Sunday, October 07, 2012

"What To Do Before Your Book Launch" by M J Rose and Randy Susan Meyers

Yesterday, (Saturday October 6th), I had the privilege and pleasure of hosting a discussion with international bestselling author M J Rose and her co-author Randy Susan Meyers on my "Crazy Tuesday On Alternate Saturdays" radio show.

M J Rose and Randy Susan Meyers have just released a How-To book called "What To Do Before Your Book Launch" which is attracting ecstatic reviews.

What To Do Before Your Book Launch is a guide for authors, covering everything from working with your publisher, to reading in public, to help for publicity and marketing, to using (and misusing) social media, to how to dress for your author photo . . . and far more, including cautionary tales, worksheets, timelines and etiquette tips.

 “A fantastic resource for every writer in search of an audience. Nuts and bolts, elbow grease, and optimism are on every page of this worthwhile guide. Whatever it costs, it’s worth it.”
—Betsy Lerner, author of The Forest for the Trees

I bought my copy on Amazon, because Barnes and Noble didn't have the non-digital version. The ebook price is $5.99 , at the moment the print edition is just over $10.00, which is a probably a special offer for a limited time.

After we chatted about how M J Rose and Randy decided to work together on this project, and how they handled the process of collaborating (writing alternate chapters, with Randy expanding on some of her articles on her blog such as 10 Things To Do.... which I could not locate but I did find MJ's 11 Things NOT To Do When Your Book Launches ) we delved into specific topics and tips.
One of the counter-productive "things" that all too many authors do is to annoy internet friends, followers and acquaintances with a constant stream of Buy/Like/Review/Endorse/Vote For/Read my book pitches and pleas. Unlike other sorts of spam, this tactic (according to studies MJ Rose has seen) is only effective 1% of the time.

1% ! I had no idea that it was as bad as that. I'd always assumed that my response to these Friend Spam pitches was atypical, and that I must be an extremely grumpy killjoy, or worse. Apparently not.

MJ Rose makes the point in the above-mentioned 11 Things list, too. I love Thing #8
 8. Don’t expect all your writer friends whose books you have not read and not praised, to read yours and praise it.

"So what," I asked, "does work?"

Graciously and precisely, MJ Rose and Randy told me the secret to using Twitter effectively to promote oneself as an author... and the secret does not involve Tweeting a chapter or two, 140 characters at a time.

Another mistake (I love to learn from other people's mistakes) too many authors make is to put the BUY buttons somewhere discreet on their websites. The end of a sample chapter is not the place. Visitors must be able to find the BUY button before they can count to two. Before their browser crashes.

MJ Rose generously shared a true story of a mistake she made with a photograph of herself that turned off readers so much that they vowed never to purchase anything of hers. It was an attractive and decent shot, too. If you are curious, listen to  10/06/12 M.J. Rose & Randy Susan Myers, What to do
                                                         Before You Launch Your Book

 Find it here.

Randy revealed the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of doing a book reading. How much to read? The answer is.... Nine minutes max. Among the other tips: abridge your scene so there is a beginning, middle and end. Keep the excerpt to action and dialogue. Description doesn't work well at a reading. My show lasted an hour (with breaks every twelve minutes), and contained a lot of good stuff.  This is the first time in years that I've done a show and then actually gone online and purchased my guests' book!

Thanks for listening.
Rowena Cherry

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