Wow, I can’t believe it’s almost been a month since THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS (Page Street Kids, illustrated by Alice Brereton) hit the shelves. I can barely remember the last month because of all the activity, plus my mind took a while to catch up to what just went down. Here are some of the things I learned from the launch of my picture book:
- Baking the day before your book launch event is a spectacular idea, especially if baking is like meditation to you. I baked upward of 100 mini pies and they went way too fast. Always bake more than you initially planned. I didn’t get to have even one! Dang it.
- Indie bookstores are rock stars! (OK, I already knew this, but worth repeating.) BookPeople (Austin) had my back, and the whole event went like clockwork. They didn’t even flinch when I brought some, although washable, paint for the kids to do a craft. Support your local bookstores!
- Don’t count on Facebook events alone to promote your book launch party. Make sure to send those personal emails and use all the social media. Talk to your publicist about local media, tell your kids’ teachers and your kids’ school, etc.
- If you have kiddos, a husband, a wife, a dog, what-have-you, tell them a month before your launch that you are going to be a complete banana bottom basket case and that you will be forgetting most things. Make sure they understand that and give you a hall pass.
- Bribing your kids’ friends to do a skit while you read your book during the launch was a gooooood move.
- Yes, you will go to Goodreads and Amazon and Worldcat obsessively. Goodreads and Amazon may make you feel like crap … or not. If it makes you feel like crap, stop doing it. Have someone look for you. Seriously.
- A week after the launch, your head may still be in the clouds. Let it be. No need to rush into anything else. There might even be a let-down. I definitely experienced one. Book birthdays and launch events can be stressful, plus you are center stage. When you work yourself up to that moment, you also have to let yourself unwind afterward. Be kind to you.
- Make sure to give a lot of love to your illustrator, publisher, editor, book designer, agent, critique partners, etc. It’s a team effort. Shout out their names and often!
- A launch event is like a wedding, but you’re doing it solo, unless you have an illustrator and are doing a co-event. Be prepared for the onslaught and to not be able to speak with everyone who attended.
- People are there to see you succeed, to support you, to find out more about your book. They are not there to make sure you fail. Remember that if you are a nervous presenter. You are there to CELEBRATE!
- Take it all in. Take a small moment to stop. Breathe. Realize what you just accomplished. Well done, you.