How not to launch a book; Robot Awareness launched today

51LjR3u2thL._SY346_Today I launched books I and II of Robot Awareness. Book I, which I’m with tongue in cheek calling the “special edition”, includes the first four parts of the original Robots Awareness, all in one book as I should have done in the first place. Now you can get all four parts in one book, for only one dollar.

Today I also launched Robot Awareness: The Inner Circle, the next story arc in which the crew heads into the inner sanctum of the monopolistic Company C — not a place a group of smugglers should really want to go, considering Company C is essentially the law, and they operate outside of it.

My approach to launching a book could be called “how not to launch a book.” The fact is, I screw it up every time. The thing about launching books is that it’s a nerve-wracking endeavor. This is the first time I experimented with pre-orders (I half-heartedly did with Part IV but didn’t pay it a lot of mind) and I wanted everything to be perfect. The scary part is Amazon locks you out until the last possible moment if you take the pre-order option. It means you’ll be making a mad scramble in the couple of hours before the book launches. And it takes more than a couple of hours to get approved, so you get one shot. Who knows why — seems it would better ensure quality control to allow authors to make changes in the week prior to the release, so that the manuscript is perfect when the book launches.

So the night before the launch, I knew I had some spelling issues I didn’t address in the version I had posted (Amazon gives you a deadline to post a manuscript for your pre-order). So I created a new file for Kindle and posted it…

…of the unedited version. Meaning I’d put my rough draft (revised once before sending it to the editor). And that’s what people would get who had pre-ordered the book.

To cut to the end of the story, all is well now. I woke up early in the morning and reposted the correct version. Eventually it posted and all is good in the world.

This was the big relaunch, and I did mess it up a little. But that’s the insider’s view. From the outside, a new book is out, and the average customer won’t notice anything amiss. This is what people in creative fields do: obsess ourselves crazy in ways the public likely never knows.

But it’s worth that obsession. One good review can make all the difference. When you get that one review, the one that demonstrates the reader really got what you were trying to do; that’s what makes it all worth it.

I’m B.C. Kowalski, writer and photographer, among other things, in Wausau, WI. I also write books, including the Robot Awareness series, and I run Define Photography. Follow me on Twitter too!



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