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...
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.