CATCH_ReviewMeme1This coming event has been over ten years in the making.

Once I decided I wanted to write a book, I knew there would eventually come a day when my story would be for sale. Of course, I had no real idea what platform building or marketing involved, but as the months and years scrolled past while I worked on my craft and polished stories worthy of publication, I watched other writers and took notes.

I paid attention to contests and giveaways, Facebook posts, Twitter campaigns, graphics, online events, book signings, blog tours, and even advertising in magazines. I noticed what caught my attention and what became irritating overnight. I dreamed and imagined … and took notes.

Shortly after signing the contract for my first book—while still working on the first round of revisions—I received a marketing information form to complete for my publisher. Suddenly the years of note-taking and speculation gelled into a written plan of action. Right there in black and white was evidence of my skimpy social media platform, anemic email list, and an empty list of influencers and media contacts. Yikes!

What else could I do but roll up my sleeves and put out a plea to a couple of writer’s groups asking for volunteers to be influencers? Ever so grateful for those initial dozen friends, I began to piece together a plan of action for creating a book launch while paying careful attention for more opportunities and ideas. I printed out blank calendars for the year ahead, penciled in blog tour stops, and backtracked to create due dates for myself to get content to my hosts. Being a visual person, I could see where I needed to fill in the gaps as well as see a natural progression from content and graphics preparation to pre-sales promotion to a launch event and blog tour to ongoing marketing to spark fresh interest. All of those tasks went onto lists and I was able to start working ahead on a lot.

[Tweet “Creating a book launch is a ton of WORK (but loads of fun) via @CandeeFick”]

So what’s on those lists? Set up the blog tour stops, answer the interview questions or write the content, submit my materials, and then schedule promotional pieces once I have the links to those posts. Arrange giveaways on some blogs and on Goodreads. Recruit more launch team members into a Facebook group and create a media page to give them all the tools they need. Schedule Facebook and Twitter updates to build momentum. Send advance reviewer copies out and then remind them to post their honest reviews on Amazon on launch day. Design and promote an online launch party with lots of fun games and prizes to generate buzz.

As we count-down to launch (Catch of a Lifetime goes live in just 28 days!), the organization has paid off and I’ve been able to jump into other new promotional opportunities simply because I have a solid foundation in place. Of course, all the best-laid plans come to nothing without God’s help, so I’ve been praying extra hard for wisdom, stamina, and favor as we approach this excitingly scary time I’ve been building towards for over ten years.

And I can hardly wait to watch readers fall in love with Reed and Cassie.

(If you’d like to help with the launch, just head over to my media page for ideas and an easy checklist of things to do. You can also ask to join my launch team Facebook group, join the launch party group when it goes live, and invite your friends to join in too. I’d love the help!)

What about you? Have you ever planned for a big event? What organizational tools did you use to keep on track? Did you have a collection of ideas to copy as well as things to avoid?


Behind the Scenes: Creating a Book Launch
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