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"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Making the Sausage: Release Day Edition

After the (somewhat surprising) success of my last super-in-the-weeds bullshit industry post, which was about how I can afford to ship personalized, autographed books to fans, I thought I might try a new, possibly recurring segment about the deep, dark recesses of the publishing industry, Making the Sausage.

So, on Monday I mentioned how much I've been sucking at blogging lately.  A solid ten days of that was lost due to the HUNTER OF THE DEAD release day blitz, which, yes, is nearly two weeks of work for me.

Don't believe me?  I thought I'd make a list of what I do for every release.  Now, bear in mind, I have no idea which if any of these add to sales.  So I may be completely wasting my time.  I don't think so, though, and I've been honing this process over the five book launches I've now completed, and HUNTER OF THE DEAD was my biggest launch yet, so I must be doing something vaguely right.  At a minimum, you can chime in down in the comments and tell me what I'm doing wrong and right.

- crafting a release day blog post

- crafting a "Quintessential" blog post (the difference between the two is a release day post is just for release, but a "Quintessential" post goes up a few days or possibly weeks later, when there have been some reviews and mentions, and then is added to my "Info on My Published Work" and updated constantly as a repository for all reviews and mentions of my work on the internet)

- updating the "Info on My Published Work" page so that the new work is included on it, first with just an Amazon link, then with a link to the "Quintessential" post when that goes live

- crafting the perfect post for my group blog

- responding to any blog comments (across all three posts) with a personalized thank you

- updating your e-mail signature line with the new book, before sending out e-mails to the mailing list

- crafting the perfect e-mail for the mailing list

- on release day, sending two separate e-mails, one for the people you know are real on the mailing list, and the other to the people you suspect are scammers

- clearing the confirmed scammers out of your mailing list when their e-mails bounce

- answering congratulatory e-mails from your mailing list

- creating the perfect Goodreads event well in advance of release day, making the duration of the event at least one day for each thousand friends you have on GR

- inviting all of your Goodreads friends to the event in blocks of a thousand, a hundred at a time, because Goodreads won't let you invite more than a thousand people to an event in a 24-hour period

- responding to each "yes" and "maybe" on your GR event with a personalized thank you, and to some of the "nos" if they've given some kind of justification with an offer of some sort or possibly just a condolence

- mention your release on any pertinent and apropos GR groups

- crafting the perfect Facebook post for the business page and scheduling it for release day

- liking (or loving) and crafting a personalized thank you comment to each person who shares your FB post

- after determining interest has waned on your business FB post, share it to your personal FB

- also like (or love) and craft a personalized thank you for everyone who shares your personal FB post

- mention your release on any pertinent and apropos FB groups

- crafting the perfect Tweet

- take advantage of Tweet sharing groups, etc., to get more eyes on your tweet

- craft a personalized thank you for everyone who shares your tweet

- monitor Twitter for mentions of your release that you haven't been tagged on and gradually retweet them and send personalized thank yous

- monitoring Amazon rankings, sometimes all night, in order to capture screenshots of your possible bestselling statuses, across every individual national Amazon store

- after determining your highest bestseller statuses, posting screen caps, along with a thank you to your fans, on FB and Twitter

- mention your release on any pertinent and apropos message boards you may belong to/participate in

That's everything I can think of that's release "day" specific.  What do you think?  How much of this is wasting my time and how much is actually driving sales?  What do you do?

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