On Celebrating – and Going Nuts

Edith here, north of Boston until noon but in Indiana as of 5 PM.

I love these Wickeds. Isn’t this the best group, evah? It’s indeed a celebration to launch a brand-new series, and one close to my heart. Thank you, everyone – Wickeds, Accomplices, and readers – for helping me make this week a party! And since FLIPPED got as low as #49 (as of this writing) on the Amazon mystery amateur sleuths list (the best I’ve done so far with a novel), it’s really been a celebratory few days.

grilledformurderI am trying to remember to have fun. Really. But I’m going a little bit nuts. The Country Store Mysteries are on a seven-month schedule. That means…yes. As of last weekend, the first book wasn’t out yet. I had a deadline to return copyedits on the second book, Grilled for Murder. And I’m over halfway through writing the third book, When the Grits Hit the Fan. Then I have write a proposal for three more books in the series! Whew. Gulp. It’ll be fine, as Catriona McPhersosaid in her post earlier this year.

I’ve been the guest on all kinds of fabulous blogs in the last week – Jungle Red Writers, Dru’s Book Musings, Buried Under Books, Mystery Playground, and Club Hen House, to name a few – with more to come in the next couple of weeks. The work of writing the guest posts is done, of course, but I have to check in and reply to comments several times a day, and select giveaway winners sometimes, too.

With Barbie last year in Brown County.

Later this week I’m heading to Indiana for a delightful but busy six days of book promotion. I’m on two panels at the Magna Cum Murder conference, a Barnes & Noble signing in Indianapolis, a library talk (which I haven’t prepared yet) in Evansville, a visit to Brown County where the series is set, and a Barnes & Noble signing in Bloomington (details for all events here). My Hoosier sister Barbara will be with me the second half of the trip, which will make it even better. And we’re going to have lunch with the Gingerbread Log Cabin competition organizers in Brown County – an event I included in Grilled for Murder!

Two days after I get back? New England Crime Bake! And I don’t have a costume for the British pub-themed banquet yet. Gah. Any ideas? IMG_2534

But really, it’s all good. A graphics-oriented friend helped me design new bookmarks that unify all my series, and I’m taking plenty on my trip to give away. You like ’em?

Now, back to the work in progress. I just keep telling myself, it’ll be fine.

Readers: any suggestions for not going nuts this week?

20 Thoughts

  1. I look at writing multiple series (and all the other stuff that goes with it) as a big game of Whack-a-Mole. Take a deep breath and focus, and hit one mole at a time–you’ll do fine! And you’re right: it’s important to remember to have fun along the way.

  2. Just breathe – and pick the top three most important things. Once you cross those off, you’ll feel so good you’ll be able to tackle the rest! You’ve got this!

    1. Thanks, Liz. Ah, yes, the all important, “Don’t forget to breathe!” advice. Will work on it. And the top three things on the list. I actually knocked off those this morning. ;^)

  3. Breath, smile, and enjoy. You’ll do great at the events, I’m sure, and juggling everything else.

    And huge congrats on reading #49!!!!!!!

  4. Who knew living the dream would involve so much juggling? But, luckily, you seem to have a great sense of balance! Good luck and safe travels out and back again!

  5. I’m eager to read the comments on this post–because I need the advice too. With two releases under two different pen names next month, plus a deadline and a conference, close to 50 blog stops (Yes, you read that correctly), and a book launch 300 miles away, plus several other in-person events in the next 6 weeks, I’m pretty much maxed out. And that doesn’t count the holidays! But it’s all good. Great, in fact! I do my best to remember, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, that a whole lot of writers out there would kill to have my “problems.”

    Congratulations, Edith, on your success. You will get through all of this with flying colors.

    As for specific advice, I made a spreadsheet for each book so I know at which blog I’m supposed to be when, and the date I sent the guest post if it’s not just a review. It also includes the names and addresses of those I personally sent review books to (as opposed to those sent directly by the publishers). It has a column with links to the reviews, and another column for pull quotes from the reviews. I am also recording info about my in-person events. Eventually, after the furor has died down, I will do some forensic reconstruction and add everything I can remember that I did (and my publisher did) for my first book, Feta Attraction and make a new spreadsheet for that stuff, because I like everything to be neat and complete. I hope these worksheets will help me organize my promo for future books. Plus, those nice neat columns make me feel a bit more in control. And when it comes time to propose the next books in my series, I’ll be able to show the publishers how much work I did and am willing to do above and beyond writing the books.

    And btw, you and Sheila are my productivity heroines!

    1. Good grief, you sound so organized! Make use of your access to the PRH Author Portal when looking at the impact of your promotion activities. You can fine-tune the window you’re looking at, which will give you a sense of the effect of individual (or clusters of) promotional efforts and help you focus. Not a perfect system, but better than no information at all.

    2. As an accountant in my day job, I fully support you using a spreadsheet to track all of this.

      And I can verify that it works. I had to double check the date for the review on my blog with her, and Susannah had it at her fingertips.

      1. This is more an issue of I’m trying to GET more organized, LOL! But this is working really well so far. I like having all the info in one place so I’m less likely to miss something. I’m launching both books in my hometown in upstate New York at the flagship store of a 100-outlet regional drugstore chain (Kinney Drugs, similar to Rite-Aid or CVS). I launched Feta there, too.

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