Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Once in a Lifetime Type of Release

Curse Bearer, the first book in The Risen Age Archive released in early October, an I have been swept up in a whirlwind of activity in my efforts to work the promotion angle for this book. As many of you may recall, back in the end of August, I ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign to fund the marketing campaign for this book. We reached the $3500 funding goal in about 19 days, and even after the campaign was over, the donations continued to come in. We ended up raising $4997, all told.

The Kickstarter campaign, in and of itself, worked as a marketing tool for the book because it generated some presales of the novel as well as interesting some of my local media outlets in what I was doing...something that might not have happened without taking a trendy approach to this book release. With the funds raised from the campaign, I will be able to push the book in targeted markets. With the extra donations, I will be able to enter fiction contests and try to win some accolades for the novel. These are techniques I hope to employ with every book I release from here on.

The expenditure I will probably never be able to undertake again was the scale of the release event that we did at the Renaissance Faire here at Mount Hope Winery in Pennsylvania. Now, there are Ren Faires, and there are Ren Faires. The PA Faire has permanent grounds, a professional troupe, over 120 shows scheduled throughout each Faire day...well it's a flagship of such events. So the release party I held there was pricey--but absolutely worth it. However, it's not something I could justify asking my fans to pay for more than once. Now, if I sold tens of thousands of books over the next couple years, you bet I would keep investing a portion of those royalties in large-scale promotional events.

So what advice would I give to authors considering "going big" on an event to promote their books?

1.) Give yourself a LOT of time to get it together. Think about what it takes to plan a wedding. This Kickstarter and event involved almost as many logistical details. If I ever do this again, I will give myself a minimum of six months to pull it together so I don't skirt the edge of a nervous breakdown like I did last week.

2.) A private event like I did was lovely and fun, but if you can find a way to do your release event in a public area where you can snag passers-by, do so. You'll sell more books. But you'll also have to be flexible in how much food and drink you can offer. You may run out, or you may be eating spanakopita for every meal for the next three days. There's no way to know. But if you do an "open" event, be sure to specifically invite and get firm RSVPs from a core group of attendees, if at all possible. Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd.

3.) Wear corrective eyewear if you need it for your reading. I wasn't wearing my glasses because I was in costume, and realized I didn't have them on about 2 minutes into my reading. It was a struggle. I think I covered it well, but the fewer worries and headaches, the better.

4.) Don't MC your own event. I am hugely grateful for a friend who guided our time. It's way better to have someone else talk you up than to do it yourself.

5.) Remember to have fun! The folks who come will be there because they like you, your writing, or because it all looks interesting enough to linger. Enjoy those folks.

6.) And lastly, if at all possible, build in a day to do nothing after the event is over. Especially if you are naturally introverted like me. I was an exhausted mess on Monday, and had I not just started a new job, I would have benefited mightily from a day to stay in my jammies, write a few thank you notes, and generally recharge.

If you do find yourself in a position to sponsor a large event to celebrate a book release, I highly recommend it. If someone invites you to one--go! Whether as the creator or the attendee, you will have lots of fun and memories generated by celebrating with others.

6 comments:

  1. Oh wow, it looks like it went spiffingly. I wondered how it'd turned out. Shame I live on the opposite coast, I'd have loved to come. Here's hoping this was a great investment in your writing career!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so cool! You look ADORABLE!

    And...I now feel like a marketing slacker :P.

    Seriously--so proud of you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't feel like a marketing slacker...I am a writing slacker, since I have been marketing for the past 6 weeks to the exclusion of writing. I begin to see why Bryan Davis doesn't really attempt to be both at once.

      Delete
    2. But...but...I'm slacking in both :P.

      Actually, I've been busy with a zillion things family-wise. And working on a huge document for my church (that's writing, right?), as well as teaching creative writing at a local homeschool center.

      But still--I'd love to do a book launch like this someday!

      Delete
  3. Looks like fun. I SO wish I could have gone!

    ReplyDelete