Sunday, August 28, 2011

Calm Before the Storm

Business first: My first appearance for The TAKER will be at the Decatur (Georgia) Book Festival on 4 September at 3:45 with Tananarive Due (awesome). For more information, click here.

Business second: The other awesome thing to happen is that I was included in this article at Salon.com on what writers read this summer. I cannot believe that I appeared in this article and since it will never happen again, I am going to shamelessly point it out to people now.

Okay, here's the blog post: It's about a week to go to publication day. Is this what it feels like a week before the baby is due? I feel simultaneously impatient for the big adventure to begin and worried that I haven't prepared enough. I see/hear what other debut authors are doing and fret that I'm missing something.

I'm very lucky in that my publisher is giving The TAKER a lot of promotional and marketing support. Nonetheless, there are things the author must do for herself, and I thought that since some of the folks who read this blog are writers themselves, it might be interesting for me to list some of the little surprises I've encountered recently. Besides, I need to keep occupied.

1.  Factor in some time in the weeks before publication to respond to Q&A requests from bloggers and others. You'll want to be able to come up with fresh responses and not be tempted to steal from something you've already written for someone else because you're pressed for time.

2.  Buy some nice thank you cards. Send a handwritten card to everyone who has invited you to speak on a panel or at a conference, and to all the bookstore owners.

3.  For debut authors: think about giving away a store gift card to someone in the audience at your independent bookstore appearances. This makes it a win-win for everyone: it's a thank you for the bookstore for hosting the event (debut authors are often a hard sell), and to the audience for taking the time to come out and see you. You can get raffle tickets at party supply shops. (I didn't come up with this one; I think I found in on the SIBA or NEIBA site.)

4.  Get over your squeamishness and take pictures at your events. They don't have to be of you; you can take pictures of your audience and fellow presenters. But take pictures to commemorate the event: you'll never have the opportunity again.

What about you? What's your advice for authors who are expecting (a book)?

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