Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Publishing Year One: Launching the Haiku Rocket

If there is ever a single moment in the publishing process that strikes fear into an author, it’s the thought of launching the project. This is where you put everything you have in front of the world and you can’t be shy about it (even if you want to be). I knew that Unfolding Life was ready—it my eyes, it was the absolute best I could do. It was ready to be out in the world. 

Launching a book though is more about marketing than it is about feeling accomplished. Without a strong marketing presence behind the work, who will know about what you’ve done? I tried to start the marketing buzz early with this book. I posted on my Facebook page regularly even though I had an audience of less than a dozen people. I tweeted to my heart’s content with all those relevant hashtags. I also started participating in daily haiku writing on Twitter to help boost my presence with the haiku crowd. But I didn’t beat anyone over the head with it. I restricted myself to three promo posts a day because when you are trying to launch a book, it’s not advantageous to lose followers by being spammy. 

Once the week came where launch was imminent, I braced myself. I secretly wanted to be overwhelmed with book sales, reviews coming in on Amazon and on Goodreads, and let’s be honest, my ego wanted bloggers and those in the literary media to be requesting interviews. I have a very healthy imagination, don’t I? 

To get more word-of-mouth advertising, I also ran a giveaway contest for the ebook version (at this point, there was no physical book version). Things were going stellar—and then March 17th came.
I wanted to launch the book on the 18th, but with Amazon’s review period and this being my first work published with them, I was afraid that it would take longer than 24 hours to approve. So I jumped the gun a bit and it was available about 12 hours earlier than expected—which didn’t make one miniscule bit of difference, but I certainly fretted over it for awhile. 

The giveaway ended and I awarded the book. I celebrated the launch all day long on social media. I easily sold books to a few friends. The ball was finally rolling. 

Tomorrow, it’s all about the money—and how I didn’t spend a dime on marketing.

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