WordServe News: October 2013

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

SunShineDownGillian Marchenko’s memoir, Sun Shine Down, was released with T.S. Poetry. Sun Shine Down is about Gillian’s journey through the grieving process of discovering that her daughter, Polly, has Down syndrome. Gillian takes an honest look at what it really means to be the mom of a child with a disability. Her writing is both powerful and poignant and encourages her readers to grapple with the reality that is life.

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SamsonMarcus Brotherton’s collaboration with author Shawn Hoffman for his novel called Samson released from Thomas Nelson.

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RelatedbyChanceDeb DeArmond released her first book, Related by Chance, Family by Choice with Kregel Publishers.

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RebelliousHeartJody Hedlund released Rebellious Heart with Bethany House Publishers.

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HeartFailureRichard Mabry released Heart Failure with Thomas Nelson

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New WordServe Clients

Sarah Varland

Sara Davison

Patricia Lee

New Contracts

Deb DeArmond signed two contracts with Abingdon; one for I Choose You Today, the second for Don’t Go to Bed Angry, Stay Up and Fight. Both are non-fiction books on things that truly matter in marriage.

Deb Coty signed with Barbour Publishers for another book of humor with a message. The working title is Too Loved to be Lost, a book on the depth of God’s love for us.

Janice Dunlap signed with Authentic Publishers for her nonfiction memoir Saved by Gracie, the story of her dog that helped bring her back from an emotional and spiritual brink. It will come out in the Spring of 2014.

What We’re Celebrating!!

CONGRATULATIONS AND HAPPY ANNIVERSARY WORDSERVE LITERARY!

November 1 marks YEAR 10 of the agency! During that time, we’ve represented nearly 600 books. Our biggest claim to fame, our biggest joy, is the authors we work with on a daily basis. They’re the real stars, and we’re grateful to be here to serve.

The cover of Becky Johnson and Rachel Randoph’s book, We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook was voted one of the top-10 covers for all of CBA in 2013. Great job, Zondervan!

Seven No Nonsense Book Launch Tips for Broke Authors

Seven no nonsense book launch tips

 

Sun Shine DownI am launching a book.

My memoir, Sun Shine Down, published at the end of August with T. S. Poetry Press. Eeek!

As a broke, green as the grass in mid-July first time author, I tackled the daunting assignment of launching a book like any other able-minded individual in North America.

I googled ‘book launch.’

In .02 seconds, reputable results-driven marketing and publicity firms jumped into my line of vision. These people surely could launch my book into the stratosphere!

But after some number crunching and a realistic talk with my husband about where hiring a publicist falls in the needs of a family of six (braces, soccer, therapy, FOOD), I conceded. We could not hire help for Sun Shine Down.

These days, whether we sign with a big publisher, a small press, or self-publish, we bear much of the responsibility for launching our own books. And it’s hard work.

If you, too, are a broke new author, here are seven no-nonsense book-launching tips:

1) Plan ahead

If you wait to plan your book launch until your book is out, you’re toast. Plan ahead. Start six months before you are to publish. Research, and consider elements of a book launch you will utilize.

2) Launch your book online

Social media is a marketing ocean. You’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram … Where do you spend your time online? How can you introduce your book in those venues? With Amazon stomping on the book industry, it is a mistake not to market online.

3) Launch your book offline

Is a book party right for you? I’m hosting a party at a bar down the street from my house. I’m doing it on a Monday (because the venue is free then), providing appetizers, and using evites and Facebook events to publicize. Extra tip: Don’t call your gathering a book signing. Call it a book party. Who doesn’t love a good party?

4) Don’t spam people to death with your book

Not everyone is excited to hear about your book all day every day. Post about your book (especially on your Author Fan Page–don’t have one? Um, get going), but don’t post several times a day. It just makes you look full of yourself. The trick is fun, cool content, and looking like you’re not trying that hard even when you are.

4) Create a Facebook launch team

In an effort to build buzz about Sun Shine Down, I invited Facebook friends to join a super secret launch group. I offered perks for joining ( a free PDF advanced copy of the memoir, a thank you on the blog, access to a secret group, and interaction with the author) and requirements (help promote for five weeks, post about the book on your blog, etc.). My secret group has been the highlight of promotion so far. Why? Because relationships are being strengthened and we are having fun! It is also a great way to ensure Amazon reviews once the book is published (make it a requirement).  Read this post to see how I did it. 

5) Get help!

OK, I know that I sound like I am contradicting myself. But next time (God willing), I will hire someone or ask a friend to assist with some promotion. I’m talking about someone to help with a couple time consuming tasks and who is affordable (as opposed to a publicist who would do everything and is expensive). I’m talking a flat rate per month to run a blog tour or help with the launch group. I’d like not to have that pressure, and I am finding out with this book that there are virtual assistants and others who could fit this description. *Note: I LOVE publicists, so If I get to that point in my career when I can hire one, I probably will.

6) Create a new email address to send out official book launch news

I simply created a new Gmail account with the name of my book and merged it with my current email account so that when I send out press releases and other book emails, it looks official (instead of the author sending them, which she is 🙂 ).

7) Set expectations low

This is my Eeyore personality coming out, but I suggest you set your expectations low. Then you’ll be pleasantly surprised when something remarkable happens. Not an Eeyore? More a Tigger? OK, then expect like crazy. We are all different. In my experience, though, the people I thought would help publicize and raise excitement about Sun Shine Down haven’t. I did have one or two wild cards, individuals I knew for a short time long ago who have become cheerleaders and promoters complete with pom- poms and cardboard signs.

Here’s to successful book launches, and to many more hours with our butts in chairs, getting books written so that we can, gasp, go through the nonsense of launching again and again!