Book Releases: It Gets Easier As You Go [#AuthorToolboxBlogHop]

I’m back with another Author Toolbox Blog Hop post this month! This monthly blog hop gives advice by authors for authors. Today’s post is focuses on how doing book releases gets easier as you go, and why. Check out all the posts in this month’s hop!

When I released my debut full-length novel, Stolen, last year, I was daunted by the amount of work that had to be done prior to release day. There were eARCs to send out, book reviewers to reach out to, blog tours to organize, and in person signing events to schedule. I only had some idea of the workload it would take, and it was only when the wave passed by that I realized how much work it was and how well I handled it. I also realized how to do it better next time.

Now I’m prepping for the sequel for that book, Broken, to be released on April 7th. This book release is very different from my experience with Stolen, and I wanted to share what I think has improved this time around compared to last time.

  • Book signings are easier to book. Last year I went to a number of small and indie bookstores to do signings. It was an eye-opening experience. I had to find places that would take an indie author and a small publishing company. Not all bookstores do, and I was shocked to discover that. This time around, I already have locations that I’ve made connections with. Some of them, like Story on the Square and The Southern Pen, stock copies of my books already and are preparing to stock Broken as well. This takes a huge weight off my shoulders this time around.
  • Have readers to reach out to. If you’ve ever started going down the rabbit hole of trying to find ARC book reviewers, you know how helpful this is. Most times when I reach out cold to a blog site, I get crickets. And there are a ton of potential book bloggers. It’s just a lot of time spent with sometimes very little reward. This time around I have a group of ARC readers and reviewers to reach out to, people who loved my first book and are excited to read the second book. Not having to spend time organizing all this also takes a huge weight off of me.
  • I have local fans. I’ve been to enough local shows and events now that I have people who work hard to come out to my book signings and readings. It’s so flattering, but it also means there’s the pressure to create regularly and to constantly improve my craft. I enjoy this, so I don’t mind. It also means that I don’t setup a signing and don’t have anyone appear any longer. I usually at least have one person show up.

These are just a few of the areas that I think are easier this time around, but each one makes a big difference. Instead of gaining all of these contacts and experience, I can focus on new projects and organizing all of these events instead of trying to find them.

For those looking to publish multiple books, I hope this eases that feeling of being overwhelmed when faced with what to do on your first book publication. It will get easier as you go, even though it doesn’t seem like it will at first. The goal is to improve as you go, learn the ropes, make mistakes, and get better with each release.

Interview with Heather Kindt

Remember me mentioning how bad I was about sharing interviews here? Especially around a book release? It’s such a busy time that sometimes posts fall through the cracks. I’ll share hen on social media, but sometimes I forget to post them here.

Well here’s another poor interview that I forgot to post. This one is with fellow Parliament House sister, Heather Kindt. (Her book, The Weaver, comes out soon!) I talk about what inspired me to write Stolen and even mention some of the earliest original works I’ve ever written. (You’ll be surprised!)

I also discuss my journey on becoming an author, from my fan fiction days, to focusing on my computer science degree, and finally getting back into writing again. Every person’s journey to finding their craft is different, and these days there are so many potential paths to take too.

I hope you enjoy it!

Interview with Parliament House Press Author, Marlena Frank

A Quick Breather

I am currently waist-deep in edits for my upcoming novel, Stolen, which is due out in January 2019. On top of that, we have the 4th of July Family Fest on Wednesday that we’re preparing for. It’s a local festival and the owners invited us to attend, so of course we said yes.

Needless to say, I feel like I’m busy constantly at the moment. It’s a good busy, but still busy. That said, I wanted to give some updates!

  • Stolen is going to have 2 other books in its series. Book 2 is tentatively titled Broken.
  • I’m doing Camp Nanowrimo this month (you know, whenever I have the time to write…) to get that word count going on Broken
  • I’m taking a trip this month that I’ll be considering my first one for book research. I’ll be studying a cruise ship layout, and yes, I’m planning it to be another YA Horror novel. 😈
  • I’m still working on my Leafeon cosplay for DragonCon. If you want to see updates, hop on over to my Instagram and check out my stories. I try to post short updates there.
  • Finally, you may notice some changes on this blog! I’ve finally taken the plunge for the first time in 8 years (omg have y’all been listening to my rambling rants that long??) and have upgraded my blog. I plan on getting a custom domain name and maybe even sell some original stories on here as well. I’m not entirely sure yet, but once I have the time, I’m going to iron out some details.

Anyway – that’s all I have for now! If you’re an American, please try to enjoy the 4th and keep your head high. I’m hoping to have a lot more fiction announcements down the road! Thank you for reading my work and supporting me – every kind review or appreciative note inspires me to keep going. 🙂

Looking Back on 2017

Despite the political turmoil of 2017, it was actually a really great year for me. Even though I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed at work since I’m basically defining the new role I’m in, I’ve been able to make up for it in writing, cosplay, and trips.

In January I went to my first out of state Con in Alabama, where I met some amazing new cosplay friends. This was also when we debuted out first CMV and created Black Knight Productions Cosplay. I met even more great new friends at SeishunCon in February, and in April I got to debut a new cosplay: Luka Macken from Black Butler.

At the beginning of May, I was able to announce my first novella publication (that wasn’t self-published) with Radiant Crown Publishing. This was the first time I was able to successfully negotiate a contract that wasn’t for a short story (after having to get an attorney involved on a previous one – that’s a whole other story.) It was so refreshing to have a contract be offered that was so pro-author, and it’s been wonderful working with Olivia and her team so far. I’m looking forward to The She-Wolf Of Kanta coming out on April 17th!!

MomoCon came storming along in May, and Luka was welcomed by a much bigger Con. Plus we got to do our first panel of the year on That Butler, the Musical. Promotion for my novella kept rolling along and by this point I was doing interviews for it.

In June I got the chance to visit Mexico, Honduras, and Belize on a cruise. It was a blast! I had such a wonderful time, despite a few complaints about the cruise liner. As soon as we got back, we went to see Book of the Atlantic in theaters, and had that whole fiasco where the film reel was lost. 🙄 Long story short, once we told Funimation about it, they got a new showing put up for us. It was a few months later, but it was wonderful to see in theaters!

By the end of June there was a cover reveal and a giveaway for SWoK (making it all the more real!) and two beautiful maps for SWoK got released as well. By the time DragonCon rolled around, I had both Scarecrow and Pajama William T. Spears being debuted on top of us doing two panels. We did an encore of That Butler, The Musical and also did Black Butler: Upstairs, Downstairs.

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r the DragonCon hype died down, I created a unique Halloween costume I called the Black-Feathered Queen (that I never got the chance to wear 😢). I also finalized Seto Kaiba (sans coat) for AWA. He went over really well! Kelley and I did our first professional photoshoot with Fairyluna Photography and it was a wonderful experience.

Right before Thanksgiving I negotiated the second contract for the year: one for my debut novel Stolen which is scheduled to release from Parliament House Press in 2018. I’m super thrilled to be working with them and have learned quite a bit about marketing from them already. Like I said before, 2018 is going to be BIG.

Finally in December we got to go to Disney World again, which we always love regardless of how often we visit. Even though it was cold and we had some trouble at the hotel we stayed at, it’s Disney, so we got compensated. They even thanked us for pointing out flaws when we checked out. I also helped organize a family photoshoot with Fairyluna again, which only made us want to schedule more down the road.

All in all, I’m grateful for the new friends, the new experiences, and the new knowledge I found in 2017. If 2018 is even half as good as this year was (again, an exception for the political climate), I’llbe happy. I wish y’all the very best for 2018, and who knows, maybe our paths may cross – if not at a convention, then maybe at least in book form. 😉