It’s official! I just set up my novel, With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 for pre-order on Smashwords! I completed the first draft of the third and final book of this trilogy, and I finally feel confident that Book One will be ready for publication by its September 1st release date!
This is such a huge milestone for me. I have been working on this trilogy for about three years now. With Envy Stung has been critiqued and revised until I can’t imagine what else I might possibly do to make it shine any brighter. That is, until I sit down to read through it again and find a few more lines that I could write *just a little bit better.*
Update: I now have direct links where you can pre-order your copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 from the retailer of your choice:
As with any work in progress, I will probably always be able to find something else that I could tweak a bit more. But, as with any other work in progress, the time always comes when it’s time for the author to let it go as it is. I feel confident that With Envy Stung has reached that stage in the writing process. The time has finally come to complete my final line edits and format the book for publishing!
Setting up a pre-order on Smashwords
In my recent research of indie publishing practices, I have learned that it is very important to offer your books up for pre-order at the earliest possible time, even if your book may not be quite ready to publish. Many retailers will credit your book sales for pre-orders to your sales statistics on the day that the book actually releases. This can lead to a sudden spike in sales that has the potential to increase the discoverability of your book right away on the very first day that it goes on sale.
This is the first time I have set up a pre-order of one of my books, so it has been a learning experience for me. One of the things I learned from this experience is that readers can’t actually make a purchase of a pre-order book on the Smashwords website. Instead, the author must go out and search various retailers’ websites to find links to the book on their websites. Once that step is accomplished, then you must share direct links to those pages rather than a link to the book’s page on the Smashwords website.
The amount of time it takes for each retailer to post your book for sale on their website can vary a great deal, so this may be an ongoing process for the next couple of weeks. Once I have obtained links to the most common retailers, I will post them here so you can snatch up your copy while it is still available at the low introductory rate of 99 cents. (The price will go up to its full price of $3.99 once the book is released.)
Please let me know if you should happen to find a link to this book at your favorite retailer by posting the link in the comments below!
Marketing the book
My next task now will be to market my book. I plan to engage in at least one marketing activity per week until at least a couple of weeks after the book launches in September. For example, this week I added a preview of With Envy Stung to the end of my short story prequel, Her Name was Amber. I am also working on including links so readers can pre-order the new book from the end of the short story. Her Name was Amber is now available as a free download from Smashwords in almost all formats. Use the code SFREE at checkout to get this eBook for free during their site-wide promotion! (Offer good through July 31, 2016)
Another marketing task that I am working on is a blog tour. I am trying to line up several bloggers who will be willing to either read the book (for free, of course!) and write a review on their blog or do an author interview with me on their blog. Once I have obtained all of the pre-order links I need, they can be added to the end of these blog posts. Are you interested in having your blog added to my tour? If so, contact me here for more details!
There is still so much more work for me to do to market this book. This is my first time doing a true book launch, so the whole process is an exciting new experience for me. My to-do list is gigantic! But I can’t wait to get to it. And, as usual, I plan to post updates here to tell you what I’ve learned from my mistakes. If all goes well, I hope to be able to report back to you on September 1st to tell you that my novel has taken off and is on its way to making record sales!