Thursday, February 25, 2010

Partnering on a book launch

Naturally, everything is moving along a bit more slowly than I'd hoped. And I've now got houseguests for a week, which isn't giving me the desk time I need. But I'm sneaking the time to blog after they've gone to bed.

Review copies of the physical books are on order. We're reaching out to people with politically oriented email lists--those tea party groups and others who are sharing the buzz about changing the way government operates today. There are a LOT of folks with this viewpoint. Now we just need to find them. They are going to love JR's book and I truly believe they will help spread the word.

Next step....the books will go on sale on Amazon and in several e-book formats. Talk about a FAST way to get a book into the hands of a reader!! I absolutely love e-books!!!

More later....
Lee Ellison

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Every book project has a hiccup, doesn't it?

Well, I had intended to write about how smoothly everything was rolling along at this point . . . then we got the hiccup. The proof copy of Freedom Island that should have been here two weeks ago didn't show up on time. And of course the delay happened with me out of the country. International phone calls . . . getting a courier service to check on it for me . . .  I'm ordering a second one, staying in touch with the post office (a hard fact of running a business in a very small town is that not many overnight services are truly "overnight"). But we're clicking along again.

Meanwhile, JR has done a wonderful job of finding folks to contact for endorsements--luckily, in today's world not everything depends upon there being a physical book in our hands. We are offering PDF copies and able to get those out to everyone who needs them.

Choosing the book's official publication date and the time for the publicity launch has been puzzling me. I wanted a date with relevance, a date early enough in the year to get a buzz going well before the November elections. Remember, the story is about a group of people who are coping with the very things we are seeing on the news today: higher unemployment, bigger government, and the prospect of rising taxes to cover the costs. So, it finally hit me that what better date to launch Freedom Island than . . . April 15th.

It's tax day for the majority of Americans, when a lot of us grit our teeth and sign our returns, the day that it really sinks in just how much of our income went to feed the huge Uncle Sam machine. If there is ever a time when taxpayer awareness hits a high point, it's that day!

We've got just at two months to get books printed and distributed, endorsements gathered, website finalized, reviews, ads and tweets at the ready--Can we do it?  I think so!

I've got to make myself another cup of tea!
Lee Ellison

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Freedom Island - Holding the book in our hands

Fourteen weeks since the arrival of the Freedom Island manuscript on my desk. Three weeks since the edits and revision were finished. Now I'm on pins and needles, waiting for a proof of the finished book to arrive. Kicking myself, just a little, because I didn't request express shipping--why did I think standard would be good enough? Argh! Like a kid at Christmas, I just want it to get here faster!

Not that there is any shortage of things to do. We are gathering names of celebrities and authors we'd like to contact for endorsements. And a number of potential sales outlets have come onto the radar. Topics related to Freedom Island are hitting the news daily:  people in America are fed up with the political direction the country is taking (so are the characters in the book); issues like joblessness, higher taxes, and out-of-control government spending are the hot topics in the blogosphere and social media (the same topics addressed in the book). We're getting very excited that J.R. Sinclair's book is going to be hitting the market at this time. And with the mid-term elections coming up in November, we think we have an enormous potential audience.

Excitement is building . . . we're ready to start rolling. Once the galley copy is approved, we will get advance reading copies out to the world. Then the real fun begins!

Lee Ellison
Secret Staircase Books
Next:  Rolling!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Freedom Island: Publication dates and other tedious schedules

Manuscript arrives in house, is edited, finalized. Cover art designed. Now we must make decisions about our publishing format and schedule. I'll be quite candid in saying that we have no idea how many books this first-time author will sell (actually, no publisher ever knows that). The fact that most of our marketing is going to be done online, rather than through traditional bookstores is one of those good thing/bad thing scenarios. Bad because there will be no pre-orders upon which to base our calculations for print runs. Good because most of our sales will be directly to readers--we'll have very few bookstore returns (a practice that seems unique to bookselling, among retailers).

Our decision is to start with an initial short run using Print On Demand (POD) technology. And we'll go heavily into the e-book markets. Experience with several other titles shows us that e-book sales figures are at least equal to, and sometimes higher than, print books. Toward that goal, we get  Freedom Island - Kindle edition immediately set up on Ta-da! We have a place where people can actually receive the book--now.

Within the week, we also plan to upload the book to our supplier for all other electronic formats--Barnes & Noble's Nook reader, the Sony Reader, and others, including PDF formats that can be read on any computer. We can now easily get copies of the book out to reviewers and to fill any early sales that might come in from word-of-mouth contacts. In the meantime getting busy on Twitter and other social media sites.

Although the book is now available in some formats, we still need to get actual printed copies in our hands. And we need to set an official "launch date" toward which we will gear our main marketing push. Did I mention that it's getting a little crazy here in our offices?

Lee Ellison
Secret Staircase Books
Next: Holding that book in your hands!