It ended up being one of my biggest regrets as an indie author.  Two small words that could have made my life so much easier, of course, I’m talking about a soft launch.  For those of you not familiar, a soft launch is where you put your book on sale, but tell only a select few like; reviewers, members of the media, and even newsletter subscribers.  Why?  Read on…

I Might Have Found Annoying Mistakes and Formatting Issues

I’ve probably told you before, but it’s worth repeating.  When I published my YA novel, I found a grammatical error on the first page.  Needless to say, I was very upset.  I worked so hard on that darn thing and still I missed things.  Obvious things.  If I had done a soft launch this wouldn’t have happened!

If I could do it over again, things would’ve been so different…

I Would’ve Started Collecting Reviews

This is the secret that most successful authors don’t talk about.  Ever wonder why when a famous author releases a book, there are already 200 glowing reviews on Amazon?  It’s because the book was already available for sometime but kept on the down low.  A release date doesn’t really mean, a book was actually published that day.  A release date is more like a push date, where the author and or publishing house are starting their marketing bonanza. If you want to learn more about securing reviews, you can read my post called: How to Get Book Reviews.

I Might Have Scored Some Blurbs

Blurbs are different from reviews, blurbs are a seal of approval from someone significant in your genre or within the publishing industry.  Blurbs almost legitimize your book if you’re an unknown.  This is important for indie authors since the self-publishing stigma is alive and well.  Finding a big name who is willing to give an opinion on your book is hard but worth it.  Check out this post written by Marcia Yudkin on how to get started.

Would’ve Created Media Kits

Creating a media kit would have helped me and those curious about who I was.  If you’re going to query book bloggers, journalists, or podcasters it would help if you gave them a link to your media kit.  This helps them find out who the heck you are and what you do exactly.  Here’s a good article from the gals at Duolit on how to create a sweet media kit for your website.

Should’ve Scheduled Social Media Posts

If you don’t have Hootsuite or Buffer I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.  These two services offer the ability to auto post during peek hours on your social media accounts.  Currently, Hootsuite can link to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, WordPress and LinkedIn.  They even have an app so you can include more of your accounts.  Priceless, for the author who is short on time and energy.

Needed to Secure Interviews, and Features From Media

It’s imperative that we get our work in the public view where other people outside of our circle can see.  Getting in front of other people’s audience is wise for marketing.  If they don’t review your genre or anything indie, offer to do a guest post and make sure your book is the first thing mentioned in your bio. If you want to learn about how to score interviews, I have a post called: Where to Find Interview Opportunities.

Should’ve Scheduled a Blog Tour & Advertised

I’m not against ads or blog tours even though research and my own experiences have proven they just don’t work.  But to have a successful blog tour, or ad blitz you’re going to need to schedule things so when your major launch happens, things will smoothly fall into place. I wrote about advertising self-published books here if you’re interested.

I hope I showed you in this post, that there is no magic or luck in the publishing business, just planning and hard work.  These techniques I’ve shared with you are the very same ones used by the NY big six publishers. Indie authors would do well by observing and taking notes so you don’t end up writing a could’ve, should’ve, blog post of your own!

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