Monday, January 15, 2018

Organization Tip - Release Day #AuthorToolboxBlogHop




#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop
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Several people have commented over the years about how organized I am and that they wished they were as organized as I am. So, I will be sharing 10 posts this year detailing what I do to be organized as a writer.

When it comes to preparing for a release, organization is important. And so is planning ahead.

If you self-publish, you get to choose when your book will be released, which is great, because being the one to decide this important date means you know ahead of time what you need to do and when. Or, at least, that’s what it should mean.

When you traditionally publish and your publisher gives you the release date, you may be lucky and know 6 months in advance. Or you’re like me with my publisher for the Disaster Crimes series, which means you find out with about a month to the big day.

Either way, you can have an orderly and neat release.


Pexels

1.    Before you get your release date, consider what you want to do to promote your new book. For Flaming Crimes, I knew I wanted to do a blog hop and a short blog tour on 10 blogs for a continuous story. That meant coming up with a blog hop prompt for participants to answer.

2.    If you’re doing a blog tour, you can ask select bloggers to host you or let people sign up by using a Google Form. For Flaming Crimes, I chose 10 blogs to host my continuous story. For other releases, I chose the Google Form option.

3.    Once you know the details of your blog tour, start coming up with post ideas 3-6 months ahead of time. A good idea is to jot down fun things you can discuss while editing your book.

4.    2-3 months before release date, write those guest posts. Doing this now means there’s no crunch time to get it done.

5.    Contact bloggers to host you 2 months in advance. Sometimes 3 months is even better for busier blogs. If you’re using a Google Form, set it up 1-2 months in advance on your blog.

    For the blog hop for Flaming Crimes, I announced it and set up the Linky list on my blog a month before release date. Usually a month in advance for a blog hop is good so participants don't forget.

6.    Keep a list of all bloggers who will be participating in your blog tour and what post you’ll be giving them. If you’re good with spreadsheets, make one.

TIP: Google Forms automatically creates a spreadsheet with all info (blogger’s name, website, email) if you use one for sign-ups.

7.    Save every email you send and receive from your blog tour participants. I create a folder in my email’s inbox and move each email, as well as my my replies, there.

8.    Email your guest posts and all of your book’s info 2 weeks before your scheduled time to be on their blog. I like to ask participants to please let me know they recieved the info, because you never know what'll land in the spam folder.

9.    It’s also important to be organized with your review requests. Figure out where you can submit review requests. Many reviewers need 3-4 months lead time. So, make a list of bloggers you want to ask and update that list when you get your replies. Once again, save all emails that come in and go out in a folder in your inbox.

TIP: When reviewers accept one of your books, put them on a list for future releases. I have several reviewers I come back to again and again.

10.  Other than a blog tours and reviews, figure out the rest of your marketing plan. Create tweets, pre-schedule a newsletter blast, and set up blog announcements. Remember to do these things a couple of months before, so when the time comes, you don’t have to worry.


Release time is always stressful. Why make it more difficult by doing things last minute or by being disorganized? Go step-by-step with enough time to get things done and release time will go smoothly.


96 comments:

  1. And your post today is live!
    While I don't use Google Docs (as I tend to mess them up) I do keep track of everyone I contact and their response. And I tend to send guest posts really really early. I don't want the pressure of coming up with something with only two weeks to go.

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    1. Thank you! I’ll visit my guest post soon. :)

      Keeping track is a great way to be organized, whether you use Google Forms or not.

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  2. I still can't believe they only gave you one month's notice. That is crazy.

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    1. Very crazy. That’s why I can’t get reviews from big reviewers. :(

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  3. Great tips. Marked to come back to read.

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  4. A month to get ready for a release seems like a really short time frame, but you're so super organized that I can see how you pulled it off so easily. Great tips for the rest of us less organized folks :-)

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    1. It is a really short time frame, especially when it takes place during the holidays as it did for me. That’s even tougher.

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  5. Great tips Chrys. I like using Google forms to create a sign up form. I also love the feature that a spreadsheet is automatically created to help you keep track of the bloggers who signed up. With blog tours, it's important to be organized and have everything prepared ahead of time. Last thing you need is to be scrambling to put things needed for your blog tour together. They don't say 'haste makes waste' for no reason.

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    1. Google Forms is so easy and handy. I use them for everything. I even used them for the books I gave away in my newsletter.

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  6. You're far more organized than I'll probably ever be! I typically never plan anything very far in advance, let alone in such detail. Maybe someday I'll be able to have a blog tour, though I'll probably have to have it done through a blog tour company due to my discomfort at the idea of point-blank asking bloggers I know if they'd want to host me.

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    1. But if you know them, you shouldn’t worry so much. Odds are, most will say yes. Having a Google Form up, announcing your tour, and letting people sign up at their own free will takes care of having to directly ask/email bloggers, which is what I did for my 10-Day tour for Flaming Crimes. And I’m emailing big professional bloggers for my tour for Write with Fey. If I don’t, I won’t ever be a guest on their sites.

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  7. Keeping emails and track of it all is a big one indeed. Plus staying ahead of the 8 ball always works too.

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  8. Great tips! I ran a blog tour last year and was pretty good with organization (Excel is my best friend) but I tend to procrastinate when it comes to emailing people and asking for things. Google forms are great!
    I think if I had a month to plan I would just start to panic!

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    1. I think you’re a step up from me...I don’t know a thing about Excel. LOL

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  9. No wonder people say you're organized ;)

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  10. You've got it figured out for sure. I'm usually a pretty organized person, but life has a habit of throwing my plans out the door. Takes some work to get it all back on track but disorganization causes more problems, at least for me.
    Great job with the tour! I can't wait to read more of 'your' story!

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    1. Life can definitely make things very disorganized.

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  11. Great post to read Chrys and some good tips thrown in for good measure.

    Yvonne.

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  12. Great tips! I can use some organization in my life-- as you probably know. :)

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  13. Thanks for sharing your tips and about your experience!

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  14. Good tips. I usually don't start thinking about this stuff until it's far too late.

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  15. Excellent tips. I especially like google docs for the spread sheet they make with it. I usually edit it and add a column to mark when I email people and when they post.

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    1. Adding a column in the spreadsheet that Google Docs creates is a good idea.

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  16. Your blog hop looked super successful from where I was watching. Storing this idea for future use. :) Great post, Chrys! I'm schedule it for a Facebook post in a couple of weeks.

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    1. Thank you, Raimey! I am looking forward to be a part of this hop and hope my other posts with tips help many writers...and people in general. :)

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  17. Love your organizational tips.
    That's crazy that you only get a month to plan for your release, but it's good you know that and have a plan ready.

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    1. It took me until the release of Tsunami Crimes for me to realize what little time I had to plan for my releases. It sucks but planning ahead helps a lot.

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  18. Great advice. I"m saving it on the chance I ever finish another book and need to promote it. Thanks.

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  19. Great tips! I'll make a note of them for when I get my book finished and ready for release. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. You're welcome! And you can check out the tabs at the top of my blog for more pages with information that might come in handy for when that time comes. :)

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    2. That's so helpful, thanks so much :)

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  20. Good advice! I need to get more organized as a writer, so I'll be checking out your other organizational tips posts too!

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    1. Thank you, Megan! And I hope my other tips help you. They will be diverse tips about many different things. :)

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  21. Thanks for the tips. I'd love to know which of your promotions generates the most buzz. Its so hard to know what really works for promoting books.

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    1. It's pretty tied between the blog hop and the blog tour I'm doing now for Flaming Crimes, but I keep hearing from followers that they saw my blog hop everywhere, so I think my blog hop, which I had on one specific day with about 30 participants, generated the most buzz.

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  22. I find myself woefully uneducated when it comes to blog hops and blog tours and blog prompts (seeing as how AuthorToolbox is my first hop), so I think this advice was lost on me (my fault, not yours!). I'd really be interested to read a post explaining these things more in-depth, in case you need a post idea for the future! I'd love to learn more.

    http://micascottikole.com/2018/01/16/query-structure/

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    1. Hi, Mica! I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I do have posts on my blog about blogging and blog tours.

      Blogging 101: http://writewithfey.blogspot.com/2015/01/blogging-101.html

      How to set up a blog tour: http://writewithfey.blogspot.com/2015/08/how-to-set-up-blog-tour.html

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  23. I think I'm programmed against organisation. The more I try, I fail. I've done lots of blogshops and they'd very little to help sales or interest for the effort, yet I've heard great things from other writers? But then, you're so creative with your hop ideas. That's probably one reason why you succeed and I do not. Thanks for the trips!

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    1. If an author looks at a blog tour or hop as a way to get sales, they'll most likely be disappointed. For me, I look at it as a way to build interest and get my book and release announcement out there. In that way, my tours and hops have been successful. The trick is to have a hop that people can have fun with, and for the posts for a blog tour to be unique, not just a salesy promo post. And looking for blogs with more traffic is a must as well.

      But some techniques work for some and not for others.

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  24. Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'll be sharing funner tips later. :P

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  25. One month? Holy Swiss Cheese! Talk about stress and the need for organization.

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  26. Oh, some great tips here! Thanks for sharing :)

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  27. This is great! Staying organized abut your launch is so important to be successful as an author.

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  28. Organization is your SuperPower! Thanks for launch day tips. My previous launches have been haphazard, but with your blueprint, they should be smoother.

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  29. Wow, one month is a really short time, but it sounds like you were on top of things. Congratulations on your release by the way (though its belated)! I am just itching to put together some spreadsheets after reading this post. Thanks for the launch day advice, Chrys!

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    1. Thank you! Go have some fun with spreadsheets. :)

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  30. Thank you so much Chrys for this incredibly organized post for promotion. I am bookmarking it and keeping it for when the time is right. I appreciate you sharing these time frames.

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    1. I’m glad you’re bookmarking it! I hope it becomes useful. :)

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  31. Fantastic words of advice! Thank you so much for sharing them with us. Yep, you are super organized! :)

    Have a beachy week!
    Elsie

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    1. A beachy week? I think it’s a little too cold in Florida now for a beach visit. Darn. lol

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  32. Organization is everything. Bravo to you, Chrys, for having it all down pat. I'm saving this post. Thanks for the tips. All the luck with your new release.

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    1. Thanks for saving this post! I hope you can use it in the future. :)

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  33. This is great! I'm getting ready to publish a book later this year and have been planning out things I need to do,so this really helps. Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. Yay! I’m glad this helps you. That was my goal. :)

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  34. Good tips. I definitely need to put in some thinking about everything I want to do to promote my books this year.

    But for one thing, I've learned my lesson from previous times. I'm going to upload my FINISHED books for pre-order and then I'm going to spend those three months exclusively on marketing.

    Before, I'd still rush around sorting out the formatting, covers etc. against the publishing date. Never again.

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    1. That is a good idea! Having something uploaded so you can have the pre-order option is smart.

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  35. Look for my email. It's important. :-)

    ~Anna

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  36. Great idea about keeping a list of reviewers so you can refer to them for future use. I also appreciate the suggestion to develop a list of topics to talk about while you’re editing. Such simple, yet profound ideas.

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    1. My list of reviewers has helped me for every release. And I’ve found that I struggle to think of blog tour post topics when I’ve finished the book months ago. During editing is the best time to find great ideas.

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  37. I love that opening quote.
    These are great tips. I hope to use them one day. :)

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  38. Excellent tips! I'm a far planner, and I agree releases are stressful enough not to leave everything until the last minute.

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  39. Thank you so much for this list, Chrys! I'm passing it along to my online writers groups. Best to you. Yes, you are organized. And I'm glad you are.

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    1. I hope your online writers groups find it useful, Joylene! Thanks!

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  40. Ruh roh, I'm already severely behind then. Waiting until I have a cover in case I need to push off my release date. But it's my first time through, so I intend it as a learning experience. Thanks for the tips! I will check out Google Forms.

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    1. Learning experiences are good. While you wait for the cover, so if you can come up with promo idea as. :) Google Forms are great. I use them for everything.

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  41. Well done Chrys - excellent set of notes for us - and so so essential ... to be ahead of one's 'to do' list ... thanks so much - cheers Hilary

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  42. Hmmm..... releasing a book sounds like almost as much work as writing the book in the first place. :) Thanks for the tips.

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    1. Honestly, publishing a book is a LOT more work, especially the marketing aspect of publishing.

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  43. Organization is key for sure! Even when you publish with a traditional press they still expect you to do almost all the same stuff you'd be doing as an indie. It all counts:)

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    1. Exactly. I have a traditional press and I do everything for my books’ releases.

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  44. I enjoyed this post! I'm currently prepping my market plan for my first release, so all this info is helpful. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You’re very welcome! Good luck with your first release! :)

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