I’m sorry I left everyone hanging, but time flies when you PUBLISH A BOOK!! Yes, I hit publish on my book, Altered before the Altar, slightly after my Labor Day release goal. A lot of things have changed since that moment, and I wanted to update you all on what has been happening since I last wrote about the book.
- After I hit publish, no one bought a book for about two weeks. I tried everything to get someone to buy it, but it wasn’t moving. I thought of lowering the price or something, but I didn’t. I knew that part of the battle is a lot of people don’t like to buy things online, and since it wasn’t in stores and I didn’t have any copies for purchase, I wasn’t selling. That statement may sound odd, given how technically savvy people are now, but I’ve found with Christian books, at least in this area, having them on hand to sell is much more effective than online. I’ve sold maybe 10 copies online total–all the rest have been face to face.
- At the end of September, two friends bought the book online. One in particular helped talk me off the ledge. She celebrated my book’s release with cupcakes and helped me start thinking about a book release party. She mentioned it on Facebook, which led to me being linked with a woman in Miami who can help me network, get speaking engagements, and find opportunities for me to sell the book in that area. I went down to Miami to meet with her at the end of September and hope to work with her more in the new year to create some fabulous connections.
- Also at the end of September, because I believed in this book so much and really felt if I could just get a few people to read it, it would begin to sell itself, I decided to take some advice I received and run with it: every day, do at least 5 things for the book/success of the book. Whether it was sending an email to a possible venue or ordering books for my book release party, I did something each day and wrote it down on my desk calender. I think that has made a tremendous difference in helping me cross some intimidating things off the list.
- The first week of October, I received my first shipment of books for my release party, which I scheduled for October 25th. As soon as people knew I had the books on hand, well, they started to sell. It was slow at first, but then people began to read. One day, I posted on my Facebook page about the book, and my minister’s wife responded, saying she had finished the book and two days and thought it was one of the best on the subject she’s read. She left a glowing review on Amazon and offered me the opportunity to sell my book at an event where several congregations come together to fellowship the week before my event. After the smoke cleared that Sunday, I was down to 17 of my 51 books and needed to order more books for my event!
- A couple days later, a sister who had been at that event texted me and asked if I could move my event as she had an event and wanted me to sell books there. It was an opportunity to expand my reach into another city, and everyone felt it was a good opportunity, so I moved my event and went to Daytona Beach to her event. I sold some books and made some connections. I met people I hadn’t met before and had a great time.
- Backing up…I had wanted to do something exclusive or available for the first time for the book release party, so I started working on a study guide and devotional to go along with the book. I took devotions I scrapped from the book because of length, created discussion questions, created activities, and wrote more devotions to create that book.
- I got with my co-planner for the book release and finalized the program. I created some door prizes, giveaways, and a menu of hors d’oeuvres. The ladies at church came up with the them and decor. A co-worker bought my dress. Other ladies have stepped in and helped to buy some of the food. I’m working like crazy to get it all done in time for the book release this weekend, but I believe the event will go off without a hitch.
So, the book release party details. It is a wedding reception-themed event. I am planning for fifty people and simultaneously hoping and dreading for a few more. I have book and study guide copies for half of those people to purchase, along with some small totes with phrases related to the book. I created swag bags for the guests with book themed items and a few fun games to spice things up. I also have a surprise or two in store.
If you all are interested, I will be sure to post how I planned the event and how it went, with plenty of pictures, of course.