October 9

If I’m planning for a “launch date,” when should I upload my book?

    Picture this: you’ve got your book written + you’re nearly ready to launch!

    If you’ve already been planning for your launch, then we assume you’ve picked a launch date – aka the day you’ll start telling the world about your book + asking them to download the e-book for free during your 5-day launch period, then leave a review on Amazon (“download, rate, review” will be your mantra!)

    In our breakdown of how long it takes to write, edit, prepare, + launch a book, you know that we recommend working backward from your launch date, especially when it comes to preparing the final pieces of launch promotion.

    While working backward, you’ll also need to choose the date that you upload your manuscript and book cover files … and here’s how to choose that date:

    Physical Version (Paperback and/or Hardback)

    We recommend uploading your paperback and hardback files one month before your launch date.


    There are three good reasons:

    One – It will take CreateSpace and/or IngramSpark up to a week to double-check your files and confirm that they conform to their standards. They do this to ensure that when they print your books, they look fantastic.

    Two – After the files are approved, it’s time to order yourself a proof copy. We always recommend ordering a PHYSICAL copy of both your paperback and hardback. Most sites offer a PDF that you can review to approve how the book looks, but when you do that, you don’t get to experience the color of the cover, the weight of the paper, and the incredible joy of holding all your hard work in your hands :)

    Three – It will take 1-2 weeks for your book proof copies to arrive (they do offer rush options, but be prepared to pay!). Once your books arrive, there’s a good chance you’ll have some minor changes (and a few well-earned tears).

    You’ll need at least a week to work with your formatter (who designed the interior of your manuscript and prepared your cover files for print), then you’ll upload the new files, wait for them to be approved by IngramSpark and/or Createspace (they tend to approve updated files faster than the initial files), then do the final approval.

    Note: you don’t need to order a physical version again. That will slow the process down A LOT and is rarely necessary. Now, you can review the PDF they provide to make sure all of your content is within the print margins … etc.

    Double-check that your on-sale date for your book is the same as your launch date, and you’re good to go.

    You can log in to IngramSpark and/or CreateSpace anytime you’d like to order multiple copies of your book at a discount, which are great to sell as workshops or give away in a content or send to influencers (with a nice hand-written note about why you think they would enjoy the book).

    e-Book Version

    We recommend uploading your e-book files one week before your launch date.


    There are three good reasons:

    One – It will take Amazon KDP roughly 48 hours to double-check your files and confirm that they conform to their standards. They do this to ensure that when someone downloads your book to their Kindle or tablet, it looks fantastic.

    Bonus: you can also test how your book will look BEFORE you upload it using Amazon’s Kindle Previewer. This is a great way to catch any possible issues ahead of time + work with your formatter to fix them ASAP.

    Two – Once Amazon approves the files, they have another task to tackle. At this point, if you go to Amazon and search for your book, it will probably show up as available for pre-order (if you set the publish date to be before your launch/on-sale date). You’ll also notice that your different versions of your book DO NOT show up on the same page.

    Amazon needs a few days to “index” all of those pages together. They’ll notice that all three versions of the book are by the same author and have the same title, so they combine them all on the same page so you only need one URL to send people to see all the versions of your book on Amazon.

    When preparing promotion for your book, we recommend using the link available inside of Amazon KDP, which is a direct link to your e-book and the main focus on your launch.

    Three – Last but no means least is the fact that when you upload your e-book + it’s approved, a timer starts. Amazon tracks your book, especially your e-book, very closely for the first 30 days after it’s approved. The more downloads and positive reviews you get during that time frame, the more they will promote your book (for FREE!) via Amazon to people who are browsing similar subjects to those in your book (based on the categories your e-book is listed in).

    By uploading your book no more than a week before your launch date, you can ensure that you’ll make the most of those 30 days via your 5-day free-e-book launch period, and ongoing promotions.

    Your literal blood, sweat, and tears have been shed to bring your book to life.

    Some simple planning and uploading logic can help you avoid a ridiculous amount of stress when you’re THISCLOSE to sharing your book baby with the world.

    Bio: Victoria Klein is a two-time published author and the VP of Productions for Paper Raven Books. Formerly PRB’s Book Project Manager, Victoria has helped numerous authors through the self-publishing process from start to finish. Through her monthly posts, she’ll reveal the biggest concerns and mistakes of self-publishing authors, and how to solve them.


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