Angi Morgan: THE BOOK’S HERE...WAS I PREPARED?

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Thanks once again for the opportunity to be a guest on SCWW. This has been a wonderful experience and a terrific place to meet new writer buddies. You guys and gals were my first blogging experience and it’s just been lovely.

It’s been a short ten months ladies and gents--very short from getting the call to my first book signing. And wow, I’m still gearing up for everything I need to know to be better prepared for the second book’s release in February.

To answer my title question: my answer has to be no. Are you surprised? Did I seem organized? Experienced? I’ve had ten years of preparation in this business. And let me tell you, ten months is a blink of an eye when you’re talking about catching up on every form of Social Media available to authors. Oh my goodness...just the words “social media” make my head hurt now.

My advice to you...if you want to publish your book, begin learning the different ways to publicize it now. Believe me -- I don’t even have a full-time job outside of writing and I can’t keep up with everything I need to do.

Okay Okay Okay... this is advice, not a complaint. My first book signing was amazing. My friends, family and local readers supported me beyond my dreams. I sold 43 out of 46 books. GREAT DAY !!!  (pictures available on my Facebook page)  It was fun, exciting, nerve-wracking before wondering if anyone would come, and simply amazing. (can’t tell you how many times I wanted to tear up)   On my release day, my best bud Kym Roberts took me around to area book stores to sign copies and leave bookmarks. What an experience!!  And sharing it with Kym and Marty (who joined us) made it even more special. (tearing up now just thinking about how it made me feel to see my book alongside the other Intrigue authors) Just handing out bookmarks (that my husband designed) gives me a shy thrill. And of course, the website looks fabulous with its new look...not quite what we wanted, but they’re always a work in progress. The blog tour during release week was supportive, but exhausting trying to keep up with everything else along with it. (note to self: blog the week prior to release dates) I was so happy to send free copies of the book to those that won on the different blogs. AND woo hoo, I entered RWA’s RITA competition for 2011 (gotta mail those books). I also began a very short, simple blog (available through my website) featuring A Picture A Day. (visit if you’d just like some daily inspiration--my first guest picture was SCWW’s Lateia Sandifer on Wednesday--don’t miss it)

Did you count how many things were associated with the release week of the book? How many are you prepared for: website (don’t forget the updates, and branding, and publicizing, and contests); blogging (where exactly will you be a guest, how many, will you have your own, will it be established to have readers); published competitions (there are many to choose from, where do you find them, when do you enter, what are the costs, how many books do they require); bookmarks (which printer do you use, who will design, do you have time to design, make certain the printer offers a color wheel, how fast is their turn-around, do you see a proof, how many do you order, what are you going to do with 1000 bookmarks, are there people who can take a hundred and pass to their friends); release day (take the opportunity to ENJOY and CELEBRATE your first release...spend it with friends, take the day off, look at your book, stand by the aisle--or at the store’s door taking your picture--and tell a stranger THAT’S MY BOOK); and your first book signing (enjoy it, see if friends can sign with you so you aren’t alone, look at the size of the table, find out what will fit, order AUTOGRAPHED BY AUTHOR stickers, get your bookmarks in time, publicize, publicize again, door prizes, freebies, maybe schedule a reader chat with coffee & desert, DECIDE what pen you’ll be signing with and don’t forget it!).

There are many many more things...and I didn’t touch on the social media like Facebook and Twitter to only name two out of the half dozen I’ve heard about. Like I said...it gives me a headache to think how much I need to learn. And hey, what about READER communities? Heard of those? And RSS feeds? Is your head hurting yet? (LOL)

Seriously all you pre-published writers. The best advice I can give you is to learn about these things a little at a time, at your own pace, but start walking down the path. It’s an important path to the road to publication.

This week’s lesson Learned? I have to paraphrase what Cherry Adair (CheryAdair.com) told me when we spoke about my first sale: Don’t get caught up in the first sale and publicity dawhling (she’s a transplanted South African). Writers...write. Always remember that writers...write.  Great advice that I took to heart. So I might be a little behind in the social media/publicity world...but I made the sophomore sale and hope for a third soon.

Thanks again for having me...

~~Angi

Check out Angi’s new look on her website: AngiMorgan.com and check out the prizes she has for her Debut Release: Hill Country Holdup. Just send her a picture of you holding the cover of HCH (that would be her HOLD UP THE COVER contest), register for her newsletter, and maybe win one of those prizes.

12 comments:

Cat Schield said...

ACK! I'm so glad I get to hang on your coattails on my way to publication. Unlike you, I'm probably going to have 15 or so months to get ready. This post is going into my folder on publicity. I think you've done a rocking' great job thus far!!

Cat

Angi Morgan said...

Thanks, Cat.
You know you'll get every answer I have. Just wish I'd had some more answers myself. Social Media is a scary place...at least to old dogs like me.

~~Angi

Kylie Griffin said...

Angi, it seems my week for following your posts! LOL This is a superb topic - one I was only just discussing with a friend a couple of days.

I was commenting about how glad I was with the decision to work out what social media I was going to try and get "into" in preparation for the time I do start selling. And I'm glad I've done it on my time line rather than being rushed because, like any learning curve, you tend to be overwhelmed then plateau before moving ahead using the new skills you've practiced.

Thanks for this advice - I'm sharing the link immediately with all my writing loops! :-)

Maeve said...

OMG! And to think that most writer's feel that "finding" a publisher and "selling" that book is the hardest part? It's a mind-numbing adventure. But I bet you wouldn't miss this ride for any amount of money. Best of luck to you!

Amy Atwell said...

Angi, you *nailed* this post. Yes, I'm thrilled your book is out and I'm sure you had a fantabulous signing (how could you help it--the book is *awesome!*) BUT, I know the marketing side is another aspect of the business. And when you're a staff of one, well, do the math. I'm in the midst of a 5-month turnaround from contract to release (digital book). You'd think with an e-book it would be easier, but if anything, there's a bigger online marketing PR campaign.

So YES, I shout YES to all your readers--even if you're unpubbed, get some of the social media under your belt. Get your domain name (you're not being proud, you're being savvy, believe me), even if you don't build a website. Test out Twitter and Facebook. Make them your friends, so they'll be at your side when you hit that first day in the big leagues.

And Angi, hit this one out of the park.

Angi Morgan said...

Kylie you're on the right track.U Learn one thing at a time. Learn how much time per day to spend on it. And just keep writing through all of it.

~~Angi

Angi Morgan said...

Maeve, you are so right. I wouldn't change a thing (except maybe injuring my knee and the surgery -- LOL). I love the quick releases and I'm learning...even when I don't want to. But I have experience to share with my friends.
~~Angi

Angi Morgan said...

Amy you are so kind to me. You have so much to share and your book is totally awesome. Can't wait for Lying Eyes in November! Thanks for the vote of confidence.
~~Angi

Pam Hillman said...

Congrats Angi!!!

Pam Hillman
A Silver Sister

Angi Morgan said...

Thanks Pam !
AHAH!!! A Silver Sister! And I recognize your name maybe from some Contest Finals?

~~Angi

Angi Morgan said...

Thanks everyone for the private emails and congratulations. This post actually received a lot of those.

And PLEASE DON'T get me wrong... this has been one of the most exciting times of my life. Hectic, a wild ride, but more fun than I could have hoped for.

Thanks again,
~~Angi

Kris_Cook said...

Angi - very insightful. Aspiring authors (and even published authors) should find this very helpful.

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