Tips for being in two places at once

The magic of a modern-day book launch.

file0001820510540I’m not in the habit of defying the time/space continuum, but this month I’ll be giving it my best shot. July is the official launch of my World War One-era novel Go Away Home, and the month is packed.

My first event is a library book talk today. The week of July 8, I return to eastern Iowa where I grew up for three events. At the same time, I’ll be zipping through cyberspace making the first four stops on a virtual book tour. The rest of the month repeats the challenge with more blog stops and more in-person events each week. July’s last event (at least that I know about right now) is July 25.

Maybe the best I can hope for is not to meet myself coming and going. I’ve taken these steps to ensure a smooth launch:

  • Written four versions of a presentation that focuses on Writing History. It’s a challenge to anticipate what audiences will want to hear, but my journey from memoir to fiction with an emphasis on the historical commonality seems a good place to start. With four outlines in hand, I can adapt on the go as the presentation evolves based on audience questions.
  • Wrote a multitude of guest posts. Invitations by author/bloggers Shirley Showalter, Annamaria Bazzi, David Lawlor, P.C. Zick (July 9),and Christoph Fischer (Aug 4) to visit their blogs have helped me prepare for interviews, focus my thinking and get the word out. I’m grateful to them for hosting me.
  • Product in place. My eastern Iowa events are in towns without bookstores. Since I know from my memoir experience that people want a local place to buy the book, I’ve arranged with two pharmacies, the county historical society and a library to stock copies.
  • Media outreach. I’ve returned to my public relations roots to prepare media materials and made them available on my website. I’ve targeted pitches to key media for interviews. I’ve made sure local media in the geography surrounding my events have news releases and images well in advance.
  • E-mail marketing. On the theory that people who know me will be most interested in hearing about Go Away Home, I’ve sent a series of targeted e-mails to everyone on my list. The response has been encouraging and sends me forward on a wave of good feelings.

Modern technology is a wonderful thing. Without the Internet, wi-fi, and cell phones, this would not be possible. Time will tell how my body reacts to being in two places at the same time.

No doubt, I’ll arrive at the end of the July exhausted. During the month, I know I’ll have reconnected with old friends, met many new friends, and had a lot of fun.

I think I’m prepared. I hope so. But are there other things I should be doing? If you think of something, let me know. It’s not too late. After all, if I can be in two places, surely three can’t be that difficult ;)

Comments

  1. So happy your beautiful book has made it to daylight. Lucky are we the readers. It’s a marvelous read to be done again and again. Wishing you all the success you so well deserve. Bravo! Paulette

    • Carol Bodensteiner says:

      Thank you for all the encouragement, Paulette. It’s been a long journey and I’m excited to be at this point.

  2. Thanks so much for this, Carol. Not just for giving me a sense of how you’ve scheduled your time, but for reinforcing the idea that I must cater the presentations to the audience. I’ve begun a list of topics OTHER THAN Kazakhstan (midlife change for one), but haven’t gotten further. I think I’m expecting the questions to guide me in the moment. I’m not sure how far you are traveling when you go to Eastern Iowa? My plan was to stay local for the summer, libraries, local bookstores within an hour’s driving time. I’ll hone the presentations without too much expense, then hit the road in September. Your media packet was also a good reminder. I have yet to put mine together. So much to do; I must remember to have fun as I tackle each part. Good luck with your tour. If you care to hit New England at some point, we should talk.

    • Carol Bodensteiner says:

      I’m glad these tips were helpful, Janet. I’ve found that audiences want to know about quite a range of things – my writing life, publishing, family reaction, how long it takes, what’s next. I structure my presentations to provide a loose structure that can adapt to questions I encourage throughout. It’s an approach that works for me because I like to be more casual than formal when I talk.

      Eastern Iowa is about three hours away. I try to schedule two or three events at a time when I have to drive more than an hour. Today I’m setting up a trip to northeast Iowa – three hours in another direction. Once one group expresses interest, I search around for others who may be able to book within a day either way.

      The media kit takes a good deal of thinking. I followed the advice on this website in putting mine together: http://www.bookmarket.com/publicity.htm

      Yes, do remember to have fun. Once you get a system set up, it’s easier. I don’t have a plan for New England, but I’m always ready to travel. Let’s talk!

  3. Elfrieda Schroeder says:

    Carol, all the best in your travels and presentations! Don’t forget to take a deep breath and relax once in a while!

    • Carol Bodensteiner says:

      Thanks, Elfrieda. Breathing and smiling are at the top of my list. They ensure I relax.

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