How to get “The Big Four” Versions of Your Book Live On Launch Day

How to get “The Big Four” Versions of Your Book Live On Launch Day

The hardest part about launching and marketing a book is the timing associated with getting everything synced up and ready to go on launch day. I’ll show you why this isn’t as hard as you might think.

Yes! It’s possible to get the big four versions of your book live on launch day. The big four are:

  • Paperback
  • Hardback
  • Kindle
  • Audiobook

It will look like this:

four versions of book live on launch day
At the bare minimum, you want to have a paperback and a Kindle edition of your book, but it’s nice to give potential buyers the option to grab the book in their favorite format.

I personally have a Kindle book, audiobook, and paperback going at all times, and you never know which type I’ll need to add to my queue next. I love having the option to choose any format.

If you decide to go all out and get all versions of your book up on launch day, follow this step by step process to accomplish your goal.

Step One: Have Finished Files Ready

In order to follow the above timeline you’ll need to have all final files. This is tricky, as you need a completed manuscript before you are able to begin the audiobook recording, and THEN you have to edit and produce the audiobook.

This is incredibly challenging, and a first time author might be overwhelmed. It might be better for you to release the Kindle and paperback first and do the audio later on, but that will be up to you depending on your goals.

Here’s how to get all final files ready to go:

1) Paperback

You will need a formatted PDF interior and a matching cover to upload the paperback book to KDP Print. Don’t forget that the paperback will need its own ISBN.

2) Hardback

If you are uploading to IngramSpark (KDP Print does not do hardback) you’ll need a properly formatted interior and cover according to their specifications (templates available on their site). You’ll also need an ISBN specific to the hardback. For more on getting a hardback book on Amazon see here.

3) Kindle

Kindle books are uploaded as either. Mobi .Epub or .Doc files. It’s best to get a .MOBI file as this is the Kindle specific file type, but some authors choose to upload a Word doc or Epub. No matter which option you choose, be sure to check the launch previewer within KDP for any errors when you upload.

4) Audiobook

Getting audiobook final files is the most challenging of the versions. You have several options for getting finished audiobook files:

  • Record, edit, and produce it yourself. If you have the expertise and the right gear this might be an option for you, but for most people this is out of the question. I have a good mic and a nice closet that provides consistent sound quality, so I’m able to do this. I’m also trained to master and produce audiobooks which makes the process doable for me. 
  • You can commission an audiobook to be recorded and produced for you;
  • Or you could enter a royalty-share agreement with a producer/narrator on a platform like Audible Creation Exchange (ACX) (more on that here).

Don’t forget, you’ll also need to get an audiobook cover (sized at 2400 x 2400 pixels.)

See here for more on how to turn your book into an audiobook.

When it’s all said and done, here are the files you need to have:

  • Paperback cover (PDF)
  • Paperback interior (PDF)
  • Hardback cover (PDF)
  • Hardback Interior (PDF)
  • Kindle cover (ideal dimensions for cover files are 2560 x 1600 pixels)
  • Kindle interior (Mobi, Epub, Doc)
  • Audiobook cover (2400 x 2400 pixels.)
  • Fully mastered finished audiobook files in the form of MP3s

Phew! Now that you have your final files, follow the timing below and you’ll be all set. I know it’s a lot to put together, but to maximize sales potential it’s worth considering.

The Timing

Follow this guide to get the timing right.

Day one: Upload the paperback to KDP Print and the hardback version to IngramSpark 30 days before the official launch date.

Day three: Give the paperback a few days to be live on Amazon. Now you can upload the finished audiobook to ACX (submission guidelines here). They require that a matching book exist on Amazon’s system first before you can even start their process. Therefore, the audiobook version cannot come first.

Their review process can take up to a month, so this is the tricky part timing wise. You need to ensure that your files are top notch and free of errors. If they have any issues with your files, the timing can be messed up, but 30 days should be enough time to approve the book and it be live before launch day.

A week before launch day:  Upload the book to Kindle (you could also choose to do a pre-order and upload the Kindle at the same time as the print editions. (We have heard mixed feedback on the pre-order option so choose wisely. Dale Roberts has more info on pre-orders here.) Check back in a few days to ensure that all versions sync up.

The bottom line: If you have the foresight to plan your launch accordingly, it’s possible to get all four versions live on launch day. The key is getting all final files ready to go and then moving forward with the time schedule from there.

If you need our help producing or just need some coaching on the uploading process, please feel free to reach out.

Best of luck,

-Jordan and the Archangel Ink Team

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