This spreadsheet tracks All. The. Things. I’ve used a variation of it for a while, then attended a workshop by Carrie Ann Ryan that added additional possibilities. (She calls hers a “swipe list”, because she can copy and paste the information she needs from it for marketing campaigns. I use mine more for metadata.) The concept is that everything you need to know about every book in your list is in one spreadsheet. Yes, it gets to be a big workbook, but it’s so very VERY useful.
This tool will be infinitely easier to build if you start when you publish your first book. I’m ready to guess, though, that most of you didn’t 🙂 and that, like me, you’re doing some backtracking to fill it all in.
So, what will you track here and how?
Create a new workbook and call it something that makes sense to you. MyBooks_2021 works for me. I set mine up that each series is on one sheet, but you can give each book its own sheet if you like. My workbook has twenty tabs and anywhere from two to six books on each page. There are about 200 lines on the sheets that have been completely filled out, like the Jewels of Kinfairlie, although some of them are blank to make it easier to read. It contains a lot of data!
I made Column B and onward wider. Starting in Column B, list the titles of all the books in the series across the top. You can also add a column for the series information and links.
In Column A, list the items included. My first item is the website url for the book’s landing page on my website. If you use shortened urls, you can include them here, or you can include both the long and short urls. (Give them separate lines.) Below that are the links for that book at the major portals: Amazon.com, Apple, GooglePlay, Nook, Kobo, etc. I also break out the identifier for the portal (like the ASIN and the Apple ID) on its own line because sometimes that’s all I need for the form at a promotional portal. I track the book link at promotion sites, like GoodReads and BookBub, and also include the ISBN for the ebook.
Below the ebook details, I track the print editions of the book the same way. In this case, it’s a trade paperback POD. If there are more print editions, I track them below.
Below that and a horizontal line are the tropes for the book, and then the keywords. It’s really handy to have this at your fingertips when uploading books. (I find this invaluable for translations, too.)
Below another horizontal line are the BISAC codes for the book, as well as the BIC, WISneu and CLIL codes. When BISAC updates their listings, I can see pretty quickly what books will need their metadata updated.
Next are review quotes for the book in question, all ready to cut and paste. If the book has any credentials (USAToday Bestseller, industry award, etc.) I list that, too.
Below another horizontal line is the tagline, then the book copy.
Below another horizontal line are the slogans and hooks I’ve used successfully in marketing the book. I have such a hard time with those one sentence (or 50 character) summaries, so once I work one out, I want to save it.
Below another horizontal line are the other formats for the book, including audio and translations. This varies by series and by brand for me. These are some of the translations for The Beauty Bride that are currently available (the list goes on!). Remember to add these ISBN#s as alternate versions at GooglePlay.
One of the rows I need to add to the German section is the link for LovelyBooks, which is a German reader site.
Every one of my series has its own sheet in this workbook. You can see the tabs across the bottom of the workbook.
I set up the first page without titles then copied and pasted Column A on each new sheet I added. Once I had all the pages, then I started to fill everything in. It takes a while and I have older series that aren’t updated on my spreadsheet yet. All the more reason to start early!
You can use this compilation for any updates that you do – I created it initially as a reference for updating my website when I changed to a new template. It’s great when I upload books, when I book promotions and when I schedule posts on my Facebook pages. I also have details at my fingertips when I get a new translation. It’s a lot of work to compile, but I use mine all the time.
Start with your bestselling series first and see whether you find it useful, too.
This was absolutely fascinating Deb, thanks for sharing. I’d love to take a class in this.
I don’t think there is a class, Christine. It’s just one of the many ways I track things in spreadsheets, and apparently a number of other authors do too.