Today we’re talking about release day for your book, specifically all of the things you need to make sure get done. There are a ton of little tasks that can easily slip through the cracks in the stress and chaos of release day, which is why I wanted to give you this handy dandy list. This episode will not be focusing on everything leading up to the release and will instead focus exclusively on release day. What you choose to do from the list is entirely up to you, I’m simply giving you the resources to make informed choices.
Now, there are plenty of things that you need to have set up prior to release day to make it a success. In terms of the book itself you can check out my two episodes on what to do once you’ve finished your first draft which I will link below. And in terms of marketing and community building, those will be covered in future episodes.
The most important thing on release day is to be as present as possible. If anything goes wrong, you’ll be on hand to manage it quickly. If it’s possible for you to take the day off from your job, or for your family to agree to give you a set number of hours to devote to the book release, I would pursue that option. If you’re doing a live release versus a pre-order, then there’s a lot of things on this list that you can’t prepare in advance so you’ll need extra time on that day which means you’ve got to plan ahead.
To reduce your stress levels, I would recommend preparing as many things off this list in advance as possible. Whether that’s writing up the posts so you can just copy paste, preparing images or videos and storing those in your drafts, or pre-scheduling your posts to go live on release day, they will all make your life easier. I also recommend recycling. Whatever you prepare, make sure it works for multiple purposes so you have less work overall.
A lot of these tasks are nice and quick, especially if you prepare in advance, so you can feel accomplished whipping them off your to-do list.
1. Get A Universal Book Link
If you haven’t done this already, hop on over to booklinker, books2read, or another of the websites that will let you create a custom universal link for your book. That’s the link you’re going to want to slap on every post so that people are brought to their preferred retailer if you’re wide, or to their regional amazon site if you’re in KU. If your book isn’t on preorder you won’t be able to do this in advance. If it is, I would highly recommend getting this done as quickly as possible and use that link in all of your promotion.
2. Update Your Link Aggregate
Whatever you use to compile your links, such as linktree, carrd, etc. go update it to reflect that your book is live and drag that link to the very top so it’s the first thing people see when they go there.
3. Update Author Central
Go hop on your Amazon Author Central and claim your book to make sure that it’s linked to your profile so that if people look you up, they’ll find your book. Sometimes your book will be automatically linked, but not always, so it’s always a good idea to sign in and make sure.
4. Update Goodreads
If you haven’t already gotten yourself your Goodreads Author account, get on that, and then claim your book so it’s associated with your author profile. If you use a similar platform, such as The StoryGraph, make sure your book is all ready to go on there as well. If your book is not already on Goodreads then you can add it yourself. Most of the time the book will be created automatically on Goodreads, but not always, so be sure to check.
5. Update Your Website
Authors tend to be a bit notorious for not keeping their websites updated. Don’t add yourself to those ranks. Get your new release on there and make sure the information people need about it is accessible.
6. Update Your Social Media Banners
On release day you want people to see your book everywhere. Updating your banners to include your book cover and the announcement of the release is a great way for everyone going to any of your profiles to be immediately aware that it’s ready to buy. Preparing the banner updates in advance will save you time so all you have to do on release day is add the new image.
7. Update the Backmatter of Your Books
If you’re a person that likes to update the backmatter of your previous books to include all your new releases then you can do that. If you’re a person that doesn’t want to touch your backlog for fear of drawing the Amazon Eye of Sauron, then feel free to skip this. And if this is your debut release, you don’t have to worry about this one at all.
8. Post on Twitter
You want your post to contain a purchase link, your book cover, and some basic info about the book that will draw in readers. Once you’ve done that, make sure to pin it so that it’s easy for people to find. Don’t be afraid to ask people to retweet it.
9. Post on TikTok
You don’t have to get complex here. Just let people know the book is out and you can save your fancy videos for the rest of release week. You can also recycle your TikTok video for your Instagram reel, Facebook story, and YouTube shorts to announce your release.
10. Post on Instagram
You can just share your cover if you have nothing prepared, and make sure that either on your profile or in your bio you have a way for people to access the book.
11. Post on Facebook
This applies to your personal profile, your author page, your reader group, and posting in other groups. You can use the same post for all of them and just copy paste. To share in other groups, you can just put out a needy author post, where you simply ask what groups you can share in, and then people will pop into the comments with links to their groups. The needy author post can be done in advance, just let people know what day you’re going to be posting so that more people have time to see and respond to the post. If you’d like to post in some of the larger themed groups, you’ll need to do some research in advance to see if they have specific days for shares, specific threads, etc. for you to share your release.
I found it very helpful to have a document of all of the places I intended to post on Facebook that includes my post to copy and paste at the top with links to every group below that so it’s very easy to work my way down without worrying that I’ve missed any. Also please remember to make your post on your personal profile shareable so that others can help spread the word.
12. Post on Discord
If you have your own server, post your book release there. If you’re part of other book servers that allow authors to share their releases, share there. Not all of them will allow this, so be sure to check the rules in advance. Like with my advice for Facebook, you can have a document where you jot down all of the places you’re allowed to share so you don’t have to stress about remembering them all.
13. Post on Other Social Media
There are tons of social media sites, so whatever else you have, make sure to post there as well. Tumblr, Bookbub, Pinterest, etc. whatever you’ve got, let those followers know.
14. Engage Your Street Team and ARC Readers
If you have a street team then release day is when you send them all a reminder to post their reviews on Amazon now that the book is live. If you had a release day blitz planned, then make sure they have access to everything they need, and tell them to get posting. If you have ARC readers you can reach out to them with applicable links and remind them that the book is live and their reviews can be put on Amazon.
15. Send Out Your Newsletter
The people who signed up for your newsletter did that so they could get all the news you have to share. You can prepare your newsletter in advance and just hit send on release day or schedule the release if you have a tier that allows that. If your release falls outside your regular newsletter schedule that is totally fine, and a release day newsletter is often the easiest you ever have to send because the only thing you absolutely need to include is your cover, blurb, and purchase links.
16. Your Release Day Event
You might be hosting a party on Facebook, or doing a live on TikTok, or even an in-person event at your local bookstore. Whatever you have planned it’s likely to take up a decent chunk of your day both for the actual event and the preparation and set up.
17. Copyright Your Book
While you own the copyright the second you commit your book to a medium, ie. after you’ve written it, if that’s something you’re concerned about or you’re worried about piracy you can go ahead and submit to the government for an official registration of that copyright. This is something you can research ahead of time and decide if filing for an official copyright is the right choice for you.
I’ll link the applicable information about this for both the Canadian and American governments.
18. Coordinate With Your Release Day Buddy
One thing I’ve never seen on any list before is the release day buddy. Having another author or a friend that’s super invested in your success by your side on this day can be invaluable. You can give them tasks like assisting in checking your ranking across the various Amazon regional sites, checking on reviews as they come in, double checking that all of the things on this list got completed, and just being there for general support. Release day can be intensely overwhelming and having an extra set of hands and eyeballs at the ready can help. Amazon won’t email you to tell you when you hit #1 in a category, so you have to be on the lookout for that, and adding multiple check-ins to all your regional markets all day is a lot. You’re also going to be especially emotionally vulnerable on release day as everything comes to a head, so having someone else check on your reviews, maybe screenshotting particularly amazing ones for you, and hiding anything less than stellar is going to be better for your mental health today.
19. Plan For Self-Care
Release day can be super stressful and you’re more than likely going to be glued to your phone or computer for most of it. Make sure that you have easy access to water and snacks, and don’t forget to take a few deep breaths in there. Where possible, I highly recommend that you take the day after a book release off to get some rest. All of that energy and adrenaline of the release is going to drop off into nothingness the day after and it’s very possible that you’ll slide into a post-release slump or even depression. Please plan ahead to take care of yourself after that day has passed. Schedule yourself some naps, some indulgent self-care, and some delicious food. If you do go with a release day buddy, see if you can put them in charge to survey how everything is going on day 2 so you have some time to chill without feeling like you’re abandoning your book.
20. Celebrate Yourself
In all the chaos, you might forget to celebrate your accomplishments. Books are hard and you deserve to celebrate the fact that you made it to this point. Whatever celebration looks like to you, try to squeak it in either today or in the next short while so you can appreciate all that work you’ve put in.
Congratulations on finishing your book and getting this far. A lot of people set out to, and never do, so be proud. Whether this is your debut or you’re dozens of books into your career, I hope that this list was helpful and that it makes navigating release day easier.
That’s all for now. You can find all of my books and platforms in the description below. If you have questions or suggestions for future episodes, please do let me know. And if you’d like early access to these you can join my Patreon where I share them with people as soon as they’re ready to roll. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you soon for another episode!
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2021 Omegaverse Collection – contains First Heat, First Heat: Second Chances, Heat Play Love, Conference Confidential, and 2 bonus shorts https://books2read.com/OV2021
Nicky and the Night Owls: Part One – polyamorous (m/f/nb/f/nb/m), multi 1st person POV https://books2read.com/NickyNightOwls
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