Taking creative writing classes, researching people whose critiques I would respect. Sending off the chapters for critique and implementing the changes advised - leaving my own ego at the door.
When my novel, 'All in the Leaves' was finished, the choices then were submit to agents or self publish. The honest answer as to why self publishing swung it for me, was found on one of my searches into the question, traditional publishing or self publishing? In one of the posts I read, one man had chosen the traditional route. He received an advance, his book was published and within months was pulped because it didn't sell enough copies. He has lost his dream. I couldn't bear that, so decided to remain in control of my dream.
When you traditionally publish, if you're lucky, you get to have a publisher backed launch party. Champagne and nibbles, you know the thing.
So what do you do for an e-book launch party? Should you even have one?
Actually, yes, you should! It's a huge achievement to finish a book, to get it polished, edited, proofread and to source a wonderful cover. A huge achievement. There is so much work involved, until you do it, you never realise. So, celebrate what you've done. Here now, is how I planned my launch party for my published book.
Firstly I had to consider a venue.
Because my book was due for release mid to late November, I decided to hold the party at my home. The end of November is my birthday also, you see.
The next question to consider was what type of party. Given that 'All in the Leaves' centres around a tea leaf reading, I decided an afternoon 'tea and cake' party was the way to go.
Invitations were sent to my writing friends, my early reader supporters, clients from my reflexology practise, my painting friends, colleagues from OH's work and finally to my neighbours. Sixty invitations went out, with the majority being accepted in advance.
It was important to me to invite more than just writing friends, because I wanted to reach people who might possibly read my novel!
Now, as those of you with children will understand, no party is complete without a goody bag to take home. So I decided to plan a goody bag, themed around 'tea' .
Then, one of those wonderful things happened which gives you a warm glow inside. I had invited a friend who owns Sparkling Jewellery - and when I told her that there would be a little goody bag too, she very kindly offered to provide some goodies!
Here you can see the kind of things that I included in the bag, to make it a little treasure for those who were invited.
Firstly a thank you note:
You'll see that I mention that the invitees will get a free limited edition print of one of my paintings. I've actually chosen six paintings to print, each person will have one print (limited edition of 10) in their bag:
and a discount off a reflexology treatment booked with me.
The reason I've done this is to create a 'feel good' factor.
Everything about my book was done with enjoyment in mind; we paced ourselves to have no stress in the production - and I wanted this 'feel good' to continue into the party. Positive vibes are important to me.
I also included this folding leaflet, which describes the book. The cover on the outside, the blurb on the inside and a place for me to sign! I can't sign a kindle, iPad or Kobo, so this is the next best thing. (I know you can add an electronic signature, but this felt nicer.) The back outer shows where to buy the book.
Last, but not least, are the items within the little gauze bag: tea, chocolates, biscuits, a piece of jewellery and a jewellery discount voucher.
The timing for the tea party was set over a four hour period, in keeping with enjoyment and being casual, people were told to drop in and drop out as they fancy.
I hope if any of my writer friends read this, that it inspires you to mark your achievement, whether you choose a book launch party or not, do something to say : YES! I did it!
I did. My next post will show some pics of the party. A fun time. Just like the whole book experience. If you buy and read my book, thank you. If you haven't yet - here's the link to where you can find it. All in the Leaves