Thursday, April 3, 2008

BLACKBERRY BANQUET Update: Three Months and Counting...

I thought I’d give an update on what’s going on with Blackberry Banquet. Not as blatant book promoting (well, maybe a tiny little bit), but more so to give yet-to-be-published folks an idea of what to expect after they sell that first manuscript.

The publication date is July 10, so I’m right at the three-month mark. Prior to this, I made a book trailer, designed and purchased bookmarks, and wrote articles for regional parenting magazines. And of course, I casually try to mention the book whenever I can (yes, I'm as subtle as one of those people you see on a traffic corner waving a sign over their head).

This week I compiled a list of State Awards and Adult-Given Awards for which my book is eligible to enter. I checked with the publicist at Sylvan Dell (she's a marketing marvel, I might add) to find out which awards they were subbing to, and together we’ve coordinated a nice list. In addition to the awards, I’ve also checked with "said publicist extraordinaire" about reviewers and we coordinated that list (she really did do most of the work--I simply gave additional input). And yes, this is all BEFORE the book is out. A lot of the award submissions and reviews are handled before the pub-date to help create buzz about the book.

I’m currently in the process of scheduling my book launch (which I know will be held at Adventure for Kids Bookstore in Ventura, CA), along with other signings in California, Oregon and maybe even Rhode Island (wow—talk about a national tour ;-). Once I confirm dates, I’ll add them to my online calendars and start thinking about what I’d like to do at each event.

This has been a terrific pre-publication experience so far. I’ll admit that with my other books, I never invested this much time in pre-release promotion. Why? Partly because my other publishers didn’t seem to want/need to include me in the process. Partly because I didn’t know any better. Partly because with each book I was learning a little more and with this one, it’s all rather serendipitous in that I feel like I *finally* know what to do and I have a publisher who makes me feel welcome in the process. Pretty cool, in my mind.

I’ll keep giving updates as the deadline approaches. There’s still much work to be done!