Short Stories Launch Toolkit

It’s been a busy couple of months. I created a new pile of work for myself with the Short Fictions & Curiosities project, and I’m making efforts towards streamlining what it takes to tackle the marketing for a book launch. Today’s post is the direct result of this effort, so you guys can take a peek into what happens behind the scenes at this website in the Short Stories Launch Toolkit, and what goes into each one of those releases as a short horror story gets loosed into the wild.

Bear in mind, this effort — this thing I committed to doing for twelve months — is on top of my regular schedule of:

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Day Job

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Manuscript Revision

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Design Stuff

True to form, I approached this project probably with a bit more overzealous excitement than forethought: so now I’m reaping the rewards of doing a pile of research on the topic of “How to Launch a Self-Published Book” with the knowledge that since this is not a paid-for effort, and I’m not dependent on any future income from it, I have the room to experiment. I have the leeway to fail, then tweak things, so when the actual novel drops into the marketing pipeline, I won’t be going in blind and hopefully not making any serious mistakes.

After the initial glee wore off, I established a few goals for myself:

  • Discipline myself to meet regular writing deadlines
  • Learn the ins and outs of a self-publishing book launch effort, but at a smaller scale without the annoying consequences of “not getting paid.” Take the price tag off, relieve a bit of the initial stress, find room to experiment.
  • Leverage my author platform and establish my credibility as an author through social channels by sharing my work (and hopefully have my work shared for me. I want to throw a wider net with a bigger catch.)
  • Use the opportunity to start building out the usability of this website as a marketing driver:
    • Boost content production: Make more stuff. Stuff that is creative, stuff that inspires other weirdos, and stuff that helps other people like me who are learning the How To of self-publishing.
    • Build my backend structure: A book marketing website should be tailored to achieve a couple of goals — sell books being the first, but also create a venue for other people with similar interests to get what they want too. This website is my home base, and I want to work for me even when I’m not blogging, or sharing stories, or making it more effective.
    • Establish remarking and reconversion flows: This means driving traffic into certain places to get them to convert as a lead — a potential customer who might buy my book someday needs to hear about it first, and I definitely want those people on my mailing list, following my blog, or following me on Facebook. In that order of importance.

Is this all gibberish?

Allow me to elaborate in plain english: I endeavour to someday soon sell a book, and my website is my signal booster. I will do the thing, and do it properly with some serious planning in advance.

Un-ironically: website user experience planning is almost like writing a book, with the exception that when writing a novel, you want to throw as much conflict as possible at your characters. When planning a website, you want the exact opposite: make it as easy as possible for your potential customers to get what they want while fulfilling your objectives. So basically, when planning for your book marketing website, you want it to read like Twilight, but you know, be better than Twilight.

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Stuff Inside:

All the necessary details that pave the road to madness.

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Checklist

All necessary launch items in one place: the full scope of the design and materials that get chucked into the pipeline.[/text-with-icon][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”linecon-icon-photo” color=”Accent-Color”]

Graphic Reference

All sizes and formats necessary to pull together a bunch of realistic-looking book graphics that add that touch of professionalism.[/text-with-icon][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”linecon-icon-like” color=”Accent-Color”]

Resources

A few of the tools I use that will get you started if you ever want to tackle a project like this yourself.[/text-with-icon]

So, the story goes, I took an assessment of everything that goes into one of these launches, and compiled a little reference for myself to return to next time I come up with a brilliant idea like this as a reminder of just how much madness goes into one of these releases. And this is not a full book release, bee tee double you.

The Launch Materials Summary:

  • 7 Downloadable eBook formats
  • 3 Book Covers
  • 2 Media Articles
  • 2 unique Web Pages
  • 2 Remarketing Web Pages
  • 2 isolated web updates
  • 5 promotional Graphics

Oh! And let’s not forget, a short story of at least three thousand words, written by the seat of my pants, probably at the last minute.

I must be crazy.

Anyway, the end result of this effort is that I think — I think — next month’s short story is a tie-in with Wake the Dead. So I’m going to outline that and see how deep I can get without giving everything away.

In the meantime, however, you can download the Short Story Launch Toolkit so you can see the full scope of this thing.

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