From “Ultimate Grand Supreme” to James Earl Jones, Book Promotion Dreams and Worries

This isn’t me. It’s Glitz Pageant winner Claire Hibdon. I covet her tiara.

Laurie speaks the truth: everything about your publishing life is perfect in your head. From the story to its promotion, we’ve got it all “Ultimate Grand Supreme” (to borrow a term from those tiara-wearing toddlers) in our gray matter. But what ultimately oozes out ain’t so bad, either. It’s just that we worry about what YOU think.

That’s what has hit me lately, biting my nails over the reception for my book.

Have I been promoting it TOO much? I mean, I’ve been  blogging since 2007 and achieved a nice following. When I began writing for children, I launched the blog. It seemed like a natural thing for a writer to do. Now I worry that I started crowing about my book too early, so that by the time it’s released next June, everyone will be so sick of it, they’ll zoom right past it in the bookstore. “Oh, that book by that woman,” they’ll say, hugging their purses tighter.

And that’s if they can even FIND it in the bookstore. That worries me even more. I recently went to purchase a friend’s book. I knew what I was looking for but couldn’t locate it. I finally grabbed an employee who found it in the corner of the store on the BOTTOM shelf. Not face out. Not even categorized properly as a graphic novel. If I can’t find it, how can the general book-buying public?

Plus, I hear there’s a lot of monster books coming out this winter and spring. They’re the new pirates/vampires/zombies of picture books. Will those other monster books pave the way for mine, or will people be monstered out by June? “Oh, another monster book by that woman,” they’ll say, dragging their children away.

I dream that my book will have its own display that looks like the Monstore itself, with blinking lights and a shiny red-striped arrow. Maybe even with a button, that when pressed, blares an echoing James Earl Jones who declares, “Oh, that book by that woman that YOU MUST BUY, LUKE.”

*Sigh.* One can dream, right?

But the reality is that in the big bookstores, the picture book wall is being eclipsed by the toy section, and the end-cap featured books are those with a long history of stellar sales. You know, those fancy-schmancy titles. Not a debut book.

So continue to promote, I will. Like Princess Leia I say, “Help me, blog readers, you’re my only hope.” I just pray you’ll tell me when you’ve had it up-to-here with my publicity attempts.

That Woman


Filed under Book Promotion

12 responses to “From “Ultimate Grand Supreme” to James Earl Jones, Book Promotion Dreams and Worries

  1. A very timely post, Tara. I was looking at my facebook page this morning, thinking about changing my banner photo, which is my extended cover (front and back), because I’m feeling Katerina Fatigue. I’m getting tired of seeing the picture of my cover all over my facebook news feed, so I’m thinking, my friends are probably looking for that “unfriend” button by now. BUT, my release was only yesterday!

    And as for perfect in your head–let’s just say my release day was far from perfect and leave it at that.


  2. What a great post, Tara! I also had a similar experience recently in a big bookstore, which turned out not to carry the two picture books I was looking for. Then I went searching for a middle-grade, and finally rooted out a lone copy on a low shelf. Not turned out. And it was a very new release.

    It’s situations like these that make me thankful that we do have online promoting opportunities these days, a chance to flash our cover and blurb across a computer screen and increase our chances that the target audience will see it. But I hear you on your concerns about overpromotion, absolutely.

    That said, I love your cover so much that I could look at it all day! 🙂


  3. To keep you Star Wars analogy going, Tara, I have no doubt that after your book is released you will have lots of people telling you they love it, to which you can blithely respond, “I know.”


  4. Alexa

    Aww. Don’t sweat it, Tara. When can I start buying advance copies? 🙂


  5. I, for one, cannot wait for The Monstore. I get excited EVERY time you post about it….EVERY time I see the cover!!! So keep promoting, girl!!!!!!


  6. With that adorable cover, bookstores won’t be able to resist turning it face out! And someone should build that endcap you described.

    I hear you on wondering where the line is between book promotion and saturation though. If only there were a set formula or guidelines rather than having to go by our gut instincts.


  7. I love your cover so much! I think promotion is a seriously awkward thing to do, and debut writers are even less used to it. It always feels like too much to me. We were raised not to toot our horn and suddenly we are being asked to blast it.


  8. Jeannie, I love the display of your jacket on your page. Keep it there for awhile. KW is stil a newborn. You’re allowed.

    Tara L. aka That Woman, I thought THE MONSTORE had a killer concept when it was announced. I still think so today. I don’t think it will get lost.


  9. Well said. I have these same worries. I think the Monstore is going to be HUGE! But I could be just the tad bit biased.


  10. You are so funny, Tara! It will be a long time before anyone gets tired of you! And I can’t wait for The Monstore – I will turn the bookstore upside down if need be, or grab the manager by the lapels and demand she order it in huge quantities 🙂


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