So…I asked my publisher, Oceanview, for advice and then researched publicists. Money is the limiting factor there, and I can’t imagine I will recoup the funds I spent with sales, but I justified the cost in three ways, (1) we are fortunate enough to afford it without great sacrifice, (2) I’ll only debut once and I wanted to do it right, hopeful that future books might do better if this one does particularly well, and (3) if this one doesn’t do well, I don’t want to wonder if it’s because I failed on my publicity end.
After seeking recommendations and interviewing a few prospective publicists, I went with the one recommended by Lisa Daily at Oceanview, FSB Associates. I considered another group that did radio programs, but since I don’t listen to any sort of program I would be on, it seemed an odd way to find a book to read. I could very well be wrong on that, but I chose to be at least a slightly reasonable steward of our money and stick with one method.
With Anna Sacca’s help at FSB, I learned about Bookstagrammers, and had lots of fun shout-outs from them (they take really cool photos of books). I learned that blog interviews aren’t a verbal exchange, but pre-written questions you answer at your relative leisure. I learned that occasionally people do live interviews, and those are nerve-wracking. I learned some about Zoom backgrounds and lighting and fluctuating helmet-head. Most important, I learned that virtual interviews are best done with the dogs’ squeakie toys out of their reach.
Two weeks in, I’m learning that reading reviews is stressful on so many levels, even the good ones, because they so often give spoilers, get details wrong, and/or apply so much pressure for the sequel that I fear it won’t measure up. Jenny Milchman said I shouldn’t read any, but I’m told that it helps on GoodReads if you comment on the 5-stars. I’ll figure out the sweet spot at some point. It’s still a very steep learning curve, and book two needs tons of attention, and my day job has become more time-consuming as Covid wanes rather than less. The Coronial generation may not be as big as we expected, but it’s keeping our Labor and Delivery Unit quite busy the last month or so. I coined a term for why the bump may be smaller than anticipated…LIBIDON’T – the effect of home-schooling quarantined children on one’s desire to procreate.
I’d love to hear about others’ launch experiences, and recommendations for post-launch publicity.