7 Things Authors Can Do While Waiting for A Book to Be Published

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7-things-authors-can-doAs an author, what can you do while you wait for your book to be published? There are many things you can do depending on where you are in the process.

I recently saw an author ask this exact question in an author community in which we both belong.

In response, I shared plenty of ideas with her that I am now going to share with you in this post. I realize many authors can benefit from this information. So let’s not waste any time and dig right in.

Here are 7 ideas to get you started…

#1: Gather Reviewers

Once your book is written and edited you can start gathering people willing to review your book. You can send them an advanced review copy (ARC). Once your book is published, your reviewers can immediately post their reviews on Amazon, GoodReads and other retailers.

Or you can gather a list of reviewers ahead of time and send them the finished book immediately after it is published. Either way, you get a head start on gathering reviews for your book.

#2: Details Needed for Your Book Sales Page

Have you chosen your two book categories for Amazon yet? If not, this is a great time to decide which categories you will choose when publishing your book. Usually, I like to choose one broad category that is popular and one less competitive category.

This way, the book can potentially get a ton of exposure from the broad category, but also rank quickly on the bestseller list for the less competitive category.

Remember, you will also need to write out your book description for retailers. Having your categories and book description ready will make the publishing process a lot quicker when that time comes.

#3: Prepare Marketing Materials

You can also start creating marketing materials like Facebook posts and tweets about your book. Then, once your book is published, all you need to do is insert the link to your book within these marketing materials and start using them.

I like to use Hootsuite to schedule my tweets and I occasionally use it for Facebook as well. However, even if you choose to post in real-time, the hard work of writing the posts and tweets will already be done.

One author recommended I start a master Word document with evergreen tweets for all my books. I am so glad I took her advice last year because now I have a 21 page document with hundreds of tweets I can use. I can continue using these evergreen tweets on a long term basis because they are not tied to a particular sale or book launch promotion.

For example, one technique I use for evergreen tweets is to include part of a review from one of my readers. Here are a few examples of evergreen tweets for my book, “Marketing Your Book on Amazon: 21 Things You Can Easily Do For Free To Get More Exposure and Sales”…

“It’s like a bag of 21+ golden nuggets of book marketing wisdom.” MARKETING Your Book On Amazon URL #pubtip

“This book was truly written with the writer in mind. I’ve read it the first time and now for the second.” URL #selfpub #indie

“Every one of her 21 tips will help save me money!” Marketing Your Book On #Amazon URL #pubtip #selfpub

#4: Plan Your Marketing Calendar

You can also work on planning a marketing calendar for your book once it is released. This calendar can be for any length of time, but I recommend starting with at least 1-2 months. My husband and I did this for the first time in 2011 with our book, “Forgiveness Formula.”

We decided on a variety of marketing promotions that extended over a four month period of time leading up to an Amazon bestseller launch.

Our bestseller launch was a great success with our book ending up at #1 for its categories on Amazon. And I attribute much of our success to the plan we set in place ahead of time.

#5: Consider Planning a Virtual Book Tour

What is a virtual book tour? Essentially, it is a blog tour where you make guest appearances on popular blogs within your niche. This requires you to write a guest post for each blog which includes a byline with a link back to your website or book.

In return, you get exposure to a new group of potential readers from a blog post that will remain on the internet forever. As I like to say…guest blogging is fun, free (except for your time, of course) and forever.

It does take a lot of planning and coordination to do a blog tour. So, while you are waiting for your book to be published, you can get to work setting up your blog tour details as follows:

  • Set up a calendar that works for you.
  • Research and contact potential blog hosts.
  • Write your guest blog posts (don’t forget to include a call to action in your byline).

I know how difficult it can be to find blog hosts because I have organized several virtual book tours for my books. Therefore, I put together a resource on my website with over 650 places authors can contact regarding guest blogging. So, if you are interested in setting up a virtual book tour, make sure to check out the list I put together for you.

#6: Decide if KDP Select is for You

I encourage you to do some research to decide if a KDP select promotion is how you want to launch your book. To be honest, there are a wide variety of opinions and results. I personally have had success using the KDP select program; however, it is no longer as effective as it was in 2012.

If you do decide to launch your book with a KDP Select free promotion, check out my suggestions and lists of places to submit to here.

#7: Keep Writing!

You knew this one was coming, right? Most successful authors have multiple books published. Therefore, I encourage you to get started writing your next book. I currently have over 30 nonfiction books published and that list continues to grow.

However, if I would have stopped writing new books when “Forgiveness Formula” hit #1 and focused only on marketing, I would have never written the book that is now my best-selling and most profitable book.

Therefore, my final advice to you is to never stop writing!

I hope you have found this post helpful and I’d love to hear from you! What other advice do you have for authors that are waiting for their books to be published? Please share your thoughts in the comments below…

And would you do us a favor to help get the word out about The Future of Ink? Click here to share these tips with your friends…thanks!

Shelley Hitz
Shelley Hitz is an award-winning and internationally best-selling author. She is the owner of TrainingAuthors.com and is passionate about helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing their books. And she teaches from personal experience. Shelley has been writing and publishing books since 2008 and has published over 30 books including print, eBook and audio book formats. She consistently ranks in the top 100 authors for her category on Amazon.com.
Shelley Hitz
Shelley Hitz
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  1. Hi Shelley: Absolutely fabulous posts and links. As an indie author and publisher from 1995 with hard cover books, I know exactly what you mean. I am in the process of defining my marketing platform for my E-novel: “Body Scavengers” which will have a tentative release date of March 31, 2014. I am familiar with KDP Select and the 90 day exclusivity, as well as Smashwords. Your additional information will be helpful to focus my efforts to launch the book. I am a screenwriter as well, and have adapted the Novel from my screenplay. I can’t thank you enough. Stay well… Stay in touch…

  2. Shelley,

    Love these tips, . I’m part of an anthology and I must say that reading your article has been extremely helpful. I now know what to do before the virtual launch:)

    To Your Success,
    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership Founder

  3. Hi,

    Awesome tips. It’s a great idea to get reviewers and book literature critics on our block, so as to create a hype in the market and scheduling our marketing schedule is equally important.

  4. Great post. All 7 tips are very helpful. While I’m still a ways off from publishing my novel it’s great to have a list of things to do when the time comes.

  5. these are great tips, Shelley, and I will make sure to pass them on to my clients. Love the evergreen tweets idea, so easy to schedule those on Hootsuite.

    • Thank you Sarah! And thank you for sharing the post with your clients. The evergreen tweets are so easy to do…just creating 5 a week will produce 260 tweets by the end of the year. :) The important thing in the tweets is what you put in it…to make sure that you aren’t just pushing your books all the time, but instead pulling your target readers in.

  6. A good sound group of marketing tips Shelley. One question I have is, when you get to no 1 in your category how to do stay there or stay near there over a longer period?

    I have found that unless I continually do the free KDP select I fall away quite quickly.

    • Kaye – to be honest, that is the million dollar question right now. :) One way to get a longer effect is to layer your marketing efforts. So you could do a KDP promo followed by a few guest posts on popular blogs in your niche followed by a paid advertisement, etc. There have only been a couple of my books that have maintained decent sales on their own. Most require ongoing promotion and marketing in some way. But, many times it will come in waves and you will have some ups and downs in your marketing. So do what you can but expect those waves to come and go too.

      • Thanks Shelley for your comments. It made me feel much better to hear that because I had noticed what you said, but didn’t know whether I was taking the right steps. I was starting to feel like I was spending more time marketing the older books than moving ahead.

  7. Great tips, Shelly! I especially liked the marketing calendar and evergreen tweets! You can also write your blog posts in advance for your own site using WP editorial calendar or guest posts you have planned. Did you use a program for your marketing calendar or just a spreadsheet? I’m trying to create one myself. :-)

    • Elke – thanks! Yes, that’s a great idea to also write your own blog posts in advance and even schedule them ahead of time in WordPress. That could be #8. :)

      For my calendar, I did mine in an “old school” way in that I printed out blank monthly calendar sheets from Microsoft Word and then wrote in our promos with pen. However, I do have a book marketing planning excel spreadsheet I use and you can download it for free when you sign up for our newsletter at my website http://www.trainingauthors.com/newsletter

  8. Shelley,

    I love the list that you have compiled. Some of these ideas I have already implemented, such as # 1, 5 (I’m on my tour now) & 7; others I had not. I love your idea of creating a master document of evergreen tweets. This is something I had not considered, and I think it will serve me well. And I cannot wait to check out your post on KDP select, because I have recently been considering that option myself. Great post.

    • C. Michelle – so glad that you found it helpful! The master document of evergreen tweets is something I am so glad I started. I separate my book with H1 titles and create a table of contents as we have so many books and now so many tweets – ha!