I’m Lea Wait, and in about six weeks my tenth book, the sixth in my Shadows Antique Print Mystery Series, will be hitting bookstores and libraries.
I had lunch with a friend this past week who congratulated me, told me she had already pre-ordered a copy, and then added, “So, I know you’re writing another book. But at least all the work is done for Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding. You must be relieved! No more writing. No more editing. All you have to do is sit back and read the reviews!”
Well, sort of. (No comment on the palpitations that might accompany that activity.) But – no. I’m been working on Cape Cod Wedding for the past month, and will be off and on for the next few months. It will eat into my writing time, take me to new and different places, drive me crazy, steal my sleep, and yes, bring me memorable moments.
So – what am I doing? What does an author do in the months before a book is published? One thing I’ve done is update my mailing list; making sure all the people who’ve asked to be on it are there, and are listed only once. I’ve printed out labels for the 2500 or so postcards I’ll be sending out after I’m sure the book has hit bookstores. I’ve ordered stamps – the post office just issued new ones – and when the postcards and the stamps get here I’ll have some assembly to do. I also have an email list of about 800 names; those people will be getting notes from me at about the same time the postcard folks find something in their mailboxes.
I’m waiting for the first reviews to come in, hoping for a succinct word or two I can quote before ordering the bookmarks I’ve designed. But my husband has already printed out 13 x 19 inch and 8 1/2 x 11 inch posters of the cover of Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding to be sent to places I’ll be doing talks and signings.
In fact, we’ve already sent out a few to places I’ll be speaking in March. So far I have a dozen dates set where I’ll be speaking. Each one of those had to be arranged, confirmed, and the hosts sent promotional materials. I’ve been adding one or two dates a week as invitations come in. (Would you like me to visit your bookstore or library or group? This is the time to let me know. Or if you’d like some of those bookmarks for your store, let me know, and I’ll send you some when they come in.)
I’ve been updating my bio and list of books, and other details, at all the websites that list such things. Every day I seem to remember another one or two I should check.
Of course, I blog here, at Maine Crime Writers, and I blog at www.getitwriteblog.wordpress.com, my publishers’ blog, and I’ll be continuing to do that. But I’ll be adding some guest blogs after the new book is out. (Would anyone reading this like me to be their guest?)
The Shadows mysteries all have descriptions of prints at the beginning of each chapter that sometimes give clues to the plot, or even the killer; sometimes they’re related to the location of the book, or its theme. I often hear from readers that they wish they could see the prints. So I’ve rounded up most of the prints mentioned in Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding, and next week I’m going to start posting two or three of them on my Facebook page each week, as a bit of a preview of Cape Cod Wedding. Here, for example, is the print for Chapter 1. The description is: “The Wreck of the ‘Atlantic’ – Cast Up By the Sea.” Wood Engraving by Winslow Homer (1836-1910) from Harper’s Weekly, April 26, 1873. Body of drowned woman, lying in surf on rocky shore, being discovered by fisherman. Ship is sinking in the distance. On April 1, 1873, the transatlantic liner RMS Atlantic, whose route was Liverpool to New York City, ran into rocks off the coast of Nova Scotia and sank. Although residents of nearby fishing villages tried to rescue passengers, 535 people were drowned, including all the women and children on board. The Atlantic was owned and operated by the White Star Line, which later owned the Titanic. Winslow Homer, one of American’s most important artists, was still working as an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly in 1873, and this full-page illustration was his tribute to those who’d perished. 9.125 x 13.75 inches. Price: $250.
(Friend me on Facebook to see more!)
Oh, yes — I’m updating my website, too. That should be up within the next week.
There are other things I’ll be doing, too, as publication date approaches. And after publication? Then I’ll be driving to those appearances and giving those talks.
It’s all part of being a writer.
And, by the way, yes. Thanks for asking. I am writing a new book. Two, actually. And, no. Winters in Maine aren’t boring at all.
Great post, Lea, but I’m exhausted just from reading it! I’m looking forward to the next installment in the Shadows series. I’ve been a fan from the beginning.
Thank you, Kaitlyn! And, yes — it IS exciting having a book published — I suspect even for a multi-multi-MULTI pblished author like you! The trick, as you well know, is to spend enough time on marketing and promotion so readers know your book is out there ……. but not so much time (or money) that you take away from your profits … or from the energy or hours you have spend on your NEXT book. Balancing act, for sure.
Lea, I’m exhausted reading this, but taking notes for this summer!
Congratulations, Lea! The cover is beautiful. Thanks for the tips from a real pro.
So glad you’ll be on Cape Cod in March and April. Looking forward to our author gigs in Cotuit and Hyannis. But I guess I’d better rest up if I want to keep up with you!