First off, happy release day to debut author, Kristina Riggle, who blogs at The Debutante Ball. I’ll be interviewing Kristina here soon, and I’m really looking forward to reading her novel, Real Life & Liars. Learn more at her website, HERE.
In just under four months, The Last Will of Moira Leahy will be released. I still can’t believe it. And I think someone smudged over all the days from January through June, because I don’t remember feeling their hours properly. I’m not as far along in book #2 as I’d hoped to be. Sure I’ve been working on it, but I’ve also spent time on other things almost-published authors need to do. Here’s what:
Website. I wanted my website be full bodied and complete, so after way too many hours of working on content, trolling Flickr for the perfect photos and acquiring permissions to use those photos, and emailing back and forth with my fabu designer, Sunni, to get the site *just so*, I can happily announce that ThereseWalsh.com is up! A warning: If you don’t like music, turn your speakers off before visiting. I opted to include music on the main page; it’s not only part of my brand, the song–Atlantico by Roberto Cacciapaglia–pretty much summarizes the book, musically speaking. I’ve only heard one negative comment about it so far, but if you have strong feelings one way or the other, please speak up; I’ll appreciate your honesty. Really, any feedback is appreciated. If you see a typo, don’t be shy about telling me. If you love something, I’d like to hear about that, too. And be sure to check out the photo journal, which is as close to a book trailer as I’ll get for Last Will.
Social media. This may or may not be a surprise to you, but I’m kind of an introvert. That being the case, social media wasn’t something I’d embraced until I *had* to. Barbara Samuel convinced me to join two particular groups, and so now you can find me on both Facebook and Twitter. Allison has blogged a lot about Twitter here lately, but I just wanted to let you know that I, too, have formed some great connections on Twitter in particular–maybe as important as the connections I’d formed here at WU and at Backspace and Absolute Write .
At the urgings of my publicity team, I’ve also joined groups like Goodreads and Shelfari, though I’m not doing very much there yet. I have a feeling I’ll abandon LinkedIn at some point. I’ve learned something a lot of you probably already know–social media can be a time suck. Be careful how you use it.
Blurbs. Our fifth blurb for the book came in just yesterday. My editor and agent did most of the work contacting authors for potential blurbs; I only contacted a couple of people on my own, and reaching out didn’t take a lot of time. But making a bullet about blurbs gives me an excuse to share one of them with you. (See how sneaky? We introverted types — you have to watch out for us.) This was the first blurb my editor received:
Is there anything more worthwhile than being taken by the hand by a true and gifted storyteller and shown a world that is at once mysterious, mesmerizing and filled with characters who deeply touch your heart?
A dark psychological tale of secrets and betrayal, suspense and passion, The Last Will is a book that makes you forget everything and just spend the rest of the day and night reading. Like Rebecca, this is a tale so well told that it keeps you in its grip and doesn’t let go, haunting you long after you’ve turned the last page.
If it were written by a seasoned novelist, The Last Will would be a feat. That it is a debut makes it all the more amazing. Bravo!
– International Bestseller, M.J. Rose, author of The Memorist
It makes me happy every time I read it.
Other opportunities. I was invited to my first book signing, with an indie bookstore here in my hometown. My publicity team also sent extra galleys my way so that I might venture to other indie bookstores in upstate New York, forge new connections, shake some hands, see what happens.
My friends are super enthusiastic about the release–buzzing me on their websites or blogs, or Facebook or Twitter, adding me to their book club lists, talking up the book with authentic and viral enthusiasm. I finally got smart and had some book-specific business cards printed out to offer them, so that they might pass them on if they wanted, to help spread the word. (I love my friends!)
Here on the ‘net, I’ve started booking guest blog appearances outside of WU to help increase awareness of the book. Eventually, I’ll get some posts going at GoodReads and Amazon (taking advantage of their author blog).
Considerations. I’m still trying to figure out if I’m going to create my own personal blog. I’ve reserved a spot on WordPress, but I have mixed feelings about it. Do I need it? Really? How might I distinguish a personal blog from what I do here at WU, and even the more personal micro-blogging I do daily on Twitter? Is it something I need to worry about now, or maybe not until after the book is published? What do you think?
I’m also trying to assess how I might supplement Random House’s promotional efforts for the book; the options are almost endless. One thing I’m determined not to do is be this guy (below).
What promotion efforts have you found most effective? Feel free to share your experiences, links, etc…
Write on, all!
Photo courtesy Flickr’s Laffy4k