The panic is on: top things to do before you publish your first novel

‘Six Months to Get a Life’ is being released on 21st January.  How exciting. The countdown has started!

Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that my countdown has started. My challenge over the next 50-odd days is to get others in on the act too. To quote the modern vernacular, I need to create a buzz, to get the chattering classes chattering, the blogosphere blogging, the commentators commenting and the twits tweeting.

For your amusement, but mainly for my own project planning processes (once a project manager, always a project manager), I have jotted down a bunch of things I need to do over the next six weeks to get my book noticed.

This may sound strange, and isn’t something I am ever heard to say in my day job, but if you think there is something I should add to my to do list, then feel free to add it via a comment…

  • See my publicist. Get them on the case with all the big fishes.
  • Get on the case myself with the slightly smaller but arguably even more important fishes. This weekend I will dust off my painstakingly compiled database and pitch the book to those lovely blog people who might review it. I have developed a nice 2-page pitch that includes my cover, a photo of me (apparently it is the thing to do), my book blurb, author bio and a few other facts about the book.
  • Practice my signature for when I am sitting in Waterstones in Oxford Street signing a gazillion copies of the book. I am not even sure there is a Waterstones in Oxford Street but why let practicalities get in the way of a good dream?
  • Consume everything I can about free and paid for book advertising. Make some decisions, start placing ads and then apologise to my kids because there is no money left for Christmas presents. I can always blame Santa.
  • Keep working on my social media profile. I had my first disagreement with someone on twitter this week. They questioned how I had managed to get so many followers in the six months or so that I have been on twitter. They insinuated that I had bought my followers. I haven’t. When I replied saying that ‘maybe people follow me because I say interesting things’, she stopped following me. Oh well, move on.
  • Work out what a ‘blog tour’ is, and get some. And some author interviews. I hear Paxman isn’t too busy these days.
  • Look at giveaways. My inbox is constantly bombarded with Goodreads promotions so why shouldn’t I clog up other people’s inboxes from time to time?
  • Get the champagne in.
  • Hurry up and think about practical things to do on launch day. Do I have a big event at a bookshop or even a local bar/restaurant, or do I go for an entertaining, quirky Facebook/twitter launch party? The Royal Albert Hall or my hall? I like the pub/restaurant idea, but particularly with the book being called ‘Six Months to Get a Life’, I would feel pretty embarrassed if I spent loads of money on a launch party, only for it to turn out to have the same attendees as my family Christmas lunch. At least I am cooking for ten this year I suppose.
  • Practice dealing with disappointment when I am not asked to do a book signing event at Waterstones in Oxford Street. No, stop it. Be positive Ben.
  • Get to know book selling sites that I have never visited before. I am an Amazon man when it comes to buying books, but after careful consideration of the facts, and then tossing a coin because the facts were inconclusive, I have opted not to go for the exclusive Amazon-only KDP Select option. Instead, ‘Six Months to Get a Life’ will be available from all good ebook websites, and maybe some bad ones too.
  • Buy everyone I know a book token for Christmas.
  • Get some more champagne in because the first lot will no doubt be drunk over Christmas.

What have I missed? Seriously, I would love to hear your ideas.

3 thoughts on “The panic is on: top things to do before you publish your first novel

  1. jenanita01 November 29, 2014 / 11:13 am

    sounds like you have all the bases covered, Ben, and we wish you all the luck in the world.

  2. evelynralph November 30, 2014 / 1:22 pm

    Reblogged this on evelynralph and commented:
    I like the way this author thinks. We all need help in this direction.

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