Episode 158: Book Launch Playbook

On August 28, 2021, Kasie welcomed friend of the show and authorpreneur Raegan Teller into the studio to cohost on the topic of Book Launch Day. Here are the notes:

Theme for the day(s)

The Launch Day Playbook with Special Guest co-host Raegan Teller

Agenda

  • SCWA Upcoming events and goings-on
  • Launch Day report for Before Pittsburgh
  • Launch Day report for Time to Prey
  • Best practices for launching your book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Segment 1

South Carolina Writers Association offered the first in what they plan to be a series on Writing Diverse Characters Thursday night. Presenting author was Kevin Don Porter, freelance journalist and mystery author. Here’s an exclusive link to the video replay for our listeners. Such an interesting discussion, led by Dr. Len Lawson, also a friend to the show. Great discussion around representation in literature and the purpose and role for characters being the first consideration and the race, ethnicity, or other “diverse” characteristic secondary to that.

We can kick this around a little. I have three Black characters in Before Pittsburgh and I put the book with sensitivity readers before publication. It’s worth chatting about, certainly, as we’re in a new era of writing. One question in the session was about writing stories from the POV of a character who doesn’t have the same life experience (ethnically, racially, etc.) as the author.

Given the rise of movements like #ownvoices that attempt to promote diverse authors telling authentic stories, where does a white, cisgender, heterosexual (cis-het) author stand on including diverse voices?

The topic was intentionally uncomfortable last night. At one point someone put a comment in the chat about being in the wrong place to learn about characters if all we were doing was hearing Kevin and Len talk about their experiences as Black men. 

Of course the conversation evolved into fiction writing, character creation and ultimately into these two men’s advice to our mostly white audience about reaching past stereotypes and what we see on TV and allowing that Black people are as nuanced, diverse, and dimensional as any other race or ethnicity. 

Should we have to be coached to befriend people of other races to learn about them so that our writing will be more authentic? 

And didn’t even just the 20 minutes during which we heard Kevin and Len talk teach us something we may not have known?

All authenticity comes from experience. So do the work: get the experience. Seek out the people you need to know to add them to the story.

Segment 2

Tuesday 8/17 was LAUNCH DAY for Kasie’s second novel, Before Pittsburgh. You can buy it here. Here are the crucial links for the launch stuff:

Some much-deserved thanks to Chrysalis Press and Alexa Bigwarfe and the team for putting on a great launch day. There’s a blog tour coming up, too. Reviews from a dozen or more instagrammers. Many of whom mentioned the book on Launch Day.

Raegan’s fifth novel, Time to Prey, launched this month, too. Check out the details here.

Let’s talk about Launch Day with a project management approach:

How do you decide what day to launch?

How many weeks do you count back so begin planning?

What are some critical tasks?

What happens when those tasks don’t happen on the designated timeline?

Who are the people you rely on to get these things done?

Do you ever have conflicting timelines/deadlines and have to adjust?

Segments 3 & 4

Let’s talk about Launch Day from a social media perspective.

What are some key channels you can use on Launch Day to connect with readers?

  • Email list
  • Facebook page
  • Instagram account
  • Twitter

What are some key activities on Launch Day to generate buzz and excitement?

  • Live events (in person)
  • Live streamed events (digital)
  • Giveaways
  • Exclusives
  • Contests
  • Reveals or announcements

Who are some of the people you get involved in Launch Day?

  • Publisher
  • Editor
  • Beta readers / sensitivity readers
  • Reviewers

How do you maintain momentum after Launch Day to continue to pick up readers and sell copies?

Is there a specific “Do and Do Not” for Book Launch Day?

Here’s a list of Don’ts and here’s a list of Dos.

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