Life as an Indie Publisher: Go-Live Task List

I pushed a new Jugum Press title live last week. Today I described the related tasks over lunch with my former Web-master, with whom I collaborated to publish several thousand major content pieces during our work life. She had a look of horror.

Here’s my hideous-tedious task list as Jugum Press managing editor to bring one title live in two formats.
QA for Indie Publishers

  1. Add known metadata to master Jugum Press spreadsheet:
    —ISBN numbers for .mobi and print
    —page count (print) and file size (.mobi)
    —print and ebook prices
    —keywords for SEO
    —ID and Date for U.S. copyright submission are already in the master spreadsheet
  2. Final QA and build of POD format:
    —Designer had previously changed and then approved the cover PDF.
    —I’d previously QA’d and approved the text. But I’d finished the media kit the night before, so the author’s bio needed to be changed.
    —Re-run the “Print-to-PDF” steps with tailored printer/font settings.
  3. Final QA and build of ebook format:
    —Validate title, cover, and keyword metadata.
    —Changed the author’s bio, so one more build, one more QA.
    —And also rebuild Book 1 in the series with the author’s bio change.
    —QA both books on Preview software, and on at least one actual device.
  4. Post 2 ebook files to Amazon:
    —All details had previously been entered.
    —Change author bio on both Book 1 and Book 2 entries.
    —Validate pricing, keywords in metadata, and “No DRM” is checked.
    —QA again to check Amazon-unique markup language for formatting on the book description.
    —Complete posting and wait for confirmation from Amazon.
    —When the page link is available, create Amazon Associates links for the title (POD and ebook).
    —Add native link with ASIN identifier and also add AZ-Assoc links to master Jugum spreadsheet.
  5. Post POD file to CreateSpace:
    —All details had previously been entered.
    —QA one more time, including price and keywords.
    —Update author’s bio for both Book 1 and Book 2.
    —Wait for posting to finish, then find the title in the CreateSpace estore.
    —Add estore link to master Jugum spreadsheet.
  6. Update Author page on Amazon:
    —Update author’s bio, more extensively than in the book.
    —After ebook and CreateSpace finish posting, link new title on the author page.
    —Wait for Amazon to post, and then QA live page again.
    —Add date for Author page update and link on master Jugum spreadsheet.
  7. Update book’s ISBN metadata on Bowker site for both .mobi and print entries:
    — Most data already in place; QA description [yet another markup version].
    —Change author bio for both Book 1 and Book 2.
    —Validate keywords and other metadata.
    —Add final physical characteristics and availability details, and publish date.
    —Add hotlinks to Bowker details for print and .mobi on the master Jugum spreadsheet.
  8. Create index entry for new book on GoodReads:
    —Having planned ahead to have Librarian privileges, create new index entry.
    —Reformat the book description, since neither the Amazon nor CreateSpace nor Bowker formats work for GoodReads  [now up to 4 different markup versions].
    —Figure out once more the UI for uploading cover art.
    —Add link for Goodreads index entry to master Jugum spreadsheet.
  9. Update Author page on GoodReads:
    —Baseline had already been created (through that unique UI maze…).
    —Update with recent author’s bio changes.
    —Author’s picture disappeared from Author page; add it again.
    —Figure out UI once more to link the new book title.
    —QA when GoodReads page changes are live.
  10. Add new web-page for this book on the author’s Book Series web site:
    —Upload final cover art.
    —Check page format and content for Book 1; clone for new book.
    —Reformat the Book 2 description for WordPress  [= 5 different markups for same text].
    —Add text and hotlinks from the Jugum spreadsheet for:
    * CreateSpace estore
    * Amazon entry (AZ-Assoc link)
    * Goodreads entry
    * ISBN
  11. Update author’s Book Series web site:
    —Revise web parts on “home page” with cover image and links to new web-page.
    —Create blog entry about title availability.
    … which fortunately posts automatically to Facebook and Twitter.
  12. Add new web-page for the book on Jugum Press site:
    —Upload final cover art.
    —Use abridged version of details from author’s Book Series site [Yay! No new      formatting!].
    —Copy text and links from the Book Series site (POD, ebook… and ISBN) plus      publishing date.
    —QA the new page and home page.
    —Add the Jugum Press web page link to the master spreadsheet.
  13. Add new book details on www.anniepearson.com:
    —Upload final cover art.
    —Add side-bar text and link to new page on author’s Book Series site.

The remaining steps for the day’s tasks related to promo contests—getting correct entries on Goodreads and Amazon, and related page entries and posts on the author’s Book Series site.

For just the publishing tasks, I made it through in under three hours.

“How do normal people do this?” my web-master friend asked.

I’m not sure how anyone without some kind of publishing background makes it through all these steps (though lots of individuals use ASIN and CreateSpace ISBNs, so they skip some steps). And maybe some people aren’t as picky as me about formatting. Or don’t need to record where things are in a tracking spreadsheet.

Among all these UIs, only CreateSpace comes close to providing a master form for data entry that doesn’t cause you to flip among multiple forms or pages, or to maintain several browser windows during the work session. And even CreateSpace demands a series of steps to just confirm that a file upload completed.

Next month, I’ll rinse and repeat when ePub format is added for this new title. Plus more promo activities on book-review sites. Here’s hoping some of those sites will actually accept a book description with plain-old HTML markup.

— Annie Pearson
doing the tasks for EAStewart

About EAStewart

Author of the Accidental Heretics series

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