Saturday, June 2, 2018

Of Babies and Books by Sorchia Dubois

Launching, birthing, releasing—all terms we use to describe that magical time when something new comes into the world. Though glorious and life affirming, such events tend to be turbulent, overwhelming, and terrifying. For me, this year is going to be filled with such events. Not only will my daughter present me with my first granddaughter, but also I hope to release no fewer than three books by the end of the year.

The granddaughter will change the world as I know it, and you’ll be hearing plenty about that as the blessed day approaches (October 8—the day before my birthday.) Today, however, I want to talk about those lesser adventures—the books.

Launching a book, like launching a ship, carries great portent. But, with around 300,000 new books released each year, how are my little stories going to attract any attention?  Here's the blurb and a very fuzzy cover--since I've not done the cover reveal yet.

 Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen

Zoraida Grey needs help. With the witchy Logan clan holding her best friend hostage in
a haunted Scottish castle, she can’t trust anyone—certainly not beguiling but dangerous Shea Logan. And Al, her overprotective boyfriend, doesn’t believe in magic. 
Only one creature strikes fear in the blackened hearts of the Logan witches. Trouble is Jock disappeared five centuries ago leaving a trail of destruction across the Gulf of Mexico. Now he’s stepped into a steaming pile of Voodoo.

Can Zoraida drag wayward Jock back to Scotland? And what’s she supposed to do with two men who promise completely different futures?

A Scottish wizard, stripped naked and painted blue—a Voodoo priestess bent on immortality—a yacht-load of Caribbean pirates. What can possibly go wrong?

Now, I don’t expect to sell a million copies and be catapulted into fame overnight, though I wouldn’t squawk it if it happened. I spent most of my life as a teacher, so my financial standards are low. On a good day, I and any one of my teacher friends would sacrifice our honor for a pack of post-its and an operational Sharpie. 
I’ve spent a good deal of time considering how to get my books off to a good start. I’ve thought of it with the write side of my brain and the read side and here are a few things I’ve found.

  • Get Reviews: I’m already sending out the ARC to all those who’ve reviewed my other books and mining lists for new victims. As a reader, I look at reviews before I purchase. The more reviews the better and the more 4 and 5 star, the better, too. 
  • Do a pre-launch blog sequence on my blog and as a guest on other blogs. I’ll do a cover reveal as soon as the book is available for preorder and a few other posts at that time. I’m working on a theme for these—maybe witches in history since my book is about witches. 
  • On launch day and for about a week after, I’m planning a series of posts about birthstones and astrology and tarot cards—The posts will tie the traits of particular signs and stones to my characters. 
  • A giveaway. I’m going to giveaway free e-books, signed print copies, and jewelry. To tie in with the birthstone angle, I’ve found a local gal who makes beautiful tree of life birthstone pendants. She’s agreed to give me coupons for 10% off of her merchandise to anyone who attends one of my events or my website. 
  • Freebies on the website. I want to be able to direct readers to some nice little gifts—nothing spectacular (see note about financial standards) but a free story, a crystal magic guide, and a legendary creatures guide—all things I already have. When I have time, I could even make them into e-books. 
  • FaceBook launch party. What are your thoughts on this? Do they work? What are the best things to include in such a party? I sometimes offer tarot readings and usually get a good response. I also enjoy meeting other authors as well as readers. 
  • Teasers and Promos. I use Canva and other software to make quick images that I can tweet or post on FB. I’m thinking about ten to get the ball rolling. These I share in groups and basically blast out into the ether every day. 
  • And, there are the paid promotions. Places like Goodreads and LibraryThing will do giveaways for a fee and then we have Instafreebie or Bookbub which are a bit more exclusive. Blog tours put together by services are sometimes helpful and expand the reach of my posts. 

If you are writers, what have I forgotten? What works and what should I avoid at all costs. 

As readers, what kind of info catches your eye and makes you want to plunk down money for a book?

Honestly, compared to launching a book, having the granddaughter is going to be a piece of cake—at least for me. My daughter might have a comment or two about that, but—hey—I’m the granny here.


Diane Burton said...

Congrats on your new granddaughter (I'd say upcoming but that doesn't sound right). Grandbabies are so much fun. My 5 range in age from 11 to 7 month (twins) and they all live close by--how wonderful is that! As grandmas we get to enjoy the babies without the labor and hard work. (Our reward for not killing off our teenagers.) Sounds like you've got a great handle on launching a book. Good luck with 3 this year. (That was my goal and I haven't launched one yet.) I love visiting blogs and love visitors. I hadn't thought about sending out ARCs to people who've reviewed my books. Great idea. I don't have anything to add to your list. I hope others do.

Maureen said...

Congrats on the granddaughter! You sound as though you have a good plan for promo. With my last release I made a page on my website that listed all the stops and had a rafflecopter that lasted for the month to encourage following me on social media, sharing a tweet etc. I thought this would help people refer to places they'd missed my blog stop and see my other books etc. I enjoy the FB parties, not sure how much they help sales, but people seem to like them.

Sorchia DuBois said...

Thanks, Diane. I am over the moon with this new baby on the way. It's been some time since we've had an addition to the family and we can't wait. Unfortunately, my daughter--and thus the new granddaughter--is in Germany. I may have to swim, but I plan to get there in the near future.
The 3 books sounds ambitious but it's really because I was so slow with the last one. I actually have all 3 nearly finished with one to be out in August, another ready to go to the editor in June, and a 3rd and a 4th that I may self-pub. We'll see. Thanks for stopping by.

Sorchia DuBois said...

Thanks, Maureen. I'll set up a page on my site like that--thanks--that makes perfect sense. I'm with you on the FB parties. who knows if they work, but at least they are fun!!

Mary Morgan said...

It sounds like you have a good plan in place, Sorchia. I have a new release coming out in a few weeks, and I've been prepping since early May. One of the most important ones was to get that ARC into reviewers hands. I like to give them a 6-8 week window to read the story. Another is my street team, as well. I set up a google doc with the provision that they have to post the review within 10 days after release day. If they feel they cannot, then I ask them politely not to fill out the form. And facebook parties have always been successful for me. I'll be doing my ninth party this month. It's another way to celebrate your "baby." Congrats on your grandbaby! How exciting!

Francesca Quarto said...

Chuck full of great ideas and encouragement for success! Thanks much. Congrats on the new granddaughter waiting to make her appearance. Wonderful experience for you and your daughter.

Francesca Q.

Sorchia DuBois said...

Thanks Mary and Francesca! I'm excited about the book, but the granddaughter is something else again. I'm busily handing our ARCs to street teamers and reviewers and hoping for good reviews.

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

Could anything be more fun than a haunted Scottish castle? Great story. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on the grandbaby!