BY SUZANNE KELMAN
So here it is—the grand push, the leap over the edge, the big kahuna. We are on the countdown as my book “The Rejected Writers’ Book Club” goes out into the world…again!
And for any of you who’ve been following “Buffoonery in Writing Land,” also known as “My blog Posts,” (and I know there are, at least, three of you. Hi mum!) you may remember, this is the SECOND time I’ve launched this book because, apparently, once isn’t enough for one of my books!
Finding a home for my baby started last summer when I got an email with the words “Lake Union Publishing at Amazon would like to republish your book.” I read the email, my finger hovering over the “delete” button—had to be spam, right? I wavered, and thought I would run it past a friend of mine, Andrea Hurst, who is a literary agent—just for the heck of it. She is a busy lady so I was shocked when I got an email straight back saying, “call me right away!” What has happened since then has been a blur. From the first conversation with my amazing publisher, Danielle Marshall, when she outlined all that Amazon had in store for my little poor naked baby, to yesterday when UPS delivered a huge box full of my new bouncing arrival.
So l’m “doing launch” again…
I talk to so many writers who are afraid to launch their work out into the world—even once—because of the fear of rejection. (And, by the way, I have the perfect book for you. It’s all about celebrating rejection in style; I’ll even sign your copy.) Writers dress up their fear in lots of different excuses: “I’m still editing,” “I wish I had more time” or—the classic—“I have writer’s block.” That one always makes me smile because in no other trade can you get away with that. “I can’t sell you a house today; I have Realtor’s Block.”
Not that I’m mocking it; writer’s block is real. It’s just normally about something other than writing and often about how other people will respond to the work. Nobody has ever had, as far as I know, “journaling block.” So, I want to encourage writers to launch. And now, with the ability to self-publish, launching can be fun.
Let me get you all excited about some ideas for your own book launch—my behind-the-scenes look at how you, too, can introduce your book to the world.
First: A Blog Tour – I’m on a 10-day whistle-stop blog tour of the worldwide web. Blog tours are my favorite kind of tour; I get to meet my adoring public in my PJs and connect with some fun authors along the way, too. They’re easy to set up and easy to do. Bloggers are often looking for guest posts.
Second: Podcasts – As well as the blog tour, I’ll have a special book launch edition on the weekly podcast I co-host, called “Blondie and the Brit – Writing, Publishing and Beyond.” Podcasting is an excellent way to meet more of your audience and podcasters are often looking for guests, too.
Third – A Facebook Party – I’ll be throwing my very own virtual Facebook party (PJs allowed) on Friday, April 8 called “Blondie & The Brits Book Launch Bash.” You can get an added bonus if you include other authors in your party; then you get to cross-pollinate, too. At the same time! My parties are always a riot. Feel free to sign up and join me for this one.
And lastly: consider doing a local book launch party. I’m doing one here on Whidbey for live people, with live me, (sans PJs. Maybe I should clarify: sans pajamas and in clothes—my Sunday best—I might even wash my hair.) I have my own little group of Umpa-lumpa’s who will be hosting it for me. It will include a cast of colorful local actors to give voice to all my crazy characters. More on the date to follow.
Doing live events can be another way to see, firsthand, how people will respond to your work.
I was having a conversation the other day with an author who was struggling with fear of sending her work out and getting bad or indifferent reviews. My belief is that negative responses are a normal part of the process; everyone reads through their own filters so you can’t get hung up on it. Our job as creatives is to move through them, take stock, and find our own tribe. You have something to say and there’s someone out there waiting to hear it. People like Joanna, for instance; she wrote me a fantastic review the other day…
“—Loved every page of ‘The Rejected Writers’ Book Club,’” she wrote. “Funny, feel-good and fabulous!”
Joanna is my tribe; I wrote my book for the Joannas of the world. So don’t be discouraged by every negative comment and don’t get stuck in the mire of self-doubt. There is a Joanna around the corner waiting for you to launch and make their day!
Be Creative, Be Determined, Be Brave, and Launch….
Suzanne Kelman is the author of “The Rejected Writers’ Book Club” and an award-winning screenwriter and playwright. Her accolades include The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences – Nicholl Fellowship Finalist, Best Comedy Feature Script -L.A. International Film Festival and Gold Award Winner – California Film Awards. All images are courtesy of the author.
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