Uncharted Space

If you missed Donna’s eye-opening blog post last week about her To Do List sixteen days before her book launches, check it out here. I’ve also been thinking a lot about my own pre-pub-date To Do List. Even though my own book doesn’t launch until December 1st, it feels like the date is approaching at high speed. Maximum warp, in fact. In the back of my head, I can hear Captain Jean-Luc Picard exhorting me to “Engage!”

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I might not be helming the Enterprise into deep space, but I am trying to steer my book into readers’ hands. So I’m taking his directive to heart, figuring out how to engage potential readers of my book after (and even before) it releases. Here are a few of the things I’ve been doing:

 

  • Researching printers for business cards, postcards, bookmarks, and other paper swag. This involves making dozens of seemingly monumental decisions. Matte or glossy paper? (Tip: choose at least one matte side if you want to write on it later.) Square or rounded corners? (Rounded. So I can’t poke myself in the eye with it.) Stickers or bookplates or magnets? (Um, maybe.) Where is a replicator when I need one?

 

  • Setting up my SCBWI Book Blast page. This is a promotional event that will be run by SCBWI from October 10 – November 18, 2016. The templates provided made setting up my page so easy, I didn’t feel like I needed an android to help me.

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  • Teaching myself how to use iMovie. Okay, maybe I didn’t really teach myself. I watched a couple of great YouTube tutorials and then dived in. There was a lot of trial and error. The Undo button was my BFF. But over the course of a week, I was able to put together a simple book trailer. It’s not the holodeck, but I’m pretty proud of it.

 

  • Taking advantage of events organized by others, such as Trick or Reaters, a spook-tacular program to “make Halloween a day to discover stories and literature.” Run by Curious City and sponsored by EMLA, this event is less frightening than a Ferengi and way more cool.

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I’m trying to heed the advice to only do as much promotion and marketing as I’m comfortable with, but it’s hard. I want so badly for my book to engage readers and it’s easy to feel like I’m not doing enough. I want to have an event kit and a teacher’s guide, but I know those things are beyond my current abilities. I’ve decided to delegate those pieces to other, more qualified people, and I trust them to “make it so.” Despite that, I’m filled with a nagging sense that there is still so much left to do. As a debut author, I often feel like I’m steering through uncharted space, never sure what is beyond the next bend (wormhole?), not confident that I can make it. But, as Capt. Picard said:

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Andrea Wang

Andrea Wang’s debut picture book, THE NIAN MONSTER (Albert Whitman, December 2016), is a Chinese New Year folktale retelling set in modern-day Shanghai. She has also written seven nonfiction books for the educational market.

Andrea spent most of her first grade year reading under the teacher’s desk, barricaded by tall stacks of books. Now she sits at her desk, but she’s still happiest surrounded by piles of books. Andrea is a former environmental consultant who helped clean up hazardous waste sites. She lives in Colorado with her husband, two sons, and a plump dumpling of a rescue dog. She loves trying new foods and named her dog Mochi, after one of her favorite desserts.

You can find Andrea online at her website, on Twitter, and on Instagram.

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13 Comments

Filed under Book Promotion, Promotion

13 responses to “Uncharted Space

  1. Thanks to you and Donna for sharing the journey. I’m hoping that I can get a jump start on my own launch prep. Hoping. 😉 Can’t wait for NIAN MONSTER!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kathalsey

    Thanks, for shairn what you are doing to make your launch even greater. It is fun and educational to hear your story and I have NIAN MONSTER on my radar. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mariagianferrari

    You have made it so with a wonderfully clever and funny book, Andrea! Since I’m one of the lucky readers who has already read NIAN, I know it will engage readers, so no worries there! 🙂

    And I just loved this post as a fellow Trekkie and Jean-Luc Picard fan too. How I would LOVE a replicator for promotional stuff! But resistance to doing promotional stuff is futile–we just have to find balance 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post, Andrea! I’m right there with you regarding all the pre-launch legwork involved. Bravo to you for getting an early start. I look forward to reading your adorable book.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my, Andrea, my book comes out in March and I’m already feeling like I’m not planning on enough (maybe writers are just a bit neurotic? ;-). I’m with you though, I think delegating and seeking help from others is a great idea (for book launching, not being neurotic! Well, maybe for being neurotic, if you have serious issues with that). Thanks, Andrea. Looking forward to reading your book soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Andrea! I have complete and total faith in your organizational capacities to launch this book into the hands of multitudes of readers! Thanks for sharing your tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so excited for the NIAN MONSTER to come out!

    Like

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