your book and also make connections and friends, promotion other people’s books and posts.

Week 4: Launch Week!!!

Monday

Enter your info into KDP and upload your book. You should do this no later than 5 days to launch but not too early that you end up losing out on the valuable 30 new release list that Amazon puts out. 5 days is a comfortable time to do so because if you have issues on uploading there is always time to fix theses before launch day.

Go to “Add new Title". Click to enter the KDP Select program. This will lock you into KDP for at least 90 days and you won’t be able to place your book on any other selling platform. But if this is your first book and you want to take advantage of the free days allotted to you, and raise your presence in the ranks, I strongly advise you to do this.

Add your title, and subtitle into the space. For your subtitle, even if you don’t have one, create one and add a keyword or two in here.

Next fill your description. The first sentence if the most important and is a hook to get people to buy your book. So choose this wisely.

Add your book contributor here. This is the author. If you write under a pen name list it here. You can also add an editor as a second contributor or a second author afterwards.

If you have the ISBN number add it now.

For publishing rights click the button that says this is not public domain.

Do NOT add your categories. Instead mark the box “unclassified.” Having done your homework beforehand you now have these, and you will write to Amazon via the KDP contact us page asking them to add these manually.

Ignore age range unless you are writing children’s books.

Add the 7 keyword phrases, rather than words, that you have already chosen. Separate each phrase with a comma except for the last one. Do not add a full stop at the end.

Upload your cover.

Do not allow for digital rights.

Upload your book file. View for spelling errors and fix them now. With a professional editor paid for, hopefully this is not an issue!

Click save and continue.

In verifying publishing territories click “Worldwide rights – all territories”

When you set your pricing set your book at an inflated rate of $9.99 and set the prices accordingly in other areas based on that. When you enter your FREE Promotion this price will have a strike through and the price will be set to $0.00. People immediately perceive this as getting a great bargain and are more ready to download the book.

Enroll your book into Kindle Match if you have a paperback.

Allow for Kindle Book Lending.

Agree to the Terms and Conditions.

Press Publish!

Don’t worry, no one knows that your book is online except you and your launch team. You can change anything you like at this stage, so it is not set in concrete. Your book will appear live 12 -24 hours after you hit the publish button.

Create Author Central accounts for all platforms: USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan (see files for details)

Tuesday

Create Goodreads Account

Submit the book to free submission sites now as this can take a few days to organise.

Send emails to reviewers with link to kindle version to leave reviews.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Keep contact with your launch team telling them what you have done and ask them to please start placing their reviews.

Continue with the hype via FB, Twitter and other social media telling people that the book will be available on Sunday.

Continue to submit your book to free submission sites.

Saturday

Set your book to the Free Promo and schedule it 24 hours before you want it to start. If you have issues you then have time to fix them. Make sure that you set the free promo for the full 5 days as you can always cut it off before it has run its course. You can then use the balance of the days later within the 90 day period. However, if you use this promo you cannot use the other 7 day promo available. It is one, or the other. Run the promo long enough for you to get into the top #100 Free Kindle list. Then manually cut it off changing the price to 99c BEFORE you cut it off. So make the change on the pricing section. Wait until that clicks over – it should be between 6-8 hours. Amazon will prevent you from making any changes – even with the promo, so make sure the price change is done FIRST and then cut off the promo. That way, when it switches from free to 99c the transition is smooth.

Sunday – official launch day + 3-5 days thereafter

6-8 hours before you want to stop the promo, change your book price. Wait until the book is at 99c. Now set the book for free. Wait a few hours for the book goes live.

Now promote the event via all your social media platforms.

Remind everyone in your launch team that the book is now live.

Remind them to download the book, scroll through the book right to the end BEFORE they place their review so that it is a verified review.

Manually stop the promotion after you have reached the top 100 in the free Amazon list. This will happen 3-5 days after you have gone FREE providing you have combined this with your free promotions I spoke about earlier. If you didn’t, you will probably not make this list, which would be a real shame as it is this that will kick off your good sales for the next 3 months if you continue to market and promote your book.

If you only have one book out, 99 c is where I would leave it until you bring out a second book.

Never go higher than $2.99 for an ebook.

Books

Who Killed Little Johnny Gill?: A Victorian True Crime Murder Mystery

Kathryn McMaster

$2.99

A Heart-Wrenching British Murder Story covering the True Murder of Young John Gill in Yorkshire,1888.
One foggy morning, just a few days after Christmas, John Gill's mother waves goodbye to her eldest son that morning with no idea that this will be the last time she will see him. Johnny doesn't come home for his lunch and his mother starts to worry about him. The family search frantically for him for three days and nights. They search Manningham, and wider Bradford until someone finds him early on the Saturday morning, just meters from their home. His little body has been hacked up, drained of blood, thoroughly washed, his organs displaced and his intestines are draped around his neck eerily similar to the murders that have been happening in London done by Jack the Ripper. Several letters were sent by Jack stating that he would murder a little boy soon. After the murder another letter was sent stating that he had been up to Bradford. However, was this murder committed by the infamous Jack the Ripper? There are other clues involving Masonic rituals found in a local house at the same time of Johnny's death that point to the possibility that it was. And yet, William Barrett was the last one to see Johnny. The modus operandi could well be a copy-cat murder. In addition, William Barrett isn't saying much.

See deal

Buy at Amazon

Blackmail, Sex and Lies: A Victorian True Crime Murder Mystery

Kathryn McMaster

$0.99

For 160 years people have believed she was guilty of murder…but was she? Blackmail, Sex and Lies is a true crime murder mystery, based on a true story, and written as creative nonfiction.

See deal

Buy at Amazon Kobo Nook

Kids who Kill: Joshua Phillips: True Crime Press Series 1, Book 1

Kathryn McMaster

$3.99

This is a true crime story that took place in Jacksonville, Florida.

Eight-year-old Maddie Clifton is a bubbly little girl who is friends with everyone in the neighborhood. She is chipping golf balls with neighborhood friends when she goes home to fetch more golf balls but never returns.

See deal

Buy at Amazon