The Final Countdown (A Book Launch Story)

Hi there, Sugar here. And I have got a twitchy eye. Why? Because I’m stressed out. Forget about the multiple deadlines and the difficult day job, I’ve got a book coming out in a little over four months. And while I am over the moon excited, am I ready? Absolutely not. 

Saturday I spent the day with my CTRWA peeps and listened to Kristan Higgins give a great talk about how to prepare for a book launch. I listened to every word which is hard for me because I have severe case of self diagnosed ADD but I had trouble absorbing everything because the entire time I kept thinking oh S#@t I’m not ready. I’m never going to be ready. Book seller letters, and authors assistants and giveaways and swag and book signings and public speaking and workshops and blog tours and Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads and websites and newsletters and put me out of my misery.

I went home that night sobbing with all of that stuff swimming in my head. I think I feel the way all writers feel. If I can just get my book into the public’s hand they’ll like it, some will hate it, but a lot will like it. But how can I do that? I know realistically I can’t do it all. I don’t have money to hire an author’s assistant or to buy really cute swag.  There is no way in hell I’m going to be able to put together and manage a street team. I have no back list to give away, no legion of fans that I can ask to spread the word about me.

But instead of thinking about all the things I can’t do I started to think about the things I can do.

I can continue to write good books. Before anything else I will focus on this. I write because  I feel compelled to not because I need or want to.

I can update my Facebook fan page and Twitter daily. I sometimes have trouble with this. I can’t talk about my day job, or bitch about my mother. I don’t have any kids to tell cute stories about. I don’t have a cute boxing trainer that I can pant over. Hell, I don’t even have a pet, so I sometimes wonder if what I have to say is good enough. (I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I think I’m pretty damn engaging.) Check me out here.

I can spend my limited advertising money wisely. In DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD my heroine is a wicked funny, ultra curvy fashion blogger/designer/shop owner. And if she were a real person she would be all over Full Figured Fashion week which is taking place in NYC June 17-21st.( PS I’m looking for some women to hit the sample sale with, if anybody is interested.) I’m researching taking out an ad in their program. Even if it doesn’t reflect in direct sales, I can get my name out there and let girls like me know I write books about girls like them. I can also take out targeted ads on Facebook and GoodReads without having to spend much of my hard earned cash.

I can look like the super sexy successful author I want to be. I’m shedding some of this extra coat of winter fat. (9 pounds and counting). This also includes buying new outfits which is no real hardship for me.

I can attend conferences. Look out Atlanta here I come!

I can take care of myself. I can eat healthier. Sleep better. Drink more water and try to not let the stress take anymore of my hair out. Because without me there are no books to launch. We ALL need to take care of ourselves!

So what do you do? What do you think I should do to help with this book launch? Any and all comments are welcome. 

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5 thoughts on “The Final Countdown (A Book Launch Story)”

  1. I feel your twitchy eye, Sugar! It’s all a bit…overwhelming doesn’t seem strong enough of a word…daunting…nope…insanity-inducing…possibly.

    You still have four months to prepare and check off those things on your can-do list, so that’s awesome! You totally have the right attitude about figuring out what you can do and not focusing on all the “can’t-do” crap. You are also on the right track with what you are doing so far, focusing on your writing, and taking care of yourself. That is such a struggle for writers and sooooo important. It took me a few nerve wracking book launches to realize that none of it is “THE END OF THE WORLD,” and that my health, both mental and physical, is numero uno!

    I also realized that if I forget something or do the wrong thing…no one is going to hate me. We are all still learning on this planet and becoming a published author is a huge deal! And the job has a huge learning curve. (Oooh I see another title in there somewhere for one of your books. Perhaps a teacher moving from a rural suburb to a big city who falls for…well you can figure that out. You could call it The Learning Curve!)

    Back to promotion:

    For now, I would work on building your FB and twitter following (which should be all about reaching out to your target audience) and set up your author pages on Good Reads and Amazon Author Central. Keep letting folks know about the book as often as seems rational, and keep Kristan’s list of launch “goals” at your finger tips so you can check off those “can-do” items as you go. Put a big red line through all the stuff you won’t be doing, so you don’ty even have to think about it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for help from your writer peeps. None of us is in this alone…thank goodness!

    You also have the advantage of having a publicist at your disposal through both St. Martin’s Press and Harlequin, so use them as much as a new author can. I have heard that your work is A-Mazing, so I’d bet your publishers are going to want to see you succeed in a big way.

    All you can do is do your best and keep breathing. And as Dory the fish says, “just keep swimming!”

  2. LOl, Jamie. I think one of the most important tools is you the “Author” talking up your book to everyone who makes eyes contact with you. :D.
    I also think following Kristan’s sheet at the website is a great tool and helped me immensely.

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