On the Fence–Book Release Parties

Are you on the fence about your book release party choices?

20130312_140633-1-2

We wait, for what seems an eternity, to publish our books online and/or offline. We subject ourselves and our work to grueling hours and the sweat we must pour out for the finished product. But what choices work best for that grand celebration of said work? I have seen many Twitter posts and received lots of online book release party invites. My very first online book party was that of The Ruby Curse by Makayla Yokley. It was an after release party. I had no idea what I was doing, stumbling over Facebook, trying to interact. Still, a pleasant experience and party.

By the next online party, I was a little better prepared and ended up winning an e-book copy of the author’s book. (Heart Song by Samantha LaFantasie). Even though it got easier to maneuver in and out of online parties, I chose to have an offline book release party for my debut novel The Throne of Olympus. Many factors played a role, but the biggest one–How can it be pulled off in such a short time, especially with my lack of know-how on social media and no readily available help?

The offline release party was a must. It was something planned out throughout my writing and I knew the perfect place to have it…the local coffee house. Perfect because one of the m/c’s is a coffee mogul heir and another m/c is addicted to the stuff. There are so many things you can do with a physical location, but that’s for another post.

I’m still a little on the fence, but definitely entertaining the thought of online release parties for book two and my YA spin-off series. Both ways grant opportunities and exposure and a great way to celebrate your work.

Which do you prefer? Any tips on how to host an online book release party?

Advertisements

Your Book–Keep Marketing Momentum High

For new authors, the task of getting the word out about a current WIP or an upcoming release comes complete with a separate set of worries than that of writing, drafting and editing. Marketing and promo sounds fun. Some of us start the planning stages before we have the finished product. And that’s a good thing–to know what direction you want to go in, but keeping that momentum up during and after is the trick.

Is it enough to simply outline, list what you want and make the proper inquiries? Sure. If that’s your only goal at the time. Having a more strategic plan would be a good way to go or the “Piece Plan” as I like to call it. I had my “Piece Plan” ready and took off from the ground running with it back in late 2009 through 2010 and most of 2011. There was a whole strategy planned out before I finished book one and each piece of the plan had its own spot on my calender. Can you guess what happened? That’s right, momentum went down with the ship–of setbacks and plenty other tedious details.

Wait for it…then comes the realization of new complexities. Now, the marketing and promo thing becomes confounded by the jumbled ways to do it, rolling around inside your head like tiny marbles hitting the wall. “I’m a writer damn it!” you say, shaking your fists and hanging your head low. Ideally, and from new experience, the golden tip is having your manuscript finished, completely finished. A 2-3 month projected release date after manuscript is finished = time+productivity.

What’s that you say? I don’t have time. Sure you do. Remember, you’re finished with your manuscript and have a release date. This part, I learned from my friend Jennings Wright. She has formulas for time. Now this may not be exactly the way she does it, but the premise is there. If you work a regular job, simply give yourself a few extra weeks from your projected release date+amount of writing time you used per day working on manuscript and this = more time+more productivity for your campaign.

If you opt to work on some marketing/promos while you’re still writing the book, jotting down ideas is best until you finish the first couple of drafts. On a side note, putting your writing away when you hit a wall and pulling out your list of ideas can help reignite that writing flow.

Here are some quick tips to keep the fire burning and the task of marketing and promo fun and relatively stress-free:

1) Have fun with it at every stage!

2) Start your list of things you want to use in your marketing/promo campaign, the bigger the better, baby. This keeps a level of excitement cooking. Have fun with it!

3) Do your research. Have fun with it!

4) Make folders to put corresponding ideas and paperwork into or buy a few decorative tablets. You can also use a nice thick journal and add tabs to keep things in order. This will make your starting point more complete. Use bright, cheery, even metallic colors. Anything to keep that excitement rolling. Hell, use black or gray if those colors pop for you. Have fun with it!

5) Finally, your campaign should be ready to piece together. Do it in bites as to not overwhelm. Put your inner Pacman/Ms. Pacman to rest. Have fun with it!

If you start to feel like you’re running out of steam or experiencing setbacks, pop in a movie, watch a show that is similar to what you’re working on, take a walk, a hike, do something relaxing. This usually helps to spark the excitement again. Have fun with it!

Book Wars–The PR offices of “My Book Is Better Than Yours”

Upon second thought, I took pause, pondering to write about this touchy subject and clicking the “Publish” button. In the end my initial decision won. Today I would like to address book wars and author etiquette. What exactly is author etiquette you ask? Simply put…good manners and not just to fans, but to fellow authors as well. There seems to be an upsurge of attacks on authors. Well, maybe not exactly on the authors themselves, but on their novels and that’s just as bad, hence, book wars.

Showing poor author etiquette publicly (social media, etc.) is never a good idea and is almost always unsavory. Using social media to stick it to fellow authors is shameful, plain desperate and sad. What’s better is when the other author doesn’t respond, keeping the attack one-sided. For instance, not only did a best-selling author (and for the life of me, I cant understand what would possess a best-selling author to act this way) recently parade tweets and retweets about how her novel is so much better than another author’s novels; there is also a quote in her book, blatantly putting down the other author’s work.

Personally, and these are my feelings, I would not have allowed a quote attacking another author’s work to be printed in my book. On the flip-side, I enjoy both authors’ work, but can you guess which author’s next book I will buy first? You got it! The author, so far, maintaining author etiquette. 

Thankfully, it’s been some time since I’ve seen the negative blah toward this particular author displayed.   

  I try to keep in mind the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Sometimes it can’t be helped, but in this case, come on—indirect/direct jabs; pitting book against book is horrible marketing and promo. Maybe it shouldn’t bother me. I mean, not like it has anything to do with me, right? Only in the sense of how I would like to be as an aspiring author…and attacking a fellow author’s work is not it. I don’t know about anybody else, but I look up to certain authors and if I find that they are stooping to author attacks…respect will be lost.

Side-note: Speaking of author etiquette, minus getting too deep in the Sue Grafton remarks–I will say this. No one author holds the corner market on working hard. Hell, it took me thirty years, three grown children and tragedies later to finally complete and start publishing my debut novel, all while trying to maintain my sanity. I hope that I never wind up in the PR offices of “My Book Is Better Than Yours.” 

Authors, please lead by example, be proud of your work. You work hard plotting, and researching, and everything else in between to breathe life into your novels. Remember, there is always more than enough to go around (i.e. fans, sales, etc.). Take pride in yourself and be proud of your fellow authors. Author etiquette is GOLDEN. That is the truth and I’m sticking to it! This is A Novel Perspective.

How would you rate your Author Etiquette? Share your perspective!