My Self-Publishing Journey – Lesson #2: Build An Audience Before You Launch

Welcome to post two of my five-post series! Last week I talked about the first thing I learned on my self-publishing journey – finish the damned book before setting a go-live date. You can read the post here.

I’m a first time self-published author, and although I did (what I thought was) plenty of research, I still hit a few stumbling blocks along the way. I’ll definitely be avoiding those with book two!

Get To Grips With The Essentials First!

I knew this one before I started. I blame my failing of lesson one for not completing lesson two.

If I’d actually had a finished book two or three months BEFORE my release date, I’d have been able to spend 100% of the time on fancy marketing stuff and building my “author platform.”

Stuff like getting to grips with Mailchimp and having a solid email list, being active on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. Setting up blog tours, sending out ARC copies, and all that cool fun marketing stuff that’s actually a load of hard work!

Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail

Okay, it’s not all doom and gloom. I’ve not “failed.” I was flailing, though.

I had to learn Twitter and Goodreads, fast – not just using them, but in a marketing sense. My accounts had some followers, but honestly, it was hardly anything. I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to all the core preparation stuff because I was spending every waking moment outside of work, eating, or sleeping, writing and polishing the damned book!

Although I’ve worked in Marketing for several years and have a fantastic team (who helped brainstorm some ideas for the paperback launch, which followed a month after the eBook), there was still SO much I could have done before to ensure the launch was more successful than it was.

Get The Basics Done

Other marketing “quick wins” – like having an author photo (hate having my picture taken!), an author website (all I had was my freelance writing website with one small page mentioning my book), and getting my book in front of top reviewers were really basic things I could have done months before.

Of course there’s the paradox of building an audience for a something that’s not available… but it’s preferable to madly rushing through most of the prep after the book was out! Everything needed to be done YESTERDAY, and technology issues pushed me into a rage I’d not experienced in years!

Lesson: Do the groundwork first, not during, and certainly not after.

Read the other lessons here: onethreefourfive.

P.S. I hope you enjoyed this blog post (and are enjoying the series)! If you have any comments or questions, feel free to get in touch below, or through Garage Fiction’s social media. You can also email me direct! lauren@llmcneil.com.

P. P. S. If you’re interested in grabbing yourself a copy of my novel (adventure fantasy!) then you’re in luck!

You can buy Moroda in paperback directly through my website.

You can buy Moroda as an eBook through Amazon.

Read the book? Please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads!