Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Launch a Book Without Losing Your Mind

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Quilt or Innocence CoverToday is the launch for the first book in a new series—Quilt or Innocence in the Southern Quilting mysteries.

How often will I track its sales numbers? Rarely.

7 Tips for Releasing a Book Without Losing Your Mind:

Get off the grid. That’s right. Take yourself offline. It can be done! The longer I stay offline when I’ve got a release, the more relaxed I feel.

Don’t watch your numbers. Sales numbers will fluctuate…and most of the time we don’t know what’s behind them. It’s sort of like the flapping butterfly wings creating the hurricane.

Don’t read your reviews unless you can be objective. You don’t even have to be objective…being analytical about the reviews is good enough.

Write your next book. Always a good idea to get a jump on a sequel or another standalone.

Write guest posts. Not only will a well-crafted guest post keep you distracted, it will also help circulate that book cover and headshot of yours.

Don’t sweat the stuff that’s out of your control. My book cover and book description for today’s release didn’t appear on Amazon until close to the launch day (I wasn’t the only one this happened to.) This was out of my control…I didn’t worry over it.

Don’t be so wrapped up in your book that every tweet, every blog post, every Facebook update….every message you send out into the world, basically, is about your book. Not only will that drive you crazy, but it’ll drive everyone else crazy, too.

How do you keep yourself distracted when you’ve got a new release?


And now….for the Crazy Cozy Blogfest! :) HartCrazy_Cozy_Blogfest_v1-2_400px Johnson and I have releases today—the first books of two new series. Our blog hop means that we’ll pop by all the registered blogs and read pitches for the nuttiest cozy mystery premise. Our two favorites will receive signed copies of both our books.

Here’s mine. And this was a lot harder for me than I thought it would be! I think that’s because I spend so much of my time coming up with logical and saleable cozy projects. I’m thinking that my own entry isn’t going to be nearly as entertaining as everyone else’s!

Crazy Cozy Spoof Pitch:

Protagonist: My sleuth is a middle-aged professional sandcastle artist and each book is set at a different beach. Perfect for the beach reading audience! (Okay, on some level, I’m still going…hmm. I could write this…) She’s also a former bounty hunter with lots of experience in bringing in bad guys (now this is where I can no longer sell this book…ha!) And it’s hard for her to walk away from this profession—she still longs for the excitement.

Sidekick: Someone who’s obsessed with metal detecting and travels to these beaches with the sleuth (why not?)

Theme: I guess this would be pitched commercially as beach hobbies?!

Victim #1: I think I’ll go with a cruel lifeguard, here, going along with the beach theme. So, a lifeguard…maybe with a drinking problem. (Shoot…I’m still thinking I could write this…) The victim is found at the beach, dead. He was passed out on the beach and the killer smothered him with a beach towel.

Suspects: In one single day of treacherous rip-currents, three separate swimmers lost their lives while this lifeguard was incapacitated and on duty. So…yeah, lots of people want to kill him. We’ll also throw in a wife who he’s mistreated for years, as the wife’s brother helpfully informs the sleuth. And, what the heck---maybe we’ll also include a jealous husband because the lifeguard was involved with his wife. Even this life guard’s dog doesn’t like him.

Victim #2: The mistreated wife. Bludgeoned with the sleuth’s-sandcastle-creating shovel.

Killer: No, the dog doesn’t do it, only because I can’t think of a way he could have smothered the lifeguard with a beach towel. We’ll have the killer be the wife’s brother. He’s in grave financial straits and knew that the lifeguard and his wife had just won a settlement on a medical lawsuit…he killed them both to get the money. Oh, and the killer is a professional clown. Just because. :)

Looking forward to seeing everyone else’s! And, if you’re looking for a quick summer read for yourself or a friend, Hart and my books aren’t nearly this wacky! And they’re available now: Azalea Assault and Quilt or Innocence. You can find them online or in bookstores in print and in ebook.

Thanks everyone!