Monday, October 12, 2015

Preparing to Prepare to Launch

First off -- an apology. I'd planned to share a "Junk in the Trunk" feature yesterday, but as it turned out, I misread an email, and discovered too late that I didn't have the information I thought I had. I'm still hoping this feature will reappear in the future, but for now, I'm back to my regular posting schedule, albeit a little late today.

It occurred to me last weekend that if I'm launching a a book, I need to launch a book. Sounds silly, I know, but I've been so focused on checking off the boxes leading to self-publication of the sequel to Casting the First Stone that I nearly forgot about actually selling the book (Chasing a Second Chance) once it's done.

Fortunately, I've done this already. Since Casting the First Stone was published by a small publishing house, I have experience doing some marketing and promotion myself. In fact, all authors, especially if they're savvy and in this for the long-haul, should play a role in getting their book out there, regardless of how much or how little the publisher does.

Though I'd written two nonfiction books for the educational market, Casting the First Stone was my first foray into fiction. The learning curve for promotion was steep in some places. I read a lot, sought advice, made lists and kept notes (along with a calendar) so I didn't have to rebuild the road with every new book. Thanks to that process, I already know what I want to do again and what I want to avoid. While I'm certainly on the lookout for new ideas and venues (like the York Book Expo this weekend!), for the most part, I'm not breaking new ground this time around.

I thought that pulling out the notes and lists and calendar would be the first step, but as I began working on this post, I began formulating a general list:

  • Write a press release.
  • Take stock of social media and make plans.
  • Contact bloggers.
  • Make calls.
It was a great start, but the list felt too stifling. I needed room for specifics, so I expanded it into a chart:

Ahh. Much better. Now I have room to write and plan, so instead of feeling overwhelmed by the vagueness of what I need to do, I have a system -- one that took me all of 30 seconds to sketch out on a napkin at Starbucks -- that will allow me to create specifics as I move from random thoughts to notes and to-do lists. Now I'm excited instead of scared and stifled; I see choices and possibilities instead of general guidelines or an endless to-do list. I still have to do the work, but the difference in the layout gives me a sense of mastery over what I choose first and a place to dump ideas, even if they aren't fully formed.

Amazing what a difference the right tool makes.

If all goes according to plan, I'll be revealing the cover of
Chasing a Second Chance at the York Book Expo this weekend!
I hope to see you there!
(Photo lifted from Cate Masters' Facebook page :-)


  1. Don't forget to let me know how I can help! :)

  2. Thanks, Barb! Right now, it's just nailing down the final edits so I can get it to my sister, the amazing copyeditor. Thanks for being in my corner...once it's good to go, anything you can do to get the word out will be greatly appreciated!