Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Book Release!!!!!

Okay, so maybe it isn't MY book release, but maybe we can just live vicariously for a few minutes... PRETEND it is mine... pop some champagne and enjoy the sweetness of a job well done... erm... even if we didn't do it.

I think several things are coming together here that are making me particularly excited about this one, so I'm gunna go just a little nuts. Here's the PLAN.

TODAY, I am going to talk about WHY this one is special, and maybe talk a little about what it seems like maybe a person DOES, some advice I've SEEN...

July 15, Elizabeth is going to come in and tell all of YOU, most of whom have not HAD many book releases, what she NOW (on her 3rd release) knows that she didn't know the first time she did this (so then all of YOU will be 3rd book smart when it is time for first book release—or maybe I'm projecting)

July 16, because I have had the fortune to READ this before it was released, I will do a review. I'd LOVE to encourage any of you with the means to buy and read it so maybe we can even get a little mini discussion going Doesn't THAT sound like fun!? Like a book club, only you know the author!  And you don't have to drive home, so you don't have to watch how much wine you have... (maybe that's just me)

Found here if you want to order it!:



Why I'm So Excited

After all... this is Elizabeth's 3rd book release that I've been around for...

Couple things... Elizabeth has always been fabulous and gracious and brilliant, but between her 2nd book and this one, what was sort of fan girl admiration on my part has turned to friendship. That isn't so uncommon in the blogosphere, but I more often have experienced it with people at a similar stage, rather than people who are flying already... ifyouknowwhatImean... We've had a lot of off blog/off Facebook conversations—we've even talked on the phone (and I don't talk to ANYBODY on the phone—it's a phobia of mine).

Next thing is... I'm not sure until this point (getting my contract offer) I was really ready to THINK about book releases in concrete terms. I started hosting the author blog tours in April, and that's been great, but even then it was sort of distant. Now it is something that eventually I will be participating in from the author side.


And FINALLY, I've READ this! Now I have a couple friends who are book sellers, and KNOW there are other ways people read books early, but this is the first release I've ever gotten to read before it happened...

So I'm throwing a little party.

I know Elizabeth appreciates REAL beer, so we will start THERE, and who DOESN'T love chocolate? Not sure how she feels about the man butts thing... but who doesn't like a nice washerboard? (public servants even!--and a preview of sorts... but more on that tomorrow *shifty*)


When I used to hear 'BOOK TOUR'...

I had this image in my head of flying all over the country, being wined and dined by the publisher as I met my adoring fans... You know what? Not so much. (Sorry to burst that particular bubble if you were still deluded)

All travel comes out of YOUR OWN DARNED pockets (tax deductible, so... a regional tour might be reasonable... maybe arranging visits at places you'd like to go ANYWAY so the travel can be deductible. I mean... IT IS an investment, but at what? Let's say $.75 a book, you would need to generate the sale of 2000 extra books to justify a $1500 trip (which is only about a week on the road, really). Now when it is my turn, I can TOTALLY envision splurging on the plane trip to Boston, staying with Leanne a day or two, renting a car to go into NYC—crashing with Chary... those are BIG markets, and hotels cost a fortune, but if I could minimize THAT part of it... (yes, I am shouting out warning as to my plans, fine friends--but as much to SEE you as to MOOCH off you). So for the investment of a plane ticket, I probably COULD generate enough extra to pay for it, then I get the tax savings on top...

In reality though, I think the FAR WISER investment is one of TIME. Here is what I plan on doing (says the person who knows nothing—could change next week when we hear from the pro)


Blog Book Tour: This seems a no-brainer. You can write several (many even) posts in advance. While your book is in press look for appropriate blogs and ASK them to host you (I believe STRONGLY this asking will be most strongly received by people who KNOW you, so you also need to be reading, commenting, maybe hosting, yourself).

I think the 3rd party organized thing is fabulous, but I think there is no substitution for a well matched hit. I KNOW when I have guests that the response is best when the tone fits my usual CONTENT (which oddly enough is NOT really a match for what I write—this periodically disturbs me, but I will save that for another time) So ALEX! (Yes, addressing a friend in person because I happen to know he is thinking of this.)--you probably already DO but following and befriending all those Sci-Fi bloggers... GOOD IDEA. You're welcome HERE because you are a nice guy and a good sport and so everyone has seen your name so you make them warm and fuzzy... *cough*

Local Girl Makes Good: This is my Ad background talking. I plan to send press releases to the newspapers, bookstores, and libraries in the ENTIRE REGION referred to as the Inland Empire. In Ann Arbor writers are a dime a dozen. Where I grew up?  Not so common. There is also a lot stronger FEEL for 'one of ours' in a relatively rural place. I have friends and family all over the Northwest, but I suspect this 'local color' story will fly best in the area within 100 miles of Moscow, Idaho. It is a TINY market, but I bet that press-release—offer to visit, personal connection-- flies in that area (and gives me a tax deductible way to visit family!)

Mobilize the Army: Look in the mirror here. I am going to ask ALL of you... will you please make sure my book is on the shelf? Now I am not terribly worried, writing for Berkeley Prime Crime—the publisher who is also handing Elizabeth's current book. But I think with a smaller publisher this might be CRITICAL. I would ALSO ask all of you to help get the word out, which... for Elizabeth, I am asking you to do now... PLEASE Tweet, Facebook share, note in your blog... whatever you need to, to get the word out that a great book is out! Here is the full scoop!

So take a minute to sip some microbrew, eat some chocolate, run your fingers over a fireman... and think positive things about Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams, aka: Elizabeth Spann Craig...

22 comments:

TreeX said...

I'll take a photo when your book hits our shelves ;)

Hart Johnson said...

excellent idea, Joris! I know a guy who is doing a contest for pictures that have his book in them--that would be a great way for people to verify books on the shelves with a chance to win something!

Jan Morrison said...

but of course! And if you want to come to Canada you can stay with us and we'll feed ya! Please don't forget that there is a huge power in book clubs - find out what ones are near you and let them know you'd love to come to a meeting. Very scary but valuable.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Wow! Thanks so much, Hart, for this great post! You've been so supportive and encouraging--it means a lot to me!

Yes, it has to be a special person for me to want to talk on the phone with them. :) I even text my son! Plus, I had a sinus infection at the time, so I must have sounded Southern x10. :)

I'm thinking, back on the book tour subject, that it helps JUST as much to TALK about your physical book tour as it does to be on it. I'm planning to mention the book tour several times and post it in my sidebar--but I'm really just doing a 5 day tour with 3 other authors in my home state. I think, though, that the real mileage comes in the promo side of the tour--talking about it before, after, and during the tour--what I've learned, etc. And, yes--I'm staying at Molly Weston's house to save money! Molly is a huge supporter of mysteries and mystery authors, organizes mystery tours, and is on the Sisters in Crime board.

I'll definitely talk more in depth about this next week (got to email your post to you, Hart!)--there are things I did, promo-wise, for the FIRST book that I would definitely not do again, so y'all will have the ability to learn from my mistakes...and I'm glad to help someone else avoid them!

Hart Johnson said...

Ha! Book Clubs! Great idea, Jan! And you're on! If I manage to get to Nova Scotia, I'm staying at your place! I want some of your sweet patootie's fish stew!

Elizabeth-Sounds totally spot on that all the talking about/planning and publicizing are CRITICAL so the events actually go over well! I'm really looking forward to all your insight on this!

Crystal Clear Proofing said...

Great post, Hart! But I can't navigate off your page...I'm stuck...I can't seem to leave the firemen alone...umm...not that it's a problem...but I do have other blogs to visit...ooohhhh, nice firemen...OH! And believe you me, I checked. Nice fireman booty!

NO! Don't drag me away, I haven't finished drooling yet. I'm so enjoying the v---i---e-----------w

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Great post, you had me at beer, chocolate and firemen. I had no idea that book tours were an out of pocket expense! That's absurd. Love the ideas and of course I will help however I can :)

B. Miller said...

So excited for Elizabeth!! Awesome!

Thanks for posting your plans about a book tour. Very, very interesting. And something to dream about while I'm working... :)

Please don't forget the South in your tour. Charlotte is big, and Atlanta is huge. Neil Gaiman said something last year about how authors very often avoid the Southern states, and he just doesn't understand why. Neither do I! And something else... Greenville is right between Charlotte and Atlanta so you'll have a place to stay!! :D

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles* Crystal, those public service boys are nice, eh?

Leanne--wise advice! And you know... I'm not sure people who don't work at book stores really THINK about it...

Erica-I think it there may be exceptions if you are a big name and went to auction, so you can get it put in your contract, but yup... just like all the other marketing anymore, it seems...

B. I think cozies are really popular in the south, and the one I'm writing is based in Roanoke, so if I get ANYWHERE, I will get there, so thank you for the offer! You know what? on my flag follower thing, North Carolina is my #3 state (I know you're in South Carolina, but still)--I know all of two people there--Elizabeth and Kas, so to rank so highly (only California and Michigan are ahead) is pretty amazing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hart, were you referring to me?!

Blog tour - I can do that. No travel required. Won't need cannons strapped to the hood of my car, either.

LTM said...

totally cool! Congrats, Riley-Liz! And T, you should not put the hot firemen so close to the good advice--I was v. distracted. yay fireman! it's smokin over here~
oh, wait. Huh? blog tour? ;p

Helena Soister said...

Hart -- I love the idea of buying, chatting, showing up, or whatever else it takes to promote you and Elizabeth. I also have a trick that my friends did for me: they snuck around to bookstores and secretly maneuvered copies of my novel into prominent spots in the stores. Also I'll exclaim to a companion in a loud voice (when there are lots of other customers around), "Oh, there's that book I love! It is so fantastic! You have to read it!"

Hey, whatever it takes...

Hart Johnson said...

Alex--Yup, YOU! You have a book release this fall, yes? And I think you can leave the cannons on. They look good.

Leigh *snort* Yeah... maybe should have had the content THEN the treats, but then you'd forget everything! You wouldn't want me to have to treats, would you!?

Helena *snickers* Oh PERFECT! Like some books are sideways and you only see the spine, but others you see the front... switching 'em? That is an EXCELLENT tactic to ask of friends! And the great book shout, too!

Tundiel said...

Much as I love them, I sometimes wish you wouldn't post piccies of naked hunks.... *mind wanders*

Excellent advice (and blog post!), though I'm still more than a bit distracted.*shifty*

Good luck with the book release Elizabeth! I'll have to have a bit of a look-see to see whether the book is available over here (Britain).

Raquel Byrnes said...

Never thought of the whole book tour thing before. I was just trying to get published in the first place. The idea of booking flights to places I'd want to visit anyway...thats a great idea when the time comes.

Hmmm...maybe my next book will "just happen" to take place in New Orleans, or Paris...yeah, Paris!

Hart Johnson said...

Tara- CONCENTRATE! *coughs* Natasha said she could order it in India, so I'd imagine the UK shouldn't be a problem--whether or not it's on the shelves may be another matter, but... should be able to get it--SHOUT if you can't. I can help out.

Raquel- FABULOUS idea to put the book where you WANT to go! Too bad where I'd REALLY like to go is a deserted tropical island... can't really justify THAT trip. "Seriously Mr. IRS man, it was book publicity..."

I know though, you can ALSO deduct travel that is RESEARCH for books, though THAT doesn't have the quicker/increase sales to pay for it thing--it is just a way to reduce travel costs.

Ellie said...

Enjoyed the chocolate, the beer and the abs!
Who is the target demographic for the book? I know it is a mystery, but who is your audience?

What about libraries, schools, colleges, that are accessible? Yes, in your town, be the local famous girl makes good! Ham it up~ Where is the setting of this novel? Is it where you live, elsewhere....is there ripped firemen in it? What is the main character like...? Female, I suspect...hit the local coffee shops, don't be shy...get the word out. How much does a billboard cost?! lol What about local news stations...they have a segment here in NC, to let the public know, what is going on in the area. If there is firemen, you could rent a truck at a the town office and have a table and sign books, while buff men pose...I'm just saying, it would draw a crowd ;-D!

arlee bird said...

I ain't touching the firemen, but I'll gladly have some microbrew and take the chocolates to save for later--I don't want to get sick mixing them.

Sounds like some great plans in the works for Elizabeth, I mean, Riley.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Hart Johnson said...

Ellie-great ideas! Cozies are read MOSTLY by women--they are the voracious readers who like to solve the crime along with the protag (it's an amateur sleuth) but they don't want all the gore (at least some subset is gore-averse)--they want some humor in their mysteries... And MINE includes a hot cop and a baseball team....

Lee--glad you found something you like to indulge in! Thanks for stopping in!

Ellie said...

oooh, I see great PR with this one, YOU dressed in a ball cap posing with some hot guys! A hot cop...get a ride to the event in a police car...
Oh, yeah, lots of potential here ;-D

Hart Johnson said...

So do you want to be in charge, then? It sounds like you'd be GREAT at it!

Chary Johnson said...

great post Hart! I thought the publishers paid for the whole book tour. Wow, was I wrong.

Come on over to NYC when you do your book tour, hon. I'll put you up for a few days to save you money. :D

*sings Come on Over Baby by Christina Aguilera*