Making Your Launch Day Count [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by Matthew Turner.

As you read this - assuming you’re reading it the day it goes live - I’m going through a very exciting/terrifying time. Tomorrow is the launch of my debut novel, Beyond Parallel.

What a crazy, chaotic, and wonderful time it is!

You may read this and nod your head, having gone through this process yourself. Then again, maybe you haven’t and you’re curious as to what to expect. Whatever your position, I hope you’ll raise a glass to my novel.

It’s been a heck of a journey.

Making Your Launch Day Count

I’m a marketer by trade so I understand the importance of aligning all of your stars. There’s no right or wrong way to approach a launch, as the personal touch you add is the most vital aspect of all. 

However, there are certain rules to abide by, and launching your book is no different. A poor launch day doesn’t mean you’re destined for failure. A good one does make life MUCH easier though!

The key is being prepared. You need to create a few lists and a few targets. I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do on your launch day, but it should be a tad more hectic than the average 24-hours.

Stay On Top Of Launch Day

Launching Beyond Parallel involves me interacting both online and in the real world. I’ve purposely not been too adventurous for this release as it’s my first. I will learn a great deal, and if there’s one thing I’ve picked up over the years it’s to walk before you run.

These are a few of the things I’ve done to make my life easier:

1: Make A List(s)

I started my launch-day-list weeks ago and have continuously added to it since.

I will wake up tomorrow knowing exactly what I need to do. I’ll know when to send Tweets, what my messages should say, who to contact, and what I want to achieve.

Without a list to guide me through, my head may explode. Now, nobody wants that, do they?

2: Use Your Calendar

Specifically the one in your phone - or whatever note-making app you may use.

The truth is you’ll be running around on launch day. You may go hours without seeing your laptop, so a portable reminder could be the difference between fulfilling everything, and forgetting something.

My iPhone calendar saves me most days, but launch day is no ordinary day. I predict it will be extra useful tomorrow!

3: Be Realistic

As I said earlier, I purposefully made this launch day attainable. Why? The answer is simple: something will go wrong!

I’m not sure what, but something will. All launch days have a few mishaps, and in my experience the first one is always rife.

It maybe an unhappy reader, an error on a webpage, a link that doesn’t work, or trouble with your website. Numerous things could go wrong, and something most certainly will. It may take a few minutes to fix or the entire day.

Be realistic. Don’t plan every single minute because this is when things get out of hand.

4: Mix The Online & Offline World

You may have spent months creating an online platform, but don’t forget the real world.

Beyond Parallel is only available via Ebook to begin with, but I still wanted to host an offline event. It’s taking place in a bar I spent a great deal of time writing at. It’s for friends and family and very low key.

Still, I thought it absolutely necessary to hold!

This is your chance to relax and have fun. A time to thank the people you need to thank and maybe sell some copies. The real world still exists, don’t forget it :)

5: Be Close To Your Email

It’s tempting to launch your book, automate everything, and hide for a few days. After all, you’ve spent an age getting your book ready. You deserve a break, right?

This is very reasonable, but not advised. 

Chances are hundreds, maybe even thousands, will download your book on day one. If all goes according to plan you’ll gain new readers; people who may have questions for you. This means your Email, Twitter, Facebook, or Website may become overrun with messages.

If something goes wrong, people will tell you. All may be quiet, but then again, all may not. Do you want to take the chance?

Happy Launch Day!

What an exciting/scary time it is.

As you read this I’m shaking in a  corner. Tomorrow will be an amazing but terrifying day. I have my list, though, so I’m ready to tackle it head on!

Something will go wrong!

Not everyone will be happy!

I may cry at some point!

I’m not alone though, and this is where you come in. I hope you’ll share your Launch Day Stories. If you have any tips, offer them. If you have a list of things to avoid, write them down. If you too are launching a book in the near future, tell us about it!

My name is Matthew Turner and I’m officially a published author. Well, tomorrow I will be :)

Matthew Turner is a writer from Yorkshire, England. His debut novel, Beyond Parallel launches tomorrow (8th January) and now is the perfect time to take notice. For the first three days you don’t only get the book, but over $50 of extras.

In the same mould as Sliding Doors, Beyond Parallel flips between two parallel tales. Grab yourself a copy and be part of a true coming-of-age story that everyone can relate to.

  • Bette A. Stevens

    Does Duolit have info on how to organize all of this? I’m working on my first short story to become a novel… I am clueless in the country.

    Also, I tried to sign up for MailChimp, but can’t use my local provider’s email address and when I tried using my google address, I don’t know how to find my email from them. Any help would be appreciated.
    THANKS, Bette A. Stevens

    • http://selfpublishingteam.com/ Toni @ Duolit

      Hi Bette! Shannon and I have a boatload of emails to catch up on after the holidays, but I’m going to add a reminder to myself to shoot you an email tomorrow or Wednesday about this to see if I can help :-)

  • HJ Daly

    Great article, will keep fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong and you don’t need that phone too much.

    • http://www.turndogmillionaire.com/ Turndog Millionaire

      Thanks oh so much. It’s ready and waiting if need be though. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/writer2050 Michael Mardel

    good luck, Matt.

    • http://www.turndogmillionaire.com/ Turndog Millionaire

      Huge thanks Michael. I’m determined to enjoy and not worry today.

  • Carol Carroll

    No worries, Matt, you’ll do just fine. Enjoy yourself, it’s your day to celebrate. :)

    • http://www.turndogmillionaire.com/ Turndog Millionaire

      Thanks Carol, the journey begins today :)

  • Annie Adams

    Hi, my first free day launch was a mistake by Amazon. I woke up one day to see that my book had gone free 2 weeks ahead of schedule. I just ran with it-sent an email to my list and a yahoo group that I belong to with other writers, and I tweeted and Facebooked all day. It turned out okay, and my real launch happened 2 wks later. Sometimes you just have to roll with things.

    • http://www.turndogmillionaire.com/ Turndog Millionaire

      Oh no, but like you say, just roll with it. It’s rare for things to ever go REALLY WRONG

      It’s a good outlook to have

  • http://www.LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com/ Laura VanArendonk Baugh

    Yesterday was launch day for my non-fiction, and that morning Amazon somehow unlinked the Kindle and paperback versions, and the Kindle version didn’t show up in normal searches. Oops! I rode the comments searching for a Kindle version with a direct link (grateful I’d blocked out much of the day to keep an eye on things) until the catalog updated and they were linked again.

    I also noticed that *I* had screwed up the B&N Nook link when posting to Facebook, and had to correct that. Double-check!

    But targeted replies with Kindle links meant Day saved! and today I’m in the Top 10 for my non-fiction category, against all plans or expectations. I’m pretty pumped, I do confess!

    • http://www.turndogmillionaire.com/ Turndog Millionaire

      Wow congrats on getting in the top 10. Which category is it?

      And yes, there always seems to be something that goes wrong. Always a nightmare, but usually turns out okay :)

    • http://www.LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com/ Laura VanArendonk Baugh

      Thank you! And in the spirit of shameless self-promotion, it’s in the Dog Training category, here: http://amzn.to/URfkwF (Yes, it’s a niche category, but I’m still totally counting that as a success!)

      Now back to focusing on fiction…! :)

      I’d love to see a checklist of Launch Day actions, to gather others’ good ideas and tips.

    • http://www.turndogmillionaire.com/ Turndog Millionaire

      The niche categories are the way to go. You can create some serious kudos with a clever entry :)

      Matthew