Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Girls’ Guide to a Book Launch

by the Kenny Powers of Publishing, Jess Riley.


Some of you know I just released my second novel. It’s been four years since I shepherded a book into the world, and I forgot what a stomach-clenching stress-bomb launch day can be.

The day of your book release feels a little like a Christmas morning in which any of the gaily-wrapped boxes under the tree might actually contain a turd. You begin terribly excited: how low will my amazon ranking go? Who will retweet the exciting news? How many fabulous reviews will be posted? How many copies will I sell? Will someone send me flowers? Will I have that special glow about me that people can’t help but compliment so I can blush and say, “Thanks, I just delivered a book baby.”

(Sidebar: did I actually just use the word “gaily?” Moving on. )

As word gets out, you start to wait for that one person to mention it, to say they bought it or loved it or simply acknowledge the fact that you have a new book out, to throw you even the rattiest of bones. The great majority of your friends and family are beyond the moon for you, shouting your great news to the heavens, but you zero in like a laser beam on the fact that ONE fellow author, relative, or friend totally ignored you. This is probably because: they hate you/think your book sucks/hate your politics/think you are a potty-mouth damned to hell/are the meanest, biggest doodoo-heads in the world and probably steal from the elderly and laugh at sick children, they steal from the elderly and laugh at sick children WHILE they’re leaving you a one star review and why won’t they just love you? Why? (sob) You’ll change! You will! You’ll buy them lunch, babysit their kids for free, be their personal chauffeur, change your politics and taste in music if they only validate your existence! Please!

I am NOT like that.
Actually, they’re probably just busy, but we’re funny like that. My dog is like this too, because she always sucks up to the one person in the room who wants nothing to do with her.

And WHOA SALLY if you’re indie publishing your book! Traditional publishing puts little muscle behind your promotion to begin with (unless you’re a Marquee Name, in which case hello! My name is Jess Riley! Do you need someone to pick up your dry cleaning?) When Driving Sideways came out I bent myself into a pretzel for 50 hours a day promoting it: contacting book bloggers, coordinating contests and social media, sending hand-written cards to every indie bookstore manager in a million mile radius, setting up signings and readings, streaking naked through my alma mater’s homecoming game wearing nothing but my book cover in body paint.

Just kidding. I didn’t do that last part. There was one awesome thing I did, and still continue to do: meet with book clubs. They give me wine and laugh at my jokes, and I always drive home afterwards singing along with the radio and feeling like a rock star.

Despite working my heiny off to be noticed in a sea of worthy books, the ONE THING that made all the difference in the world for me was being picked up by Target. One thing that was beyond my control. Well, you write the best book you can, but that’s a given. There are a lot of them out there.
So what advice do I have for you if you’re counting down to your own book launch? If you have a traditional publisher, you still have to promote the hell out of yourself (which most of us hate), but you’re incredibly lucky, because at the very least you will have distribution and consideration by old guard reviewers. People won’t give you the stink eye and say things like, “I only read real books.”

Now.  After rigorous editing and careful consideration, are you indie-publishing? Okay, great! Do you feel that little whinging around the edges of your soul? That’s your ego. Take it in the back yard and shoot it. Now roll up your sleeves and get to work. Email your writer friends for support, and make a huge pot of coffee. You're standing on the edge of a cliff, naked, waiting for someone to either shove you over or wrap you in a blanket and say, "Oh honey, let's get you back to the yurt." But while you wait, there are a thousand book bloggers to put in that spreadsheet ...


Jess Riley just launched her second novel, All the Lonely People. It's about crazy family members and holiday angst and Christmas dinner in a cafe full of dogs. BOOK GIVEAWAY: Email her, leave a comment below, or "Like" her Facebook page by December 1st to win one of three signed copies!

32 comments:

  1. Love this post, Jess!! Everything you write is so warm and funny. Wishing you tons of success with the latest. That cover is gorgeous!!

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    1. My name is Donald Sarah. I just want to say thanks to Dr. Odiala for taking time to help me cast the spell that brings back my ex lover{now husband},who suddenly lost interest in me after six month of engagement,but today we are married with kids and we are more happier than never before,Thanks to Dr. Odiala for his help,i have work with so many spell caster, all of them took my money and did not help me. A cod_worker in my office told me a lot about Dr. Odiala, how he help her to get back his husband. And i said let me give him a try. He did a love spell that make him come back to me and marry me, With this testimony right now i am the happiest woman on earth and our love is now stronger than how it was even before. I will keep sharing this testimony all over the world. All thanks goes to Dr. Odiala for the good work that he has done for me and people. he deeply enjoy helping people achieve their desires, find true love,getting their ex lovers back,getting pregnant,wining lottery,stop abusive relationships,find success,attract happiness,find soul mates and more,contact him today. and let him show you the wonders and amazement of his Love Spell System work,He deliver results at his best in real spell casting,email or call him Odialaspelltemple4@gmail.com.+2348077513166 for relationship matters. is website is http://odialaspelltemple4.webs.com

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    2. Thanks to DR MARVELOUS for saving my marriage, i have been married to my Husband for 15 years, we have 2 kids together and our marriage was wonderful.Am very happy to tell every one my testimony Am Rina Wendy from united state,am a nurse,this story of my love life.I have been married for 4years and all this year of my marriage, another woman had to take my lover away from me and my husband left me and the kids and we have suffered for 2years until i met a post where this man called DR MARVELOUS have helped many people and i decided to give him a reply on his Email if he can help me bring my lover back home and he ask me some information which i send to him and that of my husband and after 48hours as he have told me, i saw a car drove into the house and behold it was my husband and he have come to me and the kids caring and bagging for forgiveness and that is why i am happy today DR MARVELOUS really make the woman i am today for any one looking for how to get his or her ex back or any problem you are having i advice you DR MARVELOUS si the solution to all problem .You can contact him with this email address MARVELOUSLOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM OR MARVELOUSLOVESPELL@YAHOO.COM OR CALL +2348107938405....web sit http://marvelouslovespell.webs.com/

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  2. Thanks for this post, Jess. So funny because just yesterday I started to have butterflies in my stomach worrying about my book launch in...July. Yep. Eight whole months away! I'd better pull it together or I'll be a wreck by March. Your post helped me see that these feelings are natural, but not to take myself too seriously.

    PS: I have been known to act like your dog, playing the 'you're going to like me because I'm fabulous, dammit!' game. Of course, she has a definite edge because she is adorable. ;-)

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  3. Great post, Jess. Wishing you another successful book and all the best. Congratulations!

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  4. Why do dogs DO that? They must have a sixth sense about who hates dogs so they try their hardest to change that person's mind.

    Congrats on your book launch. I would love to have you at our book club but we don't serve wine so I'm not sure if you would be interested...

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  5. Thanks Lori and Brenda! Reese, good luck with your own upcoming book launch! I always wonder if I'm just being neurotic, but I think every writer goes through this to some degree. :)

    LOL! Kelly, of COURSE I'd be interested! Wine-schmine! Good people is the only essential ingredient. :)

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  6. Happy pub day! Love the bit about the body paint. You're very funny and I'm sure your book's great. Off to tweet about it

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  7. Love YOU, Love your books! LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

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  8. I'd like to be a nervous wreck over my upcoming launch in a few weeks but I'M SICK AND TIRED OF IT. I've spent so much time worrying that it's A. Funny and B. Really Funny that all the rest has escaped what few brain cells I have left. And commas!Dear God the commas are going to get me long before Gloria Estefan and her music do.

    After I launch, feel free to contact me at a rehab near you.

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  9. Just finished All The Lonely People and enjoyed it so much! Reading it over Thanksgiving was particularly resonant. All that family; all that food; all the dysfunctionality. And my husband is thrilled to have his Kindle back.

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  10. I loved Driving Sideways and Cannot wait to read All The Lonely People!

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  11. You are hilarious, Jess. I FEEL your pain. I felt it on the launch of my debut novel and know it will happen in three months when my second book comes out, like you, after 4 years! YOU ARE a rock star! Thank goodness for book clubs. I'm super excited to read ATLP. Just stay away from Amazon...watching those numbers is Author Torture.

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  12. Super cool and true! Congrats on going indie. The book looks fun and TIMELY.

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  13. Jess,
    Congrats again on the launch of your new book -- it's in my ever-mushrooming TBR pile, but I'm looking forward to reading it!! And I know just what you mean about the wonderfulness of book clubs...I love them, too ;). Throwing confetti in the air in celebration for you!

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  14. Love the cover, love the post, Jess!! I'm sure i'll LOVE the book! Many congrats and sales on ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE, which, I think, describes all writers at any given moment! I am off to share your happy release days news, and taking a few notes as I inch along in the "book 2" line!!

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  15. Gaily is a perfectly good word. All the best with your release!!

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  16. Thanks for the comments, everyone!! You guys are the best. :)

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  17. "Happy Pub Day to you, Happy Pub Day to you..." (sung to the tune of the Happy Birthday song, and it sounds so much better in writing than it would coming out of my mouth).

    Body painting my book cover...now that's one awesome idea...for someone not built like me...but, perhaps, we could hire that one out?

    Looking forward to the read after I grade the thirty pounds of essays lingering in my teacher bag. It'll make for a fabulous Christmas pleasure after exam week.

    Congrats, and I hope your launch goes at warp speed.

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  18. Ha! You crack me up. See, this is why I love Twitter, I find all sorts lovely little tidbits! I'm absolutely terrified of book launch day, but soooo excited too! Thanks for your advice and humor!! And best of luck!

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  19. Big congrats to you! Love this post. And yes, like everyone is saying here, you made me laugh here :)

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  20. Best of luck with the book sales and reviews! I enjoyed the interview and the book sounds great!

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  21. I am Mrs blessing from USA, i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband Williams Jack, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to London he meant a lady called Mary?, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don’t know what to do until I met my friend miss Lina and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Drakugbe who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 3 days. Miss Lina ask me to contact Drakugbe. I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by Three days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After three day my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Drakugbe on any problem in this world, he is very nice man, here is his contact drakugbespellhome@gmail.com He is the best spell caster how can help you within three days.
    Reply

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  22. I am Mrs blessing from USA, i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband Williams Jack, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to London he meant a lady called Mary?, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don’t know what to do until I met my friend miss Lina and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Drakugbe who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 3 days. Miss Lina ask me to contact Drakugbe. I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by Three days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After three day my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Drakugbe on any problem in this world, he is very nice man, here is his contact drakugbespellhome@gmail.com He is the best spell caster how can help you within three days.
    Reply

    ReplyDelete
  23. My name is Donald Sarah. I just want to say thanks to Dr. Odiala for taking time to help me cast the spell that brings back my ex lover{now husband},who suddenly lost interest in me after six month of engagement,but today we are married with kids and we are more happier than never before,Thanks to Dr. Odiala for his help,i have work with so many spell caster, all of them took my money and did not help me. A cod_worker in my office told me a lot about Dr. Odiala, how he help her to get back his husband. And i said let me give him a try. He did a love spell that make him come back to me and marry me, With this testimony right now i am the happiest woman on earth and our love is now stronger than how it was even before. I will keep sharing this testimony all over the world. All thanks goes to Dr. Odiala for the good work that he has done for me and people. he deeply enjoy helping people achieve their desires, find true love,getting their ex lovers back,getting pregnant,wining lottery,stop abusive relationships,find success,attract happiness,find soul mates and more,contact him today. and let him show you the wonders and amazement of his Love Spell System work,He deliver results at his best in real spell casting,email or call him Odialaspelltemple4@gmail.com.+2348077513166 for relationship matters. is website is http://odialaspelltemple4.webs.com

    ReplyDelete

  24. My name is sarah andy i am here to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr john for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they caste-red the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he Dr john caste-red on him that make him comeback to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you Dr john for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend, if you have any problem you have to contact drjohnspelltemple@gmail.com and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.

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  25. Thanks to DR MARVELOUS for saving my marriage, i have been married to my Husband for 15 years, we have 2 kids together and our marriage was wonderful.Am very happy to tell every one my testimony Am Rina Wendy from united state,am a nurse,this story of my love life.I have been married for 4years and all this year of my marriage, another woman had to take my lover away from me and my husband left me and the kids and we have suffered for 2years until i met a post where this man called DR MARVELOUS have helped many people and i decided to give him a reply on his Email if he can help me bring my lover back home and he ask me some information which i send to him and that of my husband and after 48hours as he have told me, i saw a car drove into the house and behold it was my husband and he have come to me and the kids caring and bagging for forgiveness and that is why i am happy today DR MARVELOUS really make the woman i am today for any one looking for how to get his or her ex back or any problem you are having i advice you DR MARVELOUS si the solution to all problem .You can contact him with this email address MARVELOUSLOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM OR MARVELOUSLOVESPELL@YAHOO.COM OR CALL +2348107938405....web sit http://marvelouslovespell.webs.com/

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  26. I want to quickly tell the world that there is a real on line spell caster that is powerful and genuine,this is unbelievable!! I still cant believe how Dr AKUBU brought my ex husband back to me in just 24hours.. I actually did not believe that i would one day be writing this testimony. because I was the world’s biggest skeptic. I never believed in magic spells or anything like that, but I was told by a trustworthy source by my friend,that Dr AKUBU is a very devoted, talented, and gifted spell caster, and after much cajole she got me to visit his websites: http://drakubuspelltemple.webs.com/It was one of the most excellent thing I have ever done in my whole life. My husband life was in total mess after my husband dumped me for another woman. I had been through two divorces and was on the brink of a third. I just couldn't face another divorce, and I wanted to try harder to make our relationship work, but my husband didn't seem to care. So, with nothing but my pride to lose, I checked it out. I was flabbergasted. This man is for REAL. He did whatever magic he does, and and behold – no more than 24 hours later, I had my husband back! It was like a miracle! many people have problem like mine but there is nobody like you to help them solve their problem like you do, if anyone need the help of this nice man contact him now:drakubuspelltemple@yahoo.com thank you Dr AKUBU and may your gods ever reward you for your good deeds..so contact him urgent by his email address:drakubuspelltemple@yahoo.com

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  27. Hello everyone am Lisa Catellie i want to share a live testimony on how Dr Ogudugu was able to bring my husband back to me, myself and my husband were on a serious breakup, even before then we were always quarreling fighting and doing different ungodly act.. My husband packed his things out of the house and we had to live in different area, despite all this i was looking for a way to re_unite with my husband, not until i met Dr Ogudugu the great spell caster who was able to bring my husband back home, and he assured me that my husband will come back to me within 48hours hours after he has finish the preparation of the love spell.I am very glade today to tell the world that Doctor Ogudugu is truly a man of his word because my husband came back to me and fell on his knees begging me to forgive him and accept him back....Today my family is back again and we are happy living fine and healthy, with Dr Ogudugu all my dream came through in re_uniting my marriage, friends in case you need the help of Dr Ogudugu kindly mail him on(GREATOGUDUGU@GMAIL.COM) or call him on +2348066421534, Sir i will forever recommend you!!!

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  28. Hello everyone am Lisa Catellie i want to share a live testimony on how Dr Ogudugu was able to bring my husband back to me, myself and my husband were on a serious breakup, even before then we were always quarreling fighting and doing different ungodly act.. My husband packed his things out of the house and we had to live in different area, despite all this i was looking for a way to re_unite with my husband, not until i met Dr Ogudugu the great spell caster who was able to bring my husband back home, and he assured me that my husband will come back to me within 48hours hours after he has finish the preparation of the love spell.I am very glade today to tell the world that Doctor Ogudugu is truly a man of his word because my husband came back to me and fell on his knees begging me to forgive him and accept him back....Today my family is back again and we are happy living fine and healthy, with Dr Ogudugu all my dream came through in re_uniting my marriage, friends in case you need the help of Dr Ogudugu kindly mail him on(GREATOGUDUGU@GMAIL.COM) or call him on +2348066421534, Sir i will forever recommend you!!!

    ReplyDelete