May 16, 2016

Thoughts on Releasing Book Four

Hi friends! Happy Monday!

Today is May 16th. My HEARTLESS has been live for about a week, and what a week it's been! I've hardly had time to breathe, let alone do all the promotion necessary for a successful release, so let's chat a little today.

First...the week.

Last week was...insane. Super-crazy. First my parents agreed to help out a neighbor. They live in the country, and their neighbor raises sheep. One of their sheep had given birth, but wouldn't take care of the lamb. She had no milk, see, nor apparently any maternal instincts at all. The lamb had been left to die in their field, but they wanted to help it live. Only problem? They were going out of town for a week. 

My parents agreed to help bottle-raise a lamb, and thus Hannibal entered our lives, looking like this:

Hannibal and Zoe: Perfect Together
So skinny, so ragged. This was the first time he ever stood up!
Bottle-feeding a lamb is no joke, though. They're like newborn babies, needing constant attention, food, and clean-up. I wound up driving to my parents' house almost every day to help keep him fed, which was a much-needed distraction from the chaos of release week, but was a lot of work. Still, by yesterday, he was healthy and happy and ready to re-join his flock. The little cutie.

Nom nom nom
Then my washing machine I had to bring laundry to my parents' house to do while hanging out with a needy sheep. That was fun. 

My brother came in on Tuesday (aka RELEASE DAY!!!!) to help me celebrate! That was amazing, but for some reason I'm stupid and didn't get a picture of us together! DUR!

Barnes & Noble was pretty incredible! I had a bunch of friends and family show up, and I even had a decent hair day! Thank you so much to everyone who came out, and to everyone who bought a book! I'm happy to say that there were only two copies of HEARTLESS left when I was finished that night!

Here are the weirdo faces I made while at Barnes & Noble last Tuesday night. Feel free to make fun of me. 
Yeah, I don't know what the heck I was thinking!

Barnes & Noble was barely over before suddenly it was Zoe's birthday. Do I know how to fill up a week or what? She turned 8 last Thursday, and we had a small gathering of some of her soccer pals at our house. During said gathering...Zoe took a soccer ball to the face, and a freezer door to the head, and wound up with a mild concussion. Which of course added some stress to the week! 

But what can you do? I'm a mom, first and foremost, and birthdays and concussions certainly take precedence over book self-promo!!!

All this is to say that I've been failing at plugging my book and begging people to buy it. But that's not too much of a bad thing - I figure you all must get tired of me begging people to buy my books anyway.

That brings us to...

Second...releasing book four...

So. It's easy to forget that HEARTLESS is actually the fourth book I've released. I forget this all the time, because this is my "debut" YA novel, and it's hardcover, and it's actually showing up in some bookstores, which is exciting and cool. But I've released books before! Three of them, actually!

And for all of them...I SUCK at self-promo! I hate it! I really do!

But I LOVE going places to talk about these books! I LOVE meeting potential readers, and telling them what my books have in store. I LOVE talking about writing process, the publishing world, and my random experiences within those realms. 

That said, if you have a classroom, library, book club, ANYTHING, where you'd like to have me come hang out and talk books/publishing/writing, give a yell! Email or comment or find me on Facebook. I LOVE doing it! I can go to local places in person, and Skype and FaceTime open possibilities for remote visits as well! I don't charge for this stuff (many authors do), and just love meeting new friends! 

I do hope to make it to the tri-state area sometime in June or July, too, so stay tuned for further info!

And finally. Finally.

I ask so much of you, my friends and family and readers. I do need to keep asking, though. Because now that HEARTLESS is out in the world, I need to build some momentum behind it. I need to keep the ball rolling. I need dozens of other cliches!


And remember - this goes for ANY and ALL books you love, not just those written by me!!!

If you love a book, help the author further their career. This doesn't mean you have to buy ten copies of said book (although that's always helpful). You can do FREE things to help them out! You can TELL A FRIEND about how much you enjoyed their book. You can GIVE FRIENDS GIFT CARDS TO GO BUY BOOKS THEY LOVE!

And, most importantly can leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes and Noble. This helps tremendously. People read reviews before they buy products. Amazon pretty much requires reviews to allow you to sell your books. The more reviews you have (good or bad, it doesn't matter), the more Amazon will help you promote your stuff.

To help YOU find where to leave your reviews, here are some helpful links to MY books. If you want to review other books, I hope you're internet-savvy enough to find those books, too! But trust me - if you review a book, the author somewhere thanks you! So much!

So here are links for reviews. Thank you in advance for considering leaving one for HEARTLESS!

Seriously. I wouldn't be here without all of you and the kind things you've already done for me. I wouldn't be here without the backing of an amazing publisher, and friends and family. From my whole heart (the part left over after getting stolen by a silly little lamb last week), I thank you. SO much!

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