Writing and publishing your book takes time, it’s true. No matter how hard you will try, you won’t be able to write your book in three days or a week or even in a month. So how do you make sure your book can be published in a timely fashion? Make a publishing plan!
A publishing plan is a holistic approach to publishing. You take into consideration all aspects of publishing: the time it takes to write, the time it takes to have it professionally edited, design time, printing time, and more. Publishing can take over 100 individual steps; make sure you understand the scope of the project before you begin your journey.
Here are our seven publishing plan hacks all writers should know before they begin their book.
1. Set Your Publishing Date
Creating a plan consists of not only knowing what needs to be accomplished but also knowing when those tasks need to be accomplished. Because your plan consists of those little tasks, all of which have their own timeline, knowing your publishing date is the most important piece of information.
Just because you have a set date in mind, remember, it can change. As you begin to set your publishing plan in action, you might see the need to push your publishing date further out. Sometimes your editing can take longer than expected or you might need a bit more time in the pre-launch marketing phase. The idea of a publishing plan is to give yourself the framework to make your book the best.
2. Understand Your Publishing Plan Timeline
Once you have your publishing date in mind you can begin to fill in the many tasks needed to complete your book. Like I mentioned above, there can be over 100 unique steps to write, publish, and market your book, each with their own timelines. Our second tip is to understand those timelines so you don’t miss an important deadline.
As I previously mentioned, each step takes time and while I can’t list out each step’s timeline lest the blog go on forever, I do want to share a few important steps.
- Editing: Depends on many factors but most editors can edit 10-12 double-spaced pages per hour.
- Printing: The rush package from IngramSpark can take at minimum one week, not to mention the time it takes to load and approve the document. For standard delivery you should budget at least three weeks.
- Design: There are a few design aspects; for example, your cover and your book interior. These depend on the length and content of your story but we suggest a minimum of four to six weeks to make any changes.
- Accounts setup: There are a number of online accounts to setup to make sure your book is complete. I suggest leaving five to ten days open for account creation.
Once you have your plan in place you can start your publishing journey!
3. Begin Sooner Than You Think
The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Our next tip is to start sooner than you think. It’s okay to finish early on tasks but being late on one task can throw your whole plan into chaos! You never know what is going to happen in your life or in the world so give yourself the wiggle room to work if something happens.
For example, one of our clients happened to have an unscheduled move come up during her project. Because we had a publishing plan in place, we were able to adapt to her change in schedule. And if you need to, you can always push your publishing date back!
4. Your Marketing Plan is Part of Your Publishing Plan
Do not forget your marketing plan! In order to treat your book like a business you must have a marketing plan. We suggest to integrate your marketing plan into your publishing plan.
In order for a business to survive, they need customers. In order for your book to thrive, it needs readers. Attract raving fans before your book is published so you have the audience ready and excited to buy your book. There is no worse feeling than spending your hard work and money on a book no one buys; start the marketing process now so you won’t have this problem.
5. Editing Is a Process
I mentioned how a good editor can work through 10-12 pages an hour. For a 70,000 word book (an average length of a memoir), that translates to 25 or so hours for one edit, but… A book needs a minimum of two complete edits, not to mention the time it takes for re-writes and further editing.
Editing is a process which can take weeks or months depending on the need of your book. Talk with your editor to see their process and how the editing process can effect your publishing plan.
6. Know the Pros
You don’t have to work through the publishing process by yourself. In fact, you probably shouldn’t do that. In business we recognize there are professionals who can handle different aspects of our business better than we can. We have accountants and financial planners, we have marketing specialists and content writers, we have web developers and UI experts.
It’s the same in the publishing world. There are specific aspects of publishing people have expertise. You will want to work with a graphic designer for your cover, you will need to hire a professional editor, there are book marketing specialists, and more.
Know the pros you will need to work with during your project. This way you can work their processes into your plan and understand the time and financial commitment needed to make your book a professionally published book.
7. Look Beyond Your Publishing Plan
Your publishing plan doesn’t end on the day of publication. There are many tasks to do afterwards like file your copyright, continue marketing, or look forward to new editions. Make sure your plan covers what makes sense for you and your book.
Maybe you need to create a follow-up book to share more stories. Maybe you want to create a paperback version of a complimentary workbook. When you are creating your publishing plan look at your goals and add them to your plan.
The Importance of Creating a Publishing Plan
A publishing plan is important so you can take a holistic approach to writing your book. You can take a look at every aspect of your book, your business, and your personal life and schedule your project to fit. These seven amazing publishing plan hacks will set you and your book up for success. If you are looking to publish your book, we can work with you to create a personalized publishing plan during a VIP Day. Learn more about our VIP Days and how they can help you!