Anatomy of a very small launch


It’s up! You can find Episode One under Books.

I have now taken the tiniest of baby steps into self-publishing. Here is what I did to go from beta draft of my novel to releasing the first episode:

First week:
Monday: re-read the novel, took notes (six hours)
Tuesday: restructured the novel into episodes, realized the problematic beginning was still a problem (three hours)
Wednesday: reworked beginning structure, rewrote opening scene, wrote additional scene (two and a half hours)
Thursday: refined opening scene, first pass edit of Episode One, flailed around trying to come up with new title ideas (four hours)
Friday: first pass edit of Episode Two, more title flailing (three and a half hours)
Saturday: discussion of book titles with Matt, narrowed title options to two (one hour)

Second week:
Monday: planned webpage layout, researched book cover image specifications, painted blue background for cover, researched methods of file sharing and got overwhelmed (three and a half hours)
Tuesday: scanned image elements for cover, super hard-core line edit of Episode One and Episode Two (six eye bleeding hours)
Wednesday: banged head repeatedly against Photoshop, created two book covers/titles, exported mobi files for Matt to review episodes (four hours)
Thursday: wrote book blurb for webpage, wrote individual episode summary blurbs (one hour)
Friday: wrestled with my desire to release this book into the world while acknowledging the futility of such an exercise as the world had expressed no desire for my book (10 minutes)
Saturday: received feedback on both episodes from Matt, incorporated changes into drafts, selected final cover and title (two hours)
Sunday: finalized Episode One edit, fiddled with e-book formatting, exported Episode One in three file versions, created jpg images of cover for website, created webpage, freaked out when media file upload on WordPress did not work with e-book files, loaded files to Google Drive with Matt’s guidance, inserted links on webpage, tweeted availability (three and a half hours)

I logged about forty hours over the past two weeks on the project (I use toggl to keep track of how much time I spend on each of my writing projects), not including background brain processing time on problems or the number of times I woke up at 3:00 a.m. thinking about the book. The past two weeks were definitely not great for sleep.

A lot of the technical leg work is now done for the other six episodes, but I’ll still be editing each of them for content and style in the week before their release. I’ve got a few final edits to review on Episode Two, but it’s mostly in the can.

I will be interested to see how my very small launch plays out.



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