From My Mother is about 4 months from publication with eLectio Publishing!
I have submitted my final content edits and now the manuscript is in the hands of a copy editor, who will check for grammatical errors and stylistic consistency. So pretty much any major changes to the book have been done! The story part is now in the hands of the final check – the copy editor. It’s been a long time coming…
Now in the meantime I have four months to work my tail off and try to figure out the ever evolving world of first time author book marketing in the social media era.
Here are some of the things I’ve done to try to help From My Mother find the readers who need it:
- I got a Kindle Unlimited subscription and I read books about book marketing and promotion while I nurse my daughter or can steal other time to read.
- My Favorites have been Goodreads for Authors, Your first 1000 Copies, Facebook Marketing and How to Make a Living with Your Writing.
- I started a facebook author page and have gained 500 likes. I aim to have 1000 a month before launch. At that point I want to pay for promoted posts specifically targeting an audience that I think will benefit greatly from reading From My Mother – those who have liked “myotonic dystrophy awareness.”
- I started a Goodreads author account. I catalogued 300 books I’ve read (I’ve read The Great Gatsby over 10 times, most of those in my 6 years as an AP Language and Composition teacher). I’ve joined discussion groups and made friends. As a reader I really enjoy Goodreads. Glad I found it!
- In the next three months leading up to release, I plan to run a Goodreads giveaway each month.
- I’ve had a few beta readers post reviews on Goodreads. If you are interested in being a beta reader and promise to write an honest review for Goodreads and Amazon, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I may send you a beta reader copy!
- I have updated parts of my darcyleech.com author page and am pretty happy with the progress. The best addition going into the next two months is my media kit here: http://darcyleech.com/media-kit/
- I got professional photographs taken by Kathryn Schaffner of In Imago Dei Photography. I ran my first book giveaway on my facebook author page getting people to help me narrow down the images to the top three:
6. I contacted muscular dystrophy magazines like Quest MD in other countries. In Touch Magazine in New Zealand is going to run an excerpt of From My Mother. Quest will feature a blurb about the book – this is huge for my goals because Quest has already connected me to some of the readers nearest and dearest to my heart and is one of my most important venues to reach families like mine and women like my mother.
7. I started a team for the Wichita Muscle Walk to help raise money for muscular dystrophy treatment and research. The Muscle Walk is April 23rd in Wichita, KS and is the day after my birthday and shortly after the book release. I’ve talked to the event organizer and we are planning to include a book signing at the event. This is also huge for me because families like mine will be at this event. I’m hoping to personally raise at least $2,500 dollars before this event. My dad and husband are currently on my team and I’m hoping to recruit more!
8. I visited with the Salina Arts and Humanities Commision about events in Salina for the book release. I will be on stage at the Smoky Hill River Festival to read poetry, read a sample chapter, answer questions and sign books! This is an amazing opportunity to connect with people in my home town and the surrounding region in a friendly and artistic environment. I’m looking forward to it (and maybe a little nervous about being on stage…)
9. I arranged for my first book store signing date with Ad Astra Books in Salina. Over a year ago I sat in Ad Astra with two ladies in my writing club and got feedback on some early chapters. It’ll be good to sign books in the place a part of the book was formed!
10. I have my first speaking arrangement in front of a church – one I visited during college and am very excited to go back to – the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Salina. I’m excited about the prospect of speaking in front of churches. My mother’s faith was the strongest part about her when her muscles were weakening, and the most important lessons I learned were about compassion and faith.
It’s been productive lately and I hope I’m gaining traction and doing some of the right things. I’m trying hard at least. When I called one of my mentors to tell her about my success in landing a contract she said “Congratulations Darcy. You made this happen.” That’s been my mantra since then: “I’ll make this happen.”
Here are some things on my to do list in the next month or two:
- Contact rare disease publications and event organizers
- speak on the phone to communications department workers at the Myotonic Dystrophy Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association
- call local newspapers and radios to talk about book and events (prior to media release of book release)
- raise at least $2500 for Muscle Walk
- book 5 more author signing dates at book stores
- book 5 college guest speaker days
- book 5 church or Bible study guest speaker days
- seek guest blogger opportunities (on sibling blogs or muscular dystrophy blogs or author blogs)
- host one goodreads giveaway per month leading up to release
- have 5 more reviews written on Goodreads by beta readers
- look for Kansas magazines to pitch to
- convert old family videos with Dustin to DVD to be able to share on author sites
- gain 500 more likes on Facebook for https://www.facebook.com/darcyleechauthor/
- blog at least once a week, preferably twice a week
- pick at least one craft show to attend as a vendor
- learn how to groom my SEO (search engine optimization)
Once I have cover art:
- create a 30 second book trailer
- create a 1 minute book trailer
- create a 2 minute book trailer
- update website
In the next 3-4 months:
- plan a summer trip to New Mexico including book events
- plan a book release party in Great Bend on my birthday, April 22nd
- arrange to use book trailer on Salina Access TV
- give away $1000 award for the Jo Lyn Bartz Memorial Scholarship winner of 2016
- (once I know the print copy cost) take pre-orders through my website
- decide if I have the money to pay for a book publicity company or if I should pitch everywhere I can myself
- more I’m sure that I can’t think of right now…
Check back in a month for an update!
As a blog reader and as a friend, do you have any connections or anything, even small things, you can help me do to reach my goals?
Can you suggest to your friends to like my Facebook author page? Can you post a review on Goodreads as a beta reader? Can you put me on your blog roll or mention me on your website? Can you help me rub elbows to get a guest speaker opportunity? Right now I’m booking for free! Can you help me reach my fundraising goal for the Muscle Walk?
I’m a first time author with a memoir, and while it’s certainly great writing worth reading, I’m going to need word of mouth support from readers like you to get From My Mother to the audience who needs it! This story is worth sharing…!