Promo Queen

So after finishing a draft, there's usually a bit of a spiral, for me. I've heard it described using a car crash metaphor: the car stops, but the people in it keep going. Well, the story stops, but my head keeps going, so it's disorienting. Usually I have trouble focusing on my next goal for a few days... and that's no different this time.

But my next goal is immediate, so that's probably a good thing. And it is getting Witchy Boys out there before I take off for India. As in, right before. Welp.

The Alchemiya book tour is on its last day. Thank god I hired help--and awesome help, as it turned out--because I would've been losing my shit if I had to set it up myself, considering. I had a feeling, just because August was going to be so jam packed with social events, that I wouldn't have time. Also, my list of blog contacts in the f/f world is far slimmer. Nice to see so many people came out for it!

Witchy Boys, my next release, happened on accident. A certain publisher is having massive woes--some might say a meltdown--and I had a story slated for a Halloween anthology with them. When they offered a reversion of rights, I took it, and asked for last year's Halloween story back as well. Having neither the time nor the inclination to find a new publisher in a rush, and being far too impatient to wait for next Halloween to get them out there, I figured, fuck it. I'll do it myself.

Self-publishing is hard as hell, though, so. There's that.

Cover and formatting have been mostly taken care of, and I offered ARCs to a bunch of blogs while setting up an absurd blog tour a few weeks back. This, my friends, is the most difficult thing about publishing, to me: the promo. It is neverending and it is so important, and no one tells you how to go about it. Well, no one told me, anyhow. The blog tour is the most common but most potentially overwhelming. this post is me calming myself down and laying out my tasks, but it may also serve as an introduction to the process... or a warning lol.

Steps:

  1. Compile a list of blogs potentially interested in the tour and pick a window, dates-wise. Usually the first week or two after the release.
  2. Figure out how they do blog tour/guest post requests, and follow their instructions to secure a date. Ask if any kind of content is preferred and deadlines.
  3. If ARCs are available (they're usually not with my pub, but since I did this one on my own, I made them), offer them and send them if requested.
  4. Scheduling. Oh god, the scheduling.
  5. Figure out content. Excerpts, guest posts, interviews, playlists, etc. Lots of blogs require original content, as in it can't be on another stop or site--I generally assume that's the case everywhere. In this case, some of my stops are blog trades with other authors, so I need to make sure they're taken care of and I have their content, too.
  6. Write the shit out of it. Set up giveaway--usually rafflecopter, so it's one giveaway for the whole tour. Add in to-buy links and links to all media. Pretty pictures, too.
  7. Submit content via whatever means the blog prefers--sometimes email, sometimes they have forms.
  8. Promote the shit out of every stop, stop in and respond to comments on each blog.
  9. Follow up with giveaway winners.

It is exhilerating and exhausting. And has possibly driven some of my co-authors mad. (Lookin at you, Carl and Jen. Saints that you are.)

I had a speed bump when I hired someone to do the Alchemiya one because I didn't have a cover until almost the last minute... and she needed the cover to set things up, obviously. But that's not really a problem when I do them myself, which I usually do... because money. Tell you what though, it was like the best $55 I ever spent. Especially since my list of f/f friendly blogs is much shorter. I will be going back to her for help again, nooooo doubt. (Enchanted Book Promotions, if anyone needs help, lol.) She took care of everything, just asked me for a few guest posts, and bam.

BUT, I've built some really great friendships with a lot of the bloggers who've had me over the last five years, and so I WANT to visit their blogs. I advertise with them, I hang out with them at cons--sometimes even outside of cons. So while it's a business thing, the blog tour, it becomes about so much more and is totally worth doing on my own when I can. It's like... connecting with the community, if that makes sense. And as much of an introvert as I am, I do like people. Just, you know. Not ALL THE TIME :D

So now ends the assisted Alchemiya tour, and begins the lonely Witchy Boys push. Today, I finish my final proof and upload the reader-ready versions to various distributors: Amazon, Smashwords (who handles B&N and iBooks), AllRomance eBooks. Then... I... write twelve blog posts and submit them to the blogs kind enough to agree to host me.

The tour begins the 17th, so I'm all over this motherfucker. And then, you know, off to India in the middle of it. But thankfully, working while I'm there gives me an excuse for a little quiet time now and then, and the family doesn't mind. Bless them.