Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Lot to Learn

Keeping up with three blogs is clearly doing me in! I am posting (as Angelica French) over at "Romance Righter" ( as part of the April A-Z Blog Challenge with a different alphabet letter each day. Fun, but it's beginning to wear on me a bit to post 6 days a week.

You may have heard me comment on the same issue relative to my Month-of-Recipe series each February at "Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time" ( Posting 28 days straight is hard on a girl! (But, I love it, right?)

So the poor step-child blog, general writing issues, often gets shunted aside for the sexier topics I can post at the other two blogs. How pathetic!

Here's a new commitment: I will post here once a week on some topic of interest to writers. And now that I am to have two of my novels published, I don't feel quite as much the fraud as I did! 

Sizzler Editions is bringing out Streetwalker, the first book in the "Sex Sells" trilogy. July latest,  maybe sooner, according to my editor.

Oak Tree Press is releasing Mission Impastable this summer, the first culinary mystery in my "Dinner is Served" series.

After waiting for these years, I am pumped! And now the work part, the part I am not a comfortable with begins! Marketing and promotion.

I was an educator for 39 years. Promoting myself wasn't part of my make-up. In fact, I was quite adept at dodging self-promotion and deflecting praise by deferring to others. Now, I am Promo Woman! (or Promo Woman in-the-making). I'm going to do a series for you on the planning I am doing preliminary to the books' release dates.

I am in the enviable, but scary, position of getting to plan launch parties--virtual and RT (real-time)--for the two novels coming out this year near the same time. Yikes!

Do you wonder what in the heck a launch party is and how it can be RT and Virtual? Here’s is your quicky guide for when your own books are unleashed on the world on their way to the New York Times Best Seller List!

A launch party happens when the book is first available for purchase, and you want to introduce it with as big a splash as possible.

Here’s how I planned my book RT launches (I will cover my virtual book launches later):

1)   Id themes that run through the book and specific locations mentioned. Is there any connection between the two?
2)   List venues that are compatible with themes, locations, or both.
3)   Create a budget for the event.
4)   Plan events, giveaways, activities, speakers.
5)   Make a list of who to invite/inform (media, guests).
6)   Get permission to hold the event from someone with authority. That includes sharing what you want to happen, when, and for how long.
7)   Invite media and other guests and have a great time!

For Mission Impastable (culinary mystery, Oak Tree Press), the launch is scheduled for a kitchen store in my local mall. I’ll demo pasta-related gadgets (to connect to the title and recipes in the novel), guest will solve mini-mysteries, and I will offer to sign books after I talk a bit about how wonderful it is! I am distributing postcards with book info/cover on one side and a recipe from the book on the other. I can’t cook and serve food at the mall since I don’t have insurance, license, blah blah. Sigh.

The launch for Streetwalker (erotic romance, Sizzler Editions) is scheduled in my home for a smaller number of guests. The Pure Romance consultant (sex toys, lingerie, etc.) will present info about sexual health and issues as well as intro her products. I will intro my book. Guests are asked to wear glam clothes (to simulate Harlan’s x-rated prom dress look in his salon). I will serve food with a sexual overtone (cupcakes that look like nipples with nipple rings, for example). We’ll have cocktails and conversation. Since it is an e-book, I need to share a link for purchase. I am giving away a bookmark with book cover and purchase info on one side and “Carrie’s Top Ten Sex Tips” on the other.

I’m excited about doing a book launch (never done it before, of course!) for two books. I’m bound to get one of them right. Right? Launch away! Share your book launch ideas in the comments section.

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