GOODREADS: In a writer's group I belong to, someone asked if you should put your book up on www.goodreads.com prior to publication and the answer was yes. I didn't even know I could do this. I went and checked it out. You have to have fifty books on your Goodreads shelf and then you can apply to become a librarian. Once a librarian, you have the ability to add books; thus adding your own book pre-publication. I try always to listen to the advice of people who have done this before, so decided to add my book, and then realized I have some things to do before this step.
COVER ART: When submitting to Goodreads (or when you publish the book) you will need cover art. This is the first shot you have at grabbing your readers attention, so it needs to be catchy. I know a lot of people who are doing this on their own and if you have the skill, you can save some money. I'm not so skilled, unfortunately. My cover art was done by LFD Designs for Authors at http://mycoverart.wordpress.com/services/ and I've been extremely happy with the outcome.
BLURB: I wrote a blurb for Always & Forever once, but I didn't really perfect it and decided to worry about it later. Now, it's time to worry. I submitted it to my writer's group and they had great ideas on tightening the writing and cutting information that doesn't need to be included. What I mean by blurb is the short book description that can be found on the back cover of a paperback book or in the product description on-line. This is important to get right, because it's the first sample of your writing potential readers will look when making a decision on whether or not to read your book.
My bio is trickier, I'm not sure what to include. Other authors have suggested people like to know a little personal information about the author, so I'm trying to include some of that. Do people really care that I live happily with my family and our pet cats? I'm not sure, but I'll probably include that information anyway. I plan to go on Amazon and read other author bios to get a better idea of what to do here.
There is more work ahead once I get my book back from the publisher, but hopefully having all these things done in advance will save me time as I get closer to publication.
Happy writing, my friends. I hope you have a terrific weekend!