Holiday Short Stories By WWK Authors Presented This Season:

11/30 KM Rockwood's "Holiday Summons"
12/06 "Death By Dictionary" by Gloria Alden
12/12 E. B. Davis's "The Christmas Tree"
12/18 "Femme Fatally Yours" by Paula Gail Benson
12/24 Kara Cerise's "The Ho-Ho Plan"
12/30 "Last Minute Shopping" by Shari Randall

For another free short story, check out E. B. Davis's "The Christmas Cookie Conviction" on Kings River Life online magazine at: http://kingsriverlife.com/12/06/the-christmas-cookie-conviction-a-christmas-mystery-short-story/

Put A Shaker of Margaritas: That Mysterious Woman on your holiday list. Three WWK authors have short stories in this Mozark Press anthology. Look for "Moving On" by Paula Gail Benson, "Sauna" by KM Rockwood, and "Wishing For Ignorance" by E. B. Davis. Paper or eformat are available at Amazon.


Gloria Alden has released the fourth book, The Body in the Goldenrod, in her Catherine Jewel series. It's available in print and in eformat. Here are two links to the book: Amazon and Kobo. Put it on your "TBR" or Christmas list!

Carla Damron's latest project, THE STONE NECKLACE, a literary novel about five lives that intersect, and are forever changed, by a senseless accident, has been picked up by Story River Books for publication in 2016. Story River is an arm of the University of South Carolina Press and is under the leadership of editor-in-chief author Pat Conroy. Congratulations, Carla!


A great stocking stuffer, Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays is available at Wildside Press or Amazon. This anthology includes short stories by WWK bloggers Shari Randall ("Disco Donna") and E. B. Davis ("Compromised Circumstances").
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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Book Launch Neurosis


In seventeen days, my first novel, Every Last Secret, is coming out. I’m a nervous wreck. I’ve spent twelve months wishing time would move faster to get to this point, but for the last month, I’ve grown more panicked.

I’ve guest-blogged, provided book give-aways, and answered email interviews for other blogs, as well as recording radio interviews and podcasts. My days have been filled with all these promotional activities, tweeting, posting on Facebook, and responding to comments on guest blogs or interviews. Then there’s my own blog and this group blog that must also be fed. The commotion level has risen dramatically as the days have ticked off on the calendar and my book launch has drawn ever closer. I’m starting to feel like a runner on a treadmill that’s going faster and faster, a runner who’s close to losing her footing.
 
This promotion craziness feels like too much for me to handle while at the same time feeling like too little to make a dent in the overwhelming indifference that any poor little first novel faces. I’ve learned that all it takes is 15,000 pre-orders and first-week bookstore sales to put a hardcover book on the coveted New York Times bestseller list. My book is unlikely to sell anywhere near 15,000 copies. In fact, I would be very surprised if it has a print run over 5-6,000. It is, after all, only a first book by an unknown author. Still, selling 15,000 books might be possible—a few books down the road. Except that those sales all have to be at the particular bookstores from which the NYT list is drawn—and no one’s quite sure which ones they are.

Add to that uneasiness, the flipside fact that those pre-orders and first-week bookstore sales will determine my publisher’s view of my book’s success, and I begin to hyperventilate. Oh, the sales that come after that first week will count—just not as much. Every time someone tells me she or he has pre-ordered the book, I want to kiss that lovely person, even if we’ve never met. When my younger sister emails me to set up a meeting so I can sign the ten books she’s pre-ordered to give as gifts, I’m suddenly sure I’ve never been as good a sister to her as I should have been.

I wake in the night, thinking of something I’ve forgotten to do. Sometimes I make a note of it. Sometimes I have to get up and turn on the computer and do it right then. It all depends on my panic level. Days go by in which I never set foot outside and hardly look out the window. Then suddenly I’m traveling on business, disrupting my flurry of book promotion and making me crazier with the fear that I AM NOT DOING ENOUGH!!

Back home with an overflowing email inbox, I feel like crying until my dog starts barking and roaring at an intruder. It’s the mail, I know, because even an armed rapist wouldn’t provoke the fury in my dog that the postman does. The only person he hates worse than the postman is the UPS driver. Two people essential to my sanity. The postman leaves a padded envelope. I rip it open to find two pristine copies of my book to be signed and sent for give-aways on big book-blog sites. I won’t get my own copies of these for weeks yet.

They are the most beautiful books I have ever seen. Hands down. I run my hand over the dust jacket and read the blurbs with which I am all-too-familiar. They read as if brand-new. I open my book and read the opening chapter as it was always meant to be read, beautifully typeset and printed on paper with excellent body and hand in the perfect typeface.

My breathing has slowed. I set the books down—where I can easily see their beautiful covers—and return to my squirrel cage of activities to prepare for my book’s launch. Somehow, though, the desperation isn’t there the way it was.

In seventeen days, Every Last Secret hits the bookshelves and my big launch event takes place at the main library branch in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Two days later, it hits a national crowd at the Malice Domestic conference. No matter how I work, I won’t truly be ready. There will always be more I could have, should have done to promote my baby. But the idea I had three and a half years ago will be a reality in gorgeous hardcover, and that will be enough.




8 comments:

Warren Bull said...

Thank you for sharing the experience of a major book launch. It's one I have never had and Im not certain I want to have. Good luck!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Warren, don't let my whining deter you. There's much that's wonderful. I remind myself that all these things that drive me crazy at times are things I'm grateful to have, that not all first-book authors get these opportunities to promote their books.

Besides, you're such a good writer that I suspect you will have your own soon enough. And I'll be first in line.

Gloria Alden said...

It sounds totally overwhelming. I'm not sure how I could handle all that. It makes self-publishing look even more attractive since I'm sure my series would never sell as many as a publisher would require.

I'm glad your book will be out in time for Malice. I'm looking forward to getting my copy signed.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Well, Gloria, if you self-publish and want to make a living from your books, you'd have to work a lot harder at promotion and business stuff than I am. I haven't had to mail review copies--publisher took care of that. I haven't had to try to get bookstores to carry my book--publisher did that. There's so much that a publisher does for the author that you don't even realize--editing, copy editing, proofreading, printing ARCs for reviewers, and on and on.

Also, if I were self-published, I'd have to work much harder at promotion. True, that first week wouldn't be so important for me. On the other hand, I have the name of a major publisher behind me which opens publicity doors for me that I would beat my hands bloody on if self-published.

I wouldn't decide to go for self-publishing because it's less work!

I'm looking forward to seeing you and everyone else on here who's going to Malice. Lots of fun ahead!

Gloria Alden said...

I understand that, Linda. I'm retired and although my retirement income isn't a lot, it's enough for me to live on. I know I won't make a lot when I go that route, but for me it's enought to get the little bit extra I may get, and even more it's having my books out there for people to read. I know a publisher could do a lot more for me, but I don't want to wait until I'm too old to do book signings.:-)

Linda Rodriguez said...

Under those circumstances, Gloria, self-publishing might be the best route for you.

There's so much misinformation out there on the internet that makes it sound so easy, though. that I try to dispel that when I can. Writing well is hard work. Publishing well is also hard work of a very different sort. I think it's great for authors who already have a backlist and a fan base from publishing with traditional publishers. It also can be a great choice for someone like you who's not looking to make their living from it. That's pretty hard to do even with traditional publishers until you have enough books in print.

E. B. Davis said...

Linda, next year we'll be cheering you on when you're nominated for an Agatha!

Promotion isn't easy unless your publisher takes out prominent ads in the NYT or Publishers' Weekly--even that doesn't reach everyone.

See you at Malice!

Linda Rodriguez said...

EB, thanks so much. From your mouth to God's ears!!!

I'm so looking forward to Malice this year and meeting lots of folks who write for or read this blog!