Countdown to Launch

My husband has been a space suit engineer for about thirty years so we’ve been especially vested in following the Shuttle program. It was a sad day when we watched the final launch. I’ve always been fascinated by astronauts–the brilliance, the courage, the fortitude it takes to strap yourself into a cock-pit that is sitting on several hundred tons of rocket fuel and is about to be blasted into space. On my most adventurous day, I can’t imagine being that brave…or that well organized. I understand that there are many teams of individuals that make a successful launch, but thanks to my husband’s involvement, I’ve become aware of the amazing amount of personal preparation on the part of the astronauts themselves, prior to those flights.

Although writing and self-publishing a book is
nowhere near as dramatic as spaceflight, I equate the magnitude of the task
with that of an astronaut preparing for launch date. They must be physically,
mentally, and emotionally prepared to face whatever comes. With less than four
weeks to the launch of my debut YA novel, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, coming
September 24th, I had to ask myself if I was fully prepared. This is
where I am now. Please let me know if I’ve missed something important.

1)  I’ve written the best book that I can.

2)  I am active on Facebook and Twitter, (once or twice daily as needed).

3)  I have a web site (to be updated in the next two weeks).

4)  I have press releases ready to go.

5) I have a blog tour scheduled (five appearances over a one month period with more
to come, hopefully).

6)  I have been creating buzz for the last few months with blogging, social media, friends, family, and anyone else who I can hand a bookmark to.

7)  I have a few signings scheduled for October.

8)  ARCs sent to reviewers. Must not forget my Book trailer.

9)  Ready to upload to Createspace, Smashwords, Amazon (KDP), and B&N pub-it

Since deciding to self-publishing back in April, some people have asked me why
I didn’t just put it out there then. The answer is simple. Traditional publishing
has been successful for a very long time. I wanted to emulate the process as
closely as I could because the process has been proven to work. I’ve had the book professionally edited, and I personally went through three printed proofs to make sure the book is as error free and well written as I can possibly make it. I’ve created buzz, set in motion as many avenues to success as I can manage as an individual (without making myself too crazy), and now I just have to keep on keepin’ on. Just like every other published author.
They will all tell you that you can’t possibly do everything, so do what you
can and be satisfied that all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, say your
prayers, and try to enjoy the ride.

So I’m strapped in and ready to go. The countdown
has begun. Have I forgotten anything? Comments and suggestions welcomed.




26 thoughts on “Countdown to Launch”

  1. That means a lot coming from you, Toni. Thanks.
    BTW, I’ve tried looking you up on Twitter. How are you listed? I’d like to follow you.

  2. This is a great blog! I love the picture at the top of the page and your post was actually very helpful for me in case I decide to go that route – and it looks as if that’s what I’ll have to do because the “traditional” route isn’t happening for me. I look forward to reading more of your blogs

  3. Thanks for the support Susannah and Katy. I did as you suggested Katy. Check it out and let me know if I did it right? You are becoming my go-to gal for social media, sweetie!

    Thanks for commenting Patti. The indie road is not easy, but it beats spinning your wheels waiting for the big kahunas to sit up and take notice. I figured if I didn’t take charge of my career, I had no one to blame but myself. Of course, by the same token, if I fall on my face, I have no one to blame but myself, LOL. There is a lot of research to do about the process, a ton of figuring it out as you go, and a tremendous amount of organizing and detail work. I’m going to add juggling to my resume.

    A great resource is the web site, Writer’s guide to e-publishing. DD Scott and her peeps do a fabulous job paving the way. I couldn’t do it without the advice and information that the trail blazers are putting out there.

  4. Paula, Why don’t you post an announcement on Agent Query … you never know. Also put an announcement on LinkedIn. Talk to Thea Devine and find out how and where she did her book trailer and do one. Post it EVERYWHERE! Congratulations and best wishes for much success.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions, Gerri. I can’t believe I forgot to add to my list that I have a book trailer done. You can find it on You Tube if you type in pjsharon or pjsharon64. I will definitely post on Linked IN. I didn’t think about agent query–mainly because I’m not really looking for an agent anymore. If a publisher comes knocking and offers a GREAT contract, I’m sure finding an agent at that point would be a lot easier. Thanks for chiming in!

  6. Casey! You had to ask. I have given this a lot of thought. I tried several public venues and didn’t have much success (costly to rent mall space and as a self-pubbed author, B&N refused to host me. My “publisher has to go through Corporate.”

    With all of the other things I’m doing, I decided my marketing dollars were better spent on promotion on line. I mentioned it to K. Higgins and she agreed. She’s never had a launch party. That made me feel better.

  7. Thanks Marion. You are all so supportive. I’m excited and yet terrified to have everyone read it. It’s such a weird paradox.

  8. Hi Paula! I’m so excited for you. I can’t wait to get a copy. Have you tried your public libraries? Maybe offer to do a short talk along with a book signing? If you contact the Friends of the Library groups they’re usually excited to set up something (or at least we were when I was president of my local group.) I wish you much success!

  9. Thanks Rhonda. Someone else suggested that too. I have been actively volunteering at the Enfield Public library for about a year and I’ve actually had some difficulty trying to set up a signing. I’ll be part of a book swap in November there, but they seemed reluctant to sponsor a signing per se. Maybe I need to talk to the Friends of the Library about a speaking gig. Thanks again. Great suggestions.

  10. Sounds like you thought of everything, PJ! You’ve already done a lot more than I have, and I put my book out three weeks ago. The difference with self-publishing is, the book doesn’t have to be an “event” like a traditional print book. E-books won’t be removed from the shelves in a month or two, and their POD counterparts can always be ordered, too. So I’m hoping my slower approach to marketing will result in a slow, but real, sales build. Good luck with yours!

  11. I hear you Jeannette. That longevity was one of the reasons I chose indie-publishing. It’s great that we don’t need that big push out of the gate to get going. My main reason for all the prep is that i have second book coming out in December and then a third in the spring. I’m trying to create a backlist that will create long tail sales and build exponentially over time. Doing the actual ‘Book Launch’ model was the approach that made the most sense to me. The cool thing is that there is not just one way to indie-publish. There are as many paths as there are authors. Best of luck. Let us know what your book title is so we can go buy it!

  12. I appreciate that, Jolyse. Who knew being a bit of a control freak and having some OCD issues would come in so handy! LOL. I attribute my calm to a fabulous support system, regular massages, and yoga.

  13. Since I’m 4 days late (So Sorry!) How is the count-down to launch going? I hope that your husband does a little extra to prepare his wife’s space suit. Does he? Though I am not a veteran self-published author it does sound like everything is covered. Well done. Now good luck in zero gravity! 🙂

  14. Thanks, Deb. Yes, my husband is my calm in the storm and is upgrading my web site as we speak. I could not do this all without him. I am techno-challenged and he is my constant tech support. He takes care of all the minutia that allows me time to take care of what I have to do. I had posters made up for my book signings and he was out in the garage this afternoon mounting them to poster board. You can’t pay someone to do that stuff. If I had to do it all myself, I’d be lost…spray adhesive? Who knew?

    Did I mention, he cooks?

    1. Oh my gosh! Is he in your imagination? What a guy and a KEEPER! You are very Lucky but I’m sure he made out well with you as well.


  15. He’s not–to my knowlege–a figment of my imagination, but definitely the man of my dreams and surely a KEEPER. Lest you think he’s totally perfect, he does snore and he said something annoying this morning just to remind me that he is a real man. Gotta’ love ’em!

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