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After a book launch, what’s next?! Or, more fitting, what’s not next?

Since my book came out on Sept. 10, it’s been an incredible month. And, if I’m honest with myself, it's also been overwhelming. Now, the trick is to figure out what’s next. What should I be spending my energy on in terms of getting this book into the hands of readers?

For middle-grade fiction, marketing can be trickier than other genres because some middle schoolers find books on their own, but most are introduced to books by their teachers and parents. So instead of one target audience, you have three. What promotional campaigns are going to be most effective for all those potential readers?

What I’ve found is that today, there are so many opportunities to promote a new book, it's mind-boggling. There are blog tours and book contests, Zoom talks and conferences, book festivals, library/bookstore events, school visits, BookTok, and other social media. The list goes on and on, and that’s only the marketing plan. There’s also bookstore distribution and media outreach to manage. For many first-time authors like me, this is on top of holding down a full-time job.

Any new author will tell you that it’s a huge learning curve to strike the right cord with your post-launch efforts. What in my marketing plan will be most effective and efficient? Of course, I want to do "all of the above" but that may not be possible with my limited time.

So I've been reminding myself that ALL you can do is take things one day at a time. I try to set aside at least an hour each night and several hours every weekend to execute my marketing, distribution, and media outreach plans. I'll just keep swimming, as Dory says!

Here are a couple of things I’ve focused on this past month:

  • January 11, 2024 - I’m working with a favorite Ann Arbor bookstore, Literati, to schedule a storytelling workshop for middle schoolers. Literati works on these types of events in partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library. They invited me to provide my Middle-Grade Short Story Workshop: Finding Your Spark! in conjunction with the AADL’s “It’s All Write!” Teen Writing Contest.

  • February 4, 2024 – I’ve been invited to join a speaking panel for What is Fifth Avenue Press? An Introduction to AADL's Publishing Imprint.

I’m super excited about both events. I also signed up for a webinar hosted by on how to be a good podcast guest. I’ll share what I learn in a future blog.

Finally, last week, I took a much-needed vacation with my husband who, during the crazy book launch period, planned a surprise second honeymoon for us to celebrate our 30 years together. The photo above is from our trip to Miami Beach.

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