A friend messaged me the day after our book came out, and said “Just bougt a copy of your book! Eek! So exciting! Are you able to relax a little now that the whole book process is finished?!” It was such a sweet sentiment, and yet I couldn’t help laughing out loud a bit. Because, no, I’m not able to relax. In fact, now that the book has been published, it seems like there is even more to do!
Bookstores - please sell my book!
One of the major tasks at this point is to get the book into book stores. Seems simple enough, right? I mean, it’s a book. Bookstores sell books. And yet, it’s actually been fairly challenging. We decided to target local bookstores, and reviewed their websites to see what their policy was for self-published authors. Most don’t look favorably on them. Some sites said that they would “consider” it; however, the tone of the submission process basically said “don’t bother.” But I did anyway. I sent inquiries, made my case for why my book should be in the store - I mean, I’m a local trying to sell in a local bookstore. Makes sense to me.
Of the eight emails I sent, two responded. (And one bookstore is just so awesome that they just let you bring your books in, no questions asked). So we currently have three stores that will be selling our book on consignment, which basically means that they will take 40% of the cover price, and give me the other 60%. Since that’s what I paid for them, plus shipping, I’m actually losing money. But who cares?! Our book is for sale. In a store! If you are in the Portland, Oregon area, you can go to Reading Frenzy, In Other Words, or Another Read Through to see for yourself!!!
Who exactly is the "Press" in Press Release?
Another thing that we have been working on is getting some media exposure. Our friend Nic de Luna graciously offered to write a press release, since I had no clue how to do that. Soon after, I was discussing the press release with Laura, and she asked “who do we send the press release to?” Great question, I thought to myself. “Um, the press?!”
After that I started researching print and tv media outlets so send the information to. I got a little caught up in trying to figure out how I would contact EVERY news outlet in the country - go big or go home, right? But eventually we decided to target local media, as they would probably be the group that would actually care, and maybe do something with the information. I mean, I still kind of want to send it to Ellen, or Oprah, but I’m guessing they get that kind of thing all of the time, so I’m not sure it’s really worth it.
Finding reviewers has also been a bit of a challenge, but luckily we now have an awesome publicist in training to help. Tyler Mathieson is finishing his graduate program at Portland State University with Ooligan Press, so he’s up on all of the ins and outs of what we’re trying to do. I contacted about 20 people who do book reviews (out of a list of maybe 1,000 that I found online), and I got four responses. Three were positive, and happy to review the book. One wasn’t interested, based on the fact that the content conflicted with her religious beliefs, but that’s ok. I know it’s not for everyone. Luckily Tyler has some more tricks and contacts up his sleeve, and will be able to rustle up some additional reviews.
Buy our book!
Selling the book directly through the website has been one of the most fun parts of the whole journey. We've just started getting orders, and it's been really rewarding to be able to put those packages together (bookmarks, signed copies of the book, and a personalized note thanking the purchaser for the support). I feel like I'm DOING something when I put those together, and the more I make, the more I want to make. It's exciting to think about where the books are going, and to picture the families reading something that we created. It's really pretty amazing. I can't wait to do more! Click here to buy a copy!