Tip #6: Mastering the Countdown

Doing the indie publishing thing on your own can sometimes feel overwhelming. There are so many elements to think about. Don’t let the fear get you! It’s completely do-able if you break it down into scheduled steps.

With Why You Were Taken, I just kind of stumbled through the process, learning as I went along. I had no idea which formats I would need for which retailers, what ARCs were, or how to get an ISBN. I certainly didn’t have a launch date, so the pressure was off and I was free to play.

Now that I’ve decided to turn my writing into a business and have committed to specific launch deadlines, I need a more streamlined process. Et Voila! Lookie here: I’ve compiled this handy 3-month countdown checklist. You’re welcome.


1. Write book (draft, re-write, edit, polish, beta, tweak)

2. Finalise title and blurb

3. Choose suitable editor, send manuscript

4. Set up title for pre-order on Amazon

6. Get ISBN (for print)

7. Choose suitable cover designer and send creative brief

8. Choose suitable printing company (for print edition)

9. Review first pass from editor (and subsequent passes)

10. Send out ARCs; garner as many reviews as possible

11. Finalise cover design

12. Cover reveal on social media and mailing list

13. Pre-order Promo: advertise pre-order discount

14. Finalise interior design

15. Write front and back-matter (author bio; dedication; acknowledgements; links)

16. Send final files to local printer

17. Review author proofs; order stock

18. Format for ePub and mobi files

19. Proofread final files in all formats

20. Finalise price points for all formats

21. Finalise sales categories and tags

22. Upload print book file to Createspace / IngramSpark

23. Review digital proof; order POD proof

24. Put book on sale after reviewing POD proof

25. Upload ebook file to Amazon and other retailers

26. Launch

27. MLAMF (Market Like A Motherf*****)

Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments.

Up Next: Tip #7: Go Wide or Go Home (coming soon)