Today is the official release date of my third book, second romance, The Real McCoy. (see the blurb on my Books page) It is the culmination of more than two years of writing, hoping, and waiting. During those years, the small publishing house that originally contracted to produce my manuscript sold its business to an up-and-coming mega publisher. For months I heard nothing from either. I suspect my book was hanging between life and death while the new dealer decided whether it had merit. Meanwhile, I aged perceptibly.
Now, at last, the wait is over. The paper manuscript has finally become a real live book. Now, the rest of the work begins.
Launching an ocean liner is pretty easy. One simply breaks a bottle of champagne over its bow, says, “Off you go,” and the thing slips into the sea. Keeping it afloat, sending it to foreign ports, those are less simple accomplishments.
Launching a book is similar, although champagne is optional. It’s easy to say, “Book, I release you.” It’s quite another matter to make it go anywhere. Work is a given. Marketing, advertising, and soliciting reviews –preferably positive ones that will generate sales–this is the harder stuff of book launching.
Have you ever tried to set up newspaper interviews? “St. Albert Gazette? Book review section? Yes, hi there, Kandy with a K. Just wondering if you would review my book in your column…what’s that?…You have hundreds of books to review and only two a week make the cut? Yes, I see…yes, I’ll be sure to call you when my name is a household word…” And so on.
Book signings are, I’ve discovered, also rather depressing for novice writers. Few customers approach an unknown writer sitting all alone at her book-signing table. It’s hard to feel less desperate than when you’re watching them all carry other writers’ books to the check-out tills while your little moppet languishes for lack of buyers.
But so what? There’ll be time enough for depression later. Today I dance, I sing, I celebrate! I’m off to buy a bottle of champagne, the very best domestic brand a little money can buy.
See you at the book signing table. I’ll be the one sitting alone with a book and a red rose.