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A Novel Writer's Checklist

There's so much to do when coming out with a new novel, that somethings things fall by the wayside. I have an excel spreadsheet I work with, to at least attempt to stay on track.

Here's a checklist of things you'll want to do (or at least consider) on the way to publishing your eBook.

You can download a printable copy of the checklist.

Free eBook ChecklistWriterotica Freebies



This is a read through for continuity, checking names, times, locations, plot holes, etc. It's great if you can get a peer to edit at this time. Even better if you can hire an editor.


Here I use Word to check the Grammar. Verify Word Options is set to Grammar Only. Use all Required (1 space, common at end of list, punctuation inside quotes), all Grammar options checked, and within Style, I choose only a few like numbers, sentence length, etc.

My favorite edit technique here is to read the story aloud. For some reason, I catch a lot more errors that way.


I use a personal Style Sheet. It has details of the style I use, specific spellings, names, etc.

Free Style SheetWriterotica Freebies

Professional Edit

Once your manuscript is as clean as you can get it, hire a professional editor. I use and have had great success when I did. Make sure you get someone highly rated with a large number of complete jobs.

Extra Content

Front Matter

Disclaimer (Fiction, Trademark)
Book Title, Author, Publisher & Copyright
All rights reserved
Credits (Editor, Cover Design, Photo Attribution)
Book Length, in Words - Story only
License Rights


Optional Dedication. Different for each book, who the book is dedicated to. Up front, before story.


Acknowledgement, to those who helped along the way.

Author Bio

Author Bio, with Author photo, and all social media contacts. I try to make it fit on a single Kindle Page

Book Store

Last part of the Book. Other books by the author. This needs to reflect all current books and planned books, along with links on Amazon to purchase the books. You can put thumbnails of the book covers.

After each new book is published, you should go back and update the old books to include the latest.

Marketing Material

Short Description

Short, punchy, back cover text to sell the book. 80 words or less

Long Description

Longer description, up to 4000 characters, including a brief Author Bio. Think of it like the inside flap of a hardcover book. Don't stint on this, it's one of the three elements (the other two are Brand and Cover) that sell the book.


A hot quote (or two) from the book to interest the reader.


Any good reviews you've manage to acquire. If you don't have any for this book, you can use ones from your previous books if any.


Full Size Cover

No web links on cover. No explicit sex, no full nudity.

  • 600 x 1024: Nook
  • 1536 x 2048: iPad
  • 1563 x 2500: Kindle

Small Covers

  • 625px height - 1/4 size
  • 200px height - amazon expanded
  • 115px height - thumbnail

3D Cover

Optional, whatever floats your boat. I make mine 200 x 300 and 400 x 600.

Twitter Book Pitch

I use Canva, it's just too quick and easy. Uploading my own images, it's also free.

Taste Is Everything Twitter Pitch

Facebook Book Pitch

Canva again.

Taste is Everything Facebook

Ad Images

Taste is everything medium rectangle ad

Pre-Release Marketing

Beta Read Reviews

4-6 weeks before the books is ready, send it out for reviews from your beta readers. Also any review sites.

Website Book Page

Working Cover / Title
Book pitch
Sample chapter
Key info (size, price, etc.)
Kindle Purchase Link to buy


1) Book Announcement
2) Cover is in
3) WIP Wednesday - Work In Progress - share your blog post
4) Release Day announcement
5) #FreeSunMon - Free Kindle Days
5) Reviews Profiled


A few ideas for your blog:

1) Book idea
2) Characters
3) Cover iterations
4) Early reviews
5) Call to Beta read
6) WIP Wednesday
7) Sample Chapter
8) Sample Scene
9) Release Date Announcement
10) Links to reviews
10) Release Day!
11) Free Days #FreeSunMon
12) Email List - Join for Book Bennies
13) #FreeSunMon #2
14) Bundling

Mailing List Announcement

1) Book info / Description
2) Cover Info
3) Release Date
4) Free Date #FreeSunMon
5) Reviews
6) Bundling

One Sheet Announce

1/4 page cover in top right corner or 8.5 x 11 sheet.

Title: List it again, just for emphasis
Author: Your name here
Category: List the category or subject of your book (e.g., science fiction)
Format: Kindle eBook
Publication Date: The date your book is available on Amazon
Words: The number of words of your book
Price: How much the book costs
Available from: Initially, Amazon Kindle, later we may add Nook, Apple, B&N etc.

Synopsis: (at least 1/4 of the page, up to 1/2)
Reviews: 3-4 if you have them
Author Bio: short with pic

Guest Blog

Visiting Blogger
- About going commercial / experiences
- Cover designs / Facebook-Twitter Ads
- Marketing your Book / Your platform
- Different Categories / tags / Freebies
Not about your book, but secondary advertisement

Blog Tour

Optional Paid Blog Tour to get the word out.

Amazon Author Page

Update your author page - prep for release



Set your price. Don't underprice. Overprice before your freebie day.

KPD Post

Submit your book. All the information you need should have been completed previously.

Free Days

Schedule any free days, if you are in KDP Select (ideally 3 days, then 2 days a month later)

KDP Unlimited Enroll

Enroll in unlimited if you want.



That's our list. Are we missing something? Is any of it a waste of time? Let us know what you think, and how the list works for you (as well as the Macros or Style Sheet if you use them)

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