Jessie: In New Hampshire, thinking about book launches.
All the Wickeds have launched enough books at this point to have developed some routines and rituals around the launch of new books and also new series. So, friends, how do you go about giving your work a proper send off into the wider world?
Edith/Maddie: First of all, congratulations to Barb and Jessie on yesterday’s book releases! When I have a new book out, I formerly would have an in-person launch party at Jabberwocky Books, my fabulous local independent bookstore. But that’s out now. I launched two books in September with all kinds of new rituals. I “appeared” at a bookstore in Pittsburgh with Ellen Byron (who lives in Los Angeles), which wouldn’t have been possible before. And I was the guest on Linda McHenry’s Writer’s Voice podcast talking about both books. Rituals that remained the same were guest blog posts, Facebook parties, book giveaways, and getting emotional seeing a box of my own books show up, even though these were releases #22 and #23 for me.
Julie: Edith, you’ve always been good about celebrating each book. Honestly, I don’t have a book launch ritual beyond a Wicked post. At least a public one. Personally, I do something to celebrate, like getting a cupcake, or having dinner with my family. I will never get tired of the thrill of holding my new novel in my hands. It’s still such a thrill.
Sherry: I’m so happy to have two more books to read — congratulations, Barb and Jessie! I don’t have a must do ritual either. I usually try to set up a few blog posts. I’ve been very lucky to have people who reach out and ask me to do events. I have to give a big shout out to Larissa Ackerman, Communication Specialist, at Kensington and the rest of the Kensington team for working hard to make the launch of From Beer to Eternity a success. Launching a new series during a pandemic is a scary proposition, but the Kensington team went above and beyond.
Liz: When Witch Hunt came out this summer, I’d actually planned to have a huge party with my friend the crystal shop owner, tarot readers and other cool things. Of course, COVID happened so that was out. Instead, I celebrated with a couple video conversations, a blog tour, and social giveaways, which is pretty much my usual MO. Like Sherry, Kensington was so awesome helping me launch this new series as well! Thanks Larissa and team!
Barb: For the last three years my Maine Clambake Mystery has been released at the end of December when everyone is busy with their own lives. Therefore, I haven’t done any kind of gathering, which suits me fine. I have done my own blog tour and sometimes an additional one arranged by Kensington. For me the biggest rituals of book launch week are sending out my newsletter, packaging up the books for the winners of blog giveaways, and keeping the new book’s page up-to-date on my website by adding quotes from reviews and links to blog posts. Also checking sales numbers obsessively. (LOL)
Jessie: Thanks, Edith! It still seems like a dream every time! I seem to have really varied the book launches. Sometimes I go all out and throw a party of some kind with themed food and decor. Other times I have had launches of a more low-key variety at a ocal bookstore. Lately, I have been celebrating book releases by doing Facebook Live events. I am really grateful that I have developed some experience with that before the pandemic made it sort of necessary! But no matter what else happens, I always celebrate launch day with a glass of champagne!
Readers, how do you celebrate the conclusion of projects or letting go of something important to you?