Weird Indy’s Timeline: Draft to Launch

This tenth post in My Weird Indie Publishing Project is a checklist I created so I could choose — from all the steps I must take from draft to launch —  what I wanted to do based on how I felt at the time.

Steps from Draft to Launch

_____ MS (manuscript) personally edited several times

_____MS professionally edited

_____ Personally edited editor’s edits (revised edited MS)

_____ “freebie” for back matter (1st chapter next book?) created

_____ freebie edited

_____ book cover commissioned and created (2-3 weeks before launch)

_____ metadata created:

  • categories selected
  • title created
  • book description written
  • ISBN/ copyright page created

_____ MS content finished (front matter and back matter  added)

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Prologue
  • Acknowledgements
  • excerpt from next book
  • contact info
  • call to action

_____chapter titles finalized

_____Table of Contents created

_____ book formatted for multiple venues

_____ landing page created

_____ author page created

_____ new blog created?

_____ signed up for email handler linked to landing page

_____ 1 – 7 days publish on selected venue (s)

How I set Up My Timeline

1.  I chose an arbitrary date to launch my book while I was still writing the draft.

2.  Based on personal experience or best guess, I assigned an amount of time to get each task done.

3.  Working backwards from my launch date, I assigned start/complete dates for each task.  Note that some tasks can overlap — can happen between the same two dates.

My Progress Update

Since I began in July, Book 1 of the Burnout to Bliss series has been written, professionally edited,  and I have edited the editor’s edits.  Just processing the editor’s edits — which, sadly, came all at once — took several weeks!

Now I’m working away at all the publishing details from draft to launch — many of which are new to me (ugh: more learning hard stuff!).  I’m also considering launch alternatives for a series that will be written in time as opposed to already written, sitting like a deck of cards waiting to be dealt.

I still intend to launch before Christmas! (Why? because I’m hoping my book will read by all those who are usually depressed and miserable during such holidays.)

Your Turn, Indies!

What steps are missing from the draft to launch checklist? What can you share?

“Till next time, please be kind to everyone you met, for we all have our hidden sorrows.” ~Tzaddi

2 responses to “Weird Indy’s Timeline: Draft to Launch


    Hi Pam, fun to see you today. This is an impressive list….I’m overwhelmed. Think all I can do now is work toward a finished product and then learn the hard stuff….yikes…..good for you. Thanks for your blog! sending love and hugs.


  2. Good seeing you, too. Yeah, overwhelm. Feels like a pile of rocks on my back. What’s helping me from not getting buried was creating the timeline I suggested. Start with a proposed (can be imaginary) launch date and work backwards, assigning deadlines to create your timeline. Then focus only on what’s in front of you now. In your case, I’m hearing “work towards a finished product.” Best wishes.


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