When should I upload my book when I’m planning for a specific launch date?

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Once you have done everything to get your book ready for upload and you have been doing all the planning for your book, then I’m sure that you already have an idea of when you want to ‘go live’ or ‘launch’ your book. When I say this, I mean that this will be the date that you start advertising, promoting and marketing your book and start telling the world where they can buy the paperback and download the eBook and of course to start asking for reviews, especially from your launch team (I discussed this in my previous blog).

So, when do you choose to upload your manuscript and book cover? Do you do it on the same day as your launch date or do you do it sooner? Let’s see:

Your Paperback or Hardback version

I would say that it would be good practice to upload your manuscript and cover at least one month before the time. There are a few reasons that I say this and they are:

Firstly, if you are uploading on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or another publisher like IngramSpark, they have various rules on how they want your manuscript to look once it’s uploaded. Your file may not suit the first step of meeting their standards which you will find out when you click on the ‘Previewer’ tab while uploading and it will show you if your book or cover has any errors on it. This may take some time depending on whether you have errors or not. (You would need to do this yourself or with your formatter, if you hired one to get your book print ready.)

Secondly, it can take them up to 72 hours to double-check that your manuscript is up to their final printing standards and this ensures that your book will look good once printed.

Thirdly, once your book has been approved, you then need to order your own proof copy and this may take time, especially if you are in a different country to your publisher. It could take up to two weeks to receive your proof, unless you choose the option that lets them send it faster, but this will cost you more money.

Fourthly, once your book arrives, go through it and make sure that you don’t have any changes. From experience I can tell you that there are usually a few changes here and there that you want to make to ensure that it’s perfect. If you have any changes you then need to either fix them yourself (if you did it yourself) or work with your formatter that got your book print ready. This process could take up to a week.

Once you or your formatter have fixed your manuscript and cover, you can then upload it again, which will once again take you to the ‘Previewer’ page. If all is fine, you will again need to wait up to 72 hours for them to approve your book. When it’s approved, you don’t need to order another proof copy at this point, unless you want one for yourself, because this could make the process a lot longer and you would have then needed to start more than a month before the time.

One thing you need to check when you’re uploading your manuscript is that the date that you want your book to go live on their site is the same as your planned launch date. Otherwise, it will go live immediately after being approved. You can also order extra copies of your book at a discounted amount (Author copies) which you can send to people and autograph them or do a Book launch at a bookshop or do pop up markets.

Your eBook version

I would say that you can upload this at the same time as your book as this will save you time and will be one less date to diarize in your already busy schedule, but the eBook version is easier and faster to get approved than your paperback version. Just remember to put the correct launch date so that it doesn’t launch immediately after being approved.

The process that follows is basically the same as the paperback, except with the eBook you only need the front cover of the book and not the wrap around. You will also need to have it on Microsoft Word (remember your page breaks) or ePub and not a PDF like your paperback. You don’t really need to have running headers or page numbers as you would with your paperback.

You will also be able to check what your eBook looks like in a ‘Previewer’ and make sure that you are happy with this as well and the publisher will also take about 48 to 72 hours to approve it.

You can then be ready for your launch date. Get all your links ready to use in the advertising and promoting of your book so that people know where to go and also get your ad campaign going before the time as well so that in your launch week, your book will boom!

Remember to enjoy your process and to be proud of yourself. Your book is your baby and it will now be taking its first few steps. Celebrate it!

That’s it from me for now…

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