Monday, September 15, 2008

I Need an Event Planner

Not because I'm getting married. Thankfully, I'm very happy with my husband, a fact I'm sure he'd be pleased to hear.

I do, however, need a wedding-planner-esque checklist or, heck, a 200-page guidebook for this whole publishing process. Brides-to-be have that ginormous binder thingy where they're told at, say, 12 months pre-wedding to make sure the church/ceremony site and the reception hall is booked. They're informed they'd better get in their caterer requests by month #8 or something, and hire the band or DJ by month #6. I can no longer remember the dates by which we needed to order our cake or send out our invitations, but I do remember clinging to that damn planner like a lifeline amidst the endless yards of white tulle and my mother's overenthusiasm.

I want a planner like that right now for the pre-book-debut year. When do I have to get the author bio in to the publicity department? When does the art department need cover ideas? When should I do a photo shoot? (And do I have time to lose 20 pounds first? Answer: Um, no--because the novel comes out in 2009 not 2019...) When should I place ads in magazines? Send ARCs to reviewers? Update my website? Write a press release?

OMG. All I know is that there's a freaking LOT to do. (And my mom, unfortunately, is not going to be able to field my questions or manage the endless details on this one.)

Any suggestions or useful articles? I've gotten some helpful hints from a few online loop friends but, ohhhh, I'm very open to more ideas. Or, you know, links to funny YouTube videos that'll take my mind off the madness...


Eliza said...

You know, I'm really surprised there's not such a book. Have you checked the back issues of the RWR?

If there's not such a book, maybe you could write it. :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Eliza~I'd be willing to pay a serious amount of money for something like that right now, so I'm thinking--yes, there's a market!

BTW, missed seeing you last week... Hope classes and writing are going well :).

Nadine said...

Yes, it is a lot of work. So much work that I haven't even planned a launch party for Cutting Loose when it's out in a mere two weeks! My friends are aghast - at least I had a nice big party for the first one...

Come up with cover ideas now and keep bugging your editor about when they're planning to do the cover art. I was too meek and ended up with a cover I wasn't enamoured with, and it was too late. Not so the second time around.

I got my author pic at least 5 months before the actual launch, and start on promo a good 3-4 months before. As for the lauch party, whetever you decide, make sure you have more fun than stress!

Marilyn Brant said...

Nadine~I like both of your book covers but, you're right, the one for Cutting Loose is especially well done and really fits the story :). Looking forward to celebrating its official release, albeit virtually!!

Thanks for your advice. I'm compiling lists and more lists of things to get done...and I'll try to remember to have "more fun than stress"--but this may be my biggest challenge :).

Robin said...

OMG! A book like that is a brilliant idea! Since you've got a bit of time before your release date I think you should start taking notes on everything you're doing/going to do and write the book. (Nice of me to volunteer you, huh?) One day I hope I'm in your shoes, Marilyn, and even where I'm at now can be overwhelming. Best of luck and good wishes to you! If there's anything I can to help, please let me know and I'd be happy to!

L.A. Mitchell said...

Perfect timing..we must be on the same wavelength. Check out my post--a snippet from a Kay Lockner interview, the founder of AuthorMBA. She's just started offering free guides on just that :)

Pam said...

I would volunteer if I knew anything about this, but in truth, I plan to shamelessly mine you for information and suggestions when I finally get my contract.

But I'll make you cookies! :)

P.S. Seriously, I would suggest posting this on the Cherry Forums. (And for all I know, you have--I haven't been over there in a few days.)

Good luck!!!

Pamala Knight said...

Tagging onto the namesake above me, I too dream of having you at my beck and call should I ever need to know any of those things.

We might need to wait a little on me getting there, but YOU, not that's a different story altogether. I'm willing to be your wedding/book launch slave and make phone calls, cut out pictures, look at photography, etc. all for the sake of getting you launched in fabulous style. It's also a vicarious living for me, so basically full of win for all involved. What do you think?

Marilyn Brant said...

Robin~thanks for the vote of confidence! I MAY just HAVE to write that darn book if I can't find one...argh!!

L.A.~the AuthorMBA info was great--I appreciated the link on your blog!

Pam~If I should EVER understand ANYTHING at all about this industry, I'd be more than happy to share with it you and my lovely blog sisters...also, I love butterscotch chocolate-chip :-).

Pamala~what I think is that you ladies are absolutely fantastic :). I may know nothing about prepping for a book release, but I do know I have some amazing people in my corner--thanks and hugs to you and everyone who commented!

Erin said...

I don't know of any book out like that, but I know a lot of author's who'd pay big money for it. I have to back Eliza up...maybe you need to create it :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, Erin! Yeah...that seems to be the consensus. I'm just gonna have to take really good notes this year and (for a change) keep them where I can actually find them again :).

Sandra Ferguson said...

Okay, first breathe. Now, that's better. As for what your publisher needs and when, can't you agent help with that? She, I guess your agent could be a he (I'm such a feminist) should be able to guide you along that track.

Sounds to me like just knowing what all is coming is the first step. Have you written them all down -- bullet style only, please. Maybe even put them on notecards and work out a timeline for yourself. After all, we do it in out books all the time; should work for this as well.

From the ad standpoint, check with the magazines you're interested in listing with. They'll have exact deadlines for each edition. That should help you decide when you NEED to place your ads.

As for ARCs, do you have a trusted bookseller, you could go to for advice on this? How about other published friends.

I found on anything promotional that I did, when other authors offered advice, sometimes it was when they said, "Don't do this. It never worked. Or it backfired." that was the most helpful.

I've always believed that it isn't necessary to re-invent the wheel. Talk to the folks already rolling along and that should get your started down the road.

Can't wait for my copy!

Caryn Caldwell said...

What a good idea, Marilyn! With all the books out there on how to write and become published, there really should be something about what to do between when you get an author and the book comes out -- or even afterward, since I'm sure that there are a lot of details to wrap up. I bet some of the writers' communities online could help, though, if you post your questions.

As for YouTube videos, those I can do. Have you seen Book Launch 2.0? It's been all over, so maybe, but here it is just in case:


Marilyn Brant said...

Sandra, thanks so much for the ideas! I'm working on making my lists this week and next... Good suggestion on talking to my agent, too :).

Caryn, I've only posted the question on one online loop--I'll have to do it with others. As for the video, I have seen it but not for months! It was GREAT watching it again--thank you!!