This week I have been contemplating the future of the modern book launch.
A book launch is a celebration and a promotional opportunity for the author, bookseller and publisher to highlight a creative achievement and to get the printed story into the hands of readers. Pre the book launch the reviewers would have been given advance copies to review, hopefully favourably, to generate interest. People would be awaiting the party...book launches are great affairs where the writing community gets out in support. A good book launch can propel a book onto the best seller list which then gets it noticed more....
I have attended many fabulous Book Launches at The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie where John and Ruth McIntyre have been proud Godparents (and sometimes midwives) of some very special books... They were wonderful Godparents at my own book launch 3 years ago and have been encouraging and commiserating with me as my midgrade novel Craic repeatedly gets so close to the acceptance bar. Today it was announced that they have been awarded the Betty Gilderdale award for Services To New Zealand Children’s Literature and they are worthy recipients! As the current Convenor of the Wellington Children’s Book Association I am proud to announce our co hosting of the Award ceremony for them at Turnbull House on the 21st of November. (it’s nice that I can now blab this secret as well.)
With Amazon commenting last week that they were selling 2 eBooks for every 1 Print Book...the future of the book launch, the count down to the day you hold the book in your hands, has changed.
An eBook launch is a different beast altogether. You can still have the party but the signing table will be empty...the cash register won’t be ringing in the background.
Melinda Szymanik was telling me that the launch of her eBook, The Half Life Of Ryan Davis, was an email from her publisher with an Amazon gift certificate for the book attached and a celebratory glass of wine with the publisher. There will be a party when the print book comes out later in the year tho!
Three years ago the printed book would have been launched with a splash then later in the year, unheralded, the audio book and the eBook. Now the eBook comes first with the book trailer then the audio book and, if you want, you can have a print book...either P.O.D. or traditionally.
Reviewers slot in all along this process so the three months or so of new book publicity can be dragged out to a year if you are a canny marketer....A quick look at a new publisher on the New Zealand block, Pear Jam Books, shows that they understand this very well. (Great acronym use of the word PEAR! )
So here are some more great writers who are launching eBooks this week and how they are doing it.
Jane Friedman has a great guest blog from Roz Morris on her experiment of the serialisation of her novel on Kindle. Roz talks about what works and what didn’t. This model of publicity made Dickens famous...
Victoria Mixons second book on The Art and Craft Of Story is getting great reviews around the blogosphere. You can check out free samples of the practitioner’s manual here on a bookbuzzr widget or over on Storyfix where she has a chapter up on science and story in a great guest post.
Victoria also has a fantastic interview with Joanna Penn about her very successful ePublishing career and why she chose to publish this way.
The Huffington Post has spotlighted Self Publishing this week with an interesting guest post from Felicia Ricci entitled How to self publish (and seem like you’re not.) If you are looking for a step by step guide check this out!
Greg Pincus has highlighted an interesting post by a successful picture book writer who is trying to get an intriguing historical non fiction story picked up by a publisher. Think about trying this idea out!
In marketing the eBook you need to be just as careful in your planning as you were in formatting it. Tony Eldridge has a revisited a link to an article about how not to use Print On Demand (worth rereading for the tips on how to do it better.)
Tony also has a popular resource of the week series. Check out YouTube creators for help with that book trailer and Paypal tips for getting the money flowing into your account from your website.
Of course you will have a website to promote your book, eBook or trad...Bookmarketingmaven has a punchy post that reminds writers of what should be on their website...(hint; it begins with B)
Publisher’s Weekly has put the spotlight on Children’s publishing this week with an indepth article on YA publishing and where it is at. There are great quotes from agents and editors in here.
I received my copy of the 2012 Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market book this week and this article backed up all the agent interviews in the book.
Chuck Sambuchino, who edited this years CWIM, has a great interview on his blog where an agent pulls apart a successful query letter and shows why the novel got picked up which subsequently launched a successful career.
Another great interview to catch my eye was Johanna Knox’s interview with Mandy Hager on Tim Jones’ blog. Mandy is an accomplished writer and here she talks about how her Blood of the Lamb trilogy has unsettled Americans and how her scriptwriting skills came in useful...
Over in the Craft section,
Janice Hardy talks about script writing a scene that is not working to find out how to fix it.
Agent Mary Kole has some timely advice on how not to use Social Media when looking for agents and editors.
Over on Craicerplus (My Amplify Page) I have links to
Konraths E predictions in 2009...This was Joe talking about what he thought would happen in the future...check out the comments about where we might be heading to now!
Writer Beware – Bad Publishing Clause series...ouch!!!
Make Books Easily for the iPad
This week Mike Shatzkin examined the Amazon/ Apple, clash of the behemoths, with the launch of the Kindle Fire. Is it about the device or the content....
As I have been writing this blogpost, news has come in of the passing of Steve Jobs, one month after he stepped down as Apple’s CEO. He was a visionary and an extraordinary man. He could polarize a room and inspire it the same time. His commencement speech for Stanford University, just after he was diagnosed with the cancer that killed him today, is one of the most viewed speeches on YouTube and a superb testament to the power of one man who changed the world.
P.S. From time to time I put up a video as a Thank You for someone who has sent quite a few Readers over to Craicer. Melinda the following video is for you...