Countdown Part 2: Systems Check

In the previous countdown blog, I felt like I was strapped into the capsule, no turning back.

However, it is not enough to simply strap yourself to the top of a rocket and declare the job done, you need to control the engines, and maybe even be able to steer the thing if you want the launch to be successful. It’s time to ensure that the systems which will help to deliver my novel payload are up and running.

Website updated? In progress. Engineers are working on it as we speak. Blog content creation is in progress, a schedule set. Having content ready in advance reduces the pressure to make more each week, and makes writing each new column that much easier.

Facebook page activated? It exists, but requires work before launch. As noted last time out, I could have regret at not having been an aficionado of FB and an online forum dweller for years already, but the milk is spilled, no time to worry about it now. I do what I can when I can.

Mailing list created? Check, but it can always be expanded. Always.

Graphic design approved? Check. I love the design, it works as cover and thumbnail brilliantly. Final delivery date agreed. There are nerves about this, which is totally understandable, but my designer has been great, so I do not anticipate any problems. I just have that feeling you get when waiting for an important flight, you know it will arrive, but until you see it pull up to the gate, you can’t help but be a bit anxious. So I’m a bit anxious. It’s natural. I’m rolling with it.

Formatting completed? In progress, completion date logged. Nerves about this too, because the moment I sent my book to the formatter, I had to accept that it was in its final form. I have fiddled with those words forever, and now they are fixed, or I pay to shift them around. It is harder than I thought to accept that I am done messing with the text.

Why am I not formatting the book myself? Because I want everything associated with my book to be as professional as possible, and cannot guarantee that home-made formatting will work flawlessly across multiple devices. Hiring an industry pro gives me confidence that this will be the case. Of course I will feverishly check all formats after first upload and before the official launch date. Because quality control is always required.

Text reviewed pre and post formatting? Check, and yet to be checked. I don’t think you can re-check this too many times prior to launch, as the whole mission depends upon successful delivery of this media to the world. No pressure. And yes, I found and fixed a ‘couple’ of things on my last pass. I also accepted that I had to leave other words as they were, and trust my earlier self’s judgment. He was not working to the final deadline and freaking out. It’s cool. Breathe.

Amazon author profile ready? Check. But I can’t create my author profile until the book is published. I had hoped that registering my ISBNs would get the system to recognize the coming birth of The Thief and The Demon, but no, I must wait.

Goodreads author profile ready? Check, and the same story as above with Amazon. But what photo will I use? Must I inflict my image upon poor unsuspecting readers?

Potential reviewers contacted? Not yet. I should be doing this now, but I want to be able to answer interested replies with a swift response and dispatch of book to review in the reviewer’s favoured format. Hard to do that pre-launch. There is much chicken and egg to this process, I seem to be discovering.

So, the systems are up, but not all are running. I’d better get on with it before the launch window opens.

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