Prepare to Launch by Allison Symes

Thanks to all who supported my cyberlaunch for Tripping The Flash Fantastic. It was great to “see” many ACW people there.

When I started writing, nobody had heard of the term cyberlaunch. I was spending lots of time queuing in the Post Office to get manuscripts weighed and sent off by snail mail.

Most of what I needed to send to publishers would not fit in this box so a queue in the Post Office was something I got used to! Pixabay

I was still using Tippex though never on a manuscript I wanted to send to a publisher. I used it for my drafts when I didn’t need to type out the whole document again at that point. 

And yes, younger viewers, there were days before computers, cloud storage, cut and paste, email submissions, the internet, and smartphone! Don’t mention dinosaurs to me. There are times I feel like I am one… I’ll have you know I can hear you sniggering from here!.

So you’ve had to adapt, that’s what you’re telling us, Allison, isn’t it? Oh yes. (Cue the nodding dog from that annoying insurance advert).

Okay, go with that, we must all adapt.

The old school way of deducing an idea was not working out. Pixabay.

Some of us find this easier than others. This is where support, advice, and ideas from other writers helps enormously. (And something ACW does what it can to encourage). 

Don’t be afraid to share ideas on what you’ve found helpful or what went down as well as the proverbial lead balloon with other writers. They can run with that. 

You can run with the useful advice they share with you. There is a lot of truth in the saying “what goes around comes around” and it shows up well in the writing world.

Sharing ideas helps re-charge your own and other writers' ideas "store". Pixabay

I’ve gone from zero on the technological awareness scale to where I am now. (I’d say I’m a 7. I’m never going to be a “real techie” but am reasonably competent at what I know!).

For my first book, From Light to Dark and Back Again, my publisher held the cyberlaunch and I was co-host. That was a learning curve and a half but it prepared me for the launch I’ve just had where I ran the event myself.

The biggest thing I learned, and one that is always relevant to writers, is to prepare, prepare, prepare, and when you think you’re done, check and prepare again.


Good preparation is the key to making things happen. Pixabay.

I deliberately held my event as what was effectively a long Facebook post on one topic rather than as a Zoom or Facebook Live event.  

By holding a “post event”, I could share clips from music tracks, videos of me reading from my new book etc. I could prepare material and links in advance. It meant on the night  I could copy and paste my material, knowing it was good to go. I could then scroll down to respond to comments coming in (and it was amazing how well the Youtube clip of Monster Mash went down!). 

Probably better if you don't keep your notes on the PC quite like this! Pixabay


Doing the ground work does pay off. Your online event will flow better and you will be less stressed. 

A launch should be fun for you and your readers after all.

By holding a "long" Facebook post as my launch event, I could insert text, videos, and other interesting material and prep it all in advance. Pixabay.


  1. Timely wisdom, Allison! I am old enough to remember those weird devices we used to use - pens, pencils, rubbers, Tippex and Tippex thinner. It got banned because people were sniffing it as I recall. But I digress. This is excellent advice - my online launch is several months away, but I've already learned loads from Fran, Liz and Cally. Good stuff!

  2. Just had to have a ly-down and a coffee with this post. Just reading it is an education. I stand (well, in a minute) amazed.

  3. I'm learning so much from other people about the whole on-line launch thing. Thank for sharing this, Allison.

    1. There is no ONE way to do this kind of thing, Deborah. I've picked up all sorts of tips myself from different launches. What I know for sure is however you decide to hold an event, online or otherwise, prep work is essential.

  4. Thank you Allison. This is helpful advice. I might post a short unboxing video and a few photos on my publication day 15th Nov but am not planning anything as ambitious as yours and Fran's live launches. I feel a little 'wary' now of Facebook and its algorithms which seem to be reducing my organic reach.

    1. You're welcome, Sheila. Good luck with your launch day too. I took the view since nobody can control Facebook (and boy isn't that the truth!), I will "use" it for a launch which hopefully entertains people and draws people in. Win-win there - if people "come" to the launch, I'm happy, Facebook is happy as the post responses go up etc. All to the good!

  5. I thought the way you did it was really good (once I'd found my way there!) It was varied with all the clips and links and music and chat. I'd consider doing it that way another time rather than shortening my own life span with a live launch as I did.

    1. I loved your launch, Fran. It was good fun. And I think I needed to make it clear mine was NOT a Facebook Live or Zoom like event. I think that threw a few people but you live and learn from these things. The important thing is for the author to have fun. People will latch on to that and enjoy your event too.

  6. Thanks for this useful blog. I especially like the advice to 'prepare, prepare, prepare, and when you think you’re done, check and prepare again.' Now that I'm getting to be a dinosaur, I find I make more mistakes than I used to, so I have to check and check and check! And check again!

    1. Many thanks, Veronica. I'm not sure it's about getting older. Checking and checking again is something everyone should do. There's no such thing as a perfect writer after all! I think you do get better at recognising where mistakes are likely to be with time and experience and lo and behold you are usually right on that. At least it helps you "jump" on those mistakes quickly and squish them before anyone else spots them!


Post a Comment