What To Include In Your Book Launch Schedule

Once again it’s March and I find myself getting ready for a May book launch.

New Book, New Series, New Genre

Last year I was launching the fourth and final book in my Awakening supernatural thriller series. (You can read more about that in When Working Harder Might Not Be The Answer Part 1 and Part 2 if you like.)

This year I’m launching Book 1 in a new series. I’m also publishing in a new genre–mystery/suspense without any paranormal or supernatural element.

Because I’m seeking new readers as well as trying to reach existing ones, I hope you’ll find my launch plan helpful wherever you are in your career.

As in any business, it’s always more of a challenge to draw in new customers than to sell additional products to existing ones.

Because of that, I felt I needed a more detailed schedule/plan than I had last year.

Feel free to copy and paste any part of my plan and modify it to fit your books.

The tasks to do begin this week, but I created the schedule by working backwards from the May 1 launch date.

What It All Means

A few notes on the reasoning behind certain tasks and on vendors you might not be familiar with:

  • Book Funnel is a service that allows you to easily deliver free ebooks to readers who are reviewing your books or to whom you want to give an ebook for other reasons (such as for a bonus for signing up for your newsletter). (See Nos. 2, 9, & 10 in the plan below.)

Right now it’s only $20 a year for a basic account. I signed up last night.

  • As I wrote about in Reaching More Readers PublishDrive is where I upload my files to distribute ebooks to a boatload of platforms. (Nos. 17, 23, 29.)

For the other platforms, I upload directly.

Q.C. Davis Mysteries, Book 1
  • I’m setting a later preorder date for Kindle than for Kobo, Nook, and iBook/iTunes (Nos. 19 & 21) because last I checked, in terms of where your book ranks on Amazon’s charts, it’s better to have more sales on the first day than a bunch of preorders.

Why do a Kindle preorder at all in that case?

I want to have a Kindle link available before the release to put on my website and into the back matter of my other books.

  • Vellum is the software I use to convert Word files to files for the various ebook and paperback platforms. (No. 8.)

It’s very easy to use, but so far available only for Mac.

  • When Darkness Falls is an urban gothic horror novel and my only novel in Kindle Unlimited (which means it’s not available on any other ebook platform). (Nos. 12, 16.)

Because it’s in KU, I can run a Kindle Countdown sale. I’m hoping by doing that for the same week as the new release, at least some readers who buy or borrow it will find their way to my Q.C. Davis series.

Gothic horror in Chicago’s South Loop
  • The Charming Man is my working title for Book 2 in the Q.C. Davis mystery series.

As you’ll see in Nos. 36-40, I’m holding off on most of the advertising and outreach to bookstores on The Worried Man until Book 2 is also out. That way the effort and funds have a chance of selling two books in the series rather than only one.

It’s possible I could sell three rather than only two if I’m superproductive and get a preorder for Book 3 underway in time. (Working title The Fractured Man.) That seems unlikely, but I’m ever the optimist when it comes to time.

  • The people I mention sending paperback books to in No. 35 are ones who love mysteries or loved my previous books and who know a whole lot of other people that they might tell about The Worried Man.
The Book Launch Schedule

The Worried Man (Q.C. Davis Mystery No. 1) Launch Schedule

Completed? Date Task(s)
1. __X_ Goodreads

__X_ Facebook

March 12 Create Goodreads and Facebook review teams & invite friends
2.  __X__ March 16 Create Book Funnel Account
3. Contact Kobo re: Worried Man preorder and release date
4. March 17 Contact my book groups re: reviewing advance copies
5. Invite Goodreads readers who like Sara Paretsky and Elly Griffiths to join GR review team
6. Email mailing list re: chance to read and review
7. March 18 Add Coming Soon to LisaLilly.com
8. March 19 Create Vellum files for review teams
9. Add files to Book Funnel
10. ___ Goodreads

___ Facebook

___ Mailing List

March 23 Contact reviewers re: links to ebooks on Book Funnel
11. March 24 Add Coming Soon to all Bios online
12. ___ Countdown scheduled

___ Just Kindle

___ Digital Book Today

___ Other(s)?

Schedule When Darkness Falls 99 cent Kindle Countdown (for 5/1-5/8) plus ads
13. ___ Fussy Librarian


___ Bargain Booksy


March 26 Schedule New Release ads Worried Man
14. March 30 Contact designer re: paperback cover
15. April 1 Final Edits (if any)
16. April 2 Schedule When Darkness Falls 99 cent ads (for 5/2)
17. ___ Kindle Upload

__ Kindle PreOrder set

___ Nook Upload

___ Nook PreOrder set

___ iBook Upload

___ iBook PreOrder set

___ Kobo Upload

___ Kobo PreOrder set

___ GPlay Upload

___ PublishDrive Upload

April 8 Upload Final Files on All eBook Platforms & set pre-order dates as noted below
18. April 8 Create KDP Print edition
19. ___ Nook

___ iBook

___ Kobo

April 9 Upload for 3 eBook Platforms PreOrder
20. April 16 Upload cover and manuscript files on Ingram Spark
21. April 17 Kindle PreOrder Begins
22. ___ Awakening

___ Unbelievers

___ Conflagration

___ Illumination

___ Also add 1st Chapter of WM to Illumination

___ When Darkness Falls

___ Also add 1st Chapter of WM to When Darkness Falls

___ Super Simple Story Structure

___ One-Year Novelist

___ Creating Compelling Characters

Update Also By and Bio in previous books with Worried Man (include links for Kindle, Nook, iBook, Kobo, website for others)


23. ___ Kindle

___ Nook

___ iBook

___ Kobo

___ GPlay

___ PublishDrive

April 26 Final Book Files Uploaded
24. April 27 Add Worried Man To Goodreads
25. ___ KDP Print

___ Ingram

Publish KDP Print & Ingram editions
26. Contact review team re: KDP Print edition
27. April 29 When Darkness Falls Countdown price to 99 cents today
28. April 30 Schedule Goodreads Ad for Worried Man
29. ___ GPlay

___ PublishDrive

April 30 Publish
30. May 1 Worried Man Live on all
31. May 1 Contact review team re: eBook editions
32. May 1 Contact email list New Release Worried Man
33. May 2 When Darkness Falls 99 cents ads run
34. ___ Awakening

___ Unbelievers

___ Conflagration

___ Illumination

___ When Darkness Falls

___ Super Simple Story Structure

___ One-Year Novelist

___ Creating Compelling Characters

May 2 Update back matter with GPlay and print links and upload new files
35. May 3 Send print copies of books to Merry, Anne, Dan L., others who might spread the word
36. June Contact Bookstores in Chicago area re: signings/release parties for The Worried Man and The Charming Man
37. June Set release date for The Charming Man
38. June/July Schedule Worried Man Ads for week of Charming Man release
39. Charming Man release week Run 99 cent sale for 3 days on The Worried Man
40. After The Charming Man is released Schedule Goodreads Kindle Giveaway

If you have other questions about the schedule, please ask in the comments.

Until next Friday–

L.M. Lilly

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