I made a point of researching advice and reading on the experience of others as I dove into the world of self-publishing. Most people do. As a result, there is a bewildering assortment of advice and guides. Unfortunately, there’s rarely any clear action plan given. In fact, all the best advice emphasizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and that each writer needs to do the things that work well for them. In a previous post I talked about transferring skills from an IT dayjob. So for me, it makes the most sense to weed my way through everything on the internet, zero in on the stuff that plays to my very organized brain, and to put some project management rigour into the daunting writing and self-publishing process.
To keep track of all the things I want/need to do in order to release and sell my
novel, I’ve started up a basic project plan. As I’ve mentioned before, I expect this to be an iterative process, so this may well be changing as things progress. I’ll be using this page as a hub of sort, and as I plan or execute different tasks, I’ll try to write about what I decided to do and link to them from here. Hopefully, I make more right choices than wrong!
I’ve divided this daunting undertaking into three main areas: Writing, Publishing and Marketing. Like any good project manager, I’ve introduced a hierarchical numbering system and have further subdivided these areas into smaller, more manageable components. Note that while tasks are listed in roughly chronological order, there will be lots of overlaps and cross-dependencies. Again, these are the major tasks I’ve identified so far, and they may well change as I learn more.
Alright, I admit it, I’m mainly doing this as an excuse to create a blog post out of stuff I was going to note down anyway for my own sake. But I’ve also rarely found all these tasks put down in one handy place, so if it helps anyone else out, here it is.
1.1 Write the damn novel
1.2 Professional editing
1.3 Front and back cover copy
2.1 Determining publishing channels
2.2 Arranging business requirements
2.3 Formatting manuscript
2.4 Uploading and publishing
3.1 Pre-Launch Marketing
3.1.1 Cover design
3.1.2 Promotional artwork
3.1.3 Free/sample work on Wattpad and website
3.1.4 Book-specific website
3.1.5 Advanced reading copies and reviews
3.2 Post-launch marketing
3.2.1 Virtual book tour
3.2.2 Paid promotions
3.2.3 Mailing list promotions
If you’re interested in where I am finding out about all these processes, I’ve put links to most sources in the Writing, Publishing and Marketing sections of my Links page.
OK, if you’ve made it all the way down here, congratulations, and thanks for reading what’s effectively my scratch pad! I’m no expert. Suggestions and comments are welcome!