The Month Before the Book Launch

So you've written a novel; now what? In this series, debut author-to-be Crystal King describes the traditional publication process from start to finish: the lead-up, what to expect along the way, and how building her social media platform has made a difference. In this installment of "On the Path to Publication" Crystal talks about the month leading up to launch.

32 days. Just barely over one month away to the launch of my novel, FEAST OF SORROW. It seems surreal that after so long (I finished the first draft in 2011) this book will finally be out in the world, in the hands of thousands (dare I hope for millions?) of strangers. 

Things are starting to heat up with my publicists. I have two, my in-house publicist at Touchstone, Leah, and my external publicist, Megan, that I hired to augment Touchstone's efforts. They have me really busy, writing articles for them to place, and guiding me as I network with bookstores, bloggers and book clubs. When the hardback books come in next week (!!!) there will be a new push with reviewers and online outlets. There has been a lot of early outreach on the book but many editors don't pay much attention until the book is public or nearly public. 

I'm keeping track of all the book details with te fantastic online service Trello. What I need to do, which public places I'm trying to line up, articles that need written and what I'm waiting on from other people.

As for that hardback book landing in my hands within the next week or so...yeah that will be an extraordinarily emotional moment for me, I guarantee it. Cue the tears. 

I'm working on the details for my book launch itself. It's a book about food and I can't imagine not having food at the launch, so I have catering details to consider (and no, my publisher is not helping with that cost). I'm working on what I will say and what sort of visuals and presentation I want to do to accompany the reading. Since I'm not doing it at a bookstore but at my local library's auditorium, there is a big stage that I have the opportunity to use. Why not wow them, right? One thing that is turning out to be difficult is deciding which passages from my book that I'll read that won't give away too much about certain plot points.

I'm also trying to figure out is how to make up to a very very dear friend the fact that I completely left them out of my book acknowledgments. Yes, that happened!!! This person doesn't know it yet and I'm mortified to the core. I realized it after it was too late to make changes (but will request it for the paperback, I hope!). The person didn't have direct impact on my book (which is why I forgot to add them) but they have been a crucial part of my writing life for many years. I'm confident that this person will forgive me but it doesn't make me less mortified, sigh.

My husband, fortunately, remembered one of the most important aspects of the big day ahead. He came home the other day and proudly showed me the bottle of champagne we'll be drinking, a delicious Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé. I love that he remembers the important details. ;-)

If you are in the Boston area I hope that you'll join me next month for my launch, or check out my events page for other opportunities to hear me read, or go to one of the Roman food events I'll be doing.  In my next blog post in this series I'll let you know how it went, and what the first week after publication looks like!

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About the Author

Crystal King is a 30-year marketing, social media and communications veteran, freelance writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. She is the author of the FEAST OF SORROW, about the ancient Roman gourmand, Apicius, and THE CHEF'S SECRET about the famous Renaissance chef Bartolomeo Scappi. Currently Crystal works as a social media professor for HubSpot, a leading provider of Inbound marketing software. Crystal has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet writing center. A former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her MA in Critical and Creative Thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in media res. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at her website:

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