Watch Me Self Publish #5 Post Mortem

Halibut on Amazon

Halibut On Amazon – It’s Online!!

Well, that went ok!

It’s not an overnight best-seller so it’s just as well I wasn’t expecting that.

And I have to update the document (I got some of the French grammar wrong and Judith spotted an error we’d all missed)…which is scary. If I do it tonight, it’s Sunday evening here in Oz and so it’s 6am in North America and a bit later everywhere else…I don’t think there’s a best time or a worst time to update.

1. Amazon automation works fine – I set the launch date to automatically be May 1st, the book was locked for editing about 24 hours beforehand and then went live on May 1st.

2. Following The Sun. I expected, based on no evidence or research at all, that the book would go live globally when it became May 1st in New York. In fact, Amazon uses a Follow-The-Sun approach and the book popped up on Amazon in Australia first and then on successive sites around the world as the date ticked over to May 1st.

3. Reviews. Five reviews are up (more are promised and that’s fine – I know people are busy). To give you an idea of the effort to put in, I originally emailed 70 people asking for reviewers, about 20 responded and about 10 confirmed in the end. And half of those managed to post a review on the deadline. Massive kudos to those who came through and please do it when you can to all the others. Judith and I noticed that reivews posted on did not appear on but reviews posted on appear on all other sites under the heading “most helpful customer reviews on”. Judith promptly copied her review from the Australian site to the American site and I emailed everyone asking them to review on if they could. Of course, you have to be a customer of that site to post a review there.

4. Now what? Well, according to various websites, now is when I should be out there doing a publicity blitz. I’m very tired so I’m not going to. The main options are:

Ask for reviews – I can do this through reviewer websites, Goodreads and places like that. I can also approach (carefully) Amazon Vine reviewers to ask for a review. The Creative Penn has some suggestions about how to do that. Check very carefully before you send a request – many Amazon reviewers are reviewing products (electronics, clothes, uranium ore and so on) and not books; Vine reviewers are clear about whether or not they will review ebooks and any particular genres. It’s a fair amount of effort. Vine reviewers also get sent several products each week by Amazon to be reviewed (companies and publishers pay for this service). It’s a bit like being in Critters (if you’ve ever done that) – highly rewarding but lots of hard work, choose your potential reviewers carefully.

Go on a Blog Tour – I should really have set this up a few weeks ago. The idea is that I offer guest posts on other people’s blogs…thinking about it I don’t know enough people with blogs…maybe I do…

Email, Facebook and Tweet everyone I know and ask them to pass the info on to anyone they think might be interested. I expect I will do that some time this week.

Make a free version (shorter, or just one story) and submit it to multiple websites to publish. Book Marketing Tools offer help with this, for a fee.

5. Boosting Facebook Posts.  I posted the launch on Faceboook but haven’t boosted the post yet. For about $100 I can push the post to a fairly wide Facebook audience – I just need to click on the “Boost Post” button and set a budget and target audience. Another task for later this week.

6. Getting on with CreateSpace. About once a week Morgan (cover designer) and I are awake at the same time (his day job is a night job). Round about Tuesday we’re going to re-visit the CreateSpace website. I’m planning to get the print version up on Amazon this coming weekend. I’m putting together the text for the book jacket including finding some more interesting things to say about myself then “upright and breathing”.

7. Celebrate. It’s interesting how very bad I am at this. So far I just feel relieved that it’s all gone to plan. I was watching the reviews come in and feeling very satisfied…but we were in the doctor’s surgery waiting for echo-cardiogram results which we knew weren’t gong to be particularly good so…celebrations have been muted. I’m going to do something this week, just not sure what yet.

8. Write the next one. No problem there – stories are piling up against the inner mental door scratching to be let out. And now that Halibut and Co are out in the world, I’ve sort of lost interest in them. This, I think, is one very good reason to hire publicists – people who can be bothered to keep the promotional activity happening.

9. Change my business cards. Yup – I’m going to order some new ones that have the book cover on. Maybe a few postcards too if Vistaprint have a special offer on. Or a mug!! There you go – there’s a nice celebratory thing to do 🙂

10. Broader Distribution. Start planning to add other outlets. At the moment, Halibut is on Kindle Select for 90 days which means I have agreed not to offer the electronic version anywhere else for 90 days (about 1st August). If I get any traffic via Kindle Select then i may extend that by a further 90 days (and I can do “free for five days” promotions in there). If not, then I need to work out how to offer the book on Kobo and Nook and a few others. And on my website.