Book Launch from Abroad?

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macleod1972

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I'm tremendously excited about my debut novel coming out - possibly next spring - with a respectable independent publishing house. Obviously I don't expect to give up the day job, but I do want it to do 'quite well', and so I'd like to roll up my sleeves and get fully involved in the promotion side of things. The problem is, the day job is in the Middle East. I've been thinking of relocating back home for a while now, but to be honest job prospects aren't that good for me in the UK, especially with a pandemic going on, and I have some stability here. So my question is this: is it possible to promote a book and give it a fair chance without being physically there? I mean, the publishing house has assured me that most marketing and promotion is done online these days anyway - but what opportunities would I be missing out on from being out of the country?
 

mccardey

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I'm tremendously excited about my debut novel coming out - possibly next spring - with a respectable independent publishing house. Obviously I don't expect to give up the day job, but I do want it to do 'quite well', and so I'd like to roll up my sleeves and get fully involved in the promotion side of things. The problem is, the day job is in the Middle East. I've been thinking of relocating back home for a while now, but to be honest job prospects aren't that good for me in the UK, especially with a pandemic going on, and I have some stability here. So my question is this: is it possible to promote a book and give it a fair chance without being physically there? I mean, the publishing house has assured me that most marketing and promotion is done online these days anyway - but what opportunities would I be missing out on from being out of the country?

Almost none, I would think - especially the way things are with the pandemic. (I'm assuming you can Zoom or similar where you are?)
 

macleod1972

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Do you think it's worthwhile releasing something at all right now? How has the pandemic affected book sales?
 

lizmonster

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I had two "in person" events for my debut novel. One was a reading with another (established) author; the audience was lovely to me, but they were there to hear him. Another was a reading at a bookstore (also with another author) that was attended by the staff, my family, and one customer who got stuck in there.

TL;DR: None of my in-person events helped with promo at all. You're fine doing it all long distance.

As for the pandemic? There's never a good time to release a book, and I don't think next spring is going to be particularly bad.

Congratulations. :) Try not to worry!
 

Woollybear

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Got my ducks lined up in Jan/Feb to get going on B&N signing events. There are certain requirements for this--publishing on Ingram or similar, getting the ISBN squared away, lead time on the B&N schedule, coordination with school groups in my case. I had heard that this sort of direct outreach was very helpful to build an audience and I was gearing up for it. Fair amount of legwork, phone work, emotional work, etc.

There have been no signings at B&N, to my knowledge, because of the pandemic. That work has borne no fruit. I lost a couple library talks as well.

I've tried to replace these with online events. Interviews and collaborations and so on. You do what you can. I'm writing more than I would have, without the stay at home orders. So it's not all bad from a publishing perspective. My guess is the sales/etc balance out in the long run.

I expect B&N will start having signings again in the new year, sometime in 2021, with ... vaccines? available. I still plan to try to line a few of those up.

On the plus side, if this state of affairs goes on long enough I'll have book 2 out, heck maybe even the entire trilogy.
 
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