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I’m in the middle of launching my fifth book, Waters and the Wild, and I thought I’d talk about what goes into a book launch – not just in the interest of shameless self promotion, but also in the hope of sparking a few thoughts in others facing the same thing.  

I think this whole launch-thing is easier with later books but they do miss the crucial buzz of a first book where people find out about your shady existence as a writer and are excited to try the book. For book one my family and writing friends were the main cheerleaders and sources of the ra-ra-ing that went on.

For later books, I find that has expanded somewhat into actual – get this! – readers. I also have an awful lot already in place. Goodreads page, check. Amazon author pages, yes. Which makes getting reviews in early a little easier – and thanks to everyone who has taken a review copy.

So how did I go about deciding what to do with this book and who to approach? Apart from my now patented method of blag-say-yes-panic-later.

Firstly the book itself is important. This is a fantasy, based in a very specific location (the Glens of Antrim). As such, and unlike my weird space opera worlds, this has a market locally (which has already been touched on with Inish Carraig – but fantasy is the more accessible of the two markets to non-genre readers, I find.) But I have a market online – as most authors do. Ergo, any marketing strategy has to straddle both.

One thing that I do know about Waters and the Wild is that the prologue catches people’s attention in readings (its had a couple of trial runs). It’s short, it’s standalone and it’s decidedly a little bit weirdly creepy, hinting that there is more to this story than immediately evident. I want to get that prologue out there, have people hear it and want to know more. To that end, I have some readings set up. (See the bottom of the blog for lots of places I’ll be) But I might also play with getting a copy of me reading the prolugue up onto You Tube.

I also want to bring my existing readers with me. Not all sf readers read fantasy, for sure, and military sf (Abendau) is not always a good match to fairy-fantasy-books (who knew?), but there is good cross over in the two markets. Which means that I need to ensure my current readers know about the book.

How do I connect with those readers? I do have a mailing list (very small, and with significant crossover to my facebook platform) and I will be sending out some information via that. If I get time, I might jazz up one of the chapters that didn’t make the final cut but that I still like and send it out. But I’ll also be using my other platforms – facebook, twitter, lots of forums and what not.

Will I do a facebook launch this time? Maybe. They’re fun but there have been a lot of them recently and people might be getting a little weary of them. Mostly, this time, it’s face to face and person to person. To that end, then (cue shameless self promotion):

Where can you find me:

Waterstones Coleraine, 20th May 2pm, kicking off a reading event with Women Aloud NI

Belfast book festival, 16th June 5.30pm, talking all things scifi (so Abendau and Inish Carraig get their moment to shine) alongside Naomi Foyle

Belfast book festival, 17th June, 2pm, where I’ll be with the Women Aloud ladies reading that prologue again

Q-con, 17th June – I’ll be at Blackwell’s in the student’s union (except for when I hightail it to the BBF for my reading slot), chatting to anyone and trying to figure out the gamers’ cosplay

I should be at Titancon at the Wellington Park hotel on 8th and 9th September. Their literature night is on the 8th, it’s free and it’s an awesome night. Guests have still to be confirmed but the likes of Peadar O’Guilin, Pat Cadigan and Debbie McCune are often there.

I’m then hightailing it to Dublin on the 6th October until the 8th to join Octocon, where I’m sure I’ll be on panels between propping up the bar.

Keep your eye out on facebook, twitter, wherever I hang around for other happenings on the radio, in the newspapers and mags, too.


Anonymous said…
Congratulations on the new book, and good luck with the launch. :)
Joanne Zebedee said…
thank you! I've been out with work all week and am just switching my brain into gear for tomorrow's reading! I used to live where it's being held so am looking forward to the event :)