Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Things Not to Do ….

The Week You Release Your Book

I am doing this all wrong.

My book “Keeping Score” went live over the weekend. (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E6GHQYM) Since I published it on my own, every single reader is one I’ll have to get myself, at least until the proper number of reviews kick in and Amazon starts to recommend it. So yesterday, I Googled “book marketing plan” and found a terrific one. Unfortunately, the plan recommended several steps to take before officially launching one’s book.

First of all, apparently I should have booked my cover designer months in advance since the best ones book up early. And, yes, it did take her a few weeks before she had time to do my cover, and then a few weeks after that as we went back and forth, all lovingly chronicled in the blog post below. So, okay, I guess I should have booked her two months before, but I was busy doing things like querying agents and publishers and all the things one does when one would prefer to have someone else do the publishing heavy lifting.

Also apparently I should have lined up about five reviewers to post something official on Amazon so when the marketing stuff started, there would be a few five-star, glowing testimonials to greet my would-be readers. Again, Jami fail. I am currently begging my friends to post reviews while begging near-strangers to buy my book. Hopefully those near-strangers will be drawn in just by my funny prose describing the story. PS, thank you Janie for writing that review. You are currently my best friend.

I also should have lined up my guest-blog appearances well in advance. Well, I didn’t know when my book would be available. I actually did have two blog appearances lined up that I had to postpone because I took so long to settle on my cover.

But probably the biggest mistake I made during this whole thing was releasing my book when I’m in the middle of buying a house and less than a month away from moving. That was a really stupid move (ha ha) on my part!

Granted, we’re only moving 15 minutes down the road, rather than the 17 hours down the country that we did a year ago. But this time we are buying, which means we have to deal with home inspections and wind insurance and all kinds of things we didn’t have to deal with before. And our house is small, which means we’re going to be putting a lot of stuff in storage and then building a second story. So basically this is a big complicated detailed nightmare.

Today, for instance, I wanted to spend time emailing friends and bloggers and doing some more work on my current WIP. Instead I had to attend a termite inspection (no termites, but apparently there is some fungus somewhere. Yay. Fungus.), drop off a package at Fedex, and pick up some boxes.

I haven’t started packing yet. I would like to get everything out of the house and into the storage unit first, but since the sellers are giving us some of their furniture – but we don’t know which pieces yet – I have to wait for them to get back from vacation and give us the list of what they’re giving us before I can decide what goes in storage. BTW, does anyone want a recumbent stationary bike? I know I won’t be taking that.

When I get really stressed, I tend to spend my time making detailed, elaborate to-do lists rather than actually doing anything on said list. So I have two long ones – the house sale/moving one, and the book marketing one. Currently neither of them has a single check mark.

So I guess it’s a good thing I’ve lined up some guest bloggers to take over duties while I pack, move things to storage and try to keep from pulling out my hair.

So it’s possible you might not hear from me directly for a while. It’s also possible I’ll get my shit together, start crossing off items on my to-do lists, and keep my hair intact.

In the meantime, please buy and review my book!


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  2. Thank you for writing this. To say I could relate would be a huge understatement. I didn't know any of the rules either when I published my book in January. Honestly, I've learned the most valuable tips from our Chicklit Goddess group and I still make mistakes, but it has gotten better. Hang in there. There is still much you can do, even in the midst of packing and moving. Set realistic goals and focus on the potentially highest payoff activities. The to-do lists are good, but crossing off one or two items a day is even better. Just bought Keeping Score and it looks great!

  3. Oh my gosh - moving is stressful enough without all the time-consuming book marketing stuff on top of it! Good luck with the move! And with the book! Don't worry if you are a little behind on the marketing stuff - after all, that's the beauty of an ebook - it's on the "shelf" for good now. It's not like the old days when you had to have huge sales right away or you got pulled from the stores and that was it. Hooray for the long life of ebooks! All the best!

  4. Jami, in the words of President Bill Clinton, "I feel your pain." It's hard enough to write the book, let alone begin to think about all the marketing stuff that goes into a book launch, and beyond. Add more stress (moving households has to be on 'top 10' list somewhere), and anyone would freak. I know I would. Hopefully you'll find some comfort in knowing you are NOT alone. There are plenty of us out there in the exact same situation (well, okay, granted, I'm not moving... but still... LOL).

    Will definitely check out the book! Meanwhile, have a good move, and don't forget to breathe!

    ~ Kathleen