Launch Plan? Check.
An update on my progress down the to-do list
I am writing and sending this note before I know anything about the election. Of course, that’s by design. I’m excited, and I have a lot to say, and I don’t want to get distracted. Whatever does or doesn’t happen at the polls can wait.
First things first: When We Were Mothers has a publication date!
Well, what we’ve got is more like a publication/launch general timeline. I do have some dates on the calendar, but I hesitate to share them quite yet. What I can say for sure is that the book is coming within the three-week window between the last 2 weeks of January and the first week of February.
After four years of “One day there will be a book,” this feels really monumental. I am so at peace with my decision to self-publish, and so encouraged by the feedback from readers—including one who said, “Kudos to you. You’ve written a bestseller.” Which. Wow.
However. My husband, AKA Eagle Eye Kadilak, noticed two typos in the first chapter. 😳 So…though I said I would never look at the manuscript again, I am giving it one last good proofread just to be sure it’s tied up all nice and pretty.
Speaking of readers, I sent the book to 46 people last week (excluding Eagle Eye). These people, along with the amazing beta readers who let me know that I was, indeed, on the right track, will (hopefully love it and maybe buy it and) review the book when it comes out, so that Amazon gets to know the book in the first days and weeks of the release—both how great it is and how in-demand it is. They’ll share the book with friends and acquaintances and their next door neighbor and their massage therapist and the lady on the bus/airplane/train, who will also buy and review it. The goal for the launch period is to elevate the book into a self-perpetuating cycle of amazingness that gets the story to as many people as possible.
Another thing I did was send the manuscript to both a cover designer, who will be back to me in a few days with some concepts to choose from, and a layout/formatting designer, who has been back to me already with some really cool design ideas. Also, I started writing the front matter (dedication) and back matter (acknowledgements, AKA the Oscar speech that will be forever memorialized in print, and I’m not at all paranoid I’m going to forget someone or something 😬).
What I’m avoiding doing is researching professional book reviewers-bloggers-bookstagrammers-booktokers (if you don’t know some of these words, mind not; neither do I) to help spread the word during launch week. I need to get on that, but every time I sit down to do it I find a cuticle that needs biting or a chicken coop in need of a new coat of paint. So, that’s #1 on the agenda for the next week. If you talk to me, ask me how it’s going. And if you know of someone, do share. Because this is literally the hardest part of the whole game.
What’s Keeping Me Up at Night
“Also-Boughts.” These are the ads that pop up underneath the book you’re looking at on Amazon, telling you that people who bought this book also bought these other ones. My book would ideally appear underneath books like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, Future Home of the Living God, maybe Brave New World. Also-Boughts drive sales.
If someone buys my book who typically buys books like Motorcycle Repair 101 or The Art of Dragon Slaying (I made those two up) or even Misery (that’s a real one), then that kind of messes up my Also-Boughts. Of course, I like to think my book is appealing to a broad range of people, but now that I’ve assembled this group of amazing people to read and review the book, I’m terrified that purchases by someone who doesn’t typically read in my genre would affect the Also-Boughts.
Am I overthinking it? Maybe. Am I still going to obsess over it? Probably.
What’s Entertaining Me
So many things since I last included this section in a Note. I’ve finished I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy and Finding Me by Viola Davis - both amazing memoirs, and I listened to the audiobooks narrated by each author, which made me like them even better. I’ve also finished Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, who started out as a self-published author and now has a number of books on the New York Times Bestseller list. (Is Bestseller one word or two? I should probably figure that out before my book lands there.) I’ll probably start another one of hers soon. I’m uncharacteristically between books now, but I’m reading a friend’s memoir and giving a little developmental edit to another friend’s science-fiction book.
Still watching The Wire, still in the first season. I am more invested now, though I still only know about half the characters’ names. I keep calling one of the cops Father Gabriel because that’s the character he played (plays? Idk, I don’t watch anymore) on The Walking Dead. We’ll keep watching it, but I’m really missing Umbrella Academy and The Handmaid’s Tale.
What’s Enlightening Me
I’ve been thinking a lot about what might happen next in the When We Were Mothers series, about what happens in societies when the way things have been for so long is called into question and, maybe, changed. I don’t have a lot of answers, but I’m starting to pull out the coolest and most thought-provoking ideas to turn them into plot lines.
That’s it for now. Sorry this is more updatey and less storylike. I have a list of story ideas for next time—I just had a lot of updates to share today.
I hope you’re having a great week. I’ll see you again in eight days.