October 23rd, 2008

ozarque figure

Writing nonfiction; launching the new GAVSD edition; part two...

More suggestions for getting the new edition of GAVSD properly launched....

1. From poeticalpanther:

"Maybe we should see if we can put together a viral video - a little vid showing people some of the ways in which the GAVSD works? Be a fun project, honestly, and not that hard to do."

And catecumen responded:
"That sounds like a great idea! If many people contribute short video clips, it could be both effective marketing and a lot of fun."

It does sound like a great idea. For sure. But it's important to remember that I am the benightedly antiquated individual who was given a Nikon Coolpix S7C for Christmas -- two Christmases ago -- and has still not figured out how to use it. [It's true that my husband -- that would be George The Highly-Skilled Professional Photographer -- should have seen to the fixing of this problem, but that's way offtopic.] I would be absolutely no use to anyone in putting this idea into effect.

2. From londonbard:

"Some time ago I took part in what Barnes and Noble called a 'class'. They had arranged a Chat on the subject of Terry Pratchett's book 'Making Money'. (It was new at the time.) Terry Pratchett intermittantly joined the Chat, and 'virtually talked with us.' ... I'm thinking that, if you would be willing to do something like that, those interested should write to Barnes and Noble asking them if you would teach a chat-class like that."

Barnes & Noble briefly went through a flurry of sponsored online classes, but they've given that up. If I did anything like this, I'd have to do it without them. [And that, given the vast B&N bureaucracy, is not necessarily a bad thing.] It's a possibility, especially since I already have that ten-lesson course written and would only have to update it to go with the new edition. Chatting is too high-tech for me, but e-mail conversation is something I'm used to doing, and comfortable with. I'll give this some careful thought.

[And while I'm here .... in the context of the reading group/workshop group suggestion from lyonesse in yesterday's post, and seconded by rosalux ... I'm more than willing to talk with members of an offline group by phoning them at the location where they're meeting.]

3. From voxwoman -- and seconded by foomf:

"Additionally: we can certainly post reviews for you on Amazon, once the book is available - is there any way for some of us to get review copies from the publisher prior to the release date?"

There won't be review copies from Barnes & Noble, but I'm willing to buy a modest supply of copies at my author's discount to send out for review. However, Barnes & Noble won't let amazon.com sell its "exclusive" books; reviews would have to go to barnesandnoble.com and to online zines and review sites.

4. From msminlr:

"You going to come to the Arkansas Literary Festival again?"

That is: a suggestion that I go to book fairs and book festivals and similar events. To which I can only say that this kind of thing, along with book signings and book tours, is getting harder and harder for me to do as I get older; I no longer travel well. The less of it I have to do -- the more I can avoid by doing the launch online -- the easier this process will be for me. Which doesn't mean that I'm totally ruling out travel, just that I'm going to do everything I can to keep it to a minimum.

5. From ysabetwordsmith:

"Okay, here is something you could do now to put audience interest into 'hold-warm' mode: Periodically you've been hosting discussions about verbal self-defense. Make a plan to do that regularly -- once a week, once every other week, whatever you can manage -- between now and the book's release. At the end of each discussion's opening post, mention the book and a countdown to its release. By the time it's out, people will be used to coming to you for that kind of material."

This really is something that could be done in advance, and I'm grateful for the suggestion. I'm just not at all sure that you readers would put up with it.

6. From jenett:

One other option - you'd need B&N's cooperation for this, but LibraryThing (one of the online book sites) has an advance copy program: people get copies a month or two before publication, with the requirement that they read it/make some review about it on the site. ... Info on the program from the publisher side is the very last question here: http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/ .

To my shame, I didn't know LibraryThing existed. [If you're similarly uninformed, I recommend following that link. It's amazing. This is most definitely something that I will do if I can get Barnes & Noble to agree.

7. From dulcinbradbury:

"What about an email list for those interested in knowing when the book is available? It could be a part of the website idea."

I like this idea very much, and am corresponding with my editor about it. I'd like to be able to set up that list, and to send information about when the book could be pre-ordered -- plus instructions for doing that -- and any other news items that might interest people on the list.

8. Thanks also to oakwind and allanh and la_vita_nuova for suggesting that I try pitching the book to Oprah Winfrey, and to maggieno and skipperdee for some excellent additions to my list of people to contact about interviews. Thanks to johnpalmer for a website suggestion.


This has all been a tremendous help to me; thank you so very much. Now I have to sit down and think hard and make careful choices and block out the schedule for the launch. If you think of any other ideas, if you have any other suggestions or comments, if you want to expand on a previous comment ... anything at all ... your input will always be welcome. And if any one of you sent me a suggestion that I failed to mention here, please forgive me; I've tried hard not to let that happen.