Anatomy of a Book Launch

When I was a kid, I often pictured writers as people who just sat around serenely composing stories. When they were finished, I imagined, they would simply send their manuscripts to their respective publishers and have a glass of wine.

Guess what? It don’t work like that, kiddies!

Rather, it goes something like this…

Thursday 1/21

5:32 PM – As I’m sitting in my car waiting for the engine to warm up after leaving the day job, I check my email. Lo and behold, my newest book When the White Knight Falls has been uploaded to Amazon. I haven’t the foggiest idea what to do.

5:33 PM – Panic.

5:34-5:46 PM – Drive home with a stone-cold engine, recklessly risking a reckless-driving arrest the entire way.

5:47 PM – Run upstairs and fire up the trusty laptop.  Open FaceBook Messenger and scream for Callie Carmen. (As well as being an acclaimed writer, Callie also works on Black Velvet Seductions’ marketing side. At least I think she does. Maybe she just feels sorry for clueless ol’ me.)

5:47-5:54 PM – Sit in a puddle of cold sweat, watching those three little dots bouncing at the bottom of the Messenger box. I don’t know if Callie’s typing me instructions, or just telling me (at great length) to chill the @#$! out.

5:55 PM – Read Callie’s instructions. It seems I just need to put out a clarion call for my friends, to ask if they’ll re-post and share my ‘cover reveal’ and pre-sale announcement. At least, that’s it for Thursday evening. The list of instructions for Friday is rather daunting.

5:56-6:28 PM – Cob up an ad asking my friends to re-post and share the flurry of other ads I’m planning to unleash. Obsessively check my spelling, and then run the ad by Callie (lest I like, misspelled my own name or something).

6:29-6:47 PM – Upon being a given clean bill of health by Callie, begin distributing said ad. Agonize over every post, wondering just how many postings I can get away with before being flung into ‘FaceBook Jail’ for ‘spamming’… again.

6:48 PM-12:22 AM – Obsessively monitor social media for signs of re-posting.

12:23 AM – Go to bed.

12:237:10 AM – Don’t sleep.


7:11 AM – Stumble out of bed.

7:12 AM2:30 PM – Set up and tweak more accounts than an offshore bank. Drive both Callie and Ric Savage (my publisher) nuts with questions. Back up everything on an external drive about every three minutes, lest my laptop explode like a pipe bomb and destroy all my work. Keep external backup drive in the next room between backups, just in case my laptop actually does explode like a pipe bomb.

2:31 PM – Crack open a case of extra light beer. Every writer needs a sedative now and again, but there’s no need to get sloppy.

2:32 -8:48 PM – Obsessively comb all media, double-check all links, make sure all the necessary files are in place and backed up. Email out Advance Reader Copies of my manuscript to co-workers who request them. Obsessively monitor all chat boxes lest I accidentally miss a request.

8:49 PM – Get squawked at by a family member for leaving empty beer bottles on my writing desk. Apparently they clink when I type. That’s annoying, I’m told.

8:50 PM – Call a lid. Pop a squat on the couch and binge-watch through my box set of ‘The Twilight Zone’.  But I can’t go to bed just yet…

12:00 AM – Post the first few social media links featuring the new book, where my European co-workers can find and distribute them.

12:05 AM – Go to bed.

12:05-6:45 AM – Watch the ceiling spin, with Rod Serling’s voice playing eerily in my head. (Why doesn’t that guy’s mouth open when he talks? His teeth stay tight together the entire time. S’weird. Seriously…)

Saturday 1/23

6:46 AM – Get out of bed and fire up the laptop.

6:47-7:00 AM – Prep the bombshell ‘cover reveal and pre-sale’ ad, nervously checking my spelling and wishing I had like, three more days to proof-read it.

7:01 AM – Drop the ad and begin posting it in writing groups, praying I don’t get flung into FaceBook Jail since I already posted the Amazon link twice the midnight before.

7:02 AM- 10:15 AM – Drop the cover reveal on umpteen other sites, all the while dropping hearts on all the re-posts uploaded by my friends and followers. (LOVE you guys!)

10:16 AM – Call a lid. Go to bed.

10:17-11:30 AM – Toss and turn.

11:31 AM-2:19 PM – Post the opening chapter from When the White Knight Falls to this blog. Advertise it on umpteen sites, and drop hearts on all the re-posts.

2:20 PM – Start writing this blog post.

2:21-6:00 PM – Obsessively monitor all activity related to the book launch, all the while polishing up this post. And also wishing I had like, three more days to proof-read it. Decide to upload it 1/24, because my brain’s mush and I might actually be typing gibberish.

6:01PM – Crash and burn. Lights out!

Sunday 1/24

9:30 AM – Wake up to a playful reminder from Callie that I forgot to post today’s re-posting links early in the morning. Whoops.

9:31-9:35 AM – Post requested links, and drop an apology/request to all my co-workers to re-post. Feel like a dumbass.

9:36 AM-2:38 PM – Call a lid. Go to church and eat lunch with family.

2:45 PM – Upload this post and begin to advertise it on umpteen sites…

2:46 PM-? – Oh, you get the picture!

And that, my dear readers, is how you do a Book Launch! THANK you to everyone involved. I’m honored to work alongside such talented writers and marketing staff. God bless you all! – Virginia



ON TWITTER: @VirginiaKWalla1

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