What to Do Before Your Book Launch

A Q&A with M.J. Rose

By Marcela Landres
Published on LatinoLA: June 5, 2014

What to Do Before Your Book Launch

Most publishing guides focus on what happens before your book is published--e.g. how to hone your craft, how to write a query letter, etc. "What to Do Before Your Book Launch" by M.J. Rose and Randy Susan Meyers is refreshingly different in that the focus is on what happens after your book is published.

Just as you want your parents to give you the birds-and-bees talk long before your wedding night, you need to know exactly what happens after your book is published, even if you don't yet have a publisher. Rose and Meyers share real life tips from how to use (and how not to use) social media to how to take an author photo. The timeline for the year before publication alone is worth the price of the book. To learn more, read the Q&A below with M.J. Rose, co-author of "What to Do Before Your Book Launch."

M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park, and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice. Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose also is one of the founding board members and current co-president of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors--AuthorBuzz.com. Most recently she started http://www.1001darknights.com/, a unique marketing initiative. For more information, visit http://www.mjrose.com/.

Q: What are the top three mistakes writers make when launching their books?

A: 1. Having too great expectations and setting yourself up for disappointment. Careers are built one reader at a time and, except for a few lottery winners, success doesn't come overnight on the first book, or even second. For many of us it takes six, seven, ten books. For Janet Evanovich it took 18!

2. Spending too much money on your website and/or a video trailer.

3. Not stopping to smell the roses and enjoying every step.

Q: Alternatively, what are three smart things writers should do before their books are published?

A: 1. Make sure the "buy the book" button is on the home page of your website and is big and visible so it can be spotted in three seconds.

2. Start planning six months in advance.

3. Get multiple recommendations for everyone you hire to help you and don't believe anyone who promises they can guarantee sales.

Q: Who is your agent and how did you meet him/her?

A: Dan Conaway of Writers House. I met him when he was an editor and fell in love with everything he had to say on his amazing (and, sadly, now defunct) blog Mad Max Perkins. So smart, so savvy, so sensitive--and so sarcastic.

Q: Other than your fantastic guide, What to Do Before Your Book Launch, what resources do you recommend to writers who want to learn more?

A: Read blogs like Beyond the Margins and Writer Unboxed.

Excerpted from Latinidad?« ?® 2003 by Marcela Landres

About Marcela Landres:
Marcela Landres is the author of the e-book How Editors Think. She is an Editorial Consultant who specializes in helping Latinos get published and was formerly an editor at Simon & Schuster.
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