Self-Publishing Part 10: The Launch—One Person Can’t, Certainly Not Without a Plan

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

A plan. Great.

What plan? How does one even construct a proper plan?

As opposed to writing up a list of to-dos in whatever order might appear most expedient at the moment.

I’ve reams of notes, piles of emails, hordes of bookmarked pages, passels of articles highlighted, all of them shouting advice to me, some in disagreement if not in outright contradiction with others, and yet others I suspect are siren’s songs, seducing me to wreck my plans on the rocks of wasted time. I’ve two books that purport to illuminate a path through this chaos toward the end goal of getting known and so selling books. Yet, even they are vague on the actual steps, on how to take them, and the order in which to march along with them. Bewildered is an excellent word for this state.

Even if all I decided to do was concentrate on Facebook to attract people to my website where I’m supposed to collect emails that platform is hardly simple and constantly shifting. What I read today might already be obsolete, and will certainly need unknown adjustments in the future. Worse yet, the more I dug into the platform, the more I realized that learning it sufficiently well will take gobs of time and effort. Sure, I imagined it was involved. One can see all these fun buttons and sections. But I came into it expecting to learn something like a 30-foot yacht: a few controls, some procedures and various places to do specific actions and then with a good fuel up, head out to sea for some serious engagement. Instead, I found a Zumwalt-class destroyer with a stupid amount to learn and control, including many ways to blow myself and my launch to smithereens.

This one platform alone is a full-time job.

Then, there’s Twitter, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, and on and on, each with their own unique complexities.

What the hell?

But, I knew from my touchstone books these platforms exist to spread the word of me and A Perfect Blindness’s existence, and so draw people to my website, which allowed me to ignore much of the distracting noise.

But how to attract people? Oh, sure, I know, “create compelling content.” Easy. (Snap of the fingers here.) Like “just write a book that will go viral.”

Thanks. What great, uselessly general advice.

Comparing the books, I saw that Hyatt’s book is too all-purpose to start with. It’s about selling anything what so ever, but does dig into the mechanics of posting by platform. Fine for when I start posting in earnest. Assuming things haven’t changed too much.

But what about now? What comes first, second, next and so on for self-published books.

Around this time I stumbled on a post on WordPress, by Neils Saunders. It might have been from his liking a post of mine. Can’t recall nor find the original contact. Regardless, in this post, he let it all hang out, giving up all the things he did, how he did each one, including pointers on what not to do and explaining the results he got. A great post taken to heart, I copied out every idea and jammed them into my list of things to-do. The post is packed with ideas, some that I knew to do, others not, even after all my research, and even if the post was over a year old, it contains the sketch of a plan, which I sorely needed. Frankly, he’s still far, far ahead of me at one month than I am after three plus months.

Weaving these additional items into my crudely grouped ideas made for an awkwardly shaped beast that seemed better suited for continual rearranging than acting on.

Announcements of the book’s imminent launch appearing in my inbox whipped up alternating states of panic, resolve, despair and determination, while the heavy thrum of the sense that I’m completely bungling this punched into my thoughts too often: I’d read advice, too much actually, and acted on too little. My launch seemed worse off than if I’d done nothing.

Well, not that bad, but such were the depths of my dismay at times.

 

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